So. Assuming one could find a tutor, or simply learn from watching immaculates fight, and reading the immaculate texts, or by extrapolating from mortal imamculate martial arts.
Are the Immaculate Arts worth learning? Do the out of aspect costs and the lack of free reflexives cripple them for Celestials? Do some of them work better for Celestials than others? Experience is a plus, but I'll also be more than happy to drag some of our MA writers, critiquers and designers in to take a good hard look at how they're structured. - Scrollreader
- Immaculate MA is worth learning, even for Celestials. However, Celestials will not see the kind of power boost that DBs get. For Celestials, Immaculate MA is no better and no worse than other Celestial level MAs out there. You see, the Immaculate MAs are designed with the assumption that the users can throw multiple reflexives without restraint. DBs can do that. Celestials can't. Celestials have to pay for the combo and their combo has to follow certain rules. On the other hand, Immaculate MAs have some really nifty tricks. Overall, the good and the bad kinda cancels out.
- For example, Wood Dragon's style give you regeneration and the ability to heal other people's wounds. For Celestials other than Lunars, this is a very nifty trick. Regen is supposed to be a Lunar's schtick, and while Wood Dragon's regen isn't as good as a Lunar's, there are only a few ways to get regen. (Incidentally, for Solars this is an excellent method for healing damage. Solars don't get faster healing until pretty high up the charm tree.) Barring custom stuff, I think only Gem of Incomparable Wellness provides regen, and that's a level 5 Hearthstone.On the other hand, Wood Dragon style's soak adder is useless for a Celestial. Why? Because it's a Simple charm with a duration of one Turn. Meaning you can't combo it, and you can't do anything else. It doesn't even last longer than that one Turn. So for something really cool (regen), you basically have to spend XP on a completely useless charm. Hence, a wash. Other Immaculate styles are similar. They'll have some really cool charms and some practically useless ones. The extra motes aren't a big problem. Celestials have more essence motes anyway.
- Celestials probably should have some other style as their primary styles and use Immaculate MAs as a backup style. Due to the useless charms, Immaculate MA has big gaping holes. If you have some other style, you can use it to cover the gaping hole and instead gain some nifty synergies. - TonyC
Ooo! I want to play!
I'll do a little review of Fire Style, assuming that the DB user is Fire-attuned. I might miss details, because I'm working from Charmcard texts.
- Flash-Fire Technique
- For Celestials, this is 4m Charm that might let you improve your initiative slightly, and commits you to some Charm strategy. Craptacular. For crying out loud, there are better init tools in Brawl.
For DBs, who are desperately in need of init to stay alive, this is a 3m technique that might let you improve your init slightly.
- Flame-Flicker Stance
- For Celestials, this Charm has a variable defensive effect; the effect is fairly sweet, but it commits you to a non-Charm attack strategy or a Combo for that turn. Not so good.
For DBs, you get basically 2 more dices' worth of bang for your buck, and you aren't committed to any strategy.
- Searing Fist Attack
- Uncomboable! Advantage: DB, although the benefit of this Charm can be stretched to amazing heights by making multiple attacks in the turn it's used, which suggests cross-Style application using the Blade of the Battle Maiden (this strategy is way better for Clestials), or use by other beings with large dice pools (Lunars and Fair Folk.) In any case, the terrifying simulation of Paralyze that you can do with this Charm is pretty much dependent on sub-optimal builds for the splat in question.
- Perfect Blazing Blow
- DB reroller. 'Nuff said.
- Fire Dragon Form
- More reliable for Celestials. Otherwise neutral.
- Fiery Hand Attack
- Even at the elevated 5m cost, this is a pretty okay attack Charm for Celestials, particularly given that their expected Essence values are higher.
- Breath of the Fire Dragon
- Ai ya! This Charm is totally broken, for everyone involved. Fire Dragon Style doesn't have any cost-effective Simple attacks, so you will need to reach out into another Style to take the most advantage of this Charm's shockingly tiny cost. Marginal advantage to Celestials, for their superior ability to sling expensive Combos.
- Essence-Igniting Nerve Strike
- Bit expensive for what it does, though the soak-bypassing is cute. My suspicion is that this benefits DBs more than Celestials, because DB damage-increasing tools are not as good as those of Celestials.
- Overwhelming Fire Majesty Stance
- Buh? Why is this Supplemental? I know why. Deliberate Celestial-boning. The effect, once you actually have it going, is not bad if you don't mind falling on the defensive for a while. Celestials will appreciate their access to persistent defences here.
- Smoldering Wound Attack
- Uncomboable! Again! Advantage: DB.
- Consuming Might of the Fire Dragon
- Dramatically better for DBs, but only in terms of its damage effect; not entirely shameful for Celestials, but how does anima damage interact with soak?
In conclusion, it's not a bad Style for Celestials, but it's pretty obviously built so that, if you're not DB, you've got to cross Styles to make it competitive in Celestial combat. A lot of its Charms that could be Instant have really odd durations, which makes the Style that much more difficult to Combo and exaggerates the benefit of free reflexives.
If all the Immaculate styles are like Fire Style in this regard, then I think the most intelligent thing for Celestial combatants to do is to learn some good foundation Style, like VBoS or even Five-Dragon (I hear it's not shameful), and then start up the Immac path when they've already got a broad base of multi-Ability combat prowess, including substantial Dodge, Athletics, and other ninja abilities. - willows
- As senior MA correspondent, would you advocate altering the IMA's oddities of duration to make them more universal, or preserving their utility being reliant on DB reflexives? Similarly, I'd love to see your views on Water Dragon, as I've got a Sid who's looking at the style (With two other VBoS stylists in the group, I want to avoid it) but I dunno how far in is wise to develope. I am less than impressed with most of the postform stuff, save BDD. ~ BerserkSeraph
I've seen Air Dragon alot in play from Celestials. Reading it, it looks pretty good. Don't have time to write up the analysis now though. Five-Dragon is pretty bad IMHO. Honestly, I think it's almost an object lesson in makeing terrestial MA junk. Honestly, overall, I'd say it's worse than Crimson Pentacle Blade, which at least allows you to use a big spear and shield. The first two, 5 Dragon Fortitute and 5 Dragon Blocking are somewhat usefull for Celestial, and you can make an argument for up to the form charm, but it get pointless beyond that. Heck, even dragon blooded would be better served by their own native attack trees. -FlowsLikeBits
- Can the persistent parry from Five-Dragon Blocking be modified by Blade of the Battle Maiden? I'd eat two Charms if it meant persistent massive-dice MA parries, myself. Similarly, Five-Dragon Force Blow can inflict a decent amount of punishment for a TMA. I don't think the Form and postform stuff is worth taking, however. ~ BerserkSeraph
- I keep holding off on the sidereal book due to persistent rumors of a new revision at gencon.(Save my money for then) Thus, I cannot say. The charm say it works with parries of other abilities and even allows you to parry using only it's pool if you don't have an action. Basicly, it adds to all parries, so probably, unless something in Blade of the Battle maiden prevents it. -FlowsLikeBits
- Just looked both charms up. Looks like it. But then, for 3 WP, I don't know if full pool + Essence reflexive parries for a scene is worth it. Probably not, for a Solar. Might be worthwhile for a Siddie though. Or even a Lunar. Now then, to drag the topic back to topicalness, Earth Dragon Style seems less reflexive based than say, fire or air, and some if it's effects last minutes, even if they are simple. More utility here than in the other styles? - Scrollreader