I remember my first times jousting with the Valiants. Time after time they sent me home, back to get a fresh mount, ego bruised. But I got better.
Firstly: Always keep your shields at 3. Always. Let me repeat, always keep your shields at 3. Always. No reason not to. If you only see 1 red, or 2 yellow shields, it’s time to reapply, and reapply until you see 3 green shields defending you. Always. That’s a priority. (At least until you’re on rails and they call *you* the “Pain Train.”)
So my first tactics against the Valiants was this: Trade blows. Yes, it’s very slow. Painfully slow. MAKE IT STOP, OMG MAKE IT STOP! slow. Where you get the advantage, where you do a little more damage than your opponent, is when they back away from you, and they always do this, count on it, you throw a shield breaker and then move in close again. They aren’t throwing theirs because they’re moving away from you. You throw yours, reduce their shields by one, and then move in to go lance to lance again. They may pop back up to 3 shields very quickly, but you still have managed to take the lead in damaging them. In this way you will defeat them. It takes time, but it works.
I’ve gotten better. Much better. I lose only the very rare bout. I blame lag for those.
Anyway, here’s what I’m doing now:
Starting with the Champions.
I park myself alongside a Champion, the one I plan to joust with. I have 3 shields up, so do they. I speak with them, and off they go. As soon as they start moving forward I hit them at once with the lance, the 1 key. Yeah, yeah. Honor is in the victory, when fighting the good fight, not the surrender.
They’ll keep going, shrugging off the first hit without a loss to their shield. Now they’ve pulled ahead to charge range. I hit my charge, the 3 key, and let them have it. They’re down to 2 shields now.
And here’s where I’m feeling particularly talented: I wheel away and do a 180 leap in the air, still at a distance where I then can peg them with my shield breaker, key 2. Now they’re down to 1 shield.
Then I quickly close distance with them, so they can do none of the above to me.
I do have a cooldown timer and buff bars, and I easily keep an eye on my shields. They’ll actually wear off in 60 seconds or so, so even if they aren’t taking the shields off you might wind up defenseless. Keep those shields at 3 all the time.
Anway, enaged with a Champion after the initial start I stick with them, and I’m always slowly backing away from them. I lead them around the grounds like a puppy on a leash. I like open spaces and I do this to lead them away from other people jousting. And I lead them to the center so when they break, and they always break, they aren’t going beyond the limits. (I’ve lost 2 Champions fighting outside of the tourney grounds.) Lance, lance, lance, all the while backing up and steering where I want them. They break, I charge, wheel, shield break, reengage.
The Valiants are even faster fights. Using the same tactics it goes more quickly because the first lance hit, as they pull away, actually drops a shield off them. Now they have 2 shields when I hit them with a charge, and no shields after I hit them with a shield breaker. They recover to 1 or 2 shields before they make another break. I’m basically fighting Valiants that have either 1 or no shields on. This is where I had to remember to reapply my own shields every now and then because they will time out.
It goes MUCH faster now with a little practice.
Do remember you can do both Valiant jousts and Champion jousts in quick succession. Consider that you may only defeat each race once per hour. You can fight any race, of either faction, Horde and Alliance, for the Champion fights, but you can only fight your own faction’s races for the Valiants fights.
I had actually started this by fighting the “big” units, Draenei and Taurens, in the Champions circle. And then a few more Horde Champions. Then I moved to the Valiant circle and found I had to wait because I’d just defeated these race’s Champions earlier.
So, in the Champion’s tourney, my Horde Champions defeats 4 Alliance, and then defeats 3 Horde in the Valiant jousts. Opposite for the opposite side of course.
It’s been amusing so far. My Night Elf Druid never did the Argent Crusade starter quests, so when he kills 10+15 Scourge he does it by killing spiders in the beginning area. Advantage is I get credit for killing Scourge, and I can skin them for leather.
My lovely wife is a great help in defeating the Commanders at the Enemy at the Gates (Champion’s version). But I have found if I’m helpful to others in taking down Commanders, these folks appear more than willing to help others, like me, in taking down our Commanders. This is the best place for Karma coming back to you in the game I’ve seen.
The sword quests are interesting little jaunts abroad. I’m disappointed that they’re all to the east (Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills, Howling Fjord) and none to the west. On the other hand, when I get two sword quests at the same time, after I complete the tasks for one race and move to the next, at least they’re in the same direction. Would I travel further for more Valiant tokens? Maybe.
All that’s missing appears to be a title for becoming a Champion for your entire faction, all the races. I’d very much love to sport a title: Me, of the Horde.
And, as an Arms Warrior, what’s up with this game detail: The only Arms weapon you can craft at 80 is a two-handed Mace. The only epic two-handed weapon you can get by questing/rep is a two-handed Sword. Where’s the Axe? Where’s the Polearm? Raiders only?
And does anyone know whether dual wielding those two-handed Greatswords of the Sin’dorei (or at least one with a Titansteel Destroyer) as Fury will way out DPS an Arms Warrior wielding either? Given equivalent gear otherwise, will Fury Spec dual wielding Titansteel Destroyer plus Greatsword of the Sin’dorei way out DPS an Arms Spec wielding a Titansteel Destroyer? (And does the Greatsword of the Sin’dorei out DPS it for Arms?) I’m liking Juggernaut, but would my damage output noticeably increase with DW Fury using these two weapons? (My first 25 seals, since I wasn’t sure of DW Fury >>>> Arms, went to the one-handed tanking axe for my protection spec 2nd talent setup.)