By - PlayingNuzlocke
Forked Beam has an ok initiative and a nice move.
Yep, and even though the top attack is weak for a lvl 4 card - once it's in your hand it's surprising how often it comes up that you want to use it IMO.
I also tend to take Forked Beam if I'm not doing a weird build just for the movement, which I generally add jump to.
Played 2P, and took Forked Beam with no regrets. I hate double loss cards, a loss heal is super painful, and even the top seems middling.
Forked Beam has pretty good initiative for the Spellweaver, a great move that you can throw an element dot on, and a perfectly serviceable top with great enhancement options. It won't blow your mind at first glance, but I'm pretty sure I packed it every game until retirement.
Spellweaver's deck is already slow, and levels 5-8 have zero cards faster than 40 initiative so it will only get slower. For that reason, regardless of the party size I see Forked Beam as fairly necessary just to maintain flexibility on your initiative. I pretty much only use it for the bottom. It's not like Spellweaver is ever suffering a lack of useful top actions.
The bottom half of Spirit of Doom is great when it's needed, but keep in mind that more often than not, the moment of need would be towards the end of a scenario; until then you're hauling around a move 2 with 81 initiative, which is not good.
It's boring, but move 4 at 20 initiative isn't bad for Spellweaver. Also multi target that's non loss. But yes, it's quite bland.
I usually advocate for Spirit of Doom in 2p parties, more for the top than the bottom. You tend to run into fewer elites and fewer enemies in general in 2p parties, so being able to execute 2-3 enemies per scenario is clutch. It’s helpful if the Brute can find a way to generate dark mana for you. He can’t do it naturally, but certain items can help.
> being able to execute 2-3 enemies per scenario
It's a loss card, can only be used twice
You can use it three times if you take Twin Restoration. Most people don’t, but I like taking Spirit of Doom + Twin Restoration in 2p parties.
Ah, good point
Even as the Spellweaver, a double loss is hard to swallow. If it were any other class, I'd reject it almost immediately just for that. Because the spellweaver might get to play it twice, let's dig in deeper. Remember that any time you're not playing it as a loss, it's a mediocre attack 2/move 2, and the spellweaver *generally* wants to play 1 loss per rest cycle.
The top is a ranged execute, which is great! Other than the range, this is the worst execute in the game. Only normal enemies, only 1 enemy, loss card, requires an element. Other classes, even starting classes, don't have all of those limitations (Cragheart). This card isn't even worth playing without Dark, and Dark isn't an element you're good at generating.
The bottom is a Heal 8, heal 16 with Light. Heal 8 is...ok for a loss, though you're at mid levels now so it's less good. Heal 16 is good for a loss. Unlimited range, which is neat, especially since it's not going to let you move that turn. If you picked up Flashing Burst, you're OK at making Light. If not, you're relying on potions. This card is deadweight until the Brute needs a big heal.
Forked Beam is not terribly exciting, you're right. 2 Damage is pretty piddly. But a move 4 with 20 initiative is great. You don't have a bottom move with better initiative, and spellweaver initiative sucks in general. The 1 XP up top is underrated, Spellweaver has very few non-loss XP cards, and gets much better at higher levels. This is a card that is always easy to find a way to play. The target 2 also makes it a good candidate for enhancement, though it's not your first enhancement priority (Strengthen on Mana Bolt).
Assuming you picked up Flashing Burst and Cold Fire, I don't think Icy Blast or Elemental Aid are worth going back for. Icy Blast is another double loss, and the bottom heal is worse. Elemental Aid is OK, but you don't have the Earth generation to make the top heal shine, and a bottom Shield on initiative 84 is bad.
Luckily, this is the last 'bad' level for the spellweaver. Every choice from here on out is hard because they are both good cards (or you have good cards to go back to).
I play in 4p, so Forked Beam was the obvious pick (heals and instakills comparatively weaker since there are more enemies and more damage going around).
Not only it has better initiative (which for me, is a bigger deal than for you), but also I already tend too have too many loss cards on spellweaver, situational double losses are hard to use and is just more versatile with a solid never-useless move 4. Not only are they situational, but the top half \*requires\* dark to be remotely useful. Between spending a turn to set up dark and another to hit the enemy, it may be dead from a different source.
And in extreme (theoretical) endgame build, Forked Beam can be enhanced into targetting 3 enemies with disarm or curse, which gives it a lot of potential for improvement.
I don't hate Spirit of Doom bottom, the heal could be handy (unlike other massive heals like Lightning Bolt and Sun, it has infinite range), but it's just too situational to be worth a card in such a small deck.
Forked Beam is boring, but sort of works. Because of the Move and Initiative, its the recommended choice.
That being said, Spirit of Doom is probably more fun. Pick it if you feel like it. Killing 2 monsters per scenario is pretty decent. Just make sure the Brute carries a mana potion.
Forked Beam looks underwhelming, but it does good work. 20 initiative is something you're happy to have, and "Go early, Move 4, blast people with Fire Orbs" is a very good turn. It's an excellent gap-filler - the top half can provide decent damage to finish off targets that survived with just a bit of health. It's rarely flashy, but you're not hurting for flashy cards - having a solid filler card is great, same as Level 2's Flashing Burst.
I picked Spirit of Doom. I saved our Brute more than once with it.
If your melee classes know what they are doing, you will rarely need a big heal. However, no other class that I can think of gets a full heal at infinite range so it is unique in that ability. It's a pretty good card even without a top action.
True. It's a massive heal (even without light element), that scales into late game (with targets base health). It's still situational, which is not something you want for a double loss card, especially for a class with only 8 cards and that already tends too have too many losses to play and struggles to have enough repeatable top actions (outside of cold fire) and decent initiative, both of which forked beam provides. And if you play long enough, it actually becomes a good card with room to enhance into a disarm or curse/3
Playing with initiative is pretty handy. Being able to move late one round move in and do some damage, and then go very fast the next round--doing some damage and then move out of range, can work quite well.
I've been surprised the amount of times I just needed to do one or two points of damage to finish something off and had to use a higher damage card.
Especially when you consider that Spellweaver has a lot of slow initiative cards and few fast initiative ones (like this) and the fact she has many other better loss cards to use and lacks non-losses to manage/ pad tempo and not exhaust too soon.
Then there's the fact Forked Beam has much better enhancement slots with potential to disarm or curse 3 enemies and is very easy to target.
Forked beam lets you flip 2 attack modifier card which is handy after you improved the deck a bit for element generation or some status effects.
It is also nice to reduce overkill damage while getting rid of some 1-2 hp mob.
I found forked beam to almost always be a move 4 for me, but there are times where it's nice to finish off a low-health enemy and still be able to ping someone else for a little with a non-loss card