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Ninim’s
New Little Warden Guide
For Astral Odyssey

Table of Contents
1. Overview
2. Stats
3. Pet
4. Combo Attacks
5. PvP
6. Talents and Rubies
6.1 Special Skills
6.2 Talent Grid
6.3 General Rubies
6.4 Wolf’s Blow Grid
6.5 Lightning Strike Grid
6.6 Maul Grid
7. Builds

1. Overview

Wardens in the Past
I started playing my Warden over a year ago. Back then, wardens were a class known for their 15 minute health regen buff and (to a lesser extent) their healing Aqua Vitae potions which, for some reason, no one ever used even if they got one. Other than that, we were thought to be a pretty weak class no one really wanted for their parties… mostly because so few of the wardens knew how to play their class well.

For some reason, even though wardens were widely perceived as one of the weakest classes in the game, what we got was a nerf after nerf after nerf. First our health buff was nerfed to half the power, then it was changed to a whole another spell completely. One of our strongest spells, a potion that slowed attack speed, got changed into a lackluster (though still useful) CC, our basic damage rubies sometimes worked, sometimes did not… one by one the nerfs hit and warden after another quit or rolled a new class. There are not many wardens left who have played since these old days.

In the Fury of War patch the class was finally completely reworked. What resulted was a lot of interesting ideas – most of which didn’t work. Half our rubies were broken and the whole Searing Pain mechanism wasn’t working. We could do one of the best melee DPS in the game but the class itself had, in my mind, drifted really far from its roots. We were like warriors in leather armor and with a pet; not the self-reliant users of nature magic and companions of the wild we were supposed to be.

With the Astral Odyssey patch, however, everything finally changed. Rubies were fixed, builds started working… and boy, are we good now.

Wardens Today
Now – Wardens are *the* pet class of the game. Depending on the warden, their pet can tank effectively, be the main source of DPS for the party, fight our PvP battles for us, or at the very least support our own actions with extreme efficiency. If they fall in battle, they rest in the ethereal world for a little while and rejoin the battle in no time. Summoner pets have nothing on our companions now.

We are not all about the pet, though; wardens still have a vast array of both melee and magical attacks. In fact, it’s not the pet or the warden that is strong… it is the joint companionship of both. Wardens are all about working together with your pet – using skills that buff the pet, using pet skills that buff yourself – and, most importantly, using them at the right time and in the right place.

Wardens have never been as strong as we are now. I’ll even go as far as to say that we are borderline OP now – as long as you know that playing a warden as efficiently as possible is not an easy task and requires a lot of concentration so that the warden and the pet can work well as a unit.

tl;dr in MMO terms: Wardens are a versatile, high DPS class with good support and some CC abilities, able to use melee attacks, casting and their strong pet (or any combination of those) to do their damage.

2. Stats

Maintaining a good stat balance is absolutely crucial in this game. And by balance I mean exactly that – balance. Even if you get a piece of gear that is better than your previous one, if it boosts a single stat too high and offsets your general balance, you’re probably better off using the old gear.

Wardens use caster starts – Intelligence, Perception, Wisdom and Luck. These are marked with a star in all the gear you find. In addition, however, you will need Faith if you’re planning to use the Renew heal. These same stats are also used for all your melee attacks – forget about Strength, Finesse and Expertise, these stats are of no use to you. All you need to worry about is the stats marked with a star.

To summarize, all the effects caused by your stats are:

Intelligence – Magical attack power and melee attack power and pet melee attack power
Luck – Critical / glancing hit rate and pet critical / glancing hit rate
Wisdom – Total mana amount, mana regen rate and melee attack armor penetration and pet attack armor penetration
Perception – Attack spell resist rate and melee miss rate and pet attack miss rate
Faith – Heal resist rate

Perception and Faith
Perception and Faith are a bit of a special case. They always come together in the same equipment – you won’t find a piece of gear with Perception and no Faith, or vice versa. Thing is, though, that one of these two stats will be higher than the other. It is the higher of these two you should look at when you try to evaluate how good that gear piece is.

Example: a level 39 epic shirt might have 70 intelligence, or 70 wisdom, or 70 luck. The same level Perception shirt, however, has 70 Perception and 49 Faith. And similarly, the same level Faith shirt would have 70 Faith and 49 Perception.

If you are following this far, you can perhaps notice that trying to keep your Faith up as well as Perception means you’ll have fewer stat points total in your other stats, as you’re forced to use some of the Faith gear that has less Perception.

Balance
Balancing-wise, what makes things difficult is that there is no way to see the tooltips for your melee miss rate or armor penetration. If you have the time and patience, I strongly recommend you to get the DarkDPS add-on (or similar) and try out for yourself a good stat balance. However, I can give you some broad guidelines:

Luck tooltip should have more than 60% critical hits at the very least – if possible, you’ll want to actually crit more than 75-80% of the time
Perception should be at less than 30% miss if you’re melee (this results in an about 10% melee miss rate); less than 20% if you’re a pure caster
Wisdom should be a little higher than Perception; at about the level where Perception tooltip would have a 25% miss rate
Intelligence should be as high as possible after all the other conditions are met
Faith… if you don’t have Renew or Refresh (Gibberling racial) at all, you can ignore this stat. If you do want to use those heals, you should try to get your Faith under 30% at least.

The reason you want to have such high luck is that you get rubies that increase your critical attack damage. So if your regular hit would be 10K, a critical hit would be close to 26K or so – it is better to have lower int (and lower base damage) and higher luck (to crit most of the time) than vice versa. Remember though that if you have Bestial Synergy / Predatory Urge rubies your Luck will rise during combat; so you can get away with less base luck out of combat.

3. PetSince I dubbed us as the ultimate pet class of the game, I think it is appropriate to give an explanation about how exactly they work.Unlike summoners who have their mindless drones following their every command, warden pets are living creatures with their own minds. We don’t have a whole lot of ways to control them – they will always defend us if we are attacked and they will keep attacking until the enemy is dead.

To prevent the pet from attacking, you need to use the spell Dismiss Pet. This sends the pet to the Ethereal Plane where they regain health and energy. While in the Ethereal Plane, the pet can’t be targeted – for all intents and purposes, they don’t “exist” until they are recalled. Note that you can’t recall your pet until they are back at full heath and energy, so be wary if you dismiss them in combat.

We can, however, command the pet to perform one of several pet attacks. These attacks use up a certain amount of the pet’s energy. The pet’s remaining energy can be seen above the 1-6 buttons, and to regain it you need to dismiss the pet to the ethereal plane. Note that the energy bar displayed next to the pet’s portrait on the left side of the screen is not the pet’s actual energy… in fact, I don’t think it has any function at all.

When you use a pet attack, the pet is recalled from the ethereal plane (assuming they are fully healed) and they attack your target with the selected attack. They should, anyway; sometimes the stubborn buggers keep clawing at their current target and don’t change their target to yours. Keep trying, they should switch targets eventually…

tl;dr version:
– The only way to regain energy for the pet is to Dismiss them to the Ethereal Plane
– You recall your pet from the Ethereal Plane by commanding them to attack
– You cannot recall your pet from the Ethereal Plane before they are fully healed
– You can’t easily make your pet switch targets in combat; in any case, you can’t rely on being able to do that quickly
– Your pet’s energy is the one displayed above your 1-6 buttons, NOT the one next to the pet’s portrait

4. Combo Attacks

Pretty pictures coming here later D:

Combo attacks are the unique aspect of wardens. You can make Searing Pain builds that completely revolve around using these kinds of attacks, or at the very least be aware of the first steps which you should always utilize.

In short – several of your attacks cause special debuffs to appear on the enemy. These debuffs usually buff another one of your attacks. When you use that buffed attack, another debuff can appear, which buffs another attack – and so on. Generally, the combos require you to use your own and your pet’s attacks in succession.

Step 1: Knockdown + Maul
Combos usually start with getting a knockdown on the enemy using either Boar’s Blow or Lightning Strike. This causes the Unbalanced debuff to appear on the enemy. The Unbalanced debuff causes Maul to do 100% more damage and guarantees Open Wounds to proc with Maul.

The 100% damage increase is significant and Open Wounds is a seriously strong DoT. Even if you don’t have a Searing Pain build, this is the one combo attack every single warden should be aware of and use.

Step 2: Searing Pain
Open Wounds is a cool DoT in itself, but it also opens up new combo options: Vortex and Tiger’s Strike. Both of these attacks have a chance to inflict Searing Pain when the Open Wounds debuff is active. Tiger’s Strike has a higher chance to make it proc, but it can only be used while using paired fist weapons.

A Searing Pain oriented build should have one of these two attacks maxed out, preferably along with the Acute Pain rubies that increase the proc chance even further; making Searing Pain proc at about 80% rate with Vortex and 90% with Tiger’s.

Step 3: Hit Big!
Searing Pain in itself doesn’t do anything, but it gives a wicked damage boost to two of your pet attacks, Shred and Rip, making them your single strongest attack and giving some crazy crits. Shred hits harder of the two, but it is possible to use Rip instead in case you can’t afford to take the Shred rubies (but can afford to use talent points for Rip).

Maxing both of these attacks isn’t worth it however, since the cooldowns of Shred and Rip are short enough that you should have no problem using the same one with every Searing. And even if you can somehow get Searing to proc more often than that, your pet would run out of energy too fast to make it a decent buff to your DPS.

Step 4: One More Clout for Good Measure
If you have unlocked and invested points in Clout, using a buffed Shred or Rip will cause one more debuff, Exposed Weakness. This debuff doubles the damage done by your next Clout. It’s not as significant a buff as Searing Pain in itself, but nothing to be frowned at of course and good for melee / hybrid Searing Pain builds.

Summary of the rotation:No Debuff on Enemy:
Boar’s Blow / Lightning Strike
—>
Unbalanced:
Maul
—>
Open Wounds:
Vortex / Tiger’s Strike
—>
Searing Pain:
Shred / Rip
—>
Exposed Weakness:
Clout

It is not as complicated as it may sound once you get the hang of it, but it does take concentration. Doing this rotation perfectly is the key to getting the most out of your warden.

One more thing to keep in mind though – completing this rotation takes some time – if the mobs are getting killed too fast your overall DPS will suffer. That’s why I tend to target the strongest mobs first when going in a group – it might seem counter-intuitive, but it ultimately makes the whole pull faster as your total DPS will be higher.

5. PvPI’ll keep this short – not because I’d be afraid of giving out information, but because I don’t think there’s that much information I can give. PvP is most of all about experience, knowing what works and knowing what to do – by instinct. I could give you detailed “guides” about what to do in what situation, but in the heat of battle you would most likely remember nothing about that. I think it is best to get in those situations yourself and learn from experience.What I can do, however, is give you a few pointers to set you on the right track. And I think I should start off by saying this:

Wardens now are one of the strongest PvP classes when played right – if you know what you are doing, there isn’t a single other class you should be afraid of.

Pointers:
– Your pet is your best friend. They can chase down enemies faster than you can, they can’t be easily avoided or cc’d. They hit fast enough to get through all kinds of barriers and hard enough to hurt bad.
– Learn defense! Bark Shield, knockdowns, snares, kiting, self-heals… you have a ton of tools to make yourself hard to kill even with your lowish armor!
– Know when to use Aqua Morte – it is the single best PvP skill in the game.
– Knockdown, knockdown, knockdown. Spam those Lightning Strikes!
– Open Wounds is ridiculously strong in PvP. Remember: Knockdown —> Maul!

6. Talents and Rubies

Time to tackle the largest part of the guide… a guide to all the talents and rubies available. In this section, I’ll do my best to go over each of the talents and rubies and give my views and thoughts on them.

The idea is not necessarily that you’ll read everything in one go (although I don’t mind either) but instead that in case you’re wondering whether a specific ruby will be good, or why is it supposed to be good, or if you’re unsure how exactly something works, you can come here, find the ruby you’re looking for and see my thoughts of it.

6.1. Special Skills

Racial Skills

Kanian Druid: Soothing Call
Instantly resummons your pet from the Ethereal Plane and heals them for 30% health and energy.

Very good for pet-based builds, it gives you the chance to bring your pet quickly back up after death or quickly get 30% energy back when needed.

Gibberling Animist: Refresh
Strong instant cast heal.

Good and useful to have, but as a regular heal it is dependant of Faith.

Orc Shaman: Exploding Potion
An AoE attack potion.

Having never played an orc, I don’t know first-hand, but reportedly this potion does little damage and uses up nearly all of your mana when you craft it. Not very good at all, but if you want to be an Empire warden, you have little choice.

Special Skills

Refreshing Potion (learned by completing a World Mystery)
Cancels all movement impairing effects on you and increases your movement speed by 25% for a duration.

Very useful both as a poor man’s Speed Potion and especially in PvP thanks to the slow effect cancelling properties.

Special Skills

Natural Balance (learned by completing a World Mystery)
Divides the combined health of all the members of the party evenly to everyone in the party, and gives 5% added health on top of that.

Not all that useful when questing alone, but an absolute life-saver in parties. Imagine everyone in the party being at 100% health but the tank has dropped down to 10% – you pop Natural Balance and everyone in the party ends up with 97% or so. For the tank that is an amazing instant heal that ignores all resists and nullifies and whatnot.

Open Wounds
Inflicts periodic damage to the enemy. The damage is doubled if the enemy is moving.

I think something should be said about Open Wounds. Open Wounds can be caused by Maul (especially after a knockdown) or Chomp. It has two main functions: it allows you to get Searing Pain on the enemy, and it causes quite a bit of damage over time.

The thing you should know about Open Wounds though is that its damage is doubled if the enemy with Open Wounds is moving. With the Severe Wound rubies especially Open Wounds will hit so hard on a moving enemy it will do more total DPS than any other of your attacks. If you can, keep your enemies moving!

Static Charge
Caused by casting Vortex. Makes you immune to spell casting interruption and increases the mana cost and damage caused by your next Lightning attack. Some special rubies are also affected by Static Charges.

The idea behind Static Charges is that you can collect many stacks of them and hit one really big attack… but when throwing Vortexes you won’t cause any knockdowns which is pretty vital for wardens. Still, it’s good to be aware of the spell casting interruption immunity, and the fact that when you do use Vortex for one reason or another your next Lightning spell will be buffed.

6.2. Talent Tree

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Wolf’s Blow / Lion’s Blow
Melee attack which damages the target.

Your basic melee attack. Max it if you want to melee, drop it if you don’t.

Upgrading to Lion’s Blow adds a little bit of damage and, most importantly, opens up the Exposed Weakness debuff. A must for all melee builds, especially if Searing Pain plays any role in your build. Note: a rank 2 Lion’s Blow deals less damage than a rank 3 Wolf’s Blow.

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Lightning Strike / Lightning Flash
Lightning attack which inflicts damage on a single target and has a 20% / 25% / 33% chance to knock them down.

Instant cast spell. Decent damage, but the most important aspect of the spell is the knockdown. I recommend rank 3 to any build – 33% chance of a knockdown is a huge, huge difference to 20%.

Lightning Flash seems to do nothing else than increase the damage. Since with our current maximum amount of talent points Lightning Flash can’t be raised to rank 3 you should never get this – the tiny bit of extra damage of Flash rank 2 vs regular rank 3 is NOT worth the reduced knockdown chance.

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Maul / Mangle
Commands your pet to rush and attack the target. Costs 5% of pet energy. Has a 5% / 7.5% / 10% chance of causing Open Wounds; causes double damage and a guaranteed Open Wounds when used after a knockdown.

Your basic pet attack. I take rank 3 for every single build – you’ll be using Maul after a knockdown forever and ever and the damage is good enough to use it with good conscience.

Mangle increases damage even further. Good for anyone if you can afford it. NOTE:: A rank 2 Mangle deals more damage thank a rank 3 Maul (with the same amount of talent points invested).

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Boar’s Blow
Melee attack which damages the target and knocks them down.

Guaranteed knockdown if it connects, but being a melee attack, there is always a chance the attack will miss. I’ll generally take rank 1 for all builds for the knockdown. Increasing the rank reduces the cooldown and is plausible for melee builds that can’t get the Channelled Lightning rubies and want to get knockdowns more often. The damage increase with ranks is not important, Wolf’s / Lion’s will always be your main melee DPS in any case.

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Great Hunt
Increases your pet damage and threat generation by 30% / 50% / 70% for a duration.

An absolute must at rank 3 for any build. Your pet is a major source of DPS, and a 70% boost is humongous. As a side effect, your pet generates more threat – the good thing is they can tank very easily when questing, the bad thing is they tend to steal aggro from tanks a little too easily >_>

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Renew
Heals all party members every 2 seconds for 10 seconds (5 ticks total); 1 minute cooldown.

With the Nullify mechanic nerfing all heals, Renew is not as must-have as it used to be. I still like it because it’s an additional group heal, and with good runes / int trinket it is still a decent heal. Some people like to drop it though since it doesn’t heal enough in their opinion – and granted, dropping Renew allows you to completely ignore any Faith and allows you to simply stack Perception.

One more way to use Renew is to use it right after your pet dies, allowing it to heal up and come back to the fight faster.

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Vortex
Lightning attack which damages the target, slows them down and has a chance of causing Searing Pain if the target has Open Wounds. Gives you a Static Charge stack.

There are two reasons to use Vortex: to get Searing Pain without using claws, and to get Static Charge stacks. The former reason makes it a must-have if you want a Searing Pain build that isn’t a claw build, the latter makes it important for pure caster builds just for DPS. If you’re a full melee build or a pet build with no Searing Pain usage, however, you can pretty much forget about Vortex and be done with it.

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Rip
Causes your pet to attack the target and silence them for 3/4/5 seconds. Extra damage if the target has Searing Pain active. Uses 10% of your pet’s energy.

For me, you have two options with Rip: either take rank 1 purely for the silence to use it for PvP, or max it as an alternative for Shred to use with Searing Pain. If you have Shred, or don’t focus on Searing at all, I don’t see any reason to invest points in this – the 10% energy cost in particular makes it annoying to use a lot, and Maul will be more damaging anyway if you use it after knockdowns.

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Aqua Vitae / Aqua Eternus
Brews a potion to your or your target’s bag. The potion heals a % amount of health and mana, ignoring all resists and nullifies. One person can carry up to 5 Aquas or Balms at a time.

Ah, aqua, aqua, everyone loves aqua. Aqua Vitae is the single biggest reason people like wardens. You can argue that it’s not great to be a warden yourself since everyone gets the benefit of aquas, but having it in your own skill tree and therefore always having 5 aquas in your bag is so amazingly helpful.

Aqua Eternus lifts Aqua from “amazing” to “the best thing since sliced bread”. Note, however, that a maxed-out Aqua Vitae does *not* heal 44% mana even though the tooltip suggests that. In reality, the mana healed is the same old 28% and therefore Balm is better in every way.

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Hawk’s Strike
Melee attack that damages the target and drains an amount of their mana if they have Open Wounds.

Hawk’s is an interesting mana drain attack. Pure PvP skill since mana drain is pretty much useless in PvE, and even in PvP there are only a couple of classes you really should be draining a lot. Then again, if you do manage to drain all the enemy healers in raid PvP you’re pretty much ensuring your win…

Completely optional – useless in some aspects of the game but excellent in what it is meant for.

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Bee Swarm
Causes damage over time and disorients the target for 4/5/6 seconds and an additional 2/2.5/3 seconds if the target has Open Wounds.

A neat little combat CC that can be used against other players too. The cast time is a little annoying, the duration is a little short and the cooldown a little long though, and it usually ends up in being one of those skills I have to cut out of my build (and not really miss afterwards). Not useless, just not vital in any way.

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Lethargy Potion
Brews a potion which lulls the target to sleep for 20/40/60 seconds; can only be used if the target has more than 100% / 80% / 60% health; cannot be used on undead or mechanicals; the effect is removed if the target is attacked; the duration is heavily reduced if the target is a player with an active blessing.

Lethargy is a pretty good CC in a game where CC is, sadly, not really used at all anymore. If you run with parties that like to CC anything, it’s not a bad idea to throw a point or two in this skill. If you’re like most parties and just boringly bash through everything, you might as well not.

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Bear’s Blow
Melee attack which damages the target and 5/6/7 other enemies in melee range. Should cause more damage if the target has Open Wounds (broken) or Exposed Weakness (haven’t tested personally).

Bear’s used to be the best AoE in the game and is still strong as long as you have a melee build. Note, however, that the skill is bugged – if the enemy has an Open Wound on, instead of increasing the damage it gets reduced to almost nothing at all. Therefore, annoyingly, you should NOT try to inflict Open Wounds when using Bear’s (which is against your basic instincts…)

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Storm
Summons a storm in a chosen location which causes damage every 2 seconds to all enemies in the location.

It’s flashy and pretty and lags out older computers. Sadly, it’s also pretty useless with its long cast time and poor damage. Sure, it is AoE damage which can be decent… but I deal more total DPS just concentrating on a single target than I would by trying to get a buffed Storm out; and then I can save all the talent points and rubies I’d have to invest into Storm to make it decent.

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Aura of Regeneration
Gives all party members a buff which restores 10 energy or 1.2% mana every 30/15/8 seconds.

This aura is almost totally useless to us since we rarely have mana problems (only in long raid battles with a hybrid build maybe)… however, it can be very useful for the rest of the party. You can take it if you’re unselfish enough! If you only go alone, however, you’re better off using the talent points elsewhere.

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Chomp
Commands your pet to attack the target and cause damage to them and up to 5/6/8 additional targets within 10 yards. Has a chance to cause Open Wounds. Uses 15% of your pet’s energy.

Your pet’s AoE attack – good damage, especially if you get a lot of Open Wounds to proc… but also high energy cost and long cooldown. It might be worth taking for instances where you need more AoE, but you can also drop it with quite good conscience. In groups, you’ll usually get to use it once or twice per pull before you’re better off just doing your normal single target combo rotation; while soloing it’s mostly not useful at all since one Chomp won’t be enough to kill a big pull by itself and the cooldown is so long.

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Aqua Morte
Brews a potion which nullifies all healing received by the target. If used when the enemy has Open Wounds, all heals received cause damage instead.

Ah, Aqua Morte… our most unique and most awesome PvP spell. Use Morte at a right time and you’ll kill most classes that rely on healing themselves. Totally useless in PvE but absolutely awesome in PvP. If you’re going for a pure PvE build drop it, if you want to PvP at all go ahead and raise it up to rank 2 or 3.

6.3. General Rubies

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Force of Nature / Primal Inspiration / Feral Instincts
Increases your Intelligence / Wisdom / Endurance by 3% for each ruby taken

A 3% boost to a stat is always pretty nice. Thing is, though, that there are so many really useful rubies that it’s sometimes very difficult to go out and reach these. I treat these rubies as something nice to pick up on the way, or use a spare ruby on… but sadly I usually can’t go out of my way to make sure I can take them.

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Enhanced Reflexes
Increases your and your pet’s dodge rate by 35%/70%/100%

Taking all three of these rubies gives you a +100% dodge rate. Take them rubies and don’t even think twice. They’re all available right away and they’re the best protection we’ve got against melee attacks (which are our biggest concern as we only wear leather armor).

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Blade Turner
Increases your parry rate by 35%/70%/100%

Now, as opposed to the dodge rubies, these I feel are much more optional. According to the tooltip they only help us and not our pet and having a high parry rate isn’t quite as vital as having a high dodge rate. These are still very good rubies, don’t get me wrong – but they’re not absolutely necessary like the dodge rubies are.

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Bestial Synergy / Predatory Urge
Bestial Synergy grants each of your pet’s attacks a 25% chance to give you a buff which increases your luck by 5%, Predatory Urge grants each of your attacks a 25% chance to give your pet a similar buff.

These rubies are as close as we can get to a 5% stat ruby. While in combat, it should only take 20 seconds or so tops to have all the stacks up, so you can pretty much count on having the whole 5% for the whole duration of the fight if it lasts long at all. The downside is that a single ruby only works for either you or your pet, so to get the bonus to both you need to use two rubies instead of one – but if your main source of DPS is one or the other you can concentrate on that. Very very good rubies.

6.4. Wolf’s Blow Ruby Grid

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Snake’s Strike
Melee attack which causes damage to the target, reduces their movement speed and causes damage over time. The damage is increased if the target has Open Wounds.

The slow is really, really useful for kiting. The DoT damage is neglicible which is why I never go for rank 2 really. The reason you’d want this move is the slow; mostly for PvP. Not vital rubies but useful if you feel you could use another snare in your arsenal.

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Tiger’s Strike
Melee attack which causes damage to the target and has a 25%/45% chance of causing Searing Pain if the target has Open Wounds active. Only works with paired fist weapons.

The damage is nice but the long cooldown ensures that you can’t use this as your main DPS attack. Obviously though the main reason to take these rubies is getting Searing Pain to proc. Searing Pain is the main reason to use claw weapons in the first place so these rubies are obviously required!

Bark Shield
Gives you a buff for 12/18 seconds which makes you immune to spell casting interruption, reduces all melee damage taken by 50%/60% (note the typo in tooltip) but increases Fire damage taken by 100%/50%.

So many people skip these rubies and I have no idea why. The two Bark Shield rubies are the first ones I get no matter what build I go for. Melee squishiness is our biggest weakness, and these rubies give a very good protection against melee – at rank 2, incoming melee attacks are reduced by 60% which pretty much makes you invulnerable. I don’t remember ever dying while Bark Shield was active, ever. Take these rubies and learn to use them, you’ll be grateful for it!

To be honest though, I do have to sacrifice them when I want a full total DPS build for raids. But I cry a little bit when I do. :cry:

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Aura of Ferocity
Decreases your armor by 30%. Each of your melee attacks gives all party members a buff which increases physical damage done by 5%/10%/15% for 10 seconds.

Using this aura makes you the squishiest thing ever… but boy does it kick the party’s DPS through the roof! The slightly annoying thing is that you need to be using your melee attacks to get the damage buff, while optimally you’d like to keep your distance with the armor debuff. High risk, high reward – I wouldn’t use the aura when soloing but it can really make a difference in groups.

Note that Ferocity is always useful for you regardless of your build – after all, your pet deals melee damage!

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Claws of Fury / Solid Swings / Shock Wave / Natural Brutality / Born Fighter
These passive damage rubies do pretty much what the tooltip says so I won’t spend too much time on describing them. 8-)

If you’re going for a melee build, you should pick all the appropriate damage rubies.

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Pilgrim’s Way
Reduces the cooldowns of all melee attacks by 5%/10%/15% when using a two-handed weapon.

I feel these rubies require a quick extra mention. The cooldown reduction is a direct addition to your total DPS in raids and other boss fights, and you should obviously take these if you’re going for a PvE DPS build. However, you should note that in PvP the cooldown is much, much less important since you’ll rarely be able to just stand there and smack them as often as you can. So if you’re going for a full PvP build, you can probably skip some of these rubies.

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Blood Shroud
Increases your chance to hit a critical strike by 10%/20%/30%.

30% critical strike chance bonus is excellent, but these rubies seem to work only with claw weapons. Get them for your claw builds but not otherwise.

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Coordinated Strikes
Follows each Wolf’s Blow / Clout with a 1/2/3-hit combo when using fist weapons; increases Wolf’s damage by 5%

These rubies are as weird as ever… what they do is make you automatically follow each Wolf’s Blow / Clout with a series of Coordinated Strikes attacks. Less button-smashing but the benefits are dubious at best, even with the 5% damage buff. I’m not completely sure, but it feels like the Coordinated Strike attacks don’t receive the 15% damage bonus from Born Fighter rubies; meaning that your DPS will be better off with skipping these rubies completely.

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Energizing Blows
Heals you every time your Hawk’s Strike successfully drains the target’s mana.

The chances to successfully drain mana are scarce, and the amount healed isn’t even too great. I’m not a fan of these rubies.

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Superior Balance
Successful dodges increase your dodge rate by 10% for 10 seconds; each Searing Pain caused reduces your Bark Shield cooldown by 3 seconds

What a funny little set of defensive rubies! I have to be completely honest – I haven’t tried these rubies at all. I suppose (assuming they work as the tooltip suggests) they could give a nice enough boost to your dodge rate and give a decent reduction to your Bark Shield cooldown if you’re on a Searing Pain build… but given how difficult it is to fit all rubies in as it is, I just can’t really think of a way to fit these purely defensive rubies in.

6.5. Lightning Strike Ruby Grid

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Tornado
Lightning spell which damages the target and drastically slows them down.

The good news is that with full Static Charges, Tornado is the biggest damaging spell you can have. The bad news is that it’s a channeling spell; while you’re channeling it, you can’t do your regular DPS combo chain, which is the main bulk of your DPS.

I’ll take these rubies and use them occasionally if I’m on my way to Power Explosion. Using the occasional Tornado does, in my experience, improve the overall DPS a slight bit; but only a slight bit. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get these rubies by any means.

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Confusion Potion
Brews a potion which damages the target every time they use a spell; lasts for 20 seconds or their 3 next spells

I took this ruby for testing, went out to collect the reagents, crafted a few potions in my bag… and noticed a week later I had never actually remembered to use them. >_> In PvE it’s sadly not very useful as it doesn’t work on mobs immune to control effects; which are pretty much the only mobs you would imagine using it on; regular mobs die too fast to care. In PvP it is a nice bit of extra pressure on enemies low on health and trying to heal up I suppose…but then again, Aqua Morte does the same thing a lot better.

So, there aren’t terribly many uses for this potion, but then again, in the end it is just one ruby. You could pick it up if you think you have a ruby to spare and nothing better to use it on, but don’t sacrifice anything important to get it.

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Medley Mastery
Increases the effects of Aqua Vitae / Healing Balm and duration of other potions by 15%/30%/45%.

Take them, take them, take them!

With all regular heals being nerfed by the Nullify mechanic, a percentage heal like Aqua is so much more awesome. With these rubies you can get a 44% Aqua or 58% Balm. Take them!

Oh right, the rubies buff some other potions too. ;) But you really want them for the aquas.

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Lightning Master
Increases Lightning damage caused by 10%/20%/30%

30% more damage to your Lightning spam, cool!

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Channelled Lightning
Reduces the cooldown and cast time of your Lightning spells when using a staff or a spear.

Faster Lightning spam and shorter Vortex cast time, cool! (1-hand spear works too, by the way.)

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Rampant Static
Causes the Static Charge effect to give the buffed attack a chance to knock down the target; and reduces the mana cost of the spell used with Static Charges

These rubies seem to be broken and don’t increase your knockdown chance at all. Even if they did, though, I wouldn’t take them. I find it better to just spam Lightning until you get that knockdown instead of trying to build Static Charges first.

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Power Surge
Increases your damage done by 10%/20% but reduces all heals received by 70%/40% for 36 seconds. 4/3 minute cooldown.

I still am not sure where to stand with these rubies… in theory, a 20% damage buff would be awesome, even with the heal debuff – but somehow the really long cooldown (3 minutes even at rank 2) and the fact that they’re spread so far apart always kills it for me. I just don’t find it worthwhile. For some pure casters, maybe. In my opinion though – nah.

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Power Explosion
Gives your Lightning Strikes a 15%/30% chance to cause 50% additional damage; makes Lighting strike cause 200% more damage during the last 5 seconds of the Power Surge effect

With Power Surge, if you see a lot of trouble to gather up Static Charges and time your Lightning just right, you can get some pretty ridiculous crits out of it… but with Power Surge having such a long cooldown I’m not really sure if it’s even worth the trouble in the long run.

These rubies, however, are quite nice even if you don’t have Power Surge at all. The 50% additional damage procs quite often and gives a really nice boost in your total DPS.

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Will to Live
Increases your Agility and Endurance by 10% for 5/10/15 seconds after receiving a critical strike

As defensive rubies go, I like these. Some people argue that they’re not so good because when you get hit by a crit you are already in trouble – I feel that when you are in trouble, that is exactly the time when you need the extra bit of defense!

I can’t fit these rubies in my builds nearly as often as I’d like. For pure PvP builds especially I recommend them wholeheartedly.

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Master of Nature
Increases Storm damage and Bark Shield duration by 10%/20%/30%

Even with these rubies, Storm isn’t good :( And as much as I love Bark Shield, a slight increase in duration isn’t really worth spending the rubies. Skip these.

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Nature’s Touch
Reduces cooldown of Natural Balance by 15%/30%/45% and causes Renew to do an additional instant heal.

As I mentioned with the Renew description, Renew as a whole is a bit controversial nowadays. If you do decide on taking it and like it, these rubies are not bad at all as they give one extra instant tick. The NB cooldown is great too.

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Electric Therapy
Increases the duration of Renew by 20%/40%/60%

More ticks to Renew! If your Renew is strong enough, getting a few extra ticks is pretty awesome. I can’t personally fit them in my build, but if you go for some kind of a full support warden – why not.

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Charged Weapon
Each Static Charge stack increases your melee damage by 1%/2%/3%; increases the duration of the Static Charge stacks by 20%/40%/60%. (broken)

I like these rubies in theory – the idea of a hybrid caster/melee with an extra 18% damage is quite fun. Unfortunately, these rubies are broken at the moment. With the rubies, I do less melee damage with Static Charges on. Pooey.

6.6. Maul Ruby Grid

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Call of the Wild
Summons 2/3 little clones of your pet to attack the target for 37/52 seconds

The little pets are cute and all and often give a good scare to other players who don’t know what they do, but in reality the damage they cause is minimal. CotW is pretty much an instant win button against mages and summoners since they tear their barriers apart, but sadly that’s pretty much the only use it has. I’d usually skip it since you shouldn’t even need it to kill those clothies.

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Nature’s Grip
Summons brambles to the chosen location; the movement speed of all enemies in the location is reduced by 70%/80%

This move has quite a few uses both in PvP and PvE; it’s a nice way of keeping enemies in place. In the end, though, I kind of consider it just a luxury. If you’re going for the pet rubies it’s not a bad idea to grab these on the way, but no tears should be shed if you have to skip it for some other rubies.

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Shred
Commands your pet to attack the target and cause damage; extra damage if the target has Searing Pain active. Costs 10% of your pet’s energy.

Your most damaging attack with a buffed pet and Searing Pain. Without a Searing Pain build it’s not needed (Maul is better) but it is the backbone of most Searing Pain builds.

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Severe Wounds
Increases the damage caused by Open Wounds by 40%/80%/120%

So good. So good. So OP. Take them. Your Open Wounds will tick for ridiculous amounts, especially if the target is moving (moving target doubles the damage caused by Open Wounds).

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Dirty Paws / Innate Rage
Increases your pet’s damage and rage / critical strike damage

More damage for the pet – great rubies for any warden. Not taking these rubies will cut your DPS no matter what your build is.

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Thrill of the Hunt
Increases the duration of Great Hunt by 30%/60%

With these rubies you’ll have Great Hunt active basically all of the time. Remember Great Hunt? +70% pet damage? Get these rubies!

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Acute Pain
Increases your chance to cause Searing Pain by 30%/60%/90%

These rubies will (mostly) guarantee a Searing Pain every time you get Open Wounds to proc, which obviously is great for your combo rotation. They’re not necessary for a PvE Searing Pain build though; if you’re fast enough, you can spam your Vortex / Tiger’s enough times you’ll usually get Searing to proc even without them. They can make your life a bit easier though.

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Ethereal Calm
Increases your pet’s health and energy regeneration rate by 36%/70%/100% while in the Ethereal plane.

I’ll go as far as to call these rubies a must for all pet-based builds. It’s vital to get your pet back up as quickly as possible when it’s killed – since your pet is responsible for the majority of your DPS, if your pet is dead you’re not doing any DPS. Also note that Acute Pain builds are quite heavy on energy use, so you need these rubies to quickly regain energy when needed.

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Heightened Senses
Decreases damage your pet receives from AoE attacks by 20%/40%/60%.

These rubies aren’t really worthwhile while leveling, but once you start doing astrals and raids they show their worth. Like I mentioned earlier, whenever your pet is dead you’re not doing much DPS at all, and in groups and raids it’s usually AoE that kills your pet. These rubies will indirectly increase your DPS and in any case they’ll give you more of a peace of mind.

Optimally you’ll want to skip these while leveling and then possibly respec into these at high level.

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Intense Training
Increases your pet’s Stamina by 3%/6%/9% and increases your pet’s threat generation rate by 30%/60%/90%.

The idea of these rubies is to make your pet a better tank I suppose… but a 9% stamina increase isn’t that much really, and the threat generation is mostly unnecessary as Great Hunt takes care of it anyway. When soloing you don’t need these, and with another tank the added threat only hurts – the only reason to take these I suppose is if you want your pet to be the main tank (or you’re soloing red rings or something ;) )

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Survival Instincts
Gives your pet a 10%/20%/30% chance to heal for 15% health and energy after receiving a critical strike.

Another set of pet tank rubies. I say tank rubies because they’re only activated when your pet gets hit. They’re more useful because of the heal than the energy restore – the energy thing doesn’t proc often enough to be useful at all; not a good enough substitute for Ethereal Calm in any case.

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Battle Training
Decreases cooldowns of all pet’s abilities by 10%.

The two pet skills I basically use are Maul/Mangle and Shred, and they both have very reasonable cooldowns. I can’t really imagine spending the rubies for reducing their cooldown.

7. BuildsTo be honest, I’ve always been kind of against having some kind of a “template build” to follow blindly. What is the best build for me might not be the best build for you at all – wardens are a very versatile class with a lot of options open to them and what you should take depends on your personal preferences and playstyle more than anything else.In the perfect world, I’d prefer you to try things out for yourself, maybe use my talent / ruby descriptions as a guideline and pick the build you think you’d like. So while I will post a few builds here just to give you a guide, I strongly encourage you to edit and modify them to suit your own personal tastes. Wardens can be built many, many different ways and I’m not saying my builds will be any better than yours.

Note: ALL MY BUILDS are basically pet builds. This is because our pet damage is so strong, in my experience ANY build without pet rubies is always going to be inferior to any build with those pet rubies. We’re the pet class of the game, let’s not forget that! :D

Caster / Pet
http://allodsbase.com/ru/talents#-31×26 … oeajk51fo0
This is my “basic” caster / pet build; close to the build I’ve been using while leveling since 42. It’s a very pet-heavy build, my pet does 70-80% of my total DPS; the idea being that I can be strong in PvP, solo most quests with my pet tanking and still do good damage in astrals as well. It’s not the best pure DPS build, but I can still do pretty excellent DPS single target with this build. If you’re good enough at spamming Vortex, you can drop Acute Pain for something else.

Claw / Pet
http://allodsbase.com/ru/talents#-31x7o … hs83g41fs0
In this Claw / Searing Pain build I don’t take Shred or Acute Pain at all. Instead I take claw melee rubies, the melee damage aura and Lion’s Blow. The idea is to try to get the odd Searing Pain with just the 45% chance with Tiger, use Rip for Searing Damage and then hit a double damage Clout. This is much more of a PvE DPS build as you’ll be very squishy and have a lot harder time PvP’ing with it, seeing how you can’t kite at all.

(Note that any claw build will always have less DPS than a caster / 2-hander build. But I wanted to have one of these builds up too.)

2-hander Hybrid Full DPS
http://allodsbase.com/ru/talents#-30x7g … gc2jnl0fo0
This is a full DPS PvE build for raids. It’s all single target DPS and nothing else. Alternate Lion and Lightning, spam Vortex as hard as you can to get Searing for Shred, use Lion with Exposed Weakness, pay attention to pet health / energy, dismiss pet when needed and adjust your DPS chain accordingly, be careful not to die yourself if you’re using Ferocity…

Don’t think that you can just grab this build and do awesome DPS without putting a LOT of effort into your DPS chain. But if you know what you’re doing, I don’t think you can get higher DPS than this.

These are only a couple of builds to give you an idea of what we are capable of. I tried to make them very different from each other, and while I have to admit I haven’t actually played with all of them, I stand behind my builds.

My point is, though, that by no means should you have to agree with me about everything. For example, you’ll notice I try to take Bark Shield and all the Severe Wounds rubies no matter what, forcing me to sacrifice something else; you might feel these rubies are not as important to you as I feel they are to me, and go for a different direction. Experiment, experience and learn!



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