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 Champions From the Start

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Teledryt
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PostSubject: Champions From the Start   Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:05 pm

Introduction

For all you would-be champs, and even those of you hoping to start a champ alt, I'd like to give you a few pointers on how to manage your champ. Of course, this is only the way I play my own champ, so if people like Muffen or Keram etc. feel like adding, their advice should be considered as well.

Basically, a champ is there to deal out damage. Both to a single foe or several foes at once. Commonly referred to as DPS (Damage per Second), worked well enough, a champ can hand out severe DPS to all mobs around it. However, this often comes at a cost, and as such, many people struggle with their champ's agro managment, forgetting that they have to do such a thing at all!

So with this thread, I'm hoping to light the path to all newcomers to the class, and possibly even teach the old dogs new tricks Wink


Skills

Building the fervour

Battle frenzy - Instant 4 fervour can be very handy when timed right. You're looking at almost immediate access to your highest power skills. Use it as much as you can to get the trait and turn it into a starting skill to make your 5-fervour skills instantly available.

Controlled Burn - This legendary trait is like fervour but without the block/parry/evade penalties. However, it has a few other flaws. Get stunned, it vanishes, toggle skill? Nope, only in a fight. And a lengthy cooldown to boot.

Fervour - Champion's greatest asset just happens to be his achilles heel. +15% melee damage (though can be altered by traits), a serious buff to power regen to make up for a champs inherrant poor will and fate, and a fervour pip every 5 seconds. However, all this at the expense of parrying, blocking and evading. I'd advise you have this on as much as possible, though when running away or wearing a shield, it's better not to use it.

Glory - Due to recent alterations with this skill, Glory now generates Fervour every 12 seconds. Additionally, the damage penalty is only 15% and the additional threat is 60%. This stance can be altered with various armour sets but it is, undoubtedly, a substitute for Fervour in order to tank. The ICPR bonus is somewhat lower than Fervour's, but enough to maintani a burst of agro.

Ardour - A new stance added with book 12, offers no bonus to damage output, halved evade and parry with full block. A fervour pip every 9 seconds and lower ICPR than Fervour (though higher than glory) wraps up this middle ground stance.

Mercifull strikes - Now I often forget to use this. The fact we have to watch the enemies health rather tahn bash as much off as possible is probably why, but if you ever get the chance, I'd advise you use it. 2 fervour for a successful hit, and reasonably high damage makes this a handy skill to use.

Swift Strike - I find this one handy, but limited. As a strike, it's only oen hit, but the hit follows auto attacks instantly. Timed right, it can be an addition of a third (and sometimes fourth) hit in a combo. Reasonably low damage, but with fervour increses on it, and such an instant hit, mastering timing with it can make this skill one of the best to use.

Wild attack - Another chance to hit with better skills. +1 fervour with every hit, and it does reasonable damage. With the trait slotted, it pulls agro also and adds more vitality. But it is a very basic skill, and should only be used to build up fervour in order to get at your better skills.


Champion Artristy

Boast - Ah, this is great. Serves no use but the cosmetic value of it is fantastic!

Champions challenge - Our only taunt. Solo, loud and overrides every other agro taunt in the game. Even a tank can't compete with this. However, the effects are temporary, and although you may be using it to rescue a besieged minstrel, you've only got 15 seconds to build up enough agro to make sure he doesn't just ignore you and head back to the misntrel.

Ebbing Ire - This is one skill I've found to work very well. You pull agro, you need to get rid of it. Target the tank, whack this one and about 75% of the time, it'll g et shut of your agro and onto the tank.

Exchange of Blows - This skill has become something I use much more in my skillset recently. I'mgoing to get hit no matter what sometimes, so I may as well send some back. Additionally, with Glory toggle, upon killing a mob, I can run Glorious Exchange, which has the same properties as any other kill-response toggle.

Flurry - This works well no matter what situation you are in. Increased attack speed is an absolute must if you want to maximise DPS. With Ardour running, the efect is doubled and can only be activated upon killing a mob.

Rising Ire - To steal someone's agro just by targeting them seems like a silly idea, but when you link this one with Ebbing Ire, you have internal agro under control. 15 second CD, and a chance to steal agro, hold it for 15 seconds and then pass it onto the tank can save anyone's life. Used in GA, I managed to pull agro off both a minstrel and a tank with this and Champs Challenge. Tank healed, Ebbing ire transfered all of the agro back to the tank.


Engage the Tide

Blade-Storm - Our greatest AoE attack in terms of damage. As with other AoE attacks, each with their own added extras, this has the asset of out and out group damage. With the effect of 400+ damage to 5 mobs (10 with trait slotted) this can often mean flattening lower level mobs with almost no time or health lost. Also, allows for significant DPS on several mobs at once. However, with large damage comes large agro.

Blade-Wall - As each AoE has it's extras, this is raw, basic AoE from the start. Frontal AoE damage to up to 5 mobs, this is ideal to use when building fervour (assuming the trait is slotted). But it is limited in that it only strikes those who are in front.

Cleave - AoE Bleed. At level 50, this will hack off 30 health every 2 seconds for 12 seconds. Not great, but it is a full 360 degree AoE attack. Nestle yourself in the middle of all the mobs, hit this and bleeds a plenty. Used effectively, you can eventually badger the mob into gradually tricking down, taking off little bits of damage at an alarming rate.

Fighting Dirty - Like Merciful strikes, but the AoE equivalent. It buffs your AoE attacks by 25% if successful, but only if you are targetting a mob on less than 20% health. Again, I often forget about this.

Sound the Attack - This isn't notorious for it's damage, but it's one of my most used skills. Coupled with Frenzy and Blade Storm, this can link up for form a lethal combo of over 700 damage to multiple foes at the expense of no damage to yourself. Use it and it'll stun everything within a 5 metre radius of you, and on a short CD, you can't help but find yourself trigger happy with it!

Raging Blade - The hardest hitting AoE attack with the biggest Fervour cost. Up to 8 targets being hit with attacks on par with Brutal Strikes. A large range (10m radius) and an agro bonus makes this a handy skill, or curse, to have.


Never Falter

Bracing Attack - A vital little skill that can turn the tide of your own personal battles. Use it as soon as you've got the room for the health it will add back to you, and it may cooldown in time for you to use it again later in the fight.

Dire need - With a 30 minute cooldown, this is exactly what it says it is. A skill to be used in Dire Need. A high power cost, and long cooldown, I'd suggest emergencies only for this skill. Adding back morale for power, it's also power dependant. More power you have, the more it'll heal. 1 power = 2 morale

Hedge - Again, this is agro managment. It's a tricky one to use, as the mob pouinding you will often be pounding you because he thinks you're the most threatening. Whereas this attack passes agro onto the most threatening in the group. Be VERY careful with this one, otherwise you could quite easily pass agro onto a minstrel without even knowing you've done it.

Fight On! - You have a few seconds of peace when this is used. AoE power attack, that although legendary, is far from what the trait would suggest. Pulling back some power, and preventing the enemy from using power momentarily, this isn't as handy as you'd like to hope. But then, a brief moment, and used at the right time, it can be added to clobber and Sound the Attack in order to interrupt mob skills.

Sudden Defence - Ideal tanking skill, though useless if you ahve Fervour on. In a desperate situation, you could use this in conjunction with Blocking Blades, Glory and a heavy shield. Turn yourself into a tank for 30 seconds with hightened defence and you may last that little bit longer.


Thrill of Victory

Heroics - Since book 12, this skill has received something of an overhaul. With a 400 or so power cost to the champ, they can now share up to 300 power with each member of a raid (up to 10 targets). So anything in range will get a small boost to their power which is roughly the same as a champ using Second Wind. Plenty to get a few extra heals on and if more than one champion does this, the group could end up with almost 1k morale as soon as a mob dies.

Red Haze - As with all thrill of victory skills, Song of Aid will allow you instant access to this skill also. It will remain on as long as you spend no longer than 9 seconds out of combat. I often combine this with any skill, usign it as often as possible to ensure it becomes routine. Every 15 seconds, a fervour pip is added. No penalties, no other bonuses, just a free fervour pip every 15 seconds. Combined with other tanking skills, this can give you access to your better skills without having to waste power on fervour building skills.

Blocking Blades - Again, useless with Fervour on, but in a desperate situation, and when Song of Aid is used, this is always an option. Unlike Sudden Defence, you can have this running during Fervour, though it will be a useless buff for the time that it is on. However, with this on and things start to get a little tricky, you can always knock Fervour on and this will take over defensively. A skill to combine with many others in order to survive that little bit longer. Rules are the same as Red Haze, kill a mob first, then keep fighting with no more than a 9 second gap between them.

Second Wind - One skill which defines a champion's alternatives. Every 15 seconds, on a kill response, a champion can restore 200+ power. The potential for this is to increase a champions ICPR per minute by up to 800.


Toe to Toe

Brutal Strikes - A three strike attack, low fervour, low power cost and high crit rate with trait slotted. Though I found I neglected this, I hope other champs don't make the same mistake. Combined with auto attacks, swif strike, bleeds from Cleaver and traits slotted, this can add to multi-hit combos and round up to potentially 1500 damage in a very short amount of time.

Clobber - Very under-rated attack, and possibly one of the champion's most useful. Clobber serves the purpose of interrupting time induced skills. Summons, heavy attacks and so on can often be beaten back by such a skill. With a short CD, and a low fervour cost, this skill can be used over and oaver, and I often use it when tanking in order to keep power costs low and ensure no more adds are spawned.

Ferocious Strikes - This is one that holds much debate, though personally, I like it. I use it quite a lot, and although it has extra agro on it, it can often be useful to deal out massive damage in no time at all. Slightly more damaging than Brutal Strikes, though at a higher power and fervour cost, it can often mean it's neglected by most. Still, as a skill, it's one of our best and whenever you get the chance, I'd advise you use it. Though be careful - the skill is designed to build agro, and you can often find yourself in a sticky situation when the tank can't hold your might off.

Hamstring - More use in the Ettenmoores than out in the rest of Middle Earth. When a mob runs away from you, what do you do? Hamstring it, slow it down and continue hacking. Now, in EM, it can stop that creep running away from you (as the often do when picking a melee fight with a champ) too quickly and allow you to finish them off with your attacks whilst moving.

Relentless Strikes - On your level or below, this will never miss. It can't be parried, it can't be blocked. It can be evaded, but even then, that's rare. It's a dangerous attack, and one that loves to attract attention. Easily the champ's heaviest single hit skill, knocking off a potential 6-700 in one strike. A finishing blow, and tagged on at the end of a combo, it can usually end a fight.

Savage Strikes - Much like Brutal Strikes, though suffers from dual wielding. A three strike attack with two weapons, only two strikes with one weapon. Not as strong as Brutal or Ferocious strikes, but costs less fervour and power than both. A good early skill, though overshadowed later on.
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Teledryt
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PostSubject: Re: Champions From the Start   Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:06 pm

Tanking

(Written for levels from mid-30s upwards, not including 40+ skills)

Reasons for having to tank as a champion:

1) Your fellowship lacks a specified tank. I often think 2/3 champs in a fellowship can nuetralise the need for a guardian. Especially in a boss fight. They can switch and swap agro throughout them as and how it's required. Given the class' versatility, you lose little with having more champions in your fellowship than any other class dominating.

2) Your tank is poor/selfish. As harsh as it seems, it does happen. If your tank is more interested in fulfilling his own tasks, whilst leeching off the combat capabilities of the rest of the fellowship, a champion is the next best thing to slap in the tanker's role. Of course, at this point, it's helpful to find a replacment tank, but as a temporary measure, a champ will do the job.

3) Your fellowship's minstrel has taken agro. In a way, I've always looked at my champion's role in a fellowship as a minstrel's bodyguard. If the minstrel dies and there are no other healers in the party, you can garuntee the rest of the fellowship will follow, whereas if the champion dies taking agro, the party may last longer and even revive a fallen champion after the battle. Performing as the minstrel's personal tank can be of massive benefit to the rest of the fellowship.

4) Your tank is overwhelmed/dying. Now although you probably wouldn't be able to take all of the agro amongst normal or elite mobs, it's certainly possible for you to lighten the load on your tank. If it's a boss, you can draw agro from the tank completely and let them have a rest. Sometimes there can be two bosses. Again, Ivar is a decent example when getting the key to head toward him. Two ME wights, and with a tank and Champion in the fellowship, both can be taken effectively.

Important : No matter how good you are with your class, if there is a guardian within about 5 levels of you or higher, he will perform the tank role far better than a champion, assuming he is a good enough tank and knows how to do it. Don't ever try and tank if it is not required. This can get your fellowship killed off pretty quickly.

Tips for Tanking

1) Grab the agro. First and foremost, a tank has to grab as much agro as possible. And as a champion, it will be the toughest part of the job. However, one thing that works in your favour is AoE attacks. Mostly, agro goes to whatever attacks first, unless a tank pulls first. So if you are taking the primary tanking role for whatever reason, be the first to get stuck in. Make sure the rest of your fellowship stays back whilst you dive in there and fling out a blade wall or two. This should get their attention well enough for the mobs to focus on you until you can raise agro high enough. Whatever you do, do not use champion's challenge to pull unless there is only one boss. With that, though you definately get their attention, you can only pull one at a time. Keep it ready for any that slip away from your agro.

2) Bolster your defence. One of the main things you have to remember, as a champion, you're used to dishing out damage at rediculous speeds, killing stuff before it kills you. But, as a tank, your role is reversed. Contrary to popular belief, a champion is the second toughest in terms of armour behind the guardian. They also have the most health after a guardian, and as such, can take the most damage in a guardian's absence. However, it still drops quickly when all of the agro is on you. Sacrifice dual wielding or two handed weaponry and equip a shield (heavy shield if you have the trait) so you can block more effectively. Make sure fervour is off. It lowers all of your defensive attributes to nil, and can make you a poor tank. Cast any defensive buffs you have at your disposal, as this will help when taking damage.

Important: your role is to take damage, not give it out at this point.

3) Savour Power. A champion attacking is a menacing force as it seems to have an unlimited surplus of power. As a tank, this is the opposite. Your power will sap in no time if you play as you would a champion. You have to bare in mind that you are trying to attract agro at the lowest possible cost, and therefore should limit use of higher end skills to necessity. Swift Strike and Wild attack are your new best friends at this point. Allow your fervour to build, you may require it later, but do not use it. Hit with low power attacks only. Swift Strike, Wild Attack, Clobber etc.

4) Watch your party's health. When you're tanking, it's unlikely, at lower levels, that you'll have any skills toggled on to automatically boost fervour. As it is, let it build naturally and avoid using it unless necessary. And of course, against bosses, if you've taken the tanking role, Bracing Attack will be vital. You need fervour available for this skill to work, and as such, when you use it, you'll have the fervour available. It is also at this point where you will need to use champion's challenge. Whether you're pulling agro off a near-dead tank or drawing agro off someone else who's taking punishment, this is when you need it, not to pull in the first place. Dire Need is your next best line of defence. Though it's effectiveness depends how much power you have, so it's wise to use a high power potion before using it to get maximum effectiveness out of it's 30 minute cooldown.

important: You are in the hands of your healer at this point, as like a normal tank. It is imperative that you make sure agro stays away from your healer.

5) Heal yourself as early as possible. Now this might seem a little strange, but if you heal yourself as early as you can, it lowers the need for a healer to heal you early. Also, if you use bracing attack early on, you damage your mob and heal up early enough so that it may be available later on when you need it more. For example. You have 2,000 morale, you're down to 1,500 and your bracing attack will heal 400 morale. Use it. Your health is higher, and allows you to take more damage for the bracing attack to plod through it's 30 second cooldown. The later you use bracing attack, the less chance you have of using it again later on. Otherwise, if you use it for the first time when you are down to around 800, you've lost 700 morale's worth of beating time for it to recharge. It's going to heal you regardless of when you use it, so it's better to get it in early for it to have a chance of recharging for later on and to avoid healer pulling your agro with healing.

Important: Timing is important here. You may leave yourself short of power if you need to use it again later on. If you have to use a salve, Dire Need may be a better choice.

In Conclusion: Tanks and champions are not an ideal match, but they can do it if absolutely required. As a key part of a fellowship, a tank needs to be able to take damage, as a healer needs to be able to heal frequently enough to stay on top of damage. Whether it's a champ/captain combo or more ideally, guardian/minstrel combo, the tank plays a vital role for everything in between. Fundementally, as long as the key parts of your fellowship are still functioning, the rest will more than likely survive.

Though at the end of the day, Champion's aren't tanks. Though they have tank traits, they are going to be in the thick of the battle to hand out DPS, so they need something to help with defence, hence tank-like traits. And of course, they are second only to Guardians in terms of defence and health. Again, more related to having to be in the thick of the battle regardless.

Basically, a Champion shouldn't need to tank unless the tank is indisposed (either via absence or otherwise). They are there to churn out damage whilst tanks take whatever is given back. So all-in-al, champions are a fellowship's in-house emergency service to fill any role that arises.

Ultimately, if you are thinking of champions specifically to tank, then don't. They aren't well enough equipped to do it full time. Or at least, not as well as a Guardian.


Handy Tips and Tricks

Watch your agro. With my champs current setup, I can't help but hit harder than most of our current tanks. Even on Auto-attacks, my agro flies up. So, to avoid this, click fresh air and stop targetting anything. Yes, you're a sitting duck, but it's the best chance a tank has of pulling agro off you. What chances does a tank have of reclaiming agro if you're still building it up?
Give the tank a moment to take damage as soon as he has regained agro and then continue to hack away to your heart's content.

Follow the desginated tank's lead. Except in occasional instance, I normally leave the tank to call the shots. there have bee times when I've been asked by a tank what I think would help, but this is exclusive to what tricks I can offer, or quest experience. I hate to say this, but the job of a champion is mostly mindless hacking, but htere will be times when you have to bring your primate out of the forefront and start using the odd tactic. A good tank will have this covered, a poor one will be over ruled pretty quickly afterwards. And when I say tank, this can be anything. Guardian, Champion or otherwise.

Use your skills to benefit the Fellowship. With a champ in the group, the fellowship's DPS is increased. For each part, everyone fits in. Kill something quicker, and it has less time to kill you. I would advise target forwarding via the tank. He is focusing on one opponent and thus, his agro will be higher there. Try not to out-agro the tank by attacking a completely seperate target unless absolutely required.

Be wary of AoE. Now, this is a tricky one. Some of the champ's greatest skills come from AoE attacks. Blade Storm, Sound the Attack and so on all serve a lot of use to the group as a whole, however, if used to irrationally, you can pull multiple foes without even realising you're doing it. Remember, a tank isn't like a champ with AoE attacks, and taunts don'ty last forever. they can mainly build agro on one mob and then add the others in as they go along. If you do a alot of damage to every mob, the tank doesn't have much chance of doing their jobs well enough to ensure the group stays alive.

Don't neglect use of tank if you can't solo a mob. This is a pet hate of mine. I'll go out and out if I can kill something on my own. Agro managment goes right out of the window, tnks are simply along for the ride. But if the mob is an elite (light blue upwards) then I'll hold back, watch my agro and leave the tank to take the beatings first. Ultimately, if you can't beat it yourself, you need a tank. It doesn't matter if there is only one elite, if you can't solo it, don't neglect hte tank.


Conclusion

there's just so much more to a champ than mindless hacking. Many don't realise what htey can do, and we often find that the vast majority of poor tanks can't do their job well enough to make the rest of the better champs look as good as they truly are. To be marred by mindless idiots is a bit of a pain in the backside, but hopefully, with the tips we can offer, your champing will be of more use to everyone and make your job that little bit more fun.
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PostSubject: Re: Champions From the Start   Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:01 pm

Is a nice post, and btw hedge is used when mobs use disabling weapon skill on you, you will get your weapons back and have 15 secs of 5 chance to evade getting disabled again, mostly orcs and angmarims are the one that disable you most of the time and mostly the one closest to them with the higest threat.

for the rest i think u have said it all
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