I’ve just had another email request, but from someone who didn’t leave a name (Rivs was it you?), saying that they’re dusting off their Chosen and wondered how to spec these days. They’ve been told they should drop the shield and pick up a great weapon, but wanted my advice on this first. I started typing a response which got a bit long for an email, so figured I’d post it on here…
Great weapon spec will get you the big numbers and killing blows, but these days you can be just as effective and have more versatility with a shield spec. After a long time playing as just another GW Chosen, I went back to sword and board and tbh I have no plans on changing back to GW.
Damage wise you can still do quite well, simply because you can still stack a lot of strength. With my PvP shield gear and auras running (I twist strength, tough and resist normally) I will be running at roughly:
Str 770 (plus about 200 bonus attack power from items)
Uber skilled players aside, there is nothing I can’t kill 1v1 and I regularly take on multiple players at once on my own and win.
I’m at work so can’t link to a wardb spec, but my current spec is like so:
Corruption – Oppression, Downfall & Mixed Defenses
Discord – Quake & I think the heal debuff aura, though I don’t use it that often unless there’s another chosen in my group.
Rugged, Mixed Defenses, Power from the Gods, Warped Flesh (this is an amazingly good tactic for Chosen)
After the first couple of seconds in a fight you can easily have activated Suppression and Oppression (which you can keep up pretty much constantly), plus Mixed Defenses and Warped Flesh will also kick in. For me this means I’m now running at (from memory…) 34% block, 65% parry, have another 1k armour, have 15% damage reduction on ALL attacks and because of my high tough and armour, warped flesh will completely mitigate an attack every few seconds.
So in summary, I’m hitting very hard and am incredibly hard to kill. A GW spec Chosen can not get anywhere near my survivability. Having played both of the Chosen game style for long periods of time, I would say it does take more skill/practice/whatever to be dangerous with sword & board though. It is also much more gear reliant. It’s quite easy to get high strength and crit with great weapons and get those big numbers, but for a sword & board to get decent damage and defensive stats, you will need to be in a minimum of invader/warlord or tyrant/invader.
Having said all that, GW spec is still excellent and is certainly easy to do well with, but like anything takes practice and gear to become a proper PvP monster. You can put out some comedy slaughter though, a friend of mine runs with over 50% crit and around 1k strength. He’s an absolute bloody beast, albeit rather squishy if people actually target him.
Dread - Rending Blade, Crippling Stikes and Oppresive Blows
Discord – Quake
Extra points into whatever you fancy.
Rugged, Crippling Strikes, Oppresive Blows and Power from the Gods
Though a lot of people like to use focussed offense for even more damage, personally I don’t like the extra squishiness that this brings.
Oh one final thing, if anyone tells you to not take Quake, ignore them. Quake is the single most powerful ability we have. If used cleverly, even with PUGies and their stagger breaking crap, a 9 second cone AoE stagger can be used to shut down enemy healers for long enough to provide the difference in a fight. When soloing it’s the ability that gives you a chance of taking on multiple players, lets you catch kiters and makes you an all round pain in the arse.