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Covered in Weasels

Arcane Bolt too good?

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As a fairly new player who only owns the base game, it seems as though the Runemaster's Arcane Bolt is very strong for a starting weapon. Whereas most class's weapons have a clearly superior replacement in the Act 1 deck, Bolt is strong enough to last all the way through the Interlude. Our Runemaster pulled an Immolation rune from the shop deck yesterday and wasn't convinced that it was better than his Bolt. Sure, it gives you more damage, but surges are so important to the Runemaster that he declined to buy it.

 

Are we evaluating the weapons incorrectly, or is Arcane Bolt really that strong?

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That's funny you gave that example because in my first game as hero I was Leoric as runemaster and the immolation rune came up in the second shopping step. The difference is that I bought it.:)

Arcane bolt is good. Any Blue/Red weapon is great in act one, especially one with range. Most of the other runes are more utility based, and that one is definitely a kicker. I wouldn't say it's overpowered, but its for sure one of the strongest starting mage weapons.

The immolation rune worked out pretty well for me though. Arcane bolt can be really good on someone like Quellen as Runemster, who can just keep overloading the hell out of it.

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With runes, what you get out of them is their additional powers.

With the Runemaster's power that adds an extra surge for the price of exhausting the card, this means you can usually activate most runes .

 

Sure, pierce 2 is good, but the Stun from the geomancer's stasis rune is great too. the Teleportation rune's ability can be a great boon. Magma blast with both Burn and Blast is great.

 

The trick is what your players are doign as a group. Different runes give the group different synergy. IF your magic user is just straight up attacking, like a ranged warrior, that's fine, if it works for them. But it might not work for all quests, and that's when the players are going to realize that's why the different runes are...different.

 

Arcane bolt is good. Any Blue/Red weapon is great in act one, especially one with range. Most of the other runes are more utility based, and that one is definitely a kicker. I wouldn't say it's overpowered, but its for sure one of the strongest starting mage weapons.

The immolation rune worked out pretty well for me though. Arcane bolt can be really good on someone like Quellen as Runemster, who can just keep overloading the hell out of it.

 

FYI, Carbini, arcane bolt is Blue/Yelow with surge: +1 range and Surge: Pierce 2. Not blue/red. :unsure:  But Immolation IS blue/red  and has automatic Pierce 1. So I'd say Immolation is better than Arcane Bolt. ;)

Edited by Alarmed
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Thanks for clearing that up -- while other runes have useful utility powers, straight-up killing my monsters is working so well for my players that they haven't even considered runes that inflict conditions. In the first turn of Death on the Wing's second encounter, Leoric used his arcane bolt to single-handedly kill both my Elementals (1st attack with Blast) and take ~5 health off of Belthir (2nd attack). Jain the Wildlander also bought the Crossbow, so even shadow dragons are hard-pressed to survive a single round of attacks against the two ranged characters. The other two characters provide the party's utility; Syndrael the Knight redirects all the attacks that would kill the squishier heroes, and Ashrian stuns important monsters as needed.

 

We're playing The Shadow Vault next, and my players may find themselves wishing for a Stun-inflicting rune when Zachareth runs off with the casket :)

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