- Back to Strategies -
Arella Kirstar, Magedom 101.

So, you want to make a Magic-User eh?  It's a natural progression.  All power players eventualy find themseves thinking
the same thing you are.  Thinking "Hey, I want a bolt that totaly rocks.  Magic Level and Mana are what I need.  Yeah...
That's it.  Magic Level and Mana."  Sure you've tried Elves, speedy buggers, and they can melee too.  But nothing
compared to Mages of comperable levels.  And of-course the melee classes, Dwarves, Fighters, Gnomes.  Nothing compared
to toasting that Leannan in one fell swoop.  But how to get a mage going, you say.  How to keep it alive?  Simple.

(DISCLAIMER:  This is how I play mages.  It works for me.  It may not work, for anyone else.  I make no assurances, no
complaints to me about "WAAAH! i follwed ur stratgy adn died beacuz uf it!", this is just how I do it)

33 speed, 55+ brains.  Thats it, the rest, doesn't matter.

The Early Levels:
Starting off is hard for mages, you'll die a lot.  A LOT.  And by a lot I mean a bunch, many times, often, repeatedly.
My first mage to break 200 was the 86th start attempt that night.  She went to 2.6k and died to greed.  My first mage
council was the 57th start attempt that night, she went to 4.3k and became the Dark Lady for a night.  My mage Valar
who died to a size 14.5k Leannan at level 7.2k was the 72nd start of that night.  Sensing a patern yet?  Don't get

In size 1, your best friend is a villiage.  Infact, until you hit level 10, Villiages and Virgins are your best friends.
Sac and pillage every one you find.  Avoid flockers (Morons, Crebains, Stirges, Wargs, etc) for all they do is waste
your time and precious age at low levels.  Luckout is your weapon of choice.  If the luckout fails, and you've got some 
mana to spare, toss a bolt for 15 at them and melee a few times.  They start hitting back, bolt them again.  You'll get 
the hang of how much mana to use on each monster at each size as time goes on and you start doing it more and more.
Get to level 1 in size 1, then move directly to size 2 in the fastest route possible (IE, you're at 0,80, dont head all 
the way to 80,80 before going out towards size 2, walk north east to size 2, it wont be right on the diagonal, but who
cares in size 1 and 2?  You aren't stopping at 100,100 anyway, so why bother?)  Stop two steps into size 2, and get to 
level 2 (the two steps give you evading room so you wont evade back into size 1 very often and have to step out again)
From there, walk in your given diagonal direction out to size 3, repeat process to get to level 3, walk to size 4, do
the same.  When you hit level five, get to the 400 post.

Upon arriving at the 400 post, comes your first decision:  What to buy?  If you have absolutely no shield, buy one with
all your cash.  If you have a shield, and your mana is below 500, buy some mana with all of your cash.  If you've got a
shield and 500 mana, buy out on books, then the rest on mana.  Hunt in size 5 until level 7, go to size 6, hunt in size
6 until level 9, go to size 7, level 11, size 8, level 13, size 9, level 15, size 10.  By this point, you should have
a reasonable nest-egg of gold built up.  If you still have a shoddy shield ( < 200) and can afford a better one, your
judgement call if you want to get one.  If you are really low on mana, your judgement call if you want to buy more.  If
you're satisfied with both, buy out on books at the 900 post.  Remember, you can invest money in mana to bolt monsters
in size 10 and 11, or you can invest it in brains to luck them out.  A good mage can be lucking most monsters in 10 and
11 by level 22 if they get a few good villiages.  A bad mage will be bolting them for all of eternity because they buy
mana and shields instead of brains.  This brings us to the concept of playing mages:

Don't let the enemy touch you.

In size 10 your job is to get enough brains, mana, and shielding together to tromp around in size 12.  You'll want atleast
2.5k mana, atleast a 500 shield, and around 250 brains at a minumum to be out there.  Luckout is primary, bolt is
secondary augmented by melee if you feel like it.  A Saruman takes you 3k to bolt in size 10, if you happen to have 3k
on you, and you get a pick scroll, blast the sucker.  Nazgul takes 2.1k to bolt, but can flock 9% of the time.  Up to you
if you want to risk summoning him if you don't have enough for Saruman.  If neither of those sound appealing, cinomulgus
is an easy luckout at number 59 who can drop a good set of gold for you.  Once you've collected enough stuff to jump out
to size 12, go for it.  Saruman now costs you around 3.3k, Nazgul about 2.4k.  You'll run into a few Harpies who you should
be able to luck out fairly soon, if not bolting them is a 900 mana ordeal.  Tigris is a 1.6k bolt, Bander a 1.2k, Vortex a
1.3k, Thaumaturgist a 1.7k and so on and so forth.  All mana values aproximate, if you know how to calc, you might aswell
it'll save you a little gold, I don't bother that low usualy.  Whenever you get some extra money on top of your mana, buy
a few books, it'll let you spend more on mana later.  Keep an eye on how much you're getting for each batch of books, if
it seems like 10 books didnt get you jack this time around, hold off for a little while on buying them, it'll improve.

Once you manage to get a blessing from Saruman / Nazgul (Or if you're one of them there trovin' types, the trove), your
next objective is to pick on ungoliant.  Blast her to the next world.  She takes 5.2k in size 10, 5.7k in size 12, and
6k in size 14.  Once you get that blessing be careful with your sin!  You should have stopped sacing and pilliaging at
level 10 anyway, but now it becomes more important.

DISCLAIMER:  This is not me saying sin is the most important part of a blessing. SPEED IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART.  Sin
helps though, it truly does.

If you happen to run across any gems in this process of getting a blessing and or hunting for Silmaril, make a judgement
call.  Is your shield horrible?  Could it use an upgrade?  Do you get hit by monsters a lot?  Are your brains still in the
dirt?  Are curses toasting you?  Buy a shield if you need one, buy brains if you need them, buy amulets if you need them.
Sell down to 10 gems at the most.  Never hold on to more than 10, there's no reason to until you break 100, the tax-man
will just come and snatch them away from you.

The farthest out I go before the marshes is size 16, I dont play around in 17 18 and 19.  Hang out in sixteen, bolting
Ungoliant at every possible opertunity.  If you don't have enough mana for Ungoliant when you happen across a pick scroll
try Scatha or Nazgul (The gem givers).  Keep an eye on your bolt, your magic number is an Ungoliant at size 35.  Once you've
achieved that bar of Magic Level / Mana, get your happy little tush out to the high marshes.  Teleport to 3100,3100 and take
one step back.  Marshes, are, fun.  Things to watch out for though, Aspids are big and nasty.  Lampreys bite you (Paralize
them as soon as combat begins).  And Kelpies can be trouble makers too.  Same deal as size 16, if you can't take the Ungoliant
pick on Scatha and Nazgul.  Poison is your big enemy in the high marshes, if a Lamprey gets a good bite on you or you get
a few curses, you can start really feeling it.  I try to keep 250-ish gold on me whenever I'm up there to pay off a medic
(Always pay the medic 1 less than the gold you're carrying, don't ask me why, it just usualy works), and if you get poisoned
definitely keep some on you.  DON'T SIN.

Now the magic numbers you're looking for is a 20k shield, and enough Mana / Magic Level to bolt a size 42 Leannan.  Once you
can do that, go on to 3670,3670.  Don't worry if you don't have the gems to support yourself there for long, it's okay,
you'll be dropping back to the marshes a lot over the next 200 levels, don't be discouraged by it.  Fight out there until
you cant take that Leannan anymore with your mana reserves, then curly shuffle your way back to the marshes.  Pick up some
gold, if you happen upon a pick while you're there try your luck with whatever you can take.  Then once you've built up that
Leannans worth of mana again, move on out to 3670,3670 again.  Rinse, repeat, wipe hands on pants.

REMINDER:  Don't let the emeny touch you!

Mages don't need large shields, I played until size 300 with a 20k shield on my latest mage Aiel no problem.  She sees a
monster, if she can't luck it, she bolts it.  If she can, she tries, if she fails, she bolts it.  It's that easy.  If for
some reason you dont feel like bolting, put up a FF first, then *HASTE* (IMPORTANT!!!  Always Haste before getting crazy
with other buff spells.  The faster you are, the less likely they are of getting a hit in on you while you're buffing up!)
Paralize is your friend also, can save you from some nasty situations.

Monsters I tend not to fight:  Titan, Nuck, Grendel, Begion.  They aren't worth the mana.  Paralize and evade.  If you're 
in extreme sizes for your shield and dont trust your para to work the first time, put up a FF, haste once, then paralize.

Something of great contension in Phantasia of late stems from when I kicked tomes in the head.  They still give you a LOT to
work with, my kicking just made their effectiveness early in the game less noticable, they were meant as a higher level
investment anyway.  My Mages *NEVER* spend gems on books, amulets, or tomes.  Gems are Mana and Shield money, and that is
it.  Books, amulets, and tomes are there to spend greed money on.  When you get going with a Mage past 200 or so you're going
to get large gold drops that zero your speed quite often.  Step back on post, and rotate between books, amulets, and tomes.
Meaning, you get greed levels of gold, buy books.  Ten minutes later it happens again, buy amulets, ten minutes later again,
buy tomes.  You'll be pleasantly surprised when your brains, magic level, and amulet stache, all stay in good ranges with
no gems spent by you.

And most importantly, the best advice that any Mage can get:  DON'T DIE!

(more to come if I feel like divulging more Mage secrets)