Playing High-end PvE effectively with just heroes, without the use of drugs, as Elementalist primaryGuild Wars is a dying game. Well over seven years old and with a sequel due next month, it is no wonder the player base is dwindling. As it gets harder and harder to put together a team of humans, players will likely be forced to adventure with heroes more often. In addition to convenience, there are actually many distinct advantages to using these AI-controlled bots. Heroes never get tired, nor do they ever ragequit. They follow orders, and they bring the skills you want them to. Counterbalancing this are two major disadvantages: heroes don’t talk, negating the social aspect of the game, and they are less effective than humans.
There’s nothing you can do about the first disadvantage, but you can definitely mitigate the second. Because it takes so long to find (good) human players these days, as long as you succeed, it is usually faster to do a quest with seven heroes (7H). As long as you succeed. This guide aims to help you succeed.
This is a guide to Elementalists using 7H. If applied, the techniques in this guide will allow an Elementalist to clear any area of the game in HM, without mercenaries and without consumables. I have done it. For any other profession, I can unfortunately offer no guarantees; however the techniques mentioned here should still be very useful to every caster class and possibly to Paragons.
The techniques described in this guide will allow you to clear any area of the game that can be 7H’ed in HM, but it still falls to you to decide which technique to use at which time – or if the area involves splitting, when to split and when to gather. All this comes with experience. Remember, practice makes perfect.
This guide assumes you have access to every skill in the game. If that is not the case for you ... I’m afraid I cannot help. For certain, the game gets harder the less skills you have available; some areas may even be impossible. However, I do not assume you have access to mercenaries. There’s no doubt that having mercenaries gives you an advantage, but that advantage is (usually – there are exceptions) not very big. Everything in the game is doable without mercenaries, so don’t feel like you have to buy them.
Changelog5 August 2010: guide posted
9 September 2010: changes to SoS Rit and Necro bars, extra note to the Mesmer bar.
20 September 2010: rewrote conclusion, added Sacractus Ignis to credits (how could I forget you?).
14 October 2010: changed spec in SoS Rit bar.
23 November 2010: BLA was nerfed; rewrote relevant sections.
11 March 2011: quick note post 7-hero update. Lots to discover!
3 June 2011: full update. Still a few more things here and there to test, especially ST Rits with Restoration heals, SF Eles, Blood Necros, other semi-healers over the UA Monk. What a workload ...
6 December 2011: updating hero builds.
11 August 2011: the last major update, probably. There are still a few things to test, but I don't know if I'll ever get to it.
10 November 2015: I'm going to update this guide again, because looking at it with the benefit of four years of hindsight it had some serious flaws. Adding new bars, expanding sections, adding new ones, removing old bars, etc. This now covers everything I can think of right now, and should stay up to date till the end of Guild Wars.
11 November 2015: Forgot this. Adding some text on what to do in 4-, 6-, 12- and 16-man zones.
Your buildIn a 7H team the player should always build for damage. He has access to PvE skills after all, and PvE skills are extremely powerful damage-wise. Warriors for example would be a lot weaker without Whirlwind Attack or Asuran Scan, and Elementalists would be quite useless if they didn’t have PvE skills + Assassin’s Promise (AP). To be sure, compared to other players (especially buffed physicals) AP callers are still weak as damage dealers, but compared to 7H they’re awesome. Against the hardest areas you might still want to run defensive builds (ER Infuse, or SF with “They’re On Fire!” Paragons), but AP is always a strong choice.
Therefore I recommend you use this build:
16 Air Magic
12 Deadly Arts
4 Energy Storage
“You Move Like A Dwarf!” | “Finish Him!” | Chain Lightning | Lightning Hammer | Glyph of Lesser Energy | Air Attunement | Assassin’s Promise | Ebon Vanguard Assassin Support
You may recognize this build from my guide to Elementalists. I’ve not found any build nearly as effective as this one, and so I continue to recommend it. Unless you can regularly hit more than about 4 foes at once, it has no equals. The only times you shouldn’t use this are when you are facing foes weak to Fire (snowmen, plants), when you are against single targets that don’t die quickly (Imperial Sanctum, Rotscale) and / or you can hit many foes at once (16-man zones, areas with very large mobs). In these cases you might want to consider using Fire or Earth. However, such situations are uncommon, and even when it is the case AP Air is still often the best option. I can safely say that I run this build unaltered almost all the time. For more details on how to play this build, look at my Elementalist guide.
If you absolutely need to drop a skill for another (e.g. Celestial Storm, Vial of Holy Water), drop Air Attunement. If you absolutely need to drop a PvE skill for another (e.g. Signet of Capture), drop "Finish Him!".
Variants - Lightning Orb instead of Lightning Hammer. There is less stress on your energy pool, which makes you a little more resilient to enchantment removal and interrupts. In return, you lose the cracked armor and the ability to hit through walls with a 100% hit spell. I tend to prefer Lightning Hammer except against areas I know will have heavy interrupts or enchantment removal. The other more substantial variants are in the Elementalist guide.
What you are looking for in a teambuildThere’s a lot to look for in a teambuild. Here’s a list:
1. Enough defense to stay alive. You need bar push + condition / hex removal on two heroes, because otherwise if the only healer gets Dazed / KD'ed / Migrained etc, you are in trouble
2. At least two hard resses (three preferable), at least one of which should not be Death Pact Signet
3. Some hex, condition and enchantment removal
4. AoE and single-target damage both
5. Micro’able Prot Spirit (or Shelter) on a hero with the energy to use it. Important – there are some areas which are difficult to impossible to do without this
6. Double or preferably triple “Fall Back!”. A luxury, but nice to have regardless
7. Interrupts and shutdown (caster shutdown > physical shutdown here)
8. If using physical damage, physical support is good (Mark of Pain, Barbs, Orders, etc)
9. Strong spike damage to kill AP’ed targets
10. Other niceties (Blood Ritual / BiP, more hexes to draw hex removal and cover AP, Cracked Armour support, “Stand Your Ground!”, etc)
You want to include as many of these as possible when picking your heroes. With seven heroes, most of the game is now easily doable, but there remain difficult areas which will tax any teambuild. Against these areas you will have to be more selective, giving up on luxuries and concentrating on staying alive. Still, with most areas you can happily deck your team out with mass offense and not worry about staying alive.
The post-nerf conundrum of Invoke ElesThis concerns point #9 of the above ten criteria.
Many years ago ANet buffed Invoke Lightning. The skill went from 2s cast to 1s, and from 15s cooldown to 8s. With that buff Air Magic finally had a good damage elite. Thanks to armour penetration as well as the fact that Air damage is seldom heavily resisted, Invoke heroes rose all the way to the top, ranking as some of the most effective heroes to use for #9. The fact that they could easily output AoE damage as well as single-target damage (#4) and still bring “Fall Back!” (#6) was icing on the cake.
However, after Invoke Lightning proved too strong in PvP, ANet decided to nerf the skill without splitting it for PvE. Now each cast of Invoke Lightning causes 5 points worth of overcast. Chain Lightning, the non-elite version of Invoke, also took an overcast hit. The result is that the original Invoke template is no longer viable; even with only one of the two AoE Air spells the hero burns his energy out.
With Air Magic down, the search for a replacement started. The big Elementalist update (one of the last major ones in Guild Wars) provided a lot of options. The best replacement turned out to be Fire, newly made stronger thanks to the HM armour change. Fire doesn’t have a good offensive elite, but Elemental Attunement’s buff coupled with Fire’s strong non-elite spells made the template viable. There’s only one problem: plenty of monsters out there are seriously resistant to Fire Magic. People made Cold-based Invoke replacements, but that still doesn’t help – there are also plenty of monsters out there seriously resistant to cold damage. Winter works ... a bit ... but then it brought with it a ton of problems, including its long cast time, its long cooldown, its immobility, its vulnerability, and more. Mixing the two doesn’t work either. There are areas (Raven’s Point comes to mind) where you face monsters that resist Fire and Cold. And finally physical replacements (Paragons and Rangers) are handicapped by their lack of AoE damage, their line-of-sight dependence, their shorter range (for Paragons) and the difficulty of bringing “Fall Back!” (for Rangers).
In the end what really changed is that you need to pick and manage your heroes for each area. The days when you could just use Invoke for everything are over. Often, you’ll be able to use EA Fire Eles. However, there are areas where you can’t rely on them and you need the Cold-based replacements, and areas where you have to ditch both and rely on armour-ignoring damage, HM armour change or not be damned. It’s your call.
For new players looking for an easy way out (this guide is rather advanced though), the easiest way out is to just use armour-ignoring damage all the way. It’s not the best option most of the time, but it works.
Your heroes and their builds
In this section I give the status of every profession in the game for Ele 7H purposes, and suggest builds for some of them. Classes are arranged in alphabetical order.
The AI is best at ranged professions and worst at melee. This is why so many teams are mass casters. This tendency is reflected in the builds given below – I don’t have any Warrior or Sin or (melee) Dervish build to recommend. This does not mean they’re bad professions. It just means the AI cannot play them well. If the AI knew how to play Warrior, the teambuild would change massively to accomodate them.
You want to avoid purely defensive builds in your team, because the hero contributes nothing to damage when you're not taking pressure. You'll often not be taking pressure if you play right, and watching the hero just stand there and wand is depressing.
The builds below are not set in stone and it is certainly possible they might be improved somewhere, although probably not by a lot. If you have any ideas, or if you find something that works better for you, do post them and I’ll give them a try. Pick your heroes to satisfy the 10 criteria listed above.
Assassins are bad. Melee builds have all the problems mentioned with the AI and are unviable. One could conceivably put together an A/R build based on bows or something, using Critical Strikes to compensate for not having 16 in the weapon attribute, but hero Assassins get no good IAS skill (player Assasins get Critical Agility, which is really good). Don't use Assassin heroes.
Dervishes are also bad. Melee builds are not workable, and the rest of their skills aren't very good. At one point players tried an Avatar of Dwayna build based on spamming enchantments for party healing, but it's a purely defensive build and it's outclassed by the UA Smiter. Dervish heroes could conceivably be useful for melee players, when they can maintain enchantments and / or provide Orders OK, but not for Elementalists. Don't use them.
An important class. In 8-man zones, if you're not expecting to face foes with extreme armor vs. Fire (such as Destroyers), you will usually use at least one Elementalist hero.
16 Fire Magic
10 Energy Storage
Fireball | Glowing Gaze | Rodgort's Invocation | Liquid Flame| Immolate | Fire Attunement | Elemental Attunement | “Fall Back!”
The Fire Invoke replacement, it brings strong sustainable single target and AoE damage largely unaffected by line of sight, the ability to chain “Fall Back!” and spike damage to trigger AP with. Very powerful; the only real weakness is that there are mobs out there with massive armour vs. Fire. If not facing these mobs though I suggest at least one of these Elementalists.
Variants: there's not much to change. You could fit in some DoTAoE (replace Immolate), but they are not really effective. You could also use Glyph of Lesser Energy instead of Glowing Gaze, which would protect a bit against enchantment removal as well, but it's a little overkill in terms of energy. You could use Incendiary Bonds instead of Immolate; the hero's energy will drop precipitously, but he never actually overcasts himself to zero energy. However, you lose some damage on demand. You could also replace Immolate with a defensive Paragon should like "No Surrender!" or "Stand Your Ground!", but you lose a bit of damage.
16 Fire Magic
13 Energy Storage
Searing Flames | Liquid Flame | Fireball | Rodgort's Invocation | Aura of Restoration | Fire Attunement | Arcane Mimicry | Glyph of Immolation
You need to run an Elemental Attunement Fire Ele (template given above) to make this work. The hero will use Arcane Mimicry on Elemental Attunement, and then keep it up almost indefinitely to cast Searing Flames with infinite energy. You can't run more than one of these heroes unless you are willing to micro hard though - they end up copying each others' Searing Flames.
The E/Me Mimicry Elementalist is the highest-damage midline bar after the Ritualists and MM. Extremely powerful. You will immediately notice the difference in damage output if you repeat a run changing only an Elemental Attunement Fire Ele (above) to this. But as powerful as this build is, it has weaknesses. It doesn't do anything other than damage - it doesn't even bring "Fall Back!" - and you have to run an Elemental Attunement Fire Ele as well. With the Ritualists and MM even more powerful than this build, that locks five of your seven hero slots.
Equipment with +20% enchantment duration is necessary on this hero.
Variants: you could drop one of the lower-damage spells such as Fireball for Cry of Frustration (up Domination Magic to 3). The interrupt is nice if you want to skimp on Mesmers.
Mesmers are excellent heroes, although a little further back on the tier list compared to Ritualists and the MM. You will usually want at least one Dom Mesmer. Two Dom Mesmers is also possible, but three Dom Mesmers is overdoing it.
16 Domination Magic
10 Fast Casting
10 Inspiration Magic
Energy Surge| Mistrust | Cry of Frustration| Unnatural Signet | Leech Signet | Power Drain | Shatter Hex| Shatter Enchantment
Mesmer heroes are top tier and rightfully so. Damage, removal and most importantly caster shutdown all fit together to make both surviving and killing easier. This is the best general-purpose hero to use for armour-ignoring damage.
Variants: there’re lots of options. Panic can replace Energy Surge; you get less damage but more caster shutdown as well as more hexes (covering AP). This is best when you need the defense and only have one Mesmer; do not use more than one Panic Mesmer. There’re also lots of useable skills in Domination Magic, including Overload, Shatter Delusions (with Panic), and Spiritual Pain. You can get hex and enchantment removal on Mesmers, which lets you get by without using a UA Smiter. Use whatever you need, and feel free to use different energy management skills as well, such as Drain Enchantment and Waste Not Want Not.
If you have no space on other characters, this hero can also hold a hard res (he gets Fast Casting on them). If you can't fit in a third copy of "Fall Back!" elsewhere, you can also do it here: drop one of the two Shatters (which to drop depends on what else you have in your party, e.g. if you have the UA Smiter, drop Shatter Hex, while if you’re using Rend Enchantments on the MM, you can drop Shatter Enchantment), drop one point each from Fast Casting and Inspiration Magic, and up Command to 7. A 7-spec "Fall Back!" isn't as good as a 9-spec "Fall Back!" of course, but as the third copy you can use it to cover the downtime from the other two "Fall Back!".
16 Illusion Magic
10 Fast Casting
10 Inspiration Magic
Ineptitude | Clumsiness | Wandering Eye | Arcane Conundrum | Power Drain | Waste Not Want Not | Accumulated Pain| Signet of Clumsiness
This hero is excellent against physical damage and mediocre against everything else. I don’t recommend him for general play, but there are specific areas where he more than earns a spot on the team. Standalone, the only outstanding thing he has is the ranged Deep Wound spell, Accumulated Pain.
Use this hero only if you expect to face large mobs with physical damage; a few monsters in a mob aren’t enough to warrant using him. Off the top of my head, the only area in the game when this hero is good is DoA HM.
Variants: as always alternative energy management is possible – Leech Signet for Power Drain, for example. Beyond that, Illusion Magic is really barren, so there aren’t many options. You can try Fragility for a bit of damage as well as fuel Shatter Delusions on the Dom Mesmer, or Frustration for more caster shutdown, or perhaps you can slot a hard res here instead.
Monks are decent. Not good, but not terrible either. There are three outstanding Monk skills: Protective Spirit, Aegis, and Unyielding Aura. The first two are better carried by a Necromancer (who has infinite energy courtesy of Soul Reaping; the skills don't require high Protection Prayers either), but the last is unique to Monks.
14 Smiting Prayers
10 Divine Favour
Unyielding Aura | Reversal of Damage | Smite Condition | Smite Hex | Smiter’s Boon | Heaven’s Delight | "Fall Back!" | Castigation Signet
This hero does not deal much damage, but he provides fairly solid bar push as well as some removal + "Fall Back!". Also, as long as he’s alive you won’t stay dead for long – Unyielding Aura is that powerful a hard res. You might want to stack multiple copies of this hero if you are expecting to face lots of undead (undead leave no bodies and take extra damage from Holy), or if you need more healing in the party.
Variants: if the extra ressing isn’t needed, swap out Unyielding Aura for Ray of Judgment. The power loss is substantial however - UA is that good - so consider other options. You might be able to use a N/Rt healer instead and slot more hex removal on a Mesmer for example. If you don’t need the "Fall Back!", replace it with Divine Healing (raise Divine Favour to 13), Glyph of Lesser Energy (not that effective with all 5e spells, but usable), or Weaken Armour (which is usable even at 3 Curses). If not facing conditions or hexes, feel free to drop Smite Condition or Smite Hex for more damage (Spear of Light, Holy Wrath, etc). An alternative way to manage energy is to go /Me and use Waste Not Want Not, Power Drain and so on. You get better energy management in return for weaker heals from Smiter’s Boon. Choose whichever you prefer.
13 Divine Favour
11 Domination Magic
8 Inspiration Magic
Unyielding Aura | Divine Healing | Heaven's Delight | Hex Eater Signet | Shatter Enchantment | Cry of Frustration | Waste Not, Want Not | Unnatural Signet
This is a similar, yet different, hero to UA Smiter, and it was a toss up whether or not to put this as a variant of the UA Smiter. I finally decided to have it standalone.
This is not an easy hero to use. It came about from my attempts to continuously run fewer and fewer defensive skills, and really is only for those people who like to live on the edge. It combines some of the best Mesmer skills with the best of the UA Smiter, the party healing and the hard res (from my trials just having UA without the heals is not good enough). It allows you to skimp on having two Dom Mesmers in your team and still have hex + enchant removal and interrupts. However, you will lose a considerable amount of defense, and you can expect to take a few deaths even for relatively simple HM dungeons. It's just that you res quickly, don't take enough deaths to allow DP to stack up, and you get to squeeze more damage out of your team.
Variants: As with the Dom Mesmers you can choose alternative energy management or offensive skills as you prefer. Just be careful that since the Monk does not get Fast Casting, spells like Drain Enchantment and Mistrust are out of reach.
The only class that can compete with Ritualist, Necromancers are extremely versatile, and very effective. There's a reason why the first common H/H builds were based around multiple Necromancers.
16 Death Magic
10 Soul Reaping
9 Protection Prayers
Aura of the Lich | Death Nova | Blood of the Master | Animate Bone Minions | Protective Spirit | Aegis | Masochism | Putrid Bile
This hero is indispensable in any area where there are bodies. As long as minions are up you will notice enemies die a lot faster while your own red bars barely drop. He carries vital prots in Prot Spirit and Aegis as well. Truly a vital hero. You will want him as long as there are bodies.
Variants: the most disposable skill is Putrid Bile. Possible substitutes include Dwayna’s Sorrow (spec 7 into Healing Prayers, dropping a point each from Soul Reaping and Protection Prayers), Rend Enchantments and Dark Bond. Rend Enchantments is very useful against strong prots like Spirit Bond and Shield of Absorption, but those aren't very common, can be muscled past with brute damage and may be removed by other anti-enchants on your heroes. Still missing an AP because you don't have Rend Enchantments is rather frustrating ... if you use Rend Enchantments, be sure to disable and micro it. Any further changes depend on how naked you feel without Protective Spirit and Aegis. It is my opinion that you can go without Aegis, but not having Prot Spirit is suicidal against the harder areas. Going the other way, if you want more prots, Shield of Absorption can also replace Putrid Bile.
15 Soul Reaping
14 Death Magic
Icy Veins | Deathly Chill | Deathly Swarm | Putrid Bile | "Fall Back!" | Masochism | Angorodon's Gaze | Fetid Ground
The monsters that have big armour vs. Fire tend to have low armour vs. Cold. With Water Magic still weak, the next best option is Necro Cold damage. This is the result.
Variants: I really don't know about this bar; I've tried all sorts of variants and could never detect much of a difference. There aren't many good direct damage skills in Death Magic and Soul Reaping, unfortunately; certainly Angorodon's Gaze isn't there for the energy management but for the damage. Fetid Ground, while synergizing somewhat with "You Move Like A Dwarf!", is still flat out a bad skill. You could go up to dual Superiors, but on a squishy character like a Necro you risk taking deaths and stacking DP. You could use a Res Sig instead of Angorodon's or Fetid Ground. You could use more Paragon shouts ("Stand Your Ground!" especially, or "Never Surrender!"; you probably want Signet of Lost Souls to cope with the energy costs though). You could go full out into Death Magic and use Discord, together with a few more hexes to trigger the condition. The basic concept is there; the variants are for you to experiment with.
16 Soul Reaping
12 Restoration Magic
Icy Veins | Angorodon's Gaze | Weaken Armor | Signet of Lost Souls | Protective was Kaolai | Spirit Light | Mend Body and Soul | Flesh of my Flesh
Quite a common build, and a good one. This is primarily a bar push hero, and its main competitor is the UA Monk. The UA Monk is better at ressing, and has hex removal + "Fall Back!". The N/Rt has better bar push and Weaken Armor support. Choose whichever you prefer.
Variants: This is a very well-known build and there are a legion variants out there. Soul Reaping is fairly bad at damage, so you could drop some Soul Reaping and / or Restoration Magic to invest into a different attribute line. Blood Magic for example offers Ravenous Gaze / Blood is Power and Strip Enchament; Curses could bring you Pain of Disenchantment and a better Weaken Armor; Death Magic brings you Discord, Putrid Bile, and Animate Shambling Horror. The downside is you lose healing output. Feel free to experiment, and choose whatever you prefer.
Paragons are rather bad. As physical damage dealers, they're outdone by Rangers; as semi-bar push heroes, they're outdone by UA Smiters and N/Rt healers; as generic midline damage, they're outdone by Elementalists, Mesmers and Necromancers. They don't hit from full caster range like the other caster professions, which can lead to some positioning problems, and that they require line of sight to deal damage. Still they are very usable. If you’re using Paragons, make sure to stack up on their most sellable assets: “Fall Back!”, “Stand Your Ground!” and the ranged Deep Wound source “Find Their Weaknesses!”.
Note that Paragons are physical damage dealers, which means that things like Blind, Lightning Reflexes and Reckless Haste that do not trouble an all-caster team much must now be taken into account. You may need to adapt the rest of your build accordingly.
16 Spear Mastery
Soldier’s Fury | “Fall Back!” | Disrupting Throw | Spear of Lightning | Blazing Spear | “Go For The Eyes!” | “Find Their Weaknesses!” | “Stand Your Ground!”
A simple midline damage build. You might want to have Splinter Weapon on the SoS Rit if using this hero.
Variants: “They’re on Fire!” can be used to provide party-wide damage reduction. If using this, make sure to have Searing Flames somewhere in the party. It’s actually possible for the Paragon himself to use Searing Flames, but that build is very niche so I’ve not included it. Feel free to use whichever spear attacks that catch your fancy; they’re all quite similar. If you need it, this hero can also bring Signet of Return for the hard res. Another possibility is to take a page out of GvG Paragon builds and use Cry of Frustration for the AoE interrupt; Paragons usually have enough energy to use it. If you're feeling brave you can also stack up on the Major and Superior runes (I know I ran dual Superiors once and got away with it in UW HM) to hit the 14-Command breakpoint for 10s "Fall Back!".
The king of single-target artillery damage. With Rangers around, killing an AP'ed target is generally easy. They can hit from beyond cast range if the terrain favours you, but if the terrain does not they get a fair bit weaker. They are reliant on line of sight and don't do anything other than damage as well, leaving them rather niche.
Note that Rangers, like Paragons, are physical damage dealers. You may need to adapt the rest of your build accordingly to deal with physical hate.
Expert’s Dexterity | Sundering Attack | Penetrating Attack | Expert Focus | ”Go For The Eyes!” | Signet of Return | Distracting Shot | Keen Arrow
Use Zealous mods on this hero. You also need 14 Expertise to hit the breakpoints on energy reduction or your 10e attack skills. That means using a Superior + a Major; so be it. Again, you might want to have Splinter Weapon on the SoS Rit if using this hero.
Variants: You can consider Read The Wind over Expert Focus, but it causes energy problems. I haven’t found any solution to the energy problem; you might have to use Blood Is Power / Blood Ritual on another hero. Otherwise, the hero doesn’t need many attack skills to be effective, so you can slot in random-but-still-useful skills like “Go For The Eyes!”, Signet of Return and Comfort Animal.
The king of all hero classes. You will want at least two Ritualists in your team literally all the time, and three is possible too.
16 Channeling Magic
13 Restoration Magic
4 Spawning Power
Signet of Spirits | Bloodsong | Ancestor’s Rage | Painful Bond | Spirit Light | Mend Body And Soul | Spirit Siphon | Protective Was Kaolai
This hero deals big damage, absorbs big damage, provides party healing and carries auxiliary skills. As an option he is unmatched; for Elementalists this is the single best hero in the game. You will want this hero in your party literally all the time.
Variants: Ancestor’s Rage, Painful Bond and to a lesser extent Mend Body And Soul are all droppable. Other options in Channeling include Splinter Weapon (especially if you have Paragons / Rangers in the team), Essence Strike or Gaze from Beyond, Lamentation, and Gaze of Fury. A surprisingly large number of mobs have spirits, against which Gaze of Fury can not only disable a spirit, it can make a monster spend another 3+ seconds recasting that spirit. However, it is not always useful. Final call is up to you.
10 Channeling Magic
3 Spawning Power
Signet of Ghostly Might | Pain | Spirit Siphon | Shadowsong | Disenchantment | "Fall Back!" | Anguish | Death Pact Signet
This hero also deals big damage, absorbs big damage, provides one copy of "Fall Back!" and carries the second best hard res in the game (the best is Unyielding Aura). He is slightly weaker than the SoS Rit above, but still light years ahead of every other option except the AotL MM above. Like the SoS RIt, you will want this hero in your party literally all the time.
Variants: Armour of Unfeeling for Death Pact Signet if the hard res is not needed. It is also possible to use 13 Spawning Power instead of Channeling Magic, and replace Spirit Siphon with Boon of Creation. This makes the hero more vulnerable to enchantment removal, but provides more reliable energy management. If going this path, you can't run "Fall Back!", so you can replace it with Dissonance or Earthbind (works with your "You Move Like a Dwarf!" to KD foes normally immune to KDs). If you don't need "Fall Back!" on this hero, you can also replace "Fall Back!" with Gaze of Fury, or a Channeling skill like Ancestor’s Rage. Finally, Anthem of Envy can be used to buff the damage output on your spirits, but it's an adrenaline skill so will not be usable often; by the time it's charged many monsters might even be dead. It's your call.
12 Spawning Power
6 Inspiration Magic
3 Restoration Magic
Soul Twisting | Shelter | Pure was Li Ming | Mirror of Disenchantment | Leech Signet | Power Drain | Waste Not Want Not | Flesh of my Flesh
ST Rits are meant to do one thing and one thing only: keep up Shelter. In fact a bar with just ST and Shelter would be quite reasonable for the Ritualist. That means the remaining six slots are mostly filler. In this case, I've gone with interrupts, hard res, and condition / enchantment removal. The hero is extremely strong at defense, but it is a purely defensive bar. Using an ST is also usually overkill in most of PvE. I recommend against using him inst most zones, but there are a few areas when Protective Spirit is not sufficient (DoA HM, Rotscale) and you'll want an ST Rit.
Variants: the main variant is to use the other two Communing spirits, Union and Displacement. I personally feel they're not necessary, especially since they conflict somewhat with minions, and since there's always the possibility that the hero will run out a naked Shelter after burning ST charges on the other spirits. Still, use them if you want. Beyond that, you could also add in Cry of Frustration as an AoE interrupt, or Hex Eater Signet as hex removal, Boon of Creation or Explosive Growth / Spirit's Gift as beneficial enchantments, and so on. Try not to go too energy intensive though - it's imperative that the hero always has the energy to put up Shelter when he needs to.
Warriors are the same level of bad as Assassins for Elementalist players. Don't use them.
Putting together your teamIn four-man zones, it's a simple case of AotL MM + SoS Rit + SoGM Rit. All four-man zones have bodies, so the choice is clear. Six-man zones are a bit of in-between, with 2 healers probably overkill while one healer probably too little. The choice is up to you, but I personally prefer to risk having only one healer, and use AotL MM + SoS Rit + SoGM Rit + either 2x Dom Mes or Dom Mes + EA Fire Ele.
Eight-man zones are what I think most people are interested in. The first question is: is the MM viable? If so, you are definitely using it; if not, you probably want the ST.
Next question is: is Fire damage viable? If so, I suggest at least one EA Fire Ele. Something like AotL MM, SoS Rit, SoGM Rit, Fire Ele, 2x Dom Mes and UA Smiter would work. The build has everything you want except large amount of hexes. Still, there are a few hexes to go around and with the control you have on your bar (YMLAD can KD monsters with hex removal, big spike damage lets you kill them fast too) you can play around the hex removal. Hex Breaker is a problem, but fortunately it isn’t very common and you can play around even that. If Fire damage isn't viable, then replace the Fire Elementalists with Cold Necro variants, and if neither Fire nor Cold are viable, you can try Rangers instead.
More hardcore players can try SoS Rit, SoGM Rit, AotL MM, EA Fire Ele, E/Me Mimicry, Dom Mes and UA Mo/Me. It's more offensive, but you'll definitely die more as well. Of course against monsters with Fire resistance you’ll want the Cold-based Invoke replacements, while against other areas you’ll want to stack up on Dom Mesmers / Rangers.
There are two 12-man zones, Urgoz and Deep. I haven't actually attempted either with 8 heroes, so I can't rightly say. Still, I'm told they are easy zones (certainly The Deep was cleared with player + 3 heroes), so exact builds are not very important, and the same core AotL MM + SoS Rit + SoGM Rit + some mix of Eles and Mesmers with a semihealer should work. On the other hand, because of the environmental effects with health degeneration, you want to stack up on party heals, i.e. possibly run two UA Monks, or a UA + N/Rt with Life to go along with the SoS. Finally, in 16-man zones, AoE gets more important, so definitely run two Fire Elementalists.
When putting together your team you have to consider which heroes you put as heroes #1, #2 and #3. This is important, because these are the heroes that you can flag individually. I suggest having both spirit Ritualists here. The third hero is flexible. Personally, I run whichever hero has Prot Spirit or Shelter here, just so I can micro the skill easier (I have F5 linked to Prot Spirit, F6 to Aegis).
TechniquesThis is the meat of this guide. The technique is what separates the men from the boys. Most areas are doable with no special techniques, but when push comes to shove it is he who micros and aggros better that survives.
Leeroy Jenkins!! Yarr!!
This technique is simple. Find your foe, run up to him, attack him and kill him. No micro at all involved, just the good old “charge in with all guns blazing” method.
When to use: when you do not anticipate problems from the mob. This holds true for most of HM; that’s just what the game is like now. The few cases when it doesn’t hold true I will cover below.
Why are there so many dead bodies around this corner?
The corner pull is something many players are familiar with. It requires a corner to be present. Flag your heroes far away, prot yourself if necessary and aggro the mob. Run back in the shadow of the corner afterwards. When the mob gets to the corner, stand and fight. Use Ebon Vanguard Assassin Support (EBVAS) to give them something to hit. The mob will ball nicely at the corner for you. Don’t ask me why, they just do. After they ball, AoE nukes are especially effective, as is Panic.
When to use: when there’s a corner to use. Do not try this method on mobs with dangerous AoE nukes; since you can’t flag your heroes apart without breaking aggro prematurely, you’d be asking to take massive damage from said AoE nukes.
Attack me then! Let’s decide this here!
When using this technique, flag all heroes behind you. Prot Spirit yourself if needed (that’s why you have the microable Prot Spirit), aggro the mob, let them hit you and then unflag heroes to kill them. You need to flag heroes close enough so that they will heal you, but not so close that the monsters attack them instead of you. Do not run back to your heroes, because if a monster is casting something like Eruption, the spell could very well land on top of the hero ball instead of somewhere not threatening. This technique works because, by doing this, you’ll have (hopefully) put the most dangerous nukes like Sandstorm, Shatterstone and Savannah Heat on cooldown, leaving your heroes unscathed. For this method to succeed, you need to be able to kill the mob before the nukes cooldown too many times.
When to use: the classic time is against Ancient Vaettirs in the Eye of the North expansion – Elementalist bosses with extremely damaging Shatterstone nukes. If you go in unprotted one of your team will take over 400 damage. This may not be enough to kill if you’ve no DP, but if Deep Freeze (+Ice Spear) comes shortly after there's a good chance someone dies. On the other hand, if you’ve drawn Shatterstone on yourself, you can flood the Ancient Vaettir with targets (Vanguard Sin, minions) or KD him on his nukes’ recharge, or simply kill him before Shatterstone cools down. Another classic target is the Bladed Aatxes in the UW, who come in small groups but deal extreme damage a hit.
You can also use this technique on select monsters like the Stone Summit Warder, who have Churning Earth and Sandstorm – both deadly spells against clustered heroes, but have relatively long cooldowns. Small groups of Fire Eles like Flowstone Elementals make possible targets as well. Although 4 Flowstones are not going to wipe your party, they might be able to score kills, which can eventually snowball.
Do NOT attempt this technique on groups whose AoE damage recharge fast (e.g. Burning Spirits), or carry multiple dangerous AoE nukes (e.g. large groups of Flowstones). You can’t kill them fast enough, aggro will break and the AoE will slaughter the heroes.
If you want to completely ball enemies, this is a good way to begin. Simply wait until the monsters exhaust all their ranged skills and move forward to attack you. They will ball up nicely on you because they haven’t anyone else to attack. This works best with melee opponents, and is best done if you have Shield of Absorption on yourself. Warning: you may not live long enough for the monsters to fully ball. You may have to give the monsters reason to focus on you instead of heroes (e.g. with “Save Yourselves!”), or have self-heals on yourself (e.g. with Ether Renewal builds).
Hey guys I just did 300 damage to 8 players with Searing Flames xD xD xD – quote by Borguus Blisterbark
Every Elementalist is happy when he hits multiple targets with an AoE nuke, including the AI. Don’t make the AI happy. Before you aggro the mob, flag your heroes apart. There are many possible formations, but the main idea is always the same: flag heroes #1, #2 and #3 in front and the rest at the back. That’s because you can’t flag the last four heroes apart, but you can the first three. After you do this, take out a Longbow and pull the mob. By flagging your heroes apart, you vastly reduce the damage taken from AoE nukes. This technique also makes it easy to see who the AI is homing in on. If you’re feeling up to it, by all means micro Prot Spirit / Shield of Absorption onto that target.
When to use: against the Burning Spirits and large groups of Flowstones that technique 2 cannot handle, as well as against constantly spawning high-DPS mobs (e.g. Titans in Foundry). You should also do this quickly if caught by surprise (e.g. a popup, or a mistakenly aggro’ed patrol). It can very well save you from wipes.
This technique helps as well against more balanced groups like the Stone Summit in Slaver’s HM; it makes it harder for melee monsters to change targets. There is a reason why it is good position to split up in PvP – it cuts the other team’s damage output. The same applies in PvE.
You expect me to heal you through that? – Stone Summit Defender to Stone Summit Pounder
This technique is the same as the above, but with one twist that truly showcases the strength of sprits in PvE. Before pulling, micro your spirits. Pain and Bloodsong last far longer than their cooldown; there’s no risk of laying them down too early. Signet of Spirits and Anguish are good choices as well, and against tough mobs there’s nothing stopping you from putting down Disenchantment and Shadowsong. Put them down, put them all down. This makes all your DPS available right from the start, and you can watch the resulting carnage.
When to use: it’s become second nature for me to lay down the spirits when pulling as in technique 4. You lose nothing by doing so, and you have the time, so why not? Otherwise it’s especially helpful to use this technique when you’re facing mobs with strong healers, and even more so if they have lots of resses. Because the mobs are at full HP, the healers often just run up to wand ... i.e. into range of your spirits.
Come back and fight me you coward!
Also known as the long pull. All mobs (except the bugged ones ... but then the bugged ones tend to be easy to split up because they are, well, bugged) have a turnaround point. That’s the point where they stop chasing you and run back to wherever they were before. When executing a long pull, you pull the mob to this turnaround point and engage them there. They will oscillate between fighting and running, to the point that they can’t deal your team much damage. Since you have “You Move Like A Dwarf!”, you can even pick them off one by one.
To execute this technique you need to know where the turnaround points are. This is different for every mob, as well as constantly changing if a mob is patrolling – therefore you will have to find out just where it is. To do this, you Longbow pull as normal but instead of fighting you just keep running until they stop chasing you. KD persistent monsters / snares with YMLAD, hit "Fall Back!", and micro Prot Spirit on yourself if necessary. The screenshot above is an example of me doing it.
When to use: this technique takes a long time to execute, and is generally not necessary. I mention it because it is a great fallback when you are suffering from heavy DP. If you cannot take on a mob because they kill you so fast you have no time to deal damage, use this technique. You will also want to apply technique 5 above after you find out where the turnaround point is – flag heroes apart and drop the spirits slightly beyond that point.
If good preparation is half the battle, what is excellent preparation?
If you REALLY cannot kill a mob (and let me know when you find such a mob), try this method. I’ve not seriously used it because I’ve never needed it, but I have practiced the technique.
First, flag all your heroes far away. Move the two Rits forward. Drop spirits. Move them a bit to the side (that’s so the spirits don’t all die to AoE). Drop more spirits. Repeat until you have all the spirits down. Then use technique 5, flagging heroes behind the spirit wall (distance depends on how safe you want to play). Finally, aggro the mob. If feeling really meticulous, by all means combine this method with technique 6 above.
This technique just goes to show how powerful spirits are in PvE at the moment. Often the two Rits can kill some of the mob by themselves, making a direct fight possible. What’s more, even if they can’t kill some of the mob by themselves they will still deal enough damage that you can cancel the flags and dive in to mop up.
When to use: if you ever find a (standard) mob you can’t beat without relying on this method, let me know. I know of none.
Target callsHeroes are very good at following target calls. Even spirits follow target calls, don’t ask me why. Heroes are so good at focusing that even if you don’t call a target, they will select one themselves. Of course that doesn’t mean they will select a good target! Against the harder mobs (as always, you can go AFK against easier mobs and don’t die), you should call a target and keep calling. Just in case you didn’t know, you call by pressing Ctrl + Spacebar, Ctrl + Shift + Spacebar, or Ctrl + a skill that targets that foe.
Being able to tell at once which targets need to die first takes some experience. I cannot tell you which monster to kill first in every mob, but I can give you several pointers:
1. Heal. If given the choice, kill healers first, because they can delay kills by an inordinate amount of time.
2. DPS. High DPS foes are better targets than low DPS foes. Stuff like Earthbound Oozes really need to die before they can Shockwave your hero ball (if you didn't flag them apart, anyway).
3. Interrupts and / or hex removal. Takes a lower priority than the first two above, but afterwards, kill them quickly. They threaten AP.
4. Position. Some targets require you to push up heavily before you can hit them. You don’t want to target those, even if they heal. Fight around your spirits! If you have to run past enemies to get to your targets, you are choosing the wrong targets.
5. Minion Masters. Good AI MMs are rare, but if they are present they are big targets – only slightly less important than healers. AI MMs will outcompete your MMs to bodies and raise enough of an army to slow you down seriously. If the mob also has lots of resses (EotN Summit, WiK Mantle), they can even raise enough of an army to wipe you out. What’s worse is that if you wipe, you’ll have to deal with the mob AND a whole array of minions, freshly replenished by your 8 bodies. Treat AI MMs with care; they may not kill your party outright but they might very well kill you eventually.
6. Hard res. Some monsters may carry hard resses. It pays to kill them before they can start a res chain. Nonetheless hard resses are less of a priority than the factors above.
7. Line of sight. Spirits can’t hit through walls, and neither can Lightning Orb, Rangers, etc. Especially without the spirits you’ll notice your team’s damage output drop precipitously. In this case, focus down nearby monsters within line of sight first.
8. Assassin’s Promise. If a monster is already AP’ed for whatever reason, (almost) all other considerations go out of the window. He has to die, because if he doesn’t you become quite useless for the next 30 seconds or so. The only overriding consideration is if a morale boost is at hand which can recharge AP for you, but even if you get that boost you’re still missing the +17 energy from AP. Don’t miss AP’s if you can help it. It’s why Rend Enchants is an option on the MM.
Areas to tryThe following is a list of areas which provides a good test of your abilities with 7H ... and your teambuild, if you’re testing new stuff.
Sacnoth Valley, the Burning Forest. They may have no healers but groups like Borguus Blisterbark’s mob of Burning Spirits are notorious for causing wipes. Even small groups of Flowstones can cause deaths. Nowhere else do you see in graphic fashion how important aggro techniques are. If you just bull’s rush in, expect to hit 60 DP in the blink of an eye.
Eternal Grove HM. A split mission, it tests your ability to make heroes be where they need to be. With enough experience it’s not hard.
Forgewight HM. This used to be the single hardest area in the game to clear with heroes and is still a difficult challenge. You're facing 9v8 fights, massive Fire AoE coupled with energy denial that doubles as AoE damage + Shatter Hex (Roaring Ethers + Burning Spirits + Flowstones), balanced Stone Summit groups with two healers, mobs that mix Stone Summit healers with Burning Spirits, wandering patrols, low body count and constricted areas. Difficult, but with 7 heroes at your disposal now it’s a lot easier. For the people who want a challenge, try it with 3 heroes + 4 henchmen.
Foundry HM. Of the “standard” areas, this is the hardest one to clear. The fights are necessarily long, the Titans have dangerous AoE and you have to contend with interrupts + hex removal. Worse, monsters keep spawning and you can’t disengage by running away in the first four rooms. The Fury is another massive problem, with Greater Dream Riders that seriously shutdown caster damage and Fire Eles to mop up. A truly difficult area. Good luck to anyone who tries it.
Underworld HM. Not a standard area, but very difficult nonetheless. The Underworld is a test of micro. Because of the unique challenges like invulnerable Aatxes, standard builds will not work; you need specialized builds for the UW. See the sticky thread in the Heroes & AI forums for ideas.
The seven techniques and youGood builds and the techniques mentioned in this guide will get you through every 7H'able area in the game. Nonetheless, I still see players who ask for help in clearing Slaver's HM and other areas. Why? I believe the answer is a lack of confidence. They may feel there's too much to pay attention to, that they aren't that hardcore, or that they simply can't do it. The result is they give up after wiping a few times - if they even attempt the area at all. Actually, experienced players make mistakes and wipe as well. It has happened to me, it has happened to EFGJack, and it will happen to you. Don't lose heart. The more experience you have with the game, the more painless 7H becomes and the more automatic these techniques come to you when you need them.
When you wipe, try to understand why it happened. Did your party simply explode in under 10 seconds? If this is the case, chances are good you were caught in AoE. Did you fight a mob for over a minute, fail to kill them, and eventually start dying? If this happened, the problem is likely your target calling. Did your party get spiked out one-by-one? If this happened, you probably didn't micro Protective Spirit right.
Understanding what happened empowers you to fix your mistakes. If AoE is the problem, the obvious fix is to flag your heroes apart. If you have already done this but still wiped, you need to analyze more. Did you trigger an unintended popup? If so, lesson learned, and you can approach the popup more carefully next time. Did spirits you left behind aggro a wandering patrol? If so, you might want to kill the patrol as a safety precaution next time. Is the mob's damage output simply too overwhelming? If so, you could try tanking the first wave of AoE yourself, as in technique 3, or execute a long pull.
What if you fight for a minute and fail to kill the mob? In this case, you are definitely facing powerful healers. What stopped you from killing them? If it's powerful prots, you might want to bring Rend Enchantments next time. If it's a lot of ressing, you might want to bring Frozen Soil next time. If it's because the healers hid at the back of the mob, you could pull back slightly to lure the healers forward. On the other hand, if you didn't kill the healers because you didn't target call, you must swallow your excuses and actively target call next time.
In Guild Wars, most of the time you will have considerable margin of error. Some time ago I did the quest Fire and Pain. I'd never done it before, and knew nothing about what the mission involved. I went in with Gwen + SoS + minion bomber + 4 henchmen (this was before the 7H era), and even though the minion bomber was rather wasted this mission (no bodies), even though I wiped once + did it in HM instead of NM + didn't display my Vanguard title, even though I didn't know what skills the monsters carried, I still finished quite easily. It turned out to be a rather easy mission despite the "difficulty: master" tag.
The moral of the story is, don't fear GW PvE. You have nothing to lose by trying to play better. What's the worst that can happen anyway? Perhaps you'll wipe, but since you res on death, you can always return and try again. Maybe you'll be forced to use a few DP removers, but what's the difference between using Clovers now and using consets in the future during a Duncan ZB? The E/W Smiter farmer might be a great build, but if you aren't willing to pay the 1k gold to enter the UW, you'll never reap the rewards. Dying repeatedly to the same mob might not be fun, but the satisfaction that comes with finally being able to kill it with heroes is tremendous.
With a dwindling player population, 7H will probably get more and more popular. I hope, with this guide, 7H gets more and more reliable for you as well. Many years ago I couldn’t do Slaver’s HM alone and had to rely on PuGs, but PuGs aren’t always reliable and can be hard to find. With this guide, I hope the next time there is a Selvetarm ZB, you do not need to PuG to finish. Good luck.
FAQs and other stuffI hate you, you are bad / retarded / etc. Unlike other things, 7H can be objective. If you can consistently return faster times than me, using 7H in HM as Elementalist primary without using consumables of any kind, and if you can prove it with screenshots, then you are qualified in calling me bad / retarded / etc. If you manage this, call me bad, and then tell me how you did it so I can improve my own skills.
Why should I care about how fast I do something? I care only that I succeed. Do you believe I can kill Varesh in HM using Morgahn as a Paragon with RoJ and Smiting skills? Or that I can do Jennur’s Horde HM with Koss as a Mending Wammo with FrenzyHealSig? Does that make all these builds good?
I care only that I notice the hero’s effects, e.g. enemies die faster or I see lots of !! signs. Your RoJ Para and Mending Wammo don’t do this. Actually, they do, because with RoJ you ought to notice the massive beam of light coming down – but whatever. When I started using only one healer instead of two, I also started using EotN Cynn more often. I noticed that enemies died faster. They should, because I have room for an extra damage character. Now Cynn is a MB Fire Ele. Is that a good build? An optimal build?
I still think you’re a retarded troll. Go ahead.
I think you're awesome. Thank you
You have to use aggro techniques against three Krait? Seriously? Hey, I was just getting screenshots and they were conveniently available. If you got better screenshots, please share them!
Who originated these builds? I got the idea for the MM from Sab, while the idea behind the spirit Rits I got from Arkantos and Fenix. The exact builds are largely my creation. Many people, such as my in-game friend Nick, have helped me fine-tune my builds. Others, like HigherMinion and Life Bringing, have helped (are helping) me to make new builds. Some other people may have arrived at the same builds as me as well (I know Ensign did with the pre-nerf Invoke Eles), but we did it independently.
I was top 10 in Hero Battles and micro every skill on every hero. Good for you. If you find something good that I missed, please let me know, no matter how much micro it takes. I’d be interested in seeing it.
EFGJack uses different techniques from you! He does. We use different primaries. You can try E/W Warrior-based builds using the same techniques that he does. You have much less room for error and won’t be as effective as a Warrior primary, but it’s a completely different style of play. Give it a try if you’re interested.
Why aren’t you using Discordway if it clears all of PvE already? Discordway isn’t a terrible teambuild, but it isn’t good either. Its single-target nature limits its potential severely. Neither does it clear all of PvE. Try it out against Forgewight HM or Foundry HM and you’ll quickly see its limitations. Still, Discord is a reasonable Death elite for damage, and you can see me using a Discort N/Rt in the screenshots above. Use whatever floats your boat, it doesn't really concern me.
Why aren’t you suggesting multiple Mesmers? The problem with multiple Mesmers is that they quickly stack each other out – Mistrusts don’t trigger, Power Drains don’t land, etc. What’s more, they fit into the same niche as Invoke Eles (ranged AoE and single-target damage) yet have a harder time carrying “Fall Back!”. Using one Dom Mesmer will give you excellent results, using two Dom Mesmers will give you twice those results, but by the time you have three Dom Mesmers you'll notice a decrease in kill speed. I don’t suggest it unless you really need armour-ignoring damage, but go ahead and use them if you want.
Why aren't you suggesting anything fundamentally new? A few reasons. Mass caters is very effective, and topping it is difficult. Also significant is that although fundamentally new builds are possible, they tend not to be viable everywhere. I don't know of any fundamentally new builds for general play. And since I tend to be lazy and not want to keep rerolling my heroes, I don't suggest anything fundamentally new either.
Why are you suggesting SoGM Rits and MMs when they slow your party down? This is one of the thorny questions in 7H. The point is that although many people have claimed that SoGM Rits and MMs slow your party down, none of them have actually proved it with timed screenshots. Every time there’s been an argument over how fast you can clear an area, the fastest screenshots (for caster primaries at least) have always included SoGM Rits, and for areas which have bodies, the MM as well. I’m inclined to believe that this claim is fantasy, and the power of both templates are such that they overpower the drawback that they aren’t always operating at full potential. If you disagree, feel free to post some timed screenshots without either template.
Contacting meThe best way to contact me is to PM me here on Guru. The reason is that I barely play Guild Wars these days, so catching me online is unlikely. Still if you want you can try; my IGN is Jeydra Evenstar. If I don't respond, chances are I'm either AFK or playing PvP, concentrating enough that I don't see your PM.
CreditsNick – a friend who’s advised me with many builds ... and in many areas of the game besides, both PvE and PvP.
Xenomortis, HigherMinion and Life Bringing – who’ve advised me with builds, as well as other aspects of PvE that I don’t do (like SCs).
EFGJack – for showing me effective 7H builds completely different from the ones I use.
Sacratus Ignis - for being, to the best of my knowledge, the first great H/H'er. Although last I know he's quit the game, I'll always remember the advice he gave me when I was inexperienced myself.
Sab, Arkantos, Fenix and Chthon - for originating ideas behind the builds I now use.
Other friends, old and new, who’ve helped me in this game.