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Basic PvE Deckbuilding Strategies

Matt Plourde Posted:
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PvE Deckbuilding Strategies, Page 2

MMORPG.com Wizard 101 Correspondent Matt Plourde writes this guide to building your duelling deck in the magic-based MMORPG.

The "Blaster"

You deal damage... you deal damage well. Storm, Fire, and Balance wizards make the best blasters. Trap your enemy, blade yourself, and go to town. Be sure to avoid enemy shields with your high damage spells.

If you have crown gear, you can deal several different types of damage if you wish (since crown gear adds to *all* damage you deal, not just one school). However, your power pips won't count double for the other schools, so pack your deck with caution.

Since Blades are percentage-based, you always want a good supply of your highest pip/damage spells in your deck. Don't waste your Blades on your lower-level spells.

Unless you play solely in groups as a healing/support role - you will need plenty of blasting ability in your deck. Work with what you have and choose your targets wisely.

Quick Tip: If you have bonuses to your damage (thru gear), those bonuses will *not* add to Damage over Time (DoT) effects such as Fire Elf! (but Blades *will* add to the total/periodic damage)

The "Healer"

The Life school, of course, has the best healing spells (including a 0-pip version). Balance does have a Heal over Time (HoT) called "Helping Hands", however that spell alone will not make you an effective healer in a group.

There's a Life spell called "Guiding Light" which pumps the next healing spell you cast. However, it is only available to Life wizards and through crown gear. This is a vital spell if you want to be an effective healer. Some gear can also add to your outgoing healing, so that might be good gear to target.

Healing spells usually heal more damage per pip than damage spells deal per pip, so one healer can usually keep a group of three on their feet through any boss encounter. The Life school HoT and Satyr heal spells are available via training points. There's also a smattering of crown gear with healing spells attached to them. So, non-Life wizards could dabble in healing to fill more of a support role in your group (or make soloing a bit less dangerous).

Quick Tip: You can heal defeated allies in combat!

The "Shielder"

Shields are quite valuable in PvE because the AI is not smart enough to waste low damage spells on your shields or bypass damage absorb shields with drain life attacks. While you won't usually build a deck with only shields (though you *can*), they are almost necessary in any deck. There are two types of shields - damage absorption and damage mitigation. The life school has a spell called "Spirit Armor" which you can learn with training points or buy in an item. This damage absorption shield will block 400 points (or more) of damage before going away (note - drain life spells bypass this shield). The other type of shield mitigates a certain percentage of damage dealt by a specific school of magic (usually). These are the more basic shields and these usually cost 0 pips to cast, making them excellent "prep" spells. Balance and Ice wizards get the best types of these shields. The Balance shields protect against three different damage types with one casting and the Ice school has the "Tower Shield" spell which protects against *all* damage types and life drain spells. Tower Shield may be learned with training points and it exists in a Crown item - you cannot learn the Balance shields with training points.

All damage mitigation shields are "used" the first time you are hit with the appropriate type of damage - unless the shield is from the exact same spell (note: even if a spell is in an item, it is considered different than a spell of the same name cast normally). This is important to keep in mind as in PvE you might not want to stack shields which protect against the same damage type. Perhaps your 0-pip prep time can be better spent than spending 3 rounds making sure you only take 28 damage instead of 78.

At 10th level, head to the fairgrounds in Wizard City and visit Sabrina Greenstar. She offers a -80% damage mitigation shield for each school except Balance (there are no Balance-specific damage mitigation shields). The one for your school is free, but you can buy the other ones with training points.

Quick Tip: Use shields that correspond to the enemy's type - they usually use the same school of magic.

Well - that should be enough to get you started! Luckily, Wizard 101 is forgiving and it is quite difficult to build a truly stinker deck. Toy with your options, tweak until your eyes bleed, and you should end up with something that suits your play style!

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Matt Plourde