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Match Report - June Hero Battle Automated Championships:

X Ekelon X vs. いもいも
By Alex Marsyla


Special note: Each Match Report presents the opinions and insights of one game observer. These observations are personal in nature and do not reflect the opinions of ArenaNet. While ArenaNet does review each article to assure that it offers content that is respectful of all players, we intend to allow our reporters the freedom to inject some personal opinion into descriptions of the current atmosphere of competitive play in Guild Wars, and to express views based on their experience and observation.


Desert Sands

The second set of Monthly Championship tournaments followed the new format for monthly tournaments: Swiss play followed by single elimination. For any player who made it out of the eight rounds of Swiss play, the tournament must have been a taxing, yet invigorating, event. The finale of this Monthly Championship was a battle between first-ranked X Ekelon X, and tenth-ranked いもいも, or "Imoimo" in English.

The final match played out on Desert Sands, the third time that map had come up in the tournament. Desert Sands is not a particularly large map, but it has a unique layout. At the north end of Desert Sands the three outer shrines are arranged in a triangle. At the extreme north lies the Warsong's Shrine, which gives the owner control over the Warsong Mercenary. The other shrines are situated closer to the center of the map with the Battle Cry Shrine toward the red starting position and the Energy Shrine toward the blue starting position. The Center Shrine is isolated at the south end of the map, and usually sees little fighting. Both players start across from each other in between the Center Shrine and the three outer shrines. Due to the layout of the map, most of the fighting moves around the three outer shrines, with players typically splitting a Hero off to take the Center Shrine only when they feel they are in a strong position.


The Builds

Both players brought similar metagame builds utilizing Shadow Prison Assassins and Spirit spammer Ritualists. The only deviation in the builds came in their choice of a second splittable character. Ekelon used a Dervish/Paragon with skills like Conviction and Mystic Regeneration for self-sufficiency. Imoimo chose a standard Pack Hunter build instead. The Pack Hunter and Dervish were typically split off throughout the match. This resulted in constant trading of shrines between the two players and facilitated a stalemate. Because both players were essentially running the same build, this match was decided on each player's skill with the build and with micromanaging their Heroes.

Ekelon's Build

Shadow Prison
Shadow Prison
Shadow PrisonShadow Prison [Elite]
Assassin - Deadly Arts - Hex Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 0.25
Duration: 1..10
Recharge: 20
Hex Spell. Shadow Step to target foe. For 1..10 seconds, that foe moves 66% slower.
Ekelon A/W: Black Lotus Strike, Black Spider Strike, Blades of Steel, Horns of the Ox, Impale, Tiger Stance, Expose Defenses, Shadow Prison
Pious Haste
Pious Haste
Pious HastePious Haste
dervish/Mysticism - Stance
Energy: 5
Activation: 0
Duration: 5..12
Recharge: 5
Stance. For 5..12 seconds you move 33% faster. When this Stance ends, you lose one Enchantment.
Melonni D/P: Pious Haste, Mystic Regeneration, Mystic Vigor, Conviction, Mirage Cloak, Ebon Dust Aura, Disrupting Throw, Barbed Spear
Wanderlust
Wanderlust
WanderlustWanderlust [Elite]
Ritualist - Communing Magic - Binding Ritual
Energy: 10
Activation: 5
Duration: 30..60
Recharge: 45
Binding Ritual. Create a level 1..8 Spirit. Whenever this Spirit's attack hits a stationary foe, that foe is knocked down and the Spirit loses 70..50 Health. This Spirit dies after 30..60 seconds. This Skill causes Exhaustion.
Razah Rt/N: Brutal Weapon, Mend Body and Soul, Spirit Light, Blind was Mingson, Shadowsong, Pain, Wanderlust, Rend Enchantments
Shield of Regeneration
Shield of Regeneration
Shield of Regeneration Shield of Regeneration [Elite]
Monk - Protection Prayers - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 15
Activation: 0.25
Duration: 5..13
Recharge: 8
Enchantment Spell. For 5..13 seconds, target ally gains +3..10 Health regeneration and 40 armor.
Tahlkora Mo/E: Shield of Regeneration, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Deny Hexes, Mend Ailment, Shield of Absorption, Reverse Hex, Guardian, Divine Spirit

Imoimo's Build

Expose Defenses
Expose Defenses
Expose DefensesExpose Defenses
Assassin - Deadly Arts - Hex Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 1
Duration: 5..20
Recharge: 25
Hex Spell. For 5..20 seconds, target foe cannot block your attacks.
Imoimo A/W: Black Lotus Strike, Black Spider Strike, Blades of Steel, Horns of the Ox, Impale, Tiger Stance, Expose Defenses, Shadow Prison
Heal as One
Heal as One
Heal as OneHeal as One [Elite]
Ranger - Beast Mastery - Skill
Energy: 5
Activation: 1
Recharge: 8
Skill. If you or your animal companion are below 75% Health, you are both healed for 25..145 Health. If your companion is dead, it is resurrected with 50%% Health.
Acolyte Jin R/P: Disrupting Throw, Heal as One, Barbed Spear, Poisonous Bite, Charm Animal, Disrupting Lunge, Whirling Defense, unknown
Blind Was Mingson
Blind Was Mingson
Blind Was MingsonBlind Was Mingson
Ritualist - Restoration Magic - Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 1
Duration: 15..60
Recharge: 20
Spell. Hold Mingson's ashes for up to 15..60 seconds. When you drop his ashes, all nearby foes are Blinded for 3..8 seconds.
Razah Rt/N: Brutal Weapon, Mend Body and Soul, Spirit Light, Blind was Mingson, Shadowsong, Pain, Wanderlust, Parasitic Bond
Shield Guardian
Shield Guardian
Shield GuardianShield Guardian
Monk - Protection Prayers - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 0.25
Duration: 10
Recharge: 1
Enchantment Spell. For 10 seconds, target ally has a 75% chance to block incoming attacks. The next time target ally blocks an attack, that ally and all nearby allies are healed for 16..80 and Shield Guardian ends.
Tahlkora Mo/E: Shield of Regeneration, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Deny Hexes, Mend Ailment, Shield of Absorption, Reverse Hex, Shield Guardian, Divine Intervention

The Match Begins

Both players moved to fight at the center of the map. Imoimo exited his base and immediately captured the Battle Cry Shrine, while Ekelon moved to take Warsong's Shrine and get a numbers advantage. Throughout the match, whichever player controlled Warsong's Shrine could split off a character to take the Center Shrine. After taking Warsong's Shrine, Ekelon's Tahlkora died and Imoimo took over Warsong's Shrine while Ekelon fell back to avoid further deaths. When Ekelon made this move, Imoimo seized the outer shrines while Ekelon captured the Center Shrine. At three minutes into the match, Imoimo had a commanding 5-1 lead and control of every shrine except the Energy Shrine.

The players continued to swap control of the Center Shrine while fighting over the outer shrines at the north side of the map. At five minutes into the match, Ekelon killed Imoimo's Tahlkora, began to capture the outer shrines, and started evening out the score with kills. At eight minutes into the match, Ekelon had tied the score at 14-14 while taking control of all shrines. At this point, Ekelon had taken the momentum of the match and did not have to do much more than respond to Imoimo's moves. Imoimo maneuvered constantly, capturing shrines away from Ekelon. In an effort to retain the lead, Ekelon allowed the Center Shrine to be captured in exchange for scoring more kills. Ekelon then moved to back to the Center Shrine to deal with Imoimo's Razah and Tahlkora. With 48 seconds left in the match, Ekelon reached 20 points and took victory over Imoimo, 20-14.

This match turned whenever a player could kill the opposing Monk. While both sides were at full strength, the match remained stalemated. For both players, killing the opponent's Monk would force a retreat and buy time to capture shrines. At the match's beginning, Imoimo gained the upper-hand by killing Ekelon's Tahlkora. That one death turned into an early 5-1 lead for Imoimo. Likewise, Ekelon evened the score when he killed Imoimo's Monk and had time to take every shrine. After that, Ekelon only had to defend against Imoimo's split and control the outer shrines. Monk kills decided the flow of the match because both players had such similar builds. Despite the Spirit spammers, the Monks held both teams together. Once a Monk died, neither build could do much, except retreat. Both players knew this and consistently focused on the other's Monk.


The Kills

The Assassin players scored all kills. None of the Heroes killed each other on splits.

Time Remaining Kill
8:52 Imoimo > Tahlkora
6:52 Imoimo > Ekelon
6:04 Imoimo > Tahlkora
5:54 Ekelon > Acolyte Jin
4:43 Ekelon > Tahlkora
4:23 Ekelon > Razah
Imoimo > Melonni
3:58 Imoimo > Razah
Ekelon > Tahlkora
3:26 Ekelon > Imoimo
2:41 Ekelon > Imoimo
2:28 Ekelon > Razah
1:58 Ekelon > Tahlkora
1:42 Ekelon > Tahlkora
1:24 Ekelon > Imoimo
0:54 Ekelon > Tahlkora

The Scores

Ekelon: 20 total points.
11 kills, 9 morale.

Imoimo:
14 total points.
5 kills, 9 morale.

Interestingly, both players maintained control of shrines long enough to score equally. However, Ekelon outmaneuvered his opponent to secure more than twice the amount of kills. This demonstrates the importance of aggression and scoring kills, especially when shrine control is about equal.


Alex is a college student in his third year studying Computer Information Systems. He's been into online gaming for most of his life and has been playing Guild Wars since its release.