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#6 The Last Pride [EvIL] defeats #3 Mostly Harmless [MH] – July 2, 2006
EvIL reigns supreme over top American guild to advance.
By Harold J. Chow


Despite falling behind early to Mostly Harmless [MH], The Last Pride [EvIL] rallied back to secure a spot in the second weekend of the Guild Wars Factions Championship Season Three playoffs.


Game One:

Blessed Light
Blessed Light
Blessed LightBlessed Light [Elite]
Monk - Divine Favor - Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 0.75
Recharge: 3
Spell. Heal target ally for 10..115 Health and remove one Condition and one Hex.

In the first game, which took place at MH's Druid's Isle guild hall, both guilds utilized balanced builds capable of dealing with multiple threats while providing diverse offenses of their own. MH's build included a Warrior/Mesmer with Expel Hexes to deal with anti-Warrior strategies such as Water Magic Snares and Necromancer Hexes. EvIL's build featured two Assassins designed to infiltrate an opponent's base to eliminate NPCs quickly. EvIL's Monks eschewed the popular Divine Boon, instead relying on Blessed Light to complement their Protection Prayers.

GAME 1 LINEUP:

#3 Mostly Harmless [MH] #6 The Last Pride [EvIL]
E/Mo – Air Elementalist with Gale, Draw Conditions, and Ward Against Melee Me/E – Energy Surge Mesmer with Signet of Humility and Gale
W/Me – Sword Warrior with Expel Hexes W/E – Axe Warrior with Eviscerate and Shock
W/E – Axe Warrior with Eviscerate and Shock A/E – Aura of Displacement Assassin with Shock
Me/E – Blackout Mesmer with Energy Surge and Gale A/E – Aura of Displacement Assassin with Shock
R/Me – Crippling Shot Ranger with Apply Poison E/Mo – Air Elementalist with Blinding Flash, Ice Spikes, and Windborne Speed
E/Mo – Water Elementalist with Deep Freeze, Armor of Mist, and Heal Party Me/Mo – Energy Burn, Distortion, Draw Conditions, Resurrection Chant
Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protection Monk with Mantra of Recall Mo/Me – Protection Monk with Blessed Light and Gift of Health
Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protection Monk with Energy Drain, Protective Spirit, and Signet of Devotion Mo/Me – Protection Monk with Blessed Light and Gift of Health
Morale Boosts: 0 Morale Boosts: 1 (10:58)
Ice Spikes
Ice Spikes
Ice SpikesIce Spikes
Elementalist - Water Magic - Hex Spell
Energy: 15
Activation: 2
Duration: 2..6
Recharge: 15
Hex Spell. Target and adjacent foes are struck for 20..80 cold damage and move 66% slower for 2..6 seconds.

Both guilds started the match by sending a detachment to infiltrate the opponent's base while the main squads converged on the flag stand. EvIL's two Assassins made short work of an MH Archer, but soon met resistance in the form of MH's Ranger and Water Elementalist. MH quickly killed one EvIL Assassin while the other Assassin limped away. On the other side of the map, MH's Sword Warrior had unfettered access to EvIL's base, resulting in the deaths of two of EvIL's Archer before EvIL's Elementalist came back to stop the carnage.

While EvIL continued to look for opportunities to infiltrate MH's base, MH focused on the flag stand and repeatedly killed EvIL's Monks. EvIL's Assassins, however, killed several of MH's Archers and disrupted MH's ability to run flags to the stand.

With EvIL's Assassins retreating into MH's main team, EvIL tried to play for a Morale Boost. Despite the Death Penalty on the EvIL Monks, MH fell one second short of taking back the flag stand before EvIL's Morale Boost at 10:58. To add further injury, EvIL's Assassins had circled back into MH's base to eliminate both of MH's Bodyguards. However, MH retaliated, killing off most of EvIL's team and one of EvIL's Bodyguards. Despite recovering and holding out for several more minutes, EvIL made a critical mistake. After killing both of EvIL's Monks again, MH pushed into EvIL's base and killed the other EvIL Bodyguard. EvIL took too much time to resurrect one of its Monks, who could not get back in time to save its Guild Lord from falling at 19:51.


Game Two:

Crippling Anguish
Crippling Anguish
Crippling AnguishCrippling Anguish [Elite]
Mesmer - Illusion Magic - Hex Spell
Energy: 15
Activation: 1
Duration: 8..20
Recharge: 20
Hex Spell. For 8..20 seconds, target moves 50% slower and suffers -1..3 Health degeneration.

In the second game, which took place at The Last Pride's Frozen Isle guild hall, EvIL changed its build to feature three Mesmers and two Warriors. With MH's reliance on Protection Monks for healing, EvIL's Mesmer/Assassin with Shadow Shroud would thwart MH's healing efforts. EvIL's other Mesmer/Assassin brought Illusion Magic to slow down opponents and degenerate their life totals.

GAME 2 LINEUP:

#3 Mostly Harmless [MH] #6 The Last Pride [EvIL]
E/Mo – Air Elementalist with Gale, Draw Conditions, and Ward Against Melee Me/E – Energy Surge Mesmer with Signet of Humility and Gale
W/Me – Sword Warrior with Expel Hexes Me/A – Domination Mesmer with Shadow Shroud, Dark Escape, and Dash
W/E – Axe Warrior with Eviscerate and Shock W/E – Axe Warrior with Eviscerate and Shock
Me/E – Blackout Mesmer with Energy Surge and Gale W/E – Sword Warrior with "Charge!" and Shock
R/Me – Crippling Shot Ranger with Apply Poison E/Mo – Air Elementalist with Blinding Flash, Ice Spikes and Windborne Speed
E/Mo – Water Elementalist with Deep Freeze, Armor of Mist and Heal Party Me/A – Illusion Mesmer with Crippling Anguish and Dash
Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protection Monk with Mantra of Recall Mo/Me – Protection Monk with Blessed Light and Gift of Health
Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protection Monk with Energy Drain, Protective Spirit, and Signet of Devotion Mo/Me – Protection Monk with Blessed Light and Gift of Health
Morale Boosts: 0 Morale Boosts: 8 (15:30, 23:07, 25:11, 27:11, 29:11, 31:11, 33:11, 35:11)
Dark Escape
Dark Escape
Dark EscapeDark Escape
Assassin - Shadow Arts - Stance
Energy: 5
Activation: 0
Duration: 5..15
Recharge: 30
Stance. For 5..15 seconds, you move 25% faster and take half damage. Dark Escape ends if you successfully hit with an attack.

EvIL split to begin the match, forcing MH to keep its Sword Warrior and Water Elementalist back to defend its base from EvIL's Sword Warrior and Illusion Mesmer. The teams traded kills at the flag stand while EvIL continued to look for an opportunity to start killing off MH's NPCs. By controlling the central gate levers, EvIL could keep its Illusion Mesmer in position to infiltrate MH's base while preventing MH from using the direct path across the bridge to break up this control. Using this strategy, EvIL eliminated several MH Archers while disrupting MH's flag running enough to earn a Morale Boost at 15:30.

MH poorly executed a maneuver to retake the flag stand, resulting in more Death Penalty for one of its Monks and more morale for EvIL. With the flag stand battle beginning to turn to EvIL's favor, MH fell back to regroup and protect its remaining NPCs and held out for Victory or Death.

At Victory or Death, MH sent half of its team to attack EvIL's Guild Lord, while the rest of the team tried to retake the flag stand and defend its own Guild Lord. However, EvIL quickly put an end to this threat. With a huge morale advantage and full control of the flag stand, EvIL continued to assess more Death Penalty on MH's players before finding an opportunity to finish off MH's Guild Lord at 35:33.


Game Three:

In the third game, EvIL reverted to the build it used in game one, while MH made no changes to its lineup.

GAME 3 LINEUP:

#3 Mostly Harmless [MH] #6 The Last Pride [EvIL]
E/Mo – Air Elementalist with Gale, Draw Conditions, and Ward Against Melee Me/E – Energy Surge Mesmer with Signet of Humility and Gale
W/Me – Sword Warrior with Expel Hexes W/E – Axe Warrior with Eviscerate and Shock
W/E – Axe Warrior with Eviscerate and Shock A/E – Aura of Displacement Assassin with Shock
Me/E – Blackout Mesmer with Energy Surge and Gale A/E – Aura of Displacement Assassin with Shock
R/Me – Crippling Shot Ranger with Apply Poison E/Mo – Air Elementalist with Blinding Flash, Ice Spikes, and Windborne Speed
E/Mo – Water Elementalist with Deep Freeze, Armor of Mist, and Heal Party Me/Mo – Energy Burn, Distortion, Draw Conditions, and Resurrection Chant
Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protection Monk with Mantra of Recall Mo/Me – Protection Monk with Blessed Light and Gift of Health
Mo/Me – Divine Boon Protection Monk with Energy Drain, Protective Spirit, and Signet of Devotion Mo/Me – Protection Monk with Blessed Light and Gift of Health
Morale Boosts: 0 Morale Boosts: 6 (19:30, 21:30, 25:09, 27:09, 33:11, 35:11)
Way of the Fox
Way of the Fox
Way of the FoxWay of the Fox
Assassin - Shadow Arts - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 0.25
Duration: 10..35
Recharge: 45
Enchantment Spell. For 10..35 seconds, your next 1..6 attacks cannot be blocked.

Both teams tried the same opening tactics as in Game One. This time, however, MH left its Ranger and Water Elementalist behind to prevent early NPC deaths. MH's Warrior/Mesmer, on the other hand, again entered EvIL's base unchallenged and eliminated three EvIL Archers before one of EvIL's Assassins came back to chase the Warrior out.

With both guilds in a stalemate at the flag stand, the match would come down to each team's ability to eliminate enemy NPCs before Victory or Death. Despite MH's early advantage, EvIL's Assassins continually applied pressure to MH's base defenses and created opportunities to kill NPCs. By forcing MH to use two players to defend against one of EvIL's Assassins, the other Assassin could help run the flag to force MH to devote more resources to flag running. EvIL took advantage of MH's divided attention to kill key MH personnel one by one. Facing severe NPC and morale disadvantages, MH finally withdrew to its base around 18:00, conceding an EvIL Morale Boost at 19:30.

EvIL pushed into MH's base, putting MH on the defense. Despite a valiant push by MH out of its base, EvIL's Assassins simply circled around to the back entrance to eliminate the MH Bodyguards at 23:10. MH attempted to do the same to EvIL, but this move almost allowed EvIL's Assassins to kill its Guild Lord before Victory or Death. Unable to outmaneuver EvIL nor recover fully from the mounting Death Penalty on its players, MH could not threaten EvIL's Guild Lord without endangering its own. Despite keeping its Guild Lord alive long enough to walk to the flag stand, MH could not overcome the growing morale differential, finally succumbing at 37:48.

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