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Krakatoa- The Eruption Elementalist (PvE Dungeon Build)

pve dungeon elementalist build guide condition damage

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#1 Kitsune

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 06:51 PM

Major Edit: I was just reminded by my friend that there is Food and Attuning Crystals that can further massively increase your condition duration (general not bleed specific!) that is really cheaply available on the auction house or very cheaply made if you are a chief or artificer. Two of the 400 tier crystals makes 5 crystals, and they turn a % of your vitality and toughness into condition damage! Now my base Condition damage with my build is a whopping 1500+, without Malice stacks!

Hello all! I wanted to share with everyone my elementalist build that I rarely see people use when I come across other elementalists in dungeon runs at level 80.

My build centers on the Staff skill Eruption, which is a long-delay area bleed and burst damage skill with a rather large range and doubles as a Blast finisher.

Anyone could just link a build and say "I play it like this" but I wanted to give some very lengthy, in depth rationale behind why I love my Krakatoa Eruption build. Also, while I don't focus on it in this guide, this build is also what I use in WvW and is exceptionally good while attacking or defending a keep to take people and take them out when they attempt to revive their allies :D

Everything is sectioned off with [ Spoiler] tags for ease of reading, I hope you enjoy!

The Build

Spoiler

TL:DR

Spoiler


Why I Love Eruption

Spoiler

Why I Love Bleed Duration Runes

Spoiler

Damage Per Action

Spoiler

Why Eruption can potentially out damage 100-Blades

Spoiler

Benefits of Raw vs Condition Damage

Spoiler

How To Deal With the Non-Living (Behold the Meatball!)

Spoiler


Combo Finisher Blast

Spoiler


Conclusion: How it Plays

With the potential to reach over 20 bleed stacks on up to 5 targets, this build is easily one of my favorites in the game. In gives moderate survivability with the built in toughness and vitality, while providing object destruction that surpasses almost any other build in the game.

It requires a decent amount of predictive skill and control usage to get the most out of it, and it doesn't play nice with other bleed stacking condition builds obviously, but I think most players will enjoy the kaboom of eruption followed by the wonderful fountain of numbers you will see on your screen :D

You still can take advantage of switching attunements, and I do frequently, but it will be very purposeful uses. You will primarily want to stay in Earth spamming your control skills during eruptions cooldown, but if an ally needs help, don't hesitate to swap to fit the needs of the situation.

Thats the lovely part of this build, during eruptions cooldown / delayed blast time, you can swap attunements, channel Ether Feast, or do any of your many options available to you, while keeping up your damage with Bleeds.


I hope this build proves useful to any other elementalists looking to capitalize on one of our strongest skills :)

Edited by Kitsune, 16 October 2012 - 10:04 PM.


#2 Thundergulch

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:06 PM

Nice write-up.
I love the Condition Damage and Duration build also,but I'm not fully maxxed for it yet.

#3 Shadowrose

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:11 PM

PvE? what about the bleed cap? what about the monsters actually moving while the delayed 3-4 seconds explosion happens?

#4 King Potato

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:01 PM

"2x Krait, Centuar, and Affliction runes to achieve 45% Bleed duration."

I tried this set in the mists and it barely affected my bleeds. Other sets that give + 100 condition set are better IMO, I like adenturer. I think eruption spam is very good in PVE but not PVP. Most people will just get rid of the bleeds on them, as most builds have good CD removal, or they will ignore it as it is pretty obvious. In WvWvW it can be hard to see as it is mainly a zerg, but I don't think this is the best build for WvWvW imo.

I used to use this type of build alot, but now I'm thinking that S+D attunement dancing might be better, or attunement dancing +staff with carrion + cleric?

I also think that without 30 in water you are severely limiting yourself. Best version of this build I found was using cantrips + water with it. Poor healing in PVE would just get you killed and without the 30 or at least 20 in water I think I would die alot.

#5 Kitsune

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:24 PM

View PostShadowrose, on 16 October 2012 - 07:11 PM, said:

PvE? what about the bleed cap? what about the monsters actually moving while the delayed 3-4 seconds explosion happens?

Bleed Cap is never reached solo by this build, but it is problematic of other members of the party excessively attempt to stack bleed (or worse, people who have NO condition damage/duration who have auto attack with piddly bleeds). But those situations are rare. Again, if that happens, thats what the Power in the build is for :D Also, just politely ask any groupies who ARENT running Bleed builds to attempt to not apply it unless unavoidable.

As for the monsters moving, THAT is where player skill comes into play (as mentioned in the OP!). You have: Immobilize, Chill, and Cripple to keep foes in range. Alternatively, if being chased, lead the mob onto it, dodge through the mob if need be. Works amazingly well. The LONG stun on the Frost Bow, along with it's chilling spread shot, are excellent to use right after an Eruption if you dont want to swap out of Earth to Water for Frozen Ground (assuming Unsteady Ground and Shockwave are on cooldown).

A good team helps even more, if they are controling or at least meleeing the mob long enough to keep them in place.

View PostKing Potato, on 16 October 2012 - 08:01 PM, said:

"2x Krait, Centuar, and Affliction runes to achieve 45% Bleed duration."

I tried this set in the mists and it barely affected my bleeds. Other sets that give + 100 condition set are better IMO, I like adenturer. I think eruption spam is very good in PVE but not PVP. Most people will just get rid of the bleeds on them, as most builds have good CD removal, or they will ignore it as it is pretty obvious. In WvWvW it can be hard to see as it is mainly a zerg, but I don't think this is the best build for WvWvW imo.

You need to mouse over your bleeds while afflicting a target for the TRUE duration. The tooltips do NOT take into account all factors.

As said, this is *NOT* a PvP build, but it is among the best in WvW for clearing infantry from a location, particularly those up on the walls. Most people do not notice the Eruption building nor the bleed stacks after, its a very subtle way to kill people who think they are fine. Most WvW people ignore condition removal, or at least enough that I've scored loads of kills with it :P Best part is when people go down, you can expect others to try to revive them, so you can load more people up + the downed person.

View PostKing Potato, on 16 October 2012 - 08:01 PM, said:


I used to use this type of build alot, but now I'm thinking that S+D attunement dancing might be better, or attunement dancing +staff with carrion + cleric?

I also think that without 30 in water you are severely limiting yourself. Best version of this build I found was using cantrips + water with it. Poor healing in PVE would just get you killed and without the 30 or at least 20 in water I think I would die alot.

I am one of the last to die usually, the lack of Healing Power is not hurting this build in the least. Regardless  this is an offensive build not a turtle build (I've run those before and they are fun too, but no where near the sustained damage obviously.)

#6 Hydro

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 11:20 PM

Quote

Major Edit: I was just reminded by my friend that there is Food and Attuning Crystals that can further massively increase your condition duration (general not bleed specific!) that is really cheaply available on the auction house or very cheaply made if you are a chief or artificer. Two of the 400 tier crystals makes 5 crystals, and they turn a % of your vitality and toughness into condition damage! Now my base Condition damage with my build is a whopping 1500+, without Malice stacks!

What exactly do you mean with this?

#7 Shadowrose

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 11:53 PM

well, for general solo pve might be fine... now go do some DE's or dungeons and you'll find yourself doing almost no damage :/

#8 Kitsune

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 01:22 AM

View PostHydro, on 16 October 2012 - 11:20 PM, said:

What exactly do you mean with this?

There are artificer crystal consumables that provide a 6% and 4% toughness/vitality  to Condition Damage bonus and last for 30 minutes AND stack with food buffs, and there are Veggie Pizzas that provide really huge condition duration buffs and some condition damage as well.

Brought my Condam from 1300ish to 1500+ with those two alone, over 1700 with the stacks from the weapon Sigil.

View PostShadowrose, on 16 October 2012 - 11:53 PM, said:

well, for general solo pve might be fine... now go do some DE's or dungeons and you'll find yourself doing almost no damage :/

Have you read any of the guide at all?

Its not for DE's, it IS for dungeons, and it DOES do more damage than pretty much anything else for Damage Per Ability.

#9 Shadowrose

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:10 AM

View PostKitsune, on 17 October 2012 - 01:22 AM, said:

There are artificer crystal consumables that provide a 6% and 4% toughness/vitality  to Condition Damage bonus and last for 30 minutes AND stack with food buffs, and there are Veggie Pizzas that provide really huge condition duration buffs and some condition damage as well.

Brought my Condam from 1300ish to 1500+ with those two alone, over 1700 with the stacks from the weapon Sigil.



Have you read any of the guide at all?

Its not for DE's, it IS for dungeons, and it DOES do more damage than pretty much anything else for Damage Per Ability.
Dunno, most of the dungeons I've been in I'm doing my dps on fire / air while looking at the monster stat bar... filled with 15 to 21 bleeds without fail most of the times.

Might be ok against waves of trash mobs (that will die before you even get to use a 3rd eruption) but against bosses? I don't think so.

#10 Kitsune

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:25 AM

View PostShadowrose, on 17 October 2012 - 02:10 AM, said:

Dunno, most of the dungeons I've been in I'm doing my dps on fire / air while looking at the monster stat bar... filled with 15 to 21 bleeds without fail most of the times.

Might be ok against waves of trash mobs (that will die before you even get to use a 3rd eruption) but against bosses? I don't think so.

Then you aren't coordinating with your teammates.

#11 Shadowrose

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 02:44 AM

hard to do that in pugs but.. yeah. might work on a dedicated guild team!

#12 Pyra

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:55 AM

I think it's a perfectly valid build, although I'm not a fan of stacking bleed duration with your runes in that fashion. As the general pool of player gear has increased, even relatively "durable" mob packs are quickly getting whittled down by power builds. It's obviously a huge bonus for boss fights, but picking any of the other condi runes that add damage with duration or another benefit would help even out your damage curve.

View PostShadowrose, on 17 October 2012 - 02:44 AM, said:

hard to do that in pugs but.. yeah. might work on a dedicated guild team!

Condition builds are always going to suffer in random groups, you never really want more than one condi stacker on a team. It's a risk to take for pugging, but it can be valuable since most people stack might (like me) and having one condi stacker is a big dps improvement for any party over another power/crit build.

Edited by Pyra, 17 October 2012 - 08:58 AM.


#13 Kitsune

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:32 PM

Learned yet another interesting tidbit from making this guide and testing the condition duration stacking:

No matter what combination, condition duration (and i assume boon duration too, though i think its impossible to reach the threshold) caps at 100%.

This means that you can double the duration of any condition with maximum duration, which agrees with the 24 second bleeds I've witnessed on Eruption.


This news changes my entire rune build and potentially my traits as well:

The "specific" condition increasing runes normally add 15% for the x2 bonus, totaling to 45% if 3 x2 runes are used.

Alternatively, the "all condition" duration increasers are les available, with 10% x2 from Lyssa and 10% if 4 runes in either Nightmare or Lich.


Now, with the "cheaper" food providing a whopping 36% Condition Duration, that 20% from the 6 runes seems like a good deal, since its far too easy to "over cap" in condition duration for specific conditions.

Alternatively, simply mixing in some x2 runes of other specific conditions you want to increase might work well, if for example I'm almost at or over 100% stacked in Bleed, I could include some Chill specific.


As a staff elementalist, I actually have a variety of conditions that I employ regularly: Weakness, Cripple, Immobilize, Chill, Burning, and obviously Bleeding.

They are all very important for their own reasons, and I DO use all in a given fight generally, so I'm really starting to learn towards going a pure "condition duration" increasing build to maximise my attunement swapping.


That said, the maximum amount of raw condition duration I can receive is 20% from runes, 30% from Traits, and 36% (or 40 if a big spender for Rare Veggie Pizza) = 86 to 90% Condition duration for ALL conditions.

Just imagine each of your condition inflicting skills lasting nearly twice as long. Another nice benefit for bleed and burn at least, is that you will be getting more raw condition damage from the Nightmare runes to make up for the very slight loss in duration.

The negative side is that these runes are not the easiest to come by, requiring dungeons or karma to acquire generally or expensive on the TP (1g+ per rune for Lyssa).




For now I'm torn between getting "just enough" to hit 100% bleed then make sure I can approach 100% Chilled, but now that I think about having around 90% duration on Immobilize, Cripple, and Weakness too, not to mention Burning, its really making me rethink my build!

#14 tornado64

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:50 AM

View PostKitsune, on 17 October 2012 - 01:22 AM, said:

There are artificer crystal consumables that provide a 6% and 4% toughness/vitality  to Condition Damage bonus and last for 30 minutes AND stack with food buffs, and there are Veggie Pizzas that provide really huge condition duration buffs and some condition damage as well.

Which food is giving 36 % condition duration you mentioned later?

#15 Kitsune

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 05:55 AM

View Posttornado64, on 18 October 2012 - 08:50 AM, said:

Which food is giving 36 % condition duration you mentioned later?

Super Veggie Pizza. The Rare Veggie Pizza provides 4% more duration and +10 more condition duration, but generally costs twice as much to make / buy from auction, so those tiny bit of stats generally arent enough to sway my wallet :P

#16 tornado64

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:47 AM

View PostKitsune, on 19 October 2012 - 05:55 AM, said:

Super Veggie Pizza. The Rare Veggie Pizza provides 4% more duration and +10 more condition duration, but generally costs twice as much to make / buy from auction, so those tiny bit of stats generally arent enough to sway my wallet :P

Thanks, I like your build, I was running S/F or S/D with Carrion set before, but this is really a very good alternative. It provides higher dmg in AoE situations and you can even go to 1200 range.

#17 Kitsune

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:17 PM

View Posttornado64, on 19 October 2012 - 08:47 AM, said:

Thanks, I like your build, I was running S/F or S/D with Carrion set before, but this is really a very good alternative. It provides higher dmg in AoE situations and you can even go to 1200 range.

Thanks :D

The "raw" condition duration has been working miracles in my build by the way. I can keep up perma Chill and Weakness easily on targets, although the -50% duration of Weakness on bosses makes it harder to keep that up.

#18 drkn

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:21 PM

What were your testing conditions?
Which dungeons? Routes? Team composition?

Unless it's a general, open-world PvE build - then yeah, looks fun, but keep in mind that literally everything works in the open PvE as long as you (1) deal some damage, (2) use some cc and dodge properly, and (3) don't fight undergeared.

#19 Aetou

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:42 PM

It will work in pretty much any dungeon so long as you don't have other people stacking bleeds and burning too in the group.  I've spent the last few days running a similar concept, except with more utility and much less all-out-damage (so Boon duration runes, 20 water instead of Fire, etc.)  The damage really is very good and being a staff Ele you retain a lot of flexibility - you can help burn through trash or spend quite a lot of time in water if the team needs it (blitzed through COE Exp with a pug this evening, found that as I had 4 guys doing melee on almost everything they really needed me to be chucking out that 600 hps on all of them much more than they needed me to stack bleeds (although there was usually time to swap into Earth to drop an Eruption, then into Fire to lay down a Lava Font, etc., before swapping back into Water to bail them out again.

Really it all comes down to whether you think pure damage is the best approach to builds or whether flexibility and utility is superior.  My view is that the Trinity really is dead and that thinking in terms of just maximising DPS is a relic of other games and this is true for the Elementalist more than almost anyone else as we really can swap roles on the fly without missing a beat.

#20 Kitsune

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:00 AM

View Postdrkn, on 19 October 2012 - 09:21 PM, said:

What were your testing conditions?
Which dungeons? Routes? Team composition?

Unless it's a general, open-world PvE build - then yeah, looks fun, but keep in mind that literally everything works in the open PvE as long as you (1) deal some damage, (2) use some cc and dodge properly, and (3) don't fight undergeared.

All AC routes, All HOTW routes, All TA routes so far.

We generally have a blind-stacking utility-reviving thief, a GS/rifle pure crit damage/power/prec warrior, my build, and then a random assortment of players depending on who is on.

I focus on maintaining Bleed stacks *when it is safe to do so* else I focus on whatever is directly needed at the time, which is usually control skills and maintaining the more utilitarian conditions such as Chill, Weakness, etc. I rarely make a concerted effort to keep up Vulnerability unless our group is super raw damage heavy.

Most importantly, our team focuses on whittling down Defiance stacks to lane the Frost Bow's 5 skill for a massive stun to relieve pressure from bosses. We also make excellent use of Meteor Shower and Frost Bow's 4 to take down important large targets/structures (amazing in TA's final boss).

I still swap to water to remove conditions, and most importantly, use frozen ground for amazingly long Chill, which is supplemented by Frost Bow's 3 to keep up Chill as long as needed. If Vulnerability stacking is desired, Frost Bow's 2 is fantastic, as well as Water's 2.

If another Ele or any profession who can keep up a good fire field is present, I focus on combining my constant Blasts from eruption with them to get 25 might stacks fairly easily.

#21 BrettM

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:43 PM

View PostAetou, on 19 October 2012 - 09:42 PM, said:

I've spent the last few days running a similar concept, except with more utility and much less all-out-damage (so Boon duration runes, 20 water instead of Fire, etc.)
This sounds like the build I settled on (0/0/30/20/20) for much the same reasons you describe, though I haven't used runes to extend boon duration. It feels like I'm more flexible, able to switch from condition damage to support when necessary and able to PvE solo while contributing to group play when I happen across an ad-hoc group or ongoing zerg. The OP has gotten me thinking about the value of extending durations (either conditions or boons), though, which I had previously ignored.

Edited by BrettM, 20 October 2012 - 12:44 PM.


#22 Kitsune

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:50 AM

View PostBrettM, on 20 October 2012 - 12:43 PM, said:

This sounds like the build I settled on (0/0/30/20/20) for much the same reasons you describe, though I haven't used runes to extend boon duration. It feels like I'm more flexible, able to switch from condition damage to support when necessary and able to PvE solo while contributing to group play when I happen across an ad-hoc group or ongoing zerg. The OP has gotten me thinking about the value of extending durations (either conditions or boons), though, which I had previously ignored.

It totally depends on the needs of your group. Elementalists can totally go a full Boon duration build, or even just focus on a few key boons we can stack well (Protection, Might, Regeneration come to mind) to be very effective, but I've just chosen the more offensive "control" route of maximising our Condition elements, which I find quite good for AoE and "good enough" to match up to a Necromancer in that regard.

#23 Kitsune

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:38 AM

View PostKitsune, on 21 October 2012 - 06:50 AM, said:

It totally depends on the needs of your group. Elementalists can totally go a full Boon duration build, or even just focus on a few key boons we can stack well (Protection, Might, Regeneration come to mind) to be very effective, but I've just chosen the more offensive "control" route of maximising our Condition elements, which I find quite good for AoE and "good enough" to match up to a Necromancer in that regard.

Actually, having looked at all of the necromancer's condition duration base lines, it seems like elementalists simply "do it better" when it comes to Chill and Cripple and Bleed stacking in terms of baseline duration / # of applications for Bleed.

The benefit for necromancers is they are generally applying several conditions at once, while an Elementalist is picking and choosing to meet the needs of the situation.

#24 Nyth

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:55 AM

View PostKitsune, on 21 October 2012 - 07:38 AM, said:

Actually, having looked at all of the necromancer's condition duration base lines, it seems like elementalists simply "do it better" when it comes to Chill and Cripple and Bleed stacking in terms of baseline duration / # of applications for Bleed.

The benefit for necromancers is they are generally applying several conditions at once, while an Elementalist is picking and choosing to meet the needs of the situation.

One of the necro's problems is that they, unlike us have no choice.

And that is still an annoying aspect of the condition damage route and a reason I'm hesitant to take it. I know that if we're with more than 1-2 condition damage dealers we're simply "losing out"; and at the same time I know some classes (like the necro) have very little alternative options for dungeons.

#25 Dominique de Lombre

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:09 PM

I like the build very much. I'm only level 62 and haven't tried it in dungeons yet, but it's great in general PvE and I can't wait to use it in TA ;)

The only annoyance is wurms which often go underground and take AGES to kill in earth and so I have to switch. But it's only minor and I love the build.

#26 oddish

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:21 PM

Well done. I pretty much use this exact build

#27 Kitsune

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 09:32 PM

View Postmcmgw, on 21 October 2012 - 05:09 PM, said:

I like the build very much. I'm only level 62 and haven't tried it in dungeons yet, but it's great in general PvE and I can't wait to use it in TA ;)

The only annoyance is wurms which often go underground and take AGES to kill in earth and so I have to switch. But it's only minor and I love the build.

View Postoddish, on 21 October 2012 - 05:21 PM, said:

Well done. I pretty much use this exact build

Glad its working well for you both :D

The fun part of the build in general pve is you can basically "dot and rot" by starting a fight with eruption, then moving to the next mob(s) while the bleeds tic. One or at most two eruptions is enough to kill anything, and you can move on from there for fast farming to get heart credit or to tag enough in an event for gold. Obviously this does NOT work well for the poorly designed slaughterfest events in orr, but they are totally abnormal from the rest of the game :D

#28 King Potato

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:28 AM

How do you deal with getting rid of CD's on you ? One of the main reasons I stopped using this type of build is I wanted to make use of the water 30pt skill of getting rid of CD's with regen. Some CD's just screw me other so badly that without that I died alot in dungeons. I can't stand cleansing fire as it just doesn't cut it, and I don't feel that I can just let CD's stay on me.

#29 Kitsune

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:00 AM

View PostKing Potato, on 22 October 2012 - 12:28 AM, said:

How do you deal with getting rid of CD's on you ? One of the main reasons I stopped using this type of build is I wanted to make use of the water 30pt skill of getting rid of CD's with regen. Some CD's just screw me other so badly that without that I died alot in dungeons. I can't stand cleansing fire as it just doesn't cut it, and I don't feel that I can just let CD's stay on me.

Use the most broken, overpowered, single best condition removal skill in the game: Ether Renewal.

Nothing else in the game to my knowledge removes as many conditions on such a short cooldown, and honestly im very surprised it has gone unnoticed by the community at large (hope the devs dont catch wind of how amazing that heal is!).

#30 Murmer

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:55 PM

The real *ONLY* problem, I see with this build is that it is really selective. Meaning, you better hope that no one else in that dungeon is applying bleeds, or you get your prowess nerfed to just stacking bleed duration.

Edited by Murmer, 22 October 2012 - 12:57 PM.






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