I Laugh in the Face of Spike Damage: Aura of Faith Single-Target Spike Reversal Protter - PvE Only

One of the questions I get sometimes is - Nuggeet! For a monk main, why do you share so few monk buildz?

Weeeeelll...

Like every monk in Guild Wars, I have builds for each of these four elites:
Healer's Boon
Zealous Benediction
Word of Healing
Unyielding Aura

...but to be honest, while these are 'safe' staples, at least two of them are overrated (UA and HB), and for the other two (ZB, WoH), well, it gets BORING playing them all the time. WoH bars, especially IMO, whether hybrid or otherwise, lack a certain synergy and utility.

As a result, I play around a lot with monk bars - I tend to rope in Alliance/Guild members as guineapigs, or test in FA/JQ.

Now, the problem with testing in FA/JQ is that the damage patterns are very different in PvE and PvP. PvP bars do tend to be easier to adapt to PvE than the other way around. However, you need to remember one basic difference between PvP & PvE (yes, there are masses of differences, but I find while running a heal, prot, or hybrid bar, that this is the greatest one): PvE tends to have way more party-wide damage than PvP.

This particular Protection bar was something I wrote more as a joke than anything, but when I went out and tested it, I found that it absolutely kicked ass. I have tested this extensively in Hard Mode - vqs, missions, whatever. Disclaimer though, it only works in Hard Mode - Normal Mode mobs don't hit hard enough to trigger Spirit Bond.

It is my favourite Protection Prayers build for PvE now. It has the most amazing spike reversal I have ever seen. It can save someone with 5% hp remaining - basically as long as you reach them in time to cast just two spells - Spirit Bond and Aura of Faith - their HP will leap back to full. And due to the nature of the build, it even works in areas with enchant removal (yes, even against mountains of Roaring Ethers with added boss ether]. It is fully meant to be used in conjunction with another healer - monk, rit, dervish, it doesn't matter - but it does depend on someone else to be the redbar provider.

On the down-side, this is not a faceroll bar. It takes a little while to learn and get used to, and if you prefer 'redbar spam' instead of judicious application, this is not the bar for you - you will run out of energy incredibly quickly. Arguably, if you prefer redbar spam, Protection Prayers is not the line for you, but I've written one Protection Prayers build that maximises on that, so, who knows?

Aura of Faith Single-Target Spike Reversal Protter - PvE Only

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Skills
Spirit Bond
Aura of Faith {Elite}
Guardian
Seed of Life
Aegis
Cure Hex
Dismiss Condition
Selfless Spirit

Stats
Protection Prayers [12] + [4]
Divine Favour [12] + [1]
Healing Prayers [3]

Gear

  • Superior Protection Prayers Rune
  • Survivor or Radiant Insignia (I prefer Survivors on monks, but this is totally a personal preference)
  • Major or Superior vigor rune
  • Vitae or Attunement runes to finish off (I prefer Vitae, but again, personal preference rules here)
  • Any staff / wand / spear / melee weapon + shield combo with hct/hsr Protection Prayers, and +20% Enchanting. I prefer a staff for this (Kephket's Refuge is a good one), but as long as you have the +20% Enchanting, anything goes.

Campaigns Needed
Prophecies, Factions, Nightfall

How to Use

  • Judiciously. No, really. XD
  • Precast Aegis - well-timed Aegis precasting reduces party-wide damage from all physical attacks by more than 50%. The best time to precast Aegis is when the mob of mobs is just a little bit outside of the your party's aggro bubble (that white circle on your radar), and moving towards you. Of course, Aegis should be recast (against physical attackers) whenever it's available, but precasting it always saves everyone pain against physical attackers.
  • Seed of Life on anyone taking consistent, consecutive damage packets - helps to even out party HP as a whole, taking a little pressure off your healing partner
  • Cure Hex and Dismiss Conditions to... cure hexes and dismiss conditions. -_- Who'da thunk. Hex removal - be circumspect about it. Remove it if they call it, it's something on you you need to remove, or if you're bored. Don't spam hex removal. Especially in PvE, it's just not worth it. All it does is eat your energy, and do you really care if a caster has Empathy?
  • Selfless Spirit - Whenever you think the shit is about to hit the fan.
  • Guardian - Mini prot, use it on anyone taking consistent physical damage
  • Spirit Bond - this is your big prot, toss it on anyone taking consistent damage that redbarring obviously isn't able to keep up with
  • Spirit Bond THEN Aura of Faith - this is your 'big gun', and the entire basis of this build. One thing you must remember when using Aura of Faith is that unlike Protective Spirit and the like, Aura of Faith cares when you cast it. To get the full bang for your buck out of Aura of Faith, you must cast Spirit Bond BEFORE you cast Aura of Faith. If you cast Spirit Bond, then Aura of Faith, and your target is hit, Spirit Bond will heal them for 200+ hp per hit, assuming the initial base damage of 60hp is met. If you cast Aura of Faith, then Spirit Bond, Spirit Bond will only heal for 104hp per hit, assuming base damage is met (which in turn is very difficult, because Spirit Bond doesn't count the damage that would have been done before Aura of Faith reduces it by 50%). Because Aura of Faith decreases all damage taken by the target by 50%, while increasing all healing done to the target by 103%, it synergises amazingly with a fellow healer. Not only do you cut spike damage in half with Aura of Faith, and provide a buffer with Spirit Bond, you make all THEIR spells heal for twice the amount as well. Not only that, it affects the Divine Favour healing bonus as well, so if your partner healer is another monk... yippee! It does, however, mean that you have to anticipate spikes, to get the full use out of this build. Please note that Spirit Light Weapon does not benefit from this Aura of Faith, though. :(

Variants

  • Deny Hexes instead of Cure Hex Deny Hexes removes at least 2 hexes, as it counts itself as a recharging Divine Favour skill. While it doesn't have the healing power of Cure Hex (which wasn't very much, anyway, for 3 points), removing more hexes can be better than just removing one,a nd getting an extra heal.
  • Other than that... there's nothing on this bar I would drop or change. When things get hairy, you will need Selfless Spirit. If you're running with a group that absolutely insists that you bring a rez, then you shouldn't be running a build like this anyway. Bring rez scrolls, or run something conventional to make them feel safe, even if it is less powerful. Failing that, leave the group altogether.

Counters

  • General Caster Hate
  • Injudicious facerolling - you'll run out of e and be useless

Additional notes

Where have you tested this?
Just about everywhere. Vanquishes, HM missions, Elite areas, you name it. Do not use this in normal mode though. If the damage requirement for Spirit Bond isn't met, your protted target will die. It's also weak against mountains of minions. Minions don't hit hard enough in general to trigger Spirit Bond, so it'll be Death By a Thousand Cuts for your protted target.

Can heroes use this?
No. Heroes think Aura of Faith is Reversal of Fortune.

OMG! A Prot build without Protective Spirit? NOOB!
You don't Protective Spirit with this build. No, really. NO ONE in your party needs Protective Spirit, if you use this build right.

Battle For Lion's Arch Necro/Rit Spiritual Heal n Prot Bot

I frequently pug BLA for fun, and today looking through my Google analytics stuff (which I only do very, very irregularly), I find a very large number of searches for builds for BLA. >.>

No Zmobie Left Behind works well in BLA. I would recommend taking Blood Ritual over Go for the Eyes! though, since non-necro healers are very, very energy-hungry in this fight.

However, since there were ever so many searches, I'll share a healer build I run very often as well. No, it's not a monk healer build. I *have* a monk healer build I use for BLA, but to tell the total truth, the necro build is so much less stressful because of the infinite energy from Soul Reaping - especially in this fight. That being said, I would strongly advise against using this build anywhere else. The only reason it works well is that things are dying so fast, in such a small area, in BLA. It has absolutely no e-management (other than Soul Reaping), and very energy-heavy spells.

So, here it is:

BLA Necro/Rit Spiritual Heal n Prot Bot

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Skills
Soothing Memories
Mend Body & Soul
Spirit Light Weapon {Elite}
Protective Was Kaolai
Shelter
Rejuvenation
Life
Union

Stats
Soul Reaping [8] + [4]
Restoration [12]
Communing [10]

Gear

  • Superior Soul Reaping rune
  • Mix of Survivor and Radiant Insignia
  • Major or Superior vigor rune
  • 2 Attunement and 1 Vitae rune to finish off
  • Sword/Spear and Shield (hsr/hct and hp are good. Do not go for energy, or you may have e problems when you recast Protective Was Kaolai)

Campaigns Needed
Factions, Nightfall (only if using Xinrae's Weapon or Weapon of Remedy in place of Spirit Light Weapon).

How to Use

  • Put all your spirits up, preferably a little behind the two pillars in front of the gates of Lion's Arch (near the first stairs)
  • Carry Protective Was Kaolai at all times
  • Drop Protective Was Kaolai to counter group damage (dropping it twice should give you a 180hp party heal)
  • Use Soothing Memories as your main heal (energy efficient when clutching Protective Was Kaolai - what, a necro/rit talking about energy efficiency? Shhhhh.)
  • Mend Body & Soul to remove conditions
  • Spirit Light Weapon to top up / counter degen, Mursaat, general stupidity, etc. You should almost always have at least one spirit in range, so Spirit Light Weapon should be healing for 24hp/s
  • Renew spirits as fast as they die / your binding rituals recharge

Variants

  • Xinrae's Weapon instead of Spirit Light Weapon [Requires Nightfall] If you don't like how people keep running out of range of spirits to chase things out the gates of Lion's Arch, thereby making Spirit Light Weapon heal for a measly 12hp/s, use Xinrae's Weapon instead. At least it even comes with a mini prot! XD
  • Weapon of Remedy instead of Spirit Light Weapon [Requires Nightfall] So many conditions! AaaAa! And as mentioned, people keep running out of spirit range? (Where they don't usually live too long anyway...) Weapon of Remedy is the remedy for your woes! Off go those conditions. Wootz! Consider replacing Mend Body & Soul with Spirit Transfer, but be aware that the latter is a 10e spell
  • Recuperation instead of Rejuvenation +3 Health regen for all your allies! And in BLA, you have a LOT of allies. And minions, should you have a MM, count as allies too. Of course, it doesn't top off party members quite as well as Recuperation, so it's purely a matter of personal preference. It's also appreciably more expensive to cast.

Counters

  • General Caster Hate
  • People running out of spirit range - no moar protz on them makez squisheh! With emphasis on HEH. -_-

Additional notes
Don't you have e management problems? You don't have any e management.
Nope.EVERYTHING dying to the left and right. If your enemies aren't dying, your allies certainly are! What's there to manage? And besides. Necros? Emanagement? AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ahem.

This build is so expensive! :(
There are worse builds. However, you can skimp and use a Major Vigor instead of Superior Vigor, if your sword/spear and shield have Fortitude mods.

Can heroes use this?
I haven't tried this on a hero, but they should use it pretty well. There's nothing in that bar that heroes use badly, iirc.

And that's that!

P.S.: To the guy who was looking for, "How the fuck do I get to Nahpui Quarter," sorry to disappoint you with screenshots. XD

Campy Paragons of Fallen Angels FTW! With Added Ninja Twin Value.

Discovered last night that the Paragon dance + general look go amazingly well with the raiment of the lich costumes ArenaNet released for Halloween!

1-4: My brand new baby paragon camping it up.

5: My GM camping it up with me in Avian Courting Dances of Dubious Nature after I show him the wonderfulness of Fallen Paragon Camp

6: My blonde ninja wif a bun meets her twin, a (surprise!) fellow blonde ninja with a bun.

...and people say there's nothing to do on GW. Pfft.

Killed in a Smiling Accident. » Blog Archive » Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.

Essentially I don’t get on with Guild Wars because every time I come to play it it teaches me just how bad I am outside of the basic piñata model of play. Every combat is so fast-paced and frantic that I finish it exhausted while not entirely sure what actually happened, other than I seem to somehow still be alive, which is the joy of having a healer henchman I suppose. In fact I picture the AI henchmen in my party silently mocking me for being an utter noob, and secretly all trying to vote-kick me out of the group so that they can continue on in peace without having to carry me.

If you play, have played, or are considering playing Guild Wars, you really, really should read this.

Also if you've introduced friends to your shiny new toy, brimming with happiness at its shininess, only to find them folding their arms, and saying, Vekk-style, 'I'm not impressed'.

It's a refreshingly honest and charmingly written look at why Guild Wars doesn't do it for Melmoth, and at the same time, is very clear on why it just might be your cup of tea.

It's definitely mine. =)

Pink Day in Lion's Arch 2010!

Earlier today, I switched to International District to sync Vizunah Square with someone, then, like most senile people, forgot to change it back.

A couple of hours later, I wandered over to Lion's Arch, and found a whole bunch of pink-clad people bouncing around, dancing and whatnot. Now, spontaneous strange dancing does happen (I think) in every MMO where there IS a /dance in the first place. However, spontaneous strange dancing of people all dressed in varying shades of pink is... not so common. Add this to the fact that random people kept asking when the 'Pink Dye Guy' would show up, only to be told, 'In 8 hours', I decided to investimagate!

And this is what I found. O.o
http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Pink_Day_in_LA/PinkDayArchive

Introduction

Well, guys and gals, it's about that time of year again. Saji here and I'm going to give you a little information about this year's, Pink Day in LA.

We're going with the theme that, "Gamers Care Too." Why? Well, with all the recent news stories about how people who play video games, especially violent ones, are bad people, and when a crime is committed, such as a shooting, you will no doubt hear about how the person was playing the newest Grand Theft Auto game, or some other violent game. But, obviously, not everyone who plays games is violent or bad. We're doing this event this year to show others that an online community with players from around the world can get together and support a worthy cause. We want to show the world that GAMERS CARE TOO!

Now, remember last year, where I gave a little speech on the subject of Breast Cancer? Well, it was awkward, trying to get people's attention with others constantly spamming. So, this year, there won't be any big speech on the subject, but instead, DRGN is making a site dedicated to informing gamers about Breast Cancer risks, treatments, and more. Check it out over at the Pink Day in LA Website.

"But what about in-game?" - I hear you ask. Well, to show support, like last year, we want everyone to get their armor decked out in brilliant pink. We want to see everyone in the district wearing pink, but, you'll have to supply your own dye! Sadly enough, last year we had many people take the free handouts of dye for granted, along with the fact we had rude players who interfered with other aspects of the event (such as the end photo-ops).

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reply to this post or email me at, mastersaji@pinkday.draconus-united.com or you can reach me on AIM or Yahoo IM at, Tooker311

And they've done it for 2 years already. O.o

As a former WoW player, all I can say is... wow. Not without respect for BBB's Raid from the Heart recently, I never saw anything even vaguely like this when I was playing WoW. Player-run events, sponsored by guilds, for no other reason than they find something important. Just... wow.

I think it helps greatly that in GW, as opposed to WoW, you can switch servers whenever you like. So there's no, 'Oh I would love to but I'd have to organise it on MY server, or I can't make it on YOUR server because I don't have a toon there that's high level enough, that can get there, etc'. I had a poke around another player-run event earlier this year - Mantlecon, which was rather fun as well.

Somewhat related is GW's Canthan New Year, where alliances will sponsor districts... just because. They'll go farm up all the stuff the chefs need, so all people have to do (if they don't want to / care to / haven't farmed enough to help) is stand around and chatter and get presents.

This is one of the things I really love about Guild Wars, that I don't think I ever experienced in World of Warcraft.

It's strange, really. How is it that an MMO where you can choose to spend almost all your 'gaming' activity time with your own AI encourages so much more player-run social interaction than one where people are forced to group with each other? Or did I just answer my own question?