Wizard101 has opened the doors to the Test Realm, and inside is a new, level 100+ dungeon - Castle Darkmoor! Here, we fight Malistaire the Undying, along with a number of other nasty foes. At the end, however, each class gets a new, enhanced Shadow spell! Let's take a look at them.
Where to Get ThemThese spells are only available to wizards that are level 100+ and have completed the quest “Walpurgisnacht” within the Castle Darkmoor dungeon will learn a new spell for their school. This involves finishing all segments of the area.
Shadow-Enhanced Spells?Wizard101's Shadow-Enhanced spells are ones that draw from both regular magic and shadow magic. This means that they cost regular pips AND shadow pips, as opposed to spells in the past which have only cost one or the other. The cost for all spells is 5 regular pips and 1 shadow pip.
This is significant for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it means that we can start going back and filling in basic school gaps with low-pip spells simply by tacking on a shadow requirement. And for spells in general, these are pretty powerful, but for five pips and one shadow? Pretty crazy! Shadow pips are quite sporadic, so there's no telling when you can cast one of these.
If you're wondering whether or not Myth should finally get their AoE or if another school deserves what they have, the answer is probably yes. Although fundamental gaps in school strategies exist for a reason, it's okay to start to fill those gaps at level 100. After all, the content in which it might have been extremely useful is over with, and now it's simply an additional tool in your toolbox to consider and utilize.
For only five pips (keeping in mind the shadow pip), this is an incredibly powerful spell! By the time you add a damage enhancer (which you can do), this spell may be a little beyond a power level I'm comfortable with.
Its fantastic animation is one of the best ones of the new spells, though all are great. This goes hand-in-hand with its power, which should make Storm wizards extremely dangerous in PvP, and very useful in PvE should they get shadow pips when they need them.
Storm wizards do have some other shadow spells to make use of, so they may find themselves sacrificing old transformations for this new attack. In that sense, this might be a worthwhile trade-off for both the caster and his or her opponents.
Level 100 Enhanced Ice Spell: Abominable WeaverDoes 950-1150 Ice damage and adds a -75% damage shield to caster
Ice wizards should be very happy with this new gem. It's a sort of reverse Efreet, with a shield instead of a weakness and a high-power hit as well. Though lagging behind Storm in damage and only on a single enemy, this is typical for Ice, and the jump in power and added effect for such a low pip cost provide yet another reason to watch out for Ice wizards in the arena.
Fortunately, Ice wizards didn't have to worry about not having an AoE, as Blizzard, Frost Giant, and Snow Angel provide them with an arsenal of AoEs to work with already. This is a great alternative to their original five-pip spell, Frostbite, which is a DoT (Damage over Time) spell.
The animation on this one is again fantastic, and probably rivals Storm for being one of the top ones. This is one spider you definitely don't want to mess with (especially when he's only five pips).
This guy is essentially a super-powered hit in combination with a Fuel. Fire, like Ice, doesn't have to worry about having an AoE, as Meteor Strike, Fire Dragon, and Rain of Fire give them plenty of variety. This one does do slightly more damage than Ice and slightly less than Storm, which is about right, but also isn't an AoE like Storm is, which, at this point, essentially established the Storm spell as slightly overpowered.
One noticeable different on this card is that the damage range is a full 200, which is pretty high compared to most cards, but 1100 is still a solid hit, so no complaints there. This might be a rather odd sort of set-up combo if we forget the fact that it only costs the five pips plus one shadow to cast. That in mind, it's actually quite effective, particularly for anyone who doesn't typically include shadow spells in a PvE setup.
The animation on this one, like others, changes the entire background, so it's hard to tell exactly where you're casting it. A group of mice pilots descend on the enemy, unleashing fiery projectiles. It's a keeper for sure, though rather lengthy (not unlike the rest).
Level 100 Enhanced Death Spell: Call of KhrulhuDoes 1100 Death damage to all enemies and heals the caster for half of each hit
This beauty is exactly what Death needed. Though it has no additional effect besides the steal, its damage and AoE ability make up for it. Death wizards have long needed a low-pip AoE. Scarecrow wasn't sufficient at 400 damage, and Deer Knight was wonderful, but only for those with the resources to craft it or the luck to get it from a pack.
I, personally, have never much used shadow spells before this. Now, with the potential to be able to cast it the first round, this bumps Death up in ability to do damage significantly. They may now be much more useful in team play not just as support, but also an additional hammer. This will be particularly true in street mob battles.
The animation for this one is among the best, but could also be one of the longest. It, like Scarecrow, attacks each enemy individually and heals the caster before attacking again. This can make for a long spell when you add in the initial summon and any buffs you may have.
This is essentially an enhanced Earthquake for Myth. Trade one regular pip for a shadow pip and you get over double the damage with the same effect (though on shields only, not on charms). Like Earthquake, this spell will also remove traps, but, again like Earthquake, it only removes shields and traps after the damage is done. It's an AoE.
This was sort of a given at this point for Myth. They needed a low-pip AoE, or AoE period, and this was definitely an appropriate time to deliver one. Though a key component of their class is not large-scale damage to all enemies, it's okay to start filling some of these gaps by the time your wizard hits level 100, as I mentioned earlier.
The animation for this one isn't quite as long as some of the others. It's definitely a very recognizable spell with its background. I love the stomping on the boat and energy attack on the enemies. Because it's a plain hit with no healing or effect beyond quick shield removal, it's not painfully lengthy like some of the others. In truth, I love the long animations for awhile. I know the speed players dislike them later on, but I'd rather have the cool cinematic.
Level 100 Enhanced Life Spell: Hungry CaterpillarDoes 950-1150 Life damage and adds an 800 damage absorb to the caster
This is probably one of the most controversial new spells. It's being compared to the Storm spell - less damage, AND not an AoE, though we know that the Storm spell is slightly overpowered. The spell itself isn't underpowered. In fact, it could be quite an effective tool for Life given their lack of attacks at that level, but there's one thing Life is missing even more than big-hit spells when it comes to taking out many enemies, and that's a good AoE.
This spell really doesn't provide a significant shift for the Life school in terms of PvP or PvE outside of its increased damage which is, surprisingly, on-par with at least one of the elemental schools, not to mention its additional 800 health offset in the form of a shield (meaning you can utilize it even with full health).
The animation? Stellar, along with the others. This one isn't too terribly long. It starts out with a simple caterpillar, who creates a cocoon and becomes a three-eyed butterfly/moth/flying thing that attacks the enemy.
This spell can be summarized with one word: odd. The textures, particularly on the bricks, don't particularly look like something out of Wizard101, but it's a cool concept, so I'll give them that. The effect, though, is different. You first get 550 Balance damage and then 550 random school damage. The split damage might be okay for remove shields other than the fact that it's a 50/50 split, and not a back-heavy one like Myth has or three-way split like their other spells. Then the issue of randomness is whether or not the enemy will resist it or has a shield for it.
My recommendation for this spell would be to add a double weakness, though I'm not sure how you'd fit that on the card. Two -25% damage charms would make this a sort of Loremaster alternative for one more pip and a shadow pip, placing two damage decreasers instead of one for accuracy, and used as a general "clean up spell" to remove shields and potentially do some serious damage.
The animation on this one is the one that's probably a bit lacking. All of the others are quite spectacular, and though this one does several color changes and many eyes, it's not up-to-par.
A Note on Simplify and ElucidateAs of now, the use of these spells is actually not only removing one or two pips from the regular pip requirement, it's also removing the shadow pip requirement. Senior Software Engineer Gary Scott Smith confirmed that this was likely a bug HERE, and hopefully that holds true, or these spells will be off-the-charts overpowered.
The VerdictI think the combination of shadow and regular-pip spells is just what we needed, and provides a world of new possibilities for what we can learn and use. Some spells could definitely use some tweaking, but keep in mind, we're still in the Test Realm phase, so there's time to submit feedback and for these spells to change.
Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! Credits: Thanks to Johnny, Sheldon, Flash33, Alex Lionheart, Gracie Conrad 101, Talon, and Alexander Spudstaff for showing me their images or spells in-game.