One day in GTP’s general chat, a discussion emerged. That discussion produced the following meme:
The School of Storm
For many years, the Storm school was regarded as the premier attacking school in Wizard101. People know this school to have notably higher damage-output when compared to any other school. To compensate, Storm’s defensive capabilities (including both raw stats and spells) are rather lackluster. A level 140 Diviner (Storm wizard) has a staggering base health stat of 2669. Fire is the next smallest with 3464 health at the current max level. That is a difference of nearly 800 health! On top of this, most of the good Storm gear sport health and resist on the lower end of the spectrum. To sum up, storm is designed to be a “glass cannon;” it deals lots of damage at a fast pace at the cost of bulk.
Everything’s Out of Control
Professor Balestrom should have said, “We attempt to harness and control creatures from the chaos of unchecked wind and lightning.” Yes, Storm wizards can hit absurdly hard, but I think where the school falls short is the many ways it lacks self-control. Consider the following examples:
- Low survivability – As mentioned earlier, Diviners have the lowest overall bulk when compared to other schools. As a result, Storm wizards really only thrive in fast-paced fights or with heavy support from the team.
- Low accuracy – One major downside of this school is that its spells generally have the lowest accuracy. This is less of an issue during the late-game, but most people know how frustrating the early-game is for Storm wizards due to having a high fizzle-rate. Note: Fizzling a finishing blow can mean life or death due to the aforementioned point. Fizzle your attack and you can lose the battle in response.
- Randomness – The last two points deal with some level of random chance; however, a random number generator makes decisions for other parts of the school. Wild Bolt and Healing Current can either be effective or useless spells and the player has no control. The infamous Insane Bolt is a devastatingly powerful spell, but it can outright destroy the user. Lastly, Storm’s gear tends to have the highest amounts of Critical Rating compared to other schools. Storm wizards tend to depend on this stat, and, unfortunately, this is not a sure-fire way of dealing high damage due to enemies having Critical Block Rating.
Obviously the above examples aren’t inherently crippling for the school, but Storm wizards will have to keep them in mind and work around them at times.
Curving your Creativity
One fact that people may find surprising is that the Storm school is the “school of creativity.” The first school I think of when I hear the word “creativity” isn’t Storm; it is Storm’s opposite – Myth. To my surprise, Wizard101’s official website states that Storm is the “school of creativity,” which can be found here. Contrary to this notion, I believe that the Storm school is actually the least creative school on two metrics: spell variety and playstyle.
Looking at the spell list for the school of Storm, the majority of the spells can fall under one or more of the following categories: attacks, buffs, and charm (blades and weaknesses) control. As of writing this article, Storm has 45 trainable spells. Of these 45 spells, 23 of them are attacks, 14 can be considered buffs, 6 are forms of charm control (this does not include two spells that had this type of effect removed), and 9 spells do not fit under any of these categories. This means that 80% of of the school’s spells can fit within 3 distinct categories.
Charm Control – Blade Removal
Charm Control – Weakness Removal
I chose not to include a separate section for attack cards since all schools have a lot of attack cards to begin with and several were shown in the categories above.
When looking into Storm’s general playstyle, I think it’s best to compare/contrast the school with Wizard101’s other top-offense school – Fire. I have been a Fire-main since I made my account nearly 11 years ago and I have witnessed a long list of friends with Storm wizards over the years, so I have much experience seeing where the two schools excel the most. The simplest distinction that can be made between Storm and Fire is that Storm hits faster and Fire hits harder. Storm ramps up fast through critical scaling and having the highest base damage on their attack spells. In 2021, max-level Fire wizards can have a higher damage (%) stat than Storm wizards by a few points as well as having the luxury of having stronger buffs, e.g. Fireblade (35%) > Stormblade (30%). This means that through several buffs, the Fire school can potentially reach higher damage numbers than Storm.
The above distinction shows where these schools tend to excel. Storm is very good at washing away a wave of enemies, whereas Fire is superior at taking out one single large threat. Diviners are best when using one main playstyle – using blades/windstorms/auras to ramp up into the strongest available multi-targeting attack. This tends to be rather effective when farming. The best modern example of this is Abandoned Backyard (King Detritus), where Storm is by far the best hitting school for the boss. The Storm school tends to struggle adapting to fights where this strategy simply doesn’t work. Fights where trap-stacking or overtime damage are the best strategies are where Fire proves to be rather strong. Contemporary examples include the following: Omen Stribog (specifically dealing with the Sentinel), Grandfather Spider, Titan’s Trident, Renegade Druid, and Satharilith.
Storm is best when executing one specific playstyle (hence it lacking in creativity). When that plan fails, Fire can often fill its place or even surpass the school in question.
Storm in Retrospect
I do not think Storm is a bad school. The most common argument on this topic I have is that I believe Fire is a more capable/versatile school than Storm is. Many of the issues I addressed before can generally be avoided and the school is rather effective in what it does best. If I thought the school was bad, why would I be leveling a Storm as the first character on my new-second account? The school has its merits.
I’m sure it will always be competing with Fire for the title of “best hitter.” The school is strongly-specialized, and, despite the randomness I explained earlier, Storm is consistent in what it’s good at. Personally, I prefer versatility in my characters, which is why Fire and Balance are my favorite schools. I just wanted to provide some insight as to why I tend to exude a rather harsh opinion towards it. The “truth,” in my opinion, is that Storm isn’t all that special due to its linear attributes. So, if you decide to make a new wizard specifically to do damage, hopefully this article causes you to consider the other schools in the game and not impulsively pick the default answer: Storm.
If I should make more articles like this about the other schools in Wizard101, let me know in the comments!