MAA in training

  • So I’ve been playing the game for about a week now and my favourite class is the MAA. As I’m relatively new to the game I was wondering people would like to share some tips with me.

    Typically when I fight against other MAA they ruin me by getting in close and unleashing a brutal combo. My problem is I have trouble getting in close. One tactic I noticed is a dodge forward followed by a stab to open the combo, but when I do that it seems like the thrust is too slow after the dodge resulting in a block counter against me. The spear is by far the weapon I have the most trouble against.

    Another problem I have is picking my battles on team games. I try to hang back a bit and look for openings but still get pounded. Obviously I try to find 1vs1 battles as being out numbered doesn’t work well with the MAA, at least not for me. I’ve been playing on duel servers a lot and do fairly well there but team or ffa is another story.

    Lastly, I have a private server running so if someone were willing to help train me I can give you access to it. Thanks in advance!

  • Well, the spear and other long weapons are simply overpowered. They can swing all they like, and even if you evade a swing and then dart in to hit them (the technique you would use IRL), their return swing is not only still coming (which it shouldn’t), it’s also doing full damage even though it’s not the blade hitting you that close in.

    A shield helps blocking those weapons, but as they recover too fast AND are not affecting fatigue enough, an experienced knight or vanguard will probably win against an experienced MaA most of the time.

    That said, one technique that is usually successful for me is when you see them do an overhead swing, use the dodge ability and immediately follow up with a counter attack.

  • As an MAA keep to the right of 2 handers as that’ll give you extra time to work with when theyre facing you.

    DONT combo with attacks as it messes your footing. Go fully only when your in the face of your opponent to pummel.

    Dodge is key.

  • Try to use your attack just as you’re dodging and your strike should land when your dodge ends. This is a great way to get spear users if you time it just after their spear has reached the end of their trust as you can get in and stab or overhead them as their spear is on it’s way back towards their body. Then you just follow up with a combo and if one of the hits got their head they should be dead. If not kick and do another attack or dodge back and get ready for another attack.

    Strafing also works wonders against spear-men or people who do overhead strikes.

  • One tactic I noticed is a dodge forward followed by a stab to open the combo, but when I do that it seems like the thrust is too slow after the dodge resulting in a block counter against me

    Windup before you dodge forward. So you: start your attack - leap forward - land the attack.

  • @ransack:

    One tactic I noticed is a dodge forward followed by a stab to open the combo, but when I do that it seems like the thrust is too slow after the dodge resulting in a block counter against me

    Windup before you dodge forward. So you: start your attack - leap forward - land the attack.

    I’ve been trying to do that but it hasn’t been working for me. My timing must be off. Is it easier to do it with a dodge key or by double tapping forward?

    I’m glad to know I’m not only one that thinks spears are broken. At first I thought it was just me, but when I realized what was going on I felt it was rather unfair.

  • Some tips in other threads:

    You’re also asking for some MaA feedback specific to team objective games which is a great topic. The most common approach is to be the flanking support class. In that scenario, you’d lurk on the edges of the map trying to hit isolated enemies or attack a group from behind etc. Also just tie them up in chasing you around, distract from objective. This is a good way to start easing into team objective games. Keep in mind, if the enemy team is good, this approach may not work well.

    Now the other scenario: let’s say you want to get more involved in the thick of things and work more directly on the objective and you don’t care about how your k/d ratio looks. You’ll be facing 2 or more opponents a lot.
    1- Heater shield will increase survivability, learn to block well
    2- Manage stamina carefully, try to save enough for an emergency dodge
    3- Situational awareness is key, if you get backed into terrain or can’t dodge you’ll probably die (damn you Darkforest!)
    4- Learn to prioritize targets well, don’t fixate on killing 1 opponent, break-off if necessary to hit another target of opportunity
    5- Stay near the objective or do the objective but try to stay away from clusterfucks, break away if your fight gets too crowded by enemies or teammates

    The rest is practice and improving skills as needed. Always try to circle around your opponent.

  • Already start your attack before offensive dodging.

    Against spears: my tactic is to just run into them (no dodging). Block their first attack and then spam M1 /stab/overhead whatever. But you need a shield for that otherwise the vanguard can feint and own you, i prefer the buckler. The heater shield is pretty weak imo. I would only use that against archer heavy teams.



    Windup before you dodge forward. So you: start your attack - leap forward - land the attack.

    I’ve been trying to do that but it hasn’t been working for me. My timing must be off. Is it easier to do it with a dodge key or by double tapping forward?

    I’m glad to know I’m not only one that thinks spears are broken. At first I thought it was just me, but when I realized what was going on I felt it was rather unfair.

    What works best for me is setting Q to dodge (and double tapping to 100 ms to avoid accidental dodges). And i use right click for feinting.

  • Thanks a lot for the tips. I’ve been playing quite a bit better as of late. Sometimes I get too blood thirsty and pay for it but occasionally it’s fun just to charge in and smash people’s heads. They certainly don’t expect it with a MAA and I sometimes get a kill or two in before having my head detached from my body. Almost took the king out last night, despite having to run through four body guards. :)

  • Wall of text time! I’d better use spoilers…

    For context, MAA is my main (just unlocked my veteran helm today) and my usual load out is morning star (sometimes flanged mace), short sword, and either the fire pot or throwing dags depending on my mood, or a shield if I know I’m facing archers and/or I’m going to be sitting on an objective like the trebuchets on Hillside or defending someone on my team with my own body.

    My strategies for various classes:


    ! The biggest thorn in my side is also arguably the most common class so you’ll at least have a lot of opportunities to practice. They’re very hard to deal with while outnumbered, and even in 1v1 duels. For pokers, my strategy is to just walk right forward and parry the first poke, and just keep on moving forward. Depending on what they’re poking with, usually I’ll be pretty close to them. It’s a real judgement call at this point: either I fake them out with an M1+Q and then go for a swing, or I just swing right away and hope for the best. Sometimes I’ll mix it up with a kick, particularly if I can push them into a corner.
    ! If the initial hit lands, there are a few options: finish a combo if I think the opponent is flustered; a flustered opponent is likely to miss a parry. I’ll also finish a combo if I’m coming at him from a weird angle where it’s hard to parry. Instead of finishing an M1 combo, I may quickly transition into an overhead, often while looking downwards so that the blow comes out that much more quickly. You have to be really certain that he isn’t going to strafe, though. Often I’ll kick and then go for another swing. Two shots to the head will do the trick with a morning star or flanged mace, especially with a kick.
    ! If a vanguard charges you and does that leaping attack, sidestep EARLY if you like, and try to come in with a combo from a flank; this is very hard to block if you’re using a quick weapon. The charge attack has a HUGE recovery animation. But be careful: the attack can still hit you for a brief moment even after the animation seems to be finished, so don’t dash right onto the spear tip.
    ! Do not block those charge attacks unless you absolutely have to, as it will suck off 1/2 your energy, and you NEED that energy for dodges, deliberately missed swings, feints, and kicks (whereas all they really have to do is swing, and they’re almost never going to whiff).
    ! Take a good look at which weapon they’re using, too: spear users will thrust a lot; I find bardiche and bill hook guys tend to M1 swing - be sure to turn your mouse far to the side to parry. It’s anyone’s guess with halberds, as they’re awesome at everything. Swords tend to be a mix, too, but I find they lean more towards overheads and slashes, with pokes if they’re kind of afraid of you.
    ! Vanguards are very dangerous even up close - especially up close, actually. They can do full damage to you regardless of where you are, some pokes are literally impossible to block if the spear tip is BEHIND you (can’t parry, yet it still deals full damage), and if they’re careful about where they’re facing, some hits can strike almost instantly. This is why I carry the shortsword, as it’s a faster weapon in close. It takes an extra hit, but you can down a vanguard with 3 stabs in most cases (a kick really helps, though). The short sword’s speed also means that you can dodge forward + stab fairly effectively, though I only use this sparingly, against guys who aren’t expecting it.
    ! Get to know your vanguards personally if you’re in a small game or you have a guy who keeps coming after you in the same way. Learn how they behave and counter their behaviour.


    ! I find that knights are easy to duel, as they’re slow, have slightly shorter reach, and often rely a little too much on their shields, which aren’t as effective as advertised. I like the morning star for the reach. I almost always parry the first attack unless I think the knight is distracted or flustered. After that I usually try out either an overhead or a slash; pokes do so little damage that the only time I use them is either to finish off a very badly wounded knight, or just to keep them guessing when I’ve dueled the same knight several times and am afraid that he’s learning my habits.
    ! A good technique is to circle around towards the right as you attack, using the morningstar’s reach to your advantage. You can hit around shields fairly easily this way, and I find that knights will overcompensate by turning too far, making them easy to combo. 3 hits is usually all you need.
    ! Occasionally a jumping overhead will land against a turtling knight, but I prefer to be patient and wear them down.
    ! Beware knights that like to shield bash. If you’re confident you’re up against a knight who likes to shield bash, consider letting them whiff a few swings before you engage them. Kicking/bashing requires energy, so a tired knight is a knight with few options.
    ! One thing to watch out while dueling a knight is how long the fight is taking. The longer it goes on, the more likely it is that someone will come and join the fight, and this is usually a very bad thing for you. If it’s one of his allies, then you’re outnumbered in a bad way. If it’s one of your allies, it’s likely that you’re going to get TKed as they try to “save” their squishy little buddy. If you hear footsteps and you aren’t close to finishing the fight, consider disengaging and running.
    ! When disengaging from a knight, know that the ones who don’t have shields will throw an axe into your spine as you run away.


    ! There are two kinds of archers: those who panic and run, and those who stand their ground, cut your face off with their daggers, and wear it like a hat. Beware the second kind!
    ! The first kind are easy. Equip a shield if you know you’re going to be harassing archers a lot; if you’re shieldless, your best option is to run in funny ways, or sneak up behind them. If an archer is facing 90 degrees away from you, charge his silly butt and combo; usually 2 hits will do the trick.
    ! Some archers can REALLY duel and they will have weapons that are as fast or faster than yours; this can really set me off on the wrong foot sometimes. In these cases, use your superior reach and try to swing just as they’re about to run in to hit you.
    ! A favourite tactic of mine when facing an archer who knows how to duel is to fake like I’m a little flustered, and suddenly run. How long you run away for is a matter of instinct, but it should only be a second or two at most before you turn back around and run them down - in many cases they will have JUST drawn their weapon and started to aim. This works best on archers, as once they start drawing that bow they’re stuck for a moment. Javelins also take a long time to ready and are VERY hard to impossible to throw point blank. Crossbowmen with balls of steel will just stand there and calmly up your iron intake, but it’s still worth a try sometimes, and is occasionally hilarious.
    ! If I know I’m going to be facing a lot of archers, I will often equip the falchion, or one of the axes; I’m rather partial to the dane axe, as it behaves similarly to the morning star, so it isn’t much of an adjustment. The hatchet is great for speedy kills from the rear or whenever you have surprise, however; it just isn’t that effective against knights or vanguards.

    Other MAA:

    ! Ah hell I hate fighting other MAA. I’m pretty laggy (I average like 15 FPS in most battles!) and so I easily lose my speed advantage against them; you may have better luck, assuming your system doesn’t suck as hard as mine.
    ! Take a good look at what sort of weapon they’re using. If you have a shorter weapon, be quick, and consider lunging; if you have a longer one, anticipate, swing early, and be accurate. Beware the falchion, that thing will cut you the hell down. Know which weapons are swingy weapons (maces, axes) and which are pokey (norse sword, most of the secondaries). Remember that you still have to parry the weapon tip itself, so if you’re up against a swinger, be prepared to glance to your opponent’s right side to stop that swing.
    ! A lot of MAAs like to do leaping overheads, particularly if you’re holding a shield (shields suck against MAA; consider putting it away if you have the time). Anticipate if you see them running right at you, be ready to look up, etc. If you parry, they are likely to immediately block; so I like to kick right away and follow with a combo. In some cases you can even try ducking.

    General Dueling Tips/Strategies:

    ! Unlike in most actual fights (I imagine, anyway), I find it’s better to fight uphill than downhill. Overheads will come out super quick and you’ll be able to duck a lot of swings; often the opponent will simply miss you entirely without you having to do anything!
    ! If you have a stabby weapon, know that you do well in tight spaces. Push opponents into corners or up against walls, fight with your LEFT shoulder against a wall and watch as knights botch M1 swings that bounce off the wall while you easily poke them in the vital organs.
    ! If you’re badly outnumbered, consider trying to get opponents to hit each other. It ain’t easy, nor the sort of situation you want to be in, but if you have to die, it’s best to take a guy with you.
    ! Don’t panic. It’s just a game, and you’ll always respawn. Always. Be happy, stay positive, give props where props are due, and be humble. Most players play their best when they’re confident and having a good time. And ultimately, having a good time is the point.
    ! Using the fire pot always feels like a jerk move, but it’s quite effective. It’s great for easily finishing off a badly wounded guy, hitting people when they’re bunched up, or even opening a fight. The wreath of flames around the screen when you’re burning can be distracting and makes it hard to parry strikes, particularly overheads and M1 combos. I also find it’s hard to fight when you’re low on health, so the sooner you can get them down a little into that range where colour starts to fade, the better. It’s nice to start a duel with an upperhand.
    ! Daggers can do the same thing, though they’re harder to aim (no splash) and they don’t do as much. They’ll also be blocked by shields, though you can aim at the feet of a shielded opponent to really tick them off. They’re good for fleeing opponents (but watch out if they’re faking you, turning around to strike; vanguards and knights rarely run for real, FYI), even if they aren’t retreating from you. They can also be relatively safely thrown at opponents who have engaged an ally. Lastly, if there is an archer on a ledge or behind a window that you can’t otherwise reach, consider chucking a dagger at him if he isn’t paying attention to you (if he sees you, he’ll likely kill you while you’re aiming). Even if you miss, it will give the archer something to think about, and that can throw off their aim. Remember that shields offer passive resistance against projectiles, even if they’re slung on a guy’s back.

    Team Objective Strategy:

    ! I do a lot of TO play, as it’s fun to have a purpose. Plus, MAA are extra useful in meeting objectives, though you won’t always get credit for it.
    ! Don’t be afraid to die for the team. There are times when getting yourself killed is actually what’s best for the mission. If your team needs to push a cart or secure some location, it’s going to be a lot easier if four of the enemy are chasing your stupid butt. Sure, they’ll probably eventually corner you and kill you, but sometimes all you need to do is buy time. This scenario happens A LOT.
    ! When you’re mostly just fighting, RESIST THE URGE TO CHARGE IN ALONE. You are light and squishy and not built for mowing down the masses. That just isn’t your thing, leave that to the vannies and knights. If you see more than one opponent coming at you with no allies in sight, you done goofed. Back your silly butt up and find a buddy. This is especially true at the very beginning of a TO match: let your vanguards and even knights be the first to engage the enemy, then circle around and help them out. I know it’s really tempting to run full-tilt with the wind in your hair and all, but it’s a great way to die and leave your buddies to clean up your mess.
    ! Harass archers. Knights and vanguards hate 'em, but they hate you. Come at them from their blindsides and butcher them as quickly as possible. If you circle all the way around, sometimes you can line up two or three kills before any of them know what hit them. And the best part is that once you’ve done this one or two times, they’ll be super paranoid about you doing it again. And a distracted archer won’t be able to fire as quickly, nor as accurately.
    ! I like to run around choosing my battles carefully. If I see someone winning a duel outright, I leave them alone; if someone is struggling, then I’ll either try to help out, or I’ll be ready to be there the second my ally dies so that I can press the fight, often with surprise.
    ! Often, joining a 1v1 doesn’t even have to involve dealing any damage. If you’ve been spotted, let them see you come at them from an odd angle; they will get all defensive, or maybe they’ll start swinging desperately; either way, this helps your ally. Let them finish their job unless you’re very confident that you can get in a swing, especially a killing blow, without hurting your ally, or having them hurt you. Careful with your positioning and distance, as you don’t want your ally to have to restrict their swings to avoid hitting you; you want to cramp the enemy’s style, not your ally’s. And if they do TK you and it was your fault, let them know it’s your bad and that you’re sorry. You want your allies feeling good and being positive, not angry at you or feeling down on themselves.
    ! If you see slower units (mostly knights) running around aimlessly in the middle of the battlefield, and you have nothing better to do, consider messing with them. Delay them by having them constantly guessing whether you’re engaging them or running away. This is especially a good idea if you see an ally behind your opponent who can catch up and get a sneak attack.
    ! Watch your positioning around archers; know where your archers are so that you don’t cramp their style or wind up headbutting their arrows by mistake. When you respawn, keep an eye out for your archers as you rejoin the battlefield. Whenever possible, position your duels so that your archers are 90 degrees to your left or right so that they can get clear shots on your opponent. Any extra damage they can deal is wonderful, and they often deal more than you do! Plus, an opponent who has been hit will flinch, and is also more likely to panic, giving you an opening to strike and end the duel.
    ! Don’t be afraid to break off and go for an objective by yourself if you can. You’re fast and a lot of people kind of ignore us for some reason. Go light that pyre, join that guy on the trebuchet, or sneak around to push the cart. Be sneaky, be quick.
    ! Be mindful of allies who do not have shields: this means vanguards, some knights, some other MAAs, and sometimes even archers. If you’re all advancing towards an entrenched enemy with archers, particularly archers on the ground rather than up high, consider running in front to draw fire with your shield out, only backing off at the last second to let the heavier classes begin the engagement. They will love you for it. Likewise if you’re defending an objective: get in front and put that shield up. Guys operating balistas, standing on trebuchets, even pushing carts may need your help.
    ! Also, use your battlecry when respawning. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but morale is important and they gave us a lot of canned sounds for a reason. Sometimes using a battlecry can let an ally know that you’re behind them, which can help them adjust their strategy, and maybe give them confidence when they engage the enemy.

  • Wow thanks for the awesome tips stickytape. I read it all and there’s some really good stuff in there. Kids are just about in bed and can’t wait to play now.

  • Good, I hope it’s helpful! Two things I forgot to mention, though:

    1. Get to know the ranges of various weapons, particularly the big heavy ones that knights and vanguards use. Against short to mid-range weapons, such as the hammers and that 2-handed axe that the knights carry, you can let the opponent miss a swing at you before moving in to counter. Often you won’t even need to dodge in. This can be really effective against the slower weapons, like the 2hander axe - just don’t misjudge distance! This saves you having to waste time and energy on a parry. Against the longer weapons you’ll often need to parry first and then move in.

    2. You’ll hear people say that X is the best MAA weapon, or that Y is the worst; don’t put much stock in that. It’s good to get people’s impressions, but ultimately the best weapon is the one that feels most comfortable in your own hands. Try 'em all out.

    See you out there,

    Brave Sir Robin

  • Yeah I’m definitely starting to get the hang of weapon distances. I do a lot of dueling with friends and we try stuff out all the time to figure those things out. Finally have the offensive dodge working for me and does it ever work wonders. I just need to learn to time weapons better so I can close the gap with a sprint instead to save my stamina. A feint followed by an offensive dodge attack seems to work quite well against most foes. Sometimes I’ll change it up for an offensive dodge kick following by a few stabs to the face. Or better yet dodge then a feint, side dodge and stab. Very effective against those that hide behind a shield.

    I’m really loving the short sword right now. It destroys vanguards and knights when I get in close. I still haven’t quite gotten the range of the dagger down yet though. I figure once I can take out spear wielding vanguards with a dagger I’ve got the hang of things pretty good. Against other MAA I find primary weapons work better as you need the extra range because they’re just as fast as me.

    This class is so much fun. So many possibilities.

  • Against other MaA the broadsword works wonders as it’s the longest of the MaA weapons. Most will fall to a stab to overhead combo. They’ll either sprint or dodge forward to hit you with their axe/mace or whatever they’re using, your stab will flinch them and your overhead will finish them off.

    Works wonders on public servers. Of course it changes a bit if the other guy actually knows what he’s doing, but most fall like grass under a scythe.

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