Wizard101 has opened the Test Realm doors for Mirage, which brings with it a new level cap of 120, and new level 118 Mirage-themed spells. I'll be breaking down how they work, and taking an in-depth look at their power level and animations.
Once you reach level 118, the Arcanum Scholars will have a new quest for you (which scholar depends on your school) called "History of the Cabal." Successful completion of this quest will allow you to earn your new Mirage themed spell!
Divide and Conquer: New Mechanic
The new level 118 spells have a new mechanic - divide. Now, you can select individually how many targets you want your spell to hit - 1, 2, 3, or 4. There is a set amount of damage then divided between all those enemies from the card. These spells cost four pips and one shadow pip.
Let's take a look at Storm's, for example. At four pips and one shadow pip, Iron Sultan could do 1152 damage to one enemy. That's pretty powerful for only four pips. But, suppose you're fighting mobs. You could split it four ways instead. You could also be fighting a boss and mobs, and choose to kill three mobs but not attack a boss. This is particularly efficient because you aren't wasting extra AoE damage when there are only three enemies in a fight. Instead, you are increasing damage in that scenario. Also, every wizard now has a potential turn-one AoE, which is exciting and a little nerve-wracking for PvP.
All of these spells are set at different amounts and have different animations. I'm going to talk about each one, but first, take a look at all of the spell animations for yourself!
Level 118 Storm Spell: Iron Sultan
Storm's Mirage spell is Iron Sultan, and costs 4 pips and 1 shadow pip. It does 1152 Storm damage divided between 1, 2, 3, or 4 enemies. One of the craziest parts about this spell is it's accuracy - only 65%! Though Storm gets a healthy accuracy bonus on most of their gear, that's pretty low. Then there's the damage. Imagine you use this on one enemy, it's 1152 damage. But then, if you waited one more turn for a power pip and used Rusalks'a wrath, you'd get 300 more damage.
Now imagine you're using it as an AoE - even divided between only two enemies, it'd do 576 base damage. If you are planning on using this turn one, you have 5 pips anyway. If you wait one more turn for one more pip, you get more damage than to a single enemy, but to all enemies, plus you remove all the blades. That divide makes Iron Sultan seem totally irrelevant to Storm wizards. However, the versatility is there.
The animation, like so many others, is pretty spectactular - one of my favorites of the new spells. It appears to be a totally unique model (though I have yet to finish Mirage). Like the others, it has kind of a unique attack angle that accounts for how every many enemies it attacks. This works great for two or more but can seem a little bit strange for just one, though it greatly reduces the time required to cast the spell because all enemies are attacked at once.
Level 118 Fire Spell: Scorching Scimitars
Fire's Mirage spell is Schorching Scimitars, and costs 4 pips and 1 shadow pip. It does 1092 Fire damage divided between 1, 2, 3, or 4 enemies. The accuracy on Fire's is a little bit more regular. Scorching Scimitars has 70%, which is 5% below the standard for Fire and usually what Storm gets, but is now 5% above Storm's.
The 1092 damage, like most Fire spells, is just under Storm's damage, but still very powerful. However, when comparing Fire's to some of its other spells, there are a few more options. If Fire is looking for a cheaper spell or wants to use one on the first turn, this is a good alternative. Even dividing this into two enemies, you still get almost as much value as Raging Bull for fewer pips. Plus, like with storm, you have the versatility.
The animation for this one is another favorite - the unique horned woman with her scorching scimitars. The spell doesn't look for great if you have bloom active on, as it's overly bright, but turn that setting off, and you're good to go. This is definitely not an animation to skip out on.
Level 118 Ice Spell: Climaclysm
Ice's Mirage spell is Climaclysm, and costs 4 pips and 1 shadow pip. It does 984 Ice damage divided between 1, 2, 3, or 4 enemies. Ice's accuracy is down to 75%, the usual for Fire. As per normal, Ice is the lowest on the totem pole in terms of elemental damage. They only get 984 damage split between enemies.
Climaclysm is perhaps the most obscure of all the spells, having no real form or creature but rather an eclipse that causes the raging sandstorms of Mirage to become jagged, icy spikes racing toward opponents. Compared to Abominable Weaver, it's really a poor substitue without the shield for a single hit, so you probably want to make it an AoE. Compare it instead to Snowball Barrage (x pips), which would do 340 Ice damage to all enemies for the exact same cost. That means if you're attacking two or fewer enemies, you're getting a better deal.
I touched on the animation a little bit - an eclipse with shards of ice in a now-frozen desert. It reminds me in many ways of Celestial Calendar. It's a cool animation for what it is, but I'm not quite sure it lives up to the very high standard set by the others.
Level 118 Life Spell: Llamasu
Life's Mirage spell is Llamasu, and costs 4 pips and 1 shadow pip. It does 984 Life damage divided between 1, 2, 3, or 4 enemies. Like other schools, Life got cheated 5% on their accuracy here, but they have the highest still of any of the new spells.
I know KingsIsle has obscure numbers on these spells because they needed enough different levels for different schools but also for the numbers to divide by both 2 and 3 for different numbers of enemies, but it's a little odd that Life has the same damage as Ice. They are really identical spells minus school damage. The difference is that for Life, this is a huge spell. They needed a cheap AoE, and Llamasu does just that. While it doesn't do as much as Wings of Fate, it is cheaper. Not a bad option for life as an AoE, but tough to use as a single hit with Hungry Caterpillar doing a bit more plus the 800 absorb.
The animation is really very simple, but again, it's a totally unique creature and a pleasure to watch. Is it terrible that I want one of these as a pet or mount?
Level 118 Death Spell: Qismah's Curse
Death's Mirage spell is Qismah's Curse, and costs 4 pips and 1 shadow pip. It does 1020 Death damage divided between 1, 2, 3, or 4 enemies. Like the Life spell, Death's accuracy reduction isn't too much of an issue because it was so high to start.
Death's is perhaps the most viable spell yet. For an AoE, it doesn't work very well. For one more pip, you get more damage to all enemies, not divided, plus half of that health back, making this a terrible option for Death wizards when it comes to mobs. But, compare it to Winged Sorrow, which costs two more pips, and this actually does more damage than even the highest end of the range. While you lose the -30% damage, that makes this a good option, and a faster one, too.
Qismah's Curse is the only spell in the new batch that doesn't use a new model. Instead, it's the Death Scholar. I think it might have been cool to have either all scholars at some point or none. Maybe as each one leads us to their worlds, we get that scholar as a spell, but that'll be a couple arcs down the line before we're finished. Still, the spell's animation and particle effects are impressive.
Level 118 Myth Spell: Snake Charmer
Myth's Mirage spell is Snake Charmer, and costs 4 pips and 1 shadow pip. It does 1056 Myth damage divided between 1, 2, 3, or 4 enemies. Myth is down to a 3 in 4 chance of success with this one, and spiritual schools don't often get a lot of accuracy bonuses.
Snake Charmer is one of the strongest themes for a Mirage spell yet, but it does run into some similar problems as the others do. As an AoE, it isn't so great. For one more pip, you get 880 damage to all enemies, plus you remove shields. But as a single hit, it is in the middle of Witch's Housecall's range, and you only lose the minion, which isn't often used or useful. And it costs two fewer pips.
This is my favorite animation for all of the new spells. The charmer might be smiliar to other models, but the giant snake is unique to my recollection and the angles and attack style are very cool. Looking back, Myth did get their professor as a spell in Polaris.
Level 118 Balance Spell: Sand Worm
Balance's Mirage spell is Sand Worm, and costs 4 pips and 1 shadow pip. It does 1020 Balance damage divided between 1, 2, 3, or 4 enemies. Balance does okay even with the reduced accuracy.
Sand Worm is a great single-hit spell for Balance, easily outdoing Gaze of Fate's random class damage, better allowing for a bigger hit. Where it falters is as an AoE, where Nested Fury outshines it, doing far more damage to all enemies. If Balance wizards use this on four enemies, they are actually doing less than Sandstorm's maximum and burning a shadow pip, making this one of the lowest on the totem pole of the new spells.
The animation isn't quite as flashy as some. It works for Mirage and it's nothing to dismiss, because all of the new spells have great animations. However, I'd place it just about Climaclysm in my ranking of appearances.
This new mechanic is fun and original. The only problem is trying to find a balance between being a weak AoE and an overpowered single hit, and that's going to be tough with divide mechanics. However, I like the versatility. It allows for different outcomes and situations and means we might see these really cool spells more often because they'll work in multiple types of decks. I look forward to seeing KingsIsle use this mechanic more often.
What do you think of the new spells?
Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! Credits: Special thanks to Justin Story for showing me the Fire spell!