June 8, 2014

Review: Karok Pillar Revamp

As of May 21st 2014, the game was updated with many new features such as Hero mode raids, new events, outfitters etc. All of the patch notes can be seen here!

Kanzo's Karok holding the Gnarled Obelisk Pillar.One of the major changes in this update was Karok's Pillar revamp. The only important one if you ask me! So I wanted to create a guide to show what exactly this update changed, and hopefully shed some light on Karok.

As noted in the patch notes, Karok got a lot of passive improvements, as well as some new skills. We will start with the easy basic stuff then go on to his new skills. I would like to share my own thoughts on each new subject as well. Here we go!

  • Normal and smash attack range have been increased.

What this means is now Karok moves more, or walks forward more when doing any normal or smash combos. The distance he travels is increased. You can see the difference in certain smashes such as Mammoth Sweep where he takes a few more steps forward. You can REALLY see a difference in certain smashes like Lion Crash(or Grizzly Uppercut) and Bison Charge, where he runs forward a longer distance.

I honestly love this new feature about 90% of the time. It allows for less chasing the boss around due to the movement keeping you in close range at all times. It is also very good for PvP as it keeps the pressure up. You can't run from Karok anymore. The bad news is it gets frustrating when fighting smaller bosses like Embermain or Keaghan as the movement increase will actually push you past the boss and miss the rest of your combo. _________________________________________________________________________________

  • Basic kick attack, speed, and decision method will be updated.

What this means is the basic kick motion will be harder, better, faster, and stronger (que techno music)

I honestly think its whatever. I never use the kick motion so this doesn't affect me as much. It helps with random stuff like the golden balls in labyrinth or the giant baseball things Ghireal throws at you. I guess it really helps with getting kick titles and what not. To me it looks like he is kicking so hard he is breaking his own leg. _________________________________________________________________________________

  • Karok's Power Grab prioritized over evil core.

All the long time veteran Karok players secretly have been praying for this day. What this means is when a boss gets knocked down, and is ready to be grabbed to initiate Boss Bash and there is an evil core or an object to pick up next to it, Karok will continue to grab the boss and go through with the attack, instead of picking up the object/evil core.

Karok initiating Boss Bash instead of picking up the nearby evil core.

This applies to Clash as well! Karok will initiate or catch a Clash instead of picking up an object or core.

Karok initiating Clash instead of picking up a nearby object.

Don't believe me? Watch it in action!

I have been waiting for this to be fixed since I started playing. It doesn't sound like much but I can't even count how many times I have pulled my hair out screaming at my computer screen because my Karok decided it would be best to pick up that Erg Crystal instead of stopping a gigantic bosses attack from smacking me right in the face. 

  • Basic Clash damage has been increased.
  • Clash will now deal additional damage based on how long it's maintained.

This one pretty much speaks for itself, but just to keep the roll goin, it means Karok's Clash now does more(actual) damage, and is good for more than just holding the boss still for the party. When Karok clashes, you engage in a tug-o-war between you and the boss. Instead of spamming buttons to win the clash immediately, try to hold the boss there by not pressing buttons to rapidly, but by pressing them just enough to keep the clash going.

When it is done right, an orange glow will appear on Karok's hands, signifying the strength he is building. It's not over yet! There is a first orange glow, then if you hold the clash for a total of 5 seconds, a second orange glow will appear.

The orange glow during a Clash, that signifies the current strength of damage the winning blow will deal.

The second orange glow will be much brighter than the first, and will tell you when the clash is ready to be won. Doing so after the second glow will deal MAJOR damage to the boss.

An example of a fully charged Clash's winning damage.

*Note: No matter what level you are or how much stamina you have, a Clash can only be held for a maximum of 10 seconds. If you pass this time, the clash will automatically be lost, it will be embarrassing, and all the ladies wont like you anymore.

Clashing Pros - A little secret to be a pro clasher, when you see the second orange glow, that means you are at 5 seconds. So if you want to hold a clash for as long as possible, you can start counting from the second orange glow, until you reach 9 seconds, then spam the clash button and space bar (also left and right mouse buttons if you play mouse mode), to instantly win the clash. This makes it more convenient for your party and will have a higher chance of people saying "Nice!" and "Well done!". Also the ladies love it.

I really like this new update. I always clash anyway because it's fun and cool so it is nice to actually be able to do a significant amount of damage with it. I feel like after this update, clashes are much easier to win but maybe that is just me. _________________________________________________________________________________

  • Absorb Shock
    • - Can now be trained up to rank 6. 
    • - Recovery speed has been increased.
    • - The allowed absorb shock trigger time from Drop Kick has been increased.
    • - Perfect Absorb Shock can now be triggered during the first part of smash attacks performed with the Battle Pillar.

Oh man where do we start. Absorb Shock can now be ranked up to rank 6.

The Absorb Shock skill at Max Rank.
As you can see in the screenshot to the left, at max rank, Absorb Shock lets you absorb a higher percentage of damage. It restores 500HP per second! That is A LOT.

You need this skill at rank A to unlock the Pillar Counter skill, which will be discussed later on.

A noteworthy aspect about Absorb Shock at max rank, is that it recovers your health so fast, it's almost borderline equivalent to Cestus Karok's Weave skill. Even absorbing very rapid attacks such as the Fleeing Gnoll King's rage combo, or Ingkell's spinning attack, your HP will start to recover fast, even in between said attacks.

It's not over yet, everything said before isn't even considering Perfect Absorb. Perfect Absorb is when you time your absorption so that the very beginning of your attack absorbs the hit.

Very similar to Fiona's Perfect Guard, you will be able to tell when you activate this skill by the green absorption effect, instead of the usual blue.

Perfect Absorb allows you so absorb attacks that were previously unblockable. Normal Absorb will appear as a tiny blue spark affect, as opposed to the Perfect Absorb, which will appear as a more coral green spark affect.

The difference between Normal Absorb Shock and Perfect Absorb Shock.

Now Perfect Absorb isn't new in this update, but now you can activate it at the very beginning of smash attacks instead of before where you could only activate it during Karok's dodge roll. Perfect absorbing will reduce damage even more, and in some cases, not even hurt you at all.

Another one of the notes is that the timing for Absorb Shock on Karok's Drop Kick skill has been increased. I'd say it is a noticeable difference and in many cases, barely after it's release, saved me from getting hit. The video below will demonstrate the speed of Absorb Shocks recovery, Perfect Absorb, and increased timings on smashes such as Drop Kick.

To really get a grasp of the absorption recovery, I had to do Hero mode Ingkells, and Hero mode Glas lol. Absorb Shock max rank recovers health so fast, if you blink you will miss it. Part of it has to do with my DEF, but hey. I really love having crazy absorption. Being able to just take on like 5 bosses at once absorbing everything and counter attacking really brings out the barbaric, fighting willpower, I don't give a f**k feel of Karok.

The next couple upgrades are all linked together so I will try to combined all 3 in order to fully grasp the changes. So hang on tight, and keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times.

  • War Slam
    • - Can now be linked after all smash attacks.
    • - You can now change directions when using War Slam.
    • - Stamina cost will now be based on the skill's rank.
    • - At rank 6, Active:Crushing Sweep can now be linked after War Slam.
    • - A 5 stage status will be applied after linking War Slam and Active: Crushing Sweep. The higher the stage, the higher the bonus damage and the more stamina recovered when Crushing Sweep is performed.

  • Crushing Sweep
    • - Can now be trained up to Rank 6.

  • New Skill: Jumbo Pounce
    • - Perform an extra attack after performing a smash hit.
    • - More damage and knockdown at higher ranks.

Wooo! better buckle your seat belts and hold onto your panties for this one. Let's just try and take this one nice and slow, step by step.

First off, War Slam can now be ranked up to Rank 6.

The War Slam skill at Max Rank
At max rank, War Slam's damage can now be increased up to 63%! Wow!

In regards to how much stamina it costs, I never checked before, but I know now that the first major slam costs 12 stamina, and the little slams after cost a mere 10 stamina. With my stamina sitting at 207, I can do a major slam, and then 19 consecutive slams! (Whale Bomb is also 12 stamina).

You can now change direction when doing consecutive war slams by pressing the directional buttons in the direction you want to slam.

Note: This was already possible if you had the "Attack in the direction of the camera" option checked in the advanced control settings, as shown in the video below.

War Slam can now be linked after all the end smash attacks, and by end smash attacks I mean Lion Crash, Drop Kick, and Mammoth Sweep.

Another nice touch to the new War Slam is that it's absorb shock frames have been increased significantly.

*Important Note: If you learn the Jumbo Pounce skill, Jumbo Pounce will be linked after all ending smash attacks instead of War Slam, and War Slam will link after Jumbo Pounce. (Same smash attacks apply to Jumbo Pounce as they do War Slam).

The Jumbo Pounce skill at Max Rank
Jumbo Pounce maxes out at Rank A, bringing its damage increase up to 35%.

As said above, this skill links after all ending smash attacks (Lion Crash, Drop Kick, and Mammoth Sweep).

To do this skill, simply press the smash button after any of the smashes said above. To continue to War Slam after Jumbo Pounce, simply press the smash button again. (continue pressing smash to continue War Slam's consecutive slams.)

*Note: Jumbo Pounce's absorb frames are a bit sketchy. It takes a little practice to time right. For Karok's who remember jump smash, it is similar to that.

Jumbo Pounce is very similar to the old jump smash that was removed, and learning this skill will take the place of War Slam after smashes, and War Slam will be linked to this skill.

Remember Crushing Sweep? That weak 250SP skill that you put in your quick-slot so it would be out of your way? Well it's back, stronger, and combo chain-ier than ever. Crushing Sweep can now be ranked up to Rank 6, giving it a 55% damage increase.

A major addition to the War Slam skill, is that you can now link Crushing Sweep after 2 or more consecutive slams. When you use War Slam consecutively, you build up a buff that makes the skill Crushing Sweep stronger, and gives you your stamina back! "Woah" - Keanu Reeves

The Crushing Sweep skill at Max Rank, along with its buff levels.

Remember, you need Crushing Sweep at rank 6 to be able to link it after War Slam. To initiate this skill, simply start a War Slam, keep pressing smash until you build up to the desired level 1 to 5 and when you are ready to do Crushing Sweep, press your normal attack button. The buff will be applied and Karok will do Crushing Sweep much stronger than if you just used the SP skill version.

Crushing Sweep still requires 1 SP bar (250 SP), to be able to work. Unlike the normal SP skill version, the beginning of the chained Crushing Sweep has some absorb shock frames.

Crushing sweep can be initiated from any War Slam combo. What I am trying to say is, you can link Crushing Sweep from just a normal War Slam, or a War Slam that was linked to a prior combo.

Wow! That was a lot to take in. If there is any confusion, don't hesitate to ask me! I'll try to keep it simple.

My thoughts on all this? Well I never really used War Slam a lot, but I find myself using it WAY more often now. It is much stronger, and you can definitely feel it. Having War Slam be so strong, and barely consume stamina is nice for stationary bosses or sandbag bosses like Lakoria. Now that I think about it, it would be nice to start seeing Karoks being put on head in Kraken due to his new War Slam, but i'm not getting my hopes up.

Despite what a lot of people think, I love Jumbo Pounce. I am already used to having jump smash at the end of my combo so this new skill is welcome anytime in my book.

As for Crushing Sweep, I never really use it. It is very nice but I am a SP hog so I hate to use my SP on anything other than the other major SP skills. Especially after this revamp. _________________________________________________________________________________

Whew that was a lot of information to take in so lets take a break and dish out some easy to chew stuff.

  • Whirlwind
    • Can now be trained up to Rank 6.

The Whirlwind skill at Max Rank
Well just like the heading, Whirlwind can now be trained up to rank 6.

Doing so gives it a whopping 63% damage increase. They should be calling this thing Tornado by now.

There is some bad news. Sadly enough, Whirlwind does NOT gain additional spins when ranked up to 6.

Everything about this skill is pretty much the same. The only changes are its damage.

Easy enough right? I honestly don't use whirlwind as much, and for some reason, I use it less now.

  • Earthquake
    • - Can now be trained up to Rank 6.
    • - Slow effect has been removed.
    • - Will now stun monsters.

The Earthquake skill at Max Rank
Here is another easy one. Karok's 1000SP move Earthquake gets some attention.

Earthquake can now be ranked up to Rank 6, giving it a earth-shaking 63% damage increase.
(c wut i did thur).

Knockdown rate has gone up a little bit to 23%.

The slow effect, similar to Evie's Mana Pistol, has been removed from Earthquake, and replaced with a simple auto flinch.

Everything about this skill is pretty much the same, the only differences are its damage, knockdown rate, and now it flinches bosses. Not so bad right?

Here is a simple video of how Earthquake flinches now.

I honestly hated Earthquake before, but now it does some decent damage. Now that it flinches the boss is nice too. I now save my SP to use this skill a lot and use Taunt in the meantime.

  • Howl
    • - Can now be trained up to Rank 6.
    • - Will be applied to party at Rank 9 or above.

The Howl skill at Max Rank
Ah this old skill. Time to dust it off and dump some AP into this one. For those who don't know or if you don't remember, this skill which takes up 1 SP bar (250SP), will remove any status ailments Karok has such as poison or fire, and will heal back the HP lost due to said ailment.

Not much different about this skill but it does have a unique twist. At Rank9 or above, the effects will apply to the entire party.

I think I will probably use this skill more often in battles such as Siglint or Elchulus. A little pro tip, yes it does remove the black flames in the 24Man and 8Man Elchulus.

There is some bad news however, recently they altered this skill so that only Pillar Karok can use it now.

Cestus Karok can no longer use this skill. Also you cannot use this skill if you are in Unarmed Combat. Also, regardless if your party has de-buffs, you cannot use Howl if you yourself do not have a de-buff.

Hopefully there will be a lot more Karoks using this skill now. It is very useful in battles such as Siglint and Elchulus.

I have started to use this more. It was a trip the first time I used this in a party. Everyone either didn't even notice or saw their de-buff go away and were like "wait..what just happened?...My de-buff is gone...". Then I would explain and they wouldn't believe me +sad. Special thanks to Thalgaras and Volthara for being my test subjects +best.

For some reason this was not shown on the patch notes.

  • Drop Kick
    • - Can now be trained up to Rank 6.

The Drop Kick skill at Max Rank
This one is exactly as it sounds. It could not be any easier if I tried.

Drop Kick's damage can now be increased up to 63%.

Knock down rate can now be increased to 29%.

This skill is still kicking fomorian butt and will always kick fomorian butt.

  • New Skill: Pillar Counter
    • - Can be learned after achieving Rank A in Absorb Shock.
    • - Afflicts additional damage when Absorb Shock triggers during a smash attack.
    • - More damage and knockdown at higher ranks.

The Pillar Counter skill at Max Rank
Pillar Counter maxes out at Rank A and increases the smash's damage by 30% when it is activated.

It also increases that smash's knockdown rate by 7%.

Pillar counter is an amazing skill. When you do a smash attack that has an absorb frame, and you use that absorb frame to absorb an attack, that smash will do additional damage.

Note: If you have the damage numbers option on, the additional damage will show up as a golden number as shown below.

Pillar Counter in action.

This skill is a passive skill. Therefore there is no need to press any additional buttons. All you have to do is fight like normal and any attacks you absorb while attacking will beef up your smashes. The easiest smashes to pull this off on are Whale Bomb, War Slam, Lion Crasher, Jumbo Pounce, and Bison Charge. Remember though, you have to have Absorb Shock at Rank A to be able to train this skill.

Pillar Counter is amazing to me. It's almost like a damage buff, without calling it a damage buff. Just having this skill makes your attacks so much stronger, there is no reason not to get it. I believe that sometimes, instead of just increasing the damage your smash does, it does your original damage and the increased amount at the same time. It might be a bug or something, but there have been times where even my Lion Crasher has hit for 8 to 10k damage.

Now this next one is a little more, but its the last hurdle this guide has. There is a little extra at the end to. Last but not least, we have...

  • Pillar Toss
    • - Can now be trained up to Rank 6.
    • - Damage and knockdown damage have been increased.
    • - Smash Mastery will now affect Pillar Toss.
    • - Time taken for pillar to return has been reduced.
    • - You can pick up the pillar while dodging with the grab button (only works while near pillar).
    • - Strength Recover added after Pillar Toss.
    • - Fatigued Arms de-buff removed after Pillar Toss.
    • - Pillar can be tossed freely.

Now that looks like a lot but it's ok, i'm here. We will start from the top and work our way down. Who doesn't love that?

The Pillar Toss skill at Max Rank
Pillar Toss can now be ranked up to Rank 6, increasing its damage by 63%, and its knock down rate to a gargantuan 200%!

The initial power of Karok's throw when he throws the pillar increased by 83%. Now he throws it much higher, farther, and harder.

The Smash Mastery skill will now affect Pillar Toss's damage, increasing it to an even more colossal amount.

The amount of time it takes for Karok's pillar to return to him will now take 10 seconds instead of the previous 30 seconds.

You can now pick up the pillar by pressing the grab button while dodge rolling over or near your pillar. This makes it so Karok picks up his pillar instantly while protecting himself at the same time.

Right when Karok throws his pillar, he will gain a buff called Strength Recovery.

The Strength Recovery buff acquired when Pillar Toss is used.
This buff lasts for 35 seconds, and grants Karok 20 attack speed, and 100 more stamina! Holy mother of god. You can acquire this buff by throwing your pillar, and when done so, you cannot obtain the buff again for another 2 minutes.
The Fatigue debuff acquired when Pillar Toss is used.
Despite the poor wording, the Fatigued Arms de-buff was not actually removed, but merely changed so you can't get the Strength Recovery buff over and over again.

Do not worry though, this does not affect you throwing or picking up your pillar in general. It just makes it so you can't spam Strength Recovery.

Lastly, you are free to toss your pillar where ever you want, whenever you want. Not that that wasn't the case already, but now you don't have anything stopping you from throwing your pillar. No more silly time limits or cool downs, those are for... other characters...

People are going to have to stay inside because there are some clouds rollin in and there is a strong chance of Pillar. Hurricane Karok is on the way... This storm wont take you to Kansas, this is a Tossnado! It's a bird! it's a plane! no...its...a pillar?! OH sh***... ok i'll stop...

This upgrade was probably one of the best things that has happened to Karok. This is definitely the most fun thing that has been changed. Pillar Toss does crazy damage, and is very fun to just throw everywhere. I have yet to PvP anyone who has survived the new Pillar Toss. They might fix that but for now, sit down suckas!

Now i'd hate to put more on your plate but there is one last thing I have to share, that they did not mention on the patch notes. It is very short and will only take a little bit to explain.

  • Unarmed Combat
    • - Can now be trained up to Rank 6
    • - Smash attacks during Unarmed Combat will fill the SP meter faster.
The Unarmed Combat skill at Max Rank.
This newly vamped skill has some basic upgrades, but also some others that are hidden.

Unarmed Combat can now be ranked up to Rank 6, increasing its damage by 23%.

While in Unarmed Combat, normal attacks along with smashes will increase the SP bar. Smashes will increase it even greater than they did before.
You can get close to a full SP bar (250SP) if you get a combo out right.

Now for the good stuff. The special thing about this skill after this revamp is not the damage increase or the SP gain, but it is something else... wait for it...

While in Unarmed Combat, you are now able to chain all Unarmed Combats's smashes together into one combo. Yay! *confetti shoots everywhere*. Now what this means is you can do a series of combos while unarmed. You have your choices of...

(N=Normal S=Smash)

Now that doesn't seem like a lot but this allows you to either do fast moving hits with normal attacks, or slow but hard hitting attacks with smashes. You can time certain hits right to allow you to constantly absorb every attack that comes at you, and for the icing to the cake, the Pillar Counter skill applies to all smashes while in Unarmed Combat.

I have always loved Unarmed Combat. To me it's the same feeling of having 2 different weapons. Although Cestus is practically a glorified Unarmed Combat, for some reason it feels more right for Karok to throw his pillar in the heat of rage and go berserk on near by enemies with his bare hands. As happy as I am to be able to chain combos, there will always be a small piece of anger in my mind that Karok can still not chain combos like in the trailer on their character page. Oh well, I am definitely happy with what Karok has to offer now.

Well this is the end folks! I really hope you liked this guide. I spent a lot of time on it!
Feel free to ask me any questions about this guide or about Karok and I will be glad to answer them!
Also if you see something off or you feel something is wrong about this guide, please let me know so that I may change it or fix anything. It would be much appreciated.

Kanzo's Karok
Well if you made it this far, thanks for reading!

IGN - Kanzo

Server - East


Special shout out to Thelgaras and Volthara. Thanks for helping me with my videos! I'm sorry for all the burns and electrocutions but your suffering has not been in vain! You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs! 


  1. How pillar vs cestus loooks now? What is better for raids? What Karok people in party preffer?

    1. Honestly I never use just one weapon for raids. Some bosses are better to use Pillar against while others Cestus. I would switch between Pillar and Cestus depending on which bosses I fight and the circumstances. Usually in large parties against large bosses I would use pillar, while for small bosses like Ingkells I would use Cestus, but it's up to you.

  2. Yea and does pillar do more dmg/dps?

    1. Pillar does do more damage than it did before. Not only from its damage buff, but from using Pillar Counter efficiently. Also just from being able to use War Slam more commonly also increases overall damage.

  3. What does better dmg in raids now pillar or cestus?

    1. Cestus still does a lot of damage due to its buff and i'd say still comes out on top, but Pillar is close behind.

  4. This article is incredibly excellent! Thank you so much! :)

  5. what kind of pants is ur karok wearing?! its driving me crazyy!


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