Thursday, April 2, 2015

ArcheAge Class Feature: The Archon

Originally Posted by Trion Khrolan ( View Source )

ArcheAge Class Feature: The Archon

ArcheAge Class Feature: The Archon
It’s no secret that some class combinations in ArcheAge have better Player versus Player usability than others. A goal when speccing for PvP is to arrange a build that fares optimally versus a wide range of opponents.
Players favor popular builds like Darkrunner, Primeval, Paladin or Daggerspell and that’s because the synergy produced by the abilities of these classes combine for insane combos and great utility. However, these classes aren’t the end-all be-all and in ArcheAge the element of surprise plays an important role in engaging a foe. In our Class Features series, we’ll take a closer look at underplayed off-meta PvP builds that synergize exceptionally well with the introduction of Secrets of Ayanad, starting with the Archon.

The Archon: Archery – Defense – Witchcraft

The Archon is an archer and caster hybrid that touts a high level of endurance and durability. Burst ranged physical DPS and supplemental magic damage is supported through the use of crowd control and counter play. The Archon gains increased physical defense through use of a shield and increased magic defense due to the witchcraft abilities. It handles similarly to a Stone Arrow and emphasizes the ability to sustain like a Dreambreaker with Witchcraft in place of Shadowplay.
To effectively capitalize on an Archon’s strengths players should be more focused on stalling and outlasting their opponents instead of bursting them down. This is mostly accomplished through dealing a moderate amount of constant damage and then reacting to an opponent’s offense to counter it. The Archon is a Hybrid class and has somewhat high gear requirements. An excellent bow and a scepter or Obsidian Katana for main hand is preferred. An Archon also requires a good shield, decent armor, and enough Agility/Intelligence to soft cap accuracy. Consider obtaining a Wave Necklace for the extra Intelligence and magic penetration. The consumable called Spellbook: Unstoppable Force is an Archon’s best friend due to simultaneously increasing both Ranged Physical and Magic Damage.

Staple Abilities and Combos:

• Charged Bolt -> Endless Arrows (Combo Damage)
• Piercing Shot to interrupt casts after generating bloodthirst from Endless Arrows
• Enervate -> Earthen Grip instant cast to drain an opponent’s mana and regain health
• Concussive Arrow, Boastful Roar and Focal Concussion for interrupts and imposing effects
• Redoubt, Invincibility, Boneyard to mitigate burst and counter crowd control
• Purge to buff magic defense and strip an opponent’s buffs
• Bubble Trap, Banshee Wail, Boneyard and Invincibility to reset combat
• Courageous Action for sleep and fear immunity

Archon vs. Melee

Open with Charged Bolt and prepare for a gap closer. As the melee engages, catch them with Focal Concussion (non-auramancy melee) or Banshee Wail (non-witchcraft melee) to interrupt their combo. Redoubt and gain distance while cycling Enervate -> Earthen Grip. Follow with Concussive Arrow to disable their melee abilities and cycle Charged Bolt -> Endless Arrows. As they prepare to re-engage, catch them with Boneyard and prepare to cycle Enervate -> Earthen Grip. Remember to Purge Stalker’s Mark and only use Bubble Trap if you’re sure their Bondbreaker (Battlerage) is on cooldown. Use Invincibility when in trouble and break it early into another Focal Concussion or Banshee Wail. Maintain Courageous Action at all times to avoid being counter crowd controlled and allowing them to reset. Take maximum advantage of your crowd control to allow time for your resets.

Archon vs. Casters

Depending on the type of caster you’re up against game play will need to vary. However, Archon is a good counter to most casters due to having a deep investment in Witchcraft. Courageous Action shuts down most of their crowd control and in-turn interrupts a majority of their combos. The opposite is also true and a lot of the Archon’s stall abilities are shut down by opposing use of Courageous Action. Initiate by quickly removing their Insulating Lens (Sorcery) with Endless Arrows while maintaining maximum possible distance through kiting. If the caster is wearing cloth armor, rely on your Archery combos to chew through them. If they’re wearing plate armor, you’ll need to rely on Enervate/Earthen Grip damage and stall tactics. Be prepared to block an incoming Bubble Trap with Invincibility and use Boneyard to keep maximum distance. Due to an Archon having shallow investment in the Defense tree you can also respec to drop Redoubt and Shield block when facing caster opponents. In most cases, use Purge offensively and if you manage to cancel their Courageous Action capitalize immediately.

Archon vs. Healers

Most deep Vitalism classes lack mobility and those that don’t generally lack damage output. However, a healer’s sustain is extremely high and that’s why we play the waiting game. Most healers will attempt to shut down an Archon by using Mirror Light to remove Enervate. This blocks the returned HP from the Earthen Grip combo and then also preserves their mana. In cases like this, it’s important to attempt to force them to use their Mirror Light vs. other abilities or land Enervate/Earthen Grip while they’re afflicted by fear or other crowd control. Remember that Piercing Shot can interrupt Antithesis and Boastful Roar can reduce their healing throughput by applying the Distressed status. If a healer ever uses Mirror Light offensively, immediately Purge it and respond with an Enervate/Earthen Grip combo. Rotate abilities and kite to maximum effectiveness. When they’re tired, nail the coffin shut.

Archon vs. Archers

Archers pose an immediate threat to Archons mostly due to their high mobility and slipperiness. Due to the defensive capabilities of Redoubt and the defense tree coupled with Sleep Immunity from Courageous Action Archons can trade effectively if they are quick to Purge the Stalker’s Mark debuff from themselves. Banshee Wail is extremely powerful unless the opposing Archer is affected by the Intensity buff. Always be prepared to Wail when an opposing Archer closes for a melee exchange. Most Archers will keep an Archon at max range to avoid being susceptible to an Enervate/Earthen Grip Combo due to its medium range. Entice them into range by back peddling and then as they close, reverse directions to force them in range. Also consider using Boneyard to lock them down to close the distance gap. If you manage to entrap them with an Earthen Grip consider following with a Bubble Trap to buy cycle time, or a Concussive Arrow to shut down their offense. It’s also a great time to use the level 55 Witchcraft Fiend’s Knell ability. While the damage output of this pet is sub-par, it has amazing closing power and can add an additional level of harass to an opposing Archer through its ability to reduce their movement speed.

Practice, Practice, Practice

“Archons are dueling specialists and lose effectiveness when involved in multi-opponent PvP. It’s difficult for them to focus on multiple targets due to having limited burst damage. The class takes a bit of practice to get the hang of since it’s untraditional but once it’s mastered you’ll often find that your opponents are surprised at your capabilities.
Merv “Khrolan” Lee Kwai
Producer, ArcheAge”

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