90 points = 1 Mana potion
|Suggested Classes||Thief, Sorcerer, Warlord, Assassin, Bloodmage|
|Lives in||The Gnomestead|
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Gnome vs. Elf
Both the Gnome and the Elf have racial specials that expand your effective Mana pool. The Elf gains +1 maximum Mana for every 70 Conversion Points; the Gnome gains a Mana Potion for every 90 Conversion Points. The Elf favors early conversions, that allow him to benefit multiple times from the slightly expanded Mana pool; on the other hand, the Gnome is quite fine to put off converting until the potions are actually needed, which is normally the boss fight. Generally, Elves offer more firepower during the dungeon, however Gnomes can have a stronger mana spike for the boss fight.
The line between how an Elf and Gnome plays can become a bit more blurry if we consider that Elves can put off glyph conversions until the end to play similarly to a Gnome if they possess Mystera's Refreshment boon; and that Gnomes can use up a couple of potions during the game to gain one-time benefits (either building on synergies like Alchemist's Scroll, Trisword, Alchemist's Pact, Thief's Opportunist feature; or to gain a small Mana spike to kill a higher-level opponent or remove a particularly troubling mana burn).
When playing a pure spellcaster, especially one worshipping Mystera, you will usually be at least slightly better off playing as an Elf; although if you prefer, you can also play as a Gnome without much hindrance. When playing a hybrid - or going for the Purist badge - Gnomes may outshine Elves because of their greater flexibility and comparative edge in the endgame.
The gnome's extra mana potions make him a formidable spellcaster, but unlike the elf he can't leverage it over the long-term. Instead, a gnome can expend all his mana in one burst, which can be devastating to bosses. To get the most out of your mana potions, you will need to find a way to raise your maximum MP. This makes things like the Extra Mana Boosters preparation, Mystera or the Amulet of Mana very useful. If you push your Mana to 15, then each potion will recover 6 Mana points; however, you need to push it to 18 to recover 7 Mana per potion, or to 20 in order to recover 8 Mana per potion. Boosting your max mana with JJ may not always increase your endgame spike potential, but a gnome should always take a couple of levels of mana boost, since the extra mana gained per potions outshines the potion cost. For them, the 4th mana boost is beneficial too, but the piety price is rarely worth it.
If you are only looking for endgame Mana spike potential, go with Mystera; if you want a more balanced approach, or you want to play as a hybrid, consider JJ.
There are several classes and items that synergize well with an abundance of mana potions. Items like the Trisword or Alchemist's Scroll, or classes like Warlord, Thief, or Bloodmage all make a great deal of sense for gnomes. Otherwise, due to his racial trait, the Gnome works best as a Hybrid or spellcaster, and will generally perform more poorly as a purely melee-oriented character.
The best classes for gnomes are Warlords, Thieves, Assassins, Sorcerers, and Bloodmages. You may also consider a Gnome for any general spellcasting class like the Wizard, although the Gnome's main strength over the Elf - which is his Mana spike - is greatly diminished if you worship Mystera with your character; making the Elf a generally better choice for these classes.
Warlord The Warlord receives a temporary damage bonus every time he drinks a mana potion. If there was ever an obvious class/race synergy, this is it.
Bloodmage Bloodmages get a 2% bonus to Sanguine by drinking a mana potion. By boosting Sanguine to great levels with mana potions and Dracul's boons, Gnome Bloodmages can get Sanguine above 40% easily. By conserving blood pools, you can get yourself to full health several times over, enough to conquer just about any boss. Bloodmages also have the strongest mana potions, making raising max mana a top priority for caster builds.
Thief With the ability to gain a modicum of healing every time he uses a mana potion, the Thief gains additional benefit from playing as a gnome.
Assassin The assassin is a surprisingly effective spellcaster, and with a way to raise his maximum MP he can be a superb choice for a gnome.
Sorcerer The gnome desperately needs to find ways to increase his mana pool, and the Sorcerer class gets this for free as a class feature.