With my paladin stuck knee-deep in the noblegarden event (more on that some other time) which seems to mostly involve an infinite string of picking up not-so-brightly-colored eggs I started musing on how to continue levelling my druid.
Now at a healthy level 78, the xp/hour through questing is good but has the unfortunate side effect that in order to progress him I am literally taking time away from all my other lovely alts.
So I decided to put my druid through the initial quest chains for the argent tournament and while the first couple of days of dailies hardly proved to be a challenge the next set of dailies can, but don't have to be, a bit of a pain in the arse.
I am talking about duelling valiants. No, they're not difficult to beat in general (after the first time) but the trick is to beat them fast so you can be on your merry way to do other things.
So here's my simple approach to defeating valiants quickly:
1. Charge up your defend to max (3) before you initiate the duel
2. Accept the challenge, you'll note that the valiant will 9 out of 10 times start to move away from you so open with a ~CHARGE~
3. After the charge curve around (I mean curve, not stand and turn, just make a smoothish half circle) and close the distance between the valiant and you, if you can, spam your ~SHIELD BREAKER~ ability to see if you can get a shield breaker in before you get close to him
4. At melee range priority 1 is to keep your ~DEFEND~ up at max (you shouldn't be needing to defend much, just make sure the buff doesn't drop off if you're at max defend) and spam ~THRUST~
5. You will notice after a short stint of melee the valiant will try to get some distance between him/her and you. When that happens go back to nr 2 and rinse and repeat the entire cycle.
What doesn't work:
1. Keeping your enemy at range. Valiants don't seem to have any significant cooldowns on their abilities which means they can ~SHIELD BREAKER~ and ~CHARGE~ you quite a bit if you keep them at range
2. Melee combat with anything less than a full stack of ~DEFEND~ is really bad for your HP
3. ~SHIELD BREAKER~ before ~CHARGE~ doesn't always work and when it doesn't it usually leaves you open to be charged or otherwise attacked by the valiant.
4. Starting out without a full stack of ~DEFEND~ really puts you behind since you'll be trading in a lot of damaging attacks just on building up your shield.
On a side note: Should you ever fight a gnome valiant note that their defend icons are really really tiny so can be somewhat hard to see.
The 'strategy' seems to work quite well on any NPC you can joust including the lieutenants you have to kill in the scourge area in the southern part of icecrown (daily).
There's not much to it, but I've seen some people break a bit of a sweat over the valiants so I thought I'd throw this out there.