Splitting is a tactic often employed in Guild versus Guild battles, in which you split your team into two, or occasionaly three smaller groups in order to stretch your opponents defences and score damage on the opposing Guild Lord. Although some Guild versus Guild builds are designed around splitting, many builds that aren't designed specifically to do so are just as capable of splitting when played correctly.
Splitting, why do it?
The main reasons for a split is to stretch the opposing team and to kill/get damage on their Guild Lord. If you are facing a very non-split build or most 8v8 builds, you may consider splitting to make the entire team have to fall back on the split team to defend their base. In other cases, a team may have to countersplit and send a group of people to defend against the split team, stretching their manpower.
Another reason to split is simply to win. Since the removal of Victory or Death, the objective to win was to get as much damage or kill the Guild Lord in 28 minutes. Also, using skills targeting the Guild Lord lower the "aggressiveness", or the points you get for damaging a Guild Lord. A split can easily turn the tides in your favor.
- Sending a character that is less useful at the stand to hold the flagger in their base requires the other team to either let you boost or send back a potentially important character to run flags (such as a warrior or midliner).
- Although very dependent on the playing field, very split oriented bars can really be a hassle to an enemy team. However, they are much less effective on very non-split oriented maps, like Burning Isle
Planning a split
As a general rule when planning your split, you will need to consider several aspects of it:
- Is it self-sufficient? Can it stay alive without needing support from the defensive split?
- Is it effective? Can it deal good damage, heal well, or go against countersplits?
- Is it versatile? Can it respond to a wide range of builds against your split?
As an example, let us consider the standard balanced Guild versus Guild build consisting of a Warrior, a Dervish, a Ranger, a Mesmer, an Elementalist, a Flag running Ritualist, and two Monks. This is a versitile build that can adapt to almost any situation, including splits. The standard response to a split with this build would be to send the Flag Runner back to defend against a smaller split, with backup from the Ranger and one Warrior, or the Defensive Elementalist if needed. Similarly, the standard offensive split from such a build would consist of the Flag Runner, the Ranger and the Warrior.
This is the split that you would choose as it is the most efficient and versitile one said build can produce. A warrior going back with a dervish as his counterpart frontliner when you would normally play together at a stand is a hammer warrior most likely meaning he can quickly KD a flagger and then spike said flagger down with dshot assistance from the ranger. Likewise, the ranger could snare the flagger preventing him from moving and allowing the warrior to Flail (if a hammer warrior) or Frenzy (if any other type of warrior) and the flagger would keep the split up as archers pour arrows onto the split team.
At the stand, your Dervish with an auto-apply deep wound can blow up the opposing team as your split team scores a kill on the gank on the flag runner forcing the stand team to retreat, sending another monk back or make them retreat completely. A good mesmer can easily take advantage of one monk at a stand with a powerful elite such as Power Block or by spamming Diversion while making sure the monk isn't under the cover of Holy Veil. An Elementalist or the currently popular Mesmer with fast-cast water snares can prevent stand melee characters from pressuring effectively as well, forming an easily defensible team with enough power to score a kill at the stand, further pressuring their team.
Types of Split
The Defensive Split
A defensive split usually consists of the flagger and occasionally one other party member defending the base against gankers. The goal of a defensive split is to keep splits away from your base and to defend the Guild Lord and Bodyguard
The Offensive Split
This form of split will consist of anywhere from one to four attackers trying to quickly take down or damage the opposing Guild Lord.
The 5-3 Split
This is usually the most balanced form of splitting. It usually consists of a frontliner, flag runner, and midliner to split. This is perhaps the most versatile, as most bars on a 5-3 split are good at stand as well.
The 4-4 Split
The 4-4 split is one of the more difficult Guild versus Guild tactics to pull off, as it relies much more on individual player skill than other splits. A 4-4 split consists of one of the backline monks going with each half of the team to put pressure on two separate points. In a normal 4-4 split, each half will consist of two offensive, one defensive midliner, and one backline monk with a shitload of stances to actually survive.