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Two kinds of builds exist for the Houndmaster. The first build, designed for a Mark team, typically carries Target Whistle and Hound's Rush to Mark enemies and capitalize on Marks respectively. These builds favor use of the Target Whistle to increase the raw damage done. The second build, designed to spread Bleeds and Stress, typically spams Hound's Harry for almost the entire battle since the skill can be used anywhere. These builds favor the Attack whistle and Crimson Hook to raise the bleed rate and Stress output respectively.
The other skill slots are typically filled by the Houndmaster's support skills, customized based on his expected position. Frontline Houndmasters take Blackjack as a long-reaching Stun and supplant it with the Brass Knuckles to raise their Stun rate. Guard Dog is a useful defensive tool to save allies under threat, and combined with the Padded Armguard can push the Houndmaster's DODGE stat to near-untouchable levels. Lick Wounds also sees use to give the Houndmaster self-sustainability, and can be augmented with the Tattered Chewtoy. Cry Havoc is rarely used due to its chance of failure but with the Brass Bugle it can provide AoE Stress relief to counter enemy Stress teams.
Since there are a number of useful skills available to the Houndmaster, how you deal with him depends on what skills the opponent is using and where he's located. If you see an enemy Houndmaster in a Stress team and their only skill is Hound's Harry, consider setting up a Riposte effect. Some players can be very insistent on using Hound's Harry due to how easily spammed it is, and Riposte damage will easily punish those Houndmasters. If Lick Wounds is of concern, bring the Houndmaster to the front and deny them their healing ability.
Houndmasters found in position 2 will usually carry Blackjack with them. This lets them shut down your units with a good-ranged Stun, and can be disastrous if, say, a healer is disabled. For Houndmasters with these capabilities, knock them back to disable use of Blackjack. You will still have to contend with things like Hound Rush or Hound's Harry but you won't be stunned as much.
Houndmasters in Mark teams usually try to make up the brunt of raw damage before a Bounty Hunter, Arbalest or Musketeer comes in and finishes the job. If you shuffle the enemy ranks so that they are all the way at the front, you deny them the use of Hound's Rush and reduce the overall damage being thrown around. The opponent may instead relegate the Hound to Marking, Guarding, or Stunning depending on the remaining skills available to them.
This page was last edited on 13 July 2020, at 04:34.
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