View Full Version : Game Theory - Monks and splitable builds
Recently I’ve noticed a common trend of Mo/E’s running GolE and Aegis to combat high pressure builds. I know from experience that these monks are not nearly as viable in a split situation.
Considering that standard “balanced” builds are able to pressure/spike/split at least somewhat well, what type of monk backlines do you find the most versatile?
Follow-up question: What do you “outsource” to other members of the team to alleviate the pressure that 2 monk teams commonly face with high pressure damage builds?
My thoughts: this is a good backline that can handle most types of pressure and still split semi competently:
A ZB/Infuse is quite potent against pressure as well as spike builds. Run that with deadly paradox/dark escape to make it more survivable - running Gift or not it's completely dependant on monk's preference/skill. (side note I prefer having GoH on the bar as you can ZB a adren spike, and just have Infuse vs caster spike)
A RC/GoH monk with return/dark escape, this monk is able to extend a bit further to get conditions off the front line warriors.
As for outsourcing - either a /me or me/ with expel hexes, and runner with extinguish and Heal Party (or just LoD if you prefer Mo/E runners).
Outsourcing is a bit of an odd way to look at it. There are non-monk based things that help immensly with defence. Do you count wards as outsourcing? What about blinds? Snares? Knockdowns? Interupts? Shutdown hexes? In a sense they are all another form of prot or have an effect that can be used as a prot.
In the conventional sense, I believe that the main purpose of monks is to stop spikes and to help relive pressure. I prefer to have the grunt condition and hex removal outsideof the monks and the key targeted removals on the monks with sufficient non-directed heals outsidethe monks to counter degen. This means self heals on the warriors, which also enables them to split, and at least one heal party in the build (or LoD).
Good point Deford, outsourcing may not be the best term for it, but it's the best fit that I could come up with. Blinds/Snares were never a monk's job, and altho they make his job easier really can't be counted as outsourcing... call it indirect prot or defensive skills if you want.
That of course brings up another question - how much "defense" do you normally bring in a GvG build?
Depends on the build. If strictly pressure is being run, more defence would be needed then when playing on a big spike team. If your GvG team can kill at will (Think 600+ damage spike on a single hit, spiking every 10-15 seconds) then defence is not as important, simply because you can kill off enemy threats. If your team is build around wearing them down, then defence is a major concern as the last thing you need is to have key players killed off by a big spike.
The amount of defense depends entirely on your game plan. If you want to zerg the ladder, you want to fly with as little defense as possible because defense takes away from offence which means longer matchers and less rating. If you look at the old 4 thumpers, 1 tainted, 2 monks, 1 runner build that used to be popular it had next to no defence, only a little utility on the necro and runner to help the monks out. The concept being that your team will get railed on and fall apart quickly, but their team will fall appart first. Because of this the two good strategies against this build were to bounce around and dp out the necro or one of the monks quickly or to split because this build can't split well.
The exact opposite of this is the tournament builds that IQ uses and a large number of teams now use. Their entire point is to protect npcs till vod and then to have a few skills to wipe out every enemy npc at vod. In the fun season final against QQ they had 3 linebackers that didn't even sniff at a monk the entire match, a defensive trapper, a ritualist, 2 monks, and a fire ele that didn't cast an offensive spell until the vod bell tolled. Their build was almost incapable of killing a decent team before vod but once vod hit it was almost a sure thing. PnH ran a fairly defensive build as their balanced with enough gales to disrupt any real spike and imbue health on their dervishes. If the match made it to vod they had enough aoe to take out all the npcs quickly too. They had more offence than IQ had in the previous 2 tournaments though. (PnH actually used some of the ideas in the build IQ posted on their site. It was the build they would have ran if they had participated. I wish I could link to it because it is a good educational resource, but I can't.)
A midway would be the Korean balance builds. They typically have a lot of utility on the midline in the form of draw conditions, wards, expel hexes, martyr, heal other, ect... They weren't always there but it wasn't uncommon to see defensive elites on a mesmer, a draw conditions, and a few utility spells on an ele. They also ran personal evades on almost every position and they all seemed to kite like monks. Ironically, the closer you get to the middle the more you rely on the abilities of your players and less on your build.
Spikes are of course a different breed. They are all about enough offence to get reliable clean spikes, this includes skills to shut down monks for 2-3 seconds at a time, and the rest goes into shutting your team down. Because of this they can't split as well, they have enough damage in their build to kill 1 target at a time, not 2. They also tend to rely on things like aegis and ward chains that fall apart if you are not fighting 8v8. This is why they tend to play on maps that can't be split on and their split defense is often just enough to keep their guild lord alive long enough for them to kill the rest of your team. If you look at Ward Against Noobs mesmer spike it is quite scary. Once you are caught in it there is little you can do because it just has too much instant damage and can run right through an infuse. It also has enough shutdown for an entire teams offence thanks to the fact that they run 5 mesmers and multiple copies of blinding surge. They use a monk runner and if they're split upon they just sit him back next to the guild lord and he heals his new party that consists of the guild lord npcs and turtles until his team kills your defensive split.
They key thing is that all of these are examples of build that know what they want and have each individual skill, attribute point, and equipment choice aimed to further that purpose. If you sit around in vent and go "lets run 2 shock axe, 2 esurge mesmers, and a blindbot tonight" you are going to do poorly because you aren't running a team build you are dropping in a bunch of premade builds and going in with a pug mentality that will end in defeat. I once guested for a team that wanted to run a blessed light and a zb mo/e. They asked me to run glyph of lesser to power aegis and convert hexes. I asked them what I was supposed to do if someone cast diversion or shame on the blessed light monk since the only hex removal in the build came from the blessed light and 2 convert hexes. Their response was that they saw a top guild run mo/e in obs mode and wanted to try it out, only they didn't bother to notice that their was utility in that build outside of the monk bars, that were near suicide to play in their build.
I write too much and don't proofread enough.
The only splits I see now adays is 6-2 splits, or 7-1 splits (with a sin going to kill npcs) Sometimes ull get either a mes or an ele with ur 2 man split team, and the other team sends back there mo/e runner to save npcs, and maybe send back there b-surge spiker. As for monk builds, Mo/E is very viable with the aegis chain, but Mo/W (balanced and bash) I think would be a decent spliiting build, and theres always the Mo/me with breake. Dont forget that return/escape is still decent) Most common 3 monk backlines: 1 mo/e LoD flagger, 1 mo/(W, E, me, A) ZB, 1 mo/(W, E, me, A) B-light (I think divert comes in and out of meta now lol). If only using a 2 monk backline, with ele flagger, I see usally LoD and ZB, with an outsource for hexes.
This is an ugly post, I appologize
Hi Parker, Hunter Syndrome here.
Talking purely build-wise, I have been running Light of Deliverance along with Either Restore Condition, or Zealous Benediction. The reasoning behind this is the fact that this combination does extremely well versus heavy pressure meta of Dervishes and AoE, and also has ability to combat adren spike/warrior pressure with great self preservation. The LoD monk is generally more sit back and heal backline, while the ZB is power heal for front/mid line. LoD is more party effect, while ZB is more single target. These monks also split well due to the fact that they both have self heals + preservation skills (aka return).
As for outsourcing, it really depends on the current meta. As of today, we have been running expel due to the immense amount of hex teams at the moment. We opted for Expel on the mesmer as opposed to divert on the monk is because of the fact that most teams are prepped for that, and the monks usually are the ones hex stacked + tight on energy. Also, what has become standard for me is an off monk heal party on either an E/Mo, or Monk runner, and rarely a draw conditions for warriors.
As for tactical defense, the best way to counter a heavy 8v8 pressure besides out pressuring them is splitting. There is a way to split effectively on EVERY map, including the Isle of Flame. By splitting, you force them to either send alot of their offense back, or lose the match. Often times heavy 8v8 pressure builds have no effective split, and therefore will die on the split. If they decide to send a monk back, then your stand team can just pressure out the monk at the stand with ease. Also, collapsing works extremely well, and oftentimes become the turning point of the match.
Every build dV has ran so far pretty much had an effective split to either counter-split dedicated split teams, or just split heavy pressure builds.
This weekend, I monked for my guild testing out a Shield of Regeneration Monk as a Flagstand Monk. The other Monk was ZB-Infuse with GoLE + Aegis, but on the SoR Monk I did not have Aegis because I needed GoLE for SoR. Our Flagrunner was LoD with GoLE + Aegis though, so we had a nearly complete Aegis Chain using only one of the Monks.
I found the SoR Monk very strong both in 8v8 and on the split, and of course the ZB monk is also strong on a split.
The SoR bar I ran actually did not have GoH, so I could invest purely in Prot and focus on damage mitigation over healing.
Signet of Devotion, Reversal of Fortune, Shield of Absorption, Shielding Hands, Shield of Regeneration, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Dismiss Condition, Holy Veil
Our ZB had some extra hex removal I think... Purge Signet or something. Also, a Convert Hexes on our E/Mo Warder/Blinder/HPSpammer, which we decided to use because we were using a gank.
So with that backline/midline/runner setup, we had a lot of options for splitting really. Also, we ran two W/Mo's with Mending Touch.
Also, SoR seems to handle pressure extremely well, especially Dervish trains (provided that you keep Grenth interrupted/dead)
The easiest way to balance a two monk backline is to use this backline.
Two Blessed Lighters with the following skills.
Gift of Health
Shield of Absorbtion(when this gets nerfed swap in a siggy of dev/purge siggy/holy veil)
Reversal of Fortune
Spirit Bond/Protective Spirit
Dark Escape (when warrior stances get their short recharge finalised pick one and use another monk skill like the ones mentioned above)
This way your monk bars completely complement each other in 8v8 for responding to spikes. There is a very efficient 11 spec Gift of Health in there.
Blessed Lighters with Return and dark escape have very high survivability.
I would say that for 8v8 the necessary outsourcing would be an extinguish or an aegis, and a Heal Party/Lod Runner, a draw and a off monk hex removal or two.
In the current metagame with dangerous pressure I would advise some very serious warrior hatred of the Hex Kind since blinds are not effective against grenth and melandrus.
Say even a Nec/Rit with weapon of warding and a Nec/Mo with draw and you have eneogh warrior hatred to survive and so on.
Why Blessed Light over Zealous benediction/LOD?
Gift of health is more efficient and you really want prot staying on focused targets to mitigate damage rather than using a skill that only heals. When we are worried about grenth trains use weapon of warding and hex the crap out of the grenth is about the only thing that can stop a grenth led melee train smashing prot of targets.
Blessed Light is my favourite tool of choice to keep team clean of hexes and conditions and a nice heal at the same time. I have used it mostly on offence to keep warriors clean so that we broke through enemy defences.
Why Blessed Light over RC/Divert
Divert is humility bait. RC is great against condition teams but two mend conditions are better.
Why Blessed Light over the new buffed elites? (when finalised)
Spirit bond and Prot spirit are still better and blessed Light is too good.
Since both Monks are near equal it is my opinion that the Spirit Bond guy is stronger on his own than the prot spirit guy and so when possible the guy with draw conditions goes with the Prot Spirit Guy.
One Monk Down?
Since both monks are "Balanced" your team is at a less significant disadvantage than in any other non balanced backline. say against hex pressure and your divert guy goes down then you might just go over the edge.
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