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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Armies in 8th: Magic Part 7: Lore of Life




The lore…of LIFE! Oh joy. This is the ultimate buffing lore (it you know…provides life). Whilst this Lore provides a lot of defensive qualities, it has two direct damage spells and one of the defensive spells is a combat shield which damages opponent’s in btb. The ability to do some significant damage with life + the very good defensive spells make this one of the premier Lores in 8th edition. Overall, Life spells are easy to cast but are hugely better with Throne of Vines in play which augments 5 of the other remaining spells. The Lore attribute also allows the caster to heal a multi-wound model within 12” every time a Life spell is cast which ensures your casters and characters stay alive just a little bit longer.

Signature Spell - Earth Blood: Can only be targeted on the unit the caster is within but a cheap 5+ regen on multiple units is a very handy tool. Is it worth multiple low level spell-casters? Not as much as other Lores such as Fire but a couple level 1s or 2s can make your beater units a lot tougher with this spell cast.

1 - Awakening of the Wood: So-so range but very easy to cast and becomes very good if a unit is within a forest but this cannot always be counted on to be on the board (Wood Elves can at least guarantee that). Overall though not something to write home about by itself, especially since it cannot be taken by multiple casters.

2 - Flesh to Stone: Unlike Earth Blood this can be cast on any unit with 24”, very nice and adds +2 to toughness on another easy to cast spell. All squishy T3 units beg for this to become that much tougher in combat and against shooting whilst with the new wounding system (can always wound on 6+), its effects on high toughness targets are reduced.

3 - Throne of Vines: This is the kicker. If you cannot get this spell off reliably, why even take Lore of Life? This makes it a huge target for your opponent but it makes every spell in the Lore (caster after Throne) outside of Dweller’s below massively better whilst also protecting your caster from miscasts on a 2+. Ya, read that line again. Earth Blood becomes regen 4+, Awakening becomes useful at S6 (really, D6 D6 hits on a 6+ to cast), Flesh becomes +4 toughness, Regrowth becomes D6+1 wounds recovered and Shield hits at S4. 6 buffs (including the miscast protection) from one spell. Make. Sure. This. Spell. Goes. Off. (unless your opponent has it, then dispel it). What’s great about this spell is it remains in play and if you can stunt your opponent’s magic phase (I.e. Vortex shard, multiple RiP, etc.), you don’t have to worry about casting this the next turn and can throw dice at spells thanks to 2+ miscast protection. And the internet complains about Purple Sun!

4 - Shield of Thorns: Remember that unit with +2/+4 Toughness? It’s going to stay in combat for a fair time unless it chews through units. This remains in play spell can help it deal damage with 2D6 strength 3/ 4 hits at the end of each magic phase. Get Throne off and then cast this bugger and your opponent already has 2 RiP spells to deal with. This is the main benefit of Thorns but it’s also a decent damage dealer in its own right.

5 - Regrowth: Remember the Lore attribute? This is the spell version and allows you to actually resurrect models. Cool. Whilst it cannot heal or bring back to life characters, it can keep bring back champions, musicians and rank and file troops. Very good for keeping a unit moving forward and when combined with other spells like Flesh, Earth Blood and Thorns, that’s one nasty unit to contend with. Obviously this spell is better with Throne but overall is pretty unreliable in bringing back a large amount of models since it relies on a single dice roll.

6 - The Dwellers Below: The crap part about this spell is its range. There endth the crap. Although Dwellers has a high casting cost, low strength armies of any description and especially ones with large units hate this spell. Whilst the range can be doubled with the level 2 casting, this can be a drawback but if Throne is up, a spell-caster can throw power dice at the level 2 casting to ensure it goes off with little fear of a miscast.

So very good buffing and some pretty decent combat abilities but everything really ticks under Throne of Vines. If a spell-caster is able to keep Throne of Vines up for much of the game, the controlling player should be in pretty good shape in terms of game control. Whilst there are a lot of combos with this Lore such as stacking augment spells on a single unit, this Lore can make a whole army a lot more resilient and deadly with appropriate maximisation of spell castings.

Verdict: great. This is one of the better Lores IMO and whilst the low casting cost is a double-edged sword (easy to cast, easy to dispel) and the Lore’s focus on Throne of Vines, the buffing and damaging capabilities of this Lore cannot be ignored. Soft squishy units like Swordmasters running around at T5/7/4+ regen who keep coming back is a scary thought to behold and no one wants to have their pretty expensive units hit by Dwellers.

9 pinkments:

sonsoftaurus said...

Hmm. The Green Knight/multiple damsel Bret army might have to move up on the project list...

Jon said...

Seconding your swordmasters comment.

I have to say also that this is one of the strongest lores available to casters that can know an entire Lore (I'm looking at you, Teclis) as well as casters with silly special rules that allow you to abuse Throne (Slann, the generation-er the more abusive). However, this is my favorite lore, so I might be a bit biased.

PS: check your throne entry again.

Alex said...

Seems like the general consensus of lizardmen players is that if you're not running this lore on your slann, you're out to lunch (although some will tell you lore of light is a close second choice). Good idea to give him loremaster too - it'd be a bummer to not roll up throne of vines, then miscast and nuke your temple guard.

Chumbalaya said...

Life Slann with Loremaster and the Cupped Hands is ridiculously good.

<3 Lore of life

Marshal Wilhelm said...

I feel warm and fuzzy that the tree huggers have power.
I like that.
Usually the cool killy guys are where it's at.

Yay! Flower power!

Nikephoros said...

Yup, definitely the best all around lore. I cringed the other day when I saw a High Elf player give Teclis Lore of Fire because he honestly thought it was better than Life. I refrained from laughing in his face.

Marshal Wilhelm said...

What is the best army for LoL, I mean, who gets the most out of the buffs?

Kirby said...

Two cases of thought. Specialist armies where every loss hurts or horde armies where you can gain the most benefit from the buffs.

I'd say specialist armies and in particular Lizardmen because of Slanns and High Elves because tough high elves are disgusting.

Jason said...

Also if your spell caster isn't bad at fighting. For example (in the reverse), this lore doesn't turn out that great for my empire, apart from the vines followed by dwellers. The regen just means when I get into combat, my wizard has to be with them.

On top of that, my really cheap models don't benefit all that much for regrowth (maybe my knights - but I think I don't get as many back with Cav).

So the only really good spell for me is Flesh to Stone, and other lores give me better buffs + all rounders.

It is a great lore though, and Dwellers is just silly power lol. I think an army with combat wizards would do great (are there such characters? Not as familiar with say high elves/woodelves).

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