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'Must have' mana types?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by aimlessgun, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. aimlessgun

    aimlessgun King

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    I wondering what people think are the highest priority mana types to lay hands on?

    So far I'm getting the impression that Body has to be one of them, both haste and regen being extremely useful. Enchantment seems very good as well, free permanent strength promotions for your units is so nice. Air also comes off as crazy good, except when you accidentally cause a war because you didn't look around and have to reload :/

    I'm still getting familiar with the vast plethora of spells, what are other people's top5 or whatever priorities for mana?
     
  2. Itherael

    Itherael Chieftain

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    Earth mana is always somewhere in my top 5, Stoneskin is just too useful to pass up - no one like to lose that high rankinging mage.
     
  3. Merddyn

    Merddyn Scholar of the Arcane

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    I'm partial to, well, all of them really, but... Priorities are essentially...

    Metamagic
    Body
    Fire

    ... Largely because I play the Amurites and that's what they start with; having the duplicate sources of each makes them start with it automatically (You'd be surprised how many people don't know that). Even so this'd be my priority order due to the usefulness of them. Metamagic 2 for dispel to have access to any mana type about when I need it; Body+Metamagic make adepts on par with or superior to hunters for exploration, since floating eye has a longer range than hawks and doesn't require you to build an extra unit. Fire for, well, fireball.

    Beyond that, generally Enchantment, for the strength boost and the happiness boost. Death, at least death 1 for effectively doubling my army size (with Govannon), Mind for the research boost, Spirit for the happiness boost. Beyond that it depens on the situation, and what mod I'm playing. With RifE, Amurite swordsman start with chaos and shadow 1, Dance of blades giving the extra first strike and Blur negating enemy first strikes. If I'm not playing RifE, in war-time these're high on my priority list as well.

    I find every sphere potentially useful (Love law 3, for instance), but I'm not terribly fond of summons, so I don't frequently get them (despite my preference for fireball and skeletons. I rarely ever use those skeletons.)
     
  4. Y T

    Y T Kourier

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    Im a buildertype player, preferable neutral/good, priority is terraforming. Also in vanilla FFH mananodes are almost always rare, I like to double up the starting mana too or even triple it (good example are the elves: get the FoL Shrine & have one raw node turned nature. Voila! You got three, helps the adepts/mages & with natureaffinity.

    So basically the list looks like:
    1. Metamagic
    2. Water/Sun - depends on deserts/tundras
    3. Fire
    4. Law/Spirit - for the reduced upkeepcosts/ higher GPP rate
    5. Enchantment/Nature
     
  5. apenpaap

    apenpaap Tsar of all the Internets

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    My favourite is Death mana. The tier 1 spell basically gives you an eternal supply of warriors, the tier 2 spell can be really powerful if you have a few death mana sources, and the tier 3 spell gives you the best summon in the game and 4 extra archmages.
    Next are Entropy and Fire (Entropy for Rust and Fire for fireballs). If your're in a poor area, Water and Sun can be useful too.
     
  6. Tielby

    Tielby Prince

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    These 5 are my favorites too, though there's no mana type which I find useless. As apenpaap mentioned, Death 3 also gives you 4 more archmages.
     
  7. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Dimensional - there is nothing like creating portals straight to where you want you armies to attack, or transferring all the XP that your summons gain to a caster.

    Spirit - when Wrath hits, it is good to be able to quickly make your units regain their composure, and to be able to kill Wrath, Iras, Chaos Marauders, and Odio.

    Force - the diplomatic boost is nice, and targeting enemy archmages and destroying their ability to use magic even if you loose is great.

    Creation - they may just be temporary placeholders, but fre city populations and summoned Shades are quite nice.

    Law - valor alone is not worth being level 3, btu when you add Unyielding Order it is great.

    Metamagic - summons can can cast their own mage spells are always nice.




    (We were talking about in my modmod, right?)
     
  8. DaveGold

    DaveGold Emperor

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    The mana is moderately balanced, as balanced as anything else in the game anyway. All the mana types are situationally useful. Fire is strong for the elves and raiders. Death is strong for the arcane. Many nations start with their 'must haves' in the palace so you can usually pick and choose after that.
     
  9. mcwill123

    mcwill123 Pretender to the Throne

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    I've been ending up taking Divination and building the tower to get a VERY expensive tech. I've been playing Elohim quite a bit so that makes it easier.
     
  10. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Body, Enchantment, Entropy and one out of Air or Fire.

    Alternatively, Death Death Death Death Death Death etc
     
  11. DerWille

    DerWille Chieftain

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    Depends on what I'm going for. If I'm focusing on metal and normal siege with a huge empire, I'll probably go for Law, Life, and Enchantment. Those mana nodes do so much for keeping an empire going.

    If I'm using magic as the backbone then... definitely fire. Fireballs are too awesome. Earth is good for stoneskin + wall of stone. I'm not as big of a fan of Air mana as others, maelstorm is a bit unwieldy.

    So...

    1. Law
    2. Life
    3. Enchantment
    4. Fire
    5. Earth
     
  12. kumquatelvis

    kumquatelvis Prince

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    Weird, I think I do this a lot differently than y'all. Combat spells tend to be lowest on my list.

    1. Water - i hate deserts.
    2/3. Spirit and/or Mind, as I like the city spells (Inspiration and the like)
    4. Body (if my troops are mostly living)
     
  13. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    Entropy is almost always the first node I build. Rust is a good spell. Other then that, fire, air, sometimes enchantment. I don't get death mana unless there are lots of nodes available... and I'm happy for them all to be death. Usually go death if I play Keelyn (but then who wouldn't?)
     
  14. Ghost of K

    Ghost of K Chieftain

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    Personally I would go for death. Early summons with amurites skeletons for everyone. But I prefer my armies to be fast so body mana. I also enjoy water mana for terra forming purposes.
     
  15. D.H.V.

    D.H.V. Chieftain

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    I always save one node for metamagic, then dynamicaly convert all others to different types for first level spells:

    shadow - blur is extremely useful against first strikes;
    chaos - dance of blades gives extra first strike;
    body - haste and regeneration;
    entropy - rust (i dont have metals, but you are even worse, pal !)
    enchantment - +1 strenght;
    spirit - against fear;
    life - sanctify doubles the number of health resourses when hell terrain is everywhere;
    and other types may be useful, depends on situation.

    At the end I convert every mana to water, and Archmages with water III - best elementals (waterwalking and splits after losing battle), and spellstaff for double cast.
     
  16. Tlalynet

    Tlalynet Emperor

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    A top five is really hard. It depends so much on what you want the mana to do.

    The Elementals are all basically offensive, Water has an economic perk and really nasty summons if you get the Tower of Elements, its probably the best TOM choice. Air does area effect damage, Fire does collateral, and Earth does high STR damage and is good for mage XP.

    Death and Sun are the best offensive magics if you have lots of nodes, Sun creates the highest STR units and death gets and affinity+ in its tier II summon. So, quantity or quality. Death has liches which makes it hands down better, but it has a diplo penalty. Death is more available though with the ToN and the Soul Forge. Death and Sun have less versatility than the elementals though.

    MetaMagic is the ultimate attack magic for the non attacker. Djinn get universal affinity so you still get a powerful archmage summon if you stack Law\Enchantment\Life\Mind\Spirit economic manas. They are weak out of the box though so you still need a lot of mana to make metamagic good.

    Entropy and Law are both good to have for their Mage summons, Entropy makes better mages with rust and wither but law has a better perk, -5% maintainence can add up in a large empire. 4 Law mana and Order basilicas means no maintainence anywhere, which is pretty darn insane.

    Life is great anti undead of course, but it also makes for a really powerful AV civ since you can sanctify away hell and still sacrifice the weak. Unless you totally wipe out hell this is micromanagement heavy though. Still, for evil with hell in the world life1 is the ultimate economic spell.

    Spirit lets you go for the dragons horde really early, plus it perks your healing, Spirit1+Body2 make for really fast regeneration. Spirit is a nice line all around, though I can't say +5% GPP ever really adds up and since its T3 spell is single use you wouldn't want to spam spirit anyway. Body is hands down the best army assist and interesting T3 offense. Be sure to cast haste right after you step onto that forested hill and have no movement points left. Before I knew about the dwarven repair spell I relied on body mana to heal my golems :)

    +1 Happy is pretty good on its own for Enchantment and it perks two unit lines. If you have a lot of it for Happy sake you can get spellstaves too, which doubles your initial offensive to crack big stacks.

    Mind looks good but I can't say much from experince, its probably the only sphere I haven't really used. +3% research is a minuscule perk, I wish it was at lest +5% so you could stack it to some effect.

    Chaos I is really good, and II can be great, III is a little dangerous but it fits Chaos well. Its a good sphere.

    Nature is popular, but I can't say I'd go out of my way to get it. T1 is situational, T2 is very good but not enough to make the sphere shine, and T3 can be gotten via Genisis with a lot less micro and no wasted archmage promotions (Unless you just have to have grasslands everywhere, but I think plains are good tiles so I don't bother with it)

    Shadow is pretty bad, blur is very good, Shadowwalk doesn't do nearly as much as it seem too. Mistforms are weaker overall than most T2 summons so they are pretty much good for picking off workers.
     
  17. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    Chaos, Fire, Metamagic are my favorite, and are the ones I usuall start with.

    Nature is my least favorite
     
  18. Tielby

    Tielby Prince

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    Isn't the Rust spell comparatively easy to resist?

    The diplo penalty for having Death (and Entropy) mana can be eliminated by adopting the Overcouncil civic after they've outlawed it. The arcane units who have already been promoted with it get to keep the access to their spells. You have to time it right though, in order to be able to build any of the wonders which require it.

    Since I almost always build Druids, even if it means a temporary step out of my religious beliefs, promoting an Archmage with Nature is pointless.

    As for the Mind sphere, Charm Person is better (in term of resist-ability) than Blinding Light but worse than Entangle (disciple Nature spell), as a stack-stopper. Domination is a great way to get free units without the combat risk or all the promotions spent for the Command promotions, until it fails. Still, useful!

    Does Shadowwalk actually work?
     
  19. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    Yeah I think it can be resisted, but the difference between mithril weapons and no weapons is pretty significant, and if you bring enough mages you can usually hit most of them.
     
  20. Tlalynet

    Tlalynet Emperor

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    Yeah, it seems to take a small stack of adepts to make rust hit enough units to mater.

    Thanks for the tip on eliminating diplo modifiers. I can think of only three reasons to choose sun over death, Chilad, Crossbowmen with drill IV (Higher STR will crack them better) and not wanting to help the infernals if you lose units. If I'm playing magic heavy and don't want Death I'll usually create a death node, build four adepts, and dispel the death node liches are too good to pass up.

    I've meant to try domination a few times but in the end I just can't stomach the idea of losing an archmage promotion. I know I should try it though, any tips for breaking through resistance? How strong is it if I wait until I have the Tower of Alteration and Metamagic III promo?

    Even if shadowwalk does work it only negates the bonus from palisades and walls of stone and such, if it negated culture deference too it would be good but as it is it helps what 20% tops?
     

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