Guild Wars




Match Report

I Guild I [iGi] versus The Voice Of Reason [vOR] — May 10, 2006
By Daniel Jennings

This match, fought by I Guild I [iGi] and The Voice Of Reason [vOR] on the classic Warrior's Isle Guild Hall, was a clear example of the versatility and on-the-fly decision making that will be necessary for any guild to take home the Guild Wars Factions Championship trophy come August 2006. By the midpoint of the match, the winner was clear, but that took a back seat to the high-level strategy employed by each team. Check out how each team took advantage of the skills available in Guild Wars Factions, and at the conclusion of the report enjoy an interview with I Guild I's primary caller, Remstar The Red!

The Voice Of Reason [vOR] I Guild I [iGi]
N/W - Blood Spiker with "Charge!" W/E - Axe Warrior
N/Mo - Blood Spiker W/A - Hammer Warrior
N/Mo - Blood Spiker E/Mo - Lightning Elementalist
N/Mo - Blood Spiker E/Mo - Lightning Elementalist
N/Mo - Blood Spiker Me/Mo - Energy Surge Mesmer
Mo/Me - Healing Monk Mo/Me - Boon Protection Monk
R/W - Spirit Spammer Mo/W - Healing Monk
E/Mo - Flag Runner A/W - Flag Runner

The battle began with The Voice Of Reason [vOR] defending their Guild Hall, the Warrior's Isle, from the forces of I Guild I [iGi]. As soon as the gates opened, the swarm of Necromancer Blood Spikers from The Voice Of Reason sped out the front door, making tactical use of the Warrior skill "Charge!" to enable the team to take immediate control of the flag stand while sticking together. The Voice Of Reason underestimated I Guild I's coordination, however. As soon as The Voice Of Reason pushed them past the flag stand towards I Guild I's base, iGi's two Air Elementalists and two Warriors had already dropped their first target, vOR's sole Monk, at 0:40 into the game. With the advantage of a Healing Monk carrying Infuse Health and Quick Reflexes, I Guild I was able to keep each team member standing, even with the steady Health-stealing stream coming from The Voice Of Reason's Necromancers.

The next set of casualties came around 1:15, when iGi's pressure ripped the Health from two of vOR's five Necromancers. The Voice Of Reason, after seeing the durability and pressure that I Guild I's build carried, fell back to their Guild Lord and waited defensively until their team was at full Health and Energy. Around the 3-minute mark, the vOR team advanced from the side entrance of their base and charged forward toward the front of iGi's base. I Guild I fell back from their previous position, however, killing the Footmen and the Archer in front of The Voice Of Reason's base, and proceeded to meet their adversaries for direct combat. The Voice Of Reason, knowing that their only chance to stay alive against I Guild I was to remain aggressive, sent wave after wave of Health-stealing damage to specifically targeted individuals on I Guild I's team. The first target was soon down to less than a tenth of his maximum Health, but the Healing Monk on I Guild I refused to let him die, using spells such as Word of Healing to rapidly bring him back to full Health. But the Monks were unable to save their flag runner, an Assassin carrying Aura of Displacement.He fell while carrying a backup flag to the combat-heavy area near the flagstand.

Skill Spotlight

Aura of Displacement
The Assassin flag runner for I Guild I used the Shadow Stepping ability of Aura of Displacement to jump to the backline of The Voice Of Reason, putting iGi's Assassin within immediate range for a deadly sequence of Assassin attack skills against the target. Then, as soon as he was in danger, the Assassin was able to terminate the Enchantment and immediately Shadow Step back to safety. A tactical counter against Aura of Displacement came in the form of The Voice Of Reason's life-stealing Necromancer skills. These skills have ranged capability, so vOR's players did not need to be next to the Assassin to deal damage to him. This allowed The Voice Of Reason to eliminate the primary advantage of Shadow Stepping—getting out of range of attacking Warriors—and kill the flag runner with relative ease while he was out of range of his own team's Monks.

At this point in the match, things started to look better for The Voice Of Reason, as they were able to kill both of I Guild I's Warriors and the Assassin flag runner by 5:00. Shortly after this, however, things took a turn for the worse for vOR. I Guild I was able to secure a Morale Boost at 5:05, which cleansed them of most of their Death Penalty and gave their previously unscathed players a 10% Morale Boost advantage. The Voice Of Reason, not looking for a repeat incident, quickly reclaimed control of the flagstand at 5:40, and after I Guild I's pressure killed one of their Necromancers, they fell back to the side gate of their base. After two failed attempts to push I Guild I back to their base, The Voice Of Reason, heavy with Death Penalty, fell back to their Guild Lord and assumed a defensive position. I Guild I remained in control of the flag stand and secured their second Morale Boost near 8:41. They gained an additional Morale Boost every two minutes until the end of the game drew near.

I Guild I began hammering at The Voice Of Reason with an entirely aggressive approach. Even after they lost an Elementalist and an Assassin, iGi simply resurrected the fallen soldiers and continued fighting. At this point, I Guild I showed strong tactical precision by switching targets more rapidly than normal. This caused The Voice Of Reason to waste their energy on "overhealing" targets, wasting Energy by healing players already at maximum capacity (usually the result of several Monks communicating poorly and healing the same target when only one Healing spell was necessary). This was especially devastating for The Voice Of Reason, because they had one Monk and otherwise relied on four of the primarily offensive Necromancers to cover the rest of the Protection and Healing duties. Since their offensive characters were burning through their time by healing, and burning through their Energy by accidentally overhealing, vOR was unable to eliminate any more of iGi's players. Between 13:00 and 15:00, I Guild I scored seven kills (including the first of The Voice Of Reason’s Bodyguards). At 15:39, the second Bodyguard at The Voice Of Reason's base fell, and at 17:44 I Guild I displayed their supremacy by destroying the enemy Guild Lord and leaving the match victorious.

Daniel Jennings: What was the goal/plan with the build you used against The Voice Of Reason?

Remstar The Red: Pressure, spike, and split. It can be modified to the situation, but it's just a basic build, to be honest.

Daniel Jennings: What are the weaknesses of that build, then?

Remstar The Red: The weaknesses of any versatile, balanced build will always be the extremes, such as pure spikes, pure Hexes, etc. In those such cases, you must improvise, adjust to the situation, and simply outplay the enemy.

Daniel Jennings: How did the new skills from Guild Wars Factions work their way into your build?

Remstar The Red: The new skills have changed the gameplay drastically. You can see it in split builds like War Machine [WM]'s play style; they all have teleports now. We make use of some of them. Aura of Displacement seems to be the most popular elite skill for the Assassin at the moment and helps him as a split character. For the rest of the classes, I'm sure there's a Guild Wars Factions skill for each that has better use than the old Guild Wars Prophecies skillbar.

Daniel Jennings: How important is Guild vs. Guild (GvG) for you guys this week? Are you trying to make that final push that most guilds are seen doing, to get in the top 16?

Remstar The Red: We have been doing a lot of testing this season, trying skills and players in different positions. We don't have the rating at the moment that we want, and since we lost #1 American last season to Rifts due to a time misunderstanding, we want to get it this season, and we will GvG as much as needed to achieve that goal. We hope for a 1-4 seed placement; knowing however, that War Machine [WM] and The Last Pride [EvIL] can play a lot more than us, we will aim for third at the least, because at the end of the playoffs being able to pick your map twice in a best of three is a large advantage versus a very good enemy.

Daniel Jennings: What advice can you give to new guilds that are trying to get into upper-level, competitive GvG?

Remstar The Red: Besides playing a lot, teams need to realize the potential of any real build. You need a solid Monk backline and a solid flag runner. You will never know how your build will fare against others if you don't stay alive long enough, and poor flag running can lose it for any good team. Third most important would be calling tactics; the best example of this is with spike builds, where a very good caller can single-handedly dismantle the opposing team, no matter how good the opponent is.

Daniel Jennings, known in-game as Derek Ravenclaw, is a Computer Science student currently residing near Seattle, Washington. Daniel has been playing Guild Wars since its launch in April of 2005, and is currently an Officer of the Angry Businessmens guild. Other than enjoying games such as Guild Wars, Daniel's hobbies include computer security and game development and design.