Storm’s Raging Tempest
Hey everybody! It’s Mismagically back with another article on that lovely PVP style we call 4v4! Today’s featured first is one we’re all familiar with: the Storm School! This group of deeply devoted diviners sure divine their way to the top of the offensive list of 4v4 top schools. With Tempest being an X-pip AOE, there is never a turn where a storm wizard cannot unleash this flood upon their opponents. This article will highlight some of the reasons (and solutions) for why/how you can stop storm wizards from raining on your 4v4 parade.
Reason #1: They are virtually invincible when they go second.
While no one is ever truly invincible during PVP (bad draws, fizzled spells, dispels, etc.), storm wizards at the end of the line in a 4v4 team come pretty close. (Truthfully any hitter in this position is virtually invincible, but again, due to the flexibility of Tempest, Storm’s are the primary threat.) Since they are healed in the same turn which they might be killed, their Tempest will still go off and hit your team, which leaves them alive at the end of a round, and your team potentially without pips. What can you do about that?
- Kill the Storm wizard and dispel as many healers as you can in the same round. If you can, try to dispel after your attack to discourage pets from removing the dispels: This is probably the most common way to deal with this situation. It isn’t foolproof, based on the pets removing a dispel randomly in the same round, but you can discourage the removal of a dispel by using a non-DOT AOE (for the schools of fire, ice, and death especially). DOTs give the pets 2 chances to remove the dispel – once on the initial hit, and once for each time a DOT tick goes off. Yes, this means someone in 3rd spot can have their dispel removed by their pet even if someone in the 1st spot is taking DOT tick damage, so be wary.
- Have multiple attacks on standby so that you can retaliate against the storm wizard until the healers are out of pips or otherwise immobilized: Worst case scenario (and usually only with dedicated teams), the opposing healers have stacked their sideboards with sprites (which means they’ll always be able to revive their hitter). In that particular case, things like beguile are more adequate methods of dealing with the hitter than killing them outright. Other than that, have multiple attacks on call, so that you can “weather” the incoming temp, and attempt a clean knockout on the following round.
Reason #2: Tempest is simply the most flexible AOE in the game.
This kind of goes without saying, as it’s an X-pip spell that is also an AOE. At base, with gargantuan (the most common enchant on it for spamming from sideboard) before damage percentages: It does 80 + 250 damage which equals 330 damage to all enemies. Couple that with the approximately 100% damage rating many storms are running around with, that’s 660 to all enemies, before any blades/piercing/auras are applied. What can you do about this?
- Choke the power at the source: Stack weaknesses, pile on the mantles, anything to shut down the power at the source – the wizard casting the spells. Dispels won’t do much against a 1 pip Tempest, so you’ve got to try anything to reduce the incoming damage to you and your team.
- Shield accordingly: Shields will mitigate a good chunk of the damage taken from Tempest. If you don’t stack them but layer them instead (2 of the same exact shields), you can weather multiple attacks over subsequent rounds. Piling on 3 volcanic shields on your primary hitter/healer during first round play for example is a great tactic in this high critical, high damage meta of 4v4.
- Respond back with low pip spam of your own: While no other school has an AOE close to the flexibility of Tempest, you can respond by targeting the storm wizard(s) with low pip spells of your own. Most of the time, they will have low block, so something like a critical dark sprite can easily eat a good chunk of their health and force them into a defensive state early on.
Reason #3: High Damage, High Critical, and No defense?
While this is true for any school thanks to Hades gear, crown gear, pet talents, etc., Storm wizards are particularly lethal for this due to the nature of their flexible AOE. Basically, in team play, most storm’s opt for a glass cannon build, and draw the defensive powers from their teammates. So, how can you defend against these glass cannons?
- Watch carefully at what aura is being used: Many storms tend to use TC infallible (20% accuracy/20% pierce) to help them not fizzle and go through a shield more thoroughly, but some prefer using TC or even amulet/item Vengeance to ensure the critical hits and spike the extra damage on you. If they use infallible, I recommend stacking weaknesses and choking the power at the source (as I mentioned earlier); if they use Vengeance, that’s a time to start stacking shields to mitigate damage from the critical that is likely to not be blocked.
- Watch their Shadow Pip(s): Many storms don’t use shadow creatures (or never seem to last long enough to pull them off in team), so watching their shadow pips can help you gauge when they’ll be using Shrike and going for the big hit. There are some things to be wary of though: if they use Shrike, they might go for an infallible on the following turn to ensure they don’t miss their next two attacks. This is especially important if your plan of stopping a Storm relied on something like Bad Juju, Beguile, etc.
- Prepare your gear with some extra storm resistance in mind: Signet of the Sand Devil, which gives 17% storm resist is a popular item in top level team pvp. One of the best ways you can prepare for potential Tempest attacks is to have a little bit of extra storm resistance in mind. Ward pets for all schools are becoming fast and popular. Take some extra precautions to weather the storm (hehe).
Now we can talk about two ways we can combat storm in the arena.
Strategy #1: Smoke ’em out.
This goes without saying – accuracy debuffs on storm wizards go a long way. Especially since a lot of the gear that gives high critical leaves them still with roughly a 15-20% chance to fizzle. It’s why as a storm wizard, Loremaster is one of my few weaknesses; as the double debuff really cripples my next attack. In team PVP, carrying a few smokescreens isn’t uncommon, so pile them on when you feel a Diviner getting ahead of themselves. (Works wonderful against shadow magic too)
Strategy #2: The Power of Dissipate.
A well timed storm dispel (usually at 7-9 pips), will stop a good assault from first turn, but a storm dispel covered up by another charm will almost ensure that the Diviner is out of the picture the following round if you are going second. Multiple dissipates in opening rounds will almost ensure that your opposing diviners are shorted out before they can electrify you.
That wraps up the Storm chapter of The Battle Frontier!