[DC] War Wizard is Overpowered

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There is no other card in the two first sets that can do 30 range damage.  On top of that, the range of 10 is very long for the power of this range damage.  He also gets the ability to deploy around the board.  The best comparison for War Wizard is Shadow Mastiff, who is also level 4 Dex, but does only 20 melee damage.  Shadow Mastiff does have 20 extra HP, but the utility of massively powerful range damage and the raw strength of the intelligence spells such as Arcane Ritual and Shield just trump Shadow Mastiff in every respect.  This is looking at the raw card itself, not including the synergy involved with cards like "Heroic Surge" or "Behind Enemy Lines" due to the wizard being an adventurer.

War Wizard is simply more powerful than any other creature released so far, and any competitive army will be running at least 3, but more likely 4.
I agree.  A very powerful creature, but with one big disadvantage ... level 4.  Difficult to deploy, costly to lose.

I doubt a player will ever see a game where 3 or 4 WW will be deployed at the same time, as both commanders have a starting leadership of 7.  

The only advantage of having so many in you starting deck is you have increased your chances of deploying a new WW when one is destroyed.  But then you've lost 4 morale points.

Perhaps a starting deck with two WW max with the support pieces to protect. 
Let me start by saying, holy crap is it an awesome card.  In the games I've played he has always been something to look forward to getting out there.  Though I don't know if I'd call him OP just yet.  I'd have to compare him more closely to the other ranged cards, I only included the ones in my comparison I felt are in the running.   I think it's fair to say, the Drow Wizard is a very solid competitor.  Half the level, more than half the damage, and capable of using cards like Quick Shot, and the dexterity damage prevention cards (Close Call, Near Miss).  Not to mention that with the +speed movement (if you're using that general) he can be more mobile, and he can use stalk, and stealth.  However, he would need to be assissted to cast some of the higher level spells (Fireball and Open Portal).
I agree.  A very powerful creature, but with one big disadvantage ... level 4.  Difficult to deploy, costly to lose.. 


I'm an... amateur competitive player, if that makes sense.  I've been playing with all of the commanders, here's why (two players worth of 4x of each):



One of the drow commanders lets you start with 9 leadership, which means you can start with double WW.  This doesn't happen often, as WWs are often used in "adventurer" warbands, with the heart of cormyr commander that lets any adventurer move double speed.  Still, it's much less of a drawback than you'd think.  Regardless, starting with one in your hand and an Arcane Ritual means that you will almost definitely win the game if your opponent doesn't get his own card drawing engine online.
Let me start by saying, holy crap is it an awesome card.  In the games I've played he has always been something to look forward to getting out there.  Though I don't know if I'd call him OP just yet.  I'd have to compare him more closely to the other ranged cards, I only included the ones in my comparison I felt are in the running.   I think it's fair to say, the Drow Wizard is a very solid competitor.  Half the level, more than half the damage, and capable of using cards like Quick Shot, and the dexterity damage prevention cards (Close Call, Near Miss).  Not to mention that with the +speed movement (if you're using that general) he can be more mobile, and he can use stalk, and stealth.  However, he would need to be assissted to cast some of the higher level spells (Fireball and Open Portal).



This is complicated to respond to, you bring up a lot of points Tongue Out.  I think the first way to respond is to examine each of the creatures that you listed as comparable to WW. 

1. Drow Wizard:  This is the closest comparison to WW, and a solid competitor like you said.  He can cast Arcane Ritual and Shield, the two most important spells that make the WW so powerful.  He's level 2 so he's easier to get out, and he's also an adventurer so he benefits from all of the great adventurer cards.  To me, his biggest flaw is his 30 hitpoints.  One "Piercing Strike" (a common card in our play group) means he's dead.  He also loses out on the amazing deployment, and like you said the amazing "Fireball".  Drow Wizard is great, but he's just not close to the power level of WW.
2. Copper Dragon is...... amazing, he also costs 6
3. While I don't think Half-Orc Thug is really relevant to compare to WW, I would like to say that any warband I create can usually squeeze in a pair of these guys.  They are extremely versatile and I absolutely love them.  I think they're some of the better creatures in the set; they're usually my guys using Piercing Strikes to take out pesky drow wizards .
Thanks for the great responses by the way guys!
Thanks for the great responses by the way guys!

I think the only real downside is how much you need to spend on them, and how easy they are to kill.

The only card they have to protect themselves is shield, and, although you can have 4 in a deck, and they can cast them on each other, that's still less than the dex or str immediates.

And the draw engine you get from them is awesome, but since it attaches to them and is lost when they die, in addition to requiring them to be out in the open with (usually) no cover, it just confounds the problem that they're an expensive and easy to kill sitting duck.

However, I am inclined to agree with you.  Fireball can turn the tide of most fights, they can cast Faerie Fire which is a very powerful spell, and I could see War Portal being really useful, letting you get your big lategame creatures out where you need them, not stuck behind difficult terrain. Probably my favorite creature so far. 
I would have to disagree with War Wizard being overpowered. He is definitely a strong card, but his level makes him prohibitive. Additionally, being INT only as an ability is limiting. As someone who has run 4x War Wizards in a deck, he can actually "clog" your hand with unplayable creatures.

Once Tyranny of Goblins is released, we'll see much less War Wizard in favor of the Hobgoblin Sorcerer. He's one level less, and has INT & CHA abilities that allows him to use a number of solid cards, which include "Strength in Numbers" to gain Leadership. All ranged attacks will also suffer in Tyranny of Goblins, as the Goblin tiles feature rooms with doors (obstacles) you have to cross. After Goblins is released, "Burrow" decks will become more viable. Suddenly that 10 range becomes less useful, as creatures can safely move towards you without taking a shot or two first.

The most versatile Creature in the game at present is Drow Wizard. He costs half as much as War Wizard, and can use a variety of great DEX & INT cards (Shield, Heroic Surge, Quick Shot, Arcane Ritual, Spring Attack, Faerie Fire, Riposte, etc.). The only card he lacks is Fireball, but that can be rectified by assisting or running just enough War Wizards to make the card useful. After much playtesting, I've found that running 4x Drow Wizards and 2x War Wizards will get what you want (for a ranged-focused Warband), without the negative drawback of War Wizard. I would advise against running more than 2x War Wizards, unless they are your only level 4 or above creature. Given that you don't know what your opponent will run until game start, having flexibility in your warband is an important feature.

Half-Orc Thug is similarly versatile, as being  level 3 with both STR & DEX opens a wide range of Order cards for use. His splash damage is particularly effective against grouped enemies. If you play Drow Wizard with Half-Orc Thug, then crossover cards will work for both (Heroic Surge, Quick Shot, Spring Attack, Sacrifice). Plus, you can send the Thug forward to take primary damage, while the Wizard remains safely behind.

If I were to rate the creatures by the first two releases, I would say it goes something like this:
1. Drow Wizard
2. Half-Orc Thug
3. Umber Hulk
4. Dwarf Cleric
5. War Wizard





I think the only real downside is how much you need to spend on them, and how easy they are to kill.

The only card they have to protect themselves is shield, and, although you can have 4 in a deck, and they can cast them on each other, that's still less than the dex or str immediates.


I would disagree that they're easy to kill, not just due to shield but due to them being able to be placed anywhere around the board with a magic circle.  When I play against a WW army I intentionally avoid tiles that have magic circles on them, but it only takes a few turns for the order card advantage to pile up and there are always magic circles.  Additionally, they're by no means easy to kill at 60 HP while putting out massive ranged damage.  Card advantage (as I'm sure people reading this realize) is the strongest factor in games like M:TG; some well known writers have said that it's the crux of the games.  2-3 extra order cards and doing significant damage to anyone attacking them is a huge advantage.

Contrast this to the drow priestess and drow wizard who also have the card advantage engines, and their lack of "being anywhere" is what really makes them less powerful.

We all agree that WWs are extremely powerful, and without the "deploy on any magic circle" ability I would agree that they're just "good".  I believe that ability is what pushes them over the top power wise.
Once Tyranny of Goblins is released, we'll see much less War Wizard in favor of the Hobgoblin Sorcerer. He's one level less, and has INT & CHA abilities that allows him to use a number of solid cards, which include "Strength in Numbers" to gain Leadership. All ranged attacks will also suffer in Tyranny of Goblins, as the Goblin tiles feature rooms with doors (obstacles) you have to cross. After Goblins is released, "Burrow" decks will become more viable. Suddenly that 10 range becomes less useful, as creatures can safely move towards you without taking a shot or two first.

4. Dwarf Cleric


Yeah, I'm super excited about the new set too.  I think it will shake up a lot of things.

What's your justification for Dwarf Cleric being more powerful than War Wizard?
Similar to my reason for the Drow Wizard and Half-Orc Thug: Dwarf Cleric is more versatile than the War Wizard. He can heal 20 points of damage over a game turn with his tap ability, he can remove Order cards (only Saving Throw can do that, and I've never seen someone use it in a custom warband), he can use some of the excellent +damage STR cards, he can use Scheme to draw cards, and he becomes a de facto target once he hits the board.

Since the Dwarf Cleric can continually heal your other creatures without expending additional resources, a clock is put on your opponent.


I would rather have two Drow Wizards each with an Arcane Ritual card on them than a single War Wizard with two Arcane Rituals. Splits up the attack, plus they can still use Spring Attack to hit-and-run the opponent, safely returning to a Magic Circle for extra card draw. Again, I'm not saying the War Wizard is bad -- just that running more than two in a warband can be excessive.




Well yeah, he's good, but he's not OP. He's a gigantic glass cannon. 60 HP is quite low for a level 4 character. The Drider has 120 HPs at that level, which is twice as much. Even if the Wizard gets to shoot first he dies in a 1v1 confrontation with a Drider (melee with 10 speed beats 10 range IMO, since you can force opponent to be in bad position by entering melee and forcing them down to 1 speed). The Drider also has access to better cards.

So yeah, the War Wizard is great, but he's fairly well balanced.