Wrath of Heroes: Malus Darkblade
It's that time when Bioware Mythic has decided to unleash its new Hero into the world, with a twist. Perhaps you might say this hero isn't so new. Malus Darkblade is a Dark Elf Hero who has had several novels based on his adventures and travels throughout the Warhammer World, as well as holding a Chaos demon inside of him. He's known for fighting off the four main Chaos Gods' forces singlehandedly with a blade commonly known as the "Warpsword of Khaine", and being able to stay awake eternally. He can lead armies to great victories and at the same time crush them with swipes of his blade. He's not a foe to be trifled with, nor be mistaken for the common Dark Elf.
Being the first Legendary Hero, Bioware Mythic decided to make him very, very special for those who have saved up for him since his announcement. His offence is probably the greatest of all heroes according to the statistics, and he's armoured too. His health is 1250 hitpoints, so you'd best be sure to attack him in a group.
Malus is an Area-attacker, meaning he swipes in a circle around him. He is the only hero that doesn't need to target enemies (at this point, anyway) in order to attack them, similar to the ways of Amenadresh the Lich Priest or Glowgob da Green's healing abilities. Darkblade's abilities are high damaging and much more powerful than Felicia, the AoE mage. Though this is mostly because he sacrifices himself for damage. He has no healing abilities, so being ganged upon may reduce his performance. His armour is as strong as that of Lucian's, and his health is rather high. But the only way he can truly perform well is if he's in the centre of a huge crowd, with the aid of his allies.
Warpsword of Khaine
Warpsword of Khaine deals around 50 damage to enemies in front of you, not including enemies behind you. A powerful attack which can compete with many heroes dealing up to 40 damage in melee combat on a single target. This is your basic ability and you'll need to use it rather than hold off and wait for another ability (Felicia....). Using this attack will surely grant some aggro, and many enemies will try to go behind you or at your sides in order to flank you. Players like Ikkrik and Korelei (especially the latter) will benefit from flanking, as they have plenty of manueverability, and Korelei can gain damage by backstabbing. Just because this ability is frontal AoE, doesn't mean you shouldn't hold off to wait for the 360 degree swing abilities - it will do huge damage to single targets and enemies in front!
Cooldown: 5 Seconds
Sweep has the exact same effect on Heroes as Warpsword of Khaine, only this time it snares enemies for 4 seconds! This is some great control and keeps those pesky strafers from circling you, making your powers obselete to a hip-poker. As it works in an area of up to 90 degrees, you can expect to hit quite a lot of enemies and help your team out with those trying to escape Darkblade! And with its 4-second effect on a 5-second cooldown, you can expect plenty of slo-mo surrounding you.
Cooldown: 10 Seconds
Soulrender does just over 100 damage to all enemies in front of you with no side effects. A simple attack without a catch. This will be useful perhaps as an opener when you're against huge mobs, then really show you mean business with Warpsword of Khaine. Anyone trying to get away? Hit them with Sweep and once again, use Soulrender perhaps as a finisher. Basically, this ability is Warpstone of Khaine with a cooldown and higher damage.
Cooldown: 13 Seconds
When you see this description, you might've thought this was an Orc's work! Frenzy deals 13 damage repeatedly to all enemies around you (not just in front of you like the previous three abilities mentioned) for three seconds. This isn't 13 points per second either, but it depends on how long they stay in the radius of the attack! This is the one thing that's going to scatter a crowd of foes, and will separate healers, support, tanks and general DPSers! However if the group doesn't submerge on you again, you may lose some efficiency due to your abilities being AoE.
Cooldown: 30 Seconds
Now here's where the magic's at! Khaine's Fury deals the same amount of damage as Soulrender, only this time it has a knockdown too! That dreaded word! Plus, this attacks enemies around you in a circle, and knocks down anyone in your radius for up to 3 seconds! This is another great crowd control ability that keeps those who had second thoughts on staying to fight down to the ground. Don't waste this though, as it's cooldown is a long way from the others....
Passive Ability: Possessed by Tz'arkan
This ability grants Malus a 3% chance upon being hit to be healed, and have a moderate buff to his damage and armour. Not only that, but it lasts for 20 seconds, allowing players to spread more carnage in a tight spot! The more players that surround him means the more chance of this ability "proccing", and allowing all Hell to break loose.
First off, I'm no genius or master PvPer or any kind of "pro" with Warhammer Online, Wrath of Heroes. I just give advice from what I've learnt, in hoping that it helps the less or more experienced players out there. Remember that this hero is very pricey, and not all of you are willing to buy gold boosts or just farm for gold. You might as well learn what you can about the Hero before rushing out to buy it, only to enter the battlefield with no clue whatsoever. Then again, experience is the best teacher.
Because Malus' Abilities don't require a target (the range is "Self", but one can assume the radius is melee), you'll be expected to wade into a pack of enemies with your high health pool and armour, swinging away at anyone you see fit. While this may sound fine and dandy, you may want to watch who you're hitting. For example, you might want to focus on that dastardly Glowgob da Green and the fact that he's a caster rather than a melee striker. But just going for him and separating him from the herd won't do all that much. You'll need allies to deal with him. Malus is essentially the DPS form of crowd control - he literally splits up crowds, rather than just lets one member stay while the others retreat. His knockdown is a great way to improve his effectiveness, as he can do loads of damage to everyone while they're stuck, and your allies can pick individual targets to attack, while Malus strikes in an area.
Because he's a Legendary Hero and his capabilities are AoE, people will know better though than to put on their tunnel vision goggles and run straight for him. They'll be sure to keep casters away from him as much as possible, so be sure you have someone like Volrik to pull them down, or Drulg Kineater to use his frontal cone Silence ability. And if you're against an organized warband, be ready to give the enemy a reason to come near you, because they have five other players they could be killing.
Malus won't make for a good defender in relic holding maps like Pyramid of Settra or Black Fire Pass, mostly because of his AoE. While it does have high damage and it can still take out enemies, anyone who has played Felicia who has roots and snares on reasonable cooldowns will tell you that it's a struggle holding it alone. Malus is able to defend but only with the help of teammates who can do damage to a single target quickly and move onto the next (Korelei, Ikkrik, Amenadresh, etc.).
Finally, one must remember that he's not a Tank! He has huge damage and very good survivability, but he can still be swarmed upon and destroyed within seconds due to having few healing capabilities. His passive ability may come in handy but it won't guarentee him survival against 4-6 people surrounding him, especially if a healer is present.
So that's all the advice I can give right now due to the Hero being new. I'm hoping to come back and update, and if you've anything to add, please feel free to ask! Thanks for reading, and have a pleasant and skull-shattering day!
For more guides, check these out!
- Wrath of Heroes: Glowgob da Green
John talks about his favourite Healer Hero of Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, Glowgob Da Green! For hints and tips on his abilities, look no further!
- Wrath of Heroes: Korith Bitterborn
John talks about Korith Bitterborn, the High Elf Archer in the MOBA based on Warhammer lore! For more information on this physical ranged Hero, look no further and step inside the Elven kingdoms!