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  1. #1
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    Aug 2011
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    U22.5+ : The Keen Blade Overview

    Greetings and welcome back to previous readers,

    Been a while since I last wrote regarding Guardians trait trees, and meanwhile, a lot of changes happened, primarly focused on The Keen Blade.
    As always, I'll be stating that the purpose of this thread is to compile a knowledge base for all new Guardians as well giving some feedback to the developers.
    Without further ado, let's get started then.

    The Keen Blade

    Upon selecting this trait tree, you gain 2 skills, Force Opening (which allows you to play your more damaging skills without needing a parry response) and Overwhelm, which I'll touch upon in a moment.
    Unlike every single other trait tree in the game, Guardians are excluded from a passive bonus when selecting a tree, for reasons unknown

    Part 1:BLEEDS

    I'm going to make a change to my previously used format and explain the bleeds first, as they're the key to making this entire line work.
    As such, I'll explain everything affecting them and how to draw the most benefit from their damage.

    Deep Wound


    The first bleed you'll unlock in the trait tree. Deep Wound last the longest, but has the lowest damage ticks of all your bleeds.
    On it's own, it won't win any rewards, however, it's just a stepping stone to getting the much better, upgraded bleed.
    It's gained by getting a successful hit with Thrust.

    Terrible Wound


    Terrible Wound is your most damaging and 2nd longest lasting bleed. It's an amazing damage source with considerable lenght. Anything that gets it on landscape usually dies by the end.
    It's unlocked by using Overwhelm on a target that's currently affected by Deep Wound

    Worth noting:There's a chance that Deep Wound bleed disappears but Terrible Wound doesn't appear, without there ever being a resist proc. Not sure what's going in such scenarios.

    Slashing Wound


    Slashing Wound is your only AOE bleed (affects multiple targets). It deals decent damage, even on single targets and due to it's duration and cooldown, it can easily have a 100% up time (meaning you have have it on active on your target(s) pretty much the entire fight)
    Achieved by hitting an enemy with Sweeping Cut (has to be traited in the trait tree)

    Haemorrhaging Wound


    And finally, Haemorrhaging Wound is your 2nd highest damage dealing bleed, but has the shortest duration.
    However, with proper traiting, it can also have a 100% uptime without much luck needed (I'll explain in a later post).
    Gained by successfully hitting an enemy with Brutal Assault (has to be traited)

    That's all for bleeds themselves, let's check out the exlusive talents this tree brings...
    Last edited by zipfile; Sep 15 2018 at 06:09 AM.

  2. #2
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    Part 2: TALENTS

    Valorous Strenght



    Damage bonus is additive to your mastery rating (meaning that, if you draw 160% physical damage increase, it's added on top for that equalling 170% for melee damage)
    Critical damage is also pretty good. Overall, a simple trait.

    Reactive Parry



    Pretty bad. Horrible. Breaks my heart every single day.
    Damage from getting a parry response is pretty terrible. Not even worth writing about, don't rely on it for anything.

    Protection by the Sword



    In essence, this skills allows you to play your parry response skills when you're not the one on the forefront, tanking damage. By placing it on your main tank and standing relatively near, every time the affected ally parries, you can the ability to play your parry responses.
    Bonus 2% melee damage is nothing wrong writing about though. Pretty negligible.

    Bleed Them Dry



    All your bleeds gain 2 additional seconds of duration, pretty decent in some areas as it allows Slashing Wound to last long enough to have a guaranteed 100% up time and makes Terrible Wound more potent.
    (This actually means all bleeds gain an additional tick of damage at the end).

    Brutal Charge



    Your Charge skill becomes Brutal Charge.
    • Extends the duration by 5 seconds
    • Grants you 10% melee damage during the buff
    • Upon playing your first skill in combat, you Knock Down the target for 5 seconds. (Tip: If you play on fighting multiple enemies, gather them first and then use an AOE skill, don't initiate out of combat because you'll not stun them, wasting an AOE skill)


    Some CC, a potentially great speed and melee damage buff. Pretty good.
    Last edited by zipfile; Sep 15 2018 at 06:11 AM.

  3. #3
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    Heavy Blows



    I'd say honestly, this is pretty disappointing. For such a late talent, it's bonus damage should be much high than 5%. It's basically a nerfed Valorous Strenght. Critical damage however, is a good boost.

    Prey on the Weak



    What have you become, my sweetest friend?

    This used to be a trait I really liked, but now, it's very, very disappointing.
    Damage is mediocre at best, which isn't even added on top of a critical hit, but rather as a seperate instance. For a capstone talent, disappointing.
    An example in a parse is listed below.




    For Vastin: In the next balance pass, do you mind looking this one over again and changing it for a single target trait, to follow with the rest of trait tree? As it stands, it's....it's pretty bad I'd say.

  4. #4
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    Part 3: TRAITS

    And in the last part of this overview, I'll look over all the individual traits and skills gained from spending points into this line.
    As there are many that haven't changed since the last build, I'll be copy-pasting some since I don't have much to add.

    Thrill of Battle



    It was a disappointing trait to begin with. Now, it's just plain bad. Don't bother, there are better ones out there, heal is bad, CD is too long.
    Personal note: Honestly, I don't see this one working at all in it's current form. Maybe make it a DPS trait, example: Gives Physical mastery while Guardians Ward is active. Or make it the 1/2/3/4/5% bonus to critical chance.

    Thrill of Battle


    Despite what is says on the tooltip(Bug/typo, same as it's equal in the blue line, need a dev to clear up the wording), it gives you a flat chance to fully parry an attack, at max rank that chance being 5%. Great stuff for tanking, good stuff for soloing.

    Heavy Weapons Training


    5% melee damage buff, for 5 trait points. It's....not very good, but gotta spend points somewhere to progress down the tree...

    Broad Strokes


    Adds 2 additional targets and unlocks your Slashing Wound bleed. Good stuff for AOE damage.

    Brutal Assault & friends


    Brutal Assault now actually deals damage and can be useful....I honestly never thought I'd see the day....
    On it's own, damage is okay, however, the real power comes when you fully trait it with the back-up traits, Tireless Blows and Haemorrhage.

    Tireless Blows causes your parry response skills, upon being played, to have a chance to reset Brutal Assaults cooldown (they don't have to hit, they just have to be played/used).
    Haemorrhage gives Brutal Assault a chance to cause a Haemorrhaging Wound bleed and increases it's damage.
    Pretty nice stuff!

  5. #5
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    Invigourating Parry


    Power restore on a critical parry response. Not much to it, but only useful if you're struggling with power while leveling.
    Tip: Counts in every critical as a separate instance. A critical strike on a Whirling Retaliation can restore large amounts of power instantly.

    To the Rescue



    Meme. Don't use it in a serious build, could be useful as a swap trait but that's about it.

    Warriors Fortitude


    Provides various bonuses upon using Warriors Heart. Honestly, it's pretty damn good to finally get some extra critical chance, but the physical mastery buff is laughable.
    Personal note: Change the physical mastery buff to %extra melee damage OR add a legacy which increases the physical mastery.


    Thrust & Raw Power



    Thrust is a parry response skill which delivers a Deep Wound bleed on the enemy upon a successful hit.
    Raw Power increase the damage of both Deep Wound and Terrible Wound and extends the duration by 6 seconds (or +3 ticks).

    To the King & Blind Rage



    To the King is a pretty powerful single target attack which will stun for 5 seconds on a critical hit (or initiate a fellowship manouvre if in a fellowship).
    Traiting Blind Rage will cause To the King to grant you +10% melee damage and increased attack speed by 20%.
    Attack speed increase means you attack faster with auto-attacks and all your skills play much faster, which is an amazing benefit to have considering how slow a lot of your skills are.

  6. #6
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    Hammer Down



    Hammer Down is your most damaging skill in the entire game, capable of pretty much one shotting most of the mobs you can encounter solo on landscape.
    Extra critical damage is actually a multiplier which appears to be around 20%, on top of everything else. It's not unheard of to have Hammer Down hit for 300k+ on a greatly debuffed target.

    The stun aspect of the skill is...well, it's not needed. At all. Red Guardian already have so many ways to disable his targets, this is an overkill.
    Personal note: Change the bonus for low morale enemies so that they cannot block, parry or evade the attack if you're under 30% morale

    Honourable Combat



    Uhm, no.
    Even in a best case scenario, 15% power and morale restore, at the cost of losing a bleed isn't worth it.
    Sure, even if you have a 2 second time overlap between Slashing Wound and Sweeping Cut's cooldown, the point is better used elsewhere.


    Closing Remarks

    Well, this is pretty much it, I think I've covered everything without spoiling too much or skipping over.
    As always, if anyone has anything to contribute or any questions, feel free to reply and we'll discuss.

  7. #7
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    Just started playing the game and my Guardian last night again. Come to forums to see this, perfect timing.

    As of skills have changed since last time...is there a general guide on best practices for opening skill and best rotations through abilities?
    Tharnus - Guardian
    Brandywine
    BraxKedren - Twitter

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otik View Post
    Just started playing the game and my Guardian last night again. Come to forums to see this, perfect timing.

    As of skills have changed since last time...is there a general guide on best practices for opening skill and best rotations through abilities?
    Okay, well, I'd say for start, cycle all the skills you have, but always open up with Guardians Ward so you can have a chance to parry.

    After getting some skill points, consider prioritizing getting to bleeds first.

    I'll post a general rotation at some point during the weekend, currently busy.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by zipfile View Post
    Okay, well, I'd say for start, cycle all the skills you have, but always open up with Guardians Ward so you can have a chance to parry.

    After getting some skill points, consider prioritizing getting to bleeds first.

    I'll post a general rotation at some point during the weekend, currently busy.
    Thanks, that gives me a start to play with and hopefully get me remembering what I used to do. Lots to play with this weekend.
    Tharnus - Guardian
    Brandywine
    BraxKedren - Twitter

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otik View Post
    Thanks, that gives me a start to play with and hopefully get me remembering what I used to do. Lots to play with this weekend.
    Not a problem, hope you enjoy!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Decrepify and myself have slightly different thoughts on what should be done to make guardian better but we both agree that ToB and Honourable combat heals are a joke, and would like to see Vastin incorporate the 2 into something more meaningful.

    You have a good idea on what can be done for ToB, however I would like to see it become a flat mastery increase based on level or a flat might increase based on level with a crit multiplier or crit chance increase either with each point or adding the crit chance/multipler at the final point placed in the trait.
    One should not get so blinded by ones own opinions that one does not see others opinions even if one does not agree with those opinions.

    -Lord.Funk

 

 

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