GWFC 1st Season Playoffs
#1 The Last Pride [EvIL] defeats #4 The Benecia Renovatio [Reno] 2-0 - April 16, 2006
by Christian Brellisford
As the match opened up, I could tell this was going to be an epic battle between two top guilds. Both teams were running very similar builds, yet there were subtle differences in lineup and tactical decisions that eventually determined the winner and who moved on to the final round of the seasonal playoffs.
Elementalist - Water Magic - Hex Spell
Hex Spell. For 4..10 seconds, target foe and adjacent foes are Hexed with Blurred Vision. While Hexed, those foes have a 50% chance to miss with attacks.
The Benecia Renovatio used the following builds: 2 Warriors, one using a hammer and one using an axe; 2 Elementalists with support skills like Blinding Flash, Blurred Vision, and Heal Party and with damaging skills like Lightning Orb, Shard Storm and Ice Spikes.; a Necromancer with Blood skills like Vampiric Gaze and others such as Faintheartedness to disrupt Warriors; a Mesmersthat featured Domination spells as well as support capabilities like Draw Conditions and Remove Hex.;and 2 Monks with Divine Boon and a variety of Protection skills.
EvIL put together a similar build:. 2 Warriors, one using Hammers and the other with swords and the "Charge!" skill; 2 Elementalists running both Air and Water skills much like RenO; 2 Mesmers, one was an energy denial Mesmer using typical spells and the other possessed support spells with skill disruption spells like Diversion.; and 2 Monks that used a Boon-Protection setup.
The first match was fought on the Warrior’s Isle and once the timer counted down the gates opened and both teams headed towards the flag stand. EvIL got there first using ‘"Charge!" but decided to hold off on capturing the flag stand first. Both teams sent players to grab repair kits. Once the kits had been delivered to the respective bases, RenO captured the flag stand and the teams engaged.
RenO drew first blood around 1:45, when one of EvIL’s Mesmers overextended herself and got caught with heavy focus from RenO’s Warriors. The Monks were unable to save the Mesmer and she died. During this part of the battle, both teams captured and recaptured the flag stand. RenO used one of its Elementalists with Windborne Speed to quickly get a new flag to recap the stand. EvIL, on the other hand, used one of its Warriors in a 2-player split style where, while running, one would drop the flag for another player to pick up.
Warrior - No Attribute - Stance
Stance. For 8 seconds, you attack 33% faster but take double damage.
Barely two minutes after RenO’s first kill, EvIL scored one of its own. One of RenO’s Warriors was caught using the skill Frenzy. (Frenzy increases your attack speed but doubles the damage your character takes.) EvIL realized that the Warrior had used frenzy and quickly switched focus to score the kill.
An epic back and forth stalemate ensued at that point for more than 10 minutes. Both teams fought on each side of the flag stand as they were both running flags efficiently and effectively. No team was able to secure the boost. EvIL slowly started to push RenO back to its Guild Hall. Using knockdown skills on the Hammer Warrior, EvIL singled out one of RenO’s Monks, and just before the 13 minute mark, player 4 on RenO died. Once EvIL eliminated the first Monk, they quickly switched all their focus to the second Monk. The Mesmer employed Energy Surge and Mind Wrack along with knockdowns like Bull’s Strike devastated the remaining healer. RenO had no choice but to retreat back into their base to regroup.
EvIL next pulled off a great tactical move by body-blocking the front entrance of RenO’s Guild Hall. RenO was desperate to capture the flag stand for the ever-important Morale Boost, but they couldn’t get out of the base. RenO focused on the Elementalist blocking the path, who died after enduring massive damage from Warriors. RenO pushed toward the flag stand but it was too late. EvIL secured the Morale Boost giving it the necessary edge to win the game. Once there RenO’s players incurred the death penalty, they became easy targets for the efficient Warriors of EvIL. RenO started to buckle once the healers died numerous times. Seizing this opportunity, EvIL pushed into the enemy’s base and killed off the Bodyguards surrounding the Guild Lord before targeting the lord himself. Because there was over a minute until the next resurrect, and RenO had no healers remaining, the Guild Lord was left vulnerable and at 17 minutes and 45 seconds, EvIL won the first match.
Ranger - Wilderness Survival - Preparation
Preparation. For 24 seconds, foes struck by your physical attacks become Poisoned for 3..15 seconds.
After the first game, The Last Pride made a few changes: it swapped one of its Elementalists for a Ranger/Mesmer. This new character was able to disrupt skills using Distracting Shot and Blackout and deal conditions with Apply Poison and Crippling Shot. RenO exchanged an Elementalist for an identical Ranger/Mesmer as well.
RenO was defending familiar ground using its Fire Island Guild Hall, but it proved a bad choice as The Last Pride took advantage of the tight fighting quarters. EvIL used a Warrior for running flags, which was a smart choice as the Warrior was much sturdier through the lava and was able to cause significant damage on RenO’s Elementalist runner.
The disruption on the Ranger and the heavy knockdowns on the Warrior made it hard for RenO’s Monks to keep up with the healing. At the 2:45 mark EvIL claimed the first kill and shortly after they dropped the second Monk. From there it was all downhill for RenO. RenO couldn’t keep pace with healing with the heavy focus damage coming from the different EvIL players and one of their Mesmers died. RenO gave a good fight for another 4 minutes but the death penalty took its toll. Forced to use hard resurrects instead of signets and out of Monk healing, RenO was forced back to base at around 9 minutes.
Once again EvIL moved straight in to kill all supporting and healing characters. Once successful, they moved on to cleaning up the Bodyguards. With no healers present the Guild Lord fell at 10 minutes and EvIL claimed a 2-0 victory to move on to the finals.
Throughout both matches, The Last Pride maintained focus and pressure on key targets. The Benecia Renovatio eventually buckled. Blocking flag runners and taking advantage of low armor targets when enemy Monks were down were the key play decisions EvIL employed to secure victory. Although the matches were short in length, RenO put up a good fight. Should there be a rematch, there's no telling the outcome.
Christian Brellisford is a college student currently studying video game design in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in hopes of pursuing a career in the field. A gamer since an early age, Christian has been involved with Guild Wars since the E3 for Everyone Event in 2004, and currently leads the Spirits of War guild. You can find him in game under the name Saidin Writer.