Axe Guide

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Axe Guide
March 5th, 2013, 9:24 am

Axe Guide

Ok, first off, this is only my perspective, I'm not saying it's right or wrong in any way, shape or form.

GENERAL NOTES
[+] GENERAL NOTES
Axe is a class heavily focused on dealing damage. MP will always be an issue, as we have very low MP but a balance can very easily be found in a way that attacks can still be performed. Axes users aren't the best at supporting. Casting times are way too slow and interruptible, therefore if you have a support player on your side, sweet talk them, be grateful and under no circumstances should you lose your temper over being healed.

That said, if someone is heal spamming you if you lose less than half health, talk to them. Communication is key, always know the situation and use your own discretion. If you are in no danger of dying at low health, be polite and courteous. A simple "Thank you for the heal, however, please can I run at lower health?" or "Thanks, but don't worry too much about my HP" is more than acceptable. If you're running more difficult quests or quests with high magical damage, then being healed is perfectly acceptable. Even with a high magical resistance (RES) magic damage is bad. Yes okay, you might want to argue that Low health = more damage, however, high damage is very easily obtained even with maximum health, keep in mind if you die what can you do? If you yell at someone for healing chances are you'll be left on the ground longer than need be.

The main thing to keep in mind is to know the quest, and know your capabilities. For example, if you are only taking 1 damage from enemies ask to be allowed to knock on deaths door. Death is not an issue generally speaking. If you are taking quite a beating then, low health is always bad. At the end of the day a dead axe is a bad axe. Adapting to different situations is the way to go. Don't just be suicidal for the sake of being suicidal.


SKILLS
[+] SKILLS
Essential skills for this class are:
Arm shatter
Armour shatter
+Rallying cry
War cry
Last stand
Crowd control
Soul Scratcher, could be added to this.

There is nothing wrong with using +Rallying Cry and then following up with War Cry. These abilities do stack, Sword classes (Both long and short swords) can use their specific ATK Up/Def Down (Daredevil Stance and Demon's Aura) and they can also be stacked with +Rallying Cry. I try to target all melee classes with a Rally Cry, however there has to be a point where you just say "Forget it." The range is beyond awful and people who are stood next to you do not get the boost.


COMMAND BAR
[+] COMMAND BAR
I only use 1 bar for Axe, which includes the following skills, as I don't see the sense of a 2nd bar for this class. My sub command bar is currently filled with a sword/shield command bar which needs tweaking :

1) Shatter, Full Swing, Blind Swing, +Rally Cry, Armour Shatter, +Aftermath, +Heavy Cannon
2)Nightmare, Deathdriver, Soulscratcher, War Cry, Arm Shatter, Crowd Control, Fate's Favour
3)Cannon Ball, Might Chop, Heal 3, Raise, Refresh, Holy Light, Angel's Favour


STATS/GEAR
[+] STATS and GEAR
DEX and STR are your focus on gear, axe has very bad accuracy even at 200 DEX, hit rate caps at around 90% (I think) Axe animations are not the fastest of the classes, so I like to balance with a set of Heavy Armour. The extra defence for final standing is nice and the knock down resistance is nice too. I'm not saying you won't get knocked off your feet, but you'll notice it less than say light or medium armour.

I have 2 sets of gear:

Heavy Armour:

Spectral Top +16 (DEF 189 RES 14 HP 42 STR 21 and AGI 21)
Spectral Gloves +16 (DEF 188 RES 14 HP 42 STR 21 and AGI 21)
Spectral Pants +16 (DEF 189 RES 14 HP 42 VIT 21 and DEX 21)
Spectral Boots +16 (DEF 188 RES 14 HP 42 VIT 21 and DEX 21)

DEF 939 and Res 175

Light Armour:

Hervor's Cloak +20 DEF 149 RES 63 HP 74 SPR 22
Sensui Gloves +20 DEF 158 RES 63 Ice 10 SPR 23 and AGI 23
Cyclas Pants +20 Def 159 RES 77 HP 40 MP 40 SPR 24
Nereid Sandals +18 Def 146 RES 64 Ice 10 Spr 20 Agi 20

DEF 177 RES 457 SPR 208 and Agi 166 (this is my current Sword/Shield build. I can get more RES with 3 pieces of Grimoire at +20 and the Cyclas Pants +20, I just like this look better)

Axes:
True King Axe +15 (ATK 584 MAG 50 HP 100 STR 22 and SPR 27) Added Effect: Incorruptus Killer
Full stats when equipped with Spectral are Atk 791, STR 207 and Dex 153

Hellfire Greataxe +20 (Atk 498 Fire 8 STR 22 and DEX 18) fire element already including, no further fire elemental affinity added
Atk 705, STR 207, Dex 171

Glittering Axe (Atk 499 Earth 1 STR 22 and Dex 18) Earth increased to +1 whilst Base atk increased the remaining 19 levels. Added Effect: Troll Killer (Poor trolls)
Atk 706, STR 207, Dex 171

Whitedrake Hammer +20 (Atk 498 Wind 1 HP 100 and DEX 21) Added Effect: Paralysis (My fluffy duster <3)
Atk 683 STR 185 Dex 174

Luxbreaker +20 (Atk 510, Ice 1 MP 50 STR 25 and AGI 25) Added Effect: Incorruptus Killer
ATk 720 STR 210 Dex 153


GENERAL PLAY
[+] GENERAL PLAY
I start each fight with a buff/debuff I try to get each member with Rally Cry, if after the 3rd/4th attempt I'm still missing someone, I move on. I will apply debuffs at the start of the fight. I'm not the best at renewing them, this is for a number of factors, the cost of the debuffs is quite high, 18MP then if the attack misses or the enemy blocks, that's more turns til it sticks. So I would normally just go on the offensive. It's all dependant on the circumstance. The good thing is if you have a mage or archer in your party, your MP is likely to be filled for you before you get the chance to use a potion. I would generally carry 10 Mana 3s and 10 Mana 4s, I need to get more Mana 4s to carry them at the moment so I have a focus on Mana3s in my bag. I carry heal potions for that quick low heal. An enemy gets that cheap shot on you? Accidentally scratched your soul a little too low? I've done that and relied on a heal potion for a quick panic heal.

That said, rule number 1 is if an Axe isn't using their MP they are not doing their job properly. As a DPS/Damage dealer class, we need to generate that high damage from high attacks. I myself do not use combos, as you can see from my bar, I have no space for them. However, I also think that AC spent on a combo is much better spent elsewhere. A balance between MP and AC is easily found. Generally speaking, throwing off 20MP attacks is a quick way to burn all your MP, but that's a good thing. I found that doing so quickly is a sure enough way to gain enemy attention. And AC has been built up so you can continue the onslaught in a more efficient manner. Low MP for me is a cue to start spending AC on attacks. Usually by this time, enough damage has been caused to the enemy to really tick them off. So I see that as a cue to start controlling the crowd, literally. I will throw off 1 Crowd Control and check the damage, anything from 4,000 damage onwards is a good start. The crowd controls you throw off you see the damage increasing to a point where you are just begging for that 1 critical attack that will show you the money. It's possible with an elemental weapon and a strike weak enemy, the damage can start around 6k+ even with full health.

My tactic is to then continue with the Crowd Controls until I run out of AC, I will then either use a mana potion if still low MP or revert back to MP attacks if refilled.

I have 3 main attacks for Strike and Slash, Shatter/Full Swing are the 0MP attacks that I use on the smaller mobs. Nightmare and Deathdriver for the larger enemies. Then Cannonball and Mighty Chop are your jumping attacks. For thrust enemies, such as trolls/giants I will favour the strike attacks, they are not resistant and better than the thrust attacks. I would either use Holy to stagger or let someone else do it. Soulscratcher is there as a fast way to lower health, if I use soul scratcher twice, then get healed, I'll politely say "I'm fine with lower health :)" If I'm soulscratching I want to be at lower health, if I go too far, which has been known to happen, I'll throw a potion or a heal 3.

I also have blind swing there for fun. yes ok it misses ALOT but trying to blind swing assassins is fun, especially if it connects they roly poly across the floor! I'll often tease if someone comes in and kills it on me and say "Aww steal my fun!" But I'm just teasing since I know Blind Swing is bad. Sometimes I just give up myself!

But if you're going to use the skill properly and not for fun, then it's best used on staggered enemies with lowered evasion.
Last edited by Hope on March 11th, 2013, 4:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Axe Guide
March 5th, 2013, 10:19 am

Blind Swing

I just wanted to add a little detail to this skill. Blind swing is very effective when used properly. You should use it on staggered enemies. It will do about the same damage as nightmare, but costs half the mp. Try to use it on active enemies, and you will miss 9 times out of 10.
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Re: Axe Guide
March 8th, 2013, 12:58 pm

I don't consider myself a pro with the axe, but I'll add some of my notes, and questions too.

Notes first...

Axes are capped at a 90% hit rate, which is reached at 175 dex. Higher dex can slightly increase the crit hit chance, but you're probably better off adding more str once 175 dex is achieved. My axe armor set is spectral top (hp/str/agi), wraith gloves 2 (mp/str), sensui pants (mp/dex), ashura tabi (dex/agi). I have phoenix hammer for a fire axe, and am working on finishing 3 luxbreakers for the other elements. I'm keeping the glittering axe for em2 runs. I have a tk+9, but the gigas slayer is also a good non-elem option (or another luxbreaker) for those who just want axe as a sub-class. I'd have to equip things to see my axe stats... I haven't played with axes for several months.

I do have 7ac slash and 7ac strike combos. The slash combo is for when I'm lower on hp, or out of MP and want to keep hurting things (hoping somebody recovers my MP mid process). The strike combo is great for "charging up" crowd control. In the strike situation, I'll buff, debuff, do a couple attacks, and unload the combo. If timed right the combo will stagger the enemy, and I'm ready to crowd control the weaker part of the fallen enemy (odds are the debuffs are still active too) for high damage.

A common misconception of crowd control is that it is based on the enemy aggro toward you. It's actually based on your aggro toward the enemy. So, never switch which enemy you target, or the "charging" of crowd control is reset. Likewise if you die. If you're knocked down, the "charging" is only slowed, just get back into rhythm. I think it's a function of how rapidly you damage the enemy, which is why a combo is great for maximizing crowd control. You're landing several attacks (which never miss btw) in rapid succession.


Now my couple questions (for now)...

- It seems nowadays that nightmare is frowned upon. Why is this? I see axes often use deathdriver in place of nightmare, even on strike-weak enemies. Is it because it's a "2 hit" move, and less likely to miss completely? For crowd control purposes, I think I'd use pulverise instead because it's a little faster animation. thoughts?

- I see some axes avoid heavy armor like the plague. I can see wanting a little added speed, but given how long some animations take you still can't act any faster (at least when haste is applied). Wouldn't it be more detrimental to the cause if you're in a light setup, as you're guaranteed a knockdown with every hit?
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Re: Axe Guide
March 8th, 2013, 1:16 pm

With response to crowd control, I've found it based more on enemy aggression than my own. Knock down, contrary to what people believes have had little effect. My reasons:

I've been unleashing Crowd Controls which get stronger each hit based on how long you hold enemy attention. The moment the enemy loses focus, even for a second, the damage is lowered.

I've aslo had a high damage, been knocked down, and then stood up and hit an even stronger none crit or crit than the last.

I do not agree with deathdrivering a strike weak enemy. Nightmare is more efficient damage wise. I'll use nightmare on any large strike weak enemies... Or even thrust weak enemies. Nightmare does wonders. Deathdriver is exclusively reserved for any slash weak enemy only.

For me heavy armour is the way to go, what good is extra speed from a lighter build if the animations are too slow or if you spend more time rolling around the floor. I've tested with full medium and for me I've spent more time on the floor rolling, than attacking. The only time Light armour is used in my style is during Lost Legion, Seasonal Travel or Wind Frocker!
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Re: Axe Guide
March 8th, 2013, 1:41 pm

I don't know the exact numbers, but I think it's in the neighborhood of 20% knockdown resistance per heavy piece, and 2% per medium piece? So, in full medium you can expect to get knocked down just about full time. In my setup (1 heavy, 1 light, 2 medium) I have some knockdown resistance... the better balance of resistance vs speed (using 4 medium as the speed baseline) would be 2 heavy and 2 light. In full heavy you may be slow but odds are you stay on your feet.

The next time I see an axe avoiding nightmare I'll have to ask why. It doesn't make full sense to me but I guess there's some reason out there.

Crowd control is a tricky spot too. I've used it where a spear was tanking (thus I had little to no enemy attention) and still worked up to 9k dmg with a crit hit. In general I don't do the first one until I think it's fully charged, so I usually land 5-7 hits on an enemy before even trying.

I'll probably get back into using axes soon so I can test some things out for more definitive answers then.
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Re: Axe Guide
March 8th, 2013, 1:50 pm

Generally speaking, since I don't use combos, once MP is low crowd control is prime and ready to go :)

But yeah it's tricky sometimes it shows me the money, sometimes it laughs in my face!!
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