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#3 Idiot Savants [iQ] Defeats #12 Saihatsu Ashi [sai] – June 5, 2006
Savants Stay in Position to Win
By Harold J. Chow


As the third season of the Guild Wars Factions Championship ramps up, many guilds gamble on one last push to qualify for the finals in Leipzig, Germany. No stranger to high-level competition, Idiot Savants [iQ] faces heavy-duty challengers for its qualifying spot. iQ needs to place first or close to it in the American region and win the Season Three Championships to have a shot at qualifying with Championship Points. Saihatsu Ashi [sai], an American guild formed between Season One and Season Two, has made appearances in the ladder's top ten in two of the three qualifying seasons, but has yet to sustain such a high ranking over an entire season. Possessed of vast experience and its strong start as a guild, Saihatsu Ashi has proven itself a dangerous opponent.

Soul Barbs
Soul Barbs
Soul BarbsSoul Barbs
Necromancer - Curses - Hex Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 2
Duration: 30
Recharge: 20
Hex Spell. For 30 seconds, target foe takes 15..30 damage when an Enchantment or Hex is cast on that target.

For their match up, Idiot Savants employed a straightforward balanced build, and Saihatsu Ashi answered with some unusual additions to an otherwise balanced build. Idiot Savants utilized two Warriors, two Mesmers, two Elementalists, and two Monks, while Saihatsu Ashi's build featured the Hex combination of Soul Barbs and Recurring Insecurity. Saihatsu Ashi had the potential to bring down opponents quickly with fast Hexes and skills that circumvent effects, such as Protective Spirit. The guild's Warriors allowed the team to maintain a frontline and protect its casters.


GAME 1 LINEUP:

#3 Idiot Savants [iQ] #12 Saihatsu Ashi [sai]
W/E – Hammer Warrior with Devastating Hammer, Fierce Blow, Shock W/E – Axe Warrior with Eviscerate, Shock
W/E – Axe Warrior with Eviscerate, Gale W/E – Sword Warrior with Shock, Protector's Strike
Me/Mo – Energy Surge Mesmer with Aegis N/Mo – Soul Barbs, Faintheartedness, Draw Conditions
Me/E – Energy Surge Mesmer with Blackout, Gale Me/A – Recurring Insecurity, Mark of Death, Diversion, Blackout
E/Mo – Deep Freeze, Ward Against Melee, Aegis, Heal Party Me/Mo – Energy Drain, Signet of Humility, Conjure Phantasm, Images of Remorse
E/Mo – Air Magic with Windborne Speed, Heal Party, Blinding Flash Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protector with Mantra of Recall
Mo/Me – Blessed Light Monk with Aegis, Power Drain, Gift of Health Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protector with Mantra of Recall
Mo/Me – Healing Light Monk with Infuse Health, Inspired Hex E/Mo – Water Magic with Second Wind, Heal Party, Armor of Mist
Morale Boosts: 4 (2:38, 4:38, 9:45, 11:45) Morale Boosts: 0

Battle was waged at Saihatsu Ashi's Jade Isle guild hall. The Jade Isle hall features intersecting paths between the two bases, the most direct route being covered in Spiked Coral. Travelers on the Jade Sea will remember that this hazard deals damage merely by walking through it.

Heal Party
Heal Party
Heal PartyHeal Party
Monk - Healing Prayers - Spell
Energy: 15
Activation: 2
Recharge: 2
Spell. Heal entire party for 16..80 Health.

As was customary for Idiot Savants, the team proceeded to use its opponent's guild hall to its advantage. iQ started down the coral-covered path rather than taking the safe route out of its base. Although this maneuver had the team down to near 80% Health by the time it reached the flag stand, the benefit was apparent: iQ could now use its Warriors on the narrow pathways to keep the battle on sai's side of the flag stand.

Holding a superior position enabled iQ to prevent the opposing flag runner from capturing the flag while its own flag runner could bring flags to the stand with virtually no interference. Saihatsu Ashi, however, was undeterred, and at 1:20, its offense managed to break through iQ's front line to bring down iQ's Blessed Light Monk with a devastating merger of Warrior attacks and Hexes from sai's Necromancer/Monk and Mesmer/Monk. Saihatsu Ashi kept the Warrior pressure on iQ's other Monks, finishing them off at 1:33 with a flurry of Soul Barbs and Recurring Insecurity that Protective Spirit could not stop. Not to be demoralized, iQ resurrected its Monks quickly with Resurrection Signet and managed to hold its ground. Saihatsu Ashi could not keep opposing pressure off its flag runner and enable them to get a flag to the flag stand. Despite the early deaths of its Monks, iQ's strategy paid off with a very early morale boost at 2:38.


Skill Strategy

Resurrection Signet
Top guilds often have multiple team members use Resurrection Signet simultaneously when a teammate is killed. In many situations, a fast resurrection can mean the difference between holding your ground and retreating. Having multiple team members attempting resurrection often makes it more difficult for one interrupter to prevent.

Gaining momentum, Idiot Savants killed Saihatsu Ashi's flag runner and tried an ambitious push through sai's front line. This effort only resulted in another Soul Barbs/Recurring Insecurity Hex spike on its Healing Light Monk at 3:05. Saihatsu Ashi tried to take advantage of its momentary gain but could not clear a path to the flag stand. It then passed its flag to one of the team's Warriors but could not keep up with iQ's snares and knock downs. Sai conceded another morale boost at 4:38.

Eviscerate
Eviscerate
EviscerateEviscerate [Elite]
Warrior - Axe Mastery - Attack
Adrenaline: 8
Activation: 0
Recharge: 0
Attack. If Eviscerate hits, you strike for +1..31 damage and inflict a Deep Wound, lowering your target's maximum Health by 20% for 5..20 seconds.

As sai exposed itself in its quest for the flag stand, iQ took advantage of this and sent its Warriors to harass sai's defenses. After bringing down one sai Monk at 5:20, iQ pressed forward, disposing of the other sai Monk at 5:33. Saihatsu Ashi regrouped to challenge iQ's control of the flag stand. It proved a futile move, as sai lost one of its Monks again at 7:20. The team could not resurrect that Monk before losing its other Monk at 7:35. With both Monks down, iQ was free to hunt down sai's team members with impunity.

Seriously outnumbered, the Saihatsu Ashi team retreated to its base to await the resurrection of the rest of its team at the shrine. iQ caught one of sai's fleeing Warriors and killed him just after 8:00. iQ timed the kill well—shrines only resurrect dead teammates every two minutes. With iQ now entering sai's base and sai's Warrior dead well outside, sai faced a strong, morale-boosted iQ team with only seven people for nearly two minutes. Despite sai holding its own without further player deaths, iQ eliminated several of sai's NPCs.

With sai's Warrior finally resurrected, sai attempted to advance out of its base. iQ's Warriors blocked the path and quickly pounced on sai's Monk yet again. Left with only one weakened Monk, Saihatsu Ashi soon lost both its Monk and Mesmers. With virtually no defense left, sai's remaining team members could only delay the inevitable. Although sai managed to kill iQ's Elementalist warder, sai lost its last Bodyguard at 11:12. iQ then dispatched sai's Elementalist/Monk flag runner to eliminate the possibility of sai keeping its Guild Lord alive. Facing only a lone Warrior, iQ turned its full attention to defeating sai's Guild Lord and wrapped up a well-earned victory at 11:57.


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