Guide to the Life School
I'm certainly no expert as this game and the following notes are based on my experiences with my three Life GMs, Amber Wildheart, Tasha Spellgiver, and Ryan Winterblood. Everyone has their own approach to Life wizards and ultimately you need to figure out what works for you. Hopefully other Life wizards will offer their tips and tricks, which I will try to incorprate into this write up.
Life wizards are a lot of fun but suffer from some misunderstandings that need to be debunked. First off, everyone knows that Life wizards have a lot of healing abilities. Many believe this comes at the cost of combat power and as a result, Life wizards should mostly play a support role. This isn't the case. When you compare the high accuracy of Life spells (the highest in the game) and the high value of our blades (40%), we can put out damage on par with most of the other schools. For the most part, don't expect a Life wizard to get the big flashy kills, but we will get our kills, just a little more slowly and deliberately.
- Life wizards start off with 460 health and gain 27 health per level up to a maximum of 1,800. This ranks only behind Ice in terms of overall health.
- Life spells have the highest accuracy (90%) of any school and have comparable base damage to Ice.
- Life, as you guess has a ton of healing spells, 7 in total. Outside of Life, there are only two spells, Helping Hands (Balance) and Sacrifice (Death) that can heal other players.
Must Have Spells. These are spells that I always have in my deck (for soloing).
Leprechaun 5 155-195 life damage 2
Nature's Wrath 240-300 life damage 3 Animation Level 12
Seraph 22 335-395 life damage 4
Centaur 33 515-595 life damage 6
Life Trap 10 +25% next life damage 0 Mildred Farseer
Life Blade +40% next life damage 0 Back to Balance End of Krokosphinx
Fairy heal for 420 2 Freedom! Life wizard version of early Unicorn Way quest
Dryad heals for 200 per pip X Beat The Plague Level 38
Notes: As I gain levels, I run a combination of Leprechaun, Nature's Wrath, Seraph, and Centaur. At the higher levels, I'll drop Leprechaun and/or Nature's Wrath. I find that Leprechaun makes a great finisher. I probably use Fairy a lot more than I use Satyr. I find it to be more flexible at 2-pips and the healing efficiency is nearly the same (e.g., 210 vs. 215 per pip). For the bigger healing jobs, I use Dryad. This is probably a topic of much discussion.
Special Purpose Spells. These are spells that I swap out depending on the enemies I expect to face.
Unicorn heal all group members for 275 3 Introduction to Life Level 7
Legend Shield 8 -70% next death and myth damage 0
Life Shield 10 -80% next life damage 0 Sabrina Greenstar
Life Prism convert next life damage to death 0 The Sixth School End of Wizard City
Sprite Guardian summon a minion of life 4 The Missing Gem Level 18
Satyr 26 heal for 860 4
Sanctuary 42 +50% to all healing (global) 2
Rebirth Heal Group for 650 health and adds a 400 Health absorb to group 7 -Unknown- Level 48
Guiding Light +30% next healing 0 Bad News... End of Marleybone
Notes: I typically only run Life Prism if I see Life enemies. Sprite Guardians get added when I run towers by myself. Sanctuary, Rebirth, and Satyrs are added if I'm running an instance (e.g., Malistaire) and I'm the only Life wizard on the team. I'll up the count of Unicorns and Satyrs if I know or expect to be fighting with a group. I really only use Guiding Lights if I'm supporting a group.
Spells I Never Use. Other than experimenting, I never run these spells in my deck.
Minor Blessing heal for 65 0 Enrollment Level 2
Imp 1 65-105 life damage 1
Sprite 10 heals for 30 and 270 over 3 rounds 1
Spirit Armor 16 absorb 400 damage 3
Calm 15 reduce threat X Mortis
Guidance +10% next accuracy to all group members 1 Temple Dweller End of Krokotopia
Drain Health 25 sacrifice minion for 450 health 1 Croaky
Regenerate heal for 52 plus 1101 over 3 rounds 5 My Re-generation Level 28
Notes: I just don't use these spells because I don't find them to be efficient uses of turns or pips.
Spells from Secondary Schools
I went Fire and Ice as my secondary school. Fire gives me some good damage options and Ice is a standard school I training all of my wizards in for the shielding. This may not fit with everyone, but it worked for me. Your mileage may vary. NOTE: A couple of months ago, I decided that Fire didn't really work for me and I bought my training points back.
Tower Shield (Ice)
Volcanic Shield (Ice)
Meteor Strike (Fire)
Fire Elf (Fire)
Notes: I always run the max number of Tower Shields I am allowed. Volcanic Shield is very nice when facing the two most destructive schools, Fire and Storm. Between Life's healing abilities and Ice's shields, you will have very resilient wizard. I make treasure cards by adding Keen Eyes to Meteor Strike and Fire Elf and then sideboard a shedload of them. These add some nice DOT and AOE attacks that Life wouldn't otherwise have.
Miscellaneous Spell Discussion
Life's L58 Quest
Not much to say here really. Life wizards have the only spell quest that allows for helpers. The boss is large, 13,000+ health points, but with a group of 4, he's really not that hard. Like all the other L58 bosses, he will Hex you if you trap, blade, or shield, but the additional damage or shielding is worth it.
Other sources of spells
Go to Krokotopia to buy the four amulets that give you the Ice, Fire, Storm, and Myth Shields. Each will give you three cards. If you can find the Nightshade Choker, this will give you a pair of Weaknesses.
Playing Your Life Wizard
Time to debunk another myth. Life wizards don't wait around all day looking for a party that needs healing. I would hazard a guess that most Life wizards solo a lot. Given that the only want to win is to defeat your opponent, my deck is typically set up with a preponderance of combat cards and buffs, not healing spells. I typically only run 4-6 healing cards in my deck. If I know, I'm going to be working with a group, then I'll equip with another 4 Unicorns or sideboard some Rebirths.
Early Game (Level 1-19)
Life wizards are immediately valuable. We get Fairy before we get out of Unicorn Way and can start healing team mates. Our high health (second highest after Ice) gives us a lot of staying power and three training points in Ice gets you to Volcanic Shield, which means you have shielding against just about anything that might get thrown at you ... except Ice. Couple this with the amulets from Krokotopia and you are set.
We aren't push overs in the combat department either. Our 1- through 4- and 6-pips attacks do the same amount of damage or more than Ice with half the fizzle rate. Our fizzle rate is 1/3 that of a Storm wizard. In the early game, Life wizards should be able to handle everything that is thrown at you with ease.
Mid Game (Level 20-34)
When you hit Level 20, you gain access to some good Life gear and you earn Seraph at Level 22. Seraph will be your workhorse attack card until you get to Centaur at Level 33. Even so, at 4-pips and improved with Tough, a Seraph can pack quite a good punch.
In the mid game, you also have enough gold to afford treasure cards on a regular basis. Go to the library and buy 25-50 Toughs and then go to Golem Tower to make a bunch of Toughened Leprechauns and Seraphs. A toughened Leprechaun will pack the same punch as a Lightning Bat with 1/3 the fizzle rate. I typically run 4-8 of them in my sideboard to ensure that I'm never lacking for an attack card. I stop by the Commons on a regular basis to replenish my stock of treasure cards.
Your gear choices will make a big difference. I've noticed that a lot of Life wizards choose health maximizing gear, where as I've gone the other route and emphasized power and power pip enhancing gear, which adds a significant boost to my damage output. As a result, my mana levels are low to moderate, and my health is probably lower than the average comparably ranked Life wizard. You can farm bosses for gear, or you can just buy it from the Bazaar, which is what I did. So I have weaker health and mana, but I've tried to boost my offensive output as much as possible. The rationale is that if I can kill enemies fast enough, I don't have to worry about shielding or healing as much.
End Game (Level 35-50)
Life wizards do equally well in the end game, which will probably be Mooshu and Dragonspyre. By now, your gear has probably improved you power pip % and you're generating pips fast enough to cast Centaurs in rapid succession. My typical attack is to cast a blade on the first turn and follow up with a Centaur on turn 2. We do even better as a part of a team. Our attacks are strong enough to be good contributors, but our healing really keeps everyone going.
Choosing A Secondary School
As mentioned earlier, I went Fire and Ice for my secondaries. Balance and Death also seem popular. My take:
Fire fills some gaps in Life's repetoire of damage spells. I use Meteor Strike for the area damage and Fire Elf for the damage over time effects. At 2-pips, I can cast Fire Elves easily enough and it helps keep shields down so that my attacks get their full effect. The biggest downside to Fire spells will be their low accuracy, which you can offset with Keen, or even Guidance.
A lot of people train in Ice up to Tower Shield. I did too. The versatility of Tower Shield is just too good and I use the Volcanic Shields a lot as it shields me from the two most destructive schools. Oddly enough, you run into a lot of enemies that use both Fire and Storm attacks, which makes this shield a very efficient spell.
A lot of people go Balance for Weakness and Reshuffle. Personally, I've never used Reshuffle, but it is available to everyone. Weakness will cost you 3 training points, so not a huge investment. However, you can also get two weakness cards from Lord Nightshade's Choker, which you can find in the Bazaar or various stores. The elemental and spirit traps and blades from Niles are an interesting proposition. They are available to everyone and are certainly very versatile, but I don't really use them. I tend to run a mono-school deck and in my opinion, the one pip is better spent adding a 0-point buff of my own school. My thinking changes if I know that I'm running with other elemental wizards, in which case I'm more apt to add the elemental blades, which friends can benefit from too.
I don't really have enough experience with Myth to have an opinion on this. It's certainly a nice complement to add damage output and has a couple of very nice, low pip hitters. To be honest though, I'm not really sure what I'd run outside of Troll and Cyclops and possibly Humungofrog. You could always turn these into treasure cards.
I have a Storm Grandmaster who turned out quite nicely, but I can't imagine using Storm spells with my Life wizard. To be sure, it would add some nice punch, but I think the 70% accuracy would drive me crazy after being used to 90% accuracy with my Life spells.
I've seen a number of people who suggested Death, given that it's the opposite of Life. My Death grandmaster trained in some Life spells and it has worked out well. Death gives you access to some nice life stealing attacks and Feint is a perennial favorite to boost your attacks. In fact, Life is one of those schools with the health and healing to take the additional 30% hit, which is the downside to Feint. My toughest fights were always against Life opponents and having some Death spells at your disposal certainly helps to complement your prisms (which never seem to show up when needed).
I won't spend a lot of time here as it's been covered in other posts. However, efficient deck construction is a must. My objective is to put opponents down as quickly as possible, so I'm looking for a blade-attack combo usually by turn 2. A smaller deck means that the cards I need are more like to show up in my hand. The faster I get the attacks off the lower the change of having Weakness or Shields being put up.
Gear selection is important. If you take a step back, you can boost Health, Mana, Accuracy, Power, Resistance, and Power Pip %. Health is the least important attribute for me, so I tend to put less emphasis on Health enhancing gear. I mark my location often and port back to commons for Mana, so as long as I have 100-150 Mana, I feel pretty comfortable.
That leaves the other 4: Accuracy, Power, Resistance, and Power Pip %. Let's set Resistance aside for a moment. The other 3 have direct implications on damage output. Power Pip % and Power % basically improve damage on a point for point basis, e.g., a 10% improvement in Power Pip % gives you 10% more pips and therefore 10% higher damage output (assuming consistant damage per pip). I haven't found any Life gear that improves Accuracy, so we won't talk about that ... I guess KI thought 90% was good enough. Aside from Rings and Athames, gear won't boost healing output, so until we see some that do, we don't have to worry about it.
At the higher levels, you're also going to get clothes that provide resistance to Life. I get what I can from it, but prioritize Power Pip % and Power % ahead of it. Currently, my Grandmaster is running a 25% power boost on top of an 86% power pip %
If you buy gear from the Bazaar, the least expensive colors are a light green base with gold trim.
Hat: No recommendation
Robe: No recommendation
Shoes: No recommendation
Hat: Krokopatra's Cap 96 health 3% power pip 3% power gold
Robe: Krokenkahmen's Vestment 144 health 3% power pip 4% power gold
Shoes: Krokhotep's Footwraps 48 health 1% power pip 2% power gold
Hat: Widow's Bewitching Hat 96 health 4% power pip 4% power 8% resist 4909 gold - or -
Smogger's Hat of Politeness 96 health 4% power pip 5% power 8% resist no auction
Robe: O'Leary's Vestment 144 health 4% power pip 6% power 2182 gold - or -
Smogger's Noble Vestment 144 health 4% power pip 7% power 10% resist 2182 no auction
Shoes: Crusher's Dextrous Shoes 48 health 3% power pip 3% power 6% resist 1963 gold
Hat: No recommendation
Robe: Topiary Tunic 216 health 6% power pip 7% power 3272 gold
Shoes: No recommendation
Hat: War Torn cowl of Awareness 64 health 5% power pip 7% power 10% resist 2864 gold - or -
River Spirit's Lively Cap 128 health 5% power pip 7% power 2182 gold
Robe: Youkai's Tunic of Intent 192 health 5% power pip 10% power 14% resist 7272 gold
Shoes: Fushiko's Footwraps of Intent 32 health 4% power pip 4% power 8% resist ~2000 gold
Hat: Defiler's Helm of Anticipation 192 health 5% power pip 8% power 10% resist no auction?
Robe: No recommendation
Shoes: No recommendation
Hat: Hood of Rejuvenation 240 health 6% power pip 10% power 2727 gold
Robe: Coat of the Elixer 288 health 10% power pip 9% power 14% resist no auction - or -
Avalanche's Verdant Robes 240 health 6% power pip 12% power 17% resist no auction - or -
Vestment of the Spring 360 health 6% power pip 13% power 3030 gold
Shoes: Sandals of the Generous Earth 120 health 5% power pip 7% power 1818 gold
Hat: Kraysys's Unfaithful Cowl 240 health 6% power pip 10% power 13% resist no auction
Robe: Malistaire Purgatory Coat 360 health 6% power pip 13% power 17% resist Centaur card no auction
Shoes: Snowcrusher's Shoes of Shelter 120 health 5% power pip 7% power 10% resist no auction
Other Gear Option
Malistaire Drake's Deathedge 188 health 10% power pip, 15% incoming health no auction
Malistaire Drake's Ruby Signet 188 health 10% power pip, 15% outgoing health no auction
Seal of Salvation 237 health 10% power pip 5% power (Briskbreeze Tower) no trade no auction
My Life wizards have been running both Malistaire's athame and ring, for the healing boost. This is really up to you and how you play, but my Life wizards often support another of my wizards (multiple accounts) so they primarily heal and buff. Damage contribution is a secondary mission. If you do run both of these items, your mana will max out at 120, which is enough for most instances, but for longer dungeons (e.g., Kensington), sometimes you can start getting a little nervous.
For that reason, I don't equip the Briskbreeze ring. It would give me a little extra health, but I would lose the outgoing heal boost in exchange for the 5% power boost. If the Life wizard were soloing, that might be a good trade off in order to increase my damage output.
Three Cheers for 1600 point Fairies
Making recommendations on Celestia gear is tough, mostly because, IMO, there isn't necessarily a clear "Best Set" that you can point to. A lot of your gear selection is going to be driven by your play style and your play partners. For instance, my Life wizard is still sporting the L56 gear, because that maxes out her crit rating. Here's the link to a blog post I wrote about equipping your Legendary healers.
My Life wizard's pets (L48) have been somewhat of a disappointment. To be sure, there are some solid abilities, but so far, none of the pets have really made me go, "WOW!" I actually like the mana talents as it boosts my mana quite a bit in terms of percentage increase and allows me to run both Malistaire ring and athame more comfortably. At a 90% base accuracy, the 5% accuracy boost will basically halve your fizzle rate, which isn't too bad. Health gifts are pretty much meh! The last talent I've received lately is Spritely. It can be really useful but you can't turn it off and have to be mindful of when you cast Guiding Lights, as the Sprite will use it up.
A Discussion About Damage Output
Are other players getting you down. Deriding your class because of your low damage output? Well, consider this. Here are some interesting thoughts about how to think about the numbers and whether Life really is underpowered vis-a-vis Storm. I've compared Storm (the school most typically thought of a 'high powered') and Life (one of the schools typically though of as 'low powered'). I've used comparable 4-pip cards, Kraken and Seraph. The comparison of Centaur vs Triton doesn't look much different:
1. On a card basis, Kraken does more damage than the Seraph; 55% more damage on the low end, 47% more damage on the high end of the range.
Seraph vs Kraken 155% 147%
2. However, the Seraph's 90% accuracy gives it a 29% advantage over the Kraken. This means that over an exchange of 10 spells, while each Kraken does more damage, the Life player will successfully cast 9 Seraphs to the Storm player's 7 Krakens.
3. Factoring these two components gives the Life player a net damage advantage of 20% on the low end and only 14% on the high end. This can be made up in gear, through a combination of Power Pip %, Accuracy, and Power %. Given the low life of Storm wizards and lack of integral healing, it's not hard to see how a Life wizard can improve their stats beyond 20% over a peer Storm wizard. For example, my current L48 Life wizard runs a 79% Power Pip %, a 26% Power %, and no accuracy boosts.
If you take this one step further and factor in blades, Storm actually delivers less damage than Life because Life's 40% blade greatly outperforms Life's 30% blade. Factor this in and Storm delivers 10% less damage at the low end and 14% less damage at the high end.
Of course, Storm has a ton of additional buffs available such as Windstorm and Darkwind, but the math is interesting.
Working With Other Schools
For Life wizards this is pretty straight forward. Hopefully, you get a chance to discuss your role with your team mates before heading into a dungeon, so that you can set up your deck properly. For example, in Briskbreeze Tower and Ravens, I expect to mostly heal and tank, so I set up my deck for shields and healing. If we're questing in general, I'll mix in 50/50 heals and shields with attacks. Don't undervalue the lower pip heals like Unicorn. While Rebirth is cool and does a lot, what is not to love about a 3-pip heal all? So, the key to working with other schools is clearly setting expectations up front.
My Life Wizards
Thought I'd post the profiles of my Life GMs for comparative and reference purposes.
I posted a damage per pip comparison across schools and levels at http://www.wizard101central.com/foru...ad.php?t=23116
My take on the 7 schools of magic
This post contains 57 auto-link(s) to our wiki for your reference.