Templar: Severe Blow Skills
There has been a lot of discussion about which one of the Severe Blow skills is "the best" for Templars to be using. I'm kind of disappointed in our Templar community with their responses so I decided to write this post. What was their response you ask? Blunting Severe Blow is the default response of the community. The problem I have with this is that they simply leave it at that. Blunting is a good skill but the other two are much better in certain situations. To get the most out of your Templar, you have to choose 1 of the 3 skills based on the current situation your Templar is facing.
The Three Skills
Let's start by taking a look at each skill individually.
Blunting Severe Blow is an an Accuracy and Evasion debuff which can only be done by Templars. The skill reads "Deals 73~77 physical damage to the target and decreases its Accuracy by 200 and Evasion by 200 for 12 sec".
Weakening Severe Blow is a Physical Defense debuff which doesn't stack with Chanter debuff and can also be used by Gladiators. The skill reads "Inflicts 71~75 physical damage on the target, and decreases its Physical Def by 500 for 6 sec".
Dazing Severe Blow is an Attack Speed debuff which doesn't stack with Spirit Master or Chanter debuff. It has two versions and the speed debuff is said to be 20% for version I and 40% for version II. The skill reads "Deals 62~66 physical damage to the target. The target's attack speed decreases for 12 sec.". This skill also has the fastest animation of the three.
Without knowing what you're fighting, you can see just from the above information that there are things to be taken into account before you choose which one of these skills to use. Do I have a Chanter, Spiritmaster, or Gladiator in party? If I have a Gladiator in party, does he/she actually use Weakening?
While tanking, I tend to lean towards Dazing to slow down the damage coming in which in turn gives my healer a break. Blunting can also mitigate some damage but there is a huge BUT that goes along with Blunting while tanking. Blunting increases your chances of Dodge or Parry. People quickly jump in here and say this is great! Not completely. Dodge and Parry come in play Block in terms of game mechanics. That means the more you Dodge or Parry the less you Block and the less your shield skills can be used. This includes Provoking Shield Counter which is one of the best Templar enmity building skills. After getting Dazing II, the competition between the two lessens even more in favor of Dazing.
Also, I tend to use Weakening once a mob is down to about 1/8-1/4 of their health if we only have 1 or 2 mobs aggro'd and the party has at least 2 other physical damagers (glad, sorc, sin).
When using a greatsword, I lean towards Blunting. All the negatives of Blunting as a damage mitigation tool go away the second you swap to greatsword. Unless a mob is 2-3+ levels higher, I usually stick with Blunting. On higher mobs, I tend to use Dazing since Blunting is harder to get applied and there the chance Evade/Parry diminishes on higher mobs.
Here I tend to lean towards Blunting on melee and Weakening on casters. Every now and then I'll throw Dazing on a melee class picking on our healers to lower the pressure.
I'm sure I could write for hours about all the different situations I would pull each one of these skills out but I think you get the picture. I'm not arguing that the way I'm using the 3 skills is the best. These were just some examples and I know that in time I will find more uses for each one of these skills. The point of this post is to get my fellow Templars to realize that all 3 of these skills can shine if you switch depending on the situation you're playing within.