Mirror WAR – Slayer v. Choppa
Today we visit an angry dwarf and a big green thing that mows down everything in its path. Yes, we visit Grumpy and a John Deere Combine! Err no… we visit the Slayer and Choppa, two melee dps classes introduced in the summer of 2009. Both are clad in medium armor, though their mechanic negates much of their armor if they do not manage their rage. Both likewise have the option of running dual-wield or with a great-weapon. Their mastery trees are divided to coincide this weapon match up, with the left tree with no emphasis, the middle tree having an emphasis on the great weapon, and the right tree emphasizing dual wield. For their mechanic, while the characters are in combat their rage-meter goes up increasing damage potential but lowering their armor and resistances; certain abilities called ‘Exhaustive Blows’ use up this rage.
- The Choppa and Slayer share one core ability – both have an ability which requires a block or parry and reduces their target’s chance to block or parry by 50% for 10 seconds.
- There is one core ability that is unique to each class. The Slayer’s Gundrun’s Warcry lowers the groups AP cost by 25% for 20 seconds. The Choppas Git Stuck In which increases the group’s auto-attack by 35% for 20 seconds.
- The Slayer’s morale 1 is Untouchable which increases his chance to defend attacks by 100% for 5 seconds. For Morale 2 they have Deadly Determination which causes their next 8 attacks deal 340 additional damage. For Morale 3 they have Grievous Harm which deals 2040 damage to their target and debuff their outgoing damage to 75% for 10 seconds.
- The Choppa’s Morale 1 is Dat Tickles which is a 20 second absorb shield. For Morale 2 they have Tantrum which like Deadly Determination causes their next 8 attacks to deal 340 additional damage. For Morale 3 they have Supa Chop which deals 2040 damage and decreases the Choppa’s AP cost by 50% for 10 seconds.
- Embrace the Pain – On being crit your strength is increased by 138 for 10 seconds
- Got No Time For You – You generate 25% less hate.
- Hastened Punishment – The Cool-downs on your Exhaustive Blows are 25% lower
- Honer Restored – Your Exhaustive Blows have a 25% chance to heal you for 225 hit points
- Push For More – Your Auto-Attack is 25% higher in the Furious State and 50% higher in the Berserk state
- Slaughter – Your abilities cost 5 less AP in the Furious state, 10 less AP in the Berserk state
- The Bigger They Are… – Spine Crusher and Deathblow cost 25% AP less
- Wild Gambit – Your Strength and Weapon Skill are increased by 138, but your toughness is reduced by 138
- Bloodlust – Your Exhaustive Blows have a 25% chance to heal you for 225 hit points
- Chop Til You Drop – Get Stick In’s (Group AA haste) CD is 10 seconds lower
- Don’t Hate Da Choppa – You generate 25% less hate.
- Don’t Wanna Live Foreva – Your Strength and Weapon Skill are increased by 138, but your toughness is reduced by 138
- Easy Killin’ – Your abilities cost 5 less AP in the Furious state, 10 less AP in the Berserk state
- Finish ‘Em Faster – The Cool-downs on your Exhaustive Blows are 25% lower
- I’m Still Here – Increases the duration of Come An’ Git It and Try An’ Hurt Me by 5 seconds
- Was Dat Yer Finger – On crit, you reduce your target’s weapon skill by 138 for 10 seconds.
- The left tree for both classes has no fighting-style specification – it can work for both dual-wield and great-weapons. In general the Slayer’s tool-tip values are higher, but mostly by single digits or maybe just into the double digits, so really not something worth fretting over. Anytime I refer to abilities the classes share in common the titles will be Slayer/Choppa respectively. Every core ability is a mirror image for these classes.
- Both classes have a 40% snare over 5 seconds (Slow Down/Don’t Go Nowhere); both classes have a burst+3s DoT (Relentless Assault/Throat Slasha); both classes have a positional attack that can be spammed (Spine Crusher/Go For Da Soft Spot); both classes have a buff which increases their groups weapon skill for 10 seconds for each target the player hits, but also lower’s the characters toughness by the same amount (Fierceness/Bring Da Pain); and both classes have an exhaustive blow which lowers their target’s chance to critically hit by 100% for 10 seconds (Enervating Blow/Try An’ Hit Me).
- For Mastery abilities the paths diverge a little. The only common ability is the MR9 ability which is an incoming heal debuff (Deep Wound/Can’t Stop Da Chop). At MR13 both classes get a 5 second channeled attack which heals the player for the damage dealt – the only difference is the Slayer’s hits softer but one additional time.
- At MR5 the Slayer gets an exhaustive attack, Rampage, which is a buff that prevents the Slayer from being blocked or parried for 10 seconds, which can be increased in duration to 20 seconds if he is in the furious state. The Choppa however get’s an exhaustive attack attack, Keep On Choppin’, which gives the Choppa 100 Action Points.
- For tactics both classes share the MR3 and MR11 tactics. At MR3 both have a tactic which causes Exhaustive Blows to not remove rage (Power Through/Wot Rules?); and at MR11 both have a tactic which lowers the cool-downs of all abilities while the character is in the berserk state (Short Temper/Red Goes Faster).
- The two different tactics are at MR7. The Slayer has Fierce Might which increases his chance to critically hit by 10% for every 10% health lost. The Choppa has Yer Gettin’ Soft which whenever the Choppa is defended, the abilities from Da’ Savage have their crit chance increased 100% for 3 seconds.
- For Morale 4 both classes have an identical morale which causes their groups attacks for the next 10 seconds to deal an additional 340 damage.
- These two mastery trees focus on great-weapons and exhaustive blows. Again, the Slayer’s tool-tip damage is higher, but the differences are minimal. All core abilities are identical
- Of the core abilities we have: an exhaustive blow which does burst damage but increases the chance the character will be critically hit by 5% (Precarious Assault/Reckless Blow); a more expensive exhaustive blow (by 10AP) which requires a great weapon and deals more damage with a 30s cool-down, but no backlash (Deathblow/Weaklin’ Killa); a buff that deals additional damage on melee attacks, but causes the character to take half the damage back (Reckless Gamble/Hurtin’ Time); an undefendable knock-down (Incapacitate/Sit Down!); and a toughness debuff and DoT that stacks three times (Pulverizing Strike/Slasha).
- For mastery abilities no abilities are shared, though both MR5 abilities are similar in essence, both DoTs but the Slayer’s is shorter in comparison to the Choppas (Cleft in Twain lasts 5 seconds, Bleed Em Out lasts 10 seconds), also the Choppa’s ability costs 20AP more.
- The Slayer gets Devastate at MR9 which is an exhaustive blow that requires a great weapon and debuffs the target’s wounds by 160 for 10 seconds (akin the the Marauder’s Thunderous Blow which is MR5 and is a dual-wield attack); and at MR13 they get Spell Breaker which is also an exhaustive blow requiring a great weapon that removes a damage absorb shield.
- The Choppa on the other hand gets Tired Already at MR9 which is an exhaustive blow requiring a great weapon that increases their target’s cool-downs by 5 seconds for 10 seconds (akin to the BO’s Not In Da Face and the SH’s Bad Gas); and at MR13 No More Helpin’! which is an exhaustive blow requiring a great weapon that reduces their target’s outgoing heals by 50% for 10 seconds.
- For tactics all are the exact same thing. At MR3 a tactic which makes it so that if an exhaustive blow is defended the character’s abilities cost 0 AP for the next 6 seconds (Determination/Long Lasta). At MR7 a tactic which gives exhaustive blows a 50% chance to recover 25% rage (Violent Impacts/Wear Em Down). At MR11 a tactic which increases the chance that abilities in the respective tree will critically hit by 15%, but the character has a 10% higher chance to be critically hit.
- Both morale 4s are identical with a 30 foot 1360 AoE burst and a 50% incoming heal debuff for 10 seconds.
- This tree is devoted to dual wield and AoE attacks. The slayer’s abilities on average deal more tool-tip damage.
- All core abilities are shared: an attack which hits three enemies within 25 feet (Flurry/Lotsa Choppin’); a 30 foot AoE attack which is an exhaustive blow (Wild Swing/Wild Choppin’); a toughness buff per every enemy within 20 feet (Even the Odds/Come and Git It!); a 40 foot cone DoT (Onslaught/Yer All Bleedin’!) – the Choppa’s costs 5 AP more; and a 10 second buff that causes the character to deal damage back whenever hit by melee attacks (Retribution/Bring It On) .
- For mastery abilities we have one shared ability at MR5 which is an AoE-snare exhaustive blow that requires dual wield (No Escape/Wot’s Da Rush?)
- The Slayer at MR9 gets Shatter Limbs which is a 30 foot AoE attack which increases the cool-downs of all enemies hit by 5 seconds for 10 seconds. At MR13 the Slayer gets Inevitable Doom which is an exhaustive blow requiring dual wield that deals damage every 2 seconds to all enemies within 30 feet of your target for up to 8 seconds.
- The Choppa at MR9 gets Chop Fawsta which decreases the groups cool-downs by 5 seconds for 20 seconds (like the SM’s Whispering Winds but with double the duration); and at MR13 Git to Da Choppa which is a 6 second channeled attack that deals damage every 2 seconds to all enemies within 30 feet and randomly pulls one every hit.
- All three mastery tactics are identical: a tactic which regenerates hit points in the furious and berserk states (Takin’ Chances/Longer and Stronger); a tactic which increases the amount of targets hit by the 25 foot AoE from three to nine targets and increases the range to 30 feet, but decreases the damage dealt by 20% (Accuracy/Extra Choppin’); and at MR11 a tactic which gives the character at 25% chance upon death to be resurrected with 25% of their health (Runic Blessings/Keep It Comin’).
- Both morale 4s are identical – a 30 foot burst of 2040 damage and a 3 second knock down.
Core ability for core ability the Slayer and Choppa are identical with minor differences in AP cost which even themselves out in the end. The Slayer has slightly higher tool-tip values for most abilities but in the end the differences are so minute that they are not worth arguing about… unless the battle is literally decided by 10 hit points. Even going to mastery abilities the classes have a lot in common. In the end only five abilities are different with the slayer getting a block/parry prevention, a wounds debuff, an absorb shatter, an AoE CD increase, and an AoE DoT; the choppa in lieu of this gets an AP regen, a CD increase, an outgoing heal debuff, a group CD decrease, and a channeled AoE attack that can pull enemies. The differences exist and each will no doubt judge the other side’s as stronger. As to my opinion, I think the Choppa has too much group utility as a MDPS; however, that being said Chop Fasta is the appropriate counter-measure to Shattered Limbs.
Taking the comparison to tactics the two classes have only one mastery tactic which is different – the left tree’s MR 7 tactic which gives the slayer a higher crit as his health goes down, and the Choppa’s crit is increased 100% if defended. I think in the end one would rather have a 100% increase on being defended once, rather than a 10% increase per health lost. Even in core tactics only three are different, one with the same implications as the aforementioned two mastery tactics – the slayer’s strength goes up when crit, the choppa reduces the enemy’s weapon skill when critically hitting. The implication one can gather from this is that the slayer is meant to be more lethal as he dies, while the Choppa is meant to just be lethal. Judge that as you will, but I think the Choppa’s route is more desirable.
In the last front of morale abilities the Slayer and Choppa have the exact same morale 2 and 4s. The difference comes with the M1 and M3; in the M1 the Slayer is unhittable for 5 seconds while the Choppa gets a rather large absorb bubble for 20 seconds; and for M3 both deal 2040 damage so that element is null, but the Slayer decreases outgoing damage down to 75% while the Choppa’s abilities cost 50% less AP for 10 seconds. Depending on the class being fought, the Choppa’s morale 1 can be more potent by far than the Slayer’s – if it is a burst class then the effect is the same, but if it is a DoT class then the Choppa wins. Again with the M3 we see the theme of the Slayer taking damage and the Choppa dealing it as was seen with the tactics – the Slayer takes less damage while the Choppa can potentially deal more.
Are these classes mirrors? In almost every aspect they are. They are certainly among the most mirrored classes in the game. The difference comes down to a fine line of 4 pairs of tactics, 2 pairs of morales, and 5 pairs of abilities. I don’t think many other classes have it down so close.