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GWFC 1st Season Playoffs


#3 War Machine [WM] defeats #6 Bring Back The Rifts [Rift] – April 15, 2006
By Jonathan Sharp


Game 1

Map: Ice Map
Defender: War Machine

War Machine
1 War/Nec 2 Mes/Mo 3 Ele/Mo 4 Mo/Mes 5 War/Ele 6 Mes/Mo 7 Mes/Nec 8 Mo/Mes
Spirit of Failure
Spirit of Failure
Spirit of FailureSpirit of Failure
Mesmer - Inspiration Magic - Hex Spell
Energy: 15
Activation: 3
Duration: 30
Recharge: 20
Hex Spell. For 30 seconds, target foe has a 25% chance to miss with attacks. You gain 1..3 Energy whenever that foe fails to hit in combat.

WM's Build: This is a pressure build with heavy Energy denial. It relies on the Energy denial from the Mesmers to overwhelm its enemies while laying on sustained damage from the Warriors. For anti-Warrior defense, WM utilizes an Air/Water hybrid, two Mesmers (positions 2 and 6) utilizing Spirit of Failure, and one Price of Failure (on Mesmer 7).


 
Bring Back the Rifts
1 War/Ele 2 War/Ele 3 Mes/Mo 4 Mo/Mes 5 War/Mes 6 Mes/Mo 7 Ele/Mo 8 Mo/Mes
Blinding Flash
Blinding Flash
Blinding FlashBlinding Flash
Elementalist - Air Magic - Spell
Energy: 15
Activation: 0.75
Recharge: 4
Spell. Target foe is Blinded for 3..10 seconds.

Rift's Build: Rift's build relies less on Energy denial and uses more Warrior pressure. Their Mesmers are equipped to help shut down Monks with Diversion and some Energy denial while they use Draw Conditions to keep the Warriors Condition-free. For Warrior defense they rely on an Air Elementalist with Ward against Melee and Blinding Flash.

This match started with WM going with a 4/4 split (four to the flag, and four to Rift's base) while Rift answered with their own 4/4 split. At about 1:00 WM pulled the Warrior from their attacking team and sent him to the flag stand, creating a five vs. four battle in their favor. After a few seconds of fighting WM lost Monk # 8, but Rifts lost Monk #4 as well as Mesmer #3, who was carrying the flag. WM returned Rift's flag, and planted their own at roughly 1:45.

As Rift tried to push out another flag, their flag carrier (#7) drew the focus of WM while both teams set up for a battle that occurred between Rift's base and the flag stand. The pressure/shutdown from WM's Mesmers was too much, and at 2:58 Rift #7 went down and their flag was returned. WM kept the pressure on and at 3:48 they got their first morale boost.

Rift tried to push another flag around the 6:00 mark. Initially Rift #7 had the flag, but he took pressure and switched the flag off to Rift #1. Rift #1 circled onto the ice near the middle of the map, and looked as if he had a clear path to the flag. WM saw this, and their Warriors and Elementalist converged on him, killing him at 6:10. Again their flag was returned and Rifts, fighting a six vs. eight battle, was forced to retreat.

At 8:30 Rift initiated a split, sending their players in positions #1, 2, 3 and 4 to WM's base. They were able to do a sizeable amount of damage, killing two archers quickly. Between 10:00 and 14:00 Rift used their two Warriors to take down NPCs while the rest of their team defended against WM's assault. During the split, WM lost one bodyguard (Rift lost Warrior #1 in the process) and all but three archers. Rift still had both bodyguards and 4 archers.

Both teams went back and forth with capping the flag, but Rift never committed to any eight vs. eight fights. Instead they stayed split and mobile. WM was able to contain Rift's splits, and at 20:00 they had all of Rift pinned into their base.

Energy Surge
Energy Surge
Energy SurgeEnergy Surge [Elite]
Mesmer - Domination Magic - Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 2
Recharge: 20
Spell. Target foe loses 3..8 Energy. For each point of Energy lost, that foe and all nearby foes take 10 damage.

It was at this point that WM's Mesmers really started to shine. Their three Energy Surges combined for a considerable amount of AOE (area-of-effect) damage. This, combined with their shutdown, turned out to be more pressure than Rift could withstand. At 22:40 the Energy Surges hit one right after the other, and in a single volley, most of Rift was below 50% health.

At 23:00 WM was able to get a bodyguard down, and Rift started to go down one at a time. By 25:20 both Monks were down, followed by the Guild Lord, who fell near the 26-minute mark.

Duration: 26 Minutes
Winner: War Machine
Series: 1-0


Game 2

Map: Warrior's Map
Defender: Bring Back the Rifts

War Machine
1 War/Nec 2 Mes/Mo 3 Ele/Mo 4 Mo/Mes 5 War/Ele 6 Mes/Mo 7 Mes/Nec 8 Mo/Mes
Mantra of Lightning
Mantra of Lightning
Mantra of LightningMantra of Lightning
Mesmer - Inspiration Magic - Stance
Energy: 10
Activation: 0
Duration: 30..90
Recharge: 20
Stance. For 30..90 seconds, whenever you take lightning damage, the damage is reduced by 26..50% and you gain 2 Energy.

WM's Build: WM's build stayed pretty much the same as game one with one very key difference. In a calculated risk, both Monks brought Mantra of Lightning, anticipating that Rift would run their Air spike build. If Rift didn't run this build, this skill would be risky, and in most ways, a waste. But the gamble paid off, as Rift did run their Air spike build. WM also had a considerable amount of Enchantment removal in their build to counter the dual attunements that the Rift's build relies on.

Bring Back the Rifts
1 Mes/Ele 2 Mes/Ele 3 Mes/Ele 4 Mo/Mes 5 Mes/Ele 6 Mes/Ele 7 Ele/Mo 8 Mo/Mes
Enervating Charge
Enervating Charge
Enervating ChargeEnervating Charge
Elementalist - Air Magic - Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 1
Recharge: 8
Spell. Target foe is struck for 5..50 lightning damage and suffers from Weakness for 5..20 seconds. This Spell has 25% armor penetration.

Rift's Build: This is the Air spike build that Rift is very well known for. They can spike very often with this build and even if their early spikes don't kill, the sheer number of spikes often overwhelms opponents. They use dual attunements (Elemental Attunement and Air Attunement) to keep their energy up while spiking. For Warrior defense they bring Blinding Flash, Enervating Charge, and Wards spread throughout the build.

Rift came aggressively out of the gate, earning some fast kills. By 1:32 they already had three kills, and their defense was holding. WM had two hard resurrections (Resurrect on both Mesmers #3 and #7) and were relying on them to keep the rest of the team from wasting Resurrection Signets. At 2:15, WM sent a Warrior to solo-attack NPCs at the back of Rift's base, and Rift answered by sending #7 and #1, who killed him.

WM sustained a lot of casualties between 4:00 and 6:00 near the flag stand, losing four different players. In spite of this, they relied on their two hard resurrections and were able to repair Rift's catapult at 6:15.

Rifts attempted to push a flag at around 6:30 when the game broke wide open in WM's favor. They were able to take down Rift #1 at roughly 6:41, followed by Rift's flag carrier, #7, at 6:47. WM's Energy denial/Enchantment removal started to slow Rift down, and even though WM sustained two more casualties around 7:00, they were able to get a morale boost at 7:30. Rift began to succumb to WM's pressure, and after sustaining heavy losses, were forced to retreat.

WM backed off, boosted to +10%, and waited for Rift to make a move. At 10:15 Rift tried to do a 4/4 split, running their flag and their repair kit out their side door. Taking both of these to one side proved to be a mistake, as WM pulled their Warrior from their attack team (just as they did in game 1) and turned the side battle into a five vs. four in their favor. Rift lost their repair kit (the carrier was killed) and later were unable to cap the flag (their flag-runner was killed mere feet from the stand). After more deaths, they were again forced to retreat.

There were no major engagements between 17:00 and 30:00, as both teams were content to wait until VoD ("Victory or Death!"). WM didn't want Rift to work off their death penalty, and Rift wasn't able to secure the flag and hold it.

At VoD WM was able to kill all of Rift's remaining NPCs with a single shot, giving them a huge NPC advantage. Despite this, Rift's Air spike continued to prove itself lethal, still producing kills at the 35-minute mark. Due to their control of the flag, however, WM was able to shrug off any losses with continual morale boosts. Although Rift tried to split and gank WM's Lord, WM never lost control. Rift's Lord died near the flag stand at the 37-minute mark.

Duration: 37 Minutes
Winner: War Machine
Series: 2-0


Jonathan Sharp has been playing competitive online strategy games since Warcraft 2 and StarCraft. In Guild Wars he has been a member of two top-5 ladder teams: Club G and Negative Zero. He recently worked as a Multiplayer game designer for Stainless Steel Studios in Boston and has a B.A. in Philosophy. Currently he's pursuing two of his passions: game design and writing. Find him in game as Chaplan Observant.