Scepter/Dagger Arcane Combo
This build takes heavy advantage of Combo Field and Combo Finishers, specifically blast finishers. If you are unfamiliar with Combo Fields and Combo Finishers, please take a look at this wiki page. Utilizing these combos will allow your team to output significantly greater damage, and luckily for us elementalists we don't need to rely on teammates to do massive damage with combos.
We will be focusing on the Fire Field -> Blast Finisher combo to stack might on our elementalist. You will have the ability to stack Might (Power) with this combo, which will significantly increase the amount of damage you do. Note: The numbers I use when talking about amount of damage and stuff will vary, and may be incredibly off because I'm just doing it off memory and trying to be conservative.
As the name suggest, this build utilizes the Scepter and Dagger as weapon. Let me break down the skills I use most.
Fire Attunement: All skills. Main source of Combo
Water Attunement: Mostly only to heal/drop conditions. Will switch in and 5/4/3 real quick.
Air Attunement: Default/Starting Attunement. Using all skills
Earth Attunement: Used against high toughness targets and to build our combo higher when fire grab is on cooldown.
Dragon Tooth and Fire Grab are your two biggest hitters. But as you likely already know, they are very hard to hit with. With positioning though we can increase our chances of these two devastating skills of hitting our target. After the Utility section I will describe the combo.
Heal: This is going to be personal preference. I like the large heal that places a buff on you. This build is bursty and most fights will be over before you get the benefit of the signet heal in my opinion. I have tried both and I don't really see a clear advantage, other than the channel heal sucks for my playstyle.
Utility 1: Mist form. There is no arguement. All elementalists need this skill. If you don't have it, then thieves and warriors will destroy you over and over and is the #1 reason why some of you complain so much about Hundred Blades. It breaks stun and makes you invulnerable.
Utility 2: Arcane Blast. This is a high damage attack that always crits and has a short cooldown. It also has the Combo: Projectile Finisher attribute, making it very powerful.
Utility 3: Arcane Wave. This is a high damage AE attack that always crits and dictates how often we do our combo. It has a Combo: Blast Finisher attribute and is the skill we use to time when to go into Fire attunement and do our combo.
Ultimate: I personally like the Glyph of Elementals. Preferebly Air Elemental, as the RNG stun on it can help land your Dragon Tooth for you. I want to start playing with the Fiery Greatsword as I believe that is a Blast Finisher and has some good damage output, but I am unfamiliar with the weapon skills as of this time.
Okay, now that we got a brief overview of the skills out of the way, lets talk about "The Combo" I've been alluding too. You are going to use Fire Field (Fire Attunement, Dagger skill #4) to place down a Combo Field. You will then use Blast Finishers (Dragon Tooth, Pheonix, Arcane Wave, Earth Quake, Churning Earth) to build stacks of Might on you. You can get up to 17-20, but most of the time you will be around 9-12 stacks. The combo itself will do upwards of 12k damage, and after that Dragon Tooth's and Fire Grab will crit for 4k or so.
The base combo that we can use every time Arcane Wave is up
Fire Field -> Pheonix -> Dragon Tooth -> Arcane Wave -> Arcane Blast
Fire skill 4 -> Fire Skill 3 -> Fire Skill 2 -> Utility 3 -> Utility 2
This Combo comes out very quickly as you can cast Arcane Wave and Arcane Blast at any time, during other skills and even when you are knocked down and maybe while stunned.
If that doesn't give you enough juicy Might Stacks for you, switch into Earth while the fire field is still up and bust out Earthquake and Churning Earth for more stacks. So the Combo looks like
Fire Field -> Pheonix -> Dragon Tooth -> Arcane Wave -> Arcane Blast -> Earth Attunement -> Earthquake -> Churning Earth
The fire field lasts just long enough for that full combo. If you are slow, have high latency, or are interrupted in anyway then you won't get the full combo off. It works very well in PvE to do the entire full combo.
Tips to land the Combo
Landing this in PvE is extremely easy. It will also kill anything in one combo so long as you keep your gear up to date (no less than 8 levels below you for any piece, keep weapons as close to your level as possible). Landing it in PvP is a little more difficult though as you will likely protest.
Landing in PvE. This is where Lightning Attunement becomes the Default attunement to be in, to set the combo up, and to switch back to as it's damage is entirely based off your Power attribute.
The Set up for PvP
The basic Jist for the set up is simple. Knock them down with Updraft, and Ride the Lightning back to them quickly. As you are riding in, switch to fire immediately and bust out the combo. If you can, try to do the setup after they have exhausted their endurance. If you just straight up do it right away, they are most likely going to roll out of your combo and half of the skills will get evaded. You will still get the might stacks, so it's not a total loss but they will get out of it with most of their health intact, and if you had just waited for them to roll you would have outright killed them in the combo.
Start in Air Attunement Blast them with Lightning Strike and Blinding Flash them whenever you think they are going to do a strong hit. Dodge roll other strong hits and to make them remember they can dodge also to try and social engineer it out of them. When you are ready, unleash the fury.
Now the Combo chain looks like this.
Updraft -> Ride the Lightning -> Fire Attunement -> Fire Field -> Pheonix -> Dragon Tooth -> Arcane Wave -> Arcane Blast
At this point, if all your skills landed, then they are either dead or forced to blow all defensive cooldowns. Unfortunately Updraft has a longer cooldown than the combo, so this can only be an opener, unless the fight lasts 40+ seconds
okay, let's talk about Traits and pvp Runes
I've been running a 30/10/0/0/30 build lately. There is some leeway here, and I've been thinking about dropping some Arcane to put into somewhere else. I'm reluctant to put more into Air for precision because two of our skills have 100% crit rate no matter what (the Arcane skills).
Fire: MORE POWER!! 30 points here is good. You will notice that I don't have a trait selected in that build link, that's because it's old and doesn't have the 5% extra damage to burning targets. The big one being getting a might stack for every fire skill we cast, just stack it up higher baby.
Air: Without 10 in air, you'd have like 0% Crit rate with the runes I use, and that's just not fun.
Arcane: Lower cooldown on arcane skills so we can do the combo more often. Get a might buff when we switch to fire (and more importantly a protection buff when switching to earth). The 3rd skill you can feel free to switch around, or even drop 10 points and put somewhere else.
I'm boring and despite making this guide lack creativity, so I go with Divinity. Give us 60 to all stats so a good balance between damage and survivability. Get the Power-Toughness-Vitality neck, without it you only will have 12k health and Warriors will down you in one Eviscerate. For weapons, I use 5% Damage on the Scepter, and 60% Chance to remove condition on Dagger. We only have one condition drop in Water Skill #5, so I hope that the 60% chance is good enough to drop bleed stacks off me. Don't know if it works that well though.
Well, my attentions span is starting to wain, so I'm going to wrap it up here. I plan to make updates later, and I plan on putting together some videos showing how the combo works and what you can expect out of it. I will also try to update to give tips on how to fight certain professions. Keep in mind though that I am nowhere near as good as some of the people that PvP a lot more than me, but I think my advice is still good and worth having. It's much better than whining about how shit elementalist damage is, because that is just not true.
If you would like some advice in game, you can reach me at Myrkur.7049. I play an Elementalist named "Jaryn Har" on Gates of Madness, so if you see me in game give me a /wave.
And one last thing. I'm looking for a condition damage build with high toughness and vitality. Show me what you've got, because I haven't been able to make one work nearly as well as my Arcane Dynamo. Also, I could use tips on how to defeat Guardians (is it even possible?! GOD) and Mesmers (one beat the shit out of me last night, soooo gotta learn what the hell was going on in that matchup).
Thanks guys, and check back later for Videos of the combo in practice. Also ask me anything I guess.
Edited by Myrkur, 04 September 2012 - 12:43 PM.