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Friday Update:Class Preview - Guardian

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Friday Updates Class Previews

Guardian - Barbarian - Conqueror - Dark Templar - Bear Shaman - Demonologist - Necromancer - Priest of Mitra

Clad in heavy armor that would break the backs of lesser creatures, the guardian strides Hyboria, a walking fortress of steel, iron, and leather, wielding mighty polearms or one-handed weapons and great shields. Where others would waver or fall, knocked back by a skillful foe, the heavy plate armor of the guardian insure such hits fall aside like so many pebbles. The guardian stands tall and resolute in the face of foes, secure in the finest of armor and wielding the most deadly weapons.

Guardians are not just hulking figures in heavy armor, however. While Guardians have access to a full range of armor, from simple cloth to imposing suits of full plate armor, no fortress is complete without a way to strike back at its attackers, and guardians have an array of combat abilities that focus on their strength: letting their opponents wear themselves down trying to penetrate impenetrable steel, then striking with all the fury of a raging wind. Members of this class can choose one-handed weapons of the blunt or edged variety and pair it up with a shield, or they can forsake the shield entirely and take up one of the many polearms Hyboria's weaponsmiths offer.

As with the barbarians, one-handed weapons are used mainly for one-on-one battles and individual feats of strength, while polearms are perfect for sweeping attacks when charging into massive groupes of enemies. Guardians aren't limited to melee weapons alone, however, as they can also use thrown weapons. Higher-level guardians also gain the ability to use the deadly crossbow, for those who dare to try and attack at range. The guardian is another class that eschews spells, preferring to entrust their safety and that of their charges to solid things like steel and leather, rather than to the etheral whims of strange and terrible powers.

Guardians may be a defensively-minded class, but like all in Hyboria, those who don't learn to fight soon perish at the hands of those who do know how to fight. Guardians who choose one-handed weapons study the human body, learning how to damage it in precise ways. They learn to Exploit their opponent's vulnerabilities, as well as to Create Vulnerabilities, which leaves their foe open to devastating attacks. It begins with the lower limbs, but they soon learn to slip a blade into an opponent's chest, or bring a mace crashing down upon their head.

Their training also teaches them to exploit their greatest strength. Enemies facing the guardian frequently hurl themselves forward, flailing away at uncaring steel until exhaustion sets in. The cunning guardian learns to exploit this with a line of combos that focus on destroying their opponents stamina and inflicting wounds that leave them gasping for breath. A simple exhausting swipe might take their breath away, while an Excruciating Slash leaves their opponents unable to fight, begging for mercy, and frequently finding none. This particular style of guardian also learns how to cripple their opponent's defenses, wearing them down and inflicting Grueling Injuries, which, in turn, makes it easy for the guardian to finish them off.

There are those who forsake the path of the shield and instead focus on the spear or glaive, or one of the other fine polearms for sale in Hyboria's market. Polearm users focus mainly on wearing down groups of enemies. The backbone for this particular style of guardian is their own Multihit line, which begins with a simple Sweep of their weapon and evolves into a Flashing Arc, with Weaving Rush and Turbulent Wind combos coming as they grow stronger, ensuring a flurry of fatal blows fall on their foes. Polearm-using guardians may not carry the tremendous shield of their class kinsmen, but they make up for it with a Quickened Guard or Calculating Defense, as well as other combos that increase their ability to evade damage and defend against oncoming attacks.

The most feared ability, though, is a line of skills that knock their opponents aside, using broad, sweeping strokes that slam their foes back, taking down entire swaths of enemies with a single move. It begins simply, with a combo called Lifting Strike, but with enough toil and training, it becomes an Astouding Strike, allowing the guardian to mow down foes like a reaper in a field of grain. This flavor of guardian also relies on wearing down their opponent's ability to fight, and those facing off with this kind of guardian may survive the fusillade of incoming attacks, but fatigue settles in as their blows clatter harmlessly off the guardian's armor, and the guardian gains combos to exploit this, allowing them to Burnout their opponent's muscles and will to fight.

Indeed, like a cliff on the edge of a raging sea, the guardian stands resolute, never faltering or wavering, against Hyboria's endless supply of enemies.

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