Mage and burst damage go hand and hand, and with Sorcerer's Gambit, we can dial that up to 11 with an extra 3 damage on every spell. That raises the question though, is this extra 3 damage overkill and more importantly, is it reasonable to complete the quest in a meaningful timeframe? It’s time to figure that out!
Parameters for the Statistics
Before jumping into the breakdown, I would first like to give the conditions behind a lot of the calculations you will see in this article and almost all the future ones. In every scenario, I assume the player goes first and hard mulligans everything but the questline to find the key cards to accomplish the quest, and then prioritizes completing the questline with the hypothetical opponent not applying much pressure. In addition to that, unless a percentage is stated, assume that the given scenario will happen 50% of the time. With this out of the way, let us dive into this questline!
Quest Completion Breakdown
Before we go into the expected turn completions, we need to address the elephant in the room for this quest, that being card generation. The two culprits in this deck are the second step of the quest, Runed Orb, and Evocation. Let’s take a look at discover first. Of the 38 mage spells, with 9 fire spells, 8 frost spells, and 14 arcane spells. This means that whenever we discover, we have a 57% chance to hit a fire spell, a 47% chance for a frost spell, and a 76% chance for an arcane spell, giving us a 95% chance to hit one of the three types. As for Evocation, we are going to assume we create 8 spells off of it. Off of this, we can expect on average to get 1-2 frost and fire spells, and then 3 arcane spells. As for the average mana cost of these cards, frost spells will average out to be around 2.75, fire spells being around 4.55, and arcane spells average to around 2.15, which means that more often than not, fire spells will be significantly harder to cast off Evocation than the rest. Something else that needs to be addressed before diving into the individual quest steps is how drawing affects the expected completion turn. For every additional card you draw, you can lower the expected turn count by roughly 1, except for the quest step as I have included that in my calculations. This does not take mana into account, and will often result in completing the quest on the same turn as the calculated expected one.
Now onto the actual quest steps. The chance we have a frost spell by turn 1 is a fairly solid 56%, while fire spells have a strong showing of 67% while arcane spells, not including Evocation since casting it early is pointless, has a 62% chance. All of this looks promising to complete the quest early, but unfortunately the odds become severely worse when you look at getting all three types, dropping to a miserable 23%. We can expect to have hit all three of them around turn 3. Given that most of the frost and fire spells cost 3 mana or more, we can assume that on average, we will be done by the first step of the quest by turn 4.
As for the second and third steps, it is important to note how powerful First Flame If we were to save Second Flame for the second part of the quest, we would be able to complete the second step of the quest around 55% of the time by turn 6. For comparison, without the help of first flame, we would only be able to complete the quest 46% of the time on turn 6, resulting in completing this step of the questline turn 7 significantly more often. The effect of First Flame only becomes more drastic for the last step of the quest.
The final step of the Sorcerer’s Gambit has the chance of being completed almost right out of the gate, depending on the lead up to it. If we are able to discover a frost or arcane spell, and have a Second Flame kicking around from either the first or second step, we can expect to either have the last arcane spell, which will also include Evocation, 54% of the time on turn 7, or the last frost spell 51% of the time on turn 8. If we missed both off of the discover, we can expect to have them by turn 9 a little bit under half the time. If we used the Second Flame earlier on, our chances drop a bit more, being able to complete the quest 56% of the time by turn 10. As you might be able to guess, the completion rate drops even more when we have never cast First Flame, taking an extra turn in order to complete it about half the time.
Given the nature of the questline rewards, more often than not the only ‘real’ reward we get is just Arcanist Dawngrasp. I say real because more often than not, we want to use the other 2 steps to help speed up the completion of the questline. While Arcanist is undoubtedly a powerful card, 3 extra damage per spell is definitely nothing to scoff at, Mage has never really suffered from a lack of burst damage to begin with. As a result, the biggest payoff you will get from Arcanist is on tools like Fire Sale, which scales excellently with it. However, there is an even bigger factor that can make Sorcerer’s Gambit see play, which is the relative ease to complete it. A good chunk of the fire and arcane spells played in this deck are already being played in traditional spell mage, meaning that there is a relatively small commitment cost. I’m still not sold on the questline being worth running, but it already has a decent home for itself in a slightly tinkered spell mage.
What do you think about the Mage Questline? I'm so split between it being an essentially free option to power up the rest of the spells in your arsenal, and it being complete overkill when you can realistically just burn the opponent by the time this questline is done and you've played Arcanist. It definitely feels like the type of card that you have to play with for a bit to truly understand how impactful it is. Once again, if you have any questions about the math behind any of the calculations done here, just let me know and I'll explain it when I can. Hope you enjoyed and I'll see you all in the next one!
Learn More About Stormwind's Other Questlines
We have a whole series of articles planned for the questlines. Here's everything published so far:
- Demon Hunter's Final Showdown Legendary Questline
- Druid's Lost in the Park Legendary Questline
- Hunter's Defend the Dwarven District Legendary Questline
- Mage's Sorcerer's Gambit Legendary Questline
- Paladin's Rise to the Occasion Legendary Questline
- Priest's Seek Guidance Legendary Questline
- Rogue's Find the Imposter Legendary Questline
- Shaman's Command the Elements Legendary Questline
- Warlock's The Demon Seed Legendary Questline
- Warrior's Raid the Docks Legendary Questline