[GemCraft Labyrinth] mana-gathering challenges?

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I need suggestions on how to do the challenge amulets that require gathering mana. None of the normal “easy win” strategies work for this because all my mana is used up just keeping up with the tougher and tougher monsters.

 
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I do have premium unlocked, and planty of skill points to max out several skills.

 
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max wild gem and put a bit into stronger gem bombs. you need replenish and the one that lets you start with more mana(and maximum mana). put the rest into other things.at the start of the battle, use mana pool as much as possible. now get rid of your wild gem you will have a LOT of mana.

 
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That doesn’t work. The amount of mana you get from destroying a gem is independent of how many times you have mana pooled – it is still 70 to 85% of the gem’s mana replication cost and is not multiplied by your gain multiplier.

I’ve so far had the easiest time setting the game to giants only and angering each wave. Once you get a good Replenish and mana gain multiplier, giants give quite a lot of mana per kill.

 
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I found the trick…calculate the mana/monster needed for each gem grade to “break even”, and the mana/monster needed to get as much mana/gem as the previous grade. keep this table, a calculator, and maybe a table of armor/anger#’s on hand, and check every single wave to figure out the best grade to anger it with…then anger it to 1 less gem then the maximum you can handle. spend the rest of the mana you earn at your leisure.
Use armored only, +15 waves, red/lime OR red/lime/yellow OR lime/yellow. you do not need orange using this method. If the level has orange, go ahead and build 1-2 traps for the entire level.
I wound up maxing an 89k mana pool on l9 when doing its 7k monster challenge, when I left it on x3 speed and looked away.

 
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I typically mana pool once or twice before sacrificing the wild gem. Not because it increases the multiplier or something, but because the amount of mana you get for sacrificing the gem can be more than your initial maximum mana, which means you’re wasting a bunch by sacrificing it before you have a large enough pool. It all depends on how high your initial mana is from Focus.