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Looking for a Mesmer Staff, Sword/Pistol Chaos Build


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#1 Graham_Specter

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:00 AM

Hey guys,

Well - after running through PvE with a Greatsword since level 10, I decided to give Staff another try. I'd previously dismissed it, since it didn't pop all of those pretty numbers like Greatsword did, but after experimenting with it and finding my right combat niche, I began to realize just how incredible it was. So... my mind turned to theorycrafting, and the endgame.

I'd really like a build that balances out the offensive capabilities of the Staff - Conditions, with the defensive capabilities - Boons. Lots and lots of pretty little boons. To this end, I've been perusing the Chaos trait line, since that really seems to buff the staff quite a bit. However, I really don't want to neglect dueling - as that offers a lot of useful movement based traits - movement being something I see myself doing a lot of. So, trait lines are still a bit tangled.

I'd originally considered running a 10/30/0/0/30 spread suggested by someone on this site, with the weapon sets I mentioned previously. The suggester explained that this build was a tad weaker defensively, but provided great single target bleeds through iDuelist and Sharper Images. I'm not sure if I should just go with that - despite the fact that it neglects Chaos - or play around with things.

Utilities: I'm currently using Null Field and Feedback, as well as Time Warp for my Elite, so the third utility slot is up for grabs. Right now, Signet of Inspiration is slotted in, though I've considered a number of alternatives including Decoy, Arcane Thievery or one of the Mantras.

Gear: Full Rampager's - Precision/Condition Damage/Power, slotted with two monk/two water and two Lyssa. No idea what sigils I want/need for the forseeable future anyway.

That's all I've got so far. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

#2 Kelthien

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:26 AM

I've also had a hard time constructing a build that works 'well' with staff.
The best I've run in to is a 0/25/25/0/20 build.  Full on condition damage.
3-7stacks of vulnerability, 3-7 stacks of bleed, nearly 100% uptime on burning, and 2-12 confusion stacks, depending on my shatter cycle.

If you need DPS numbers, I can give you some rough ones. GS feels more impactful, but all napkin math I do points a condition build in a similar vein as my GS build, which feels super weird.

#3 Graham_Specter

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:31 AM

View PostKelthien, on 04 December 2012 - 05:26 AM, said:

I've also had a hard time constructing a build that works 'well' with staff.
The best I've run in to is a 0/25/25/0/20 build.  Full on condition damage.
3-7stacks of vulnerability, 3-7 stacks of bleed, nearly 100% uptime on burning, and 2-12 confusion stacks, depending on my shatter cycle.

If you need DPS numbers, I can give you some rough ones. GS feels more impactful, but all napkin math I do points a condition build in a similar vein as my GS build, which feels super weird.

Honestly, I've been feeling the same way. Maybe it's the spread, maybe it's the fact that I don't die nearly as fast, but my conditions seem to wipe people out a lot quicker than Greatsword did.

Anyway, thanks for the build! I'll definitely take a look at it. I do love that this game is very... flexible when it comes to respeccing though, at least as far as traits are concerned.

Question though - What do you think of my current gear setup? I've got the two Runes of Lyssa (Almost had three, but was short a Black Lion Salvage Kit - 2/3 isn't bad) and I'm fairly happy with "just" those - the boons I have are already pretty insane, especially with what the party can dish out. So... do I go Monk and Water, since they're the easiest, to buff up said boons? A bit more Protection upkeep is never a bad thing. Or maybe try a different tack and toss in two Mad King Runes, for more conditions? It's a tough call.

What utilities do you run with this too, by the way?

#4 Kelthien

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 03:54 PM

Gear-wise, I was running with Rabid (Condition dmg, Precision, Toughness) and Runes of the Undead (toughness and condition damage).

I think the current (confirmed by Jon Peters on the official forums) berserker spottiness is artificially making condition builds competitive.  But for now, I'll take advantage of it!

It's far from the 'glass cannon fractal build' thing, but I spend most of my time in WvW and enjoy having a bit of a toughness buffer.  My Rings/etc are mostly Rabid with a few vitality-focused pieces thrown in to beef my HPs a bit.

You can probably swap out if you find yourself needing more support, boon management, or survivability.

Utility-wise, I go with Blink, feedback, Null Field.  I swap Blink for Mirror Images in PvE.  I usually find I need mobility less than I need the clones.

Edited by Kelthien, 04 December 2012 - 03:55 PM.


#5 Graham_Specter

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:59 PM

View PostKelthien, on 04 December 2012 - 03:54 PM, said:

Gear-wise, I was running with Rabid (Condition dmg, Precision, Toughness) and Runes of the Undead (toughness and condition damage).

I think the current (confirmed by Jon Peters on the official forums) berserker spottiness is artificially making condition builds competitive.  But for now, I'll take advantage of it!

It's far from the 'glass cannon fractal build' thing, but I spend most of my time in WvW and enjoy having a bit of a toughness buffer.  My Rings/etc are mostly Rabid with a few vitality-focused pieces thrown in to beef my HPs a bit.

You can probably swap out if you find yourself needing more support, boon management, or survivability.

Utility-wise, I go with Blink, feedback, Null Field.  I swap Blink for Mirror Images in PvE.  I usually find I need mobility less than I need the clones.

Hmm. I think I can do the Rabid armor - just need to run CM or TA a few dozen times. Since everyone seems to hate CM, it might just be TA... If only Whispers armor came in exotic form, but I guess that'd be too easy. As for jewels, I don't know. Was it "hard" to get those Rabid pieces? I'm not really sure where they drop - I can only assume Arah?

Thanks for the input on Mirror Images too. That's definitely worth looking into.

Also... what's this "Berserker spottiness"? Not that I'd really consider "using" Berserker, since Staff doesn't benefit from it, but I'm curious.

#6 Kelthien

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:53 PM

Rabid pieces weren't too bad to get.  I purged a bunch of karma on them.  Some of the Orr karma vendors sell them.  A few pieces I got from the dungeons.  remember that each dungeon vender sells 2-3 types of gear, not just one.  Scroll down!

The berserker spottiness is just a damage inconsistency.  The berserker seems to do 3 'swings' over its cycle.  many players are reporting a huge amount of variance on how many 'hits' it does total.  Sometimes it does a full 3 hits for 3k+ damage, sometimes it connects only once for 1.2k.  Sometimes not at all, for some people.   It makes it hard to use that as a reliable source of damage when the variance is so high.

#7 Twunkington

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:31 PM

View PostGraham_Specter, on 04 December 2012 - 03:00 AM, said:

I'd originally considered running a 10/30/0/0/30 spread suggested by someone on this site, with the weapon sets I mentioned previously. The suggester explained that this build was a tad weaker defensively, but provided great single target bleeds through iDuelist and Sharper Images. I'm not sure if I should just go with that - despite the fact that it neglects Chaos - or play around with things.

I would run this spread for general PvE and WvW play. I feel Chaos is overvalued outside of sPvP, for several reasons.

To me, Chaotic Dampening is a big red herring for anyone building for condition damage on a mesmer. It seems logical to want to use the abilities on your main weapon more often, but consider the cool down distribution on the staff abilities and how traits interact with them.

#2 and #3 are bread and butter, multi-use abilities that have short CDs to begin with; #4 is mostly defensive, #5 is best used in a similar way, and both have very long CDs. 20% staff CD reduction brings the whole bar from 0/10/18/35/35 to 0/8/14.5/28/28. However, the first two create clones, and are thusly affected by Illusionist's Celerity. That means is that in the vast majority of builds, #2 and #3 are already reduced to 8 secs and 14.5 secs, respectively- so doubling up with Chaotic Dampening brings them to 6 and 10.75 secs. In practice, that's faster illusion production than pretty much anyone but a phantasm mesmer with really bad luck would ever need, and if one wants to pump out clones as quickly as possible, Deceptive Evasion is a much more solid choice.  So in the grand scheme, speccing into Chaotic Dampening really only nets you +50 toughness and a sizable CD reduction on your primary defensive skills.

Unfortunately, Chaos Armor, Chaos Storm, and all the regen/prot spam in the world aren't going to keep you alive in high level fractals (or even the rougher paths of some normal dungeons). It's a bit of a dead horse, but in most PvE, the focus is on killing mobs before they can kill you, minimizing the amount of damage going out and being taken in the first place, and getting your allies up from downed states as quickly and efficiently as possible. Traits like Critical Infusion, Deceptive Evasion, and Illusionary Persona encompass at least 2/3 of those goals individually, while dumping points into Chaos really only improves your personal survivability.

Which is why Chaos is an outstanding trait line for PvP! Spec 0/0/25/25/20, slap on some runes of the undead and a rabid amulet, and stand on a point watching all the pretty little winds of chaos bounce around while enemies blow themselves up. Unfortunately, it's nigh impossible to translate this play style to PvE: there are no rare or exotic rabid accessories/jewels in the game currently, and the incoming damage from dungeon mobs, bosses, and various ground targeted AoEs is just too much to absorb, mitigate, or redirect.

So taking all this into consideration, I would suggest you try something like this:
http://gw2skills.net...qoKyUkoIbRuikFB

#8 Graham_Specter

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:25 PM

View PostTwunkington, on 04 December 2012 - 09:31 PM, said:

I would run this spread for general PvE and WvW play. I feel Chaos is overvalued outside of sPvP, for several reasons.

To me, Chaotic Dampening is a big red herring for anyone building for condition damage on a mesmer. It seems logical to want to use the abilities on your main weapon more often, but consider the cool down distribution on the staff abilities and how traits interact with them.

#2 and #3 are bread and butter, multi-use abilities that have short CDs to begin with; #4 is mostly defensive, #5 is best used in a similar way, and both have very long CDs. 20% staff CD reduction brings the whole bar from 0/10/18/35/35 to 0/8/14.5/28/28. However, the first two create clones, and are thusly affected by Illusionist's Celerity. That means is that in the vast majority of builds, #2 and #3 are already reduced to 8 secs and 14.5 secs, respectively- so doubling up with Chaotic Dampening brings them to 6 and 10.75 secs. In practice, that's faster illusion production than pretty much anyone but a phantasm mesmer with really bad luck would ever need, and if one wants to pump out clones as quickly as possible, Deceptive Evasion is a much more solid choice.  So in the grand scheme, speccing into Chaotic Dampening really only nets you +50 toughness and a sizable CD reduction on your primary defensive skills.

Unfortunately, Chaos Armor, Chaos Storm, and all the regen/prot spam in the world aren't going to keep you alive in high level fractals (or even the rougher paths of some normal dungeons). It's a bit of a dead horse, but in most PvE, the focus is on killing mobs before they can kill you, minimizing the amount of damage going out and being taken in the first place, and getting your allies up from downed states as quickly and efficiently as possible. Traits like Critical Infusion, Deceptive Evasion, and Illusionary Persona encompass at least 2/3 of those goals individually, while dumping points into Chaos really only improves your personal survivability.

Which is why Chaos is an outstanding trait line for PvP! Spec 0/0/25/25/20, slap on some runes of the undead and a rabid amulet, and stand on a point watching all the pretty little winds of chaos bounce around while enemies blow themselves up. Unfortunately, it's nigh impossible to translate this play style to PvE: there are no rare or exotic rabid accessories/jewels in the game currently, and the incoming damage from dungeon mobs, bosses, and various ground targeted AoEs is just too much to absorb, mitigate, or redirect.

So taking all this into consideration, I would suggest you try something like this:
http://gw2skills.net...qoKyUkoIbRuikFB

Hmm. That's... definitely looking like a decent option. I just hope the price of Lyssa runes drops - but since it's such a kick ass rune that's probably doubtful.




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