Last night, MVOP met in the Consulate Docks to begin the run through the Nightfall Campaign. I stayed behind to check out the new Dervish update, but I did join the livestream group for the vanquish of Melandru’s Hope. Discussion covered the Dervish skill update, PAX, and of course there was Guild Wars 2 speculation. You can check out the recorded session here, and tune in to the next MVOP Night over at the Massively channel.
In other news, ArenaNet changed up Guild Wars yesterday with the new update for the Dervish, so I’ll give my initial impressions.
Firstly, the Dervish is now much less of a tank than it used to be. Well, I find it harder to use as a tank, anyway. A few of the skills that I had on my old skill bar changed too much for me to want to use them, and others won’t function as I’d like with the new enchantment remvoval skills. At first I thought this was a bad thing, but after changing up my skill bar, equipment, secondary profession, and attributes, I’ve discovered how versatile the new Dervish can be.
"I now juggle conditions like I juggle geese!" - Kronox Gaia, Feb. 2011.
The Dervish is much more of a support profession than before, with more party heals and condition placement abilities available to them. Energy management is better, with the introduction of adrenaline use on certain scythe skills, and the revamp of mysticism. I’m also glad they increased the attack speed of the scythe to get adrenaline notches quicker. These are all great improvements.
As for skills, I’ve always steered clear of the Avatar skills before, but after the update they seem incredibly useful. These elites can now be used for a multitude of beneficial purposes, be it team support, self defense, inflicting conditions, stealing health or energy. The number of different skill bars that have yet to be created with these changes is exciting, and I’ll share with you a new build that I’ve just started using:
Attributes: 13 Scythe Mastery, 11 Earth Prayers, 8 Mysticism, 10 Illusion Magic. Also, I’m currently running with 440 health and 30 energy.
Type of build: Condition spamming and Area of Effect damage.
1: Avatar of Balthazar – Elite skill. Use for increased physical armour, faster adrenaline build-up, and applying burning when enchantments are stripped.
2: Fragility – AoE damage when enemies gain/lose conditions.
3: a) Crippling Sweep – Use to apply crippled condition.
b) Zealous Sweep – Useful for energy/adrenaline management.
4: Staggering Force – First flash enchantment. Strip off with skill 5/8 for cracked armour condition.
5: Wearying Strike – Strip off flash enchantment, applies deep wound.
6: Reap Impurities – Strip off enemy condition, damages adjacent enemies.
7: Heart of Holy Flame – Second flash enchantment. Strip off with skill 5/8 for burning condition.
8: Signet of Pious Light – Self heal, use to strip off flash enchantment.
As you can see, this build is based around the application and removal of both conditions and flash enchantments. It’s important to maintain the Avatar and have Fragility active on at least one enemy at all times. With each application of a condition, enemies hexed with Fragility (and enemies adjacent to them) take 15 damage, and once again when a condition ends/is removed. Because of the almost constant application and removal of conditions, most enemies will go down pretty quickly. This skill bar also causes more burning than my Elementalist’s!
I’m loving this build, but I’ll likely tweak it if I find any bosses/foes that counter it. I’d also love to try it with an E/Me hero/guildie with Teinai’s Crystals and Hypochondria.
Here’s the build code (that’s minus rune attributes, of course) – OgWkEop6ayej7dC8f1uBYn74V/C
Have fun with it!