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Match Report


#7 Esoteric Warriors [EW] vs. #2 The Benecia Renovatio [RenO] – July 2, 2006
EW bests RenO 2-0 to advance to the semi-finals.
By Joby Campbell


Game 1

Game one took place on the Burning Isle, RenO's home map. With a home turf advantage, RenO was able to run a build using area-effect Smiting Enchantments on melee Ranger/Warriors and their pets in the confined paths the map offers. EW played a more balanced build, made for versatility on all maps. The game ran even for the first half, but EW picked up steam in the second to eventually win at 22:05.

Game 1 Lineup

Esoteric Warriors The Benecia Renovatio
W/A – Hammer (Devastating Hammer, Irresistible Blow) R/W - "Bunny Thumper" ("Charge!", Irresistible Blow, Charm Animal)
W/E – Axe (Eviscerate, Shock) R/W - "Bunny Thumper" (Ferocious Strike, Irresistible Blow, Charm Animal)
Me/Mo – Domination (Energy Surge, Diversion) R/W - "Bunny Thumper" (Ferocious Strike, Irresistible Blow, Charm Animal)
Mo/Me – Smiting (Air of Enchantment, Zealot's Fire) Mo/Me – Smiting (Air of Enchantment, Zealot's Fire)
Mo/Me – Boon Protection (Mantra of Recall, Divine Boon) Mo/Me – Smiting (Air of Enchantment, Zealot's Fire)
Mo/Me – Boon Protection (Mantra of Recall, Divine Boon) E/Mo – Support (Ether Prodigy, Heal Party, Blinding Flash)
Rt/Me – Spirit Support (Ritual Lord, Shelter, Union) Mo/Me – Boon Protection (Mantra of Recall, Divine Boon)
E/Mo – Support (Ether Prodigy, Extinguish, Ice Spikes) Mo/Me – Boon Protection (Mantra of Recall, Divine Boon)
Morale Boosts: 12:23, 15:42, 17:42, 19:42, 21:42 Morale Boosts: N/A

As with almost all games played on the Burning Isle, the first action by both teams was to proceed from their base to the center of the map and pick a fight on the ledge overlooking the flag stand. Benecia Renovatio's Rangers and their pets set to attacking Esoteric Warriors' softer targets, while their Smiting Monks assisted from the mid-lines by casting Enchantments with Zealot's Fire up. The Protection Monks healed, and RenO's Elementalist took on the job of flag runner when not debuffing enemy Warriors. Esoteric Warriors also sent its melee players in to deal pressure damage and backed them up with Zealot's Fire from its single Smiting Monk. Its Mesmer traded in disruption, and like RenO, EW's Elementalist served as flag runner. In the early stages of the game, EW managed to earn a slight lead by killing the same Smiting Monk several times, but the stalemate remained with neither team able to overpower the other.

Zealot's Fire
Zealot's Fire
Zealot's FireZealot's Fire
Monk - Smiting Prayers - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 0.25
Duration: 60
Recharge: 30
Enchantment Spell. For 60 seconds, whenever you use a Skill that targets an ally, all foes adjacent to that target are struck for 5..35 fire damage and you lose 1 Energy.

The game shifted around 11:00, after EW scored a kill on a Protection Monk and used that momentum to drop several more RenO players. RenO was put on the defensive by 12:00 and fell back to the bridge outside of its base as EW gained a morale boost. Unfortunately for RenO, it wasn't able to hold that point, and by 14:00, it was forced into its base by the Guild Lord.

EW advanced on RenO's base at 16:00 and scored a steady stream of kills. The only thing that slowed EW's headway were the base NPCs, which dealt too much damage for them to stay inside for more than a few seconds. At 19:20, a Warrior died attempting to kill a Bodyguard, but a number of morale boosts left EW in good shape to try again.

At 20:25, RenO's last Bodyguard died, making its base much safer for EW. This development resulted in a quick series of kills that left RenO with only two Rangers alive at 21:45, when its last Protection Monk was slain. The Guild Lord was killed before RenO could give it any support at 22:05, ending the game in a victory for EW.


Game 2

This time the game took place on the home turf of Esoteric Warriors, ironically also located on the Burning Isle. This time, it was The Benacio Renovatio who brought a more balanced build, while Esoteric Warriors used a Feast of Corruption spike build. This build excels at head-to-head 8v8 fights in maps that are hard to split on, like the Burning Isle. Regardless of what conventional wisdom dictates, however, RenO was able to survive to split and forced EW to hole up in its base until Victory or Death. Eventually, though, the fight became a straight head-to-head confrontation, and RenO was overpowered, giving EW its second victory.

Game 2 Lineup

Esoteric Warriors The Benecia Renovatio
N/Mo – Spiker (Feast of Corruption, Defile Enchantments, Gaze of Corruption) A/W – NPC Assassin (Aura of Displacement, Sprint, Shadow Refuge)
N/Mo – Spiker (Feast of Corruption, Suffering, Parasitic Bond) Me/A – Illusion (Crippling Anguish, Recall, Dark Refuge)
N/Mo – Spiker (Feast of Corruption, Desecrate Enchantments, Protective Spirit) W/A – Axe (Eviscerate, Expunge Enchantments)
N/Mo – Spiker (Feast of Corruption, Heal Other, Faintheartedness) E/Mo – Support (Ether Prodigy, Heal Party, Windborne Spirit)
N/Mo – Spiker (Feast of Corruption, Reckless Haste, Infuse Health) Me/Mo – Domination (Energy Surge, Diversion, Remove Hex)
Rt/Mo – Restoration (Preservation, Weapon of Warding, Recuperation) Mo/Me – Smiter (Air of Enchantment, Zealot's Fire, Convert Hexes)
Rt/Mo – Communing (Ritual Lord, Shelter, Union) Mo/Me – Boon Protection (Mantra of Recall, Divine Boon)
R/Me – Spirit Spammer (Oath Shot, Quickening Zephyr, Energizing Winds) Mo/Me – Boon Protection (Mantra of Recall, Divine Boon)
Morale Boosts: N/A Morale Boosts: 7:35, 9:35, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00, 23:00, 25:00, 27:00, 29:00, 31:00, 33:00, 35:00, 37:00, 39:00, 41:58

The match diverged from the norm early on. Both teams headed toward the flag stand, but the actual fighting was subdued, with EW's build using Hexes that mitigated the damage RenO's melee characters dealt. Each Necromancer had brought Monk skills for healing and support, and the entire team was also protected by Ritualist Spirits. RenO's build lacked interruption aside from one Mesmer, making a well-coordinated Feast of Corruption spike hard to deal with head-on. On top of this, the constantly dying Spirits fuelled the Necromancers with enough Energy to fire spells constantly without taking their Energy to 0. Head to head, RenO's more balance-oriented build was at a big disadvantage, but its Assassin and Mesmer/Assassin made it possible to get past EW and attack the NPCs inside of their base.

Recall
Recall
RecallRecall
Assassin - No Attribute - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 15
Activation: 1
Duration: upkeep
Recharge: 10
Enchantment Spell. While you maintain Recall, nothing happens. When Recall ends, you Shadow Step to the ally you targeted when you activated this skill.

Using Assassin teleportation skills to help run past EW's team, the Assassin and Mesmer were able to reach the base while the rest of RenO distracted EW at the flag stand. Unfortunately, RenO's remaining offensive characters weren't able to harry EW enough to make them ignore the players inside their base. Since EW's Necromancers were not equipped to defeat opponents one-on-one, the entire team fell back on the Assassin and Mesmer, killing them at 8:01 and 8:39, respectively. Cautious of the split, EW played defensively, mostly staying inside its base. RenO was also cautious of EW's spike, and for about fifteen minutes the game was mainly small skirmishes, with only three deaths.

It was a sure bet that the game would go to Victory or Death once the clock hit 20:00, and RenO stepped up its efforts to assault EW's base. RenO frequently lost players to the powerful spikes but did manage to make a little headway against EW's NPCs. Ultimately, RenO was able to shrug off the deaths. Death Penalties or exhausted Resurrection Signets were removed or restored by the constant morale boosts RenO received.

When Victory or Death sounded at 30:00, each team clustered with its NPCs and advanced to the flag stand as a group. In terms of the number of NPCs remaining, RenO had a clear advantage. The remainder of EW's base NPC garrison were killed before the spike team had a chance to clear out RenO's NPCs.

Feast of Corruption
Feast of Corruption
Feast of CorruptionFeast of Corruption [Elite]
Necromancer - Curses - Spell
Energy: 15
Activation: 2
Recharge: 20
Spell. Target foe and all adjacent foes are struck for 16..80 shadow damage. You steal up to 8..40 Health from each struck foe who is suffering from a Hex.

The Guild Lords from both teams began walking toward the flag stand at 35:00, and the fight at the stand intensified a hundredfold. EW had finished off most of RenO's NPCs at this point and was free to use its spike. RenO killed one of EW's Necromancers at 36:24, but he was resurrected in short order, and the spikes punched through RenO's defenses faster and faster. In the stretch of time from 35:00 to 40:00, RenO suffered an incredible 12 player deaths. Even with constant morale boosts, their death penalty was climbing fast, and simple survival became impossibly chaotic.

From 40:00 to 41:00, RenO's defenses were so ragged and its death penalty so high that the majority of the team was being killed within seconds of each other. One Protection Monk remained alive when EW turned its attention toward the Guild Lord. The damage was too high and too heavy for one Monk to keep up with for very long, and at 42:04 RenO's Guild Lord died, ending the second game and winning the match for EW 2–0, earning them a place in the semi-finals.