I have been requested by the BM community to put together a PvP guide so I will share with you my knowledge of the BM class in PvP as a demon BM and also a former Sage BM. The following guide will be of my personal thoughts and professional opinion of the class. I am not going to go into extensive detail over builds because there is already a million threads out there discussing builds. If you have anything to add you may do so by replying here and I can update the main post.
Table of Contents
Post 1 - Overview
A. BM Stats
B. BM Basics
C. PvP Preparations
D. Cultivation Paths
E. General PvP build information
F. Genie skill analysis
Post 2 - Advanced PvP Guide
A. Class Specific PvP Set up
B. Advanced PvP Knicks and Knacks
C. Territory War PvP Analysis
D. Nation Wars PvP Analysis
Let me start off by telling you I cannot emphasize enough that a BM is not easy to play in end game mass PvP, but it is for sure a very under-rated class and they definitely play a huge role in mass PvP. A BM will neither be the main tank nor the main DD in any given PvP situation. Your main role resides with being a support class. BMs arguably get the best control skills for mass PvP due to the low chi cost of roar of pride and it being AoE. A good BM will be able to turn this under-rated class into an over-powered class with the right set up. So if you were expecting to start off PvPing as a BM and have a godly K/D ratio you are playing the wrong class, or your opponents just plain suck.
End Game BM Stats
Player difficulty - ☆☆☆☆☆
Survivability - ☆☆☆☆
Damage Output - ☆☆
Supportive Control Skills - ☆☆☆☆☆
Overall Mass PvP viability - ☆☆☆
Overall 1v1 Viability - ☆☆☆☆
What you need to know as a BM
The number one thing a BM needs to know how to do in order to be a good BM in PvP is to be able to stun-lock reliably. It usually takes some practice to get it down but when you get this down you will be glad you play such an important role in PvP. Not only are BM buffs are vital buff for your DDs in squad, you will also be the one deciding when
Observe your opponents and get your marrows down for every class, this is integral for survivability as a BM.
3. Leap forward/back
Utilize them, they will save you loads of times when you are getting stun-locked
4. Timing HF with squad members/Assist Attacking
This needs to be done through voice communications. There is no use landing an HF on someone if you are going to be the only person attacking. Usually if you are with an archer, psychic, wizard you will want to stick with these as your first picks when deciding who to assist the HF on.
What to Bring
Properly equip yourself with an HP charm, elixers from divine order quests, lots of mage def charms, phys def charms, attack charms if you are fist build, ironguards, sutra orbs, white tea, attach runes, and crab meats etc. Most importantly, always do mass PvP fully buffed. BMs are very squishy without buffs, we are nothing like barbs that can tank with invoke etc with no buffs.
Before we get into the specifics of PvP, there are some decisions you have to make as a BM that will affect your genie up in PvP, your survivability, and effectiveness.
The main reasons people go this route is because of the chi conservatism (sage 50 chi, reduced chi cost roar, drake bash, tiger maw), sage bell, and sage cleave. The masteries only truly add 2-4% more base physical damage depending on weapon.
People going this route can give you the viable option of eliminating a chi regen skill on genie such as cloud/chi siphon which to open up Faith as a viable option for sage BMs
The main reason people go this route is because of the superior locking skills of Roar never missing, drake bash is extended to 7.5s, demon HF extended to 9 seconds, and demon bell giving a spike 75% phys def boost. Demon marrows + Bell spam help with resistance balance in mass PvP going against melees / archers / casters.
Benefits also include chi suppression in 1v1 as demon taunt reduces 50 chi every 30 seconds vs sages regaining 50 chi every 60 seconds.
Going this route can give you the viable option of eliminating the use of occult ice on the genie, which better suits BMs going into a dex genie path instead of a pure strength genie path.
I am a huge supporter of going demon; there is no doubt about it. I converted to demon from sage for PvP reasons, skip the APS talk here. The main reason I am in favor of demon is because of the more potent skills. There is HF, drake bash, non miss roar, at the opportunity cost of 50 chi every 60 seconds. I find the trade well worth it.
For the second reason, as a demon I found myself surviving longer with demon bell proc and mage marrow in mass PvP. Archers were my worst enemy when I was sage, and now I can safely tank them in mass PvP with magic marrow up. Magic users never really hurt me because I could magic charm tank them, but the archers with the high APS with quickshot with magic marrow up is game over for most sage BMs. If you are asking, yes, you should spam demon bell every 15 seconds in mass PvP as it will put your p def to where it would be if you were not magic marrowed.
Edit 3/27/2013: There's been some changes and re-balances to Sage / Demon lately, and my conclusion on the matter is:
With all the changes and re-balances Sage and Demon are a lot closer than they ever were before, however a lot of the re-balances of Sage focus on follow up, but not the inception. HF still costs 2 sparks to cast, Drake bash still costs 1 spark to cast; the main thing casting them apart is the given situation you're in.
A lot of times in TW or PK I'm in a kill or die situation so Demon really suits the "go big or go home" play-style so I'm never alive for a follow up after dropping Hf on a group of R999 JOSD opponents that might require the 9 seconds of HF to kill whereas you can't tank them either so you either kill them or die.
However if I'm heavily out-gearing my opponents or have a cleric spam healing me and know I will survive for a follow up then Sage HF might have been more useful to drop combo bombs more often, however this may or not be consistent with chi regen of your allies. If your allies are unable to drop ultis again as fast as your HF cool-down spam it might be useless either way.
It really depends on what you and your squad need compared to what your opponents are... If your server is anything like mine where all the R999 opponents are all in 1 OP faction and all other factions in our server are too weak to last more than 20-30 minutes against them in TW or 1 push in PK then you'll probably want to be the less conservative play-style (demon) whereas if you're destroying your opponents so badly (which I doubt would be the case) you could play conservatively and do more combo bombs.
Just depends on the situation, but if my server can relate to any other server I'd still stay with demon knowing Sage re-vamps only affect follow up, not inception, and I probably won't stay alive long enough for another bomb rush. I can see sage being more useful if you have the gear or allies to keep you alive for multiple follow ups, whereas demon being more useful if your opponents are strong and you either need to kill them or die trying.
We all know that R9 3rd cast is the best end game gear for mass PvP. But if you cannot afford it, I would suggest G16 lunar nirvana gears as it is unbound and resellable later if you wish to upgrade. I strongly advise against R8 recast because the re-rolling on that gear will wish you got R9 3rd cast if you do not have the greatest luck.
Two sets of gear is recommended if you also have fists you use to swap out. Always mass PvP in full HA; this should be one of the golden rules engraved on every bald BMs head. If you PvP with fists then PvP with 3.33aps HA, 4.0 is not necessary due to needing LA or heavy r8 recast re-rolling. Fists tend to be a viable choice to regen chi between fights on NPCs in world map PK or TW totem poles.
For sharding I would recommend not putting in any high level event gems into anything less than R9 3rd cast. Reason being Jades / Vit stones are highly expensive. You may as well go R9 3rd cast with that money if you have enough to full shard a set of gear with jades/vit stones.
For BMs, the best shards under normal conditions would be in this order: Jades, Vit stones, Citrine and Sapphires. No other shards should ever touch a BMs gear for PvP, especially not DoTs. I would take shabby defense shards over DoTs.
You may wonder what kind of genie you want to use for PvPing. I am not even going to go into the details of a PvE genie because there are so many PvE instances out there you could go with almost anything as long as it has holy path / chi regen / Extreme poison or tangling mire / Frenzy
In-Depth Analysis of Genie skills
I put together a comprehensive list of the most commonly used BM genie skills and my personal thoughts of them as genie skills.
Faith: Excellent skill but with the affinity costs it is pretty much only viable for sage BMs to get AD / Faith together. I do not value faith above AD so I advise against getting this skill for demon BMs out there
Absolute Domain: Must have skill, no excuses, for str/dex genies alike
Holy path: Must have skill, only exception would be in a 1v1 situation where it's deleted temporarily
Whirlwind: Must have skill, it aoe paralyzes people for 1 second and you need to close the gap on people before you can roar or bash so this is the best way to do it from a distance. This may change as soon as the reckless rush is available for BMs in the future
Occult Ice: This is a high priority skill for str genies, but not always required for demons with their abilities to close a 15 second loop stunlock without aoelian blade
Cloud Eruption/Chi siphon: This is a must have skill for demons, not always required for sages with their ability to gain 50 chi every 60 seconds
Mantle ripple of death : Epic skill for 1v1 on a str genie, this combined with virulent poison is a deadly combo for 1v1. Edit: 5/28/2013 Less useful than Dissolve against R9 3rd cast purify weapons
Virulent poison: Same as above, drains percentage of enemy chi
Tree of protection: Medium priority for str genie, it is an ok survivability skill for str genies, but is not the most reliable compared to AD or faith. The heals are delayed 3 seconds so it has to be timed early
Wind shield: Must have skill for dex genies, low priority for str genies (aps users) multi purpose skill, good to have on a dex genie, but not so much on a str genie as you have cyclone heel
Extreme poison: Medium priority for dex genies, if you have the spare slots on your genie get it, but otherwise it is less important than survivability skills for BMs
Tangling mire: High priority skill for str genies, as it is an aoe and can be combed nicely with HF, it is not a must have skill, but has priority over other skills
Oxygen Bubble / Soul of Fire / nullify poison/heart of steel: Low priority, I generally advise against these because they are so situational, I have had better luck with a multi-purpose wind shield lv 10, the only except may be nullify poison to resist nova which I would still consider a medium to low priority for either dex/str genie.
Fortify: Must have skill, keep it at level 1, you need this to be able to IG without chi and saving the immune stun for after the IG wears off since you cannot be stunned anyways with it up
Badge of courage: Must have skill for dex genies, great skill against sins and mass pvp when you are really in a bind
True Emptiness: Medium priority skill for str genies, It is more useful for those with less gear, but does not do much against R9. It is a decent survivability skill when your genie has no energy left on it anyways, and spammable
Balance: Low priority for str genies, it simply costs too much energy to be worth it. You have to raise your phys def significantly before using it and the affinity requires too high of fire points to make it useable with other str genie skills
Dissolve: I previously felt this was a low priority skill because of the chi you give up, but it can't be purified like mantle from r9 3rd cast casters and is instant. Medium priority in 1v1 situation above mantle.
Expel : Do not even put this skill on your genie, if I see you with this skill on your BM I will Sparta kick you out of the game. It costs way too much energy and as a BM you should never die to another melee, with the exception of zerk crit armas and zerk dagger sins, in which case AD is much more useful
Law Breaker: High priority skill in 1v1 against wizards for str genies, but any other time, it would be a medium priority for mass pvp
Will surge: Medium priority for 1v1 str genie, against psychic if fist user, otherwise law breaker is more effective against psychics for R9 users. Low priority in mass pvp
Frenzy: No, just no. This a pve skill only, unless you are looking to get one shot by r9 mages I would advise against it, also read description for expel
Second wind: Do not even get this, this is for low level BMs usually with little refines
Bramble Rage: Do not get this either, there is no reason a BM should have this , it costs like 167 some energy and leaves you as a BM completely wide open to attacks
Reflective Aura : Only ever tried this skill once, it does not work in PK. Never tried it in TW, but can imagine it being low priority because there are more important skills you could use in TW for survivability
- Gonna down rate this back to low priority, costs too much energy and your main role is to survive as long as possible not be a live bomb
Remove Paralysis: Medium priority for 1v1 against sins, but otherwise low priority for mass pvp, only useful in air fights where you get stuck or the 1v1 sin fights. Any other time you can pretty much leap out of them (unless you are sealed too)