When Forcemaster vs Warlord hit the scene as the first expansion to Mage Wars: Arena, we encountered this strange new mage that chose to manipulate her opponent’s creatures instead of bringing her own. She preferred to get her Force on and smack everything backwards from yesterday with her double-bladed Galvitar. Coupled with her efficient death dealing capabilities was unparalleled control of the battlefield. Her positional prowess made sure that what she wanted to hit got hit. Hard.
Enter Mage Wars: Academy. As interest grew in this fast-paced cage-match, the question arose: What would a Forcemaster look like in Academy? Academy is a much more tactically realized duel that does not involve different zones in which to push people. Additionally, a solo-mage archetype tends to have trouble keeping the pressure on due to having few available actions. In the creature-focused Academy duel, a Forcemaster is going to need some help—and she brought some.
Two dice and piercing +2 may not seem like a lot, but remember that this is a quick-cast creature with Aegis in a land of 2-3 dice full cast creatures that have 1 or 2 armor. That calculates to several rounds of basically critical damage from a creature they do not want to waste time attacking since it will go away on its own eventually. In a pinch, you could use this cat to tank some blows for you as it does not have the usual pest trait you see on smaller creatures. Force Caracal is also just the beginning.
The Academy Forcemaster introduces several Force, Construct creatures. They are all quick-cast and they all Dissipate over time. Some of them can even manipulate their own extant force to gain extra effects such as the Force Golem. Force Golem can easily live through a lot of punishment thanks to his Aegis 2 trait. He can remove particularly troublesome enemy minor creatures from the fight simply by using one of his Dissipate tokens. The great thing is, you don’t have to decide to remove the token until after you have seen and applied the results of the dice. Force Golem is tougher than he looks and comparably competitive with other level 2 creatures.
One of the best examples of flexibility and staying power in the Force, Construct repertoire is the Tomb Guardian. This fine gentleman not only sports the Aegis 2 and Dissipate 5 but he can use his power to gain a guard any time you have Priority.
What is Priority, you ask? Why it is nothing more than a simplification of text on cards. “Priority” replaces “before or after a friendly creature’s action”. In layman’s terms that roughly means “when it’s your turn”. Therefore, with Tomb Guardian, you can make him guard right after you cast him! Additionally, if you are in a bit of a tight spot and are concerned about that Badger Frenzied Razortusk, you can outlast the guard breakers by guarding with Tomb Guardian’s action and then you can use its ability to guard after any of your other actions–twice a guard in one turn! If the tables have turned a little, you can use him to attack and finish off a low life creature and then use his ability to still protect you.
These aren’t the only Force, Constructs in the Forcemaster’s growing arsenal. With so much dissipate lying around there has to be another way to make it useful…
Catch you back next week where we will learn that the Academy Forcemaster still hits very hard. We will also display her knack for the manipulation of transient power!
–Scott “Puddnhead” Penney, Arcane Duels