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Help with versatile PvE S/D(or F) Build

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#1 CCab


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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:12 PM

Hey everyone, I have used this forum for quite, but this is the first time I could not find an answer and needed to start a topic myself. I probably should first say that I have been 80 for quite some time and familiar with the most common/popular builds such as Auramentalist, Cantrip, Evasive arcana oriented , etc (and have tried out a few of them). The issue that I have had with a majority of these build is that while very effective for certain purposes they often seem too weapon specific or purpose specific (dungeon, solo, wvw, etc). Now that I have gotten a better feel for the class I am looking to design a build a bit more personalized and was hoping for some help.
Personally, I tend do dungeon runs somewhat frequently, WvW occasionally, and a large portion of my time is also spent in the Orrian region gathering money by doing events or mining. As such I am looking for something somewhat versatile, but primarily focused around solo and dungeon PvE. Also I am trying to make this build Scepter/dagger (or focus) oriented, but with the ability to switch use staff moderately effectively when need be.
In sum, I am looking for a scepter/dagger (or focus) build that has dps, survivability and support. I would probably say that I put a slightly higher priority on DPS and prioritize survivability and support equally. Now of course, I am realistic about these sort of things and realize no build is going to give the great dps, great survivability, and great support in all situations and with all weapons. That said, I do think it there are builds that are middle of the road in all of these categories and was hoping that someone may have found it, and if so would be willing to share. Any information anyone could give would be quite helpful and very appreciated.
On a final note I should say WvW is a very minor concern and the build would simply need to be a moderately viable option for this purpose.
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#2 Sephalo


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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

I'd go for something like this:
Then get gear something like this:
A few items with +power, +cond dmg, +prec.
A few items with +power, +cond dmg, +vit.
A few items with +healing, +toughness, +...power I believe it was.. (cleric the items are called)

I believe this is what I run with D/D in pvp. Not sure if I remember the traits right though. And since I focus more on D/D I have more bleed oriented traits in earth. However this is a nice build to swap around with D/D and S/D what I always do in dungeons.
At bosses where it's safe to melee I go D/D, and else I go S/D.

In this build just try to keep your burns on the target all the time and swap around with Fire, Earth and Lightning for dps. The Signet of Earth is just something I use to immobilize enemies, but I often swap it with Signet of Water or sometimes even Sigil of Storms for some more AoE dmg.

Edited by Sephalo, 11 November 2012 - 08:29 PM.

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#3 CCab


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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:32 PM

Thanks for the response. I was and still am considering a very similar build. Also, I was wondering if would be worth while put 10 more points into Fire in order to get pyromancer's puissance. To do this, I would imagine the 10 points would have to come from either air or arcane, but I am not sure the loss would justify the benefit. If they had not changed Written in stone to be a 30pt trait I would have went with a 30/10/20/0/10, but that is unfortunately not the case any more. Thanks again for the input, I am definitely considering this option
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#4 Aetou


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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:33 AM

I don't understand why you'd go for that sort of skill layout and NOT take Fire's Embrace and Zephyr's Boon. All that Fury will do far, far more increased damage than the traits you currently have in those slots (and for that matter, Elemental Shielding is far better than Salt Stone too then.) The real issue with flexibility, though, is that Staff simply does not work without Arcane 20 - so if you want to be able to use Staff you need to take Arcane 20, which then excludes an Auramentalist build anyway. To be honest, most of the Fire traits with the exception of Fire's Embrace and Conjurer are pretty rubbish (you should be getting close to maximum Might stacks anyway, especially in a group context.) The only real reason to take Fire is if you are going Condition based and if you're doing that then Air 10 is a waste (letting you swap those points into Staff.)

20/0/30/0/20 is reasonably flexible (I find that the 20 in Water is more useful, but that's largely a playstyle issue) and will work well with any weapon set (but for condition damage you actually can't beat Staff - Eruption with Blasting Staff is just that insanely good.) You can sort of swap to direct damage too with just gear changes, although then the points in Fire could be better spent. Honestly, though, respeccing is very cheap - the cost of 1-3 drops...

Anyway, I find that my current build (0/0/30/20/20) works very well in all situations except PvP 1 on 1s (it kills too slowly, but has insane sustained DPS.) It can be very DPS focused or it can be Support focused just by swapping rotations, because Staff is flexible like that. S/D is not - its Support is pretty much limited to stacking Might and doing moderate healing. It's more a single target DPS weapon that sacrifices some of D/D's potency for the safety of range. If you want damage and survivability on S/D then you can't really get better than an Auramentalist, if you're dying with Protection up all the time then you need to work on your dodges.
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#5 CCab


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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:22 AM

Thanks for the suggestions, you bring up some great points and key issues, particulalrly the fact that 20 points are almost required in arcane for staff to be useable. This is something I have known about for quite some time and as such have generally always been stuck putting in at least 20 into arcane.

However, there are a few things though I would like to point out. First, I never said survivability was an issue that I had a problem with in the auramentalist build or any build for that matter, but simply that it was something that I desired in the new build. I am not sure if my initial post made it sound this way, but if it did, it was not what I intended. Second, as you said respecing costs very little, this is true, but often with respecing comes a change of gear (at least in part). Generally I like to use a superior rune of divinity set (very well balanced) and rather than having to buy a new set of runes each time I generally just transmute. All of this though is tedious and something I would prefer to do over and over again. Finally, I should point out that I have used quite a few staff oriented builds, some with excellent results. Build/gear/playstyle for staff is not something I had a problem with and am well aware that it is by far the most complete elementalist weapon choice. As you very accurately said the flexibility of staff can't be matched. Unfortunately I don't particularly enjoy the staff play style (primarily in solo situations) as much as S/D. Its more a matter of this than anything else

In any case, I think I am going to give your suggestion of a 20/0/30/0/20 set up a try. I know that it will work relatively well with staff and it seems like it would be pretty good for S/D as well. Thanks again.
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#6 FrancisCrawford


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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:46 PM

I started a whole thread on 20/10/0/10/30 because of all the different builds it can support.

I use it happily for S/D, S/F, or staff. It would seem to be fairly suitable for D/D aura as well.
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