The first Cador-based Build Spotight is live: the Groundbreaker. A melee-focused build based on the polehammer. Read all about equipment choices and playstyle in this spotlight.
With Cador just released, the tools available to create unique and rewarding builds have increased quite significantly. The general idea behind The Groundbreaker build is to deal out massive amounts of AoE burst damage as a glass-cannon (low resistance) polehammer-bearer. The trick here is that, although you are relatively weak in terms of resistances, you'll have access to new skills that offer survivability and balance out your sustainability on the battlefield.
To begin with, let's outline what armor and weapons will be utilized in this build.
1) Leather Hood (Assassin)
2) Cloth Chest (Mage)
3) Leather Shoes (Assassin)
Upon first glance, there may be some skepticism as to whether using a melee weapon alongside a Cloth Chest is a good idea. However, with proper skill choices, the build offers enough survivability to ensure that you can hold your own in battle and go toe to toe with both melee and ranged opponents. Let's take a look at the skill choices that we will forge onto our armor.
Leather Hood Skill:
The primary skill we will want to put on our helmet is Smokebomb – which is essentially an AoE bomb that detonates under your feet. It creates a cloud of smoke, which provides you with invisibility and also silences you, allies and enemies within a 6 meter radius.
Smokebomb is essential, as it offers you the utility to vastly outplay your opponents. You can utilize it to not only enter stealth for a brief time, but also as a means to cancel enemy casts, or simply buy time for your cooldowns to come back up.
Leather Hood Passive:
There is certainly a debate on which passive to take in this case. Increased Movement Speed and Authority are both viable contenders. Personally, I would take Authority – increasing the duration of your crowd control skills by 5%. This synergizes very well with your polehammer skills, which will be detailed later on.
Cloth Chest Skill:
A personal preference of chest skill in this build is Frost Shield – increasing your armor and magic resists by a significant amount for 8s. Enemies that attack you during the duration your frost shield is active are slowed by 20%, and 10% of their damage is also reflected back to them.
Frost shield is essentially the bread and butter of your survivability. As mentioned before, you are quite squishy wearing only a Cloth Chest. Although that may be the case, with Frost Shield on your skill bar, you are given a short duration of time that you can be as survivable as a tank. It is simply a matter of timing when you activate this skill.
Cloth Chest Passive:
The most important passive to take here would be the Aggression passive. This will increase your damage by 8%, providing you with a noteworthy boost in damage.
Leather Shoes Skill:
The optimal choice of skill for our boots would be Dodge. This is a personal favorite skill, being first introduced in Cador. Dodge is a self-explanatory skill. You dodge roll, and during the animation you are invincible. After the roll is complete, you also gain 40% movement speed for 4 seconds, providing you with a brief window of time to either gap close on a retreating enemy, or escape from a tough situation.
Leather Shoes Passive:
Just like our Leather Hood, the choice of passive we will want to take is Authority – providing you with an additional 5% increase in crowd control duration for any skills you use.
Now, onto our choice of weapon:
The Polehammer is one of the most versatile weapons that Albion has to offer, in terms of a good balance between damage and crowd control. In order to unlock your Polehammer and begin using it, you'll have to first begin down the Journeyman Warrior path of the destiny board until you're able to unlock one-handed hammers at tier 4. Once you get that done, the next branch in the destiny will lead you into power level 2, which is exactly where you need to be to acquire your Polehammer unlock.
As mentioned earlier, the Polehammer is a weapon that can surprisingly deal out a massive amount of AoE damage as well as crowd control. Although, it is certainly not a weapon with the easiest skills to land, as a majority of its skills are skill shots. With access to both ranged and melee skill shots, the Polehammer is a well-rounded weapon that will certainly be an asset on the battlefield. Let's briefly discuss the Polehammer skills utilized in this build.
Bash Knee: This is a skill that not only deals a decent amount of sustained damage, but also has a bit of innate crowd control as well. Upon landing a hit, Bash Knee instantly slows your opponent by 32 percent, guaranteeing that your opponent will stay in arms' reach.
Heavy Cleave: This is the primary burst damage skill of the Polehammer, and boy does it deal damage. Heavy Cleave is a melee-range skill shot that requires a ton of patience to land properly as it has a one second cast time and can easily be avoided. However, if you are able to secure landing the skill whether through good aim, or through the help of crowd control (from your Groundbreaker skill), then you can be sure that your enemy won't even realize what hit them before they're back in town wondering. Heavy Cleave is an area of effect skill, so with some good timing you have the chance to devastate more than one opponent at a time.
Groundbreaker: Groundbreaker is your primary source of crowd control. What is most important about Groundbreaker is that it is both ranged, and an AoE skill. This is the tool that synergizes perfectly with Heavy Cleave, and presents the opportunity to land your massive AoE damage. Groundbreaker splits the earth in front of you, and stuns every enemy directly hit for a considerable duration of time. To add to this, all enemies hit within proximity of the skill take a decent amount of damage as well.
Considering that the skills provided on Polehammer synergize so effectively with one another, let's detail some specific combos that take a bit of practice to refine and master before you're dominating your opposition.
Playstyle and Combos
As in many melee builds, patience and timing is your key to victory. Landing your Groundbreaker is essential, as it presents you with a window of opportunity to land your Heavy Cleave without it being dodged. A simple, yet effective combo that you can perform in this build would begin by opening with Frost Shield, to slow your enemies as they attack you. Follow this up with a Bash Knee to slow your enemies even more significantly, thus allowing you to easily land your Groundbreaker skill shot afterwards. Finally, you know what to do. Bonk your enemy on the head with your Heavy Cleave, and simply imagine the reaction on their face after you finish them off.
Pros and Cons:
The most notable pro of this build is that it offers a versatile style of play that is well-suited for all activities, whether small or large scale. Since Heavy Cleave does massive damage, in terms of both single target and AoE, it can never hurt to have a Polehammer on your side. With access to Frost shield, Dodge Roll and Smokebomb, concerns of survivability go out the window as you have enough utility to survive most circumstances when played properly.
Probably the largest con with this build is that the damage is hard to land, especially if you have a knack for missing your skill shots. If you miss a Groundbreaker, chances are you'll have to wait 15 seconds before your next opportunity to attempt and use your heavy cleave. This can be even more overwhelming when your enemy is well-adapted to dodging Groundbreaker.
Crush your opponents.
When someone says that Polehammer is a weapon that shakes the Earth, they aren't exaggerating. Who wouldn't want to split the earth in two at the press of a button? Give it a shot!