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Pom's Pillar Karok Guide

PomPom
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edited October 27, 2016 in Karok
Hello guys, I thought it would be a good idea to port my Pillar Karok guide over from the EU forums. Since the skill names are different for NA/EU, I would appreciate someone from NA translating the EU skills to NA ones so that I can adjust them in the guide for both regions to understand.

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Introduction
Do you like smashing things? Do you often find yourself being that one guy in the boat that always destroys all the crates, pumpkins and barrels? Are you sick and tired of being a skinny, small, insignificant peasant? And most of all, do you enjoy utilizing a diverse set of never-ending combos? You're at the right place. From unarmed combat to complex, long combo chains, Pillar Karok has it all. It might seem overwhelming at first, but once you memorize his skillset, prepare yourself to be amazed by how fun this fat ball of muscle can be!

Before we start
In this guide, only combat tactics will be explained. This is NOT a gear guide, or a skill levelling guide. The reason being that you can get AP really fast nowadays, thus levelling skills in a particular order is not really necessary anymore. When I have time; videos, skill icons and misc descriptions will be added.

Basic Skills
In this section I will explain the very basics of the basics, which include Karok's zero, first, second and third smash.

Whale Bomb (R)
Karok's zero smash. Headbutt. Do I need to tell you more? I will later.

Lion crash (L-R)
Karok's first smash. This smash can be executed by smashing after the first normal. Lion crash is an incredibly useful skill. Since Pillar karok does not have high attack speed, this smash works really well in situations where you're dealing with small, fast bosses or mobs. It also has a lifting effect. Lion crash can be used to trigger absorb and pillar counter, which will be discussed later.

Bison charge(L-L-R)
Karok's second smash. This smash can be executed by smashing after the second normal. Bison charge is where all the fun is at. Nothing feels more satisfying than charging through a cluster of mobs while simultaneously breaking every bone in their body. Bison charge is a really useful smash that can be used to deal damage while moving forward. Since the revamp, bison charge also does quite a lot of damage.

Mammoth Sweep(L-L-L-R)
Karok's third smash. This smash can be executed by smashing after the third normal. Mammoth Sweep is a buildup to some harder hitting smashes, that will be discussed later. Besides building up to bigger smashes, mammoth sweep can also be used to absorb a hit with Absorb shock. ​

Extended Basic Skills
In this section I will explain the extended smashes that Pillar karok has, which can be used after his basic smashes. This does not yet include the general smashes like dropkick and jumbo pounce. They will be discussed later.

Lion smash (Lion crash-R)
Karok's additional first smash. This smash can be executed by smashing after the first smash (Lion crash). Lion smash is much like its previous Lion crash. It also has a swift animation which makes it useful when fighting fast monsters.

Mammoth Crash(Mammoth Sweep-R)
Karok's additional third smash. This smash can be executed by smashing after the third smash(Mammoth Sweep). Mammoth Crash is one of Karok's hardest hitting smashes. The animation time of Mammoth Crash is quite long, and cannot always be used in every situation. Mammoth Crash has a really big hitbox, and can hit twice if you're standing close to the monster. Always try to hug the boss so that you will land both hits.

Mammoth Crush(Mammoth Crash-R)
Here is where it gets confusing. Mammoth Crush is an additional smash of Mammoth Crash. Mammoth Crush can be executed after you have performed Mammoth Crash. It does slightly less damage than Mammoth Crash, but hits quite hard nonetheless. The execution time is also slightly faster than its predecessor.

Whale Bomb 2(Whale Bomb-L(repeat))

Headbutt's additional smashes. These are swift swipes with the pillar that can be used to quickly absorb incoming hits. Damage is not really significant.

Warslam (repeatable) (Whale Bomb-R(repeat))
Headbutt's other additional smashes. These are swift stomps with the pillar that can be used to chain into other smashes or skills. Will be adressed later.

Additional Smashes
For the sake of explaining, I will refer to the following skills as additional smashes. Since pillar karok has many smashes, these can now be categorized easier.
So, you now know of Karok's basic smashes and extended basic smashes. Besides those, Pillar Karok also has additional smashes, which can be used after some of Karok's basic and/or extended basic smashes.

Jumbo pounce (press E after specific smash)
One of Pillar's additional smash is Jumbo Pounce. This skill has a short execution time, and hits quite hard. Here is a list of smashes that work with Jumbo pounce:- Lion Crash- Lion Smash - War Slam- Bison Charge- Dropkick- Mammoth Sweep- Mammoth Crush- Mammoth Crash- Pulverize- Pulverize Blitz

Dropkick (Press "kick button" after specific smash)
Another additional smash that Pillar can use is Dropkick. Dropkick is a very situational smash that cannot always be used. Just like Mammoth Crush and Crash, Dropkick has two hits. Try hugging the boss when using it. Here is a list of compatible smashes for Dropkick:- Bison Charge- Pillar Charge (When getting the animation after a certain amount of time of running) ---> Note: You do not have to activate Pillar charge to use dropkick. This is optional.- Warslam's additional hits ---> Note: Does not work for the first warslam

Pulverize/Pulverize Blitz (Rightclick after specific smashes)
The final two additional smashes that Pillar Karok can use are Pulverize and Pulverize Blitz. Pulverize is a medium-hitting skill that hits twice. Pulverize Blitz is a follow up of Pulverize. Blitz hits the target three times and does nice damage. There are some gimmicks to Pulverize which will be explained later. Here is a list of compatible smashes for Pulverize:- Lion smash- Bison Charge- Drop Kick- Mammoth Crash

Absorbing and Dodging
To survive in battles, you either need tons of graces and merc pots, or the ability to dodge/negate damage. There are four ways for Karok to dodge or negate damage.

Absorbing
Karok can "tank" incoming damage by utilizing his absorb frames. Absorb frames are animation frames that certain skills have. Absorb can be utilized by synchronizing these absorb frames to the boss attacks. Certain skills have longer frames than others. Absorb frame durations and their applications will be discussed in the tactics section.

Perfect Absorbing
Perfect Absorb is essentially the same as Absorbing. A Perfect Absorb can be executed by almost simultaneously taking damage from the boss and Absorbing. Using Perfect Absorb can be tricky, but has a really useful effect; it can "block" unblockable hits (like havan's ground punch AoE).

Getting out of the way
This speaks for itself. When your stamina is running low, it's best to simply step aside to avoid damage.

Invunerability Frames
Invunerability frames are animation frames that render it's user invunerable. When a play is invunerable, he can not be hit by attacks. There are three ways for Karok to become invunerable for a short time:
- Transform animation
- SP: Earthquake
- XE move
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Comments

  • PomPom
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    edited October 28, 2016
    Beast Forms
    Since the revamp Karok has gained a new mechanic. Karok can now actively switch between something we call Beast Forms. There are a total of three Beast Forms that Karok can utilize; Lion Form, Bison Form and Mammoth Form. Each Beast Form has a different effect. Assuming you have your skills maxed, these are the effects of every Beast Form:

    Lion Form
    Restores 7 stamina per second while in Lion Form.

    Bison Form
    Increases speed by 5% while in Bison Form. It works like Werewolf Paw, so it makes all animations faster as well.

    Mammoth Form
    Increases overall damage by 5% while in Mammoth Form.

    Activating a Beast Form
    To activate a certain Beast Form, Karok needs to use a specific combo and finish it off with Pulverize. After Pulverize, Karok can use Pulverize Blitz. Pulverize Blitz removes the currently activated Beast Form. However, if Pulverize Blitz hits the target, the previously removed Beast Form will be activated again. Here are all the possible combinations for activating a Beast Form:

    Lion Form
    - Lion Crash-Lion Smash-Pulverize
    - Lion Crash-Lion Smash-Pulverize-Pulverize Blitz
    - Whale Bomb (when no form is active)

    Bison Form
    - Pillar Charge (Keep running, press tab when animation changes)
    - Bison Charge-Pulverize-Pulverize Blitz

    Mammoth Form
    - Mammoth Sweep-Mammoth Crush-Mammoth Crash-Pulverize
    - Mammoth Sweep-Mammoth Crush-Mammoth Crash-Pulverize-Pulverize Blitz

    Special: Dropkick
    - Using dropkick while having an active form will cause your form to cycle to a new form. The cycle looks like this:
    [-> Lion -> Bison -> Mammoth ->]

    Fracture and Wild Boar Shock
    This is an additional gimmick that Karok now has. Karok has a certain chance to apply a Fracture debuff on monsters. The effects of this debuff are really simple: Certain skills do more damage when this debuff is active. Besides the RNG change to activate this debuff, there are also certain skills that can apply this debuff with a 100% chance if at the same time Pillar Counter is activated:
    - Lion Crash
    - Lion Crush
    - Bison Charge
    - Mammoth Crush
    - Mammoth Crash
    - Jumbo Pounce
    - SP: Earthquake

    When the Fracture debuff has been applied on a monster, the following skills get a slight damage increase, and the damage numbers are displayed in yellow:
    - Lion Crash
    - Lion Crush
    - Whale Bomb 2 (the multihits)
    - Bison Charge
    - Mammoth Sweep
    - Mammoth Crush
    - Mammoth Crash
    - Pulverize
    - Pulverize Blitz
    - Jumbo Pounce
    - Dropkick
    - SP: Whirlwind

    Wyvern96Naimas
  • PomPom
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    edited October 27, 2016
    Top Deeps: Pillar Counter
    To get the most out of Karok's damage output, it is recommended to use Pillar Counter as much as possible. Pillar Counter is a skill that deals additional smash damage. Pillar Counter is activated when the player lands a hit with a specific skill after or during an Absorb with that skill.

    Pillar Counter can also be extended in some situations. When a player activates a Pillar Counter on e.g Lion Crash, but misses the target, the next Lion Crash will trigger Pillar Counter instead. However, this only works if you do not use any other skills inbetween. Pillar Counter can also be carried over to the next corresponding smash. This only works for specific combinations, which I'll let you find out on your own.

    In general, Pillar Counter is affected by combo bonus and can really boost your overall damage. Not all of Karok's smashes can activate Pillar Counter. Here is a list of smashes that are compatible with Pillar Counter:
    - Lion Crash
    - Lion Smash
    - Pulverize
    - Pulverize Blitz
    - Bison Charge
    - Jumbo Pounce
    - Drop Kick
    - Mammoth Crush
    - Mammoth Crash
    - Whale Bang
    - Whale Bang 2

    Neverending Combos: Grizzly Uppercut
    Karok has the ability to chain his smashes to other smashes. By doing so, Karok can unleash a never ending barrage of medium to hard hitting smashes. Please note that this does require a certain amount of time practicing, because certain combo chains have a specific timing. After maxing the skill Chain Combo: Grizzly Uppercut, Karok can chain the following smashes together:

    Lion Crash→Bison Charge (Lion Crash-L)
    Lion Smash→Mammoth Sweep (Lion Smash-L)
    Bison Charge→Mammoth Sweep (Bison Charge-L)
    Warslam (Repeated hits phase) → Bison Charge (Warslam-Tab)
    Whale Bang 2 → Bison Charge (Whale Bang 2-Tab)
    Wyvern96TheHeavyRiskNaimas
  • PomPom
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    edited October 27, 2016
    Combat Guide
    So now that you've learned a little bit more about Pillar Karok, It's finally time to put it all together and utilize Karok's skillset to stay alive on the battlefield and dish out some damage. This topic will be broken down in three categories; Dungeoneering tactics, Sandbag boss tactics and Mobile boss tactics.
    (NOTE: all the names, combos and terms mentioned above will be used. Make sure you know them before you start reading this.)

    Dungeoneering Tactics
    In dungeons, mobs and bosses have lower HP than in raids. Karok's gameplay can be adjusted accordingly. When farming a dungeon, you often want fast navigation through the dungeon. Hence it is recommended sticking with Bison and Lion Form throughout the whole battle. Speed and stamina restoration really help clearing the dungeon faster. Use Bison Form when collecting luminaries and dodge-rolling through the dungeon. Use Lion Form when low on stamina.
    There is also a little trick () that helps you climb over obstacles faster. When pressing E to climb, keep holding the E button to trigger Auto Clash. This will skip the climbing animation (Note: does not work for ladders). Mobs are really easy to kill on Karok. Use the skills that have the biggest area of effect (Mammoth skills work excellent). Bison charge is also a good mob cleaner, since it has a lot of forward movement.

    Sandbag Boss Tactics
    In sandbad situations it is advised to use the combo that does the most damage as much as possible.
    A sandbag boss barely uses any attacks, and when he does, it are often easy avoidable ones. Out of all possible combo chains that Karok has, I have found that the following combo easily outdamages the other combos:

    1) Activating Mammoth Form
    Bison Charge-Mammoth Sweep-Mammoth Crush-Pulverize

    2) Continuation of the combo after step 1
    Pulverize Blitz-Jumbo Pounce-Warslam-Warslam(repeat 1-2 times)-Bison Charge

    3) Note that after step 2, you can repeat step 1. However, your Mammoth Form is already activated, so there is no need to execute Pulverize anymore.

    4) Don't forget to use SP: Whirlwind and SP: Earthquake whenever possible. Whirlwind recovers a bit of your stamina, and allows you to restart the combo chain from a new point of entry: Lion Smash. Earthquake simply does massive amount of damage.

    5) Don't forget clashing for your party whenever possible. This is really important.

    Mobile Boss Tactics
    When dealing with small, mobile or fast bosses, dealing damage becomes significantly more difficult. When facing these kind of bosses, I recommend turning on auto aim, so that the smashes will land more often. Dodge Roll is also a skill that you should be using more often when dealing with fast multihits, since the absorb frames of Dodge Roll are by far the longest, and allow for more mistakes. Try switching between Lion and Mammoth Form to manage damage and stamina output. There are different ways to approach a fast/mobile boss:

    1) Poke and Run: Hit the air until you get to your hardest hitting smashes (Mammoth skills), and hit the boss with them. Retreat. This is a good tactic to use when dealing with small bosses that are barely visible (Iset). This way, you avoid getting hit and still dish some damage. A really "safe" way to play. Use Earthquake as often as possible, use Whirlwind when boss is downed.

    2)Infighting
    This is a good strategy to use when dealing with a boss that has mediocre speed and some multihits. When using this strategy, you stick close to the boss, and try to trigger as many Pillar counters as you can. You can easily deal with one-two's by using Whale Bang->Whale Bang 2. This also triggers pillar counter twice. If you have a lot of speed, you can try chaining it into the combo for Sandbag bosses. Try maintaining your Mammoth Form for as long as possible. Switch to Lion Form when running out of stamina. Use Earthquake and Whirlwind as often as possible.

    Videos
    t.b.a
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  • PomPom
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    edited October 27, 2016
    ~reserved for future content~
  • NoburoNoburo
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    Good stuff! I'll just add that the Whale Bomb activation of Rhino stance happens if you don't have a stance active, really nice for recovering from accidental pillar toss or missed Barrage Blitzes.

    The auto aim tip is something I just learned about the other day, very useful for mouse mode players who don't use attack in camera direction.
    Pom
  • PomPom
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    Noburo
    Noburo said:

    Good stuff! I'll just add that the Whale Bomb activation of Rhino stance happens if you don't have a stance active, really nice for recovering from accidental pillar toss or missed Barrage Blitzes.

    The auto aim tip is something I just learned about the other day, very useful for mouse mode players who don't use attack in camera direction.
    Thanks for the heads up on the whale bomb stance! I will edit this into the guide now.

  • AtherionAtherion
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    edited November 1, 2016
    I'd like to add that you can skip first trans with auto clash. Make sure you have the trans key on your hotbar, hold down e and walk forward then press your trans key while the bar is loading.
  • AuntJEMIMAAAAuntJEMIMAAA
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    Great guide.

    If I may add, I kinda skimmed most of the earlier stuff but I didn't see you mention frenzy.
    Savage Frenzy is a great skill because it allows you to regenerate stamina upon each strike. It also looks silly.
    The real use for Savage Frenzy is to use it with your combo chain (with the mouse mode keys):
    Frenzy>Bison>Mammoths>Barrage>Pulverize/Jumbo Pounce>Warslam>Bison Charge>Mammoths>... etc etc.
    Moving RMB>Tab>LR>R>R/E>RRR>Tab>LR>etc etc.
    Once you try the chain, it'll make more sense.
    Also remember that Dropkick has some serious multipliers associated with it with your war slam stacks. It can hit up to 20-25k after slamming. It's probably the best thing to use on sandbags and if you're fast enough... every boss. I'd recommend a speed of about 50 to be able to do it and 60+ to do it efficiently and comfortably.

    Also remember that manual clashing is best for Karok since EVERY Karok will know if you tab clashed :). For best party support, pillar toss and clash.
  • LariatoLariato
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    edited November 3, 2016
    Unsure if this was addressed in the passage above, but say you do the following...

    Bison charge> Jumbo Pounce > War slam x1-2
    The first initial war slam provides you with additional attack speed. Unsure if this is due to Stompede buff (The one that improves damage values of Pillar throw, Jumbo Pounce, Dropkick, and Crushing Sweep)

    Another neat thing I noticed about pillar, if say you get stompede buff to 1-5 stacks but you had to roll away from an attack so you don't take damage. Get close and use the SP "Crushing Sweep" skill while stompede is up and you'll do what appears to be the same fast crushing sweep animation for the same damage. I've only tested this on an off, I'm unsure if its due to lag or if its actually an in game pillar mechanic.
  • AtherionAtherion
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    The stacks you get from warslam lasts a couple seconds.
  • CoachmanCoachman
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    I thought I knew everything about pillar karok, but I was sadly mistaken. The Whale Bang2-> Bison charge combo i had no idea that existed i Thought that skill was totally usless but not so much anymore. Also I found out that while you are doing whale bang2 (which I think is Officially called savage frenzy?) and stop holding your directional key then you will do a warslam. You can for example do Savage Frenzy -> Warslam-> Warslam-> Jumbo Pounce/Dropkick/BisonCharge
  • AtherionAtherion
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    Out of curiosity, has anyone compared the standard rotation of chaining 3rd smash against chaining with warslams/dropkick/jumbo? Against any boss that doesn't move much, I'm fairly certain the latter combo wouldn't be the best since you sacrifice quite a bit of mobility and range. But anything like Kraken or Bark, I was wondering if it might be a toss up between the two.
  • CriticismCriticism
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    Thanks for the Auto aim suggestion. i just got back after 7 months and some of this sonic fast bosses are a pain, this will definatly help :3
  • XindaXinda
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    Hey Nice guide you got there,
    was just curious what kind of skill awakenings did you go with?
    and also what brooch would you use before the kitty one?
  • PomPom
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    edited March 22, 2017
    Xinda wrote: »
    Hey Nice guide you got there,
    was just curious what kind of skill awakenings did you go with?
    and also what brooch would you use before the kitty one?

    Sorry for the super late reply lmao.
    Damage % on all skills, and I'd go for crit kitty brooch, but that's really gear dependant :p
    Atherion wrote: »
    Out of curiosity, has anyone compared the standard rotation of chaining 3rd smash against chaining with warslams/dropkick/jumbo? Against any boss that doesn't move much, I'm fairly certain the latter combo wouldn't be the best since you sacrifice quite a bit of mobility and range. But anything like Kraken or Bark, I was wondering if it might be a toss up between the two.

    Warslam + (Dropkick&Jumbo) does have quite nice damage indeed, it might even outdo the 3rd smash chain with raw damage, BUT there are several things that the Warslam cycle does not have compared to the 3rd Smash cycle;

    1) SP regeneration (which in turn allows you to use Whirlwind/Earthquake straight after cooldown).
    2) Warslam combo is very stamina-heavy, wheras the 3rd smash combo eats stamina way slower.
    3) Less absorb frames (and thus less possible Pillar Counters and also protection from attacks)

    Pillar really has "constant" damage whereas other classes have "spike" damage. I think the very key of damage rotation on karok is to maximize the use of pillar counters and literally NEVER stop attacking ;o)
  • DeezCowDeezCow
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    Is it possible if you could post a video of you using the combo on the boss or showing a GIF doing the combo ?
  • AtherionAtherion
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    edited May 20, 2017
    DeezCow wrote: »
    Is it possible if you could post a video of you using the combo on the boss or showing a GIF doing the combo ?



    What I do is chain into 3rd smash and barrage for mammoth form, then chain back with bison charge and try to loop it as many times as I can till I am somewhat low on stamina.

    I would then Jumbo into Warslam after Mammoth Force (or it's consecutive smashes) for as many warslam stacks as you can (max at 5) into dropkick to go into Rhino form.

    From there, I would whirlwind to refill stamina then repeat the process by going back into Mammoth.

    Toss in an earthquake when possible for extra deeps or to refresh your fracture buff.

    Also note that you can use jumbo pounce after most of the smashes in the chain allowing you a safety net in case you are going to get hit by an unexpected attack, then chain back into warslam and your initial chain without having to start over again.

    This is what I found to be effective while not being too boring as this playstyle offers a ton of mobility, sp gain, and variety.