Match Report - November Hero Battle Championship Finals
Tsu Way Mending vs. The Getaway Special
By Alex Marsyla
Special note: Each Match Report presents the opinions and insights of one game observer. These observations are personal in nature and do not reflect the opinions of ArenaNet. While ArenaNet does review each article to assure that it offers content that is respectful of all players, we intend to allow our reporters the freedom to inject some personal opinion into descriptions of the current atmosphere of competitive play in Guild Wars, and to express views based on their experience and observation.
Despite the low number of points scored during the final match of the Hero Battles Monthly Championship, excitement ran high. Meeting on Desert Sands, Tsu Way Mending and The Getaway Special may not have scored any kills, but they did score high marks for entertainment.
To make it to the final match, Tsu Way Mending defeated Canadian Ftw, My Mpz, and X Ekelon X—all notable Hero Battle players. The Getaway Special faced I Adzik I, Fuer Mein Volk, and Aron Exterminador on the way to the final match.
Both players entered the final match with the same build they had run in the single elimination rounds. Interestingly, both players chose builds with a similar theme: defense and mobility. Tsu Way Mending opted to play a Zealous Benediction Monk and brought an Assassin sporting Word of Healing, a Dervish with Vow of Strength, and a pack-hunter Ranger. The Getaway Special also played a Zealous Benediction Monk to compliment two pack-hunters and a Dervish with Shadow Meld and Imbue Health. Each player had two characters with powerful healing, making both teams strong on defense.
The build choices for both players practically dictated that they would not score kills without catching a character away from the rest of its team. Both players played to their builds' strengths. Neither one allowed a Hero to be in a situation where it could get killed. As a result, this match exhibited good movement, shrine capping, and defending.
The Getaway Special did have an advantage in build, though. With both the Monk and the Dervish carrying Return, The Getaway Special had stronger movement options. This played a major role in allowing The Getaway Special to more easily control the outer shrines.
At the beginning of the match, Tsu Way Mending sent the Assassin to the Battle Cry Shrine while maintaining Recall on one of the other Heroes. The rest of Tsu Way Mending's team then headed for the Warsong Shrine. After capping the Battle Cry Shrine, the Assassin released Recall and Shadow Stepped to the Warsong Shrine. The Getaway Special made an exact mirror of this move using the Dervish to capture the Energy Shrine and then Shadow Step to the Warsong Shrine.
One minute into the match both teams were fighting 4v4 at the Warsong Shrine. From here, The Getaway Special backed off the Warsong Shrine and sent a Dervish to the Center Shrine. Using Recall again, The Getaway Special Shadow Stepped the Dervish back to the Warsong Shrine and took control there as well.
In response, Tsu Mending Way sent a pack-hunter to take the Center Shrine, and The Getaway Special took the initiative to start taking control of the outer shrines. The Getaway Special then also sent a pack-hunter to contend with Tsu Mending Way's Paragon at the Center Shrine. Halfway through the match the score was tied 4 to 4.
With four minutes left, The Getaway Special pulled the pack-hunter away from the Center Shrine to take the Battle Cry Shrine. This move brought Tsu Mending Way off the Center Shrine. With both players having all of their characters among the outer shrines to the north of the map, The Getaway Special then made frequent moves towards the Center Shrine.
With two minutes remaining, The Getaway Special was in a position to get a pack-hunter to the Center Shrine with enough time to put the shrine in contention. To regain control of the Center Shrine, Tsu Mending Way had to commit the Dervish as well as the pack-hunter to the Center Shrine.
Using the numbers advantage at the outer shrines, The Getaway Special then took control of all of the outer shrines and took the lead in the match from Tsu Mending Way with twenty seconds left. Tsu Mending Way could do nothing to even the score and the match ended 11 to 10 in favor of The Getaway Special.
This match exhibited a key point to Hero Battles. Players can win by dominating the outer shrines. On certain maps, like Desert Sands, where the Center Shrine is far removed from the other shrines, taking the Center Shrine can result in losing multiple outer shrines. In this match, that is exactly what happened to Tsu Way Mending.
Tsu Way Mending lead for the majority of the match. However, with about three minutes to go, The Getaway Special tied up Tsu Way Mending with feints at the Center Shrine and seized an opening to actually contest the Center Shrine at one point. Consequently, Tsu Way Mending had to commit another character, which allowed The Getaway Special to control all of the outer shrines, get a Morale regeneration advantage, and take the lead.
Neither player made any major errors in strategy or play in this match. The Getaway Special won because Tsu Way Mending committed to the Center Shrine earlier in the match. When The Getaway Special realized that Tsu Way Mending would have to maintain control of the Center Shrine to win, he exploited that to create an advantage
This match was thoroughly enjoyable because it never became a slugfest or a steamroll. Observers were shown sound strategy as a method for winning. Watching as this match came down to the wire was a pleasure. Congratulations to The Getaway Special for winning.
Alex is a college student in his third year studying Computer Information Systems. He's been into online gaming for most of his life and has been playing Guild Wars since its release.