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When do you hire Academics?


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I really enjoy Sandeep. More specifically, I really enjoy running elementals. They offer a large variety of play styles, they look cool and they are pretty strait forward.

However it's the Academic side of things that I struggle with. When I say Academic, I'm excluding Kandara and Banasuva as they walk the line of both elemental and academic and both are exceptional models. I'm mostly talking about Kudra, Vidiya Guard and Ox Mages.

 

I'll start with Kudra. I think she's just okay. She wants to be aggressive but she doesn't seem like she can take much of a punch. Due to her having built in onslaught, I find that I don't often concentrate, as taking two separate attacks (or charges) the better option. This makes her a good tech piece that is strong against certain models but generally I feel like I'd prefer to hire a golem at nearly the same cost.

Elemental bolt looks terrible, as does her heal (since she wants to be charging models and not back supporting elementals). This leaves her with a good, but situational melee attack and admittedly a very good free action. Her Mantra is alright but as I mentioned earlier, I find that she's rarely in a good position for others to make any use of it and she doesn't often use it herself.

 

Up next is the Vidiya Guard. Of the three academics outlined, I like these models the most. Unlike Kudra, I do see them playing pretty effectively as a ranged model, while offering some nice utility to other firendly models. Know the warrior is a bit tricky but can be great to cycle out some low cards - or replenish the ones you'd be cheating to hit with. Also unlike Kudra, I always seem to be taking the concentrate action to fuel the push AND know the warrior. 

I also find the Vidiya Guards to be a decent upgrade carrier. Either of the two upgrades works well on them but I'd probably take magical training most times. With the extra shielded, soulstone prevention and H2K, they can be surprisingly tough. I think I'd take an upgrade pretty much everytime as long as I could afford it.

They are no tank, but they aren't squishy either. Their high DF/WP combined with Know the Warrior, makes it easier to spend high cards to dodge attacks. Likewise their attacks are decent but nothing special in terms of damage but the trigger to ignore armor makes them a strong counter in certain match ups.

The only pain point is the 8ss price tag. A little more and you get a golem who is arguably tougher and almost certainly hits harder. So for me, I end up leaning more into the upgrade and support options as a reason to consider them. Also if I'm potentially facing armor, then they get an extra recommendation.  

 

Last and least, in my mind, is the OX Mages. I have a really tough time hiring these models. Everything about these models confuses me as to their purpose. They just seems like a mess of abilities that doesn't really come together into a cohesive package.

Counterspell is just a bad ability in general, and especially so on a model who should be playing at range. Arcane Conduit is highly situational and very awkward in terms of timing compared to other condition removal abilities. Flaming Fury is decent, but you really don't want to be using it on a model as fragile as this.

Elemental Bolt is as plain as it gets with the exception of the trigger. I do really like the trigger but I feel like it should be reversed with Elemental Transference being the action, and the damage being a trigger. Otherwise not having it built in makes this attack all too awkward, even if you can still use without needing to succeed.

I will say they have one of the better Mantra's. A flat 2 heal is nothing to scoff at and is likely the reason into hiring at least one. However that alone doesn't justify their cost. So what is their actual purpose? Do they damage? (not really) Do they support the crew? (Outside of the Mantra, you need tomes to do anything of interest) Do they scheme? (hell no)

I just don't see why I'd hire them when I have access to gamin who fulfill a definite purpose and are typically cheaper. Unless I'm missing something....  

 

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So in terms of academics almost always hire an Oxford mage, there transmutation trigger works very well with fire and metal golems and thry can take the slow off golems when you combine them 

 

SVGs are great, know the warrior is great for more card draw even if it's only cycling and thry make decent front line models if your expecting your oppenent to bring irraduceable/armour pearsing damage to deal with golems. They are also great magial training carriers 

 

Kudra is fine but she seems to be missing something, it's like she wants to be in the middle of your crew but butterfly jump isn't the defensive tech for something you want for a middle of crew model, she's generally the one I'm not bringing unless I'm trying to make sandeep work for public enemies /recover evidence and I'm not sure they are his preferred strats at all. It's trying to fit a square peg in a round hole

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On 1/22/2021 at 9:40 PM, Jordon said:

I really enjoy Sandeep. More specifically, I really enjoy running elementals. They offer a large variety of play styles, they look cool and they are pretty strait forward.

However it's the Academic side of things that I struggle with. When I say Academic, I'm excluding Kandara and Banasuva as they walk the line of both elemental and academic and both are exceptional models. I'm mostly talking about Kudra, Vidiya Guard and Ox Mages.

 

I'll start with Kudra. I think she's just okay. She wants to be aggressive but she doesn't seem like she can take much of a punch. Due to her having built in onslaught, I find that I don't often concentrate, as taking two separate attacks (or charges) the better option. This makes her a good tech piece that is strong against certain models but generally I feel like I'd prefer to hire a golem at nearly the same cost.

Elemental bolt looks terrible, as does her heal (since she wants to be charging models and not back supporting elementals). This leaves her with a good, but situational melee attack and admittedly a very good free action. Her Mantra is alright but as I mentioned earlier, I find that she's rarely in a good position for others to make any use of it and she doesn't often use it herself.

 

Up next is the Vidiya Guard. Of the three academics outlined, I like these models the most. Unlike Kudra, I do see them playing pretty effectively as a ranged model, while offering some nice utility to other firendly models. Know the warrior is a bit tricky but can be great to cycle out some low cards - or replenish the ones you'd be cheating to hit with. Also unlike Kudra, I always seem to be taking the concentrate action to fuel the push AND know the warrior. 

I also find the Vidiya Guards to be a decent upgrade carrier. Either of the two upgrades works well on them but I'd probably take magical training most times. With the extra shielded, soulstone prevention and H2K, they can be surprisingly tough. I think I'd take an upgrade pretty much everytime as long as I could afford it.

They are no tank, but they aren't squishy either. Their high DF/WP combined with Know the Warrior, makes it easier to spend high cards to dodge attacks. Likewise their attacks are decent but nothing special in terms of damage but the trigger to ignore armor makes them a strong counter in certain match ups.

The only pain point is the 8ss price tag. A little more and you get a golem who is arguably tougher and almost certainly hits harder. So for me, I end up leaning more into the upgrade and support options as a reason to consider them. Also if I'm potentially facing armor, then they get an extra recommendation.  

 

Last and least, in my mind, is the OX Mages. I have a really tough time hiring these models. Everything about these models confuses me as to their purpose. They just seems like a mess of abilities that doesn't really come together into a cohesive package.

Counterspell is just a bad ability in general, and especially so on a model who should be playing at range. Arcane Conduit is highly situational and very awkward in terms of timing compared to other condition removal abilities. Flaming Fury is decent, but you really don't want to be using it on a model as fragile as this.

Elemental Bolt is as plain as it gets with the exception of the trigger. I do really like the trigger but I feel like it should be reversed with Elemental Transference being the action, and the damage being a trigger. Otherwise not having it built in makes this attack all too awkward, even if you can still use without needing to succeed.

I will say they have one of the better Mantra's. A flat 2 heal is nothing to scoff at and is likely the reason into hiring at least one. However that alone doesn't justify their cost. So what is their actual purpose? Do they damage? (not really) Do they support the crew? (Outside of the Mantra, you need tomes to do anything of interest) Do they scheme? (hell no)

I just don't see why I'd hire them when I have access to gamin who fulfill a definite purpose and are typically cheaper. Unless I'm missing something....  

 

kudra, guards, oxford mages, essense of power are useless

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9 hours ago, Plaag said:

kudra, guards, oxford mages, essense of power are useless

Nice two lines explanation for a 10 paragraphs text... Would you care to explain? 

You do this often and its fine of frustrating. Especially because when you do care to explain you point of view your insight are more often than not very good. 

So please stop teasing us simple mortals with useless post and start sharing your knowledge 😀.

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1 hour ago, SEV said:

Nice two lines explanation for a 10 paragraphs text... Would you care to explain? 

You do this often and its fine of frustrating. Especially because when you do care to explain you point of view your insight are more often than not very good. 

So please stop teasing us simple mortals with useless post and start sharing your knowledge 😀.

just look-u pay 10ss for model without ignoring concealmen and ff/cover on projectile atack, or without build in tomes for armour piercing; what do u want? to ignore armour? just take mecharachnid; to shoot? take envy-this is the only one good shooting model in arcanists, but stat 5 is bad

mage already have counterspell and shielded, so this is not a good model to give training, he is not useful with his atack actions and aura need to be turn on; if u want healing-take silent one; removal condition-effigy

kudra is just too bad-she can give poison, but for what? frienzied charge, but zero triggers to go away from first model engagement range; she is not tough to be in the dim of melee battle, she havent got any good projectile atack, shes healing can be replaced with silent ones tomes trigger

i hope now u can think abt all of this

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@Plaag: sorry you loose the explanation battle, at least for guards (I can see why the other 2 models are bad). The case made by @Jordon just make more sense to me and lineup better with my own experience against them. I don't play arcanist though and you might be right, but I still don't see how Envy or Mecharanids are always better than guards.

At least now we have something to think about (and talk about). Don't thank me fellows arcanist player, I unleash the knowledge of the mighty Plaag for you 🤣... Going back to the (really quiet) bayou now.

P.S. @Plaag: I'm just teasing you a little bit because of your abrupt style, but I do appreciate that you took the time to explain (this is especially useful because everybody knows that you're a strong player). Thank!

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1 hour ago, SEV said:

@Plaag: sorry you loose the explanation battle, at least for guards (I can see why the other 2 models are bad). The case made by @Jordon just make more sense to me and lineup better with my own experience against them. I don't play arcanist though and you might be right, but I still don't see how Envy or Mecharanids are always better than guards.

At least now we have something to think about (and talk about). Don't thank me fellows arcanist player, I unleash the knowledge of the mighty Plaag for you 🤣... Going back to the (really quiet) bayou now.

P.S. @Plaag: I'm just teasing you a little bit because of your abrupt style, but I do appreciate that you took the time to explain (this is especially useful because everybody knows that you're a strong player). Thank!

its ok, im just tired of explanations things that are obvious

maybe just change my nick to"captain obvious"?))

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Shastar Vidiya Guard suffer from the same problem as a lot of expensive enforcers/minions, they can be killed too consistently by high-tier models. The fact that the Shastar don't have stones or Hard to Wound makes them fodder for the sorts of models that they (being slow melee beaters) are probably going to be facing.

Now, what can make the SVD decent at range (and therefore sort of survivable) is the silly but unfortunately RAW FAQ that Wyrd put out to nerf Nekima last year; which states that the "Another Model" wording in triggers always refers to the model whose card the trigger is written on, meaning that Ricochet (which is built in on their chakram) becomes a hefty damage boost that also inherits the :+flip to damage from focus, making it a bit more palatable to use when targeting into concealing or engagements.

Still, if it's an 8ss model and your opponent isn't worried about how they're going to deal with it, then it is probably not affecting the game enough for its cost.

Compare them to Arachnid Swarms, Cerberus, Blessed, Lone Swordsman, Samurai, Midnight Stalker, Hanged, Gracie, The Jury, Vasilisa, Widow Weaver, Serena Bowman, Student of Viscera, Yin or Minako. I'm not saying they're below average, they're probably better than most 8ss models! It's just that If you're playing with a competitive mindset, above average doesn't always mean worth hiring.

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10 minutes ago, LexLock said:

Compare them to Arachnid Swarms, Cerberus, Blessed, Lone Swordsman, Samurai, Midnight Stalker, Hanged, Gracie, The Jury, Vasilisa, Widow Weaver, Serena Bowman, Student of Viscera, Yin or Minako. I'm not saying they're below average, they're probably better than most 8ss models! It's just that If you're playing with a competitive mindset, above average doesn't always mean worth hiring.

Totally agree. I would love to see wyrd nerf all of the upper tier models so beautiful models like SVG don't get outshined by them.

I played Kudra and Ox quite often and they work fine in casual games - esp. since sandeep is tough as nails to play against anyhow... and they are fun! 

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Sounds like it boils down to "if your not first, your last" haha

Well lucky for me I'm not a hyper competitive player and so I get to play with models outside the few "top tier" options that I have available to me 😋

I'm not looking for reasons as to why they aren't the best. I'm just trying to understand their strengths and weaknesses in order to make them playable. They don't need to be the best, they just need to work.

In my experience, I've had some hit and miss success with Kudra and the Guards. Mainly because they are trickier to play than other models and thus gets punished harshly when misplayed.

For me, it's the Ox Mages that completely allude me as to their purpose. They sound like they want to be support pieces but everything they do is kinda of hard or situational. They are frail and have support abilities, so I want to play them at range, yet their strangely better in melee for some reason. 

I liked their flavor more in M2E when they had a whole bunch of triggers (to signify their elemental mastery) and they could draw power from each other. All that was really cool, they just went a step too far and made them a little too good in the end...

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13 minutes ago, Jordon said:

Sounds like it boils down to "if your not first, your last" haha

Well lucky for me I'm not a hyper competitive player and so I get to play with models outside the few "top tier" options that I have available to me 😋

I'm not looking for reasons as to why they aren't the best. I'm just trying to understand their strengths and weaknesses in order to make them playable. They don't need to be the best, they just need to work.

In my experience, I've had some hit and miss success with Kudra and the Guards. Mainly because they are trickier to play than other models and thus gets punished harshly when misplayed.

For me, it's the Ox Mages that completely allude me as to their purpose. They sound like they want to be support pieces but everything they do is kinda of hard or situational. They are frail and have support abilities, so I want to play them at range, yet their strangely better in melee for some reason. 

I liked their flavor more in M2E when they had a whole bunch of triggers (to signify their elemental mastery) and they could draw power from each other. All that was really cool, they just went a step too far and made them a little too good in the end...

Unfortunately most of the advice you will get on here will come from competitive players and most of it will just be "play these instead because im good and i say so"

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40 minutes ago, im_open_to_suggestions said:

Unfortunately most of the advice you will get on here will come from competitive players and most of it will just be "play these instead because im good and i say so"

To be fair, a lot of the questions are phrased that they are asking for competitive advice. After all you can play an academic any time, the question implies wanting to know when they are best choice, which is based on competitive views. Which will also change based on your meta and your game rules.  I might think Oxford mages are best when you also hire Kaeris, but if you play in the UK scene that plays single format that doesn't give you a useful answer.

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21 minutes ago, Adran said:

To be fair, a lot of the questions are phrased that they are asking for competitive advice. After all you can play an academic any time, the question implies wanting to know when they are best choice, which is based on competitive views. Which will also change based on your meta and your game rules.  I might think Oxford mages are best when you also hire Kaeris, but if you play in the UK scene that plays single format that doesn't give you a useful answer.

unsure why the uk decided on a single master format always but that is a different discussion all together

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15 hours ago, Jordon said:

I liked their flavor more in M2E when they had a whole bunch of triggers (to signify their elemental mastery) and they could draw power from each other.

I don't play Academic, but this was what stood out to me when I read the Oxfordian Mage card - the interesting (and powerful) parts seem to have been filed off in favour of 'utility' that serves to make them more expensive without making them more useful.

Arcane Conduit should be amazing, but is situational enough that justifying it at crew hire seems difficult - a bunch of the Conditions you might clear will do about the same damage as the ping to clear them, and others like Stunned and Staggered will only be relevant to one or two models in the crew (assuming they receive the condition, are in the right place, care at the moment of activation etc.). The fact that it is a big aura on a big base feels nice, as against Dougie or Kaeris you can keep the condition clearing a little safer that the alternative hires...?

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1 hour ago, bedjy said:

For those who may not have seen, just a reminder that elemental transference is an after resolving trigger.

good point, yes u can end slow and give gamin poison or burning with any low tomes, or shoot at enemy and do thmthng, but i still dont like'em-its still better to hire other minion and give him training, also he has no bonus action; maybe if arcain conduit were bonus action-he will be better, or some other bonus action

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The thing is that Sandeep doesn't really need anything in particular. Having cheap academics is useful for him to arc his spells through but it's not as though he needs another ranged/melee damage unit. 

The whole elemental transference theme is pretty unique and something I could see them lean into more. Unfortunately in my experience it rarely seems that I have a low tome when I need it and mid - high tomes get better value elsewhere (mainly summoning)

I wish elemental transference was it's own ability, but expanded to affect all conditions. Basically remove a condition to gain a condition.  Or maybe even to remove a marker to place a marker. This would give them a pretty unique role if balanced properly

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8 minutes ago, Jordon said:

I wish elemental transference was it's own ability, but expanded to affect all conditions. Basically remove a condition to gain a condition.  Or maybe even to remove a marker to place a marker. This would give them a pretty unique role if balanced properly

Something similar to the Transmutation Trigger of the Spelleaters? Would be cool. 

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