Journal of a Masked Wizard (part 2)

As mentioned in part 1, I’m a level 28 ice who plays group PvP specifically for the purpose of fighting Puppet Teams. These are teams made up of a high level who has joined with a low level in order to get lower level opponents. They target folks like me…so I target them back. And I’ll be honest: it’s fun. I sign up hoping to challenge them and tend to  feel disappointed when I run into a fair team.

During the last week of July, I did a total of 7 matches. None of them were disappointing.

July 25th

Sleepy. So sleepy. I was only up for one match tonight. I teamed with Valdus Wild, a magus ice who is also a member of the Knights group. Our opponents: a PT, both ice. A level 78 and 2, meaning that the hitter was literally 50 levels higher than me. Happiness.

I tend to get curious about why someone would join a PT, since it seems a little mean-spirited to me. I frequently ask these opponents what their goal is, why they’re doing it. In this match, I asked the hitter why she had teamed with a level 2. She said, “I just want a warlord badge, then I’ll stop.” Which is pretty normal…most people create PTs either for rank or gear.

What was interesting to me: the level 2 was what we call a “down rank puppet”…she had intentionally lowered her pvp rating to an extremely low number as a way of ensuring their team would get low level opponents. It’s a common practice amongst PT: they make a new wizard, then manipulate their pvp rating so that it’s as close to zero as possible. Your starting pvp rating is 500, so it takes some serious effort to intentionally lose that many matches. Just another indication of how determined these groups are to avoid fighting people their own level. The puppet’s rating? 32.

Valdus and I went first in the match, so this one went fairly quickly. I used my standard dispel strategy (or “anti-mage” strategy; not something everyone approves of, but I’m comfortable with it; only break it out for Puppet Teams). Ice is a good school for me to face, since I can apply power pips to the dispels, so this ended up being a true “anti-mage” fight…the level 78 never got off a single hit. Valdus took the level 2 out quickly, began to work on the hitter. Between dispels, I worked in a few hits of my own. Again, this one went fairly quickly.

Have to admit: this was one of the most polite PT I’ve ever faced. They were complimentary throughout the entire match; and when it was over, they both said “GG”…not something you see from a lot of teams like this. Later, Valdus said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a polite down-ranked puppet before.”

July 26th

Three matches tonight. All against puppet teams. For the rest of the week, I teamed with Destiny Bluethorn, a level 29 death.

Match 1: 72 death and 21 life. They went first. Pretty brutal match for us…the death had a very high crit rating, used it to wipe us out. The puppet was there to put treasure blades on the hitter and to break shields, so it was very difficult to get any sort of defense going. Early in the match, the hitter killed Destiny with a one hit, critical Katz monster. Every few rounds I threw heals on her…but the death applied two critical poisons on me in a row, killing me; he then finished Destiny with a critical pirate.

This was a pretty typical PT match, the hitter just had more active criticals than usual. Goodbye, cruel world.

Match 2: PT with a 68 storm and 5 ice. Storm hitters are my favorite opponents because the matches tend to be fast either way. And as mentioned last week, it’s easy to put storm in a real bind, especially if they have life amulets. A diviner’s health can get dangerously low in a short amount of time, tempting them to use their life amulet heals…but when they pause to heal, I’m able to apply extra dispels, layering them on and shutting down their offense, a storm’s primary strength. The storm in the last chronicle chose to remove each dispel rather than heal…we finished him off. The storm this week went the other way, used multiple satrys and pixies, followed by an early reshuffle to get the heals back…but this allowed my anti-mage deck to take full effect. He was unable to hit. We chipped away at this health, waited out the heals, stayed after him, and got the win.

Match 3: another all ice PT…the hitter was level 76 with great resist and a high crit rating. The puppet was a level 5…and had been down ranked all the way to zero, a particularly nasty variety of exploit. What was interesting to me: the hitter already had both a warlord badge and the female commander robe, items that motivate most people to form PTs. I couldn’t imagine why she was still doing it after obtaining both of these things, so I asked her about it. She said (and I’m not making this up) that she was decorating her house and wanted seven extra commander robes that she could place on her seven mannequins. Meaning she was running a down rank PT and wiping out lower levels purely to get tickets for housing decorations. Well, if that’s her thing, I decided I would join in the fun. I decorated the hitter with an artful ring of lovely dispels. They really tied the arena together. Oh, and we won.

Check out the puppet’s win/loss record in this screen shot. That is some serious down ranking!

July 27th

Two matches, two puppet teams.

Match 1: 80 storm with a 10 ice. Curiously, both were menu chatters…however, the puppet did the usual assortment of tricks: spamming smoke screen, breaking shields, stunning us, etc. My guess is that they were muted at some point for what must have been some pretty “colorful” language. Their friends in the crowd certainly displayed an…um…interesting vocabulary, so if they were muted as a penalty, it was likely well-earned. Destiny and I shielded a lot and used early reshuffles to keep the shields flowing. Also, we went first, so this was not too challenging of a match.

Match 2: 77 fire and 7 death. Usually puppets have some role to play…blading the hitter, spamming smoke screen, moves like that. There was no pretense with this puppet. The level 7 had no wand or pet, he was there purely to bring in the low level opponents. The fire repeatedly tried to set up a massively bladed Rain of Fire…but this requires a fairly large number of pips, giving us time to shield and stall with dispels. Ended up being a very long fight, around two hours. The fire was patient, healed frequently, but we ultimately won from second. I was called a “noob” a lot this week, most of it coming from this team.

July 28th

Final match of the week. A magus balance and fire. This one caught us off guard. The opponents were around our level, so I assumed it was a fair team. I deleted all dispels, proceeded to use trained cards. Only mid-way through the match did I check out their stats and discover that the balance had down ranked to zero. I asked them about it…the balance said he had down ranked in order to help his fire buddy get the warlord badge. They said that as a mid-level team, down ranking frequently placed them against opponents that were between levels 10 and 20.  The balance added, “We get easy wins all the time.” The fire, meanwhile, used Fire Dragon and Efreet Treasures. This was a close one (they went first), but our gear resists blunted the full impact of their hits. We healed frequently and took our time setting up hits for Destiny: her bladed poisons prevented shields from being a problem. For my part, I just saved pips for a series of blizzards that finished them off.

We won two points. Had they won the match, they would have taked between 25 and 30 points from us. It’s another reason these exploit teams are so common: there’s very little risk, point-wise. You face lower levels, yet either win big or lose virtually nothing.

Number of times I was called a “noob” this week: 7. Not bad, but I’ve done better.

As a final note: all of these matches took place before KI announced they were attempting to prevent PTs from forming. It’s great news, I’m relieved that they are working on the problem. Too early to say how the new system in test realm is working, so the next chronicle will touch on this issue (an initial review of test can be found here). Also, if the fix does go live, I’ll have big decisions to make about my wizard. After all, Gianthunter was created for PT matches. If this fix works, should I retire the anti-mage strategy? Hang up the mask? Much to consider as KI implements changes to it’s system.

 

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  • “I decorated her with an artful ring of dispels. It really tied the Arena together.” .. Rofl. I loved this part.

  • Monarch

    I was there when you asked that one ice wizard why they puppet team. Mannequins…

  • She does it to DECORATE MANNEQUINS? Oy vey… [facepalm]

  • DMT001

    Yea I have faced a team like the last one with my level 10, both me and my partner were level 10 commanders, faced 2 magus fires, one down ranked. Needless to say we lost but put up a good fight. 622Hp dont go very far against fire dragons, lol

  • Termagant

    The only thing better than reading about Iridian and Destiny battling puppet teams is watching them do it live 🙂