I wanted to test out the new Life Mage early-game duo: Emlai++ and Valkyrie Scout
Last night, I started five games as a life mage and played through the first five Realms in each of the five games.
Conclusion: Realm 2 was Tough! and Valkyrie Scout isn’t particularly useful early game
Typically, I entered Realm 2 with Emlai, Valkyrie Scout and a newly summoned Level 1 creature. (E.g., Unicorn Vivifier)
In two of the five games, I died before I could get the newly summoned creature up to level 2. Fights such as the following were really hard for Life Mage and seemed to require getting lucky with Emlai buffs:
– Bard, Bard, Aspect
– Bard, Aspect, Unicorn
– Bard, Aspect, Aspect
In general, I have found Bards to be the most dangerous creatures in the early game (they themselves hit hard and they make other creatures like Aspects hit harder than they otherwise would). However, most of the other starting pairs have the damage output to kill a Bard quickly.
Additionally, the Aspects are particularly problematic for Valkyrie Scout. Aspects are Nature and therefore deal extra damage against Life. Both of my early Realm 2 Deaths involved an Aspect (with the Bard damage bonus from speed) hitting my level 1 creature – the Valkyrie then counter-attacks the Aspect, the Aspect dodges and proceeds to kill the Valkyrie. (This doesn’t guarantee a loss in the fight, but unless the Emlai gets lucky with buffs things go badly)
I also lost one fight in Zonte’s Realm because my Emlai went Berserk at an unfortunate time and died quickly. (Early game Berserk is a double-edged sword)
Overall, I felt the Valkyrie Scout didn’t add much to the team. The Scout attacks a lot, but it doesn’t deal any damage early game because its attack stat isn’t particularly high. (By way of comparison, the Death Shadow Carnage has an Attack of 22, and Valkyrie Scout has an attack of 16 … this makes a big different early in the game.) Additionally, early game you don’t have access to strong attack artifacts (no Enchanter) or traits that reward you for attacking frequently.
Bottom Line: I think that I am a reasonably skilled player, and in only 2 of my five attempts was I able to reach Realm 5 without dying. This is a small sample size, but it indicates there might be a problem with the early-game life duo.
I really like the changes to the Life Perks, but they don’t play a role in the very early game! … Indeed, many of the best ones require access to healing and Life mages don’t have access to healing early on.
Final Suggestion: Can you give Lister a gem that provides some sort of healing as his Rank 2 (Honored) Favor Reward? This doesn’t help with the very early game, but it does guarantee Life Mages access to a healing effect without having to go too far into the game.