As the majority of my guild entertains RIFT betas and other games, an abnormally small amount of guild members hang about on Order Badlands trying to better learn their new classes. A recent turn of events led to a mass exit from Destro Gorfang and led to former RR81+ members to try their hands at new classes. Some leading roles they have never been in and are constantly testing the waters.
The playing habits of the opposing realm (Destro Badlands) use constant tactics that our old server never would have seen. To see a ‘Get Ta Da Choppa’ again is wildly amusing. Spamming ‘Lots of Chop’ in T4 is hilarious for all our veteran Choppas playing new roles. A heavy mass concentration of tanks is also a sight most would never think to see again. But a new trend post-nerf has yielded something everyone sees a great deal more of, and that’s the DPS DoK. Slowly but surely, it seems most RR60+ DoKs are realizing that you can make a great deal more Renown soloing in AAO than you can trying to group heal in a Scenario. Which then leads to many of my former Destro friends who were used to LoL DPS WPs not being a problem to going, “OMG, nerf the DOKs!”
So I was having a conversation with our young up and coming White Lion (one of the 4 actually) who made a career out of tanks for the last 2 years making 2 RR80+s and he was whining about the solo DOKs.
“But why?” I asked. “Are you running solo yourself?”
“Well yeah.” He said.
“Are you spec’d to be solo?”
He described his tactics and masteries and I said “Well that’s a great Warband setup you have there Captain Glass Cannon. But in a solo one on one or small encounters, you are meeting other Glass Cannons, namely DOKs who can burst heal themselves. You can’t, so you will always fail that way.”
He had at a time a R40 DOK in DPS spec, so he knew the animations. I described how he needed to take out the Rend Soul, and low and behold, you’ll win, very easily too. The advantage to the DPS DOK is the Rend Soul, the ability to get massive solo healing off. The disadvantages are actually overwhelming. Most DPS DOKs, can’t achieve over 800 Strength, so their pass through is horrible. They lack any sort of Armor Debuff, so they require to stack up WS in renown and talismans if they can. If not, they would have problem on even Rune Priest over the RR60. The also have the Initiative of crawfish. They generally sport a 23% chance to crit on. At best it’s usually still around 10% even in Sov. They have no break snare like real DPS, and their snare requires 2 hits. The result is, the DPS DOK is a Glass Cannon by all respects.
What do you have to do to take out this venerable but deadly foe? Stop the Rend Soul. The chaining melee ability heals in 3 parts. However the cast is extremely soft, you can break it, set it back and ruin very easy; by even defending against the first part of the chain will ruin the rest of it. A DOK’s death is usually primarily due to a bad Rend Soul. And since this ability is on a small cooldown, they really don’t get an immediate second try.
What I advised him to do was to respec his WL. Mostly into the Guardian tree, to put his DPS in the Pet, and to get more CC, like a 2 second knockdown, and the rest in Hunter for Pounce and Forced Opportunity. Then to take his renown into Parry and WS, abandoning his Crit. His tactics to include the Parry, Str, and then the Parry Strike back. The forth tactic could be any of his liking. And of course, slot the Evasive Manuevers for the Moral 1. The Talisman slots should be composed of WS and Wounds. Lastly to stock up on Pots, all of them. The idea here, is you are going to be trying to Parry as much as you can while feeding all the attacks into your Lion, while you place pot shots at the enemy infront. Most importantly, the armor debuff. Flanking is not going to happen as you need to be facing them, and getting mass crit hits that normally a WL would stock up on isn’t really help here. The normal game for DPS is to do it fast. The object here instead, is to just last enough to ruin their burst heal.
You find your DoK, or they find you. And you do a dance manuever of keeping the DoK infront while, keeping up your Armor Debuff, and cycling the damage abilities you can give your Lion under the Guardian tree. The DoK’s strength is most likely horrible, so unlike a real DPS you might encounter, this one you can actually parry quite a bit. As the fight continues in a slow manner, you’ll parry and parry, and your Pet all the while will be slowly eating away at the enemy with your help. You’ll obviously need to support your health with Pots. The key to success is timing out the Rend Soul. You don’t want to completely rely on your parry to stop it. Usually within the first 5 seconds of the fight, the DoK has taken below 50% health, expect the Rend Soul. If not preemptively, then look for animation starts of the Rend Soul, and give your Lion the order to Knock him down.
Normally, you only have to ruin one Rend Soul to win the fight, at that point it’s probably the end for them. If you miss your shot and they get their Rend Soul, don’t worry, wait for your Moral 1, save it for the next stage of the fight. When the DoK needs his/her next Rend Soul, your Parry all for 7 Seconds will not only ruin that, but any Consume Essense Strikes he/she tries to make up for that after. The reason for keeping up a Parry defense, is not only to get the unsuspecting parry on the Rend Soul, and to sustain your life, but to also ruin most of his/her strikes so that they struggle to gain Soul Essense. With higher level DoKs, the fights can take as long as 20 seconds, which would normally mean many Rend Soul chances, the idea would be that after the second Rend Soul the DoK would struggle to retain enough SE to even have a third. Along with Knockdowns, the Pull is also an interrupt, you can use that as well, if the Moral and Knockdown are on cooldown.
As for using this setup in group atmospheres? It’s really nerfing your attack. Most groups aren’t going to be happy that every tank hits way harder than a DPS, so it’s an expensive one way spec to go and kill DOKs. But if you spend your life near solo aspects looking for AAO, then the solo DOKs are probably what you need to work against.
And for my new DOK friends that happen to encounter this specific setup and your memory triggers on this article that you are up against this type of enemy, then the counter is real simple. If your WL opponent is purposely staying infront of you and you are seeing way more parries than you would hope for, simply just use your Rend Soul on the Lion, then detaunt it, and go back to the main target. If the fight is taking long, make sure your SE stays in line by hitting the lion a couple of times. Don’t kill it, you may need it, just detaunt it. The Lion can’t really stop your attacks, and has horrible defenses. Perfect for Rend Souls.