1vs1 Guide: The Champion
In the third installment of my 1vs1 series of guides we are going to take a look at the Champion. I have a level capped Champion alt of my own so again I have some personal insight into the class.
What Is A Champion?
Let’s start, as always, with the flippant answer: a mixed bag of tricks. The class specialises in melee damage, both single target and AOE. It’s a heavy armour class, but nowhere near as resilient as the Guardian. Still, Champions can hold their own and give you a very nasty tap with their sword.
The Opening Move
Your opener versus a Champion will vary because Champions have an ability to protect them from crowd control, including stuns. This ability, called Continous Blood Rage, obviously means that pouncing from stealth is a no go, but we’ll come to that in a moment. If the Champion does not have Continous Blood Rage activated then you can start with your usual pounce from stealth.
If Continous Blood Rage is active then your best bet is to use Bloody Maul from stealth. There is no point in wasting a stun if it will have no effect.
Once you have either pounced or mauled depending on whether Continous Blood Rage is active or not your next move will be the same regardless: Throat Rip then Crippling Bite. The Throat Rip is to silence the Champion so that one of his horn skills can’t be used to stun you. The Crippling Bite is obviously to slow him down. The Champion has a slow of his own, Hamstring, which will slow you so even the playing field by slowing him too.
The Champion may seem like a simple brute at first glance, but they do have some tricks up their sleeves …
First of all we have Continous Blood Rage. If this is active then the Champion will be immune to stuns throughout the fight. If this is the case simply maintain your Savage Fangs bleed on the Champion rather than wasting Pounces vainly trying to stun him. One saving grace with Continous Blood Rage for the warg is that it costs 60 morale per second to maintain so it’s the equivalent of having a continous DoT on the Champion!
The Champion has a self-heal called ‘Dire Need’. It will heal the Champion, but it has a hefty price. Dire Need uses 50% of the Champion’s current power pool and heals him for 200% of the power used. Now whilst this can be a nasty surprise for you as you try to burn him down it does mean that he burns a lot of his power pool. Applying Rabid Bite at the start of the fight should not only help to reduce the amount Dire Need heals him for, but also mean that if used Dire Need might leave him with very little power to do anything else.
The single biggest problem you will face though si the Champion’s damage output. Champions are built to sustain melee dps. This means that they can keep hitting you for lots of damage. One of their single target attacks, Remorseless Strikes, can cri for anywhere between 2,000-5,000 points of damage. The upper end of that scale is rare, but een so it can still be a very nasty hit. There isn’t a whole lot you can do about the Champion’s damage other than to try and kill him before he kills you and use Rabid Bite to try and burn his power pool so that he can’t use his skills.
Another problem tying into the above point about damage is Controlled Burn. This is a skill that will increase the Champion’s damage, reduce his attack speed and buff his in-combat power regen. There really isn’t anything you can do about this other than to try and stun him, if possible, as much as you can.
The Champion has a skill called ‘Sprint’, which increases his movement speed, including in-combat. This can obviously be used to negate Crippling Bite for a short while (up to 45 sec with legacies etc), but in my experience most Champions use this skill to try and escape,
One last thing … stuns. The Champion has two AOE stuns he can use. One stuns you for 5 sec whilst the other can be as much as 10 sec if the Champion has the appropriate legacies.
The simple answer here is to kill the Champion before he kills you. That’s easier said than done of course. Basically you need to out dps a certified dps class. There are a few things that you can do to help yourself though.
First of all make sure that you use Rabid Bite as often as possible. Most Champions have relatively small power pools, 2,000 or so and Rabid Bite can deplete that massively.
Make sure you keep the Champion silenced as often as possible too to try and prevent horn use i.e. stuns.
Crippling Bite is a must! The Champion has a slow of his own so keeping him slowed will not so much give you an advantage here as it will help level the playing field. Whilst Champions aren’t really kiters, their AOE skills do extend beyond your own melee range so it is very important that you don’t let them move outside of that range.
Bleeds will be very important in a fight with a Champion. Maintain both your Maul and Savage Dangs DoTs so help keep the damage up. You want the Champion to be watching his morale bar and taking steps to keep himself alive. Why? Because that means he will be burning power and diverting his attention to self-preservation rather than devoting those resources to bringing his considerable damage to bear upon you.
If the Champion is silly enough to be in the Fervour stance you will have an easier time of it because whilst in Fervour the Champion can’t block, parry or evade, meaning that all your attacks will land. Of course Fervour does increase the Champion’s damage output so you might find your own morale dropping faster faster.
So to recap:
- Keep Crippling Bite up at all times
- Maintain your Dots
- Use Rabid Bite
- Silence as often as possible
- Activate a brand if you have one
- Pounce from stealth for 5 sec stun/Use Bloody Maul from stealth (depending upon whether Continous Blood Rage is present or not)
- Apply Throat Rip
- Apple Crippling Bite
- Apple Savage Fangs for bleed
- Apply Rabid Bite
- Re-apply Maul DoT
- Re-apply Crippling Bite
- Pounce for 5 sec stun/re-apply Savage Fangs bleed (depending upon whether Continous Blood Rage is present or not)