Guild Wars




Zaishen Combat: Part Two—ZB Monk

ZB Monk

Taking the ZB Monk build against the Zaishen grants diverse experience with Monking against different types of damage, though it may prove hard to kill some of the teams with this build. Like the Shock Axe Warrior, you can expect to see a lot of ZB Monks in PvP, and even while playing through the roleplaying content. Learning how they work opens the possibility of playing them yourself or disabling them when you encounter them in PvP.

Defeat or Survive Each Zaishen Team

When playing against the Zaishen, you'll need to bring a different combination of henchmen for different teams. Each suggested combo is listed below. Also, we advise starting with Illusionary Weaponry Mesmers and working your way down this list, ending with the more difficult challenge of the IWAY Warriors.

Illusionary Weaponry Mesmers

Illusionary Weaponry
Illusionary Weaponry
Illusionary WeaponryIllusionary Weaponry [Elite]
Mesmer - Illusion Magic - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 15
Activation: 1
Duration: 30
Recharge: 25
Enchantment Spell. For 30 seconds, you deal no damage in melee, but whenever you attack in melee, target foe takes 8..40 damage.

Team Setup: Fighter, Mage, Archer
Goal: Flawless victory
Tactics: Although this is probably the easiest group of Zaishen to heal against, they dish out a bunch of damage initially, so watch for that. Just heal through it, remembering that Shielding Hands and Dark Escape reduce damage. Use Reversal of Fortune and Zealous Benediction as your primary heals. To ensure your allies can escape damage, remove Imagined Burden with Holy Veil whenever you can. This battle should last no more than 2:30.

PvP Tip: Use Return to Cripple melee characters and others who have to get up close and personal. Escaping from their clutches saves you Energy for other healing, and Crippling them keeps them from immediately catching up to you and your allies.

Obsidian Spike Elementalists

Obsidian Flame
Obsidian Flame
Obsidian FlameObsidian Flame
Elementalist - Earth Magic - Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 2
Recharge: 5
Spell. Deal 22..112 damage to target foe. This Spell ignores armor but causes Exhaustion.

Team Setup: Fighter, Mage, Archer
Goal: Flawless victory
Tactics: Approach this team aggressively, and start "wanding" (attacking with a wand or staff) or calling targets so your henchmen begin the assault. Ideally, your team will force the spikers to continue using defensive skills, such as Heal Area and Remove Hex, rather than their offensive Obsidian Flame spike. Just in case, protect everyone on your team by casting Reversal of Fortune on them. That way, if a spike does happen, you'll have a little extra healing already in place to give yourself time to react and catch the spike. Alternating Shielding Hands and Dark Escape on yourself protects you in case they decide to make you the target.

PvP Tip: Normally, spikers in PvP begin with an offensive spike, so if you Monk, try to anticipate a spike by watching Health Bars. The instant you see any damage, no matter how minor, begin to heal. Sometimes the spikers hit a target early, giving away the intended spike and allowing you a chance to respond.

Smiting Monks

Zealot's Fire
Zealot's Fire
Zealot's FireZealot's Fire
Monk - Smiting Prayers - Enchantment Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 0.25
Duration: 60
Recharge: 30
Enchantment Spell. For 60 seconds, whenever you use a Skill that targets an ally, all foes adjacent to that target are struck for 5..35 fire damage and you lose 1 Energy.

Goal: Flawless victory
Tactics: Mainly, you just need to make sure you stay out of range of the Smiting damage. Call a target and let the fighter hench charge into the mob of smiters. They may try to run out and go after something else, but as long as you keep moving, you'll be fine. They must get very close and then stop before they can do any damage. This means that at some point the mage hench's area damage starts to add up, because the smiters remain stationary while casting spells. If they get stuck on your fighter hench, make sure to put Shielding Hands on him so he can take the Smiting damage.

Continue to wand different Monks, as your wand attacks trigger their Reversal of Fortune. This benefits you because you want Reversal to trigger from a low damage attack such as your wand, rather than a higher damage attack such as your mage's Fireball.

PvP Tip: Remember how Reversal of Fortune works. Besides a quick heal that activates the Divine Favor bonus, Reversal serves as a Protection skill. It remains in place until the Enchanted character takes damage, at which point it ends and heals for a certain amount. By hitting a Reversal-Enchanted target with a wand, you help the high-damage characters on your team, because you've effectively removed a Protection Enchantment. Of course, in actual PvP, Monks have little time to wand targets, but midline spellcasters may have greater opportunity for such disruption.

Degeneration Team


Team setup: Begin with the Fighter, Mage, and Healer.
Goal: Flawless victory
Tactics: Attempt to heal through the degeneration. Activate your skills with care, and prioritize; you won't have the Energy to endlessly spam any skill you want. Watch for Migraine, Arcane Conundrum, and Mark of Subversion. Practice pre-casting Holy Veil on yourself, starting at the beginning of the battle. If you do not pre-cast, try to run out of range of the Mesmer so she doesn't interrupt your Holy Veil. Once you accomplish flawless victory, replace the healer hench with the archer and see if you can still win.

PvP Tip: Notice that Mesmers have the potential to significantly reduce your healing power, but that they go down quick. In PvP, this makes them a natural first target for your team to attack.

"Victory is Mine" Trappers

"Victory is Mine!"
"Victory is Mine!" [Elite]
Warrior - Tactics - Shout
Energy: 5
Activation: 0
Recharge: 15
Shout. You gain 10..68 Health and 3..7 Energy for each Condition suffered by target foe.

Team Setup: Fighter, Mage, Archer
Goals: Survive for over two minutes, win, or secure a flawless victory.
Tactics: Run through a bottleneck in the terrain, making sure the trappers follow. Position yourself beyond the bottleneck and call a target so the fighter henchmen turns around and intercepts the pack inside the bottleneck. He then takes all the damage from the Traps and you have to heal only him. The trappers group up and stay there for some time, attempting to Trap and kill him. The area damage from your mage should drop one of the trappers, and they'll probably disperse and head after you. Run around inside your open area, and make sure you stay out of the Traps. Wand targets when you can to help interrupt Traps. Keep the same target called that dropped initially.

At some point, you'll probably need to retreat through the bottleneck again, dragging the trappers along behind you. When should you retreat? When everyone has some Condition on them, likely Bleeding and Burning, you'll start to lose the ability to keep up with the constant Health degeneration. If you see everyone's Health hovering below 50% or so, it's time to fall back and recover.

Use Dismiss Condition on the fighter hench whenever you can. As he's likely the closest to the trappers, any Conditions on him strengthen their Energy management and the self-healing ability of the "Victory is Mine!" Shout. Also, he has a hard time doing damage when Blinded. Spam Zealous Benediction every time you can use it on someone below half Health—this saves you a great deal of Energy in the long run.

This might take a few attempts. A flawless victory may not happen instantly.

PvP Tip: If you know your opponent has trapped an area, send one character in to trigger the Traps, rather than the whole team. After this character has set off the Traps, the rest of the team can proceed.

"I Will Avenge You" Warriors

"I Will Avenge You!"
"I Will Avenge You!"
Warrior - Strength - Shout
Energy: 5
Activation: 0
Duration: 10
Recharge: 45
Shout. For each dead ally, you gain 10 seconds of +3..7 Health regeneration and your attack speed increases by 25%.

Team Setup: Fighter, Healer, Mage
Goals: Survive for over two minutes, win, or secure a flawless victory.
Tactics: Call a target, and remember which one. When that target goes down and comes back up, target it again. From here you should give up on targeting and focus on healing. Healing against IWAY challenges even the best Monks. In this case, you have to hold on long enough and hope your henchmen can finish them off.

Keep Shielding Hands on your healer hench all the time, and use Dismiss Condition whenever you see a brown down arrow appear on a Health Bar. This usually indicates a Deep Wound (the IWAY team applies Deep Wound quite a bit), and removing it increases your healing efficiency. Hit anyone taking damage with Reversal of Fortune, and use Zealous Benediction frequently to save Energy. Also remember to use Dark Escape and Return as your personal damage mitigation, saving Shielding Hands for allies.

You may not win against this team with a ZB Monk and henchmen. Nonetheless, it demonstrates the high degree of damage Warriors can unleash, even AI Warriors. In PvP, the IWAY build itself doesn't show up as much as it used to. However, some builds have a lot of Warriors or pets, so the experience you gain keeping your team alive should pay off when and if you start healing in PvP.

This might take a few attempts. A flawless victory may not happen instantly.

PvP Tip: Against a Warrior-heavy team in actual PvP, do your best to "kite" (i.e., run away) from oncoming Warriors. Although melee characters such as Warriors can pump out tremendous damage, they suffer from the drawback of having to be adjacent to their target do so. Kiting from them mitigates the damage, and potentially saves you from knock-down attacks. (For more information about Warrior trains, read this State of the Game article.)

More Experiments

By this point, if you've done everything as described against the Zaishen, you may have a better idea of what you'd like to try out in PvP. Consider coming up with your own custom build using skills you've unlocked, or try a build you've seen used elsewhere.

You can even design a skill set to more easily defeat all the Zaishen.

Remember that the Zaishen, while challenging for one person using henchmen, should easily fall to a full team of human players. These teams present only a narrow set of circumstances to demonstrate specific aspects of PvP. Nonetheless, playing around with the Zaishen moves you one step further toward mastering the overall complexity of the PvP world.