Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Team Play - Group Composition - The PK Bomb Group

When you picture a bomb group, what's the first thing that comes to mind? 1 or 2 BWs guarded by 2 or 3 S/B tanks with a healer or 2? That's a recipe for a disaster against a competent POG.

Why you ask?

AoE damage by itself is easily group healed through. We've all seen the screenshots on the forums of healers getting 500k, 750k or even 1 million healing in a scenario. The reason that happens is because those healers were facing a poorly put together bomb group.

So how do we fix the problem? We shift our mindset slightly. AoE damage negates group healing and forces the enemy healers to use group heals primarily or lose their entire group. With AoE damage locking down the enemy healers, if another player with high single target damage goes after someone, the target should drop quickly since any healing being received is being negated by our bombers.

So, in Player Killers, my alliance on Volkmar, we add what we call a melee focus. The melee focus determines the kill order, so he would be the caller of the group. The melee focus will not be the highest damage dealer of the group, but he will be the one causing the kills. He is built for single target burst damage.

I ran one last night. This was the group.

Knight (Press the Attack! w/ Encouraged Aim, To Glory!, and Gather Your Resolve!)
2 BWs
SM (me)

I can hear it now. I thought you said 2 tanks, 2 BWs, and 2 healers was a fail bomb group. Well, it can be. Again, change the mindset here. The SM can put out sufficient damage, especially with the Knight around, to be the melee focus. The SM can also provide a second guard for the other BW and another Challenge. The spec used would be taking Whispering Wind, Ether Dance, and Great Weapon Mastery. Whispering Wind is taken because the DPS classes benefit from it. (Double Annihilate spam anyone?) I do NOT take Balanced Accuracy because the Knight is providing the critical bonus for me. I run Nature's Blade since the Knight is covering the resist needs. To be fair, the SM needs to be at least RR60 to use this build, RR70+ being ideal.

So here's the basic template for the PK Bomb Group.

Main Tank
Melee Focus
AoE DD 1
AoE DD 2

The SM can play either the Main Tank or Melee Focus role, depending on group make up and spec. The sub-RR60 SM cannot take both WW and ED, so I would recommend taking WW if playing Main Tank and ED if playing Melee Focus.

In my next post, I'll go into a much more detailed look how to fine-tune the PK bomb group.


  1. Interesting how your bomb group is pretty much the standard European bomb group with the only difference being the second tank after the knight is a free slot (often used for a second knight or a second WP).

    A 1 BW, 3 tank, 2 Healer combo would be completely ineffective in Europe due to the style of play.

    As a side question, what's the standard NA server warband setup?

  2. The biggest difference is the melee focus in addition to the 2 bombers. This melee focus could be a Melee DPS or DPS SM / IB. (Knights just don't have the single target damage to do it in my experience.) It's not a free slot. This is someone who goes in and delivers the big single target hits to make the kills happen. The melee focus is what makes the setup deadly and is key to the group working.

    You don't have to use 2 BWs either. I've gotten amazing results with a BW and Engineer, or BW and SW. SW and Engineer works too, but it does a little less damage in exchange for a little better survivability.

  3. As far as the whole standard warband setup, it's 4 scenario groups usually. Although that's a post for later in the series.