Search For Articles

Guardians of Middle-Earth Complete Witch King Guide

Guardians of Middle-Earth Complete Witch King Guide by MosesofWar

1.    Introduction
I’ve been playing around with different Guardians and found quite a liking to the Witch King. He’s got a very unique style of play, that’s based primarily off Aura balancing, rather than spamming abilities for pure DPS; many players can find this style confusing, or intimidating compared to an easier style of play, such as Lugbol, Mozgog or Haldir. However, if used correctly, the Witch King is a very deadly and versatile combatant in almost every situation. I’m writing this guide to help out new and experienced players, who’d like to try out the Witch King, but haven’t really had much success using him.

I’d like to begin by explaining each of the Witch King’s abilities and the various situational usages, then I’ll proceed with a couple of different builds for the Witch King for multiple scenarios; 1-Lane, 3-Lane and team composition. Obviously, this is simply a guide not a Bible, so feel free to discuss any build or customize it to your liking. Everyone’s play style is different and using a Guardian to how you enjoy playing can be more effective, than just stacking on a build that is successful for someone else.

2.    The Abilities of the Witch King and When to Use them
To begin, I’d like to discuss the two biggest strengths of the Witch King: High Health and Good Ability Damage (very high for the Defender Class). The caveat is the Witch King relies heavily on Auras, not necessarily Direct Damage powers for his abilities. The weakness of the Witch king is, like all members of the Defender Class, very low attack power. Three of the Witch King’s abilities have Crowd Controlling effects, rather than Direct Damage. The two abilities the Witch King has that do damage are based on both Ability Power and Maximum Health; in fact, the Witch King’s Abilities that deal Ability Power damage are greatly scale with higher Ability Power.

Here’s a breakdown of the

2.1 - Malice (A – Xbox, X – PS3) – “The Anti-Enchanter Aura/Anti-Tactician Aura”
Adds 30/60/90/120 Ability Damage to the Witch King’s next Basic Attack (gains a +.4 damage bonus per Ability Power) . In addition grants an Aura of Ability Damage to nearby guards equal to 1% the Witch King’s MAXIMUM HEALTH while toggled (gains a +.01 damage bonus per Ability Power). The cooldown for this ability is 12 seconds.

Malice is a great asset for wiping lanes, or a following up to using the Witch King’s “Darkness” ability. Malice is a great draining Aura; coupling the Aura of Malice can help with Ability Lifesteal Gems, where the Witch King can literally reap health fighting Guardians in a sea of Soldiers. The aura can also benefit the Witch King by adding some extra Damage over Time to couple with Basic Attacks and give the Witch King some extra kick. The fact that Malice scales with Ability Power AND Maximum health is something to keep an eye out on when creating a build. Keep in mind that the Damage scales more with Max Health than it does with Ability Power (1% vs .01%); balanced correctly between the two, you can easily have an Aura that hits for over 30 Ability Damage Per Second.

I typically like to use Malice as my Default Aura. It wades through Soldiers like butter and the damage bonus you can add on to your basic attack can sting a bit. Malice can also be used if you find yourself in a multi-Guardian fight, and you are currently not the target of the opposing Guardian onslaught.

*Against Defenders – Really depends on the Defender.. A Defender that Primarily uses Abilities, such as Galadriel (Depending on the Spec) or Wulfron are better targets for Malice.
*Against Enchanters – Low Health, Low Resistance.. The perfect Aura.
*Against Strikers – I’ll use Malice to buff up a basic attack to initiate combat, but usually toggle to Darkness after that.
*Against Tacticians - I typically keep Malice active the majority of the brawl, it ultimately depends on the Tactician. Sometimes, you’ll want to throw on Darkness.
*Against Warriors – Typically I’ll Alternate back and forth between Malice and Darkness, depending on the Warrior, my HP, their HP and Cooldowns.

2.2 - Darkness (X – Xbox, Square – PS3) – “The Anti-Warrior/Anti-Striker Aura”
Taunts an enemy for 1.4/1.6/1.8/2.0 seconds and reflects 25% Basic Damage, augmented by 1% of the Witch-king’s MAXIMUM HEALTH. The cooldown for this ability is 12 seconds.

Darkness is probably one of the most brutal and evil of the Witch King’s abilities. Taunting enemies to attack you, with basic attacks and reflecting 25% Basic Damage +1% of the Witch King’s Maximum Health is a Warrior/Striker killer. This Aura is why I typically suggest running an HP/AP Witch King build, rather than going for a pure Resistance Build, that most “Tanks” run. As the Witch King, you WANT TO GET HIT.

If you’re maxed out on Resistance, you greatly mitigate the effect of Darkness. For example, if you get Critically Hit for, let’s use 400 (because it makes math easy), your attacker will receive 100 damage back. Add in the Bonus from Max Health, we’ll use the Witch King’s Max at level 1 & 14 to make is simple; at level, Darkness will Reflect back (.25 + (401x.01)) 29.01% damage, or 116 in Damage Reflection – at Level 14, Darkness will Reflect back (.25 + (1337x.01)) 38% damage, or 152 in Damage Reflection. This is once again at 0 Basic Attack Resistance. The Witch King naturally gains 40 Basic Attack Resistance at level 14, and gaining a shrine gives an extra +4% Resistances across the board, so adding in an additional Resistances renders this ability useless… Basically, stick with Ability Resistance if you’re going to run Resistances at all.

Darkness is the Basic Attack Killer. Running it against Hard Hitting Guardians is the best use of this particular Aura… Against heavy ability users, the Aura is useless… The other use for Darkness is the “Taunt”; you can Taunt almost dead Guardians, who have pushed a little too far, into a Danger Zone (such as a group of Friendly Guardians, or your Tower), or use Taunt to make a Guardian whack themselves to death.

*Against Defenders – Not too effective against Defenders as a whole as they typically do not have high Basic Attacks.
*Against Enchanters – Pretty useless against Enchanters, except Perhaps Lugbol. You can kill his Wolf Pretty easily.
*Against Strikers – Strikers beware… Usually Squishy and hit hard with Basic Attacks, the Perfect Aura.
*Against Tacticians – Depending on the Tactician, this can be a great Aura or somewhat useless.
*Against Warriors – Typically I’ll Alternate back and forth between Malice and Darkness, depending on the Warrior, my HP, their HP and Cooldowns.

2.3 - Despair (B – Xbox, Circle – PS3) – “The Fight or Flight Aura”
Despair slows an Enemy Target, reducing their Movement Speed by 20%/30%/40%/50% for 5.0 seconds, and Slows all other Enemies within close range by 1.5% of the Witch-king’s MAXIMUM HEALTH while Despair is active. The cooldown for this ability is 12 seconds.

This ability is interesting because it’s both an asset offensively and defensively. Offensively, you can snare fleeing Guardians to deliver your final blow, and defensively, you can use Despair to snare pursuing Guardians while retreating. This aura can help eliminate pesky Tacticians who like to use guerrilla tactics, or save your *** if you bite off more than you can chew. The slow is persistent as well, so even Anti-Crowd Control Resistances or Abilities are only so effective.

This hidden bonus about this ability is it scales Amazing with Max Health. The Slow aura from Despair at level 4, is (401x.015) 6%, which is okay… At level 14, with base hp, the Aura is (1337x.015) 20%! The Mirkwood Spiders 3-Gem Relic is -30% per Basic Attack and has a 5 second Cooldown.. Despair is CONSTANT and is 20% at Base Health! Midgewater Mist is +75% Reduction, but takes up 4 Gem Slots and it has an 8 second cooldown. Despair is an excellent ability, considering hamstringing Movement Speed and adds up to more kills and less deaths!

*Against Defenders – Good to deliver the killing blow, or slow down a fleeing Defender for a kill by your allies. Also used to slow them down if you’re about to die.
*Against Enchanters – Good to deliver the killing blow, or slow down a fleeing Enchanter for a kill by your allies. Also used to slow them down if you’re about to die.
*Against Strikers – Strikers Good to deliver the killing blow, or slow down a fleeing Striker for a kill by your allies. Also used to slow them down if you’re about to die.
*Against Tacticians – Good to deliver the killing blow, or slow down a fleeing Tactician for a kill by your allies. Also used to slow them down if you’re about to die.
*Against Warriors – Good to deliver the killing blow, or slow down a fleeing Warrior for a kill by your allies. Also used to slow them down if you’re about to die.

2.4 - Death (Y – Xbox, Triangle – PS3) – “The Killing Blow/Anti-Defender Aura”
Causes damage and reduces enemy healing.
Death reduces healing on Enemy units within close range by 35% while Death is active, and deals Enemy Guardians 50/72/94/116 Ability Damage (gains a +.3 damage bonus per Ability Power)and 16/22/28/34 Ability Damage per second for 10.0 seconds (gains a +.08 damage bonus per Ability Power). If an Enemy Guardian is slain while under the effect of Death, the Witch-king summons a wraith that persists for 20.0 seconds. The cooldown for this ability is 52 seconds.

The Death Blow. After toying with the Witch King, this is how you get to leave your Mark on your foe. After making your foe kill them self by hitting you, or damage them just by standing too close, this is how you end the fight. When you see the health of your target(s) at a certain point, toggle Death and watch the magic happen. Death is another ability that scales well with Ability Power and can turn into a powerful ending hit in an AP build. Also, you have to love the fact you get little specter minions for killing blows, which only amplifies the Witch King’s power..

This is the Aura you want to use against Defenders as it negates their ability to heal, which greatly helps with killing them. Don’t expect to get the kill, but teammates will love you for knocking of 35% of Galadriel or Eowyn’s healing abilities (among healing from other sources).

Typically I hold death for a Death Blow, or activate it when I’m in a large group battle. Using Death too early puts you in a precarious situation with a 52 Second Cooldown time.. Wait too long, and your target has already healed. Timing is the key here.

*Against Defenders – As much as I can. I use this Aura to negate the healing effects of a Defender.
*Against Enchanters –Use to deliver the killing blow.
*Against Strikers – Use to deliver the killing blow.
*Against Tacticians – Use to deliver the killing blow.
*Against Warriors – Use to deliver the killing blow.

2.5 - Passive - Overwhelming Terror
The Witch-king gathers darkness before him in preparation for a decisive blow, gaining a mark for each Ability use. Once he has gained 4 marks, the next Ability used causes Fear to enemies within close range, with a small increase to the time based upon the Witch-king’s maximum Health.

As you can see here’s another ability with scaling based on Maximum Health. In any case, this passive put a bar above your “Basic Attack”, the bar fills blue a quarter with each Ability Use; when it is full, you Proc an AOE fear with your Next Ability. If you can time it probably, the best two abilities to Proc Fear with are Despair (Slowed Fear) or Death (Dotted, Healing Reduced Fear) – So PAY ATTENTION .

3.    Witch King Builds and Strategies
I’m going to go over Builds by Default build and Game type (1-Lane, 3-Lane).

3.1 - Default Build
The Revenant
My default build plays to the Witch King’s Max Health Ability Scaling and adds in some survivability for 1-Lane games. This is what I call my “First Available” Battlegrounds builds; it gives to the best of all worlds, but doesn’t overly excel. This is the build to use if you don’t have many Loadout slots available.

Belt: Shadow’s Reach – Caradhras – Ent-Bark.
Gems: Consumption– Agility – Consumption – Life – Life – Life – Life

With All Mithril Gems: +12 Ability Lifesteal, +4% Movement Speed, 1867 Max HP (est)

Concept: I like to use Shadow’s Reach because it grants +3 Area Effect damage per level; it’s like having Malice Active 100% of the time. At level 14, you deal an Area Effect Burn for 42 Damage Per Second. If you add in Malice, at level 14 you deal 62 Damage to anyone close to you. You slice through Soldiers with ease, and can use them as a quick way to Regain health with the Malice/Lifesteal Combination. You also couple the +4% Movement Speed bonus with Despair to more easily gain/lose ground.

This build has its weaknesses; thought it gains survivability through AP Life Steal, you lose out on Ability Power. It’s an interesting “Generalist” build.

3.2 – 1-Lane Build
The Lich
This is the build that I recommend for 1-Lane Battlegrounds. It’s more AP based due to the nature of 1-Lane Battles.

Belt: Mirror – Grey Company
Gems: Recovery – Recovery – Power – Power – Power – Recovery – Recovery

With all Mithril Gems: +267 Ability Power (Fully Stacked), 1532 Max HP (est) (Fully Stacked), +6.4 Health Regeneration per Second

Concept: This cuts health in favor of bonuses to AP and Health Regen (Since 1-Lane does not have a healing area at spawn). It also uses the +8% Ability Damage Reflection per Guardian in the area. Since 1-Lane Battlegrounds are so condensed, this exploits the grouped Guardians spamming abilities; if all 5 are close, that’s 45% Ability Damage Reflection. Regen lends to survivability, because you will take damage.. A lot of it! The AP bonuses help boost the Ability Damage bonus to basic attack on Malice and Death, so your ability damage output should be increased heavily.

You can swap out the Recovery Gems for Life Gems if there’s a healer on your team; this will boost damage output even more.

3.3 – 3-Lane Build
The Battlemage
This build is very similar to the initial Default Build from above, but you substitute “Black Gate” for “Shadow’s Reach”

Belt: Black Gate – Caradhras – Ent-Bark
Gems: Power – Power – Life – Life – Life – Life – Life

With all Mithril Gems: +188 Ability Power (Damage Shield Active), 1983 HP (est)

Concept: Similar to my default build, “The Revenant”, but this build capitalizes more on the Witch King’s Strengths: HP & AP. You gain one more Emerald Slot on your Belt, bringing you HP potential up an additional 116 points (which increases the effects of Malice, Darkness and Despair). You get a Damage Shield for Added Survivability and also, additional Ability Power, +188. This build is deadly and the reason why it’s a 3-Lane build is due to the lack of healing on 1-Lane Battlegrounds (3-Lane Battlegrounds have Healing at your Spawn Point).

A good Strategy would be to Ignite Malice to proc your Damage Shield prior to entering Combat. Take your first crack with your amped up Basic Attack, toggle Darkness/Keep Malice depending on who your fighting and finish off with a Death/Despair combo.

3.4 – Situational Team builds

These builds are some basic setups for Elite Battleground when running a compiled team.

The Reaver
This build is a heavy Regeneration build designed to keep you at Max HP. You lose Damage, but gain Survivability.

Belt: Bastion of the West – Houses of Healing – Gem
Gems: Perseverance – Recovery – Recovery – Recovery – Recovery – Recovery – Recovery

With all Mithril Gems: +5% Basic Attack Life Steal, +9.6 Health Regeneration Per Second

Really just a Pain in the *** to kill build and nothing more; you can tank for an extended period of time. You get no bonuses to HP, or AP which are the Witch King’s Strengths, but you turn into a crowd controlling, Regeneration Machine (Think Wolverine… Minus the Claws..). You’re basically Regenerating 37 Points of Health each second at level 14 (when being attacked), and dishing out Aura Slows, Reflects and Damage. I don’t consider this the most effective build, but I can see it helping a team out to a decent effect.

The Juggernaut
Max Health Build. Pairs well with a Healer…

Belt: Beorning’s Strength – Caradhras – Gem
Gems: Life – Life – Life – Life – Life – Life – Life

With all Mithril Gems: ??? HP

All I can say is exponential Health. Greatly effects Health Scaling abilities, but does little to offensive output outside of Malice Damage Aura…

(This is a Long Game build. On Standard Battlegrounds, Beorning’s Strength many times won’t wind up high enough)

The Death Lord
Beorning’s Strength coupled with the Maximum Amount of HP Possible.. Bring death to others, if not killed quickly.

Belt: Beorning’s Strength – Argonath
Gems: Power – Power – Agility – Recovery – Recovery – Recovery – Recovery

With all Mithril Gems: ??? HP, +328 Ability Power (Fully Stacked), +6.4 Health Regeneration per second

If you don’t die, you become a nightmare for everyone. Focus on Killing Soldiers.. Lots of them.. As fast as possible.

(This is a Long Game build. On Standard Battlegrounds, Beorning’s Strength many times won’t wind up high enough)

The Untouchable
Reflection Build, damage mitigation is the key.

Belt: Mirror – Seven Gates – Gem
Gems: Life – Life – Consumption – Life – Life – Perseverance – Recovery

With all Mithril Gems: 1551 HP, +5% Ability Life Steal, +5% Basic Attack Life Steal, +1.6 Health Regeneration per Second

With this build, you expand the Witch King’s Damage Reflection. Here’s the breakdown: Basic Attack Damage Reflection at level 14 is (25+(1551x.01))+8 = 48%, all the way to 80%! Ability Damage Reflection scales between 8% to 40% depending on how many Guardians are around. Really, just make everyone kill themselves.

The Wight
Similar to the Battlemage, but trades HP for AP

Belt: Black Gate – Grey Company
Gems: Power – Power – Life – Power – Power – Life – Life

With all Mithril Gems: +431 Ability Power (Shield Procced, Fully Stacked), 1692 Max Health

Play similar to the Battlemage, except deal more damage with Death and Malice’s Ability Damage Bonus to the next Basic Attack.

4.    Conclusion

I hope this guide helps out in any way. Of course these builds are strategies are subjective and input helps. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to copy these builds exactly, but use them as a segway to find a way that you like to play. Just remember that one single build isn’t gone to be strong in every situation (like every Guardian in the game). I looked forward to the community’s input and feedback!

No comments: