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Glass cannon: Why Focus?


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#31 Asha2012

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:32 AM

View PostNetfools, on 24 January 2013 - 07:58 PM, said:

A shorter version of the great response you got.

Glass Cannon is a type of build in any game for any class that puts Heavy Damage output over defensive focus. Essentially, taking all damage increasing skills/traits/ and armor stats and not any defensive ones.

Shatter build is a trait/playstyle specific to Mesmers. Essentially you set your traits and skills so that you can pump out illusions at a fast rate and use them to shatter and combo for high burst damage.

Example: I'm not a shatter build. I am a phantasm build. I traited to make my phantasms stronger and last longer. I don't use shatter except to get some extra damage on a mob before it dies and my illusions disappear anyway, but I am a glass cannon. I am in full Berserker gear and don't have any specific defensive traits.

OMG; that answer was like an epiphany.  Of course.  You know I was thinking glass as in shatter not glass as in "squishy".  I never heard the term used in GW1 so I thought was GW2 mesmer specific.

You bring up a good point on shatter vs phantasmal.  I think I sort of juggle between both.  I mean I use Beserker and have traited to allow my illusions to do more damage.  I don't necessarily create them simply to shatter them.  I want them to have the chance to cause conditions and apply damage.

SO much to think about and experiment with.

#32 Rhoellan Alts

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:43 PM

Great stuff in here!  Back to the question of focus however, I am confused by the claims that it is hard to kill.  With the signet that makes my clones (I think phantasms as well) tougher, my warden (which I love), gets one shotted all the time by equal +1 mobs to my level (I am level 40).

I really want to build around the focus and either go sword/focus and GS (AOE/AOE phant) or scepter/focus/Staff (AOE/DD phant).  

Do clones benefit from toughness or vitality?  Does power affect iwarden and condition damage affect iwarlock?   So confusing because there are so many options!   Anyways, focus users and Warden lovers, share your secrets!

#33 heatrr

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

View PostAsha2012, on 23 January 2013 - 09:15 PM, said:

Awesome and very specific answer.  Thank you.  

I really think I'm running 30 30 0 0 10 actually but it seems to me like I'd want more in Illusions.

If you are not traiting deceptive evasion (a virtual clone factory especially if you use sigil of energy in your weapons), there is a problem.

#34 Asha2012

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:25 PM

View Postheatrr, on 30 January 2013 - 11:36 AM, said:

If you are not traiting deceptive evasion (a virtual clone factory especially if you use sigil of energy in your weapons), there is a problem.

Turns out I am traited 30 30 0 0 20 or 20 20 0 0 30.  (again not at home).  I think it is the first sequence because I remember thinking I needed to boost my Illusions.

#35 Khrushchev

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:28 PM

View PostAsha2012, on 30 January 2013 - 07:25 PM, said:

Turns out I am traited 30 30 0 0 20 or 20 20 0 0 30.  (again not at home).  I think it is the first sequence because I remember thinking I needed to boost my Illusions.

Well it's definitely not the first one, as you can't get 80 trait points unless you have the Korean version.

#36 Asha2012

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

So since reading this, I picked up a rare focus from the TP and made sure my trait skills gave my illusions as much advantage and damage as I could.  iWarden has been GREAT! The only thing about it I don't like is I wish it was a little faster to cast (miss the fast casting attribute from GW1).

I have done AC, squared off solo against veterans and champions and taken on level 60-80 mobs using it and it works! Last night a ran into a group of four or five Jotun (they were standing around in a square pattern).  I literally ran right into the middle and cast iWarden.  I let them engage and let her do her thing greatly reducing their health then I attacked with flurry and shattered.  All four dead at once.  If you crit at all doing this (i'm averaging 31-40% crit chance depending on weapons and armor) it feels almost doing a one-shot.

The other tactic I like is launch illusionary leap and then swap to get into melee range, cast iWarden  and then flurry, dodge back creating a clone for three and then shattering before and of my illusions die but not before allowing them to inflct damage.

I really like the focus' temporal curtain as well.  If you use this to pull foes to you, you can skip using swap with illusionary leap.

I like sword/focus + gs when I am alone with create clone on dodge.  Utility skills are (order not importan):
Sig of insp (just started using it and love all the blocks from Aegis)
Mantra of resolve traited for a 3rd casting for condition removal
Mirror images for stun break and to create illusions for shatter damage and AI target draw

I have not settled on an elite.  I don't really like any of them except time warp and that is only fun in a party in tight spaces.  Also, my illusions have fury so casting TW on them is just nuts.

Most of my gear is modified for a beserker and/or rampager with some armor/health upgrades.  Personally I think i'm not "glass" enough and need to pour more into power, precision, crit, etc.

I'm good with being squishy because I usually do dungeons with a "heavy" (tanked up gaurdian) and, just recently, an ele set up for healing.  Last time we did AC, for the first time, Khoeler really wasn't that much of problem.  He only downed me once (usually he makes me his bitch :D )

Wow I really went on but I'm pretty excited about the effectiveness of a lot of the advice here and I am still not using max gear yet.  Can't wait for that.

I change around my utilities, but I usually have a condition removal and stun break of some kind (troll killin' is fun).

View PostKhrushchev, on 30 January 2013 - 07:28 PM, said:

Well it's definitely not the first one, as you can't get 80 trait points unless you have the Korean version.

Then it is 30 20 0 0 20.  I can see me going hard on Domination. ;)

View PostRhoellan Alts, on 29 January 2013 - 10:43 PM, said:

I am confused by the claims that it is hard to kill.

My girl rarely dies before she is allowed both time to cause damage and let me shatter her.  Unfortunately, I do not remember exactly which trait skills I have selected.  I will try to remember and log in when I get home and update.

Edited by Asha2012, 30 January 2013 - 07:52 PM.


#37 Verene

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:32 PM

I never liked focus before very recently.

Now I'm in love with it and wondering why I took so long to really try it out. I do GS/sword+focus. My armor is berserker's with ruby orbs; my accessories are a bizarre mix of valkyrie, berserker, cleric's, and the ancient karka shell. Some of my accessories are still greens and only the shell and my valkyrie amulet are exotic XD

Temporal Curtain/Into the Void can be tricky, because it seems like it scatters enemies across the room as often as it balls them up, but iWarden...ohmy. Ohhhhh my the damage that baby can pour on. Yes, it's not an instant cast, yes, it's stationary...but last night while running a couple guildies through CoE story I saw it crit for 10k damage.

I'd been doing a 20/30/0/0/20 split before, but I decided I wanted some points in Inspiration for the vitality boost and for the Warden's Feedback Trait. I'm doing 10/25/0/20/15 right now and I feel no appreciable difference in damage when I dropped Domination and Duelling down. I've also moved away from shattering and more towards always keeping illusions up - the major traits I have at the moment are Empowered Illusions, Blade Training, Deceptive Evasion, Persisting Images, Warden's Feedback, and Compounding Power. Combined with Signet of Illusions, my illusions are incredibly survivable and can do insane amounts of damage.

It's a lot of fun, the Warden's Feedback trait is really good, and putting points in Inspiration gives you more survivability while not really sacrificing any damage. It also makes your illusions much hardier as well as giving you more damage while they're alive.

Edited by Verene, 31 January 2013 - 05:36 PM.


#38 Culture Shock

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:56 PM

View PostKuskah, on 27 December 2012 - 07:52 PM, said:

Been running with Sword/Focus today and it's actually pretty cool. Whirling Defense (the thing iWarden does) can be actually pretty deadly if positioned right. Felt kind of more in control compared to Pistol :)

Control is key for me.  I also want to address the next post about stun.  With Temporal Curtain you can use the secondary skill "into the void" to knockdown not only one but several foes within its range.  This is a potential interrupt (stun) for more than one foe.  Trait your focus to reflect projectiles and now Curtain has cripple, speed buff, and defense/offense via reflecting projectiles.  by far the focus is more powerful than the pistol.  Not to mention the Warden does more damage in a few attacks to multiple foes than pistol phantasm can dream about.

When considering illusions, defense and offense must be considered.  Old school Mesmers from GW1 remember who much "control" we had over our foes.  Glass cannons may work in 1vs1,  but against multiple foes you WILL get hit and downed.

#39 Anemone

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:32 AM

View PostVerene, on 31 January 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

I never liked focus before very recently.
Spoiler
Temporal Curtain/Into the Void takes time to master but after you do its one of the most best skills in the game. Its the best pulling skill as you can pull mobs wherever you want and you can do that without even agroing mobs if you learn how. Combine that with projectile reflection trait and you have such a multipurpose skill as nothing in game.

Edited by Anemone, 02 February 2013 - 03:33 AM.





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