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Spell Discussions: Level 5

Discussion in 'BG2: Shadows of Amn (Classic)' started by Stu, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Stu Gems: 20/31
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    Syuusaru's hasn't been on the boards for the better part of the week, so I thought I'd start lvl 5 (hope you don't mind). So here it is:

    Animate Dead (Necro)
    1-3 skeletons when you're under lvl 15, and an awesome 90% magic resistant Skeleton Warior when your over lvl 15. Brilliant against Mages, mind flayers and anything that tries to impart some type of effect on you. They're a bit slow, but increase greatly with haste.

    Breach (Abj)
    Removes combat protections, especially useful in removing stoneskin from enemy mages. It can also remove the priest spell Blade Barrier, but cannot remove iron skins.


    Chaos (enchantment/charm)
    Party friendly area effect confusion.

    Cloudkill (Evo)
    Area effect party-unfriendly poison damage (1d10/round), kills creatures with 4 or less hit dice without a save and hitdice 5-6 with one (-4 penalty). Useful to hit the enemy before he sees you (in the fog of war), cheesy but effective.


    Cone of Cold (Evo)
    1d4 +1 cold damage per level. Can be good at higher levels with 3 in a contingency.

    Conjure Lesser Air Elemental (Conjuration/Summoning)
    Conjurs an air elemental for 1turn +1 round/level. Less tough than the Skeleton warrior, could turn and holds up the caster for 3 rounds. It strikes as a +3 weapon and is immune to +1 or lower, so it may have its uses, though perhaps it would be better to use the scroll, or at least a different elemental.

    Conjure Lesser Earth Elemental (Conjuration/Summoning)
    See above

    Conjure Lesser Earth Elemental (Conjuration/Summoning)
    see above
    100% fire resistant and strikes as a +4 weapon, so it's probably better than the others, but it's still a spell for the staff of fire or druids for the simple reason that these methods don't hold up the caster for 3 rounds while he/she tries to control it.

    Domination (Enchantment/Charm)
    Charm type spell with -2 penalty to the save. Gives you complete control over the enemy, so it's not a bad save or else type of spell.

    Feeblemind (Enchantment/Charm)
    Greatly reduces the inteligence and effectiveness of your enemy who must save at -2 to avoid the effect. I'd rate it as less useful than Domination, although it can be cast on non-hostile creatures without turning them (so if you like cheese...)

    Hold Monster (Enchantment/Charm)
    1d4 creatures within a 5' radius of the target are held if they fail a save at -2. Does not effect undead.

    Lower Resistance (Abjuration,Alteration)
    reduces the Magic resistants of the target by 10% +1%/lvl of the caster. Effect is undispellable, allows no save and (abviously) bypasses MR. Pretty much required for some of the difficulty enhancing mods, but perhaps not required for vanilla SoA.

    Minor Spell Turning (Abjuration)
    Rebounds 4 spell levels of spells back on the caster. Probably useful for a single spell and usually only worth it on a couple of occasions for your protagonist before mage battles. I'd leave it to a scroll, the ring of the staff of the Magi


    Monster Summoning III (Conjuration/Summoning)
    summons 5HD of monsters, I'd probably leave it to the staff or Animate dead.


    Oracle (Divination)
    Dispells all illusions of 5th level or lower, including improved invis. and shadow door. Skip for True Sigh.

    Phantom Blade (Evocation)
    +3 weapon, +10 damage vs undead, only usable by the caster. Not worth it for 90% of the game

    Protection From Acid (Abjuration)
    100% acid resistance. Aparently it doesn't protect you from the spell disruption from acid arrow...even if it did I'd say skip.

    Protection from Electricity(Abjuration)
    100% electricity resistance, there probably aren't too many times that you'll need it


    Protection from Normal Weapons(Abjuration)
    what the title says, most enemies worth a lvl 5 spell use magical weapons though. Sarevok in hell is the notable exception

    Shadow Door (Illusion/Phantasm)
    faster casting, shorter duration Improved Invis that doesn't grant the -4 bonus to AC

    Spell Immunity (Abjuration)
    Renders you invincible vs a school of your choice.
    Better choices include:
    Abjuration - protection against Imprisonment (awesome when fighting kangaxx)
    Divination - makes your Improved invis pretty much undispellable (so you won't be targetable by spells) and it will make your project image unnefected by true sight.
    Useful.

    Spell Shield (Abjuration)
    protects agaisnt a bunch of spell protection removal spells that never seem to get cast anyway...I'd skip this

    Sunfire (Evocation)
    3seconds of 100% fire resistance, 1d6 damage/lvl of caster (up to 15d6) and ignores magic resistance...a pretty awesome spell. A successful save cuts the damage by half.

    My picks would be (in roughly the following order):
    Breach - makes mage fights a hell of a lot easier
    Animate Dead - awesome summons, only picked 2nd because it only truly reaches it full power at lvl15
    Lower Resistance - good for those difficult to kill high MR creatures, as well as battles that tend to last a while (ie dragons)
    Spell Immunity - almost essential for some fights against high level spell casters
    Sunfire] - decent damage, but most of all it ignores magic resistance. If you can get 3 mages to cast it at exactly the same time they will not be damaged by each others spells (because of the fire resistance).
     
  2. Blog Gems: 23/31
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    Breach... if my party has weapons with elemental effects that hit through stoneskin, I get lazy and don't cast breach. :p

    Chaos has a -4 save penalty too. I'd rank this higher than the other save-or-else spells in this level because it affects multiple targets and it's harder to save against.

    Cone of Cold does great damage and not many enemies are immune to cold (undead is a major exception). Your mage has to been in the front line to cast this without hurting your party members though. I think it destroys items?

    I have used the minor elementals effectively exactly ONCE haha. Their immunity to normal weapons is more useful than the actual spell, since the summon spell lasts longer and they can strike back offensively. You just have to get the enemy to focus on it and not you.

    Just for the record, Monster Summoning III gives you ogre berserkers or ettercaps. Ettercaps can poison on hit.

    Gee, if Protection from Acid can't protect completely against acid arrows, then there's no use for it at all.

    Sunfire would be a solo pick easily, but it's harder to pull this spell off in a party.

    I'd say any subset of these spells is good: Animate Dead, Breach, Chaos, Cloudkill, Cone of Cold, Lower Resistance, Spell Immunity, Sunfire.
     
  3. The Mountain Hare Banned

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    Note that Cone of Cold actually caps at higher damage than Sunfire, and has a slightly longer range. Although it doesn't ignore magic resistance. *sighs*

    When playing as a solo sorc, I noticed that I rarely, if ever, used lower resistance and breach. In hindsight, I probably should have used that pick for a different spell, and grabbed the 'Wand of Spell Striking' for the rare occasions on which I need to lower an enemies resistance.

    And if I were going to do that, I'd probably pick 'Friends' as a 1st level spell, to lower the cost of recharging my wands.

    The Lvl 5 spell list for my solo sorc is as follows:

    Sunfire - I can't survive without this!

    Spell Immunity - I can't survive without this either.

    Animate Undead - They rip the place apart.

    I'm not sure about the two remaining picks. Chaos is good, Cone of Cold is nice for those without magic resist. as it caps at 100 damage instead of 90, and Domination is useful (although you can cast it off the Staff of Control).

    Cloudkill is fantastic, but you can get more than enough charges off a wand. If a wand can perform just as good/better as a spell, why bother wasting a pick on it?

    [ August 19, 2007, 03:33: Message edited by: The Mountain Hare ]
     
  4. MagnusSK23 Gems: 1/31
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    How did you manage to beat the game solo without lower resistances? Must haev made it so much harder... 3 of them in a spell trigger launched at a dragon usually means bye bye as you can then actually use offensive magic on it.
    Sunfire is really only useful when playing solo, but it gets VERY useful then, especially combined with stoneskin. If you get a bunch of guys around you, beating away at your stoneskins, then launch a sufire frying them all... good times..
    Elementals I never used. The battles they might be useful in, against powerful creatures with lots of immunities, I prefer having my casters ready to cast breaches and other piercing spells. In solo, they become useless too. A frozen solo characteris a dead solo character.
    Spell immunity I have also only found useful soloing where I use it to protect from traps and those spells that cause instant death when going solo (maze, domination, imprisonment). In a party, usually the ones who will feel these effects are front line fighters and thieves and those I can bring back. Plus, you can only cast it on the mage himself,which is a serious drawback.
    Cloudkill is very useful, if somewhat limited later in the game.
    Animate dead makes the best summons you can get in the game. It is vital to have when fighting illithid and have no chaotic command. Also very useful against liches.
    The protection spells you can usually get of scrolls. (Acid, electricity) If battles where guys with normal weapons are giving you grief, you should try a different approach than protectin from normal weapons.You should get that in hell anyway.
     
  5. Anarchy84 Gems: 1/31
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    Animate Dead at level 15+ is awesome, one of my favourite summons.
    I liked Sunfire everytime i've used it but I always play with a party and I usually get guilt pangs at toasting them too. Shadow door with my F/M then walking into the midst of enemies and letting one off is a laugh though, then watching them swarm in on the decoy I summon with mislead is so satisfying when either I blast them again with it or sneak off and let them enjoy a cloudkill.
    I have to have Breach, too many bad memories, 'No effect? I need a bigger sword!' still haunts me at night :p :p
    I liked cone of cold for a bit, again with my F/M but if it killed them it also froze their stuff, not great :S
    Spell Immunity for me is more of a mess around spell, I base a few strategies around it (usually divination as i love invisibilty spells) but it's not a must have for my book. Chaos works well in a sequencer but I prefer (GM, Slow, Horror) as it's funny to watch them try to run away, magic brings out the worst in me. :D
     
  6. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    Animate Dead is nice but so many mages cast Death Spell, instantly killing %90 MR awesome skellies.

    Spell Immunity is a must to have in IA mod, SI:Abjuration now protects from all abjuration spells correctly.

    Sunfire is very useful against drow and other MR foes, even against dragons (not red ones, ofcourse) it is highly useful.

    You can never have enough Breaches memorised in IA. Better to have a lot of scrolls and wands for it.

    Chaos disables many enemies efficiently. After a Greater Malison, massive -8 penalty to save will confuse even the most durable foe.

    Cone of Cold has very limited use. Only if the enemy is fire resistant/immune this spell is useful. But it can shatter the loot too.

    Lower Resistance is the key for many tough creatures with high MR. You can not touch them with a mage otherwise.

    Feeblemind is as good as Finger of Death. A failed saving throw and the enemy is out of the fight permanently. It has a -2 to save too! Good spell for spesific targets!

    Cloudkill is only useful for its insta-kill ability, but Death Spell is better in that regard, party friendly, no saving throw, higher HD limit. Though 3 Cloudkills with a trigger may disrupt most of the spell casting in the area.
     
  7. BlckDeth Gems: 7/31
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    Domination and Hold Monster are two of my favorites. I love playing an enchanter and ordering about "my minions." :lol:
     
  8. The Mountain Hare Banned

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    BlckDeath:
    Domination is pure bliss.

    If you have a Wand of Paralyzation, I don't see the point of 'Hold Monster'.

    Magnus:
    I probably used 'Lower Resistance' three times in the game, all of which were for the dragons. It does jack all against Demogorgon and the Ravager (the only two opponents other than dragons who have a magic resistance worth stripping away).

    Given that I used Lower Resist so infrequently, I'd be much better off with the 'Lower Resist' wand from Watcher's keep.
     
  9. Maylander Gems: 1/31
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    Dominate is also very nice in certain fights, such as when you meet enemy parties - the fight in the sewers, and the fight for Katana of Celestial Uber Cheesyness comes to mind.

    I tend to use cone of cold whenever I solo, since it's a nice opener. Also, of course, the skeleton warrior is extremely nice against mages - I prefer to use SWs instead of Nishruus because chain lightning is such a good spell for level 6 (much better than the damage spells of level 5).
     
  10. Faraaz Gems: 26/31
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    Spell Immunity & Sunfire are the only spells worth casting on this level in my opinion...
     
  11. Killjoy Gems: 8/31
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    Breach and Lower Resistance are no-brainers. Likewise, the elemental summoning mage spells are second-rate because of the contest of wills, which druids don't have to deal with.

    Skeleton warriors, having no brains that can be yanked out of their skulls, are great for turning mindflayers into calamari platters.

    Cloudkill is the lazy man's room clearer, especially after Web, but everyone knew that.

    I find Cone of Cold to be of less use than Cloudkill. Enemies aren't always standing in a line, and you do have to worry about positioning, like with Aganazzer's.
     
  12. saros Gems: 5/31
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    Animate Dead (Necro)

    For a solo sorcerer, there is the far better "Mordenkainen's sword" spell available. Skellies can(and will) be intelligence drained by MindFlayers, and they are pretty weak in combat.

    Breach (Abj)
    A good spell, yet there are only 5 slots for a solo sorcerer in order to waste a pick on this one.


    Chaos (enchantment/charm)
    A "save or else" spell seems a silly choice to pick in an insane or a no-reload game.

    Cloudkill (Evo)
    A great spell, yet there are enough wands.


    Cone of Cold (Evo)
    Good vs Ascension Yaga-shura when faced by a solo caster. Otherwise unusable, mostly because there is a chance of wasting valuable items if an enemy gets "frosted"

    Conjure Lesser Air Elemental (Conjuration/Summoning)
    I prefer the more potent Conjure Elemental spells. Yet, all of these spells are just lame.

    Conjure Lesser Earth Elemental (Conjuration/Summoning)
    See above

    Conjure Lesser Earth Elemental (Conjuration/Summoning)
    see above


    Domination (Enchantment/Charm)
    Again, a "save-or-else" spell. Most of the enemies are naturally immune, other have high saving throws, and the rest will simply get lucky. In a no-reload kinda...not. Never. Yet, the Staff of Command and the Command necklaces found in the Illithid lair are a very good weapon if used right. The staff can be recharged by sell-rebuy option or simply be used with Simulacra clones. Same goes for the necklaces, and those work even on an Adamantite golem with no save and no MR check...

    Feeblemind (Enchantment/Charm)
    Again, a save-or-nothing spell. Better nothing.

    Hold Monster (Enchantment/Charm)
    Look above

    Lower Resistance (Abjuration,Alteration)

    The spell is absolutely needed for SoA and ToB. And is one of the necessary picks for a solo sorcerer. Yet, this spell doesn' t need to be memorized all of the time for a vanilla mage, since it is needed only at certain points.


    Minor Spell Turning (Abjuration)
    This spell is just plain old silly in SoA.


    Monster Summoning III (Conjuration/Summoning)
    There are far far better conjuration spells. This one is useless.


    Oracle (Divination)
    True sight makes this spell useless. Yet, a True Sight scroll is not so common early in the game, while at some point the random bandit encounters start dropping Oracle scrolls. So, it can be an early True sight replacement.

    Phantom Blade (Evocation)
    Yep, even Melf's minute are better than this spell.

    Protection From Acid (Abjuration)
    This spell is great. There is no coincidence that these scrolls are so rare. There are many acid traps in the game, all of them quite powerful(on insane - instantkill). And don't forget that the Death fog spell with Acid protection turns into a party-friendly spell.
    Yet, for a solo-sorcerer, it is a no on picking. Yet, all of the scrolls should be kept and used mostly with a Simulacrum on the main character. Same goes for all of the other long lasting elemental protection spells(Fire, Cold, Elec, Magic Energy, Spirit armor and etc)

    Protection from Electricity(Abjuration)
    look above. In a no-reload, it is a must-have scroll. Not a pick for a sorcerer.


    Protection from Normal Weapons(Abjuration)
    Not only Sarevok. The Kuo-Toans in Underdark are a very good example on why should a sorcerer keep the scrolls of protection from Normal Weapons. The quo-toans have great resistances, particularly to most forms of magic, dispel your illusion protections with their innate True Sight and have quick attacks with low THAC0. Summons like Skeleton warriors solve this problem, but sometimes there isn't enough time to prepare. And running away from a Kuo-toan patrol will solve nothing since these fellows can run pretty fast. So, run your Protection from Normal Weapons, making yourself immune to their attacks, and kill them at your leisure.

    In Watcher's keep, all those Bone Fiends' attacks count as Normal Weapon attacks.

    Shadow Door (Illusion/Phantasm)
    Good spell early in the game, later becomes useless.

    Spell Immunity (Abjuration)

    SI:Abjuration also protects against Remove/Dispel magic, which is of great help since this spell is often met in the game.

    SI: Alteration helps vs spells like Disintegrate, Flesh to Stone.

    SI: Conjuration is extremely useful. It grants immunity to those nasty Power Words and Symbol spells, as well as to Creeping Doom and Insect Plague, which usually are the death to many casters.

    SI: Necromancy protects versus Death Spell, Finger of Death, Wail of the Banshee and Abi-Dhalzim's Horrid Wilting.

    SI: Evocation protects versus all of those Area of Effect spells like Incendiary Cloud, Death fog, Meteor Swarm. Useful, because, although Prot from Fire also protects from Incendiary cloud, your spellcasting still gets interrupted by the cloud. And if you're running SI:E, you can cast spells despite the AOE spell.

    In ToB, the SI:Evocation gets even more important since some enemies use Implosion or Bigby's Crushing Hand.

    Spell Shield (Abjuration)
    Don't skip this. This spell is a must-have. This is the only viable protection vs Breach, Secret word, Spellstrike and similar spells in the original game. SI: Abjuration doesn't help. And furthermore, Spell Shield is the only spell that grants protection from the beholder's Anti-Magic ray.

    Sunfire (Evocation)
    A great spell indeed.

    I'd suggest the following order of spell-picking for a sorcerer:

    Sunfire-Spell Immunity-Lower Resistance-Spell Shield-Breach
     
  13. Stu Gems: 20/31
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    only they're not available for most of the (SoA) game, and Mordenkainen's sword has to share slots with other 7th level spells.

    BTW, we're in a SoA only forum ;)
     
  14. Capt Massacre Gems: 5/31
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    Animate Dead: leave it for a Cleric L3 spell.

    Breach: Always have 1 slot for that Dragon / horrible mage.

    Chaos: at least 1. When you come into a battle, it can quickly confuse enemy mages, giving you delay.

    Cloudkill: A must have. Kills spore colonies or other low hp creatures with no trouble. Not cheesy if you scout. Disrupts spellcasting in tough battles. Stack them and it kills mages as well. 1 or 2.

    Conjure Lesser x Elemental: leave this for your Druid, who has a better version.

    Domination: leave it for a Cleric L4 spell, if (s)he has room.

    Hold Monster; one can be handy, so many monsters are immune to Hold.

    Lower Resistance: yes you want this one. Not long ago, I turned the Baalor to stone using a Chromatic Orb this way.

    Spell Immunity: rather for a F/M; Sunfire: for a solo.
     
  15. saros Gems: 5/31
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    I disagree on the SI part. It is an absolute MUST-have for any kind of arcane caster - no matter if a M/T, F/T, F/M/T, C/M, mage or sorcerer.
     
  16. Ghaldring Banned

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    saros:
    I'm going to go against the grain here and agree with Saros. If I were ever to rerun a sorcerer, I would pick Protection from Normal Weapons as a 5th level spell. I died too often from flunkies wielding normal weapons :(
     
  17. saros Gems: 5/31
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    Protection from Normal weapons is good for a solo Sorcerer, but only if you had 7 spells in lvl 5. unfortulately, the maximum is 5, and there is simply no place for Protection from Normal Weapons. A solo Sorcerer must always walk with an army of Mordenkainen's Swords at his/her side when expecting an attack.

    Protection from Normal Weapons should be considered in Underdark, Hell(Sarevok), Athkatla and Watcher's Keep, and, if you've gone the evil way in Hell - in ToB many enemies use normal weapons.
     
  18. Ghaldring Banned

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    saros:
    It depends what you're willing to sacrifice.

    From personal experience, I could probably do without Lower Resistance and Skeleton Warriors. Skeleton Warriors are 'nice', but solo Sorc's tend to be ambushed, and in the front line, before they can summon anything.

    The biggest problems that I encounter are ranged attacks. Even little kobolds can fire off three arrows a round, which tears through Stoneskins and Mirror images.
    And if you're playing on Insane difficulty, it doesn't matter that they are just normal arrows. Or that it's kobolds that are firing them. Several shots and you're dead.

    [ October 29, 2007, 13:13: Message edited by: Ghaldring ]
     
  19. Master Leo Gems: 7/31
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    here's my opinion on these spells (i'm playing unmodded and party based game):

    Animate Dead (Necro)

    useless until you reach level 15 for skeletal warriors - these things totally rock! they have magical weapons, are immune to normal weapons and have 90% magical resistance. summon five, cast haste, mass invisibility and send them into a nest full of mind flayers! SPLAT!

    Breach (Abj)

    Good spell but you only need a casting or two per rest.

    Chaos (enchantment/charm)

    I love this spell. Cast Great malison, then follow up with this. -8 penalty on saving throws. Game over for the enemy.

    Cloudkill (Evo)

    I don't like this spell, because party is affected and the cloud persists for quite a while. Works well with web. Also, it kills umber hulks if they fail their save vs. death. Wand is enough for this.

    Cone of Cold (Evo)

    This spell can destroy loot. Enough said.

    Conjure Lesser Air Elemental (Conjuration/Summoning)

    Forget.

    Conjure Lesser Earth Elemental (Conjuration/Summoning)
    See above

    Conjure Lesser Earth Elemental (Conjuration/Summoning)
    see above

    Domination (Enchantment/Charm)

    Bah, only one target. Forget.

    Feeblemind (Enchantment/Charm)

    Forget.

    Hold Monster (Enchantment/Charm)

    Not bad but i rarely use it. I think it works on some undead also?

    Lower Resistance (Abjuration,Alteration)

    Just like breach, another must have. But you don't actually have this memorized unless you really need it.

    Minor Spell Turning (Abjuration)

    Forget.

    Monster Summoning III (Conjuration/Summoning)

    See animate dead.

    Oracle (Divination)

    Try Keldorn or party's cleric.

    Phantom Blade (Evocation)

    No, no, no!

    Protection From Acid (Abjuration)

    see above

    Protection from Electricity(Abjuration)

    see above

    Protection from Normal Weapons(Abjuration)

    see above

    Shadow Door (Illusion/Phantasm)

    i prefer improved invisibility

    Spell Immunity (Abjuration)

    nice spell but it's hard to figure out exactly what the enemy is going to do. it's a good spell against demiliches however.

    Spell Shield (Abjuration)

    Forget.

    Sunfire (Evocation)

    Not really useful, unless you want to send your mage ahead to make some french fries out of enemies.
     
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    Sunfire is priceless as it ignores MR and does good damage. Perfect for slaying drows and other MR foes. A must to have!
     
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