Updated Thu, Dec 17, 2009 by Medeor
As we’ve discussed in previous articles, Spiritmasters don’t significantly bring the pain in grouped up PvE. The caster’s DOTS and pets do some damage, but overall the Spiritmaster holds the role of support player. Thus is not the case in PvP with the Spiritmaster playing the role of puppet master. With stuns, fears, dispels and other tricks up their sleeves, Spiritmasters are much more pivotal in PvP. All this and soon our pets will fly, ensuring havoc throughout the universe.
In somewhat of a reversal of fortune, and unlike PvE, the Spiritmaster is a welcome addition to a PvP group due to their abilities. In contrast, the Spiritmaster has a rough go of it in mono y mono PvP. Going in solo is usually a test of your kiting, while keeping DOTs active and running until the enemy keels over from the ticking time bombs you’ve applied. Going toe to toe is not in our best interest.
Leveling the playing field.
Once fully complimented with stigmas, the Spiritmaster can be the disrupter of the battlefield. First and foremost a Spiritmaster can dispel enemies’ beneficial buffs, thus stripping them of critical components. The Spiritmaster gets to choose between different dispels. From the single target dispels that will peel off one to three buffs to the bonus debuff which also applies a DOT, the Spiritmaster has quite the arsenal for eliminating enemy advantages. If we’ve loaded up on DP we can unleash the multi-target multi-dispel.
As discussed above, the ideal situation for the Spiritmaster is in a group. Dispelling enemy buffs may not seem glamorous, but you will be clearing the way for the cannons to blow them up. Yanking a Mage’s Stoneskin off or dissolving the Templar’s armor buff as an Assassin slices them up is always rewarding. Tank through that Templar!
Do not look at your damage output, look at the more important stat; frustration factor. Spiritmasters are made to infuriate the opposition. In addition to dispelling as described above; send your pet to aggravate them a bit, DOT everyone in sight, and liberally apply Root, Chain of Earth and Fear Shriek. Using these tactics will cause enough disruption that your group of damage dealers will be able to mop them up. If you are one that only feels accomplished by raining big gobs of damage down on the enemies, then you may want to play a different class.
Load up on Stigmas.
Stigmas are a great way to tweak your character’s skill set based on your personal play style. Many of the stigmas are tailor made for PvP situations, so evaluate how the different stigmas will benefit the way you play. Following are the more popular Stigmas for heading to the Abyss and beyond:
These will compliment the strategies discussed above and provide a solid foundation for PvP. One stigma that is currently situational is Command: Substitution. This one works well for ground battles because it requires your pet to be active. Once pets can fly this stigma should become a staple in the rotation. Speaking of flying, Wing Root is a great way to bring the enemies back down so you can finish them off. Stigmas provide an interesting method for customizing your character, make sure you use it to the fullest.
Staying alive, staying alive, ah ah ah ah, staying alive.
If you’ve noticed a theme to the Spiritmasters discussion of PvP, it’s all about living longer than the other guy through a myriad of damage, snares, disruptions and deflections. The key is to know how to put distance between yourself and the enemy, but also to help your group mates do the same. Use fear to get the enemy off the Sorcerer, or drop a Root spell on the guy chasing your healer. Similarly you must be ready when the knives turn on you. Just like PvE, you’ll want to keep your finger on the Stoneskin buff if you find yourself in the fray.
Practice makes perfect and with some practice and understanding of the efficiencies of the skills, you too can become the marionette of the battlefield.