My second to last character, and one of my favourite ones. Someone once said how Arena Net is extremely poor at long term planning, and instead enjoy making decisions through a "hey, it's cool! Let's do it now!" mentality. No better example exists than the dervishes: melee characters wielding impossibly high damage scythes which hit on AoE and who can become gods! I mean, how cool is THAT???
And of course, how terribly imbalanced is that. I think Arena Net tried to make dervishes a profession meant to do Big Damage (tm) in an area, trading a warrior's utility for high damage output and a high resistence to melee counters. The avatars show how dervishes could find a way through almost all counters to warriors: kitting is made useless by Balthazar, hexes are weak against Dwayna, conditions are moot against Melandru, enchantments were no barrier to Grenth, and energy denial is weak against Lyssa. Other than stances, a dervish could scythe through any defense a target would have. As someone else said, anything a dervish killed would die standing, but it would die.
It's amazing to see that Arena Net didn't figure out how imbalanced this would be. A melee character resilient enough to just spam attack skills while in god mode, while considerably useless without its elite skill, was inviting the bad play that warriors, strongly dependent of skill, were meant to avoid. Some of the worst offenders were nerfed (the avatars of Grenth and Melandru are a bit weaker now), but other skills were buffed into becoming overpowered, and remain so (Wounding Strike is probably the main example). In the end, a new melee profession focused on Big Damage wasn't a good idea for PvP, as Arena Net could have figured far before the release of Nightfall.
In PvE, however... More forgiving to imbalances, PvE allowed dervishes to be accepted more easily. The profession still has many issues: assassins, warriors and rangers may use a scythe as effectively, on average, as a dervish, and the damage the profession does is heavily reduced in Hard Mode, thanks to the high armor rate of enemies.
Still, there is something terribly fun about playing as a melee character with the versatility of a caster and capable of inflicting damage on so many interesting ways. The artwork of dervishes was very well done, with the large moves seen when swinging a scythe, the battle stances reminiscent of the Middle East, and the rather pointless but pretty hoods. And despite all their faults, the artwork for the avatar of the gods was very well done.
I hope dervishes won't be implemented in Guild Wars 2, or, if they do, that they would be a PvE only profession. But I have a lot of fun playing as a dervish, and they are one of my most favourite, if not the favourite, profession.
After having done everything I wanted with this character, she remains at the Kodash Bazaar, my favourite place in Nightfall. Her main heroes were Koss (Axe Mastery warrior), Acolyte Sousuke (Fire Magic elementalist) and Tahlkora (Protection Prayers monk).
- Elite Sunspear Hood (Radiant, Major Scythe Mastery)
- Elite Sunspear Robes (Windwalker, Minor Mysticism)
- Elite Sunspear Leggings (Radiant, Major Vigor)
- Elite Sunspear Vambraces (Radiant, Attunement)
- Elite Sunspear Shoes (Radiant, Minor Wind Prayers)
- Sunspear Hood (Superior Earth Prayers)
- Sunspear Hood (Superior Wind Prayers)
- Sunspear Vambraces (Radiant, Minor Scythe Mastery)
- Sunspear Shoes (Radiant, Minor Earth Prayers)
- Primeval Hood (Radiant, Superior Mysticism)
- Chaos Gloves (Radiant, Attunement)
- Icy Soulbreaker of Enchanting
- Ebon Asuran Scythe of Enchanting
- Draconic Scythe
- Arachni's Scythe
- Mhedi's Vow
- Eshekibeh's Scythe
- Poisonous Dragon Fangs of Dagger Mastery
Note: those suck. I'm not aiming at the most efficient build possible, but rather at something I have fun playing with. And while it's not fun to have ten party wipes, I'm not against playing with a "bad" build if I enjoy it.
Beginning with the builds themed over the six gods, this one focuses on Avatar of Balthazar's property of doing holy damage. Together with other holy damage dealing skills, this build focuses on defeating both undead enemies and those with high defense that are more susceptible to armor ignoring damage. Victorious Sweep, Chilling Victory and Faithful Intervention are among my favourite Dervish skills; many of my builds have the three of them, and almost all of them have at least one of those three.
A build inspired by the complains about an overpowered PvP build. Ideally this would be a team build, with the dervish as a D/E using a Conjure under the support of a Smiting Monk with Strength of Honor, but I have never been one to rely on team builds when playing with heroes. This build uses the absurd damage of scythes to just kill stuff; many of the skills were chosen just to fit the theme, though. Someone aiming for effectiveness may want to add Aura of Holy Might and replace Avatar of Balthazar with a damage dealing skill.
Grenth, God of Ice
|Victorious Sweep||Chilling Victory||Pious Assault||Avatar of Grenth||Mystic Vigor||Conjure Frost||Faithful Intervention||Death Pact Signet|
Template code: OgajskpMbOQ3Bs0F++dfGlXMOA
One more build following the theme of the gods. Avatar of Grenth isn't a skill suited for PvE, IMO, but I tried to make a build using it anyway. With the ice theme, I went for Elementalist as secondary profession in order to improve scythe damage with Conjure Frost, using Pious Assault (fueled by Mystic Vigor) as the main finisher here. An useable build, but I hope Avatar of Grenth is actually buffed into something useful.
Lyssa, Goddess of Subterfuge
|Golden Lotus Strike||Fox Fangs||Death Blossom||Golden Phoenix Strike||Avatar of Lyssa||Heart of Fury||Faithful Intervention||Death Pact Signet|
Template code: Ogei0xs8IAZYHsuX8VcXex4A
A build relying on Avatar of Lyssa's hability of doing extra damage to enemy using skills. With the assassin's faster attack speed being further improved by Heart of Fury, the idea is to aim enemies using skills with long casting times, or just to attack hoping to catch someone in the middle of activating a skill.