Earlier this month, I went to Castle Wars with Racheya to get some Maging practice ahead of the Inter-fansite Tournament against Runescape Wikia and Rune HQ. I recently gained 85 Mage and decided to use some Water Surges in celebration. We ventured to the Zamorak’s side and battled against them. But, just before we were defeated, we were both insulted. A player had called us 'Second Rate Magers'. Thus, the idea for this article was born, and I present to you a personal analysis of the three spellbooks: Lunars, Ancients and Standard.
I will start with the Standard Spellbook. It’s the first spellbook, the one your character is born with, and in some cases dies with. The levels on this spellbook reach all the way from level 1 to level 95, from Wind Strike to Fire Surge. Generally, most players tend to stick with this spellbook as it has the most varied and used teleports, for instance, Varrock and Falador. It is also used when fighting monsters due to its variable spells and curses. But let’s break down the spell sections and go slightly more in-depth.
Firstly, we have our combat spells. The selection of elementals don’t vary much, as they stick to Air, Water, Earth and Fire, but the power of the spells have 5 different sections. Strikes are the lowest level combat spells and don’t hit more than a max of 80. Bolts are one step up from Strikes, and use Chaos Runes as a base. They’re slightly stronger, and can hit up to 120. Many players tend to use Bolts with the Family Crest reward, the Chaos Gauntlets, as they throw up the max hit to around 230, which is quite high for a cheap selection of spells.
Next there are the Blast and Wave spells which have higher maximum hits, but also have higher costs through Death or Blood Runes. Lastly, we have the surge spells. The surges are the latest and greatest spells for the Standard Spellbook, hitting up to 280 without any bonuses. Their strength is made up, however, in price. Each surge spell costs around about 500-1000 gp each, depending on the spell used. A lot of high levels tend to use them against monsters that have low Magic defence, or require magic to defeat them, for instance Ice Strykewyrms.
Then we have the bind spells. Binds are an extremely useful way of stopping your opponent in their tracks; however they use a number of runes so the cost for even the lowest bind is quite high per cast. The highest level bind, Entangle, can hold a target for 15 seconds. Snare and Entangle may also deal some damage, being 20 or 50 respectively. There is also the infamous Teleblock spell, which can block a player’s victim from emergency teleporting out during a fight.
The next Spellbook I will look at is the Lunar Spellbook. Lunars are the reward for completing the quest Lunar Diplomacy. As many players know, this book is completely useless when attacking. It only has defensive spells, and skill-related spells. A lot of players tend to use the skill spells, such as Fertile Soil on their farming runs, and Plank Make for both Magic EXP and a slight profit. The Lunar spells tend to be quite cheap, requiring a varied number of Astrals (in all spells) and mostly Elemental Runes or Natures/Cosmics/Laws in others. A lot of the teleports have been mentioned to be quite ‘useless’, with only few useful ones such as Catherby and Fishing Guild teleport.
Another pro of Lunars is that of the ‘Aid’ Spells. A number of Lunar Spells aid other players in combat, making a Lunar Mage quite useful in a multi-combat situation. For instance, there are the healing spells. These spells drain some of your own life points and then transfer them either to another player or people surrounding you, depending on the spell you use. It restores up to 75% of their LP. Another spell is the Energy Transfer. This spell can be almost vital to a Dragon Claw user. After a player has used a special attack, the Lunar Mage can then use Energy Transfer to give them 100% of their Special Attack bar back, including some Run energy, at the cost of 100 LP. There are also the famous ‘Vengeance’ spells. Vengeance gives the player, or a player of their choice (Veng. Other) a chance to strike back at their opponent for up to 75% of the damage they receive from a monster or other player. However despite all this, Lunar Magics aren’t perfect. The fact that many of the best spells require a Magic level reaching the 90’s, doesn’t make the spellbook very endearing to some players.
But now I’ll leave Lunars and move swiftly on to possibly the most coveted Spellbook within RuneScape - Ancient Magicks. Requiring the completion of the difficult quest, Desert Treasure, the power of the spellbook is immense. It is the only purely combat orientated spellbook (besides Teleports), featuring 5 different elements and 4 different sections. The 5 Elements are as such: Smoke: a poisonous attack. Shadow: a spell that temporarily lowers the victims attack level. Blood: a spell that heals a quarter of all damage inflicted for that cast. Ice: a powerful spell that freezes the target in place. And finally, Miasma: a deadly spell that cuts attack speed in half but also requires a Zuriel’s Staff to be cast.
Of the 5 elements, there are 4 different sections – Rush, Burst, Blitz and Barrage. Rush and Blitz are both single-target casts and Blitz is the stronger of the two. Likewise, Burst and Barrage are multi-combat casts that hit everyone in a 3x3 radius of where you casted, Barrage being the stronger of the two.
However, in Runescape, with great power comes great cost. Even casting the lowest spell, Smoke Rush, it costs 800+ gp per cast. The highest spell, Miasmic Barrage, costs around 2500+ gp per cast. The price matches the power in most cases, but you will see players sticking exclusively to Ice and Blood Bursts (and upwards) and a few players branching out for Miasmic spells.
Now that I have explained all three spellbooks, let’s have a quick comparison. As you read earlier, I was called a ‘Second-rate mager’ for using Water Surges. However, being that a Water Surge costs less than an Ice Blitz, but still hits relatively the same, why is that so second rate? The only difference is that Ice Blitz freezes. There’s bind spells for that! Clearly, the Ancient Magick spellbook is the best for combat, but a Standard Spellbook can be almost as strong and it should not be underestimated in combat. As well as this, you should take into consideration the ease of keeping the Standard Spellbook teleports while still having an effective combat option.
There is also the cost and max hit issue. I've been hitting very high and accurately with Water Surges and Entangles. My entire point is that each Spellbook has been designed for a different type of player. Those who like non-combat have the Lunar Spellbook, those who like combat have their Ancients, and the people who like a balance have their standard spellbook. Each spellbook has its own strengths and weaknesses but I believe it’s fair to say not one of them is Second Rate.