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Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Colours of Magic: The Wind of Light

Second article in a series, eh? Well, the Lore of Light is certainly worth it.
Like all of the Lores in this edition, this Lore has been massively buffed... wow, I said pretty much the same thing in the previous article, didn't I? Well, unlike Death, the Lore of Light was buffed in an entirely different way. It's focus has been sort of shifted. Now that isn't to say that its gone away from it's 'Anti Undead' image - that'd be totally incorrect - but the focus has MAJORly shifted.

Now the lore is pretty much a combat one. Why? Because of two spells:
- The Speed of Light is cast on an 8+ - fair enough - but it's got a 24" range and makes a single unit both WS and Initiative 10 until the next magic phase. It can be cast into combat. That's not it - the epic (16+) version makes every single friendly unit within 12" have the same boost for pretty much, what, 4 more power dice? Ouch!
- Birona's Timewarp is the real deal here, though, with a casting value of 12+. Sure it's got a range of 12", but not only does it double the target's Movement, give +1 Attack, AND gives Always Strikes First to the target unit, it has an epic (24+) version which gives the same buff to every unit within 12". Painful.
Combine the two together and, for the cost of pretty much all the dice in your pool, you've just made EVERYTHING WITHIN 3 MILES turn into fighting gods. Those Free Company just became MENTAL.

The idea of this being painful is fair enough - you could be excused for saying 'wow those spells are good. they're probably the only gems in this here lore'. Well, you'd be wrong. There are the OTHER FIVE spells to worry about...
- Light of Battle is a simple spell, with a value of 9+, which means that until the caster's next magic phase, the targetted unit within 12" passes all Leadership checks and, if fleeing, immediately rallies. Fair enough. But the dealmaker is that it's epic version (18+) makes ALL UNITS within 12" have this effect. Nice.
- Pha's Protection is another gem, with a value of 6+. Until the next turn, the target essentially turns into a Follower of Nurgle with even more protection vs. Warmachines. The epic version (12+) extends this to all units within 12".

Hold it, Herald of Nurgle, didn't you say FIVE spells? Well, I did, but the last three all benefit from the Lore's Attribute ability - dealing extra hits to Undead and Daemons. Haha! Looks like armies such as Empire just got the upper hand against Sylvania!
- First, the attribute deals exactly D6 more hits. No additional strength, no extra abilities. That makes it pretty tame in comparison to the Lore of Death's bonus, but still quite annoying.
- Net of Amyntok casts on a 10+, quite cheap then (the epic one is 13+ but only increases range so meh), and snares a unit within 24". They must take a Strength Test or else take D6 Strength 4 hits whenever they try to move. The Undead and Daemons may not be broken, but they will hurt. Oh yeah, the kicker? It remains in play till dispelled, and the wizard can cast more.
- Banishment is the spell you bring to the table when you're playing a horde of Light users. With casting value 10+ (13+ epic, but only doubles range) Banishment deals 2D6 hits to the target, with a Strength of 4+X (X= Lore of Light users within 12" of initial caster). That's a potential 18 hits with Strength 7 under the previous Hero system of 3 Wizards in the force.
- Shem's Burning Gaze, the signature spell with casting value 5+, deals D6 Flaming Attacks with Strength 4 to the target. It's Epic version (15+) makes these hits a Strength of 6.

But how can you combo the Lore of Light?
The Lore of Light works well as a gun which is loaded with the bullets given by other Lores...
- In the Lore of Death, Soulblight reduces Toughness, increasing damage from actual damaging spells, and also Strength, making Net of Amyntok more likely to go off.
- The Lore of Shadow works similar to Lore of Death with The Enfeebling Foe, which reduces Strength, and The Withering.
- The Lore of Metal makes your super combat units even more deadly with Enchanted Blades of Aiban, which makes their attacks Armour Piercing, Magical, and gives them +1 to hit on Shooting and Combat.
- So does The Lore of Beasts, with the Signature Spell (Wyssan's Wildform) giving the super combat units have +1 Strength and Toughness. The Curse of Anraheir also helps in Combat as a Hex, making the foe even less likely to hit you.
- Even more so with Lore of Heavens, with Iceshard Blizzard making you nigh impossible to hit with even more -1 modifiers. Likewise your super combat unit can re-roll all 1s with Harmonic Convergence. The foes attacking your super combat will have to roll double 6s to hit you with Curse of the Midnight Ward, so that's useful too.
- The Lore of Fire has Flaming Sword of Rhuin to make your super combat unit more likely to wound and with Flaming Attacks make these wounds count.
- The Lore of Life can buff your super combat unit with Flesh to Stone, which gives +2 Toughness, and the Signature Spell Earth Blood which gives the unit 'Lesser Regeneration'.
Overall, I recommend a combination of The Lore of Heavens with the Lore of Light, ironically.

VERY VERY major lore this edition, the Lore of Light. I would be surprised to see people taking other options nowadays. If you're a High Elf, Empire, or Slann... replace your usual ones with Light for a change. It will not let you down!

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