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How do I Fight a Mesmer?


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#1 Skolops

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:46 AM

I'll try to make the question as specific as possible.

When a mesmer has his 4 (or 5?) clones/illusions/phantasms/whatever out, I'm completely lost.  

First of all, should I be attacking the obvious fakes (the ghostly looking ones), or just try to kill the mesmer himself?

Second, if I want to target the Mesmer himself, how can I even tell which is which?  When I get the jump on him I immediately put a target on, but it drops when he vanishes.  Someone told me that the control key would show me the real Mesmer, and I wonder if they are referring to targeting him or to something else.

Third, how do I, specifically as a Ranger, take the fight on?  For example, one thing I have done with some success is to simply AoE everything around to kill his weaker images, but as a ranger I tend not to have the AoE that some other classes do - at least with the builds/weapons I like to run.

#2 PyrexFierceshot

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:54 AM

The only way to deal with a Mesmer is to -

A. Have knowledge and a good eye, you can spot which one is him after his stealth ends because a black swirl will signify him breaking out of it. This is your only choice with power builds as they are not particularly good for AoE other than Barrage and cleaving images with a Greatsword.

B. Condition build using an Axe / Torch with one of your utilities being Flame Trap ( not required but an outstanding choice in the games current state, helps with all professions especially Thieves and Mesmers ).

You drop Bonfire, this will get rid of the images that are designated as melee attackers and will get rid of ranged clones if you take the Off-hand Training trait, which will make the ring even bigger. Then begin throwing your Axe while standing in the bonfire, this will spread the burning to images as well as the real Mesmer with a bit of luck ( 3 bounces per throw ). Once bonfire ends ( 8 second duration ) drop a flame trap, it will go off 95% of the time because his images will trigger it by accident, make sure you do the same thing and stand in it while throwing your axe.

Most condition builds run a Axe / Torch or Warhorn + Shortbow. When fighting a Mesmer you almost never switch to the Shortbow unless all images are gone and you absolutely know which one is real. If this is the case you can switch to the Shortbow, pop quickening zephyr and burn the real Mesmer down.


Ive never had problems with Mesmer as a condition Ranger, but have had immense problems in the past as a Power Ranger simply because all I have to beat the images is a Greatsword and if you cant kill the images fast enough he will just make them explode for 800-1k damage per image,I dont like the axe for power builds, I dont think many Rangers do.

Edited by PyrexFierceshot, 06 September 2012 - 03:55 AM.


#3 brandon238

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:30 AM

View PostPyrexFierceshot, on 06 September 2012 - 03:54 AM, said:

The only way to deal with a Mesmer is to -

A. Have knowledge and a good eye, you can spot which one is him after his stealth ends because a black swirl will signify him breaking out of it. This is your only choice with power builds as they are not particularly good for AoE other than Barrage and cleaving images with a Greatsword.

B. Condition build using an Axe / Torch with one of your utilities being Flame Trap ( not required but an outstanding choice in the games current state, helps with all professions especially Thieves and Mesmers ).

You drop Bonfire, this will get rid of the images that are designated as melee attackers and will get rid of ranged clones if you take the Off-hand Training trait, which will make the ring even bigger. Then begin throwing your Axe while standing in the bonfire, this will spread the burning to images as well as the real Mesmer with a bit of luck ( 3 bounces per throw ). Once bonfire ends ( 8 second duration ) drop a flame trap, it will go off 95% of the time because his images will trigger it by accident, make sure you do the same thing and stand in it while throwing your axe.

Most condition builds run a Axe / Torch or Warhorn + Shortbow. When fighting a Mesmer you almost never switch to the Shortbow unless all images are gone and you absolutely know which one is real. If this is the case you can switch to the Shortbow, pop quickening zephyr and burn the real Mesmer down.


Ive never had problems with Mesmer as a condition Ranger, but have had immense problems in the past as a Power Ranger simply because all I have to beat the images is a Greatsword and if you cant kill the images fast enough he will just make them explode for 800-1k damage per image,I dont like the axe for power builds, I dont think many Rangers do.

Mind posting your build?

#4 Daedin

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 05:13 AM

I can take mesmers with my power/perc build.  One tip that helps me a TON, is to call target on the real one, and put that big fat red target on his forhead.  No more confusion till he blows serious cooldowns, if hes even using them.  GL!

#5 Skolops

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 06:10 AM

View PostDaedin, on 06 September 2012 - 05:13 AM, said:

I can take mesmers with my power/perc build.  One tip that helps me a TON, is to call target on the real one, and put that big fat red target on his forhead.  No more confusion till he blows serious cooldowns, if hes even using them.  GL!

Yeah, I always do this. The problem is he vanishes in as soon as he realizes he's getting hit and when he reappears, the target is gone.

#6 kilger

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:08 PM

You're not supposed to easily tell which is the real one, thats part of the class mechanic.  We're a very elusive class.  Not so much as theives but probably second.

However its pretty easy to tell from their behaviour.  Clones will just spam the same thing and move in very predictable manner.  If you have aoe you can blow them away quickly too.

#7 Lothair_8942

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:32 PM

It's very simple:  Hit the one in the middle! :)

#8 EasymodeX

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:00 PM

Huh, to fight a Mesmer as a ranger ...

#1 step is to identify the real Mesmer.  This isn't too difficult if you focus.  Mesmer clones spam "1" slowly.  The real Mesmer:

- Spams "1" quickly
- Moves around more than just running up to you (re: melee clones); in other words the real Mesmer will move sideways ... clones NEVER move sideways
- The real Mesmer will dodge
- The real Mesmer may rapid strafe to throw off your arrow shots
- The real Mesmer does any other animation in the game besides autoattack [note: obviously helps if you know what Mesmer "1" attacks look like]

Aside from that, 99% of Mesmers are running a 3s stealth on a 30 second cooldown.  If a clone suddenly appears and turns to face you, the Mesmer probably just stealthed.  Watch for the black smoke at the feet thing, no different than fighting a Thief.  Mesmers have a few other stealth abilities but those are rare.

#2 step is to l2dodge.  First off, most bad Rangers try not to dodge because of their precious +% damage while endurance is full.  Break yourself of this habit or I will continue to completely demolish Rangers I come across without thinking twice.

Also, l2dodge.  Against most classes, you dodge when they do something scary at your face.  A good 30%-70% (depends on build) of Mesmer DPS is from their Phantasms (e.g. "Illusionary Duelist").  Be aware that you should dodge the Phantasm attacks.  Most of the Phantasms attack every 6 seconds.  Dodging every 6 seconds will typically negate half a Mesmer's damage.

#3 step is to learn wtf Feedback looks like.  It's the BIG BUBBLE they put around you.  Good Mesmers run this in WvW.  Many good Mesmers run this in other PvP as well.  This will reflect projectiles and inflict confusion.  If you use your rapid fire volley longbow attack into it (or better yet, with Quickness up), you will kill yourself pretty damn quickly).

Mesmers have a few other possible projectile reflection abilities, but they are rarer and build-specific.

#4 if you can start the fight off with CC (e.g. Shortbow5), do so immediately and try to chain it with any pet CC you have.  If you can start the fight with the Mesmer at a health deficit, that is a major plus.

#9 Skolops

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:47 PM

View PostEasymodeX, on 06 September 2012 - 04:00 PM, said:

Huh, to fight a Mesmer as a ranger ...

#1 step is to identify the real Mesmer.  This isn't too difficult if you focus.  Mesmer clones spam "1" slowly.  The real Mesmer:

- Spams "1" quickly
- Moves around more than just running up to you (re: melee clones); in other words the real Mesmer will move sideways ... clones NEVER move sideways
- The real Mesmer will dodge
- The real Mesmer may rapid strafe to throw off your arrow shots
- The real Mesmer does any other animation in the game besides autoattack [note: obviously helps if you know what Mesmer "1" attacks look like]

Aside from that, 99% of Mesmers are running a 3s stealth on a 30 second cooldown.  If a clone suddenly appears and turns to face you, the Mesmer probably just stealthed.  Watch for the black smoke at the feet thing, no different than fighting a Thief.  Mesmers have a few other stealth abilities but those are rare.

#2 step is to l2dodge.  First off, most bad Rangers try not to dodge because of their precious +% damage while endurance is full.  Break yourself of this habit or I will continue to completely demolish Rangers I come across without thinking twice.

Also, l2dodge.  Against most classes, you dodge when they do something scary at your face.  A good 30%-70% (depends on build) of Mesmer DPS is from their Phantasms (e.g. "Illusionary Duelist").  Be aware that you should dodge the Phantasm attacks.  Most of the Phantasms attack every 6 seconds.  Dodging every 6 seconds will typically negate half a Mesmer's damage.

#3 step is to learn wtf Feedback looks like.  It's the BIG BUBBLE they put around you.  Good Mesmers run this in WvW.  Many good Mesmers run this in other PvP as well.  This will reflect projectiles and inflict confusion.  If you use your rapid fire volley longbow attack into it (or better yet, with Quickness up), you will kill yourself pretty damn quickly).

Mesmers have a few other possible projectile reflection abilities, but they are rarer and build-specific.

#4 if you can start the fight off with CC (e.g. Shortbow5), do so immediately and try to chain it with any pet CC you have.  If you can start the fight with the Mesmer at a health deficit, that is a major plus.

I dodge all the time, but one of my issues with mesmers is that  with 4 (or 5?  I still don't know how many they can get out) copies of various sorts spread all around I find it almost impossible to have any idea when I ought to be dodging.

#10 EasymodeX

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:59 PM

Mesmers can only have 3 Illusions out at any time.  Illusion = Clone OR Phantasm.  Phantasms do damage and are called "Illusionary Duelist" / Berserker / Warlock, etc.  Dodge these.

Clones do negligible damage and are named after the player.  You can generally ignore these, unless everything is running at your face, then dodge.

Edited by EasymodeX, 06 September 2012 - 05:00 PM.


#11 PyrexFierceshot

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:51 PM

View Postbrandon238, on 06 September 2012 - 04:30 AM, said:

Mind posting your build?

I cant find an effective tool to use for creating builds, or atleast when I do use them it seems my builds dont save. Ive created a forum thread showing one of the builds I currently use.

Jaguar

Wolf

Shortbow : Sigil of Hydromancy

Axe+Torch : Sigil of Burning + Sigil of Energy

Healing Skill - Healing Spring
Utility Skill 1 - Quickening Zephyr
Utility Skill 2 - Flame Trap
Utility Skill 3 - Signet of the Wild ( 120 hp per second, try not to click it )
Elite Skill - Entangle


Runes of the Forge (6/6)

Shaman's Amulet
[Shaman's Jewel]

Marksmanship : 0

Skirmishing : 0

Wilderness Survival : 30 - (10) Shared Anguish - (20) Offhand Training - (30) Empathic Bond

Nature Magic - (10) Nature's Bounty

Beastmastery ( 30 ) - (10) Speed Training - (20) Rending Attacks - (30) Natural Healing


I was using Hide in Plain Sight for awhile, but switched to the torch and noticed that the ranger increase helps for AoE / chasing.

Edited by PyrexFierceshot, 06 September 2012 - 08:59 PM.


#12 Tolryn

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:02 PM

Cool.  I ran into this and he was all over the place, he bided his time until three friends showed up and I was screwed.

I'm a 80 Guardian with 8 Exotics, what's the secret?  Use the Scepter Root to lock him down then own face with 2H Greatswords?

#13 Keepy

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:09 PM

Best i can say is make yourself a mesmer learn it go pve and pvp and youll find tons of weaknesses then use those against them on spvp ;)

#14 lay

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:25 PM

To help you out best, it would help if you posted your build.

First, it sounds like you are falling hard for the number 1 class distinction - confusion, and im not talking about the condition. So, a couple of fact checks:
There will only ever be 3 copies of the mesmer. So the mesmer itself, and probably 2 phantasms, and a clone. The phantasms are dangerous, clones are not. Depending on you build you may have to react differently, but generally speaking getting rid of the phantasms (not the clones) is a verry good idea - they hurt, and many mesmer builds rely on them for damage. They die quick,  in about two hits.

Second, watch your own conditions - confusion (the condition) can hurt you when you use your actions. Bleeds you should be quite familiar with, but if specced, phantasms can apply them. So be prepared to use whatever condition cleansing option you chose for your build (you have to be using one in pvp, if youre not then you are just asking to die).

If you pay attention to phantasms and conditions, then you have now eliminated the damage from 90% of the mesmer builds out there. Aoe helps, but is not required, provided you are adept at locating the real mesmer. One of the posts above summarized it quite nicely, but a couple of easy tells without having to get too confused is to watch their movement patterns. Real mesmers strafe. Real mesmers evade/dodge roll. Finally, real mesmers run away from you. Mesmers cannot redirect or control their illusions at all - so if something that was targeting you turns and runs away or switches to a new target, thats the real deal.

So, having covered defense, and effective targeting, the fight gets fairly easy to be honest. Mesmers are squishy as hell, and too many of them do not have enough reliable condition removals. Null field (big purple circle) will remove all opponents boons and all allied conditions. This is one option they have for clearing their conditions. Its nice, but on a 45s cooldown, so they cannot access it more than once per fight. They can also swap your boons for their conditions with a different utility - not many seems to take this, but just keep an eye on your conditions, and cleanse when appropriate.

Without knowing your preferred build, it is difficult to give advice on just how to attack them, but they crumple very quick once you get the right one. Their heal is on a low cooldown, so just keep a poison up. If you're shortbow/condition based, load him up and watch him run or die. If you're a power build, rapid shot will channel and continue to damage them throughout stealth, and also bugs out regularly channeling through walls. In otherwords, once you hit him with rapid shot, you will land some heavy hits on them, regardless of what they do. Dodge rolls will save them from one of the hits, but not more unless they chain them - but then they are out of dodges as is.

Really, once you stop fearing them and can regularly identify the real mesmer, you should have no problem pressuring them and either killing them outright or forcing them to run.

#15 chase128

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:32 PM

Mark the real Mesmer with Mark Target.  With my keybindings it's Ctrl+T.

#16 Skolops

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:07 PM

View Postchase128, on 06 September 2012 - 09:32 PM, said:

Mark the real Mesmer with Mark Target.  With my keybindings it's Ctrl+T.

Works fine until they vanish, unfortunately.

#17 Daedin

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:16 PM

Good info on the phantasms, thanks!




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