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I have played some invokers in the past (without much success, I have to admit), fought some with other chars and read logs with attention. I think I can compile something useful.

I try to write the things I am sure of, or at least I mark things that I haven't checked myself with (*). Info marked as such you can use at your own risk :-)

For brevity, I'll say "elf" when I actually mean "elf or drow".

So, here we go:

1. Race choice[edit]

There are various factors that are important here other than roleplaying:

=== hp === (gnome is certainly the best because of many trains)

=== int === (faster learning, anything but svirf is actually good)

=== vulnerabilities === (human and arial are best, since vulns covered or no vulns)

=== racial bonuses === (fly for arial is great, sneak for elf is less important)

=== dex === (higher dex equals bigger inventory equals more wands. elves and arials are good here)

You can choose depending on what you think is more important, my personal opinion is that arial is absolutely the best choice for invoker (perma-fly, high dex, bonus affinity points). Especially since arials can go underwater now.

2. Affinity points distribution[edit]

First thing to say here is that it probably makes no sense to place two or three points in some path (not even speaking of one :-). Learning would be very slow and boring, so you either drop a path altogether or place at least four affinity points in it. Less than four are just wasted, in my opinion. Now, would it be good to drop some path, and if yes, then which? Seven-path invoker is the strongest, he has widest selection of spells, but obviously has to spend more time to work on them. I think, though, that it is possible to hero an invoker in under 200 hours getting all shields even if you don't play well. Even in case of arial, you'll have plenty of time for fun after that. Lightning path doesn't contain any critical spells. Underwater effects (bigger damage and area effects), shield of electricity (sort of riposte) and pillar with arcing lightning are nice, but you can work without them. Spells that are critical or almost critical from other path are, imho, as follows: === Air: === buffet, shield of winds (an arial doesn't need shield)

=== Water: === shield of waves

=== Ice: === iceneedles (the only spell that does physical damage, sometimes the noly one working)

=== Ooze: === gel, quicksand

=== Fire: === shield of flames (if it does what it is rumored to do)

=== Earth: === pebble to boulder, shield of earth

I think that ooze and fire paths contain also spells that are, though not critical, very nice (like, for example, grease, nova and immolation). So if one wanted to drop more paths, my other candidates would be air and ice (in that order), then fire. Water path is critical for survival solely because of its shield, but I would not recommend dropping it under any circumstances.

3. Invoker weaknesses[edit]

I know of three:

- you don't tank

- you are dependant on your casting; if your casting stops, you can't win; permalagged shifted shifter, necro with army or conjurer with servitors can sometimes win even when permalagged, invoker can only die; avoid being permalagged

- you don't have any natural way to speed your healing; all other classes except thief and a-p have something; that makes you not good for solo exploring

4. Overused spells[edit]

=== pebble to boulder === remember, you are not going to win a one-on-one fight using only this spell, perhaps against a gnome, but nobody else; you are not a fighter who can just bash and it works; good for ganging though; two invokers can kill one non-rager casting only pebble

=== cone of cold === 2-round spell, two races are resistant to it; certainly not worth using in one-on-one fights, perhaps only against ragers; fireball might work better, or some directed spell

=== geyser === don't cast it in one-on-one fighs against rager scouts - they can both evade and spellbane it; in other cases it is usually fine

5. Underused spells[edit]

=== buffet === good against sylvan, maran, arial, cloud, shapeshifter, druid and healer; almost the only thing that works against storm paladin with mantle of the phoenix; very hard to protect against (only airshield and anti-magic shell, as far as I know)

=== stoneshatter === can scare away some people even if don't shatter their things from the first attempt; also, some things can be done almost automatically - you see a shifter, cast it, you see being hit with "rending gale", cast it, etc.; if you are a quick reader, look at your opponent and see if there's anything to shatter

=== iceshards === this spell does small damage at lower ranks, but at hero it can be nasty; the damage is very unstable, but its a one-round spell; in any case, it is worth trying

=== earthshield === some invokers underestimate this one; they sometimes don't even have it in default set of shield, or get it very late; important thing is that it protects against dirt kicking, and dirt kicking is a powerful thing when used correctly; make sure it is always in your default set (i.e. five shields that you use with barrier)

=== grease === many invokers use it, but still few understand how powerful it is; among other things it frequently prevents fighters from quaffing potions, since they can't handle the bottles with greasy hands

6. Assorted tips[edit]

- highlight "unaffected" in your client and be always ready with dispel magic; nothing is more unprofessional than casting the same spell for the third time when your opponent is obviously shielded against it

- try to be always flying or having shield of winds; being protected from trip is extremely important, I can't stress this enough

- remember about deshield command; it is very powerful

- you can renew elemental touches before they wear off by casting another touch and then again the one you want; always keep a touch up, even when wielding a weapon - you can be disarmed, and touches actually make the spells of the same path work better (*)

- you can cast quicksand and conglaciation in one room in that order, but not in the other

- snowstorm will wake you even if you are shielded, good to wait for theives or bards in the snowstorm

- snowstorm on water prevents water forms from entering, and prevents shifting into water forms; I am not sure, but perhaps walrus is an exception

- vortex works well against people with charmies, like necromances and druids

- in mountains, use avalanche

- don't be one-trick pony; if you always use the same spell, your opponent may figure it out and be prepared against it next time; you have many spells, in many cases there's more than one correct choice

- before you get shields, don't stop to spam spells if you have chance to rank; once you reach 38-40, you can stop and perfect all your shields - after that you are a desired companion in almost every group, but before that ranking is slow

- iceneedles do physical damage; sucks against fire giants, use iceshards instead

- you can't stoneshatter things in inventory

7. Second shields[edit]

Knowing which they do is important. I am somewhat out-of-date on that, they do more than I know, those who know mare, feel free to comment. All second shields except ooze one protect against bash. None protect against shield bash. I think all protect against throw, but about this I am not 100% sure.

- shield of electricity; works like riposte

- shield of flames; stops blackjack and assassinate (*)

- shield of waves; stops cranial hit!!!!!!! (worth so many !s, imho)

- shield of ice; stops pincer; I don't consider it critical since rare compared to cranial

- shield of earth; stops bearcharge; critical for scion or drow, not critical for sylvan

- shield of ooze (or whatever); stops lash (*)

- shield of winds; stops trip (about that I am sure); stops legsweep (*); helps against assassin kicks somehow