A Guide for the Student on the Ways and Means of the Warg and the Stalking of Prey

Latest

Flayer Damage Build

When you think of Flayer stance damage probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Most Flayer builds will understandably be focused on increasing survivability, but here we will be taking a different approach and emphasising offence rather than defence.

Flayer Damage Build

Before we get into corruptions and traits it is important to point out that this build isn’t concerned with producing high spike damage (such as creeps can produce!), but rather persistent damage. The idea is that by using Flayer for some increased survivability you should be able to last long enough to wear an opponent down through moderately good damage. Obviously this build isn’t particularly useful at rapidly burning targets and it shouldn’t be used for such a tactic.

Corruptions

The corruption setup is very deliberately a mixed bag. As with any Flayer build there are defensive corruptions, but we will also be using a number of offensive corruptions as well to ensure that the build has some punch to it. Now for the offensive side of things I have opted for Mastery boost corruptions and it is worth explaining why I choose those over Critical Rating Boost corruptions. As mentioned above this build is not about spike damage, rather it is about producing consistent damage. An increase in base damage fits that mission better than an increase to spike damage, which is by its nature random.

The corruption setup looks like this:

  • Critical Protection Boost x3
  • Health for Power Rank 1
  • Health for Power Rank 2
  • Mastery Boost x4
  • Physical Mitigation Boost x2

In testing this has proven to be a consistently good setup. The morale boosts get your morale pool up to an acceptable level for fights that might last longer than a few seconds whilst the critical protection boosts help to deal with high freep spike damage and extend your morale pool a little further. Rounding out the defensive corruptions are the physical mitigation boosts. Two might not seem like very much, but in testing they provided a good level of protection when used in conjunction with various armour buffs available to wargs. Of course the two physical mitigation boosts can be swapped for tactical mitigation boosts depending upon which freeps you will primarily be fighting.

Four mastery boost corruptions might seem like an odd number to choose. Why not just three and opt for another physical mitigation boost? Why not six and get the set bonus? In testing four mastery boosts have proven to be quite effective in terms of providing sufficient damage to take down opponents whilst leaving room for some extra defensive corruptions. If you use destiny/store buffs then you could probably reduce the number of mastery boosts to three by using a damage buff. This would free up a slot for another defensive boost e.g. a third mitigation boost.

Traits

Racial traits, as ever, are the standard fare.

  • Foe of the Light
  • Four-Legged Foe
  • Pack Alpha
  • Racial Skill: Howl of Unnerving
  • Racial Skill: Pack Hunters

These are the best of the bunch when it comes to racial traits. However, you could swap either Howl of Unnerving or Pack Hunters for Pack Mentality if you wanted to give yourself another slight defensive boost. The reason I haven’t included Pack Mentality in the list above is because the defensive boosts it offers are so slight that I don’t feel it is worth losing the utility of the other two traits.

Class traits consist of the following:

  • Enhanced Skill: Stealth (it might be a Flayer build, but we are still using stealth)
  • Armour Boost (extra armour means extra mitigations)
  • Enhanced Skill: Disappear (it is always useful to have our escape skills on as short a cooldown as possible, but for a Flayer build it is equally important to have Topple on a short cooldown)
  • Enhanced Skill: Eye Rake – (more frequent interrupts and increased dps)
  • Enhanced Skill: Flayer (the extra armour and mitigation bonuses are vital for this build)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sense Prey (you need to know where your opponent is)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sprint (extra survivability when used for escape and of course an effective way of dealing with slows)

Resistance Boost might seem like an obvious choice given that we are looking to increase survivability with this build. However, it’s buff is relatively minor and easily replicated by using a resistance buff pot that can be bartered for with commendations.

Strategy

The strategy with this build is quite straightforward: keep pummelling away. The extra survivability you will have should allow you to last through the initial blasts from big hitting skills, by which point the freep should hopefully start to panic as they haven’t destroyed you as quickly as expected allowing you to put them on the back foot.

The key is to keep stacking as many bleeds as possible whilst making good use of Scratch and Snip to bolster your direct damage. Given that fights might last longer than you are used to it is important to employ your debuffs where possible i.e. Brutal Fangs, Flea Bitten, Muscle Tear, Snap, etc. It is also important to use the Flayer heal effectively and Sprint can be useful here to allow you to kite your opponent (assuming you aren’t fighting a ranged class) in order to allow Flayer to heal you up a bit.

In using this build I have found that it works quite well in 1vs1 situations and has consistently provided me with good results in group and raid situations too. One Burger commented that he would like to see me using a different build owing to the length of time it takes to burn down my morale when using this build. High praise indeed!

Site Update: Builds

I have now updated all the articles listed under the Builds & Stances section. They should now reflect current abilities. I do plan to add more soon so stay tuned.

As for the rest of the site the regular reader will no doubt have noticed that much of it is now out of date. I have removed the 1vs1 guides because of this and I hope to bring them back at some point, but it is a lot of work so I don’t want to commit to a time frame. I will be updating the rest of the site though and this should hopefully be complete within the next few weeks.

Max Damage Build

I previously set out a damage build for use with Shadow stance that sought to get the best damage output alongside a little survivability. However, for those of you looking to squeeze every last drop of dps out of your warg and stuff survivability here we have the Max Damage Build.

The Max Damage Build

Unlike the Damage Build the aim with the Max Damage Build is to focus on damage output and nothing else. This is a very squishy build and the chances are that you will die a lot using it so it is more of a ‘for fun’ setup. With that out of the way let’s dive straight in.

Corruptions

The choice of corruptiuons is similar to that of the Damage Build, but with a few changes.

  • Damage for Power Rank 2
  • Critical Boost x5
  • Mastery Boost x6

We slot in an extra mastery boost and also damage for power rank 2. the effect of this is to increase base damage, which in testing proved to output slightly more damage than if using all six critical boost corruptions.

Note that both of the morale corruptions have been removed.

Traits

The choice of racial traits is the exact same as with the Damage Build.

  • Foe of the Light
  • Four Legged Foe
  • Pack Alpha
  • Racial Skill: Howl of Unnerving
  • Racial Skill: Pack Hunters

Foe of the light improves your stealth (always a good thing); Four Legged Foe gives a boost to run speed (handy for helping to catch freeps and mitigate slows), and Pack Alpha gives a small boost to damage output. Howl of the Unnerving isn’t a particularly reliable CC skill, but it even so a fear that works 50% of the time is better than no fear at all. Pack Hunters allows for the use of the Shadow Pack skill in Shadow stance, which boosts your damage output by reducing freep mitigations.

Class traits are again the same as those used with the Damage Build.

  • Enhanced Skill: Stealth (a must for every warg)
  • Armour Boost (provides a little more survivability)
  • The Element of Surprise (provides a significant increase to dps by boosting crit chance of various attacks)
  • Enhanced Skill: Disappear (provides extra survivability by being able to use Disappear more often or alternatively boosts offence by allowing for an extra stun/surprise attack)
  • Enhanced Skill: Eye Rake (allows you to interrupt more often and boosts dps with more frequent attacks)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sense Prey (you need to know where the freeps are before you can kill them!)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sprint (provides extra survivability by being able to use Sprint more often as well as allowing slows to be negated more often)

Strategy

As mentioned above this is really more of a fun build than a serious build you would want to use given the almost total lack of survivability. Having said that it might actually prove viable with a strategy of picking off already weakened targets. It is almost certainly not viable in 1vs1 situations against any freep that has a measure of staying power. Against a squishy target it might be possible to burn them so fast they don’t have time react, but for general usage this build probably isn’t the best choice.

Damage Build

Which build to use has always been the subject of much debate amongst wargs and the debate is all the fiercer given that wargs have more options than ever for fine tuning their setups. I plan to make a series of posts looking at three distinct types of build that I have found to work well in actual gameplay. The first of these is a setup squarely aimed at dealing damage.

The Damage Build

The Damage Build is primarily focused on dealing damage, but with a nod to retaining enough survivability to allow a warg to hang in a fight long enough to actually get a kill. The cornerstone of this build is Shadow stance and it is easy to see why: +15% damage and various skills always act as if they are being used from stealth. For those who don’t know attacks made from stealth cannot be blocked, parried or evaded, which means more attacks landing successfully, which in turn means more damage being dealt.

Corruptions

The core of any build is the set of corruptions that we choose. Corruptions don’t just give a build flavour they define it. In the Shadow build we are going to emphasise damage, but also look to boost survivability. To that end we will be using the following corruptions:

  • Critical Boost x5
  • Mastery Boost x5
  • Morale for Power Rank 1
  • Morale for Power Rank 2

In testing five each of the critical boost and mastery boost corruptions produced more dps than other combinations of those two corruptions.

You will notice that using this setup neither of the 6-set bonuses from the critical and mastery boost corruptions is available. This isn’t really a problem because the 10% heal from the critical boost set-bonus requires a killing blow to activate and the majority of wargs i..e low to mid-rank wargs are unlikely to last long enough in a fight for power to become an issue requiring the power consumption reduction from the mastery boost set-bonus.

The morale corruptions provide a little extra survivability, but only in so far as they should prevent you from being all but one-shotted. You aren’t going to be hanging in a fire-fight with this build!

Traits

The choice of racial traits is fairly straightforward here given that some are completely useless.

  • Foe of the Light
  • Four Legged Foe
  • Pack Alpha
  • Racial Skill: Howl of Unnerving
  • Racial Skill: Pack Hunters

Foe of the light improves your stealth (always a good thing); Four Legged Foe gives a boost to run speed (handy for helping to catch freeps and mitigate slows), and Pack Alpha gives a small boost to damage output. Howl of the Unnerving isn’t a particularly reliable CC skill, but it even so a fear that works 50% of the time is better than no fear at all. Pack Hunters allows for the use of the Shadow Pack skill in Shadow stance, which boosts your damage output by reducing freep mitigations.

Class traits are also straightforward.

  • Enhanced Skill: Stealth (a must for every warg)
  • Armour Boost (provides a little more survivability)
  • The Element of Surprise (provides a significant increase to dps by boosting crit chance of various attacks)
  • Enhanced Skill: Disappear (provides extra survivability by being able to use Disappear more often or alternatively boosts offence by allowing for an extra stun/surprise attack)
  • Enhanced Skill: Eye Rake (allows you to interrupt more often and boosts dps with more frequent attacks)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sense Prey (you need to know where the freeps are before you can kill them!)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sprint (provides extra survivability by being able to use Sprint more often as well as allowing slows to be negated more often)

Strategy

This build is very much focused on damage output. The idea isn’t to stand around in the middle of a raid battle dealing damage whilst soaking up all the AOE flying around. Rather the best strategy will be to operate on the sidelines of the battle; looking for low morale freeps to pick off or harassing healers at the back of the freep raid. Get in, get a kill and get out again quickly. Wargs are well equipped for this style of play and this build seeks to capitalise on that.

Helm’s Deep: Warg Skill Tooltips

I detailed the change in our skill cooldowns in a previous post, but here is a screenshot of the tooltips to illustrate the changes. Screen shot courtesy of Moors-Battlemaster.

wargcds

Helm’s Deep: Warg Changes

What does Helm’s Deep have in-store for wargs? Well the beta NDA has been lifted so we can finally take a peek at the Helm’s Deep warg …

… but first a few notes. First of all it is important to note that whilst the information below is accurate as of the current beta build (Build 5), beta is still ongoing. As such the information presented here may change before Helm’s Deep launches. Secondly, the list of changes below is just that, a list. I will go into more detail and offer commentary and opinion on these changes in subsequent posts.

Corruptions

The corruption system has received two major changes: creeps will now have twelve corruption slots and ratings based corruptions now have set-bonuses. The set-bonuses are as follows:

Critical Protection Boost

+2,246.4 critical defence per corruption

3-set bonus: +4,492.8 critical defence

6-set bonus: On every harmful skill, targeted at you, On Critical Hit: 442 Damage Cooldown: 30s

Critical Rating Boost

+1,919 critical rating per corruption

3-set bonus: +3,838 critical rating

6-set bonus: After every kill Apply to the target: Restores 10% of maximum Morale Blood Thirst: Upon Killing an enemy, receive 10% of max health

Mastery Boost

+1,520 physical & tactical mastery per corruption

3-set bonus: +3,040 physical & tactical mastery

6-set bonus: On every harmful skill, 30% chance to -100% power Cost Expires if out of combat for 9 seconds

Physical Mitigation Boost

+855.5 physical mitigation per corruption

3-set bonus: +855.5 physical mitigation

6-set bonus: On every Harmful skill, Targeted at you, 10% chance to Increase damage and healing by 5% Duration: 10s Cooldown 10s

Resistance Boost

+1,140 resistance rating

3-set bonus: +2,280 resistance rating

6-set bonus: On every Harmful skill, Targeted at you, 10% chance to Contextual skill that cleanses all harmful effects on self. Does not include Combat states. Expires if out of combat for 9 seconds

Tactical Mitigation Boost

+855.5 tactical mitigation

3-set bonus: +855.5 tactical mitigation

6-set bonus: On any damage: 10% chance to Receive effect: Restores 2% of maximum Power

Warg Skill & Trait Changes

The following skills have had their cooldowns reduced:

Eye Rake – cooldown reduced from 15 sec to 8 sec
Dire Howl/Howl from the Shadow/Howl of Aggression – cooldown reduced from 5 min to 1 min
Disappear/Topple – cooldown reduced from 5 min to 3 min
Flea Bitten – cooldown reduced from 45 sec to 25 sec
Frenzy – cooldown reduced from 1min 30 sec to 40 sec
Howl of Unnerving – cooldown reduced from 1 min to 20 sec
Pack Hunters/Shadow Pack/Pack Flayer – cooldown reduced from 30 sec to 15 sec
Piercing Claws – cooldown reduced from 20 sec to 10 sec
Rabid Bite – cooldown reduced from 20 sec to 10 sec
Rallying Howl – cooldown reduced from 30 sec to 15 sec
Scratch and Snip – cooldown reduced from 30 sec to 15 sec
Snap/Snap! – cooldown reduced from 1 min to 25 sec
Sprint – cooldown reduced from 5 min to 3 min
Swipe – cooldown reduced from 20 sec to 10 sec
Tendon Shred – cooldown reduced from 5 min to 3 min
Throat Rip/Muscle Tear – cooldown reduced from 1 min to 20 sec

In addition the following traits have been modified:

Enhanced Skill: Disappear – now reduces the cooldown of Disappear/Topple by 90 sec
Enhanced Skill: Sprint – now reduces the cooldown of Sprint by 90 sec

Skill Types

All warg skills are now either fast or immediate skills.

Damage Types

A new damage type has been introduced for wargs called Fell-wrought Damage. This new damage type replaces Common Damage as the default damage type for wargs. Wargs can still use the Shadow Fang trait to change their damage type to Shadow Damage.

Damage Increase

As part of a general increase in damage for all creeps wargs have had their base damage increased by approximately 30%.

The White Warg

thewhitewarg

Recently I found myself  speaking with some friends about the white warg and it occurred to me that this is a little piece of Ettenmoors history that no longer exists. Newer wargs may not even know what the white warg was. Well I am going to tell you in an effort to preserve this slice of PvMP history.

The white warg refers to wargs using the rank 8 appearance. It is the first of the white coloured warg appearances and the only one available until rank eleven. I can hear you ask the obvious question “I thought you said it no longer exists?”. It doesn’t. Yes the appearance is still there, but the white warg was more than just the appearance, it was a symbol of achievement.

‘Back in the day’, so to speak, ranking wasn’t as fast as it is now. When LOTRO was first launched rank 5 was considered to be a fairly high rank given that it could take some players anywhere from weeks to months to achieve it. Infamy gains were lower and creeps were much weaker than they are now ( yes I am being serious with that last point!). All told it took a fair bit of time and effort to get your ranks. A blue rank back then was considered to be fairly high ranked. There were few green ranked creeps when compared with the present, and even fewer purple ranked creeps. Thus rank 8 was a prestigious rank and the ‘badge of office’ for a rank 8 warg was the white appearance.

When a white warg appeared a freep knew that he was facing someone with experience under his belt and someone who could pose a challenge. It wasn’t just a nice looking cosmetic appearance, it was a sign that the freep was facing a tough opponent. The white warg had meaning to it.

Fast forward to today and a creep can quite easily go from rank 0 to rank 5 in a single night. Rank 8 can be achieved in a couple of weeks. Rank 12 in three or four months. With ranking having become so fast the meaning attached to higher ranks has diminished and even the definition of what constitutes a high rank has changed. Rank 8 is no longer particularly special and whilst that white furred appearance is still great looking, that is sadly all it is now. The white warg is no more.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 168 other followers