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Match Report

Peace and Harmony [PnH] Victorious
PnH wins showdown between European guilds to capture Winterfest title
By Harold J. Chow


In a grueling final round between two European guilds with highly defensive builds, Peace and Harmony [PnH] endured to defeat The Celebrities [Cel] and win the Winterfest Championship. The Celebrities and Peace and Harmony held the two top spots heading into Sunday's single elimination rounds, where they continued their domination over the rest of the field to face each other for a second time.


Game One

Storm Djinn's Haste
Storm Djinn's Haste
Storm Djinn's HasteStorm Djinn's Haste
Elementalist - Air Magic - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 0.25
Duration: 10..25
Recharge: 10
Enchantment Spell. For 10..25 seconds, you move 33% faster. Each second that you are moving, you lose 1 Energy.

Game One took place at The Celebrities' Burning Isle guild hall, a map notorious for its unfriendliness towards split builds. Cel brought a defensive build with a spike-oriented offense featuring three Domination Mesmers packing shutdown skills and high-damage skills such as Spiritual Pain and Energy Surge. With an "Incoming!" Paragon and a three-Monk backline, Cel could fend off enemy attacks while preparing to spike. A Shadow Prison Axe Warrior completed The Celebrities' offensive spike, while one Monk brought Storm Djinn's Haste to run flags. Even while separated from the rest of the group, this Monk still offered vital support and kept the entire party healed with Light of Deliverance.

In contrast, Peace and Harmony opted for a defensive build capable of melee pressure, bringing two Dervishes with Avatar of Melandru and Imbue Health. In the midline, a Mesmer helped with spikes and utility and two Paragons alternated between offensive and defensive Shouts and Chants while protecting the team with Angelic Bond. Like Cel, they also brought a three-Monk backline, making one of those a Monk/Elementalist flag runner. To avoid an untimely Diversion, the Monk/Mesmers on both teams equipped Hex Breaker.

GAME 1 LINEUP

#4 The Celebrities [Cel] #11 Peace and Harmony [PnH]
W/A – Axe Warrior with Shadow Prison, Dismember, and Critical Chop D/W – Avatar of Melandru with Wearying Attack and Imbue Health
Me/E – Spiritual Pain spiker with Blinding Surge D/A – Avatar of Melandru with Imbue Health, Shadow Walk, and Pious Haste
Me/Mo – Spiritual Pain spiker with Energy Surge and Resurrect Me/E – Spiritual Pain spiker with Blinding Surge and Gale
Me/P – Spiritual Pain spiker with Energy Surge and Signet of Return P/Me – Command Paragon with Angelic Bond, Spear of Lightning, and Hex Breaker
P/W – "Incoming!", Lyric of Zeal, Aria of Zeal, and Spear of Lightning P/Me – Motivation Paragon with Angelic Bond, Wearying Spear, and Hex Breaker
Mo/Me – Zealous Benediction Monk with Infuse Health Mo/Me – Glimmer of Light Monk with Hex Breaker
Mo/Me – Zealous Benediction Monk with Protective Spirit Mo/Me – Light of Deliverance Monk with Infuse Health and Hex Breaker
Mo/E – Light of Deliverance Monk with Storm Djinn's Haste Mo/E – Light of Deliverance Monk with Storm Djinn's Haste
Morale Boosts: 0 Morale Boosts: 0
Angelic Bond
Angelic Bond
Angelic BondAngelic Bond [Elite]
paragon/Leadership - Skill
Energy: 10
Activation: 2
Duration: 10..35
Recharge: 5
Skill. For 10..35 seconds, all damage suffered by target other ally is divided equally with you.

Both teams started the game by heading to the flag stand. After exchanging blows for twenty minutes, neither guild could push the other back despite a few kills for both sides. The two guilds sparred until Victory or Death, trying to find a weakness in the other's defenses. Both teams had the potential to spike down targets, but both had Paragons to augment defense. In the event of a successful spike by the opponent, both teams had reusable resurrection skills to bring back fallen players, which helped because neither team could control the flag stand long enough to earn a morale boost and recharge Resurrection Signets.

At VoD, however, Peace and Harmony became overly aggressive with its Dervish-based offense and The Celebrities took advantage. As PnH's Glimmer of Light Monk moved toward the front lines to heal, Cel successfully spiked the Monk. PnH scrambled to recover, but as the NPCs arrived at the flag stand, The Celebrities sustained the momentum and eliminated the opposing Bodyguard. They then followed up by taking down a D/A to further restrict PnH's potential damage. With Cel's Bodyguard well protected and Peace and Harmony succumbing to added damage from NPCs, PnH began a retreat to the Guild Lord. PnH then tried to mount a gank attempt through the back lava path, but the ensuing chaos left their Monks completely exposed. With PnH seemingly undecided as to whether to abort the gank attempt to save the Guild Lord or continue through the lava, Cel quickly finished off the Guild Lord at 23:21 to take a 1-0 advantage.


Game Two

Game Two took place at Peace and Harmony's split-friendly Frozen Isle guild hall, and so they played a split build that sacrificed the defensive capabilities offered by Paragons, but featured more offensive power. Meanwhile, The Celebrities stuck with its Game One build.

GAME 2 LINEUP

#11 Peace and Harmony [PnH] #4 The Celebrities [Cel]
D/W – Avatar of Melandru Dervish with "Shields Up!" W/A – Axe Warrior with Shadow Prison, Dismember, and Critical Chop
Me/E – Spiritual Pain spiker with Energy Surge and Gale Me/P – Spiritual Pain spiker with Energy Surge and Signet of Return
Me/E – Spiritual Pain spiker with Energy Surge and Gale Me/Mo – Spiritual Pain spiker with Energy Surge and Resurrect
Mo/A – Glimmer of Light Monk with Death's Retreat Me/E – Spiritual Pain spiker with Blinding Surge and Gale
D/P – Avatar of Melandru Dervish with "Brace Yourself!" and Imbue Health P/W – "Incoming!", Lyric of Zeal, Aria of Zeal, and Spear of Lightning
Me/E – Spiritual Pain spiker with Blinding Surge and Gale Mo/Me – Zealous Benediction Monk with Infuse Health
Mo/Me – Light of Deliverance Monk with Infuse Health and Hex Breaker Mo/Me – Zealous Benediction Monk with Protective Spirit
E/Mo – Aeromancer with Blinding Surge, Storm Djinn's Haste, and Heal Party Mo/E – Light of Deliverance Monk with Storm Djinn's Haste
Morale Boosts: 3 (22:44, 24:44, 26:44) Morale Boosts: 1 (12:59)

Peace and Harmony split to begin the match, forcing The Celebrities to react in kind. PnH kept its Elementalist back to perform a double-capture of the flag stand while its offensive team tried to pressure Cel's base. The Celebrities initially responded well, losing only a single Archer to the split. Unable to make further headway, PnH's offensive team fell back soon after the three-minute mark through the middle gate-control area to collapse on the flag stand.

Avatar of Melandru
Avatar of Melandru
Avatar of MelandruAvatar of Melandru [Elite]
dervish/Mysticism - Form
Energy: 25
Activation: 2
Duration: 10..70
Recharge: 30
Form. For 10..70 seconds, you have +100 Health, you are unaffected by Conditions, and your attacks deal earth damage. This Skill is disabled for 120 seconds.

PnH continued this pattern of splitting and collapsing on the flag stand to keep opposing players off balance. Using this tactic, they retained control of the gate levers in the center and prevented Cel from pushing a split team to attack their base while keeping The Celebrities' full spike offense divided. In a quick pincer movement, PnH managed to kill one of Cel's Monks and a Mesmer after collapsing on the flag stand around the eleven-minute mark. However, the fallen characters resurrected and the ensuing eight-on-eight skirmish cost PnH a Dervish and its Monk again, forcing the team to split away from the flag stand and concede Cel's only morale boost at 12:59.

The split strategy finally paid off as PnH changed up its offensive split to include the second Dervish. Soon after nineteen minutes, their offensive split managed to eliminate several more of Cel's NPCs while inflicting some death penalty on Cel's Light of Deliverance Monk. At Victory or Death, PnH's split capability forced The Celebrities to keep players back to defend the Guild Lord while Peace and Harmony's NPC advantage gave them solid control of the flag stand. Unable to split effectively, Cel waited for the Guild Lords to march to the stand so they could try to win with a unified offense. Backed by overwhelming NPC strength, PnH handily wrapped up the victory at 27:21.


Game Three

Spiritual Pain
Spiritual Pain
Spiritual PainSpiritual Pain
Mesmer - Domination Magic - Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 1
Recharge: 30
Spell. Target foe takes 15..75 damage. If that foe is near a Spirit, all other nearby foes take 15..75 damage, and this Skill recharges instantly if it hits a Spirit.

For Game 3, The Celebrities stuck with the Game One build, as it had previously worked well on Burning Isle. Peace and Harmony, however, brought a Spiritual Pain spiking build that featured five Mesmers and three Monks. The finals would come down to who had the more effective spike.

GAME 3 LINEUP:

#4 The Celebrities [Cel] #11 Peace and Harmony [PnH]
W/A – Axe Warrior with Shadow Prison, Dismember, and Critical Chop MeMo – Spiritual Pain spiker with Energy Surge
Me/P – Spiritual Pain spiker with Energy Surge, "Brace Yourself!" and Signet of Return Me/P – Spiritual Pain spiker with "Incoming!"
Me/Mo – Spiritual Pain spiker with Energy Surge and Resurrect Me/P – Spiritual Pain spiker with "Incoming!" and Signet of Return
Me/E – Spiritual Pain spiker with Blinding Surge Me/E – Spiritual Pain spiker with Energy Surge and Gale
P/W – "Incoming!", Lyric of Zeal, Aria of Zeal, and Spear of Lightning Me/E – Spiritual Pain spiker with Blinding Surge and Gale
Mo/Me – Zealous Benediction Monk with Infuse Health Mo/Me – Glimmer of Light Monk with Hex Breaker
Mo/Me – Zealous Benediction Monk with Protective Spirit Mo/Me – Light of Deliverance Monk with Infuse Health and Hex Breaker
Mo/E – Light of Deliverance Monk with Storm Djinn's Haste Mo/E – Light of Deliverance Monk with Storm Djinn's Haste
Morale Boosts: 0 Morale Boosts: 4 (18:14, 20:14, 22:14, 24:14)
Leech Signet
Leech Signet
Leech SignetLeech Signet
Mesmer - Inspiration Magic - Signet
Activation: 0.25
Recharge: 30
Signet. Interrupt target foe's action. If that action was a Spell, you gain 3..15 Energy.

Again, both teams headed to the flag stand. This time, however, PnH came prepared to play the defensive spike game. PnH landed several kills, mostly on a Mesmer/Elementalist and Infuse Health Monk, while stopping most incoming spikes, thereby steadily whittling away at Cel's morale. Finally, at 14:50, PnH scored a key kill on a Mesmer/Monk, one of The Celebrities' two sources of reusable resurrection skills. Then, after preventing the Mesmer/Paragon from using Signet of Return by interrupting it with Leech Signet, PnH followed up by spiking the two other Mesmers, forcing a retreat. During the retreat, Peace and Harmony killed off the infuser right after 16:00. With two of Cel's players at sixty-percent death penalty, PnH pushed its eight-on-six advantage and kept the battle in Cel's base, delivering more death penalty and eliminating NPCs up until 19:30.

At VoD, Cel had few options remaining, so most of the team pushed out the back path to try to gank PnH's Guild Lord. PnH fell back in response, handily disposing of this last threat. With no viable options left for victory, The Celebrities resigned at 24:21, allowing Peace and Harmony to celebrate a hard-fought championship.


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