I’d like to start with matrixing because I feel that it is such a very useful and under-used skill (and it looks super cool). Matrixing is the manipulation of the player model in order to avoid another player’s attacks. For the most part, it is another line of defense, but it is unique, because unlike your other defenses, such as a shield or parry, it leaves you open to attack your now defenseless opponent at no cost to your stamina. Additionally, your opponent is almost always unprepared for a well performed matrix.
So the question remains: How do you matrix? Essentially, it is like a duck, but instead of bending forwards you are bending backwards. All you have to do is crouch, look at the sky, and turn 90 degrees to either your left or right (the turn is optional but it increases your chances of success). The end result is that your player model is moved farther out of range because you are leaning back, your height is lowered (you can duck this way), and the opponent’s attack becomes slightly off target. This can be further supplemented by either an overhead or a stab attack, which will move your model even farther away and even closer toward the ground. With heavy two handers, like the maul, double axe, or poleaxe your player essentially bends over backwards when overheading.
When should you matrix? Whenever you think you can pull it off successfully; it is a free hit after all.
A few things I’ve realized about matrixing over time are:
1. Overheads are really hard to matrix (unless combined with a Walking Matrix)
2. Stabs are the easiest to matrix
3. Slashes are somewhere in the middle and better handled by ducks
4. Daggers are easy to matrix regardless
5. If you are barely in range, matrix!
6. Matrixes should be reaction based, and not prediction
These points are somewhat self-explanatory, but I’ll explain them anyways.
1) Overheads hit your feet, which is what makes them nearly impossible to matrix, because even though you are moving the upper half of your model, your feet remain in the same place. This can potentially be avoided by angle walking.
2) Stabs are the easiest to matrix because they only cover a very small area, a straight line directly in front of the opponent, so simply turning to the side can make them miss.
3) Slashes you can matrix by either being very close to your opponent, or almost out of range. It gets harder if you’re not within those two areas because the opponent often has enough time to move their weapon downwards and hit you.
4) Do you hate dagger spammers? Matrixing is for you! Unless the spammer is right next to you he will miss regardless of what strike he uses, allowing you to kill them in one hit (assuming you are a knight or vanguard and they are archer scum).
5) The last point while obvious is very useful. You simply matrix their attack, moving out of range, and attack, moving back into range.
I’m going to give this its own block because I realized I neglected to mention it and it is one of the most important aspects of matrixing: Attack when you are matrixing. This statement holds true for the majority of the time, unless you're performing a walking matrix. When you matrix, you take a risk by leaving yourself completely open, but you minimize this risk by attacking, because not only do you manipulate your player model further, letting you avoid attacks more easily, but also you give yourself a chance to trade if you fail to avoid the attack.
I've mentioned Walking Matrixes
earlier in this section, but I never actually explained what they are. A walking matrix is a passive, non-attack based dodge which can only be performed with heavy two handers such as the Maul or Double Axe. It's done by backing up (S
) and holding an angle
) depending on the direction that their attack is coming from. Combine the angle backwalk with looking slightly up and your torso/head will be well out of harms way, and since you're walking you'll create enough distance that they won't be able to drag it into you. As effective as this is, it isn't foolproof. You should always parry while performing a walking matrix just in case they manage to knick your foot or something. This makes parrying dragged overheads a lot easier since you're now facing the attack from the side, so if they do drag it into you your parry will catch it.
One final point I have to make about matrixing is that you can use it offensively. One way is to hide your attacks. This applies mostly to the stab. If you bend backwards, like you are matrixing, during your stab, the opponent will barely be able to see the weapon unless if it is huge, allowing you to get off a sneaky attack. Another way is to bait an opponent. You attack from the edge of their range and as they move in thinking they’ve earned an easy hit you matrix their attack and hit them.
This description of matrixing, despite being informative, does not do it justice. This video made by int | Moose demonstrates its power and versatility well.