II. Priests in Colosseum
A. Getting the Kills.
B. Surviving the Onslaught
C. The Bad
III. Skill and Stats Build
A. Why Blessing?
B. Why Archangel?
C. Why Sanctuary?
D. Why Not DoTs? (Oratio, Credo, Adoramus)
E. Possible Future Skill Build
IV. General Tips
A. Know Your Spells
D. Be Calm
E. Priest in Disguise (The Cheese!)
V. Common Mistakes
A. Not Paying Attention to Aspersio Timer and Holy Water Charges
B. Healing Too much or Popping Defensive Cooldowns Too Early
VI. Priest vs. Other Classes in Colosseum
A. The Stunners (Rogue, Assassin, and Knight)
B. The Targets (Ranger and Wizard)
C. The Hit-and-Run (Sorcerer)
D. The Invisible (Monk and Beastmaster)
VII. Commentated Videos
Priest, along with Ranger and Sorcerer are widely considered the three strongest classes in Colosseum. These three classes were the first to complete the “Only the Strong Survive”, and are expected to fill a majority of the 120 slots for “Are You Not Entertained.” Combined with frequent appearances in the last rounds of Colosseum and the obvious advantage of being range classes, Priest, Ranger, and Sorcerer are believed to be the classes least reliant on level to perform well in Colosseum, and the easiest to play.
However, I’ve seen a recent decline of Priests in the last two rounds of Colosseum, replaced with Wizards, Assassins, Warriors, and Knights in their places. Meanwhile, Rangers and Sorcerers continue to be well-represented.
I hope, in creating this guide, Priests will share their PvP experiences with one another and help each other to improve Priests’ chances in Colosseum as a class.
II. Priests in Colosseum
Getting the Kills
Priests’ aptitude for kill-stealing is only second to that of Rangers. While a Priest can dish out more damage in a burst, he is a one-trick pony. If his Aspersio RoG/HL fails to kill his target, because the target popped a defensive cooldown or potioned, he is left with low damage spells that heavily depends on timing and luck.
Rangers, on the other hand, deal a constant stream of low-to-medium damage. Charge Arrow provides the medium-sized crits a Ranger needs, and the Double Strafing can unload a fast string of hits to finish a target or steal kills.
Sorcerers are worse than the previous two because they don’t kill-steal, they kill. A Sorcerer will burst you from 100-0 in a matter of seconds when his cooldowns are popped. In situations where the Sorcerer does have to kill-steal, his abilities are not nearly as reliable as that of Rangers and Priests. Lightning Bolts don’t deal that much damage, Jupter Thunder takes time to cast, and Varetyr Spear has a long cooldown and travels slow.
Surviving the Onslaught
Priests have arguably the best consistency and survivability inside the Colosseum. Not only is the Priest the only class that has a HoT, making him able to run and heal at the same time, he also has defensive cooldowns that either put a massive damage reduction barrier on himself, or heals himself to full.
However, it is important to note that the inability for people to quickly kill a Priest contributes to this misconception that “Priests heal a lot.” Priests actually don’t heal a lot if they are specced as a Battle Priest, and much of their survivability is conditioned upon the availability of their defensive cooldowns. Without cooldowns, Priests die extremely fast.
Sorcerers also excel in survivability, and in some situations, outshine the Priests. While a Sorcerer cannot HoT himself, a Sorcerer that is healing himself with all defensive cooldowns, Seal of Earth, and Water Arms popped is almost impossible to kill for the duration.
The single biggest problem all PvP Priests face is the lack of a self-cast mechanism in RO2. In order to cast any single-target heal or defensive abilities (Heal, Renovatio, Highness Heal, Coluseo Heal, and Assumptio) in Colosseum, Priests must have either target himself or no target at all. In other words, a Priest will not be able to “defend” himself when he is targeting an enemy player inside the Colosseum. And with a deficient targeting system and a likely moving target, it is very difficult to get your original target back, making it that much more difficult for Priests to follow up with kills.
III. Skill and Stats Build
The above is a link to the Skill and Stats build that I currently use on my priest. As far as Stats go, it really doesn’t make a difference what you add as long as it is a combination of AGI/INT/VIT.
There are many variations in a Priest’s PvP Skill build. Some choose to sacrifice Archangel (and with it, Recovery, Suffragium, and Angelus) and Blessing to allocate the 12 skill points into DoTs, Coluseo Heal, and/or Lex Divina. While others, like myself, take a much more defensive approach and place heavy reliance on RoG and HL to finish the job.
HP matters in Colosseum, and Blessing gives you a significant boost in HP. In a build where healing abilities are kept to a minimum, your maximum HP will play a big role in keeping you alive longer. But if you have the VIP 10% buff, it is not as important.
Archangel gives you +25% magic power for 30 seconds. Aside from the occasional lucky DoT killing blows, Priests primarily rely on HL and RoG to secure kills. Combined with Aspersio, HL and RoG are the two most reliable kill-stealing abilities Priests have. Both of these skills are heavily reliant on magic power, and the difference of 25% magic power will change how “early” you can start casting your HL and RoG to secure kills and decrease the risk of losing those kills to other players.
Aside from securing kills in Colosseum, you have to avoid getting killed. Luckily, Priests are pretty good at staying alive – not because Priests are necessarily hard to kill, but because most people don’t realize PvP Priests can’t actually heal very much. As a result, Priests are often ignored in Colosseum. Of course, there will be times where people try to kill you because you’re high in rank, or because they know Priests are not hard to kill once their Assumptio and Coluseo Heal are on cooldown. And this is where Sanctuary comes in.
For one skill point, Sanctuary provides one of the biggest deterrence to those attacking you – not because Sanctuary heals a lot, but because it appears to heal a lot when you channel it with Archangel and Renovatio. Even though Sanctuary lights you up like a lighthouse, it far more often deters rather than attract.
Why Not DoTs? (Oratio, Credo, Adoramus)
Don’t get me wrong, DoTs are great in Colosseum. With all three DoTs maxed and casted on an enemy, they actually do a significant amount of damage. And every so often I get one of those lucky DoT ticks that secure me kills. But, as with all DoTs, they are an unreliable way to secure kills. More often than not, someone will kill your target with direct damage before your DoT has a chance to kill that target. Like I said, I prefer a much more defensive approach in my skill build; therefore, I would much rather spend points in defensive cooldowns and spells.
Possible Future Skill Build
As players become more and more geared, I will likely transition to a more offensive build in order to compete with others for kills. A PvP Priest’s heals, by themselves, are extremely weak. Without defensive cooldowns like Assumptio and Coluseo Heal, a Priest would not be able to stay alive against multiple aggressors (or one Sorcerer) anyway.
I use the word “likely” because I don’t know how big of a difference PvP accessories will make on my damage (I focused on the armors for “Are You Not Entertained?” ). If I can reliably get kills, I will always prefer more defensive skills over offensive skills.
IV. General Tips
Know Your Spells
A PvP Priest has the most number of abilities consistently used in the Colosseum than any other class out there. Offensively, knowing how much damage your spells do on different classes will decide when you press that RoG button or when you begin casting that HL. Defensively, knowing how much punishment you can take from different class combination and number of players will help you decide whether to use those precious defensive cooldowns, or just die.
You will see in my videos that I experience with different keybinds to find what I am comfortable with. It takes a while to get used to a new set of keybinds, but ultimately, it will help you greatly with general map awareness if you don’t have to look at and click your spells. Also, sometimes you’ll accidentally remove your spells from the hotbars because you “click-dragged” an ability. Binding all your abilities will help avoid that problem.
Positioning is very important for Priests in Colosseum, because good positioning exposes the Priest to less potential enemy aggression. A Priest’s best position is on the outer rim of the Colosseum near the side rooms. Like Synesthetic said in his Full-Support Priest Guide, circle the Colosseum like a shark and look for your potential targets. Even though with less potential enemy aggression comes less potential targets to kill, remember, you only need that one good target every 20 seconds. And when things get messy, such as when 20 normal monsters + Boss starts chasing after everyone, you can always retreat into one of the side rooms.
I know it can be extremely frustrating sometimes when you keep missing kills because you get outbursted by Sorcerers, lose your target because you have to heal yourself, or that well-timed HL misses or gets parried. Stay calm and keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t panic during the last seconds of the round just because you’re not in the cutoff. Keep your Aspersio timer in check and keep looking for that target with the low HP. You would be amazed how many ranks you can move up with that one last second kill. It ain't over 'til it's over!
Priest in Disguise (The Cheese!)
This is a cheesy little trick I do sometimes when I’m on my priest. I change outfits multiple times during round changes so I don’t get focus targeted by others because I achieved high ranks during the preliminary rounds. I have no clue whether this works, but I have personally focus targeted certain players when I know they’re good to make sure they don’t make it into the final round.
V. Common Mistakes
Not Paying Attention to Aspersio Timer and Holy Water Charges
Aspersio is our single most important spell. Offensively, makes our HL much more likely to be critical (yes, it is not “always” critical because of parry), and it makes our RoG an instant cast. Defensively, it gives a nice boost to healing spells, where critical hits can’t be parried.
A mistake I make often is to not pay attention to the timer on Aspersio. There is nothing quite as frustrating as carefully timing a RoG to an enemy’s HP only to have it start casting because your Aspersio faded, missing that kill. The same goes to attempting to cast Aspersio when you have no Holy Water charges, which pretty much wastes another 2-3 seconds of your time thanks to Aqua Benedicta’s definition of an “instant cast.”
Healing Too Much or Popping Your Defensive Cooldowns Too Early
Sometimes you just have to let yourself die. Any time you’re spamming heals on yourself is time you’re wasting not getting kills while other people are. A kill outweighs a death in most situations. Overcommitted to healing is especially a problem in the last two rounds for many people, myself included, where holding a rank seem paramount. However, unless there are only 20-30 seconds left on the clock, you’re never going to survive a multi-aggressor attack, with or without all your cooldowns. Die quickly and come back for another attempt to kill. Don’t overcommit yourself to playing defensively only to be killed with 5-10 seconds left on the clock with no opportunity for a comeback.
As an extension to healing too much, another way to play overly defensive in Colosseum is to hide in one of those side rooms solely because you have Rank 1 (or whatever rank you believe is "safe"). Colosseum is dynamic, so unless you’re multiple kills and deaths ahead of your opponents with less than 30 seconds left on the clock, don’t hide. More often than not, your Rank 1 is only temporary and if your opponents are smart enough not to run around looking for you, but instead, kill each other, your Rank 1 is not going to last for the rest of the round. Be active! Play defensive but keep your eyes on the battlefield, because you never know when you will need another kill. Linger just outside the range of your opponents so you can run in if you need to kill, or run away if they all come chasing after you.
You can choose to hide if they’re coming after you, but it often backfires and gets you cornered (happens to me sometimes in my videos). Remember, an outranged opponent does no damage at all.
VI. Priest vs. Other Classes in Colosseum
There are five groups of “classes” you need to be aware of as a Priest in Colosseum:
The Stunners (Rogue, Assassin, Warrior and Knight)
These classes are the annoying ones. They can’t really kill you 1v1, but a “well-timed” stun can easily ruin your opportunity for a kill. Stay away from them and pretend you’re not a threat to them. Don’t make eye contacts or DoT them unless you’re going to kill them (well, DoT Rogues and Assassins, they deserve it). However, be aware of these classes, especially those sneaky Knights, when they have the 200% attack power poring buff. They will sneak up on you with those buffs when you least expect it and absolutely demolish you.
The Targets (Ranger and Wizard)
You love Rangers and Wizards. They can deal good damage but they’re easy to kill for a Priest if you pay attention. They don’t have a lot of HP and they can’t heal outside of potions. These are the targets you want to DoT up to keep track of their whereabouts, as well as the targets you want to focus on killing. Against Rangers and Wizard you don’t necessarily have to wait for them to fall low enough to use RoG. Time your Aspersio cooldown and just do a few Aspersio HLs into an Aspersio RoG.
The Hit-and-Run (Sorcerer)
Ah, Sorcerers. Like Rangers and Wizards, a Sorcerer that is not healing is easy to kill for a Priest. However, once they start healing, they’re impossible to kill for a Priest unless they’re extremely low to begin with, or if you have a lucky chain of Gloria HLs. You hit them when you can and when they are not looking, but you run if they turn around to attack you (unless they’re low). A Sorcerer can 100-0 a Priest within a matter of seconds. A Priest’s saving grace against a Sorcerer is the fact that a Sorcerer has to cast Frost Diver into Jupter Thunder if they want to burst you with their combo. The best way to survive against a Sorcerer’s burst is to cast Assumptio during the Sorcerer’s Jupter Thunder cast.
Don’t ever try to 1v1 a Sorcerer if you don’t have your defensive cooldowns up. You might win, but it is hardly ever worth it because there’s likely someone near you ready to steal your kill or kill you. In a fight against a Sorcerer, Priests don’t have the luxury to wait for a well-timed RoG. Spam those spells hard!
The Competition (Priest)
For obvious reasons, other Priests are your biggest competitors for kills. They're timing their Aspersio RoG/HL just like you, and they're overwriting your DoTs at the same time you're overwriting their's. And when both of you cast RoG at the same time, it's like flipping a coin to see who gets the kill. Be aware of other Priests' positions and try to avoid competing over the same set of potential targets with them, Since there is no efficient way for Priests to kill each other, competing with a fellow Priest will only frustrate your Colosseum experience.
The Invisible (Monk and Beastmaster)
I ignore Monks less they’re low in HP. There are so few good monks that do Colosseum (yes, good monks do win Colosseum) it’s not worth strategizing against them. It’s not like Priests can kill them anyway. If a Monk does make it into the last round with you, exercise extra caution in timing your RoG, since a Monk likewise times his Asura Strike to last hit.
Oh wait, right, Beastmasters. Them bears are so rare and underwhelming in Colosseum it's actually quite saddening.
VII. Commentated Videos
Since I decided to write a guide for PvP Priests, I started recording all my Colosseum games – win or lose. I have provided voiced commentaries for the games to point out the good and the bad. I am by no means perfect in Colosseum. In fact, as I will point out in my videos, I make plenty of mistakes.
I apologize for the horrible headset mic that occasionally cuts off. I was going to wait for my new mic to start commentating, but my hard drive was getting too full. It’ll get better.
Lastly, I will probably stop uploading after about 10 games unless people want to keep watching me play.
Game 1 (1st Place)
Game 2 (4th Place - Rogue Champion)
Game 3 (1st Place)
Game 4 (3rd Place - Monk Champion)
I have over 10 games recorded thanks to the extra Colosseum times during the weekend. I will upload more when they are ready.
Oh, and I also play a Ranger. Them OP classes you know?
Edited by RenovatioRO2, 17 June 2013 - 12:49 PM.