Saturday, September 25, 2010

WHFB Primer to 8th Edition Common Magic Items Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of this series.  This one will focus on Arcane items.  These can ONLY be taken by wizards so in many ways they are the opposite of magic armors.  A lot of them are one use only, too.  So for one use each, and a lot of points they better be gamebreaking.  We shall see...

I wonder how they knew it was ancient when they labeled it.

Book of Ashur: 70 points.  +1 to all attempts to cast and dispell.  A 70 point upgrade to be a level 5 wizard.  If it also came with a 5th spell this might have been worth 70 points.  As it stands, it isn't worth the points at all.  Rating: *

Feedback Scroll: 50 points.  One use only.  After your opponent casts a spell roll a die for each die he used to cast the spell and the caster takes a wound on a 5+.  If this was 25 points it would be great.  Or if it wounded on a 4+.  The big drawback is that it can only be used during the dispell step, so if your opponent casts irresistibly you can't use it.  If it wasn't for this drawback I'd call it the Scroll of Kill Teclis.  But it just isn't.  Rating: **

Scroll of Leeching: 50 ponts.  One use.  After your opponent casts a spell, you skip the dispell step and you add as many dice as he threw to your dispell pool.  The best use of this is to kill Remains in Play spells, or to come back from a double six winds of magic hole.  But really, neither of those is worth anything close to 50 points.  Rating: *

Hex Scroll: 50 points.  One use.  You can turn an enemy wizard into a toad for maybe a turn if you're really lucky.  Potentially powerful but too hard to use.  Crap.  Rating: *

Power Scroll: 35 points.  One use.  Any roll of a double will cause irresistible force and a miscast.  Very strong.  Internet morons will say it breaks the game because a 115 point level 1 mage can suicide cast a Purple Sun or Dwellers Below.  Big whoop.  That is a strong effect but not game breaking.  It's a gimmick.  It will beat bad players who don't see it coming a mile away.  It's still a solid piece of equipment but not nearly worth the hysteria the internet makes it out to be.  Rating: ***

Wand of Jet: 35 points.  One use.  After dice have been thrown in a casting attempt the wizard can add an extra D6.  This is the very, very, very weak equivilant of the Dark Elves' sacrificial dagger.  I can't see anyone paying the points for this, unless ofcourse, you combo it with the Power Scroll to have 7 dice attempt which will assure you of doubles.

Forbidden Rod: 35 points.  One use.  Add D6 dice to the power pool.  Bearer takes D3 hits no armor saves.  LOL WUT?!  You mean I can get an extra 3 or 4 power dice for the low, low price of one of my wizards?  Count me out.  Rating: 0 stars.  Seriously do not take this even as a joke.

Tricksters' Shard: 25 points.  One use.  Use at the start of an enemy magic phase.  Whenever you dispell an opponents spell his wizard suffers a wound on a 5+.  Another joke of an item.  Do you know how hard it is to dispell 3 spells in one phase?  That's pretty rare, and a pretty hard way to do a single wound to a wizard.  Fuck you GW for making me waste words on this item.  Rating: *

Earthing Rod: 25 points.  One use.  You can re-roll once on the miscast table.  Wow an item that actually has an ability someone might want.  That said, it still sucks.  There are no 'good' results on the table, just less bad ones.  Save 25 points and suck up the results.  Rating: *

Power Stone: 20 points.  One use.  You get two extra dice for a single casting attempt.  This holdover from 7th edition got a little better now that power dice are limited, but it's still way overpriced.  If it cost 5 points I'd play it.

Scepter of Stability: 15 points.  The disspell equivalent of the Jet Wand.  It's cheaper though, but way more useless.  Rating: *

Channeling Staff: 15 points.  +1 to all your channeling attempts.  Eh.  Instead of an average of one successful channel per game you will get 2.  Not worth 15 points, is it?  Rating: *

Scroll of Shielding: 15 points.  One use.  Give a 4+ ward to the unit targeted by a spell.  Maybe good IF THE BEST SPELLS IN THE GAME DIDN'T IGNORE WARD SAVES!  Rating: *

Dispel Scroll: 25 points.  One use.  Dispel a single casting attempt.  The old stand by.  In 7th edition you could bring multiple and use them to survive the nasty spells of the first couple of turns until you could kill the wizards.  That strategy is out.  Now this item is a lot more niche.  It went from a must add two copies to each army to maybe add one.  Rating: ***

Yup, you guess it: common arcane items blow.  Anybody disagree?


  1. Forbidden rod seems ok on a lvl 4 life mage with 4+ ward. Will give a massive boost to a critical turn of magic casting.

    You channel on both players turn so its 4 dice instead of 2. Might be worth 15 pts although there are much better arcane items.

  2. Wand of Jet is for when your wizard rolls crap and manages not to to get his overpowered 5 or 6 spell off. Throwing 5 die at something is usually your ENTIRE magic phase, and having it fizzle (by one point) is often a game breaker.

    Forbidden Rod is insurance for the double 1s and one-two winds of magic rolls, which can also end the game then and there. It's kind of like a Power Stone that generates die that everyone else can use. And yes, they will your wizard quite often. Incidentally, a 2 wound wizard with Opal Amulet has an exactly 50% chance of surviving the use of his Forbidden Rod, which can be improved further with something along the lines of Earth Blood.

    Earthing Rod. 10-12 is the only result that costs you Wizard levels, 2-4 is the only result that involves a LARGE Round Template, and 8-9 are the only results that can kill wizards in other units. There are countless situations where you desperately want to avoid one of these, and the other two are merely annoying, and that's what's Earthing Rod is for.

    Everything else you mentioned was crap absolutely was.