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

The Pure Survival Build

Like the Pure DPS build the idea behind the Pure Morale build is very simple; stack as much morale and survivability as possible. Unlike the Pure DPS build this setup isn’t quite so theoretical in that it can actually be used in real situations with fairly decent results.

Corruptions

Selecting your corruptions for this build is very easy, you simply choose those which give you the most morale & survivability.

Obviously we will be sleeting the Morale for Power and Morale for Damage corruptions here, both at rank 1 and rank 2. Between these four corruptions you will gain an extra 30% morale. That’s a huge increase in your morale pool, but it does come at a price. For starters your power pool will be reduced by 10%. Perhaps more significantly  your damage output will be reduced by 5%.

The extra morale corruptions use up four corruption slots, which means we have two left to fill. Since this is a ‘pure’ survivability build we are going to look at what else we can add to bolster our defences. There are four main choices here:

  • Tactical Mitigation
  • Physical Mitigation
  • Resistance
  • Critical protection

Each of these has its own merits, but I would personally recommend the mitigation corruptions. The Resistance boosts are nice enough, but as I discussed in a previous post I don’t think they offer consistent ‘value for money’. It’s a similar story with the Critical Protection boosts. We only have two slots to play around with here, and even if we were to use more I don’t think the level of protection these corruptions give us enough to really make any serious impact.

The Mitigation corruptions on the other hand offer a consistent boost that doesn’t depend upon chance. It might not be a huge amount of extra protection to be fair, but it is consistent. Depending upon who you are fighting you can swap out the Tactical and Physical Mitigation boosts as needed.

  • Rank 2 Morale for Power
  • Rank 2 Morale for Damage
  • Rank 1 Morale for Power
  • Rank 2 Morale for Power
  • Tactical/Physical Mastery
  • Tactical/Physical Mastery

Class Traits

Again what we want to do here is select those abilities that have the biggest impact upon our survivability.

There are a few ‘necessary’ traits of course e.g. Enhanced Skill: Stealth so we don’t actually have all that many slots to play around with here. The traits I consider necessary are:

  • Enhanced Skill: Stealth
  • Enhanced Skill: Sprint
  • Shadow Fang

You may not agree with me on how necessary some of those traits are, but I think they provide a solid base to work from and that is how I will proceed here.

With four class trait slots to fill let’s look at what we can use:

Shadow Howler – This seems an obvious choice for a survivability build in that is greatly enhances our survivability in combat as well as gives our DPS a boost, which suffers a bit from having no damage corruptions slotted.

Rallying Howl – It’s not the greatest self heal in the game by any measure, but it is a heal nonetheless. It can prove crucial in keeping us alive after a fight has ended and we are low on morale with DoTs ticking away and of course it can be crucial in pack/group situations to keep us fighting a little bit longer.

Armour Boost – Like Shadow Howler this seems like a no brainer when it comes to a survivability build. The extra armour rating adds to our non-common mitigations, not a huge amount, but still significant enough to warrant treating it.

Resistance Boost – Not a very exciting trait to be sure, but it does bolster our defences and in a survivability build that is what we are looking for.

  • Rallying Howl
  • Shadow Fang
  • Enhanced Skill: Stealth
  • Enhanced Skill: Sprint
  • Resistance Boost
  • Armour Boost
  • Shadow Howler

Racial Traits

Foe of the Light is a good choice here, not only for the extra stealth levels it provides, but also for the small boost it gives to Tactical Mitigation. It’s the stealth level boost that’s the real winner here though. Being detected less often in stealth is a sure fire way to increase your survivability.

Pack Mentality is another solid choice for this build. It gives boosts to both avoidances and resistance. A nice solid trait for toughening us up.

Pack Elder – Another boost to our mitigations, this time Physical. It’s a bit of a boring trait I suppose, but extra toughness is what we’re looking for here and it delivers on that, if not to any great extent.

Four-legged Foe is another defensive trait, but it does provide an increase to our movement speed so like Long Strides above is useful in ignoring slows and chasing down freeps, which helps our offence.

  • Foe of the Light
  • Pack Mentality
  • Four-legged Foe
  • Pack Elder
You will notice I have only listed four racial traits when we have five slots to fill. The reason for that is pretty simple, there aren’t really any other defensive traits. The last slot is a bit of a free for all then in that you can choose whatever you want to fill it. Personally I like Pack Alpha for a wee bit more offence, but it’s down to your own tastes.

Pros

The most apparent benefit of this build is the increase in morale it gives. That is of course great in terms of making us harder to kill, but the extra mitigation and resistance ratings we get from corruptions and traits in this build shouldn’t be overlooked either. When we add those to Shadow Howler we become relatively tough, maybe not quite in the same league as Champions or Guardians, but certainly tougher than we would normally be.

Cons

The biggest downside to the pure survivability build is of course the hit we take to our damage output. How much of a downside this is seems to depend upon personal preference in my experience. I am not a fan of this build because I think it costs too much in terms of damage, but other wargs seem less hesitant to sacrifice damage for survivability.

The other thing to say about the loss in damage is that you may feel it to a greater or lesser extent depending upon your playstyle. If you normally target the squishy freep classes such as Rune-keepers or Hunters then it might not be such a big loss to you. On the other hand if you go for any freep that moves you may find yourself unable to bring down Champions or Guardians. The extra survivability this build gives you probably won’t be enough to win a war of attrition with those classes and they will burn you down before their own survivability wears thin.

Effectiveness

This is definitely a more effective build than the other extreme of the pure DPS build, but I would still say that this isn’t an optimal build for general gameplay. The extra morale and so on does definitely make us harder to kill,but I feel the drop in damage is too high a price to pay for that unless you are only going after the squishiest of freeps.

Having said that this build could be a good choice for raid play. The extra survivability would certainly make staying alive in a raid a bit easier and wargs aren’t usually in raids as the main damage dealers anyway so the loss in damage shouldn’t be a major problem.Indeed the extra survivability should actually make harassing healers at the back of the freep raid a little easier.

All in all it’s not a terrible build, but for every day gameplay it isn’t one that I would choose.

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2 responses

  1. Snap

    I prefer Critical protection over, Tactical Mitigation, Physical Mitigation, and Resistance, simply because it applies to every form of attack, and overall keeps you alive more effectively. While the mitigations may add up to preventing more overall damage, it’s the crits that are my main worries on my Warg.

    Assuming you have Armor traited, with 2 physical mitigation boosts traited, you’re looking at just below a 3% increase in mitigation, with 2 tactical mitigations you’re seeing about a 4% increase. Whereas if you trait Critical protection, you’re seeing a 2.5% increase, but it applies to all damage sources, and when it prevents a crit, it’s going to keep you alive more effectively than chipping off an extra 5-20 points of damage per melee or tactical attack.

    31/12/2011 at 3:46 pm

  2. It’s a fair point, but I personally dislike the random nature of its protection. Crits are, by their nature, not guaranteed. It also depends upon what it is you are up against; some freep classes have such high crit chances these days that frankly an extra couple of percentage points in defense makes little to no difference, and then there are guaranteed crit abilities now too.

    Having said all that one should always go with what one feels works best. Some people love the Resistance boost, again something I feel is a bit of a waste of time, but if it works for them then good going. 🙂

    02/01/2012 at 4:30 am

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