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axjv

Member Since 12 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Dec 19 2012 05:10 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Theoretical Max Protection Uptime Build

16 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

A shield offhand, boon duration runes (2x Sup Water, 2x Sup Monk, 2x Maj Sanctuary), Shout cooldown trait (Save Yourselves and Hold the Line), Shield cooldown trait and 20 Virtues will get you over 100% protection uptime.

In Topic: After 100s of hours, my final Guardian Build

15 October 2012 - 05:07 PM

Your Guardian build is certainly very powerful. I run a similar build, with points into Valor, Honor and Virtues (0/0/10/30/30). Same general idea as yours, but less focused on boon application and more focused on boon duration. My role in a group is generally initiator/support, with decent damage.

Valor: Purity
Honor: Superior Aria, Writ of Exaltation, Writ of the Merciful
Virtues: Vengeful, Absolute Resolution, Shielded Mind

Utilities: Signet of Resolve, Hold the Line, Save Yourselves, Signet of Judgment, Renewed Focus
Gear: Half Cleric/Half Soldier's with 40% boon duration runes, and Sigils of Accuracy/Purity. GS + Mace/Shield as my main sets, carrying other weapons in my inventory for certain situations.

Generally, I find that reallocating points from Valor into Virtues gives me a considerable amount of survivability/utility, and helps me perform my role more efficiently. Although might on crit and AH are certainly very powerful, I find that Shielded Mind and Absolute Resolution are nearly necessary in tougher instances. While I don't take Pure of Voice (which is a great trait) or Soldier Runes, I find that Absolute Resolution + Purity + Signet of Resolve are more than enough for my condition removal needs. Having up to 3 stun breakers (SY, Courage, and Courage again after Renewed Focus) will enable you to eat up as much CC as possible, so that your group won't have to deal with it. Furthermore, Shielded Mind gives me a get-out-of-jail card: If I am being locked down and nearly guaranteed to die, I can pop all of my Virtues and cast Renewed Focus, breaking stuns, healing, and giving me access to another stun breaker/heal.

I am aware that relying on Symbols for group support is undesirable in that they are stationary, but I generally take advantage of 100% uptime on Vigor and heal my group using my dodge rolls. Since I make use of Symbols, heal on dodge, and the Shield skills, careful positioning is key for me. Hitting the maximum number of people with your buffs is what makes the difference between a decent and a great player.

With this setup, I can take on 4-5 elite (silver) mobs solo without a problem. I've also managed to solo AC as a self-challenge. Although this build may have slightly less damage output than yours, me and my party are nigh unkillable with boons that last ridiculously long along with multiple stun breakers, condition removals (virtue of resolve, purity, signet of resolve), self heals, group heals (symbols, dodge rolls, shield of absorption), and constant uptime on damage mitigation (protection + SoJ).

In Topic: How You Make a Build

07 October 2012 - 05:04 PM

Typically I will try and take full advantage of a particular aspect of the class mechanics. Usually I will pick my weaponsets first, then figure out traits, and finally finish the gear.

For example, the Thief can evade attacks + deal damage with no cooldown by spending initiative. Rolling with D/D + Shortbow fit my playstyle best, and Death Blossom is an amazing skill. So when I built my Thief, I focused on evades and initiative regeneration. Ended up getting full Carrion gear for extra survivability + good Malice.

My Mesmer, on the other hand, is able to mass-produce clones that don't really do much without traits. I really enjoyed the offensive power of the Greatsword and defensive utility of the Staff. Since GS clones spawn right on top of the enemy, I ended up traiting for on-clone-death effects, snaring and weakening mobs in an AoE while also increasing my damage potential. Going Power/Precision was viable because of the Mesmer's innate survivability.

As for Guardian, they have a lot going for them in the form of spammable party buffs and virtues. Depending on the situation, I would swap between a GS set and a Staff set. As such, I trait for additional effects on shouts and stronger Virtues. Stacking Healing Power/Toughness/Vitality in that order seemed to work best when playing a party-oriented Guardian.

Every time I build a character I try to pick traits and gear that will synergize with everything else in the build. For example, my Mesmer will gain vigor on crit, and creates clones on dodge. Vigor = more dodges = more clones. Since I have so many clones, I trait for increased damage per active clone. These clones will then explode when killed (killed also includes overwriting, so even if mobs don't attack clones they will still explode due to a ridiculous rate of clone generation) inflicting two conditions (Cripple and Bleeding/Weakness/Vulnerability), which will help me survive and improve the power of my attacks (especially Phantasmal Warlock). I also trait for an additional bounce on attacks, which synergizes with the Sigil of Fire that I run. Since I usually swap to Staff to kite when mobs are closing in on me, I run a Sigil of Hydromancy to freeze nearby foes on swap. Finally, I have all of the standard cooldown reduction traits that just make your weapons better.

That pretty much covers every single trait I have on my current build, and every part of my build has a purpose and synergy. I also try to include at least some party support in my utilities and weapon selection.

In Topic: Greatsword/Staff DPS + Utility Mesmer

04 October 2012 - 09:54 PM

View Postblindmouse, on 04 October 2012 - 02:16 AM, said:

Thanks for your detailed response. So if I were to use Sword/Focus and Staff, should I trait like your evasive mesmer build or put those 10 points of Domination into Inspiration for the reflect on focus skills for dungeon play? How about WvW?

It depends on what your team needs. Traiting into Domination and taking Mental Torment can give you a nice boost in damage. Swapping Mental Torment out of Crippling Dissipation will have a mix of both offensive power and defensive utility. Putting more points into Inspiration in order to buff up your Warden will help your team survive longer in certain situations.

For WvW, I would definitely try and pick up Warden's Feedback. The amount of damage the Warden can deal is borderline ridiculous when facing an oncoming zerg.

View PostJLignum, on 04 October 2012 - 02:31 PM, said:

Great thread, been looking for some advice on it. Also Axvj, you don't mind posting a link to your build, thank you for the description, but I would like to compare some builds and a link would be great. Again, ty all.

Yep, gw2skills.net is apparently down, so I ended up using guildhead.

View PostTorden, on 04 October 2012 - 02:49 PM, said:

axjv, this is a great thread. For future readers, could you edit the OP to include Deceptive Evasion as your second Major Dueling trait? Based on the description for your other choices, I'm confident that's what you meant and just edited it out by mistake.

Thanks for the correction. I've been running with Deception Evasion for so long that sometimes I forget I have it. :P

In Topic: Combo field : Ethereal with Sword / pistol - staff (mass confusion + chaos a...

04 October 2012 - 09:47 PM

Not really a big fan of Pistol in PvE, the damage output just seems to be lacking. As for the Projectile Finisher, the duelist shoots 8 rounds each with a 20% chance to cause confusion, every 7.6 seconds. This equates to an average of about 1 stack of Confusion every 5 seconds(1 every 4 seconds if traited).

Just considering the damage aspect, I find the damage caused by Confusion in PvE lacking. Mobs don't attack nearly as fast as players, and therefore they will take substantially less damage from Confusion.

Secondly, you're missing the fact that Mirror Blade is a 100% Projectile Finisher on a short cooldown, and you can essentially get 1 stack of Confusion every 8 seconds using a Greatsword (1 every 5 seconds if traited).

You're also not considering that many run Greatsword/Staff, which is very viable in both PvE and PvP. The Staff is hands-down the best defensive weapon that the Mesmer has available, and the Greatsword is one of the best offensive weapons.

As for other weaponsets, Sword MH requires you to get into melee, which is not ideal even though we have many ways to escape. With the sword, you might go in, pop off a Blurred Frenzy, and then be unable to stay in melee range (a common occurence in dungeons). If you have just swapped to your Sword set mid-battle, you effectively are useless until your other set is availble. You can summon a Warden if you have Focus offhand, but I find Warden unreliable in many situations (aka when the mobs move, at all). You can summon a Duelist and fire off a Magic Bullet with a Pistol offhand, but then you can't do much else.

Scepter is a ranged 1H option that the Mesmer has, but is currently very lackluster in terms of utility and damage potential.

On the other hand, with a Greatsword, you not only deal more damage at a distance, you have ways of keeping the mobs as far away from you as possible. Illusionary Wave, Phantasmal Berserker, and Phase Retreat are very powerful defensive skills that have a lot of synergy. I find the best finisher to use with Chaos Storm to be either Blast Finishers or Leap Finishers, because Chaos Armor is a very powerful effect. The Mesmer has no Blast Finishers, but has a low-cooldown Leap Finisher in Phase Retreat. More often than not, I will use Chaos Storm for the Chaos Armor rather than for the Confusion.

To put it simply, the PvE aspect of the game heavily favors ranged classes, especially so in dungeon play. Combine that with the fact that Mesmers have a middling health pool and light armor, and going into melee for more than a few seconds just seems suicidal. Even if you manage to get into melee range and deal damage, you are putting yourself at a high risk for what I believe is a small reward. The sword does deal good damage, and there are very strong abilities in the various offhands that the Mesmer has available, but for me, the Sword has become more of a situational weapon. If it is safe enough for you to deal damage at melee range, chances are your team doesn't really need that extra DPS.

The ranged options for the class are Staff, Greatsword and Scepter. Scepter isn't that great at the moment, so many people choose to run Greatsword/Staff when going for an offensively oriented Mesmer build. Defensively, running Staff + Sword/Focus is very viable, as the utility of the Staff combined with projectile blocking, invulnerability and a swiftness/positioning skill can control the battlefield very well. Staff + Sword/Pistol is a more PvP oriented offensive build. Since players, for the most part, will not 1-shot you, it is possible to immobilize someone and deal substantial damage using the Sword. The Duelist is great for 1 on 1 combat which is prevalent in sPvP and tPvP.