Maybe the High Elf melee dps and healer careers aren't your preferred playstyle. It's time to look at the High Elf tanking class, the Swordmaster, in our continuing exclusive pre-NDA coverage of the Elves of WAR. We've already written up an overview of the class and its chain-combo fighting style, but now let's start from the beginning and work our way up.

Level 1

Graceful Strike - 40 AP, Instant cast, 5ft range
Leads to Improved Balance
A swift attack that deals 10 damage and Cripples for an additional 20 damage over 5 seconds. Monsters struck with this technique will hate you more.

Throw - 20 AP, 1sec cast, 5-65ft range
A basic throwing attack that inflicts 10 damage. Has a chance to deal 90 damage to a severely wounded traget if you are behind them.

Throw is good for pulling, but Graceful Strike is your bread-and-butter dps plus taunt ability and it starts your combo chain by shifting you from Balance to Improved Balance.

Level 2
Quick Incision - 25 AP, Instant cast, 5ft range
Requires Improved Balance
Leads to Perfect Balance
A rapid slash to your opponent's legs that deals 50 damage over 10 seconds and snares them by 40% for 10 seconds.

The second part of your chain combo can be advanced to the last link with this Damage Over Time plus snare attack. Right now it's your only choice, but the damage component is helpful with this soloing portion of your career.

Level 3
Blurring Shock - No cost, Instant cast, 5ft range
Requires Perfect Balance
Leads to Normal Balance
A powerful slash that deals 26 Spirit damage.

Your first final combo move resets your Balance back to normal requiring you to attack with Graceful Strike to start the cycle over again. You are doing good damage at this point and the lack of AP cost on this ability will help during longer fights.

Level 4
Eagle's Flight - 40 AP, Instant cast, 5ft range
Requires Improved Balance
Leads to Perfect Balance
A guarded strike that deals 30 damage and improves your chance to parry by 25% for 5 seconds.

A good alternative for your middle chain attack, this one helps if you are getting attacked on all sides are up against a tough named mob such as Scornlash in the High Elf Public Quest. Don't forget to run the PQ three times for maximum Influence that will unlock class armor rewards.

Level 5
Nature's Blade - 60 AP, Instant cast
You enchant your blade with the spirit of nature. All your melee attacks gains a 25% chance to steal 15 stat points from a random stat on your target for 10 seconds.

Good idea, but no indication that we can tell alerts you to when it happens or what stats you temporarily gain. With a later enchant granting extra damage to the blade, we can see this one falling by the wayside quickly.

We didn't have any problem dealing with solo mobs, even multiple ones with our damage output. We had no opportunity to group, so no analysis on that score yet. One pleasant surprise about this class is that your advancement in the chain sequence doesn't fade out of combat. You can unlock your Perfect Balance abilities in one fight and unleash them immediately in the next fight.

Next, levels 6-10 with the introduction of a straight up Taunt, more chain attack abilities and a better weapon enchant.
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This article was originally published on Massively.
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