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Elementalist Leveling Build/Guide Scepter/Daggers(Video + Writeup)


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#1 Thehealthygamer

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:47 PM

[media=youtube][media]

The Elementalist, in my opinion, is one of the more challenging and complicated classes to play in Guild Wars 2. This guide is written with a beginner Elementalist in mind. The goals of the build are to give you great burst DPS against single and group targets and sustained surviveability.

Scepter/Dagger Combination:

After trying out all the different variations I found scepter/dagger to be the best compromise between range, damage, and surviveability. While dagger/dagger offers some amazing DPS it really lacks in key defensive abilities and range, and while the staff has great range it is an inefficient weapon to solo with because mobs will constantly run outside the range of your ground-targeted spells.

Scepter/dagger gives you range, good AOE burst capability, and enough defensive skills to save your bacon from the fire when things go wrong.

Full list of Elementalist skills here: http://wiki.guildwar...entalist_skills

Utility Skills:

Full Build: http://www.gw2build....20.15.20.5.1��0

Arcane Power: Your next 5 attacks will automatically crit. Used in conjunction with the skills in fire attunement this lets you put out massive burst AOE dps.

Signet of Earth: Grants you toughness and when activated immobilizes foes, can be used to set up fire attunement combos(optionally swap out for Armor of Earth)

Glyph of Lesser Elementals: Summoned elementals can be great support when facing multiple mobs. They do a great job of grabbing aggro and dishing out DPS.

Elite: Glyph of Elementals: Again great support when facing multiple or elite mobs.

Traits:

First 10 points: Put into the Fire tree and take “Internal Fire” giving you 10% more damage while in fire attunement.

Next 10 points: Put into the Air tree and take “One with Air” moving 35% faster while in air attunement will save you a ton of time in your questing.

Next 10 points: Put into the Earth tree and take “Earth’s Embrace”  giving you Armor of Earth when your health reaches 50%, this can be a lifesaver and saves a utility slot.

Next 10 points: Put into the Arcane tree – Take Final Shielding – Gaining an Arcane shield when you reach 25% and being able to absorb 3 hits can really be a lifesaver.

From here you should have a good idea of how the class plays and then you can tailor the traits more for your specific item builds. I went heavy into Earth because I found toughness and condition damage to be very useful, but maybe you’ll enjoy building out for power or precision better.

List of elementalist traits: http://wiki.guildwar...entalist_traits

Your Skill Rotation:

Against single targets I like to start out in air attunement. Use your #2 lightning strike to start the fight off and strafe-kite to gain some distance on the mob while your #1 arc lightning skill fires off on the mob. When your #2 lightning strike recharges cast it again, then cast #3 blind and then #4 ride the lightning and #5 updraft when the mob is within melee range of you. The #5 updraft will knock the mob down. At this point you’ll want to switch to fire attunement and immediately fire off your #2 dragon’s tooth skill as you run to the mob. Activate arcane power now so that all of your fire skills will crit. When you’re within melee range of the mob use your #4 ring of fire skill to drop a fire field and then your #3 phoenix followed by your #5 fire grab.

The #4 ring of fire skill acts as a combo area, which means that when you activate other specific skills within this ring of fire you can gain “combo bonuses.” #3 phoenix will grant you three stacks of might when it lands inside this fire field(might is a “boon” or buff that increases your damage output).

Against multiple targets I’ll still start in air attunement. You’ll want to be in air attunement when moving around(for the speed buff) so you’ll find that you start off most fights in air. If you see that your engagement will involve multiple targets fire off your #2 lightning strike and #3 blind and then switch to Earth attunement and immediately cast #5 Churning Earth. If you time it correctly the skill should finish casting as the mobs reach you. From here activate #2 for extra armor and use #3 again to blind the enemy. Then use your #4 skill to knock the enemies down and switch to fire attunement. From here you’ll cast #2 dragon’s tooth and activate arcane power immediately followed by #4 ring of fire, #3 phoenix, and #5 fire grab.

Edited by Thehealthygamer, 07 September 2012 - 10:48 PM.


#2 MajorKong

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:28 AM

Awesome, thanks!

#3 3py0n

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:56 PM

Oooo very very useful for the earth/arcane description.  Thought I was just gon dump 30 in fire then some in air and w.e....

I'm still wondering though how much toughtness actually helps...especially around lvl 20-30 (the range I'm at now.)

#4 Anlyon Spellrage

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 05:03 PM

Great guide. What exactly does S/D give you over D/D in terms of survivability options? I find that Shocking Touch is so epic for reducing the damage you take.

Comparatively Rock Barrier reduces the damage you take considerably less, especially at high levels.

The blinds are great, and the range makes a difference, but if you want to maximise the Dagger offhand, you have to be in range anyway.

Regardless, this is a great build and guide. Mind if i add this build and link to your guide in mine?

#5 siradam134

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:48 AM

Any chance we can get you to rebuild this?

The build link you have in OP doesn't go to a correct website.

Trying to help my father play elementalist, lulz.

#6 series6

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:24 AM

Excellent post for PVE.
I have tried s/f,  d/d and d/f but once you hit the mid 20s when the standard pull brings 2 or more mobs s/d is such a great utility build with the right power, signet and glyph.

I play from Australia/Oceanic and the delay whilst stance dancing does pose further challenges, group pulls must be done with care as a mistake means death, but using gear to mitigate damage helps.

Kudos for the info, keep it coming.

ps: is there any indication or a website to give stats on most payed classes etc?

#7 SlappedYak

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:57 AM

It's interesting how D/D seems to be so much less synergistic (in terms of between on and offhand weapons) than S/D and D/F! Im really enjoying leveling my ele with S/D (off hand dagger crowd control is pretty awesomes) nice vid and well explained skill rotation (with justifications so people actually know why they're swapping instead of mashing skills! - which I admit, I still do when in panic mode ;) hehe but I'm learning!)

+1 :D

#8 The Great Al

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:34 PM

I have been playing around with a similar build. For my utility skills,  have been taking arcane shield, blast, wave. Then I use the trait that recharges them 20% faster. Thoughts? The arcane aoe synergizes really well with fire.

Additionally, your crits only hit for 15% more damage. Using arcane wave will give you stacks of might. That plus the initial damage of that spell will probably do more damage for you than 5 crits.

Edited by The Great Al, 12 September 2012 - 02:44 PM.


#9 Peter M Abraham

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:16 PM

Good day:

Thank you for this build out; my causual play Elementalist is now level 39 using this build.

Though for the past few levels I've been more in staff.

Thank you.

#10 oslo24

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:53 PM

Fantastic man. I haven't played my level 15 ele for awhile and this is exactly what I've been looking for

#11 Thehealthygamer

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 01:02 AM

Awesome glad it's useful, sorry I forgot I'd made this thread haha.

#12 MisfitAndy

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 04:11 AM

For my leveling, I have preferred Fire 30 / Water 10 / Arcane for the rest of the points.  What this gives you is an excellent fire attunement (10% more damage, faster recharge of skills, stacks of might when casting fire spells), regeneration when in water form along with curing a condition upon water attuning, and arcane is very good for surviving (protection when switching to earth, regeneration when switching to water, swiftness when switching to air).  I also use my arcane skills quite a bit, mostly arcane wave and blast.  If you use arcane shield it would recharge 20% faster, but I generally use either signet of earth or cleansing fire.

I had initially invested in earth points, but they didn't seem to do much good.  If you only go to ten points, the abilities you have to choose from are worthless.  If you are already down to 50% life, having 33% damage reduction is worthless.  However, with ten points in arcane, you can pick and choose when you want that damage reduction through protection.  Then you can switch to water and get regeneration.

I'd assume that a Fire 30 / Earth 30/ whatever build would be very good for DPS, but I like my build for leveling, FWIW.

Edited by MisfitAndy, 19 September 2012 - 04:12 AM.


#13 Pyrovore

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:01 AM

Great guide, thanks for taking the time to make the video and write this up! I agree with you that S/D is the best compromise between staff ranged dps and d/d melee mage playstyle of living on the edge all the time. The dagger offhands are all pretty amazing, especially compared to the lacklustre Focus.

View PostThe Great Al, on 12 September 2012 - 02:34 PM, said:

I have been playing around with a similar build. For my utility skills,  have been taking arcane shield, blast, wave. Then I use the trait that recharges them 20% faster. Thoughts? The arcane aoe synergizes really well with fire.

Additionally, your crits only hit for 15% more damage. Using arcane wave will give you stacks of might. That plus the initial damage of that spell will probably do more damage for you than 5 crits.

Same here, Arcane Wave is a bread & butter spell for me, couldn't do without it. I like the S/D build and rotation, good suggestions there. I'm doing it slightly differently, also starting in air, but going Ride the Lightning -> Blinding Flash (to make sure the next attack misses while he's in melee range) -> Lightning Strike -> Updraft (to put some distance between me and the mob) -> Fire attunement.

This is where our major difference comes in. I immediately put down Ring of Fire so the mob gets burned while it runs to me, then I pop Dragon's Tooth, Phoenix AND Arcane Wave all inside the circle and get 9 stacks of might. That really makes my next Fire Grab hurt like hell, especially on a burning target. If it's not dead then, I go to earth, earthquake it, stack a few bleeds, and if there are many mobs I try to do a Churning Earth which really is the big bang with all those might stacks.

The major weaknesses in my rotation is having to be up close and personal to get all the combos off inside the Ring of Fire; I do find myself getting quite some hits in this time, so maybe the Arcane Shield isn't such a bad idea. I also get wailed on while channeling Churning Earth, so you need some survivability skill to get you through that or pop Water and heal up a bit. But most stuff is dead before you get that far into the rotation anyway.

Only thing I'm not very good at is Water attunement. I find Water a bit weak on the S/D, the Trident seems a bit meh, the auto-attack is weak, the AoE is hard to target right, and the armor doesn't seem to do so much for me, so really only the Cleansing Wave is worth it.

#14 MisfitAndy

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:18 AM

View PostPyrovore, on 19 September 2012 - 08:01 AM, said:

Great guide, thanks for taking the time to make the video and write this up! I agree with you that S/D is the best compromise between staff ranged dps and d/d melee mage playstyle of living on the edge all the time. The dagger offhands are all pretty amazing, especially compared to the lacklustre Focus.



Same here, Arcane Wave is a bread & butter spell for me, couldn't do without it. I like the S/D build and rotation, good suggestions there. I'm doing it slightly differently, also starting in air, but going Ride the Lightning -> Blinding Flash (to make sure the next attack misses while he's in melee range) -> Lightning Strike -> Updraft (to put some distance between me and the mob) -> Fire attunement.

This is where our major difference comes in. I immediately put down Ring of Fire so the mob gets burned while it runs to me, then I pop Dragon's Tooth, Phoenix AND Arcane Wave all inside the circle and get 9 stacks of might. That really makes my next Fire Grab hurt like hell, especially on a burning target. If it's not dead then, I go to earth, earthquake it, stack a few bleeds, and if there are many mobs I try to do a Churning Earth which really is the big bang with all those might stacks.

The major weaknesses in my rotation is having to be up close and personal to get all the combos off inside the Ring of Fire; I do find myself getting quite some hits in this time, so maybe the Arcane Shield isn't such a bad idea. I also get wailed on while channeling Churning Earth, so you need some survivability skill to get you through that or pop Water and heal up a bit. But most stuff is dead before you get that far into the rotation anyway.

Only thing I'm not very good at is Water attunement. I find Water a bit weak on the S/D, the Trident seems a bit meh, the auto-attack is weak, the AoE is hard to target right, and the armor doesn't seem to do so much for me, so really only the Cleansing Wave is worth it.

Water attunement , with scepter/dagger, is really only good if you have points in arcane for the regen buff on attuning, for the class heal that is better in water attunement (it is quite good in earth, too, as it gives protection), or if you put the points into water to get the passive regen.  Otherwise, you're right, it sucks.  Also, air isn't great, either.  Both attacks are really bad (the damage needs to be cranked up at least 100%, they are FAR behind both fire and earth), the blind is so-so, and the only good things come from the dagger offhand.

Fire and earth are amazing in scepter/dagger, though, so it makes up for it in my mind.  They are leaps and bounds above staff for either attunement.

I really recommend at least putting the ten points into arcane so you can get the "on-attune" bonuses, as they are quite nice.  Free might, free swiftness, free regen or free protection just for switching attunements (you also get a very short-lived fury buff with any of these).  It is also good to give you something to want to switch to the attunements for, because it gives you practice with all attunements instead of being stuck in the mindset of playing in a solitary attunement.

Also, air attunement is so bad that is why I do not suggest getting that buff that gets faster the longer you are in air attunement.  You can keep swiftness up on yourself for most of the time without even having that buff, and air attunement is just bad.  BAD BAD BAD!  Like I said before, from my experience it deals at least 1/2 of the damage of both fire and earth.  That is being very generous, too.   I only use it for travel because all of the other attunements do everything air does but much, much better.

#15 Pyrovore

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:39 AM

View PostMisfitAndy, on 19 September 2012 - 08:18 AM, said:

I really recommend at least putting the ten points into arcane so you can get the "on-attune" bonuses, as they are quite nice.  Free might, free swiftness, free regen or free protection just for switching attunements (you also get a very short-lived fury buff with any of these).  It is also good to give you something to want to switch to the attunements for, because it gives you practice with all attunements instead of being stuck in the mindset of playing in a solitary attunement.

Also, air attunement is so bad that is why I do not suggest getting that buff that gets faster the longer you are in air attunement.  You can keep swiftness up on yourself for most of the time without even having that buff, and air attunement is just bad.  BAD BAD BAD!  Like I said before, from my experience it deals at least 1/2 of the damage of both fire and earth.  That is being very generous, too.   I only use it for travel because all of the other attunements do everything air does but much, much better.

Totally agreed. I mostly start in air because, well, I run around in air for the +10% movement speed and like the combo of Ride the Lightning as an opener and Updraft as a knockdown. Makes for a dramatic entrance :-)

Since they're all insta-cast you can fire off all of Air's cooldowns in quick succession, but then you need to get the hell out of Air attunement and go do something else to get actual damage done. That's in general my problem a bit with S/D, there is no real 'sustained' DPS, after you've popped all your cooldowns you just have to start over again, even in Fire. I suppose that's the type of playstyle ANet intended for the Elementalist, stance dancing and cooldown management seem to be the key to squeezing all of the DPS out of the class, rather than faceroll Frostbolt spam like a WoW mage. Maybe it'll get easier to stay in Fire if I get the reduced cooldown on Fire spells.

I've got the bonuses on attunement switching and since on average I use at least two and usually three attunement switches in my rotation, so both the Fury and the Might buff from Fire are quite welcome. It helps me get up to 10 stacks of Might with the Ring of Fire field and 3x blast combos, and there's something graceful about popping into Air after finishing up a mob, getting Swiftness and moving on for the next kill.

Is everyone agreed that the two Elemental gylphs are the most useful two utility slots, together with Arcane Wave and then one Signet, be it Earth or Fire or whatever you need at the time? I was thinking of swapping out the lesser elementals for the Greater.

#16 MisfitAndy

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:55 AM

View PostPyrovore, on 19 September 2012 - 08:39 AM, said:

Totally agreed. I mostly start in air because, well, I run around in air for the +10% movement speed and like the combo of Ride the Lightning as an opener and Updraft as a knockdown. Makes for a dramatic entrance :-)

Since they're all insta-cast you can fire off all of Air's cooldowns in quick succession, but then you need to get the hell out of Air attunement and go do something else to get actual damage done. That's in general my problem a bit with S/D, there is no real 'sustained' DPS, after you've popped all your cooldowns you just have to start over again, even in Fire. I suppose that's the type of playstyle ANet intended for the Elementalist, stance dancing and cooldown management seem to be the key to squeezing all of the DPS out of the class, rather than faceroll Frostbolt spam like a WoW mage. Maybe it'll get easier to stay in Fire if I get the reduced cooldown on Fire spells.

I've got the bonuses on attunement switching and since on average I use at least two and usually three attunement switches in my rotation, so both the Fury and the Might buff from Fire are quite welcome. It helps me get up to 10 stacks of Might with the Ring of Fire field and 3x blast combos, and there's something graceful about popping into Air after finishing up a mob, getting Swiftness and moving on for the next kill.

Is everyone agreed that the two Elemental gylphs are the most useful two utility slots, together with Arcane Wave and then one Signet, be it Earth or Fire or whatever you need at the time? I was thinking of swapping out the lesser elementals for the Greater.

Unfortunately there is still some cooldown management with the 20% reduction.  I am wondering if it is worth taking something else, because I still have to switch between fire and earth in longer fights and it isn't the fire ability cooldowns that slows me, it is the speed at which I can switch back to fire once I go to earth.  Dragon's tooth reloads fairly fast, but I wonder if that's worth it when i could take something else.  The 20% reduction helps for those times when I'm feeling lazy and I don't want to switch between attunements TOO much, but to maximize DPS in the endgame I think that it won't even matter.

Actually, looking through the abilities you could pick over the 20% reduction I can't see a single one that would increase my dps by too much.  If I switched from using arcane wave/blast to using the 3 defensive cantrips, I could take the ability to give myself 3 might stacks and also regeneration.  Not sure if that is worth it, or not, because arcane wave/blast add a lot to burst dps.

Edited by MisfitAndy, 20 September 2012 - 04:00 AM.


#17 Lightdivinity

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:26 PM

Currently I am level 41 running a s/d build myself. I tried d/d and 2h staff but it just wasn't for me. However, I will probably run staff for WvWvW once I hit level 80.

My build and combo is very similar to some posted. So far I am 10/10/0/0/11 and I do have the extra movement speed when attuned to air too.

For my build, I go power/vitality. And. Try to find runes that add condition damage and more vitality. This offers a lot more survivability and increases your overall damage.

My utility skills are: healing glyph, arcane wave, arcane blast, and mist form. My elite skill is the Mistfire Wolf which completely owns btw. You will be surprised how much more useful it is than any elemental summon. Mist form for those sticky situatons in dungeons. Arcane spells for added stacks of might due to my combo field.

Skill rotation:
Ride the lightning, updraft, L2, L3. Why L3 when they're already on the ground? So they will be blind when they stand up of course!
Switch to fire attunement: dragon tooth, firefield, the fire bird thing, firegrab, arcane wave, and arcane blast. I usually don't do dragon tooth first honestly.  But after reading these posts I can see the benefit of doing it before firefield because the enemy will be eating dirt still which buys time for the ridiculously long attack delay dragontooth has. By this time you should have probably 15+ stacks of might.
Switch to earth attunement: earthquake, E2 (shield for when he gets up), E3 (blind), churning earth.
By this time if the mob is still alive, it is either a champion, or a dungeon mob/boss. So do the following...
Switch to water attunement: run away while casting W2 (chilling), W3 (healing your allies and yourself), W5 (remove conditions for you and your teammates), and finallyy W4 for shield (just in case you still have aggro).
Rinse and repeat the above until that ridiculous tough mob is dead lol.

Edited by Lightdivinity, 20 September 2012 - 04:30 PM.





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