Lately I have seen people turn away from high magic, and it confuses me as High Magic to me is the strongest lore in the game, without equal. While the elves attributes are pretty effective, people HIGHLY (pun not intended) neglect what ours can do. It seems to me that people aren't reading between the lines in what the lore actually does. It is able to affect any mechanic in the game if you "read" it right. As a former Magic the gathering player, I learned that some bad stuff is only bad because of your perspective, and will reveal an entire new value when you put it into appropriate context. This is my attempt to "re-write" The High Magic lore into new language that makes it more clear what you can do with it, as I fall more and more in love with it the more I play it. Disclaimer: I realise that some of these "re-writes" will in fact open up to unforeseen abuse. It is up to the reader to understand my specific intention with the new context, and to not read falsely into it. First of: You WILL buy Loremaster for High Magic to work. Second of: The attribute Can be re-written to "If the wizard succesfully casts a spell he may forget that spell. He now has 16.66% chance of being able to PICK ANY SPELL from one of the eight lores. if the attempt fails, he may keep whatever spell he rolled on that particular lore....or take something else is most certainly also useful." I cant count how many times I rolled the spell I was aiming for "COME ON purple sun! .....WAUW NEAT!" The trick is to know which spells in the different lores that can solve one or more problems you have with your opponents list. To my understanding, most people just roll with a "sooooome.....BEAST would be nice! lets see what I get" attitude towards it. Dont: know what you need, and roll for it. If you don't get it the first time, remember that your chances to pick it increases with the amount of spells you swap, as if you roll the same spell twice you can free pick. This leads me to a very important point: DO!NOT!BE!A!SPOILED!LITTLE!BRAT! "pfff, I dont just want High Magic and Death!! I want MORE lores!" Listen here: you started out with a perfectly awesome lore and now you have the privilege of SUPPLEMENTING that lore with another lore of your choice. Dont dedicate your rolls to the loreS you want, dedicate it to the lore you NEED, and when you get what you NEED...THEN we can start seeing if it benefits you to swap more. This also creates the trick that your opponent will be more an more anxious on you getting High Magic through. You know that Lizard feeling at the start of the game where your opponent tells you he have both Purple sun and Pit of shades? How would you feel if that changed to "Im about to get Purple Sun, unless you stop me". That is the position you must have your opponent in. Another trick I've learned is to think of multiple spells while you swap. Example: "I have one spell to swap, and I need something that can deal with armoursave and I need something that can deal with cannons" First thought: maybe metal for armour save, and heavens for cannons...but that is two lores, so you have to choice one and then you might not get what you need. Second thought: how about shadow for both? If you have limited rolls you might as well think of how you get at least SOMETHING you can use. If you roll on shadow you can either get: Pit of shades - kills cannons outright , and in many cases also the high armoured target Okkhams mind razor - now your troops dont have problems with armour anymore. Pendulum - has a fair chance of killing cannon or armored beast. if any actually solution dont present itself, then you at least rolled a Remains in play that can give your armored lance bad toughness or bad strenght and if that never happens, you never worse of than defaulting for a Miasma, which can be used in almost all games to my experience. If you think like this you have a WAY higher probability to score a solution, and if you get good at it the faster you can get your hands of a spell that makes your enemy sweat. For a final point towards the attribute: If you suffer from the "I dont wanna swap this spell, what if I am going to need it later?" sickness Then ask yourself what weighs most: a "I might needs this" or a "I am actually needing this. If you swap correctly you will never lack the effect you need (with few exceptions, but we will get to that), and since you are THINKING of swapping for a certain spell, it means that you need it! Speaking of spells... Signatures Drain Magic - The only effect in the game that can remove hexes or buffs.....seriously! this spell is so overlooked that it worries me! Can be re-written to: A. "Half the duration of target buff or hex with 50%". --> Your enemy charged your stubborn block with a unit that has 3 light buffs on it? Well, for 2 of your dice those buffs are now gone, and all the dice he invested in those spells now only profited half. B. "Remove Fiery Convocation for 2 dice instead of many" ---> In my meta there's a lot of high magic. If you have just once thrown all your power-dice to get rid of a convocation on your TG block, then you know just how ridiculously good this one is. C. "Force your opponent to decide if the spells he cast last turn are worth more dice in this one". ---> This often works best with hexes, as buffs more often than not plays their worth the turn they are cast. If he spend 3 dice to throw doom and darkness on your general, soulblight on your combat block or the like of it.. will he be willing to throw MORE dice into maintaining the effect? Attribute use: Enemy don't have anything you can use it on? 1 dice it and swap it and try to get a spell that may be a problem to him. Which can be re-written as "The Wizard forgets this spell, and may normally generate another spell from the lore of his choice". For 7+ ? that is actually a good effect, especially as your opponent most likely will hate to throw dice at a spell that "doesn't do anything". You can play mindgames with them here "hmmm...look at that steam tank. would be too bad if someone got Gehennas golden hounds or Searing doom on it huh?...." Soul Quench -A cheap, fairly strong and fairly ranged magic missile that can be boosted for QUITE some damage. While this spell cant really be re-written to anything else than "kill target Great eagle much" the attribute makes it a pretty solid spell to swap! (I actually came up with the following as I was writting this.) Attribute use: Out of the eight lores three of them have magic missiles as signatures, and one of them has something close enough (Spirit leech). This basically means that you cast Soul Quench and decide to swap it for A fire, light, metal or death spell you can always choose the signature magic missile. And that can be re-written to "By changing your magic missile into another magic missile you get a free attempt to roll an awesome spell" Also remember: Soul Quench is a signature spell, which means you can automatically get it back the next time you cast a high magic spell. 1. Apotheosis This spell could be re-written "Target a wounded Character gets +1 W on its profile" (This is where you, the reader, is clever enough to see what I mean, and not what this could also mean game mechanic wise.) If something finally starts to get wounds through on your Vets and bloods, this one can in theory cancel EVERY combat round or Shooting phase your opponent had against you character: "so...took you 4 rounds to put two wounds on my oldblood? ...well...those 4 rounds just got nullified...but only on your side...the wounds I made still count in dead". Healing is VERY valuable in warhammer. There is 1 wound between a Scar vet and an Oldblood, and that 1 wound could come from this spell. It is SO cheap that you can 1 dice it, and if you have Tetto on the table you should. Attribute use: It is also one of the better spells to swap, as you can maintain its effect no matter what you roll on life. Sure, you cant boost it anymore, and that is the exact reason you should hesitate in swapping it. For W2 characters it wont matter, but if you run monsters or old-bloods that "heals 2 wounds" can really be a game changer. Consider this 2. Hand of Glory Again, I dont think lizard players know what this spell "actually" does. What it does can be re-written to "Target unit does what it does, just better". But what it also does is that it can be used in combat for big chances in the combat ress We throw Iceshard blizzard for -1 to hit on enemies all the time...this spell effectively does the same AND have a chance of giving us +1 to hit at the same time? Lizzies forget that higher weapon skill affects both offense and defense. As we are almost always on the lower end it is hard for us to imagine hitting on 3's with saurus. "NOOOO Mr Phat! Cause I play the LIGHT LIGHT!" Good for you, then I am happy to inform you that in MANY cases Hand of Glory will work almost as well as speed of light. If your enemy is WS4 it means that hand of glory will AT least make you hit equally. Speed of light would make him hit on 5's, and that's why its better. For WS5 there is a chance that the spell wont matter at all, but has 2/3 chance of working to your advantage. If you hit a +3 then it is as good as Speed of light. The difference being it is NOT certain that you roll a +3, but it CAN be certain that you HAVE Hand of Glory with loremaster, meaning you can build around it. In most cases the initiative boost isn't enough to do a difference, so take this for the +/- to Hits in combat. or...for one of its many many many other options that Speed of light cant even get close to cover: It can boost your skinks skirmishers movement and shooting (have you ever seen a unit of skirmishers with +3 to movement get behind enemy lines? I have!) It can make your Razordons shooting wreck face. It can boost your cold one bus or Saurus hordes movement (and make their extra PF's more likely to hit) It can boost a stegadons BS so that it can actually HIT with its bow for once (Combine this with apotheosis and the basic stegadon suddenly becomes a fair choice) Attribute use: This is one of those I close to never swap. It is simply too good and the only time I would consider it was if it was the only spell I got through and a lucky roll on the swap could win me the game the following round. 3. Walk Between worldsThis spell can Win and save games on its own. In a game where movement is all, this one is a gift from the gods. I usually see people use it aggressively: "I move my TG block 20'' inches your way" or "My skinks are now knocking at your Cannons front door."..or my favourite "yea....yea these 3 salamanders are now at the flank of your T3 horde.....im not even sorry". Nothing wrong with that, but it also has TOWERING potential as a defensive spell. It can be Re-written in a couple of ways: A. "Target unit wont get charged, as it is no longer in the charging units front arc." B. "Target chaff unit that didn't get in the way in time to save your TG bunker from a Flank attack, actually got in the way in time to save your TG bunker from a Flank attack" And, if you think forward and have no unacceptable risks on running your Cowboys as a unit BY THEMSELVES: C."Target unit consisting of 3 fully kited oldbloods gets to move a total of 34'' first turn, meaning whatever your opponent had to shoot them down with, only has 1 turn to do so." Attribute use: I have saved my slann with this so many times that Í literally never swap it. This is one of those spells you can never wait a turn to get of, keep this one, and learn to place your units so that Walk Between Worlds can possibly place them for following victory or safety. 4. TempestThis one is, to me at least, the least impressive spell in the bunch....that said: its still good enough! I would categorize it as Iceshard blizzards brother (not bigger, not smaller), as its purpose clearly isn't the damage output, but to reduce the amount of firepower whatever it hits has. It should really be re-written as "This is a different kind of blizzard." What it does better than iceshard blizzard is that it can affect multiple units, and potentially an entire Cannon line if they are placed close together. What it does worse than iceshard blizzard is that it has to put in a wound to do so. It also cant be cast into combat as it is a direct damage, and it cant reduce leadership. While its range is shorter it CAN be cast through an Arcane vassal, which does have its used such a spell. Attribute use: This is my go to swap spell. I almost always throw it turn 1, and unless I am facing elves or something equally squishy and shooty they let it through, fearing the other spells that I can get in range with Arcane vassal. I dont have much else to say about it. It is good because of our attribute, and not that much else. 5. Arcane Unforging A. "Potentially removes all survivability from an enemy character. If he was a combat character, he might now be useless." B. "That 50pts item your opponent spend on a magic item instead of troops is now gone, which means you have effectively killed of 50pts troops + whatever task he can no longer fullfil." C. "If cast when your opponent has no or almost no dice left: Target dispel scroll is now gone" ("BUT MR. PHAT!!! What if he just uses the scroll to dispeOOOOH!!! :O") D. "Target Canned character gets snipped for a wound....and some other stuff". E. "Destroy target magic Banner...... of the World dragon" F. "Target unit who relied on an obsidian lodestone for safety, is no longer safe". Are you following? This spell is close to cheating...if I have to refer to Magic the Gathering again I would put this in light as "discarding". What you are doing is not shattering an item, you are shattering the plan your enemy had for that character or item. You are taking points he could have spend otherwise, and removes them from his overall list. Example: Here is Tony, Tony is YOUR Scar-vet. You and Tony have a really good relationship, as Tony, his Great Weapon, his Cold one and his Armour of Destiny have done many great things for you through time. This time however, Tony gets hit by arcane unforging. His Armour of destiny shatters, is reduced to 1 wound and now has to live through your enemies shooting phase with a 3+ armour save as his only friend! Lets hope he survives! but for how long will he? If only YOU had chosen a lore that could both heal him and get him out harms way with a 20'' move! Anyway, Tonys and your relationship is put to the test as he can no longer be there for you without dying and giving up his points to your opponent. You know this, and it stresses you as you were really counting on Tony to do some heavy lifting! ....I think you got it. This is one of these spell you opponent SHOULD hold back dice to stop. He might not, but that's really his and his version of Tony's problem. Attribute use: This one is really up to you while playing, as you have a pretty good chance to know when it has served its use (especially in an ETC environment as we play with open lists). Its pretty important before the game begins to know what items/characters you want to weaken, and then get rid of it as soon as that is accomplished. 6. - Fiery Convocation A. "Target T3 horde dies." B. "Your enemy has to decide whatever his deathstar or his next magic phase is most important". This one most people has already understood pretty well. Its big, it burns stuff and it keeps burning stuff until your enemy decides to throw an ungodly amount of power-dice its way in a risky attempt to stop it. (Too bad he doesn't have drain magic huh?) What is important with Fiery Convocation though, is how it works with the Attribute: The first time you cast it is the only time you cast. If your opponent has two infantry blocks it is most likely not a good Idea to stop one Convocation to swap targets. So what you are going to is pick the right target, cast the spell, and swap it. Most people thinks that forgetting a spell ends its remain in play effect, It doesn't, which mean you can swap for another spell and still have convocations effect on the table. And...since you only will need one casting of it, why not surprise your opponent with a power-scroll? PLEASE BE AWARE: The Power Scroll in your rule book has been FAQ'ed. What it does now is that it halves the casting cost of a spell the turn it is cast. Meaning you will be able to cast a Fiery Convocation reliably with 3 dice, then swap it. AND as it is direct damage, you can get in range with a skink priest turn 1. The scroll can also come in handy if you roll another big 6 spell that works better on your intended target, how does a 9+ to cast Dwellers or 8+ Final transmutation sound? ______________________________________________ TL;DR High Magic is awesome because of its whole rather than its separate parts. Many other lores seem to have more impact because the are focused to begin with, but as soon as you begin to see your opportunities with High you will see how it can have equally if not bigger impact. It is a very hard to lore to master, and I must admit that I forget a lot of the above while in the game as it is easy to lose track of all your options. When it works it works really well, and it leaves you with the feeling of having done a good job that 5dicing a Purple Sun from your flying daemon prince never could. High Magic is a lore of finesse, and it is very hard if you aren't experienced with magic phase meta in general. For those who are neglecting it: try to see options instead of limits To my experience you can work towards something gamechanging in all situations.