Dramatic, I know, but it got your attention didn’t it? It’s an appropriate title, both lore-wise & given that the build requires a Staff and though it seems as if you're just casting spells randomly, you're actually picking and choosing whatever boon you need for any situation.
What kind of Mesmer is this?
-An Inspiration Mesmer is any type of support-oriented Staff/Signet of Inspiration Mesmer that can supply and maintain at least 7 out of 9 boons whenever they please. The staff is crucial for this, as it is capable of applying 6 boons on command.
Boon manipulation is only one way to support allies, you also come with an arsenal of hampering conditions. Nearly every attack in the Mesmer arsenal buffs or debilitates. Many do both simultaneously. The Maestro build capitalizes on this, allowing for greater support versatility. Wouldn't be Chaos Magic if you weren't unpredictable.
But how useful could that be if Mesmer boons do not last long?
In most cases it does not matter how long they last (they DO last long here, though), but how often you can keep them up. A competent Maestro Mes will always have his allies:
-Dodging twice as often(Vigor)
-Constantly healing - recovering faster from downed - resisting bleeds/burns (Regeneration)
-Doing more damage than normal (Might&Fury)
Among a myriad of other things without being forced to require a major damage sacrifice. There is no one perfect Inspiration-build just as there is no perfect Mantra, Shatter, or Confusion Build. But a Maestro should stand above any other type of Mesmer when it comes to team support.
How do I do it?
Staff, 20 Chaos (X) / 15 Inspiration (III), 35% boon duration, and Signet of Illusions. These ingredients are the core of an Inspiration Mesmer.
- Strong regeneration (300-350per tick) and burst heals
With Mantras, we can heal 2800HP every 3 and a quarter(3¼) seconds. In that time, Regeneration would’ve ticked three times(900-1050HP) Allowing us to heal for nearly 4000HP every3 seconds.
- Able to provide nearly EVERY BOON everytime you cast Signet of Inspiration.
When played properly, every 2nd Chaos Storm will provide every boon except Stability for atleast 5 seconds.
- Tanky with strong reflective abilities.
/dance While enemies own themesleves off your retaliation and projectile reflection.
/dance Even if they don’t, because they probably can’t kill you anyway.
- Persistent Combo Field Generation
Ethereal Fields are almost exclusively provided by Mesmers, and Chaos Armor is one of the greatest buffs.
- Versatile trait selection.
The build is flexible enough to add your own flavor, ‘cuz not everyone wants to be a carbon copy.
- Below average damage output.
The other Mesmer-types (Shatter, Confusion, ect.) will still out-damage you.
- Communication is Key.
It is much harder to assist people when they don't know how you help them
As a Maestro, nearly every skill you use comes with the decision to either assist allies or controlling enemies. Often, you'll be forced to do both.
In battle, your attention will be on preserving teammates rather than finding the best place to directly do damage. You’ll be constantly moving to keep near to allies and supply them with boons endlessly.
In addition to being able to apply any boon you want whenever you want, perhaps the most unique strength of this build is it’s ability to frequently apply every boon at the same time (For now, we’ll call it the Boon Storm.) to up to five people. Do not underestimate the power of having increased damage, crit chance, damage reduction, health regeneration and more while sitting inside of a Time Warp dome. It puts a smile on your face in dungeons every time. It’s worth noting that when soloing, your surprisingly resilient clones benefit from regeneration, protection, and retaliation.
As this is a support build, you’ll have to pay attention to as much of the battlefield as you can and strategically place regeneration-granting Phantasms on specific enemies near allies. Though you’re primary skill is support, you do function as an off-tank when needed. Practice learning two types of roles to fully utilize this build to it’s maximum potential.
(Warning: This build takes practice and communication. If you are new to the Mesmer class, I would not recommend it.)
* Chaos Maestros love Chocolate Raspberry Creams. (1 silver at Trading Post.)
Traits & Skills
Sword / Focus – Staff
Mantra of Recovery / Feedback* / Blink* / Signet of Inspiration / Time Warp*
*Cleric’s Armor (Healing Power -Toughness/Power)
*Magi’s Weaponry & Trinkets ( Healing Power –Precision/Vitality)
Superior Runes of Altruism
Superior Sigil of Life - Superior Sigil of Battle* - Superior Sigil of Hydromancy*
(There is no specific armor, and only 20 Chaos / 15 Inspiration is mandatory, allowing for creative flexibility * =Can be altered based on personal taste)
20\DUELING II, X
Your damage mostly comes from crits off iWarden. With the proper gear:
/Phantasmal Fury will give your Phantasms 46% crit chance which is crucial if you don’t want your friends to laugh at your pitiful damage behind your back. Having a base crit chance of 25% is important to proc Critical Infusion which is essentially your own personal perma-vigor.
/Deceptive Evasion synergizes perfectly with this build. Since you dodge at twice the rate, you get twice as many clones.
20\CHAOS IV*, X
While Boon Duration and Toughness are important to this build, you’d be just fine with at least 20 points in Chaos specifically for Chaotic Dampening. Of the first tier traits:
/Descent Into Madness is good for travelling & map completion as it’ll likely give you swiftness when it procs.
/Illusionary Defense Improves your passive tanking ability.
* I prefer Master of Manipulation since almost any of the Manipulation Skills benefit the build.
This tree will allow you to passively gain 10 seconds of regeneration(atleast 3000HP) when your health hits 75% as well as gain 3 seconds of protection every 15 seconds. Technically it procs every time you regenerate, but you’ll always be regenerating. Not only does that help your survivability, but its good to keep in mind when you’re about to drop your Boon Storm.
The Inspiration tree holds the most important traits for this build, and lordy there are a lot of fine selections here. Yet again, while 30 points are recommended, no more than 20 points are required. Medic’s Feedback/ Glamour Mastery/Mender’s Purity/Vigorous Revelation/ Restorative Mantras , /Warden’s Feedback are all very strong choices in a support build. Vigorous Revelation is arguably the most crucial trait to take, followed by Warden’s Feedback. The minor traits vastly improve Phantasm performance, with Phantasmal Healing being providing your main source of Regeneration.
* It is highly recommended to save at least 5 points to stick into the ILLUSION tree. No matter what build you make, 20% cooldown reduction greatly increases your overall effectiveness, and make illusion utilities like iDefender & iDisenchanter more appealing.
•Restorative Mantras adds a reliable healing element to your playstyle. In general, your Restorative Mantras healing is most effective on yourself and other classes who have around 15k-20k Vitality.
• Learn to cast Mantra of Pain >> Mantra of Recovery >> Mantra of Pain in that order. In less than 10 secs, you’ll have healed your team for 8400HP, (And Regeneration would heal at least 3000HP in 10 seconds). It is NOT recommended to sit back and spam mantra heals in a desperate attempt to save lives. You’ll fall behind and give everyone an excuse to blame their incompetence on you.
• Since you only require 20 in Chaos and 15 in Inspiration to maintain this build, there are 35 flexible points to add wherever you’d like. Dueling or Domination trees are advised for increased damage output & clone production.
• Runes of Altruism allow you to proc 3 stacks of Might for 15 seconds, and Fury for 8 seconds whenever you heal. With the recommended boon duration (45%), you can keep reapplying this effect every time Might fades. Mantra of Recovery is best for this.
- 2xSuperior Rune of Water 2xSuperior Runes of the Monk 2xMajor Rune of Sanctuary
(+25% boon duration at the cost of Might & Fury on heal. The most boon duration you can obtain from runes)
- 6x Runes of Dwayna
(Swaps AoE Might/Fury on healing with AoE Regeneration on Healing. I'd prefer this if it didn't also exchange 15% boon duration for 20% regeneration duration. )
THE BOON STORM
What’s the Fuss About?
The Superior Runes of Lyssa grant the user all boons for 5 seconds every time you use an Elite Skill. The Chaotic build does the same, everytime you use Signet of Inspiration. For your entire team.
That means EVERY 45 SECONDS YOU'LL BE APPLYING ALL BOONS(Eff you, Stability) for AT LEAST 5 SECONDS. How?
* Start with Sword/Focus. Make sure you have atleast one Mantra of Recovery charge prepped.
* Lead with Blurred Frenzy. Cast iWarden, place Temporal Curtain at his feet. (Regeneration/Remove Condition)
* Shatter Warden. Run to curtain, cast iLeap/Swap ontop of curtain. (Swiftness/Retaliation/Vigor)
* Shatter clone. Swap to Staff, Phase Retreat ontop curtain. Shatter clone (Vigor/Retaliation)
* Cast Chaos Storm, iWarlock, Mantra Charge, Chaos Armor (Everything else)
* Signet of Inspiration. /dance /laugh /cheer /dance
(Sword 2 >> Focus 5 >> Focus 4&Shatter >> Sword 3&Shatter >> Staff 2&Shatter >> Staff 5 [Staff 3 - Heal - Staff 4 inside of storm ] >> Signet. )
All of the boons. Longer duration than Lyssa. No elites needed.
• A successful Boon Storm should apply
12+ seconds of 6x Might/Retaliation/Vigor/Swiftness/Fury/ Aegis
5+ seconds of Regeneration / Protection
Now I admit, that was pretty complicated. Not only that, but sometimes you just don't have enough time or options for such a lengthy setup. Here's a Diet Coke version:
BOON STORM LITE
* Run through your Temporal Curtain, Switch to Staff, Phase Retreat off your Curtain
* Shatter the clone
* Cast Phantasmal Warlock (or dodge if you have no target)
* Cast Chaos Storm, heal and cast Chaos Armor near end of storm
* Shatter the illusion
*Signet of Inspiration.
(Charge mantra beforehand. Focus 4, run through rupture >> Staff 2 atop light field >> Staff 5 [F1-Staff 4-Heal while inside storm >> Signet )
The numbers are lower and less predictable, but you honestly only need a Staff, Vigorous Revelation, and Runes of Altruism to be able to apply every boon at once.
Communication is Key
One of the reasons support builds tend to fall behind in effectiveness, is because your teammates really don’t know what you have to offer or how to adapt their playstyle to match yours. Never be afraid to take a second to inform your group of what you bring to the table.
“Hey guys. Just so you know, I am a support build”
-Elitist Guardian-A support build? Ugh, this guy is probably bad.
“If you can stand near me, I apply constant Vigor. My Phantasms give good Regeneration.”
-Elitist Guardian-Pfft, that’s it?
“Ill type ‘TW’ before I cast [Time Warp]. When you can, try and stand/combo(Blast or Leap finisher preferred) inside of any magical purple circles and run over any purple streaks. Every other time I cast [Chaos Storm] I can give all boons in the game to everyone inside."
-Elitist Guardian- OK.. What? Wow.
In those three posts, you’ve just given a pretty decent summary of how you work and what to do (Protip. Hold the shift key and leftclick your skills to display them in the chatbox. This will help you quickly explain the benefits of Chaos Storm to your party). Team synergy may not happen instantly, but you’ll be able to synchronize better with your group now that they know what to look out for. This makes everyone’s job worlds easier AND has the added bonus of recognition for all the support you put in. For specific numbers..
Swiftness - 17 secs. Applied every 20 secs.
Might - 15 secs. 3 stacks at least. Applied every 15 secs.
Vigor – 7 secs (Note: it does not matter how many clones you shatter at once, you’ll always get 7 seconds per shatter used. 28 seconds with every shatter blown)
Regeneration – 3 seconds per tick from Phantasm. Constantly reapplied.
Protection 5 secs from Chaos armor. Reapplies for 3 seconds every 15 secs.
Fury – 8 seconds. Applied every 15 secs
Retaliation – 20+ seconds from leap combo off Temporal Curtain. Recharges 20 secs.
Aegis- 5 seconds atleast. Signet of Inspiration and Chaos Storm procs this often.
Why They Matter
An unfortunately high number of people overlook the usefulness of boons. Regeneration is largely ignored, Protection doesn’t last long enough to notice, Might means nothing if it isn’t at least 5 stacks, Swiftness only seems useful out of combat, Retaliation doesn’t do enough noticeable damage, who cares about Aegis if it only blocks a single hit? Misconceptions like these, in addition to how poorly Healing Power scales, have shied many people away from support-oriented builds in favor of DPS or Tanking. Try to apply the following buffs at the same time.
• Swiftness/Vigor/Regeneration- (Temporal Curtain/Clone Shatters/Living Phantasms)
Regeneration is more effective with the less damage we take. Having a high Healing Power allows Regen to mitigate effects of Bleeding/Burning. At 1300 healing power classes with lower vitality (15k) can benefit so much from Regeneration that it feels reminiscent of a First-Person Shooter when they find cover in combat. Since our regeneration gives atleast1500HP every 5 seconds, it is good to have iWarlock Phantasms set in farther behind a group to allow allies to heal up while they lose agro.
Swiftness allows you to avoid projectile and AoE attacks without having to waste a dodge, as well as keep within buffing proximity of your allies much more easily.
Vigor allows you to dodge twice as often. ‘Nuff said. It is one of the best boons you can apply, but remember that when you shatter Vigorous Revelation radiates from you, and not your clones. You must be standing near allies to grant them vigor.
• Aegis/Protection/Retaliation (Chaos Storm, Chaos Armor)
Aegis is much more useful than it seems at first glance. Granting Aegis to a downed ally protects him from a stomp, and Aegis is great for blocking obnoxiously telegraphed “This-Is-Probably-Gonna-OneShot-You” attacks, it also gives you further combat advantage against Blinded enemies.
Protection reduces incoming damage by 33%. That’s a lot. Protection, combined with Retaliation, makes up a huge part of your melee tanking.
Retaliation scales off power, which works well with Cleric’s armor. The damage on it’s own isn’t good, but combined with Confusion or other damaging conditions, it can become devastating. You can maintain permanent Retaliation by successfully comboing iLeap and Phase Retreat over your Temporal Curtain.
It is also good to drop Chaos Storm on your clones and Phantasms so that Aegis and Retaliation improve their effectiveness.
• Might/Fury-(Winds of Chaos/6x Runes of Altruism)
Might Increases both direct damage and condition damage; it takes about 7 stacks of Might for the damage to become noticeable. (At level 80, 35 per stack. A ridiculous 875 at 25 stacks. Make friends with an ele and a shortbow thief who know about fire fields and blast finishers.) While it isn’t anything to scream about, you’ll be constantly applying 3 Might stacks in any given battle. This makes your Phantasms/Allies a bit more damaging, but the constant Fury(20% crit chance increase; Suddenly your lousy 22% crit chances now crits nearly half the time.) is the real reason you want to keep close to your team & strategically place staff clones to bounce their Winds of Chaos off certain allies.
This build forces you to view your abilities slightly differently, as all of your skills have an added utility that you must take advantage of in order to remain effective. Creative thinking and quick improvisation will make you shine on the battlefield and have you smiling stupidly at your own cleverness.
1) Mind Slash combo –You won’t be autoattacking often, but keep in mind that this strips boons. You+3sword clones can remove 4 boons every few seconds. Shrivel even the strongest enemies with three sword clones and Chaos Storm.
2)Blurred Frenzy- Invulnerability for 3 seconds is nothing to sleep on, especially when you have Distortion waiting to be popped for another potential 3 seconds. This move makes Chaos Armor even more glorious.
3) Illusionary Leap- One of your creativity moves. Successfully landing iLeap gives you a stunbreak for 5 seconds and a potential immobilize(wonderful for PvP & assisting iWarden). It also throws a clone at the enemy like a projectile, and cripples them for a forgettable moment. At near maximum casting range, you can cast iLeap and then swap to staff to Phase Retreat, the clones will be far enough apart that Diversion will make them daze the opponent separately.
Remember that both activations of Illusionary Leap count as a combo finisher, meaning that if you cast it within chaos storm you can allow yourself 8 seconds of Chaos Armor. Practice using iLeap and immediately shattering the clone either before or after swap to give vigor to allies.
4) Temporal Curtain – 17 seconds of swiftness, 5 second cripple, a LIGHT combo field, an interrupt, a (traited)reflective wall, AND a pull!? On a (traited)20 second cooldown!? Tell anyone who claims the Focus is bad to go kick kittens. Here is another ability that benefits highly from the creativity of it’s wielder. The LIGHT combo field it provides is your main source of Retaliation, and Whirl/Projectile finishers that pass through it cure conditions.
5)Illusionary Warden- Your best buddy, iWarden deserves a facebook friend request. In addition to being one of the strongest Phantasms in the Mesmer arsenal, the iWarden also happens to be a stationary projectile absorbing/reflecting, regeneration granting, condition removing machine. Cast it, and stand inside it’s bubble attack when you fight. Always cast this right before you cast Temporal Curtain. Make sure to aim at it’s feet when you cast to ensure it’s combo effect.
1)Winds of Chaos- Don’t even look at the offensive nature of this move. For both you, and your clones, all you should be concerned about is that it provides nonstop Might and Fury to your allies. When soloing and tanking, its always ideal to have atleast one clone casting this on your target.
2)Phase Retreat- Before I even begin, PLEASE learn the CAT LEAP(20 secs in) by Osicat. Cool, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, know that Phase Retreat is an instant cast, which means that you can use it in the middle of other skills. If you run Mantras, this is crucial to remember. Since it is a leap finisher, you’ll often be using this inside of Chaos Storm or Feedback. Shatter the clone it summons for Vigor, or leave it alive for Might/Fury.
(Protip: If you disable autotargetting, you can cast Chaos Storm, run to the north edge of the circle, and Phase Retreat for the chaos armor teleporting outside of the storm. Then allows you to still obtain all 6 boons from the full duration from the storm.)
3)Illusionary Warlock- The second most damaging attack in our arsenal, the Warlock also benefits from being a stationary ranged phantasm. Strategically place these guys around the battlefield near allies to give them regeneration, or stack two close together to form your own little “regeneration station.” Whatever you do, try not to shatter them.
4)Chaos Armor- When you activate it, it gives you an instant 5 seconds of protection. You have two other ways of applying Chaos Armor through combo fields, but none guarantee the protection buff like this does. Save this for either when you are in danger, or are about to pop your Boon Storm.
You’ll have Chaos Armor up at least once every 10 seconds, this buff grants protection, regeneration, and swiftness whenever you are struck while simultaneously blinding/crippling/confusing the attacker. Having Chaos Armor while sitting inside Chaos Storm makes you ridiculously damage resistant.
5)Chaos Storm- Don’t be shy. Go ahead and /dance inside of your Chaos Storm. You deserve it, because you just applied Retaliation/Swiftness/Aegis to your allies while horribly impeding the enemy. You DID cast it on your allies, right? In both PvP and PvE, Chaos Storm is a lifesaver. Its defensive benefits far outweigh its considerable CC abilities and is the most important move in this build.
* If you remember nothing else: Temporal Curtain >> Chaos Storm >> RecoveryMantra Charge >> Chaos Armor >> Signet of Inspiration is the core of your awesomeness.
If you only sit back and throw boons around, you’re not playing to your fullest potential. Boons may be your specialty, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you can do to assist a team. With such high defensive abilities, you make an excellent Bunker and secondary tank, but it does require a different method of approaching combat.
Alright, so you happen to be on a team with a bunch of Thieves, Engineers, and one of the 70% of Rangers who’re really bad but you’re too polite to tell him that. You guys have no tank! Take a deep breath, get ready to shoulder some more responsibility (and potential blame), and don’t be afraid to step up and volunteer.
It isn’t easy holding aggro when you don’t have many AoEs and don’t do much damage, but it’s not impossible.
• Get UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
• Heal yourself/allies as often as possible
•Do whatever you can to make sure iWarden and iWarlock hit frequently.
•Fight INSIDE your Combo Fields.
•When you are tanking, you want to make sure you have as many Phantasms up as possible, and as near to eachother/yourself as they could be. Not only does this give you constant regeneration, but procs Protection every 15 seconds.
• Blurred Frenzy, Illsionary Leap, Temporal Curtain, Distraction, Distortion, Feedback, Chaos Armor, and Chaos Storm should always be constantly in use whenever you have two Phantasms up.
• Do not be afraid to start channeling Mantras in the middle of a fight, but make sure you have a method of defense. As a general rule, use a Staff when channeling Mantras in the middle of battle.(Increased Toughness/Chaos Storm/Phase Retreat/Chaos Armor)
• A successful tank needs to have good Crowd Control. Temporal Curtain Cripples/Pulls enemies away from allies. Swap from iLeap is an AoE immobilize. Chaos Storm Chills/Weakens/Dazes
• Try to always have two Phantasms and a Staff clone up at all times when tanking. Its better not to shatter them.
Eating dinner? Watching TV? Sending awkward break-up text messages? Shame on you. If your teammates could see you right now, they’d scoff at your lack of effort and make rude gestures at you. Conveniently, they can’t see you. So how do you keep up the illusion of trying hard without putting in that much effort?
-Roll a Warrior.
No, I jest.
• Keep an eye on the status bar of your team. Try and keep Regeneration and cast Mantra heals on on Medium/Light armor allies. Give swiftness on melee characters. Might/Fury to DPS allies.
• Learn to Shatter. Sword clones are entirely dispensable, Staff Clones if you must, Phantasms if you have no choice. Maintaining Vigor is more important than anything a clone can give you.
• Try to get into a habit of shattering clones without shattering phantasms. (Shatter before the cast time is complete for the Phantasm summon)
• Keep swiftness on yourself constantly to keep up with all allies. Make sure allies know to cluster inside of Chaos Storm.
• Your heals and regeneration are much more effective on squishy allies with lower Vitality. Running around with your hands out screaming “Agony! Torment!! Pain!!!” behind a tanky Guardian, Necro, or Warrior will do little more than annoy them. It is NEVER recommended to sit back and spam mantra heals in a desperate attempt to save lives of anyone other than the squishiest characters. You’ll fall behind and give everyone an excuse to blame their incompetence on you.
• Do not underestimate the power of reflection. Projectiles are one of the most common forms of attack, and this build allows you to send that damage back at its source. Great for bosses, and many dungeons (such as Caudecus Manor).
And that’s that. This build takes a lot of practice to be effective, but it effectively fills a playstyle gap and shows off more of the versatility of the Mesmer class. It is not for everyone, of course, and likely will never become as popular as many easier, more damaging builds. But for those who want a little extra challenge, an alternate way to be effective in a group, and love being super supportive, then this build just might work for you.
-Will be putting videos up soon, when computer is repaired.
-Always open to constructive advice/criticism.
-Working on a PvP variant.
[Special Thanks to Kasama, Pyroathiest, and Easymode X from the official Mesmer forums for helping forge this build, as well as all the others who posted in this thread.[/b]
Edited by Chaos Archangel, 30 April 2013 - 03:13 PM.