When ArenaNet first revealed their upcoming expansion “Heart of Thorns”, there were several things that got me excited. The Revenant was not part of that. It felt “odd” and “out of place” to me and something just did not catch my interest at all. However, for the sake of this article, I read more about this profession and the more I did so and the more I heard people talk about the profession, the more I have grown to like it.
To be quite honest, I am still not 100 % sold on the stances coming with set healing, utility and elite skills. But I have to admit, it does sound intriguing and I like that they are experimenting and daring to be different with some of their professions. MMOs that only give you the “standard classes” like warrior, mage and ranger bore me. I really love it when an MMO has at least one innovative class that makes it stand out. Mesmer is what I have already found fascinating in GW1 and she’s my favourite profession in GW2 now as well. And now they are adding a second profession that could potentially make them stand out from the MMO crowd and that’s certainly a good thing.
However, as I said, I am not sure those stances are a good thing. For one, how interesting will they be for players who have no idea about the lore? “Legendary Dwarf Stance” will probably make new players go: “Huh? There are dwarves?” – “Jalis Ironhammer… who is that guy?” Or Mallyx, the Unyielding. Or the Grand Asura Zekk. Without the proper background knowledge, how are players supposed to know that those are VIPs in the Guild Wars universe? Some people just like to understand the whole picture, especially if it’s about the profession they are playing.
Then again, it may not even be that important in the long run. What you can do with those stances is what should count in the end. Can you destroy your enemies? Can you support your allies? So I decided to take a closer look at the stances to see if they do what I would expect them to do.
The stance of Jalis Ironhammer (yes, I know that’s not the official name, but let’s just go with it because it sounds more important than “Legendary Dwarf Stance”) is apparently the “tanky stance”. You can theoretically use any weapon you like, but as long as you’re in this stance, your healing skill, your three utility skills and your elite skill are set and there’s no mixing or matching those skills like we are used to with the other professions.
One of the utility skills is “Forced Engagement” which taunts the enemy. This is one of the new conditions coming with Heart of Thorns. It forces the enemy to attack you. I imagine this will be a great skill to use in order to save the poor squishy elementalist from his certain death… or as I have experienced it, the thief rather. The best part is the elite skill “Rite of the Great Dwarf”: Channel the power of the Rite of the Great Dwarf to turn yourself and nearby allies into stone reducing incoming damage.” Again, you need to know the Guild Wars lore in order to know why this is so great for the veterans among us! But thankfully, even the players who entered with Guild Wars 2 have likely met Ogden Stonehealer by now. At least those who did play through Living Season 2 will very likely know this one particular dwarf and maybe also know some more about the story. Those who enter the game now, on the other hand – probably not.
But as much as I like playing a tanky class, this stance is not what made me slowly – dare I say it – fall in love with the Revenant. My heart beats for support. I long for a healer profession. Or at least for having support be more viable than it currently is. Maybe with the new map and new mobs, new encounters etc., us support-lovers will get more relevance in group settings. And with those skills, who wouldn’t want to take me with them, right? That’s my hope, at least. So, let’s look at what the “support stance”, the “Legendary Grand Asura Zekk” will give us.
The healing skill “Dolyakkington Sleeping Trance” doesn’t sound too spectacular yet. A typical healing skill with some flavour text. You fall into a trance and regain health. What isn’t known yet is whether this is just “flavour text” or if you are really unable to do anything while regaining this health. It would be quite cool if you could not do anything, but your enemies could not harm you either for that duration.
The first utility skill lets you “Conjure the Sceptre of the Grand Asura”. This reminds me of the elementalist and her conjured weapons! This is a chained skill and pulls up to 5 enemies towards the sceptre for 2 seconds “forcing them to kiss it and consequently daze them for 2 seconds”. This sounds quite useful. It’s not quite as nice as a taunt, but it will still force enemies to turn away from their current target (saving the poor thief from his certain death…).
The second utility skill sounds a bit goofy. “Consume Mini Beetle Snuff”. This is basically a buff. It will make you “euphoric” for 30 seconds giving you 6 stacks of might and 5 stacks of stability. I’m not sure if “Might” is good here, as it’s supposed to be a support stance, but a bit more damage can never hurt, I guess. Having only support and no damage is no fun either, I guess, right? 😉
The Elite skill could be quite useful: “Conjure Holographic Golem Maihairdoo-V2”. A golem! Of course, I’ll play as an asura. Nobody who knows me doubted that, right? So this skill obviously gets me excited! But this golem will not only fight for me for 60 seconds (being on a 120 seconds cooldown). It will also give me and my allies retaliation. That’s not bad at all, I would say. Additionally, others who are closeby can also “learn” the Dolyakkington Sleeping Trance from Maihairdoo-V2 as long as they are within reach of the golem. From what I understood, this will basically work as a buff that you can use for the next 15 minutes. One stack, so once used, it’s gone.
My favourite skill by far is the third utility skill, “Turn the Tables”: Take advantage of the situation. You fool your enemy and trade a useless invention for all their buffs and up to 1 gold. 3 minutes cooldown, but that’s just fair, I guess. I cannot wait to try this in PvP!
Altogether, I think this stance sounds like a fun one to help out your friends (while hopefully also keeping that thief alive…) and you can still deal a tiny bit of damage, at least. Probably less so than other professions, but that’s okay with me. On top of that, I’m constantly broke and could really use this gold. :p So, even with being less than impressed at first and skeptical especially with new players not knowing the lore, I think we can all probably find something we like about this profession which will make it fun to play. And that’s all that counts, right?