Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Soloing Trial of the Spheres, Part 3

For the last part, you enter a room with four rising walkways and four smaller walkways next to them that stay level. There are roving stellar protectors to avoid (I bumped into one group and had to fight). At the top of each rising walkway is a platform mirror that must be clicked to concentrate its beam to the ground. This reveals a chest on the walkway just below. Only one chest will appear at a time though, so you should collect its contents (a giant sword) before going to next mirror. You can see where this is going... you equip the four celestial guardians found in the center of the room with the four giant swords to open up a teleport base in the center. This leads to the Mithraya fight.

Here's the Wizard101central wiki page for her about her cheats...

  • Casts a -50% version of Smoke Screen as an interrupt on the first round and every round you successfully cast a spell (a fizzle doesn't bring reprisal).
  • She will stop this when a player has blades and she has traps (the clouds will part).
  • For each round the clouds have parted, she will say "The cards align! Now's your chance!"
  • Both her Smoke Screen and Smoke Mantle spells are -50% instead of the normal values.

So I went in with the following...

Dragonfire Deck:
4 Gargantuan
3 Pixie
4 Efreet
4 Helephant
1 Fire Prism (for the Stellar Protector)
2 Fire Trap
2 Fuel
2 Elemental Trap
2 Elemental Blade
4 Fireblade
4 Glacial Shield
1 Power Link (something extra to throw on the Stellar Protector, if necessary)
3 Empowerment
3 Infallible
1 Amplify
1 Heck Hound

2 Dryad
1 Regenerate
2 Satyr
1 Pixie
1 Fire Trap (I had it, thought why not)

This is the case where Empowerment plays second fiddle to Infallible. You're probably going to be generating pips, since half the time you won't be casting because of fizzles. Also, it's probably not a good idea to do the 'dot' based spells (scald/link/power link/dragon fire/rain of fire) on Mithraya UNLESS you have an Elemental Shield on her. However, Heck Hound was a great finisher. You are likely going to be close to full pips on more than one occasion as the fizzles get going, and if you do manage to drop the smoke screens by keeping blades and shields up, before firing off any of your big guns, make sure to get more blades and traps on.

Unfortunately, I think I hit a bug, as though I had traps on, since I used up my one blade I had up for the Heck Hound, even when I finally got another blade on, she kept casting smoke screens on me. I thought, whatever, she's almost dead. Just kept casting Helephants and what all until one landed. Stellar Protector went down AFTER she was down.

I may try and streamline the deck with the above in mind...
4 Gargantuan
2 Fire Blade
2 Fuel
4 Elemental Trap
4 Elemental Blade
3 (or 4, if got right deck) Infallible
3 (or 4, if got right deck) Pixie
2 Heck Hound
4 Efreet
1 Helephant
4 Glacial Shield

In this case, you only have to land one of each of the Elemental Blades and Traps, and Infallible isn't much required once you have the blade and trap on, so discard those to get at what you need. Save the Heck Hounds for finishers, and use powered up Efreet to drive down Mithraya's health.

To be super fancy, you could take out all the damage spells and make Gargantuan versions of your damage cards, putting them into your sideboard. The majority of your main hand will be blades/traps/shields, allowing you to just keep attempting to put them on until enough has stuck, then pulling out your damage cards when you need them.

Soloing Trial of the Spheres, Part 2

You'll be facing Ptolemos next.

In this new area, there are four switches around the great room. Each is a phase of the moon (except there's no full moon). You click the panel on a switch until the phase of the moon pertaining to it swings in front of your area where you're standing. This will unlock a bridge allowing you to fight the monsters behind you. The minions are pretty simple, and I stuck to my last deck's build (dots and links/power links). After defeating each set of monsters, a chest will appear containing an over-sized moon shield. You take each moon shield and give it to one of the four giant celestial statues (you click x when in front of it).

Once all four have shields, the way to the boss opens.

Here's the cheat description from the Wizard101central wiki:


"You are not as charming as you imagine yourself. Consider that."
  • The first round of combat, and after each direct attack against him, he interrupts with a 90% Tower Shield. Multi-attack spells and life-draining attacks do not trigger his interrupt. When being attacked with a charm, he will say "Your charm has worn thin!"
  • He removes any trap placed on him except Windstorm (a multi-attack trap). He removes the first ward of a single-target triple-trap such as Spirit Trap.
  • Each time you use a blade or charm on yourself, he interrupts to remove all wards on himself.

That wiki page also shows he does lots of ice and some death magic.

Here's how I built my deck and what I did...

Deck of Reflection:
4 Gargantuan
2 Monstrous
4 Pixie
3 Efreet
2 Fire Dragon
2 Scald
2 Rain of Fire
2 Fuel
5 Glacial Shield
1 Wyldfire
1 Elemental Trap
4 Empowerment
1 Infallible

Sideboard: 3 Tower Shield

He had a stellar protector with him, so besides the damage-all-opponent spells not triggering his 90% tower shield cheat, it also served to start burning down the minion. Again, the Empowerment spells were great to keep pips up so I could throw big spells sooner. When I had enough pips, and he had no shield, I would throw Gargantuan Efreet. Also, I'd make sure to get a Fuel and an Elemental Trap down, before Efreet went off. I think if I were to do this again, I'd probably go four of each of the Scald and Fire Dragon spells, throw in one or two more Fuels and Elemental Traps, drop the Infallibe (I don't tend to fizzle), cut down the Efreet to one or maybe two, and that should be good.

Of note: he didn't cast any death spells that battle. I did not get out of this battle with full health however.

EDIT: If you can hold off, you can always blade first (which will remove any shields he has on himself) and then put traps on him. However, you should know that Wyldfire counts as a charm in this encounter. I found out the hard way on my last run, removing my Fuel and Elemental Trap I had previously placed on him. Blades actually make sense to use in the deck, as you get to remove his huge tower shield. All that being said, I still had no problem using Empower, various AoE spells, and Gargantuan (now Colossal, since I've learned that).

Soloing Trial of the Spheres, Part 1

This will be silly, as I'm "too high of level" for this dungeon. But soloing with the wrong deck might get you killed quick! I went in a bit back thinking I could breeze through, and Astraeus stopped me cold. Rather than my usual lengthy discussion... on with the dungeon!

Three physical puzzles in first room, plus wandering monsters. Don't touch the monsters.

Puzzle with the heads: click until each head faces the center giant stone vase structure.

Puzzle with the stars: click each remote panel once (it is usually set that way), or until all the stars are in line on one axis from small stone pod thing to center stone vase structure.

The hard puzzle: four stone pods around center stone vase structure... this is from memory, so I may get this wrong, but here goes. If you visualize the outer stone pods as points on a clock: 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock... with you approaching the puzzle from between the 3 and 6 o'clock pods, then click each stone in this order: . I'll edit this later if I find I'm wrong. This puzzle is a bit irritating as when you click on a pod, some of the pods light up, and others when lit may go dark. Each has it's own combination of what lights up and what doesn't, but it also depends on which ones you already lit up first so... this puzzle is a trial and error one.

EDIT: Mr. Sarcastic wrote on http://www.wizard101central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=113152 to start with closest stone pod, activating that, then moving counter clockwise to all the other stone pods, activating each one. I confirmed this.

Avoid monsters, go toward teleport base area.

Astraeus will be in his own room. He frequently pops up a 90% tower shield, and he has 7000 health. That means if you just try and muscle through with damage, you will be needing to do around 70,000 damage to take him down. Since you're soloing, this would take quite some doing. Also, he will every couple of rounds summon three near copies of himself if there aren't any up. They do life damage, but have far less health. There are a variety of ways you may want to tackle this guy... one of which might be minotaur treasure cards. That just made me snicker. I opted for a bunch of damage over time spells.

Here's my deck for this fight (keep in mind that I currently have a minion that does spritely! If you don't have something like this, think about shields and heavier heals in your deck).

Deck of the Lotus:
4 Gargantuan
2 Monstrous
4 Pixie
2 Fire Dragon
2 Rain of Fire
1 Fire Prism (what was that doing in there!?)
4 Fire Blade
4 Link
4 Power Link
2 Fire Elemental (very nice for putting down additional Link and Fire Elf spells)
4 Scald
4 Empowerment
2 Wyldfire
2 Fortify

I had no sideboard equipped  :O You may want to do various things, like sideboard the double hit myth spells, or put some buffed up 'dot' spells in there. Or big heals.

The keys to this were constantly laying down damage over time spells as I got them. His shield might soak the damage from one, but if there were 2 or even 3 more burning dots on him, he would take the full brunt of those. It might be helpful to save up a bunch of pips so you cast two or three of these kinds of damage over time spells back to back, rather than having to wait a couple of rounds between. That means loading up nothing but Rain of Fire is going to backfire on you. The empowerment is nice for getting stuff out quicker, and the Link/Power Link spells were good for the double effect of keeping those 'dot' (damage over time) spells on him and keeping your life juiced. By doing Scald/Fire Dragon/Rain of Fire, you get to effect his copies if they are out.

Took awhile, but cruised past Astraeus pretty easy with this.

SECOND EDIT: Forget the Links and Power Links on him. He will shield each time one of those damages him on subsequent turns. The damage-all-enemy spells is the way to go. I'd get rid of the links, and power links maybe (though if you have your empowerment up, you'll get a pip back, be working on an enemy, and getting a small heal out of it). That also means... don't do any double hit spells, like those from myth or balance. The fire elemental is a waste of time. It must have been late when I did this.
Here's my new modified deck:
4 Gargantuan
2 Monstrous
4 Pixie
4 Fire Dragon
2 Rain of Fire
4 Fire Blade
4 Scald
4 Empowerment
2 Wyldfire
2 Fortify
4 Fire Shield

Sideboard in heals if needed. Sprites probably a good choice. Or if that's eating too many of your pips. Try some Life Shields.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pets and Wizards

It's no coincidence that your pet occupies an equipment slot; the companion pet (besides looking cute and often having customizable colors) can offer a wizard enough boost to be the deciding factor in closely-fought duels.

So for this post, I'm going to pay a little attention to the little critters in our wizardly lives!

First, let's talk about Spritely. It's a pet ability that only a few pets have, including the new Brave Hound rewarded for the Facebook sharing virality campaign. Spritely is the pet ability to occasionally cast sprite heals during combat. This is not a spell card given by the pet and added into your deck; this is the ability to cast in addition to your casting. This additional cast means you don't have to spend extra time casting yourself... in effect, you sometimes have the ability to cast more than one spell in a turn. In some rare instances, three times in one turn (two sprites in one turn - I've seen it happen!). I've often envied those players with sprite-casting pets. Not having to worry quite as much about healing allows you to keep your planned sequence of casting, which can be very important if you are timing your spells to go off before an anticipated spell or effect from your opponent might go off. Though it's not guaranteed that your pet will cast one or more sprites, it happens fairly frequently; and when you consider the number of battles that you were one more spell away from winning, it's easy to see that one free sprite cast might have made the difference. However! Since I didn't know too much about pets, I always assumed that any pet might be able to learn this ability, and that it was just rare luck or purchased pets that got this. I was wrong... only some pets get the chance to learn. For those who don't know, here's a list of all the first generation pets (I think!) that can learn the Spritely ability:
Assailing Dragon, Brave Hound, Cupig, Evil Sandman, FOG Unicorn, Fiendish Foo DogFierce Hound, Forest Lord*, Ghost DragonGiraffeGuardian Foo Dog, Humongofrog*, Ice Wyvern*, Jellyfish, Judgement*, Kraken*, Night HawkPatriotic LeprechaunPet Egg, Phoenix*, Samoorai, Satyr*, Scarecrow*, Sea Dragon, Sea Turtle, Snake in a Basket, Spinyfish, Spirit of Nature, Starfish, Utility Dragon, Vigilant Dragon.
There are hybrids and second generation pets that can learn it, but I'm not too knowledgeable at this pet hatching thing yet. Pets in italics are crown-purchased only pets. Pets with asterisk are school-awarded pets.

Second, the other abilities and how they help you out. I have a low level Conjurer who is wearing gear that boosts his Myth accuracy by 4, leaving him at an 84% accuracy. I gave him a pet Minotaur I found with a higher level character (drop from Youkai near end of Mooshu) and trained him to epic. He gave a +6% bonus to Myth accuracy. So while that pet was equipped, my Conjurer had the same accuracy as your fresh Theurgist at 90%. That was a big boost, and made for some great low level adventuring. With the recent Brave Hound addition, though, I now run around with Spritely for my guy. My dog is not yet epic, so I'm hoping to recapture that accuracy bonus, so I can leave my Minotaur to guard the gates of my house :)

Pets have a real and intrinsic value that can add to your character's strength. It's no wonder that players will hatch new pets to try and get the ability that their last one lacked.

Which stats boost what ability (max seems to be +6%, and maybe max 2% per ability, requiring three abilities to boost).
(school)-Giver, Add-Balance (Strength, Will, Power), bonus school damage
(school)-Proof, Unbalancer (Strength, Agility, Power), bonus school resist
(school)-Shot, Balance-It (Intelligence, Agility, Power), bonus school accuracy
Pip-O-Plenty (Strength, Intelligence, Power), bonus power pip chance
Sharp-Eye, Sharp Shot (Intelligence, Agility, Power), bonus universal accuracy
Spell-Defying, Spell-Proof (Strength, Agility, Power), bonus universal resist
Pain-Giver (Strength, Will, Power), bonus universal damage
Health Gift, Health Bounty (Agility, Will, Power), bonus wizard health
Mana Gift (Intelligence, Will, Power), bonus wizard mana

I'm searching right now for the site that will help you determine how your pets ability stats will affect the strength of their talent. Oh. Here it is: http://petnome.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/46870777/Petnome%20Calculator.pdf

As a matter of fact, it looks like this site is just generally useful in pet lore (so here's the link to the home page): http://petnome.pbworks.com/w/page/27388686/Home

Also, someone went through an awful lot of trouble in experiments to help you if you should want to make a designer pet (careful long breeding program!): http://wizard101.wikia.com/wiki/Creating_a_custom_pet

So! With all those words above, what to make of it all? What do you want your pet for? Looks? Then google that pet, find out how to get it, and if it requires farming for it, then keep killing that boss until it eventually drops. If you want it for the pet derby... I don't know. I don't play that part of the game, so I don't know which abilities are awesome or not, but if you find out, then get the pets that have that ability (or abilities) and keep training them and hatching similar ones. If you want to get pets for their abilities, google which abilities you like, find which pets have them, and go after them.

School pets tend to be very powerful, but you will be pretty far up in level by the time you get them. I notice that when you hatch your new pet, it will often have the average pedigree of its parents (so if one of your parents' pedigrees is low, it will likely bring down the pedigree of your pet, though this doesn't seem to be an exact science). Your newly-hatched pet will more often than not be the same kind of pet of the parent that had the higher pedigree.

Alexander has a Phoenix that is now Ancient, with only one talent left to uncover, I can say that I likely won't bother hatching a pet from him to get something else, because he's give me good stuff! He's given me two "may cast:" abilities of sprite and fire trap, and also Fire-Giver for extra fire damage percentage. My hope is to get Fire-Shot as well for accuracy, but if I get a pet-centered ability talent, I'm hoping it boosts the phoenix' strength, will, or power to increase his damage bonus.

If I were to farm for a pet, it might be the Sea Dragon, which has a chance at Spritely AND Pain-Giver (universal damage bonus). Any pet that can be useful to every school makes me happy. And he's one silly looking pet, so your wizard will travel light in heart.