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The elite Black Guard is the Tank Archetype Career of the Dark Elves of House Uthorin, and is particularly resistant to magical attacks. The Black Guard are the personal guard of Malekith, the Witch King. The Black Guard specialize in the use of melee Halberd Great Weapons, soaking up damage for their allies and building up Hate against their enemies allowing them to do more damage.
In Druchii society, few are feared quite as much as the Black Guard-- the Witch King's personal guard, answerable only to him and to Kouran, their captain. They epitomize the cold ruthlessness of the Dark Elves, trained as they are from a young age to the highest possible standards in the arts of warfare and in the use of their trademark black halberds. The training of the Black Guard is bloody and brutal. The trainees are split into 20 groups, each with one tower, and made to kill each other. The Witch King then selects the most powerful to join the Black Guard, and the 20 groups then become the regiments of the Black Guard. Wondrously unrelenting and efficient on the attack, the Black Guard are the terror of all who stand against them.
"The Black Guard is the embodiment of brutish, sheer bloody-minded violence. They are encased in phenomenal amounts of armor and wield the biggest, evilest, bad-ass weapons they can find. Their job is to find the enemy and kill 'em. They are basically very, very dangerous, really hard to kill, and when they get close to you they deal out tons of damage. The more they hate you, the more damage and misery they will pile upon you. And you know what? They hate everybody, all the time, forever!"
- - Paul Barnett, Creative Director
The Black Guard has balanced offensive and defensive physical abilities while being particularly resistant to magic. Black Guards are great for harrasing healers and magic enemies, as their resistance to those attacks are greater then other tanks, and they have abilities that help to diminish a user's intelligence and willpower. Depending on your play style, one who wields a great weapon will be able to deal more damaging to a healer while creating a large mark on their heads by the enemy realm. One who wields a shield will be able to charge through the enemy ranks and attack at their healers and spellcasters, while not doing as much damage as with a great weapon, they will mop up more damage and become an everlasting nuisance to the healers and ranged casters in the back.
The Blackguard uses "Hatred" as a mechanic for building up more powerful attacks. As the Blackguard attacks his enemies and is attacked, his hatred increases. Hatred is considered to mirror the Ironbreaker's grudge mechanic, with a few significant differences. The Blackguard gains hatred for attacking enemies as well as from being attacked. A Blackguard's hatred can rise from 0 to 100, just as an Ironbreaker's grudges can. Various abilities can be triggered by using hatred instead of action points, while others are more effective with more hatred built up.
Path of MaliceEdit
Following the path of Malice means mastering one's rage and molding it into a powerful weapon. The Black Guard who embrace Malice are capable of unleashing powerful attacks fueled by their Hatred. Frequently seen on the front lines, these Black Guard traditionally wield powerful halberds which allow them to cleave through steel and flesh alike.
Path of LoathingEdit
The Path of Loathing is one of disdain for others, and embracing the belief that none can defeat you on the field of battle. As such, Blackguard of this mastery become unconquerable obstacles that even the most potent of offense will break against. Those who embrace Loathing prefer to work with a tall shield and a strong sword so they can relish in the ringing sound of futile blows falling on hardened steel.
Path of AnguishEdit
Those who master the Path of Anguish master pain itself. This allows the Black Guard to shrug off even the most potent of magical attacks that would normally pierce their finely crafted armor. Masters of Anguish are traditionally chosen to serve as the Witch King's personal executioners seeking out and destroying the arcane powers that would wish to strike their liege down.
See Main Article: Black Guard Abilities
See Main Article: Black Guard Influence Rewards
So they realized that what they didn't have was what the Black Orcs had, - sheer bloody minded violence. So what they did was they got a load of Dark Elves together and they fed them porridge and then raw meat until they started going "Rooragh! Ugh ugh! Kill kill kill!" - In a kind of Dark Elf, clever, cool, sexy way. And then they encased them in phenomenal amounts of armour and then they gave them the biggest evilest badass weapons they could find. And then they got them and they trained them, and told them over and over again: "Your job is to find the enemy and kill him." And then they explained what that meant: "When the thing you're fighting is in three pieces on the floor, it is dead. Until it is in three pieces, it is probably still alive." And thus when they go out to combat and they take their big weapons and ROOAARGH! Chop chop chop chop chop! Kill kill! Chop chop! Bash bash! Destroy destroy destroy destroy, chop - three pieces, move on.
- - Paul Barnett, Creative Director, in the Black Guard career video.