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The Guilded Cage
Posted GuanglaiKangyi on 14 April 2013 - 07:52 PM
Why run grenades?
- Best damage option for engineers, bar none. In fact, in terms of overall damage across all classes, grenades is pretty high on the tier list.
- Safe and easy. You attack from 1500 range, it's not going to get much easier than that.
- Excellent group support. With Steel-Packed Powder, grenades give the best vulnerability stacking in the game from a single character, with a consistent 19.5 stacks with no special runes or gear. This alone significantly boosts your party's DPS output. Using blast finishers in fire fields, you can also maintain high stacks of might on your entire party, which, again, boosts DPS output substantially.
- Reliant on conditions for optimal damage. Stacks to 25 bleed easily, so you will conflict with any other condition damage dealers in your party.
- No auto-attack. You have to constantly keep the cursor on your target and mash skills to maintain damage, which is a pretty big turn-off for some people. (Try turning on Fast-Cast Ground Targeting in Options, it helps a lot)
The quick version:
If you don't want to read this whole thing, this is what I run:
Full rampager gear with zerker jewels (Exquisite Ruby Jewels), 2x Superior Lyssa, 2x Superior Mad King, 2x Superior Monk runes. Also, Giver's pistol + shield combo for the extra +20% condition duration.
As for your specific, detailed options:
You can run:
- Full berserker gear. Gives primarily direct damage, which is better in general (no cap, extra damage against low-armor targets, benefits from vulnerability, works on objects that cannot be conditioned), but lower total output than the other two options.
- Rampager gear with berserker jewels: Best damage output, but a lot of it comes from conditions, which aren't as good as direct damage for the reasons listed above.
- Rabid gear: Full condition damage. Almost as high as rampager damage output, but all your damage comes from conditions. On the plus side, however, you get a bunch of toughness, which makes you substantially harder to kill.
- Giver's weapons: Each Giver's weapon gives +10% condition duration, whether it's 1h or 2h. That means pistols and shields each give +10% condition duration, and it stacks. You will lose a bit of damage, but the extra +20% condition duration substantially increases your total vulnerability stacks and makes it much easier to cap bleeds, among other things. More of a preference thing than anything else.
Again, several options:
- Bleed duration: Krait, Centaur, and Afflicted Runes all increase bleeding duration by 15% at two runes each. Good for maximizing raw bleed output.
- General condition duration: Lyssa and Mad King both give general condition duration at 2x. I personally prefer this over bleed duration since it'll also affect the duration of your vulnerability, chill, and immobilize applications. Note that Major and Superior runes apply their effects independently, so you can go Superior Lyssa x2, Superior Mad King x2, Major Mad King x2 for +27% condition duration.
- General boon duration: Monk, Water, and (major) Sanctuary Runes all give general boon duration. Good for improving your uptime on Swiftness, Regeneration and Vigor and your total Might stacks.
- Might duration: Hoelbrak, Strength, Fire, and Pirate runes all increase Might duration. Better than general boon duration if all you care about is raw might stacking.
- Altruism: 6x Altruism gives you Might and Fury every 15s by switching to Medkit (which itself has no ICD). I'm not a huge fan of this option since it forces you to take Medkit, but it's good if you want the group fury.
Weapons and Sigils:
In general, P/P or P/S is best for a grenade build since you won't actually be using those weapons normally, and you want the extra sigil. In general, /S is better than /P, since you get two blocks, two CCs, and a blast finisher. /P is primarily for quick zone clearing by stacking a burst of burn on a mob.
Your options for sigils are:
- Earth: Increases your total bleed stacks. I'm not a big fan of this since it's actually only about 3 extra stacks total, but it's an option if you feel you're not getting enough bleed.
- Strength: I prefer this over Earth. Strength has a lower proc rate but shorter internal cooldown, which favors the grenade kit's high attack speed, and it'll improve your damage across the board.
- Battle: Gives more total might stacks than Strength, but can be a pain since you have to remember to unequip your kit every nine seconds to get the effect. Also, Strength actually gives more total Might when you're hitting multiple targets with your grenades.
- Force: 5% extra direct damage. Safe bet, but not as good for grenades since it won't affect your condition damage. I'd only run with this if you're regularly running in groups that can stack 25 might on you without Strength.
- Accuracy: Not as much raw damage increase as Force, but makes your damage output more consistent and slightly improves your chance to proc Sharpshooter and your other sigil.
- Bloodlust/Perception/Corruption: Not a huge fan of stacking sigils, but these are an alternative to Force or Accuracy if you're in a zone where you can kill lots of weak mobs quickly.
The most important part. You basically have three options here: (Traits left blank are mostly optional, so put whatever you want in their place.)
Raw DPS variant:
Just like the name suggests, raw DPS and not much else.
Sacrifices a bit of DPS in exchange for getting constant vigor and Backpack Regenerator, plus a bit of extra health and boon duration. You don't actually lose that much damage due to the extra might stacks you get from the extra boon duration, so this is the variant I prefer.
You don't actually get as much might from HGH as you'd think (more on this below) but it does enable you to take elxiris, if that's what you prefer. It's an option regardless.
Heal skill: Healing Turret is the default here; fast recharge, AOE regen and condition removal, and can be detonated in its own water field for extra healing. You can take Med Kit instead for the Swiftness/Fury buff, or if you're using Altruism Runes. Obviously, take Elixir H if you're using HGH, but otherwise stay away from it.
Grenade Kit: Obviously.
Supply Drop: Mostly just because the other two elites kinda suck.
For the last two utility slots, your options are:
- Bomb Kit: Bomb Kit is really good because it has a spammable fire field (Fire Bomb), which can be used with blast finishers to maintain high stacks of might. It's almost as good as HGH without the trait investments. The blast finishers you can use are: Big Ol' Bomb (drop it right before or after the Fire Bomb), any turret detonation (Rifle is best because of low CD), Throw Mine, Magnetic Inversion, Acid Bomb. You can also do the same with Smoke Bomb for group stealth stacking.
- Rifle Turret: Rifle Turret is the best turret for DPS, and also serves as a fast-recharging blast finisher for might stacking.
- Net Turret: The high-uptime immobilize on this turret is really good against certain bosses, such as Mossman or Archdiviner, who move around a lot and lessen the effectiveness of AOE.
- Throw Mine: Serves primarily as a fast-recharging blast finisher for might stacking, especially with Speedy Gadgets traited. The toolbelt skill also gives a good burst of damage and vulnerability stacks when used right on top of the target.
- Elixir Gun: Gives group regen (Healing Mist and Super Elixir), condition removal (Super Elixir) and a blast finisher (Acid Bomb). Good range of utility, but I'm not a big fan of it since the Acid Bomb can be annoying to time to get the blast finisher before the Fire Bomb ends, but after the Big Ol' Bomb explodes. Get it down, though, and it's a good utility to have when it won't send you flying off a cliff.
- Elixirs: Mostly for use with HGH builds. The amount of might you get from two elixirs actually isn't that much more than what you'd get from blast finishers, and they're not AOE, but you get the benefit of the elixirs themselves, obviously.
That's about it, actually. Playing the build itself isn't actually that complicated, just stand back and throw grenades on cooldown, and get your blast finisher rotation down so you can do it quickly and consistently without cutting into your grenade time too much.
Posted takarazuka on 24 September 2012 - 03:49 PM
FYI: The title of this thread is Dagger/Focus, but I have adjusted the build to be a dagger/warhorn setup instead. Warhorn has proven to be a much better off-hand choice with the control and higher damage output. Focus can still be used as this is what the build was originally built around, but I will be focusing on warhorn primarily.
3/19/2013 - Added ascended items
3/11/2013 - Updated gear spreadsheet to reflect new setup.
3/9/2013 - Added BuildCraft link
3/7/2013 - Updated gear section, added in rotation/priorities, moved weapon/trait overview
3/6/2013 - Minor tweaks and clarification changes
3/5/2013 - Overall revamp of the guide and added in updated armor spreadsheet (still not final)
The build is built around Spite and Blood Magic. It is a hybrid between a glass cannon build and a vampiric... utilizing strong traits from both to allow for some survivability while also having high damage. It does require some skill to play since you are in melee range and need to learn to actively dodge attacks and use your /warhorn to its full effect.
- Fast, high damage attacks along with wells make for short duration fights
- Several healing abilities help with HP regen while in combat
- No concern over bleed caps and other condition-based classes minimizing your damage
- Durability and survivability
- High crit chance, crit damage, and power
- Melee range combat is not favorable to cloth-wearers
- Wells on cooldown cause your overall damage to decrease and fights will take longer
Trait Lines and Choices
- The core of any power build. I don't think I know of any pure powermancer build that does not go a full 30 points in to this tree. You have a large variety of trait choices and 300 power is a large chunk of damage boost for your attacks.
- Adept level - Spiteful Spirit is the only real trait that is useful for us here (unless you are playing with a focus then look at Spiteful Talisman).
- Master level - Reaper's Might should be picked up. This gives utility to your Life Blast while in Death Shroud and lets you maintain Might stacks.
- Grandmaster level - Close to Death. No question. It is a very strong trait and will make you hit harder and see normal and even veteran mobs start to melt.
- We are mostly here for the 200 precision we gain.
- Adept level - There isn't much here, but you could pick up Hemophilia or Terror. Terror will obviously not be useful on bosses or champions, but Hemophilia will lengthen the few bleeds you have.
- Master level - Focused Rituals, Master of Corruption, or Banshee's Wail. We get some nice utility from this level. You have several choices depending on what you need done. If you need to go ranged for a fight, pick up Focused Rituals so you can still throw down wells. Banshee's Wail is useful most of the time to make your warhorn more effective. Master of Corruption reduces the cooldown on abilities like Blood is Power.
- You gain 200 vitality and 200 healing from this tree. We also gain the all important minor trait Vampiric. This is a core of this build and lets you gain life with every hit and damaging ability you use.
- Adept level - Bloodthirst is key here. It makes your life siphons from any ability and your passive abilities 50% more effective. This means bigger healing ticks and easier time staying alive.
- Master level - Ritual Mastery is another key trait. This reduces the cooldown on all wells by 20%. Wells are essential to the build and you need them up as often as possible.
Weapons - Dagger/Warhorn Primary
Dagger: This fast attacking weapon does some amazing damage and has very useful abilities for being in melee range. I went with this for leveling, especially, due to Life Siphon.
- Necrotic Slash - your auto attack and does a fair amount of damage. You gain some life force from it on the second and third hits. You will be doing a fair amount of auto attacking in the build when wells and Locust Swarm is on cool down.
- Life Siphon - Don't be afraid to use this as often as you need to. The heal isn't spectacular, but paired with smart play and some dodging you won't need to heal much anyways. It does a decent amount of damage as it ticks. Best used with the next ability so you can heal uninterrupted.
- Dark Pact - your lockdown. Great for ranged mobs that like to run away or for melee mobs that you need to get away from to heal up. Paired with Life Siphon, it is a great way to control a fight and heal up without getting hit.
- Wail of Doom - Simple... a 2 second daze with a 30s cooldown. Don't use this ability randomly... watch for charge-up abilities like knockdowns and or heavy hitters and interrupt them!! It can be a life saver many times over.
- Locust Swarm - a hidden gem almost. Gain swiftness, gain life force, cripple enemies, AND does ticking damage each second for 10s. This is amazing in AOE situations and lets you run around in quick circles auto attacking and dodging attacks while hitting everything... regardless of what you are focused on attacking.
- Well of Suffering - one of the first wells you should put down at any time. The vulnerability stacking is going to make you hit harder and do a lot more damage - 2% per stack and stacks 2 at a time for 5s.
- Well of Corruption - pretty straight forward. It does a decent amount of damage and converts boons on the enemy in to conditions. In PVE you mostly are using this for damage since few mobs use boons, but in PVP it is amazing!
- Well of Darkness - if you want to play a bit more defensively, this is your friend. Pulsing blinds keep you from taking damage and let you attack without worrying about getting stunned or knocked down.
- Consume Conditions - the only heal you should be using... no arguments. Cleanses conditions and heals... use it or die.
- Blood is Power - The meat of our build here. Stacks might up to 10 stacks for 12s and puts a bleed on the target. We aren't condition you say? The build has 30 points in Spite (30% condition duration) and 20 in Curses (20% condition damage) so we do get benefits from conditions. This is a very powerful ability that is useful beyond measure.
- Spectral Armor - a possible utility that can be used if you know that you are going to need more damage mitigation. Not useful in every situation so plan ahead. If you need to use this, drop Well of Corruption and grab this.
- Bone Minions - arguably a decent ability to use. Their Putrid Explosion does a fairly good chunk of damage and they are only on a 20s cooldown. Again, use in place of Well of Corruption if you want to add some variety to your gameplay.
- Signet of Spite - Increases power by 90 at level 80. A nice signet to use on boss fights where other utilities will not have any effect and be useless.
- Signet of the Locust - 25% increased run speed... get where you need to go faster. Don't forget to switch over to something else before combat though!!
Use of death shroud is a lesson that all necromancers need to learn early on. It is both our second health pool to work with as well as a very powerful tool for offense when all of your wells are down and you are ready for really pulling out the numbers.
- Life Blast - A slow nuke auto attack that hits harder the more life force you currently have. Juggle use of this ability with the next ability to maintain maximum damage while you are in Death Shroud. I have this traited to add Might on hit.
- Life Transfer - an AOE attack that siphons damage on surrounding targets and replenishes your Life Force. Ideally, use this at around 40-50% LF depending on the number of mobs around you to put you back near full. This saves your normal health bar and lets you do more damage with Life Blast.
There are several possibilities for variations in the build and it still being viable. As I test them and find if they work well enough, I will post them at the bottom of the guide.
STATS AND GEAR
Here is a spreadsheet of the gear that is best applicable to this build. It focuses on survivability with Soldier/Knight armor and damage with Berserker weapons and trinkets. Even with the defensive oriented gear, you still pack a punch with a 57% critical chance, 64% critical damage rating, 2250 power, and a 5% static damage increase. A 13.45% damage reduction modifier from armor and over 21,000 (more if you have WvW buffs) make you a pretty potent foe to deal with!
**Note that I put toughness and defense rating (armor rating) together in one column. This is your total armor that dictates your damage reduction. The sharpening stone calculation ONLY comes from toughness though so - 916 base toughness + 285 toughness from gear = 1,201 * 5% = 60 and 1,188 vitality * 3% = 36 for a total of 96 power from the stone.
For ascended gear, I went with Berserker-distribution of stats on the items. This maintains the numbers from our exotic gear with a slight boost from the stats from ascended. Remember that ascended items are not socketed with jewels, but have two sets of stats on them (like a permanent jewel on the second part) and then can have an infusion added. If you plan on running fractals a lot, you're going to need to start upgrading your ascended items using the method found on Dulfy's awesome guide HERE.
Upgrading items does not change the base stats, but adds agony resistance. You also have defensive, offensive, and (on amulets) utility slots. The choice of which slot-type to pick is up to you since the infusions do not add much of the type of stat to make a difference. You are mostly going for anything that adds agony resistance here.
Our first sigil we should get is Superior Sigil of Force. This is a flat 5% increase to our damage. The reason we are not looking at on-kill stacking sigils is due to the fact that you ARE going to go down in dungeons and lose your stacks. When this happens during a boss fight, that sigil is now useless and you gain no benefit from it. The Force sigil is static and you always gain benefit. If the mechanics of on-kill stacking buffs changes in the future and you only lose them on being killed (not downed) then it may be beneficial to pick one up.
Our second sigil is dependent on your playstyle and desire:
- Superior Sigil of Strength - 30% chance to proc Might on critical hit
- Superior Sigil of Blood - 30% chance to steal life on critical hit
- Superior Sigil of Earth - 60% chance to cause Bleed 5s on critical hit
- Superior Sigil of Frailty - 30% chance to apply Vulnerability on critical hit
Superior Rune of the Eagle and Superior Rune of the Ranger are the preferred runes for the setup. Either one works, but you only need 5 of them. The 6th slot bonus is useless to necromancers. Instead, slot a Ruby Orb. It gives 20 power, 14 precision and 2% critical damage. This nets you 20 power, 165 precision, and 10% critical damage.
An alternative to doing 5 expensive runes is to use all Ruby Orbs. If you put these in all of your armor you will gain 120 power, 84 precision, and 12% critical damage.
The back piece I recommend starting off with is the quest reward from the third to last mission in your personal story. Depending on which path you take it will be Blast from the Past, Ships of the Line, or The Steel Tide. Go for the Berserkers Spineguard of the Berserker. It is a Masterwork quality back item, but with the exotic ruby jewel.
Obviously you will want to work on the ascended back item, but I will cover ascended items in another section.
You have a couple of choices here as well:
- Bowl of Butternut Squash Curry Soup - requires a fair number of mats, but gives 100 precision and 10% critical damage
- Bowl of Butternut Squash Soup - somewhat less expensive to make and you still get 80 precision and 8% critical damage
- Plate of Truffle Steak- 100 power and 70 precision. Hardest part is getting the slabs of red meat, but they are extremely cheap on the TP.
- Peach Tart - one I use a lot while grinding or doing easier dungeons/fractals. Gives 26% magic find and 60 power and extremely easy to make.
- Hardened Sharpening Stone - gives utility buff and fairly simple to make
HOW DOES IT WORK?
This build is all about direct damage, critical hits, and power-based attacks. No waiting to stack a certain number of bleeds or poisons... no praying your minions get the idea that they something should do. You are in control and can dish out all the damage as fast or slow as you want.
Your utility setup is flexible depending on the situation. There are two abilities that are somewhat core to the build - Well of Suffering and Blood is Power. Your third slot is where you can get creative and gives you some versatility in fights.
Basic Rotation and Priorities
- Your first goal is to drop wells. You need to start ticking damage and having Well of Suffering apply vulnerability to your target. Toss down Well of Corruption about halfway through WoS to stagger them some and have a longer duration of wells ticking on the target.
- Once your wells are down, prioritize your abilities based on the situation. Are you fighting a veteran or boss? Throw on Blood is Power to gain Might. In a nice aoe situation? Pop Death Shroud and Life Transfer to melt their health bars down. You have a nice array of abilities to use in various situations so just take in to account how long the fight will last and what you are fighting and go from there.
- Use warhorn to interrupt abilities like knockdowns which are highly aggravating.... I am looking at you Risen Farmers in Orr.
- Ranged mobs tend to try and run away to put distance between you.... use your lockdown ability on the dagger to root them and rush in for the kill.
- Don't be afraid to use Life Siphon on your dagger. It actually does a LOT of damage and you can gain some decent health back from it (though not nearly as much as your actual heal).
Defensive Build moving points in Curses to Death Magic. This alternate build focuses more on survivability using retaliation and protection buffs from wells. Your damage will be slightly lower with losing precision, but makes you a bit tougher to kill.
ADDITIONAL POWER/CONDITION AOE BUILD WITH NOTES BY KELEVRA_86
Posted JNeko on 07 May 2013 - 12:10 AM
Here it is, my guide to the Dagger Dagger Ele in Dungeons and Fractals. Hope you all enjoy! Comment here, or message me in-game if you have comments/questions.
So you want to take your Elementalist into dungeons, huh?
The Elementalist is an interesting class. They are one of the most versatile professions in the game, with access to 20 weapon skills at any given time. As a balancing mechanic against this versatility, however, the Elementalist has some of the lowest DPS in the game. Additionally, the Elementalist has a low HP pool along with light armor, making it one of the “squishiest” classes in the game, by default, anyway.
The Elementalist cannot support as well as a Guardian. An Elementalist cannot do the DPS of a Warrior. It does not have the Mesmer’s amazing utility. To be quite frank, in an organized group, the Elementalist really has no place, and you’re better off using one of these classes instead.
What the Elementalist excels in is if you aren’t in an organized, optimal group, and instead play with friends or guildmates who play random classes, or if you like to PUG instances rather than stay with a dedicated group. The Elementalist, despite its built-in weaknesses, is also given the tools to rather easily overcome its own weaknesses. When specced fully into the Water tree, the Elementalist has some of, if not the best, self and group healing in the game. Their ability to easily produce long lasting Fire Fields combined with a copious amount of Blast Finishers means that they are also able to build several stacks of might rather easily. A single double dagger Elementalist should be able to stack 9 stacks of might just through using Fire Attunement and Earth Attunement, combined with Evasive Arcana. The Elementalist can provide boons and self-sustain without really having to rely on anyone. In the end, the Elementalist is probably one of the best PUGing classes in the game.
The first thing you need to know about Elementalists is that there’s basically only one good trait array. 0/10/0/30/30. It’s the same array that they use for WvW, PvP, and PvE. There are many reasons for this, but I’ll try to give you the most important ones:
- Every Elementalist should more or less max Arcana, regardless of the build. The reason is that Elementalists maximize their utility and damage to the group when they continually swap attunements. In order to do this, you want the time it takes to change attunements to be as small as possible.
- Evasive Arcana is the Elementalist’s strongest trait. It gives a blast finisher in Earth and a powerful heal in Water. The effects in Fire and Air are subpar, but the fact is with Evasive Arcana, your dodge rolls in Water and Earth become powerful spells as well.
- Of the non-Arcana trait lines, Water is easily the strongest. The 25-point minor trait Bountiful Power is a multiplicative ability that increases your DPS simply for partying with others (+2% damage for each boon you have on you). Water has access to some of the best traits in the game, such as Cleansing Wave (remove a condition when you attune to water), and has incredible self-synergy. For instance, you can take Soothing Disruption (cantrips provide Vigor and Regen when you use them) and Cleansing Water (to whomever you provide Regen, you remove one condition), to make all of your cantrips condition cleansers, on top of their other effects. Vital Striking (you do 10% more damage when you’re above 90% health) is an excellent damage multiplier trait. Finally, and most importantly, Water’s 15-point minor trait, Healing Ripple, provides a substantial heal (1302 at Level 80 + Healing Power) when attuning to water. A good Elementalist realizes that their best heals actually come from just using things in Water, rather than relying on the #6 Heal skill.
- The Fire trait line is garbage, and there’s almost nothing good in it. Earth has some decent, situationally useful traits, but falls flat when compared to other trait lines. That leaves Air, which is actually a very strong trait line, and has some of the best Adept traits out there. In particular, Bolt to the Heart (do 20% more damage against targets with less than 33% health) and Zephyr’s Boon (gain 5 seconds of fury and swiftness when you use an aura) are incredibly powerful.
There are two distinct trait specs that I would suggest for an Elementalist in dungeons:
The Condition Cleanser Cantrip Build
This build is almost completely lifted from WvW and sPvP, in particular, Daphoenix’s Guide to the Dagger Dagger Elementalist
This build is made with an eye toward heavy survivability along with great access to condition removal (probably the best in the game). For this array, you’ll want to equip 3 cantrips (Armor of Earth, Lightning Flash, and Mist Form are best, because Cleansing Fire becomes slightly redundant since your cantrips now all remove conditions). This is a very solid trait array, giving you:
- Zephyr’s Boon - Auras grant fury and swiftness
- Soothing Disruption - Cantrips grant regen and vigor
- Cantrip Mastery - Cantrips recharge 20% faster
- Cleansing Water - Remove a condition from an ally or yourself when granting regen
- Elemental Attunement - When you attune to Fire, you gain might. When you attune to Water, you gain regen. When you attune to Air, you gain swiftness. When you attune to Earth, you gain Protection.
- Renewing Stamina - You gain vigor when you crit. 5 second cooldown.
- Evasive Arcana - You burn foes when you dodge roll in Fire. You heal allies for 1302 + Healing Power and remove a condition when you dodge roll in Water. You blind foes when you dodge roll in Air. You bleed, cripple, and perform a Blast Finisher when you dodge in Earth. 9 second cooldown per attunement.
The Aura Sharing Build
This build is almost completely lifted from Zoose’s Guide to the Dagger Dagger Elementalist.
This is an aura sharing Elementalist, with the power to grant a good deal of fury and swiftness to himself as well as his team mates. It’s the build that I personally run in dungeons, and I think it’s just a bit better than the array above for PvE, once you get used to playing the Elementalist in dungeons.
This build is made with an eye toward granting a good deal of fury and swiftness to your allies through your auras. Additionally, you trait more toward damage, while still retaining the ability to cleanse conditions for your allies. This array gives you:
- Zephyr’s Boon - Auras grant fury and swiftness
- Cleansing Wave - Remove a condition from yourself and your allies when you attune to water
- Vital Striking - Deal 10% more damage when above 90% health
- Powerful Aura - You share auras when you use an aura skill
- Elemental Attunement - When you attune to Fire, you gain might. When you attune to Water, you gain regen. When you attune to Air, you gain swiftness. When you attune to Earth, you gain Protection.
- Renewing Stamina - You gain vigor when you crit. 5 second cooldown.
- Evasive Arcana - You burn foes when you dodge roll in Fire. You heal allies for 1302 + Healing Power and remove a condition when you dodge roll in Water. You blind foes when you dodge roll in Air. You bleed, cripple, and perform a Blast Finisher when you dodge in Earth. 9 second cooldown per attunement.
So which of these should you use? It depends. I much prefer the Aura sharing build personally, and I feel that once you get a feel for the Elementalist, switching to aura sharing can be a significant boon to your allies (heh heh). However, I included the traditional Bunker-Cleansing-Water trait array because it’s the infamous one that’s been wrecking sPvP and WvW as of late. The Bunker-Cleansing-Water array is also good for tough bosses when you want to swap to staff or scepter and range something above your current personal skill level.
You should carry all of the Elementalist’s weapons. However, I’m going to be very frank that you should use Double Dagger most of the time.
This is your only melee mainhand weapon, and it’s a pretty darn good one at that. The dagger’s auto attacks are pretty subpar compared to other classes, but the #2 and #3 abilities have a ton of utility. Your strongest auto attack is Lightning Whip, which you almost certainly will miss all the time when you first start using it. I’d suggest spending a good long while just learning how to hit things with Lightning Whip, because it is your strongest spammable auto, and it will be frustrating to use at first. Don’t worry, just learn to stand back a bit, apart from your enemy, and you’ll stop missing. Drake’s Breath (Fire 2) does decent damage and you should use it when you can. Cone of Cold (Water 2) does amazing damage and heals yourself and allies for a substantial amount. Ring of Earth (Earth 2) is insanely strong and you should remember to spam this whenever it’s off cooldown, and you’re done with your other Earth rotations. Lightning Touch (Air 2) is garbage and you should never use it. Burning Speed (Fire 3) is a high damage skill-shot attack that you will also probably miss a lot when you first use it. However, once you learn to land it, you’ll find your personal DPS goes up substantially. Frozen Burst is a great spell, chilling in an AoE, and you should spam it when it’s off cooldown. Shocking Aura is borderline broken in PvP and it’s pretty darn good in PvE, so use it when you need to do more damage, since thanks to Zephyr’s Boon, it also grants you fury. Magnetic Grasp (Earth 3) is a 900 range immobilize and pretty good, and its chain attack, Magnetic Leap, is a Leap Finisher. If you have a Fire Field down, leap through your own fire field to gain a Fire Aura, giving yourself fury once more.
Dagger Offhand has some of the most consistently strong high cooldown abilities for Elementalist that it makes other weapon sets feel underwhelming. Ring of Fire (Fire 4) does a significant amount of damage, inflicts burning, and lays down a 6-second fire field. Fire Grab (Fire 5) does a lot of damage to burning foes but, like a lot of Elementalist abilities, you’ll miss it a lot due to the odd hit detection. Once you learn to hit with it, you’ll do a great deal of damage. Frost Aura (Water 4) is great and you should use it when you need fury, probably spamming it off cooldown like most Ele abilities. Cleansing Wave (Water 5) does a great deal of healing (1302 + Healing Power), and you should use it when you need a quick burst heal. Ride the Lightning (Air 4) is the reason Elementalists are such a pain in WvW and PvP, giving an amazing amount of distance. It’s a great way to get back to a foe, and does a good deal of damage. It’s not something you should spam off cooldown, however, but you should use it as needed, or when you need to run through trash. Make sure to turn off auto-targeting when running off-hand Dagger elementalist so that you can use this ability to run past enemies without targeting them automatically. Updraft (Air 5) is basically another dodge, as well as an AoE knockdown, as well as gives you a great deal of Swiftness. Use as needed. Earthquake (Earth 4) does a great deal of damage, knocks down in an AoE, and more importantly, is a Blast Finisher. Churning Earth (Earth 5) is your strongest damaging spell, inflicting 8 stacks of bleed, 4 stacks of cripple, a gigantic amount of damage, and is also a Blast Finisher.
This is the first weapon Elementalists start out with, and strangely, almost all Elementalists I meet quickly abandon it as soon as they can. I never understood why, since it’s a very strong ranged damage weapon if you need one. Phoenix (Fire 3) can be awkward to land, but has some great abilities (removes all conditions and grants vigor when it returns) and Dragon’s Tooth (Fire 2) is pretty easy to land on most mobs since they often just stand around. Shatterstone (Water 2) is pretty bad and you're better off just using Water autoattack. Water Trident (Water 3) heals for a ton, and you should use it if you or an ally needs a burst heal. Lightning Strike (Air 2) and Blinding Flash (Air 3) are low-cooldown high damage abilities and should spam them off cooldown whenever you get the chance. Rock Barrier (Earth 2) is a good spell to start combat with, granting you a good bit deal of toughness, and Dust Devil (Earth 3) does a good bit of damage and blinds in an AoE. Solid and spammable off cooldown.
Highly underrated but very powerful in the right situations. Focus has a defensive skillset that you’ll use when the team needs protection from bad guys that sit back and shoot at you dangerous projectiles. Swirling Winds (Air 4) offers 6 seconds of projectile destruction. It’s very strong, especially in cases where you need projectile deflection, such as the Harpy Fractal, the Shaman Fractal final boss, and Mossman in the Swamp Fractal if you and your team are ranging him. Flamewall (Fire 4) is pretty bad but it at least provides a Fire field. Fire Shield is pretty weak as well and more or less only there to proc with Zephyr’s Boon for more fury. Freezing Gust (Water 4) is a ranged Chill and is thus quite powerful in certain situtations. Comet (Water 5) is a ranged knockdown and actually knocks down opponents long enough to land a Dragon’s Tooth (hint hint). Gale (Air 5) is another ranged knockdown. Magnetic Wave (Earth 4) reflects projectiles shot at you for 3 seconds, and Obsidian Flesh (Earth 5) grants invulnerability for 4 seconds. It’s very solid.
High skill cap to use, and pretty awkward at that. The main thing is that it can be really hard to land most of this weapon’s attacks, and the auto-attacks themselves do incredibly low damage. In most dungeons, you’re probably better off using Daggers or Scepter. There are some cases where the Staff is really nice to have (such as clearing lots of trash or lots of enemies, such as the Ascalon Fractal), but overall, especially for newer players, I’d point you in the direction of the other weapon sets first.
So which weapon set should you use? Double dagger, almost all the time. You swap to Scepter Dagger or Scepter Focus when your personal skill level is insufficient to melee the enemy in question (or if your Agony Resistance demands it, in the case of higher level fractals). Otherwise, try to force yourself to use daggers at all times, since as a Melee weapon, they do more damage.
Utility Slots and Elites
Your utilities depend a bit on what you’re trying to do. Generally, since I run aura-sharing, I like to run 2 cantrips (Lightning Flash and Mist Form) and Arcane Wave for the Blast Finisher. This is also a decent combination with the Cleansing Water build. Generally, you’ll find that as an Elementalist, your weapon set provides enough utility that all you really want are cantrips and probably Arcane Wave or Arcane Shield. Conjure Lightning Hammer does a hilarious amount of damage but locks you out of your other weapon skills and is this probably not worth it. Use Frost Bow when you need to destroy objects.
For your Heal skill (#6), I would suggest Signet of Restoration. Ether Renewal is also decent if you need more bursty heals, but I find Signet of Restoration is just much stronger in PvE.
For your Elite, you have two decent choices. Conjure Fiery Greatsword actually only does really great damage if you’re on a wall and you can use Fiery Whirl (Greatsword 3) to slam all hits into a target (think Subject Alpha from the Crucible of Eternity Dungeon). Fiery Greatsword is also a great choice if you’re in double dagger and need a ranged weapon, since the auto attack on Conjure Fiery Greatsword does a great deal of ranged damage. As of late, I’ve found that the Elemental from Glyph of Elementals is still probably the better choice in many situations. Summon an Earth Elemental if you need a tank, a Water Elemental if you need heals, an Air Elemental for good ground control and damage, and a Fire Elemental for pure damage. The Earth Elemental is probably the most useful one in PvE.
Now this is where things get interesting. You are a double dagger Elementalist going up into Melee with low HP and low armor. What should you equip for dungeons?
Probably full Berserker gear with Ruby Trinkets. For your runes in your armor, I’d suggest either Boon Duration Runes (Superior Rune of the Monk, Superior Rune of the Water, Major Rune of the Water) or Ruby Orbs. The former is better for support, and the latter is good for damage. I’d suggest that if you’re starting out, go with the Boon Duration runes to get the most out of your various support abilities and boons you provide (an extra few seconds on Protection from swapping to Earth Attunement and a good several extra seconds of Might from all your fire blast field finishers does wonders for your party’s survivability and DPS).
Why full Berserker on trinkets and armor though, you might ask? Because in dungeons, the most important thing, generally, is dealing damage and killing enemies as quickly as possible.
The thing is, most dungeon mechanics are about one-shot mechanics that will down most characters in one hit or so anyway. Stacking survivability is a waste, especially on a character like the Elementalist which has so little in the way of HP and Armor that you might as well not try to increase those in PvE, at all.
If you are somewhat paranoid about your own survivability, just note that unlike other classes, you have a surprising amount of self-sustain available to you. Your primary means of healing will be auto-attacking (which triggers Signet of Restoration), attuning to Water attunement (which heals about 1600 HP for you), dodge rolling in Water Attunement (which heals another 1600 HP), using Cone of Cold (which heals about 800 for you) and Cleansing Wave (which heals another 1600 HP). If you’re out of /all/ of these, then you can pop the signet. Don’t forget that, also, due to rapidly swapping attunements, you gain Protection from Earth attunement for a sizable time, which reduces the damage you take by 33%.
For your sigils, you should take Sigil of Battle in your offhand dagger, and Sigil of Perception in your mainhand dagger (gain +10 to Precision per kill). If you really want to minmax, swap out your mainhand weapon for a dagger that has Sigil of Accuracy (+5% crit chance) after you max out your perception stacks.
For consumables, Master Maintenance Oil is great (or if you’re cheap, Quality Maintenance Oil will do). Your food should be either Omnomberry Pie (or Mixed Berry Pie if you’re cheap) for survivability with lifesteal on crit, or Omnomberry Cream for 20% boon duration (and the extra Magic Find is always kinda nice). I’d suggest carrying around both and switching as needed. The Omnomberry Pie is probably the better choice though, because of the constant stream of lifesteal.
Your most typical Starting Rotation is this:
Burning Speed (Fire 3) -> Fire Grab (Fire 5) -> Ring of Fire (Fire 4) -> Dodge Roll and swap to Earth Attunement as you do so do perform a blast finisher in your Fire Field -> Arcane Wave to perform a blast finisher in your Fire Field -> Earthquake (Earth 4) to do a blast finisher in your Fire Field -> Churning Earth (Earth 5) to do a blast finisher in your Fire Field.
This will give your allies 12 stacks of might. You’ll also get 3-9 more from Sigil of Battle as you continue to fight and change attunements.
For starting attunement, you should generally begin in the Air attunement. This gives you inherently quicker mobility thanks to Zephyr’s Speed in the Air tree, a good gap closer with Ride the Lightning, and the ability to start up Fury by popping Shocking Aura. You’ll generally engage by letting one of your allies strike the enemy in melee first, then use Shocking Aura, then quickly swap to Fire Attunement to begin your Starting Rotation.
When you need to heal or cleanse conditions, you perform a Healing Rotation:
Attune to Water [Heal for 1600] -> Dodge Roll in Water [Heal for 1600] -> Cone of Cold (Water 2) [Heal for 800] -> Cleansing Wave (Water 5) [Heal for 1600]
For a total heal of ~5600!
If you’re already maxed in health at any point in this rotation, you can stop and continue to fight normally.
As you exit the Water attunement, remember to spam Frozen Burst and Frost Aura if they’re off cooldown.
Generally, it’s pretty common for me to first use my Starting Rotation, then use my Healing Rotation because I’ll have taken a hit or two while doing all of those attacks.
When you need to engage, a great way to start is with Burning Speed (Fire 3). It does a great deal of damage, creates a Fire Field, and acts as a sort of gap closer against enemies.
When you’re waiting for things to go off cooldown and need an auto attack to spam, your best bet is Air Attunement’s Lightning Whip. If you need to “range” an enemy, swapping to Water Attunement and using Vapor Blade lets you attack from 600 range.
Your general philosophy as an Elementalist is “press all the buttons so you can press more buttons”. While other classes like the Warrior encourage you to stick to your autoattack since it’s generally the most efficient way to maximize DPS, the Elementalist is the complete opposite. You only use your autoattack if you have to - it’s pretty weak. A good guide is, when something’s off cooldown in an attunement, use it.
For a guide to better dagger dagger play, I suggest looking at Zoose’s guide to the Dagger Dagger elementalist. This video has a great deal more number of rotations explained, and expands upon all of the abilities the Dagger Dagger elementalist has (though he focuses on sPvP as opposed to PvE Dungeons).
Also, I do suggest you check Daphoenix’s guide to the Dagger Dagger Elementalist
So here’s something I think that gets a lot of newer players when they try and pick up the Elementalist. It’s a class which simply demands greater use of its Class Abilities (the F1, F2, F3, and F4 skills) than any other profession. Enough so that if you actually leave your default bindings to F1-F4, you’ll find the class clunky and difficult to play unless you’re either very agile or have large hands.
For this reason, while I won’t demand that you totally rearrange your keybindings just to play an Elementalist, I do think that you should try to find a better place to put your profession skills. One that I personally use is Ctrl-A for F1, Ctrl-E for F2, Ctrl-D for F3, and Ctrl-F for F4. This doesn’t have to be the way you bind your keys, but leaving them at default at F1-F4 can often be one of the greatest physical barriers to using the Elementalist to its fullest potential, in general.
Also, turn off auto-targeting when using Dagger Dagger elementalist if you want to be able to use Ride the Lightning (Air 4) to quickly move around the battlefield. It’s also generally a good idea to turn it off because with a weapon set like Dagger Dagger, you want great control over the direction of your attacks.
Also, I’d be surprised if you didn’t already have this, but make sure to Show Skill Recharge for all of your skills.
Turn off Melee Attack Assist. It’s a terrible setting.
General Dungeon Strategy:
One of the things you’ll find in the balance of GW2 is that ranged damage, with some exceptions, does significantly less damage than melee damage. It’s for this reason that I find the dagger dagger Elementalist is so strong in general - it’s the melee set of the Elementalist, so it manages to provide a great deal of damage while capitalizing on the Elementalist’s general utility (the power to provide boons and support from the four elements - Might from Fire, Heals and Regen from Water, Swiftness and Fury from Air, and Protection and Knockdowns from Earth).
What this means is that you’ll often find yourself up in the front lines, sort of forced to really, due to the melee range of your weapons.
The first thing to note is that as daunting as it can be to be in a PUG wearing light armor with Berserker stats while you’re up in melee while everyone else insists on ranging, it’s actually not nearly as bad as it sounds. The reason for this has to deal with the way enemy aggro works in this game. You will have such a low armor class and with nothing in your earth tree, the only classes that will have as low toughness as you will be other Berserker Light Armor classes. So if you’re in a party with all Eles, Necros, and Mesmers wearing all Berserker gear, you might be in a bit of a tough spot, but that’s fairly rare.
In truth, whoever has higher armor than you will generally draw aggro thanks to the way aggro works in this game. The trick then, as an Elementalist, to retaining your survivability, is to stay with your party, and allow them to engage first. Once they do, you can freely move up into melee distance (maybe closing the gap with Ride the Lightning) and attack your foes from behind.
Like most Elementalist builds, your cantrips are your lifeline. If you’re feeling nervous, equip 3 cantrips. If you’re feeling pretty confident, slot in Arcane Wave and Conjure Lightning Hammer and only have one cantrip. Generally, 90% of the time, I run with two cantrips (Lightning Flash and Mist Form) and Arcane Wave for the Blast Finisher in Fire Fields. Either way, Elementalist cantrips are some of the best stun breakers in the game, and each offers incredible utility, so experiment with them, and see which ones you like.
I hope this guide helped you, and I’m still in the process of editing it, but I wanted to get it out there to get some feedback right away. Please leave comments in the respective thread I posted this in, and I’ll make sure to read them. I will be editing this guide over time.
The Dagger Dagger Elementalist is one of the most difficult classes to master at first, but once you manage to do so, allows you to play the game in a frenetic and action-styled way that many other classes simply can’t do. You’re constantly moving, weaving in and out of enemies, while dealing a moderate amount of damage and providing a steady stream of powerful bonuses to your allies. You can’t provide the Defensive bonuses of a Guardian or the Offensive bonuses of a Warrior, but you can provide a little bit of what both do, each, without really having to give up anything. In conclusion, for the purposes of random groups or casual groups to go out dungeoning with, the Dagger Dagger Elementalist is almost always an excellent addition to the party, because it can work with anyone, and provides a good deal of support no matter who’s in the party.
I hope you enjoyed this guide! Please leave feedback in the thread, or message me at my GW2 username, Neko.9021.
Posted Hamartia on 06 June 2013 - 07:39 PM
With Elemental Attunement and Boon Duration for more support:
With Scholar Runes/Ruby Orbs and Evasive Arcana for More Damage/still maintain 25 stacks of might:
Balanced Gearing Option: 2x PVT, 5x Zerker, Celestial Trinkets.
Note that in most situations, Arcane Power will be swapped for Arcane Shield, because everyone needs a bit of survival. Arcane Power is the pure high DPS option.
**What this build sacrifices versus standard builds:**
Your only condition removal is Water 5, Phoenix, and Ether Renewal. If you find you need more than that, swap your choice of Arcane skills for Evasive Arcana.
You lose 100% fury and swiftness uptime to party. I feel that other classes bring fury while sacrificing less than an Elementalist has to. Or, if you have another Elementalist in your party, they will be bringing these buffs.
I'm not happy with Elementalist meta builds, I feel like they give up too much damage in favor of support, and that the support provided is not an adequate recompense. This is my attempt to fix things.
**What it brings:**
25 stacks of might to party, great damage, great AOE. Feels incredibly fun and versatile.
Can also do great damage in PVT and Celestial gear; doesn’t need to be full zerker if that’s not your style.
Take a deep breath
The gist of this is to pop all of your combo finishers inside of Ring of Fire (fire 4) to stack AOE might and some additional burning.
Start in Air or Water.
Swap to Fire and before reaching target, use 2, Dragon's Tooth. Use 4 to throw down your fire field under Dragon’s Tooth and at your target. Use Arcane Blast and Arcane Wave. Use Fire 3 inside of your fire field. Use Fire 5 from melee range, use Fire 2 again.
Swap to Earth. Use 4. (Use Arcane Shield if its your utility choice) Begin cast 5, swap to air, 3, 2, swap to water, 4. Earth 5 finishes casting, back to fire.
Stay in Fire until your Earth cooldowns are available and then repeat. Use Arcane Blast and Wave on Cooldown unless you need them available to stack more might.
If you are using scholar runes + Evasive Arcana, do not wait for a second Dragon's Tooth before swapping to Earth. Instead, Earth-dodge before Earth 4 and 5.
I recommend using Glyph of Elementals as the elite. I’d pop Fire Elemental before beginning your rotation, and use your Water heals to heal it up after Earth 5. Water Elemental is good for when your group needs some healing, since it attacks from range it does the best job staying alive. Earth Elemental can be useful in some situations since it tanks very effectively.
If you are able to run with Arcane Power, you want to pop it before Fire Grab (Fire 5) so that it crits Fire Grab, Fire 2, Earth 4, Earth 5, Air 2.
During "downtime"-- when all but your fire moves are on cool down, feel free to use Earth 2, and water heals and evasive arcana for a minimal DPS loss. Whenever a long cast is going, swap to air for 3 and 2, which are off the GCD.
Also use RTL as a damaging move in PBAoE situations.
You can also use earth 3 blind before churning earth, and air 3 blind DURING Churning Earth to keep the boss unable to hit you while you use your big attack. In some situations, you might want to try and use Earth 3 and Air 3 to try and save your party from hard hits—think of blind as reverse Aegis.
There is still some work to be done on my part to perfect the rotation-- for example, you shouldn't ever be hitting Fire 1 for a significant amount of time-- swap to Earth for churning earth every 30 seconds, swap to air to use air 2,3,4-- all your autoattacks hit like a wet noodle, but you won't need to be hitting them.
**Why is this build good?**
The damage. Every fire move other than 1 hits hard. Arcane and Air moves hit hard off the GCD. Earth 4 and 5 hit hard.
25 stacks of might without making any sacrifices to obtain it.
You still bring good healing and buffs via Elemental Attunement.
For utility skills, you need Arcane Blast and Wave. The third can be Arcane Shield or Mistform for survival—I prefer Arcane shield since it benefits from the 20% CD reduction and does nice damage. Arcane Power is a pretty huge DPS boost since you can pop it right before your 5 super heavy hitters.
If someone else in your party is bringing some might, you can swap Persisting Flames for Ember’s might for a 5% damage boost. If you usually run with a friend who provides a few stacks of might, this will make the most sense.
If your party has lots of boons going around, swap out Elemental Attunement for Evasive Arcana to add some conditional removal and damage.
If you aren’t running boon duration runes, swap out Elemental Attunement for Evasive Arcana.
Ether Renewal is the best heal when you need some additional condition removal, but I feel that the Human Racial heal provides the big, fast heal you more often need in PVE content, with water 3 and 5 for downtime.
**Alternative Gearing Option**
Standard is nearly full berserker; PVT in 3 slots to make it easier to spend a lot of time in close range and get off your churning Earths. Perhaps a better player than me could pull off full zerker. Theoretically, chest or legs with knight armor, rest zerker might be an even better balance than PVT in 3 slots.
Since you are using Arcane Power and arcane blast, which guarantees crits, you can theoretically go with a much tankier PVT/Celestial mix, rather than full zerker.
This will allow you to still benefit from crits at the most intense parts of your rotation for nice burst damage.
**Balanced Gearing Option**
Zerker hands, feet, shoulders, weapons. PVT helm, legs, chest. Celestial trinkets.
I've tried this one out personally and it feels infinitely survivable with great damage.
Why Celestial? Scepter benefits from the condition damage, time spent in melee range will make your 3, 5, and dodge heals a bit more in demand.
Obviously lower damage than going pure Zerker, but this feels like a balance that I am happy with in casual play.
This also happens to be the most fun and powerful leveling build I’ve tried across several classes. You can change the order you grab the talents to suit your own needs. I usually just ran with 3 signet to be lazier—air for movement speed, earth for toughness, fire for critical chance. Swap in the level 80 utilities for fun, practice, or when they start to feel effective. Arcane Blast/Wave and Signet of Air is probably a healthy balance. This follows the same rotation as the level 80 build.
Level 10—Start investing in points to get 10 Arcane.
Level 20—10 Arcane for Elemental Attunment--the burst of protection before casting churning Earth helps a lot along with the CD reduction on attunement swap.
Level 30—10 fire for 10% damage in fire and the Power stats.
Level 40—20 Fire for Cooldown Reduction, 10 Arcane.
Level 50—10 Water.
Level 60—30 Fire for Persisting Flames, 10 Arcane, 10 Water.
Level 70—30 Fire, 20 Arcane, 10 Water.
Level 80—30 fire, 30 Arcane, 10 Water.
**Other Scepter Notes:**
-Rock Barrier provides 250 Toughness. Using it as a damaging move provides 5 projectile finishers—great for extra burning, regen, or condition removal in a light field.
-Frost Aura, Lightning Strike, and Blinding Flash can be cast off the GCD while another move is channeling. This also applies to Arcane Wave, Shield, Blast, and Power.
-Phoenix provides vigor and condition removal.
A much more viable choice after recent buffs.
Fire Elemental does the best damage, and great AoE. However, it only has 9300 health.
Air elemental has 14,500 health, deals less damage, and does no AoE, but it attacks from range and provides swiftness—the better choice for heavy AoE fights where Fire elemental will get downed. The damage difference between air and Fire is not that huge in single-target situations, and it will stay alive far more often.
Ice and Earth both have 21300 health and attack in melee. Earth Elemental does less damage than Fire and Ice, but is very hard to kill and provides a small amount of AoE Protection. Great choice if party starts wiping and your heavies start going down and you need a quick tank.
Ice Elemental does meh damage, but chills enemies and, on a 25 second cooldown, can cast cleansing wave for a 6570 heal.
**On Condition Damage**
This build provides:
1.) 100% burning uptime on pretty much an unlimited amount of targets.
2.) 33% uptime on 8 bleeds from Churning Earth, AOE. (1 more bleed for 20 seconds added if you use evasive Arcana.)
Using the balanced gearing option and self-buffed 25 might:
The fire damage is worth 631 damage per second, and the Churning Earth is worth 91x8, to 728, for the time its up. That averages out to 212 bleed damage per second-- higher on fights with lower uptime on boss that allows your Churning Earth time to reset.
That means an **average of 873 damage per second is occurring from conditions with this build**. Sadly, I'm not sure investing in Celestial accessories or Divinity Runes is worth it simply because condition damage doesn't scale very well with the condition damage stat (although fire damage scales pretty well). However, more testing is necessary-- this build benefits more from Celestial than any that I know of. I'm interested in trying full zerker, celestial trinkets, divinity runes for an efficient survivability option or full zerker + divinity runes.
100 condition damage adds +25 damage per second to burning, and +5 damage per second to each bleed, so +13 damage per second to bleeds per 100 condition damage with this build (8 x 5 divided by 3).
100 condition damage will net you +38 damage per second. So, when considering Celestial trinkets or runes, count the DPS effect of the condition damage accordingly to see if its worth it for you.
**Thanks for Reading/Critique away please!**
Posted Captain Bulldozer on 06 May 2013 - 06:41 PM
Posted lmaonade on 26 April 2013 - 11:25 PM
Now, if they actually had some small city/outpost in GW2 that was important and that we actually cared about, they could really use the DE system to create some fantastic short stories. Before release, Anet talked about how DE's would be changing and varying, and how it makes the world seem alive, well that fell short in implementation imo, there's too little variation, every DE chain in the game is absolutely linear, there is no variation or branching stories.
That is something they should definitely look at in the future. They should have certain DEs kick off a multitude of events across the map, not just the next part of the chain. But one thing Arenanet really needs to change is their philosophy of (in)convenience, I mean it's nice that they designed GW2 so that you wouldn't have to look too far or too hard for anything, which makes it very easy to get into the game. But at the same time, if you want true depth for longevity, you're going to have to make the players work for something, which is something the game lacks overall. They need to have events which take away something on the map that is worthwhile, important, or needed to progress in some way, they did it with Orr, which is arguably the most active/vibrant place in the GW2 game world.
That being said, there are indeed some good DE chains out there, the kind that you'd remember and connect with. The DE I am talking about is the "Protect Webb as he gathers family heirlooms" in Kessex Hills, each of the stopping points spawn a spirit of his family, really gave me the feels, the absolute best Event in the entire game imo
And while we're on the topic of boring content, personal stories are a major let down, they are too enclosed, like, I know that what is happening in the mission is supposed to have an impact on the overall story, but it doesn't feel that way, they all feel like some random and small isolated instances. And they all suffer from phase 4 terminal "Kormir" syndrome, Trahearne completely takes over your "personal" story from the moment you meet him.
In GW1 story missions were long, sometimes difficult, and they actually took you somewhere, you would start at the outpost and literally end up at the end, unlike GW2's personal story quests where you just walk in small circles in a couple of different places. GW1 story missions felt like a trek, a journey, and were satisfying to complete. I understand that they can't really replace the personal story missions now, especially with something that requires to a group to complete (since the philosophy is that you should be able to solo it). But I very very VERY much hope that they implement some kind of journey type group missions when they implement new areas into new places (Crystal Desert is one of the next places that will open up according to speculation), a series of instanced journeys to cross from Tyria into the Crystal Desert, several stops along the way, each with something unique and exciting to discover.
Also, Elite Missions (or "raids" for some), they have to have something like that eventually.
TL;DR more depth to DE chains, especially in lower level areas, long instanced missions that take you on a journey, elite missions.
Posted Captain Bulldozer on 19 April 2013 - 02:22 PM
Honestly, (and I've said this plenty of times before) I feel the problem with the open world in GW2 is not lack of stuff to do... its a huge lack of reward. Killing stuff in the open world, while fun, rewards very little XP, no Karma and almost always terrible loot. Why would anyone who's already been through an area go back to the same place (on the same character) if not for the events? Sure there are other reasons, like helping out a friend or boredom, both those reasons are not going to be recurring with much frequency. Open world farming in GW2 is just plain awful... and farming is one of the big on-demand solo activities in a lot of other MMOs, but in GW2 it hardly feels viable. Add to that the fact that story missions aren't even repeatable (not that I'd want to experience most of them again anyway I guess) and I can totally see where you are coming from OP. I guess you'll just have to do jumping puzzles over and over again.
Posted infisio on 19 April 2013 - 01:40 PM
One thing I was wishing for last night is a "whole area" view of where DEs are taking place. Now, if you select the map you'll see DEs in your immediate area, but not the entire area (all of Queensdale for example). I have to rely on map chat to see if anyone is reporting any events. So if I want to do DEs in an area I end up wandering around killing mobs until something randomly pops up, or someone in chat reports something.
Posted Kitsune on 20 March 2013 - 06:38 AM
So fun fact, did you know that with minimal help from your group, an Elementalist can receive an unmatched 111% bonus to damage, likely becoming the single highest melee damage dealer in the game?
All while providing constant self and ally healing over time, Blast Finishers, enabling lower-damage throttled Rangers and Mesmers to soar like other professions, and by providing a meager amount of control, especially against non-champions?
Here is the breakdown folks!
How To Play the Build
As per feedback, I'm including a section on how to play the build at the beginning so hopefully the following will information will make more sense in context!
Long story short, although most elementalist builds focus on switching between attunements, this build focuses on maintaining Water attunement while using a conjured weapon, the Lightning Hammer. The absolute only time you will ever switch is when using your alternative weapon set (staff is what i recommend, but any combo will do well) to utilize their skills, ie dropping Static Field + swiftness from staff-Air, or Unsteady Ground + Shockwave from staff-earth.
While the heals/utilities can be switched as desired, I strongly recommend slotting (but not actively using) both Signets of Restoration and Fire. Conjure Lightning is a requirement obviously, but the third slot is open and should be switches as needed. I often default to Arcane Wave for an additional blast finisher as well as some VERY solid burst damage.
Generally, the best way to actively play the build is "just keep swing'n." Each swing of your hammer's auto-attack is going to increase your damage output, self-healing, and damage reduction for the entire team on non-champs due to Blind, and finally you are providing a solid source of Blast Finishers.
Conjure Lightning Combat Guide:
Hammer-1 Just swing it like there's no tomorrow! Blast finisher, Blinding, highest damage in game. All a win.
Hammer-2 for gap closing / leap finisher is handy,
Hammer-3 is an excellent knockback, good for interrupting and removing Defiance in coordinated groups, one of the ele's few actual interrupts.
Hammer-4 is garbage and is in sore need of a buff. Use it ONLY against super-large targets that you can get very close to, else its a damage loss. Occasionally useful if several mobs are very far spread out.
Hammer-5 is AMAZING for running through trash, or for isolating foes after a knockback from 3, to give you time to rally a fallen ally in CoF for example. Good for stacking additional Swiftness with blast finishers too.
Also, in some cases you will certainly want to break out the Fiery Greatsword!
It excels in mid-range combat, and also can be used for devistating damage against "walled" foes, as the third skill will whirlwind attack constantly when aimed at an object for very high damage.
Love Thy Neighbor: Rangers and Mesmers
Rangers and Mesmers have a peculiar balance mechanic in that their main weapon's auto-attacks and skills deal lower base damage and scale worse with power and crit-damage than other professions' skills.
This is due to the fact that they both can have additional, constant damage from their Animal Companions and Phantasms, so if they dealt similar damage with their normal skills, they would vastly out damage other professions.
So the idea is simple: Give them the strongest melee weapon in the game and watch their damage soar!
Ill post some quick damage numbers for my ranger and mesmer, using same build, comparing their highest damage weapons with the Lightning Hammer:
Ranger: damage listed on Hammer's tooltip was 821 x2, with third hit being 1,343, actual crits were 2,4k x2, followed by 4k crits for the third.
Greatsword- damage on tooltip = 466x2, then 551, about 3 seconds to cycle (god is this not terrible i dont know what is!) Normal crits were 1.2k to 1.3k on first two hits, 1.5k on third.
Mesmer: similar damage numbers as ranger, slightly lower due to current build being sub optimal
Sword- damage on tooltip = 468x2 then 779, takes about 2 seconds or more per cycle. Normal crits were 1.1k to 1.2k on first two hits, 1.8k on third.
As you can see, mesmers get a rather good boost, but Rangers get an astronomically good boost to their damage. As a fun aside, the ranger sword's second skill, their "bursty" skill, deals barely more damage than the first two hits of the lightning hammer, and much less than the third hit.
So train your rangers and mesmers to love the lightning hammer and enjoy their damage. The Fiery Greatsword also deals vastly more damage than their ranged options as well, and still likely more than their melee too.
Loaded on Power, Moderate Crit Chance, Huge Crit Damage, Moderate Condition duration
While wielding Lightning Hammer and eating Butternut curry and Master Maintenance Oil:
Attack = 3,200
Crit chance / Damage = 56% / 99% (also calculating in Lightning hammer and Sign. of Fire)
Defense = 2,294
Health = 12,741
25% Condition Duration (useful for chill stacking)
100 Condition Damage
200 Healing Power
0 Boon Duration / Attunement Cooldown (unneeded, you never swap out of water unless doing staff CC combos)
Fire: 25 points - taking Ember's Might and Conjuror, the most important trait!
Air: 20 points - Bolt to the Heart (6.66% damage averaged, still better than Bleed option in Earth, and crit chance and damage further increase this). Extra 5 points for increase crit chance and damage, wont be using the 15 Minor at all normally. Second trait is totally optional, extra movement speed while running about in air is nifty, as is the healing power bonus.
Water: 25 points - most important element outside of Fire, take Piercing Shards and Vital Striking. 10% damage when hp >90% stacks wonderfully with Scholar runes, and Piercing Shards is what brings our damage to such great heights! EDITED: the 25 point lesser trait is actually absolutely amazing with the rest of this build, giving you between 2% to 18% more damage depending on the number of unique boons on you! since we regularly have 3 or more boons, it wins out over Stone Splinters.
Weapon: Berserker Staff with Sup. Sigil of Force! No need to use the others, staff is the best fall back while Lightning Hammer is down, although Dagger/Dagger wouldn't be a terrible option either.
This part of the build is totally malleable. (not 100% dead certain that runes apply to conjured weapons, if not, get a Bloodlust or Precision stacking weapon, try to land killing blows with them in between Lightning Hammers)
Armor: Full exotic Berserker's on all 6 pieces, slotted with Sup. Scholar Runes (drop that money folks, worth every gold),
Accessories: Full exotic Cavalier's on all 6 pieces, slotted with Ruby Orbs. You *could* go full berserker, and you *would* eek out some more damage, but this ensures that your healing power and toughness from your traits are supplemented with enough toughness to shrug off the minor hits with your self sustaining health recovery.
Think of it like this: Is that extra crit chance going to off-set staying at 20% damage bonus for being over 90% health more often? Totally depends on the encounters and player skill. Its a toss up in my opinion, but I like a bit of toughness.
Consumables: You have the power, what you need is crit chance and damage. Get Master Maintences Oil and Bowl of Curried Butternut Squish Soup for maximum crit. Our increased Vitality and Toughness help give a bit more here as well, so its actually quite a good synergy.
The Damage Amplification
Department of Corrections: Actually, damage sources are likely multiplicative, so in an ideal situation you are looking at over 70% damage normally, and over 100% when foe is <33% health.
"+76.49% when bolt to the heart is NOT adding damage... 111.79% when it is." - AzureRogue
Check the math folks:
Vital Striking + 6th Rune of Scholar = 20% damage when YOUR health is above 90%.
Piercing Shards = 20% damage when the FOE is Vulnerable.
Burning Rage + Ember's Might = 10% damage when the FOE is Burning.
Stone Splinters = 5% damage when within 50 units of foe (melee range)
Sup. Sig. of Force = 5% damage always.
All of these can be available immediately at the start of a fight with an average team, totaling to:
60% Damage increase at virtually all times, if team is assisting in maintaining burning and vulnerability, and 40% for the brief times you fall bellow 90% (considering built in build regen + outside sources + built in toughness, not going to be an issue for skilled players)
And the coup de' grace toward the end of a fight:
Bolt to the Heart = 20% damage when the FOE is bellow 33% health (6.6% averaged)
Totaling to 80% damage bonus in ideal circumstances.
We are talking like 8.5k Crits on an auto attack third hit on a low health foe, WITHOUT might or significant vulnerability. Think about it in a 25 Vulnerability, 25 Might, low health boss situation, with Warrior Banners and Ranger Spirits? Madness.
318 heal per second, roughly.
96 health recovered per tic for you and allies, always on, from Water Attunement Passive.
222 health per ability use, which is fairly frequent with Lightning Hammer, from Signet of Restoration.
Even without healing power outside of your traits, this is a viciously effective sustain build considering your reasonably low Vitality of 13.7k, but your radically decent toughness. Together they make sustaining damage not much of an issue, and keep your 20% damage bonus for being over 90% a reasonable en devour.
Once your lightning hammer eventually runs dry, you also have the healing from Water Blast, Geyser, and Regeneration from Healing Rain to continue keeping you and your group healthy during the pause for the Lightning Hammer recharge (assuming you don't have the second one still available)
So, Ranger and Mesmer, you want real damage weapon like the other kids? Here ya' go, champ! Blast Finishers and Blinds gallor!
You can give professions who traditionally have "weaker" weapons one of the strongest, most team-useful weapons in the game. Smile as you transform Rangers and Mesmers into damage behemoths by giving them Lightning Hammer, and officially break their rule of "crappy weapons to compensate for their Pets / Phantasms" clause, allowing their minions to bring in the pain like normal while they get to do normal profession dps!
Blinding Blast Finishers constantly from two people make melee against non-defiant mobs a much more reasonable prospect, and anyone supplying a fire field in this situation would yield a very, VERY rapid 25 might stacks for the group. A support Ranger running Fire Trap + Torch, with a Warhorn to swap to for easy 100% Fury, would be absolutely devastating to add into this combo.
Lightning hammer's Blind and Static Field, and Knock-back, provide a very nice amount of melee range control that almost rivals the Guardian, but you ideally want to melee-swing away and not use them unless needed, but the fact that they are so readily available is a huge plus.
... AND you still have a staff! If going gets tough, you can still control reasonably well, though the lack of AoE radius will hurt. Eventually if a fight goes on long enough you will be out of Lightning Hammer charges, particularly if an aforementioned ally like a Ranger or Mesmer needs to use the spar. This is where sitting in water attunement spamming Water Blast + Geyser + Healing Rain + Ice Spike will help your team during the brief down time.
Stacking Vulnerability, Chill, and healing will certainly help make up for your pause. Your third utility is TOTALLY open for any skill for your situation, and honestly Fire Signet isn't required either for everything, so if needed you can swap out more control skills. Elemental Glyph of Power is a great utility for simply applying more Chill, our most useful non-damage condition.
I woke up earlier this evening after reading a post before I went to sleep, and I've always been interested in stacking damage amplification, which is how this guide was born!
I have not been able to extensively test this guide in dungeon groups yet, but I honestly do believe that with the right external support, nothing else in the entire game will deal as much damage over a fight, period.
Ideally, for this build to be the highest damage in the game, all it requires is your allies to maintain at least 1 stack of vulnerability, burning on the foe, while providing your 25 might stacks and fury. This SOUNDS like a heavy order, until you realize that several professions stack vulnerability on their auto-attacks, burning is highly common, and warriors / rangers are amazing Fury givers. AND you are supplying the Blast finishers, so if others supply a modest amount of Fire Fields, you are set.
Please test it out (with greens / yellows if you cant afford the full combination for gear) and let me know what you guys think!
Someone else did the math, ignoring self-might stacking, a Warrior's Axe is their highest damage per second option, while the Elementalist's Hammer does ever-so-slightly more damage in a given time frame. Couple that with all the damage multipliers from the Ele's traits, and they should pull out even further ahead in even a semi-coordinated group environment!
Posted Minami Kaori on 14 February 2013 - 10:49 PM
1.) The skins/looks are NOT worth the time.
None of the Legendaries look... well... legendary enough to justify the amount of grind, suffering, and frustration that goes into making one. The RNG hates me already as it is, there is NO way I'll attempt to get a precursor on purpose.
Buy it on TP? Pff... I barely have any gold in my bank, not gonna let the simple joys of "window shopping" go, because I need to save every copper.
2.) Legendaries are being sold on the TP.
Seriously, Anet? I thought your philosophy was "great personal achievement" to get a Legendary.
I lost all I had towards Legendaries when I saw them show up on the TP.
3.) They are soulbound on use.
While I consider my Necro my main, I have one character for every profession, and I am actively playing them. If I ever made let's say Bifrost for my Necro, then decided I want to play my Mesmer or Guardian for the next few months, I'll have the feeling of utter waste of time on Bifrost. I won't even see it for months then.
I have several more problems with Legendaries, but these 3 are the most prevalent ones, the ones I feel really strongly about.
Things that WOULD make me try for a Legendary:
1.) Precursors obtainable through skilled gameplay, completing tasks and an all-area-spanning epic quest chain. THEN I'd REALLY feel like it's my personal achievement.
2.) The requirements for some of the components to be changed. I hate grinding with a passion, I find it mind-numbingly boring to do the same thing over and over and over, even with good company. Especially with the infamous DR in place. *shiver*
3.) Legendary weapons to be account bound, and same with obtained precursors (from the epic quest chain), upon acquire. NOT soulbound upon equip.
That's all I can think of now.
Posted Trei on 07 February 2013 - 02:01 AM
Posted Rod Adams on 22 March 2013 - 07:55 PM
However, with those stats, you can increase your kills per hour, and thus drops per hour. I've not seen any hard data on the topic, but I suspect the higher drop rate outweighs the slightly higher quality drops.
The types of places where you'd actually want the stats for better performance (Dungeons, Fractals, Mega Bosses), typically have the big rewards from end chests.
Thus, MF gear has little appeal to me.
I could see having a set of full MF Rares for open world zerging, and then a set of non-MF Exotics for other play though. But that sounds like more trouble than it's worth.
Posted Omedon on 10 March 2013 - 05:47 AM
That's a big part of it.
Why do you feel dungeon group content is not for you?
It's a lot of "MMO culture" habit and training, but I'm just too strongly part of the oldschool "don't impose on your neighbor" mindset, and there's no way to avoid imposition in a trinity-less, skill based dungeon model, particularly PUGing, so I stay out.
While I appreciate the upbeat and positive sentiment, I'm also a huge believer that buying an MMO doesn't buy you the time of the community, and we are each individually responsible for getting what we will out of the experience, our neighbors not being responsible to validate our purchase. It's actually a huge part of why I love GW2... except in this one instance, (pardon the pun) where it fails. But again, I appreciate the thought.
Posted Omedon on 10 March 2013 - 04:07 AM
I respect the GW2 5-man ethic, just look at my post history. I'm the most adamant non-dungeon runner who thinks dungeons in THIS game should stay as they are, no trinity, no automatic dungeon finder.
And that same vehemence, which I maintain, locks me out of the end of my personal story. It feels like a mild betrayal that my stance is simultaneously "yay! Personal story for players to solo and enjoy on their own and not burden others with their learning-ness" and "yay challenging 5-mans, for established groups that will communicate to overcome challenges if they want to succeed!"
I was just wondering, how common is this "stuck at the dungeon" state? One of the few places where I don't support ArenaNet in their decisions is this mixing of solo and group-mandatory content.
I was reminded of this issue today when I saw a screenshot posted by a member of my guild (and before you say "run the instance with the guild"... most of us have the same "GW2 dungeons are respectfully not for me/us" stance as I do) where his personal story was in the corner of the screen and, sure enough, paused at the dungeon point... where it will probably stay for good, just like mine. It makes me not even bother running the story on my other characters, and subsequently not even log on as much.
Am I alone in this problem? No I'm not looking for help, trust me, you don't want to run a dungeon with me hehe.
Posted El Duderino on 13 March 2013 - 12:39 AM
The reason is that I see a huge disconnect between three sets of player bases that ANet is trying to cater towards:
1. The Grinders - These people require ArenaNet to give them end game content hidden behind huge time based grind
2. The PvE Explorers - These people want end game gear fast and want to be left alone to explore the world and just ask that content is fun.
3. The PvP/WvW - These people want meaningful combat that has fun strategy and tactics
The problem is that every time ArenaNet tries to satisfy one crowd, they generally piss off the other. Not to mention the fact that they keep trying to cater towards The Grinders, which really pisses off #2 and #3 because they already have their end game content in PvP/WvW or PvE exploration.
There is no way to make these three factions happy - so I expect each one to find another game as new ones come out and slowly walk away from Guild Wars.
However, going back to my first statement, because of the F2P model, one can always come back to Guild Wars rather easily. Of course, this was more true before Arena Net introduced vertical gear progression for The Grinders - which may make the other two decide not to come back if they must go through the process of re-gearing up their characters again just to play.
And, yes, we all know we don't need the best gear in this game to be successful. Many of us want it though, and will leave this game for dead if we don't get it; because, it makes us happy.