Bloodmages are the mad scientists of the magic-using world: essentially the Sorcerer gone a little bit rotten. Not rotten enough to be considered un-heroic, but still not the sort of person you'd want to meet in a shadowy alchemy lab. The magic that has fused with their bodies typically gets put to slightly more horrific uses than expected, at great cost to themselves as well as their foes.
- File:Insane.png Insane: Start with the BLUDTUPOWA glyph, -3 Mana
- Sanguine: Walking over a BloodPool restores 20% of maximum health
- File:Power-hungry.png Power-hungry: Mana potions 60% effective and boost Sanguine by 2%, drinking blood restores 1 mana
With the Bloodmage's low mana pool and need to kill monsters during the fight, they tend to work better with Pissorf strategies than Burndayraz ones. Pissorf damage scales with your base damage and Orcs convert for base damage. The extra base damage also helps them kill monsters while they fight.
The Bloodmage loves mana potions, making the Gnome a natural choice. However, you will need to improve your maximum mana somehow to get the most out of them.
As long as you can boost your health pool, you can get more B2P out of healing potions and level ups, especially at early levels. Doesn't work without health boosts, but works exceptionally well with them.
The Elf's racial ability can be used to compensate for the Bloodmage's starting mana penalty, making your mana potions extremely powerful. You will want to obtain as many mana potions as you can, such as with a Keg of Mana.
Dwarf is the obvious choice if you want to maximise your health pool.
The Class Explained
The bloodmage has two defining features - a guaranteed B2P glyph, and the ability to regenerate health by drinking blood pools. The guaranteed B2P is the more defining feature of the bloodmage, as it makes him a spellcaster who can use his health to cast Burndayraz and/or Pissorff, and allows him to prep for runs and plan a strategy with this in mind.
His other ability, Sanguine, allows him to transition into a melle build later on, once most of the exploration has been depleted and the Sanguine has been aditionally boosted by having used up his mana potions. This is becuse you can regain health through bloodpools even on a fully explored map.
Because the Bloodmage starts with no combat glyphs and unexceptional Melee ability, you should probably choose to always pick up either the Magnet:Fireball preparation or the altar of Binlor (for the free Pissorf glyph it provides). Otherwise you will most likely waste a lot of exploration looking for either of them which lowers the potential power of your starting glyph. The Bloodtopowa glyph lets you explore while you fight, which is why it's preferable to start a run ready to use it.
Since the Bloodmage can use his health to cast spells as long as there is exploration available to fuel B2P, you have more resources at your disposal for glyph use. A bloodmage can use his (smallish) mana pool + health pool + health potions + any other heals + any mana restores + bloodpools to cast an immense amount of spells. Since all the B2P invovled also reveals parts of the map for you, any revealed low level monster can be killed for a bloodpool if needed, and any potion revealed can be used without bothering to look for it before the fight, and with Gnomes or Halflings, unimportant glyphs can be converted for more refills.
This huge burst of fireballs or pisorffs can often be enough to kill enemies as high as bossess at comparatively low levels (once you get the hang of it).
After blackspace has been mostly depleted (and the map sufficiently explored), you can use your remaining bloodpools to transition into a powerful melee build, particularly if you've used your mana potions to boost your sanguine. If you've boosted your health to get more out of B2P this helps your build get more out of Sanguine and any damage resistance you may have acquired, and if you've chosen an Orc for the Pisorff approach, you will also probably have boosted damage.
Either Magnet:Fireball or Binlor's Altar for Pisorff is highly recommended (other preps chage depending on which of those two approaches you take). The Thieves Den (Extra Subdungeon) is also highly recomended for the extra exploration and a guaranteed mana booster right at the entrance.
If you want to save yourself the hassle of having a low mana pool, Elven Boots will certainly help with that, and if you prep Mystera Annur's altar, Elven Boots and the subdungeon, you'll have 12 mana right off the bat, while also worshiping a deity which rewards your copious spellcasting. Just remember to prep Magnet: Fireball.
If you're going for a pissorf or a more health based approach, prepping a Health Pendant (immediate health boost sinergizes a lot with B2P) is probably the best option. Jehora Jeheyu (with a compression seal and magnet: fireball) will work well with the health based Halflings for a fireball strategy. Perpping Dracul is also an option for Halflings, but it's such an extreme option that it takes a bit of practice. Dracul is always a good Bloodmage option later in the run, though. The benefit of joining into Dracul after you've depleted most of your Health potions with the Halfling is that you can use health potions and conserve bloodpools for when you boost your Sanguine if you decide to take it to the late game (and you can also convert remaining health potions for Dacul piety).
Probably the most balanced option is Jehora Jeheyu with Gnomes. You don't care about most of his debuffs since you'll rarely melee early on, and he can boost both your health and your mana immensly. JJ Gnome Bloodmages benefit from health, mana and levelup refills and the most versatile, while Mystera bloodmages with Mystic balance can be really efficient as well. A JJ Goblin can also work really well, because JJ solves the mana problem somewhat effortlessly, which then makes Goblins an ok choice.
Saving Bloodpools vs. Spending Bloodpools
While some people try to maximize their Sanguine in order to get a lot of refills late game, or spend a lot of time trying to "solve the mana issue" with elves, this restricts the damage you can get out of your B2P early on. However, forcing B2P means you will run out of fuel. What is the best approach is dependent on the run and the race - long endurance runs where you won't get cut off from your bloodpools benefit from saving them, runs where you will get cut off from your bloodpools require you to get the most out of them while they're there, and runs where you can burst down both bossess at lvl 3 or 4 make anything else a needless complication (those runs are the most common ones).
Orc Pissorf runs don't require you to do much - get enough Binlor piety to swap to a more spellcasting firendly deity if there is one (you only really prep him for Pissorff), get up to level 2 or 3, find the bossess and line them up one against the other, and just spam pissorff off B2P and bloodpools until they're both dead. Convert unnecessary stuff beforehand for damage, and any unnecessary stuff B2P reveals too. On these runs you just want to find the bosses and manouver them next to each other quickly, and bloodpools just fuel B2P and glyph use.
Halfling runs with boosted health play much the same way, because health boosts benefit B2P at earlier levels. You have the option of saving either bloodpools or health potions for later - or you simply throw it all into B2P. If it kills all the bossess you don't need an end game.
Gnome runs can go either way, but since they don't have a way to boost pissorf damage early, and they need to boost mana to get more out of thier potions AND they need to use a lot of potions to boost sanguine sufficiently, they're best for either really long runs or runs where you're shooting for the endgame. Gnomes can get the best of both worlds by conserving B2P blackspace in subdungeons while exploring the map.
Elves and Dwarves also play for the late game, because they require either levels or exploration or both to get the most out of their conversion bonus.
Importance of First Strike and positioning glyphs
Having the Getindare glyph on a Bloodmage is very powerful (especially on an Orc Bloodmage). If you cast it before combat begins, and the monster you are spiking with spells doesn't have first strike, this sets the threshold to how low you need to bring thier health before you can kill them. Since most of your health is going to go into B2P, you'll probably not be able to get any other melee hits in.
As with any Pissorf caster, if you're playing the Bloodmage as one, don't convert Wonnafyt or Wheytwut (or Endiswal) untill you're sure you can Pissorff the boss into another monster or another boss. If possible try to have two additional targets because once the first one is low on health you can kill it for XP and then slam the boss into the next one. Using Wheytwut to put the bossess next to each other in a convenient way is ideal, but you can also use Wonnafyt to summon a low level monster and use them as an anvil, or you can use Pissorff itself several times to move something over to a more convenient spot if possible. Endiswal can also occasionaly solve tricky corner situations.