Monday, May 14, 2012

Briskbreeze Tower - Finale

Finally! But not solo. Maybe in another couple of levels and with more resistance gear, maybe I could solo Orrick, but I finally wound up being on a team that got him. Twice.

Team 1: Adrian Lightbringer, a theurgist accompanied me and Rachel Starsong (sorceress) into the tower. We easily ascended to the final boss, and I was explaining the plan when calamity struck. I rushed into combat. Why? I dunno. How often do mistakes like this happen? Probably all the time. I knew the plan, since I orchestrated it, and I even had the correct deck set up! Just not the one I had equipped. Nor had I topped off my life with a potion before starting. All battle long, I complained about screwing up. Eventually, Orrick pounded Adrian into mush, but what a beating he took! I'm sorry, Adrian. But Adrian was a good sport and actually found something out about the Tower which I had not been aware of. He couldn't port back into the battle, but he was able to physically run back in and rejoin our combat. I thought it would be locked out, but it was not! Thus he came back, healing us and allowing us to beat Orrick finally. Actually, Rachel and Adrian had already beaten him. Just not me.

Team 2: Later, when he came online, I told Kevin Bearwalker the news. I told him I was very game to do it again if he wanted, and he was. We raced up the tower easily and made it to Orrick. This time, we both reviewed our decks, talked about the strategy and dove in prepared. Kevin, a robust thaumaturge, has a secondary in Life school, so he had access to Legend Shield, dropping those as often as he could. I was casting  Quench on him, trying to keep two Quenches on at a time. A couple of meteor strikes did land on us. This was because, in part, Orrick went first in the turn, so he would beat me getting another Quench on him, but also, because I thought it would be easier to load Quench into my deck as well as having it in my sideboard. I forgot about the warning I had previously read... normal Quench and treasure card Quench are two different spells - both are consumed when the target casts a single fire spell. This got me the first time it happened, but later, I was juggling putting on one Quench at a time, which left me flat footed on a couple of occasions. Near the end of the fight, we intentionally let two more fire spells through to let me build up my hit. Kevin had gnawed Orrick down to 4100 health and then built up his power pips and blades. He then had to weather another 6 turns until I was ready, so he spent his excess pips on healing. On the designated turn, he cast a Colossus. I followed with my Efreet, and Orrick was done. Besides the minor miscues, we executed the battle exactly to plan, so it was a very big victory.

Kevin and I were pretty exhilerated with the thumping we gave Orrick, so we immediately went on to do the tower in Marleybone for the side quest to recover the Spiral Key (once mandatory to unlock Celestia). This actually was harder and more time consuming, but we downed both cheat encounters as well. Victory! I guess I'll write about that later in a follow-up post. Normally, these fights aren't things that should be a surprise to anyone looking up boss battles for Wizard101. But this Marleybone tower in particular, even after reading other listed exploits, cheats, and behaviors, I STILL don't understand all the mechanics for this tower. Who knows? Some may be scripted bugs that were never fixed, or more likely, implementations that just aren't fully understood by the players. My advice? Shield often, don't wait too long on heals. You never know.

- Slot one (Ice wizard) kept shields vs. death up
- Slot one used damage spells to wear down Orrick, but not below 4000 health
- Slot one used excess pips for heals
- Slot one used two blades (frost, elemental), one trap (elemental), one aura (Amplify), and balefrost for final attack with Colossus
- Slot two (Fire wizard) tried to keep two Quench spells on Orrick at all times. If doing this from sideboard, does not need to be a Fire school wizard, just make sure you have enough disposable spells in deck to keep drawing from sideboard. However, will use more pips being off-school. Used no more than 12 Quench.
- Slot two used three blades (fire, elemental, dark pact), two traps (elemental, fuel), and one aura (Amplify) along with a Giant on an Efreet
- Slot two needed to stop casting Quench to generate enough pips for final attack. This allowed Orrick to free cast one Heck Hound and one Meteor Strike.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Briskbreeze Tower, Once more unto the breach

Kevin Bearwalker and I tried once again to best Briskbreeze Tower together. For some reason, he and I always make an attempt late at night, which means at most two shots on the final boss. We've streamlined our attacks, each of us playing our attack-all-enemy spells (Fire Dragon and Snow Angel), and down go the monsters. We easily handled Angrus, and made our way to the top of the tower in about a half hour. It could have been twenty minutes, but let's just say a half hour. It was a BRISK pace (thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week).

And we did much better against the boss this time, getting the boss down under 1000 health. Really, the mistakes were all mine. Kevin, if you're reading this, I'm sorry! I underestimated the damage of my Helephant strike, and tipped the damage past the 4000 threshold on Orrick. Also, I lost track on my Quench spells and allowed a Heck Hound through. Most of all, our strategy was unsound, and by "our" I mean mine, since we tried my plan.

My goal was to get Orrick to just above 4000 health, and each of us would build up for a big attack each to take him out in one round. This part of the strategy is good - I just gauged my damage badly, and so we had to go through the rest of his cheat mechanics. The first mechanic is that from 4000 down to 2000 of his health, he drops one special tower shield each round that blocks 65% damage. This shield is an interrupt and doesn't count as his regular cast. He still does his Heck Hound and Meteor Strike interrupts, and he still gets to remove single traps cast on him as interrupts, too. The second cheat happens when he's under 2000 - free earthquakes. I don't remember the timing on those, but he gets that extra 300 plus damage on each target for free, which is just that much more damage coming at you all at once.

Know how much damage your attacks on him will be! That may mean purposely wiping the group a couple of times so you know much damage each of your attacks will do on him. Then, when you do a good run, you won't blow it (like I did) and start his secondary cheat phase. Let's be real. You are level 50 or higher, and I'm pretty sure every class in the game has at least one big spell when modified right that can do 2000 or more damage in a hit. The only one that may have trouble is a death wizard, who is very reliant on his traps. This might be the one case where I would suggest buying some treasure cards and planning your big hit using them. This is even easier with four people, because if follow the above plan of getting his health around 4000, you only are responsible for doing little more than a thousand. Realistically, someone's going to fizzle. So plan for 1500 damage at least. Remember, that your traps will be impaired, but blades are good. If you're teamed up with someone of the same school, you can share a global damage circle, otherwise let the guy likely to do the most damage drop his.

Another lesson I learned was specifically about how I built my deck. I'm the fire guy; I'm supposed to be the answer man to Orrick. As such, I could have just loaded Quench treasure cards in my sideboard. This is what I should have done, but I elected to cast Quenches from my regular hand.

Also, I wanted to be in first position. Why? I took a sweet sweet beating from his death spells while laying the interrupts and shields on. Yeah, I was using fire shields on Kevin and I for the Meteor Strikes. I figured I'd lose a turn every cycle of having to cast two shields (which I didn't always do, anyways), but I'd save up some pips for a big strike. Kevin is a thaumaturge, and has a secondary school in life. If I had left him in first position and controlled the fire completely, while he built up and simply healed himself occasionally, this would have been a snap.

I over-thought this battle. I mean really? I can hit the guy for over two thousand very simply. I can giant my efreet, have three different blades each at 35% (Dark Pact from amulet), drop my star aura boost, add a fuel and an elemental trap, and that's some damage! Kevin's Ice, so he won't hit as hard as me, but he does hit hard, too; so between the two of us, this shouldn't have been so hard. Either I can add my Wyldfire, or let Kevin drop his Balefrost, it doesn't matter, that's just gravy damage. By allowing the secondary cheat mechanics into the battle, we lost the ability to keep up...

I'm rather excited, actually. Considering what I wrote above, I think this plan can work!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Now Forgotten Genie Spell

In my previous posts, I used the word "Genie". I never look at the names of cards. I stand corrected. It is the Efreet card. It still rocks.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Briskbreeze Partial Success

I tried Briskbreeze with a group that fell apart. So I tried to solo. Here's a couple of observations that might make your job easier, regardless if you solo or not.

1) When the mobs eventually return the tower, you can skirt the wall (hug it!) to go around them. The stairs up do not re-lock, and you won't automatically get dragged in if you hug the wall.

2) Angrus Hollowsoul does not cast more than three Exploding Ember minions. If you can kill them in three rounds as they get summoned, you can go back to concentrating on him.

3) The room with the green orbs has been addressed elsewhere, but for sake of convenience, don't touch the green orbs. You have to get the blue orbs to continue, so approach the blue orbs from the wall facing toward center. Approach each blue orb slowly until you pick it up, then back out towards wall and re-position to get the others.

4) Orrick Nightglider doesn't necessarily cast his cheat spells on a set order. His Heck Hound may go off three turns after his last, and his Meteor Strike can also be on either a three or four turn count. I've had him cast both cheats on same turn. As well, he doesn't always cast Meteor Strike as second cheat. It was mentioned that he may drop an improved Tower Shield, and  he may also cast a Fire Elf (shield breaker!).

Here was my deck arrangement when soloing Angrus: 5 Fire Prisms, 5 Fire Shield, 5 Helephant, 4 Giant, 4 Fireblade, 4 Amplify, and 1 Reshuffle (from Amulet). I continuously kept up a Fire Shield, and built up, saving my prisms for when he summoned the Exploding Embers. I'd kill the Embers either on the turn after they came out or the following. After three were down, I just went after Angrus. Had I known, I may have ran four Helephants, and two Genies (now that I have them). I didn't even wind up using the Reshuffle, but it was there for insurance.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Combat Basics

I spent a little bit of time writing a draft on how I would run combat, and what spells to add in. And then, I looked at one of the links I bookmarked for Wizard101, and realized this person had said nearly everything I wanted to, but more effectively.

I think my next post will be a follow up on what my pyromancer decks looked like as I leveled up

Getting my Genie

I ran into a sticky situation when facing Sothmekhet, an ice boss in Kazhan Barracks. I just turned level 58, and was completing the quest chain to get my Genie spell. I jump in the battle, and this guy has over 15,000 health! Oh boy. So I do the standard thing and start putting up shields. Ah! He has a cheat mechanic... it goes like this. Any charm, ward, trap, or debuff you put up, he drops a free Hex on you. Does that mean you should not drop charms, wards, traps, and debuffs? No! It just means his attacks on you will be 35% stronger. I would forego the debuffs. Their effect is at best negated by his Hex, and if you are doing dispels, it's worse. He will hit you harder on the following turn. It was a grueling battle.

a user named aguirremarvin left this advice:
man that boss is so easy here are some tips on winning: 
1 kill the minion FIRST cause he storm so he dishes out strong attacks 
2 shield like crazy 
3 put up a wyldfire for boosts and that way he wont always cheat 
4 get your minion out to help and heal you 
5 do an epic 14 pip heckhound 
6( put some health spells to heal just in case) 
and dont get henchmen its just a waste i did this quest with just me and my minion. so to all the lvl 58 fire wizards out there yw cause if ya follow my strategy you will get efreet in no time at all.  oh and ps use the lvl 58 gear( i forgot the name of the gear) from the bazaar cause it resists ice and storm real good so it will be great 

I agree with most of what he says . Kill the minion first. Wyldfire is great, because you get only one Hex cast on you for it, but the effect remains up. Shield like crazy, indeed. A shield with a Hex on you is better than no shield and no Hex. I didn't use the minion, and I'm not sure about getting him out, because Sothmekhet regularly casts Blizzard. It might be a waste of pips and turns to get him out and keep him alive. Heck Hound is a great choice. You shouldn't waste time casting small damage at this guy. You will need health spells, even with lots of shields up. I've never bought henchmen, so I can't say whether this is a good idea or not. And the gear is what saved me, by the way. It's the common level 58 gear you find in the Bazaar, and it resists both storm and cold. When you finish a boss fight with 140 health remaining, you know that the extra defense is what kept you in the game.

I had no treasure cards set up for my fight; and had I known, I would have bought the following cards and stacked them in: Snow Shield, Satyr. Or if you don't have the money for Satyr, just Snow Shield. About 30 of them. Always keep two Snow shields up. Have healing. You will win as long as you don't run out of cards (use Reshuffle in your deck if necessary!).

And the final bit of advice I can give... always ALWAYS! look up a boss on the internet before you fight him. Wizards101 is a strategy game, and it's hard to use strategy without foreknowledge. I should have looked him up first. I beat him because he fizzled on his final turn. Consider that.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Soloing Frostbranch

I don't know if I'm an the average player or a horrible player, but my attempts at defeating Frostbranch in Austrilund were dismal failures. I once was in with two other players (one was Balance who was providing heals), and we still could not defeat him.

Who is Frostbranch? He is a giant ice based tree guy who has a death casting boar minion. He gets additional boar minions for each other player in your fight. These boar minions love to cast poison and vampires. He himself has a nasty cheat mechanic, and this cheat mechanic was destroying me. I would be able to down his minion (who had 1500 health), but by the time I finished with the minion, I would be down to a 1000 health or less, and I would barely put a dent into his 5500 health before he finished me off with either Raging Kraken, Icezilla, or Colossus. He also pumps out Blizzard and Ice Wyvern spells to soften you up.

Here's his mechanic. He has four phases. Phase one he casts out of turn at the beginning of the fight... everyone gets a double smoke screen cast on them, giving your next two casts a high chance of fizzling. If you manage to land an attack spell on your first cast, it will automatically clear the second smoke screen. He also starts with an extra power pip, and I think his minion starts with an extra regular pip.The out of turn smoke screen casting is in addition to his regular cast turn. In the next phase, he takes two to four turns as normal, with no extra casts. During the second phase, if you land a single target damage spell on him, he will grant you a "badge of courage" which helps for the fourth phase. On the third phase he casts an earthquake that doesn't use up his pips, although he doesn't cast anything else on that turn. This of course will destroy all  your charms and shields (and traps on you). The badge of courage will not be removed (some reports say that it will eventually wear off, so you will have to keep attacking him in second phase to make sure you have it up). On fourth phase, if anyone does not have a badge of courage on them, he casts a genie that will hit those without the badge (lots of damage, and gives a debuff that hurts your next damage spell cast). the genie happens out of turn, and he still gets a normal casting for this turn. Very often, he will have enough pips to hit you with a good damage spell which you likely won't have a shield for, since he earthquaked you the turn before.

I spent more than a couple of hours attacking him over and over. Eventually, I did beat him. And this is how! First, I'm fire. I'm sorry, but this helped tremendously because of him being weak to fire. Secondly? Lucky. I got just enough shields and wand blasts past the smoke screen, as well as a very opportune Heck Hound. I used a deck that was loaded with seven glacial shields, a couple of hellephants and link spells (two pip casts to help get a badge and squeeze a tiny bit of life back), a couple of fairies (I don't have any secondary school).  And one Heck Hound. For treasure cards, tough hellephants.

If I had no shield up, I would drop a shield. It was that simple. As well, I worked to take out the minion as fast as I could. Do not underestimate the minion! If my fight started with too many fizzles, the minion easily dealt 1500 damage to me by himself. The problem of putting in death shields as treasure cards is that they are only useful for the first couple of turns in the fight. The rest of it will be trying to keep up your health with shields and heals while trying to build up enough power with big hits on Frostbranch. With the constant earthquakes, you have to carefully time any blades you put on yourself so that you can do your next big hit the turn after. Putting shields back up can be hard because of the smoke screen fizzles. You may find that you went through a complete cycle of phases between earthquakes and not have done anything to Frostbranch. You cannot go all out on him, because he does too much damage before you can return with a big hit combo. So for me, I just kept my shields up, ate through his tower shields with my link damage over time spells, healed when I had two normal pips up, and dropped my treasure card Hellephants when I felt I still had a turn before earthquake. Here's the lucky part. I had seven power pips, a Heck Hound in my hand, and he didn't have Tower Shield up. It helped that I was going first in the turn, and it also helped that I got a critical. I then just kept dropping shields for the remainder of my turns until he died.

I was too exhausted to be excited :P