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Build of the Week 19 Feb, 2013


  • Build of the Week 19 Feb, 2013

    Elementalist - Scepter/Dagger - DPS & Team support

    Welcome to the build of the week! I’m kerupt, and we’re going to take a look at an Elementalist that focuses on high burst and great sustained DPS, as well as survivability for yourself and nearby allies.

    Elementalists are given many tools that grant survivability just from basic skills. Ensuring that these benefits are available to the team make you a great asset, and help distinguish you from other DPS players.

    This has been a fairly popular build since the start of Guild Wars 2. It has a great foundation that gives you the ability to further tailor the build around you and your team’s strengths. I enjoy this build because it allows me to cleanse conditions and grant additional boons to my allies.

    Air Magic - 10

    5 - Moving 10% faster while attuned to Air assists with the escape mechanic from Ride the Lightning. Simply clearing your target and “RTLing” away puts a lot of distance between you and your pursuers. An additional 10% movement speed on top of that ensures that you’ll keep that distance.

    10 - Bolt to the heart helps to apply pressure when someone is low on life. This is a strong trait that affects your damage in any stance. An additional 20% damage on a Fire Grab or Churning Earth while someone stands on their last third of life is almost a sure shot.

    Water Magic - 30

    20 - Elementalists can apply large amounts of damage in the first few seconds of a fight. Vital Striking grants you the ability to move in as a secondary damage source in a team fight and cause confusion before the enemy focus target is changed.

    10 & 30 - Cleansing Water and Cleansing Wave are great for helping those around you in a fight. Since you grant regeneration just from attuning to water between these traits, and the Cleansing Water #5 skill, you’re able to remove 4 conditions in under 1.75 seconds. When facing a necromancer or a condition damage thief or engineer this can inhibit their damage output and put you back on the offensive.

    Arcana - 30

    10 - Arcane skills are the bread and butter of this build. They are not only for granting boons through combo fields, but also for additional damage and conditions to your enemies. Having them on a shorter cool down is paramount.

    20 - Since you are 30 points into this tree you’re able to ‘stance dance’ rather quickly, and this trait allows you to keep the boons granted active longer.

    30 - While Evasive Arcana used to be the de facto choice, it’s recent blast finisher correction has caused it to take a backseat to Elemental Surge in my play. When you use an arcane skill a condition is applied based on your current stance. Five seconds of burning in fire, five seconds of blindness in air, three seconds of chill in water, and one second of immobilize in earth. This burst of crowd control causes players to momentarily falter, giving you a great advantage.

    Runes, Sigils, and Accessories

    I chose the Rune of the Scholar in this build to enhance the Vital Striking trait, increasing opening damage as well as critical damage. Other acceptable choices are Runes of Divinity.

    Since you are changing stances often, having Superior Energy keeps you in the fight longer by quickly offering up another charge of dodge roll every time you switch stances. As a primary DPS for your team, the additional 250 power from Bloodlust keeps your enemies on their heels the entire fight.

    For the accessory slot Bloodlust is a personal favorite. When you find your flow with dodge rolling, stance switching, and the escape mechanics of the Scepter and Dagger, you can forego additional defenses for more power. If you prefer additional survivability to critical strike chance, switch to a Knight’s Amulet with a Bloodlust Jewel to maintain critical strike damage while increasing hit points.

    Skill combinations and tricks

    Ride the Lightning (Lightning #4) - By clearing the target, facing away, and activating this skill you can escape the majority of people before they are able to react.

    Frost Aura (Water #4) - This aura grants 2 seconds of chilled when struck. Utilizing this helps keep melee players at a distance.

    Arcane Blast/Arcane Wave in Earth or Water - Elemental Surge causes either a 1 second Immobilize while in earth or a 3 second chill while in water. Both are great ways to keep someone at bay while you escape.

    Mist Form - While it’s favorable to use this for a stomp or res, this skill is very powerful as it gives you immunity to further conditions and damage while fleeing.

    “Burst Chain” - The basic ‘burst’ chain for this build is focused around fire. After setting the target up by getting them to use as many stun break utilities as possible through water and earth abilities, executing this chain gives you the most damage in the shortest period of time. It looks like: Dragon’s Tooth -> Ring of Fire -> Phoenix (within the ring) -> Arcane Wave -> Fire Grab

    The effect here is twofold. You want to stack as much might through blast finishing inside your combo field while hitting your enemy. Open with Dragon’s Tooth while in close proximity of your opponent. Cast ring of fire immediately after to establish your fire field. Then, drop phoenix within the field while placing it as close to the enemy as possible. As you cast Phoenix, also cast arcane wave for more damage and might. Close with Fire Grab while the opponent is still burning and you have a large enough might stack to get a strong hit.

    “Control combo” - RTLing into an Updraft not only gives an advantage on position against an enemy, but can be used to juke against the player if they know how to react to an Elementalist. Most players are used to getting knocked down and hit with a large fire combo. I use this to my advantage and change my skill chain to: Water stance - > Shatterstone -> Frost Aura - > Earth Stance - > Dust Devil -> Arcane Wave -> Earthquake -> Churning Earth -> Arcane Blast

    Switching to water followed by earth, most players will turn and engage thinking you aren’t capable of bringing them down easily. Utilizing abilities that grant the chill condition while stacking vulnerability forces players to choose between cleansing the conditions or risk taking additional damage from vulnerability, while chill keeps them in range of large damage skills.
    Casting dust devil and an arcane wave while in earth will cause the enemy to miss and also be briefly immobilized, pressuring another stun break. Once you Earthquake, most players are very quick to break stun and dodge out of the Churning Earth. However, if a player runs for the perimeter of Churning Earth or dodges immediately, using an arcane blast at the end of their dodge will leave them immobilized and stuck inside for the large hit.

    Every combat situation is unique, and I have found these tips to be very helpful to keep in mind for any encounter. Use mist form to assist with stomps and rezzes. Start the stomp, then cast mist form to keep from being knocked off. Switch to fire and cast Glyph of Elementals early to bring extra damage to a large fight. Air elemental is great for fighting classes use distance to their advantage, as well as thieves, as it stuns. Use the water elemental if you find yourself outnumbered for some additional healing. Elementalists are a very fast class and can be back on a point very quickly if you move away to heal. Don’t underestimate lightning stance’s basic attack. Lightning Strike and Blinding Flash are both instant casts that will not interrupt your basic attack chain and are a great way to put out additional damage. If you want to bring more utility for stomping other players, switch to the Tornado elite skill. Tornado grants a blowout (Knockback + knockdown) to anyone in the area. Then spam the 3rd ability to keep the enemy team knocked down and off a stomp.

    Thank you for taking the time to check out my build of the week article. If you have a class you’d like me to address or a specific play style, please feel free to comment below. I’ll see you next time.
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