With my level 92 Death and Life wizards stalled in Azteca as I drag my feet about preparing for the tricky final dungeon (have I mentioned how tired I am of tricky dungeons 🙂 ?), while longing for more wizards with Plant All, I decided to finally spend some time on my then-level 56 Storm (Destiny S.) and Fire (Tatiana F.) wizards; at least to get them to the point in Avalon where the gardening spells become available.
I’ve quested them through Celestia and Zafaria and have made it to the Wild in Avalon in the last month or so. I still really love my Death and Life girls but I have to say it’s startling to me how much faster I’m moving through these places with my Storm and Fire wizzes. And I’m feeling like the game has been weighted a bit in favor of these two schools (at least compared to Death and Life; don’t play the other schools much). Not only are their spells much more powerful — most of the time I’m overkilling without even trying to– but they get enough pips so much faster. In fact I’d worried a bit about this stage and the lower health after having my Life and Death girls hit for round after round while waiting for pips but they’re able to make the kill shot so much faster it hasn’t been a problem. At this stage I’m using 7-9 pip spells for all of them most of the time so it isn’t that their spells use less pips.
With my Death and Life wizards I always make sure some of their gear includes pip enhancements because it takes so freaking long to get enough pips to cast one of their not-as-powerful spells. With Storm and Fire I haven’t purposely done anything to enhance pips (i.e. I may have equipped something with a pip boost without aiming for it or noting it but I know they don’t have as much pip boost in their gear sets as the other two) I’m puzzled as to why KI felt the need to give Storm and Fire not only the big spells advantage but to seemingly give them a better rating for pips.
I’ve also teamed Life wizards on two accounts who’ve made it to Avalon, so I know Destiny and Tatiana are benefiting from the knowledge I’ve gained in getting four other wizards to levels 92 and 72. But the speed with which they’re mowing down the bad guys is just too far beyond what I’ve been able to do with my Life and Death characters for me to think has much to do with my greater expertise.
I know KI is trying to balance the talents and skills of the different schools so the great power of Storm, for instance, counterbalances Death’s steal health spells–which are lower power but give all that health back — and the hefty over time spells of Fire balance against, say, Life’s many heals. I kind of get Death having smaller damage in exchange for the health return but I don’t get why Death also has to be handicapped with being challenged as to pips.
The deficits for Life particularly puzzle me. Life’s spells are less powerful and Life doesn’t get as many damage spells because they get all these heals and the heals theoretically give them an advantage. The thing is, in my experience, since Life is the only one who can cast all heals on anybody, everyone expects Life to cast heal spells to help them. So Life’s heals don’t just help Life — in fact I’ve had my Life girl in battles with others many times when she’s not only healed everybody else but then wound up defeating all or most of the enemies–but everyone benefits. I think Life should get bigger damage and a better pip rating to get a little more power in exchange for being really the only school that’s routinely expected to help everybody else.
Besides puzzling over these mysteries,, I’m also trying to decide, as I race Destiny and Tatiana toward Morgan and Rylee, whether there would be a benefit to switching how I have them teamed once they’re all at the same place in Azteca. I kind of like pairing Spirit and/or Elemental wizards because of being able to assist one another with the Spirit/Elemental blades and traps. But I can see that adding Destiny’s Storm power to Rylee’s Life talents and/or Tatiana’s Fire to Morgan’s Death abilities or vice versa might work better.
I’ve paired Tatiana quite a bit with lower level Death and Life wizards on a couple of accounts when they’re facing major dungeons and I want to speed it up and that, of course, works great. But I’ve not paired same level Fire and Life or Storm and Death, etc. If anyone else plays two accounts and has experience, I’d be interested to hear.
I’ve mentioned many times that I have a great affinity for Life and Death and far less love for the others. I do have a couple of Storm girls I’m moving up– one of whom is ready to start Celestia and the other of whom is about to start Dragonspyre. I also have a Fire girl who just finished Dragonspyre and I’ve enjoyed her pretty well.
At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve tried Ice a couple of times–even took one to level 24 or so–and I just don’t like it. And then there’s my one Myth and my one Balance. They’re both in the 40’s now and I’m just not enjoying them.
In the early stages I got kind of a kick out of Myth’s minions but since–like most minions–they thwarted too much of what I tried to do, I mostly quit using them. I really don’t much like the early spells for Myth or Balance. The childish potty humor of the Myth spells pretty much turns me off and I don’t enjoy all the sandy images in the early Balance spells.
There’s a big aspect of Myth as far as the charm removals and so forth, that somehow eludes me and I’ve not found any good info on how to best strategize to use them. I’ve gotten her to level 44 without learning them and without using them which has me wondering how crucial it is. I’m also not enjoying her spells and was really disappointed at what a waste of time Earthquake turned out to be when she got to level 42.
While it’s formidable when it’s aimed at you and knocks off all your blades and shields, it’s kind of useless for me since it takes out everybody’s traps — few faster ways to tick off your team mates than to remove three or four rounds worth of traps they’ve carefully placed… And if I solo I’m not any more anxious to do it to myself.
I’m somewhat more intrigued with Balance now that she’s gotten a little higher level. But I also find it a struggle to figure out when to use the Balance spells, when to use the Elemental (and not entirely looking forward to figuring out when to use Spirit spells as well) and a bit frustrating that at level 42 her only AOE spell is so small. I feel like I’m constantly switching spells in the deck to suit the school(s) of the opponents and I’m not especially liking it though it’s intriguing that Balance gets such an array.
Looking ahead for both of them, I can see some spells coming that may be fun. But overall the strategy for both just doesn’t give me the same kick I get from Life and Death. Or the same pleasure from the power punch as Storm. I even like Fire’s power though I get tired of waiting around for the over time spells to do their thing while she keeps taking hits. On those four I also really like the animations (though I’d like them a lot better if they didn’t last as long 🙂 ). For the other three schools, not so much until much higher levels.
In spite of my penchant for starting and deleting wizards, I’m finding it a little hard to cavalierly get rid of two wizards I’ve taken this far. Usually I either just finish Wizard City and delete, or sometimes take them through Krokotopia or maybe the first section of Marleybone. Grace, my Myth girl, is all the way through Mooshu and has done a lot of Grizzleheim and all of Wysteria as well. Paige, my Balance girl, is ready to do the final section of Mooshu. That’s a lot of quests and spells and gear, etc. I’m more likely to delete Grace soon and give Paige a little more time…
So, I’m on the fence, but I’ve been moving around some of Grace’s stuff, removing housing items and pets that would prevent house transfers, etc. Thinking seriously about deleting her and starting yet another Death. Or–faintly possible–another Fire. At her level, with all her stuff, dreading a little bit having to do all the prep, transferring, selling, etc. but the new ability to transfer a house full of furnishings makes it a lot easier to contemplate (thank you KI).
I’m interested to know if there are many people out there who have deleted wizards level 40 and up???
As mentioned in the last post, lots of people think Life is weak; when they rank schools, Life often winds up last. I’ve also been joined occasionally by Life wizards who’ve bemoaned the weakness of Life. While Life’s spells don’t pack the punch of Storm or Fire, I disagree that Life is weak.
Life’s blade (40%) and trap (35%) are a little stronger than Storm’s or Fire’s and lots of Life gear adds a boost. Both my first account Life wizard (Jasmine, level 52) and my second account Life wizard (Rylee, level 59) soloed everything until somewhere in Dragonspyre. Jasmine has been in limbo (haven’t logged her in in a long time) in the last section of DS before Malastaire, but went solo on everything up to there.
With boosted gear and Life traps and blades (sometimes with Spirit blades and/or traps thrown) in, Rylee and Jasmine have had no trouble beating everybody. And, for someone like me, who likes to solo, all those handy healing spells make the solo road easier.
For Rylee, I brought Morgan (first account Death wizard, level 74) in for some of the bosses and for Malastaire, then through Wintertusk. Then Rylee finished the first part of Celestia on her own. Between Rebirth and Forest Lord combined with some great critical and damage boosting gear, Rylee packs a pretty big punch and then can heal everybody.
With Life if you choose gear that boosts damage and you are smart with blades and traps you can do very well. Rylee has a pet who gives a 40% Life blade that’s different than the regular Life blade so they both will boost one spell. Her equipment also increases Life damage by 60- 66% altogether; even without a lot of blades and traps she can deal a big hit.
Once she hit level 50, I started making sure her gear also had a big critical enhance. She goes critical more often than Morgan and for both damage and healing spells. She regularly hits all enemies with anywhere from 2500 to 4000 each, often with not many blades and traps. While not the biggest damage possible in the game, it’s more than enough to win most any mob battle through at least Zafaria and, if dealt a couple of times, enough to win a lot of boss battles too.
You have to have a little more patience with a Life wizard. Life spells require more pips, so sometimes it takes a few more rounds than Storm or Fire to lob your big spell. Don’t count Life out though; if you play it right, your Life wizard can have a lot of power.
Periodically I run into advice on the wiki that ranks schools from best to worst. Fire seems to be number one most often and Life winds up last.
Personally I dispute that there is a best and worst. I think the game’s creators have done a clever job of differentiating the schools so that different people’s tastes, talents and propensities can be matched with different schools. Wizard from every school can get to level 100; you just have to figure out which school(s) suit you best.
Since I don’t get involved with PvP, I have nothing to say about strategy for that. But in PvE, I have two accounts with five Death wizards (can you tell my fave?… see post here for why I like ’em), two Life wizards, two Storm, one Fire, one Myth, one Balance and I took an Ice wizard to level twenty-something before I deleted.
They range from level 14 or so through several in the 30’s, several in the 40’s, one early 50’s, one about to hit 60 and one level 74. I’ve also started and deleted quite a few wizards after running them through Wizard City and, for some, also Krokotopia.
I prefer Death, closely seconded by Life (upcoming post will argue that Life wizards are great), but I’ve learned enough about how to work the unique qualities of most of the others that I can appreciate all of them. If you like to play in teams a lot, you may not prefer Death — the high pip requirement for those Steal health spells means generally a Fire or Storm in the bunch will beat everybody before you get set up. But for solo play, that ability to get health back from dealing damage is a great plus.
If you want to just annihilate everybody as fast as possible, Fire probably is best, followed closely by Storm. But different personalities get more fun out of different forms of play. While I’ve come to like the Fire wizard I finally kept and to appreciate the power of Storm once you level up enough to take care of that pesky fizzle issue (mostly through better equipment), I find that there’s more strategizing to playing Death and Life and I like that.*
My Myth wizard is in the thirties, most of the way through Marleybone and I am a little mystified about playing to the best strengths of Myth. So far I win without using all those special charm and ward busters. Haven’t really figured out how to make the best use of those — especially since so far the damage spells are good enough to win without wasting a bunch of rounds on that stuff (though I can see how they’d be useful on a team). I’m not sure my personality is best suited to whatever the basic idea of all this is. At any rate I can’t explain the secret of Myth’s power because I haven’t figured it out and this is the most-likely-to-be-deleted wizard I have now.
I really didn’t like Balance for a long time. Tried and deleted a Balance wizard then gave two wizards Balance as a secondary and wound up buying all the training points back. For some reason that first Balance wizard fizzled worse than a Storm and it drove me nuts. The current one has the kind of accuracy Balance is supposed to have. And, as she reaches the point where she’s getting spells that use other schools as well as Balance, I’m really seeing the advantage of this School.
The thing about each school is you have to figure out the strategy that best uses that school’s spells. I think your ability to figure out a school’s greatest strength and how best to use it is going to have a lot to do with what school you like best. A psychologist could probably have a field day doing studies on wizard school preferences and how they correlate with personality types.
My advice: don’t worry about what anyone else says about what school is best. Try one and if you don’t like it, delete and try another. Morgan, my level 74 Death wizard is actually the third wizard I started and kept on that account. Death just grabbed me so much I jumped her past the other two and spent more time moving her forward (Storm is level 47 and Life is level 52). You may also have fun, as I have, trying different schools and learning how they work. Just pick what suits you.
*I also up the think-on-your-feet strategy quotient by using a big deck, against the advice of many, but again, a topic for another post.
In a way it’s too bad that you have to commit to a school before you’ve ever played (assuming you’re new and on your first wizard). If you do a search on wizard101 schools you can find all kinds of information. Many people with many points of view about the schools have posted their opinions about them.
The thing is, until you’ve played through at least 10-15 levels with a wizard it’s hard to tell how you’ll like a given school. I even have a couple of wizards (Myth and Balance) who are up in the 30’s and I’m realizing I just don’t care much for those schools. Debating whether to throw away all that effort by deleting them and starting new wizards.
I wish the first new wizard you create could go through some exercises or levels with each school and then you could choose the best fit. Since you can’t, my suggestion is that you try out a school for a while. Don’t spend any crowns on it or bother decorating your dorm room or buying a house.
If you get to level 10 or 12 and you aren’t liking the school, delete and start a new one. [if you have bought gear, a pet, a mount, or have gotten a lot of drops, put things that will be usable for any wizard in the shared bank, sell the rest and buy something expensive to stick in shared bank (funds the new wizard’s first equipment) before deleting so, when you get a school you want to keep, that wizard can do some decorating, equip a pet and a mount right away, sell something to buy school gear, etc.
The basic concerns people often discuss about each school are health, accuracy and damage. The starting health range is 400-500, with storm low and ice high. I don’t find it that important because you can do a lot with gear to add health. Damage is worth considering and the type of damage you prefer will depend a lot on your personality and style. Accuracy has to do with how often spells fizzle. Storm and Fire have the worst accuracy rates. Life has the best.
In the end, though, I think the choices are very personal and generally reflect a lot about you and what you like. Some people like the relatively quick action of Storm and its high damage, some like the shielding capabilities of Ice, some like the complex strategies required for Death, Balance and Life. Do you like to zoom toward a goal at high risk or do you prefer to be well defended and then move against your opponent or do you like to think carefully about the best plan and/or to re-think the strategy if something goes awry?
Since the game doesn’t give you an opportunity to try various schools before your wizard gets one, I highly recommend you plan on trying out and deleting some wizards before you commit.