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Why I love the Scepter - PvP thoughts and Builds

scepter pvp builds ranged guardian

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#1 Anam Itheoir

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:25 PM

I know everyone bags on the scepter, because of 1 attack being slow, but I am here to issue that I as a Norn Guardian have a love affair with the scepter.  Is it horribly unfair that as a big strapping guardian I have to swing something like a little girl flicking my wrists?
I am at work right now, and so decided to post my love letter to a weapon that is significantly better than I thought.  I am not sure if they improved it, but during pvp this weapon has easily become my favorite weapon.  So I figured to write the reasons I enjoy the scepter.

1. Orb of Wrath is slow, but hits like a truck.  I know that many of you hate it’s slow 1200 jaunt, and that you could conceivably out run it’s attack to your target, but here is the part I love.  You can cast multiple orbs while strafing or approaching your target.  I once had 5 out as I ran towards a warrior who was running to me, by the time we arrived at each other I had 5 orbs out, and he was hit with all 5 like an explosion it dropped 10k health off him in a split second.   In melee range it’s amazing.  If you drop smite, you can keep hammering away with Orb of Wrath.  With a crit based build and 2900 plus power you can do some serious damage to anyone.  It’s also amazing in WvWvW on keep attacks.  

2.    Smite is ridiculously hilarious to watch.  You can hit as many people as cluster together.  It’s a bit of a hassle against good opponents, but with a 6 sec cool down and a 1200 range, you can lead kiters drop in a node to clear an area.  It’s hilarious powerful when used correctly, you can watch health drop and stand toe to toe with anyone and pound away.  It’s hilarious when you drop it on an unsuspecting target, and they have no clue what’s going on.

3.    Chains of Light to catch that pesky kiter, hold that crit machine in place so you can drop the hammer on them. One of my favorite moves is to Chains of Light, rush in dropping Smite and then unloading with Cleansing flame on the torch for some ridiculous burst.

4.    The scepter is amazing for ranged and full on damage defense, it can be used as a melee weapon and as a ranged bomber.  If you learn to fire ahead of your target you will be amazed as to how many people you can hit who are trying to kite your slow moving orbs.  In fact if you turn and face ahead of a target who is running across the field the orb will fire ahead of them and then fire several orbs in a line back to them.

5.    Bombing from on high is simply hilarious, combined with the torch you have 3 attacks at 1200 that hit like a truck.  In WvW, Zealot’s flame hits like a truck followed by several orb of wraths, and Smite and there isn’t a person alive who can live through that amount of sheer damage.

6.    You claim that it’s easy to get away.  Yes if you only fire one, someone can out run it or simply move to one side or the other, but I never fire one.  I fire 5 in a row while moving and turning and suddenly no matter which way they turn there is another orb of wrath. So they dodge, no problem, Orb’s animation is so fast you can fire several more before the dodge ends.

Downside:  No symbols or combo finishers.  It’s really tough to get a spec that synergizes well with it.  I love running with the torch. You can run with a SW build, a meditation build, a consecration build, and a condition build.  Optimally it would work best with a signet build, but our signets are pretty awful.

The problem with the condition build is that there is no way to pull off additional burn/conditions without being in melee range, meaning you need to get in melee range to successfully pull it off.  The biggest issue is we don’t have a way to pile more than 3 different conditions and most of them have really low timers and aren’t easily reapplied.  That means burn is the only thing on the target.  In the end,  I ran a triple meditation build for the self healing, and condition cleansing.

In the end this is the biggest problem with the scepter, it doesn’t really fit anywhere well, because there is no ranged offhand, and there is no really easy trait build to drop it in.  2H weapons work well with offensive focused builds.  Support builds work best with the staff.  Node defensive builds work best with Mace/Shield and Hammer.  So where does that leave my scepter?  I ran into a scepter/Shield user in a wz last night, and blew through him with the scepter/torch.  The scepter doesn’t really work well with the shield, and synergizes best with the torch or focus.  My feeling is simple, it would work best with a signet build for straight damage, but our signets and signet traits are awful.

Finally, the scepter works best if it’s almost always used as the cd’s are very short on it’s attacks which means constant weapon swapping is kind of odd.  The 2h weapons have long cooldowns which means you use their abilities, swap to the next weapon and keep going.

TLDR:  The scepter is amazing and fun to use, but doesn’t synergize with any trait builds or off hands really well.  I have personally found the meditation build to be the best for my own survival.  I ran these two builds the most often:

Meditation/Scepter Build

Scepter/Consecration Build

Edited by Anam Itheoir, 27 August 2012 - 08:14 PM.


#2 megamacka

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:02 PM

Tbh I don't like the scepter that much. Id rather have a long/shortbow and have it use '' light / burning '' abilities. Would be really cool :-) Shooting arrows made of light.

#3 pay928

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:07 PM

View Postmegamacka, on 27 August 2012 - 07:02 PM, said:

Tbh I don't like the scepter that much. Id rather have a long/shortbow and have it use '' light / burning '' abilities. Would be really cool :-) Shooting arrows made of light.

I find it weird the only Spirit weapon we can't use as a regular weapon is the bow.  I know there doesn't have to be a correlation between the 2 but as a support spirit weapon, doing staff would've made more sense.

#4 jmilktoast

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:13 PM

i concur. I like the scepter, more for smite and CoL.

#5 Anam Itheoir

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:16 PM

View Postmegamacka, on 27 August 2012 - 07:02 PM, said:

Tbh I don't like the scepter that much. Id rather have a long/shortbow and have it use '' light / burning '' abilities. Would be really cool :-) Shooting arrows made of light.

The scepter takes some getting used too. In pve, I don't use it as it's just too cool to run 2h Sword Spirit weapon build.  In pvp, though the 1200 range, Smite, CoL, and Orbs is better than you think.  It's not perfect, but I have a lot of success running the Meditation build.  The offhand doesn't matter, you can use a hammer or shield for node defense or run staff for heals.  it all depends on what you enjoy, but the scepter works great with the power per kill stacking buff.

#6 Jobuu

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:48 PM

after the weekend of pvp i came to a similar idea of the scepter/torch - it's really the only thing that goes

i'm coming up with this but i didnt modify the runes and stuff

http://gw2skills.net...Nuak1s2YAxGkpAA

weird how now i'm using scepter for offense and mace for defense

i like the signets. 16 sec cooldown for 5 sec of retaliation and a  24 sec heal

kept judge's intervention - gap closer and more fire

and a little more defense

Edited by Jobuu, 27 August 2012 - 09:01 PM.


#7 Anam Itheoir

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:01 PM

View PostJobuu, on 27 August 2012 - 08:48 PM, said:

after the weekend of pvp i came to a similar idea of the scepter/torch - it's really the only thing that goes

Have you tried the firing several orbs of wrath, than firing zealot's flame and dropping smite all at one time so it hits the target all at about the same time :P?  It will wipe out any glass cannon and almost take out anyone except the tanky classes.

#8 Jobuu

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:03 PM

see my edit ^ :)

#9 Anam Itheoir

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:26 PM

View PostJobuu, on 27 August 2012 - 09:03 PM, said:

see my edit ^ :)

Just did - drop Pure of heart it's awful.  Grab 10 more points in Valor for Retributive Armor or pickup 10 points in Zeal for more Scepter damage. The aegis talent is situational and random, retributive armor is significantly better.

I am not a fan of Sanctuary with it's huge cooldown, and the fact that anyone with stability can ignore it, and it doesn't block all projectiles only physical damage attacks.   Other than that not bad, though I prefer reduced Meditation cd over Purity, but Purity can be beneficial.

If you are going to take Sanctuary, why pick up Retaliatory Subconscious over Master of Consecrations?

Edited by Anam Itheoir, 27 August 2012 - 09:26 PM.


#10 Jobuu

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:47 PM

just a monday and i didn't think of that - i kept getting knocked down and figured that would be good but now MOC is much better that i'm awake

maybe i'll swap sanctuary for hallowed ground

#11 Soryuju

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 07:06 PM

It's great to hear that you've had a good experience with the Scepter so far! A couple comments of my own, though:

-Scepter autoattack is nice when it hits, though I haven't ever seen a build that can hit for 10k with 5 projectiles on a Warrior with only 2900 power, so unless you're using some new method I'm not familiar with to boost your damage, I'm going to have to assume you were exaggerating there.  With 2840 power, my Scepter orbs typically hit for 500-700 damage and crit for 900-1200.

-Raggok's recent video on Stability vs. Fear takes a moment to explain why the Scepter projectile is critically flawed: if your opponent so much as changes direction while you're firing, you will completely miss the shot, because the scepter auto-leads its target.  This is less of a problem if you're right up close to the target, but the further you are, the easier it becomes to evade, and other players are going to start to pick up on this before long.  You might be able to hit the warrior with that full spread of projectiles now, but once people start to learn how to exploit the Scepter's weaknesses, that probably won't continue.  Here's the video for reference (4:38):



-On that note, the problem with the Scepter's 1 and 2 is that they only work to full potential if the opponent isn't paying attention to them, or if you snare them with CoL (2 seconds out of every 20).  A good opponent under fire from orbs can weave to avoid the damage fairly easily, and Smite's AoE is too small to be a serious obstruction outside of teamfights or on capture points (where close combat is mandatory).  The scepter can do quite well in teamfights, mostly because there's too much going on for opponents to focus on evading it, but in other situations, you have to play around its flaws in order to get the same use out of it that most other classes can naturally get out of their ranged weapons.  This, I believe, is the main issue people have with the Scepter - it can work as a ranged weapon, but only situationally, and the rest of the time you need to either strike from up close or when your opponent is distracted.  I don't know what the Warrior from your story was thinking, but most players aren't going to willingly take an entire spread of orbs to the face.

-Last thing - I agree that Scepter/Torch is nice for up-close damage, but I disagree when you say that the Scepter doesn't work well with the Shield.  The reason you tore through the Scepter/Shield Guardian with your Torch is because Scepter/Shield sacrifices the Torch's damage tools for ally support and area control, and those tools are of limited use in a 1v1 situation.  In a 1v1, the Sc/Sh Guardian will mostly be relying on their Scepter skills, but you had Scepter skills and Torch skills to bring against him.  Not to knock your skill or anything, but it was only natural that you won.  Sc/Sh is much better for taking points, where you can combine SoA and CoL to keep an opponent at range and off point while using the Scepter's projectiles to harass.  Smite can also contribute to some degree by creating a "danger" zone on the point, though its inconsistent damage may make it more useful as an obstruction than as a killing tool.  The set excels in team fights, which, as previously noted, is where Scepter skills are at their best.

Edited by Soryuju, 28 August 2012 - 07:09 PM.


#12 bloodronin

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:13 PM

i used to hate the scepter, but after the gs sc/sh combo i love it

Edited by bloodronin, 29 August 2012 - 08:14 PM.





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