The human mage is my favorite unit in the game. I’d love to play humans a lot more often than I do, but my loss rate with them that one night I decided to play humans all night in orc games was so depressing that I jumped ship.
The human mage moves slower than an ogre, and even a footman can chop him to bits in a hurry, since his hand-to-hand combat is weak. Even a couple peons can take one down at close range.
Using mages successfully requires stealth attacks. The classic blizzard from behind trees on the gold mine is one you’ll learn very quickly. That inward rage you feel when all your peons are snowballed to death is reversed into giddy glee when it’s your mage and their peons! You need a minimum of 25 mana to cast blizzard, but do significantly more pleasant damage when you have a fuller mana mage to deploy.
To pass a mage successfully in some maps and situations from one place to another requires invisibility, like when the passable paths are defended with towers and patrolling ground troops. When approaching an enemy base, try to cast from outside of range of enemy towers, and away from ground units that could quickly put an end to your mage and his spells.
If you have the option to target the enemy’s peon line (gold flow between hall and gold mine), his walled tower(s), or ground army, how do you choose your target?
There’s no one right answer, of course. It depends what else is going on in the game. Is it teams or 1s? Does your opponent have multiple expansions? How does your army size compare to his? Is your mage likely to die very fast or do you have time to target and kill his walled cannon tower and still have enough mana left after it dies to significantly damage his economy by killing gold peons?
I plan to expand the mage page and eventually do a video on the human mage, and possibly interview a few human-loving players for their personal favorite tips and strats to create the most complete guide to the human mage in W2 ever made, but for tonight, it’s bedtime. 🙂