Not everyone is a fan of the jousting, but I sure as heck started to love it once I got the hang of it. Considering that the 5-man dungeon Trial of the Champion has a jousting encounter in it, I figured it might be beneficial for everyone to understand how to proficiently joust, even those that abhor it.
First of all I’ll give a very brief run-down of the abilities.
- Thrust: A melee attack that inflicts 3250 damage. 6 yd range, Instant, 2 sec cooldown
- Shield-Breaker: A ranged attack that inflicts 2000 damage and removes one layer of Defend from the opponent. 5-30 yd range, Instant, 2 sec cooldown
- Charge: A charging attack that inflicts 8500 damage and removes 1 layer of Defend from the opponent. 8-25 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
- Defend: Reduces damage taken by 30%. Up to 3 layers of Defend may be stacked. Instant, 4 sec cooldown
- Refresh Mount: Heals your mount. Can only be used out of combat. Instant, 1 min cooldown
I’ve seen a number of tips/guides out there depending on the play-style of the person, but I’ll give some basic ideas of what you should and shouldn’t do.
First of all, always make sure you have your shield level refreshed and stacked up to the max (3) before beginning a fight. It’s not imperative that you constantly ensure that your defense is maxed, but allowing it to dip will result in a large increase of incoming damage and allows the CPU too many oppurtunities to hurt you.
That being said, the basic flow of my jousting is to initiate the battle, immediately thrust and then charge your opponent once they’re at range. You can also sneak in another thrust as you’re charging your opponent once you’re in melee range for even more damage. After you charge through your opponent circle back and toss a shield-breaker and close to melee range as fast as possible.
At this point I melee my opponent and “dance” with them looking for an oppurtunity for a min-range shield-breaker. Be careful with this though, as dancing can open up oppurtunities for your opponent to shield-break you. Just make sure you do not dance into charge range if your opponent is facing you. If you do, you’ll eat a charge AND a shield-break. While in melee range (shield-breaker dead-zone) you can replenish your defenses and thrust as they do not share a cooldown with one another.
At some point your opponent will turn away and unless you’re at the right range to shield-break them immediately when they turn away, do not fall into the tempation of shield-breaking them as they move away for a bigger hitting charge. You would be better served to charge them and circle back to toss your spear because shield-break and charge share a global cooldown. If you wait too long to charge your opponent, they will turn around before you can close the gap and you will eat a charge and then a shield-break.
Remember, jousting is more about keeping your defenses up as you patiently exploit openings your opponent gives you. If you get reckless and/or attempt to kite, you will sustain a lot of damage from your opponent knocking off two-levels of defense. This is what you want to do to your opponent; it is far better to stay in melee range and exchange melee attacks when you’re at a defensive advantage.
As you get better with jousting you’ll recognize openings better by strafing through your opponent to get to shield-breaker range and peel their defenses off faster than they can replenish them. Strafing is your friend when “dancing” and do NOT under any circumstance listen to the tips of “jumping and mid-air turning.” Jumping inhibits your ability to dance and allows your opponent to get their own shield-breaks and/or charges in.
- Always start with a refreshed 3-shield stack.
- Thrust and then Charge on initiation of combat.
- Thrust when Charging your opponent for extra damage.
- After charges circle-back and toss a shield-breaker.
- Keep your shield stack at 3 as much as possible.
- Melee thrusts do not share a global cooldown with the other abilities.
- Charge when your opponent turns away, only shield-break first if you’re at the perfect range the instant they turn away.
- Rinse and repeat.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to chain 4 champion level jousting opponents without needing to heal. Sometimes I’m able to defeat a champion without having to using defense other than to refresh my stack. I’m usually able to defeat a champion within 30 seconds unless the AI doesn’t cooperate during the dance inhibiting my ability to get to shield-breaking range.
As for the questline Battle Before the Citadel it is possible to solo commanders, even with ease. You will want to avoid the area directly north of the Icecrown Citadel stairs as there are far too many potential adds that make soloing a commander precarious. This isn’t to say that you can’t solo a commander over here, but you’ll have to do so by pulling him onto the stairs. It is far easier to take on the commanders on the out-skirts of the phased area as the only adds you’ll have to contend with are the gargoyles.
Soloing a commander is a little different than an Argent Tournament Champion, but a lot of the standard tips/tricks hold true here. You’ll want to thrust once in melee range of the commander as you’re charging and use shield-breakers to peel his defenses. The main difference here is that the rate at which commanders refresh their defense and attempt to shield-break you are lower. Because of this you will generally want to strafe out to charge range whenever it is off of cooldown and not rely as much on dancing with the commander.
I initiate combat at max shield-breaker range and strafe away as I wait on the global cooldown to charge the commander. You will want to refresh your defenses as much as possible in the beginning to minimize damage as you will have gargoyles respawn on top of you at which point keeping your defenses up will be impossible. Should this occur, and it will, you want to focus on the commander and burn him down as fast as possible.
Once the commander is down, you can then focus your attention on the gargoyles. A useful tip to take down gargoyles quickly and painlessly is to toss a spear as you’re approaching them and execute a jumping thrust to kill them before they can get off their attack. This won’t always be possible if the gargoyle is too far off the ground, but sometimes they’ll be low enough to where you can use a charge to kill them instantly.
You will take lots of damage soloing commanders, so always make sure to allow yourself to exit combat to heal your horse vehicle. It is preferable to tackle commanders with friends, but alas there won’t always be people to help.
Hope this guide helps your jousting endeavors. Cheers!