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Old 01-13-2002, 09:44 PM   #1
F. Gottwald

Join Date: January 9, 2002
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in some threads i find advice on mage battles that advocate the use of these anti-mage spells. however, spell protections don´t protect from area effects and most wizards have few enough hit points that 1 or 2 skull traps will make short work of them. the only spells of this nature i can see of being useful to any degree are those that reduce magic resistance... and even they are rarely efficient; dedicating the slot to a beefing/summoning spell would usually give better results and those are useful against just about anything rather than only a select class of enemies.
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Old 01-13-2002, 10:49 PM   #2

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While I'm hardly an expert spell caster, I've got to say that you're argument doesn't hold any water. First, a simple globe of invulnerability would protect against your skull trap example. Furthermore, most summoned monsters can be quickly killed by a mage that casts a death spell. The "Breech" spell is one of the very best spells out there.

I suppose that a large part of spell selection comes down to how one manages their party. I use my spell casters to support my melee and missile-using characters. I only cast attack magics when necessary. I prefer to have 1.5 mages so that I have a considerable amount of magic available. I have my mages memorize a good amount of Breech, Ruby Ray of Reversal, and Spellstrike (as each beomes available). When some nasty mage with a contingency brings up a whole bunch of defenses (Improved Mantle, Stoneskin, Protection from Magical Weapons, Globe of Invulnerability, for example), I'm not gonna waste my time hoping that my mage(s) have just the right spell to ignore those defenses or that my party will survive until those defenses expire. I have my mage(s) TAKE DOWN those defenses ASAP. I will not leave my tanks hanging out to dry like that, particularly since my PC is usually one of said tanks.

Also, not all area effect spells are "enemies only". I'm not gonna throw a fireball at a mage and just tell my tanks to "take one for the team" when there are far batter and more reliable (and safer) alternatives.
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Old 01-14-2002, 01:38 AM   #3
Mitro Jellywadder

Join Date: September 5, 2001
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Breach and useless don't fit right in the same sentence. It's one of my most used spells when I run a party. It dispels fireshield, stoneskin, protection from normal/magical weapons, mantle, protection from the lements, improved mantle, absolute immunity, etc.. Your party can't do much if their magical and non-magical weapons are bouncing harmlessly off the mage casting a time stop. (Just my opinion.)

I agree with you on secret word, though. I'd rather have Khelben's Whip anyday.
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Old 01-14-2002, 02:06 AM   #4
Dundee Slaytern
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Breach is a must have for party Mage/Sorcerers... unless you really hate your tanks or something.

Breach however... is useless for solo Mage/Sorcerers, ironically... ...

Breach mostly removes spell protections that protect the enemy caster from weaponary. It does not usually remove spell protections that protect the enemy caster from magic.

When was the last time that you saw a Breach remove a Spell Trap/Deflection/Turning?

Also... I do not really like Secret Word... the very fact that Globe of Invulnerability nulifies it makes it one of the most useless counter spells when it comes to long term usage. You will end up using a higher level counter spell anyway... ...
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Old 01-14-2002, 04:23 AM   #5

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Being a person who relies mostly on melee combat, then ranged combat and only then magic, I find "Breach" be quite useful. Most of these casters tend to zap up the protection from magic/normal weapons up as soon as they see me, so it's pesky without this spell. However, zap with it once or twice and they can be chopped up already.

I use magic chars mainly for "debuffing", i.e. load them up with the protection removers and dispells. Some "utility" spells I do leave, like Magic Missile for some quick zap, or Melf's Minute Meteors for some "turret fun". Maybe Haste also on some mage, for the extra full party kick. But that's really that. Mages do have Stoneskins and Blur also memorized, for personal safety. And then they use their slings/bows and work like the rest.
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Old 01-14-2002, 06:10 AM   #6

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Put simply, you can't afford to leave enemy mages secure in their defenses. Once you do, they turn into casting bombs, destroying your melee folk faster than any slicer-dicer could.

So for me, Breach and Pierce are essential spells. I lower my enemy's resistance, shoot those spells out, and turn my melee people lose with their weedwackers. I also follow through with magical attacks of my own. I would suggest that any magical strategy which hasn't included the importance of these spells has some serious holes in it.

You know what took down Firkraag in two of my run-throughs? Lower Resistance, Breach, Pierce...and tons of Magic Missiles! I had three party members lobbing the things at him. That, plus the Ring of the Ram, did him in.
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Old 01-14-2002, 08:50 AM   #7
The Magister

Join Date: August 15, 2001
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lower resistance saved me so many times. In the elven city when i fought the black dragon all the rest of my party had died and my had only a finger of death scroll on him. After having lowered its resistance early in the combat plus a doom from Jahiera i was so happy when the finger of death worked.

Then i got that rod of ressurection out
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Old 01-14-2002, 09:12 AM   #8
F. Gottwald

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i know that secret word (or similar) followed by breach and a tank rush works... the point i was trying to make is that there are usually more efficient ways to kill enemy mages with less of a risk for your party and less spell slots expended.
skull trap was just an example (the one that usually works best as most mages don´t resist magic damage). every wizards protections has a flaw somewhere... and if you can´t find one, getting him to expend his spells on a character or summoned creature with magic resistance (polymorph into a mustard jelly) is more effective.

if you´re going to risk your whole party in a tank rush (usually not a good idea, with breach or without), you might as well use weapons that deal non-physical damage (acid arrows, flail of the ages, crom faeyr etc) which will get through their protections anyway... if you get close enough to actually hit them, they have as good as lost anyway as you can disrupt every spell they attempt to cast.
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Old 01-14-2002, 01:03 PM   #9
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Yes, area effect spells go through most defenses; however, globe of invulnerability makes a mage immune to skull trap. Furthermore, Protection from the Elements layered with Fire Shield: Red will give a cumulative fire resistance of >100%, so that even 3 skull traps from a 20th level mage does no damage whatsoever. Since these are both combat protections, Breach will nullify them both. Breach also comes in handy whenever I see that some dragon has cast Stoneskin on himself (now isn't that fun?). Breach is probably the most useful spell a mage can have; Sorcerers should choose it first when they get 5th level spells.

Secret Word seems to be getting negative publicity here. Au contraire, mystical neophytes! Most mages fire some sort of Spell Sequencer or Spell Trigger (or some sort of magical tattoo, if you are a Cowled Wizard) which includes Normal/Minor Spell Deflection/Turning but not Globe of Invulnerability. In fact, I have yet to encounter a foe who uses the Globe. Secret Word can remove all those spells, so that you can target that mage; since most mages do have low hit points you can easily use Power Word spells or Maze. The only drawbacks to Secret Word are 1) it will not remove Spell Trap (use Ruby Ray) and 2) it can't target someone who is invisible.

I encourage all mages who shy away from Secret Word to give it a second look.
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Old 01-14-2002, 03:07 PM   #10

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You can't cast on an invisible creature, that isn't something that Secret Word is limited to. True Sight/Oracle etc. will take care of this problem though.

I've always used Secret Word... until I got something better/more effective anyway, and then it becomes a back-up option if I have the slots available.

Personally, if I have a party, I like to use that party - and that means tanks too, so I consider Breach an incredibly useful spell. I'm trying to imagine going through the game using only Skull Trap and other AE's to eliminate all of the wizardly foes, and quite frankly, I can't see it happening. It might be possible, but I don't necessarily agree that doing so is a better, or even more efficient strategy (unless you're playing solo).

I do agree with that summoning spells are valuable spells. I just don't think they outweigh Breach or other debuffing spells. Summoned creatures won't be able to hit those mages that have combat spells protecting them anyway - they are subject to the same rules that your tank PC's are. They can still act as a deterrent however, provided an enemy caster does not dispel them with a Death spell or a Death Fog.

Additionally, any AE's that you throw out in hopes of taking down enemy wizards are *usually* going to hit your summoned creatures as well, and if you run across something that has higher resists/saves, or the right protection spells up you might even succeed in doing more damage to your summoned army than to the enemy in question.

I guess I just like to use strategies that make use of all of my characters, and that have versatality. If something goes wrong, I don't want to have to reload my game and restart the fight, I want to be able to have a backup plan that will work, even if it wasn't my first choice. I consider using the party I have, and using the spells that I have available to me - a viable and efficient option, and I really don't see how *not* using them is any more efficient.
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