Hall Of Heroes: Aessa

Hall of Heroes is a new series of features, centred on Mythic’s free-to-play MOBA, Wrath of Heroes. Produced for WoH, these features act as a casual piece-by-piece walkthrough for the game, each instalment detailing an individual playable character. These mini-guides will include basic information covering ability descriptions, team tactics, and ability/mastery combinations. Refer to our introductory post for more information on the game.

Kicking off our Hall of Heroes feature series is one of the open beta’s first and most cherished characters, Aessa Goldmane. Built from the ground up as a standalone experience, Wrath of Heroes differs from your traditional MMO player-versus-player experience, and as a result, its ever-growing roster is already teeming with unconventional “hybrid” characters.

Aessa is one of many to fall into this category, capable of supporting surrounding allies whilst dishing out a moderate amount of damage.

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Abilities

[1] Slash

  • Cooldown:
  • Range: 5ft
  • Base Damage: 72
  • Effect:
  • Duration: Instant

Aessa’s first ability immediately indicates her hybrid tendencies. Out of the entire available roster, she has the strongest base attack with a damage output of 72 which around twice the average. In fairness, Slash doesn’t apply any debuffs, stacks, or damage over time effects like many other base attacks though, as a hero who thrives in the midst of combat, a higher damage output is in some ways preferable.

[2] Chop

  • Cooldown: 5s
  • Range: 5ft
  • Base Damage: 111
  • Effect:
  • Duration: Instant

Again, this is another vanilla attack, but with the right masteries in play, it will no doubt become a favourite. On its own, Chop dishes out a respectable 111 damage; however, after equipping the Sharpened Axe mastery, the output is doubled via an added 110 damage over time.

[3] Zealous Protector

  • Cooldown: 10s
  • Range: 5ft
  • Base Damage: 111
  • Effect: Snare/Root + 39 Damage
  • Duration: 3s

Zealous Protector can be just as powerful as Chop though needs to be rationed more wisely, especially during objective-based scenarios. When striking an attacking enemy, Aessa’s third ability will snare (slow) movement for a brief period. However, if in a situation where you need to seize control of the melee at hand, targeting a non-attacker is the more effective option, rooting them instead of just snaring, whilst also dealing an extra 39 damage.

[4] Leap

  • Cooldown: 20s
  • Range: 65ft
  • Base Damage: 150
  • Effect:
  • Duration: Instant

The worn and rugged veterans of WoH will no doubt have a love/have relationship with Aessa’s fourth offensive ability. In previous builds of the game, Leap didn’t just propel the White Lion towards her enemies, it also pinned them with a debilitating root effect. The poison may have since been extracted from the bite, though at 65ft, Leap can still help to outrun pursuers or deliver the finishing blow to fleeing combatants.

[5] Elite Bodyguard

  • Cooldown: 30s
  • Range: Self
  • Base Damage:
  • Effect: Aessa takes 75% of damaged incurred by nearby allies. Lost health is restored after duration
  • Duration: 10s

Number five is the ability that ultimately defines Aessa as a character. Best used when trying to secure an objective or in the midst of combat, Elite Bodyguard reduces incoming damage to nearby allies by a staggering 75%. However, that excess is passed onto Aessa, and depending on how much damage is being calculated, Elite Bodyguard could leave her in a vulnerable position. By equipping her Seasoned Bodyguard mastery, this threat can largely be remedied, reducing the transferred damage by 50%.

[Altetnative] Fetch

  • Cooldown: 15s
  • Range: 30ft
  • Base Damage:
  • Effect: Pulls and snares target
  • Duration: 4s

Being an optional ability, Fetch is one that many will ignore, especially those who have grown towards using Leap. In essence it’s a lighter counterpart to Volrik’s Terrible Embrace; the cooldown may be half the wait, but with a heavily reduced range and no damage output, it’s not the best crowd control power in the game by a long shot.

[Passive] Bolstered

Aessa receives an additional 50 base health for every High Elf team member.

[Passive] Speed of Asuryan

When Aessa dodges an attack, she deals to unavoidable damage to target at melee range.

Masteries

  • Eternal Protector: Increases duration of Zealous Protector by 5 seconds.
  • Seasoned Bodyguard: Incoming damage from Elite Bodyguard reduced by 50%.
  • Fetch: (See above)Replaces Leap.
  • Sharpened Axe: Chop deals an extra 110 damage over five seconds.
  • Adaptability: If critically hit, hero can’t be crit again for 10 seconds.
  • Unnatural Agility: 10 kill streaks: For 10 seconds, Aessa and all surrounding allies dodge 100% of all incoming attacks.

Despite being incredibly adaptable, without the right team make-up, most of Aessa’s sting will be rendered out. Ideally you’re looking for a good mix between melee/ranged heroes, with emphasis on the former; as mentioned before, Aessa thrives in combat-heavy situations. An ideal tactic is usually to allow your tanks to rush in and attract the heat, before sneaking in behind them and using Elite Bodyguard to negate the majority of damage dealt against them.

At this point, depending on the potency of your enemies, you’ll be taking small yet consistent hits to your health meter, and should therefore be standing shoulder to shoulder with a healer whilst pummeling weaker targets. Instead of whaling on single targets, Aessa’s Zealous Protector should be used on occasion to impede enemy attempts to flee the skirmish.

Ability Combos

Leap/Fetch -> Zealous Protector

  • A fairly simple combo to digest, and one that should be used on single, non-attacking targets. If using Fetch, you can pull them towards you, following up with a root and then allowing your surrounding allies to do the rest. Alternatively, you can propel yourself towards them with Leap and then root them. Even more effective with Eternal Protector equipped.

Slash -> Chop -> Zealous Protector

  • Requires Sharpened Axe. For use on weakened targets. If your target is a hero who is incapable of healing/absorbing damage effects, this combo can be a neat little time saver. Bring them down to low health with Slash before applying chop and following up with Zealous Protector. The idea is to pull off this combo and approach the next target, leaving your previous foe to soak up Chop’s damage over time effect and perish whilst you’re hammering away at the next enemy.

Mastery Combos

[drop2]Sharpened Axe + Seasoned Bodyguard + Adaptability

This is the loadout I’m most accustomed to. It gives me the flexibility, dexterity and added damage to serve as an effective skirmisher who can alternatively nestle themselves in the middle of a group.

Fetch + Eternal Protector + Endless Knowledge

This loadout is built towards efficiency in crowd control, increasing the time of your root/snare effects whilst cutting cooldowns. It’s not the most effective, but is still capable of catching single-targets off-guard.

Seasoned Bodyguard + Responsiveness + Warped Flesh

When Elite Bodyguard is active, even with her tank-like stats and dodging capabilities, Aessa is still fairly vulnerable. When opponents realise their hits are glancing off your allies, if they’re savvy with the game’s basic mechanics, they’re going to come looking for you. This load-out is built to give Aessa that little bit more survivability and rigour, especially when there is a healer in tow (Responsiveness increases all healing by a hefty 20%.)

Aessa players are always in high demand, maybe not so much as Glowgob player, though the potent mix of high damage and the game’s best supportive ability will always make her attractive to warbands who crave sustainability. It may take a little time to work out when/where to use Aessa’s abilities though, once pinned down, they’re not easy to forget.

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