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GWFC 1st Season Playoffs


#1 The Last Pride [EvIL] defeats #3 War Machine [WM] – April 16, 2006
By Harold J. Chow


The Last Pride dismantled Korean rival War Machine in two games to win the first seasonal playoffs in the Guild Wars Factions Championship series. For this match, both guilds chose the Frozen Isle, a Guild Hall that favors split-team strategies and teams like WM and EvIL that can control the flow of the game. Unfortunately for WM, EvIL did all of the controlling in this match.


Shadow of Fear
Shadow of Fear
Shadow of FearShadow of Fear
Necromancer - Curses - Hex Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 2
Duration: 5..30
Recharge: 5
Hex Spell. Target foe and all adjacent foes attack 50% slower for the next 5..30 seconds.

Game 1
WM's team build featured a mix of Warrior and Elementalist damage, supported by energy denial and anti-Warrior Hexes such as Shadow of Fear and Price of Failure. EvIL's build featured a more Warrior-centric offense with Energy denial damage from skills like Energy Surge and Mind Wrack, with support from an Elementalist with Water snares and a Ranger who could Cripple, Poison, and Blackout targets or assist in running flags.


GAME 1 LINEUP:

The Last Pride [EvIL] War Machine [WM]
Me/Mo – Energy Surge with Remove Hex, Spirit of Failure W/E – Axe Warrior with Shock, Bull's Strike, Eviscerate
E/Mo – Water Magic with Blinding Flash, Heal Other W/Me – Devastating Hammer, Frenzy, Hex Breaker
W/E – Backbreaker, Bull's Strike, Shock Me/Mo – Energy Drain, Diversion, Draw Conditions
W/E – Sword Warrior with Shock and "Charge!" Me/N – Offering of Blood, Shadow Strike, Blood Ritual
R/Me – Crippling Shot, Apply Poison, Blackout E/Mo – Air/Water with Ward Against Melee
Me/Mo – Energy Drain, Diversion, Draw Conditions E/Mo – Air/Water with Heal Party, Windborne Speed
Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protector with Mantra of Recall Mo/Me – Divine Boon, Mantra of Recall, Hex Breaker
Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protector with Mantra of Recall Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protector with Energy Drain
Morale Boosts: EvIL 9 (5:08, 15:53, 17:53, 19:53, 21:53, 23:53, 25:53, 27:53, 31:57) Morale Boosts: WM 0

EvIL started the game by splitting into groups of four, allowing them to anticipate a split by WM, a guild notorious for its devastating split strategies. WM, however, started the game by playing for the flag stand. With a slew of anti-Warrior skills at their disposal and Blood Ritual to fuel the offense, WM seemed to have the tools to make a serious push for flag control after killing EvIL's Energy drain Mesmer. However, WM got a late start in countering an EvIL flag stand capture. Then the defending champion used Water magic Hexes and body-blocking techniques and kept WM from recapturing. That's how EvIL earned their first morale boost at 5:08.

Windborne Speed
Windborne Speed
Windborne SpeedWindborne Speed
Elementalist - Air Magic - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 1
Duration: 5..11
Recharge: 5
Enchantment Spell. For 5..11 seconds, target ally moves 33% faster.

Several of the top teams use a combination of players to bring a flag to the flag stand, using a speedy caster to bring the flag to the battle area and passing the flag to a high-armor Warrior who can survive long enough to plant the flag. EvIL takes this technique further, having different players run the flag or assist the flag runner depending on the situation. WM learned about EvIL's flag-running effectiveness the hard way when they sent a Warrior to prevent EvIL's sword Warrior from running a flag. EvIL's Ranger and E/Mo followed the Warrior and threatened to make a kill. WM sent their Windborne Speed E/Mo to assist the Warrior, but EvIL's squad turned and killed the caster instead. Three minutes later, WM tried again to disrupt EvIL's flag running, this time resulting in the demise of both WM attackers. Down two players, WM could no longer keep EvIL off the flag stand and had to fall back to their base.

Boxed into their own base, WM could ill afford to send a split group to attack EvIL's base. WM's Warriors built adrenaline by attacking with a wand and using "To the Limit!"—anticipating any opportunity to turn the tide. With their powerful adrenaline attacks fully charged, WM feigned splits on a couple of occasions to expose an EvIL player to a "spike" of damage. However, EvIL's control of the flag stand wiped away any death penalty every two minutes.

With Victory or Death looming, WM's Warriors made one last push for the flag stand, disrupting EvIL's control and killing EvIL's Ranger in the process. EvIL recovered quickly and downed WM's W/E. EvIL then attacked WM's NPCs to delay their march to the flag stand, allowing EvIL's unscathed NPC army to reach the flag stand first to take advantage of the high ground. With their own NPCs now marching to certain doom, WM could only try to take down some of EvIL's NPCs at the flag stand to even the odds. EvIL soon overwhelmed the weakened WM with the added damage from Victory or Death, finishing off the WM Guild Lord at 33:15.


Game 2

Holy Veil
Holy Veil
Holy VeilHoly Veil
Monk - No Attribute - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 1
Duration: upkeep
Recharge: 12
Enchantment Spell. While you maintain this Enchantment, any Hex cast on target ally takes twice as long to cast. When Holy Veil ends, one Hex is removed from target ally.
To counter EvIL's Warriors and add both utility and Hex pressure on a split, WM swapped out their Elementalists in Game 2 for identical Necromancers with anti-Warrior Hexes, life-stealing skills, Blood Ritual, Holy Veil, and Draw Conditions. To counter both the Hexes and Conditions EvIL used in Game 1, WM's Hammer Warrior switched to a Monk secondary to use the powerful Contemplation of Purity. To compensate for the removal of the Water snares, WM swapped out the Hex Mesmer for a R/Me with Crippling Shot. EvIL switched out their own Crippling Shot Ranger for an E/Mo with water Hexes, Heal Party, and Heal Other while their original E/Mo swapped to an Air/Water hybrid build with Lightning damage and Convert Hexes.


GAME 2 LINEUP:

The Last Pride [EvIL] War Machine [WM]
Me/Mo – Energy Surge w/Remove Hex, Spirit of Failure W/Mo – Devastating Hammer, Contemplation of Purity
E/Mo – Air/Water w/ Blinding Flash, Convert Hexes Me/Mo – Energy Surge, Diversion, Draw Conditions
W/E – Backbreaker, Bull's Strike, Shock N/Mo – Hexes w/ Offering, Blood Ritual, Holy Veil
W/E – Sword Warrior with Shock and "Charge!" Mo/Me – Divine Boon, Mantra of Recall, Hex Breaker
E/Mo – Water w/ Heal Other, Heal Party W/E – Sword Warrior with Shock and "Charge!"
Me/Mo – Energy Drain, Diversion, Draw Conditions R/Me – Crippling Shot, Apply Poison, Blackout
Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protector w/ Mantra of Recall N/Mo – Hexes w/ Offering of Blood, Holy Veil
Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protector w/ Mantra of Recall Mo/Me – Divine Boon, Mantra of Recall, Hex Breaker
Morale Boosts: EvIL 13 (10:09, 12:09, 14:09, 18:05, 20:05, 22:05, 24:05, 26:05, 28:05, 30:05, 32:05, 34:05, 36:05) Morale Boosts: WM 0

Both teams split to start the game, establishing battlefronts next to the flag stand and by the ice near the gate controls. WM's build changes caused problems for EvIL early on, as WM managed to drop EvIL's flag team Monk and had the gate team on the ropes through massive Health degeneration. Both guilds regrouped at the flag stand, where EvIL managed to kill one of WM's Monks twice within 20 seconds. WM split again to give themselves a 4-on-4 situation in which to run a flag back to the stand. After one capture of the stand, however, EvIL killed WM's Ranger during a split and blocked off the route back to the stand to secure their first morale boost.

Despite clearing out several of EvIL's archers, WM could not make a strong push to take the flag stand. With EvIL taking advantage of WM's maneuvers with more player kills, WM lost the ability to split effectively, forcing WM to defend their base until Victory or Death. Using the same methodical late-game tactics as in Game 1, The Last Pride wrapped up their sweep of War Machine at 37:36 and took a thunderous first step towards the Guild Wars Factions Championship.

Harold J. Chow is one of our freelance Guild Wars reporters. His in-game name is Guild Informant.