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CardShark Content - Andrew Kocsis (8/17/2002)

I am finally starting to sober up from Origins and all I can say is: Wow. Four days and nights of drinking, tournaments, nonstop gaming, drinking, meeting awesome people, and drinking. Our sponsors (Cardshark.com, duh) were amazingly cool and put up with our drunken antics like pros. Since telling everything that happened at Origins would be an entire article in itself, I will simply suggest that you go check out our Origins report, complete with pictures, over at www.yellowimp.com.

Now onto the article you clicked here for. If you have been following my articles, you know that last time I wrote about the Solonavi Tormentor as my Underdog pick. It seems a few voices have expressed displeasure with my choice of a 121 point unique as an “underdog”. Mainly code-bitch took a sucker punch at me while we were drinking. But the whole incident has prompted me to make a concentrated effort to do an Underdogs article on a particularly unused, unappreciated figure. So this time everyone gets treated to the intricacies of the Elven Demi-Magus. When Sinister first came out, I was sure this figure would see tons of playtime, but instead seems to have been shuffled to the back of the “cool idea, poor execution” pile of figures. But when compared to almost anything else, the Elven Demi-Magus shines like nobody’s business.

Like many newer figures, the Elven Demi-Magus is a rehash of an earlier figure, the Demi-Magus. They both are chosen for their support abilities and they both are very expensive for their potential attacking power. In fact, neither of them would last more then a few rounds against anything but the lightest skirmishers. Both of them have low attacks that drop quickly and low damage in hand to hand combat. However these figures do not belong anywhere near the front line. Their job is to sit behind the lines and reinforce the figures around them. Most people chose the Demi-Magus for this task since it is cheaper, but that is not the right reason to take anything other then an Imp (see the first Underdogs article for the reasons why). The Elven Demi-Magus gives everything the Demi-Magus and more.

To start with look at the two figures attacks. Across the board the Elven Demi-Magus matches the Demi-Magus on attack value and range. Each level of the Elven Demi-Magus has a matching attack of the Demi-Magus equivalent of its strength. In addition, the attack values of the Elven Demi-Magus stay higher over each click then the Demi-Magus. This means that when everything hits the fan, the Elven Dem-Magus can attack more then once before becoming complete fodder. Their eight attack and ten inch range should allow them to get at least one good magic blast off before the rushers hit the line. The low damage is unimportant since you will be rolling for magic blast anyway.

The next of stat to look at is the movement. The movement is a mere eight. However, since the Elven Demi-Magus keeps their eight move for at least two clicks before it start to drop, it gives the Elven Demi-Magus the chance to hit and fade back for healing, unlike the Demi-Magus who suffers a drop in speed over each click of damage it takes. Flat out the Elven Demi-Magus should be able to outmaneuver the Demi-Magus without too much problem.

Finally we come around to the defense, the heart and soul of the Elven Demi-Magus. Here we see a two better defense on the Elven Demi-Magus then on the Demi-Magus, a two better defense will mean the difference between simply needing a sure hit on the figure and needing a lucky shot to put the figure down. This should be a prime concern with how much pressure your support figures will face. Most players adhere to the philosophy of “kill the support and the army will fall” and will send most of their force with the intention of murdering your poor elves. Moreover the Elven Demi-Magus will share their 16 defense with whatever you have parked around them. My personal favorite is to park long range gunners with them such as Troll Gunners or Artillerists. A cheaper alternative is to put Amotep Gunners with them. You’ll still have long range striking power but you’ll trade off the traditional toughness most defense armies count on. If you field higher defense defend figures in your army, you can use the Elven Demi-Magus to extend out their protection through chain defend. In larger games this means you can have a Emerald Glade Mystery or an Elemental Priest bumping any figure touching them or the Elven Demi-Magus up to the super high defense values normally reserved for uniques.

Don’t forget that Elven Demi-Magus’s don’t have to replace Demi-Maguses, they can support them as well. A pack of supporting Demi-Maguses is a common sight on the battlefield. Since the Elven version can do everything the normal can do, including one in the pack can extend the life expectancy of the rest by spreading the defense. Even the Magus only has a 15 defense; don’t hesitate to help him out with a little defensive bonus.

Yes the point cost is high and yes the figure doesn’t have a lot of staying power (in fact he drops faster then a techno groupie at a rave), but the fact is that defend and magic enhancement seem to be made to work perfectly together. The initial spread of abilities separated them (defend into Elemental League and magic enhancement into Atlantis Guild) but now they have come back together in the goodness that is the Elven Demi-Magus. Go ahead and field this costly bastard, he won’t let you down.

If you liked this article, check out www.yellowimp.com, containing off the wall humor, in-depth discussion, an online campaign, and a disgruntled mascot. Seriously check it out. We guarantee you’ll love it or we will beat yellow imp to a bloody pulp.

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