Wednesday, June 23, 2010

High Elves in 8th - Magic, Part 1

In the new 8th Edition, Magic has completely changed in the way it works, how it plays and which certain spells will effect the outcome of the game.  Good thing for High Elves, we can take every single lore in the BRB ontop of our High Magic.  For the purposes of this post, I'm going to go over only 3 of the 8 lores in the new book.  I feel that these lores will enhance the needs of the High Elf army the most.

First, let me post the 3 lores and what they do and how we'll use them.  My comments will be the non-colored:

Lore of Metal - The Wind of Chamon
Attribute: Metalshifting. Direct damage spells from the lore of metal have no strength value. Instead the unmodified armour save of the target is the required roll to wound. No armor saves allowed.

This basically means that if someone has a 2+ save, you will wound them on a 2+.  If they have a 5+ save, you'll only wound them on a 5+, no armor saves allowed.  This is extremely dangerous for the heavily armored units that S3 High Elves normally have trouble against.  This is the reason why Metal compliments High Elves so much.

Basic Spell: Searing Doom: Magic Missile. D6 flaming hits, 24" range. No armor saves allowed. Increased to 2D6 hits when boosted.

You can no longer snipe the BSB or another model like last edition.  Instead, you get to affect d6 or 2d6 models in the unit depending on the cast level.  The smaller version of this spell is really easy to get off because its a basic spell, and the more powered up version is basically Spirit of the Forge.

1. Plague of Rust: Hex. 24" range. Target gets permanent, cumulative -1 to armour saves, 48" range scaled up.

Cheap hex from good range that nukes the target with a -1 permanent armor save.  This is the spell that you would use on something like Dwarf Warriors, which are in that middle gap of average armor.  Heavy armor + shield gives you a 4+ save and this spell will make them 5+.  A lot easier to kill once they reach combat with our spears.  Don't bother using this spell on something like knights unless they already reached combat.  Nuke them with Searing Doom and use Plague of Rust once they're tarpitted to bypass their heavy armor.

2. Enchanted Blades of Aiban: Unit Buff range 24". One unit gets +1 to hit and armour piercing magical attacks until start of next turn. Applies to both shooting and close combat. Can be extended to 48" range scaled up.

This spell is amazing.  Throw this on our Spears and we're basically looking at 21 attacks that hit on 3s with re-rolls and ASF, and have armor piercing.  You factor this in with something like Plague of Rust and all of a sudden your opponent is taking a -2 modifier from Elves!  Not to mention this spell is really easy to get off and it'll drastically increase the number of enemy armored units you kill in combat.  Fantastic buff, arguably one of the best spells in the lore.

3. Glittering Robe: Unit Buff range 12", one unit is affected, can be expanded to all units within 12" at higher level. Unit gains a 5+ Scaly Skin save for one turn. 

This is another great spell.  Seeing a trend here?  Glittering Robe basically gives your unit a 5+ scaly skin that stacks on top of the other armor bonuses you have.  So your Sword Masters are only wearing Heavy Armor?  Put this on them and all of a sudden they have 3+ armor saves.  Spears and LSG become 3+ too.  Put this on White Lions and they get a 1+ armor save vs. shooting (Lion Cloaks).  A great armor buff that augments your weaker armor and can be cast from anywhere as long as your Wizard is in LoS and range.

4. Gehenna's Golden Hounds: Direct damage, range 12" which can be extended to 24" scaled up. A single enemy model (can be a character) suffers D6 hits. Characters can use "Look Out Sir!" to save them, rolling once for each hit. 

Trash.  Don't bother.  The only thing this is good for is switching out to Searing Doom.

5. Transmutation of Lead: Hex with a range of 24. Target gets -1 WS, BS and armour save for one turn. Range 48" scaled up. 

The greater of the two Hex spells that reduces armor and WS for a turn.  How will this work with the other spells you wonder?  Say you already had Plague of Rust on a unit from previous rounds and you just cast Enchanted Blades on your Spears.  You then cast this Hex which further reduces their armor save by one AND reduces their WS.  If you're fighting WS4 units with your Spears, they suddenly turn into WS3.  This means your Spears would normally hit on 3s, but with Enchanted Blades you hit on 2s with re-rolls with they have -3 armor (-1 from before, you have armor piercing and this is a further -1).  All of a sudden, your opponents' "better" units are losing in combat with Spear Elves thanks to your Magic.  Bravo!

6. Final Transmutation: Direct Damage. 18" range. The target is turned to gold; each model in the unit is removed from play on a 5+ (6+ if the model has multiple wounds). The secondary effect forces all units within 12" of the original target to test for stupidity at the start of their turn. 24" range scaled up.

Oooo.. shiny things.  It's pretty difficult to snipe off a character with this since you need 6s, but on a 5+, you remove the enemy model from play.  No exceptions (no wards, regens, anything).  This is good on something like enemy Phoenix Guard or a impossibly difficult unit with MR.  But doesn't MR give you a ward save vs. direct damage?  Yeah it does, but too bad this ignores all saves of any kind.  Your models are simply removed from the table.  Thanks.

Next, let's move onto the Lore of Life!

Lore of Life - The Wind of Ghyran
Special Bonus: Lifebloom. Every time the caster successfully casts a spell from the Lore of Life he can restore a wound to one model within 12”

Most of these spells are pretty easy to get off, so you'll heal someone in your army everytime you get it off.  Great if you have a multi-wound character or Dragon to keep 'em trucking.

Basic Spell: Earth Blood: Wizard and unit gets regeneration 5+ for one turn.

Your basic spell gives one of your units 5+ regen, which is pretty much equal to ward saves outside of flaming attacks.  Imagine you take this Lore on one of your mages (a big mage) and a supporting High Magic Lv.1-2.  You can have this and Shield of Saphery running on 2 different units other than your Phoenix Guard, so your entire army has a 5+ save in addition to what they have.  That's pretty awesome.

1: Awakening of the Wood: Magic missile. 1d6 str4 hit to a unit within 18" of a wood. Or 2d6 strength 5 hits to a unit partially or wholly within it. 

Since there's so much terrain on the map now, this can cause some serious problems to those in or nearby trees on the map.  Keep in mind that this only effects the trees/forests/woods (hence the wood part) and is thereby useless in a heavily urbanized map.

2: Flesh to Stone: Unit Buff. +2 Toughness to one unit within 12”. 

Toughness 5 Elves.  Is there anything else that should be said?

3: Throne of Vines: Caster Buff. If this is successfully cast it increases the effect of other lore of life spells made by the caster: 
Ignore miscasts on 2+.
Earthblood is 4+ 
Awakening of the Wood is +1S
Flesh to Stone is +4T
Regrowth restores d6+1
Shield of thorns is S4

Now this is the spell that everyone's talking about.  When you get this spell off (and it's cheap, like 8+), it remains in play and your caster is forever augmented by its effects.  Not only do you get to ignore miscasts on a 2+ now, all your other spells are increased in effectiveness.  Awakening of the Wood gets really angry, Flesh to Stone becomes +4T instead of +2T (wtf T7 Elves really?) and everything else gets a boost.  This should be cast on turn 1 and upheld as long as you can.  It's really that good.

4: Shield of Thorns: Unit Buff. Remains in play, friendly unit does 2d6 str3 hits on a enemy unit engaged in combat with it during the magic phase. 18" range.

Unit buff, Remains in play.  Cast this on a unit that's going to be seeing combat and you're going to be generating a lot more kills.  Good spell, should be used on any infantry that's capable of holding the line.  White Lions come in mind with their Stubborn.

5: Regrowth. Unit Buff. One unit regains D3+1 wounds/models, just like invocation (champ first, then musician/standard, then rank and file. Characters are selected separately) Cavalry take 2 wounds to heal. 12" range.

Now everyone gets to be undead!  You can respawn your own dudes with this ability and it'll make killing Phoenix Guard much more painful.  With Throne of Vines, you can bring back D6+1 models a turn, so that's at least 2 Phoenix Guard per turn.  Also remember that when this spell goes off, Lifebloom also procs so you can multi-heal characters if they're in the same unit.  Very useful when bringing back a near-dead fighting Prince, or someone who has just used the Talisman of Loec.

6: The Dwellers Below: Direct Damage. All models in an enemy unit within 12" take a strength test or die with no saves allowed.

Now this is funny.  Imagine the weirdest and vilest things you can think of popping out of the ground and dragging your ass to hell.  That's pretty much what this spell is.  Cast this on a unit like enemy Phoenix Guard, Black Guard, you name it.  Anything that's S3 will FEAR this spell so much it'll be ridiculous.  Strength test or die means that S3 lords and heroes will regret ever being in a unit that they thought can keep them safe.  Remember:  No saves of any kind.  Once you fail, you're dead.

Lastly, we'll look at the Lore of Shadow:

Lore of Shadow - The Wind of Ulgu
Attribute: Smoke and mirrors. After the wizard successfully casts a spell, he may switch places with another friendly character of the same unit type within 18".

Basically allows you to play hop-scotch with one of your other characters in the army.  With so many hexes at your disposal, you can easily prevent enemies from ganking your Wizard while maintaining his debuffs on the opposing army.

Basic Spell: Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma: Pick one enemy unit within 18 inches. Reduce one of their WS, BS , I or M of your choice by D3. The scaled up version reduces all of the above (roll the D3 only once).

The basic spell is very good because it gives you a lot of options.  Nerfing their ability to move, shoot and attack back increases your tactical diversity while decreasing his.  At first you might wonder if reducing a units' Initiative is worth it because our entire army is already I5 and ASF, but keep reading and you'll see why this will be worth it.  The scaled up version is for units that do all 3; Wood Elves come to mind.

1. Steed of Shadows: Character buff. One friendly character within 12" can make a flying move as if in the remaining moves phase.

Not really interested in this spell.  I guess it's good if you want to catapult Korhil into your opponents General or something.  In fact, that would be pretty funny.

2. Enfeebling Foe: Hex. Pick an enemy unit within 18" (powered up at +3 to cast 36") reduce their Strength by D3. Remains In Play.  To a minimum of 1.

A hex that RIPs is extremely strong against units that rely on strength to their damage.  Anything holding Great Weapons or have naturally high strength (like Trolls/Monsters) will take a serious hit to their combat potential.  Any unit carrying great weapons or have a high strength value typically strike after you, giving you the ability to dispatch them without fear of significant retaliation.

3. Withering: Hex. As above but T rather than S and 3 higher to cast.

I think this hex is a lot stronger for someone like Elves.  Since we typically need 4s or 5s to wound most things, reducing someones toughness is absolutely huge.  It allows us to wound a lot easier and with our relatively high WS, I, ASF and ranks, we'll get in plenty of wounds that'll dispatch the high T, low armor hordes a lot easier (Black Orks for example).

4. Penumbral Pendulum: Direct Damage. Draw a line 6D6" from the caster (multiplied by 2 for the powered up version) everyone touched by it must pass an I test or suffer a S10 hit D3 wounds.

This is pretty funny.  Imagine a giant Pendulum swinging through the enemy ranks and whoever fails at dodgeball gets hit in the face.  S10, D3 wounds means that anyone hit by it is taking a ward save or potentially dying.  This spell is pretty medicore because of the random range, but you can always use it to swing indirectly in the direction of an enemy character if he's ever missing his LOS! rule or something.

5. Pit of Shades: Magical Vortex. Place a small template within 24" of the caster then scatter D6". Enemies must pass an I test or be removed from play if touched. The scaled up version uses the large template and scatters 2D6".

So remember that basic spell that reduces I?  Most people would let that go thinking it'll last for a turn and he's not in combat.  Pit of Shades makes them think again if they know about it, or teach them a lesson they'll never forget if they don't.  Imagine your Elves get their I reduced to 2 from 5 because you rolled a 3 for the d3.  Now you drop a Pit of Shades on them and Elves are dying on a 3+.  Against armies like Dwarves or Lizardman, you're basically telling them to pass on a 1 or die.  With no partials now, if this thing rolls a hit, that entire unit is falling to their DOOM! (and yes, the capitalized DOOM is in the rulebook).  Another one of those you fail, you lose kind of spells.  Notice a trend here again? haha.

6. Okkam's Mindrazor: Okkam's Mindrazor is an augment spell with a range of 18" and lasts until the start of the caster's next magic phase.  Models in the target unit use their Leadership instead of Strength when rolling to wound with all close combat attacks whilst the spell remains in effect (any strength bonuses from weapons are ignored).  The Wizard can choose to extend the range of this spell to 36". If he does so, the casting value of Okkam's Mindrazor is increased to 21+.

I've recently been notified that this spell does count armor modifiers when using the strength value.  This spell just went from pretty solid to wtf amazing.  S8 Spears and S9 Dragon Princes will maul most things in combat through sheer amount of wounds and will completely dominate things like T5 or T6 units that you would never be able to touch.  Sure, you won't get the bonus from lances or great weapons, but the raw strength value of Ld. 8 and 9 is -5 and -6.  21 WS4 I5 ASF attacks at S8 and re-rolls before any of those get to swing will pretty much destroy anything it touches.

If you guys want to add in your own lores and how it pertains to High Elves in the new edition, feel free to comment below.  Likewise, if you feel I was wrong about any of the above, or have your own ideas on how those spells can be used, please comment.


Andy Jones said...

Super intense post. I gotta say, if I ever have any questions concerning D&D, this is the first blog I'll be visiting from now on.

Quannum said...

Just a quick change, mate.

Pit of Shades is placed anyway within 24", not 18". Range stays the same for the larger version but you use the large and scatter 2D6" like you said.


HERO said...

Thanks! Will change right away :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm still torn between shadow and life, I'm running teclis and mainly range force (lag Robby ellyrian w/bow) with some sm for the hard hitters. What do u suggest?

Anonymous said...

Sry. About about spelling
(Hate auto text helper)
I ment lsg and rbt

Anonymous said...

Sry I ment lsg and rbt not lag and robby.
(Spell helper)

Sinsigel said...

Thanks for all the review.

One question though. Where did you get the clue that mindrazor allows armour save modifiers with changed S value?

HERO said...

Well, it's a 18+ to cast spell and it's last in the tree. It also says "when rolling to wound" which implies it's using it as the strength value.

TKIY said...

I played Teclis with Life tonight and absolutely ravaged the opposing O&G force.

An irresistable dwellers killed 17 Boyz out of a unit of 40 in one turn, got Throne up early and spent the rest of the game regrowing a unit of DPs. Also managed to get Shield of Thorns, Earth Blood and Flesh to Stone all off on a unit of LSG in one turn. Absolutely unbreakable as a unit.

Here is a question though, does Shield of Thorns fire in both your magic phase, and your enemies? It says any magic phase, so I assume so?

HERO said...

Yah, it does. It says each magic phase.

Archmage said...

I tried to send you an email, on this subject, with a possible army list. According to gmail your email ( doesn't exist. Can I email you the list, and if so on what address.

HERO said...

That's because it's :)

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