Thursday, January 17, 2013

Warhammer: Mark of Chaos - Archmage

Here are general tips for playing the Chaos Champaign in Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, on HARD Difficulty. A list of all our Warhammer: Mark of Chaos articles can be found here.

Archmage Skills
  • You get every skill at rank 0 as long as you fulfill the prerequisites.
  • Any skill with no skill prerequisite deserves special attention because you can bank your points and get 5 ranks of it immediately when you reach the necessary level, instead of spending your points on low-level skills you may not want.
  • Look for passive skills that require no mana, because one or two really good skills on a hero will monopolize use of the mana pool anyway.
  • I recommend Wrath of Khaine and Spell Focus. However, these skills need to be very actively managed because of the quick cooldown time of the Wrath of Khaine. Overall, this is a pretty lousy hero. The Wrath of Khaine needs constant attention because the game engine won't use spells for you, and the other spells and skills aren't that great. In the specific case when you come up against a creature with high armor and magic resistance, Master of Hoeth will shine, but this doesn't really happen in the Empire Campaign.
Combat Skills

Swift of Foot (Level 0)
  • Increases move speed by 2% per rank.
Wrath of Khaine (Level 0)
  • Magical attack that damages enemies around the target. Target suffers 2 damage with 50% (+10% per rank) chance. Other affected units suffer 1 damage with 15% (+1% per rank) chance. -1 second cooldown per rank.
  • Targeting is really rubbish here. You cannot actually target a specific model (and thereby try to maximize the blast effect). Instead, the game engine typically chooses which model to hit.
  • When the regiment is moving, sometimes it seems that the bolt will hit where a model used to be, and therefore be wasted. Not clear if this is necessarily the case.
Wrath of Khaine > Master of Hoeth (Level 5)
  • The Wrath of Khaine spell decreases the Magic Resistance of the target by 1 (+1 per rank).
  • Most creatures do not have Magic Resistance, so this is really only against enemy mage heroes. Pretty costly considering the use is so specific.
Wrath of Khaine > Spell Mastery (Level 5)
  • Increases the range of all spells by 4% per rank.
  • Not as necessary as you think since enemies will typically come at you and the range of Wrath of Khaine is already longer than most regiment ranged attacks.
Wrath of Khaine > Spell Mastery > Spell Focus (Level 15)
  • Reduces the cooldown of all spells by 6% per rank.
  • The cooldown on Wrath of Khaine is already quite short, so this could be overkill, especially since you are drawing on a common Mana pool and could run out of mana anyway.
Wrath of Khaine > Spell Mastery > Flames of the Phoenix (Level 25)
  • The spell damages and slows down enemy units in the target area. Affected units suffer 1 damage with 15% chance and their movement and attack speed are slowed by 80% for 2 seconds (+2 seconds per rank).
  • More or less useless, especially as you have to place the affected zone, and that means "leading your shot" to where the enemy regiment will be standing when the spell finally manifests. Too hard to use, lasts too short a time to really hit multiple regiments, and the effect is also too brief.
(no prerequisites) > Deflection (Level 15)
  • Increases the hero's defence against ranged attacks by 5% per level.
  • Get this. 50% less damage plus various items could bring it down to nearly 0%.
Duel Skills
These skills are only available during a duel. All other skills that need to be activated are disabled. Therefore, any points put here may be unavailable most of the time, and specializes your hero into an anti-hero build. Even so, it is hard to say whether you will get enough mileage out of a duelist hero because after a bout, he may have low health and no be able to handle a second bout. Damage is typically done by attrition unless you have invested a lot of points.

Vengeance of Ulthuan (Level 0)
  • This magical attack has a 100% chance of causing 2 damage to the opponent. +15% chance per rank to cause 2 extra damage.
Vengeance of Ulthuan > Shield of Vaul (Level 5)
  • The spell reflects 25% (+5% per rank) of the opponent's successful attacks back at them. Lasts 10 seconds.
Vengeance of Ulthuan > Fortune is Fickle (Level 15)
  • Interrupts casting and silences the opponent for 5 seconds (+1 second per rank).
Vengeance of Ulthuan > Fortune is Fickle > Asuryan's Judgment (Level 25)
  • 8 second casting time.
  • This spell halves the opponent's HP. Only usable against heroes with 30% HP or less (+10% per rank).
  • Supposing an opponent had 100 HP (even the dragon mounted level 40 Prince in
    the Chaos Campaign Chapter 3 final mission only had 63), the 0-rank version of this spell would take off only 15. Go 5/5 ranks or not at all, and only if you can actually pull off casting this spell, because every hero has a skill to interrupt spells.
Supernatural Resilience (Level 0)
  • Decreases the attacker's chance to hit by 5% per level.
(no prerequisites) > Vortex of Magic (Level 5)
  • The hero receives 2% power per rank from the power costs of the spells used by the enemy hero.
(no prerequisites) > Master of the Winds (Level 15)
  • Decreases the cost of all spells by 2% per rank.
Command Skills
Passive Command skills work on the hero if they are not attached to a regiment.

Blessings of Asuryan (Level 0)
  • Increases the hero's and the attached regiment's chance to hit by 20% (+4% per rank). Lasts 30 seconds.
Blessings of Asuryan > Magical Ward (Level 5)
  • Increases the hero's and the attached regiment's magic resistance by 0.5 per rank.
Blessings of Asuryan > Magical Ward > Shield of the Everqueen (Level 15)
  • The hero and the attached regiment gains 1 armor. Each damage suffered by the hero or the regiment has a 1% (+1% per rank) chance per level to be reflected.
  • Armour gain is only 1 point, no matter what rank you have with this skill.
  • Since you will only get use out of this skill if your regiment gets hit a lot, I recommend against taking this skill unless you want Wreath of Sanctity. You could, however, pair it with a Light Mage casting Restoration of Isha.
Blessings of Asuryan > Magical Ward > Shield of the Everqueen > Wreath of Sanctity (Level 25)
  • The hero and the attached regiment gains magic immunity for 10 seconds (+2 seconds per rank).
  • Enemies know when you have this active, and will look for another target, so it is really not good for a front-line unit since such a unit is supposed to be drawing fire to shield others.
Divine Sight (Level 0)
  • The hero's and the attached regiment's attack range increases by 2% per rank.
  • Elven archers already have a lot of range to their attacks. Even 10% more might not make a huge difference unless it helps you outdistance opponents who can't leave their position to close the distance (e.g., they are on castle battlements).
  • Does not affect spell range.
(no prerequisites) > Inspired Leader (Level 5)
  • The hero's and the attached regiment's maximum morale increases by 2% per rank.
(no prerequisites) > Swift Command (Level 15)
  • The hero's and the attached regiment's attack speed increases by 3% per rank.

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