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WvW Theorycraft - Zerg Puppeteer


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#1 shiggidyshwa

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:03 PM

Build Specs

The idea of this build is to manipulate the movement of enemies through a combination of crowd control skills and traits. The warrior is arguably the best crowd-control class in this game, and in WvW zerg situations, with enemies piled on top of each other, this build can cause a lot of havoc.

Besides controlling enemy movement, this build also causes a lot of damage from two AOE-heavy weapons - the Greatsword and the Hammer.

This build is best played as a frontline shock troop. Jump in, do damage, and then control the crowd before they disperse.


Weapons

Knight's Hammer of Superior Hydromancy is the main weapon that will be doing the CC. 4 of 6 of this weapon's skills are crowd control - 1 cripple, 1 knockback, and 2 knockdowns. The Hydromancy Sigil ensures a cripple through chill upon swapping to the hammer, which will make it that much harder for enemies to get away.

Knight's Greatsword of Superior Rage is the mobility weapon and the main damage dealer. Whirlwind Attack and Rush can both get you across the battlefield and quickly into the heart of an enemy mob, and Hundred Blades is a great damage dealer every 8 seconds. The Rage Sigil gives a 10% chance of gaining quickness on critical, which, multiplied by the AOE hits, increases the probability.


Armour

Knight's Armour of Superior Vampirism provides a ton of power, precision, and vitality, which will provide a lot of damage and critical hits and improve survivability. When you get pounded on, the Vampirism Rune will turn you into mist and allow a getaway.


Accessories

Knight's Amulet beefs up your power and precision to good levels before boons.

Soldier's Gems increase your toughness to survive on the frontlines.


Traits

Strength - 30
Berserker's Power to increase damage output
Distracting Strikes to deal heaps of confusion with your many interrupts
Slashing Power to beef Greatsword damage

Defense - 20
Embrace the Pain to gain adrenaline quickly in situations where you get hit (which is always)
Merciless Hammer to increase hammer damage and reduce recharge

Tactics - 20
Leg Specialist to immobilize foes you cripple with Hammer Shock and Bladetrail
Lung Capacity to recharge your entire utility bar of shouts more quickly


Notes

When approaching a fight, it's best to do so at an angle so you're less obvious. Hurry in using WWA or Rush, pop Hundred Blades, and then switch to the Hammer. This will trigger the AOE chill and slow enemies trying to escape.

At this point, you should have adrenaline for Earthshaker, which will knockdown foes in a circle around you. At this point, you can cripple a single target and then use Fear Me! to push everyone else away.

Switching back to Greatsword, you can focus on the single target or attack until your Hammer CC moves have recharged.

There are 2 great dynamics at play here. The first is the Leg Specialist trait. It immobilizes targets for 1 second on cripple, which is great for snaring single targets, or in the case of Hammer Shock, multiple targets in a cone before you.

The second great dynamic here is the application of confusion on interrupt through the Distracting Strikes trait. You have effectively 4 interrupts. 3 Hammer knockdown/knockbacks, and Fear Me!, which causes enemies to flee. All these technically cause an interrupt if the enemy is casting a skill, which applies 3 stacks of Confusion for 5 seconds. Earthshaker, Staggering Blow, and Fear Me! are all AOE skills, which means you can apply confusion to many, many targets.

- - - -

This is a theorycraft so I haven't actually used it yet. I'd love to hear anyone's input, suggestions, and critiques. I love playing with the crowd control aspect of this game and believe that it can make or break a combat engagement like zergs in WvW.

Edited by shiggidyshwa, 17 January 2013 - 06:11 PM.


#2 lmaonade

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:11 PM

Zerg puppeteering usually means you're the first in and last out, I would say you should try to get to 30 in Defense for Defy Pain, it's a lifesaver for situations that don't go your way.

Also, leave the builder accessories and jewels out when theorycrafting for WvW, in PvE soldier jewels do not exist (not to my knowledge anyway...) and the stats on the jewel are wrong, the jewels on the builder have the collective stats of all 5 PvE jewels, so putting all 5 in the builder heavily skews your stats. Knight's Amulet doesn't exist in that specific form in PvE, in sPvP it's power/prec/vit, in PvE it's power/prec/toughness.

But the playstyle is solid, though I don't really like the Greatsword in a control build, I usually go all out and have either dual maces, or axe/mace for my 2nd set.

Edited by lmaonade, 17 January 2013 - 09:12 PM.


#3 Limbolein

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:57 AM

Your theory of actually controlling enemies is greatly limited in practice. For example you say "Hurry in using WWA or Rush, pop Hundred Blades, and then switch to the Hammer". In a real fight you will hit almost noone with your Hundred Blades if you don't CC them before. Then also, most abilities are limited to affect 5 players only. And of course your enemy will also try to control you. Your build has no stability, try to control something while being disabled.

WvW and especially zerg WvW is a teamplay thing. Every team needs CC, damage and support and you can't do more than add your part to the whole. With your build you will add some CC and some damage, but don't think that one player alone can control a zerg. The key to success in WvW is coordinating players, their abilities and combo fields/finishers.

#4 shiggidyshwa

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:40 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys. I've modified the build a little: Revised Build

View Postlmaonade, on 17 January 2013 - 09:11 PM, said:

Zerg puppeteering usually means you're the first in and last out, I would say you should try to get to 30 in Defense for Defy Pain, it's a lifesaver for situations that don't go your way.

Also, leave the builder accessories and jewels out when theorycrafting for WvW, in PvE soldier jewels do not exist (not to my knowledge anyway...) and the stats on the jewel are wrong, the jewels on the builder have the collective stats of all 5 PvE jewels, so putting all 5 in the builder heavily skews your stats. Knight's Amulet doesn't exist in that specific form in PvE, in sPvP it's power/prec/vit, in PvE it's power/prec/toughness.

But the playstyle is solid, though I don't really like the Greatsword in a control build, I usually go all out and have either dual maces, or axe/mace for my 2nd set.

Good point about the accessories. I modified the build and added Defy Pain.

About using a Greatsword, I'd initially thought of it as a mobility tool that would allow me to enter or leave a fight more quickly. It would also help catch stragglers using a combination of Bladetrail, Rush, and WWA. GS will do more damage in comparison to Mace which is what I'd be doing while Hammer skills were recharging.

I'll experiment with the Offhand Mace's Tremor and see how it stacks up to GS.

View PostLimbolein, on 18 January 2013 - 09:57 AM, said:

Your theory of actually controlling enemies is greatly limited in practice. For example you say "Hurry in using WWA or Rush, pop Hundred Blades, and then switch to the Hammer". In a real fight you will hit almost noone with your Hundred Blades if you don't CC them before. Then also, most abilities are limited to affect 5 players only. And of course your enemy will also try to control you. Your build has no stability, try to control something while being disabled.

WvW and especially zerg WvW is a teamplay thing. Every team needs CC, damage and support and you can't do more than add your part to the whole. With your build you will add some CC and some damage, but don't think that one player alone can control a zerg. The key to success in WvW is coordinating players, their abilities and combo fields/finishers.

Yes, theoretically, that's how I'd open up the attack chain under somewhat general conditions of a zerg on zerg fight. In my experience running with and against zergs, there's always a line of scrimmage which few cross. It's behind this line that the opposing groups stand and trade ranged attacks with one another. It's a give-and-take scenario where if one side loses several key players, the other side can overwhelm and route them.

My idea for this build was to be the first in and cause disruption using knockbacks, knockdowns, and cripples. Whether or not I can pull off a Hundred Blades before I switch to the hammer will probably depend on the intensity of the fight. I believe large zerg fights where neither team is really budging will benefit from a build like this. Sometimes all it takes is a little crowd control to turn the tide of a fight.

With that in mind, I took your comments on stability and survivability very seriously. I switched in Balanced Stance for For Great Justice! and Defy Pain now activates Endure Pain at 25% HP.

No person is an island and with the AoE limited to 5 players affected, this is the little that I can do to help break the other team's formation. There can be very specific roles just like in any military formation. I guess I see the role of a Hammer warrior as similar to cavalry. Go in and break the enemy's formation so that the main damage dealers can come in behind you and take advantage of the confusion. I can realistically imagine 2 players going in as this spec disrupting a zerg front line.

EDIT: I saw this video that basically illustrates what I'd like this build to be. This player uses a sword/axe 2nd set though.

Edited by shiggidyshwa, 21 January 2013 - 07:03 PM.


#5 dawdler

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

View Postshiggidyshwa, on 20 January 2013 - 10:40 PM, said:

EDIT: I saw this video that basically illustrates what I'd like this build to be. This player uses a sword/axe 2nd set though.
Uhm... It looks like you went the exact opposite direction with your "revised" build. You can clearly see he has shout healing. I am guessing a 10/0/20/30/10 build. An odd choice though that he doesnt have merciless hammer traited. might be turtles defense or balanced stance there. He might not even have 20 points in toughness at all, maybe just 15 (for the healing). I dont see quite where those 5 missing points would go however - he doesnt seem to bleed with the hammer and he doesnt have swap reduction. I also doubt he has warriors sprint traited, more likely 9% crit judging by the crit focus in the build. With a guild you have pretty much 100% uptime on swiftness anyway.

Edited by dawdler, 25 January 2013 - 10:20 AM.


#6 shiggidyshwa

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:42 PM

View Postdawdler, on 25 January 2013 - 10:17 AM, said:

Uhm... It looks like you went the exact opposite direction with your "revised" build. You can clearly see he has shout healing. I am guessing a 10/0/20/30/10 build. An odd choice though that he doesnt have merciless hammer traited. might be turtles defense or balanced stance there. He might not even have 20 points in toughness at all, maybe just 15 (for the healing). I dont see quite where those 5 missing points would go however - he doesnt seem to bleed with the hammer and he doesnt have swap reduction. I also doubt he has warriors sprint traited, more likely 9% crit judging by the crit focus in the build. With a guild you have pretty much 100% uptime on swiftness anyway.

Ya you're right he's running a heal shout build. I should have clarified. He's not running my build, but the essence of what he's doing is essentially where I was going.

Because gear is expensive, I'm set up as a heal shout hammer warrior for PVE. I brought it into WVW last night with a sword/shield off-hand for defense and escape. This was a more defense-oriented build, but I managed to cause a lot of havoc in zerg fights. Even if I didn't outright kill a player, if I used Earthshaker on a group of enemies, they'd scatter and usually run the opposite way.

Another awesome combo I found was to use my sword's Savage Leap to get in front of a fleeing enemy, switch to hammer, do the kd combo, and if the player was still alive, use Fear Me! to send him right back into my team. So many LOLs.

This to me is probably the greatest reward for a hammer warrior. That video I linked is more offensively traited, owing to the great backup he has. My server (Sorrow's Furnace) can't usually get to that level, being in the lowest WVW tier. As soon as I earn the gold I will respec for this though and see what the results are.

Edited by shiggidyshwa, 25 January 2013 - 04:44 PM.


#7 jeddahwe

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:54 AM

Maintain 1:10 Armor:HP ratio.




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