So... is a heavy armor mage viable now ? (in General)

Sickone January 9 2009 12:04 AM EST

I've been messing around with various crazy "single minion" setups over on the tournament character (since the tournament has been over for a while now, but not finished yet - I barely got back from my vacation to witness somebody else's win, heh).

The latest crazy scheme (in a pretty long series of crazy setups), a SFBM heavy AC mage (well, as much AC as the "no auctions" rule made it possible, that is - and there's no turning back now since no armor piece is a rare, therefore all cash is sunk into the current AC).

Quite frankly, it's been performing far above expectations so far, considering the gear on it, that is.
Anybody else care to comment about the (practical and/or theoretical) viability of a heavy AC mage under "normal circumstances" ?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] January 9 2009 12:11 AM EST

I've thought heavy AC mages would be AWESOME for quite awhile. For me they have one major downside, for one minion teams, they can have no tat, that's the only bad side.

QBOddBird January 9 2009 12:13 AM EST

The old two minion heavy mage team that Nerevas ran worked extremely well. ToE and a heavy CoC mage...

...with Armor Proficiency around now, it's even more viable.

Soul Eater January 9 2009 12:29 AM EST

How would the strat work? I am thinking of changing mine. If you know how it worked please let me know.

three4thsforsaken January 9 2009 12:37 AM EST

ToE isn't the same as it used to be.

What would one equip for a one minion heavy AC CoC mage? Or a two minion one?

MonkeyMandate [Wasting Time] January 9 2009 12:49 AM EST

for a two minion if i was to do it i would have the following.

train AS and either DM or AMF depending (most likely DM)
Equip a Corn, AoI, BoF and it would wear the tat. this would most likely be a RoS

train around 1/3 HP and then the rest HP, as well as base armour proficiency.
equip heavy armour though would make an exception and equip NSC rather than TG's.

QBOddBird January 9 2009 12:54 AM EST

I'd probably go with something similar.

1st minion straight AS, with tiny DM later, RoS, AoF, Corn
2nd minion 1/10 HP and straight DD, with AGs to counter the penalties.

DoS January 9 2009 1:44 AM EST

It can't quite be as easily used by new players because of the required gear... Unless they play for more than a week, but if a NUB got into this it would be awesome. RoSCoC strat I mean. I don't know about a heavy SFBM just because of the no tattoo thing, that would bother me to much to use it :\

Rawr January 9 2009 2:14 AM EST

Using the heaviest armor possible (AC,SC,MS,HoD,CML), with changing TG->NSC and with AP (.33 x .4 = .132, .33-.132 = .198), still a 19.8% DD reduction. Is 1/5 of xp gone due to penalties really worth it? Perhaps trade a CoI in for the SC? I'm just throwing this out there because I like the idea of a heavy mage.

QBJohnnywas January 9 2009 2:19 AM EST

I've run a few heavy mages in the past; at lower to mid levels it's not bad, but higher up that penalty to your DD really hurts.

I personally preferred dealing more damage than reducing the damage I was taking.

three4thsforsaken January 9 2009 2:30 AM EST

I'm playing around with numbers on my build. It'll be better to go typical EF than heavy mage with any combination of an AC/RoBF/ToE as far as I can see...

QBJohnnywas January 9 2009 2:43 AM EST

I was using CoC at the time I was doing mine, and frankly running naked with proper ED support and full power DD was more powerful than heavy AC.

Using CoC and heavy AC kind of felt like you were cooking yourself when AMF came into the fray.

QBOddBird January 9 2009 2:57 AM EST

You've got Armor Proficiency to halve those penalties now, JW.

QBJohnnywas January 9 2009 3:21 AM EST

It's true, and its not so 'necessary' to go with evasion now that it's been reduced. I'd still go with the idea that damage is more useful currently than damage reduction though.

QBOddBird January 9 2009 3:46 AM EST

We should have a NCB comparison, JW. :)

I'll get myself together an armor set, you get yourself together the classic mage set, and we'll run our NCBs at the same growth and see which turns out to be more powerful

DoS January 9 2009 3:50 AM EST

I would be willing to sponsor that through cheap rentals and such.

Sickone January 9 2009 9:00 AM EST

I don't know... getting dealt one third physical and one half magical damage (so, you last at least twice as long in melee as you'd normally last unarmored) certainly seems like a nice trade-off for losing 15% of magical damage... and that's not even at fullly buffed armor potential.

Also, if you go solo, you have several benefits.

One, you can use fireball with impunity (up until round 15-20 or so FB deals more overall damage as COC, and you only start to notice a serious drop in total damage dealt from round 25 onward), which means you have a massive "early strike" advantage over CoC/EF.

Two, you're much less vulnerable to enemy offensive enchants - EC don't really matter anyway, you can live without any ED so DM doesn't matter either (or, alternatively, if you use an ED you know the enemy can't use both AMF and DM effectively anyway - so, either go with GA or with SS), and the AMF effect is minimised by a large DD level backed up by massive HP (so even if you kind of cook yourself somewhat, the HP pool can handle it).

Third, for yourself, contrary to popular wisdom, AMF is much more beneficial than DM, since you go for the SLOW kill this time, and decay is a huge problem (having enemy mages toast themselves a bit doesn't hurt either, neither does the magic damage reduction - the phisical damage reduction, that you have covered pretty well already).

Last but not least, even if some of you regard it as a disadvantage, the LACK of a tattoo is actually quite enticing - this means your PR is much closer to your MPR, so you benefit from higher challenge bonuses until noticeably later in your career. Also, it opens up the possibility of purchasing a minion very late, a minion which you can equip with ANY tattoo you like (even a RoE), so it's got development potential later on if you want to (PL battery, switching AMF over to this one, back mage wall, RoBF carrier or whatever you like).

lostling January 9 2009 9:16 AM EST

actually COC over takes FB pretty fast

Solare January 9 2009 9:51 AM EST

My 11.9 mil CoC does more damage than my lvl 17.6 mil FB did per turn by a whopping 250k x 5. FB is useless with the ranged reductions and the whole hitting your own minion thing. In short, a CoC of the same lvl as the FB should overtake the FB by the first or second round of melee if they both use a HoC.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] January 9 2009 10:19 AM EST

Heavy mage is asking to be frozen, cooked, zapped, or bombarded to death in a can. AMF FTW!

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] January 9 2009 10:40 AM EST

if used specifically for a ncb run where tat growth is not needed and mpr growth is the focus, then i agree that it is worth a shot as long as you plan on hiring more minions at some point. single minions are still the red-headed step-children of cb.

Sickone January 9 2009 12:15 PM EST

Hmm... that's weird... if that damage number is correct, with the current ranged penalties, CoC would overtake FB by round 9... are you sure those numbers are correct ?

three4thsforsaken January 9 2009 1:17 PM EST

Currently a two minion setup mentioned by OB and Lightening Raider are the best possibilities for a heavy AC mage I can see. It shows tons of HP to work with, with a large RoS protection and enough exp concentration to have a massive CoC. The heavy AC will help greatly against GA but one would need near top MPR to have a big enough CoC to deal with AMF.

A nice setup would be:

1st minion:

Majority AS
small AMF
small PL


2nd minion
Majority CoC
base SS

wall equips/ NSC (still a must)

With this build the heavy mage would have great AC for small SS investment with a great amount of PL support. It'll easily survive several rounds into melee. Not to mention the enchanter provides a great buffer for decay and SG.

three4thsforsaken January 9 2009 1:26 PM EST

^ come to think of it. That's an exceptionally good build IMO. I'll work best with split even exp.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] January 9 2009 1:27 PM EST

CoC wouldn't be half as good as SG. The AMF return on CoC is impossible to overcome normally, let alone with penalties.

three4thsforsaken January 9 2009 1:36 PM EST

well, let's say they have roughly 21ish million levels to work with (estimated amount after a very good NCB)

about 10 million would be invested into AS. With a large RoS (7-8 million) one can get a good 7-8 million HP.

Meanwhile the CoC mage should have about 10 million raw so round down to maybe 8.5 effective CoC level. Not many teams currently can effectively deal with that much DD level (short of maybe Mikel). My familiar takes about 250k damage with a 0.05 effect. Even if you double the effect it's not too horrid feedback for the amount of HP you have.

I think it's very viable in late gameplay.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] January 9 2009 1:39 PM EST

0.05 is nothing... expect to take 2m in return from Mikel a round

three4thsforsaken January 9 2009 2:02 PM EST

I think it's safe to say that the amount Mikel trains in AMF is not the norm.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] January 9 2009 2:15 PM EST

Late game may mean something different to you then...

Sickone January 10 2009 5:05 AM EST

Well, you're not trying to beat everybody and be unbeatable by everybody at the same time :)

Sickone January 10 2009 9:49 AM EST

Also, could add a SoD and some half-decent ST plus some token DX on it alongside the CoC :))

MissingNo January 10 2009 10:09 AM EST

I know GW had the CoC+archer minion way back, then I had it too. Wasn't very effective. Cool as hell though.

Sickone January 10 2009 7:12 PM EST

Well, a SoD+CoC high AC mage would be certainly much more effective as an archer/CoC hybrid of past times.

First off, it won't suffer so much from the lack of Archery (since you go with Armor Profficiency now), and with AP you also suffer from less magic level penalty (also, less DX penalty too).
Your focus won't be to kill high DX targets in ranged anyway, so your DX only needs to be a bit above whatever enemy EC level usually is.

Second, it will be dealing decent spread damage from the start, and quite awesome spread damage in melee.
And I say "decent damage", because damage is a function of SQRT(STR), so a 1 mil ST after enemy EC would be quite enough.

Third, it will be quite well protected from the GA-ed SoD splash damage and most enemy physical damage because of its high AC anyway, so all you really need to worry are other mages with loads of AMF :)

Of course, it's all highly theoretical anyway :p
But would be quite awesome to see tried in practice at least once, I guess.
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