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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Guild Wars: Splitting Hexes

Right now I'm thinking about a new GvG build. It's always an interesting exercise that makes you think about the roles of characters and what skirmish matchups are favourable. As to whether it'll ever actually get played, who knows. It's in an early draft so bear with me.

Anyway, here's the GWShack listing.

The idea is to make a hex degen pressure build that can fight 8v8 but is readily split. Right now I really need to test the characters a bit more to see if they're packing enough punch. However, that's been a bit difficult because for the last week as soon as I log into GW I'm greeted with insistent calls to get my mesmer on for GvG. Admittedly, that was the reason I joined up with XoO and so I can't really complain. I certainly need the experience. But I am a compulsive build tweaker - all that time playing MtG, I guess - so the urge to theorize over build construction is irresistible. Assuming I don't send this idea back to the drawing board I imagine it'll make a repeat appearance here later on.


Blogger Sausaletus Rex said...

We were talking about this the other day (Because, you know, not only do as soon as you get on do you get called away for GvG you're also likely to get pestered by me. But, then, I love build discussion.) although you were coy about the details.

Again, I haven't spent the hours studying forums and obs mode that I'd need to stay current but I think it looks promising. Not sure how you're planning the splits but it seems like you've got enough nastiness to spread around. You're a bit thin defensively although I do think that with so many Dervishers around these days that you're right to look into hex-based melee shutdown to help out your healing base. But my comment last night - namely that I'm not sure how you're planning on dealing with how crazy powerful removal is at the moment. You seem to be trying to overpower it but I'm not sure you have enough because of how quickly teams can fight through stacks these days.

The lack of a hard rez is a little troubling.

I also note that you seem to have pretty standard looking Monks (No Infuse, though? I don't get the ZB then - why not just run dual Blessed Light or something like Divert Hexes? You're planning on catching spikes with Imbue and/or Gift of Health? Actually, I kind of like that.) but if there's one ready weakness in your build it's that you'd have a hard time dealing with hex pressure yourself - so maybe I'm overestimating hex removal based on how easy condition removal is at the moment. You've got only Holy Veil and Blessed Light for taking hexes off and neither will be very good if your opponent's running multiple covers. Your ability to split might save you against another hex team but I'm not sure you're winning heads-up there. Granted, most teams seem to have abandoned hex pressure in favor of other things but, still.

Overall, looks nice so far and I'm looking forward to hearing how it develops.

1/10/2007 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Clamatius said...

Some more thoughts I had while I was working on this because the points you bring up were definitely in my mind.

1) I'm seeing very little hex pressure out there. Consequently, I'm not quite as scared not having an Expel or Divert Hexes in the build. And I'm not as worried that the opponent will either.

2) I'd sorely like to add some more shutdown but I don't think I can cut much of the degen. If you just shut them down you'd have to pure spike to get kills (e.g. with Soul Barbs) which is a whole different build. It'd be nice to get in just a little more like Reckless Haste though.

3) ZB just because it's really good in a skirmish. Another BL is also possible. I've generally found that monks are so persnickety about what works for them anything you have for the monk builds is more of a guidance note in any event.

4) The plan against heavy spike is to split off some offense - e.g. the derv, illusion mesmer and spoil necro - and kick their base in as quickly as possible. Spoil on its own does an amazing amount of damage to a Lord. The main snag with this is that I haven't figured out how to beat them if they turtle up and wait for VoD. Degen isn't as good as spike under VoD.

5) I'd dearly like more snares and movement control in there. Our home is the ice island right now and Gale is the Spell Of The Day.

6) I'm not convinced that a 2ndary necro has enough shutdown deterrent through Spoil. It's nasty with 12 blood but it procs 20 higher with 16.

7) I really need to test just how fast that mesmer can take down NPCs.

8) Hard res is definitely a big missing point. I could put it on the illusion mesmer but then I'd lose the gale.

9) The Me/N will put out a lot of Siphons if that's the plan but the character doesn't seem great right now. Previously I had a N/E with snare hexes but that didn't seem good either.

10) In pressure builds, I like as many characters as possible to be able to chip into a mini-spike to finish targets off. Degen alone doesn't get kills.

1/10/2007 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger Clamatius said...

Tested the Me/N spoil guy and he was terrible. I'll rework the hexers a bit.

1/12/2007 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Sausaletus Rex said...

I've generally found that monks are so persnickety about what works for them anything you have for the monk builds is more of a guidance note in any event.

Yeah, it's generally just best to let your Monks run with what they're comfortable with (Which is probably one reason why Monk strat seems so stagnant compared to other characters - people don't like to experiment once they find something that works.) but people are so persnickety right back at them when they don't do their jobs that it's kinda hard to blame them.

For instance, I was playing GvG the other day and the Monks just could. not. catch. spikes. Didn't matter how weak or telegraphed they were. The other team attacked and someone got deader. Everyone was being nice about it but it's lucky I didn't have a mic at the time because I'd have been on a five minute quest to find the seven words you can't say on vent. Just ear melting invective.

I don't know, I'd go with BL over ZB because without an Infuse you're probably spending that 10 energy consistently and that's the same price as BL with a second less recharge for just a bit more healing (So ZB's better as a straight up heal but puts more stress on your energy unless, of course, you're under 50% health and, in this sort of setup, if that happens there's probably more to worry about than your e-management.). And I'd rather have the condition/hex removal there instead of some more hit points - that's worth the 12 hp trade-off to me (Although the faster recharge does matter somewhat especially in a scrim but, on the face of it, they're just about the same cost wise and ZB heals a bit more while BL offers more utility. My preference is for the utility.). But I haven't really used either so I should probably wait until I know what they feel like to a Monk.

I'm seeing very little hex pressure out there.

Having caught a few more obs matches, I agree with you. However, I think it's an overlooked area especially with all the Melandru's Dervishers out there these days. They might be immune to conditions but not to hexes. And the way to make sure those stick is to overload on the covers. But I'm not familiar enough with the skills at the moment to tell whether that's a viable strategy or not. And, of course, rebalancing's coming and that throws everything up in the air. So I guess I'm trying to jump too many yomi levels ahead there.

Having looked it over I don't like Illusion of Pain much. Probably going to be murder on the NPCs (Good for something like 340 damage in 17 seconds which is nice but loooong if you ask me.) but against someone with removal it turns into a nice heal. And casting it on one target means you're capped out on degen making the rest of that M/E bar pretty weak unless there are multiple targets around. But it also doesn't have any protection against the archers or whatever if it's going to be alone on a gank - no healing and no condition removal on the characters you mentioned as your offensive split and I think that's not optimal when you know, at the very least, you'll be fighting off Cripples (Unless, of course, the guild maps have changed a lot since I was playing last...).

Degen isn't as good as spike under VoD.

Right, it doesn't scale up as high because even though opponents have less health - and, thus, fewer hit points to drain away - you don't get the corresponding bump to damage that makes spikes scarier.

But I think if you can build up enough of an NPC advantage through splitting thats not so much of a concern. If you hold the center with a bunch of archers and can pressure the weakened enemy with your degen then as long as they don't have any crowd-wiping AoE (In which case they're going to be waiting for VoD from the start, probably, and playing the turtle game anyway. I think, basically, that trumps any split strategy and you need to be able to take them in a heads-up fight by storming their base. Costly, but they're conceding the center and the morale so you can do it as often as it takes. Have to play a lot more to see if that's viable, though. And, you know, I'm incredibly aggressive when it comes to tactics.) then you can just wait for the Lord and the flag stand will be a wood chipper.

Hard res is definitely a big missing point. I could put it on the illusion mesmer but then I'd lose the gale.

This is just me but I don't like that Me/N either (I see you've tested it. Any word on just what wasn't working?). I'd just junk it and replace it with a typical Shatter/Spiritual Pain blammer who's also a Me/Mo with a fastcast rez. Give 'em a quick spammable cover hex for all your other hexers and task them with helping your melee bangers to spike when the degen does its work - I agree, with a degen pressure strategy you need a spike/rock to finish the job. Getting them weak through constantly sapping their health is just the first part but with a Melandru's Dervisher and a hammer Warrior I think you've got enough follow-through. I'd just like a little more nastiness for when they converge is all.

Hell, you might even be able to find some overlooked hexes in Smiting that they could toss in although don't quote me on that because I haven't looked there yet.

I'd dearly like more snares and movement control in there. Our home is the ice island right now and Gale is the Spell Of The Day.

You've got a W/E with no Gale. Could go there although I don't know what you'd drop for it. Probably rezsig if you can squeeze a hardrezzer in there (I'm from the school of thought that says everyone having a rezsig is a bit of a waste unless you're a really, really bad team. Again, aggressive. I don't like to just beat people. I like to stomp on their throats and make them beg for mercy. So I'll sacrifice a rezsig for some more nastiness. Takes a bit of convincing to get out of the "omg everyone needs rez" mentality I've had for so long but three plus a hardrez is about my comfort zone these days.).

1/12/2007 01:01:00 PM  

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