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Monday, June 22, 2009

Argent Tournament Duel Rotation

The Argent Tournament has been going for a while now, and I thought I'd add my two cents on NPC duel rotations for those starting the event even later than me.

There are only a few abilities, but knowing in what order to use them to best effect will take some practice. Just as a run down, here are abililies (the spell name might not correct, and the notes are not the Blizz tools tips):

  • Lance. Standard melee ranged jab with the pointy thing. The lower the number of shields on the opponent, the more damage will be done. You'll be using this one alot. Has its own GCD.
  • Shield-Breaker. Throw something (shield or lance?) at the opponent to reduce their shields by one. You'll be using this one alot as well. Must be used at a distance.
  • Charge. Charge at the opponent to reduce a shield. Must also be used at a distance. This one actually keeps you running past the opponent. More on the strategy with this one later.
  • Defend. Adds a shield for you defense. Stacks up to 3 times, and has a timer of one minute. Anytime you get charged or shield breaked, it reduces by 1.

And there's a Heal ability that can only be used out of combat. Remember to use it between bouts.

It should be noted that Shield-Breaker, Charge and Defend all share the same GCD.

The basic goal will be to keep your shields up, bring theirs down and do damage! Seems simple enough.

As a basic technique, stay close to the opponent. If they start to move away, back up a bit, launch a shield breaker, and get close for a lance attack. If you can do that, you should be fine. With latency, the opponent may get the jump on you and get in a Charge. Just put up a shield and keep the attacks up. If the opponent starts walking away while shield breaker is on GCD, because you've just used Defend, follow them.. dont hang around waiting for it to be available, or they'll charge you.

An opener tip is to stand next to your oppenent at the start and fact the same direction as them, towards the centre of the ring. When they accept the challenge, they will move toward the centre of the ring. This is a good time to get off an initial shield breaker, and get a few early attacks in. An additional tip is that the Healing ability shares the GCD with the other abilities, excepted Lanced! so hold off the initial challenge until shield breaker is available.

An intermediate approach is to force some distance between you and the opponent to get a sneaky shield breaker in. If you're fields are all up, and your shield breaker is available, back away from your opponent. If they follow, not to worry. However, sometimes they are slow to follow, and you'll get enough distance to launch a shield breaker. Launch it and run back in, before they charge. If you're lucky enough, they'll do their walk away thing just before or after you launch yours and you may be able to sneak in two shield breakers. Remember to rush back in and force the attack with Lance. If you can keep this technique up, you can force the opponent down to zero shields, and keep them down there for a quick win.

The advanced approach.. well, I dont have one. The intermediate is all I even need. While I do mine, I notice alot of other people working charge into their rotation, and doing alot of jumping around. For me, its not necessary. I hardly use Charge at all. But when do I use it? I've only used it a couple of time in the ring. Usually its because of a brain fart.. I've just done a shield breaker, the opponent has moved away, and I've gone for a charge, I then quickly turn around to face the opponent and throw another shield break, reducing their shields to zero. They usually get a charge in shortly after, but I make sure to close the gap and lance and defend at the same time.

Most likely, you'll use Charge while going up against the Lieutenants and Commanders when doing the other daily. Just make sure you angle your charge so you dont run into another Lieutenant or Commander behind them. I usually like to pull with a shield breaker for Lieutenants, but Commanders would warrent an initial charge and shield breaker to handle their 3 shields.

Just a note on the mechanics of the opponent. As I mentioned, we have a shared GCD between our Shield-Breaker, Charge and Defend. It would appear that the opponents do not. If they get the appropriate distance, it would seem that they can shield break and charge at the same time. At a guess, they probably have a small cast time for their shield break and maybe some sort of reduced cast time on their charge if they get in a shield break first. End result, if they get a charge on you, dont be surprised if you loose 2 shields instead of one.

Actually, looking up wowhead, it would seem they cast Shield-Breaker and Charge. These are different from our abilities, given that their Shield-Breaker has a small cast time and a scripted effect that is probably the trigger to charge or move closer.

Anyway, have fun with the grind! The 10% xp chest rewards coming in 3.2 will be worth it for altoholics that dont have all their toons at 80 yet (and maybe worth it for the next expansion, but I wouldnt bank on it).

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