Anti-martial tactics

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As melee damage is very effective, there are many melee counters in the game to protect against it. These counters are sometimes known as "melee hate". Most PvP builds will incorporate at least some melee hate — many PvP builds carry quite a bit of melee hate. The amount and type of melee counters carried by a PvP team or character is heavily influenced by the metagame.

Some PvP builds are known for their melee countering abilities. Blindbots, for example, are elementalists who spam Blinding Surge to quickly and constantly blind melee attackers. Linebackers are hammer wielding warriors who use knock downs to prevent enemy warriors from attacking.

Warriors, rangers, assassins, dervishes and paragons are often referred to as "physicals." Physical hate and melee hate are mostly interchangeable terms, as most counters work equally well against both (the notable exception being kiting, which works slightly less against ranged attackers).

General overview of melee counters[edit]

  • Kiting can be performed by anyone, and is often the most effective means of preventing melee damage. Kiting can be both augmented and countered by speed boosts. It comes at the cost of not being able to perform an action while kiting.
  • Snares can prevent an enemy from reaching melee range or helping with kiting.
  • Armor is the first line of defense against most kinds of damage. Characters with high armor rating (such as warriors and paragons) suffer far less pressure from attacks.
  • Protective enchantments. Some enchantments grant the recipient a chance to block attacks. Others can prevent damage, either through direct damage resistance or via increasing armor rating. Over reliance on enchantments can leave a character vulnerable to enchantment removal, such as Shattering Assault.
  • Protective weapon spells function much like enchantments, but cannot be removed or stacked. Protective shouts cannot be removed and can be stacked.
  • Ward spells, and to a lesser extent spirits, can create an area of relative safety from melee attacks.
  • Stances can give a player a chance to block, a speed boost, or sometimes both at the same time.
  • Miss-chance hexes punish the attacker while mitigating damage.
    • The blind condition causes enemies to miss 90% of attacks. While conditions can be removed faster than hexes, blindness is the most effective attack counter in the game. Blindness will not prevent characters from successfully using touch skills, such as Vampiric Touch.
  • Interrupts: properly timed, an interrupt can greatly reduce the damage output of an attacker. For example, an interrupt can be used to break an assassin attack chain. Some spells specifically interrupt attacks.

Melee counters by profession[edit]

Warrior Warrior[edit]

Warriors have the highest armor rating in the game against physical damage, augmented by shields. In addition, they have many stances useful for running away from danger or protecting themselves from attacks. They also have means to inflict cripple and weakness to enemies, as well as knock them down. Warrior is sometimes used as a secondary profession to gain access to the defensive stances.

  • Rush and Sprint can be used to escape from melee combat, or to catch up enemy melee attackers harassing your backline.
  • Auspicious Parry can quickly block attacks, while building up a warrior's ability to deal damage.
  • Bonetti's Defense is a defensive stance of particular use, because it costs no energy and can cause energy gain. Sometimes seen on arena monk builds.

Ranger Ranger[edit]

Rangers have many stances useful for kiting and/or blocking attacks, in addition to decent armor rating. Ranger traps are effective at crippling or blinding enemy melee attackers, and their animal companions are effective at keeping enemies at bay.

  • Rampage as One provides a speed boost while still allowing the ranger to use a stance.

Monk Monk[edit]

Monks are a common target, and so often have to pay particular attention to ensuring they carry the sufficient melee counters – either on their own skill bar or on an ally.

  • Amity and Pacifism are hexes that completely remove an enemy's ability to attack. Both skills require careful team coordination to work effectively.

Necromancer Necromancer[edit]

The Curses attribute of the necromancer is stacked with melee counters. Necromancers are the most common source of melee hate. Other professions, especially casters such as Elementalists, sometimes take some form of anti-melee skills from this attribute.

  • Reckless Haste causes attackers to miss, while increasing their attack speed. Has synergy with hexes that punish attacking, especially Price of Failure and Spiteful Spirit.

Mesmer Mesmer[edit]

Mesmers have many melee counters in their Illusion Magic attribute.

  • Blackout will not only disable an enemy's skills for a few seconds, but also removes any adrenaline built up for warrior, paragon and dervish adrenaline skills.
  • Physical Resistance is a stance that increases armor rating against physical attacks. It is not commonly used because of the drawback (reduced armor rating against elemental damage).
  • Spirit of Failure: in addition to causing a minor miss chance, this hex can also generate quite a bit of energy for the caster when combined with another hex or the blind condition.

Elementalist Elementalist[edit]

  • Storm Djinn's Haste and Windborne Speed provide speed boosts for kiting away from melee ranged attackers. Windborne Speed can be used to save kiting allies from melee ranged attackers.
  • Teinai's Wind and Whirlwind both knock down attacking characters in melee range. Not popular because the elementalist must position himself near a melee character for it to be effective.
  • Eruption causes blind; however, its lengthy recharge restricts its usefulness.
  • Sliver Armor is an enchantment that blocks attacks and causes damage. More often used in PvE and Earth elementlist based gimmick builds.
  • Ward Against Foes, Ward Against Melee, and Ward of Stability can protect a large number of allies from harm. Unlike enchantments, stances, or spirits, wards cannot be removed by enemy counters; however, characters clustered in a ward can be easy victims to area of effect damage.

Assassin Assassin[edit]

Assassins have more fragile armor rating for a melee profession, and yet end up spending at least some time on the frontline or ganking solo. To compensate, they have many skills to help avoid melee damage. Many of these skills involve Shadow steping into position. Because assassin skills are very effective at controlling positions, sometimes backline characters will take assassin as a secondary to aid in kiting.

  • Shadow Form can give the caster a variable amount of damage reduction, depending on other assassin enchantments.

Ritualist Ritualist[edit]

In addition to direct counters, offensive spirit spammers can create a dangerous area for melee ranged characters to enter, providing a safe haven for more vulnerable characters.

  • Displacement creates a wide area of protection against attacks, Union is also effective against most physical attackers. However, spirits die rather quickly under melee pressure; this can be counteracted with Soul Twisting and, to a lesser extent, Ritual Lord.
  • Soothing slows enemy adrenaline build up.
  • Dulled Weapon provides subtractive damage reduction and removes any possibilities of critical damage.
  • Binding Chains is a short but potent snare that punishes its target for moving.

Paragon Paragon[edit]

Paragons have excellent armor rating augmented by a shield. Most of their more general defensive shouts are of use against melee attackers, and they have a few shouts that directly counter melee attackers.

  • "Fall Back!" and "Incoming!" grants an excellent, area of effect speed boost with bonus healing. Perfect for aiding kiting teammates.

Dervish Dervish[edit]

Medium armor rating usually means that dervishes cannot take the role of a main tank. However, their armor inherently provides additional health, and their primary attribute provides additional armor while enchanted. In addition, dervishes have a wide selection of melee counters to choose from, many of which affect all foes at close range, making them suitable for countering melee attackers.

  • Armor of Sanctity causes weakness on adjacent foes and reduce damage from foes suffering from a condition.

See also[edit]