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Help with mage fights (SCS installed)

Hello,

I'm doing a first run with SCS installed. I installed most of the tweaks etc, the 'standard package' I guess, to make the game more challenging. However I'm running into issues with basically every mage that uses chain contigency. Especially liches (I didnt install breach working vs liches).

I mean, as soon as they pop Immunity vs abjuration, protection against magical weapons and some spell protection im basically dead. I cant pierce their shields because of immunity vs abjuration, magical weapons obviously dont work. So, what cna I do?

OrlonKronsteenJuliusBorisov

Comments

  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 859
    Normal weapons are your way to go with mages. Usually (from my experience) mages prefer PfMW over Mantle spells, and that leaves them defenseless. Your warrior(s) should be able to strip stoneskip early. There is also backstabbing.

    But liches are much, much harder. Daystar can be really helpful, but without access to Spellstrike they can be really nasty and force you into war of attrition. Thankfully in many situations you can retreat and wait for their defences to expire.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,659
    You can use summons to get rid of their spells, something like skeleton warriors are good because of their magic resistance - just don't send several all in at once as they will all disappear in a death spell.

    ArtonaOrlonKronsteenJuliusBorisov
  • nopprarnnopprarn Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the comment. I guess the liches remain as a problem tho seeing as they have their natural immunities. I dont have access to daystar since I actually have to kill the lich to get out ;). I guess im just looking for a fairly coherent way of dealing with liches

    JuliusBorisov
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,993
    nopprarn said:

    Thanks for the comment. I guess the liches remain as a problem tho seeing as they have their natural immunities. I dont have access to daystar since I actually have to kill the lich to get out ;). I guess im just looking for a fairly coherent way of dealing with liches

    Run away.

    I dunno, I have read so many posts on dealing with the various magical protections and still can't strip them of protections. Over and over again.
    I'm sick of using summons to basically outlast them.
    Just once would like to face a lich and use counter strategies rather than some summons (incl. planateers) while the party hides in a corner.

    I can never get rid of the rings of fire they surround themselves with for instance. I've emptied spell books at them, incl. spellstrike and guess what, they are still shuffling around in their fiery protections.

    One thing I can help with though is the lich to get daystar.
    Run in mobhanded and hasted and attack with missiles immediately, arrows of biting are very good. You hit him a lot before the protections flare, then his spells fail, and he goes down easily.

    OrlonKronsteen
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 547
    I would imagine that installing the breach works vs liches would be a great idea, though I too have always been forced to run away and send summons in at this point in my SCS career (except for the one time I got lucky and one-shotted the Crooked Crane lich with Azuredge). You can also choose to avoid liches for as long as possible, unless
    you get Edwin early and take him to the grave yard. Then you're forced into confronting a lich you can't beat, or letting Edwin go.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,993

    I would imagine that installing the breach works vs liches would be a great idea, though I too have always been forced to run away and send summons in at this point in my SCS career (except for the one time I got lucky and one-shotted the Crooked Crane lich with Azuredge). You can also choose to avoid liches for as long as possible, unless

    you get Edwin early and take him to the grave yard. Then you're forced into confronting a lich you can't beat, or letting Edwin go.
    Re the "Edwin fight".

    I have had a lot of "fun" with that fight.
    Summoned everything I could, Viconia and Anomen so an army of skellies, retreated and retreated and retreated right back to the entrance and finally Korgan managed with Frost Reaver on a last ditch, "might as well have a go" attack thinking, well we are all going to die anyway.
    And that was after a lot of reloads on the first time "SCS insane".

    OrlonKronsteen
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 547
    @UnderstandMouseMagic that sounds remarkably similar to the only time I ever won that fight. I used everything and the kitchen sink. Then came the excruciating reminder that DavidW didn't scale experience rewards along with difficulty. I fully understand why he did that, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel entitled to about five million experience points after that victory.

    UnderstandMouseMagicGrond0
  • nopprarnnopprarn Member Posts: 5
    damn lol I feel so weak reading about y'all who stoically defeated Edwin's lich. I felt it was justified turning on ez-difficulty and just pummel through him I mean, Edwins quest is timed after all. But still, the question is still begging, how to defeat liches properly without breach-mod installed?

  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 547
    Well, at high enough levels you're supposed to be able to establish powerful defenses with your own mages, while using anti-magic spells to take down their defenses (Secret Word, Ruby Ray, Pierce Shield, etc.). Then you throw > 5th level spells at them for damage? Meanwhile you can throw summons at them and hack away at them with fighters. But again, you need to be really high level so you have those spells, powerful summons, great saving throws and gear, etc.. Maybe the great players can beat liches (without cheese and some luck) somewhat early, but I suspect most of us are better off waiting until late SOA. There are items that can really help.
    Carsomyr is probably the best, if you have a paladin. Of course, you have to go through Firkraag to get it, and on SCS that is no easy task.
    Again, maybe best left until after Spellhold. Inquisitors have a dispel magic ability that apparently can help (if you haven't nerfed it with SCS).

    I've been dreaming of the day when I can feel in control of all this, but so far SCS has given me fits in BG2. I haven't beaten the game with it yet, partly due to playing no reloads and partly due to restartitis. I read these guides about playing brilliant mage chess and I want to do that, but so far nothing goes as planned in my battles with mages on SCS. I won't be going anywhere near a lich for a long time in my next run.

    JuliusBorisov
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,993
    edited March 6
    @OrlonKronsteen

    " I read these guides about playing brilliant mage chess and I want to do that,"

    That's exactly what I would like to do myself, but nothing seems to work. I can deal with liches, I don't have too much of a problem with them, but the summons/wait strategy feels unsatisfying.

    I just defeated the lich, Azamantis, 5th level Watchers Keep.
    I swear I emptied the spell book on him, Edwin has so many spells nothing should be able to resist 2 spellstrikes, handful of pierce shield, Ruby Rays, Warding Whips, Breaches, pierce magic ect. surely?

    Yet oh no, still had the flaming ring thing in place. (in the end just had a planateer thump him and charname using ice arrows).

    Sod it, I'll just stick to the usual tactic with a lot of them and blow them up with Anomen "Turn Undead". :D

    OrlonKronsteen
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 547
    At this point I think I'd just throw sand in their eyes and kick 'em in the bollocks, if it were allowed in the game mechanics.

    ThacoBellUnderstandMouseMagic
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,183

    At this point I think I'd just throw sand in their eyes and kick 'em in the bollocks, if it were allowed in the game mechanics.

    Well, you kind of can...

    OrlonKronsteen
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 442
    Think Azamantis’ aura of flaming death may be undispellable, hence why it didn’t work.

    The thing about debuffing enemy mages is that it can be slow and take several rounds (if solo, can be done quicker if you have multiple casters in a party). In that time it is often easier just to focus on your own defences and wait out the opponent’s spells. You only really need to unravel the opponent’s defences if you intend to attack with spells. If you can kill him with weapons, the only spell that really matters is PfMW. As soon as you get a moment where the opponent’s PfMW is inactive, that opponent is dead (e.g. Arrow of Dispelling / Carsomyr).

    The principles of mage chess are not that difficult and there are plenty of threads around. Only two things really to learn: what counters what and which order you have to do things in.

    The first is factual (read the spell descriptions). The second is easy, you have to remove in order:

    Spell Shield
    Spell Trap
    Any other spell defences such as SI/ST/SD/GoI
    Weapon defences and buffs

    ArtonaSkatan
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,993

    Think Azamantis’ aura of flaming death may be undispellable, hence why it didn’t work.

    The thing about debuffing enemy mages is that it can be slow and take several rounds (if solo, can be done quicker if you have multiple casters in a party). In that time it is often easier just to focus on your own defences and wait out the opponent’s spells. You only really need to unravel the opponent’s defences if you intend to attack with spells. If you can kill him with weapons, the only spell that really matters is PfMW. As soon as you get a moment where the opponent’s PfMW is inactive, that opponent is dead (e.g. Arrow of Dispelling / Carsomyr).

    The principles of mage chess are not that difficult and there are plenty of threads around. Only two things really to learn: what counters what and which order you have to do things in.

    The first is factual (read the spell descriptions). The second is easy, you have to remove in order:

    Spell Shield
    Spell Trap
    Any other spell defences such as SI/ST/SD/GoI
    Weapon defences and buffs

    Thankyou.

    So for a lich, in what order should you cast anti buffs presuming you have every spell at your disposal?
    Start off with a spell strike for instance?

    As I explained it's not killing them that's a problem. It's more that it would be nice to do it more
    "elegantly" .

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 6,770
    I wouldn't open with spellstrike. If they have spell shield up, it will completely cancel it. Toss something you can afford to lose to trigger Spell Shield, then it go for the high power dispels.

  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 559
    If I recall correctly, the proper way to go about this is normally:
    Spell Thrust to take out the Spell Shield. Pierce Shield to take out Spell Trap, or Spell Strike if you have enough 9ths to use. Secret Word, Khelben's Warding Whip, or something similar to take care of the remaining Turning or Deflection spells, and finally Breach to strip the remainder of their defenses, including the Spell Immunity:Divination.

    Thing is, while I theoretically know how to fight these... I've literally done nothing but summon, wait, and run in most of these fights. Normally because I don't even have the necessary spells known to deal with this.

    ThacoBell
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 442
    Spell Thrust does not work on lich as they are immune to low level spells.

    So proper order to debuff lich with all its defences up, assuming you have all spells and it does not put up more defences while you are debuffing is:

    1) Breach or Pierce Magic (to remove Spell Shield)
    2) Spellstrike (removes all other spell defences)
    3) Breach (removes all weapon defences)

    So 3 spells is all it takes if you have Spellstrike available.

    ThacoBellUnderstandMouseMagicJuliusBorisov
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 611
    nopprarn said:

    Hello,

    I'm doing a first run with SCS installed. I installed most of the tweaks etc, the 'standard package' I guess, to make the game more challenging. However I'm running into issues with basically every mage that uses chain contigency. Especially liches (I didnt install breach working vs liches).

    I mean, as soon as they pop Immunity vs abjuration, protection against magical weapons and some spell protection im basically dead. I cant pierce their shields because of immunity vs abjuration, magical weapons obviously dont work. So, what cna I do?

    Afaik pierce shield should still work on si:abj (as per spell description), though you might need several if the lich has multiple spell protections up. However, I've also had a very rare bug happen in the original BG2 installation (which was also reported on the gibberlings forums), where not installing the scs spell changes resulted in "unremovable" spell protections on liches.

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 733
    I prefer the Spell Revisions version of wizard chess as it gets rid of spell immunity, which is excessively useful for its level. While running away is certainly an option there is usually some kind of hole in wizard buffs for disrupting them, vs cold for example. In SCS + SR the casters + summoned demons tend to follow you with teleport without error as well, which is fun :).

    OrlonKronsteensubtledoctor
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,353
    edited March 9
    Agree. SR also make True Sight more effective and closer to how it works in PnP. (Opcode 193 lets you target enemies even with SI:Div. (And while SR technically eliminates SI, it actually keeps several SI subspells: NonDetection is buffed to become SI:Div; Mind Blank is SI:Ench; I think ProEnergy is SI:Inv; etc.))

  • bdtgazobdtgazo Member Posts: 36

    I would imagine that installing the breach works vs liches would be a great idea, though I too have always been forced to run away and send summons in at this point in my SCS career (except for the one time I got lucky and one-shotted the Crooked Crane lich with Azuredge). You can also choose to avoid liches for as long as possible, unless

    you get Edwin early and take him to the grave yard. Then you're forced into confronting a lich you can't beat, or letting Edwin go.
    Re the "Edwin fight".

    I have had a lot of "fun" with that fight.
    Summoned everything I could, Viconia and Anomen so an army of skellies, retreated and retreated and retreated right back to the entrance and finally Korgan managed with Frost Reaver on a last ditch, "might as well have a go" attack thinking, well we are all going to die anyway.
    And that was after a lot of reloads on the first time "SCS insane".
    That sounds great. Every boss fight should be that hard.

  • bdtgazobdtgazo Member Posts: 36
    I find that the spell battles are one of the things that sets BG games apart. They can be a lot of fun.

    My advice is, if you want to be good at BG spell battles, practice them. You will get to a point when you know what to cast and when. Keep an eye on the battle text.

    I view my main mage as a mage-killer first and foremost, and keep the book stacked for that purpose, with a few tasty morsels thrown in for other situations. I basically try to have 2 of each of the mage-kill spells memorized at all times on each mage in the party.

    Jaheira is a monster against casters. When I'm going mage hunting, she's coming with me. Great for farming cowled wizards.

    1 encounter that I think is a good test/practice for spell battle skills is the wiz north of the Harpers. Try to take him 1 v 1 with your best wiz. Keep reloading even if you win.



    JuliusBorisov
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