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Match Report - December GvG Championship Finals

Rebel Rising [rawr] vs. Storm Hogs [sink]
By Mark Yu


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.


The Guilds

Rebel Rising, the December champion, is an American guild, started by two Monks from Treacherous Empire [Te]. The guild has been around for a fairly long time, and slowly worked its way up the ladder. During the August monthly automated tournament, members secured their first gold trim against RenO. In the September automated tournament, they received their second gold trim against [vZ] in a highly controversial series of matches during the single elimination rounds.

Storm Hogs [sink], true to its name, formed as a merger between Storm Bearers [SB] and Prize Winning Hogs [oink]. It is a relatively new European guild composed of members from very old guilds.


The Builds

Both teams ran balanced, highly defensive builds with strong spike power. The primary difference in builds was the third midline character; [rawr] used a Paragon and [sink] used a Mind Shock Elementalist.

Rebel Rising Storm Hogs
Song of Restoration
Song of Restoration
Song of RestorationSong of Restoration [Elite]
paragon/Motovation - Chant
Energy: 5
Activation: 1
Duration: 10
Recharge: 15
Chant. For 10 seconds, the next time each party member within earshot uses a Skill, that party member gains 30..90 Health.

W/E: Eviscerate, Executioner's Strike, Conjure Frost, Bull's Strike, Agonizing Chop, Rush, Frenzy, Resurrection Signet

W/E: Eviscerate, Executioner's Strike, Disrupting Chop, Power Spike, Bull's Strike, Rush, Frenzy, Resurrection Signet

P/W: Song of Restoration, Vicious Attack, Harrier's Toss, Ballad of Restoration, "Shields Up!", "Watch Yourself!", "Go For The Eyes!", Aggressive Refrain

Me/Rt: Energy Surge, Diversion, Power Leak, Power Drain, Revealed Enchantment, Shatter Enchantment, Mirror of Disenchantment, Flesh of My Flesh

E/Mo: Blinding Surge, Shell Shock, Gale, Ward Against Melee, Draw Conditions, Air Attunement, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Resurrection Signet

Mo/E: Restore Condition, Aura of Stability, Reversal of Fortune, Guardian, Spirit Bond, Aegis, Holy Veil, Glyph of Lesser Energy

Mo/E: Word of Healing, Reversal of Fortune, Dwayna's Kiss, Signet of Rejuvenation, Infuse Health, Protective Spirit, Aegis, Holy Veil

Rt/D: Icy Shackles, Weapon of Warding, Wielder's Boon, Ancestors' Rage, Ice Prison, Protective Was Kaolai, Splinter Weapon, Armor of Mist

Glimmer of Light
Glimmer of Light
Glimmer of LightGlimmer of Light [Elite]
Monk - Healing Prayers - Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 0.25
Recharge: 2
Spell. Heal target ally for 25..85 Health.

W/E: Executioner's Strike, Shock, Bull's Strike, Disrupting Chop, Rush, Frenzy, Resurrection Signet

W/E: Eviscerate, Executioner's Strike, "For Great Justice!", Bull's Strike, Disrupting Chop, Rush, Frenzy, Resurrection Signet

E/Mo: Mind Shock, Lightning bolt, Lightning Strike, Blinding Flash, Gale, Air Attunement, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Storm Djinn's Haste

Me/Rt: Energy Surge, Energy Burn, Power Leak, Power Drain, Revealed Enchantment, Shatter Enchantment, Diversion, Flesh of My Flesh

E/Mo: Blinding Surge, Lightning Bolt, Gale, Ward Against Melee, Heal Party, Air Attunement, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Resurrection Signet

Mo/E: Glimmer of Light, Reversal of Fortune, Vigorous Spirit, Dismiss Condition, Protective Spirit, Aegis, Holy Veil, Glyph of Lesser Energy

Mo/E: Shield of Deflection, Reversal of Fortune, Aura of Stability, Spirit Bond, Dismiss Condition, Aegis, Holy Veil, Glyph of Lesser Energy

Rt/D: Weapon of Remedy, Ancestors' Rage, Splinter Weapon, Weapon of Warding, Mend Body and Soul, Wielder's Boon, Protective Was Kaolai, Pious Haste


The Game

Rebel Rising [rawr] and Storm Hogs [sink] both began the match by leaving their Ritualist flaggers at the base while the rest of the team rushed the center to capture the flag stand. Meanwhile, [sink] sent its Mind Shock Elementalist to capture the health shrine, which they controlled by the first minute mark and retained for most of the match. However, fighting a man down at the center left [sink] overmatched, and they suffered the first death at 1:06. Several other [sink] characters were pressured, but the Monks held out while a Warrior and Ritualist split off at 1:36 to join the Elementalist at the health shrine.

Rawr initially responded by sending their own Warrior, Ritualist, and Mesmer towards the shrine, but didn't engage the [sink] split team. Both stand teams moved towards the health shrine, ending up positioned halfway between the shrine and the stand, facing each other across the map. Sink recalled its split team and the two sides faced each other 8v8, waiting to see which side would move first. Rawr decided to ignore the shrine and returned to the stand.

At 4:49, [sink] again attempted to split the Warrior and Ritualist, this time to [rawr]'s base via the health shrine. Rawr responded with the same counter split team of Warrior, Mesmer, and Ritualist. The Ritualist from [rawr] snared the opposing Ritualist, slowing him down long enough to score the second kill of the match at 5:59. The [sink] Ritualist immediately resurrected at the base and waited to run out another flag, while the Warrior managed to escape, despite getting snared, and both teams moved closer to the shrine once again, ending up facing each other across the map. This time [rawr] sent a split to gain control of the health shrine. Sink responded by sending their Elementalist to regain control of the health shrine, which he accomplished at 7:17. He then returned to run a flag while the stand fight continued.

The fight at the stand turned into a stalemate, as each team’s defenses were strong enough to prevent kills and reduce any significant pressure. Sink did push [rawr] back into the footmen area several times, and even drew out and killed the two footmen, but never got any further. Later, [sink] began to get ahead in flags as the Ritualist took over running from the Elementalist. By 14:00 a [rawr] Warrior had started chain running flags with the Ritualist to keep up with [sink]. The Storm Hogs used several knockdowns such as Gale, Shock, Mind Shock, and Bull's Strike to slow [rawr]'s flag runner each time he came in. However, [rawr]'s double running of the flag kept [sink] from getting a morale boost.

The battle continued until 17:30 when [rawr] finally made a move to capture the shrine. By using their Warrior to run flags, the Ritualist then had the opportunity to cap the shrine. As he returned to the stand, the [rawr] thief was left on the shrine to slow down [sink]'s recap attempt. Sink regained control of the shrine, but had to fight a man down as VoD began. Shortly into VoD, [sink] split their Warrior and Mind Shock Elementalist to gank. However, [rawr] responded, and their Ritualist’s water snares gave them two kills after the resurrection time interval.

Even though [sink] finally gained a morale boost from this split, having two players down for two minutes severely hindered their ability to push and spike. This situation left the Hogs with a severe NPC disadvantage, which [rawr] exploited by pushing and consistently spiking the remaining Warrior. Rawr gained a morale boost after spiking the Warrior as he attempted to cap the flag at the stand, and the match continued downhill for [sink]. Rawr continued with successful spikes and finally slaughtered the Hogs after another morale boost at 25:11.


The Aftermath

While both teams ran extremely spike oriented builds, [sink] was superior in terms of pure damage. The added Mind Shock/Lightning Bolt and Gale provided more damage as well as additional utility. The unorthodox Monk backline [sink] brought was also surprising. Shield of Deflection made a lot of sense against [rawr] due to [sink]'s heavy reliance on low-armored casters. SoD is excellent against spikes as it essentially nullifies damage and also provides an additional layer of protection that the opposing team must remove. Glimmer of Light was an interesting elite choice, most likely brought as an alternative to Infuse Health. With the amount of defense [sink] possessed, it was unlikely targets would be taken down easily anyway.

The typical strategy for most teams is to fight at the health shrine (which is extremely beneficial against spike teams), but [rawr] decided to completely ignore that tactic. While this prevented them from making several kills, they were clearly waiting for VoD before capturing the shrine and making an offensive push. As such, they got to the point where even their Warrior was running flags. Both teams played extremely defensively until VoD, with the exception of one failed split attempt by [sink] at the beginning of the match. In fact, each time [sink] attempted to gank, they suffered deaths and allowed [rawr] to capture the health shrine. After that first split attempt, both teams resorted to defensive play until VoD—Blinded Warriors attacked other Blinded Warriors, and Mesmers camped other Mesmers.

At VoD, [sink] made two glaring mistakes that cost them the match. The first was splitting the Warrior and Mind Shock Elementalist, both of which died after the resurrection time interval. It is unclear why [sink] decided to split at VoD, when their build was superior. Not only did [sink] have the health shrine, but their spike was much more deadly at VoD because the amplified caster damage they brought was much harder to mitigate than the more physical damage of the [rawr] offense. Even though [rawr] had an additional layer of defense from "Shields Up" and "Watch Yourself," along with inexpensive party healing from the Paragon, [sink] could have easily outspiked [rawr] at the stand.

The death of the split at VoD was a heavy blow to [sink], as it gave [rawr] the opportunity to capture the health shrine. The second mistake was having the Warrior run flags once the split team base rezzed. Sink still had a chance to win the game here. Capturing the flag should not have been a priority any longer, as the game was unlikely to last another two minutes. Forcing the Warrior to run flags during that period denied [sink] a second chance, and ultimately lost them the game.


Mark Yu is a core member of Delta Formation [DF] and has been playing Guild Wars competitively since early 2006. He is currently a senior in college studying biology and enjoys bubble tea. He can be reached in game as Y U E F E I, or by private message through the [QQ] website.