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

Strategy

Flayer Damage Build

When you think of Flayer stance damage probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Most Flayer builds will understandably be focused on increasing survivability, but here we will be taking a different approach and emphasising offence rather than defence.

Flayer Damage Build

Before we get into corruptions and traits it is important to point out that this build isn’t concerned with producing high spike damage (such as creeps can produce!), but rather persistent damage. The idea is that by using Flayer for some increased survivability you should be able to last long enough to wear an opponent down through moderately good damage. Obviously this build isn’t particularly useful at rapidly burning targets and it shouldn’t be used for such a tactic.

Corruptions

The corruption setup is very deliberately a mixed bag. As with any Flayer build there are defensive corruptions, but we will also be using a number of offensive corruptions as well to ensure that the build has some punch to it. Now for the offensive side of things I have opted for Mastery boost corruptions and it is worth explaining why I choose those over Critical Rating Boost corruptions. As mentioned above this build is not about spike damage, rather it is about producing consistent damage. An increase in base damage fits that mission better than an increase to spike damage, which is by its nature random.

The corruption setup looks like this:

  • Critical Protection Boost x3
  • Health for Power Rank 1
  • Health for Power Rank 2
  • Mastery Boost x4
  • Physical Mitigation Boost x2

In testing this has proven to be a consistently good setup. The morale boosts get your morale pool up to an acceptable level for fights that might last longer than a few seconds whilst the critical protection boosts help to deal with high freep spike damage and extend your morale pool a little further. Rounding out the defensive corruptions are the physical mitigation boosts. Two might not seem like very much, but in testing they provided a good level of protection when used in conjunction with various armour buffs available to wargs. Of course the two physical mitigation boosts can be swapped for tactical mitigation boosts depending upon which freeps you will primarily be fighting.

Four mastery boost corruptions might seem like an odd number to choose. Why not just three and opt for another physical mitigation boost? Why not six and get the set bonus? In testing four mastery boosts have proven to be quite effective in terms of providing sufficient damage to take down opponents whilst leaving room for some extra defensive corruptions. If you use destiny/store buffs then you could probably reduce the number of mastery boosts to three by using a damage buff. This would free up a slot for another defensive boost e.g. a third mitigation boost.

Traits

Racial traits, as ever, are the standard fare.

  • Foe of the Light
  • Four-Legged Foe
  • Pack Alpha
  • Racial Skill: Howl of Unnerving
  • Racial Skill: Pack Hunters

These are the best of the bunch when it comes to racial traits. However, you could swap either Howl of Unnerving or Pack Hunters for Pack Mentality if you wanted to give yourself another slight defensive boost. The reason I haven’t included Pack Mentality in the list above is because the defensive boosts it offers are so slight that I don’t feel it is worth losing the utility of the other two traits.

Class traits consist of the following:

  • Enhanced Skill: Stealth (it might be a Flayer build, but we are still using stealth)
  • Armour Boost (extra armour means extra mitigations)
  • Enhanced Skill: Disappear (it is always useful to have our escape skills on as short a cooldown as possible, but for a Flayer build it is equally important to have Topple on a short cooldown)
  • Enhanced Skill: Eye Rake – (more frequent interrupts and increased dps)
  • Enhanced Skill: Flayer (the extra armour and mitigation bonuses are vital for this build)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sense Prey (you need to know where your opponent is)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sprint (extra survivability when used for escape and of course an effective way of dealing with slows)

Resistance Boost might seem like an obvious choice given that we are looking to increase survivability with this build. However, it’s buff is relatively minor and easily replicated by using a resistance buff pot that can be bartered for with commendations.

Strategy

The strategy with this build is quite straightforward: keep pummelling away. The extra survivability you will have should allow you to last through the initial blasts from big hitting skills, by which point the freep should hopefully start to panic as they haven’t destroyed you as quickly as expected allowing you to put them on the back foot.

The key is to keep stacking as many bleeds as possible whilst making good use of Scratch and Snip to bolster your direct damage. Given that fights might last longer than you are used to it is important to employ your debuffs where possible i.e. Brutal Fangs, Flea Bitten, Muscle Tear, Snap, etc. It is also important to use the Flayer heal effectively and Sprint can be useful here to allow you to kite your opponent (assuming you aren’t fighting a ranged class) in order to allow Flayer to heal you up a bit.

In using this build I have found that it works quite well in 1vs1 situations and has consistently provided me with good results in group and raid situations too. One Burger commented that he would like to see me using a different build owing to the length of time it takes to burn down my morale when using this build. High praise indeed!


Max Damage Build

I previously set out a damage build for use with Shadow stance that sought to get the best damage output alongside a little survivability. However, for those of you looking to squeeze every last drop of dps out of your warg and stuff survivability here we have the Max Damage Build.

The Max Damage Build

Unlike the Damage Build the aim with the Max Damage Build is to focus on damage output and nothing else. This is a very squishy build and the chances are that you will die a lot using it so it is more of a ‘for fun’ setup. With that out of the way let’s dive straight in.

Corruptions

The choice of corruptiuons is similar to that of the Damage Build, but with a few changes.

  • Damage for Power Rank 2
  • Critical Boost x5
  • Mastery Boost x6

We slot in an extra mastery boost and also damage for power rank 2. the effect of this is to increase base damage, which in testing proved to output slightly more damage than if using all six critical boost corruptions.

Note that both of the morale corruptions have been removed.

Traits

The choice of racial traits is the exact same as with the Damage Build.

  • Foe of the Light
  • Four Legged Foe
  • Pack Alpha
  • Racial Skill: Howl of Unnerving
  • Racial Skill: Pack Hunters

Foe of the light improves your stealth (always a good thing); Four Legged Foe gives a boost to run speed (handy for helping to catch freeps and mitigate slows), and Pack Alpha gives a small boost to damage output. Howl of the Unnerving isn’t a particularly reliable CC skill, but it even so a fear that works 50% of the time is better than no fear at all. Pack Hunters allows for the use of the Shadow Pack skill in Shadow stance, which boosts your damage output by reducing freep mitigations.

Class traits are again the same as those used with the Damage Build.

  • Enhanced Skill: Stealth (a must for every warg)
  • Armour Boost (provides a little more survivability)
  • The Element of Surprise (provides a significant increase to dps by boosting crit chance of various attacks)
  • Enhanced Skill: Disappear (provides extra survivability by being able to use Disappear more often or alternatively boosts offence by allowing for an extra stun/surprise attack)
  • Enhanced Skill: Eye Rake (allows you to interrupt more often and boosts dps with more frequent attacks)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sense Prey (you need to know where the freeps are before you can kill them!)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sprint (provides extra survivability by being able to use Sprint more often as well as allowing slows to be negated more often)

Strategy

As mentioned above this is really more of a fun build than a serious build you would want to use given the almost total lack of survivability. Having said that it might actually prove viable with a strategy of picking off already weakened targets. It is almost certainly not viable in 1vs1 situations against any freep that has a measure of staying power. Against a squishy target it might be possible to burn them so fast they don’t have time react, but for general usage this build probably isn’t the best choice.


Damage Build

Which build to use has always been the subject of much debate amongst wargs and the debate is all the fiercer given that wargs have more options than ever for fine tuning their setups. I plan to make a series of posts looking at three distinct types of build that I have found to work well in actual gameplay. The first of these is a setup squarely aimed at dealing damage.

The Damage Build

The Damage Build is primarily focused on dealing damage, but with a nod to retaining enough survivability to allow a warg to hang in a fight long enough to actually get a kill. The cornerstone of this build is Shadow stance and it is easy to see why: +15% damage and various skills always act as if they are being used from stealth. For those who don’t know attacks made from stealth cannot be blocked, parried or evaded, which means more attacks landing successfully, which in turn means more damage being dealt.

Corruptions

The core of any build is the set of corruptions that we choose. Corruptions don’t just give a build flavour they define it. In the Shadow build we are going to emphasise damage, but also look to boost survivability. To that end we will be using the following corruptions:

  • Critical Boost x5
  • Mastery Boost x5
  • Morale for Power Rank 1
  • Morale for Power Rank 2

In testing five each of the critical boost and mastery boost corruptions produced more dps than other combinations of those two corruptions.

You will notice that using this setup neither of the 6-set bonuses from the critical and mastery boost corruptions is available. This isn’t really a problem because the 10% heal from the critical boost set-bonus requires a killing blow to activate and the majority of wargs i..e low to mid-rank wargs are unlikely to last long enough in a fight for power to become an issue requiring the power consumption reduction from the mastery boost set-bonus.

The morale corruptions provide a little extra survivability, but only in so far as they should prevent you from being all but one-shotted. You aren’t going to be hanging in a fire-fight with this build!

Traits

The choice of racial traits is fairly straightforward here given that some are completely useless.

  • Foe of the Light
  • Four Legged Foe
  • Pack Alpha
  • Racial Skill: Howl of Unnerving
  • Racial Skill: Pack Hunters

Foe of the light improves your stealth (always a good thing); Four Legged Foe gives a boost to run speed (handy for helping to catch freeps and mitigate slows), and Pack Alpha gives a small boost to damage output. Howl of the Unnerving isn’t a particularly reliable CC skill, but it even so a fear that works 50% of the time is better than no fear at all. Pack Hunters allows for the use of the Shadow Pack skill in Shadow stance, which boosts your damage output by reducing freep mitigations.

Class traits are also straightforward.

  • Enhanced Skill: Stealth (a must for every warg)
  • Armour Boost (provides a little more survivability)
  • The Element of Surprise (provides a significant increase to dps by boosting crit chance of various attacks)
  • Enhanced Skill: Disappear (provides extra survivability by being able to use Disappear more often or alternatively boosts offence by allowing for an extra stun/surprise attack)
  • Enhanced Skill: Eye Rake (allows you to interrupt more often and boosts dps with more frequent attacks)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sense Prey (you need to know where the freeps are before you can kill them!)
  • Enhanced Skill: Sprint (provides extra survivability by being able to use Sprint more often as well as allowing slows to be negated more often)

Strategy

This build is very much focused on damage output. The idea isn’t to stand around in the middle of a raid battle dealing damage whilst soaking up all the AOE flying around. Rather the best strategy will be to operate on the sidelines of the battle; looking for low morale freeps to pick off or harassing healers at the back of the freep raid. Get in, get a kill and get out again quickly. Wargs are well equipped for this style of play and this build seeks to capitalise on that.


Positional Damage

Positional damage is a mechanic that whilst not unique to wargs isn’t widespread in the game and thus it is something that many players may not fully understand or even know about. Here we will take a look at positional damage; what it is and how best to use it.

What Is Positional Damage?

Positional damage is a mechanic that causes your skills to hit harder when you attack your opponent from behind. When you hit an opponent from behind the base damage of your attacks is increased by 50%. It is as simple as that.

A few additional notes are in order though to help you better understand this mechanic. For starters the additional 50% damage applies to the base damage of the skill, it is not a critical damage multiplier. Secondly you do have to be behind the target, not at the side of them or slightly off centre from the front, but behind them.

Which Skills Benefit From Positional Damage?

All of our damage skills benefit from the positional damage mechanic. You will notice that some skills include a note about this on their tooltip, but through testing it seems that all of our skills that deal damage, whether their tooltips state sit or not, have positional damage.

Skills that deal extra damage from stealth will receive both the stealth damage boost and the positional damage boost if used from behind a target.

How Do I Best Use Positional Damage?

This is very simple and also very tricky. On the one hand to use positional damage you just have to stand behind your opponent. On the other hand that isn’t always an easy thing to do.

At the start of a fight you can of course start with a stun from behind, which will give you a few seconds to freely hit your opponent from behind and get the positional damage boost. A stunned opponent provides one of the few opportunities to make use of positional damage easily. The other opportunity is when your opponent is fighting more than one person and if not focused upon yourself you can position yourself behind your opponent.

Apart from those two situations you will have to work hard to get behind your opponent. Astute freeps will know about positional damage and deliberately try and minimise opportunities for you to get behind them such as turning constantly to face you or by placing their back to a wall, etc.

It is worth constantly trying to constantly get behind your opponent though, even if he is turning to face you constantly. The extra damage you will deal from behind is too big a boost to easily pass up.


Camping Spots – The South Western Ettenmoors

As always the traffic routes presented below may vary from server to server.

Freep travel routes are denote din blue. Warg camping spots are marked in red.

South Western Intercepts

southernintercepts

In the map above we have three main areas of interest for camping. The first is the general area of the Hithlad Outpost and the routes leading into it. The second is the general River Outpost area and the routes leading into and away from it. The third is the Hoarhallow area.

Hithlad Outpost – Glan Vraig/Lumber Camp

Freeps travelling down towards the Hithlad Outpost from Glan Vraig will generally take one of two routes; a route that hugs the southern most edge of the map and another that veers a little closer to the Lumber Camp. Freeps may also tarvel towards the Hithlad Outpost from the Lumber Camp.

For the first two routes there is a common camping spot and it’s a good distance away from the outpost. I have marked this camping spot on the map as being a little bit south of the Good Grimwood map point. The reason for this is that this is the area where the two routes can diverge so this spot gives you a chance to intercept freeps using either route. The other major advantage of this spot is that is far away from any friendly freep forces so you shouldn’t have to worry about freeps running for safety.

The third route, the one from Lumber Camp to the Hithlad Outpost, is a little more tricky. More often than not freeps travelling from Lumber Camp to the Hithlad Outpost will probably be doing so after having just captured the Lumber Camp. That is to say they are probably travelling as a group. Nevertheless there may be stragglers. This si why I have placed the camping spot in the general area in front of the bridge leading to the Hithlad Outpost. This means that you have a chance to catch any stragglers, but at the maximum distance from the Outpost (an the rest of the freep group) and possibly freep NPCs at the Lumber Camp. It’s not an ideal camping location, but a quick thinking warg who gets into position after the Lumber Camp has been captured by freeps might bag himself a kill.

River Outpost – Hoarhallow/Elf Camp

There are two routes here: the first between Hoarhallow and the River Outpost and the second between the River Outpost and Elf Camp.

For the first of these routes the idea is that the River Outpost is currently either neutral or under creep control with freeps heading toward sit to take it. The camping spot for this route is by the riverside beneath the River Outpost. A lone warg might catch a straggler here or a pack could net itself a small freep group. Either way this can be a good camping spot if there is know outpost flipping going on.

The second route is between the River Outpost and Elf Camp. This spot is really only good if the River Outpost has just fallen and you can get into position quickly. You might be able to catch the freeps who just captured the River Outpost heading towards Elf Camp. It’s a situational route, but again if you are fast it can pay off.

Hoarhallow – Cow Field

The third route is between Hoarhallow and the general direction of the Good Tol Ascarnen Map point. Freeps may be travelling along this rote for various reasons: to search for creeps at the Good Tol Ascarnen map point, to head towards Tol Ascarnen itself, to head up towards the Lugazag graveyard, etc. Whatever the reason it can be a lucrative route.

The camping spot for this route can really be anywhere between Hoarhallow and the Good Tol Ascarnen map point, but I would suggest that it be no farther away from Hoarhallow than about half way between those two points. That ensures that you aren’t too close to Hoarhallow with its freep NPCs, but also that you don’t go so far that freeps start branching off the route towards other areas. It also means that you are relatively close to the Good Tol Ascarnen map point in case you need to call in help.

This can be a good route to camp during quiet periods as freeps tend to think that this is a quiet area for creeps. That canw ork to your advantage as freeps might consider it semi-safe territory, which means more freeps passing through hopefully.

Summary

Some of these trade routes can be situational and require you to be in position fairly quickly. That’s the nature of them though, but conversely they are in spots that tend to see at least some traffic because of the outposts and so on in the area. It can be worth taking a sniff at these locations if other areas are proving to be dry wells.


Camping Spots – Lugazag Area

As always the following freep travel routes may not apply equally on all servers.

Freep travel routes are denoted in blue. Warg camping spot are marked in red.

Lugazag Intercepts

lugintercepts

The map above may look a little confusing at first with various lines and circles seemingly all over the place. However, it’s actually a very simply map with three main areas to look at. The first concerns freeps travelling from the Lugazag graveyard towards Lugazag itself. The second concerns freeps travelling between Lugazag graveyard and Tol Ascarnen. The third revolves around freeps travelling towards Elf Camp from elsewhere on the map.

Note: These travel routes assume that Lugazag, and thus its graveyard, are under freep control.

Lugazag – Graveyard

Assuming that freeps have some reason to travel between the Lugazag graveyard and Lugazag itself such as the keep being under attack by creeps these routes can be just as busy as the ones over at Tirith Rhaw. There are two main routes freeps can use between the graveyard and the keep: headed towards the front of the keep via Lugazag Hill or headed towards the back of the keep (or even on towards the front of the keep) via a route that takes them behind Lugazag.

For the direct route towards the front door via Lugazag Hill there are two main spots that are good for camping. The first is between the graveyard and Elf Camp. It’s best if you actually position yourself a little way to the side of Elf Camp rather than right smack dab in-between it and the graveyard. This means that any freeps you encounter will have a slightly harder time of it in reaching the relative safety of Elf Camp. Personally I don’t favour this spot because I consider it too close to both the graveyard and Elf Camp, either of which can be used as a safety point for freeps.

The second, and better in my opinion, camping spot is on Lugazag Hill just above Lugazag Crossroads. This has the advantage of being far from the graveyard and relatively far from Elf Camp so that there is less chance of a fleeing freep reaching safety. The other advantage you have here is that should something go wrong and you have to flee you have trees around you to provide some cover and break line of sight.

For the route that takes freeps behind Lugazag I have marked the camping spot as being behind the keep. Note that the camping spot is not directly behind the keep at the back door. Rather it is on the plain below the back of the keep. This affords you a good spot to intercept any freeps seeking to travel up behind the keep and you can intercept them before they get up the hill to Lugazag.

Lugazag Graveyard – Tol Ascarnen

This is a fairly simple route that sees freeps travelling between Lugazag graveyard and Tol Ascarnen, either going to Tol Ascarnen from the graveyard or vice versa. A fight at Tol Ascarnen could see freeps running back there from the graveyard or conversely if there is a fight at a creep held Lugazag graveyard freeps may be coming towards the graveyard from Tol Ascarnen to join the fight. In either case the camping spot are the same.

Again you could use a camping spot a little way off from the graveyard, between the graveyard and the Crude Tol Ascarnen map point. This could work if the graveyard is creep held, but there will likely be freeps around this area if there is a fight at the graveyard so it probably isn’t your best option. Likewise if the graveyard is freep held this location might just be too close to the graveyard and freeps may be able to run back there for safety.

A better camping spot in my opinion is at the shallow river crossing between Tol Ascarnen and the Crude Tol Ascarnen Map point. This has the advantage of being far away from both the graveyard and Elf Camp so freeps can’t easily reach either for safety. It is perhaps a little too close to Tol Ascarnen that if Tol Ascarnen is in freep hands freeps could potentially reach friendly NPCs, but even so it’s still a good option because it is a natural crossing point and is likely to see traffic.

Elf Camp – Cow Field

This route covers those freeps trying to reach Elf Camp via the cow field. They will have to cross the river at some point during this route, but I don’t recommend fighting in the water as it presents difficulties and what we are looking for here are quick clean kills and a fast exit. You don’t want to be stuck swimming whilst a freep shoots you from the river bank. Instead I would recommend a camping spot on the Elf Camp side of the river, pretty much half way between the graveyard and the Crude Tol Ascarnen Map Point.

As above this presents difficulties if the freeps control the graveyard because they have a nearby point of safety. However, because this are ais a catchment area for the above two routes as well it can be worth it sometimes if there is significant enough traffic.

Summary

Like the Tirith Rhaw routes these trade routes are really only viable when there is substantial activity in the area. At other times they can be pretty quiet. However, when they are busy they can see a steady stream of freep traffic and that means kills. You have to be a little extra careful with positioning on these routes because of the various points of safety freeps have in the area, but with patience and good positioning these can be very worthwhile camping spots.


Camping Spots – Tirith Rhaw Area

As always lease note that the routes listed below may vary from server to server.

Freep travel routes are shown in blue. Warg camping spots are shown in red.

Tirith Rhaw Intercepts

trintercepts

In the map above we see essentially one freep travel route, which can be split into two sections. The travel route is from the Tirith Rhaw graveyard locate don top of Candy Mountain and heads for the keep of Tirith Rhaw itself. Whilst the goal is to reach Tirith Rhaw there are two routes to get there: one going towards the front of the keep and the other heading for the back door entrance to the keep.

These routes are most likely to be used when there is fighting at the keep with freeps seeking to re-enter the keep to defend it after having been killed. Another possibility is that of freeps having been killed elsewhere on the map and looking to get to the nearest friendly spot after rezzing at the Tirith Rhaw graveyard. In either case the end result is pretty much the same.

Note: These camping spots obviously assume that Tirith Rhaw, and thus the Tirith Rhaw graveyard, are under freep control.

Tirith Rhaw – Front Door

This route is more likely to be used when the keep is under freep control and an attacking force of creeps is fighting downstairs in the lower hall. Freeps using this route gain direct access to the fight and can reinforce their friends most easily.

There are two good spots for camping this route. The first is on the flat plain area in front of Candy Mountain. Freeps coming straight down the hill from the graveyard can’t help passing you here so it’s an ideal spot for intercepting them. You don’t want to be too close to Candy Mountain itself though so make sure you intercept freeps after they come out of the trees that are on the hillside. If you attack them too soon whilst they are till on the hill they can more easily run back towards the graveyard and its one shotter NPCs.

The second camping spot for this route is further towards the keep. If you position yourself around the rock formations between Tirith Rhaw and Candy Mountain you will again have a good spot to intercept freeps. Those coming towards the front door will have to pass by you here even if they are going to head for the wall at the side of Tirith Rhaw and sneak around to the front rather than simply heading straight for the door. Thus this is a good spot to intercept freeps using both of those options.

The other advantage you have here is of course that the freeps are further away from the graveyard so they can’t easily runt o that for safety. However, they are closer to the keep so they can potentially make a run for the keep and friendly forces there. Make sure you kill quick in this spot to prevent that.

Tirith Rhaw – Back Door

This is essentially the same deal as we had with the route to the front door. The first camping spot is identical to that first camping spot for the front door route so I shan’t go over it again here.

The second spot is behind Tirith Rhaw, near the bears that roam around there. Now you may be wondering why I have chosen a camping spot near freep NPCs. The simple answer is that it is the lesser of two evils. If you move the camping spot further back you risk being too close to the back door of the keep and if the keep is under freep control, as we are assuming it is here, then all a freep has to do is click on the door, whether they are in combat or not, and they reach safety. This spot is far enough away from the door to help prevent that.

As for the bears obviously try not to attack freeps too close to them that you pull them. If you do pull the bears then don’t worry too much, you can kill them fairly quickly. This is especially true if you are in a pack. Don’t try and run the bears off because there really isn’t anywhere good for you to run here without possibly running into freeps.

Summary

These can be productive trade routes for wargs assuming that Tirith Rhaw is under attack. Whilst the freeps are busy fighting the creep raid inside Tirith Rhaw you can get busy intercepting stragglers to the fight or those returning from the graveyard. Obviously these aren’t good routes when Tirith Rhaw is not under attack, but when it is they can often be better options for kills than fighting inside the keep itself where stealth can be broken easily and more NPCs pulled than you can deal with.