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Smash and Grab

Smash and Grab

Mar 15, 2013

My storm wizard is probably my most-used character in the game.  Just starting Azteca, she’s a beast, even if a little light on the health.  I have soloed most of the game with her, and assisted my family’s wizards when they need a reliable hammer…

BUT…

She wasn’t always so great. Young Storm wizards, I know your pain!  Trust me, Storm Wizards! It DOES get better!

In the beginning levels (1-25), Storm suffers from pitiful accuracy and low health. They are easily sent to the commons with their wands – and pride – in tatters.

Gear Guidelines

My advice is to seek gear that makes up for these weaknesses FIRST and every 5 levels from 10-25. You want either general or Storm accuracy, and health.  As your wizard levels, gear can be found that provides general resist. This is also good. If you have the crowns, the crown shop gear is very nice up to level 45 or so. After that, comparable or even better gear can be found in the bazaar and from boss drops. Carry a myth wand for general use, keep a storm wand in your backpack for Myth enemies and their pesky shields. Use  rings and athames that add both health and mana. A good storm wiz always checks both gear and deck before joining a fight, since not being prepared can mean the difference between victory and a very sound defeat.

Keep up with your school training spells, and hit enemies as soon as you have the pips to do so. Tempest is probably the most important spell you will learn, so learn to calculate how much damage you do per pip. It’s always best to kill in one hit than have to wait for the pips to finish the job. Even at level 80+, my main and treasure decks for mobs always contain a Tempest.

The addition of the Bazaar has been a game-changer for young wizards. Invest in treasure cards that can enhance your spells and accuracy. Always keep a heal in your deck, as well as in your treasure deck, and a spare hit or two in treasure as well. If you find treasure balance and storm blades, buy them. Stacking blades reduces the number of pips you need to cast a killing tempest, and allows you to use less powerful spells to take out an enemy. Waiting for pips can be a dicey thing, since enemies hit hard and often. Note: while the use of treasure cards is not necessary, it can be the difference between winning and losing a fight.

I always used Golem Tower to create my own treasure cards, but some people use Unicorn Way. Whatever works for you, since you can use a few rounds to enchant your regular spells with treasure cards and then just kill the puppet or lost soul.  The enchanted cards you discard go into your treasure card stock. This method is usually cheaper than buying at the bazaar.

If you come across a Mander Minion treasure card, they come in VERY handy…Manders cast elemental shields and can help you survive fights with Fire, Ice or Storm enemies.

At level 20, begin Grizzleheim. There are additional spells and pets available in Wintertusk, but you have to finish Grizzle first. Best to do it as you move through the main questline.

Do all the Zeke and book/tome quests, as those training points are valuable at the lower levels. Don’t spend them all, however, since the Sun and Star (leave those Moon spells alone! Put that Moon spell down. Walk away slowly. Whew!) schools are introduced in Celestia and they can enhance your play greatly!

Training Point Economy

There is some disagreement about which secondary school to train for Storm. Some say Ice up to the tower shield, some say just train the individual shields in the Fairgrounds or buy treasure shields. I went with Death up to feint, since there were no treasure feints when I started my Storm wiz. Death also comes in handy in the early levels, because you’re only getting white pips anyway. You can throw a ghoul or vampire in your deck for an emergency hit that also steals health for you.  Also train the Balance school’s Elemental Blades. You can train the Elemental Traps, as well, but they really aren’t as useful and cost you a pip. Grab treasure Storm traps, Death Curses or Balance Hexes when you can.

If you are fortunate enough to have crowns, I would recommend using a death mastery amulet in the middle levels, since you should be training death to feint, so that you can use those death steal health spells with your power pips.

Pets

Generally, Storm’s school pets are just average. My Kraken got some useful talents, but that was late in the game. Understand, pets didn’t do anything but hang around when I was travelling the Spiral!  I highly recommend a pet that has Spritely. Shouldn’t have to tell you why. Other desirable talents are those that give you accuracy, damage or resist. At higher levels, pets that have blades are very nice! My Merc “mascot” pet is a Damp Demon, and he has a 30% Dragonblade, a hex and a feint that automatically show up in my deck. He also has “may cast” Unicorn. And he likes to cast it!  I know some of my Mercenary teammates have Damp Demons and other pet types (the purple hounds, storm cats, piggles) on their storms with MANY more Storm-friendly talents, such as added damage, accuracy and resist. I hate pet training, so I’m sticking with my Demon! When KingsIsle decides to bring out instant pet leveling as a crown option, I’ll get into developing the perfect pet.

(Scarlet sticks her stormy nose in here: I LOVE my monster storm pet. LOVE, LOVE my monster storm pet. I find that a quad pain, balance blade dragon blade pet works wonders on most everything 😉 ).

Battle Tactics

Storm damage spells pack more damage per pip than other schools, at the expense of accuracy and health. That isn’t news to anyone. When a Storm wizard joins a fight, there are mixed feelings – will they fizzle or have to be healed? Will they hit and make the battle easy for everyone? How you contribute to group play defines your position in Wizard society. Be prepared for the expectation that you will be the hammer. Earn respect by learning to play the school. Storm Wizards are either very good or very bad – decide which you will be early in the game. Solo as much as you can to learn your strengths and weaknesses. KNOW you will be defeated many times. KNOW you will fizzle many times. Actively seek better gear, and be humble. No one likes a diva.

If you have run a dungeon with a Mercenary, you may have heard us talk about carrying a small deck. No, that doesn’t necessarily mean we all have Starter Decks with few card slots. It means we carry only what cards we need (the bare minimum) so that we don’t spend time discarding to get to what we need. My 80+ wizards (all of them) have 6 cards for mobs: 2 Colossals, 2 school blades, and 2 attack-all spells. I may add converts if necessary,  but that’s a basic setup. My gear and pet provide additional blades, and treasure cards change according to the enemy school. Always have a spare hit-all, treasure blades or traps and a heal. (Scarlet’s nose lol: Yup, we have a how to deck up guide here and here).

Storm’s purpose is to hit hard. To avoid getting a broken health globe, this should be done as soon as possible. Until you learn Tempest, single hits are necessary. Once you have trained a blade, you need to do that first round. Otherwise, pay close attention to how much damage your low-pip spells do, and adjust your deck accordingly. If it takes Storm Bats or Shark to kill an enemy, you need to do something the first rounds that costs no pips – such as shield or blade. Shields are NOT a sign of weakness! They are your friend!

Boss fights are another matter, since you will need to plan to hit one of your enemies for more damage. My advice is to take out the minion first with the lowest pip spell you can, heal and shield if necessary, and then set up to hit the boss. Of course, knowing a competent Life or Balance wizard also comes in handy!

Seeing Through the Prism

Everyone knows that you use your school prism when battling enemies of the same school because they resist your damage. For Storm wizards getting ready to face a storm mob, a deck change is in order. Add one more prism than the number of enemies you will draw. It is also smart to keep a treasure prism (if you can buy some). Your Myth wand will take care of shields they may cast, and it won’t eat any blades you have. PLEASE pay close attention to the enemies, though, and avoid wasting a turn to wand them if it isn’t necessary: If your prism goes on them BEFORE they shield, you DO NOT have to remove the shield.  If they shield before your prism goes on, then you have to wand it.

At the upper levels, Balance mobs will cast the elemental shield, which will lessen your damage by 50%. You have 2 choices – use a feint to go “over” the shield, or use a convert so that the spell becomes Myth. Myth boosts on Balance, and doesn’t add a feint trap to you. This technique works if they haven’t already spirit-shielded, of course. You can always wand off the myth shield, though. I recommend placing the convert as soon as you can after they cast an elemental shield, then hitting them quickly. If they shield again, you’re back to square one.  Storm is unique in that its prism converts damage to a Spirit school – this trick won’t work for any other school against the balance tri-shields.

Mid-Levels (30-60)

If you have been keeping up with your gear stats, you should be experiencing less fizzle by now. You are finding that your storm wizard is quite fun to play as you gain new and more powerful spells. Start watching the gear drops you get and compare it closely to what you have – many times the no-auction drops are much better than what you can buy. If you are a crafter, check out gear recipes to see if crafting some pieces will help. I also garden Honey Sickles, which drop treasure blades of all kinds. For the most part, you can put on 2 stacking blades and then tempest your enemies away.

Astral Schools

As you work your way through Celestia, you will be able to train  spells from the Astral schools of Sun, Moon and Star. More of these spells become available as you level up in Zafaria.  THE MOST IMPORTANT spells to spend training points on are those in the Sun school – those that add damage to your trained spells. Moon school spells, the polymorphs, are neat to see, but really are just something to spend extra points on for fun(plus come in TC form). Train Sun first, and any Star spells (Auras) that increase your critical rate or raise your defenses. I would steer clear of berserk aura on storm, as it will likely do more harm then good. (Scarlet again: I like berzerk, but I like living dangerously and play with my life character who keeps me alive. It is very useful in places like the Tower of the Helephant.)

WaterWorks Gear (level 60)

Once you get the quest for WaterWorks, expect to spend some time there.  The gear dropped there is the best in the game, and will serve you well until at least level 90. Farm, farm, farm! At this level I would also recommend purchasing the Sidhe Staff or farming Mirror Lake for it…with its 13% accuracy boost is hard to beat, since with your other gear you will never fizzle again. That’s good news for Storm! Also, you’ll want to be watching the athame and ring drops in Zafaria, Avalon, and Azteca…the no auction pieces go nicely with your other stats (that is, the Rainy Season Spike, Deep Water Rising Ring, and the Storm Owl’s Terror Ring) .

 Getting to Level 90

 Getting Storm to level 90 is a challenge in Azteca. For the first time, you might have to sacrifice some of your mightiness for critical block. Critical block wands for crowns are one option or you can farm away for a critical block wand from Cipactli (Brutal Ice Arrow Wand) or from the Indigo Giants in Avalon (Wyrd-Oak Staff). We also like the Storm-Ice crafted boots in Avalon or Azteca for that extra critical block goodness. Help from your buddies is always welcome to progress through it. For getting the Storm Owl spell, check out our guide here. If you keep banging you head against the wall to get this spell, try taking some buddies to the Whirlpool Cave in the Cloudburst Forest.) Hopefully, you saved enough training points for Sharpen blade, Potent Trap, and the Storm aura.  They rock!