View Full Version : Staff of Sorcery, is it worth it?

Lotl Botl
05-01-2009, 01:25
i no the two dispel scrolls are the norm but if one mage already has a scroll and i'm generating 6 DD would it be better to get the +1 for all those dispel attempts

05-01-2009, 04:30
I use the staff when I have a lot of MR in my list. Otherwise, the staff is a bit of a luxury that I can usually live without.

05-01-2009, 06:01
For High Elves it is plenty worth it... besides them though, I wouldn't really bother with it.

05-01-2009, 06:56
For big TK games, when you have casket it is nice because it effectively gives you +2 to dispel. In your games, try noticing how many times you missed the dispel roll by 1, if you happen to roll that way a lot get the banner =).

05-01-2009, 07:26
its crap. its better to have 2 dispel scroll.

05-01-2009, 07:47
Against TK and VC I have found that +1to dispel very much worth it, but I do get it from the skullstaff, which has other effects too. I'd get 2 scrolls before the staff. 6DD 2 scrolls and +1 to dispell is great against TK&VC, but I'd take 4 scrolls and no staff against others (they do not tend to spam small spells, but use bigger spells).

05-01-2009, 09:12
I've tried to make it useful in a greenskin army where it costs 30 pts and I had 7 Dispel Dice.

Still worthless. There just isn't enough times you fail dispel attempts by 1.

Desert Rain
05-01-2009, 09:34
2 scrolls beats it at any time. It might get a bit useful with the HE to boost their dispel-rolls by +2.

05-01-2009, 11:25
As some people have already mentioned, dispel modifiers can be very useful against low-rank spells and spells from bound items.

I almost always have either Staff of Sorcery or Skull Staff (being a VC player myself) in my list. I'll try to briefly explain why I find it so useful:

First of all, it's important to keep in mind that the more dispel dice you have, the better the Staff of Sorcery is, as you'll get the +1 benefit more times.

Several armies, most importantly VC and Tzeentch Deamons, use a high number of 1-dice casts, the dreaded IoN-spam being the most obvious, but 5+ Flickering Fire each turn can also be hard to deal with dispelwise.
VC casters usually have a +1 modifier to cast IoN from a bloodline ability, but when trying to heal high cost units (Wraiths, Grave Guard, cavalry, etc.) they'll be casting at the basic value. In effect this means that IoN will have succesful casting values in the range of 4-7 when cast on 1 dice, which would usually require 2 dispel dice in order to have a good chance of a succesful dispel.
The +1 dispel modifier gives a 67% chance to dispel any spell cast on a 4 with 1 dice, and a 50% chance to dispel any casting value 5 spell with 1 dice, rather than 50 and 33% respectively. This change in dispel chance actually makes it a viable option to dispel casting value 4-5 spells on 1 dice, thus limiting the raising power of VC or the damage potential of those nasty Pink Horrors.

Another important part of the +1 modifier is that it dramatically increases the "comfort range" of dispels. Against an opponent with several bound items (Arch lector on War Altar, Corpse Carts, etc.) there is a large shift in the chance to dispel a given spell. Sure, using 2 dice to dispel the casting value 5 Cleansing Flare means that you'll dispel it 5 out of 6 times, but with a +1 modifier you'll dispel it 11 out of 12 times, cutting the succesful cast rate in half. Same goes for power 3 bound spells, that would usually be dispelled 4 out of 6 times on 1 dice, but 5 of 6 times with a Staff of Sorcery.
The list goes on; Dispelling a power 7 cast on 2 dice has about 58% chance. With a +1 modifier, there's about 72% chance of dispelling it.

In all these cases, it is far more safe to dispel with a limited number of dice than without having the +1 modifier, meaning that you can save dispel scrolls for when they're really needed, rather than being forced to use them by your opponent sucking out your dice with low level casts.

/rant off;)

05-01-2009, 14:03
the staff of sorc, is good in combination with other things, for example the wand of wych elm makes the staff a very nice addition :)

05-01-2009, 15:44
For 40 points I still don't consider it worth it for HE. The base +1 to dispel is solid enough, and guaranteeing two spells that you want stopped to be stopped is worth it. Unless of course you have an overabundance of Mages and you really want to make use of the DDs.

05-01-2009, 16:19
I think it is an item really for 3k+ games

05-01-2009, 16:25
I think a good combo for most armies is a lvl 2 mage with 2 scrolls and a lvl 2 mage w/ the staff.

This way you have an ok amount of magic (you could always add more if you want) and solid defense. Scrolls are golden againd DE and the staff is golden against VC and ogres.

Guy Fawkes
05-01-2009, 22:56
It is alright, and certainly boosts your magic defense if you have it, but is it better than dispel scrolls?

Sure, the +1 becomes more helpful the more times you throw dispel dice at something over the course of the game. However, after a few turns, are there many spells worth worrying about? Most combats are locked, so magical movement isn't so threatening. Magic missiles no longer have LOS or viable targets. Buff spells like Invocation of Nehek and some of the wound-healing spells aren't really game-winners, and generally have low casting values anyways.

You want a lock-down defense for the first few turns though, when magical movement can cost you the game, when a magic missile can destroy your support skirmishers, when IoN can mean the difference between overrunning and sitting for another turn in combat. Dispel scrolls are more useful for this.

Here's why: If you have 6 DD and 2 Scrolls, it's like you have more dispel dice because you save them when you use a scroll. If your opponent has 10 power dice and 2 bound spells (not as overwhelming as some lists today, but still powerful), you can use your scroll to dispel the big 3-dice spell or abnormally high-rolled 2-dice spell and save 2 to 4 dispel dice to help with the rest of the magic phase. The scroll is a certain additional dispel during the game, while the staff might help you on that 3+ IoN spell, but not on the 12+ gamebreaking spell. The staff is useful against an opponent who casts lots of little spells, but these are rarely the "must-stop" spells anyways. So the other guy got 5 more skeletons on turn 5, but you've destroyed most of his army anyways and he paid quite a few points to get the magic offense needed for that IoN to go off. 6 Dispel Dice will stop the small spells, but you need defense against the big spells.

Get a Staff when you are playing a big game or have loads of dispel dice anyways (or with additional modifiers, Corpse Carts or High Elves make the Staff much better), but for the points and purposes involved, I feel scrolls will win more games.

changer of fate
05-01-2009, 23:03
question, does the staff only work for the wizard that bought it or for everyone

05-01-2009, 23:46
I'm actually surprised I haven't seen more of the Staff of Sorcery in my time...then again, I can't recall using it ever myself, so go figure. However, with my current hate on for magic(my own phase, not necessarily my opponent's...), and the subsequent removal of spellcasting from my armies, I'm more focused than ever on magical defense. I can't help but think that, in my case(most likely, in ONLY my case..) there are times when a single spellcaster, armed and upgraded with nothing but the Staff of Sorcery would pay the bills, you know?

I honestly think I might be using it more often from now on, coincidentally...

06-01-2009, 00:18
Yes, against Vampire Counts it is most definitely worth it.

I would always take it if I played High Elves as well.

06-01-2009, 00:26
I rarely consider that often as my undead can get the skullstaff which is better.

+1 to dispel is great when facing bound items and spells cast fairly close to their casting roll. I find when you roll several dice you're more likely to roll similar totals. That little bit extra to your total often makes it that much easier to conserve your dispel dice. (If he rolls 7-8 you can much more safely decide to roll 2 dice against it if you've a +1 to your dispel attempt.)

Scrolls are more reliable but as one use only items I find it's too easy to waste them, misuse them or simply overspend on them. I hardly ever bother with them personally. Wasted points if your opponent doesn't invest in much magic.

06-01-2009, 07:29
It IS good on an O&G army with 7DD, if you are playing against alot of 1 dice casting spam VC or OK (or even demons with Horror units).

06-01-2009, 17:33
It is useful against TK and any armies that have alot of bound items. Also, on a slann mage it gives +2 to dispel and that is even better against TK.

08-01-2009, 01:19
HE are amazing with the staff of sorcery. +2 to dispel will make people look at you when you keep dispelling when you used to miss by 1.

08-01-2009, 02:54
I played a game against Tomb Kings today, and took it. It might have singlehandedly secured the win... the +1 stopped six incantations.

08-01-2009, 16:02
its crap. its better to have 2 dispel scroll.

No its not or you haven't bothered to use it well enough in an armylist.

The Staff of sorcery is seeing alot more play around my area, where VC, TK, MoC, DoC and in some respects DE are all playing strong magic phases and that have the option of good a low casting default spell/s.

Combining S.o.Sorcery with either casket of souls, HE magic, Slaan, VC staff, corpse cart, etc, etc. Gives you a good -2 to cast on those supporting spells. The opponent has to either push through spells with more dice or risk not casting; not casting a spell is( imho )one of the worst things in an opponents magic phase, it puts a lot of pressure on further spells being cast. Effectively your trying to turn his 2 dice casts into 3 dice and his 3 dice into 4 dice casts and drain his pool quicker.

Add to this MR and a basic dispel pool and you can control some of the more brutal magic phases out there, i.e. VC, TK, DoC teeznch, WoC magic heavy (they can throw around alot of good spells) from functioning on small dice rolls.

08-01-2009, 22:13
I like the Staff of Sorcery a lot, but I rarely ever get to use it. On my Dogs of War it's 50 pts, not discounted like the newer armies. With Chaos, I am going pure offense in the magic phase. Well I suppose the Pandemonium/Puppet combo counts as defense, but not the typical scroll caddy kind ;)

I think Dispel Scrolls are annoying as hell, they take all the fun out of the game and quite frankly I don't find them to be gamebreaking unless you take a retarded amount of them. +1 to dispel should not be underestimated, especially if you can stack it with other modifiers like Frankly has said.

+1 to dispel against 1-dice casting VC, Ogres, a Warrior Priest army, or simply TK can be quite useful. Any time you are facing a high number of low value spells, then +1 is fantastic. Should stop at least one additional spell every phase against a lot of opponents. Let's see a dispel scroll do that.

Guy Fawkes
11-01-2009, 22:07
Should stop at least one additional spell every phase against a lot of opponents. Let's see a dispel scroll do that.

I don't dispute this, but I feel the strength of the dispel scroll is that you get to choose which spell you dispel, rather than relying on the +1. In any case, generally I would let 3 or 4 IoNs or other low-value spells go through rather than suffer the 12+ uber-spell that miraculously goes off against all odds at the most inopportune time.

Not that this happens all the time of course, but I'm realistic - I can't completely stop magic offense with my defense no matter what I do, so I just want to stop magic from ruining my game plan.

12-01-2009, 15:52
I know what you mean Guy Fawkes. There will come a time against a magic heavy list when he throws a lot of dice at a spell like chill wind, vanse, etc, etc. And all you want to do is stop it, throwing dispel dice at it is still a risk and that risk can loss you the game. I like dispel scrolls because they are road blocking game savers.

Commissar Vaughn
12-01-2009, 17:35
I almost always take it, usually pays for itself, even the DOW 50pnt version.

12-01-2009, 17:39
It's one of those items that are useful, but so highly costed that it requires sacrifice.

12-01-2009, 17:52
35 (or 50 ofc) is a difficult amount of points for most, as there often is nothing useful to take for the rest of the allowance, which leads to "wasting" the points. 30 points, and you could take a power stone at least, 25 would be awesome for obvious reasons, but 35 is probably quite balanced. 50 is too much I think.

12-01-2009, 17:53
In short, it depends what kind of magic you're up against. If you're playing an opponent who casts few but big spells, scrolls are better. If you're up against a lot of small spells (Ogres, VC, TK) then a Staff of Sorcery worth its weight in gold.

Incidentally, the armies that rely on magic the most to actually function (TK and VC in particular) suffer the most from it, and seeing how difficult VC can be to come to grips with, I think it's worth including in a list just for the tremendeous impact it will have in that particular matchup.

Furthermore, I think a lot of you are underestimating how it works psychologically. Sure, on paper it'll only work where you'd normally fail the dispel by one, but it will often unnerve people and making them invest more dice in their casting attempts, as they feel the threat of getting a dispel is larger.

Finally, it's really good for shutting down the bound spells.