Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre is a very serious strategy game where serious players create serious trade networks through ancient countries in an altogether serious and grown up manner.
Okay, that’s almost entirely false.
Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre is a stupidly fun card game where players create magic spells to blow the other players to smithereens.
Created by Cory Jones and Rob Heinsoo, the game features horrific and amusingly grotesque illustrations by Nick Edwards. Published by Cryptozoic Entertainment, Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre will accommodate 2 to 6 players and will take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour, depending on how much time you take acting silly and laughing.
Really, this is a stupid game, but it was meant to be stupid. They tried very had to make it weird, gross, and stupid. It’s very childish and juvenile, but my friends and I had fun blasting each other with goofy spells, often using strange voices and gesturing wildly. Just go with it, or go play something else.
Inside the box, you will find:
- 120 spell cards
- 25 treasure cards
- 25 dead wizard cards
- 8 large wizard mats
- 8 wild magic cards
- 7 last wizard standing chips
- 6 skull life markers
- 4 dice
- 1 very amusing rule booklet that contains language not appropriate for youngsters
- 1 huge cardboard stand up of Mt. Skullzfyre that has no use other than being totally awesome in its sheer uselessness.
For each round, players secretly prepare spells using the spell cards. A spell can have up to three components: source, quality, and delivery. Players simultaneously reveal the number of cards in their spells and the player with the fewest cards resolves their spell first. If there is a tie, then you check the initiative delivery number on the delivery card, or you just roll dice. The cards usually determine your target. For example, you may target your strongest foe, or the player on your left. The strength of your card is determined by a die roll, but there are variables that allow you to roll more dice.
Eventually, players will eliminate each other until there is only one wizard left standing. That player receives the appropriately named last wizard standing chip, and a new round begins with all players returning. One of the clever mechanisms of this game is the use of the dead wizard cards. When a wizard dies, the dead wizard cards will give them a bonus when they come back during the next round. The earlier you are killed, the more dead wizard cards you get. These get cashed in and you start the new round at an advantage. Play continues until one player has collected two last wizard standing tokens.
Do I recommend this game? Well, it depends. I thought it was a fun diversion and I enjoyed sitting and laughing with my friends as we blasted one another. I suppose there is some strategy in the number of cards you choose as far as timing goes, but this is really one big random free-for-all of weirdness. Serious gamers looking for grown-up themes will want to pass on this one. If you think you might enjoy saying something like “I blast all of you with Muzzlesnap’s Prickly Power Vortex!” then this could be a good fit for you. Honestly, I’ve spent more money on an evening of bad Thai food than on this game. Hmm, I’m not sure what the point of that was, but I do know that I think it’s nice to have a variety of games sitting around. Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre may not make my best new games list, but I bet it will hit the table a couple more times this year.
If any of you readers out there have played this, I love to hear what you think.