User:Raine Valen/Musings/On Imba Shit

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This just occurred to me.

Searing Flames, Wounding Strike, and to a lesser extent VoR...
Monking against it is fun.

Let me explain.
I have 8 skills on my bar:

Word of Healing.jpg
Word of Healing
Guardian.jpg
Guardian
Draw Conditions.jpg
Draw Conditions
Patient Spirit.jpg
Patient Spirit
Mending Touch.jpg
Mending Touch
Spirit Bond.jpg
Spirit Bond
Holy Veil.jpg
Holy Veil
Disciplined Stance.jpg
Disciplined Stance

Which one counters Wounding Strike? Burning 5 Energy every 3 seconds with Draw is bad. Pushing WoHs and Patients through DW is bad. Mtouching other people is (usually) bad. Non-crits go under SB (even with Conjure). Guardian only blocks off half of them, and D. Stance only works on me. But you know what skill is lol Wounding Strike? Here it is, get ready:
Steam Steam.
In fact, Steam is lol dervish. lol melee.
No, monks can't do crap against WS, really. But it's not just about what monks can do.
What about SF and VoR? Steam doesn't stop casters. And I usually don't run interrupts (well, just one, on the entire team, usually). But you know what works wonders against casters?
Devastating Hammer Devastating Hammer.
Yeah, it is kind of buildwarsish. But you know what? It's not running something to counter it, it's running things that are very good for many things.


In AB, I usually run something out of the following, in guild groups:
Frontline:

Distracting Strike.jpg
Distracting Strike
Devastating Hammer.jpg
Devastating Hammer
Crushing Blow.jpg
Crushing Blow
Hammer Bash.jpg
Hammer Bash
Bull's Strike.jpg
Bull's Strike
Death's Charge.jpg
Death's Charge
Flail.jpg
Flail
Enraging Charge.jpg
Enraging Charge
Bull's Strike.jpg
Bull's Strike
Dismember.jpg
Dismember
Executioner's Strike.jpg
Executioner's Strike
Agonizing Chop.jpg
Agonizing Chop
Shock.jpg
Shock
Primal Rage.jpg
Primal Rage
Rush.jpg
Rush
Enraging Charge.jpg
Enraging Charge

Midline:

Freezing Gust.jpg
Freezing Gust
Glowing Ice.jpg
Glowing Ice
Weapon of Warding.jpg
Weapon of Warding
Steam.jpg
Steam
Glyph of Immolation.jpg
Glyph of Immolation
Shatterstone.jpg
Shatterstone
Armor of Mist.jpg
Armor of Mist
Water Attunement.jpg
Water Attunement
Crippling Shot.jpg
Crippling Shot
Savage Shot.jpg
Savage Shot
Distracting Shot.jpg
Distracting Shot
Apply Poison.jpg
Apply Poison
Mending Touch.jpg
Mending Touch
Troll Unguent.jpg
Troll Unguent
Natural Stride.jpg
Natural Stride
Blank.jpg
Blank
Channeled Strike.jpg
Channeled Strike
Soothing Memories.jpg
Soothing Memories
Wielder's Boon.jpg
Wielder's Boon
Splinter Weapon.jpg
Splinter Weapon
Warmonger's Weapon.jpg
Warmonger's Weapon
Weapon of Warding.jpg
Weapon of Warding
Offering of Spirit.jpg
Offering of Spirit
Protective Was Kaolai.jpg
Protective Was Kaolai

Backline:

Word of Healing.jpg
Word of Healing
Guardian.jpg
Guardian
Draw Conditions.jpg
Draw Conditions
Patient Spirit.jpg
Patient Spirit
Mending Touch.jpg
Mending Touch
Spirit Bond.jpg
Spirit Bond
Holy Veil.jpg
Holy Veil
Disciplined Stance.jpg
Disciplined Stance


Sometimes we like to change it up, and there'll be a sin someplace, or a smiter, or a mes, or GvG backline (which is pretty imba in 4v4, tbh) or whatever else. But those builds usually form the majority of our parties. None of those builds are niche, they're all very broadly effective. But do they sacrifice effectiveness for utility? Hell no. Our hammer war is wonderful offense AND shutdown, the midline does wonderful damage AND provides wonderful support, and the backline... well, it's the backline.
Though any one member (the monk, as the case usually is) can't provide everything that the team needs to handle every situation, the team as a whole usually has what it takes. Yeah, I end up in vent a lot telling my guildies to "OMG kill the goddamned mesmer/sin/whatever!", "I need that to die, I can't heal that.", "ffs, dshot SF!", "Someone needs to do something about that necro or we're all going to die". And you know what? We usually have the means to deal with whatever it is.
And I enjoy the challenges.

Now, you all know that I'm a huge balance advocate. How does that fit in? Well, here it is:
Look at all of those bars. The skills on them are all really good skills (with a few exceptions: Glyph of Immolation, for example, is pretty meh). They all do several things well. And because we run skills that are good and play them well, we can roll stuff.
But some skills don't do things well. "Watch Yourself!" isn't going to help us. We would win less often if we replace any of those skills with a bad skill. And so there are a few questions:

Why are there bad skills?
Why are some skills just not viable?
Why is there an "approved list"?

Before play can be completely fair and balanced, ever, one of two things need to happen.
Either all skills need to be made viable in many situations (WoH, dshot, Freezing Gust, Hammer Bash, Spirit Bond, for example), or all skills need to have their functions changed so that their counters are not niche (no one should ever be required to run a niche skill or set of skills to beat a build; see Hexway and PnH/Divert Hexes).

I enjoy the challenges.
But what about the people who didn't bring Dev Hammer to remove the mesmer from the game? How do they deal with VoR?
What if the teams don't have a blindbot and snares? What do their monks do against WS?