Clash of the Titans: DM and AMF (in General)

QBsutekh137 May 26 2005 12:28 PM EDT

I have been watching Sefton and Ranger duking it out at the top, especially since their strategies have become similar (ToAs, high NW, DM, and big ELBs).

I see Ranger has gone to 4-minion again, and has some DD spells trained on lead minions. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why.

Then I talked to Sefton, and he mentioned that Ranger's Decay was very, very effective against him. That's because they have both gone with DM, precluding the use of AMF. So even tiny Decays can wreak havoc on these gentlemen, provided the Decay mages stay alive until melee.

That seems kind of lame. I understand DM and AMF are largely exclusive of each other, but it seems wrong that a couple barely-trained DD spells can be so crippling, just because the other guy has chosen to use DM for other reasons.

What if instead of DM fizzling AMF, AMF trumped DM? Go ahead and make the trump be 100%, in fact. So, for example, if I have a level 1000 DM and a level 100 AMF, The AMF will cast (and not fizzle), but the DM will be cut down to level 900. One could even jack up AMF to be greater than DM, but then that would be completely defeating their DM.

In other words, AMF and DM would still be largely mutually exclusive, but at least a team could pump out a small AMF to stop these weak DD spells from turning the tide of battle.

I suppose all offensive enchantments could work that way, ganging up on the caster's own DM but then not fizzling on the opponent. Let them cast and not fizzle out on the other team, but have it reduce the casting team's own DM so that a choice still has to be made when wanting to thwart the opponent's defensive enchantments.

I know: complicated. A complication compounded on an already confusing phenomenon. But does it seem right that a base Decay can take out a tank just because the other team has decided to go with DM? Back in CB1 there were tit-for-tat scenarios like this, but only if a team had fewer minions and was running out of enchantment slots. Here there are plenty of slots, and it seems a bit inane to be able to completely force another team back to AMF by expending such a small amount of experience.

Arorrr May 26 2005 1:18 PM EDT

I like the way it is now. If you can train both AMF and DM very high, what are the counter strats vs AMF and DM?

Manta May 26 2005 1:38 PM EDT

Arorr, I think you misunderstood what Chet means: "AMF and DM would still be largely mutually exclusive", meaning that if you trained both, the DM would fizzle.
Personally, I like the way it is now, where if you use DM, a base decay will wreak havok with your team.
If you train DM, you expect to win in a few rounds, and you should be able to kill the enemy enchanters in ranged. If the enchanters stay alive until melee, you are doing something wrong.
In Ranger's case, where the decay is on the wall, a big AMF will kill his wall and enchanter, and trump his mage, leaving only the tank working. OTOH, he is nearly immune to DM. I would say it is fair, that he is able to defeat DM teams, and has problems with AMF ones.

QBRanger May 26 2005 1:43 PM EDT

Gee. I come up with new strats and already people are trying to change the rules to nerf it. :-)

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] May 26 2005 2:19 PM EDT

Chet, I sometimes fear posting because bad things happen, but I am pulled in. I cannot resist a good strat discussion. First off to Ranger, Chet is trying to help you and here is why.

You have more PR than me, something that can be gained in a finite amount, and takes time. So it would be advantageous for me to force you to retrain often, as the loss of actual experience would be much greater for you, than I thus helping me shorten the gap between out PRs. How do I do this, I turn my DM to AMF. It will cost me some. But now you are faced with the idea that your wall will be doing himself more damage with decay than me. You cannot afford that. You would have to unlearn all your Decay to counter it, because you need all the various DD spells to attract my seekers away from your biggest threats, and I think one component going away will mean they all might as well. So what happens, I turn my AMF back to DM.

I am able to to this because each retrain will cost me only a small fraction that the retraining will cost you. So in a sense, the smaller weaker opponent has the advantage of being able to change more easily, and thus I am able to use it force you closer and closer to my PR, while my strat of using NW continues to grow at same pace. A war of attrition, the first rule in the Art of War when your opponent is physically stronger.

In the end I use seekers to make most of the point moot. I don't mind them being exclusive at all.

Ranger actually trains his FB bigger than his Decay, even though he doesn't need it in any way, simply to make my elbow seek that minion out, giving his real threat the wall with decay, one less round of fire in ranged. If Ranger had to train his Decay higher and higher to overcome my AMF, he will have to waste exp into Fireball at a greater pace so that my seekers don't get three rounds at his wall. If I can shoot his wall 8 to 9 times with my seeking elbow, I think that turns the tide of the fight in my favor.

In the end, Ranger, Chet is trying to help you by allowing AMF to come under your DM such that your DM being so big is reduced by the amount of your AMF (and the reduction is minor by comparison to your at last look 226K Lvl DM) so you could train both AMF and DM, stop me from forcing you to cycle between to the two in pace with me, not really touch your DM, but stave off the small Decays with the AMF.

Granted I could and would do the same, and it would force us to both reconsider our decays, but it would keep me from causing you to have to retrain so often. :)

P.S. This upper level strat stuff is by no means standard. For instance, every AMF out there nerfs my Decay and Fireball to somewhere from .9 to .99 on my entire list, and it does not change the fight in one way. As in no Decay is not stupid trained so low because you can't beat me with .99 AMFing it, but with no AMF its very effective on Ranger :)

P.S.S. Ranger had to add a 4th minion when I did, or else, I would carry too many minions to melee and win. Once I get enough cash to buy them right back if I need to, Im going to see if firing one or two of my minions makes a difference with anyone but Ranger, and if not, look for more shake ups!

OK I could not resist posting about strat, even though I probably should have. Let my pain begin :)

AvoidCXT May 26 2005 2:22 PM EDT

I'm with chet on this one, nothing should be so powerful at base. I have some other ideas for how to fix it: Have 10% of DM count as amf vs decay(i.e. if char A has 100k DM, and char B has Decay, char B's decay would act as it had a 10k amf cast on it, but other dd spells would act the same). Or Jon could bring back the hp penalty for decay, where a minion takes greatly increased damage for having more hp than decay.

Jason Bourne May 26 2005 2:35 PM EDT

y not make them both able to cast at the same time, but dm acts like a huge magic penalty armor. lets say, since dm casts at 80% of its level, that now it only dispells 80% of your own enchantments, no matter what, no matter the level. so that way, if u have even a base dm, ur amf is now 80% less, but in rangers case, if u have a huge dm, u could train a 10k amf, and have an effective 2k AMF to work with. just something to think about..i think this could work out well.

QBsutekh137 May 26 2005 3:03 PM EDT

Ranger, if you think your idea is new, you might want to think again. *smile*

The power of the Decay mage (even against a rather large AMF) is well documented, and there have been epic battles already (not generally involving me) where someone trying to forego AMF got burned by the other person learning some small Decays.

So yes, this is a "burn" on folks who want to try DM. I just think having it be totally mutually exclusive is a bit much. Sefton's unlearn/relearn scenario shows it really is a no-win for anyone.

The other ideas for allowing AMF/DM coexistence are intriguing, but I still like my original idea. *smile* And actually, in thinking it over, it is no more complicated than stuff right now. Under the new scenario, your own offensive enchantment would nerf your own DM, but after that, they would cast as usual, and the remaining DM would cast on the opponent's defensive enchantments only. I'm not sure it could be much simpler. But it probably doesn't matter, since Jonathan will likely give a big old "no" anyway. *grin*

QBRanger May 26 2005 3:18 PM EDT


If you go back to AMF, all I have to do is unlearn a 6k xp spell, decay, while you unlearn a 70k spell-AMF. Who loses more xp then?

I just have the decay on my wall as a base spell-6.2k xp. That is all. If you go to AMF, then my GA will do lots of damage I won't even need the decay to win.

I have the FB on my mage for other reasons then to do damage to you. If you go to AMF, that mage is expendable, all he does is have to live one round to be a blocker. If needed, ill learn more hp on him, just to make sure he lives one round to soak up your elb damage.
Or perhaps change my FB to something else.

The decay on my enchanter is there for obvious reasons. It's never likely ever going to be used, and right now that minion serves the same purpose as the mage.


Personally, I really like the idea of AMF and DM being exclusive. This forces someone to choose the pathway they will have. If you want to add a bit of AMF into the DM spell, lets say 10%, then that will change my strat. But that will make DM a very powerful spell. The way it is now, makes you choose, nuke someone elses spells and be vulnerable to decay or be far less vulnerable to decay and other DD spells.

I figured out that if someone else has decay could I live through it, and right now I can. Perhaps later things will change, then Ill have to adapt or die.

And Chet: I'm fairly new to the whole cb thing, especially cb1. The strats I try are based on my experience in cb2. Perhaps, I'm sure the whole decay thing played itself out in cb1, but with the DM spell, decay now has a whole new use, IMO.

QBsutekh137 May 26 2005 4:54 PM EDT

Ranger, I do not advocate the 10% built in AMF for DM. I advocate my original idea, as it is very straightforward. Instead of DM nerfing AMF, AMF nerfs DM and then everything casts.

What you are calling a strategy, I call an exploit. You are 100% correct. You have found every loophole and your strategy and implementation of that strategy has always been top-notch.

But the base Decay thing is not so much a strategy as it is an exploit (in my opinion). It is the ability to force a very large affect in an opponent by expending very little experience. Those are generally the types of things I tend to post about here, and that is why there are many people who do think I am just a whiner. So be it. Incidentally, this issue does not affect me in the slightest, as there is no way my character comes close to beating yours (or Gyaxx's), nor will it probably ever.

My idea still forces a choice between AMF and DM for the overall "pathway" of a character, as you put it. I can't learn a 500K AMF and 500K DM and have it be effective. My idea merely mitigates what I consider to be a "cheap" way of manipulating opponents by using base Decay(s).

Chocolate Thunder May 26 2005 5:02 PM EDT

Bring in the DM blockin' hat!

Arorrr May 26 2005 5:19 PM EDT

Come on, why arguing about a base decay strat. It's there for as long as I remember. The base decay strat is there to counter no AMF large HP minion but it is horrible against other teams. It's like a sucidal minion.

If you are bother with base decay strat, do this:

1. Hire more beef minions to protect your large HP minion.
2. Train 4:1 AMF:decay ratio. This way, you will kill both base decay and base VA,GA,Prot. This is a very effect strat that I saw on many team.

Chet, I'm supprised that you didn't talk about the reverse effect on base VA, GA and Prot if AMF overrides DM.

Jon has it right, for now.

QBRanger May 26 2005 5:30 PM EDT

But Chet: I don't find it to be an exploit. You can use AMF and be fairly immune to decay. DM in itself is a very powerful spell destroying all your opponents ED enchantments (if your level is high enough). Thats quite a power that would have little checks and balances if not for the decay spell. Vs a high AMF, a base decay is useless, but vs a DM or non AMF character is very powerful. The pathway you choose will either be AMF or DM, each has their pluses and negatives.

Also remember my decay works wonders vs Gyaxx or Jochumia, but take Spid, Cau, or Bartlett. They have 3 of the 4 highest AMF's and I take a lot of damage vs them with my base decay. So its a 2 edged sword in that vs DM I rock, vs AMF I stink.

It seems that the problem is not with DM/AMF but with the power of the decay spell to begin with.

Even though I am vulnerable to decay with my setup, its one of the many choices I have had to make in setting up my character. Sort of the Rock/Paper/Scissors analogy everyone loves to use. If AMF and DM were allowed then strats become more generic and less risk taking.

And I have not found every "loophole". I used the strat of the game at the time. When the TOE was overpowered, I used AMF since it was the way to defeat SMTOE's. Now that DM is around I use that. I have chosen to take that path. I did not force Jochumia or Gyaxx to do the same, they chose it. WIth the understanding that decay could be a major problem for them.

But to make AMF and DM work together in some manner would make things very different. Then you can go DM and not really have to worry as much about magic since youll stop most decays.

QBsutekh137 May 26 2005 6:34 PM EDT

My idea is barely a change.

Right now, a base DM is used to stop base Protection. It works because AMF goes first and then DM goes. All I am proposing is the reverse.

That would be a very tiny change in the way things work. Methinks that anyone so admantly against it is either clinging to something that works but shouldn't, or is simply allergic to change (and any ideas leading thereto).

I don't see anyone complaining that a small DM can be stacked with AMF and still fizzle base Protection, but as soon as I propose something that changes the entire tide of battles, well, then here come the counter-arguments. Why? Jon's implementation is arbitrary. In fact, he probably thought of it from the outset and crunched it in his head, liking the current setup better. Fine. I lose. But if he didn't, maybe this is something that would close-down something I deem "cheap."

Yes, base Decay has been around forever. The opponent would learn a little AMF, and the bluff was called. Spid tried it, RedDwarf tried it, both ended up without it. As it should be. CB2 introduces something new -- enchants that stack AGAINST each other. I am just saying stack 'em the other way 'round.

If you like Decay so much, Ranger, invest in it. Don't hide behind a couple base ones. In CB1 for a time I had the largest Decay by far (it was later I tried the base ones as Todd-Spydah and I played ring-around-the-enchant). I invested in it and it let me beat Spid despite his huge AMF. That's a battle.

This is ninja's shooting poison darts and calling it "battle tactics".

Or maybe we should just agree to disagree. *smile*

[-war-] May 26 2005 7:24 PM EDT

If AMF lowered DM, My GA would be unstoppable.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] May 26 2005 7:36 PM EDT

Why does DM have to effect AMF/EC? Is it really a balance issue?

AvoidCXT May 26 2005 8:02 PM EDT

Come on now chet, base decay is just as viable a strat as a FoD team.

Ranger - you know how much you get copied. Once half of the enchanters/walls out there have base decay, loads of serious DM users will have to abandon their DMs to get some amf to fend off base decays, and DM becomes the new UC(sort of).

I sense some confusion on my 10% idea - For one thing, it would only count as amf against decay, other dds remain the same. And at just 10%(or 5% or maybe even just 1% would work), base decay would no longer be very useful against DM users, while any DM caught in a battle like the one chet describes would be hard pressed to beat a serious decay user.
But, then again, the more I think about chet's idea, the more I like it, and the main thing I want to see done is an end to base decays being so powerful.

Anyways, I think I'm done with this thread. I believe that Jon does not want base decay to be a viable choice, and he always implements good ways to stop what he doesn't like.

Duke May 26 2005 10:05 PM EDT

I just disagree i dont even see a reason to change DM or AMF they both work well in there way.Chet just try to change your strat for once and not the game.

Manta May 27 2005 4:29 AM EDT

As they have already said, now a base decay is either nearly useless (because the enchanter sporting it dies before melee) or, if trained on a wall, a huge risk (any AMF, and your wall is toast).
It works well for Ranger because his main adversaries went DM, but he will have to retrain when AMF comes back into fashion.

mihalis May 27 2005 5:09 AM EDT

What if instead of DM fizzling AMF, AMF trumped DM?
IMHO, it makes no sense: Dispel Magic is supposed to ... dispel magic. Fizzling your own AMF is just the way it's supposed to be. How is anti-magic field (against DD) supposed to dispel an enchantment?
Besides, even with 0.99 AMF against your decay mage, it still deals the same damage to the opponent right? Decay cuts the HP in half no matter what, and the decay mage will not die of it's own decay either.

Lumpy Koala May 27 2005 5:26 AM EDT

mihalis, if there's a 0.99 AMF effect on your decay mage, you are only dealing 1% of the normal 1/2 HP damage. And you get 99% backfire which hurts A LOT ...

mihalis May 27 2005 5:56 AM EDT

Ooops. Partially right, though.
There is a maximum (relative) amount that you can have from your own DD spells (I have read somewhere it is something like 40%).
True, with 99% AMF, only 1% of the damage go through. But you still take only the max damage. I tried with a character that has 12,366HP. A 0.99 AMF deals 2,448 damage (almost 20%).
It doesn't hurt that much ;)

spydah May 27 2005 6:14 AM EDT

"Come on now chet, base decay is just as viable a strat as a FoD team. "

The defense rests. May decay finally go the way of FoD. Any % damage effect should be abolished.

Not that I'll have as much support for the decay ban as round 1 :p


QBJohnnywas May 27 2005 6:26 AM EDT

Base decay IS very powerful, but overpowered so easily by AMF as to be laughable in that scenario. Plus you can't actually kill anyone with it. And that is the balance/counter to that particular spell.

You have choices, either go the DM route and leave yourself open to decay or go the AMF route. It's your choice. Why does anything need to be changed?

QBJohnnywas May 27 2005 6:40 AM EDT

Sorry folks that sounded bit whiney. It's hot in London right now and Im stuck in an office with no air conditioning so forgive me.

I used a base decay in CB1 on a ETMM team and there's one on my mage team farm here. Yes it doesn't cost much but a lot of the time, where amf is around, it's useless, a waste of space and xp. The few times it works nicely it works very nicely but you still need to invest in a decent strat and attack to get the most from it. And yes a base decay can cut a large tank in two but a very low level amf can kill decay. I think the balance between the two main OE's is right. Changing the stacking order so that AMF cast before DM becomes a bit of a tit for tat. You might as well just get rid of decay if you enable people to neutralize it as easily as that.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] May 27 2005 6:54 AM EDT

I'm sweating... You should feel sorry for me Johnny, We've no air conditioning, and one wall is glass... >_<

I sweat a bit in the heat. And it's still Shirt, trousers and Tie...


Mihalis, AMF backlash differs for Decay compared to FB/MM/CoC.

FB/MM/CoC take the AMF % from 40% of the effect (or effect x 4 for FB/CoC) of the spell.

The backlash for decay is the AMF % of 1/2 the current hit points of the decay caster.

So a 99% return would do 99% of 50% or 49.5% of the casters hit points at the moment of casting. This is reducable only by a ToE.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] May 27 2005 6:57 AM EDT

"The defense rests. May decay finally go the way of FoD. Any % damage effect should be abolished."

Would anyone use a melee weapon that ignored armour and did 1/2 the targets HP per hit? Which also doesn't use the attackers strength score to determine damage?

QBJohnnywas May 27 2005 7:05 AM EDT

One last comment on decay then I'm going to sit in the sun and think about things more suitable for a man in his 30's.

I love decay. I think it is the best of all the spells/enchantments. It's existence as the wildcard in the pack with it's ability to just be placed almost at random on a char for very little cost. Then BOOM off it goes ripping people in two. I love it. I also love the fact that it can be crippled so easily by a spell that so many people have. It makes things seem a little more random, a little less planned.

If you equip a very large bow you know that for the most part it is going to do a lot of damage. But unless you are being very careful and plan who you fight you never quite know if it's going to work. And seeing your enemy cast their AMF for (.99) is strangely quite satisfying.

And that I think is definitely my cue to get out and get some sunshine.... =)

QBJohnnywas May 27 2005 7:08 AM EDT

'Would anyone use a melee weapon that ignored armour and did 1/2 the targets HP per hit? Which also doesn't use the attackers strength score to determine damage? '

Is that the next supporter item?

QBsutekh137 May 27 2005 9:00 AM EDT

Yes, GL, they might use such a weapon, but maybe not if they knew that weapon would only get one hit (that's the problem with magic) and that the minion in question would be able to offer no offense in ranged rounds.

Duke, if you think I am looking for a change to benefit my own team, you're just wrong. A simple glance at Cougars will tell you that this change will not benefit me in the slightest, nor could any conceivable strategy shift use this change to gain ground. This change would close what I think is a loophole, not enhance a bunch of other teams. But yeah, let's all just never say a word when we perceive (granted, perhaps "imagine" is a better word in my case *smile*) an imbalance. Silence is golden, right?

Johnny, I will say it one more time: this change is very small. AMF and DM would _still_ be almost entirely mutually exclusive, Decay would still have a place (as a spell to actually invest in, not just as a lame base one). As you can see by posts here, some folks wish Decay would go the way of the dodo already. Allowing base Decays to wreak havoc just increases that distaste

QBJohnnywas May 27 2005 9:02 AM EDT

I understand the stacking change idea completely Chet and yes it wouldnt affect those that choose to invest. I just have a sneaky little love for the cheapness of Decay that's all. Blame it on my parents.... =)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] May 27 2005 9:08 AM EDT

;) I still don't see why DM has to reduce AMF/EC anyway!

QBsutekh137 May 27 2005 9:24 AM EDT

Johnny, I've got to respect that! *smile*

GL, DM in it's current state has the advantage of reducing multiple opponent spells at once. Someone else could have AS, VA, GA, and Protection, and with one large DM I could nuke it all. Jonathan balanced that out by making DM preclude the other two offensive enchantments.

As an example, look at Bartlett. Imagine if that huge EC was switched to DM, and that the AMF and DM both had full effect. There would be quite some power there. In fact, everyone would pack in AMF/DM, and choice would be removed.

[EG] Almuric May 27 2005 9:25 AM EDT

I had a base decay for a while. It helped me against like 2 people out of the 15 or so I regularly fought. It did do some damage against almost everyone, but it did a lot of auto-damage (like auto-goal in soccer, not automatic).

If base Decay is such a huge advantage, why doesn't everyone have it trained? I don't think you can make strategic decisions on the direction of the game from what's going on with Ranger and Sefton. They're edge cases. I know that Jon has nerfed stuff based on edge cases - notably heavy xbows - but I don't think anything like that is going on here.

I may relearn Decay to see if it helps me, but I'd probably have to move that minion to the back to ensure he actually gets to melee. Which would probably be a bad move, but you never know. I love base Decay. I think it has its place. Without it, I think DM use would be a lot more rampant. It's not like it hurts most strats. It's only effective against a few. Doesn't seem broken to me.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] May 27 2005 9:32 AM EDT

If it's a balance issue because it can effect more than one stat, then why not balance DM like EC. EC effects two stats, but does so at a reduced efficency.

Why not just reduce the amount of ommph DM has per level to account for this? Then it'll work like another EO.

Why does it need it's own special property of reducing your other EO's to make it balanced? That does nothing to reduce DM's power versus ED's, it just makes a powerful spell more situational.

QBsutekh137 May 27 2005 9:55 AM EDT

Almuric, not sure I understand your use of the word "nerf".

My idea is not a nerf in any way, unless you are considering base Decay getting a nerf as if base Decay should be some sort of instrumental part of the game. I guess this comes down to one's opinion on base Decay. I think it is lame, silly, cheap, and out of character with the rest of the game's rules. That's not even mentioning the folks who think Decay is entirely retarded in the first place.

Base Decay is no more "strategy" than learning a base Protection is to use against the AMFers out there. Problem is, a base decay can do damage far outstripping its tiny investment. Isn't that the very definition of "imbalance"?

QBRanger May 27 2005 11:17 AM EDT

Neo, You can choose the red pill or the blue pill, just not both.
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001MYu">Clash of the Titans: DM and AMF</a>