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Under-rated and over-rated mage spells

Discussion in 'BG2: Shadows of Amn (Classic)' started by The Mountain Hare, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. The Mountain Hare Banned

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    I've been playing BG2 for years, and have read quite a few walkthroughs. I think that quite a lot of spells are under-rated, including:

    - Blindness. If an enemy fails to save, they stand in one spot, looking stupid, taking whatever punishment you give them without retaliation.

    - Summon Fiend. People complain about the weakness of summons, but I find that the Lvl8 demon is immensely tough, resistant, and kicks ass when it has 'improved haste' cast on it.

    What spells do you all think are over-rated/under-rated?

    [ September 04, 2006, 09:38: Message edited by: The Mountain Hare ]
     
  2. Killjoy Gems: 8/31
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    Ice Storm is underrated, especially if you don't mind the less-than-spectacular (but highly effective) tactic of hitting unseen enemies with Web, then piling area-effect spells like Cloudkill, Death Fog, etc. on them. If you're not high enough level to get Cloudkill, Ice Storm and Fireball are half-decent substitutes. The spell scroll itself is annoyingly out-of-the-way, though.

    Improved haste is harder to justify from an efficiency standpoint in six-man parties because it's only the one character who gets hasted, and by the time you get to that level with your party, your tanks should already have plenty of attacks per round.
     
  3. Redrake Gems: 7/31
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    Phantom Blade on a Fighter/Mage or Mage/Thief. Is amazing, especially against vampires.
     
  4. Silverstar Gems: 31/31
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    ABDHW is simply over-rated. It hits all creatures, including undead and, if you lower their resistance, constructs. What's more, it does not hit party members. This is the cheapest, easy to use and most effective way of horrendous damage! In IWD, it only affects living, and also hits your party members (ouch) so you should use it A LOT more carefully.

    Death spell-This spell is VERY useful. It kills very annoying monsters instantly, and irreversibly. It does not offer saving throw. You can kill Umber Hulks, groups of thugs, Werewolves, and lots of those little but annoying critters. It also kills any summoned creature, be it those animals, frightening Skeleton Warriors, or nearly indestructable Mordy Sword. This spell should always be given a slot!

    I agree Ice Storm is too weak, but with a Trigger, 3 of them can do serious damage:6d8 dmg per round, total of 24d8 dmg in 4 rounds, with no saving throw. This will kill most enemies who are not immune to cold damage. Another beauty of the Ice Storm is, it really annoys spell casters, and disrupts their spell-casting.

    Death Fog:This spell is wonderful, simply brilliant against liches. When you dispel their mirror image and other illusions, send two of these, and watch:poor lich will try to cast a horrible spell, will take damage and get disrupted. It will take 2x8=16 dmg per round and die fast. This also works against Tactic's horribly smart and well-buffed liches. My favourite spell against liches and other serious spell-casters.

    Project Image is so very dirty and overrated. You can find tons of cheese and abuses with this spell:casting from scrolls, multiple PIs, shapechanging them to enable attack, etc. etc.
     
  5. Decados

    Decados The Chosen One

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    Silverstar, you told us about the good points of ABDHW and PI and then called them overrated! I assume you meant underrated? :p

    Power Word: Blind tends not to get mentioned very often- although that's probably because it is in direct competition with ABDHW for spell slot places. Much like Blindness, except that it hits many targets and doesn't allow a saving throw. It does have a short duration, but is good while it lasts.
     
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    One of my favorite spells. I learned how usefull it ca be since I was playing IWD. The same with almost all the other Power words, excep for sleep and Kill.
     
  7. Decados

    Decados The Chosen One

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    Power Word: Kill is a reasonably good spell as well. It just happens to see little use as it doesn't ignore magic resistance and competes with the likes of Timestop and IA.
     
  8. Ziad

    Ziad I speak in rebuses Veteran

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    Power Word Kill is a fantastic spell with very limited usage, hence overrated. About the only time it really comes useful is when you're fighting a tough monster who suddenly decides he's going to heal himself back to full health. This would probably happen only once or twice during an entire game, but when it does you'll be glad you have a scroll of the spell. I wouldn't memorize it though (I don't even think you can scribe it in SoA)

    Ice Storm is great. Cast Web to slow enemies down, rain an Ice Storm on them, and while the Storm is going on pile on other deadly area effect spells.
     
  9. Stardust Gems: 7/31
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    The most overrated spell ever must be finger of death, at the time you get it it's kind of useless.

    Spell Immunity: Divination is really underrated as it works like non detection, as all ilusion dispelling spells are under the divination school. Using it with improved invsibility is really powerful.
     
  10. TrueBlueAussie Gems: 17/31
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    I find finger of death to be a fairly good spell if you can use it right. I have 3 mages in my current party, a sorcerer that knows FoD, a wild mage that knows greater malison and Aerie who knows lower resistance. If lower resistance and greater malison are cast before FoD, then there is almost no stopping the instant kill spell.
     
  11. Stardust Gems: 7/31
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    But then you have pulled off three spells on a single target. Instead you could do three area of effecy spells to clear up more effective. Unless you face a single foe (which is somewhat rare).

    [ September 02, 2006, 10:20: Message edited by: Stardust ]
     
  12. TrueBlueAussie Gems: 17/31
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    Greater malison is an area effect spell, so it will help out with any spell against an enemy that requires a save. And in having only 3 characters in my party, all being mages, there is no shortage of spells so I can sling em off at large groups of enemies without the fear of running out of spells.
     
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    @Decados

    Yes, you are right, my bad. You see, English is my second language, I am still studying to perfect it, and it seems I confused the overrated and underrated words. Sorry!

    As for Powerword:Kill, this spell is awesome against enemy mages. When you see a hostile mage, cast this spell quickly, before he is able to raise contingencies and triggers and tatoos of powers and other things. They die instantly, as they generally have so few HP; and save you a lot of trouble and headache. I killed lots of enemy mages before they even understood what hit them. :evil: Shame it does not work on liches. They have 90 HP.

    But then again this is SoA forum, and PC mages can not manage 9th lvl spells in SoA only game AFAIK. :p Ofcourse they can cast via scrolls with the help of a PI. Can you smell the cheese?
     
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    All the instant death spells are cheese. :p Like people using disintegrate to get rid of large enemies that nets you no treasure (final battle with Melissan comes in mind).
     
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    No I don't think insta-kill spells are cheese. These spells are made for killing the target (disintegrate, flesh to stone, finger of death, wail of the banshee) if the victim blows his saving throw, he is gone. Dead. Ash. Which makes mages all more scary! :evil:
     
  16. kmonster Gems: 24/31
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    But where's the challenge if you can just reload until your enemy failes his save ?
     
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    You can do it with a fighter too, reload countless times until your opponent can't roll good enough to hit you frequently and you roll pretty damn good to kick his butt.

    Reloading for dice rolls are always cheese, no matter what. You should avoid it. Besides, use GM and Doom spells to weaken the enemy first, and then your victory would be all the sweeter. I do so love disintegrating scary Umber Hulks, Finger of Deathing some tough fighter guy, or killing the enemy mages with a dreadful wail of the banshee, after a primary GM from a support mage ofcourse. (As a side note: mages tend to blow their save vs death most of the time, which makes them particularly suspectible to WoB, this spell is highly prized against mages, but useless against low to mid level clerics who are super tough thanks to their God. FoD and Disintegrate works rarely on mages though, they are just plain too magical:good save vs spells, and many possible spell protections which will turn the spell towards you too! But nothing beats Disintegrating a cleric into a pile of dust:Where is your Godling now? :evil: )
     
  18. Decados

    Decados The Chosen One

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    @Silverstar: Don't worry, your English is better than many native speakers who post online. ;)

    Instant Death spells aren't really cheese- you don't have to reload if they make their save. They are more all-or-nothing spells. After all, a straight damage spell will tend to do something even if your opponent makes his save- death spells are more of a gamble, but not especially an over-powered (ignoring the generally over-powered status of mages in BGII).
     
  19. The Mountain Hare Banned

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    Stardust:
    I've always thought that Finger of Death is highly over-rated, yet everyone up until this point has disagreed with me.
    They always say: "Yeah, but if you use Greater Malison beforehand..."

    Um, what? If you use Great Malison before casting Flesh to Stone, you'll get a cooler result. The opponent gets a +2 to save when compared to Finger of Death, but I've never found this too much of a big deal, considering that it IS a level 6 spell. Note that lvl 6 spells can be placed in a spell trigger... lvl 7 spells cannot. Hmmmmm. Greater Malison, and two Flesh to Stones in a Spell Trigger....

    A more prudent choice (IMHO) for an attack spell from Level 7 is 'Prismatic Spray' (or even Sphere of Chaos). Greater Malison affects groups of monsters. Prismatic Spray and Sphere of Chaos affects groups of monsters. A much more appropriate combination than GM and FoD, right?

    Even Power Word: Stun, is a better option. Pull this off before a mage can get up his contigencies, and you've won the battle.

    Hah! I've always preferred Flesh to Stone, but I guess that it is a matter of aesthetics. There is something about turning a hapless fleshy mortal into a statue. That statue is long term evidence of my victory. And, if I'm feeling a little devious, I'll cast stone to flesh, and test out a few new spells.

    To be honest, I think that the most over-rated spell is existence is 'Summon Nishruu'. The only justification I hear for choosing it is because it's 'anti-mage'.

    Erm, what?
    There are so many much better anti-mage spells out there.
    Skeleton Warriors are magic immune, and can actually hold their own in battle.
    Area effect spells with a duration over time effect are much better at disrupting an enemy mage's casting.
    And there are so many spells which kill/debilitate low HP characters (ergo. mages).

    [ September 04, 2006, 22:38: Message edited by: Taluntain ]
     
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    I think they meant that a Finger of Death spell kills your enemy without the possible side effects of petrification and disintegration. Using those involves a high risk to destroy some, if not all of the target's items.
     
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