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Staff / Condition Build Viability ?


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#1 Nerathas

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 11:18 AM

After reading several topics i have seen many people claim a condition mesmer is gimped.

Since my testing experience (1 beta weekend and a few stress tests) is limited i would like some input about the staff as a primary weapon in a build. And some details why conditions are supposed to be gimped on the mesmer class.

What type of build does actually work with a staff (synergies, efficiency, etc, ...)? As a second weapon set i prefer the sword/pistol.
The goal is to get a few idea's and on release i can start working on my own build with the gathered input.

Edited by Nerathas, 22 August 2012 - 11:20 AM.


#2 That Happy Cat

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 11:29 AM

I was under the impression that the Staff is considered one of our better weapons, and condition builds one of our "smoother" builds.

The key to Staff condition builds is Clones. Staff Clones are crazy powerful. Getting a way to spam them, for example Deceptive Evasion, is important. The other cornerstone of condition builds is Sharper Images, and because of this condition Mesmers almost always have high Precision to proc it as often as possible. Clone death condition traits (Confusing Combatants, Debilitating Dissipation) is a minor but very helpful addition.

And don't forget Confusion, the Mesmer's "signature" condition: while many consider it weak, in large enough stacks it can do terrible terrible damage to enemies who spam their skills. One of my favourite combos is CoF + Confusing Images, which inflicts 8 - 13 stacks of Confusion: that's ~2000 damage per skill activation with a decent condition build. Not bad at all.

#3 Chesire

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 11:37 AM

View PostNerathas, on 22 August 2012 - 11:18 AM, said:

After reading several topics i have seen many people claim a condition mesmer is gimped.

Since my testing experience (1 beta weekend and a few stress tests) is limited i would like some input about the staff as a primary weapon in a build. And some details why conditions are supposed to be gimped on the mesmer class.

What type of build does actually work with a staff (synergies, efficiency, etc, ...)? As a second weapon set i prefer the sword/pistol.
The goal is to get a few idea's and on release i can start working on my own build with the gathered input.



Condition Mesmer is gimped because there are few Amulets/Jewels that we can use and utilize compared to power built Mesmers. A power build Mesmer can spec into Toughness/Vitality and still have enough damage to lay the smack down on someone. This makes them highly durable and great on-point fighters since the idea is to stay up close and personal with your enemy. Vitality also seems to scale better than Toughness. What this means is, a power built Mesmer can spec into vitality and pretty much increase his overall damage; however a condition built Mesmer will lose damage somewhere--whether it be from not being able to apply bleeds, to lower condition damage across the board.

Another thing to factor in is burst. There is no skill that would allow a condition Mesmer to effectively burst his target unlike power builds. A condition Mesmer pretty much relies on bleeds or confusion damage for burst, and as I said earlier, if you spec for survival you need to sacrifice one of those in terms of application or damage altogether. What's more is even our burst through conditions can be nullified and most of damage can even be removed on a regular basis, especially in a Tournament settings because most players with a brain will be carrying condition removal for themselves or even for teammates. This isn't an issue for Power builds.

In those regards, we are gimp, yes. However that doesn't mean we're useless or lack the viability of Power Mesmers. We are deadly in our own right but we require, I think, a LOT more skill to play and play effectively.

Follow what THC has said with weapon choices.

If you want to see a condition build at work in a regular SPvP setting, I have some videos on my youtube channel. The most recent being this one:

#4 Zorian51

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:13 PM

If you're going condition you can still build vitality you just wouldn't rely on sharper images. Your amulet choices are really Rabid (Condition Damage/Toughness/Precison) good for high crit/condition builds or. Carrion (Power/Vit/Condition) this gives you some power for your shatters which isnt a bad thing. Or you could go for rampagers which gives a little Vit and Power and some condition/precision.

The problem that is stated above is that most people want a Conditon Damage/Vitality/Crit jewel which doesn't exist. If toughness has the same power that Vitality does its not a problem. The verdict is still out on that. I keep hearing about vitality being better but I haven't seen any concrete evidence of that yet.

Staff plays a pretty strong roll in team fights as well because of the bounce and application of Chaos Storm. With cooldowns getting really low with the recent changes it may even be better. I'd say its good but if its up there with power builds the verdict might still be out. Just as conditon removal removes a lot of the damage for this build real fast things like protection make your power builds 1/3 less as effective while its up.

#5 Nerathas

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:42 PM

Ty for the input.

My goal is not really to have a condition build, but a build that involves a staff.
Sorry for the confusion.

#6 jharkin

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:43 PM

View PostNerathas, on 22 August 2012 - 11:18 AM, said:

After reading several topics i have seen many people claim a condition mesmer is gimped.

If you go 100% condition damage you will be gimped.  I put together a condition/staff build which only hit 850 condition damage for this stress test and it absolutely wrecked people 1v1.  I believe the key is moderation and always throwing a little to a lot of survivability into your build. The phantasm change actually gave condition builds a huge boost.  All during the stress test I found I was getting 3 phantasms out at the same time with only warlock + 1 utility phantasm on a pretty regular basis without really trying.  Combining that with phantasmal fury and sharper images, and it gets quite bloody.

#7 Zorian51

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:52 PM

The problem is aside from Toughness survivablity doesn't go well with Conditions. Vitality is much harder to get while keeping the build decent for conditions. Unless you're talking about something like phantasm defender. Thought you'll want staff clones to be out for conditions.

#8 Sebrent_Tehroth

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:55 PM

Staff is quite a wonderful weapon in that it first provides quite a bit of utility ... this allows it to be used in all builds.

Mesmer is beautiful in that it can be built Pure Power, Power+Precision, Power+Malice, Malice+Precision, Pure Malice and do quite well. Each has its strengths and weaknesses but the Mesmer has several weapons and traits available that makes each quite viable. The secret is to figure out which one(s) best fit you and your playstyle (as well as those you play with/against, though harder to factor in) and how to best configure your traits, skills, runes, sigils, etc.

As for the suggestion for pure Malice (condition damage) ... I think one of the better ways to go is with Malice+Toughness because you can take the Runes of the Undead for the extra 5% toughness to malice and the Mesmer trait that does the same. This allows you to improve your survivability against direct damage (toughness doesn't affect condition damage) while also applying those points in toughness towards your own condition damage as well. But that being said, this is not the only way to do it and I'm personally more a fan of the Malice+Precision because I highly value Sharper Images in my own playstyle.

#9 Zorian51

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 01:09 PM

View PostSebrent_Tehroth, on 22 August 2012 - 12:55 PM, said:

Staff is quite a wonderful weapon in that it first provides quite a bit of utility ... this allows it to be used in all builds.

Mesmer is beautiful in that it can be built Pure Power, Power+Precision, Power+Malice, Malice+Precision, Pure Malice and do quite well. Each has its strengths and weaknesses but the Mesmer has several weapons and traits available that makes each quite viable. The secret is to figure out which one(s) best fit you and your playstyle (as well as those you play with/against, though harder to factor in) and how to best configure your traits, skills, runes, sigils, etc.

As for the suggestion for pure Malice (condition damage) ... I think one of the better ways to go is with Malice+Toughness because you can take the Runes of the Undead for the extra 5% toughness to malice and the Mesmer trait that does the same. This allows you to improve your survivability against direct damage (toughness doesn't affect condition damage) while also applying those points in toughness towards your own condition damage as well. But that being said, this is not the only way to do it and I'm personally more a fan of the Malice+Precision because I highly value Sharper Images in my own playstyle.

Whats nice is Toughness/Precison/Malice all go together because of the Rabid Amulet which is where you get a majority of the stats. I guess the concern would be the low vitality of the build. Another choice for runes is 2 Lyssa and 4 Nightmare for the 20% extra Condition Duration. Works well with the confusion/bleeds.

#10 jharkin

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 01:50 PM

View PostZorian51, on 22 August 2012 - 12:52 PM, said:

The problem is aside from Toughness survivablity doesn't go well with Conditions. Vitality is much harder to get while keeping the build decent for conditions. Unless you're talking about something like phantasm defender. Thought you'll want staff clones to be out for conditions.

Phantasm defender, sigil of purity, illusionary defense, phase retreat, chaos armor, chaos storm, decoy, clone confusion, critical infusion and dodging like a madman.

With critial infusion you can literally keep your dodge up about half the time if you have a high crit.  In 1v1 with conditions ticking and illusions pounding away dodge is extremely potent.  There were fights where I would literally walk away with 80% of my health without using a heal.

#11 jondifool

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 01:53 PM

I had a lot of fun practising in sPvP the last stresstest, with a phantasm based condition build going for alot of thoughness. While lacking alot in damage because of skipping the clone-precision route, i settled for adding the 2 uttility phantasm for surviability.

I was simply amazed how much i could survive this way. And as the first evning spend mainly in sPvP i can only recommend a thoughness build with alot of survivability  traits and utillity skills to keep you in the fight, learning while hanging in there. (try using the cannon in the capricorn map while being ganked by a thief , and still be able to finish all the 5 shots, and get a healing spell of to run away from the encounter says sommething about what can be done).

But i quess you can make a more damageing version of this condition build without hanging on to clone generation, with a little effort, but if the added surviability is enough to compete , i am not sure.

But phantasmal healing and the synergi with illusionary membrence, becames alot stronger with added utillity phantasms, and the improved recharge rate from the weponskill traits.

#12 Zorian51

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 01:57 PM

Doesn't sound like a bad idea I wonder how well the defender holds up without extra health thought. I'd imagine it die fast. Sigil of Purity I thought about but I think mirror and menders heal might work and free up a slot. You'll also still want something for conditonal removal and probably the signet for extra condtiion damage and the clutch stun.

#13 EasymodeX

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 03:09 PM

This is the spec I played a bunch in yesterday's extended stress test: http://gw2skills.net...aZ0SolVLnWStGVA

It just seemed a bit sketchy getting hard damage out in a large fight, or oftentimes in smaller ones.  Even spamming clones and phantasms nearly non-stop, it didn't seem like confusion was generating much damage, and the targets didn't really rack up bleed stacks.  It wasn't just one or two random condition-clearing targets either; seemed like a pervasive issue.  I wonder if the raw condition duration in this setup is just too poor.  I am thinking about ditching the bounce trait and dropping Illusion to 5 points, and sticking them into Domination almost exclusively for the Cond Dur.

Edited by EasymodeX, 22 August 2012 - 03:09 PM.


#14 jharkin

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 03:50 PM

Phantasms die pretty quickly.  In a group actions I can lose the defender almost instantly due to all the AOE and my aggressive play-style, however in 1v1 the defender is usually not targeted and lasts for ~6 seconds.  I actually contemplated getting signet of illusions, but found I really didn't need it.

The sigil of purity was odd.  It doesn't give you any messages when it procs, so I had a difficult time determining it's effectiveness.  I'll probably need to take a video of a fight and watch the playback, however it seemed like it was working well.  I had multiple 1v1 fights against warrior rifle bleed builds for some reason and I don't recall seeing many ticks of bleeding.  If you go by the math, 60% * 60% crit rating = 36% per shot of cleansing a condition.  I'm unsure if each bounce of the staff can crit separately (believe it does) or if it has a 2 second internal timer.

#15 jharkin

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:03 PM

View PostEasymodeX, on 22 August 2012 - 03:09 PM, said:

This is the spec I played a bunch in yesterday's extended stress test: http://gw2skills.net...aZ0SolVLnWStGVA

I wonder if the raw condition duration in this setup is just too poor.  I am thinking about ditching the bounce trait and dropping Illusion to 5 points, and sticking them into Domination almost exclusively for the Cond Dur.

I think a problem going with on death of clone abilities with staff is that they don't close and that on death effects are small aes.   I had confusion on death and rarely saw anyone actually effected by it using staff clones.

#16 EasymodeX

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:08 PM

Well I didn't overwrite them until I got into melee, then I went apeshit with Mirror Images, dodge, staff2, etc.  At range I just sat there with staff5 and staff1 spam with illusions stable at 3.

#17 Sebrent_Tehroth

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:52 PM

View Postjharkin, on 22 August 2012 - 03:50 PM, said:

Phantasms die pretty quickly.  In a group actions I can lose the defender almost instantly due to all the AOE and my aggressive play-style, however in 1v1 the defender is usually not targeted and lasts for ~6 seconds.  I actually contemplated getting signet of illusions, but found I really didn't need it.

The sigil of purity was odd.  It doesn't give you any messages when it procs, so I had a difficult time determining it's effectiveness.  I'll probably need to take a video of a fight and watch the playback, however it seemed like it was working well.  I had multiple 1v1 fights against warrior rifle bleed builds for some reason and I don't recall seeing many ticks of bleeding.  If you go by the math, 60% * 60% crit rating = 36% per shot of cleansing a condition.  I'm unsure if each bounce of the staff can crit separately (believe it does) or if it has a 2 second internal timer.
The Sigil of Purity has a 10 sec cooldown.

#18 jharkin

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 05:32 PM

View PostSebrent_Tehroth, on 22 August 2012 - 04:52 PM, said:

The Sigil of Purity has a 10 sec cooldown.

Thanks, that's a shame.  Did a little research myself and found this link http://peoplesfront....misc/sigil-info with more sigil information.




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