The Spiral Notebook
Chapter 3: Moon
When first released in 2010 as part of the sunken city of Celestia, the Astral Schools of Magic quickly became a mainstay of Wizards around the Spiral. The Sun School’s damage enchantments proved essential for plowing through enemies and fellow players alike; the same can be said for the Star School’s auras. Unfortunately, one of the three Astral schools fell through the cracks due to its poor utility and overall lack of usefulness. Ladies and gentlemen… the Moon School.
With the recent addition of the Beastmoon Hunt, the Moon School (or, as I like to call it, Lunamancy) has shot out of obscurity in a big way. In this edition of the Spiral Notebook, I want to take an outside look at the Moon School over the years, addressing its spells, its storyline significance, and its current place in the public eye. With all that being said, let’s get started!
Article #1: What is the Moon School?
“Moon Magic is about Change. Historically the moon represents change; in seasons, tides and even in the moon’s phases. The moon is important in mythology; it is said the full moon brings on the change of the werewolf! Wizards choosing the supplementary school of Moon Magic can change themselves into other creatures. That change comes with all the strengths, weaknesses and spells associated with the chosen creature.” – Official description of Moon magic via Wizard101
As mentioned before, the Moon School of Magic first debuted alongside Sun and Star as part of Celestia. For the first few years of its existence, Lunamancy had one gimmick, and one gimmick only: Polymorphs.
After casting a Polymorph, wizards transformed into a new creature–one with different Health, stats, and an entirely new deck of spells–for six rounds. As of this article, there are 12 polymorph spells available in-game (9 from Celestia and 3 in Azteca), with each transforming players into a different creature.
But with Khrysalis Part One came a new direction for the Moon School, one that took the form ofÂ Shift Spells. Unlike Polymorphs, Shift Spells are 3-Pip damage spells that, after temporarily transforming their users, have a variety of different aftereffects… some of which are completely random!
Article #2: Moon’s Storyline Significance
In terms of storyline relevance, the Moon School wasn’t much of a big deal…Â much.Â In Celestia, itÂ wasÂ one of the three Astral Schools of Magic. Thus, it had an entire dungeon dedicated to itâ€”the Lunar Sanctum. It also had its own portion in the world’s final dungeon, the Trial of the Spheres.Â In Azteca, entire religious sects dedicate themselves to following Moon Magic; not to mention, everyone remembers that infamous trek through the Pyramid of Mother Moon.
What everyone remembers, though, is Moon magic’s role in the first part of Khrysalis. After freeing Sofia Darkside (and the Eclipse Tower by extension) from Morganthe’s clutches, we learn of the parallels between Lunamancy and a new, exponentially more powerful form of magic…Â Shadow Magic.Â
The first form of Shadowmancy we learn in Shrike/Seraph/Sentinel, something I’ll dub a Shadow Shift, is reflective of Moon magic’s ability to transform the user, albeit in a very different way. So do we have Lunamancy to blame for breaking PvP by introducing Shrike? In a sense, yes. Without Moon’s capability of transformation, we wouldn’t have gotten it in the first place.
Article #3: The Moon School’s Irrelevance
So why has the Moon School been so overlooked these past 9 or so years? Well, to put it simply… their spells kinda stink.
Let’s start with the Polymorphs. Sure, the idea of transforming into some creature, then dueling as said creature sparks intrigue on paper; however, practical applications are where Polymorphs fall so… soÂ painfully short. What’s the point of transforming if my base stats are more than twice as high as the Polymorphs’? Why should I use this consistently if it’s going to put me at a constant disadvantage?Â Why should I spend a Training Point on a spell I’m never going to use? Needless to say, these questions are what doomed Polymorphs from their very inception.
Then came Shift Spells, which were certainly interesting… for all of 5 seconds. Don’t get me wrong; some of these spells are GREAT. Shift GreenOak, Shift Dread Paladin, and Shift Grendel are all really cool, and I have friends that vouch for their usefulness; however, the fact that all 7 of these spells cost 3 Pips stunts said usefulness. In a meta where Power Pips are the name of the game, using 3 Power Pips to cast a 3-Pip spell instead of a 6-Pip one… it’s off-putting, to say the least. Oh, and did I mention that any extra damage for these spells has to come from your Universal damage?
Article #4: Artemis New Moon and the Beastmoon Hunt
In 2013, Kingsisle released the side-zone Aquila, a rigorous three-dungeon gauntlet home to the Greek pantheon-inspired Immortals. While many of the Immortals are present throughout Aquila, there’s one that’s mysteriously nowhere to be seen: Artemis New Moon. Though Athena Battle Sight states that her sister is merely “away,” she never gives any indication on what occupied Artemis during the Immortal Games. 6 years later, though, we finally got our answer!
In Greek mythology, Artemis is the goddess of both the moon and the Hunt, a duality that’s reflected in the newest Spiral pastime: The Beastmoon Hunt. I won’t go too much into detail about the event –Â everyone here on Final Bastion has done that plenty. To summarize it in one sentence, the Beastmoon Hunt is a competitive multiplayer event where Wizards transform into various “Beast Forms” and go head-to-head in a deadly game of Capture the Flag. Wizards Spiral-wide, myself very much included, have really taken a liking to the event. However, that begs the question… where does that leave the Moon School?
Article #4: The New Moon (Conclusion)
I don’t exaggerate when I say the Beastmoon Hunt might’ve single-handedly saved Lunamancy. Sure, Shift Spells might have a niche place in everyone’s spellbook, but the Hunt brought some stuff to the table that could really impact the Moon School overall.
First, let’s talk about the possibility of new Moon spells. We haven’t had any trainable Moon spells since Khrysalis Part One; even with the addition of Qyburn Stellargaze, the Astral School Scholar in the Arcanum, the only spells he teaches are Star and Sun.Â Hopefully the new publicity Moon’s gotten from the Beastmoon Hunt will inspire more creative and powerful ways to utilize it from the Kingsisle staff!
Second, let’s talk about something I’ve wanted to talk about ever since the Hunt was revealed: upgrading Polymorphs.Â Last time on the Spiral Notebook I talked about the possibility ofÂ upgrading spells; that is, taking pre-existing spells and giving them much-needed upgrades. Then we have the Beastmoon Hunt, an event that does something to that effect with its various “forms.” By upgrading them, players can have access to more cards and better stats. Now, bear with me here… but imagine that, but for regular Polymorph spells!Â No longer will Polymorphs be a static transformation that greatly pales in comparison to us in base form, but if given the chance to upgrade they might just be able to surpass our own stats!
“But James!” I hear you cry. “What about the different Polymorphs that are the same School?” Well, to that I say… what about them? In the Beastmoon Hunt, we have different Beast Forms of the same School that fulfill slightly different roles (the Krokomummy and Colossus come to mind). Why can’t Polymorphs be the same way?
And finally, let’s talk about probably the most pertinent topic:Â The Moon School going forward.Â Thanks to the Beastmoon Hunt, more and more players are talking about the Moon School, bringing the School of Magic to a forefront of discourse the School has never seen before. Lunamancy is on the uptick in a way nobody would’ve ever predicted, and I for one am incredibly excited to see what the future holds for the Moon’s next phase. (…Yes, pun intended.)
Do you think the Moon School has a shot at making a comeback? Let me know in the comments!