War Banner is three abilities in one

Matthew Rossi
M. Rossi|05.03.12

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War Banner is three abilities in one
War Banner is one of the abilities I was most curious to play with on the beta -- so curious, in fact, that I stayed up to level to 87 once the latest patch fixed my constant crashing issue. The downside to playing six warriors on the beta is that none of them levels very fast. However, now that I have the ability, I have to report I find it very interesting.

The interface is very familiar if you've ever had a shaman, since it's similar to the totem interface. Mouse over the War Banner, and you can select one of three banners, the Skull, Demoralizing or Mocking Banner. The banners are currently designated as totems in game, but all three have a far more limited duration. On the plus side, all three can be Intervened to, so placing one at a distances means you can use it to get distance for a charge or otherwise move around the battlefield. The banners do not share a cooldown aside from the global cooldown; I dropped each banner one after the other to test them out.

At present, Skull Banner increases critical damage of any party or raid member within 30 yards by 20%, lasting 10 seconds with a 3-minute cooldown. It's the handsome yellow banner in the screenshot above. Mocking Banner taunts mobs within 15 yards of the banner to you, forcing them to attack you for 6 seconds. It lasts for 30 seconds, making it the best banner to drop if you intend to use it for Intervene. Finally, Demoralizing Banner reduces all damage by every enemy in range (30 yards) by 10% for 15 seconds. Since each banner has a 3-minute cooldown, you can choose to stagger them out or drop them all one after the other, depending on your need.

The banners themselves look pretty cool, although they seem to have a tendency to float over the ground rather than sink into it. Time will tell if they become beloved additions to the class, but right now I'm fairly enjoying them just for novelty and using them to creatively mess with mobs.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

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