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My dungeon build, and why it's the best


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#1 Yashimata

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:45 PM

I've been running with this build for a while now, and it seems to excel in dungeons. It has pretty good damage that won't conflict with anyone running a condition build, good support, and great control. The only thing it doesn't excel at is dealing with heavy condition spamming mobs, and I don't think I elementalist even has a build that could deal with those situations like warriors or guardians can. Anyway, on to the specifics.

Weapon: Staff. I think this is a no-brainer, it excels at AoE which is what you need in 90% of situations. Most situations with just 1 mob aren't threatening at all, and if it is you can easily keep it crippled, immobilized, and chilled for the entire battle.

Heal: Glyph of Elemental Harmony. I use this because I trait glyphs, and because it provides a boon relevant to the situation.

Utilities: Glyph of Storms, Mist Form, Glyph of Renewal.

Glyph of Storms is amazing. I don't know why more people don't use it. While it seems overkill to add more AoE damage to the staff, that's not why I take it (though it certainly can pour on the fire when need be!). Sandstorm is 10 seconds of constantly applying AoE blind. Any big pull with lots of threatening but squishy mobs? Completely trivial. Drop a sandstorm, and get back to fire and nuke everything down before it even has a chance to hit you. Most of the threat will be dealt with, and you can mop up whatever is left. In addition, Ice Storm provides another source of AoE chill for when you need to control or kite. It's not as good as Frozen ground, but it gets the job done if you need something to fill a gap.

Mist Form is my go-to "oh shit I'm going to die" skill. It gets me out of tough situations and keeps me out of them. If you swap to earth before you use it, you can pop out a sandstorm to extend that 3 second safety net to 13.

Glyph of Renewal might not be for everyone, but I enjoy it a lot. How often do 2-3 people go down at once, or 1 person and your dungeon tank NPC(s)? Sure, it takes 4 seconds to cast it, but it also reses people if they die during that time. It can also pull people out of bad situations if cast in air, or if you're not sure about how long you're going to last under attack, cast it in fire and the next time you're downed, you'll get right back up again. It's crazy handy, but if you run with a dedicated group of all-stars who never die and are pros at everything they ever do, you could probably swap this out with something else.

Elite: Glyph of Elementals. Not my favourite pick, but it gets the cooldown reduction and the other elites aren't much better. Air elemental is ranged, so it usually manages to live its entire duration in boss fights. If you need even more chilled (and who doesn't love slowing enemies to a crawl?), the ice elemental has you covered (if it doesn't die instantly, anyway).

Traits: 30 fire, 10 air, 10 water, 20 arcane.

Fire traits are Internal Fire (VI), Pyromancer's Alacrity (VII), and Pyromancer's Puissance (XII). As you can see, full damage output. Fire is my go-to line when something needs to die right now. That's not the only reason I go 30 into fire; that 30% extra condition duration is fabulous with all the (non damaging) conditions I tend to throw around.

Air trait is Quick Glyphs (III) 20% off the cooldown of 4 of my skills (one of which is your heal) is handy. Not much else to say about it.

Water trait is Aquamancer's Alacrity (I). From supporting with heals or dropping frozen grounds, 20% faster recharges is great. The extra vitality and healing aura are nice to have as well.

Arcane traits are Elemental Attunement (V) and Blasting Staff (VIII). Getting more might when you go into fire to nuke something, or a regeneration when you're about to jump to water to heal, is nice to have. Larger AoE sizes help you keep mobile mobs in the fire a bit longer, or give a group member a bit more space to kite in a frozen ground.

Equipment: Power, toughness, vitality. Elementalist is so amazingly squishy, so shoring up your defenses seems like a good idea to me. Power is there so you don't hit like a wet noodle. Other stats don't really fit the build. Compassion isn't so useful when you're not sitting in water all the time, and you're not exactly dishing out condition damage. You don't crit a lot, but you aren't relying on it either.

Runes: Svanir. Extra toughness, chill duration (I love chill, it neuters mobs so handily), and an extra out if your health gets low in the form of ice block.

Sigil: I'm currently using superior chilling (both for the duration and the fact I'm poor), but I've heard swapping attunements counts as weapon swapping, so battle might be a better choice.

Questions, comments, criticisms?

#2 Aetou

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:24 PM

It's solid enough but you haven't convinced me it is stronger than an Evasive Arcana Glyph build or an Auramentalist build.  Most of your comments about the strengths of your build stand with the 30-arcane version but while it loses some direct damage it gains a lot of Boon duration (especially if you go down that route with runes and food too (+70% boon duration for the whole group on attunement swaps and your combos.))  Auramentalist probably plays better with S/D instead of staff and so it is hard to directly compare the two, but I find that it is less squishy and has a better damage output along with more control and the absurdity of huge (10-20) Might stacks for the group.  All in all, I think all three approaches are viable but I'd go for an Evasive Arcana Glyph build over yours while the S/D Aura build is just a very different playstyle and role that is neither better or worse.

#3 Darkobra

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:17 PM

The ice elemental also heals which is very useful in dungeons. At level 80 with only 10 points in water and no healing gear, mine heals for around 5k. The earth elemental is also a life saver as it can take a lot of damage and even adds protection to nearby allies.

#4 HadarRigel

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:56 PM

View PostAetou, on 30 September 2012 - 06:24 PM, said:

It's solid enough but you haven't convinced me it is stronger than an Evasive Arcana Glyph build or an Auramentalist build.  Most of your comments about the strengths of your build stand with the 30-arcane version but while it loses some direct damage it gains a lot of Boon duration (especially if you go down that route with runes and food too (+70% boon duration for the whole group on attunement swaps and your combos.))  Auramentalist probably plays better with S/D instead of staff and so it is hard to directly compare the two, but I find that it is less squishy and has a better damage output along with more control and the absurdity of huge (10-20) Might stacks for the group.  All in all, I think all three approaches are viable but I'd go for an Evasive Arcana Glyph build over yours while the S/D Aura build is just a very different playstyle and role that is neither better or worse.

I think both your builds are good, it's just about play-style and what need your team. If your team-mates have lots of finishers, it's better to take the staff for Ice/Water/Lighting fields.

Does Zephyr's Boon and Elemental Shielding gives protection, fury and swiftness for your allies ?

#5 Gannyr

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:01 PM

If you have powerful auras from 30 water, yeah

edit: should add though, elemental auras gained by combo finishers don't share with teammates =(

Edited by Gannyr, 30 September 2012 - 11:02 PM.


#6 Yashimata

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:07 PM

View PostAetou, on 30 September 2012 - 06:24 PM, said:

It's solid enough but you haven't convinced me it is stronger than an Evasive Arcana Glyph build or an Auramentalist build.  Most of your comments about the strengths of your build stand with the 30-arcane version but while it loses some direct damage it gains a lot of Boon duration (especially if you go down that route with runes and food too (+70% boon duration for the whole group on attunement swaps and your combos.))  Auramentalist probably plays better with S/D instead of staff and so it is hard to directly compare the two, but I find that it is less squishy and has a better damage output along with more control and the absurdity of huge (10-20) Might stacks for the group.  All in all, I think all three approaches are viable but I'd go for an Evasive Arcana Glyph build over yours while the S/D Aura build is just a very different playstyle and role that is neither better or worse.

I tried Evasive Arcana. I don't really care for it; it seems like a bad idea to be rolling into danger when ele is already so squishy. Auras likewise rely on being hit (aside from earth's, which is nice but rather short), whereas I can spam chilled all day (even longer with enough people projectile finishing through it, and then follow up with more chilled or blind and have the group be completely untouchable). Getting giant stacks of might with boon duration might be pretty neat, but that also relies on people being in a small space, which they really don't tend to do.

Edited by Yashimata, 30 September 2012 - 11:08 PM.


#7 Aetou

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:23 PM

I think you misunderstand how an Aura build works.  It's most important skill is from Fire 20 and means that whenever you use a Signet you gain a Fiery Aura which has little value except that it gives you Protection, Swiftness and Fury.  In Dungeons I run 3 signets with low CDs (Healing 20s, Air 16s, Water 24s - Fire is good for solo play but normally pointless in dungeons as everything is already burning.)  That means I have almost 100% uptime of Fury and maybe 65% of Protection which is obviously very useful.  While I can gain extra auras from Water #4 and by popping Blast finishers those are the icing on the cake and aren't to be relied on (although in D/D the fact you have 2 weapon auras is very useful when solo.)  While the AOE blind from Air is weaker than Glyph of Storms it is also much more frequent and so can be timed perfectly to neuter big hits repeatedly.  Water Signet is awesome for its Chill and... I honestly have no trouble at all surviving in this build while running S/D and there is nothing more satisfying than landing 10k+ hits from Earth 5 on a group of 10 mobs... I just love watching all those little numbers bounce off the screen.

#8 Ceeps

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:01 PM

All in all, not bad. I agree with a lot of the OP. Gonna try giving glyph of storms a shot in some PVE later.

Superior demon summoning is a great sigil for a low price, i like that the fleshreaver (which is super awesome) can be wicked tanky in PVE, and even in WvW as an ele you rarely have a hard time getting the charges if you spend a little time killing mobs or defending on a wall.

#9 endervoid

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:48 AM

View PostYashimata, on 30 September 2012 - 11:07 PM, said:

I tried Evasive Arcana. I don't really care for it; it seems like a bad idea to be rolling into danger when ele is already so squishy.
If you go power, vita thoughness, you absolutely can roll into the danger to combo your water fields. I run d/d melee ele in all explo dungeons and survive most encounters without bigger problems. So you wont die by dodging into the danger for a second. I'm standing there most of the time.

Edited by endervoid, 02 October 2012 - 09:51 AM.


#10 Yashimata

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:00 PM

View PostAetou, on 01 October 2012 - 10:23 PM, said:

I think you misunderstand how an Aura build works.  It's most important skill is from Fire 20 and means that whenever you use a Signet you gain a Fiery Aura which has little value except that it gives you Protection, Swiftness and Fury.  In Dungeons I run 3 signets with low CDs (Healing 20s, Air 16s, Water 24s - Fire is good for solo play but normally pointless in dungeons as everything is already burning.)  That means I have almost 100% uptime of Fury and maybe 65% of Protection which is obviously very useful.  While I can gain extra auras from Water #4 and by popping Blast finishers those are the icing on the cake and aren't to be relied on (although in D/D the fact you have 2 weapon auras is very useful when solo.)  While the AOE blind from Air is weaker than Glyph of Storms it is also much more frequent and so can be timed perfectly to neuter big hits repeatedly.  Water Signet is awesome for its Chill and... I honestly have no trouble at all surviving in this build while running S/D and there is nothing more satisfying than landing 10k+ hits from Earth 5 on a group of 10 mobs... I just love watching all those little numbers bounce off the screen.

I actually hadn't looked up the specifics (until now). I suppose it's kind of neat from a support standpoint to be able to keep fury up on nearby allies (and I do mean nearby; some testing is showing me the range is amazingly small). My beef is we already have a lot of people who play support builds, and pretty much nobody (aside from the occasional gandalf guardian or "tank") playing control.

View PostCeeps, on 01 October 2012 - 11:01 PM, said:

All in all, not bad. I agree with a lot of the OP. Gonna try giving glyph of storms a shot in some PVE later.

Superior demon summoning is a great sigil for a low price, i like that the fleshreaver (which is super awesome) can be wicked tanky in PVE, and even in WvW as an ele you rarely have a hard time getting the charges if you spend a little time killing mobs or defending on a wall.

It's amazing. You can do a lot of things in a 10 second window. I'll have to take your word for it about the sigil. My current PC isn't good enough to run stacking sigils without getting downed all the time due to terrible FPS / freezing at bad times.

View Postendervoid, on 02 October 2012 - 09:48 AM, said:

If you go power, vita thoughness, you absolutely can roll into the danger to combo your water fields. I run d/d melee ele in all explo dungeons and survive most encounters without bigger problems. So you wont die by dodging into the danger for a second. I'm standing there most of the time.

I spent an entire day playing with evasive arcana, and I couldn't get it into a place that worked for me. Please tell me I'm just doing it wrong (and how not to do it wrong) because rolling into aoe twice, and then having a mob/boss/whatever start charging a big attack with you having no way to get out of the way in time, seems like a really, really bad idea.

#11 Sketchup84

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:30 PM

The Aura build is on my opinion most vialbe for D/D, but for Staff it's not really the best choice. The high Fury giving you the crits do not work that well with Staff. With your casting animation times, you do not get the most out of the higher crit chances.

I prefer a cantrip build, that stacks insanely amounts of might (25) and therefore pushes my power level at almost double of its original. On top of that you have absolutely great  survivability as the cantrips give you regen and vigor. Vigor then again lets you effectively use evasive arcana every couple seconds :)

I am happy that finally ppl see the amazing features, the ele brings with it. The builds that are posted here are all very nice :)

#12 HadarRigel

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:47 PM

View PostSketchup84, on 02 October 2012 - 04:30 PM, said:

I prefer a cantrip build, that stacks insanely amounts of might (25) and therefore pushes my power level at almost double of its original. On top of that you have absolutely great  survivability as the cantrips give you regen and vigor. Vigor then again lets you effectively use evasive arcana every couple seconds :)

I am happy that finally ppl see the amazing features, the ele brings with it. The builds that are posted here are all very nice :)

I've never tried a cantrip build, which weapons/traits/gear did you take ?
It seems great for all the oh shit buttons but did you loose control or support over your own personal survivability ?

#13 Sketchup84

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:49 PM

View PostHadarRigel, on 02 October 2012 - 04:47 PM, said:

I've never tried a cantrip build, which weapons/traits/gear did you take ?
It seems great for all the oh shit buttons but did you loose control or support over your own personal survivability ?

I play with staff. But that's personal style. I find staff ele the most flexible of all weapons. I can adapt to basically anything and do great with that build.

Basically I took  Internal Fire and Spell Slinger in the fire attunement. Internal Fire is a classic and spell slinger gives me 3 stacks of might, whenever I use a cantrip.
Then I have in Water tree Soothing Disruption and Cantrip Master
In Arcane I have Elemental Attunement, Blasting Staff and Evasive Arcana.

My healing skill is Glyph of Elemental Harmony.
My utility skills are basically all the cantrips with the lowest cd's being Cleansing Fire, Armor of Earth and Lightening Flash....


So how does my build work. Whenever I use a cantrip I get 3 might stacks. In additional I get 10 sec regen per cantrip and vigor as well.
This gives me a certain defense against debuffs with cleansing fire. But also armor oif earth grants me 8 sec on invulnerability to control effects.

Because of the vigor I can basically doge way more often than normally. Here comes the evasive arcana into play. If you dodge around in the bigger blasting area of lava fountain or frozen grounds, you trigger combo fields and get again 3 might stacks, or water armor. If you dodge into static field, you get swiftness...

In addition I will also get 3 might stacks from the normal combo fields with the earth attunement and fire.


Sigils and Runes that work great with that build:
Sigil of superior battle, which gives me another 3 might stacks while in combat when switching attunement (yes for staff ele it counts as wep switch). Because I have all the points in arcane, my attunement cd's are 60 % reduced. I can switch every couple seconds attunements.

Rune of Fire would go very well with this build, because it gives you additional power and it also gives you additional 20 % might duration.


I do not have the runes and sigils in pve yet as they are hard to get by, but I run this build in sPVP and and when having a base attack of 2700, I get to 3.8 k to 4k on a regular basis. At the same time, you are boosting your defense with the cantrips and they give you in total 30 sec regen and vigor, which can also help to evade attacks obviously...


For your question of control, I never felt more in control. Normally a staff ele looses control whenever he gets focused on, basically, cuz most builds are damn squishy. It is actually very nice to be underestimated as the weakest class and then it turns out that you are the hardest to kill. But these are sPVP comments now....

In fact you do not loose any control compared to other builds...

#14 Acacia

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:32 PM

I've been using this build for circa two weeks now, and I'm loving it. It's the best one I've used so far.

I was running with this one before: http://en.gw2codex.c...aoe-boon-bomber which was alright, but I like yours better.
I've just switched out Mist Form and Glyph of Renewal for Signet of Earth and Arcane Wave, I quite enjoy immobilizing and some extra toughness doesn't hurt. :)

I'm planning on getting the exotic HotW armor set (Power/Tough/Vit) which is the best one I've found with those stats, if anyone know of any better armor, Power/Tough/Vit specifically, please let me know.

#15 Maxzero

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:40 PM

Run something similar with slight modifications.

http://en.gw2skills....LbRuukFNE5IyUEA

Basically take 10 out of Fire and into Earth. Why? So I get a extra 180 toughness (100 from tree and 80 from minor trait). In addition it gives me an extra Cantrip (Earth's Embrace triggers the Might and Regen/Vigor traits). The Condition damage isn't wasted as shown later.

My runes (I actually use Mad King over Lyssa) give me a total of +60% boon duration (8s buffs on Attunement swaps, 24-32s might durations and 14s on the Vigor/Regen traits.

I only have 20% condition duration which I make up for with a Fancy Veggie Pizza food buff (+36% condition duration). They only cost 30c on my server, last 30 mins and even last through death.

With 100 condition damage from traits, 60 from the Pizza and 875 from 25 Might stacks (may as well take advantage of the double dipping) it gives me just over 1000 condition damage. While not as amazing as pure conditions builds (of course) it's a nice secondary damage boost.

I use Ether renewal because I hate conditions. Not many people know that it actually takes very rapidly (about 10 times) so it basically gives the same (if not more) healing then the other heals but also removes all conditions and on a faster CD.

Edited by Maxzero, 04 November 2012 - 05:45 PM.


#16 kissmyelemental

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:58 AM

not a bad build but there is no condition removal. I wouldn't use this in a dungeon.

#17 Mister Stygian

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:17 PM

Once I started playing auramentalist, it was impossible for me to be satisfied with other builds.   There are a lot of nicer slot skills than the signets, which turned me off at first, but the trait lines are superior to any other build in the way they synergize while running auras.   Damage was never a problem on the Ele anyway and you have to be pretty reckless to die running this build, and earth having toughness and condition damage makes it a must max line in my opinion.  The only downside of it is that you have to spam skills  to overheal conditions if your water line is already exhausted.

Edited by Mister Stygian, 05 November 2012 - 07:35 PM.


#18 Viesis

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:38 PM

I would recommend investing 30 into Arcana instead of Fire as you're going to be dodging a lot, and as an Elementalist you should reap the boons that are granted with Evasive Arcana. Either way, you'll want Superior Sigil of Energy on your Staff, as the 50% energy regain on attunement swap can save you from multiple deaths throughout the dungeon.

Personally I run a 20/0/20/30 Cantrip build in most dungeons and it's been working very well for me.

#19 Sketchup84

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:01 AM

View Postkissmyelemental, on 05 November 2012 - 03:58 AM, said:

not a bad build but there is no condition removal. I wouldn't use this in a dungeon.

The cantrip build I use has quite good condition removal. Cleasning water cantrip removes 3 conditions and armor of earth gives 8 seconds immunity to conditions as well

I agree with putting 30 into arcana. this is on my opinion the biggest strength of eles. With cantrip build you get a lot of vigor which means you can dodge way more often and anyone else and you can use ur evasive arcana to the fullest in all attunements

#20 MisfitAndy

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:03 AM

I just recently tried using dagger/dagger instead of staff in dungeon groups, and although it is a little more frenetic it is enjoyable.

I run 10 air / 30 water / 30 arcane for boon duration, evasive arcana, zephy's, and powerful auras.  Yes, it may seem suicidal to roll yourself into the midst of a fight, but when you can fire off an aura or two and give the melee fighters a substantial amount of fury and possibly set off a blast-finisher, it is worth it.  I find it to be a waste to invest in fire and earth to get the fire shield on signet use and the protection with aura, but that is my personal choice as with the two auras and my boon duration it tends to last for quite a while, anyway.  I mostly find the signets to be garbage, honestly.  Also, it seems like a lot of points to waste in both earth and fire (30) that could instead be used for boon duration and evasive arcana.

Your mileage may vary, of course.  I realize that there are people who want to be able to deal out more damage, but I find that I survive better with my build.  I can gear more towards damage, too, if I choose.  It will never rival a build specifically built for damage, but it is enough to keep myself entertained.

Staff builds are okay, too, and I enjoy them.  You definitely do not get downed as much in the support role as when you are d/d, but they get boring after a while.  The way I have my traits set up, though, I can essentially change to my staff build while only really having the air 10 as being a waste (I normally would pick up earth 10 for the armor of earth at 50%).  Can pick up quick glyphs, though, so not too awful considering I at least use the healing glyph and the elemental glyph at all times.

This is my build, obviously not for everyone, but I like it:

http://gw2skills.net...LrSuukKNE5Iy8DA




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