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

1vs1 Guide: The Warden

It’s time for another installment of the 1vs1 series and this time it’s the turn of the Warden. As before I have a level capped Warden (created partially to understand them better from a warg’s perspective).

What Is A Warden?

You know I’m going to give you a flippant answer by now so here it is: a pain in the arse. More seriously the Warden is a melee tanking class, but a tanking class that can output some serious damage too. Highly resilient the Warden has few weaknesses for the warg to exploit.

The Opening Move

You will be using the warg’s bread and butter opener of pouncing with the Warden because a) it works and b) stuns are one of the few real weaknesses Wardens have. Wardens (for the moment) have no ability to protect themselves from stuns so you can use your full bag of tricks here.

Once you have stunned the Warden get Crippling Bite in place to keep the Warden slowed. Keeping the Warden slowed from the start is very important, but more on this later. Once Crippling Bite is in place use Rabid Bite if you have it otherwise use Bloody Maul and then Throat Rip to silence the Warden. Keeping the Warden silenced is also very important, and again we will go into more detail on this below.

Problems

Wardens may wear medium armour, but they can survive impossible odds. They don’t really have any ‘tricks up their sleeves’, but they can fight you to exhaustion and defeat you through simply outlasting you.

The single biggest problem you will face with the Warden are self-heals. The Warden has a plethora of self-heal abilties that can effectively be spammed. As long as the Warden has power he can heal himself. How effective those heals are will depend upon whether the Warden has traited for maximum damage output or for tanking. If the latter then the Warden will be able to out heal your damage and you will have to make him burn through his power before you can actually start burning through his morale. This is the primary reason that Rabid Bite is so incredibly important. The quicker you drain the Warden’s power the quicker you can start depleting his morale bar.

Another major problem you will face is keeping in melee range. The Warden is a very effective kiter and can hit you from range with both javelin skills and with gambits that will drain your morale. Maintaining Crippling Bite is essential here, but unfortunately the Warden has a javelin skill called ‘Hampering Javelin’, which will slow you by 30% for 30 seconds (the duration can be extended with legendary legacies). If the Warden does manage to gain some range then you have two options; either use Sprint to close the gap or use Disappear to get out of the firing line until you can close the gap between you.

Wardens have various skills that increase their defensive abilities e.g. increase block, parry and evade ratings. There is nothing you can do about this, these particular gambits are fairly quick and easy to get off and can give the Warden a significant advantage. If you notice many of your attacks not hitting then you know the reason why. Higher ranked wargs can use Flea Bitten to offset this a bit by lowering the Warden’s Agility, but it probably won’t help much.

If the Warden is getting low on power they can let their morale drop to 50% or less and use a gambit called ‘Dark Before the Dawn’ to regain some of their power. It’s a risky strategy for them for obvious reasons, but it does mean that they can maintain their power, in theory.

Wardens have a gambit called ‘Desolation’, which has a chance to fear you for a few seconds. That may not sound too bad, but the effect lasts for 16 seconds (longer if the Warden has traited for it) and whilst the effect is in place you have a 25% chance to be feared for a few seconds every four seconds. Even though the fear only lasts a few seconds it is both annoying and disruptive to your skill rotation. However, I would recommend not wasting precious fear pots on curing this fear since the duration is so short.

The Warden can output a significant amount of damage through DoTs and unfortunately for you they have a lot of them. You may find yourself with 5 or 6 separate DoTs all ticking away on you. There is nothing you can do to cure these DoTs, you will simply have to burn morale pots. Hopefully you ate some food before the fight to help with your regen rates.

One last thing … NEVER turn your back on a Warden! Wardens have a javelin skill called ‘Wages of Fear’, which will do more damage from behind and if the Warden has the appropriate legacy on his weapon it can crit reasonably high, certainly enough to kill you as you try to escape on low morale.

What Works?

Stuns.

Seriously, stuns are your best friend in a fight with a Warden because the Warden’s survivability rests upon constantly maintaining his self healing HoTs and his defensive buffs. Stuns interrupt those cycles and allow you to get in some actual damage without it being negated by constant healing. Stun the Warden as often as you possibly can. Remember to get behind the Warden when you stun him to do maximum damage; this is one opponent where every extra point of damage will count.

Make sure you keep Crippling Bite applied at all times. This is not only to help prevent the Warden kiting you, it is also to allow you to re-apply your Pounce stun as often as possible. Feel free to throw in the odd Savage Fangs bleed too of course, it will help nullify the Warden’s HoTs a little, but make sure you can use the Pounce stun as often as possible.

Speaking of bleeds you will want to keep as many bleeds on the Warden as you can to help negate the Warden’s self-heals. Make sure you use Rend Flesh and Pack Hunter to maximise your bleed damage.

Rabid Bite is a must have skill for fighting a Warden because it strikes at the heart of the Warden’s greatest weakness … power. All the Warden’s much vaunted self-heals, DoTs, and survivability count for nothing if they don’t have enough power to use those abilities and Wardens burn power FAST! Make sure you apply Rabid Bite EVERY time it is available for use.

One last thing that is very important is to keep the Warden silenced for as long as possible. Wardens build their gambits using three skills, one of which is voice based, hence silencing them locks them out of that gambit line. That particular gambit line contains a few DoTs (not their primary DoTs unfortunately) and it also includes their AOE morale leeching skills. Whilst these aren’t as effective at self-healing the Warden against a single target as other gambits, by blocking their use with a silence you are at least denying them usage of them.

So to recap:

  • Stun as often as possible
  • Maintain Crippling Bite
  • Maintain Rabid Bite
  • Maintain DoTs
  • Maintain Throat Rip

The Fight

Here we have an example rotation for a 1vs1 with a Warden:
  • Pounce from stealth to stun
  • Apply Crippling Bite
  • Apply Rabid Bite
  • Apply Throat Rip
  • Apply Bloody Maul DoT
  • Claws attack
  • Re-apply Pounce Stealth
  • Re-apply Crippling Bite
  • Apply Savage Fangs bleed
  • Re-apply Bloody Maul DoT
  • Re-apply Crippling Bite

What To Look Out For

Fight or Die – Wardens have no ‘panic buttons’ to speak off except for racial abilities. Once you engage a Warden the Warden will either have to fight or die (or manage to escape to friendly npcs). This gives you the advantage in controlling the pace of the fight. The Warden will be fighting for his life. You always have the option of Disappear …
Ambush – If a Warden gets the jump on you you may not even know it because Wardens have stealth! It’s a poor man’s stealth compared with our own, but it is stealth nonetheless. Wardens can only stay in stealth for a limited time, the maximum is 40 seconds with the appropriate legacy. However, they can use a skill from stealth (and whilst out of combat) called ‘Ambush’. This will knock you down and deliver a bit of damage, but it allows the Warden to race over to you with increased speed and deliver a second attack that can hit pretty hard. The simple rule here is to not let Wardens get the jump on you and if you are going to attack one don’t let them stay out of combat long enough to fire off ‘Ambush’.
DPS Or Healing? – If the Warden is going bananas hammering you with DoTs and generally trying to batter the life out of you as quickly as he can then he is probably traited for DPS. In that case do everything you can to stun him and drain his power because his heals will be less effective so when his power goes his DPS dries up too. If the Warden is taking a more ‘relaxed’ approach to the fight and is stacking heals then you are in for a long fight …

What Are The Odds?

Facing a good Warden your chances of winning are somewhere between non-existent and slim. Simply put they can out last you as long as they can maintain their power (and most can maintain it long enough to do that). On the other hand an inexperienced Warden who is unused to the Ettens can panic and die very quickly. It’s a bit of a mixed bag and really depends upon the Warden. Some Wardens go into a defensive mode and simply self-heal whilst forgetting to stack DoTs on you whilst others do the opposite. The latter are definitely easier to beat.

In short Wardens are best avoided for lower ranked wargs, especially for those lacking Rabid Bite. For higher ranked Wargs it’s a gamble, and the dice are stacked in favour of the Warden. In all probability a Warden with a modicum of skill will triumph. It’s probably wiser to search for easier prey.
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