I tried a few of the defensive skirmishes, which plays nicely to someone new to MoNF. In a skirmish I get my soldier, and in a defensive skirmish I have NPC help (they have to survive, but that usually isn’t a problem) too, plus the enemies naturally bunch up.
I found out that defending an area and lighting it on fire with ISG is fantastic!
First impressions – yeah, the damage increase is quite noticeable. Storm-lore + Ents Go To War, Sticky Tar + Improved Sticky Gourd, Ancient Craft + Lightning Storm, are all powerful combos especially in defensive skirmishes. Not to mention the lower cooldown on LoTRD that is a bonus for traiting 4 into MoNF.
I didn’t have a chance to try Ford of Bruinen or Protectors of Thangúlhad, but I was able to run 3 of the other defensive skirmishes:
Defense of the Prancing Pony
I was a little disoriented in the skirmish, since I also changed around pretty much all of my quickslots. I’m always optimizing them, moving frequently used skills to easier keys to hit, etc. Anyway, I spent most of this skirmish around half morale, partly because it was taking me longer to find the skill I wanted to use. But, I finished it up just fine.
Stand at Amon Sûl
I wonder if Candaith can basically solo this thing for you, he’s a strong ally. Nevertheless I helped out ;), lighting the campfires as often as possible, and we defeated the Cargûl easily. So far, the MoNF build is working out.
Siege of Gondamon
By now I was getting the hang of my new quickslot layout, and this skirmish went smoothly.
I want to go back to the Eagle, since the Raven’s flank rate just isn’t quite as good. Plus, the Eagle’s interrupt is very handy, for those times when my own interrupts are on cooldown or too slow to fire (BF with no Fast Loader). That means dropping EGTW for Eagle-friend, and I’ll see how that goes.
I didn’t miss Blinding Flash, in fact over those skirmishes I never cast it. It’s still there, just with a 1s induction and a 5s effect. I spent 65 levels with a BF that lasted longer than its cooldown (20s or 30s, depending) and I grew to rely on that for tough fights. Thus, I was expecting a transition period, but I didn’t see it (yet) which surprises me. I’ll hold off final thoughts on that, after running through more skirmishes and questing further along Vol 3.
In the meantime I’ll continue to use this MoNF build a bit longer, since Aillas will be skirmishing for quite some time. I finally found a staff with both +tactical damage and -staff strike cooldown, so I’m using skirmish points to trade for Scrolls of Empowerment, to boost the tiers of those particular legacies.