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#14 Idiot Savants [iQ] Vs. #18 We Still Pwn Charr [Char] – May 03, 2006
A snapshot of two top guilds adjusting to the introduction of Guild Wars Factions
By Harold J. Chow


With the recent release of Guild Wars Factions, the top competitive guilds have already begun to modify their builds to account for the arrival of new professions and new skills. Two such guilds—Idiot Savants [iQ] and We Still Pwn Charr [Char] faced off this past week, giving us all a sample of the immediate impact that Factions would have on Guild Battles in a match that took place May 3, 2006.

Spirit Burn
Spirit Burn
Spirit BurnSpirit Burn
Ritualist - Channeling Magic - Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 1
Recharge: 6
Spell. Target foe is struck for 5..50 lightning damage. If any Spirits are within earshot, Spirit Burn deals +10..40 damage.

While Char's team build seemed to include an Assassin with Aura of Displacement as a gimmick, iQ's build integrated not only an Assassin and a Ritualist, but also Factions skills used by several other core professions. iQ took advantage of their Mesmer's Fast Casting to incorporate the new Monk resurrect skill Resurrection Chant, and also utilized the Elementalist's Energy Storage capacity to bring the powerful Monk skill Extinguish to remove Conditions from multiple party members. Both teams employed Warrior-centric offenses, and each guild's Assassin could either assist the main team with massive damage output or survive solo treks to opposing bases. However, with Channeling skills such as Spirit Burn available on their Ritualist, iQ sacrificed little offense to bring the additional defense provided by Union and Shelter.

GAME 1 LINEUP:

#14 Idiot Savants [iQ] #18 We Still Pwn Charr [Char]
W/E——Sword Warrior with Auspicious Parry, Gale W/E—Axe Warrior with Eviscerate, Shock
W/A—Axe Warrior with Eviscerate, Bull's Strike, Death's Charge W/E—Sword Warrior with "Charge!", Shock
Me/Mo—Energy Drain, Diversion, Draw Conditions R/Me—Apply Poison, Crippling Shot
Rt/Me—Communing/Channeling with Expel Hexes E/Mo—Air Magic with Heal Party, Windborne Speed
E/Mo—Air Magic with Heal Party, Windborne Speed E/Mo—Air Magic with Ward Against Melee, Heal Party
A/Mo—Aura of Displacement, Contemplation of Purity A/W—Aura of Displacement, Siphon Speed
Mo/Me—Divine Boon, Mantra of Recall, Hex Breaker Mo/Me—Divine Boon Protector w/ Mantra of Recall
Mo/Me—Word of Healing, Infuse Health, Inspired Hex Mo/N—Divine Boon Protector w/ Offering of Blood
Morale Boosts: 7 (22:39, 24:39, 26:39, 28:39, 30:39, 32:39, 34:48) Morale Boosts: 0

The battle took place at We Still Pwn Charr's Frozen Isle Guild Hall. This Guild Hall has certainly seen an increase in popularity since The Last Pride and War Machine both chose this map for the Finals of the Season 1 playoffs. With the advantages that a split tactic brings on this map, it should surprise no one that Idiot Savants began the game by executing a split maneuver in their opponents' Guild Hall. Char matched the split, sending a group of five to the gate lever area between the bases and two to the flag stand with the flag. Charr also sought to capitalize on the chaos of a split situation to send their Assassin along the lower path away from the ice and directly into iQ's base.

Aura of Displacement
Aura of Displacement
Aura of DisplacementAura of Displacement [Elite]
Assassin - No Attribute - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 0.25
Duration: upkeep
Recharge: 20
Enchantment Spell. When you cast Aura of Displacement, Shadow Step to target foe. When you stop maintaining Aura of Displacement you return to your original location.

Unfortunately for Char, their flag group found themselves outnumbered three to two, and quickly lost their Windborne Speed Elementalist at 1:10. With iQ's Ritualist turning the five-on-five situation near the gate lever area to iQ's advantage with defensive Spirits, Charr regrouped at the flag stand. This maneuver diverted attention away from Char's Assassin, who had already eliminated one of iQ's NPC Archers and had started to kill another. As the second Archer fell, iQ sent their Windborne Speed Elementalist back to retrieve a new flag and survey the situation at their base. As the Elementalist began to run the flag to the flag stand, iQ sent their own Assassin back to duel with Char's. Char's Assassin attempted to slow down iQ's Assassin with a Siphon Speed, but the iQ's Assassin's Aura of Displacement had the two locked in mortal combat, exchanging Jagged Strikes and Leaping Mantis Stings. With both Assassins reduced to half health, iQ's Assassin used Contemplation of Purity, removing his opponent's Hex along with the Bleeding Condition and the Aura. Free of Conditions and Hexes, iQ's Assassin proceeded to use Dark Escape to chase down Char's Assassin and finish him off at 3:10.

Gaze from Beyond
Gaze from Beyond
Gaze from BeyondGaze from Beyond
Ritualist - Channeling Magic - Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 2
Recharge: 10
Spell. The Spirit nearest you loses 10..30 Health. Target foe is struck for 4 lightning damage for each point of Health lost.

For the next eighteen minutes, the two guilds battled over the flag stand, running flags to interrupt control of the flag stand and prevent the other team from earning a morale boost. Although they managed to trade kills, both teams seemed to have arrived at a stalemate. Just after the 20-minute mark, Char became the first to flinch, allowing iQ to kill one of Char's Monks as Char moved in to recapture the flag stand. With Char slow to resurrect their Monk, iQ quickly killed off Char's other Monk, forcing Char to retreat to their base. Char tried to make the best of the situation by sending their Assassin towards iQ's base to rendezvous with Char's Ranger, who had left the flag stand battle earlier to take a more circuitous route to iQ's base. Unfazed by this move, iQ sent their Assassin to take care of Char's Assassin while their main team stormed Char's base, taking down one of Char's Bodyguards at 21:54. This push into Char's base allowed iQ to secure their first morale boost at 22:39.

Leaping Mantis Sting
Leaping Mantis Sting
Leaping Mantis StingLeaping Mantis Sting
Assassin - Dagger Mastery - Attack
Energy: 5
Activation: 0
Recharge: 8
Attack. If Mantis Sting hits, target foe takes +14..20 damage. If this attack strikes a moving foe, that foe is Crippled for 3..15 seconds.

Meanwhile at iQ's base, iQ's Assassin managed to take down his Char counterpart and forced Char's Ranger to retreat. Soon, iQ had Char pinned inside Char's own base. After iQ's second morale boost at 24:39, Char attempted to push out of their base. While Char suffered more casualties in the ensuing battle, they managed to sneak two players out at 25:30 to eliminate more NPCs from iQ's base in an attempt to play for a Victory or Death advantage. Once again, however, iQ's Assassin arrived to put a stop to the assault on iQ's base, this time dropping Char's Assassin and Ranger.

Even with Char's Assassin stuck at 60% death penalty in iQ's base, Char valiantly held off iQ's assault on their own base. Unable to take down Char's second Bodyguard, iQ withdrew far enough out of Char's base to allow Char's remaining NPCs to march out to the flag stand unscathed. Char's earlier NPC assassinations paid off as, despite having lost a Bodyguard in iQ's earlier assault, Char's NPCs won the battle at the flag stand, with two Archers surviving. When iQ sent their Elementalist to try to even up the situation at the flag stand, Char saw one last opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

With the added damage from Victory or Death, Char managed to push out of their base to kill iQ's protection Monk at 32:19. Although Char lost a Monk of their own in the skirmish, they managed to send a Warrior down to challenge the iQ Guild Lord.The rest of Char's team continued to fight off iQ to give their attacker a good head start before both teams converged on iQ's base. The ploy nearly worked, as iQ's Guild Lord fell to almost 10% Health before iQ killed off Char's Warriors and healed the all-important NPC. Although Char managed to resurrect their Assassin during this time, Char could not maintain their assault on iQ's Guild Lord.

Resurrection Signet
Resurrection Signet
Resurrection SignetResurrection Signet
No Attribute - Signet
Activation: 3
Recharge: 0
Signet. Resurrect target party member. That party member is returned to life with 100% Health and 25%% Energy. This Signet only recharges when you gain a morale boost.

Char regrouped and swarmed the flag stand to prepare for the two teams' Guild Lords to march out at 35:00. Although Char managed to trade a few kills with iQ, they could not overcome iQ's morale advantage and the recharged Resurrection Signets that came with it. After killing off several Char characters, iQ finally whittled down Char's Guild Lord at the flag stand, securing victory at 38:18.

Harold J. Chow is one of our freelance Guild Wars reporters. His in-game name is Guild Informant.