Recently, a couple of articles have touched the skills of Range and Melee fighting, so I'd thought I'd complete the triangle by writing about the Magic skill. And while I have been playing since just before Desert Treasure came out, I will not go too far into the past.
So let's get the obvious stuff out of the way first. With three spell books it is pretty obvious that a lot of options are open for almost every player. To some it can hardly be considered a combat skill, and even in most arranged F2P wars between clans in Clanwars, hardly anyone uses the Fireblast spell. So here is a short analysis of the books and their favoured spells.
Modern magic's most used spell by far is High Alchemy. Largely used to train magic, and while it is meant to turn items into GP, due to Grand Exchange restrictions, it rarely still yields a profit. With the coming of Fist of Guthix, a lot of people have been taking advantage of the free runes and tried training it there, making Fireblast also used quite a bit. Within combat, Bind-like and Teleblock spells are also a vital component if you want to loot your opponents. The last and obvious use of this spell book has to be the Teleport spells, as they travel to all the major populated cities spread throughout RuneScape.
Ancient magics come with their own staff. When Desert Treasure, the arguably hardest quest of its time, was released, mages suddenly got a huge boost in power on the battlefield, putting them from being the weakest form of combat all of a sudden on top of the food chain. While severely handicapped for other uses as even their teleports are rarely useful, the sheer power they can unleash is phenomenal. Being the first weapon that could hit multiple targets AND inflict a side effect (freezing, healing yourself back up, poisoning, lowering Attack levels and now slowing enemy rangers and mages) has had a profound impact on PvP combat.
Lunar magic is earned in two quests, and I strongly recommend everyone to complete Dream Mentor. While Lunar magic lacks a specific purpose, it does provide a lot of small benefits to a large variety of players. Whether you are a farmer, a crafter, a slayer, a penguin hunter, or what’s known as a "buff-specialist" (the type of mage that cures/heals/boosts other warriors), Lunar magic has a use for you. If your level is high enough it even provides you with the ability to switch to another spell book for 1 spell at a time. It is my personal favourite as I have compensated the lack of useful teleports, even though you can take everyone in a square next to you with you, by building 6 portals in my POH.
It almost seems as a triangle of its own, as each spell book has an obvious purpose. Fortunately, Summoning became a skill in itself rather then what some predicted would be a new spell book. But we are not out of the woods yet as I keep reading about a possible necromancy skill or spell book. Certainly a 4th spell book would have to add defensive features, as currently the most dominant weapon that does not disappear after a while is the Godsword, and I've encountered many people PK-ing with just that weapon and a few Ice Barrage runes.
Before concluding my article, I would like to make a small observation about the elemental runes used the most in each spell book. Lunar seems to use predominantly Earth runes (Vengeance & -Other, and Cure spells), where Modern uses mostly Fire runes (High Alchemy, Fireblast, God Spells), and the most used elemental rune when on Ancients is Water (Ice Burst and barrage).
From experience I can say that the first few levels are hardest to level, mostly because you're trying to save up runes for when you really need them. Luckily the Great Orb Project mini-game has provided a very welcome change and has made Runecrafting a lot less boring then running back and forth. But once you get to your first Teleport spells, everything seems to go faster. And that is exactly what I think the Magic skill does for everyone that uses it frequently; make things go faster. Whether it is to travel from place to place, to kill someone, to "sell" something, you name it.
PS; For those who did not see it, my last article has a little Easter-egg in it. The capital letters spelled out MSSW.
Did You Know...
... that with a requirement of only 30 Cooking, the Karambwan has almost the highest XP yield when cooking it? You get a whopping 190 XP when you cook it thoroughly. Do not attempt to eat a poorly cooked one, it will poison you, although when ground to a paste, it can be applied to spears to poison them. (Special thanks to the Tal Shiar Alliance!)
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