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Friday, January 13, 2006

Guild Wars: Efficient Faction in Competitive Arena

I'm pretty sure that the most consistent way to win in Competitive (random) Arena in GW is to play a monk. Simply put, a team with 1 monk is in much better shape than one without and the easiest way to ensure that is for you to be the monk. You risk ending up with 2 monks and then your offense may not be enough to kill a team with 1 but it doesn't seem to happen too often. The other good thing about running a solid monk build is that you get a lot more flawless victories which gives you a bonus 25 faction per round.

Ok, so you're a monk. You have basically 4 choices:
  1. Smite. Now you're not really a monk, you're effectively nearly an Elementalist. Play an Elementalist instead.
  2. Life Bond. Not as effective in CA as it is in PvE and 8v8 since you are the primary target for the other team.
  3. Healing. Viable: use Infuse Health and Healing Touch. This definitely works and is very energy efficient.
  4. Boon Prot. My personal favourite and the one I'm going to talk about right now.
Here's an example build. Nothing earthshaking but solid.
Divine 12 + 3 + 1
Prot 8 + 1
Blood 10
  • Guardian
  • Protective Spirit
  • Mend Ailment
  • Reversal of Fortune
  • Contemplation of Purity
  • Offering of Blood
  • Divine Boon
  • Resurrection Signet
Use a set of Judges Armour for +10 against physical. More useful than a couple of extra energy points. Use a Blood weapon for faster recharge on OoB.

Variants on this theme:
  • Mo/Me and Mantra of Recall instead of Offering of Blood. In fact, here's a very nice video of someone doing just that.
  • Some people prefer to run Signet of Devotion over Resurrection Signet, but I hate the 2s cast time of devotion and having res sig available is more polite.
  • Shielding Hands over Prot Spirit. Theory here is that there are more Rangers than Elementalists. Personally, I like having Prot Spirit around because otherwise a Lightning Orb + knockdown spike can take you out very fast.
One nice thing about this build is that it's very hard to interrupt - very important with the number of interrupt rangers in CA. Keep Boon up and drop it with CoP if you get hexed with something annoying like Backfire. If you're really hexed into the ground because you were too busy saving someone to hit CoP or plain didn't notice, throw up Guardian then CoP - as a bonus it'll heal you for a hojillion.

Now, tactics. Move. All. The. Time. I really mean this, it's important. A still monk is a dead monk. Not only does this force warriors to kite and hopefully get snared via Crippling Shot or similar, you'll get some evades from arrows and elementalist spells. Run around teammates when you're kiting because sometimes they'll effectively body-block the warrior who'll often then stand there like a lemon.

So, what are you scared of?
  • Hammer warriors. Continuous knockdown is very bad. Guardian helps - put it up and start kiting like crazy.
  • Energy denial. Luckily very infrequent in CA. If a mesmer starts hitting you with the usual energy denial spells, immediately switch to a blank weapon slot so you can switch back when he runs you out of energy.
  • Continuous pressure. If you're not careful, you can run out of energy since your healing isn't super efficient - try never to go under 5 energy so you can afford to recast OoB. The nastiest type of this is if 2 opponents double up on you while 2 more get someone else. Try not to overheal people - your spells are cheap but the +2/spell cost penalty from Boon adds up fast.
  • Mass hex/degen. If there are enough Conjure Illusions etc going around and your offense is being nerfed via Faintheartedness/Enfeeble/etc it can be tricky since you have no straight heals. If it's condition based then you're ok - Mend Ailment will do the job.
This is certainly the most effective way of winning CA I've found yet - you can turn a mediocre team into a good one with this support character.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, concluded (before word of Factions) that this kind of monk was my favorite to run in CA. Nice to see this.

4/18/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice guide. I put a link to it on our guild forums.

4/25/2006 03:17:00 PM  

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