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

A Quick Look At Stances

Arguably the biggest change that came with Update 6 was the introduction of two new stances. I’ll be going into detail on each stance in a later post, but I want to give an overview of each stance and how I have found them to work out.

Shadow

This is perhaps the more basic of the two stances in the sense that it is gained at rank 1. Shadow stance can be summed up pretty easily, it’s a glass cannon option. Initially I wasn’t too impressed with Shadow stance, finding its damage output to be sub-par in relation to the loss in survivability that it brings. However, after some testing I have found that I judged it too quickly. It’s not perfect for every situation, but there are occasions where it can really shine.

One such situation is when fighting Burgers. Because Shadow stance causes Claws and Maul to operate as if from stealth it means that these attacks become very difficult to block, parry or evade. This means, in effect, that we can stun Burgers and still tear through their Find Footing Evade buff.

The re are two other situations where Shadow stance has proven extremely successful. The first is in sniping at freeps already engaged in a fight. A solo warg skirting the edges of a raid vs raid battle can nip into the battle and quickly kill a freep already low on morale with just a couple of hits whilst in Shadow stance. So too can wargs in a pack use Shadow stance to ensure that they all hit with massive damage on a target. In neither situation is the loss in survivability a major weakness because the aim is to either get in and out quickly or simply overwhelm the target.

Where Shadow stance isn’t particularly good is against heavy classes or in any fight where you have to stick around for a while. It simply doesn’t have the survivability to allow you to do this. You might be able to take a fair bit of morale off your target, but chances are that in a fight lasting more than 30sec or so you will end up dead.

Flayer

This is definitely the jewel in the crown when it comes to warg abilities. This stance is just pure awesomeness. It’s hard to overdo it when it comes to praising Flayer stance because it gives so much love to wargs.

The most obvious bonus is the huge increase in survivability. The combination of the bubble, the self-heals and the mitigations mean that we can actually go toe to toe with freeps and have a chance at winning. This survivability has really impressed me in the time I’ve been playing with Flayer stance. A couple of quick examples to illustrate my point:

Freeps chasing me, half a dozen different DoTs ticking on me and only 200 morale left. I attempt to make my getaway after having killed a freep. I don’t expect to survive this battle given the situation, but I am in Flayer stance so instead of simply rolling over and dying the bubble absorbs some of the DoT damage whilst the self-heals kick in and start negating the damage. I make it inside Tol and live to fight another day! This simply wouldn’t have been possible before Flayer stance.

I’ve been taking on Champions and Guardians in 1vs1 fights with no buffs on myself and winning. I can stand toe to toe with them and come out the other side. Some of the fights have been incredibly close (100 odd morale between victory and death) and more to the point they have been great fun. They haven’t been facerolls for either side, but genuine contests that saw both sides really going all out to win.

The damage side of things is pretty impressive too. The stacking DoTs from Raking Claws are just beautiful. Couple with the Fangs bleed and the Maul DoT it all adds up to some fairly decent damage on the target. There may not be the bigger crits we see with Shadow stance, but it’s good steady consistent damage we get in Flayer.

One thing of special note I have to mention is the Pack Flayer root. Now there has been some criticism of this skill, and justifiably so given that it is supposed to be unbreakable and yet the Champion’s Sprint skill breaks it, not to mention the pinpoint timing it takes to use it with a moving freep. Despite these drawbacks this skill is pure gold. I’ve been using it whilst duoing with another warg and it is amazing to watch it in action. One of us roots and the other damages and then we swap. The target can’t flee to friendly NPCs, he has to stand and fight and we get our kills on targets that would otherwise have bolted for the hills.

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4 responses

  1. Parnik

    Good to see you´re back, MrWarg, but what I read doesn´t satisfy me.

    You know that we are differing in playstyle like black and white, and so I think you are doing Shadow Stance unjustice here.

    My current setup is:

    DfP2, 5x mastery

    4-legged foe, pack mentality, foe of light, pack alpha, pack elder

    armour boost, enhanced stealth, long strides, Element of surprise, rallying howl, shadow fang, enhanced disappear.

    Audacity is R3 as of now.

    I am solely running Shadow Stance with this and mostly solo (90%) or duo.

    With this built, I am able to take on every single class solo and have at least 60% chance to leave the fight unharmed. You know I am playing it extremely agressive (crazy some would say) and Shadow is a real gem for this, as I am dishing out enough damage to even kill minstrels. I tried Flayer but it doesn´t work for me, as I find the dps way too low.
    I am on 9400 morale, which you would deem squishy as hell, but tbh, I often find myself in fights against 2+ freeps and take out one or two of them before I bite the green. Enhanced disappear plays a vital role here! And due to audacity, I really can take some decent hits!

    All in all, I am not as squishy as you wrote, but extremely dangerous when it comes to dealing damage. For me and my playstyle, this is the true gem of both stances.

    Just thought I´d share my thoughts 🙂

    Parm

    23/03/2012 at 9:23 am

  2. Snap

    Turn the Tables and HiPS break Pack Flayers as well. I find myself using Tendon Shred to set up the root, or pouncing, entering flayer and immediately applying it.

    23/03/2012 at 9:52 pm

  3. dirhallith

    There was a topic brought up on the forums about a flat warg vs warg fight with Flayer against Shadow. It’s disappointing that it hasn’t turned into a good discussion at this point, but the argument thusfar has been made that Flayer is superior to Shadow. With Shadow not really being able to break through the mitigations and self-heal of the bubble to get the Flayer warg to a significantly low morale. And Flayer being able to absorb the damage and slowly work the glass-cannon stance down to nothing.

    I also discovered tonight that a Flayer warg vs a guardian going sword n’ board holds up pretty darn well. The higher mitigations allowed for me to whittle him down without taking unmanageable amounts of damage myself (until the 2h OP mode came out toward the end). As a side note to that, at the time I had been fighting him, my warg was sitting at r3 audacity. I’m noticing that the higher the audacity rank in addition to Flayer certainly makes us much more tank-like.

    24/03/2012 at 4:29 am

  4. Akart

    I don’t know how we ever got along without these changes. If you wanted to hit for 1k on a warg before you had to be in SH, have frenzy up, 5% damage buff, eye rake, positional damage, cresent moon on a Tuesday when Venus and Mars are aligned, and a lucky rabbits foot. Now I just gotta be behind them.

    I worry the freeps are gonna shout down the devs and get us nerfed. Sorry for being a fatalist, hope I’m wrong.

    25/03/2012 at 6:13 am

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