Saturday, November 11, 2006

PvP Primer: Paragons & Dervishes in Random Arenas @ Guild Wars

Playing the two new professions in Random Arenas may seem familiar to those used to Rangers and Warriors, because they must deal with some of the same considerations during combat. Paragons, for example, need line of sight, and Dervishes need to get in close to hit their targets. Nonetheless, there are key differences as well. Paragons can elect to stay far back, out of enemy range, and support the team with Chants and Shouts, while Dervishes can position themselves carefully to take advantage of their area effect scythe attacks, looking for opponents clumped closely together.

Paragon Considerations

By default, Paragons begin with:
Barbed Spear, Blazing Spear, Anthem of Fury, Anthem of Flame, Leader's Comfort, Resurrection Signet

Suggested Paragon skill unlocks:
Disrupting Throw, Remedy Signet. Anybody can benefit from having a good interrupt, and a Paragon is no exception; Disrupting Throw works well with your skills that cause Conditions. And in case somebody decides to unkindly Blind you, simply remedy it with Remedy Signet.

Even without any superior runes, Paragons make incredibly effective support and pressure characters. Paragons can affect everyone with their vocal abilities, but only one target with a spear, so it's less important to increase spear damage with a superior rune, and more important to enhance the attributes related to equipped Shouts or Chants. However, people also know that Paragons tend to have sneaky healing and damage-reduction skills, so enemies often target them first. Consider this fact when building your equipment. Try a superior rune of Leadership if you have one unlocked, but if you seem to get hit a lot and need more Health, re-craft your armor without the superior rune.

Equip yourself with a vampiric spear and an elemental spear. Swap between them when attacking a target and notice any damage differences. Warriors, for example, tend to have less resistance to elemental damage, while Rangers have less resistance to physical damage (so use your vampiric spear against Rangers). Add a spear grip of fortitude or defense to each of your spears to further improve your survivability.

As for armor, Paragons inherently begin with extra Energy on each piece. Though you have low Energy regeneration as a Paragon, the default build doesn't need any additional Energy bonus on the armor because it relies on low cost skills and adrenaline. Instead, opt for Survivor Insignia on your armor, with Vitae and Vigor runes where possible. For other builds, you may, in fact, require more maximum Energy, but for this one stick with more Health. Having more Energy doesn't help you if you die due to low Health.

Take a moment and examine your teammates before the match starts. If you have Warriors in your party, keep Anthem of Fury up as much as possible. The increased adrenaline gain your allied Warriors receive translates into a higher damage-per-second ratio than they could otherwise attain. Should you have another Paragon with you, coordinate your Anthems by Ctrl-clicking on the Anthem when you use it to announce the fact to your team, and by watching when it activates on you from an ally using it. If your allied Paragon uses Anthem of Fury, and you see a Warrior on your team use an attack skill, you know that the Warrior has caused the Anthem on him to end. You can then chant your own Anthem without the risk of it overwriting the other one. If you use your Anthem before your partner's expires, you've essentially wasted it. Just remember that the Anthems end at different times on different characters, depending on when they use attack skills.

When attempting a self-heal with Leader's Comfort, watch out for enemy Rangers. They often pride themselves on interrupting self-heals, so if you see a Ranger moving toward you or in bow range, assume he has an interrupt and try to hide behind something.

As for your own attack chain, use Anthem of Fury right before Barbed Spear. This will charge up your adrenaline for Blazing Spear, and you'll have your chosen target Burning and Bleeding in no time. Follow up with Anthem of Flame and switch to another target. With Anthem of Flame up, throw Barbed Spear and you suddenly have Burning and Bleeding caused from the same attack. Rinse and repeat this pattern across differing targets and you'll be the bane of your opponents.

Secondary Profession Suggestion
"Watch Yourself!", "Shields Up!"
Tactics: 3

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