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PvP Primer: Builds for Alliance Battles and More


Master of Magic Smiter
  A2Myj6wM4IWhIPEXyM5mYREAA
YAA Solo
  AxNSVSxR5QY9LAmAzEUrEAYgA
YAA Group
  AxRSVSxeTUOEW/CgJwYY3RBABA
YAA Alliance
  AxQSVSxR5zMEW/CgJwYYzrBgxH
Mel Dervish
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Like any other PvP arena, what you learn in Alliance Battles has relevance elsewhere in the game, so rather than offering specific builds for Alliance Battles, each of the builds we discuss below has variations for Alliance Battles, solo play (Random Arenas or pick-up-groups for Alliance Battles), and GvG. Studying how the skills interact with each other, synergize with allied players, and affect enemies will help you understand these builds and prepare you should you encounter them in GvG or other highly competitive areas.


Master of Magic Smiter

Master of Magic
Master of Magic
Master of MagicMaster of Magic [Elite]
Elementalist - Energy Storage - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 1
Duration: 20
Recharge: 30
Enchantment Spell. For 20 seconds, whenever you cast a Spell, you gain 0..2 Energy for each recharging Skill that does not share this Spell's attribute.

Elementalist/Monk
Use this build in Random Arenas and Alliance Battles. In GvG, adjust the attributes to keep Energy Storage at 12 while using only a minor attribute rune.

Energy Storage: 12 (8+4)
Smiting Prayers: 12
Protection Prayers: 10

Equip a weapon set with a +20% Enchantment duration.

Master of Magic
Balthazar's Aura
Zealot's Fire
Smite Hex/Reversal of Damage
Reversal of Fortune
Draw Conditions
Purge Conditions/Judge's Insight
Resurrection Signet


Master of Magic Smiter, Alliance Battle Version

Swap out Resurrection Signet for Storm Djinn's Haste and put your remaining attribute points into Air Magic.

If you have a build that groups up with a melee character and a healer, replace Purge Conditions with Judge's Insight, and consider Reversal of Damage instead of Smite Hex, especially if working together with a Dervish. The constant Reversal of Fortune on a Dervish triggers that character's Mysticism healing and Energy gain ability over and over again, and adding a Reversal of Damage on top of that provides even more of a bonus. All the healing provided by Reversal of Fortune, both from the spell's effect as well as the Mysticism bonus, makes the Dervish and Smiter a fearsome and highly survivable pair.

In GvG, some guilds split their forces with Dervishes and Smiters commonly attacking the enemy base. An Avatar of Melandru Dervish (or Mel Dervish) generally fronts this split team, possibly accompanied by a Grenth Dervish. The Mel Dervish excels at killing NPCs and making quick escapes because she is immune to Conditions. Typical shutdown responses to "gank" teams (generally a smaller split group that attempts to infiltrate an enemy base, kill NPCs, and ultimately take down the Guild Lord) such as Blindness and Crippled simply don't work on a Mel Dervish. Plus, the extra maximum Health ensures that the Mel Dervish can take damage long enough to take out targets.

Avatar of Grenth
Avatar of Grenth
Avatar of GrenthAvatar of Grenth [Elite]
dervish/Mysticism - Form
Energy: 15
Activation: 2
Duration: 10..45
Recharge: 30
Form. For 10..45 seconds, whenever you use an attack Skill, you also remove 1 Enchantment from your target, and your attacks deal cold damage. This Skill is disabled for 120 seconds.

The Grenth Dervish adds damage, but more importantly, he kills defending Monks. The Enchantment removal of a Grenth Dervish makes it extremely difficult for standard Protection Monks to survive against him.

Like the various incarnations of past Smiters, the Master of Magic Smiter has a multi-dimensional role in such a split group, offering nonstop pressure damage, light support healing, and Condition/Hex removal. The versatility of the Smiter means it can assist a Monk, if present, and clean up the Grenth Dervish with Condition Removal (usually in the form of Draw Conditions).


Skill Rationale and Synergy

A Master of Magic who has Energy Storage 12 returns 2 Energy for each recharging skill that does not share the attribute of the spell that was cast. Looking at the Skill Bar listed above, you can have a potential return of 12 Energy every time you cast Reversal of Fortune or Draw Conditions (which you do to trigger Zealot's Fire damage around an ally).

The following six skills have longer recharge times and can all be in the process of recharging at once: Master of Magic, Balthazar's Aura, Zealot's Fire, Purge Conditions/Judge's Insight, Smite Hex/Reversal of Damage, and Resurrection Signet. None of these are Protection Prayers, so when you cast a Protection spell you get 12 Energy (6 recharging skills at 2 Energy each) back. This huge gain offsets the negligible loss of 1 Energy every time you cast a spell targeting an ally that has Zealot's Fire up. It also recovers all Energy spent casting Balthazar's Aura and other spells.

Counters: Enchantment removal, interrupting Balthazar's Aura, Diversion, Signet of Humility.


"You're All Alone!" (YAA) Warrior, Solo Version


"You're All Alone!"
"You're All Alone!" [Elite]
Warrior - No Attribute - Shout
Energy: 5
Activation: 0
Duration: 7
Recharge: 10
Shout. If target foe isn't near an ally, that foe suffers from Cripple and Weakness for 7 seconds.

Warrior/Assassin
This Warrior often travels alone or with a partner, attempting to infiltrate an enemy base, pick off NPCs, and stall or kill flag runners. Carry an extra Crippling sword with Energy +5 and an offhand Energy item for emergency uses of YAA and movement speed boosts.

Swordsmanship: 14 (12+2)
Strength: 8
Tactics: 10 (9+1)

"You're All Alone!"
Sever Artery
Gash
Final Thrust
Dash
Frenzy
Healing Signet
Signet of Malice


"You're All Alone!" (YAA) Warrior, Group Version

Warrior/Assassin
This version more likely travels with a larger split group and carries a Resurrection Signet and an interrupt skill, but no Condition removal, making it less self-reliant than the build above.

Swordsmanship: 14 (12+2)
Strength: 9 (8+1)
Tactics: 10 (9+1)
Deadly Arts: 3

"You're All Alone!"
Sever Artery
Gash
Final Thrust
Enraging Charge
Disrupting Dagger
Healing Signet
Resurrection Signet


"You're All Alone!" (YAA) Warrior, Alliance Battle Version

Mending Touch
Mending Touch
Mending TouchMending Touch
Monk - Protection Prayers - Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 0.75
Recharge: 6
Spell. Touched ally loses two Conditions and is healed for 15..60 Health for each Condition removed in this way.

Warrior/Monk
Some guilds prefer this version of the YAA in GvG.

Swordsmanship: 16 (12+4)
Strength: 9 (8+1)
Tactics: 10 (9+1)
Protection Prayers: 3

"You're All Alone!"
Sever Artery
Gash
Final Thrust
Enraging Charge
Mending Touch
Healing Signet
Tiger Stance

In Alliance Battles, the YAA Warrior singles out isolated targets and hunts them down, mercilessly applying Conditions and spiking with Final Thrust. Ideally set up to solo other characters, the different variants of YAA each have their own strengths.


Skill Rationale and Synergy

Poison
Weakness

Why use "You're All Alone!"? The Shout has widespread utility, useful against diverse targets in diverse settings. Any melee or ranged attacker suffers with the Weakness applied. Against other Warriors, especially those lacking Condition removal, YAA practically guarantees their defeat because they can't do enough damage with weakened regular attacks, and they can't pursue effectively when Crippled if the YAA Warrior backs off to heal.

Poison
Crippled

The Crippled Condition can also slow down important opponents in crucial moments. A flag runner, separated from the main team, for example, is a common target for a YAA Warrior. In other situations where mobility can determine the outcome of a game, such as a Monk returning to defend the Guild Lord, a YAA Warrior can move in to Cripple.

To kill opponents faster, bring an IAS (increased attack speed) skill such as Tiger Stance. Many YAA Warriors don't use Frenzy when playing in smaller split groups because they run the risk of dying too easily with the double damage penalty. However, Frenzy does get used, usually with a skill to cancel the Stance, such as Dash.

The W/A version with Disrupting Dagger has the potential to be even deadlier than a simple IAS, because a key interrupt can destroy a defensive character, whereas a faster attack doesn't always translate into more damage. Block and evade skills, or Protection Magic in particular, can stall a YAA Warrior for quite a while, despite the presence of IAS.

For a purely solo YAA Warrior, skills such as Mending Touch or Signet of Malice enhance self-reliance and long-term sustainability inside an enemy base. Without a Monk or other support character to remove anti-melee Conditions such as Blindness, self-usable Condition removal helps tremendously.

Counters: Blindness, Wards, anti-melee Hexes, block/evade skills, Mending Touch, Avatar of Melandru.


Mel Dervish

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.

Dervish/X

Mysticism: 12 (11+1)
Scythe Mastery: 14 (12+2)
Wind Prayers: 7 (6+1)

Avatar of Melandru
Wearying Strike
Harrier's Grasp
Harrier's Haste
Mystic Sweep
Eremite's Attack
Heart of Fury/Imbue Health
Resurrection Signet


Mel Dervish, Alliance Battle Version

Swap out Resurrection Signet for Faithful Intervention, and add a Superior Rune of Scythe Mastery.

Wearying Strike
Wearying Strike
Wearying StrikeWearying Strike
dervish/Scythe Mastery - Attack
Energy: 5
Activation: 0
Recharge: 6
Attack. If this attack hits, you deal +1..31 damage and inflict a Deep Wound for 3..10 seconds. You suffer from Weakness for 10 seconds.

In an Alliance Battle, a Melandru Dervish can charge into the thick of things and then make a hasty retreat when the situation gets too dangerous. The movement speed boost and immunity to Conditions makes this an ideal character for running down isolated individuals. It can also solo many other characters and stall until the rest of the team arrives. In fact, a Melandru Dervish holds its own against commonly seen builds such as Searing Flames Elementalists, Assassins, Crippling Rangers, and YAA Warriors. Each of these builds relies largely on one or more Conditions that don't affect the Mel Dervish. The extra Health means the Dervish survives longer against other damage, such as normal melee attacks. And with Wearying Strike to apply constant Deep Wounds, and Harrier's Grasp for Crippling, attacked targets must get help quickly or die.

You need to play aggressively when using Avatar of Melandru. Push for softer targets and Monks that hang back. A Dervish running rampant in the back lines presents a powerful disruption to any team. Once Avatar of Melandru wears off, play with more caution and try to stall opposing melee characters until you can activate the Form again. When activating the Form, however, you must try to stay out of range of interrupts or knock downs. That 25 Energy investment does take some time to recover.


Skill Rationale and Synergy

People commonly choose Wearying Strike as the favored attack skill with Avatar of Melandru. The normal penalty of becoming Weakened when using Wearying Strike to inflict a Deep Wound on the target doesn't apply because the Avatar has Condition immunity. To add another Condition, Harrier's Grasp will Cripple the target, making sure the Dervish stays close enough to keep swinging. With Harrier's Haste going, any opponent trying to move away suffers even more due to the damage bonus. Heart of Fury serves as the IAS and contributes some AoE Burning. Even without Heart of Fury, Mystic Sweep and Eremite's Attack strike quickly, faster than a normal scythe swing. These attacks function as their own IAS, much like Protector's Strike and Critical Chop on a Warrior.

In the optional skill slots, Faithful Intervention adds another Enchantment to help trigger the damage bonus on Mystic Sweep, especially when separated from the rest of the group. Plus, it essentially adds another layer of Health, protecting the Dervish from surprise attacks and buying more time for an escape. Imbue Health comes in handy as a hidden heal when working with others. Often, opponents look for healing to come only from the Monk, not from other characters.

Imbue Health
Imbue Health
Imbue Health Imbue Health
dervish/Mysticism - Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 0.25
Recharge: 10
Spell. Target other ally is healed for 5..50% of your current Health (maximum 300 Health).

Counters: Wards, Hexes, Knock down. To a lesser extent, Energy denial and Enchantment removal can slow down a Mel Dervish.


Practice

All the above builds work fine in Random Arenas, but make sure to equip a Resurrection Signet. It is also wise to use only minor attribute runes to get used to playing with the extra Health. While it helps you survive longer against spikes and Health degeneration, its primary advantage comes when you accrue a lot of death penalty (DP). In GvG matches, superior or major attribute runes can severely hinder a team if it begins to accumulate DP. At that point, team members just don't have enough maximum Health left to recover the flag stand or score kills to raise morale.