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Can anyone enlighten me what makes Evasive Arcana


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#1 Razk

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:56 PM

Hey all
My elementalist just hit 63 and I have been playing around with Evasive Arcana for the pass few levels. What makes me wonder is, I dont get the usefulness of this skill at all since I have to waste my precious energy to dodge into those combo field.
My main is a pure glass cannon thief, and that makes me understand how important energy is for staying alive. I was planning to go for staff support build on my elementalist 0/0/10/30/30, but now that I have tested Evasive Arcana, my mind is telling to change to something like 10/0/10/30/20.

So before I respec, can any of you show me the way to effectively use Evasive Arcana with some examples or under what circumstance would it more useful, that would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

#2 Murmer

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:59 PM

Evasive arcana is famous for two things.

1. Might stacking D/D - S/D elementalists
2. Water attunement healing

For instance, when I dodge in water attunement while in combat, I get a 1.5k hp instantly. It increases surviveability to a wonderful degree.

#3 Aetou

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:23 PM

Evasive Arcana is good, that is something I have no wish to dispute.  However, how much you can use its Blast Finisher effectively hinges on a couple of things: 1) How much Vigor (etc.) you have and (2) Whether you can angle the dodges you were going to make anyway to end up in a combo field (it really doesn't have to be your own, most fields are still worth triggering.  If, for example, you are running S/D and have +30% boon duration from runes then even before food (which will often give you more duration) you are getting 16s of Vigor from every Phoenix - enough to let you throw far more dodges.  A lot of it really hinges on #2 though - how often you can make the dodges you need to make anyway trigger something useful and how often you can just 'waste' dodges to do combos.  

Personally, I've actually stopped using Arcane 30 and prefer to put those points in Water instead (30 Earth, 20 Arcane, 10 Water is really the core of the build and the last 10 is flexible and can go wherever I feel like it,)  The heal-on-attune from Water 15 is pretty much the same as from dodging in a water field and is much more reliable and easier to use in a crisis (the number of times a quick attune to water for the 2k heal while stunned has saved my skin...) than making sure one of your water fields is down and then rolling into it.  Because I'm not crit-based Arcane 25 is pretty much a waste for me so the question really becomes whether 10% Boon Duration (very nice) and Evasive Arcana is worth as much as 1k health + 100 healing power + instant AOE heal every 15-20s + Water 20 trait (of which there are 4 very solid options.)  Currently, I find that the investment in Water is much better for me in terms of personal survival and that focusing on my existing rotation and the flow of battle (I'm used to playing a healer, so I'm always paying attention to the health and conditions/boons on the entire party during a fight) lets me use my wide range of talents more effectively than when I was focusing on throwing dodges into fields all the time (instead of staying out of red circles!)  Maybe I'm just at the limits of my multitasking, but I'm not entirely convinced that the time 'wasted' dodging is always worth the buff that the combo yields - as a good group should be comboing my fields constantly anyway and so we'll normally be at 20+ Might stacks.

As I said, Evasive Arcana is a very solid trait and in certain builds it really shines but if you're already quite support focused there are other alternatives that are equally valid.

#4 CepaCepa

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:49 PM

It does take away endurance, which is a downside. However for me personally (heavy and aggressive support with mediocre damage), I've stacked up so much toughness/vitality, as well as having arcane shield + mist form on my utility bar, such that it's rare that I'd need to actually use my dodges for dodging. Even without dodging much, I'm always the first one to engage in combat (hence often the centre of mobs' attention) and the last one standing.

I'd much prefer to evade/control the mob with the staff skills, fire #4 is a great escape, earth #3 means I don't have to dodge projectiles, air #3 is a reliable push back, air #2 can blind a mob that's running toward me and may very likely hit me in 1-2 second, and all the aoe slow/stun in water/air/earth works too to stop mobs from reaching me (or an ally). The CDs are all relatively short such that I can repeat the cycle over and over while my team mates (and my own damage, of course) burst the mobs down, in aoe too. This way I save all my dodges for either might stacking or water field healing. And I typically dump it all out at once, meaning dodge + attunement swap and dodge again --- I'm treating endurance much like thief initiative here, it's going to come back, so every time it is full that means I'm not using it to the maximum. Whenever I DO need to dodge for my life, Evasive Arcana is quite useful too --- In air it blinds the enemy chasing me, in earth it cripples the enemy chasing me, and in water it heals me.

As described above, since I'm only using my dodges for might stacking/water healing, I find that vigor isn't that necessary. This is because Evasive Arcana still have a CD afterall, AND my fields still have CDs, AND attunement swapping still have a CD. Which means that infinite dodging won't do me that much good anyways, and I find it enough to have just regular endurance regen --- When I need to do a blast finisher, typically it is always available.

As for dodging into the fields, it takes some practice, and then it'll be cake. :) One of the hardest thing for me to dodge into at first was geyser --- That little bugger has such a short duration and small area that there's no time to adjust --- You need to cast it at the right place (at the feet of an ally typically) and immediately dodge into it after casting, it takes some getting used to.

Since I'm boon focused, I'd spend 30 points in arcana just for the boon duration and attunement swap reduction anyways, so really evasive arcana is an extra and wonderful addition. If someone is more damage oriented though, I guess evasive arcana won't be as good as it appears --- But still a very solid choice. The fire and earth blast finisher damage is quite nice just by themselves, it provides quite a nice aoe burst when chained together and coupled with arcane wave (better yet, if all those were casted in a fire field you have 9 stacks of aoe might in 1-2 seconds).

Edited by CepaCepa, 09 November 2012 - 08:54 PM.


#5 Nonlinear

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:03 PM

Trait VI in arcane for vigor on crit.  Or if you really really need more dodge get an energy sigil.

View PostCepaCepa, on 09 November 2012 - 08:49 PM, said:

This is because Evasive Arcana still have a CD afterall,
There is no CD on the blast finisher there is only a CD on the spell it casts, i.e. you can dodge twice in a row and trigger both blast finishers but only the first dodge will trigger the actual spell (e.g. the flame blast in fire).  If you are in combat and have large staff AOE you can lay down static field, dodge once for area swiftness (which will trigger the AOE blind), pop arcane wave for more area swiftness then dodge again for even more (which won't trigger the blind again b/c it is on CD and assuming you can stay in the field).  The blast finishers only seems to trigger when you're in combat though.

Edited by Nonlinear, 09 November 2012 - 10:06 PM.


#6 FrancisCrawford

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:05 PM

What techniques do you use for rolling for Might in a Ring of Fire? If you roll from the center of the ring you won't trigger it (at least, that's how it is for me). So do you move your feet while using other skills before the roll?

--FC

#7 CepaCepa

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:32 PM

View PostNonlinear, on 09 November 2012 - 10:03 PM, said:

Trait VI in arcane for vigor on crit.  Or if you really really need more dodge get an energy sigil.


There is no CD on the blast finisher there is only a CD on the spell it casts, i.e. you can dodge twice in a row and trigger both blast finishers but only the first dodge will trigger the actual spell (e.g. the flame blast in fire).  If you are in combat and have large staff AOE you can lay down static field, dodge once for area swiftness (which will trigger the AOE blind), pop arcane wave for more area swiftness then dodge again for even more (which won't trigger the blind again b/c it is on CD and assuming you can stay in the field).  The blast finishers only seems to trigger when you're in combat though.

Of course, I should've been more clear. :)

I meant the spell itself having a 10 second CD, of course I can "dry dodge" just to trigger the blast finisher effect, but personally I'd try to avoid that. In most cases I'd like those spell effects in addition to the blast finisher effect that they bring. Fire and Earth EA spells hits pretty hard, and since I often place my lava font near the mobs and dodge into it to give might stacks to our melee, I'd be doing some good aoe damage to the mobs too, which makes it very worth while. The water EA dodge is a heal + cleanse, it's very good just by itself, and used in a water field with the addition of arcane wave means an INSTANT 5-6K healing to that person. Sometimes I'd still do "dry dodge" when I've got every other attunement on CD and I really want to trigger a blast finisher, but I try to not do it too much to "make the most" out of my endurance. :)

View PostFrancisCrawford, on 09 November 2012 - 10:05 PM, said:

What techniques do you use for rolling for Might in a Ring of Fire? If you roll from the center of the ring you won't trigger it (at least, that's how it is for me). So do you move your feet while using other skills before the roll?

--FC

I cast fire #4 in dagger WHILE straffing to the side, this way when it is casted, I'd be standing near the edge of the ring. Immediately I'd dodge to the other side, triggering the blast finisher within the ring (followed by arcane wave + switching to earth to #4 and #5. If you're using scepter cast a Phoenix first before switching to earth, if you're in dagger/dagger then after churning earth do a fire #3 followed by a backward dodge and you should be sitting at 25 stacks of might yourself with sigil of battle and boon duration increase). All this time of course, I'd still be in range of the mob and hitting it, and the mob is probably sitting right on the edge of the ring taking in all the burns.

You can, like you said, always use another spell too while you're moving to the side of the ring, if you've already casted it. Ideally if you're using scepter, that spell would be phoenix. If you're using dagger, then fire grab. I'd prefer to use my fire grab after getting some delicious might stack but casting it now is better than doing nothing for 1 second while you run to the side. :)

#8 Nonlinear

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:14 PM

With vigor on crit and even a modest crit rate (< 20%), endurance isn't a problem with this build.  Without vigor on crit you have to wait to cast lava font before your endurance fills enough which will limit the might stack and limit the damage output.  With vigor your endurance fills enough to dodge as soon as lava font is off CD (sped up 20% with 20 fire), less than 5 seconds.  With a staff in fire you also have 4 to dodge backwards.

Every 3x might stack is ~5% damage increase for every person it hits (105 power and 105 condition damage).  The whole point of continually dodging isn't for the blast itself (which is on a CD) but for finishers and the 3x AOE might stacks you can get every 5 seconds.  Faster filling endurance and less CD = more dodges per minute = more stacks of might = more % damage increase for the entire party = stuff dies faster.  

I find it difficult to believe that waiting for the CD on fire blast dodge is worth losing 5%-10%-15%-etc. damage increases for the entire party (assuming they are close enough to get the stacks, which they almost always are once they figure out I can put 15+ stacks on them).  The group and your two fire elementals will also use blast finishers in your lava fonts which add even more might.  25 stacks of might are pretty routine.

And again if you are really concerned about endurance then swap the fire sigil for an energy sigil and you get a free dodge every ten seconds when you change attunement.  throw in elemental attunement for staff aoe size and you've still got lots of endurance but can swap to earth for protection boon then pop your glyph for a total of nine seconds of protection plus you got that free dodge from the sigil.  There's also mist form and other skills to get you out of jams.  A lot of times people also dodge for no reason when they could merely strafe for 1 second or they dodge out of something that does paltry damage.  I do that in wvw, put down crappy aoes like ice spike just to get them to burn dodges.

Edited by Nonlinear, 10 November 2012 - 12:18 AM.


#9 Featherman

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:22 PM

There is also food that gives you increased stamina regen rate. The highest it goes up to is 40%, which is really nice for the cost of making it.

#10 FrancisCrawford

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:10 AM

View PostCepaCepa, on 09 November 2012 - 10:32 PM, said:

I cast fire #4 in dagger WHILE straffing to the side, this way when it is casted, I'd be standing near the edge of the ring. Immediately I'd dodge to the other side, triggering the blast finisher within the ring (followed by arcane wave + switching to earth to #4 and #5. If you're using scepter cast a Phoenix first before switching to earth, if you're in dagger/dagger then after churning earth do a fire #3 followed by a backward dodge and you should be sitting at 25 stacks of might yourself with sigil of battle and boon duration increase). All this time of course, I'd still be in range of the mob and hitting it, and the mob is probably sitting right on the edge of the ring taking in all the burns.

You can, like you said, always use another spell too while you're moving to the side of the ring, if you've already casted it. Ideally if you're using scepter, that spell would be phoenix. If you're using dagger, then fire grab. I'd prefer to use my fire grab after getting some delicious might stack but casting it now is better than doing nothing for 1 second while you run to the side. :)

Makes sense, except I still doubt that -- in S/D -- Fire 2, Fire 3, a roll, Earth 4, and Earth 5 can all happen in a single Ring of Fire. :)

Is that all after RtL?

-- FC

#11 Nonlinear

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:30 AM

View PostFrancisCrawford, on 10 November 2012 - 12:10 AM, said:

Makes sense, except I still doubt that -- in S/D -- Fire 2, Fire 3, a roll, Earth 4, and Earth 5 can all happen in a single Ring of Fire. :)

Is that all after RtL?

-- FC
Even if it is possible, this is one of the reasons why I prefer staff + lava font.  No exacting button ritual stance dance in a small time window with a 15 sec CD (12 traited) to get might stacks.  

Fire 1 auto attack (which is also an aoe), lava font, dodge, AW if off CD, back up, fire 3 if off CD, lava font, dodge, etc. throw in glyphs and aoe as needed.  Use your other attunements to kite or heal or deal with aggro then go back to fire.

#12 CepaCepa

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:02 PM

View PostNonlinear, on 09 November 2012 - 11:14 PM, said:

With vigor on crit and even a modest crit rate (< 20%), endurance isn't a problem with this build.  Without vigor on crit you have to wait to cast lava font before your endurance fills enough which will limit the might stack and limit the damage output.  With vigor your endurance fills enough to dodge as soon as lava font is off CD (sped up 20% with 20 fire), less than 5 seconds.  With a staff in fire you also have 4 to dodge backwards.

Every 3x might stack is ~5% damage increase for every person it hits (105 power and 105 condition damage).  The whole point of continually dodging isn't for the blast itself (which is on a CD) but for finishers and the 3x AOE might stacks you can get every 5 seconds.  Faster filling endurance and less CD = more dodges per minute = more stacks of might = more % damage increase for the entire party = stuff dies faster.  

I find it difficult to believe that waiting for the CD on fire blast dodge is worth losing 5%-10%-15%-etc. damage increases for the entire party (assuming they are close enough to get the stacks, which they almost always are once they figure out I can put 15+ stacks on them).  The group and your two fire elementals will also use blast finishers in your lava fonts which add even more might.  25 stacks of might are pretty routine.

And again if you are really concerned about endurance then swap the fire sigil for an energy sigil and you get a free dodge every ten seconds when you change attunement.  throw in elemental attunement for staff aoe size and you've still got lots of endurance but can swap to earth for protection boon then pop your glyph for a total of nine seconds of protection plus you got that free dodge from the sigil.  There's also mist form and other skills to get you out of jams.  A lot of times people also dodge for no reason when they could merely strafe for 1 second or they dodge out of something that does paltry damage.  I do that in wvw, put down crappy aoes like ice spike just to get them to burn dodges.

I can keep up 12-15 stacks of might on my allies and 21-25 stacks of might on myself just with arcane wave, eruption, and the dodges in staff, this number is good enough for me because there are others in the group who constantly apply might stacks (precision 1-hand guardians, greatsword/staff mesmers, warriors and thieves making use of my lava font), and rarely do I have a group not constantly between 15-25 stacks of might for a clustered fight, and if I run with my regular group where there are 2 thieves ready to blast finish in my fields, no one ever drops below 25 stacks of might. If they're spread out, now obviously no amount of blast finisher is going to effectively apply might to everyone.

I have several "duties" in a dungeon group, this is particularly so with my usual group setup with 2 damage oriented thieves and a glass cannon ranger: A. Heal/cleanse the group by provide constant regeneration and near constant protection, cleanse the group regularly, and spot burst heals to bring 1 or more person from near death to 80% health. B. Control mob movements/location with fields and cc. C. Apply decent and constant aoe damage, D. Rez duty and "tanking"/kiting duty when necessary. E. Provide might stacks and plenty of combo. This means that first and foremost I need to be tough enough to tank a few shots, and second I'd need some healing power to buff my regen and my burst healing, third I need to be putting down fields left and right and without delay, fourth I'd need enough fire power to perform damage --- in particular, aoe damage with an emphasis on structures (because those areas are what a staff elementalist excels at, and because my particular group setup lacks in these areas), so I've opted to take power as my sole offensive stat.

And if that is the case, then I really can't spare any precision for extra dodges. Also, between all the spells that I need to cast, I don't have TIME to do dodge after dodge after dodge. I won't delay lava font of course, first I've very rarely encountered the situation of not at least having one dodge ready whenever I cast lava font, and second even if I've no dodges left, that lava font is a field that my team members can make use of themselves. I DO use vigor on crit (and make use of my fury) in some particular fights, but overall I find it not worth it --- Between casting that shock wave and blast finish in my own fire field, I'll always do shock wave. Because my other spells are coming back which are more important than 3 stacks of might, AND because my group members can still make good use of my fire field even if I'm not dodging into there myself. 20% reduction on arcane spells is more beneficial for me (since I use arcane wave + arcane shield and use them very often).

I'm using sigil of battle, with 60% boon duration increase, I'm sitting at 9-12 stacks of might myself at all times in combat, which makes up for the lack of damage stats on my gears, and ensures that I can perform aoe and/or structure destruction quite nicely. Sigil of Energy is tempting, but unless I always have 5 people clustered near my lava font, with the internal CD I won't get more stacks of combined might compared to sigil of battle.

Ultimately, without the AE spells themselves, dodge for the sake of a blast finisher is arguably a lot less attractive for me considering what I could use that time for, and especially considering how the real situations may not be as ideal as we hope. 5 people constantly stacked up together is a luxury rather than a norm. Mobs not moving is a luxury rather than a norm. Given those circumstances, without the extra spell effect, a blast finisher in my own field is sometimes worth it, sometimes not. It's not like dodge is instant, and positioning myself is so critical for me to do my job well that dodging in/out has its own drawbacks at times.

I think it comes down to what your group comp is, as well as your own play style. Since my group is sitting at 15-25 stacks of might already anyways, and since I never had trouble to blast-finisher-heal my group members when they need it, I don't see the need of investing into more endurance and sacrificing some of the other aspects of my game play.

View PostFrancisCrawford, on 10 November 2012 - 12:10 AM, said:

Makes sense, except I still doubt that -- in S/D -- Fire 2, Fire 3, a roll, Earth 4, and Earth 5 can all happen in a single Ring of Fire. :)

Is that all after RtL?

-- FC

Fire 2, Fire 3, a roll and Earth 4 can all happen within a single Ring of Fire, churning earth will start casting while the ring is still there but by the time it finishes the ring would be gone --- However, you'd still get that 3 stack of aoe might as long as you started casting in the ring. :)

And you don't HAVE to open with RTL of course. Any time you switch from either water or air into fire, and earth is still off CD, this combo would work.

#13 Darkobra

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 04:47 PM

Something I don't think that's been mentioned yet: If you dodge in water attunement, it also removes a condition from you. If you've got a lot of bleeding stacks on you, that's a welcome addition.




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