I've posted this on the official forums but I'm aware some of the community goes here in stead so I figured I'd post it here as well.
I've been rocking a Mantra Power and Heal build for a while now, testing it out mostly in WvW and Dungeons. I've gotten A LOT of questions regarding the build as not many mesmers use mantras. So I hope this guide will show you how it works and demonstrate my build.
Here is a more accurate gameplay footage, I tried to find people in WvW but people seemed to really like to zerg yesterday! So I decided to do some late night sPvP, As the video progresses I start to get into the groove of things a bit more. 10 matches in total versus Guardians, Warriors, Necro, Mesmer. I hope to get more videos against some more professions when I can.
VS Thieves & Ranger:
Heal = 0:36
Burst = 0:25 & 0:40
For this build to be useful it's important to take the 3x mantra trait. I know that you can get more heals out faster using Mantra of Pain with 2 mantras but you end up debilitating yourself by losing out on that extra heal/damage burst/condition removal/daze.
Crippling Dissipation is a bit of a personal preference but because clones get killed so often it makes for a great extra way to control the enemy during a fight. The other one to use would be Mental Torment.
I would suggest starting off with Protected Mantras until you are used to casting them, Afterwards I would suggest going for Blade training instead.
Medic's Feedback is great if you intend on running with zergs (Or in dungeons). If you prefer skirmishing or sPvP I would suggested Mender's Purity.
I went for Power, Prec, Crit gear. Before you shout 'Glass Cannon' I make up for the lack of toughness/vitality by using Power, Crit, Vit Rings and Jewels. I'm also using the 'Guild Caretaker Backpack of the Berserker' for a bit of extra healing power.
If you mostly do WvW I would recommend using Superior runes of the Centaur (Unless you like being VERY slow) Otherwise I would also recommend using Superior runes of the Wurm for the vitality.
You already have a fair amount of vitality from the 20 points in vitality so it adds up to a nice amount. In case you are wondering why Vitality and not Toughness. Vitality is better against condition damage and burst damage. Where as toughness is better for direct damage.
You should be able to mitigate direct damage fairly well using the sword, cripples, stuns, dazes, blink, knock back and even if you use mantra of resolve over mantra of distraction this will run out quickly when up against certain professions (Necro) and because you can't evade conditions on you, Vitality is better for mitigating this.
Sigils I use are Superior Sigil of Nullification on Gsword, Superior Sigil of Frailty and Superior Sigil of Paralyzation on Sword/Pistol.
One thing to note on using the centaur runes with mantra of recovery, It gives you VERY reliable swiftness. You get 10 seconds of swiftness with 5 second downtime period in between. It will proc swiftness when you finish casting a mantra as well as when you use the readied mantra (So that is 4x swiftness). I demonstrate this here:
Whenever I finish casting a mantra I heal myself and those around me for up to 2.8k (roughly). This is especially effective when stacked up as everyone is within range and not moving around (Think Lupicus Phase 1 or face rubbing a gate in WvW). Keep in mind that the range is about 400/600ish? So it's always better to be near someone you intend to heal when possible.
It is also of great use if you see an ally with low health to quickly run up or blink to them (while casting mantra of pain) and give them a quick top up. You can essentially decide whether to spam mantra of pain for a while to help heal the people around you (which also does damage) or you can use the heals more interspersed and instead focus on weapon skills. This is why I love this build, You can swap between damage and support in a heartbeat.
Here is a video demonstrating how mantra healing can be useful when attacking a gate while being attacked by arrow carts:
Step 1: Always prepare your mantras well before a fight, Even if you have '2' in stead of '3' readied, use them and prepare again when possible.
Step 2: Start a fight with Phantasmal Berserker to cripple the enemy and as you run closer into melee range of the enemy use Mirror Blade to put on Vulnerability + Might to yourself (If you happen to get close enough by that point).
Step 3: Swap to Sword/Pistol and use Magic Bullet to give yourself a quick moment to summon 'Phantasmal Duellist' while making your way around the enemy.
Step 4: As your enemy gets out of stun use Illusionary Leap on them to get close and immobilize them.
Step 5: At this point you should have the Berserker, Duellist and Illusionary Leap clone up. So use Blurred Frenzy, Mind Wrack and Mantra of Pain at the same time. This will do some significant damage to your opponent.
Step 6: Dodge back and swap back to Greatsword and quickly re-apply Phantasmal Berserker, While using any remaining Mantra of Pain.
Step 7: Use this respite in the fight to cast Mantra of Pain again (This will heal as well).. Rinse and repeat.
Of course fights vary significantly but I found the above method is a great 'base' method to work from.
I also find you end up having to press a lot of buttons at the same time which I sometimes struggle with (being female, got small hands) so I do sometimes click on abilities I can't reach at the time as I'm using other abilities already.
When using mantra of distraction I would advice saving this for when you really need it (You're getting low in health and/or you need to re-cast mantras). Or when you can see a big attack coming from the enemy.
If you find yourself getting into a tight spot (For example you have no mantras remaining and no heals).
Use this moment to blink away from your enemy, pop timewarp, cast your Mantra of Recovery (and mantra of distraction or pain if you can) as this will heal you up quite a bit. Then use the remaining quickness to use your greatsword + mantra of pain. Hopefully at this point finishing off your enemy.
I hope this guide is of help, I just really wanted to share my experiences with my mantra build and gameplay. It takes some getting used to using mantras but because less enemies expect it (if at all) you have the upper hand using them. I does require a high skill level and profession understanding.
You can quite easily swap things around in a mantra build to your own preference. I feel there is a lot of potential hybrids to the build, I'd just say try it out :3
Feel free to mail/whisper me questions if you have any IGN: Lilyfay (Or as a reply to this thread)
Best of luck,
Edited by Faye, 09 January 2013 - 03:18 PM.