April Match Report – May 1, 2008
Tibo L Invincible wins over Luv Benoit Ftw
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.
Tibo Outmaneuvers the Opposition
With a $1500 prize going to the winner and plenty of cash prizes to the runners up, April's Hero Battle Monthly Championship generated some interesting matches. Tibo L Invincible claimed the top prize, facing I Delta Force I, Vi Ru, and Chelydra Serpentina on the way to the finals. Meanwhile, Luv Benoit Ftw faced Demon Hunter Mai, Death To Defy, and Delete Crossing Pls. With both players sporting different builds and tactics, the final match on the Beachhead was definitely fun to watch.
Yes, that's right. Luv played an Assassin featuring the elite Warrior skill Backbreaker. The build concept is a strange idea, but nonetheless effective. Using Backbreaker's four second knockdown and Frenzy, the Assassin can land a full combo with an enemy still on the ground. The Beachhead generally focuses more on defense than offense, so an Assassin using Frenzy is not at too much risk of being punished. Luv's team build focused on enabling the Assassin. The build brings two Monks for good defense and a splittable D/E. One Monk carries the majority of the healing and protection skills, while the other has smiting skills and the Necromancer secondary for enchantment removal.
Going in a different direction, Tibo played Monk and brought a Rit/N, an A/D with a scythe and Wounding Strike, and an E/A. Using this build, Tibo relied more on movement and Shadow Stepping to take shrines. That is not to say that Tibo could not put up a strong offense. However, most of Tibo's offensive pushes came with the aid of the Mystic Mercenary.
The map Hero Battles, also known as the Beachhead, was the location for this match. The Center Shrine, as the name implies, is located in the center. It is flanked by the Mystic's Shrine to the west, and two Health Shrines to the east. Many of the matches on this map focus on the ground between the Center Shrine and the Mystic's Shrine. From this position it is easy to hold the Center Shrine and block approaches to the Mystic's Shrine. A player can win the match by controlling those two shrines. Generally, players will start a match with a majority of their team headed for the Mystic's Shrine because of its value. As a result, fighting at the Health Shrines is almost exclusively conducted by split-off Heroes.
On the Beachhead, the Mystic Mercenary is often more valuable than mercenaries on other maps. The mercenary adds another body on the route to the Mystic's Shrine. The path from the Center Shrine to the Mystic's Shrine is already funneled, and another body makes it easier to slow a group through the path. Also, with the relative proximity of the Mystic's Shrine to the Center Shrine, a player can easily cover both shrines while controlling the Mystic Mercenary.
At the beginning of the match Luv sent an Assassin, a Mo/E, and a D/E to the Mystic's Shrine, while sending a Mo/N to the center. Tibo sent an A/D and E/A to the center, but used Recall to teleport them to the Mystic's Shrine. With a 4 to 3 advantage at the Mystic's Shrine Tibo took the shrine just before a minute had passed. While Tibo captured the Mystic's Shrine, Luv took control of the Center Shrine.
After capturing the Mystic's Shrine, Tibo moved to the Center Shrine with all four party members and the Mystic Mercenary. Due to the inevitably of Tibo capturing the Center Shrine with the help of the Mystic Mercenary, Luv split a D/E to capture the Health Shrines. This allowed Tibo to capture the Center Shrine. With a kill on Luv's Mo/N and control of the Mystic's Shrine and Center Shrine, Tibo took a 2 – 0 lead just after two minutes.
The fight continued at the Center Shrine, while Tibo's Rit/N stalled Luv's D/E at the Health Shrines. However, having Tibo's Ritualist split off meant fewer defenses at the Center Shrine. Luv capitalized on this and killed Tibo's E/A, and then immediately pushed to the valuable Mystic's Shrine. The death also resulted in Tibo's Center Shrine becoming neutralized. Still, Tibo managed to hold out at the Mystic's Shrine and retain control of the Center Shrine.
After Luv's push to the Mystic's Shrine failed, the fight began drifting back and forth between the Center Shrine and the Mystic's Shrine. Four minutes in Tibo led 4 to 3. Tibo, having three morale pips to Luv's two, was content to just hold control over the Center and Mystic's Shrines. The situation pressured Luv to make something happen, otherwise Tibo would gradually win.
Trying to change the flow of the fight Luv brought the D/E away from the Health Shrines and killed Tibo's E/A at the Center Shrine again. With that momentum, Luv wrested control of the Mystic's Shrine from Tibo with three and a half minutes left in the match. During this, Tibo split to control the Health Shrines.
Again Luv split the D/E to retake the Health Shrines, and Tibo scored a kill on Luv's Mo/N. Because of this kill, Tibo could retake the Mystic's Shrine. Luv was content to maintain the split with the D/E and Tibo sent a Rit/N to respond. Meanwhile, the players were again moving back and forth between the Center Shrine and the Mystic's Shrine.
In control of the game, Tibo stalled Luv until time ran out for the match. With a score of 17 to 12, Tibo defeated Luv.
Shadow Stepping Over the Competition
The match was relatively close throughout the full ten minutes. However, Tibo won with more effective movement. Tibo's movement superiority came primarily from the use of Shadow Stepping skills on multiple characters. One prime example is Tibo's opening move. Tibo feinted two Heroes to the Center Shrine, where Luv committed only one. When Luv committed that Hero, Tibo released Recall on both of those Heroes to teleport them to the Mystic's Shrine. With four characters there, Tibo grabbed the Mystic's Shrine. From this position of strength, Tibo pushed to the Center Shrine and settled in to control the area.
Overall, the April Monthly Championship was a fitting tribute to the third anniversary of Guild Wars' release. Both Tibo and Luv played a good final match for the Hero Battles championship. For the entertaining performance, both players deserve their substantial prizes. Congratulations to Tibo L Invincible 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.
Harold J. Chow is one of our freelance Guild Wars reporters. His in-game name is Guild Informant.