PvM Chargeadin questions

themachine

Diabloii.Net Member
PvM Chargeadin questions

I can't seem to find a guide or build for a player-vs-monster Paladin using maxed charge/synergies skills. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Also, with charge against a pack of enemies, since you cant charge anything within melee range, what do you do once youve charged and are within their grasp? Zeal? Retreat and charge again? What?
 

k/t

Banned
This is why Charge isn't usually used for PvM. Knockback would help in this case, but what you could do is Charge away then Charge the monster again.
 

Eilo Rytyj

Diabloii.Net Member
IMHO Charge is either only used for a mode of transport, or a specialised PvP build.

You'll pull your hair out trying to use one in PvM. The damage/time (thus killing speed) is pitiful. You may be dealing thousands of damage per hit, but it's like 1 second between attacks. Think Impalezon, only more awkward to play...
 

SSoG

Diabloii.Net Member
There are a lot of negative nellies in this thread who have never seen a properly-driven PvM Paladin in action. Those things are BEASTS that just tear monsters to shreds. Seriously, they are only weak if you consider a character weak that can get 2000% off-weapon ED, and make any weapon in the game (including War Pikes and Ogre Mauls) capable of getting somewhere between 4-6 frames per attack. I'm serious here.

First off, some background on how charge works. When you Charge an enemy, as soon as they enter your melee range, you will unleash a *VERY FAST* attack and knock the enemy back (out of melee range again).

Now SSoG, you might say... I've charged before, and trust me, it's not a very fast attack. That's where you're wrong. You see, what you probably did is NAMELOCKED a monster. When you NAMELOCK a monster, you will let off a series of charges (charge, knockback, charge, knockback, charge, knockback, etc). After the final charge, when the enemy cannot be knocked back again (because there's something behind it), you will switch and just perform a standard attack. Normally, you're performing this standard attack with a very big, slow charge weapon. *THAT* is what makes Charge look so slow- not the Charge itself, but the standard attack at the end.

I wrote a PvM charge guide, and I'll copy/paste some relevant sections here.

Charge as a Means of Dispatching Enemies:
If you try to charge an enemy who is within melee range, you will not charge- you will simply perform a standard attack, instead. Melee range varies by weapon, from Range 1 (daggers, War Hammer, etc) to Range 5 (Pikes, etc). As a result, it’s a lot easier to charge with Range 1 weapons than Range 5s (since you need less separation). I used to be very opposed to charging with long weapons, but lots of playing and experimenting has suggested to me that they can be just as effective (or even more so) if played correctly. I’ll talk more about the differences between weapon ranges in a later section.

When you charge an enemy, whether you hit it or not, you will knock it back (provided there is nothing behind it). That knockback is always enough for you to charge again IMMEDIATELY (which you will do if the monster is namelocked). This leads to a Charge Chain. There is no length limit to Charge Chains- provided there is nothing behind the monster and you don’t kill it, you can trigger Charge Chains of 20, 30, 40 hits.

Charge Chains are *FAST*. I don’t know exactly how many frames you’ll be getting per attack, but 5-frame Charge Chains will go as fast as 5-frame Zeals- and the enemy will be in hit recovery the entire time. This, my friends, is how Chargers earn a living in Hell after they lose the ability to 1-hit-kill everything they come across. No monster can do anything once you have it in a Charge Chain- they are all helpless until they get backed into something, ending the chain.

Charge Chains will always trigger. If your attack misses, or if the enemy blocks, you will still knock them back and initiate a Charge Chain. Unlike traditional knockback, there is no Knockback Penalty against large enemies with Charge- all enemies have a 100% chance to be knocked back. Weapon Length doesn’t make a difference, either- a Range 5 weapon will trigger a Charge Chain just as easily as a Range 1 weapon. The only thing that will stop a Charge Chain is if something is behind the monster and prevents the knockback. Also, some monsters (Act Bosses and a couple of SuperDuperUniques like Griswold) are immune to the knockback from Charge. As a result, despite the ED%, Chargers don’t really make very good boss killers.

Taking all of the above into account, a Charger’s best strategy is circle a pack of monsters until he manages to separate one from the herd. Once a Charger has a clear line between himself and the monster, and the monster has nothing behind it for at least half a screen length, the Charger attacks and starts a Charge Chain ending when the monster dies or gets backed into something. At that point, the Paladin disengages and resumes circling until another opportunity presents itself. Others may have different strategies (and really, I’d love to hear them!), but that’s my Charger’s “Money Moveâ€. That’s how he makes his living in Hell.

...

Tactics.
Alright, enough jibber-jabber. Here’s where we all learn the super-sneaky tricks of the Chargeadin trade. Please note that all of the names of these tactics are made up- if you go around BNet and ask for some tips on Pinging, you’re going to get some funny looks. They’re just words that sort of describe what I’m trying to do.

Strategy #1- Pinging
This is the most basic Chargeadin strategy, but it’s a very important one that will serve you well throughout your entire career.

The Setup: Facing one main group of enemies. All enemies are concentrated in front of you, with empty room to maneuver behind you.

The Execution: Charge the closest enemy to you. As soon as you hit, take a couple of steps back from the enemy. Repeat. The end result is a Charge / Step Back / Charge / Step Back / Charge / Step Back sequence. It’s not the quickest strategy, but it’s one of the easiest to set up, and works great in a party situation or if you have a melee merc, or of monsters are clustering up in clumps for any other reason. It also works well against Act Bosses, who cannot be hit with a charge chain.

Strategy #2- Ponging
This is a variation on the basic Pinging strategy that speeds up your damage output at the cost of a little bit of safety.

The Setup: Facing either two main groups of enemies (one on either side), or scattered enemies all around you.

The Execution: Charge one enemy. As soon as you hit, turn and charge another enemy a little distance away from you. As soon as you hit, either charge the first enemy again, or charge a new enemy. The result is a little bit wild and hard to control as you go ponging off through a battlefield, but it’s a very quick way to distribute a lot of damage in a short amount of time. This is another strategy that works will in party situations where you do not have the ability to arrange the battlefield to your liking.

Strategy #3- Charge Chains
This right here is going to be the quickest and most efficient way to dispatch enemies. All advanced charger strategies will focus on setting up and sustaining charge chains.

The Setup: Facing a lone enemy with nothing between you and the enemy, and nothing behind the enemy for at least half a screen length.

The Execution: Namelock the enemy. Your initial charge will knock the enemy back. This will give you enough room to start another charge immediately. That charge will knock the enemy back, which leads to another immediate charge. The result is a long series of rapid-fire charges as you push the enemy back in a straight line.

Strategy #4- Stringing
This is a more core Chargeadin strategy that results in nearly maximum damage with nearly minimum exposure. The big weakness to this strategy is that it requires large expanses of unpopulated area to work with, which means it’s not at all useful in enclosed spaces or on fresh maps that haven’t been cleared any yet.

The Setup: Facing a large group of enemies, with a large open space to work in.

The Execution: It helps if you have some sort of cold damage or slows target gear, just so you can differentiate the speeds of the enemies. Anyway, once a pack of enemies sees you, you retreat from them and string them out on terrain features such as bridges and stairways. Once the start getting spread out, you stop running directly away from them, circle around to the side of the lead monster, and Charge. This initiates a charge chain, since there are no other monsters behind the lead monster (that’s why you circled to the side). Ideally, one charge chain will be sufficient to kill off the lead monster, at which point you can resume stringing out the rest of the pack and picking them off one at a time. The big downside to this strategy, other than the amount of open area you’ll need, is that it’s not at all a plausible strategy in party play.

Strategy #5- Circling
This is my #1 Charger strategy. This is how I get probably 80% of my kills when playing solo. It provides maximum damage with minimum exposure to damage in return, and doesn’t require large open spaces to work.

The Setup: Facing a single concentrated group of enemies.

The Execution: Like the name suggests, you start circling the pack of enemies. Make sure you have a LOT of faster run/walk (and possibly are running Vigor) just to ensure that the enemies cannot catch you as you circle. While you circle, you watch for enemies to line themselves up so that there’s nothing between you and them, and there’s nothing behind them. The second you see this, you charge that enemy and unleash a brutal charge chain on them. Assuming you are directly north of a monster pack, and are circling to the left and downwards… the monsters most likely to separate out and leave themselves open to a Charge Chain as you circle are the monster at the very north end of the pack, and the monster at the south-west edge of the pack- although I’ve seen occasions where a monster in the center of the pack lined up well. You have to be ready to take advantage of any opening that is provided to you.
And then here was a later post I made on Chargers.
Anyway, what does that mean? It means we have a new tip, and a brand shiny new strategy. First off, the tip- Before, I would always do my Charge Chains until the enemy stopped getting knocked back. This resulted in a standard attack at the end of the chain, which also resulted in a long slow animation before I could move again. As of last night, I have now started trying to BREAK OFF MY CHARGES EARLY. If you time it right, you can get just as many charges in, and then just stop charging the second you hit but don't knockback (or better, stop charging just before you hit him for the last time). Doing this will require a very intimate knowledge of your charger, since you'll have to know precisely WHEN a monster will ceased being knocked back, but if you can pull it off, it's a thing of beauty. Normally, you'll finish swinging at about the same time as the monster comes out of hit recovery, which can make for some interesting withdrawls. If you time it right, though, you can be long gone before the enemy ever gets out of hit recovery, since you don't have the 15-20 frame standard attack to sit through. This also means I have found a use for ias on this build. It comes in handy when you don't break off your charge chains early enough. I wouldn't go out of my way to get any, but I also wouldn't object if some happened to fall into my lap.

Now, for the new strategy- Charge-bys. This one takes some practice to get the hang of, but it's a good one.

The Setup: There are a bunch of enemies clustered together. Ideally, the mob is flatter on the side you want to charge by, although you can do Charge-bys on rounded mobs, too- it's just a convenience thing.
The Execution: Click on the first enemy to charge. While you are charging that enemy, click on the next enemy to chain to. While you are charging THAT enemy, click on a third enemy. Repeat as necessary. When you have come to the end of the charge-by, click on empty space beyond the mob. If the enemies are in a reasonably straight line, you can actually just keep your mouse in the same place and just keep clicking as you run. You'll usually click on 3-4 enemies on the way, and once you're done, you'll click on empty space behind the mob. Just don't hold down charge for any length of time- constant clicking is the way to go.
The Result: You will run down the line of enemies, whacking each one of them once with a Charge and then continuing past without stopping or even slowing down. After you get the last enemy, you will run past the mob to a point where you can turn around and repeat if necessary.

I've actually gained a newfound appreciate for Melee Mercs with this tactic. You can use melee mercs to cluster monsters up, and then do a charge-by on the pack of them. It's also obviously useful in parties, since you'll spend more time charging and less time running away so you can charge again (instead of getting one charge for each time you disengage, you'll be getting 3 or 4). After everyone left last night, I practiced the tactic a lot while finishing up A5, and it really was worth its weight in gold. My record for consecutive charges stands at 7, although I'm pretty sure that with some more practice I can top that. Another really nice thing about the Charge-by is that after a while, it becomes really fluid and just transitions into other moves. If no monsters are separating themselves from the pack, you can do a Charge-by to get through a mob and then namelock the last enemy to pull off a Charge Chain on it, and at the end of the chain turn around and do another charge-by back through the pack. Or you can string together a series of small charge chains, getting 3 or 4 monsters for two charges each as you go through them. Or you can combine Charge-bys with Ponging to turn you Charger into a whirling dervish who charges into the midst of a pack of baddies and then just flies all over the place, charging everything on screen.
Also, a few last tips... Fanatacism looks very enticing for Chargers, but IAS is so pointless for Chargers (since it doesn't speed up the main Charge attack), and the Enhanced Damage is just a drop in the bucket (since you already have so much off-weapon ED), that really Fanaticism just winds up being a souped up Blessed Aim. Holy Shock, Holy Freeze, and Conviction all wind up being better Charger auras. Also, Cleansing (with maxed Prayer), Salvation (for no-twink Chargers), and Meditation (again, max Prayer) all make solid Charger auras. Heck, Vigor itself makes for a fantastic Charger aura. Yes, I just said Vigor makes a fantastic Charger aura. Since the build is all about setting up chains, running faster than your enemies is a huge help.

Oh, and while the common wisdom is that you shouldn't charge with long-range weapons such as Pikes, in my experience once you become a VERY EXPERIENCED Charger, long-rage weapons present a whole lot of tactical applications that short-range weapons can't even come close to matching. The key here is that you better be a darn good charger, because if you're new to the class and you slap on a pike, you're going to get torn to shreds.
 

themachine

Diabloii.Net Member
SSoG, that link you sent was possibly one of the most informative 'guides' I have ever read. THanks muchly.
 
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