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Staff Ele Cantrip high power build


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#1 Sketchup84

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 02:43 PM

After running for quite a while with a signet aura build, which was working fine, I wanted to explore other options.

Before showing the traits and utility skills, I wanna give a short overview about the differences in the two builds. My signet aura build was a very flexible build, with swiftness, fury, restoration and vulnerability granted when using an aura. As I used fire shiled on signet, I had in total 3 auras that had a very decent cd time. Fury gave me higher crit %. However it does not stack. Power was not buffed and the only way to gain might was by using combo fields and arcane blast.

This build was decent on 1vs1, and allowed me to retreat quite nicely. Utility skills were signet of restoration, arcane blast, signet of water and mistform (which gives also resto).

http://www.gw2builds...7.6.11.8.10.8.2

This build works actually even better with D/D as there are 2 auras in the air and water attunement and you have more burst, which can use the higher crit more effectively.

As staff does not give so much burst damage, I decided to try a more power based build using cantrips.

http://www.gw2builds...-7.13.2.9.5.8.6


I use in this build in the utility skills, glyph of restoration as now my only source to get swiftness from utility skills. Furthermore I have 3 out of 4 cantrips. Each of those give you 3 might, which stacks and all of them break stuns. Lightening Flash with the lowest cd is supposed to balance out my lack of swiftness in this build.

Furthermore I choose the resto and vigor in the water tree. As you noticed I don't have any arcane here anymore. I try to make up for that with evasive arcana. When using my cantrips, the vigor I gain recharges my endurance fast which means I can dodge much more often and use evasive arcane to trigger combo fields in combat. Would be great if that worked also out of combat....

In this build, my power is about 3000 when using the cantrips alone. Crit % stays at around 40. I am very durable and the damage is still very good. I manage to kite a group with this build. My attunements recharge much faster which gives me also a lot of flexibility.

So to sum up. The power build is lacking swiftness a bit and has lower crit %. But power is greatly increased and the resto from cantrips also is also better than from signets. Ligthening Flash still allows you to retreat if necessary, even though I feel that swiftness from signets was more reliable in that respect. But I feel the power cantrip build fits better a staff ele, while the other one does well with D/D.

#2 Towren

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:08 PM

I use a very similar build:

Cantrip Staff Build

I rune with soliders amulet and runes of the forge (power/increased burn duration/protection boon at 50% for 10 seconds)

Like you I have found Cantrips to play very well with the staff play style  I use Armour of Earth for both the protection and stability when channelling some of the more "important" staff skills you don't want interrupted (meteor shower/Healing Rain), and also find it useful for secure stomps. I chose lightning flash for a quick stun breaker and "escape ability". Sometimes I'll use it aggressively rather than defensively and I love it's ability to get to higher levels (such as henge ridges) for both escape and gap closing enemies who you can subsequently knock down with staff 3 to your team mates...

I played around with my last utility skill. I used Mist form for a while but found I didn't like the wasted time you have on your boons, it seemed rather silly to grant yourself might and vigor whilst invulnerable, and I opted for cleansing flames instead. You'll see from my traits the utilities all grant regeneration and regeneration also cleanses a condition, so I've gone a bit OTT on condition cleansing....

Yet I've found it an invaluable asset in both sPvP and tPvP.

You'll find yourself constantly jumped on by silly specs such as pistol whip thieves, cross fire rangers, hundred blade warriors. Bursty specs seem to do well (especially with haste) in tpvp when their team mates help with immobilise  The communication from good teams seems to direct their burst straight to an elly as they know it's a free stomp if you get them down, and if an initial immobilise fails they'll slap another one on you. I've found the OTT cleansing I have from all three cantrips, combined with the kiting abilities from staff and my teleport (to higher ledges) make me one of the most slippery characters on a map and people often don't know how to deal with you... (And that's not even including the cleansing I have from Healing Rain/Glph in water)

Being the assumed "easy target" for an enemy team and turning out to be one of the hardest targets to catch wastes invaluable time for your own team, and when the enemy team gives up on you you can switch to damage (from the high power) which they also don't expect from a staff elly these days, not to mention you've still got the support.

Unlike you I feel the eruption (Earth 2) is enough blast finishing for my play style. More would be nice, but as you can see from my above post I'm not there for the support aspect (although I do give it, and often, whenever I can)... My favourite is the 3 cantrips and then eruption in lava font for a whole stack of might. I also find frozen ground and eruption to be very helpful... I have found with 20 in arcane and the cooldowns of the abilities (such as frozen ground) the one blast finisher can work...

I tend to summon Earth elemental too, the protection boon seems to have a larger range than the healing splash from the water elly, but that could just be my imagination... either way, who needs to heal with 33% damage reduction? :D

Nice to see another power cantrip staff build anyway!

#3 Sketchup84

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:34 PM

I use in this build also major sigil of superior battle, which works again very nicely with the fast attunement changes as it give me might on each attunement change in combat. I find myself very often with might stacks of 15+, which relates to a power of 3.5k. My normal auto attack in fire attunement does damage of 2k with such a might stack, not even speaking of the combo fields with eruption and lava fountain.

For Runes I use exclusively Runes of Fire, which further increases my power and it gives me longer duration of my might stacks...I have not yet really found a downside to this build. Cleansing Water is definitely an option that goes well with this build....The only time, when you feel vulnerable is the situation you described above. Get immobilized and jumped by a thief with high burst damage. In that case I mostly hit cleasning fire and armor of earth. In case I immobilized again I use ligthening flash, then I switch to eartch and use earth shield. If I really get immobilized a third time, then I suppose I have to endure the attack. But with regeneration and the earth shield, the chances that you survive the burst, is quite high...

#4 Sketchup84

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 12:48 AM

After a very intense period of testing, I am actually claiming now, that this cantrip build is the best build for STAFF ELE that exists at the current state of the game.

In sPvP I have become a serious point holder and can definitley succeed in 2vs1 fights, also against thieves. I will try to put on same gameplay from me in sPvP at some time soon to show how to play this staff ele effectively

#5 birdie

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:59 PM

Surely you are talking about 3k and 3,5k attack instead of power.

#6 ultra_nubstress

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:16 PM

I know this is a power cantrip build thread, but I just felt like adding my take on a staff cantrip build and thought it might be interesting. I apologize if this build or something similar has already been discussed a lot around here. This is my first post and I'm new on the forum.

The staff build is meant to be defensive/support. I use this build a lot when I play tourneys and I will go mid with some type of bunker and support him. The multiple cantrips as well as the XI trait in water give me a large amount of survival. Take into the account of getting double AOE heals as well as an AOE aura buff through evasive arcana this build allows for great survival.

While you will not be doing a lot of damage in this build, I believe it has the potential to be lot of fun and still be a competitive build simply because of all the different combo field combinations you can do and learning how and when to use the all the different AOE blast finishers from your dodge.

Just as an FYI for those who might not know this. I do not take the 20% cantrip reduction in water due to the fact that it is still bugged for Mist Form. It does not reduce the CD time.

Also be warned, this is not a BUNKER build. This build is meant to be moving all around the point on and off while dropping AOE's on the point to support your bunker teammate.

#7 Van Hammersly

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:21 PM

Woohoo, good to see some people discovering this build, I really enjoy it!  Although I like to go 10 into Earth for Earth's Embrace, giving me a second Armor of Earth which benefits from all cantrip traits.  Plus, 50% hp is right around the point you might be thinking of casting a couple of spells that should ideally not be interrupted (GoEH, Healing Rain), so the stability is clutch.

#8 Sketchup84

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 12:15 PM

View Postbirdie, on 09 October 2012 - 06:59 PM, said:

Surely you are talking about 3k and 3,5k attack instead of power.

Yes indeed! In sPvP I actually happen to get over 4k attack with around 25 might stacks by now...But here is the Sigil of Superior Battle a major contributor

#9 Sketchup84

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 08:29 PM

View PostVan Hammersly, on 09 October 2012 - 07:21 PM, said:

Woohoo, good to see some people discovering this build, I really enjoy it!  Although I like to go 10 into Earth for Earth's Embrace, giving me a second Armor of Earth which benefits from all cantrip traits.  Plus, 50% hp is right around the point you might be thinking of casting a couple of spells that should ideally not be interrupted (GoEH, Healing Rain), so the stability is clutch.


I agree that there are some variations that some players might wanna go for. For my playstyle, I could not sacrifice any trait point in order to get anything else. Armor of Earth is definitely an Option, the same Cleansing Water as proposed by another user. This option would basically give every cantrip a condition removal ability as well (and in turn loose some might stacks). In the end it boils down to some differences in playstyle. I like a slightly more aggressive and provocative style. Letting a warrior get close to you and making him think he got you where he wanted you, just to actually let him walk into the huge trap you made up for him, this is how I like to role... :) By the time he notices, that you don't go down after a couple hits and he actually is screwed, it's actually too late.


I succesfully killed Champ mobs solo with this and succeeded in 2vs1 situations. I wanted to record a vid with FRAPS, but I need to get my hands on a full version of it first...

Edited by Sketchup84, 11 October 2012 - 08:31 PM.


#10 KodiakX

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 12:24 AM

View PostTowren, on 30 September 2012 - 01:08 PM, said:

I use a very similar build:

Cantrip Staff Build

*snip*

Honestly I've been using this build for WvW with glass cannon gear and I love it.  Still affords me some pretty good offense (bigger AOEs and some base power) while offering me plenty of base regeneration to recover from having to eat a little bit of AOE damage that comes with WvW.  Also lets me double as side support since I can grant multiple sources of regen (and consequently condition removal) to my zerg as needed.

#11 Sketchup84

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:30 PM

I noticed sth which was not apparent to me beforehand. As I am using Evasive Arcana as the cantrips give me higher endurance recovery, I noticed that the CD on evasive arcana is always for one effect. So you could start out in Earth with chunning earth, then switch over to Fire and use fire blast, and if you happen to have Superior Sigil of Energy, you will be able to do a third dodge, maybe in water or air tree...

#12 Sketchup84

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:04 AM

I looked into possible armor sets from the dungeon vendors and I am not quite sure whether I should go for the HOTW with power, toughness and vita or choose one to max power in it, but loose the vita and toughness....hard choice...

right now my base power is around 2k and with 25 might stacks it goes to around 3.3k if I remember correctly. This is achieved with some good accessoires and the vigil light armor and vigil staff

#13 Eliyahu

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:41 AM

View PostSketchup84, on 12 November 2012 - 07:04 AM, said:

I looked into possible armor sets from the dungeon vendors and I am not quite sure whether I should go for the HOTW with power, toughness and vita or choose one to max power in it, but loose the vita and toughness....hard choice...

right now my base power is around 2k and with 25 might stacks it goes to around 3.3k if I remember correctly. This is achieved with some good accessoires and the vigil light armor and vigil staff

Okay, how does this math work? 25 stacks of might is 875 power. You'd need 2125 base power to reach 3000 and 2425 to reach 3.3k.  Where does that extra power come from?

Edited by Eliyahu, 14 November 2012 - 12:41 AM.


#14 Sketchup84

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 10:47 PM

View PostSketchup84, on 10 October 2012 - 12:15 PM, said:



Yes indeed! In sPvP I actually happen to get over 4k attack with around 25 might stacks by now...But here is the Sigil of Superior Battle a major contributor

View PostEliyahu, on 14 November 2012 - 12:41 AM, said:



Okay, how does this math work? 25 stacks of might is 875 power. You'd need 2125 base power to reach 3000 and 2425 to reach 3.3k.  Where does that extra power come from?

Yes it was alrdy made clear a couple posts ago that I meant attack and not power. My base power is about 2100 now which gives me close to 3k buffed...

#15 Sketchup84

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:37 PM

As the latest update took away the combo finisher ability of evasive arcana, I would rather take that 10 points and put it in the Water trait und get Cleansing Water....this gives you basically condition removal on all your utility skills :)

#16 NeoExodus

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:09 PM

With the power staff catrips build what armor do you guys usually run with?

#17 Sayura

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:38 PM

Does anyone have a build that uses 10 into air? I like the 2 swiftness buffs it gives during wvw.

#18 Sketchup84

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

View PostNeoExodus, on 20 December 2012 - 04:09 PM, said:

With the power staff catrips build what armor do you guys usually run with?

That would depend what you wanna go for. You can make a really sturdy ele with this build. High survivability. I run atm with power/vita/condition dmg. But you could also go for higher cond dmg or higher power, depends on your playstyle...

#19 Sketchup84

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:41 PM

I did some armor adjustments and pushed my gear a little more torwards cond dmg. So I am wearing carrion armor atm, which gives you power/vita/cond dmg. I choose a staff with power as main stat. So I lost some power, but gained quite a lot of cond dmg. Another effect is, that I had to give up some toughness. So basically I am a little squishier now, but my power attacks hit almost the same, and in addition my cond dmg. ticks now over 100 at about 8-10 might stacks. At 20 might stacks it goes up to about 120 (pls bear in mind, that these numbers are not exact). Before I was wearing power/vita/toughness gear....with Power as main stat.

Also rings and armulets have power/vita/cond dmg.

In pve this build is superior I believe, but in pvp I noticed that especially against thieves, it became harder, so I stick with the old build in spvp

oh and fyi, Dodging in Earth stance still counts as combo finisher, if you have evasive arcana!

#20 Herr_Gebrechen

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:05 AM

View PostSayura, on 07 January 2013 - 04:38 PM, said:

Does anyone have a build that uses 10 into air? I like the 2 swiftness buffs it gives during wvw.

I'm running this build atm with staff in wvw.

http://en.gw2skills....4ETYRU4hyjZyxGA

Evasive Arcana is not that great anymore but I still run around with it.


edit: Support, not damage build.

Edited by Herr_Gebrechen, 08 February 2013 - 01:08 AM.


#21 KodiakX

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:09 PM

I still run and use Towren's build and recommend it all the time!

Huge thumbs up.

Edited by KodiakX, 08 February 2013 - 03:10 PM.


#22 Impmon

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:35 PM

I'm trying the honeybadger build

total glass cannon.  Roaming with d/d  & at keeps staff.  AOE dmg is on par with atom bombage.  Seen crits of 10k +  on daggers & AOE with staff is very nice.  

Downside, almost no healing & die very fast if caught by anyone.  If you get the jump on them they'll be insta gibbed.

#23 Sketchup84

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:05 AM

Just 2 let you all know. I am still using that build. However I changed sth again. To further support the condition component of this build, I played around with the runes. I wear now 2x strength, 2x lyssa and 2x melandru.

The strength runes give me what I alrdy had all along, 20% longer might duration. With the 30% boon duration increase from the traits, this gives 50% longer might duration, but again, that was already there. Lyssa and Melandru give both each 10% longer condition duration. With the traits, this gives in total 40 % longer condition duration. This works on all the various conditions, staff ele's have at their disposal -  bleeds, burning, chilling, vulernability. I also frequently use now foods to increase the condition duration further. My most favorite is the Rare Veggie Pizza, which alone increases condition duration by 40 %! So this makes for bleeds instead of 12 sec, 21.6 seconds.

With 25 might stacks, my bleeds ticks for 133 for 21 seconds long. It just works extremely well.

#24 Sketchup84

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:48 PM

For all Asura staff ele's. I suggest to all of you to try out the asura racial skill, pain inverter. It gives you 5 sec of retaliation and it casts 3 stacks of confusion to a number of enemies (I haven't figured out yet how many). It has only 30 sec cd and I use it instead of armor of earth in pve and WvW for quite a while now.

#25 ch0c

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 07:25 AM

hi, i'm very new at this, so i apologise if this is a noob question, but what gear are you using, sketchup?

#26 Sketchup84

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:40 PM

It's mostly carrion gear. Power, Vita and Condition damage...

#27 Sketchup84

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 07:30 AM

I spent quite a lot of time lately checking out various Duration Runes.... The build up till now had +50% increased might duration, +30% increased boon duration (as part of might duration) and +80% increased condition duration...

The condition duration runes are Mad king and Lyssa (Melandru was wrong as it gives -10% condition duration ;) my bad...)

I gave up 10% condition duration to receive 20% more might duration. So I end up with +70% might duration, +70% condition duration. With this build, it is extremely easy to get 25 might stacks and stay there for quite a long time. I perceive it as a better mix than the former version.

To get this, simply switch the Lyssa runes (we don't want the precision here anyway) with 2x Fire runes. So we have now 2xStrength, 2xFire and 2xMadKing.

You will see that you get already about 16 might stacks without using combo fields. The increased might duration will let you stack might simply with the cantrips and the attunement switch (sigil of battle). So you can use this also extremely well for defending keeps in WvW for example, where you simply can't use combos as freely as you normally would...

#28 Sketchup84

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 02:45 PM

Update:

In the past I have tried a couple alternatives for armor of earth, cuz the 72 sec recharge time was a thorn in my eye. I tried arcane wave as well as the asura racial skill pain inverter. Now I have settled for a whole different skill, which required me to slightly changed the traits in the fire tree. But first I want to go through all of those utility skills and give a little summary of their effects, advantages and disadvantages.

Armor of Earth:
The only skill that gives you stability and some protection. It is always usable, also while casting a spell, which was the biggest reason for taking it in the first place. It is a cantrip, so it gives you 3 stacks of might, vigor and regen (with this build). The issue is the 72 sec cd.

Arcane Wave:
This skill gives you a lot of flexibility as it counts as combo finisher for all the fields, the staff ele has at his disposal. I have been using this skill extensively in pve, as going close to the mobs is not an issue here. It gives you also another 3 might stacks, but the cd is only 30 sec. So you get twice as many might stacks then armor of earth. I recommend using this skill for pve. In pvp the problem with might stacking is, that you need to be close to the enemy, If you are not in a duel, this can be a big problem...

Pain Inverter:
This skill has only a 20 sec cd. It casts aoe  3 stacks confusion 5sec and gives you retaliation 5 sec . This is quite nice if you are condition ele. The big issue is again the range, which is only 360. And apart from that it's not available in spvp. In WvW you could use it, but with zerg mode, it's pretty much useless and you will never wanna be so close to anyone....

So here comes now the skill I have settled in spvp and WvW.

Signet of Fire:
To make this work you have to change in your Fire tree the 10% increased dmg in Fire attunement to "cast fire shield on signet use". The passive skill gives you an increase in crit chance, which is nice, but not really what we care about. We really want the active skill. What it does is in the first place, cast burning for 11 sec on your target. When you are wear condition gear, this will mean around 6k burning damage, which is really great. Together with the skill 3 in the fire attuenment you will have 16 sec of burning on a single target. I have noticed that this helps to subsidize the lack of single target damage in PVP. Even if you oponent has condition removal, we condition eles bomb him with so many conditions all the time, that some of that burning will stick.
But this is not all. In addtion we get a fire shield, which received a buff a couple updates ago. Again, this is quite helpful in PVP. It lasts 3 sec and it will give you 1 might stack per attack, which helps making up for the lost might stacks from armor of earth and arcane wave. In addition it gives even more burning to the attacker if he hits the shield. And the cd on this is only 20 sec. So this skill is mainly used for offensive purposes and works great against pistol thiefs and bow rangers. Finally we can attack a single target and do quite some damage over time. The beauty is, that it is from what I have seen so far, not really dodgeable, which is an issue for all our other big attack skills....
If you continue your might stacking as usual, you will see the burning of signet of fire, reaching about 8k.


I have to point out, that all those numbers are the original numbers, without use of veggie raw pizza or tuning crystal buffs. Those are available in WvW. If you have 70% longer burn duration those 11 sec will turn into 18.7 sec.

Try it out and give me your feedback :) This build is still going strong.

Edited by Sketchup84, 18 May 2013 - 02:47 PM.


#29 Sketchup84

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:12 AM

I was running WvW last night. With Raw Veggie Pizza and Tuning Crystal and 25 might stacks the burning damage from signet of fire amounts to about 12k. Just for comparison, the bleeds from eruption are around 13k. So signet of fire gives us condition damage which is the second highest for staff eles with the normal skills, which is single target and which cannot be foreseen and therefore will hit almost all the time, except he dodges coincidentally.

Signet of Fire makes life in duels much easier, which has always been the weak spot for staff eles. Pinning down the opponent on your fields is quite challenging. Not once have I had encounters, where the enemy was literally burning to the ground due to signet of fire.




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