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Old Dec 05, 2006, 09:21 PM // 21:21   #1
Lordhelmos
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Guild: Sentients of Shadow (noir)
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Post Way of the Scythe and Hood: Things you should know about being a dervish

Lately I've been seeing alot of dervish hate on pugs, and people comparing Dervs to asstanking sins. I believe that this is because alot of people don't really know how a dervish functions and end up rushing into battle without vital enchantments... thinking they can tank damage with no maintainence like a warrior. A dervish can and will do a good job to dealing and taking pain, but you have to know what you are doing first.

INTRODUCTION TO THE DERVISH

A dervish is not a warrior, it is a very high maintainence advanced melee class that functions very differently than a warrior. With a warrior you can tank damage with very little maintanence or skill management. This is because warriors have very high natural armor and with a shield have about 100+ vs physical damage. Dervish only have 70 armor and if you charge into a mob without preparing yourself first, you will take alot of damage and die. Granted with this said, a dervish with ample preparation and enchantment management can take loads of damage and function as a mob destroying monster.

Enchantments are the life blood of a Dervish and what separates it from other classes. Enchantments act as both an energy dump and defensive layering for a dervish. Without enchantments dervish are nothing. As a dervish you will be balancing at least 2-3 enchantments on yourself in order to both keep yourself alive and deal damage to foes. The most important aspect about being a dervish is knowing when to recast these enchantments and keeping an eye on your status bar. It is vital to know what enchantments you are losing when you use a self-rending skill and what you have stacked on you.

Also as a dervish, remember to cast your defensive skills like vital boon, conviction, mystic regeneration, etc. BEFORE you go into battle. Offensive skills like Heart of Holy Flame and Aura of Thorns should be used WHILE attacking the enemy. The skills are pretty good about when they should be used. If a skill deals damage as it is cast, it should be used while attacking the mob. However there are times when area damaging enchantments can be precast for a spike attack, which will be discussed later along with the mystic sandstorm spike.

When using a self rending skill (like twin moon sweep), you will rend off the last enchantment cast on you. This is important because if you arent paying attention to your status bar, you may use your signet of pious light to rend off vital boon for a heal... but instead rend out the spellbreaker or mark of protection a monk has laid out to save you. If you are planning on playing a dervish:

It is important to rearrange your status and conditions monitor on your screen and put it somewhere in your face where you can keep an eye on it at all times!

EXAMPLE ROLES OF A DERVISH IN BATTLE

PvE Balanced Tanker
The dervish can be played as a mob destroying tank akin to a warrior but with much more area damage capabilities. If you are looking to tank as a dervish, you will be spending most of your time using earth prayer skills to ensure your survival while running one or two scythe attacks to deal damage. Avatar of Balthazar is definitely a prime choice for those wanting to create a PvE damage sponge that will take on armies (Although Dwayna and Melandru are quite good too). Skills you will be looking out for will be vital boon, signet of pious light, mystic regeneration, and conviction. These are your key survival skills and are all in earth prayers.

PvP and PvE Conditions Spammer
The dervish can also be played as an extremely nasty offensive conditions spreader. Using aura of thorns and wearying strike with melandru can decimate any player or mob and overload them with conditions. Melandru is the perfect avatar for this role and key skills to look out for include armor of sanctity, aura of thorns, wearying strike, dust cloak, and staggering force. With high scythe mastery, you can cause deep wounds while inflicting 100+ damage from critical scythe attacks at the same time.

PvP and PvE Ebon Dust Shutdown
The dervish can also be played as a blind spreader to shutdown melee mobs with ebon dust aura. To run this build you will need an earth scythe. Stone Striker from the elementalist line and Dust Cloak/Staggering Force can also be used to convert damage into the earth element to take advantage of Ebon Dust Aura's unique effects.

PvP Mystic Sandstorm Spiker
This is probably the craziest dervish build and really finds its glory in HA. To run this build you will need 2 superior runes, max earth prayers and a staff with a +10 and +5 insightful energy bonus to grant you a 40+ energy pool. More on the insanity regarding this build will be discussed later. But this build deals an extreme amount of damage, all at the same time, and in a nice area.

These are just examples of what a dervish can do and how the class can contribute the party. There are many many more possibilities waiting to be uncovered.

ARMOR AND RUNES

It is a good idea to go all Wind Walker or Blessed insignias for armor. By upkeeping and balancing enchantments, you should easily be able to maintain the +15 bonus from windwalkers. For the most part, you will be running a minimum of 2 enchantments at all times anyway, and most likely 3 once you get the hang of the class. If you don't want to deal with so much micromanging for an armor bonus, blessed insignias give you an unwarranted +10 while enchanted and can be more useful to scythe attack heavy builds that are less reliant on enchantments. You want to take these armor buffing insignias over radiant or survivor insignias because mysticism will be powering your energy pool and you will need the extra armor buff to stay alive on the front line. However there are time when the energy bonus from radiant insignias can be useful.

(Note that these do not stack but armor is dependant on where you are hit. For example, attacks can strike you in the legs or the head. Having 3/5 windwalker insignias means that you have a 3/5 chance to get the bonus if you are hit.)

As for runes, a dervish has a natural +25 life bonus on the chest pieces of all their armor. This means you can run a superior and major rune without a big penalty. I would suggest a superior rune of scythe mastery and major mysticism. However, you can go superior mysticism and major scythe as well for more avatar time but less melee damage. A +1 scythe mastery hood or +1 mysticism hood would work. Eventually you want one of each and a +1 earth prayer hood for mystic sandstorm spiking. I would start with the scythe mastery one for a beginning dervish. You also definitely want a minor rune of earth prayers and one superior vigor. You can finish off the last slot of your armor with a +2 attunement rune.

To break it down for beginners a nice setup would be:
~Start with a +1 scythe hood modded with a sup. scythe mastery.
~1 rune of minor earth prayers.
~1 major rune of major mysticism.
~Major or Superior Vigor.
~1 Attunement Rune.

An alternate setup for a 75 second avatar would be:
~Start with a +1 mysticism hood modded with sup mysticism.
~1 rune of minor earth prayers.
~1 major rune of major scythe mastery.
~Major or Superior Vigor.
~1 Attunement Rune.

The setup for a mystic sandstorm spike would be:
~Start with a +1 earth prayer hood modded with sup earth prayers.
~1 superior rune of mysticism.
~Major or Superior Vigor.
~2 Attunement Runes.
*Optional ~All radiant armor insignias for increased energy.

WEAPONS

Scythes that a dervish uses deal 9-41 damage, which is a huge spectrum. A critical hit on a scythe yields some huge numbers (120 at 16 scythe mastery), so skills like wild blow and go for the eyes work well with a dervish. Scythes also have a slower attack speed than swords or axes, but make up for it in their ability to hit mulitple foes (along with making you look cool as hell). Also the damage of a scythe scales greatly with each rank in scythe mastery:

For each point in scythe mastery above 9 (which is the baseline for 100% damage) you have a +8% increase in damage and a +2% chance to critical hit. So a Dervish with 16 scythe mastery will deal 36% MORE damage than one with 12. Since scythes deal so much damage, especially on a critical (which tops off at about a 22-24% chance with 16 scythe mastery), you really want to push those runes and get as many points into your pointy stick as you can. It will be worth it.

*For inscriptions you may use 15^50 or 15% while enchanted. Personally I use 15% while enchanted because a dervish is always enchanted, which nets you the bonus almost everytime.

You may also create an enchantment release spiker that relies on area damage from mirage cloak, mystic sandstorm, and stacked enchantments to deal damage. For this kind of mystic sandstorm build, you want a staff of any attribute with +10 energy and an insightful +5 energy head. This setup will nearly double your energy pool and make mass enchantment stacking possible. Also radiant armor insignias aren't required, but greatly help to manage the high energy consumption this build requires.

For a dervish you will want to have these 5 different sets.
~Your main weapon, which is usually a perfect 15^50 or 50% while enchanted scythe with a sundering a fortitude mod.
~An energy leech weapon, which is a zealous scythe with a 15^50 or 50% while enchanted mod and a fortitude bonus.
~A vampiric damage weapon, which is usually 15^50 or 50% while enchanted and sundering.
~An Earth Scythe for Ebon Dust Aura.
~A staff with +10 energy and an insightful +5 head, modded with a +30 staff wrapping (Collecters is fine, this is for mystic spiking.)

Good Greens to look out for are:

Fahralon's Scythe (best green scythe in the game IMHO)
15% while enchanted, +30 sundering
~Farmed in Domain of Pain.

Hand of the Forgotten
15%^50, +30 Sundering
~Endgame Weapon

Eyes of the Forgotten
15% while enchanted, +30 zealous
~Endgame Weapon

Terror Scythe
15%^50, +30 vampiric
~Farmed in Nightfallen Jahai

Buhbal's Grasp
15^50, +7 vs. physical, Ebon
~Farmed in the Marga Coast

ATTRIBUTE LINES AND SKILLS

Mysticism
Mysticism is the powering force of a dervish and its main attribute line. Every 3 levels of mysticism nets you an energy gain of +1 each time an enchantment ends on you. Note that you only get this bonus when an enchantment ENDS and many dervish enchantments have recharge times that are lower than their effect durations (which means a spell like vital boon is reusable even though its enchantment effect is still in play... unless you are rended or stripped). It is important to know this because if you cast something like mystic regeneration and recast it again before it ends naturally, you will simply EXTEND the time of the first enchantment rather than letting it END, which results in you spending 10 energy and getting nothing back. A good idea would be to either rend the enchantment off yourself with something like signet of pious light, or wait till it expires and get your mysticism bonus before casting it again. Newbie dervishes continually run out of energy because they constantly recast their enchantments without letting them end, which KILLS your energy pool. Also note that some dervish skills are STANCES and not enchantments, these skills can and should be recast as much as possible to maintain their effects (Conviction, Armor of Sanctity).

The most important levels of mysticism are 9 (+3), 12 (+4), and 15 (+5). Most dervish run 12 mysticism. You want no less that 9 on a dervish. Some of your most important skills are in mysticism AND the attribute line itself is your energy battery. You would be insane to play a dervish with less that 9 mysticism. Because you get the maximum energy gain bonus (+5 on enchantment end) at rank 15 there is no need to go 16. Put those needed points in scythe mastery or earth prayers. Also the mysticism line also governs the powerful godform avatars which will be discussed in a section of their own. More mysticism means more time as an avatar. At 15 mysticism an avatar can run for 75 seconds.

Here are some noteworthy mysticism skills you should be keeping an eye on while playing as a dervish:

Heart of Fury: <3
Notably the best IAS (Increased Attack Speed) skill in all of guild wars. With 12 mysticism you will get at least 17 seconds of IAS on you, which is insane compared to the IAS times of any other skill in the game (besides Rampage as One). With a recast of 30 seconds, you will be spending 50% of your time attacking 33% faster. If you are playing a melee dervish and have high scythe mastery there is no excuse to not bring this skill. In fact in Kamadan this is the first skill you should buy from the trader. Heart of Fury is an excellent skill, but for another option to dealing increased melee damage you may also bring mystic sweep and eremites attack. Both of these skills have an attack animation that is 50% faster than the normal scythe attack. Although it will cost more, spamming these two skills can actually deal more damage than the IAS heart of fury offers.

FAITHful Intervention:
This is a great precast skill that has no upkeep cost. Essentially faithful intervention is a free enchantment you can cast to ensure that you are enchanted at all times. This plays off other dervish skills and allows you to keep your bonuses from skill like conviction and mystic regeneration. Faithful intervention also prevents you from taking too much spike damage by offering a huge heal when it ends. This is a great spell to start with while learning the ropes of a dervish. The only downside is that it has a long cast time and is hard to recast if it ends and you are in the middle of the fray. If you are tanking and lose this enchantment, its a sign that you are over pressured and should retreat to restack your enchantments.

Mystic Vigor:
This is a very nice dervish version of vigorous spirit. On a strike you can gain up to 21 life which 3 enchantments stacked on you and this enchantment can relieve alot of pressure while you being assaulted by a massive mob. Blind and evasion from enemies can shut down this skill, but it is important to know that if you scythe strikes multiple targets you will gain life for each one hit.

Zealous Renewal:
Zealous Renewal is a very nice enchantment that combos well with heart of fury. Personally I would take it over Heart of Holy Flame because it deals damage on activation just like holy flame but also grants a +1 energy bonus per successful strike. You also get the bonus if you strike multiple foes with this attack, making is a massive energy battery while you are fighting off giant mobs. New dervishes should carry this skill until they become good an maintaining and rending off enchantments. Cast this before anything else and let it run its entire duration. After your assault the paired up gain from this attack and your mysticism will pretty much fill up your entire bar. Without heart of fury, if you strike 2 foes consecutively for 20 seconds you will gain 24 energy. Thats pretty much ALL your energy back. Zealous renewal is a good choice for survival builds made to handle giant mobs. Wise use of this skill will eliminate all your energy problems as long as you hit with your attacks.

Imbue Health:
For a dervish running avatar of melandru and vital boon, imbue is an excellent support skill that can provide a huge heal to any ally in need. While running a 700-800 life build, you can heal a fellow monk or ally for over 300+ HP in one shot. This is a very nice skill to bring along with draw conditions while playing a melandru dervish. Imbue can also be used to relieve alot of pressure from an infuser and should not be overlooked when planning team synergy in a PvP battle or supporting allies in PvE.

Pious Haste:
Pious haste is the only skill not in wind prayers that gives dervish a speed boost. It rends off the last enchantment cast and can be used to activate AoE effects like crippling from grenth's fingers or burning from heart of holy flame. This skill is good when paired up with aura of thorns for a quick snare that bleeds and traps fleeing monks or casters in pvp. Pious haste is sort of a last resort run skill to use if you can't manage to put points in wind prayers. If you can, bring harrier's haste instead, because even at 12 mysticism pious haste only provides a poor 9 second boost.

Vow of Silence (Elite):
This enchantment is the ultimate double edge sword. The good thing about this spell is that it is a spellbreaker you can upkeep forever (at 14 mysticism+ or with a +20% enchantment mod), however monks cannot target you for heals as well. This spell may be useful as a recon/draw dervish in places like the deep or even domain of anguish. Vow of Silence can also be used in solo farming builds and can sometimes be used to make difficult runs against caster heavy mobs like the ones at the entrance to granite cathedral. When using Vow of Silence, a good idea would be to bring signet of pious light to give you control over ending your spell immunity just incase you need an emergency heal or protection from a monk.

Arcane Zeal
Arcane Zeal is a very nice alternative to avatars. With this enchantment active and 12 mysticism you can gain up to 6 energy everytime you cast a spell. This is a good skill to use in offensive builds that use skills like heart of fury and heart of holy flame. The energy gain from arcane zeal can be used to power expensive scythe attacks like chilling victory while mysticism itself recharges your energy as your enchantments end. Having arcane zeal is essentially getting a double energy bonus from mysticism, one bonus on enchantment cast and one bonus on enchantment end. This skill is also good to pair up with mystic healing and mystic twister in order to deal area damage to the enemy with high wind prayers while healing the party for free.

~~~

Scythe Mastery:
This is where most dervish put their superior rune. Of course you want high scythe mastery because this is you class' staple weapon. Scythes hit in an adjacent ranged arc shaped like a halfmoon in front of your character, akin to the effect of the warrior's hundred blades attack. I would say you need at least 12 scythe mastery to be an effective damage dealer, and even that is pushing it. I would go for 13 if you are running superior mysticism.

Here are some scythe skills to watch out for:

Mystic Sweep:
This is your main attack and deals maximum damage when you are stacked with 3 or more enchantments. This skill works well with faithhful intervention and heart of fury. Also it is also important to note that this skill hits 50% faster than any other scythe animations, meaning it can be buffered into any other scythe attack for a punishing multiple hit combo (like rangers using quickshot). It is a good skill and should stay on your bar.

Eremite's Attack:
Although it deals general less damage because it is so situational, eremite's attack also has the quick animation bonus that mystic sweep has and both can be put on one bar for quick spam attacks.

Wearying Strike:
This scythe attack has the downside of causing weakness but gives a free deep would when paired with Avatar of Melandru, which grants immunity to conditions. I would recommend this skill only if you are running the avatar. When paired with a quickhit from mystic sweep, this attack becomes a damage powerhouse.

Victorious Sweep:
This scythe attack deals maximum conditional damage and also heals if you strike foes under 50% health. With a 4 second recharge this is one of the best normal scythe attacks to bring on your bar. Also note that if this scythe attack strikes more than one foe under 50% life you will get a bonus for each one, making it a good survival skill as well. This is a very nice skill to chain with mystic sweep afterwards for good damage.

Chilling Victory:
This attack is expensive but is one of the few non elite high damage skills a dervish has. Although it is a big sacrifice to put this skill on your bar, it pays off if used correctly. I would only use this attack on a scythe mastery dedicated builds. Stay with victorious sweep or mystic sweep if you are looking to tank with high mysticism. The area damage this skill causes is great crowd control as well.

Crippling Sweep:
This is your main PVP snare. With alot of enchantment you can snare someone for a good duration using this attack and avoid dealing with the enchantment loss from pious haste or stacking points in wind prayers. The quick recharge on this skill is very nice too. However Aura of thorns is also a good snare and has a nice bleeding effect. Its up to you which one to use, but crippling sweep is more effective on one target and has the upside of being spammed way faster than aura of thorns. The cast time of thorns also allows other players to escape it quickly, crippling sweep is much harder to avoid.

Lyssa's Assault:
As pointed out by uber, Lyssa's is a great skill to use when you have ample energy or when an enchantment runs out. Note at 16 scythe mastery you actually gain 13 energy and deal 27 damage. A very nice skill, and the best part is to gain the energy back you dont even have to hit with the assault, you just need to finish the attack animation. This skill works well with Lyssa's avatar and its +10 bonus. My only complaint is its longer recharge time. This skill can actually be capped by the Djinn boss inside of First City of Farahnur after the mission is done.

Twin Moon Sweep:
This is a good skill for rending off damage dealing enchantments like aura of thorns and more popularly, heart of holy flame. Twin Moon Sweep and Heart of Holy Flame, will probably be your main damage combo throughout the majority of Istan. When you get skilled with twin moon sweep, you can also use it to rend off vital boon if you have no room for the signet of pious light on your bar.

Reaper's Sweep (Elite):
Although using Avatar of Melandru and wearying strike is very effective, Reaper's Sweep is still the single most damaging scythe attack available to a dervish. Think of it as a dervish's final thrust. It is a good skill to use on a raw scythe damage dervish that is using scythe skills and and heart of fury to do a melee spike.

~~~

Earth Prayers
This is your survival line. All of the skills needed to tank are lined up with earth prayers, making it the most vital PvE line available to the dervish class. Scythe Mastery, Mysticism, and Earth Prayers are the backbone of a solid PvE dervish. For a beginning Dervish, I would stay in the earth line until you are comfortable with the workings of the class. Wind Prayers also has many good skills, but that line is much more advanced and PvP oriented. Earth Prayers is almost a required line because just about all your heals are located in this attribute. If you are not traveling with a monk or facing high pressure mobs, you want at least 8-9 in earth prayers for conviction and mystic regeneration.

Vital Boon:
This is the main dervish survival enchantment. You get a nice max health boost and a giant heal when it ends. Even with a minimal investment in earth prayers, this skill stays potent enough to keep you alive. This spell is usually used in conjuction with signet of pious light for a quick heal and survival. A starting dervish would keep this and signet of pious light handy until mystic regeneration is available.

Signet of Pious Light:
This is one of the single best ways to self rend yourself of an enchantment. The signet gives you a nice amount of health and recharges instantly when used with an enchantment. Never use this unenchanted. When used with vital boon, the heal pratically fills your whole HP bar. Keep this and vital boon handy until you move to more advanced skills. This and vital are you main starting heals and together, act as almost your healing signet. You must also be EXTRA careful in stacking your enchantments. Be sure you know exactly what you are going to rend when using this and beware of monks using protective enchantments on you before going for the signet. Sometimes it may be more beneficial to let the monk prot you, rather than rending off his prots and leaving yourself open to attack. Also remember this skill can be used on allies as well! With vital boon, it is more effective to cast this spell on an ally to self rend boon, healing you and an ally at the same time. You can also use this skill offensively to end skills like aura of thorns or mirage cloak in order to deal damage or effects to surrounding enemies while healing you at the same time.

Aura of Thorns:
This is the easiest to use snare and condition spreading enchantment dervishes have at their disposal. You can use your signet of pious light or an attack like twin moon sweep to instantly cripple and bleed your enemies after using aura of thorns. This is an excellent skill to pair with armor of sanctity if you plan on spamming conditions. If you are using this to snare monks or casters in PvP, wait until the enemy stops to cast before attempting to trap them with it, the spell has a 3/4 second cast that is easy to escape if the enemy is good at kiting.

Mirage Cloak:
This is a great enchantment when used with mystic sandstorm, since it protects you with evasion and deals a nice chunk of earth damage when it ends. Although the cost is high, pair this up with mystic sandstorm and you will have a massive damage spike at hand. When running a dervish spike, it is a good idea to max earth prayers to gain the maximum 79 damage out of this spell. When used with mystic sandstorm and a stack of enchantments, it can contribute to a 200+ damage spike that hits and applies various conditions all at once. Because the damage is instant, mirage cloak and mystic sandstorm can devastate an enemy team if it hits more than one person. Mirage cloak can also be cancelled by signet of pious light to deal a quick bit of area damage to finish off a weakened mob.

Mystic Sandstorm:
This is probably the most powerful skill a dervish has. This skill can deal insane amounts of damage to the surrounding enemies and release the effects of all your stacked enchantments at once. This skill is very devastating in an enchantment heavy build and can be used in conjuction with mirage cloak to create an area destroyer. Mystic sandstorm also works well with assassin shadow steps and alow a dervish to zone into a crowd and release a massive area spike. This skill is the backbone of the mystic spike build. Running at 9 earth, you will need 5 enchantments to nearly top the damage off at 125, and 5 enchants at 12 earth for the 130 max damage. This skill is fun with aura of displacement and mirage cloak. Mystic Sandstorm itself cancels aura so after you shadow step and deal your damage, you are instantly warped back to safety. Actually the spike is so quick that sometimes it doesn't look like you even move, you blink with black smoke and suddenly things in the distance drop dead.

Ebon Dust Aura (Elite):
With an earth scythe, or any earth weapon this skill is the ultimate melee shutdown (note that even though the skill says you must use an earth weapon, any enchantments that convert damage into earth damage still trigger EDA). This skill can be used to completely blind mobs or disable physical damage based threats such as spike/cg rangers in pvp. Although it is very conditional, EDA is something that cannot be overlooked due to its 30 second effect. This is a very advanced skill that allows the dervish to be played defensively and focus on stopping other melee classes from dealing damage instead of doing much on its own. EDA usually sees its glory in GvG and the domain of anguish, where coordination is key and this kind of shutdown is vital to the team. Pair this skill up with harrier's grasp to deal blind and cripple to any struck target. This combination makes the dervish a powerful melee shutdown threat on the battlefield and can make thumpers and warriors near useless during a pressure attack.

Armor of Sanctity
This skill is a great option for an EDA shutdown Dervish and even a Melandru conditions spreader. It offers great protection at a low cost and can be constantly recast to maintain its effect.

Conviction: <3
Conviction is +24 armor that you can effectively at run forever at 6-7 earth prayers. This skill stacks well with the avatar of balthazar and it would be wise to keep it on your bar if you plan on making a PvE tanker. I would say conviction is one of the best dervish skills available, second only to mystic regeneration. It would be good to unlock this skill in PVP and get it from the kamadan trader right off the bat when starting a new dervish. Always remember to keep this skill up at all times, recast it EVERYTIME it is available and never forget. +24 armor is a huge deal and will keep you alive in hot aggro.

Mystic Regeneration: <3
This is hands down the best regenerative heal in all of guild wars and probably one of the best dervish skills ever made. If you plan on making a dervish go into PVP and UNLOCK this skill so you can by it from the trader in kamadan right off the bat. Any experienced PvE dervish would be insane not to bring this skill. Dervish tanks should always have it at hand. By using this skill under stacked enchantments you can have over 9 health regeneration forever. This skill is the reason to go earth prayers. With mystic regeneration you can walk through lava, bleed, be diseased, poisoned... and just sweat it off like its no big deal. When using mystic regeneration its good to precast it before a fight and bury it under a stack of enchantments to gain its full effect.

Good things to note about mystic regeneratin is that at 3 earth prayers it regens +2 per enchant. +3 at 8 earth prayers, and +4 at 13 earth prayers. Since you are constantly running enchantments, you want to shoot for at least 8 earth prayers to use this spell effectively. Eles using attunements and aura of restoration or earth armors can also use this spell for an instant +9 regen for over 20 seconds.

~~~

Wind Prayers:
Wind Prayers is kind of like the dervish utility line, much like eles and water magic. The downside to wind prayers is that it offers little in the ways of survivability in comparison to the highly defensive Earth Prayer line. However, wind prayer skills include some of the best snare and movement skills available to a melee class and the entire line itself is vital to PvP. This is very advanced and hard to use line, but can be powerful when utilized by damage dealing dervish backed by a good monk. Wind Prayers exist to ensure your target never escapes your wrath.

Pious Restoration:
This is one of the few melee class skills that removes hexes. This skill can be very useful on W/Ds and even A/Ds for countering hexes like reckless haste and SS.

Mystic Healing:
This is a strange psuedo party heal spell that can be spammed for a great effect. You may be able to stack enchantments and use this in conjuction with mystic twister to damage enemies and keep the party healed at the same time. The downside is that you cant choose who to heal. Although Mystic Healing is a little gimmicky, its spammability and low cost make up for it's quirks.

Dwayna's Touch:
This is pretty much healing touch for dervishes. It offers a nice healing bonus when stacked with enchantments and can be spammed for survival.

Harrier's Haste:
This is a very nice unconditional run skill that has a nice damage bonus to moving foes. This is nice to pair with a bull's charge or bulls strike (works well on a W/D) for some big damage and kiter hate. This is the best dervish run skill available and is superior to sprint from the warrior line because of it's damage bonus. Bring this whenever you need a solid and dependable movement skill.

Harrier's Grasp:
Harrier's grasp is one of the best pvp snares available in the game. With this enchantment on, no one will able to escape your attacks. It is very useful in GvG and can even be used to stop relic runners in HA or trap someone in a elementalist sandstorm attack. Pair this skill up with Ebon Dust Aura for the ultimate warrior hate and shutdown.

Lyssa's Haste
Lyssa's Haste is a unique dervish run skill that sacrifices life for energy. The life loss from the skill is fairly low and can be easily managed. Because of the skill's energy gain, it practically pays itself off and even gives back some bonus energy. This skill is ideal in large GvG maps and for catching flag runners trying to sneak a morale boost. This or featherfoot grace are great skills to combine with harrier's grasp. With mystic regeneration, lyssa's haste is a good skill to bring if you need an enchantment based run. The health gain from mystic regeneration will overpower the light HP loss from this skill and you can use it as a battery for energy. However, if you need a solid and dependable run, bring harrier's haste over this. The running durations for this skill and harrier's haste are about the same.

Featherfoot Grace
Although the cost is high, featherfoot foot grace is a good run skill that also comes with a nice conditions expiring bonus. However, because of its cost, harrier's haste is a more dependable form of running if alot of movement is needed. The condition expiring effect of featherfoot grace is quite useful in getting rid of blind and burning quickly however.

Test of Faith:
Although the skill cost is high, this skill can be devastating to enchantment heavy builds like Searing Flames. Anyone under half life loses ALL enchantments if nearby the person struck. The good thing about this skill is that you need no point investment in wind prayers to use it to its maximum potential. Count on seeing this skill to counter enchantment heavy builds in pvp very soon.

AVATARS

Who doesnt like being a god? Avatars are the most attractive aspect of a dervish. All 5 forms are very powerful and can be used effectively. I would say if you are going to be form heavy, invest 12 in mysticism and even 15 if you are a zealot like me. With high mysticism these forms last a longgggg time (75 seconds at 15!). Also make sure you use your form BEFORE the battle. There is nothing worse than being interrupted while trying to form change in the middle of a fight. Also if you are interrupted you will only have to wait on the skill's natural recharge, and not the 120 second special recharge that hits when the form ends.

Balthazar
The community favorite and for good reason. Balthazar is a tanking monster with +40 armor and a speed boost that lasts forever. Avatar of Balthazar makes you a warrior's dream, he meshes well with damage heavy scythe builds or pure dervish tank builds. Conviction and mystic regeneration are good skills to stack on balthazar to make him unkillable. Balthazar is also famous in running builds that have the potential to make it through the droknar's forge gambit. This is a good avatar for chest running as well. However, it is still important to remember that even with balthazar's power you are a DERVISH NOT A WARRIOR. Remember the ways of the dervish while using this avatar and that YES your enchantments are still important and that you still need them to live (despite your +40 AL and plates of molten ultra cool magma armor). Avatar of balthazar does NOT turn you into a leeroy jenkins so remember that monks dont move 25% faster at all times and have healing range. Also giant mobs still find you tasty and will triple aggro despite your menacing appearance. Another nice bonus Balthazar has is that he converts your damage into holy damage, which deals insane damage to skeleton hordes and undead (like those in FoW).

Melandru
Melandru is expensive, but her immunity to conditions and big max life boost makes her a damage monster. With wearying strike, this avatar can deal huge amounts of pain by deep wounding everything with no drawbacks. Melandru is a very balanced avatar that works best in a condition heavy scythe build. I would recommend newbies to use Melandru as their first avatar because she is easy to use and has few drawbacks side from her high cost. Also because of Melandru's high cost be sure you bring a +10, +5 insightful staff!!! Because of melandru's 25 cost, if you die you will DP out of the avatar and not have enough max energy to recast it. If you have a staff on hand, even with high DP you can switch to your staff set and cast the avatar then go back to your scythe to attack. Also with this avatar, BEWARE OF FRAGILITY. Melandru removes conditions the second they are applied on you, so if you are hexed with fragility you will take double frag damage each time you would have been struck by a condition (since conditional attacks on melandru count as both an apply and a removal). If you are under the influence of fragility, condition spamming attackers will be able to kill you almost instantly. Spam this hex if you are affected with it under Melandru and get it off immediately.

Lyssa
Although very conditional, Lyssa is good for spiking spellcasters and is good for scythe heavy gank builds with high damage attacks. Lyssa's assault meshes will with its avatar and can take advantage of the 10 energy bonus to gain free attacks and even free energy with high scythe mastery. By attacking rangers using troll unguent or ritualists laying down spirits, Lyssa can deal huge damage and destroy anyone trying to protect themselves from her wrath. This is a good avatar to in taking down ritualist spirit spammers trying to dominate the field. Lyssa requires good timing on striking skill activating opponents to really be effective. I would recommend Lyssa to high damage Dervish who are experienced and want to deal ALOT of damage to anyone who screws up in their presence. Lyssa is hands down the most offensively geared and damaging avatar available.

Dwayna
Dwayna is a psuedo tank that eats hexes and provides a nice heal on skill use as well. When she is paired with mending touch from the protection prayers line, she can eat 1 hex and two conditions every 4 seconds, making her nearly unstoppable. I would say dwayna's tanking potential is up there along side balthazar, with the upside of being pretty as well ^_^. She is good with spammable quick hit scythe attacks like mystic sweep and eremites attack to take advantage of her hp gain on skill use. Dwayna is also an advanced avatar geared towards heavy survival. Dwayna is one of my favorites because of her immunity to hexes AND conditions with mending touch. In the right hands, she can be very powerful. Shield of absorption and reversal of fortune also work well for dwayna for applying heals, removing hexes, and reducing damage all at the same time.

Grenth
Grenth is a protection monk's absolute nightmare. When paired with a spinal shivers necro, grenth is unstoppable. He rends enchantments (and interrupts with spinal due to his cold damage) on strike and with heart of fury you can eat through any form of enchantment defense. Grenth is more popularly seen in PvP, when he destroys altar maps with his chilling presence. Grenth is probably the most advanced situational avatar, but can a heavily magic defense into glittering dust in the hands of a master. Grenth typically works well with spammable attacks like eremite's attack and mystic sweep on the same bar in order to more quickly rend enchantments off an enemy.

DERVISH AND SECONDARIES

The dervish does not mesh well with other classes simply because it is so dependant on its own skill trees in order to become effective and survive. As a dervish you will find yourself with a bar filled with nothing but blue portraits of some cloaked guy holding a scythe in different poses. However, there are a few skills outside of the skill tree that have some worthy mentions. The problem with using secondary skills is that you usually have no room on your bar for them, let alone points to allocate into their attribute line. The best skills are skill that require no point investment to be of use.

Wild Blow (Warrior -No Attribute-)
Wild Blow is a great addition to a melee dervish and grants a free spammable critical strike that also breaks stances like whirling defense. Since this skill requires no points and dervish are not adrenaline based, it is a good substitution for a scythe attack and can yield some good numbers and effects.

Bull's Strike (Warrior -Strength-)
This is a nice skill to abuse with harrier's haste. Even though you arent getting a big bonus from strength, the knockdown effect is what makes the skill useful.

Epidemic (Mesmer -No Attribute-)
Epidemic works wonders with ebon dust aura. You can keep everyone blind by spamming it on struck targets.

Mending Touch (Monk -Protection Prayers)
The ability to remove two conditions every four seconds is something that can't be undermined by any melee class, let alone the dervish. This spell is an awesome choice for a dervish and makes you unstoppable when paired with Avatar of Dwayna. You can use this skill to remove 1 hex, 2 conditions, and gain health from Dwayna's influence. This is one of my favorite secondary skills and finds its place right next to Dwayna on my bar. Who ever thought that a skill with MENDING in it would be so damn good?

Draw Conditions (Monk -Protection Prayers)
Draw conditions is a great skill to use with Avatar of Melandru. Beacuse of Melandru's condition immunity you can draw conditions off allies and be unaffected when they are transferred to your avatar. This combination works well with imbue health and allows a Melandru Dervish to heal and deal significant damage at the same time.

Stone Striker (Elementalist -Earth Magic)
This is a great enchantment that allows you to completely abuse Ebon Dust Aura without having to use an earth weapon. It's also cheap with a fast cast time as well. With a minimal investment in the earth magic line, you can have a blinding sweeper without having to farm out a bubahl's grasp.

Armor of Earth/Stoneflesh Aura/Sliver Armor (Elementalist -Earth Magic)
If you can afford to allocate a decent number of points into earth magic. You can create a super tank as pointed out by Guardian. Any of the ele earth armors are great enchantments that give you a massive armor boost. You can stack these on conviction to tank nearly anything. Sliver armor is especially deadly for it's reflective damage and works well with dervish scythe swinging madness. Sliver armor can also be used in farming builds as well.

Burning Speed (Elementalist -Fire Magic-)
This is a great enchantment that allows you set an oppenent aflame for a decent amount of time when used with a self rend like signet of pious light or twin moon sweep. The healing from mystic regeneration will also help you counter the spells effects. Burning speed also makes a great movement skill for a dervish as well.

Aura of Displacement/Shadow Prison (Elite) (Assassin -Shadow Arts-)
Shadowsteps are great with a mystic sandstorm spiker. You can load yourself up with enchantments (Mirage Cloak, etc.) and teleport in for a mystic sandstorm to deal huge damage. There are several spike builds being toyed with in HA. Dervish spike is one of them and can be very potent, dealing over 250-300 dmg to an entire area in one shot + many many conditions. Shadow Prison is great because of its snare effect and can be useful in insuring the spike finds its mark.

Shield of Absorption, Reversal of Fortune, Protective Spirit (Monk -Protection Prayers-)
All three of these protection prayer spells can be used to a great effect by a dervish. Shield of absorption is an ideal enchantment that lasts little over 5 seconds and makes a nice substitute for conviction when running a non-earth build. Reversal is also good as well, and because of mysticism both of these defensive enchantments can be reapplied over and over for a cost one 1 energy at 12 mysticism. Highly spammable enchantments like these are great when using avatar of dwayna, since you can prevent damage, heal, and remove hexes at an incredible rate. Protective spirit can also be applied rather cheaply by a dervish and kept up indefinitely when a decent number of points are dumped into the protection prayer lines. It can be useful in both tanking mobs and farming.

SAMPLE BUILDS

Force of Nature (D/Any)

Scythe Mastery: 12 + 4 (sup and headgear)
Mysticism: 10 +2 (Major)
Earth: 8+1 (Minor)

Mystic Sweep
Wearying Strike
Aura of Thorns
Armor of Sanctity
Vital Boon
Signet of Pious Light
Avatar of Melandru {e}
Rez

This is the basic conditions spammer. By using avatar of melandru, you become immune to conditions and can spam wearying strike to deep wound the entire enemy party. Start with the avatar and vital boon. Choose a group to attack and run in while casting aura of thorns. You will then use your signet. The enemy will be crippled and bled, you can then deep wound them with wearying and sink the damage in with mystic sweep. If you or a teammate are in trouble, use vital boon to heal yourself and your signet for a light heal on allies. Also be sure to bring that +10,+5 insightful staff just incase you DP out of the avatar.

Untainted Goddess (D/Mo)

Scythe Mastery: 12+3+1 (Superior + Headgear)
Mysticism: 10+2 (Major)
Earth: 8+1 (Minor)
Protection Prayers: 3

Mystic Sweep
Victorious Sweep
Heart of Fury
Aura of Thorns
Mystic Regeneration
Mending Touch
Avatar of Dwayna {e}
Rez

This is an extremely balanced condition and hex eater build. By using mending touch and dwayna's cleansing powers you can wipe your whole status clean with one shot. You will first activate the avatar and mystic regeneration prior to the fight. Snare the enemy with aura of thorns and then chain victorious sweep with mystic sweep for big damage. If you are in trouble with hex stacking or conditions, simply hit mending touch and nix all your problems in no time.

Balthazar's Champion (D/W)

Scythe Mastery: 12 + 4 (sup and headgear)
Mysticism: 10 +2 Major)
Earth: 8+1 (Minor)

Mystic Sweep
Wild Blow
Conviction
Mystic Regeneration
Vital Boon
Signet of Pious Light
Avatar of Balthazar {e}
Rez

This is the basic PvE Balthazar tank. You would start by using avatar of balthazar and approaching the mob. As the mob aggros, throw up Mystic Regeneration first then Vital boon. Use conviction as you engage the enemy and strike with wild blow and mystic sweep. Spam the combo to break stances and remember to recast your enchantments and conviction as they end. ALWAYS cover mystic regen with vital boon. If low on life use signet of pious light to end boon and use the energy gain to recast mystic regeneration (cast boon over it when it is available). This is an effective balth tank and founds its workings on the core of what a dervish really is. I recommend using this build to newcomers to the dervish class.

Grenth's Cold Grasp (D/W)

Scythe Mastery: 10+2 (Major)
Mysticism: 11 +4 (Superior + Headgear)
Wind: 10+1 (Minor)

Eremite's Attack
Mystic Sweep
Distracting Blow
Harrier's Grasp
Harrier's Haste
Guiding Hands
Avatar of Grenth {e}
Rez

This is the basic PvP Grenth enchantment shutdown build that is useful in GvG and HA. This build is dependant on a monk to survive and should not overextend. You would first activate grenth and guiding hands, which prevents enemies from hiding in wards or aegis chains to avoid you. Choose a heavily enchanted target, like a monk or caster, and use harrier's haste to track them down along with harrier's grasp to snare them. Eremite's Attack and Mystic Sweep are spammed to quickly rend enchantments and distracting blow is used to stop vital casts like heal party or aegis. This build is also useful in stripping the ghostly hero holding an altar of protective enchantments so that your team can take him down.

Ebon Dust Shutdown (D/W)

Scythe Mastery: 10 +2 (Major)
Mysticism: 10+2 (Major)
Earth: 9+3 (Major + headgear)
Wind: 7

*Earth Scythe Required*

Eremite's Attack
Mystic Sweep
Wild Blow or Distracting Blow
Harrier's Grasp
Harrier's Haste
Mystic Regeneration
Ebon Dust Aura {e}
Rez

This a simple EDA shutdown build for GvG. You would first cast ebon dust aura and mystic regeneration. Use harrier's haste to catch up to targets and with harrier's grasp stack on EDA, each attack will cripple and blind. You can easily shutdown melee threats by spamming mystic sweep and eremite's attack for quick hits. By continuously attacking enemy warriors and assassins, you can migitate alot of damage being dealt by your team and be a huge annoyance. Thumpers should be priority targets to shutdown since they can deal a good amount of pressure with Rampage as One. You can also either being wild blow or distracting blow to cancel stances or interrupt casters.

Mystic Sandstorm Spiker (D/A)

Mysticism: 12 +3 (Superior)
Earth: 12+4 (Superior + Headgear)
Deadly Arts: whatever you have left

NOTE: Use a +10 energy staff with a +5 insightful head for a larger energy pool. Attribute of the staff doesnt matter.

Mystic Sandstorm
Aura of Displacement/Shadow Prison {e}
Mirage Cloak
Vital Boon
Aura of Thorns
Heart of Holy Flame
Signet of Pious Light
Rez

This is an insane dervish spike build that can roll many HA builds easily. This build works by stacking a ton of enchantments and then warping into a crowd of enemies for an area kill. The spike itself deals 130 + 79 damage and max degen with burning and bleeding. All this hits at once with an area of effect the size of a flame burst. 3-4 Dervish running this build can wipe a team in a matter of seconds with good coordination. You will first cast Heart of Holy Flame, Aura, then Vital. Wait for the energy poot to reach 35 then choose a spike target, preferably a crowd of enemies clumped together. When the spike is called, all the dervish AoD to the position and mystic sandstorm the target, resulting in instant death to anything range. Mystic Sandstorm cancels AoD so the Dervish instantly transport back in a split second after bombing the area, where mysticism recharges all their energy and vital boon restores health. The entire spike is visually crazy because the AoD ends so fast it doesnt even look like the dervish move, just a black puff appears around them and people in the distance magically explode into flames and die. Shadow prison may also be used to snare enemies for the spike in place of AoD. Overall this build is extremely powerful, yet takes mastery to perform with perfection. Also because of the high energy cost of running this build, going with full radiant armor is not a bad idea. Because you are a AoE hit and run spiker, the extra energy will be very useful in setting up the next cycle of spikes.

***END***

I am no means a dervish expert, but I hope this helps for those confused about the physics of the class. I see dervish as a great class requiring alot of management and skill. With the untapped utility from wind prayers, I see alot of uses for them in PVE and PVP in the future. I wish you all luck in becoming masters of the scythe and hopes some of this information helps those confused on what skills to get and how to keep a dervish alive in battle.

Last edited by Lordhelmos; Dec 21, 2006 at 06:58 AM // 06:58..
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Old Dec 05, 2006, 09:41 PM // 21:41   #2
uberpwnage
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If you ask me, you didn't give enough credit to Wind Prayers, despite the fact that most people believe that Earth Prayers dwarf Wind Prayers. You stated at the end that you are by no means a Dervish expert... Well, you might want to at least try to work Wind Prayers into a build before saying that it's basically useless. Have you seen how devastating Eremite's Attack and Mystic Sweep are when combined with Onslaught and Whirling Charge?

You forgot about Lyssa's Assault, also, which is a free +21 damage and 3 net energy to boot at 16 scythe mastery. It doesn't even have to hit to get the energy; it just needs to finish the animation.
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Old Dec 05, 2006, 09:51 PM // 21:51   #3
Lordhelmos
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Retracted (I just got out of the ER and was in a really bad mood, this reply didn't convey what I wanted and was just rude)

Last edited by Lordhelmos; Dec 06, 2006 at 06:13 AM // 06:13..
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Old Dec 05, 2006, 10:04 PM // 22:04   #4
Tingi
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I think this was a very well planned, thoughtfull guide. Good explanation of skills and tactics and easy to read. GJ .
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 03:15 AM // 03:15   #5
Aubergine
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Thanks for the commentaries and insights on the skills of the different branches of the Dervish Lord Helmos. I'm a new player to guildwars and chose Nightfall as my point of entry to this series, and I found this very helpful in tweaking my build.

I have one question though, when you suggested to go with Windwalker insignias on all pieces of armor, I assumed it meant that the +5 armor bonuses stacked between all the pieces of armor; but I don't see anything in the description of the insignia that suggested it stacked or did not stack. When I think about it, wouldn't this be completely overpowered if one went with + 15 armor x 5 pieces of armor while under the effects of 3 enchantments? I also can not think of a way to test this myself besides salvaging the insignia out of the armor 1 by 1 and testing with mobs solo, since there is no panel that displays your current armor rating in GW like in WoW.

Any help appreciated, thanks.
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 03:41 AM // 03:41   #6
Daimou43
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the insignias don't stack, but they only affect the piece of armor that you place them on. So... if they manage to hit your hands, feet or whatever, you don't get that Armor bonus.
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 03:58 AM // 03:58   #7
Throttle
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Very nice guide. Good job explaining some basics and valuable general knowledge - I'm new to the game and to dervish (it's my second level 20 and currently my main character) and I've been having some trouble figuring out what's "best".

I only have NF so I haven't really seen much use for a secondary profession as there are few skills available, and Watch Yourself was nerfed half an hour after I picked warrior as secondary. I'm still a D/W but I only use dervish skills, and I'd like to hear more about good secondary professions. I thought about monk for mending touch but I'm still not sure.

I think it's difficult to tell which dervish skills work well in synergy with eachother. Something might seem obvious, but then I'm usually missing out on something even better. I've just reached Vabbi and I'm having trouble with not dealing enough damage, but when I switch to a more offensive build, I have trouble surviving. Currently I run the following setup:

Items:
Fairly mundane. I have the cheap 70armor set from Consulate Docks with Windwalker's Insignia in robes and leggings, a minor scythe mastery in the hood and a +30hp rune in the shoes. I upgrade as I find the things since I'm dirt poor and can't afford to play the market. My scythe is a collector one, blue with 9-41 and 15% while enchanted. I stuck a +6 armor vs. physical in there just to stick with the armor theme until I find something better, although I'm reluctant to upgrade a blue weapon with max inscriptions and parts.

Attributes are:
Scythe Master 12+1
Earth Prayers 10
Mysticism 10 (I could technically go down to 9 to reach the first breakpoint, but I won't have enough to increase Earth or Scythe by 1 anyway)

Skills:
1 Mystic Sweep
2 Chilling Victory
3 Signet of Pious Light
4 Vital Boon
5 Watchful Intervention
6 Faithful Intervention
7 Avatar of Melandru (it's the only avatar I've capped)
8 Mirage Cloak (but I usually have Signet of Capture here)

As you can see, I've mainly focused on survival and long-lasting enchantments, with Chilling Victory and Mystic Sweep as the damage dealers. I know it's not optimal but I'm still missing a lot of skills so most of the common builds are still out of my reach. My main concern is my items as I need upgrades badly but can't afford them. There's definitely room for changes and improvement, so what do you suggest?
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 03:59 AM // 03:59   #8
Akshara
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Aubergine... the +5 per enchantment is for the equipped slot only, not combined or global. So if you have one windwalker on the chest piece, then the chest gets +15 armor, and nothing else; if you add one on the arms, then the arms get +15 armor too.

LordHelmos... excellent guide. I've a new lvl 10 Dervish, and this clarifies some things I'd noticed while playing the profession. Thank you.
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 04:11 AM // 04:11   #9
Sidra
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Wind prayers is very versatile for running and speed enhancements. I don't know why it really exists, since Anet doesn't seem to much like that line of work.

Other than that, awesome thread, and I think stickyable.
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 04:22 AM // 04:22   #10
Throttle
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Oh, and a small correction:

Quote:
Watchful Intervention:
This is a great precast skill that has no upkeep cost. Essentially watchful intervention is a free enchantment you can cast to ensure that you are enchanted at all times. This plays off other dervish skills and allows you to keep your bonuses from skill like conviction and mystic regeneration. As a bonus it also prevents you from taking too much spike damage by offering a huge heal when it ends. This is a great spell to start with while learning the ropes of a dervish. The only downside is that it has a long cast time and is hard to recast if it ends and you are in a huge battle. If you are tanking and lose this enchantment, its a sign that you are over pressured and should retreat to restack your enchantments.
I think you mean Faithful Intervention.
http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/Faithful_Intervention
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 04:23 AM // 04:23   #11
Guardian of the Light
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Nice guide dude.

+1 sticky

What you could also do is add PvE tank builds to also guide noobs to easy to run fun builds.

Also mybe you could add a few skills from secondary professions.

For example a few people have been using Earth Magic and Earth Prayers so they can use Armor of Earth and Conviction. It's quite an armor bonus and can sometimes beat warriors in some situations.
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 04:27 AM // 04:27   #12
Craze Horse
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Very nice guide, I agree with almost everything in it which is pretty rare for me.

You suggested putting your enchantments where you can see them and I also highly suggest this. I always keep it right above my skill bar and health and energy bar, just below my character where my eyes are close by at all times. Managing your enchantments is key, there is nothing more annoying than accidentally pressing vital boon again right before it ends.
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 04:28 AM // 04:28   #13
Aubergine
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Thank you for the quick replies Daimou43 and Akshara, much appreciated.

To Throttle - I'm at about the same area in the game, starting out in the Vabbi area, and I've found that usually to boost my offense with the skills available to me at this stage of the game, I take more scythe mastery skills with me, esp. Reapers Sweep[elite], I use it even while the enemy's HP is above 50% since it gives a nice +dmg bonus anyways, while i wait for mystic sweep and chilling victory to cooldown. Maybe consider bringing Heart of Fury over Watchful Intervention to boost DPS? Another thing I realized was that once you setup your monk heroes nicely, you can drop more survival-related skills from your bar and rely on their healing more. Hope that helps.
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 04:43 AM // 04:43   #14
The Juggerrnaught
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all i have to say is wow! i was a total noob at dervishes but now i can do better after reading your thread and hopefully i wont rush into battle anymore with my lvl 9 D/Mo lol.
Great guide! keep it up
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 05:02 AM // 05:02   #15
Khaunshar
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One thing that should be written next to Balthazars Avatar:

"Balthazars Avatar is like a badly raised dog: It constantly tugs at you to go faster than the rest of your party. Watch your step, the healers are NOT at +33% speed, and you are NOT invincible."

I believe its the frequent "run ahead" misuse of this skill that has halfway ruined dervishes reputation.
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 05:47 AM // 05:47   #16
Kijik Oni Hanryuu
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this is a great noob guide dude.. awesome work..
Sticky
Or
I
Go
On
Strike
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 06:18 AM // 06:18   #17
Lordhelmos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttle
Oh, and a small correction:



I think you mean Faithful Intervention.
http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/Faithful_Intervention
Thank you, HUGE mistake on my part. Fixed right away. I don't what I was thinking when I posted that.

I cleaned up the guide and clarified some things. Hope this helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttle
Very nice guide. Good job explaining some basics and valuable general knowledge - I'm new to the game and to dervish (it's my second level 20 and currently my main character) and I've been having some trouble figuring out what's "best".

I only have NF so I haven't really seen much use for a secondary profession as there are few skills available, and Watch Yourself was nerfed half an hour after I picked warrior as secondary. I'm still a D/W but I only use dervish skills, and I'd like to hear more about good secondary professions. I thought about monk for mending touch but I'm still not sure.

I think it's difficult to tell which dervish skills work well in synergy with eachother. Something might seem obvious, but then I'm usually missing out on something even better. I've just reached Vabbi and I'm having trouble with not dealing enough damage, but when I switch to a more offensive build, I have trouble surviving. Currently I run the following setup:

Items:
Fairly mundane. I have the cheap 70armor set from Consulate Docks with Windwalker's Insignia in robes and leggings, a minor scythe mastery in the hood and a +30hp rune in the shoes. I upgrade as I find the things since I'm dirt poor and can't afford to play the market. My scythe is a collector one, blue with 9-41 and 15% while enchanted. I stuck a +6 armor vs. physical in there just to stick with the armor theme until I find something better, although I'm reluctant to upgrade a blue weapon with max inscriptions and parts.

Attributes are:
Scythe Master 12+1
Earth Prayers 10
Mysticism 10 (I could technically go down to 9 to reach the first breakpoint, but I won't have enough to increase Earth or Scythe by 1 anyway)

Skills:
1 Mystic Sweep
2 Chilling Victory
3 Signet of Pious Light
4 Vital Boon
5 Watchful Intervention
6 Faithful Intervention
7 Avatar of Melandru (it's the only avatar I've capped)
8 Mirage Cloak (but I usually have Signet of Capture here)

As you can see, I've mainly focused on survival and long-lasting enchantments, with Chilling Victory and Mystic Sweep as the damage dealers. I know it's not optimal but I'm still missing a lot of skills so most of the common builds are still out of my reach. My main concern is my items as I need upgrades badly but can't afford them. There's definitely room for changes and improvement, so what do you suggest?
May I suggest running this:

Scythe Mastery: 12 + 4 (sup and headgear)
Mysticism: 12 (+2 Major)
Earth: 8+1 (Minor)

Mystic Sweep
Wearying Strike
Heart of Fury
Conviction
Mystic Regeneration
Faithful Intervention
Avatar of Melandru
Rez

Get 2 majors if you cant yet afford the superior scythe, but with this build you can deal loads of damage and keep yourself well healed at the same time. Cast Faithful Intervention and then Melandru. Approach the mob and then cast Mystic Regen and Conviction. When aggroeing cast Heart of Fury and strike with Wearying immediately followed by Mystic Sweep. You will see a MASSIVE chunk of hp just fly off their bar as mystic sweep sinks in the deep wound. Also with 3 enchants running, your mystic sweep is powered for max and deals the full monty. Also remember to keep conviction up and wail on everything with heart of fury. When heart ends, use the energy gain to recast mystic regeneration. You should be able to both take some good damage and deal LOTS of pain with this build. This is my usual Melandru build.

I am aware mystic regeneration is not available till Torment, which is way too late. To remedy this, simply do some RA matches in PVP and gain 1000 faction. Talk to the priest of balthazar to unlock it and then get on your dervish and buy it at a skill trader. This is the first thing all you dervish should do. Mystic Regeneration is that damn good.

Last edited by Lordhelmos; Dec 06, 2006 at 03:52 PM // 15:52..
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 02:01 PM // 14:01   #18
furbat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uberpwnage
If you ask me, you didn't give enough credit to Wind Prayers, despite the fact that most people believe that Earth Prayers dwarf Wind Prayers. You stated at the end that you are by no means a Dervish expert... Well, you might want to at least try to work Wind Prayers into a build before saying that it's basically useless. Have you seen how devastating Eremite's Attack and Mystic Sweep are when combined with Onslaught and Whirling Charge?

You forgot about Lyssa's Assault, also, which is a free +21 damage and 3 net energy to boot at 16 scythe mastery. It doesn't even have to hit to get the energy; it just needs to finish the animation.
I thought wow, I have never tried onslaugt + ermites + mystic. So I tried it. Bad bad bad build. Whiring + Onslaugt + ermites + mystic = 0 energy very fast. Whats the point of a faster recharge if you have to E.

Personally, i just dont see much in wind worth taking. If you need haste, take pious haste. At 12 myst its 9 seconds of runspeed with a 12 sec cool down, only 5 e. If you want IAS take heart of fury. First you get mana back at the end, its more sustainable than whirling charge, second the 20% enchant mod effects it.

Going wind means you arent taking anything from earth, also for self healing earth can be run at 8 for mystic regen. None of the healing in wind is imo very good, save for pious healing for hex renewal. You also need 12 or so in wind for selfhealing that is subpar to mystic regen at 8 earth.

Guiding hands, harriers grasp/haste, whirling charge, attackers insight, zealous vow are all cool spells. But i find that mystisim is the line to go. If the mysticism line didn't cover everything in wind save hex removal already maybe wind would be better. For a pure dervish, or D/W for wildblow, I really like 12 myst 15 scythe and 9 earth.
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 03:34 PM // 15:34   #19
Lordhelmos
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In an earlier arguement in game my quote about wind prayers vs. earth prayers was:

"If you aren't using any earth prayers to sustain yourself on the battlefield, you are simply an assassin with no shadowsteps toting a scythe."

I would say that this holds true for the dervish. Too many vital survival skills are stacked in earth prayers to ignore the line. When running a dervish I keep a rule of thumb to:

1.) Always keep a minimum of 8 points in earth prayers. Consider Conviction and Mystic Regeneraton permanently slotted on your bar unless you plan on using Avatar of Balthazar to make up for the armor loss. Even then it's still worth bringing.

2.) Always bring a rez.

3.) Always bring a minimum of 3 enchantments that you are comfortable balancing.

4.) Run a minimum of 12 scythe mastery of you plan on doing any melee and always bring heart of fury if using a scythe.

5.) Run a minimum of 12 mysticism to manage your enchantments.

So with these five rules, conviction, mystic regen, heart of fury, and rez are permently slotted on your bar. So you have 4 skills left to choose freely on you own and one of those MUST be an enchantment, leaving your with 3 optional slots to fill with scythe attacks or additional damage enchantments of you choice, skills from your secondary, and your elite. Thats some pretty cramped space and the reason why they dervish class is hard to mesh with a secondary profession. You have half you bar reserved by manditory skills and about 75% of your skill points forced into earth prayers, mysticism, and scythe mastery. Its hard to take anything at all from any of those catergories without reducing either your survival power or your damage output.

A 15, 13, 9 build is a good general spread as a dervish using 1 superior and 1 major rune. The 9 will always be earth prayers with a minor rune and 15 can either be mysticism or scythe mastery. If you choose to go mysticism know that you will be sacrificing ALOT of scythe damage and being more defensive. If you choose the scythe mastery line, 15(scythe), 12(Myst), 11(Epray) is also a good attribute spread and will greatly buff your earth prayer line. I would recommend a 15(Scythe), 12(Myst), 11(Epray) spread to new dervishes that want a good balance of damage and defense. 16(Scythe), 12(Myst), 9(Epray) will also work well if you want that extra push for damage.

These are good guidelines to follow while creating a solid dervish build. I promise that if you follow these guidelines, as limited as they might seem, you wont have too many problems keeping yourself alive and dealing some good damage. By nature the dervish itself is very limited in what it can bring, only because these defensive earth prayers are crucial in covering for weak natural armor. After getting all the basic bases covered by slotting your points, conviction, heart of fury, and mystic regen.... theres really not alot of room left for you to tinker with.

Last edited by Lordhelmos; Dec 06, 2006 at 05:07 PM // 17:07..
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Old Dec 06, 2006, 05:01 PM // 17:01   #20
boxterduke
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Very nice indeed.
Although I created my Dervish on day one when NF went live to get the Halloween hat, I just started playing her 2 days ago and I just love the class.
This guide will help a lot.
GJ
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