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Making Sealed Play Work


In the final match, team Make It Work lived up to its name, sorting through a hodgepodge assortment of unrelated skills to produce a winning build. The team showed innovation in how it played its skills, a key component to victory beyond the actual selection of skills. All in all, the sealed play encouraged creativity among all who participated, and brought a fresh new twist to Guild Wars. One of team Make It Work's members, Nyla (real name Kari), shares her insights on the process,

"The sealed play tournament concept was great fun, but it forced an approach to using skills that does not exist in regular play. Do not assume that the skill descriptions of the abilities we used indicate how we used them. In sealed play, we did not have the luxury of having what even pre-made templates have—enough skills to fill out a bar with a reasonable split of attributes. Thus, we were forced to use skills in ways that had little or nothing to do with their actual description.

For example, in the Monk build I used for the semi-finals. I had two maintainable Enchantments on my Skill Bar, Watchful Spirit and Live Vicariously. I never intended to and did not maintain both Enchantments—not enough Energy. Instead I used Watchful Spirit as intended, but cast Live Vicariously as a five-Energy-cost, small dual heal. Meaning that I'd cast it on the Warrior as a Divine Favor bonus-only heal, leave it on for a couple of swings for a little Health regain of my own, and then cancel the Enchantment. In the finals, I could heal the rest of my team just fine with Word of Healing but had no direct heal for myself. That's why Dwayna's Sorrow was on my Skill Bar. It was the only thing I could spam (a relative term in this instance, given that the recharge is five seconds) on myself as a direct heal, even if that heal was just the Divine Favor bonus. Pitiful when you have an Assassin on you who's snaring you so you can't kite and inflicting Deep Wounds, but better than nothing. These are a few examples of a running theme for our "Make It Work" style of play necessitated by the sealed concept."

Finals

Unused skills:

Armor of Unfeeling
Bed of Coals
Dolyak Signet
Dulled Weapon
Fire Attunement
Fire Storm
Flare
Glyph of Lesser Energy
Grasping Was Kuurong
Guilt
Lightning Touch
Mantra of Recall
Phoenix
Shatterstone
Shroud of Distress
Signet of Strength
Spell Breaker
Staggering Blow
Warrior's Endurance
Wary Stance
Weapon of Quickening

Builds:

First Warrior used: W/Me
Axe Mastery: 12+1+1
Strength: 10+1
Tactics: 8+1
Domination Magic: 2
Eviscerate
Eviscerate
EviscerateEviscerate [Elite]
Warrior - Axe Mastery - Attack
Adrenaline: 8
Activation: 0
Recharge: 0
Attack. If Eviscerate hits, you strike for +1..31 damage and inflict a Deep Wound, lowering your target's maximum Health by 20% for 5..20 seconds.
Eviscerate
Dismember
Furious Axe
"For Great Justice!"
Healing Signet
Bull's Strike
Hex Breaker
Resurrection Signet
Second Warrior used: W/Mo
Axe Mastery: 12+1+3
Strength: 10+1
Tactics: 8+1
Protection Prayers: 2
Eviscerate
Dismember
Furious Axe
"For Great Justice!"
Healing Signet
Bull's Strike
Rebirth
Resurrection Signet
Mesmer/Assassin
Domination Magic: 11+1+1
Inspiration Magic: 10+1
Illusion Magic: 8+1
Fast Casting: 6+1
Energy Drain
Energy Drain
Energy DrainEnergy Drain [Elite]
Mesmer - Inspiration Magic - Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 1
Recharge: 25
Spell. Target foe loses 2..9 Energy. You gain 2 Energy for each point of Energy lost.
Arcane Conundrum
Power Spike
Shatter Delusions
Empathy
Guilt
Ether Feast
Energy Drain
Resurrection Signet
Elementalist/Ritualist
Earth Magic: 12+1+1
Energy Storage: 8+1
Restoration Magic: 10
Shockwave
Shockwave
ShockwaveShockwave [Elite]
Elementalist - Earth Magic - Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 0.75
Recharge: 15
Spell. Adjacent foes take 15..60 earth damage, nearby foes take 15..60 earth damage, and foes in the area take %str1% earth damage.
Shockwave
Aftershock
Obsidian Flame
Grasping Earth
Weapon of Warding
Recuperation
Blind Was Mingson
Resurrection Signet
Monk/Ritualist
Healing Prayers: 11+1
Divine Favor: 11+1+1
Protection Prayers: 2+1
Communing: 8
Word of Healing
Word of Healing
Word of HealingWord of Healing [Elite]
Monk - Healing Prayers - Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 0.75
Recharge: 4
Spell. Heal target other ally for 15..100 Health. Heal for an additional 15..100 Health if that ally is below 50% Health.
Word of Healing
Dwayna's Sorrow
Spirit Transfer
Guided Weapon
Union
Vital Weapon
Divine Spirit/Shielding Hands
Resurrection Signet

Semi-finals

Unused skills:

Aegis
Bed of Coals
Black Mantis Thrust
Breath of Fire
Chaos Storm
Consume Soul
Energizing Wind
Enraged Lunge
Ether Renewal
Fire Attunement
Fire Storm
Gaze of Contempt
Glyph of Concentration
Horns of the Ox
Lava Arrows
Mantra of Earth
Mantra of Persistence
Mind Freeze
Predatory Bond
Primal Echoes
Rend Enchantments
Revive Animal
Searing Heat
Seeping Wound
Stoning
Teinai's Heat
Twisting Fangs
Unsuspecting Strike
Way of the Empty Palm

Builds:

Warrior/Necromancer
Axe Mastery: 12+1+1
Strength: 9+1
Tactics: 9 +1
Curses: 5
Plague Signet
Healing Signet
Tiger Stance
Rush
Swift Chop
Penetrating Blow
Furious Axe
Resurrection Signet
Elementalist/Mesmer
Air Magic: 12+1+1
Inspiration Magic: 8
Illusion Magic: 2
Energy Storage: 10+1
Phantom Pain
Ether Feast
Feedback
Expel Hexes
Blurred Vision
Lightning Javelin
Teinai's Wind
Resurrection Signet
R/N
Marksmanship: 11+1
Wilderness Survival: 8+1
Expertise: 10+1+1
Blood Magic: 6
Melandru's Shot
Sundering Attack
Troll Unguent
Flame Trap
Antidote Signet
Gaze of Contempt
Vampiric Swarm
Resurrection Signet
M/Rt
Divine Favor: 12+1+1
Healing Prayers: 8+1
Communing: 8
Restoration Magic: 8
Spell Breaker
Healing Breeze
Wielder's Boon
Live Vicariously
Vital Weapon
Guided Weapon
Watchful Spirit
Resurrection Signet

We had a great time at Gen Con, as did all the players. In our eyes, it was a huge success, and hopefully the Guild Wars sealed play tournaments have an exciting future ahead.

Look for an announcement soon about the upcoming PAX Guild Wars 10k Arena as well as the upcoming Guild Wars Live events taking place at the Penny Arcade expo in Bellevue, WA August 25–27 and your chance to come try out Guild Wars sealed play for yourself!