One of the coolest and, at times, most frustrating part of the new World of Warcraft Argent Tournament content is the mounted combat system. It’s an integral part of both the daily quests and the major questline players must get through as part of the Tournament, so avoiding it is not really an option for those who find it to be a bit frustrating.
Like many others, I found jousting to be incredibly frustrating at first. Eventually, though, I discovered that by applying a few simple strategies, you can become virtually invincible with a lance.
The Best Offense…
The single most important thing to remember while engaging in mounted combat is to keep your shield up at all times. Winning or losing on the tournament grounds usually comes down to who has more shield than his opponent for the majority of the time, so it’s extremely important to continually refresh your defenses by using the “Defend” skill.
Reapply your shield every time your opponent removes it, even if by doing so you miss out on an opportunity to throw a Shield Breaker or Charge your opponent. Each level of defend reduces damage by 30%, so getting hit with only two shields up means you take four times as much damage as you would with three.
Keep in mind that your Defend ability has only a 60 second duration, so even if your opponent doesn’t manage to knock your shields down, you will still need to hit the button to refresh the timer on your shield. If you don’t, you will lose all three charges at once and be at your opponent’s mercy as you struggle to reapply them.
Always have three charges of Defend up when you issue a challenge to a Valiant or Champion. Champions always start the fight with three charges up, so if you forget you will take much more damage than you’re able to dish out until you get them up. Valiants usually start with just one or two charges, but having full shield at the beginning of the match gives you a nice advantage to start the fight.
Effective Jousting Technique
Now that you’ve applied three charges of defend and have issued a challenge to a worthy opponent, it’s time to start the match. Jousting is basically all about taking advantage of opportunity, so just be ready to capitalize on each one that arises and you should have no problem achieving victory.
Always be prepared to deliver a Thrust or two immediately after issuing the challenge. It’s a good way to get a head start while your opponent is still riding out from their starting position. When they are in close, trade Thrusts with your opponent until they turn to open up enough distance for a charge. Watch your action bar until Charge becomes active, then press it as quickly as possible. If your timing is right, you should be able to close the distance to your opponent before they can fire off a Charge of their own.
This won’t always work, but a quick reaction will occasionally allow you to emerge unscathed.
Your charge will damage your opponent as well as remove one layer of Defend from him. As the momentum of your Charge carries you past your opponent, it is occasionally possible to get off a single Shield Breaker as you turn back toward them. I always mash on the Shield Breaker button as I turn just in case. If you succeed, your opponent should be down to a single shield and you can get in a couple Thrusts while he is defenseless before he turns to open up distance and the process begins to repeat itself.
Here’s the condensed version:
- Have 3 charges of Defend up before issuing your challenge.
- Use thrust while your opponent is close.
- When he turns to open up distance, use Charge as soon as it’s available.
- Fire off a Shield Breaker when turning back to your opponent after your Charge.
- Thrust at your opponent until he again turns to open up distance.
- Immediately reapply Defend if you are hit with a Shield Breaker or Charge.
One final caution: Champions are notorious for running out of bounds while you are fighting them. If you get the message about staying within the Argent Tournament grounds while you are fighting, start working your way back toward the Champion’s Ring. You may take a bit of extra damage on your way back, but it’s better to extend a fight than to be immediately disqualified when you are forcibly removed from your mount and have to start fresh.