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This guide discuss trapping in Fort Aspenwood (or FA) and tips on how to do it well. Traps are very useful when used correctly, but when inexperienced players attempt to use them, they become almost useless. Trapping in Fort Aspenwood is a little different from trapping in other types of PvP. For trapping in other types of PvP, or in PvE, have a look at this page: General trapping guide. Note that this trapping guide is for the Kurzick side only.
Before you can get started in FA, you must have the right set of skills. Remember that In FA, the biggest concern is slowing down your enemies, not always going for the kill. Snare traps include:
- Barbed Trap. A basic snare trap, applies cripple, bleeding, and a small amount of damage.
- Spike Trap. An elite version of Barbed Trap, it applies cripple, and a knockdown. Note that bleeding is not applied.
- Tripwire. Best used in conjunction with Barbed trap, as it knocks down affected foes if they are crippled. Also applies a small amount of damage.
- Snare. One of the less useful traps as it only applies Cripple, Barbed Trap would be a better option.
Snare traps are good for slowing down the enemy, but they do not do much damage by themselves. That's why you couple them with damage traps such as:
- Flame Trap. A good damage trap, does a little damage, applies burning, and the trap lasts for 3 seconds (so if it applied burning for 1 second, it would reapply it to affected enemies 3 times, once each second, so burning would actually last for 3 seconds).
- Piercing Trap. An average damage trap, applies around 50 damage at high Wilderness Survival. Note that it's a one-shot trap, so you don't need to place it with a snare (more on that later).
- Viper's Nest. Another one-shot trap, applies poison and a small amount of damage. Note that this is linked to Beast Mastery, so it will not be your most effective damage trap.
- Dust Trap. Your longest-lasting trap, applies blind and damage, once per second for five seconds after the trap is triggered.
- Smoke Trap. Another elite trap, this one applies dazed AND blind, making it very versatile, as it renders almost any profession that runs into it totally useless.
When picking your traps, remember that snares are a must, it would be good to have Barbed and Tripwire, and Spike if you're not using your elite slot for something else. Now that you have picked your traps, you need utility skills. Some suggested Utility skills:
- Trapper's Speed is a MUST for any kind of trapper, as it cuts activation time AND recharge time of traps.
- Serpent's Quickness can replace Trapper's Speed, but it only cuts recharge time, and ends if your health drops below 50%. You also cannot keep it up constantly, so if you can use Trapper's Speed, use that.
- Archer's Signet extends conditions applied by traps. Note that not only must you be wielding a bow, but Archer's Signet must be active when the traps trigger, not when just laying down traps.
- Fragility can make a good damage hex, as the enemy will be having conditions constantly applied to them. Also provides a nice spike of damage when conditions expire. Note that its single target only, so you'll either be casting it a lot or only having it up on one person.
- Troll Unguent. Yes, it's old, but if your going to be solo (not totally depending on a monk to heal you, which you won't always have, since teams are picked randomly)you need at least one heal skill.
- Whirling Defense. An extremely useful "escape skill", also can be used to trap when under fire. However, if you are under attack by more than 2 enemies, (using basic attacks) then an attack will generally get through your defense, interrupting your trap. Remember that using this takes off your Serpent's Quickness/ Trapper's Speed and other stances.
- Natural Stride is another "escape skill", more versatile then Whirling, less recharge, and speed buff with block chance. However, the block is less then Whirling, it ends if you are hexed/enchanted, and it's duration is much shorter.
- Healing Spring. A little exotic, but it is a healing skill, and it heals allies too. If you really hate Troll Unguent, this can replace it fine. It provides a health gain PER SECOND, as opposed to health regen, so you could bring both and have some nice tanking ability. However, keep in mind that it counts as a trap, so it is easily interrupted.
- Trapper's Focus. Extremely useful if you trap offensively, as you traps no longer become easily interruptible. If you trap on Luxon side, this skill is a must. Keep in mind that if you use this, you can't bring an elite trap. Note that it counts as a preparation, so you can use it with stances.
- Pestilence makes for a somewhat helpful spirit, as if you spread out cripple traps, and concentrate damage traps in one place, when one unfortunate player sets off your damage traps, they will get passed on to the players crippled by your snares, effectively multiplying your firepower. However, players rarely conveniently walk into your traps like that, and other use is fairly limited.
- Toxicity. Don't bother bringing this if you don't have Viper's Nest, but if you use Viper's, it makes it much more useful, as it turns regular -4 degen poison into -6. And if you combine it with Barbed trap, you get a total of -9 degen, which almost makes the degen cap of 10. However, this spirit tends to do more harm than help, as most Luxon ranger's preparation is Apply Poison, and since Toxicity isn't a Ritualist spirit, it affects everyone, helping enemies as well as your allies.
- Brambles can turn Spike Trap back into Barbed Trap with a knockdown, as it adds Bleeding for k/d players, copying the effects of 3 skills (barbed trap, spike trap, and tripwire) into 2 skills, with a small damage increase.
- Quickening Zephyr used to be useful when combined with Energizing Wind. However, since the EW duration was nerfed to 30 seconds, the extra energy cost makes traps much too costly. Even with Expertise, you will run out of energy far too quickly. Trapper's Speed works just as well, better, since it can be maintained.
- Epidemic, a mesmer unlinked skill. Similar to Pestilence, but difficult to use effectively. And, if targets don't bunch up, its totally useless. Like Pestilence, potentially useful, but limited.
- Mantra of Resolve, a skill to help keep you traps from being interrupted. Keep in mind this is very Energy heavy, and it is another stance, so it will cancel any other stance you are using, like Trapper's Speed.
- Winnowing can add some more damage to all your traps, since they all deal Piercing damage, which counts as physical. It's not a very big increase, but it really adds up.
- Life A lure, pretty much. Any Ritualist binding ritual will work great here(although Earthbind might be good as well, to help Spike trap/tripwire), place the spirit, then put traps on top of it. Melee characters will walk up to attack the spirit and get blasted with your traps. Great skill for increasing effectiveness of your traps.
There aren't really any guidelines for choosing utility skills, just pick the ones that appeal to you! But keep in mind that at least one heal skill is a must in FA.
Armor and weapons for a trapper are very different from armor and weapons for combat players. There is no one specific, rigid equipment template that you must have to PvP in FA, but here are some general guidelines.
- Runes/ headgear for Wilderness Survival are an absolute must, as are runes for Expertise. Put all your attribute points into Wilderness Survival, and Expertise, and whatever other field you need, depending on your utility skills. Personally, it is recommended using a major in Wilderness, and a minor in Expertise, but it is totally up to you.
- For other runes/insignias, just remember that you aren't going to be in the heat of battle the entire game, so ease off on the Survivor insignias and focus more on Radiant/ Attunement runes.
- Most trappers use a staff with +energy mods, as this will give you a big Energy boost. It is recommended having a staff on your second weapon slot, and a bow with a Crippling mod on it as your main weapon. Switch to your staff when your energy is low. You could use a different condition mod on your bow if you prefer something else.
Now equipment and skills are set, but there is still one more step; the actual trapping. This is actually easier than it sounds. Again, there is no rigid, "you must do it this way" trapping style, but as general rule, snares and damage traps work much better together. Flame trap and Dust Trap each last for 3 and 5 seconds, respectively. To maximize their effect, place a snare (preferably Spike Trap, or Barbed Trap+Tripwire, so that you get a guaranteed 2 seconds in the damage trap) right below the damage trap. Make sure you plant the snare traps first, and if you are using Barbed trap+ Tripwire, always put down Barbed first. This will ensure that you get the maximum effect out of each trap, as when they get up from they're Knocked down, they'll still be crippled. When placing traps, try to put them around the gate first, and once that is trapped, start trapping the open space behind it. Don't try to make a line of traps, just spread them all out. Generally, you want the snare trap(s), then 1 or 2 damage traps. Try not to put down any more than that, as you won't be able to place more trap sets, since all your traps will be recharging. If you are trapping inside the Purple/Orange gate, try to place the traps in confined routes, such as the stairs leading to Green, or the path leading to the center teleporter. Another good place to trap is on the Orange side, where the turtle crosses the bridge. Since height has hardly any effect on Guild Wars play (traps below the bridge will affect people on top of the bridge) you can place the traps under the bridge to cripple the Luxon attack wave (if your lucky you'll kill a few of the Luxon Warriors, making it easier to finish off the Turtle later). When trapping offensively (running up to players and placing traps around them), is it a good idea to put down snares first (as usual) so they can't try and kite your teammates, or run away from your traps. If you bought Smoke Trap, this is where it shines, so use it liberally. When trapping offensively, keep an eye out for the Restore Condition animation on enemies, Restore Condition is any trappers worst enemy. However, the prot monk casting RC cannot use it on himself, so trapping him/her would be much more effective then trying to apply conditions faster then the monk can Restore them.
If Green is breached or almost breached, focus on placing snares, as half the battle is keeping the enemies away from Gunther and the Gatekeepers. Especially if Green is breached, trap the ground in a straight line from the Green Gate to the Gatekeepers, as melee classes generally rush straight for them. Around the Gatekeepers, place Dust Traps, as this will completely incapacitate any melee class that tries to attack them. For the caster classes/ ranged classes, place snares all around the Gate, and outside it as well.