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Useless spells (are they really useless?

Hi, this is my first post, if played bg1 and 2 many times and i wanted to try something a bit different.
There are tons of spells that i NEVER use, and almost never hear about. Im hoping some experts here can give interesting ideas on how to use any of the spells on this list:

Level 1: Blindness, Chill touch, Colour spray , infravision , reflected image , shocking grasp, spook
Level 2: Deafness, detect invisibility , ghoul touch , glitterdust , luck , power word sleep ,
Level 3: Detect ilussion , minor spell deflection , slow , spell thrust
Level 4: Contagion, Enchanted weapon , Icestorm , Otilukes, Polymorth other, polymorth self , Teleport Field
Level 5: Conjure lesser elemental , Hold monster , Oracle , Shadow door ,
Level 6: Carrion summons , Desintegrate , Flesh to stone , Wyvern Call , Conjure elemental , Invisible stalker
Level 7 : Cacofiend, Control Undead , Limited wish (repeatable) , Mantle , Prismatic spray , Sphere of caos , Summon djinni , Summon efreeti
Level 8: Bigbys Clenched fist , Power word: blind , Summon fiend , Symbol: death , Symbol : Fear, Symbol : Stun
Level 9: Bigbys Crushing Hand , Energy drain , Gate, Meteor Swarm

Some of these spells have some use, but there are other spells on their level with better results.



  • velehalvelehal Member Posts: 297
    Is this supposed to be some kind of a joke? You list some of the most useful low level spells in the game: Blindness, Slow, Glitterdust, Detect Invisibility. I would suggest to try to play the game with some difficulty enhancing mod. Then you will see how some of these spells are incredible good.

  • KaltzorKaltzor Member Posts: 1,050
    I think sleep suffers really from the fact that 4 HD gets passed somewhat quickly... It'll save your mage up to and in Nashkel Mines, but after that I think enemies start having enough HD to be immune...

    Most Touch Spells I find to be relatively useless since they require a melee attack, with a mages usually low STR...

    Hold Undead, maybe against Vampires, but everything else that is considered undead that it might affect usually can be dealt with relative ease... Specially if you have a cleric who can Turn Undead...

    Teleport Field feels more like it would just be a general annoyance rather than of any actual use.

  • Cowled_wizardCowled_wizard Member Posts: 119
    Wow, ZanathKariashi, thanks for Incredible Useful Guide, i have so much to learn yet. Have you thought about doing specialist mage guides? Not necro o conjurer but something a bit more unusual (enchanter, alteriation, abjuration, divination)

    Velehal not everybody plays with upgraded difficulty. I have, but i dont find it particularly fun.

    A interesting way to play could be Fighter-mage using touch attack spells... from ghoul touch at low lvl to black blade at very hide.

  • bbearbbear Member Posts: 1,180
    Very good post made by ZanathKariashi. I would add to his post that summoning the djnni is potentially dangerous. If the djnni or its variants becomes a cloud of smoke at near death, it will "reborn" at full health later (one round or 2 rounds?) and becomes hostile. Also, once it's reborn, it is not affected by death spell/death fog (spell that kills summons). Very annoying when my party was low level and it constantly turned into a cloud of smoke before it could be killed.

    Lvl 8 Power Word Blind is the 2nd best spell of its level (Spell Trigger is better). No save and quick casting speed means the most dangerous enemy is disabled at the start of the battle. Make sure the enemy has its magical resistance reduced to 0 first.

    Lvl 8 and 9 Bigby's Hand are very powerful spells. The lvl 8 version is better since there is no save at the beginning, while the lvl 9 saves at -4 at the first round but does slightly more damage. The hold effect may work up to 4 rounds, but the held enemy gets a save every round. Bigbys are powerful because almost all enemies in the game (including Ravager and the final boss Melissan, but not dragons, monks or Balthazzar) are NOT immune to this spell). However the short duration really weakens this spell to extremely situational battles. Also, it's trumped by Power Word Blind.

  • artificial_sunlightartificial_sunlight Member Posts: 601
    @Cowled_wizard i'm also planning a touch attack playtrough But i'm not sure if I want Mage or Sorc (ghoul touch - black blade) or Cleric (Harm).
    Any advice ?

  • velehalvelehal Member Posts: 297
    Teleport Field can be useful in a battle when you don´t want to win (immediately) but just survive few first rounds. I remember that I had to use this strategy just once and it was in the battle against Eclipse Party from Solaufein mod. Teleport field can give you a little time against these cheating monsters. Generally I´ve learned to use spells like Blindness, Slow etc when I´ve started to play with Tactic mod (and then SCS). It has teached me that it isn´t important to deal damage via spells but to disable/cripple opponents.

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,410
    edited October 2013

    @Cowled_wizard i'm also planning a touch attack playtrough But i'm not sure if I want Mage or Sorc (ghoul touch - black blade) or Cleric (Harm).
    Any advice ?

    Cleric touch spells are one shot, if you miss or connect it is wasted. And useful ones are very high lvl. Other mage touch spells are low level and have good duration. Chill touch and ghoul touch lasts a while and you can buff yourself up with strength spell to do more damage. (The punch damage and to hit roll is affected via str)

    One trick was polymorph into spider via poly self spell, this gives a huge number of attacks/round. Use a minor sequencer (you can't cast spells while polymorphed but can use sequencers)on self:strength+ghoul touch, you now have an absurd amount of attacks/round, good strength and a paralysing touch. Haven't tried in bg:ee though, don't know if it is nerfed.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    edited October 2013
    I'd like to second @ZanathKariashi's points. Glitterdust and Slow are great spells for AoE disabling. If you cast Greater Malison first a lot of enemies will fail their saves, rendering what should be tough party fights fairly easy.

    Spook is also interesting. It gets save penalties that increase with caster level. Fear is also an effect that stops a most enemies casting. Lower resistance + Greater Malision + Spook is a good opening attack against Dragons. While feared they don't cast a lot of spells, but will still melee.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Glitterdust is mega useful.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    Didn't bring up spook since he didn't list it. Spook though is better for 12+ disabling since it gets it's full -6 save penalty and blindness has started getting resisted more often due to the lack of a penalty. And you don't have to go chasing the enemy around. Nice for interrupting casters though since it's fast casting and highly likely to work, and while they're running for 3 rounds you can start casting something else more potent.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,456
    Spook has a fixed, lowish duration though. Not that it isn't still very good, but it's something to consider.

  • WilburWilbur Member Posts: 1,173
    This must be cowled wizards' plot to keep charname from using these powerful spells in Athkatla.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,206
    edited October 2013
    Glitterdust doesn't actually lower saving throws. That was in the old description for the spell but its been removed (just like how it said that it would reveal invisible creatures). Its just an AOE blindess spell (but its still fantastic).

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited October 2013
    Had to make a new install to tell for sure (mine was accurate to the description, but I've made so many corrections it's hard to remember what all I've changed), and it does seem that it was lacking the save penalty, but it does dispel invisibility in the fresh install as well (of BG2).

    Technically, the correct choice should've been to add the missing effect, instead of changing the description, since it really is supposed to have a -4 save penalty and remove invisibility. That's why the glitterdust blindness only lasts a mere 4 rounds, instead of the normal blindness duration.

    (and it's not like it was hard to fix...copy from GM, paste to GD, change the duration/save type to match the blindness effect. Finished.) (though my version goes a step further and is completely PnP accurate, with the visual effect sparkles and dispel invisibility persisting for 4 rounds +1 per level (the dispel repeats at the beginning of each round similar to true-sight), while the blindness/save debuff only applies on the initial cast for 4 rounds).

    Post edited by ZanathKariashi on
  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 679

    ........Why do they do this?....boggles my mind...nerf spells that were working properly, but not nerf overpowered stuff that doesn't? Where is the rational to that?

    I'm pretty sure they didn't nerf the actual spell. I don't think glitterdust ever actually lowered saving throws.

    All they did was correct the description which erroneously referred to a saving throw reduction.

  • Cowled_wizardCowled_wizard Member Posts: 119
    Spider+ghoul touch + str = Great IDEA! I have to try it!
    Any ideas on prismatic spray or sphere of caos?

    Yeah i didnt consider spook as bad precisely because of saving throw. I also didnt know slow had a -4 to save.

    And once again agree with zanathkariashi: glitterdust should have -2 to saves, meteorswarm SUCKS, implementation is terrible (and they probably wont fix it), but the one spell i would really like to see fixed is energy drain... so much potential wasted...

  • wampawampa Member Posts: 68
    Blindness is great for reasons mentioned above. It and Spook are quite similar in function - single target debuffs - the real differences between them are that Blindness last longer, but Spook has a saving throw penalty as you increase in level. I personally prefer Blindness because I like the associated duration but both are solid first-level spell choices that retain utility throughout the game.

    Slow is awesome due to the natural -4 save penalty. Useful for BG1 and most of Shadows of Amn. Starts to be less useful in Throne of Bhaal - THAC0 is so high compared to AC that almost all attacks are auto-hit anyway and more and more enemies start saving.

    Polymorph Self had some great utility - the mustard Jelly form for mage battles, the Flind form for killing Trolls, and the Spider form for that sexy poison damage. Essential to the few melee-wizard builds out there, and still fun for wizards who want to dabble - or just have something to fall back on when they're looking low on spell slots.

    Teleport Field is one of the best level 4 spells - or one of the worst - depending on your party composition. It offers NO SAVE which makes it amazing. It is party-friendly, and multiple casts stack over an area. It's the ultimate anti-melee enemy tool - drop a few of these on an area and enemies without ranged damage options will charge towards you only to keep randomly appearing somewhere else. However, if your own party has a lot of melee in it, it isn't as good for the same reason - enemies keep getting randomly teleported so your guys will have trouble getting close and whacking them before they are teleported about.

    Power Word: Blind was ridiculously good in vanilla BG2, one of the best level 8 spells. Blindness is an incredibly powerful effect, and PW:Blind offered NO SAVE and had a tiny AoE around the target. Awesome.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    @Cowled_wizard Um, you do have Spook in your list though...

    And Glitterdust is already amazing; adding a save penalty would be way too much. It already acts as an AoE Blindness and Detect Invisibility in one spell, and you want it to do Greater Malison too?

  • Cowled_wizardCowled_wizard Member Posts: 119
    mmm tried spider +ghoul touch + str... but then i thought... why not web x2? Awesome combo!

  • CoryNewbCoryNewb Member Posts: 1,330
    Glitterdust is of my favorite spells through early game. I use it a lot and also used it quite a bit in the black pits.

    I am currently experimenting with new spells this play through. A lot of reading is involved.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    It's not a matter of what it should do, it's SUPPOSED to have a save debuff effect. The description was perfectly correct. Keep in mind, while it seems redundant, GM is enchantment, where as Glitterdust is conjuration....Invokers are lacking a save debuff spell as a result (though to be fair..if proper opposed school were implemented, they wouldn't get either of them anyway).

    I don't want to HEAR anything about nerfing legitimate spells, until all the incorrectly implemented and overpowered crap is taken care first.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    BG doesn't follow PnP to the letter though, so that argument doesn't hold much water. When you have a conflicting implementation and description, the decision can go either way and in this case they went with the original gameplay version.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    Despite the fact, since the description and game manual clearly indicate that the spell is supposed to have a save penalty, it was clearly intended to have one by the original developers and was simply overlooked.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,206
    edited October 2013
    Invisible Stalkers are actually really great. I never used to use them but I certainly make a habit of using them more so now.

  • sunset00sunset00 Member Posts: 309
    I have to say (too :) ) that Blindness, Slow, Glitterdust are indeed beautiful BG1 levels spells (and slow ALWAYS very nice anyway!). My bard blade just loves those ones (as extra spells -and other mages in the party can eventually concentrate on other spells then..- .. and ideal to launch under a defensive spin for exemple if taken by surprise) : those ones just destroy the opponents AC and/or give you 'hidden' thac0 bonuses too!.. ideal for the fighters in the party and even more directly to the bard blade himself that can combine that with an offensive spin a second later!..and then.. *) ^ ...ideal for a b.blade that is by definition always a little behind pure fighters of the same levels regarding his (AC)/thac0... those spells just (more than just) equalize things nicely! also great with greater malison if another mage in the party can launch that one just before too..and a little vampire touch to go on, etc...) *)

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited October 2013
    Oh don't get me wrong, stalkers are far from useless, but they're just pretty bland since they lack any real special abilities and deal less damage then several other summons.

    The main issue with that is that Skeleton warriors are even better at mind-flayer killing (they're both 8 HD creatures too). They hit harder, have MR, and are immune to everything the Stalker is plus some, but are a spell lvl lower (and don't cost you a potential casting of IH to memorize them). The only slight advantage Stalkers have during the 3 levels between getting 6th lvl spells at 12 and hitting 15.

    Invisible stalkers though are useful for a Illusionist who doesn't want to have to deal with Elementals or micromanage crawlers/Wyverns.

    The stalkers are supposed to have a permanent improved invisibility which I have yet to notice them having.

  • IllustairIllustair Member Posts: 863
    Nobody mentioned Otiluke's Resilient Sphere. It's very useful for a fourth level spell, I remember saving at least one in a fight. It's a life-saver for squishy teammates in tight fights and you could also control the fight by using it on enemies as well. Then again, it's been a long time since I've played BG. But just think about this, how can you go wrong with a shimmering bluish orb? Plus, you can easily brag about it like "look, man, I could cast one of the ARCHMAGE Otiluke's spells"...maybe use it in showing-off a little bit to Viconia; if it doesn't impress her, well it still has its uses.

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