Skirmishing 101: The Sage

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Pineleaf and Sage

Most skirmish soldiers inflict common damage. The one exception is the sage. The sage’s basic attacks inflict light damage while most of their skills inflict fire or frost damage.

Attributes

Pros: Inflicts non-common damage. Has the highest power rating of any skirmish soldier. Can be traited for area damage.

Cons: Sages have the lowest morale of any soldier (technically they are tied with the herbalist but the latter has a ready source of morale restoration).

Group Sizes: In larger groups, I would generally use single-target and debuff skills. For smaller groups, I would only go with area damage skills if you have a tank who can keep the mobs off the sage.

Classes: If you skirmish with a sage, you will need to coordinate your skills with your class. If you use area skills, then the challenge will be keeping the mobs of the sage so that they will survive long enough to be useful. If your class inflicts area damage (such as the champion), then you would need to avoid the Tanglefoot skill, since you are likely to break it.

Skirmishes: In Strike against Dannenglor, many of the sage’s skills won’t be much use against the fire limrafn, as the fireballs are highly resistant to both fire and frost. The good news is that Word of Battle and the sage’s basic attacks inflict light damage, which are quite effective against these foes. The light damage will help in any skirmish involving orcs and goblins.

Armor: Light

Damage: Tactical (Light, frost, or flame)

Special: Debuffs.

Skills

The sage’s skills have three themes: single-target damage, area damage, and debuffs.

Chilling Winds – Low area frost damage; Debuff to Increase Attack duration

If you can keep the enemy off the sage, then this is a useful skill to equip. While the damage isn’t great, it’s always nice to slow down the enemy during the battle.

Oil of the Dragon’s Rage – Medium area fire damage

This is the sage’s most powerful area attack.

Tanglefoot – Medium fire damage; Root

To use this skill effectively, you will need a good awareness of the battle. When the sage roots an opponent, you will need to move away and target someone else (assuming that the rooted opponent isn’t a priority target for some reason). I only recommend this skill in smaller groups since the more players there are, the more likely someone will break the CC.

Weakening Draught – Reduces the resistances of foes

I am unlikely to use a sage when I am playing a tactical class. Therefore, if I am soloing, this skill will only help the sage. Atzumo uses a sage with a mini, though, so I can see this skill being more useful for him.

Word of Battle (Barter – Level 45) – High single-target light damage

This skill inflicts light damage rather than fire or frost. As such, it is quite useful in any skirmish featuring orcs or goblins.

Fire of the Wise (Barter – Level 55) – Low fire damage; Reduces opponent’s outgoing damage

This skill is more useful as a debuff than for its damage.

Ultimate: Word of Flame (Barter – 50) –Ultimate single-target fire damage

This skill is the best damaging skill you can use on your sage.

Ultimate: Word of Frost (Barter – 60) – Medium frost damage; Debuff to Increase Attack duration

This skill does good damage and slows down the target’s attacks. It’s only problem is that you have to swap out Word of Flame to use it. Therefore, I am likely only to use it when the debuff is more important that a bit more damage.

Training

The following traits are trainable by sages (in addition to those that are trainable by all soldiers):

Light Armor Training – Improves armor value of those that wear light armor.

Tactical PotencyThis will naturally improve the sage’s damage output. If you have no trouble keeping the mobs off her, then this may help the skirmish run a little more quickly.

Conclusion

I don’t believe I have ever set up a sage effectively. I think it is time for a few more experiments before I declare a verdict.

Next time, we will look at the final soldier role: the Warrior.

May your shield protect you and your spear never break,

Pineleaf Needles

4 comments

  1. Andang /

    Great job Pine!

  2. I’ll admit I’ve never used a Sage, or at least invested enough to make it my main soldier. I think the tough part is the Sage’s semi-duality – it seems most of the commonly-used soldiers (ie Herbalist, Archer) are usually focused in a spec (like healing, DPS). When it comes to a more versatile soldier, it seems to increase the likelihood that some abilities may clash with your playstyle (unless you just purposely trait your soldier to become more complimentary with your style).

  3. Lilikate Buggins. /

    I had a Sage once…She died 🙁

  4. For the past few months, I’ve been using a sage with my lvl 85 minstrel and 20-30 captain in solo and duo skirmishes. She seems to make the fights go faster than the other soldiers. With my mini, I run in warspeech and usually grab everything with my area attacks. My light damage debuffs mean that my sage’s damage goes up too. I also like that she hits more targets than an archer. I find that I can keep her health up with the couple of heal-over-time effects that I have available in WS.
    With my captain, I try to grab as many of the mobs as I can and keep my sage’s health up with my healing skills if she draws their attention. I actually find I can heal her better than myself currently. Of course, I’ve got limited experience in any of the skirmishes outside the free ones since I only bought them during the last sale.
    The sage also seems to have better AI than some of the other soldiers (behaves well).

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