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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Trial of Spheres - going Solo!

Hey everyone,
After my recent lack of solo success with Hexfin, I felt I needed to redeem myself somewhat. So when the Trial of the Spheres appeared on my timeline, I subconsciously decided that this battle I would do alone.

I have to say of all the dungeons, this one is pretty good. There are a few 'tests' along the way, and you do have to put a little thought into them, and concentrate on the messages - as they tell you what you need to know! Once you have worked out how to align the moons to open the paths to each of the mini battles, you can literally blast your way to collecting the Lunar chests and the Shields within. Completing four of these will take you to the first of the bigger battles.

At the start I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, and a couple of times I gave up on the Astraeus battle. I'm sure quite a few of you have been there, when the 3 minions appear just one time too many and the battle has been going for an hour, and you really just don't seem to be getting where. I changed my deck around a few times before I found I had something that worked.
 The minions are life, as you can see, so you really don't want them to hang around too long and giving life back to Astraeus. Beware, this is another battle where you can fall foul of the Tower Shield too

You'll find it is easy to get rid of the minions, with that 500 health, but you need to be smart with what you have left in your deck when they are gone. You'll get a few rounds when the dastardly Tower shield is missing and that's when you need to get in your best strikes. I found the best thing was to load up on power pips, have a Bone Dragon and Blades ready, and then strike. Timed well the first strike will hit with no shield and the extra damage for those 3 rounds makes the whole battle a lot easier.

Also, because I loaded up on Power Pips, it meant I could continue to play the big spells while the Bone Dragon worked it's magic. By the time the Tower Shield appeared and the minions were back, Astraeus had gone from 7,230 to 2,450 health. And then I did a similar thing again. I did encounter a 'slight annoyance' in that the last strike - 'my kill' strike - didn't quite work. When the deck was back for me to choose again I found he had 1 health. ONE!!! Seriously ? 

One more spell and I was off to the Lunar Sanctum. Another series of tests to complete before the portal to the battle opens. These are a bit different, but once again the words tell you what you need to know.

Onto the next battle, and this time it is against Ptolemos. Only one minion with him, so you may be excused for believing this one to be easier. Word of warning.... it is not. For me it was a long battle. The first time I tried I literally ran out of cards and had to flee. I had right-clicked my 'Reshuffle' card right at the start, you see I never dreamt the battle would last as long as it did. Another prolific use of Tower Shields, but not the normal ones... no that would be far too easy! Ptolemos uses the 90% shields, rendering any spell useless when it is in play.

So this is another one where you need to be careful of timing, and the real trick is to use Blades. If you use a Blade he finds you 'Charming' and all the shields disappear. My tactic for this battle, was not to rush. Pass or Shield up when there was nothing useful in my deck. Power up any spells with Gargantuan or Monstrous, get Vengeance going, then Blade, then hit. It worked a dream! But it still took a while. 
And I ran through my whole deck before I was eventually able to defeat him. As you can see, the Reshuffle is sitting there just in case. As it was the last few cards I had were awesome, so it was over, and onto the next one!

The Solar Sanctum.

I liked the look and feel of this place. You know Morgrim once said to me that Celestia was one of the most visually stunning parts of the whole Spiral.

And when I first saw the blue areas I thought WOW! But there were so many of then, the blue started to wear a bit thin, lost it's shine so to speak. The Solar Sanctum takes it right back up there. It does help that my favourite colour is yellow, so I am a little biased here :)
Again, there is a puzzle to solve before the portal opens to allow you to face Mithraya. It is not too difficult, take care when reading the words - they tell you what to do, in a round a bout way. You collect the sun chests in this one.

Mithraya is a bit different to the other bosses. I have heard others say the she is a favourite of theirs, and I can see why. Ablaze with flames, she does have a certain reverence about her.

I started this battle in completely the wrong way. I had been leaving one mana bottle in case I needed to fill up, and it just so happens that I did. Phew!, right? With just over 1700 health left, it was a far cry from my usual 3100. Unfortunately I was more concerned with checking my deck that I completely forgot. As soon as I entered the battle I realised my mistake - I sincerely hoped that it would not be my downfall!

And just like the other battles, this one is all about timing. When you see the phrase "The Cards Align! Now's Your Chance!" - you need to be ready. It may take you a couple of rounds to figure that out, but once you have that strategy this battle if fairly quick. It is by far the easiest of the 3 battles.
Try and take time to admire the graphics here. They are pretty awesome!

And it wasn't long until it was all over. Victory was mine, and with it a shiny new badge!

So I believe I have redeemed myself. Third time was a charm for me, although it took around 2 hours to complete end-to-end.  And with it came another bonus.... I am now level 70!

Cyrus Drake wants to have a chat, some sort of challenge. Looking forward to that, but for now I will take a certain amount of pride in the completion of this battle solo!

Until Next Time,

Friday, 30 May 2014

Astral Treasure Cards - no longer just Level 84+

Hey Everyone,

I have recently become aware of new Treasure Cards.... now this happens sometimes as I level up. All of a sudden cards I have never seen before are available in the Bazaar. I tend to buy now and look up later. So I have been buying them, most of them and whenever I see them. I haven't actually looked them up.

But then I started to run short of Gold - that hasn't happened in ages, so I thought it best to check these cards and make sure I am buying them for a reason and not just because they are new! And thanks as always to Wizard101 Central, I quickly found that these spells are pretty much school dependent.... I have popped their images below. Note that the cards I have been buying have the "No PVP" cross on them, so they are slightly different.

Looking into this more, I have found out that I should really be looking at Virulence - luckily I had bought more of these than any of the others - see it in action below; 

Now these were level 84 Treasure Cards only, so I wondered why I was seeing them. After a bit of research I found out that ever since Khrysalis part 2 came out there are two types of these cards.

The original ones that drop in Azteca still drop and they are still no auction or trade, but the ones that drop in the new areas can be traded or sold at the bazaar, but can't be used in pvp. Both types can be used in crafting.

I have used Virulence a few times now, and my hits have been great - this is definitely one I will continue to buy. My only advice is to check the last part of each one, as that is incoming to you - not to the enemy! Virulence gives me 10% increased life hit, so not one I would use against a Life boss for instance.

That's all from me right now.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Grub Guardian: The Helephant Tower

Here we are with another Grub Guardian post...

The Helephant Tower is a Wysteria map (costs crowns to buy, I HIGHLY suggest spending crowns on Wysteria maps). Wysteria maps are definitely worth the couple hundred crowns needed as you will win so many crowns items as rewards that easily make up what you spent.

Anyway, I completed this map using star towers. Yes yes, I know, more crowns items... But seriously. This level is so insanely hard to get a gold medal on that I couldn't get it after going at it for around an hour. I can finish it, just not perfectly.

Here is the video.

Ok, basic strategy is just centralising the Epic fire pet and letting the star towers do the work. They are seriously overpowered. Anyway, you need to put down the Ice towers for those Helephants near the start as they are pretty quick but move ridiculously slowly with ice slow.

Hope you enjoyed and I will have more Grub Guardian posts out soon.

See you next time!

- Blaze

Monday, 26 May 2014

Building Castles, Buying Reagents, Being Kids

Highlights this week include.....
  • Morgrim's Bazaar Lurking Antics - Morgrim buying Reagents - tips included! 
  • Arcane Builder's Bundle - We can BUILD Castle's? WOW!
  • All Welcome - Wizard101 is not just for kids you know
The week started somewhat quiet in the Spiral, but it definitely ended with a BANG!! News of the Arcane Builder's Bundle took hold fast over the weekend, and I don't expect that the news will quieten until this bundle is out and we start seeing what Wizard's do with it.
Elsewhere, Tabitha finally met Morganthe, as she now enters Zafaria. But there is so much more out there! Click on the paper to find all the news and tips being shared by Wizards around the globe.

Find yourself a quiet spot and enjoy..... Look out for another round up next week!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, 25 May 2014

'Understood by Few' - Arcane Builders Bundle

Hey Everyone,

You all know that I love creating my houses, and throwing crafting into the mix... well I am never happier. But what's this I see appearing everywhere? I can BUILD a castle. From the ground up? 

What a totally awesome concept - I love it, especially if it could make it's way to Australia so I can buy it!!! Hint Hint!!

So it's the Arcane Builder's Bundle.. 

This is a bundle process like no other too. 

You buy them in stages and get different Estates for each purchase if you use them for one Wizard:

1st Bundle = Midday Estate
2nd Bundle = Meadows at Dusk
3rd Bundle = The Night Garden

So it looks like each is slightly different (not just the time of day!), and you get to re-arrange them as well. Swordroll has some great video on his blog (links are at bottom of post). 

The bundles come with the plots, about 250 blocks for the Midday Estate, and each step up comes with more blocks. The house comes built, but you can take it down and rebuild it! It doesn't get much better than that!

Thanks to Paige, I am also including the helpful hints and tips for building :

Automatically Select Next Block – After you place a castle block, if you have more of that same kind of block, you immediately start placing another one.

Snap Blocks – Only allow placement of castle blocks in a grid formed by the nearest castle block of the kind you’re placing.

Hide Higher Items – Hides all items above you and makes the ceiling of the level you’re on transparent.

Lock Blocks – Prevents picking up or moving of any castle block in any house.

Thank you to Paige Moonshade (Paige's Post), Stars of the Spiral (Starsofthespiral's Post) and Swordroll (Swordroll's Post) for their awesome pages - please make sure you check them out!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Huh?!? - Arcane Builder's Bundle?, you could say this is a bit of 'clone post', because I'm just going to talk about what I have noticed on Duelist101.

They have come across a thing called the Arcane Builder's Bundle that is (apparently) available in the US from Gamespot come June.  There is a lot of speculation around right now on this, but have a look at this:

There are two things here that look pretty interesting.  

First, I love my castles.  I have built them and bought them.  That being said, I have never had a "Build-a-Castle Plot and Pieces" before!! I wonder what that could mean, and how much flexibility KI will give us :)

Then...what are those two little guys on the front of that "Handcar" mount?  Automatons?!?  Wow.

Coming from Australia, this is a challenge.  A bundle this good looks like it will be great to buy - it just looks like I'll have to wait for it to be available online :(

Good luck to my US based friends - I look forward to hearing all about it, and perhaps visiting one of your Castles!!

See you 'round the Spiral!


Friday, 23 May 2014

The Eternal Reagent Struggle!

Reagents and is difficult to determine just how much time I have devoted to the art of crafting.  Whether it be Quest crafting, house crafting, crafting for TC or crafting for pleasure, sometimes it can just be plain HARD!

Tabitha once described her actions as Bazaar lurking.  I know that feeling very, very well.  Sometimes you'll see me online and I won't respond.  Check my location, you might find that I am sitting in the Bazaar and Morgrim is left to himself - the person behind the keyboard just isn't there!  It is a good tip to know that if you talk to me, I talk when I don't, there is a reason!

If that is the case I am typically lurking for seeds or reagents.

I have been lurking for Black Coal, Pristine Vials, I can even remember once waiting for Perfect Onyx in the Bazaar for many hours until I got the number I needed.  Those are hours of my life that I will never get back. But, here's a BIG tip!

When you are looking for reagents, the Bazaar is the logical place to start, but if you find the reagents you are looking for seem pretty rare, you really should have a quick run through the Spiral and check with each of the vendors.  You might be surprised what you will find!

For me:

  • Black Coal - Wizard City!! Doh!  
  • Pristine Vial, Perfect Onyx - Celestia


So next time you are in the hunt for that key reagent, by all means start in the Bazaar, but if you cannot find it there quickly, go for a quick Spiral run and see - you might just save yourself hours!

See you 'round the Spiral!


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Nice to Meet You - Or Is It?

Hey everyone,

I understood how excited everyone was with the culmination of the Morganthe story in Khrysalis part 2.  I mean I understood that it would be exciting to have a whole new area to explore, and stories to encounter. But the culmination of Morganthe? Well I couldn't get excited about that! I mean how could I? I had never even met her!

The only knowledge of her story that I have so far is that she is an evil sorceress who conspires to steal the secrets to the Astral Magic in Celestia. She is spoken about in whispers, I grab little parts of the story as I move around this astral land. But she never appeared..... well now I can say - that is no longer true. It seems I have reached the part of Celestia where Morganthe shows herself in flesh and blood.

There is no battle, but that was the same with Mallistaire back in the Big Ben clock-tower. Appearing with foreboding and words to chill your soul.....

It seems I have much to look forward to as the next chapters unfold. 

Until Next Time,

Monday, 19 May 2014

Tribulations, Sales and New Guides - we have it all

Top stories this week.....
  • Tabitha's Tribulations - Morgrim to the rescue! 
  • Marvelous May - Gardening Sale had us in a frenzy!
  • Grub Guardian Guide 1 - Blaze shows us how it's done
It was a week where Tabitha struggled against Ice, but Spring/Summer continued with the great gardening sale in the crown shop. Elsewhere Khrysalis free furniture guides have started appearing, and Shadow Magic continues to raise curiosity. Click on the paper to find all the awesome stories from sharing Wizards around the globe.

Find yourself a quiet spot and enjoy..... Look out for another round up next week!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Hexfin Horror Averted

Hey everyone,

As you can see from the rather sorrowful picture, I am continuing to have problems defeating Acastus Hexfin. Even Patch looks a little dejected right now.

This continuing rate of defeat has meant that I have made good use of the one of the new features.... The one where you can teleport back to the battle you just failed at. I'm guessing that we must be in the realms of 14 or maybe more defeats. So I have made very good use of this feature.

Back to the battle. I got close a few times.
In fact one of my defeats was down to pure bad luck and a dodgy internet connection. Imagine my frustration when the boss is dead, minion 1 is dead and minion 2 has 146 health left. And take a look - I have full health of 3162. A great position to be in......
Victory is within my grasp - one little spell and I will succeed. But the screen does not refresh - I'm just standing there..... the internet connection has failed. How quickly can I reset and log back in?
Well the answer is - not quickly enough. By the time I am back on I am back at base camp and my health is 35.
Persistence is one thing. Patience is another - and right now I am running out of both.

I know as long as I start the battle I have a good chance. My deck is working pretty well, and I have been crafting the Gargantuan treasure cards to increase my hit. But I am getting rather tired at this stage.... so I call out to a certain Fire Wizard I know to see if he could help.

I had a feeling that once Morgrim was in the mix this battle wouldn't last long..... Fire against Ice... and Fire with a good level of damage..... let's just say I wasn't proved wrong! I had a tactic to defeat the boss first. He doesn't generally use the Tower Shields until he is very low in health, and it was working well for me.... but no such tactic needed in this battle. Round by round their Shields were shattered and their health depleted.

And this battle finished perfectly. With one left to defeat, Morgrim casts first, and I cast second. Morgrim doesn't quite take him out, so it's all down to me. With everything crossed that I don't fizzle at this crucial stage.... Phew.

It was done. After an embarrassing number of defeats, one round with Morgrim and the deed is done. I still feel the need to get through this battle on my own merit.... but in reality that can wait till another time. I am happy to get through and not to have to face Hexfin again for some time to come.

Thanks for coming to my rescue Morgrim, I really hope the next battle is not so time consuming to complete!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Still Learning

Hey everyone,

I had a revelation this week. A revelation about my Wizard 'style' or maybe a characteristic I have unwittingly adopted... It is complacency.... I am too complacent.

You see, as a Death Wizard I have become so used to coming back from the brink.

My damage|health spells always seem to be there just when I need them. Or I play a Sacrifice Spell that goes critical. Oh, and as an aside note, when you are Death, go critical on Sacrifice, then block it - it's just awesome. Rebuilds almost all your health in one fell swoop!

So what happened? In a word - Ice. A fight with 3 Ice enemies of which one is a boss to be precise. I knew I would need to deal with the Tower Shields. They are always prevalent in an Ice boss fight. So I packed Poison to counteract that one. Tower Shields are an issue, but one that a bit of thought can overcome. Oh and I made sure that my wand was Fire. That way I could do maximum damage and another way to get rid of those annoying Tower Shields.
There are three main problems with this particular boss fight:
  1. Prevalent Tower Shields
  2. Stun
  3. Starting second in a battle of 3 against 1
I am embarrassed to admit they are defeating me..... truth be told, they have defeated me 3 times so far!!! I cannot remember the last time that happened! It's time to think up a better deck strategy, in that respect I am still very much the student.

I will let you know how I go on this one....

Until Next Time,

Friday, 16 May 2014

May Gardening Giveaway!

May Flower Seed Sale!

Hey Everyone,

May continues to be a month to celebrate, with the lovely folks at Wizard101 getting into the Gardening spirit with a giveaway for ALL wizards, and a sale to blow your socks off!

Save Up to 50% OFF Seeds & Select Gardening Items

According to the update page - April showers brought May flowers... and now it's time to break out your garden in Wizard101! Now through Sunday, May 18th 2014 save big during this gardening sale!

Wizard101 are reducing the Crowns prices of seeds & gardening items up to 50% OFF. Save BIG on:
  • your favorite seeds
  • Red Barn Farm
  • Moolinda's Green Thumb Pack
Remember, if you want to level up fast in Gardening, you need just one of the Key Lime crown seeds, so now is an excellent time to buy one of these - and the Red Barn Farm to plant it in!!!

And as if that wasn't enough to get excited about, you can also welcome back an old holiday favorite... the Happy Holidaisy! Another seed that keeps on giving, you only need one of these - plant it now and by the time Christmas in July comes around, you'll have fields of candy striped happiness !!

Free Seed Giveaway!

Use the code mayflower to get a free mystery seed! You could get an Angora Bunny Ears seed or one of the special seeds from game card packs!

That's all from this update, and all from me!

Until next Time,

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Numbered Items - Sooo much easier...

Just a quick note on one of the things I really appreciate about Wizard101.  Despite the popularity, KingsIsle keep striving to improve their world.  This makes the playing experience just that much more 'playable', and for us older players, that is invaluable.

Items in inventory have long been a challenge when the number of items you have increases.  When looking to place a new item in your house, the types and quantities of items that you carry can sometimes be unclear.  The times you really notice are when it is time to give your house a bit of a makeover :)

But - wonder no more.

The Item Counter in the inventory list is just great.

You know, although I realise that every pet is different, I sometimes think it would be very handy to know exactly how many of each pet type I am carrying too.  Still, then it would be hard to choose between Miss Heidi and King Pepper!

Oh, and I have to say, I LOVE the way the item name pops up now when you select it in your own house!  For the newer players, I know you won't believe this, but we used to have to pick up an item, then check your backpack to see what the item is called.  As many of us collect the rarer items, knowing what we have collected over the years has always been a challenge...

I realise it won't be long before this is just what people consider the norm, but for a long time player, this is improvement is just great!

See you 'round the Spiral!


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Super Spiral Stories !

Top stories this week.....
  • The Last Wintertusk Dungeon - Blaze finishes Nastrond.... at last! 
  • Morganthe's Memories - Swordroll on the Khrysalis storyline
  • Onto Gardening- Edward Lifegen gets into gardening!
Did I tell you how much I enjoy putting the Wizard101 Weekly together each week? I never know what to expect, and sometimes when I'm having a busy week I just don't find the time to browse everyone's stories during the week. So I often find content that I hadn't seen previously when I get the news items together. I hope you find it as useful as I do.....

Now I have a few more stories to finish reading..... hope you find some stories of interest yourselves this week :) Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Monday, 12 May 2014

Mirror Lake - Making it Interesting!

Hi all,

It has been quite a while since I have last had an opportunity to post!  It seems like an eternity.  There are just times that real life really gets in the road :(

Nonetheless, Blaze and I decided we'd have a bit of fun the other day and head on back to Mirror Lake.  If you have read our gardening books, you'd know that the reason that lots of people like farming this (semi)-challenging dungeon is that the drops are great.  Mega-snack (Pixie-stix) and high energy gear are the real
rewards here.  These are a good all-round snack and are great for most forms of pet training.

Given that this is a Zafaria dungeon, it isn't really that hard once you get up a few levels, so for Blaze and I, there was a choice to be made.  Blast straight through it like bats out of hell, or give ourselves a challenge.  We were in a mood for a challenge, so we laid out some rules and headed for the World Gate!

The Rules
This dungeon (for those that haven't played it) has a bit for everyone.  Lots of bad guys, and interesting bad guy strategies.  So, for us, being Death and Fire, we decided that we would attack it in this way:

  • First fight, only Rank 4 Spells
  • Second fight, only Rank 6 Spells
  • Third fight, only Rank 8 Spells
  • Finally, just go for it!

For those Fire-types out there, this is a real challenge.  We are fighting multiple opponents, but, other than the first and last fights, all the Attack All Enemies spells are out of bounds!  It was challenging and frustrating.

So, we set up our decks and off we went.

The first fight, I had my meteor.  Bulked up and with Blaze hitting well too, it was over pretty promptly and Tse-Tse was heading back to Morganthe with his tail between his legs.

OK, fight two.  No meteor, dragon or anything else useful against multiple ghostly opponents.

This wasn't a fun fight - look at those noob-pips!  Worst of all, this shot was taken just as my blades were getting quaked off me...

So, what do you do when you get lots of noob-pips?  Play a nice off school spell :)  I had made sure that I had loaded up on a few 6 pips off-school spells in my treasure deck, so I decided to have a little fun.

Given that Blaze was on my left, and he was Death, look who decided to join us?

Yes, that's right, the increasingly confused Malistaire!  (is he good?  is he bad?  is he dead?  just what is going on here?)  And who would have thought it?  The guy can fight!

(if anyone is confused by this, when playing Grub Guardian, you get quite a few Minon pack drops...Malistaire is one of the guest appearances)

Well, it went on from there.  We finished the 2nd fight a little slowly, and the 3rd even more so, but after that Blaze and I just opened up and ripped through the final fight.

All in all, a solid session.

For those of you who are getting up in the levels - what kinds of 'games' and challenges do you set yourselves?  It is interesting to hear about how other Wizards spend their time, so drop us a note and let us (here at the Keep) know a little more about how you play.

See you 'round the Spiral!

(it's good to be back!!)