Sorry guys, no gifs this time! I promise I will next time.
So, let’s talk Paladins, while we’re on the subject of it today. Last week Inara, the Stone Warden released; she’s a new Guardian/Front Liner who is unique in the way that she does not have a Shield mechanic like all the other tanks. She has no barrier like Fernando or Barik, the ability to give shields to others like Torvald, or even a wide AOE barrier like Makoa. So what does she do to save her team? She can erect walls of stone, and give herself a damage reduction so that she takes less damage as a whole. I would not use her as a main tank for a team, but in this two-tank meta, [The Tank Heavy Meta, one might say] I would use her as a utility tank. Pair her with someone like Torvald or Makoa, who are my two favorite tanks personally. I’ve heard pros say that Torvald isn’t any good, but I don’t think I care to agree, though I’m no pro. She takes a lot more skill than some of the other tanks because of this. You absolutely have to know when to use her wall, you have to be close up to make use of Warder’s Field, and her ult is quite a bit different. But what makes her stand out/make her more difficult? Let’s also take a look at her kit, and Legendary Cards!
- Her ultimate passes through shields, making her a terrific initiator.
- Overall high damage [AA, Warder’s Field, Ult]
- Ability to isolate people with the wall for ganks.
- Incredibly weak versus poke/range comps.
- Poking down her Warder’s Field immediately can almost take her out of the fight.
- Ultimate can be very easy to miss unless it’s up close, and only lasts a few seconds.
LMB: Stone Spear [Direct Damage]: Fire a burst of 3 projectiles dealing 225 damage each over 0.4 seconds, every 1 second. It has a nice range and burst to it, and hits pretty damn hard for a tank. Low ammo, though .
RMB: Earthen Guard [Buff]: Inara enters a defensive state, and for the next five seconds, her and her deployables take 30% less damage. This can be modified with Legendary Cards [which is easily her best card].
F: Warder’s Field [Deployable, AOE, Debuff]: Warder’s Field is a small pillar of stone that pops up and pulses up and down, and those foes who step into its range take damage [150 per second] and can be adjusted to cripple in addition to that. It does, however, drop down right where she is. It can be destroyed with damage. It slows by 60% on top of that.
Q: Impasse [Deployable, Barrier]: Inara throws up a wall that lasts for five seconds, or until it’s destroyed with damage. You can move it at angles, cram it into high places, and wall people off. I believe the point will push through it and break it.
E: Seismic Crash [Projectile, AOE, Stun]: Inara, after a delay, tosses her spear, which crashes through and ignores all shields, stunning the target as well as any enemies in a 40 unit radius. It’s best to throw this at close range where they can’t get out of the way. If they hear the call and see she’s far away, they will easily be able to dodge.
- Mother’s Grace: Earthen Guard gains 20% increased damage reduction. No doubt, her absolute best card to be used in almost every situation. 50% damage reduction? That’s a no brainer.
- Treacherous Ground: Warder’s Field now cripples. If you could place it farther away from you? I’d love this ability, and this card. But it’s too situational for me.
- Tremors: Reduces the cooldown of Impasse by 7 seconds. This one’s far better than Treacherous Ground, but not quite as all-inclusive as Mother’s Grace. If you’re a pro with the wall, and have a Front Liner that can protect you/a sound healer? Try this one.
When building for Inara, building for survivability is the most important thing. She can’t build any manner of shield, so she has to rely on her ability to reduce damage as much as she possibly can. I’ve only really found one or two builds that I’m really happy with. Her two most powerful cards, the two cards I see used the most often are Caretaker and Sacred Ground. Despite having a pretty high skill cap due to her kit, she does have a pretty easy to plan for card build. This doesn’t mean I don’t have a few suggestions for you guys! However, since they changed how cards work since my last build guide, I’ll be changing up how I write them ever so slightly.
Standing on Sacred Ground: Sacred Ground [Epic] IV: Standing in Warden’s Ground gives 20% Damage Reduction, Standing Stones [Rare] IV: Reduce the cooldown of Warder’s Field by 4 seconds, Steadfast [Common] II: Gain 300 Maximum Health, Caretaker [Common] I: Standing in Warden’s Field heals you for 20 hp/second, Stone Bulwark [Rare] I: Heal for 20 hp/second during Earthen Guard. This is my favorite build, giving you a total of 70% with Warden’s Field and Earthen Guard. You stand in that spot and become immobile.
Rejuvenation: Sacred Ground [Epic] IV: Standing in Warden’s Ground gives 20% Damage Reduction, Caretaker [Common] III: Standing in Warden’s Field heals you for 60 hp/second, Stone Bulwark [Rare] III: Heal for 60 hp/second during Earthen Guard, Standing Stones [Rare] I: Reduce the cooldown of Warder’s Field by 1 second, Living Stone [Rare] I: Reduce the reload during Earthen Guard by 10%. Seeing a pattern? Sacred Ground is her best card hands down. But in this, you can get health back, and still have plenty of damage reduction. 60 hp a second is no joke, and when using both powers at once? 120 health a second can really keep you in the fight.
- Defense [Haven]: The damage reduction of Haven is a no brainer. At least rank two before you move on to something else. I would always try to get this to rank 3 if at all possible, above anything else.
- Utility [Chronos]: Reduce her cooldowns by up to 30%, and with her pretty high cds, you won’t want to miss it. Normally I go for the speed of ultimate, but hers isn’t as game changing as some other tanks.
- Healing [Rejuvenate]: Though in normal play, I don’t trust a healer to keep me alive [at least in random play] you need more healing if you’re going to stand on the point. Lacking a shield, healing is the best thing in the world for you.
- Aggressive [Cauterize]: Let’s stop them from healing, yeah? She doesn’t have enough ammo to really blow shields to pieces, so just winging people with stones to lower their healing is a fantastic idea for her.
I love Inara, she’s fun to play, but she is, like I said, much harder than other characters in the Front Line. Situational awareness is going to be your friend without a doubt. She’s powerful, but damn if she doesn’t have some weaknesses. A prime example being Warder’s Field. It does AOE damage, you can make it cripple with a card, but all a poke team has to do is deal it some damage and blow it up. Then, all she can do is auto attack, throw up a wall and retreat! However, I do have an issue. .Warder’s Field is that issue. I love the ability, it’s very powerful, but you have no way to get in without just charging and dropping it at your feet. It’s incredibly telegraphed unless you can flank/get the drop on them, but that’s not your job as a Front Line! I really really think this power should be able to be launched or summoned at a distance. I don’t know if that would make her too powerful, though.
Impasse is so powerful, though. So powerful. It shapes itself into where you drop it, so if you put it into a high up space, you can stop those pesky sharpshooters/snipers, launch people into the air to stop their ults, or if you card for it, to launch you into the air! You can even use it to wall off the other team so your cooldowns/teams cooldowns can come up and counter-initiate. Everything about her is fascinating, though. Her weapon does great damage, but the reload is slow and she only has a few points of ammo, so it’s not like you can just spam it. You can’t spam anything on Inara. You have to be very aware of everything around you at all times, and know when to stop your foes and with what. That’s the thing, she’s a counter-attack in motion. She can stop ultimates, stop attacks with the wall, simply dropping Warder’s Field can make people think twice about jumping on you or your team. Placing it on the point can really change the pace of a team attack. Having to stop and kill the deployable first can be the difference between victory and defeat.