Atlantica Online Guide on using Stuns
Atlantica Online Guide on using Stuns by Flabble
[I] : Introduction
[II] : What is Stun?
[III] : Means of Stun
[IV] : Stunning Strategies
[V] : Your Side of the Playing Field
[VI] : Viable Builds for Each Main
[VII] : Keeping Stun Off Your Back
[VIII] : Conclusion
[I] : Introduction
Hi, I’m Flabble, proud tri-gunner of Mycenae. I am a semi-decent PvPer with a history on MyAO, so I’m hoping that this will help many future stun builds ^^.
Stun is a very potent strategy in PvP. Along with AoE and Spike, it is one of the main types of builds. It is useful even in other builds as well, so it is good to get to know it, even if you don’t plan on using it as your main strategy.
[II] : What is Stun?
[II – i] : A Scenario
To understand stun, one must understand the system of Stun Counters. Take the following example:
Its your first turn, and you have your swordsman with an activation. You hit this enemy Viking. The Viking takes 1 stun counter.
X|X|X – 1
Your opponent has his spearman have an activation. He uses lightning spear, which is a magic attack. You invoke no stun counters for this
X|X|X – 1
Now, you have your Beast Trainer and your gunner with an activation. Your BT uses beast summon and your gunner uses wild shot. The counter from last turn goes away
Now, your enemy has his Viking and his archer with an activation. He attacks the front row with the Viking, and uses his archer to hit your main in the 2nd row, putting counters on all of them.
O -1|O – 1|O – 1
Now, your monk and gunner get an activation. Your monk uses awakening on your front line, getting rid of the counters. Your gunner hits the left column, putting counters on them.
You opponent gets his archer with an activation again, along with his exorcist. He uses mana seal to prevent you from awakening and uses his archer on your main again. Now your main has 2 counters.
Your turn. You realize your main is going to be stunned, so you put up an awakening scroll on your monk, who is sealed. Then you use your gunner again and put combo 2 on your opponent’s column.
O|O|O – awakening scroll
Your opponent gets lucky and gets a multi hit against the monk with the gunner, canceling the scroll. He then uses his archer to stun your main!
[II – ii] : Disadvantages of Stun
Now that you’re stunned, your main cannot move. He won’t gain AP when the next turn comes around, and he will take Twice the Amount of damage as normal. When your enemy’s mercs are stunned, that is your cue to attack them, as they will fall faster.
[III] : Means of Stun
Now that you know what stun is, you should also know how each weapon type contributes to stun.
[III – i] : Swords
Swords in general are not so good for stun builds. They do not hit multiple targets, making them a waste of an activation. However, there will be one sword that you will have to use.
Swordsman: Basically your n00b tank. Assuming you are a stun build, You don’t want this guy. He is a waste of a spot, as the only good thing about him is that he can tank.
Lady Knight: This is a beefed up swordsman. Same thing as above, except she can survive a little bit longer. However, you still don’t want her.
Pirate: This a spike damager. She will do lots of damage with her dual swords and her bloody vengeance, but still is not that good in a stun build. Has more of a utility than the above two, but still not all that useful.
Exorcist: This guy in MANDATORY. His ability, mana seal, stops all magic from Staff-type units for 1 turn. This is key if you want to have a stun build. More on this later
[III – ii] : Spears
Spear mercs are usually decent for stun builds. Their physical attack is better than swords, as they penetrate to the 2nd row. However, it’s their skills that make them more useful.
Spearman: Lightning spear is ever so helpful when stunning. Especially at higher lvls, LS will lower AP by a very decent amount, sometimes even enough to prevent an action from a certain unit (such as a monk) More on this later
Spartan: If you can drudge up enough money for this guy (like I will hopefully do with this guide ^^) he is worth it. Not only is he a good tank (like the LK and the swordsman) but he also has a decent skill called War Cry. This skill is a decent DOT that will decrease combo rate of the enemy. It doesn’t contribute to stun, but it is still helpful.
[III – iii] : Axes
Axe mercs are okay for stun builds. The do hit the 3 mercs in the front row, but there are just not enough of them. Also, if it’s a Viking, the AP gain will be so low that you won’t even want to use him to attack. However, skills again are the redeeming factor (for Viking)
Viking/ Northern Viking: This guy has an ability called freezing axe. This will freeze your opponent’s front row, and while it doesn’t put any counters on, it will help prevent the damage done to you, which is helpful in all builds.
Beast Trainer: An okay merc, as she has a decent attack stat and can hit the front row. Her skill becomes progressively worse as you get to higher tiers, so that kinda makes you want to use her physical attack. Which is fine, as the front row will take a hit.
[III – iv] – Bows
Bow mercs are actually useful for stun. While they only hit one target, they can snipe out particular targets that you will want stunned. Also, the skills are very welcome from these guys
Archer/ Dark Archer: This merc is ever so useful. Not only is it’s single attack stat very good (up to 1k even on melee) but it also has a good skill called silence. This skill can stop all magic on a certain row. However, it can only target the first two rows. When the mercs start to die, you will be able to hop over 1 row to silence the back row, which will act as a mana seal to the back row, where the monk usually is. Helpful for prevent heals and awakenings.
Prophet: This merc, along with being a sniper, also acts as a healer. As a stun build, you have to outlast your opponent, and, sooner or later, your front line will begin to die. Having concentrate to help heal the mercs is sometimes very helpful.
[III – v] : Guns
Guns are near the top, if not the top, of stunning weapons. They hit 3 mercs in a column, which is great, as they will be harder to heal that way. Also, they penetrate all the way to the back row, making you able to stun the monk. They also hit witches, which are annoyances to melee attackers and cannons.
Gunner: The basic gun merc. They are mediocre at best, as they have much worse stats than the others. And, while being the only gun merc to have a magic attack, they still don’t help that much.
Inventor: The stun KING! Not only does he have his gun, but he can also use his skill called Summon Machine. This will create a catapult/ballista on your side of the field, almost like a 10th merc (however, it is uncontrollable) This will help your stuns A LOT. More on how to choose summons later.
Janissary: My personal favorite merc. He has one of the highest attack stats in the game. Also, he has a skill called shooting stance, which RAISES attack and accuracy even more, making his damage reach into the 2k range when the enemy is stunned. Great for any stun build, as he adds damage as well as stun.
[III – vi] : Cannons
If guns are not the top of the stun game, cannons are. They hit 5 mercs in a cross shape, which is more than any other merc. And, while their damage is not that great, they can still be a force to be reckoned with. However, their effectiveness is lessened by annoyingly placed witches.
Artillery Man: A decent stunner, and also the only cannon that isn’t a C merc ( so if you want a tri-cannon, you need this guy) He has an okay attack stat, okay defenses, nothing special. His skill, Deep Insight, is a low dmg DOT that reveals HP of enemy and lowers defense. However, because defense seems to not work in PvP, this skill is not as effective as it might have been.
Cannoneer: This merc is a decent cannon merc. He has better attack and stats than the Artillery Man and his skill, Smoke Bomb, is better. It does more dmg than Deep Insight and it lowers accuracy for a noticeable amount. If you only want one cannon, this guy is better to have.
[III – vii] : Staffs
Staff mercs can only hit one merc, so they are not useful for stunning. However, most of the time they are not used as attacking mercs; rather, they are utility mercs, so they are more needed.
Shaman: The first healer you get. Generally, she is mediocre compared to the other healer, the oracle. She has lower AP gain, she has less healing potential, worse stats, etc. However, she gets a skill called Noble Sacrifice, which, when used, sacrifices the shaman’s life to heal your other mercs. Not as useful as it once was, but still can be a game breaker
Monk: This guy is needed. Period. He can protect you from magic, protect you from stun, do minor heals, protect your main, among other things. This guy will help you survive throughout the day and allow you to win. Not having him is asking to lose. In fact, his abilities are so valued that some people even use two! More on this later.
Witch: This merc is semi-useful. She flies, so she can’t be hit by Melee normal attack. Also, she can use useful spells, such as mana recharge and meteor strike. While she does not contribute to stun, she may be useful to have, if you want the extra damage.
Princess: Not the best merc, but she is useful in her own right. She heals/protects range units, and inhibits the enemy range units. Not really recommended, but can be used in certain situations.
Oracle: Useful to have for any team. She acts as a healer upgrade from the shaman. Better stats, better heal, better skills, etc. However, she lacks Noble Sacrifice, but that’s not so much important.
Elementalist: Another crapload of money, and you’ll land yourself with an elementalist. She is like an anti-melee unit. Her first skill, freezing atmosphere, will basically silence all melee units on your enemy’s field. This is useful for stopping skills such as freezing axe and mana seal. This can help with stun, as stopping skills can help you.
[IV] Stunning strategies
This section will cover all the means for stunning. When trying to pull off stuns, it is key to be precise with each and every move. The thing that makes spike builds so much more used is that, if you mess up, you can still salvage the match. With stun builds, it is much harder to do so. However, if you keep your opponent in control, it is much more effective than any other build. Here are some ways to do so:
[IV – i] : Stun targets
When you are stunning, it is important to know your goals. Your main enemy is the monk. He can use awakening to get rid of the work you worked so long to achieve. Therefore, he goes first. Make sure he is the first to stun, as he will be a nuisance if you don’t.
The next target would be the main. The main can use an item called a stimulant. This uses the main’s turn, but it can get rid of the stun on any unit. This would be bad if he used it on the monk to awaken the rest of the team. So make sure he can’t use it.
Next would be any healing merc. Prophets, princesses, and exorcists will heal the mercs constantly, sometimes making the damage they take menial. And, while your main objective is stun, you have to deal damage at the same time.
After that, just go and stun whoever you want. Maybe that’s the best you can do, in which case, you’ve just disabled 1/3 of the opponents team, which is very good. If you’re feeling lucky, however, go for the perma stun.
[IV – ii] : Perma stun
“Perma stun” is when your opponent is kept under severe stun for the entire match. This can be done in a number of ways.
[IV – ii – i] Mana seal
The main way you are going to stun is by using mana seal. This makes it so you need 1 less counter to screw your opponent over. If you have the opponent at combo 2, you can use mana seal to prevent an awakening, forcing stun. This forces the enemy to awaken at combo 1, which gets tedious at some times. Eventually, your enemy will slip up and let you have that combo 2. When that happens, lay on the mana seal. Your opponent will be stunned next turn.
[IV – ii – ii] Lightning Spear
Another, less often used, method of stun is mass AP drainage. This is done by using Lightning Spear. By doing this, you deprave the monk from having enough AP to have an activation, making it so that he can’t awaken. This can be used as a makeshift mana seal, or it can be used in combination with it to force a stun starting from combo 1.
[IV – ii – iii] Forcing Holy Guard
Among other things, the monk also has a skill called Holy Guard. This cancels out magic, making it so that you can’t target the enemy with magic. This is useful for countering things like DOTS and AOES. However, when you do this, you cannot awaken the Holy Guarded units. Also, it takes up immense amounts of AP, and it is not often used by people who are trying to keep the stun counters off.
What you do here is do something that forces your opponent to use Holy Guard. That means that he most likely did not awaken, allowing you to get combo 2 and your stun, eventually. A Holy Guard can be forced by using magic against your opponent. Usually, DOTS like Ravaging Melody (for musician mains) are good to force holy guard, as they do so much damage. Also, freezing the front row may get your opponent to use Holy Guard, if they want to use their frontline units. Other “annoying” magics include: Freezing atmosphere, War Cry, Toxic Sword, Smoke Bomb, Freezing Axe, Hell’s flame (combo with shaman and swordsman,) Vortex, and others.
[IV – ii – iv] : Your Inventor and You
Asuming you have an inventor, he will be using his skill, summon machine. However, he can only summon one type of machine, and you have to give it to him in the form of an off-slot weapon (craftable as a machine) Here are the types:
Search Machine (lvl 1) Fail. Get auto search license instead
Small Siege Engine (lvl 20) Better. He is able to hit like a cannon, has decent ap regain, can loot, and is useful…for noobs
Siege Engine (lvl 50) Thats what I’m talking about. This is a buffed Siege engine. This is your best bet for stuns, as it is the highest lvl (fewer misses)
Ballista (lvl 80) This is my personal favorite. While it acts as a spear (hitting one merc in the 1st row, then penetrating) and not a cannon(more stuns) It’s damage is GREAT. Its like a mini spartan. Because I have enough stun pressure, I like to use this to kill people (like witches, who DIE from this thing) However, it is annoyingly inaccurate.
The downside to all the summons, however, is that they are low lvls (85 at the highest) Because of this, they have bad accuracy vs high lvl 100+. Because of this, people use the Siege Engine for it’s high combo rate and number of mercs hit.
[V] Your Side of the Playing Field
While you are worrying about the opponent’s field, you also have to watch your side of the field. DOTS such as War cry and Smoke Bomb can be detrimental to your stuns, and you need to make sure you don’t lose your mercs. Defensive playing is much more suited for a stunner than offensive
[V – i] Staying Alive
Staying alive is very important in PvP (no duh -.-) There are a number of things you have to focus on. I’ll go through them one at a time
First, you have to worry about your front line. You middle and back will consist of your most important units, like the stunners and healers, so you need your frontline up. This means that they must constantly be healed and protected. If you frontline drops, then you can expect the rest of your formation to fall soon after (unless your enemy is in the same position)
Next, you have to watch the stun counters. Counter-stun is a very viable counter to…stun builds. Make sure that your monk is able to keep all the counters off, especially him and your stunners.
You also have to watch the timer. Stun builds are more of a stalling build. You need to make sure you are winning by the time the timer runs out. This is true of all builds, but especially you, because you don’t go for a quick win.
[V – ii] Unit strategies to use to Stay Alive
There are certain units you can use to help increase your survivability, which will, in turn, increase your chances of having more mercs up by the end of the round.
[V – ii – i] : Use good tanks
While I may have said not to use LKs and Swordsmen in your builds, they will actually help your front line survive. I personally like to have a front line that will actually help your team with utilities such as Freezing axe and Lightning spear, but having a frontline of 3 swords would help your survivability. It is suggested that you find a middle points between these two extremes
[V – ii – ii] : Move units to Heal
Both healers, Shaman and Oracle, heal in a line. So when you have:
You should move the one in the front row to the middle row, to get the most out of you heal. By doing this, you can keep all your mercs at high health, without wasting valuable AP.
[V – ii – iii] : Haxxor Skillz! (otherwise known as dual monk)
This strategy is one of the most effective strategies at the moment. You will receive mass amounts of hate, but you will see a difference in your win/lose record, if you play properly. Having two monks makes it so that you can use multiple awakens and holyguards in 1 turn, allowing you to “turtle,” or survive, longer. This is especially helpful in a stun build, as what they aim to do is outlast their opponents. If you want to use this, your going to have to figure it out on your own, as I will probably get attacked for saying it is a viable strategy :-x
[VI] Viable Builds for Each Main
In this section, I will come up with a build for each main, allowing everyone to be able to adapt a stun build. The main you have will not affect what you must do, as you still have 8 other mercs to distribute. Remember this, and lets continue.
(i can’t use more than 30 pictures in my guide, so i cant use the merc pics :-(
[VI – i] : Sword Main
The sword main is one of the most useful mains, but also one of the least useful. The reason is that he is a tanking main, which can relieve you of one of your tanks. However, he does not contribute to the stun at all. Here is an example
This build uses the main to allow the exorcist to live in the back row, allowing him to use his mana seal more often. This build has a cannon and 2 guns + inventor summon, allowing for lots of stun pressure. This is a common format for melee mains
[VI – ii] : Spear Main
Spear mains also relieve one of your tanks. Also, they allow you to have even more AP drain, helping stun
This build runs two spears, allowing it to use the AP drain strategy. Also, it has an archer, which will allow it to use silence, putting even more pressure to HG and not awaken.
[VI – iii] : Axe Main
Axe mains are not what they used to be. They are much inferior to Northern Vikings, as Ice Ridge is much much better than Freezing Axe. However, they still can be a decent utility
This is the first build that I have given that uses a double monk. The 2 monks can use their multiple awakenings and Holy Guards to help the weak frontline survive. Also, this will let this person have 4 ranged units to help even more with the stun
[VI – iv] : Bow Main
Bows are useful because they have silence. This makes it so that you can have other mercs for stun. Also, the Bow Main has decent defense at higher lvls, allowing it to be used as a tank (though be ready to switch)
This build uses 2 cannons, making it able to cover much of the playing field with just 2 moves(7 with 2 cannons or 1 cannon and 1 gun) Also, the exo is protected, so you get more seals.
[VI – v] : Gun Main
The Gun Main has many good qualities. First, it allows you to have a 3rd gunner, which is very very fun to use (me being one :P) Also, you get some nice skills, along with decent attack. Also, you have the ability to tank, but not as well as an bow main
(this is my formation :P)
This build has 2 options for play. The first is stun, obviously, but it also can do something else. It can focus fire on 1 column, usually killing that entire column in a matter of turns. Guns have a lot of power, so they are very good at this. If you ever get frustrated because you opponent won’t let you get a combo 2, just shoot the heck out of them ;-)
[VI – vi] : Cannon Main
The Cannon main has a few redeeming qualities as well. First, like the gun main, it allows you to have multiple cannons in your build. This will allow you to have complete control over the field, as 3 cannons will almost always hit everyone (except witches)
Because of the weak frontline again, I chose to use 2 monks. This will allow for it to live longer. This build will be able to hit EVERYTHING each turn, allowing for at least some stuns. Very useful. Also, if you opponent is using something to counter this, you have 4 DOTS (Devastation Shell, Deep Insight, Smoke bomb, and War Cry) to use, which will completely devastate your opponent if not HGd off. And when they HG, you know what to do ^^
[VI – vii] : Staff Main
Staff Mains are useful for a few reasons. One is for fire power. When you are stunning, sometimes you forget that you still need to do damage. With the Staff Main’s AOE skills, you can make sure you still are inflicting damage.
This build has only 2 melee, which could be a tough build to survive with. Luckily, your main is a very good tank, and he will be able to survive behind the witch with Monk’s SOP and the Main’s mana shield. Also, every few turns, you can use Meteor and Flame Blow to inflict major damage to the opponent, while keeping up the stuns.
[VI – viii] : Musician Main:
The musician main is a very good main for a stun build. His skill, Ravaging Melody, inflicts massive damage, and is very useful when used in combination with stun, as it may force a Holy Guard (and we all know what to do when that happens :P)
With this build, you have a frontline that will survive, you have the stun capability to enforce stun, and you have your main to inflict damage. This build is very effective. Xargrr uses a slightly similar build (swap the jani for an archer)
[VII] : Keeping Stuns Off You Back
So now, you know how to stun. Stun-haters reading this will now be thinking “Aw, wtf. Now I’ll never beat stun :-(” Well, have no fear! I’m here to help :P
[VII – i] : Smart Awakening
Especially for those with one monk, it is very important to awaken smartly. Here are some tips to do so.
1. Awaken the monk at combo 1 – if you don’t, you risk combo 2 + mana seal. Remember that your monk is your most importnat character, and if he gets stunned, the rest of your formation is prone to stun as well.
2. Don’t waste AP – When your monk has an activation, make sure he’s not doing anything stupid. If you attack with your monk, he loses 100 AP. That is AP that could have been spent awakening or Holy Guarding. Make sure it does not go to waste.
3. Know your priorities – You have to know who you want to keep unstunned before you awaken. Monk is the first priority. Other priorities include you stunners, you main, and your healer.
4. Use scrolls – especially when you get to higher divisions, scrolls can make a huge difference. Throwing up an awakening scroll is like casting awakening on all your mercs, which can come in handy if your monk is stunned/sealed.
[VII – ii] : Overall stun weaknesses
Hey, though we like to think it, we’re not invincible ;-)
1. Spike damage – stun build work in that they gain the advantage in the 2nd half of the match, where the opponent has lost so many activations they can no longer function properly. However, if your a decent spike build, you can win early by taking out key targets, such as the monk or the stunners. When this happens, the stunner’s build will fall apart (usually)
2. Counter-stun – suprisingly, stun works very well against stun. Because the person will have to spend time awaknening, he can’t use as many activations for stun. This works very well if you know what you are doing (hence, you read this guide ^^)
3. Princess!!!!! – The princess is a very good counter to stun builds, especially those that run multiple of guns, archers, or cannons. The signets she casts will completely nullify cannon damage (otherwise known as a “miss”) and lower gun damage to triple digits. While this won’t prevent stun against tri-gun builds, it will take away their damage significantly, leaving you with more hp when the stun goes away. Look out though, I’ll try and stun your princess first >:-)
4. A well placed scroll – A stun build works in a way so that everything has to flow smoothly and according to plan. If there is a slight miscalculation, everything could fall apart. So, if you have a witch, a well placed scroll could end all your worries ^^ (if there aren’t guns at the ready to kill her >:-)) So, vs many cannons, this works well.
[VIII] Conclusion (ow, my hand hurts :-x)
This guide is meant for anyone who wants to try their luck at stun. Overall, stun is a finesse type build. It is not the easiest, most straight forward build, but it is very rewarding once you get good at it. If you keep even some of the things mentioned in this guide in your head while you fight, you’ll do better.
I would like to thank a few people (oh boy :P)
Zpirit – for making an awesome forum, and a contest for me to waste my time writing for :P (now to go do my homework…)
Karazard (aka nate) – for helping me through the first 99 lvls
Shuhei – for being an awesome friend and PvP inspirator
KingofDarkness – for being an awesome guild, helping me to get this far