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PvP Primer: Paragons and Dervishes in Random Arenas


Playing the two new professions in Random Arenas may seem familiar to those used to Rangers and Warriors, because they must deal with some of the same considerations during combat. Paragons, for example, need line of sight, and Dervishes need to get in close to hit their targets. Nonetheless, there are key differences as well. Paragons can elect to stay far back, out of enemy range, and support the team with Chants and Shouts, while Dervishes can position themselves carefully to take advantage of their area effect scythe attacks, looking for opponents clumped closely together.


Paragon Considerations

Skills
By default, Paragons begin with:
Barbed Spear, Blazing Spear, Anthem of Fury, Anthem of Flame, Leader's Comfort, Resurrection Signet

Suggested Paragon skill unlocks:
Disrupting Throw, Remedy Signet. Anybody can benefit from having a good interrupt, and a Paragon is no exception; Disrupting Throw works well with your skills that cause Conditions. And in case somebody decides to unkindly Blind you, simply remedy it with Remedy Signet.

Disrupting Throw
Disrupting Throw
Disrupting Throw Disrupting Throw
paragon/Spear Mastery - Attack
Energy: 5
Activation: 0.5
Recharge: 10
Attack. If this attack hits a foe suffering from a Condition, that foe is interrupted.
Remedy Signet
Remedy Signet
Remedy SignetRemedy Signet
paragon/No Attribute - Signet
Activation: 1
Recharge: 4
Signet. You lose 1 Condition.

Equipment
Even without any superior runes, Paragons make incredibly effective support and pressure characters. Paragons can affect everyone with their vocal abilities, but only one target with a spear, so it's less important to increase spear damage with a superior rune, and more important to enhance the attributes related to equipped Shouts or Chants. However, people also know that Paragons tend to have sneaky healing and damage-reduction skills, so enemies often target them first. Consider this fact when building your equipment. Try a superior rune of Leadership if you have one unlocked, but if you seem to get hit a lot and need more Health, re-craft your armor without the superior rune.

Equip yourself with a vampiric spear and an elemental spear. Swap between them when attacking a target and notice any damage differences. Warriors, for example, tend to have less resistance to elemental damage, while Rangers have less resistance to physical damage (so use your vampiric spear against Rangers). Add a spear grip of fortitude or defense to each of your spears to further improve your survivability.

As for armor, Paragons inherently begin with extra Energy on each piece. Though you have low Energy regeneration as a Paragon, the default build doesn't need any additional Energy bonus on the armor because it relies on low cost skills and adrenaline. Instead, opt for Survivor Insignia on your armor, with Vitae and Vigor runes where possible. For other builds, you may, in fact, require more maximum Energy, but for this one stick with more Health. Having more Energy doesn't help you if you die due to low Health.

Tactics
Take a moment and examine your teammates before the match starts. If you have Warriors in your party, keep Anthem of Fury up as much as possible. The increased adrenaline gain your allied Warriors receive translates into a higher damage-per-second ratio than they could otherwise attain. Should you have another Paragon with you, coordinate your Anthems by Ctrl-clicking on the Anthem when you use it to announce the fact to your team, and by watching when it activates on you from an ally using it. If your allied Paragon uses Anthem of Fury, and you see a Warrior on your team use an attack skill, you know that the Warrior has caused the Anthem on him to end. You can then chant your own Anthem without the risk of it overwriting the other one. If you use your Anthem before your partner's expires, you've essentially wasted it. Just remember that the Anthems end at different times on different characters, depending on when they use attack skills.

When attempting a self-heal with Leader's Comfort, watch out for enemy Rangers. They often pride themselves on interrupting self-heals, so if you see a Ranger moving toward you or in bow range, assume he has an interrupt and try to hide behind something.

As for your own attack chain, use Anthem of Fury right before Barbed Spear. This will charge up your adrenaline for Blazing Spear, and you'll have your chosen target Burning and Bleeding in no time. Follow up with Anthem of Flame and switch to another target. With Anthem of Flame up, throw Barbed Spear and you suddenly have Burning and Bleeding caused from the same attack. Rinse and repeat this pattern across differing targets and you'll be the bane of your opponents.

Secondary Profession Suggestion
Paragon/Warrior
"Watch Yourself!", "Shields Up!"
Tactics: 3


"Watch Yourself!"
"Watch Yourself!"
Warrior - Tactics - Shout
Adrenaline: 4
Activation: 0
Duration: 5..11
Recharge: 0
Shout. Party members within earshot gain +5..25 armor for 5..11 seconds.

"Shields Up!"
"Shields Up!"
Warrior - Tactics - Shout
Energy: 10
Activation: 0
Duration: 5..11
Recharge: 30
Shout. For 5..11 seconds, you and all party members within earshot gain 24 armor against piercing damage and 50% chance to block incoming projectile attacks.

Even with low Tactics, you can reap the benefits of these Shouts. As you attack with your spear and get adrenaline, hit "Watch Yourself!" periodically, gaining Energy while improving your team's armor. The amount of armor gained never changes with the Tactics attribute; rather, the duration of the Shout increases with higher Tactics. Thus, as long as you continue to accrue adrenaline, you can basically use this Shout for free, over and over again. Note that "Watch Yourself!" takes available adrenaline that you might be able to use for attack skills, so if your team isn't taking a lot of damage, or you don't need Energy, consider using your adrenaline to attack and spread Conditions around.

"Shields Up!" won't give you extra Energy, but it'll still return Energy, especially if you have a number of allies around you, making it cost less than its inherent cost of 10 Energy. Also, "Shields Up!" counters other Paragons rather nicely (it blocks half of their spears and lessens the piercing damage of those spears that do get through). Plus it prevents some Ranger interrupts and reduces Assassin damage. If you notice an enemy Paragon shouting "Shields Up!", switch to your elemental weapon so that you are no longer doing piercing damage.

If you have a healer on your team, such as Monk or Ritualist, keep an eye on them. If they come under attack, use the Warrior shouts to help them out.


Dervish Considerations

Skills
By default, Dervishes begin with:
Twin Moon Sweep, Vital Boon, Wounding Strike, Pious Haste, Zealous Renewal, Resurrection Signet

Suggested skill unlocks:
Crippling Sweep, Irresistible Sweep. These two attacks help you catch running targets or opponents with a lot of defensive skills. Adding these to your Skill Bar means you've got a lot of attack skills. But that just means you'll have more responses to differing situations. It doesn't mean you should try to use all the attacks all the time.

Crippling Sweep
Crippling Sweep
Crippling SweepCrippling Sweep
dervish/Scythe Mastery - Attack
Energy: 5
Activation: 0
Recharge: 6
Attack. If this attack hits, target foe is Crippled for 7 seconds for each Enchantment on you (maximum 10..20 seconds).
Irresistible Sweep
Irresistible Sweep
Irresistible SweepIrresistible Sweep
dervish/Scythe Mastery - Attack
Energy: 5
Activation: 0
Recharge: 4
Attack. You lose 1 Enchantment. If you lose an Enchantment in this way, Irresistible Sweep cannot be blocked. This attack deals +10..30 damage if it hits.

Equipment
Because of the inherent Health bonuses available on all Dervish armor, Dervishes don't feel the negative effect of superior runes as strongly as other professions. If you have a Rune of Superior Scythe Mastery unlocked, by all means apply it to your armor. Tack on some Vitae runes and a Superior Vigor and you still have more Health than a lot of players you'll encounter. Plus your high weapon mastery means you do more consistent damage, have better bonuses from attack skills, and are more likely to score critical hits (which do more damage). Don't worry about Attunement runes on your armor, though. The four arrows of natural Energy regeneration and the bonus Energy gained from the Mysticism attribute mean you will rarely run out of Energy.

If using the default skills including Wounding Strike, slap a Barbed Scythe Snathe and Scythe Grip of Fortitude on one of your weapons. Make a vampiric and elemental for swapping and experiment with them against different targets. In a group of enemies, the vampiric scythe bonus damage tends to add up while healing you.

Tactics
Like Warriors, Dervishes constantly seek to close in on a target. So they suffer from some of the same problems such as snares, body blocks, kiting opponents, and terrain. In Random Arenas, when you get snared, think of it as an opportunity to heal and regain some Energy as you limp around. If you're chasing someone when you get snared, stop and look for a closer target. Often, the most efficient target to attack is the one closest to you. You'll spend less time getting to the target, meaning you can unload your attack skills sooner and continue to pressure the other team.

Also consider switching when you have to stop and cast Enchantments. If your current target has gotten to far away, switch to a closer one. Consider this also when using Wounding Strike. Switching targets lets you spread Bleeding at will. Bleeding causes Health degeneration and affects each opponent equally. Compare this to your normal scythe attacks, which become less deadly when an enemy has good armor.

To maximize your damage, look for groups of enemies. Melee characters, in particular, tend to form little packs as they chase the same target. Wait for the target they're chasing to stop moving. This puts them all in a nice little formation for you, where you can run up and strike all of them with a single blow. Hitting multiple targets vastly improves your damage efficiency.

When focusing on a single target, combo your skills and alternate your Enchantment casting for the best effect. One effective combo works like this: Vital Boon > Twin Moon Sweep > Wounding Strike > Zealous Renewal > Wounding Strike > Twin Moon Sweep. By the time you execute this combo, you've got your target Bleeding and Deeply Wounded, besides having done a bunch of damage and, if you're lucky, hitting foes adjacent to your target.

Secondary Profession Suggestion
Dervish/Ranger
Apply Poison, Troll Unguent
Wilderness Survival: 6
Unlock a Poisonous Scythe Snathe

Apply Poison
Apply Poison
Apply PoisonApply Poison
Ranger - Wilderness Survival - Preparation
Energy: 15
Activation: 2
Duration: 24
Recharge: 12
Preparation. For 24 seconds, foes struck by your physical attacks become Poisoned for 3..15 seconds.
Troll Unguent
Troll Unguent
Troll UnguentTroll Unguent
Ranger - Wilderness Survival - Skill
Energy: 5
Activation: 3
Duration: 10
Recharge: 10
Skill. For 10 seconds, you gain +3..10 Health regeneration.

While you may not have Energy to continuously use Apply Poison, it makes for a high-pressure start to a match, if used correctly. As you approach the other team, stop and activate Apply Poison. Make sure your team is with you and head for a group of enemies, perhaps with a movement speed boost from Pious Haste. Use Wounding Strike and you can have up to three people Poisoned and Bleeding right away. In Random Arenas, such a powerful opening completely destroys some teams, as they don't have the healing capacity to recover from it.

If the other team survives the initial assault, wait for Wounding Strike to recharge, and hit a target that has no Conditions on it yet. Try to strike as many different targets as possible to get the Health degeneration spread out amongst the other team.