Now on to the topic at hand, lately i`ve been getting a string of bad teammates so in hopes of one day, not seeing my teammate die 7 times in a single flag, i thought i`d write down the basics.
The Very Basics
As far as base stats are concerned the typical decision in your build is going to be between agility and strength, each karma has it`s own modifiers, you can see when you are selecting your weapons, this boils down to a choice between action endurance and action speed, action endurance will allow you to win duels while attacking each other with high-end skills, action speed will help you chain combos easier and technically increases your dps.
Intelligence is typically a dump stat as it is worthless for anyone but the witch (tho you will see a lot of witches).
Wisdom is a must have as it gives a bit of everything, every karma has at least 200% modifier on wisdom. It gives action endurance, both types of defense, mana, stamina, every type of regen and magic dmg.
For the love of god do not decrease your health.
As far as accessories are concerned, rage generation is the way to go, you can try some types of regen or stamina/mana increase but the amounts are quite menial in comparison to the 10% increase of rage generation, having a couple of these is the difference between casting 1 ultimate a life, and 2, provided you can dodge at the right time to evade the insta-kill combo.
Take health where you can, it also gives a slight increase in rage gen and can save you that one attribute point in health you are going to sacrifice to get 6636 like the min-maxing scrub you are, don`t worry we all do it when we`re young and naive.
Each karma has a chase combo, a sprint kick-starter which leads into the same air knock-up, a long form ground combo and a charged special attack which can usually split into several different skills, which tend to be weaker copies of certain spell skills.
These are your basic stamina skills, use with caution, they have low action endurance and getting exhausted leaves you vulnerable. Learning which combo to use in which situation is not as essential as you might think, competitive pvp relies on split-second decisions and last second dodges so don`t worry if you don`t know what you`re doing, learn to time your dodges and sprint starters (dash into a sprint with a double tap and attack).
You can swap your karma in the air before the last hit of your chase combo to continue it, it puts your karma swap on cooldown however, which can get you killed. Another popular way to extend combos is to cancel the chase by not attacking, dropping down and knocking the enemy up again with a kick-starter.
If someone is coming to interrupt you, abandon the combo, you will die if don`t.
You will not get exhausted even if you continue attacking in the air until you hit the ground, there is also a window where you can activate a mana skill, continue the combo and regen your stamina (typically used on breakers).
Every ultimate skill makes you invulnerable while you`re casting it (beware of lag) and is also vulnerable right at the moment of it`s finish.
Most mana skills can withstand a few base attacks but typically not the full combo unless you`re on a breaker karma.
Mana breaking refers to dodging in the middle of an enemy attack, it costs about a single bar of mana to use and can save you in a tight spot, but it also puts your dodge on a significantly longer cooldown, which can mean that you can`t cancel certain skills of your own, leaving you open.
Is a fairly straightforward mode, get 5 kills before the enemy does. Try to interrupt enemy combos on your teammate, its probably the easiest way to land combos of your own, chasing someone who is focused on dodging is dangerous, i`d recommend having a long range skill for finishing people on low health, keep in mind that standing still can heal up to half the dmg you`ve taken, resurrecting your teammate heals you, both of which you want to prevent on your enemies. If the timer runs out the team with most kills or the team to get the next kill wins, if you were about to kill them both and turn it around, too bad, focus your targets.
Capture the flag
CTF revolves around endurance and breaking as well as resource management and timing, try not to die or even get caught in a combo while your teammate is on low health, time your ult, if you hit them both, your teammate can cap the flag (provided he reacts in time) if you cap a flag and are low on health, now`s your best chance to let them kill you. Getting killed increases your respawn timer, which is really the only way some games don`t last 20+ minutes. Letting people on low health live is a double-edged sword, you can clearly see a red outline on enemies that have enough rage for their ultimate skill, that`s when it`s probably best to kill them if you can. If you throw your enemy off a ledge and the other one is occupied, you usually have enough time to cap the flag, be quick about it and if you don`t see the bar, start over because it`s bugged.
Sword "Nah nah nah nah nah, i got the flag anyway"
Great sword is a defensive powerhouse it has the one notable passive skill in the game outside of simple stat increases which is the lvl 3 undying will.
This karma dominates in CTF and has overall the highest defense.
The charging skill is a weaker version of land demolisher, good break, short range.
Spinning strike is useful if you`ve already landed a couple hits on your target so you can keep it there.
Beware of nukes on the side.
Taliah also notably has the best spring kick-starter.
Prime strengths: Edurance, Combo-chain, Defense
Prime weaknesses: Range, Awareness
This is essentially a weaker version of land demolisher with i believe a higher break? You don`t typically see it used as it doesn`t particularly help with combo-chaining.
This skill is auto target and is used much in the same way as the witch`s lighting, it`s good at breaking enemies but suffers from short range. Can be used twice at lvl 3.
This skill can be used twice at lvl 3 and knocks up into the air, making combo- chaining a bit easier than with stun hit, i can never quite distinguish between the 2 as i don`t use them. They`re both good if your ally can keep the combo up or interrupting.
As straightforward skill as you can get, time it right you can dodge ults, you can continue the combo after a successful hit with a sprint kick-starter. Do not chase an archer if you don`t have leap, switch to your other karma.
This skill is primarily used for continuing combos and is great against enemies in the air (typically to interrupt chase combos) you can cancel your own chase, land on the ground and use this skill to keep the enemy in the air and start another chase after. Matches with a lot of Taliah`s frequently devolve into a clusterfk of ppl standing next to each other with this skill, trying to waste each other`s endurance... it has a high endurance.
Can only be cancelled by dodge, beware of using mana break beforehand.
In CTF this skill is your bread and butter, you can use it while capping the flag to withstand several hits, most notably the entire basic archer multi hit or air combo and almost the entire channel of raining arrows. In deathmatch you can use the movement speed to run around while waiting for your ally to respawn. At lvl 3 deals a small amount of dmg and break upon activation, which can begin a combo.
This skill notably strikes twice at lvl 3, the first attack is a poke that stuns, if you hit that, you`re golden, do not use on enemies in the middle of a dodge.
The range and and extra break are extremely useful in mirror-matchups you can also notably knock a downed enemy much easier, you can deliver decent dmg with this using storm slash. Pokes and knocks up at the start, which can start a chase (and lags like crazy).
Dance of Wind
Dance of "It`s called tactical retreat"
Bow is the most prominent high-tier pvp karma for the simple reason that there are no other ranged physical dmg classes.
It`s the only karma with a double jump which is great from interrupting from a ditch in CTF.
Its multi shots are among the easiest to land and are amazing at interrupting combos, they can also keep combo up easily.
The charged skill can be recast by double tapping in any direction for a long range nuke shot, typically used in the start of deathmatch or CTF poke duels when both teams are cautious.
Notably one of the best skills this karma has is a dodge shot, do not chase an archer without mana skills at the ready.
Prime strengths: Range, Speed, Combo-chain, Resource Management
Prime weaknesses: Defense, Endurance
Not sure if i`ve ever seen this skill in pvp, it`s mana intensive as far as i remember and might be the long range chain poke i sometimes get hit by and can`t seem to start moving but i`ve always attributed those to the charged secondary shots of the basic stance.
This skill has decent damage but other than that it`s meh, you don`t really see it used, long cool-down.
A great interrupt skill, pretty sure it has a higher break value than the base combo.
Typically used to chain combos or keep targets in place (Especially low def and end targets where it can do that on its own.)
Same as the above, except it`s a single shot with a high break value and a slow, won`t interrupt a full fortitude Taliah on it`s own.
Great Spirit`s Ascent
Due to the archer`s high critical rate this is the highest dmg skill in game, a good hit from this ultimate can turn the game around at the 11th hour.
Great Archer`s Spirit
A straightforward skill, spam your stamina skills at your heart`s leisure, do not chase an archer with this skill activated, it`s suicide, your best bet is to burst them down right at activation.
This karma has arguably the highest damage output in the game, mainly because most people you`ll meet don`t have much magic defense.
Your biggest enemy will be lag as your skills can often get placed in completely random places on the other side of the map, on the top of a wall, behind you or so on...
Notably you don`t have to worry about swapping karma to your breaker while under magic attacks, this karma has plenty of magic defense, maybe for the endurance if think you can get out of the combo, due to its low endurance and high mana, mana breaks will be your friend.
It is also the only karma that can actively regenerate it`s mana in the middle of a fight.
It`s charge skill splits into 4 paths of which, basic is a weaker slow version of fireball, good dmg, hard to hit, sidestep (lightning) is unhittable and i don`t even know if it has a stun as i`ve never seen it hit, frontstep (frost nova) is suicidal due to it`s short range, backstep (flame wheel) takes forever to cast but has extremely good break value and damage, also leaves behind a trail of fire, it can be good in CTF when you just throw it on the flag.
You will frequently see damage pop up and people not taking it, this is just lag, ignore it, they dodged, don`t expect to hit your skills in a straightforward stare, use them to zone.
Short mana skill cooldown.
Highest healing speed due to wisdom multiplier.
Prime strengths: Damage, Range, Resource Management
Prime weaknesses: Speed, Physical Defense, Endurance
A long range skill with good damage and break, the time to dodge is right at the end of the cast, still explodes on a miss and can hit something anyway, because why the fk not, line em up!
This skill has no break what so ever and cannot hit targets on a different elevation, the damage can be good but can`t really help you in higher ranks.
This skill has no break until the very end of a decently long channel, tread carefully in CTF. Hitting it however, can do a lot of dmg, it`s typically used for long range harras, finishing blows or interrupting healing.
This skill at lvl 3 is impossible to get out of, literally, you can dodge at the very end of the cast but once you are caught, you can`t get out of it until the end of the channel, notably can keep a Taliah from leaping mid-leap, also tends to derail people causing them to fly into ditches and such when close to the edge. You can use it to zone an enemy while your teammate continues his combo or is capping the flag. High damage, can be placed in the air to interrupt chase combos (or through just plain lag, beware of enemy heads!) and can drag around knocked down enemies.
Fast cast and decent damage, interrupts anything except maybe ultimates and air combos (arguably because it doesn`t hit) typically used in CTF for zoning and delay and in long combos.
Good damage and decent break, stuns if broken, long warning for the enemy, typically used in long combos, can be cast two or 3 times at lvl 3, i dunno, i could never get it to work, relatively short range.
Arguably the weakest ultimate in the game, though you won`t have much of a choice.
Decent damage against low defense targets, can chain combo though your own animation is also long so best used in conjunction with your teammate, notably long animation time which can get you killed or interrupted mid-cast due to lag. Relatively easy to dodge though the warning seems to always be placed at a completely different spot than the actual landing site. Best used on someone already casting a skill or otherwise occupied. (like every other burst damage nuke).
You can try, never seen it successfully used, meteor might be weak but at least it`s another nuke. (Which this skill also should arguably be.)
This karma has great defense, good speed, easy to hit interrupt skills and long combos, arguably the most versatile karma in the game, suffers from short range, hence the combos can be hard to land, don`t worry, you`ll have a skill for that.
It`s charging skill can be used to start a long combo with a charged multi hit strike or to grab an enemy, then throw them into the air.
Alternatively has a flaming strike with high break.
Every grab can be mana broken out of.
Grab skills against opponents with too much endurance begin a retaliation attack.
Careful with grabs in CTF as you can be stuck unable to interrupt your second opponent.
Prime strengths: Speed, Delay, CC, Break
Prime Weaknesses: Range, Timing
Much like spinning strike has high endurance and break, doesn`t do that much damage, long cast time, can be used to keep a combo going with an ally, not even sure if it keeps targets airborne.
A stronger version of your basic released charged attack, good break, think it can start a combo? Don`t care, it`s a slowass skill.
Can be easily mana broken out of, good at forcing mana break due to it`s long ♥♥♥ cast time which your opponent won`t want to get stuck in, begins chase, barely any dmg.
Good break skill with at least some range that can start a chase in almost any situation, can be used in conjunction with your ultimate. Feel free to take 2 or 3 of these.
Good break and decent damage, a multi purpose defense skill, usually can`t break high endurance skills on its own, a weaker version of this skill is triggered every time you use whirlwind or reckless charge on someone with too much endurance.
Longest CC in the game, can only be dodged after dragging right before being thrown in the air, if you`re lagging, just forget it.
Good damage and long invulnerability, can be followed by instant chase to continue the combo alone, stuns when you first launch into the air.
Never seen it successfully used, the extra break is not needed and the versatility of falling star is just too much of a trade for most.
This karma focuses on stamina skills, it`s extremely fast and versatile at dealing out punishment and chaining combos in every which direction you want, pretty much without restrictions, provided you can get to your target. The thing to keep in mind is to either force a mana break, or not let your opponent hit the ground.
Has an air combo of slashes much in the same fashion as Dance of Wind, good break value.
Can dash in mid air.
The charging skill can be used as a slash or to begin a "moon slash" which is a high dmg decent break skill with a knockup at the and that you can follow with whatever you want, be careful against high endurance skills.
Steer clear of nukes.
Can suffer from low break values on skills, not disabling your target.
Prime Strengths: Damage, Speed, Combo-chain, Invisibility
Prime Weaknesses: Defense, Endurance, Awareness
Good at approaching targets, beware of rushing through enemy skills, basically a weaker version of critical strike.
In the spirit of Wild Flurry and Spinning strike, good at continued combos, takes a while, good damage, hard to hit (comparatively, i know no skills on DS are hard to hit, stop whining DS haters).
Good at catching fleeing targets, low damage.
Arguably the most versatile skill in game, perhaps barring instant chase. You can heal while invisible. people can see you when close enough. Suffers from long cooldown due to its ridiculous versatility.
Good damage and range, begin or chain a combo, lift targets off the ground.
Automatically follows target several times, amazing at forcing futile mana breaks or chasing fleeing targets. High damage, good break, easy chain and decent duration. Don`t bother dodging if you`re already caught in it, you`ll get hit anyway.
Good break at activation, can be hard to hit, excellent at zoning. Insane duration and great damage, make sure to hit the target to break them and force them to stay in it, beware of mana breaks. The prime way to dodge is to dodge and rush right afterward. You can alternate between the two.
Double damage! Arguably the best buff in the game. Notably increases your range, spam till your heart`s content. It essentially turns you from a dps with great combos into a burst semi-breaker, you can burst down whatever the fk is in your way, if it`s 4 people, it`s 4 dead people, beware of nukes and breaks.