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.
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.
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.