Balance Mastery over Life? What? I know, I know! Run to the hills, I’ve gone crazy! But listen to this: Balance Mastery is an extremely viable alternative to Life in Turn-Based tournaments.
Pros to Using a Balance Mastery
For starters, you can use spells like Sandstorm or Scorpion to kill minions without wasting any Ice blades.
Secondly, Balance has access to fantastic spells that work beautifully in turn-based because your opponent cannot immediately respond. Mana Burn, Supernova and the notorious Loremaster are terrifying weapons in Turn-Based tournaments; dealing damage while preventing them from doing the same to you: complete control – in a nutshell.
At the same time, you still have access to healing spells such as Availing Hands, and the Flamenco’s pet cards – Availing Hands, as well. Loremaster is a very useful utility spell in turn-based, adding weaknesses and mantles into your arsenal. You essentially get 4-pip damage, a mantle, and a weakness in only one slot. It can also be used to kill heavy-healthed myth minions if need be. If you run a Life mastery, then you probably only carry it for the occasional Satyr and maybe Luminous Weaver. But if you recall in our tournament guide, I told you to remember aggression. So those healing spells won’t do very much if you’re trying to kill your opponent quickly. Balance, however, offers those same 4-pip heals but also so much more!
Turn-Based Tournament Deck
Gear for Turn-Based Tournament
Stats for Turn-Based Tournament
Mirror matches can be extremely annoying. I’d even go as far as to call it the most annoying of all. A regular Grand Ice will Seraph to kill minions, blade stack, Frost into Moon, blah blah blah. Those ideas have been run into the ground. Repetition kills innovation and we’ll prove that here. Over time, people learn what works against that classic Ice and what doesn’t.
However, if they’re using a Balance Mastery as well… what you know about your opponent is turned upside-down. Sandstorm offers a unique way to take out minions, Mana Burn prevents them from getting enough pips to significantly dent your health, with Loremaster acting as a damage buffer: adding weaknesses to your opponent and removing your own.
Fire has, as I’ve said before, the greatest pool of tech spells in all of Wizard101. However, while facing an Ice with Balance mastery in a Turn-Based tourney? Nope, sorry. Fire immediately starts out with a heavy disadvantage (lower health than most) and usually they try to stay away from Satyr spamming in favor of getting some blades on and burning you for damage. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that what damage you do will often stick to them. This means they won’t be able to – or won’t be willing to – heal it off. Aggression against schools like Fire and Storm is vital. If you’re passive, they might be able to gain an advantage and you might end up fighting to Diego.
Remember also that you don’t want to be digging through your side for Availing Hands as much as you want to be for those Frostbites, Infallibles, and Lores! I don’t recommend Infection spamming as much against Fire, so just focus on spamming Lores instead. They’re great because of Fire’s lower base accuracy and it also keeps the blades all but negligible.
Against Storm at Grand, you’ll play even more aggressively than you would against Fire. They have no access to trained heals unless they’re using a Life Mastery and opt to try and heal instead of hit. However, that’s often an oddity and not something you should take too much account for. Besides – to use a good quote of Dawn’s – “If they’re healing; they aren’t hitting”.
If they heal, outplay them like you would any other school. I mean, come on, it’s Storm. However, their damage can be a problem if you let it. Keep a bubble on them as Storms try to keep theirs up for as long as possible. In my experience they favor bubbles more than their blades. Storm is another low accuracy schools that like to stack damage. Because of that, Loremaster is the key to this match up. Spam Lores, but shield when you can’t or blade if you’ve already got some defense mounted. They don’t have DOTs readily available unless they use Lightning Elf, but that’s usually not the case.
First of all, Deaths are very uncommon, so there is not a lot of meta-play here. The most important thing against Death is to NOT SUMMON A MINION. That sounds counter-intuitive, but remember that Death heals most effectively off their draining spells. If they blade a bit and Wraith you, it won’t do too much if you’ve got your Glendemming gear on, but your minion? Honestly, your minion will cause that Vampire’s hit points to go through the roof. Do not allow them access to that drain off of your minion. That’s essentially giving them a Fairy off of your 3 pips- don’t.
Instead, focus on keeping your Balefrost up. They won’t want to change it to Doom while you’re comfortable with your health. Blade heavy and hit fast – that’s about it for Death! They’re not meta at Grandmaster for a reason. They have a lack of main deck tools and the only really effective spells in Turn-Based 1v1 are Headless Horseman and Deadly Minotaur. Don’t underestimate them: Death is a terrifying school if you let them pressure you. Use weakness often to keep that comfortable position, don’t let your health get too low without casting an Availing Hands and you’ll be fine.
Against Life you’re going to find yourself in one of two situations: Either you’ll be fighting a genuinely decent Life who knows what they’re doing or one wearing Zeus gear, essentially. If it’s the latter, just blade and stab for damage when it’s too heavy to be healed off effectively. If it’s the former, you will need to keep Sandstorm in hand for their minion spam and Infections up to discourage any jade strategies.
They won’t be very difficult to beat once you remember that they don’t have very many options to do damage back. Even the most adept Grandmaster Lifes try to jade in Turn-Based tours. Diminish their access to heals with Infections, Sandstorm their minions, and blade when you have an opportunity in between the mayhem. Either you’ll defeat them outright or you’ll win Diego over.
Against Balance in turn-based tournaments, you’re going to want to be wary of certain spells that will make your fight all the more unpleasant. Spells like Mana Burn and TC Supernova are all too common amongst higher-tier players, so be careful if you try and build too many pips.
Ice manages to best Balance if you can play through interruptions, as a good balance will try to stack weaknesses galore. A neat little trick I always try is to carry Scarabs if I’m going Balance Mastery or Imps if I’m going Life Mastery (to take off stacked weaknesses and also good for dispels). With that in mind, take off what weaknesses you can, but if you can’t: hit through them. Force a struggle and keep pressure, not allowing them to settle in and sand your defences down.
Don’t mind the Infections, though; remember that you’re trying to kill them before they can settle in and wear you down. Get your blades on early, force them to Mana Burn if they’re going to do it early game as late will cost them the kill. If they Burn with the full 10 minutes still on the clock, you’ve got more than enough time to rebuild your pips and counterattack. Put up a bubble, but don’t stress about keeping too many readily available. Balances don’t often change bubbles unless they’re jading or doom spamming, but you’ll play the same either way. Put your bubble up early, blade, and start putting dots on them as fast as possible.
Myth can be the most annoying school to fight in a Turn-Based tournament, especially as an Ice. It’s excessively hard to keep pressure on if you’re being either Earthquaked, Aftershocked or even better, Shifted, every time you try to take an offensive stance. However, trust me, fellow Ices, there is a recipe for success. One thing is certain: they definitely do not like Earthquaking off one blade. Occasionally, you can put on two, but in Turn-Based, you might have to bait their pips (i.e. make them use pips so they can’t immediately Earthquake you before you hit).
Generally, I play the same as I do against any other School except for one tiny thing: I’ll toss up a Bubble, put on a single blade and then Infallible. Infallible makes up, in a way, for the lack of other blades and trust me, you’ll need every little buff possible. If they don’t have the resources as far as pips go to Earthquake and they don’t look like they carry Aftershocks (some people just have that air about them – you know they won’t carry Shocks), then you can potentially toss on a second blade, but never go above 2. If you do, the likeliness of losing all of them and effectively having passed that many turns becomes deadlier.
Try to avoid dots because – let’s be honest – who enjoys having their own spells used against them? It can be crushing, so carrying lower-value overtime spells such as Ice Elf (if you have any) may be to your benefit. If you have to, a Frostbite into a Winter Moon often does the trick, but I always try to make room for an open Lord of Winter, if possible.
Don’t believe me? Try it yourself! I think you’ll be surprised with the results: Balance Mastery has become my go-to for Turn-Based Tournaments.