[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

in Elementalist

Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

Hello forumers,

This guide was designed to help players learn how to play an elementalist, specifically with D/D.

I posted an updated guide here:

http://daphoenix555.wordpress.com/

Feel free to check it out on my wordpress page, I spent a lot of time learning how to use it and editing my current guide over there, with revisions based on updates.

My youtube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

Table of contents

1) Why play an elementalist
2) Weapon types
3) Why play as an D/D elementalist
— An overview to line of sight abilities
4) Guide to early leveling up
— Learning curve issues
5) Build
—“Alternate Trait & Alternate Builds”
6) Armor, Weapons, and Skills
—Alternate armor/weapons
—Skill setup
7) Stat optimization
8) Brief Summary of other weapons/when to use
9) Weapon spells
Fire
Water
Air
Earth
10) Keyboard setup
11) Rotation, Initiation, and Skill Techniques
12) Camera tricks and Signet of restoration optimization
13) Underwater / terrain techniques
13) Random tactics
— Antistealth
— Weaving
— Air dodging
— Level up pushback
— Downed state
14) Advanced techniques
—Air Casting
—Advanced Weapon Swapping
15) Countering all classes
Mesmer
Thief
—Necro
—Guardian
—Engineer
—Ranger
—Warrior
16) Videos
17) Useful stat links

UPDATE NOTES:
Updated "https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/elementalist/Guide-Mastering-the-D-D-ele-5-12-12/first#post655843 5/12/13
Added Thief. Updated Underwater abilities for 13 seconds of stealthing. 3/29/13
Added Advanced techniques and Mesmer 3/13
Revised and added notes on focus, scepter, and staff / when to use it. Updated build and table of contents- 2/16
Added fighting tactics 12/16
Added a large amount of advanced techniques 11/25/12
Added earth skills 11/19/12
Posted an early progression leveling guide 11/16/12
Added air weapon skills overview 11/13/12
Added some basic fire / water weapon abilities overview 11/09/12

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

Why play an elementalist

  • The elementalist is essentially a class of versatility; the jack of all trades. We have more skills to utilize than any other class out there and therefore a much higher learning curve comparatively. The 4 elements – fire,water,air, and earth- allows us to overcome any situation thrown at us based on these unique attunements. For instance, fire brings out heavy AoE and burning damage, water brings out group healing abilities and survivability, air brings out single target focused abilities, and earth provides defense, and heavy AoE damage through bleeding.
  • While an elementalist does have some of the greatest potential in healing, utility, DPS, and tanking capabilities, there are its drawbacks. A user who plays as an elementalist has to work much harder to deliver the same results that other classes can perform. Playing an elementalist is not for everyone, it is for those that want a class that requires creativity on the spot, and the ability to execute complex combinations with relative ease. When played to a very high degree of skill, an elementalist can outperform all other classes.
Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

Weapon types

  • Staff-has the longest ranged AoE and DPS potential. It is the weapon of choice when playing with a large group of allies such as large scale events, and large scale WvWvW battles. In addition, staff provides the highest amount of AoE healing to a team, and provides the most number of elemental fields for combination effects (discussed later in this section). However, it has some of the poorest 1v1 and solo capabilities since the AoE damage is very easy to dodge, and staff elementalists tend to be very weak at close range combat situations.
  • Dagger/Dagger (D/D) – This is the weapon set of choice if you want high mobility, point blank DPS bursting, and high survivability. It is commonly considered one of the best weapon choices for an elementalist for solo gameplay, whether it be in WvWvW, PvE, or sPvP. The mobility you get from this weapon setup is considered to be one of the highest among all classes, second only to thieves and on par with warriors without sacrificing any DPS whatsoever. The survivability you get from this weapon setup is also the greatest of all the weapon setups as well, and the amount of punishment this setup can deliver is not something to joke about. D/D is also the most versatile weapon setup an elementalist possesses, it can be used in almost every situation imaginable.
  • Scepter / Dagger (S/D) – This weapon setup is a hybrid of the D/D and staff. It provides long ranged DPS support through the air attunement, and the highest burst combination of all weapon setups through fire attunement. Mobility is second only to the D/D setup. S/D is best used for long range single target DPS damage, as the staff is more focused on long range AoE and D/D is focused primarily within melee range. A few drawbacks to this setup is that the burst is fairly easy to dodge and the DPS pressure that comes from this setup is rather weak comparatively to D/D.
  • Scepter / Focus (S/F) – This weapon setup provides the same long ranged DPS and single targeting bursting that S/D gives. However, it is by far the lowest in mobility of all the weapon setups. It is commonly used in situations that require long ranged DPS and team support. The primary use of this weapon setup is in WvWvW, as the 4th ability in the air attunement negates any projectiles within a point blank area field. This protects your team, and can be chained with other S/F elementalists in order to achieve chain invincibility vs. projectiles. S/F is also great in solo situations in PvE as well, as it provides invulnerability in sticky situations with the 5th ability in earth attunement
  • Dagger / Focus (D/F) – D/F has very little mobility, and is primarily focused on melee combat. The drawback to D/F is that it is easily countered by enemies that consistently kite, as there are less gap closers in D/F than with D/D. D/F does have much more a fair bit more tankiness to this setup, but the loss in mobility means you cannot escape losing battles. Another drawback for D/F is that it cannot chase enemies that well either. D/F is used only in closed in / small fighting locations, specifically with areas that have walls / obstacles to promote close ranged combat.
Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

So why play as a D/D elementalist?

As stated above, the main underlying reasons to play as a D/D elementalist are the following:

  • Superior AoE abilities and decent DPS
  • Superior Tanking and Healing
  • Superior Mobility
  • Superior line of sight abilities

Your first question might be, “what do you mean by superior line of sight abilities”? A D/D elementalist possesses a hefty amount of PbAoE (point blank AoE) spells. PbAoE spells are superior to normal melee attacking abilities because the hit box range is much higher than a normal melee attack, and does not require your character to be directly in front of you to hit them.

PbAoE skills are the following: Fire 3 and 4; Air 4 and 5 (its still PbAoE, just no damage); Earth 2,4,5. Evasive arcana (arcana trait 11)

So why do I care about this PbAoE stuff, and how does this help me?

To put it bluntly, all abilities that are not PbAoE / do not have AoE targeting rings require your character to face your opponent to work. For instance, a ranger cannot shoot backwards unless he’s facing that direction, a warrior cannot hit you with hundred blades unless his character is facing the right direction, etc. This means, you have free reign on confusing your enemy as much as you want when using PbAoE skills, because quite frankly you don’t care what direction your facing to hit them as long as your within close distance to them. This means you can weave inbetween the enemy’s avatar constantly with perma swiftness on and land dozen of hits before your opponent even gets a chance to land a single hit as they have to re-adjust the direction their character is facing constantly. (Also turn off melee assist in options)

PbAoE also allows you to hit multiple enemies at the same time as well, by controlling where you cast skills relative to where you cast them (generally you cast them inbetween multiple enemies)

Is there more to this “superior line of sight” thing?

A D/D elementalist is the only class that fully utilizes terrain to its maximum effect. Earth 5(churning earth) and lightning flash(teleport) is one of the strongest ambush combos out there among any class. Furthermore, all earth abilities bypass obstacles, meaning you can hit an enemy behind a wall by using earth 1,2,4, and 5. In addition, almost all of your abilities can be shot around corners, if you stand behind a tree, and a ranger if shooting regular auto attacks at you, he cannot hit you. However, you can use skills like water 2(cone of cold) and fire 2(drakes breath) to shoot right through the tree (as both of these abilities are AoE) and take him out, without ever getting hit once. You can even take this further, and shoot him through a solid wall as long as the wall is not too high. Or you can pop a churning earth below ground, and hit an enemy that’s standing around 600 units above you on a cliffside right next to you. There is no limit to creativity here, and the number of players / fully geared pro PvP players you can take on is highly dependent on the terrain at which you are fighting at, and how good you are.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

Guide to early leveling up:

It’s recommended to try out every type of weapon setup available to level up every weapon skill possible.

Gear progression:

  • Always buy new gear whenever you can from auction house. Buy blue rarity / green rarity gear as you level up, and sell off any old items at the merchant as you level up. You don’t really lose out on any money using this method, since most green / blue items are 1copper more above the merchant selling price. Gear stats don’t really matter, just make sure you always buy new weapons / armor for your current level

Trait and skill progession:

  • The first skill you want as an elite is “glyph of elementals”. Make sure to unlock your cantrips as soon as possible (Cleansing flame, Mist form, Armor of earth, Lightning flash) as soon as possible.
    • For the first tier of skills, make sure to get arcane wave and arcane shield
    • For the 2nd tier of skills: ice bow, cleansing flame, and signet of earth
    • For 3rd tier of skills : Lightning flash, armor of earth, Conjure lightning hammer
    • Elite: Glyph of elementals, then tornado (you need tornado for whirlpool underwater)
      Assuming you use D/D for most of the levels until 80, then do the following for traits in order:

10 point in air for Zephyr’s boon trait (trait 1)
OPTIONAL: You can add 5points in water here, for the regeneration effect while casting spells in water. (useful for staying alive!)
10 points in arcana for elemental attunement trait (trait 5)

You should be level 30 by now, and have your elite skill. The first skill you want as an elite is “glyph of elementals”.

15 points in water with soothing disruption (trait 3)
10 more points in arcana for renewing stamina trait (trait 6)

15 more points in water (trait 5 and trait 11)
10 more points in arcana for evasive arcana trait (trait 11)

Try out new things to become better as you level up. Play different weapon types and familiarize yourself with those skills.

  • As for levelling up,
    -Make sure to always kite enemies
    -Dont stand in AoE circles
    -Plan out your moves in advance
    -Get used to swapping attunements regularly, do NOT stick to one / two attunements while PvEing. Keeping swapping skills frequently
    -Learn to actively play instead of just pressing “1,2,3” to kill things.
    -Enable skill recharge under options in UI, and turn off melee assist / auto targeting

I can’t really teach you how to play, you have to learn that yourself. This guide only points you in the right direction.

Conjure lightning hammer is fairly commonly used to level up also. You don’t really become a better play using the same weapon over and over again, learning to swap attunements properly is more important.

LEARNING CURVE ISSUES
I made a super long response on a thread titled “daphoenix”, which lists most of the problems that people must overcome in order to be better

https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/elementalist/daphoenix

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

My build: Updated 5/12
Here is my current build setups

Trait overview
0/10/0/30/30 -> Overall setup for new players. Shows gear setup for people without ascended gear as well, and on low budget for consumables. You can change trait setup as well into any of the ones below. Great for tPvP setups
http://tinyurl.com/daphoenixBuild7

0/15/0/25/30 -> My DPS traits for all weapon types in PvE. Great for tPvP setups
S/D and Staff WvWvW-> http://tinyurl.com/daphoenixBuild8
Add full knights armor instead of berzerker for more defense. For staff, use berzerker weapon as well, use blasting staff trait over the vigor trait in arcana tree.
Hard Dungeons like Fractals (All weapons)-> Use same setup as above, but change utilities into Armor of Earth, Arcane shield, and Glyph of Storms.

0/0/20/20/30 -> My overall WvWvW setup for D/D
This build requires more skill to use properly. Used mainly to survive any situation and harass zerg armies. Requires pre-emptive swiftness stacking before battle starts (see advanced weapon swapping in table of contents) and pot of hylek poison
“Gw2 wiki-> ‘Pot of Hylek Poison’ " Timberland Falls location
Tanky -> http://tinyurl.com/daphoenixBuild5
DPS -> http://tinyurl.com/daphoenixBuild6

0/25/0/25/20; -> Maximized DPS for Staff and S/D without sacrificing too much defensive capabilities. Used only when you won’t be pressured by enemies. Not having 30 arcana means no evasive arcana, or quick means of healing. So if you are pressured, your DPS will drop due to having to heal yourself. Use for S/D in 1v1 situations or other small battles. Use for staff in really large zerg vs. zerg battles. Works great in team oriented PvE situations.
http://tinyurl.com/daphoenixBuild10
master air trait -> 10% more damage for air. Use this for S/D and WvWvW
master air trait -> Grant swiftness and fury on aura cast. Use for staff, earth 3
Use blasting air staff trait over the one that grants vigor for staff in WvWvW

Logic behind traits chosen:

  • Air1 is a must have for any D/D elementalist, as this provides the ability to maintain perma swiftness and DPS through fury (20% crit chance increase). Factoring only in 30 arcana trait points, this gives you 12seconds of swiftness and 12seconds of fury using the air3 skill and 6 seconds of each using water4 skill. You can even get another aura using a combination of the skills fire4 and earth3 to give yourself 6 more seconds of both fury and swiftness. There’s another means of getting a last aura from 6 runes of earth as well, but I don’t go with this method.
  • Water3 provides vigor and HP regeneration, which is essential for survival. It combines well with your “oh —--“ cantrip abilities can be used to escape any situation thrown at you. The extra endurance regeneration is vital in escaping death in many cases. Equipping 3 cantrips means you get 3 more means of healing
  • Water5 provides a means of removing conditions on you, as many builds revolve around damage over time (DoT) abilities to slowly finish you off. Having a means of removing a condition off yourself every 9 seconds by swapping to water attunement is a very nice to save yourself from any situation.
Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

  • Water11 provides extra means of removing conditions off yourself. This is done by using your “oh —--“ cantrip abilities as the water3 trait provides regeneration on your cantrips, thereby stacking with this water11 trait. Equipping 3 cantrips means you have 3 more ways to remove conditions. Also, just swapping to water attunement gives you regeneration, so you have another means of removing conditions as well. To my knowledge, you can even remove additional conditions off yourself by giving allies regeneration at the same time, because all boon effects from swapping to attunements are applied to allies within app. 300 units of range around your character. Using glyph of elemental harmony is the last method of providing regeneration to yourself under water attunement.
  • Arcana11 is one the best traits for an elementalist. The core skill that is used here is the cleansing water in the water attunement. Each attunement recharge has a 9 second CD, and this evasive arcana trait has a 10 second CD which pairs up nicely when using it. The dodge roll under the water attunement provides cleansing water, which is a 1.6 to 2.1k heal every 10 seconds depending on your healing power, which is why this trait is picked. The dodge roll under earth attunement provides a 2-3 second cripple, and constantly applies cripple to all nearby enemies when casting churning earth if churning earth is used shortly after. Dodge roll under fire attunement provides burning AoE damage at the location to which you dodge roll, and this couples perfectly for a quick skill from fire5(fire grab), which does more damage if target is burning.
  • Arcakittens chosen as you are constantly cycling through attunements frequently. You get a 5 second boon duration effect under each element (without factoring in boon durations). If you factor in boon durations from my armor setup (discussed later) and the 30 arcana, then your boons last 8 seconds long. Swapping to air gives you swiftness, fire gives might, earth gives protection, and water gives regeneration. This effect also applies to nearby allies, thereby giving you a means to support your team further.
  • Arcana 6 is chosen as you gain an additional boon known as vigor 33% time from critical hits. Vigor increases endurance regeneration by 100%, and stacks extremely well with evasive arcana in the arcana11 tree. Fury (20% crit chance increase) is up almost all the time from swapping attunements. Overall critical hit chance is around 33%, so you essential have a (1/3)(1/3) = 1/9th of a chance on every hit to get vigor. Vigor lasts about 10 seconds on each proc, and can be stacked up to 1 minute long. It’s fairly easy to get these procs since your hitting multiple enemies at once with AoE.

Alternative traits:

Arcane abatement (Water 8 )
New trait added 12/14

  • Very useful for PvE and WvWvW. This trait reduces all fall damage by 50%, and creates a spell based attunement at the end of the fall. The spells created have no CDs, so you can use this to your advantage by using a minimal damage fall to constantly proc its spells. Currently right now the water spell does not work correctly. Earth grants earthquake, the same spell as the earth 4 d/d spell. Fire grants ring of fire, and air grants the staff’s air5 ability.
    Having 50% lower fall down damage is extremely useful especially if your baiting in WvWvW. You gain an advantage on cliffsides as you can survive highrise falls, but enemies without any fall down traits will die / take alot of damage

Powerful Aura (Water12)

  • Grants any auras you make to nearby allies, and works with zephyr’s boon and any boon duration effects. This means you can give your allies perma swiftness, and a high upkeep of fury using air3, water 4, and earth3+fire4. Shocking aura is extremely powerful when given to nearby allies, as this makes your whole team basically stun any enemies that attacks them for 4 seconds.
    Best used in PvE situations, group WvWvW situations, and high tiered tPvP

Blasting staff (Arcana 8 )

  • Blasting staff is for users who like to swap weapon sets and utilize the full effects of the staff. This trait is a must have for any staff build, as the increased AoE is groundbreaking.
    The best place to utilize this trait is when swapping to staff in WvWvW for zerg battles, and to d/d for smaller scale battle.
Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

Armor and Weapons:

Update: 2/9/13

I currently run for WvWvW and PvE:

Most of the armor can be bought off auction house or crafted, except the superior monk runes and ascended gear.

Armor/Accessories

Weapons:
-Daggers:

  • 2 Knights Daggers (power, precision, toughness)
  • 1x Superior rune of battle (3stacks of might/attunement swap — attunement swap=weapon swap), 1x superior rune bloodlust (+10 power per kill)
  • Optional 3rd knights dagger when you have 25 stacks of bloodlust
  • 1x superior rune of force (5% damage)
    • Alternate daggers used can be PVT, clerics, and berserker stats

-Staff/Trident

  • 1 Staff (power, precision, critical damage)
  • 1x superior rune of battle
  • 1 Trident (power, precision, critical damage)
  • 1x superior rune of battle
    • Alternate staff/ trident stats : PVT, clerics, knights

-Scepter/Focus

  • Use the same stats as above with D/D and rune setup

Boon duration runes:

  • 2x Superior rune of water, 2x Superior rune of monk (from AC dungeon), 2x Major rune of water

Alternatives if you don’t have ascended gear:

  • Knights accessories (power, precision toughness) w/ valkyrie jewels (power, vitality, crit damage)
  • Clerics accessories (power, toughness, healing power) w/ valkyrie jewels (power, vitality, crit damage)

Alternate armor sets for different conditions:

  • Berserker armor (power, precision, critical damage) w/ ruby jewels (2% critical damage, 20 power, 14 precision)
    -> Use this set against heavily armor specced enemies, and combine it with arcane wave, arcane blast, and mistform utility skills. Also works great for staff elementalist too
  • PVT armor (power, vitality, toughness)
    Obtained from Ascalonian Catacombs dungeon (AC). Very useful for users starting off with D/D, since you don’t need to spend money on auction house to get it. Plus it comes with the superior monk runes you need, and you can find them by killing mobs as well. The extra vitality is very useful for high level fractals and WvWvW
  • Clerics Armor (Power, healing power, toughness)
    Bought off auction house. Works great for harder situations where you need to constantly heal yourself often. This can be in dungeons, various difficult areas in PvE, etc.

Skill setup
For most PvE situations I use:

  • Heal: Ether Renewal
  • Utility 1: Lightning flash
  • Utility 2: Cleansing fire
  • Utility 3: Mistform
  • Elite: Fiery Great Sword / Glyph of Elementals
    (Also I change the water trait 11 to water trait 12 so I can provide auras to allies)
    • I also use glyph of storms under earth attunement for constant blinds, Arcane shield for rezzing in harder zones, conjure icebow (for any structures). Arcane blast (for any water fields with staff). I usually always take mistform

For WvWvW I use:

  • Heal: Ether Renewal / Signet of Restoration
  • Utility 1: Lightning flash
  • Utility 2: Cleansing fire / armor of earth
  • Utility 3: Mistform
  • Elite: Tornado, Racial elite skill, Fiery Great Sword
    • Other good choices: Conjure shield (for its 4th ability to yank people off tower walls. Conjure icebow (4th ability to destroy siege weapons). Conjure hammer (3rd ability to knock people off from wall cliffs).

For sPvP/tPvP I use:

  • Heal: Ether renewal / Glyph of elemental harmony
  • Utility 1: Lightning flash
  • Utility 2: Conjure Weapon (all except lava axe)
  • Utility 3: Armor of earth
  • Elite: Usually tornado, sometimes glyph of elementals (depends on team setup)
    • Mistform / Lightning flash is usually always taken as well. Arcane wave+Arcane blast are good choices as well, to do burst damage. Also note that arcane blast (20second CD spell) is one of the only ways to counter the “blow out” condition from updraft / similar skills.

For all underwater combat

  • Heal: Glyph of elemental harmony (b/c its 1/2 second cast underwater)
  • Utility 1: Signet of air (25% MS passive)
  • Utility 2: Arcane wave (Stack it with Earth5 for cloak)
  • Utility 3: Mist form
  • Elite: default whirlpool
Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

[Guide] Mastering the D/D ele 7/15/13

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

Stat optimization (from one of my responses)

Current stats and gear
http://imgur.com/yDEDhdX

Accessories:
Valkyrie jewels in all spots. (Power, Vitality, 3% crit damage).
Karka shell b/c its better than all other accessories
The following from ascended rings:
1. +All stats rings, +5% crit damage
2. Power, precision, +8% crit damage (for berzerker build setups)
3. Power, Toughness, +8% crit dmg ( for knights setup)
I am running ring 1 and ring 3 atm

For amulet, I am running ascended triforge amulet. I calculated the amount of stat returns you get for each of the ascended items. Triforge is superior in every regard, as you get 300 total stats +6% crit dmg with 4% MF which is always nice (as with all +all stat items).

IIrc, any stat/stat/stat ascended amulet adds up to 294 (with no critical damage). Any items with stat/stat/crit damage totaled up to ~210 w/ 9% critical damage. A 3% critical increase from ascended for a trade off of 90stats is not worth it.

Analysis on stat returns from Triforge/+all stat items

Precision is also calculated to be worth about 1/2 the value of power (power and critical damage have the same amount of value) (see reddit links on my thread, on page 1, at the bottom of my last edit). It also has less of a return due to the perma upkeep of fury (20% critical chance + all the time). Its still good on knights armor though because the toughness stat is highest among 3 stats.
Power=Critical damage > precision, where ~20 power =1 critical damage point

Condition damage < Power, even though both give the same % stat return (100 power gives 7.5% damage increase). This is b/c power scales with both precision and critical damage, condition damage does not. Also condition damage tends to be mediocre against bosses, calculated at 66% efficiency or less iirc from threads I’ve read (due to conditions lasting shorter duration time frames against bosses). In addition, condition damage is easily removed anyways, whereas direct damage is immediate. Also must factor in the fact that condition damage ignores armor.

Healing power is subjective, with a stat return depending on whatever healing spell your using. I believe someone had made an analysis on how much returns healing power does on each spell here:
https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/elementalist/GW2-In-Depth-Guide-The-Elementalist-Mindset
Do note that healing power has crap stat returns as mentioned by lots of people, and is especially crappy for classes like warrior who have access to only one or maybe two healing methods. Elementalists have regeneration, regeneration x6 (from staff water5’s field), passive healing (from water attunement casts), Signet of restoration/utility skill, evasive arcana, water 5, water 2, water attunement swap etc.

Vitality is something you need only if you really need it. Its value is dependent on how much you think more HP is worth. I find myself happy at ~15k HP, as I can react to burst attacks from thieves in ~0.5 seconds (thieves take 1.5seconds at the mininum to spike ~13k damage at my armor level). If you have lag or problems like that, or your reaction isn’t <1 second, vitality might be something you’d like more. Vitality is also great for fractals too at the high end levels, where agony takes off a humungous chunk of your HP, but usually in between fairly long intervals thereby giving you enough time to heal up.

Toughness has diminishing returns, as it has an inverse relationship ( Y/X relationship, where the X refers to armor, and Y refers to a bunch of damage calculations that I don’t recall). Armor is the final stat you care about when your talking about reducing damage. It helps out alot when you stack armor heavily, as this reduces all incoming damage against you making it much easier to survive. It is good for both short term and long term situations (i.e. situations where you jump in and jump out due to many enemies, or sustained battles against a few enemies/bosses). Vitality tends to shine in situations in short term situations, and healing power in long sustained situations.
Therefore I rank toughness > healing power / vitality most of the time.

Power is just all around awesome, and has noticeable effects in damage, so as critical damage.

If I had to currently rank stats right now, in terms of both my playstayle in offense and defense, it would be

14k~15k HP vitality

Power=Critical damage=Toughness>Precision~Healing Power>Condition damage
Because I can already get condition damage anyways from stacking might (fairly easy to achieve as D/D, not so much as staff or S/F, S/D, D/F, etc). 25 stacks of might ~850 power and condition damage. Vitality has a perceived value depending on how much you want more max HP, I would rank it below toughness, critical damage, and power though.

Useful Theorycrafting link
http://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/12dmi5/tip_stat_optimization_with_crit_damage/

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

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Brief summary of other weapons used in 0/10/0/30/30 weapon setup

As stated earlier, the 0/10/0/30/30 is optimal for all weapon setups in most scenarios (PvE, WvWvW, PvP, etc)

This will be a short summary of other weapon types you should use in various situations

THE FOCUS
It shines primarily in high level fractals, and in WvWvW. The #1 major reason it is used is because of its 4th ability in air, which blocks ALL projectiles including siege type projectiles for 6 seconds with 30second CD. It is used to help defend your siege equipment in WvWvW, and to defend allies against enemy siege when breaking down a tower door.
Its 2ndary use is the earth5 ability, which makes you invulnerable, and can be casted while channeling abilities, such as rezzing or stomping an enemy. This works great in conjunction with mist form in high level fractals areas, where you need to make yourself invulnerable for a long frame of time. Note that agony goes right through it and only works if you cast it before getting hit.
It is also believed that it will be buffed later as well. Works great for both D/F and S/F setups.

THE SCEPTER
The scepter is used primarily when melee options are not really that great for situations. It couples extremely well with the focus, to give you long range DPS and good defensive support. Use this in high level fractals area where using D/D will get you killed.
-For the skills, you have access to a good deal of blinds. The DPS is rather mediocre imo, and the water skills are rather useless except water3.
Also note that it is used in competetive PvP as well, because S/D is much more harder to kill than D/D. The only downside of S/D in tPvP is that D/D supports your team way better.

THE STAFF
You should always have a staff handy. It is an extremely versatile long range weapon, for support, and great for both single / multi target DPS. It outshines D/D in WvWvW for large zerg situations. It also is great for any team oriented situations in PvE, such as dungeons.
In higher level fractals, it shines extremely well because going melee will usually get you killed. Some bosses have larger hit boxes, meaning you can use skills like meteor shower to do much more damage than you normally would. Also note that the magnetic aura with powerful aura trait (share aura with teams) is VERY useful, and works in place of the focus’s air4 ability. You can use magnetic aura for your team to reflect agony attacks, mines from the dredge boss, etc, which will save your team alot.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

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Weapon skills

See http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/List_of_elementalist_skills for a quick overview description

The maximum number of targets any given AoE ability can hit at once is capped to 5 targets.

Fire spells

Fire1 (Dragon’s claw)

Of all the auto attack abilities a D/D ele has, fire1 is only used against one target. Each line of attack is able to hit one target at a time, and stops once it reaches its target. It tends to be less useful the further away from your target, so its optimal to be as close as you can to your target as possible. Each spread travels 400 units away, and can hit enemies above or below you at approximately a Z displacement of 300 units.

Fire 2 (Drake’s breath)

Drakes breath is a channeling ability. It has a low cooldown at 5 seconds, and has a fairly high spread with a lot of AoE DoT damage. The cone is directed based on both the direction your character is facing, and the enemy that you are targeting. This means if your immobilized, you can still hit your target even if your character is not directly toward him, granted your character must be within app. 45degrees away or less and you have to be targeting him.
It has 12 procs of burning damage if you have no extended duration items/stats.

Fire 3 (Burning Speed) – Point blank AoE blast finish

Burning speed launches you forward and deals AoE blast damage. The direction to which you launch forward too is dependent on the direction to which your character is facing, via right click camera panning. At the end of the launch, you deal blast damage 240 units away from your character in all direction. The fire trail itself does normal damage as well (and they can be critical hits), and on a single cornered target the fire trail damage can proc up to 20xs. This means you can deal twice as much damage (assuming no criticals here) using both optimized fire trail damage, and the final blast radius damage. The way to do this is to cast your burning speed at a cornered target while your at a point blank distance away. Burning speed is a movement displacer as well, which moves you 400 units away from your original position. It is affected by CC’s such as cripple, chill, and immobilization. While under these conditions, you can achieve maximum procs of fire trail damage without walls/ corners much easier as your character does not move as far, and the procs occur within closer proximity to each other. While immobilized, you achieve max damage if your enemy’s avatar directly overlaps you.
Burning speed’s fire trail is a fire field as well, and can be combined with blast skills as well such as earth4, earth5, evasive arcana, etc. It cannot be cast while jumping, and gives 1 second of burning to enemies passing the fire field or possibly 4 seconds of burning if there standing on the fire field for the entire duration. I believe it is also affected by movement buffs too, but I am not 100% sure about this.

Fire4 (Ring of Fire) – Point blank AoE

Ring of Fire does point blank AoE damage with a 240 unit radius, and any enemies passing in / out of the field take burning damage. Enemies who pass in / out of field take 5 seconds of burning, so ring of fire punishes anyone who leaves the ring. It is the best fire field you have, so it can be combined easily with blast skills such as earth 4, earth 5, evasive arcana (discussed later) to give you stacks of might. It is great for using at choke points

Fire 5 (Fire Grab)

Fire Grab is one of the strongest spells a D/D ele has in terms of direct damage. It does more damage if your target is burning, so its best used if your target is on fire. The ability itself is fairly easy to miss on a moving target (due to buggy issues), so its best used when you and your target are standing still.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

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Water spell

Water1 (Vapor Blade)
Sends a boomerang toward your enemy 600 units forward, and comes directly back at your current position. This skill is best used against enemies standing in a straight line relative to you, as you can proc 2 hits on all enemies fairly easily. Each proc applies vulnerability for app. 5seconds, which means enemies take 1% more damage to all incoming attacks. This skill is also the longest range auto ability attack that you have, and the condition it applies is great for covering your DPS conditions (burning and bleeding) from removal. Water 1’s 600 units of range is applied in the Z axis as well, generally used only for enemies below you.

Water 2 (Cone of Cold)
Follows the same mechanics as Fire 2 (drakes breath). Within the same damage AoE, you also get a healing AoE overlapping with it. You can use this ability to heal your allies and yourself, for 4 ticks of 200-300 HP depending on your healing power while DPSing your enemies should you choose too.

Water 3(Frozen Burst) – Point blank AoE
This skill applies 3 seconds of chill (66% movement speed debuff) within a 240 radius around you. It works great for slowing down enemies running away, or for kiting melee enemies too close to you. The condition is also great for covering your DPS conditions as well from being removed.

Water 4 (Frost Aura) – Aura
Applies a 7 second aura that chills any enemies that attack you for 2 seconds. The chill effect only works on enemies within the “aura” range of this ability (not 100% sure on the distance), so it doesn’t work on enemies attacking you from long range. It can be casted while CC’d, knockdown, etc. Combined with both boon duration bonuses from arcana and armor, and the zephyr’s boon trait from air, you get 8 seconds of both fury and swiftness.

Water 5 (Cleansing Wave)
This skill heals you directly and any allies within a small AoE around you. It removes a condition as well, and the healing is approximately1600- 2100 depending on your healing power.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Air spells
Air 1(Lightning Whip)
Lightning whip is your strongest auto attack ability when compared to all the other attunement’s auto attacking abilities. It does the highest single targeting DPS in terms of direct damage, and due to October 22nd update, it has a decent amount of AoE to it and is able to hit 3 targets simultaneously. Each auto attack procs twice for the same amount of base damage, and each proc is considered to be one attack. Lightning whip also tends to be buggy sometimes and misses every now and then. This skill is great to use when chasing enemies / finishing them off. Each proc hits for around 500-800 depending on your power, and 1k-1.5k per proc depending on your critical damage %.

Air 2 (Lightning touch)
Lightning touch applies weakness for 5 seconds to (50% of non critical hits are glancing blows (50% damage) and endurance reg. is reduced to 50%) to up to 3 enemies at a time. It has the same AoE bubble as Lightning whip, and the damage is usually under 1k. It does have a slightly long cast time, and should be used especially on burst melee classes such as thief/warrior to mitigate damage on yourself. Furthermore, this spell is also great against escaping enemies, as it lowers the amount of times they can dodge. it should not be used at the same exact moment as Air 3 (shocking aura) since stunning / weakening an enemy at the same time is overkill, and it is best to spread out your damage mitigation.

Air3 (shocking aura) – aura
Shocking aura is one of the strongest CC’s spells in your arsenal. Enemies are stunned if they attack you within 600 units away from you, meaning it does affect ranged enemies as well. The aura duration tool tip says 5 seconds, but it actually lasts 6 seconds. The skill itself last the entire 6 second duration, and can stun enemies multiple times for 1 second each on every attack during this duration. Combined with zephyr’s boon, this spell gives you 12 seconds of swiftness and fury. With boon gear, the duration approximately 18 seconds long. This skill should never be used during ride the lightning, as the boon effects do not work. Like all auras, it can be used while CC’d. This means you can easily counter bull rush / frenzy HB warriors by simply clicking this skill as they burst you. It is also a good idea not to dodge while under this effect unless you have to, as the stun duration is a very strong method of disabling enemies. The stun itself can also proc on indirect methods of damage as well, such as AoE.

Air 4(Ride the lightning)
Ride the lightning is one of the best mobility skill in the entire game. You can use it two different ways: having an enemy target, or no target at all. The best way to use this ability without having a target is to go to options (put on these options) http://imgur.com/XHbw0. Click the screen twice with left click to deselect any target, and cast RtL in the direction you want to go. The other way to use this skill is to target an enemy, and this skill is the only ability an elementalist has to automatically bring yourself to the enemy location. This means as long as you have a target on your enemy, you can use this skill to actually track them down without having a visual cue on them. It is extremely useful for hunting down runners because of this. The downside of this ability is that it is very buggy, and any sudden direction changes made by the enemy during the cast time will bug your RtL out, leaving you vulnerable for up to 2-3seconds. In terms of dealing damage with this ability, it is best used at point blank range where the ability will least likely bug out.

Air 5 (Updraft)
Updraft is the only skill a D/D elementalist has that knocks back your enemy. Knockdown is considered to be the strongest CC in the game, as it cannot be countered by anything other than stability (stun breakers don’t work on knockdowns). Cooldown of this skill is unfortunately fairly high, so it is one of those “oh —--“ abilities that is used only when needed. Range of the skill itself is an PbAoE circle with a radius of 180 units, and knocks enemies directly away from you as you dodge roll the other direction. Updraft’s knockback distance has a fairly decent range, and can be used to knock people off of cliffs / walls for fall damage / instant kills. The knockback distance is much greater if your knocking an enemy onto a downward slope. Another great use of this skill is when your immobilized – immobilization prevents you from dodging, but this handy skill actually lets you dodge in place

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Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

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Earth Spells

Earth 1 (Impale)
Impale is an extremely powerful single target DoT spell if you have a decent amount of condition damage. It does less direct damage overall compared to the other auto attack abilities, but it has a very accurate 300 range attack. Water 1 has a range of 600, but tends to miss very easily on the return proc in comparison, fire1 requires you to be at point blank for maximal effect, and air1 tends to miss a lot. Another great feature of impale is that it works just like a PbAoE spell – you don’t actually have to face your target to land it, meaning you can confuse your enemy as much as you want. Like all earth spells (except earth 3), you can use this ability through obstacles such as walls.

Earth 2 (Ring of earth) -PbAoE

Originally this spell did not give enemies cripple until the October 22nd update. It is a PbAoE spell. The radius of the spell is 240 units away from you, and bleeding lasts for 12 seconds. Although the animation only shows spikes protruding in a circumference around you, you actually hit everything within a 240unit radius. This spell is very useful right after using earth 5, as the cripple effect is a cover condition for your massive DPS bleeding damage. The latest conditions applied to enemies get removed first when they use condition removal.

Earth 3 (Magnetic Grasp) – Leap projectile finisher(not sure if Nov.15 changed this)
The November 15th update has actually worsened this skill, as you can no longer use earth 3 + fire 4 to give yourself fire aura, and it does not proc with zephyr’s boon. It still TBD whether this patch was intentional, or a hidden stealth nerf (Anet tends to do this a lot). Asides from this, magnetic grasp is an extremely powerful CC spell. Immobilization is considered to be one of the strongest CC’s in the game, on par with knockdown and stuns. It can only be removed via condition removal, not stability. The angling and aiming mechanics are very similar to that of drakes breath (fire2). The immobilization lasts 2 seconds, and the range of this spell is 900 units away from the location at which you begin the cast, not your current position upon where the spell is finished casting. In addition, the final enemy position upon where this spell hits is also calculated into the 900 units. Basically, you get less bang for your buck cause the spell factors in your starting cast position, and the opponents end position when the projectile should connect (spell does not connect if above 900 units).
Magnetic grasp is also one of the strongest anti stealth skills in the game. It can be freecasted onto invisible enemies if you aim it right, and connect even if you cast this after the enemy stealths. I use this fairly often in my videos to take down invisible thieves without having an actual target on them.

Earth 4 (Earthquake) – Combo Finisher (Blast) PbAoE
Earthquake has a fairly long CD at 45seconds, and is the longest CD weapon skill you have. It is a PbAoE spell with 240 unit radius, and a 2 second knockdown. It has a fair bit of an after effect animation cast, and the spell cannot be casted while moving (this means you cannot dodge end it prematurely). Like all combo blast finishers, you can use this in conjunction with fire4 to give you and any nearby allies 3 stacks of might. Its best to use earthquake right after a lightningflash+churning earth combo, or saving it when under a fire field. This skill causes knockdown, which should not be confused with “blowout” from air5 (updraft). Blowout is impossible to recover early once affected. Knockdown is countered by stun breakers and stability.

Earth 5 (Churning earth) – Combo Finisher (Blast) PbAoE
This is your strongest spell, and your signature move. It has an incredibly long cast time at 3.25 seconds, so don’t use this when sitting out in the open while being attacked by several enemies. The best method to utilize this spell is earth5+lightning flash. When combining this skill with lightning flash, the teleport does not interrupt the channeling (this can also be applied to Mesmer portals as well). The ability itself does a massive amount of direct damage within 360 radial units, and causes a large amount of bleeding damage (8stacks that last 8 seconds). The cripple effect is applied repeatedly during the channeling, and the period b/w each depends on the distance your enemy is from you during the cast. It should also be noted that this constant cripple effect is considered as damage, so you will get stunned when using this next to an enemy elementalist using air3. You cannot move during this cast time, or dodge. Evasive arcana creates a weaker, miniature version of this spell under earth attunement.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Reserved for more editing~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Old thread i made about keyboard setup

Standard keyboard with mouse that has 2 extra buttons used by the thumb. No need for fancy stuff, simplicity is best.
Attunement swap: f1,f2,f3,f4
Weapon skills, 1,2,3,4,5
Utility heal skill: 6
Utility and elite skills Z,X,C,V in place of 7,8,9,0 respectively
Look backwards: Q
Dodge: E
Target nearest enemy: Mouse 4 (thumb button)
Target next enemy: Mouse 5 (other thumb button)
Tab: Talk on Vent/ teamspeak/ raidcall /voice programs
Everything else is left the same

Options
http://imgur.com/XHbw0
As seen in picture, make sure you

  • Turn off autotargeting as this will screw up your RtL
  • Turn on stop autotargeting on target change: This will destroy your element of suprise in some cases
  • Turn off melee attack assist: You rely on confusing your enemy with movement displacers, and your melee range hit box is greater than that of melee warriors / guardians/ etc.
  • Turn off double tap to evade: There has been too many times to which I accidently dodged when I did not attend to. Having E as the only dodge solves this issue
  • Turn on skill recharge: This is VITAL. Elementalist rely heavily on CD’s, you should know when your attunement and skills are ready.

Other special D/D keyboard tactics:
Ride the lightning:
Deselect your target by double clicking the screen right before pushing RtL. You can alternatively hold “w” and press “escape” at the same time followed by RtL.

Burning speed:
Burning speed is dictated by the direction to which your character is facing. It is determined by your camera panning while holding right click

Lightning flash:
In order to execute lightning flash properly onto higher grounds, you need a clear visual line of sight relative to your character to use it properly. There must also be no obstacles in your way from your position to the target position
——————————————————
Quick ambush techniques:
When ambushing an enemy chasing you, quickly hold right click and pan your camera around, followed by “mouse 4” for nearest target. Using “about face” does not work when your holding right click, so I recommend not using this keybind as it tends to overcomplicate things.

My tactic for a quick turn around ambush engagement is the following:
Step 1. Hold “w” to run away
Step 2. Pan your camera (move your mouse right)
While panning your camera do the following:
Step 3. Hold “a” for half a second
Step 4. Hold “s” to backpedal
Step 5. Start engaging your enemy and using weapon skills
Alternative, you can switch steps 2 and 3 when panning the screen in the other direction.
Step 2. Pan camera (move mouse left)
Step 3. Hold “d” for half a second
Between Steps 4 and 5, you can alternatively change backpedaling “s” into “d” and “a” kiting. Backpedaling right after the quick turn around helps you align yourself correctly.
“About Face” key is only good for juking / escaping, it is bad for ambush engagement tactics. I haven’t really mastered this key for juking/ escaping, but it is a great way to juke melee attackers / backstabbing thieves

General camera tactics:
Always pan camera holding right click when casting channeling abilities
Press Q occasionally when running away to see who’s chasing you and so you can dodge quick initiation attacks
Hold left control and left alt while panning around with right click to find where your enemies / allies are.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

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General Camera tactics, and maybe more in depth on certain abilities dependant on it like ride the lightning and burning speed

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Combo fields and stacking might

(maybe put this in in juking / ambush)

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Different types of skill rotations

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Terrain (optimal fighting locations), and special ride the lightning locations

-Why its important, and maybe good locations

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More terrain

Using terrain as a defensive tool
terrain as a weapon

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Notes

  • This next part is mainly for players familiar with the D/D setup
    I use almost every tactic and trick in the book in my videos, whether it be line of sight techniques, ambush techniques, juking, timing, etc. There is a lot more to learn from just watching me play than reading this wall of text =P. I learned most of these tricks by playing other video games, as I used to play competitive FPS, SC2, Dota, Gw1, etc.
    I don’t list every tactic / method I invented/utilize, as there are too many

Rotation

  • In general, the best way to rotate attunements is always to use fire before earth attunement for DPS, use water whenever necessary, and air generally before fire.
    Fire offers DPS in the form of direct damage, and burning.
    Water offers healing, CC in the form of chill, and vulnerability
    Air offers stun, a heavy hitting auto attack, high mobility, and the best CC countering abilities
    Earth offers bleed, cripple, knockback, immobilization, and the strongest spell you have.

Initiation Techniques
Air 4+ Air5+Move+Fire3+Fire5

  • This is one of the best ways to initiate onto a target run. Air4 brings you up to your target, and air5 updrafts them leaving them wide open for a quick burst. You want to move slightly forward after using air 5, such that fire3’s damage and 1 second of burning connects so that you can pop out to deal heavy burst damage. This is fairly easy to counter as air4 is really easy to see coming, and a simple dodge from your opponent during air4 /air 5 will mess up the combo

Earth5+ Lightning flash

  • Another great way to start off a fight is to use earth5 and use lightning flash right as the cast time is almost finished onto the enemy. It deals massive direct damage and bleeding damage to all opponents within range, and is very hard to avoid. The best time to use this combination is when your enemy least expects it, via initiation while there not aware of your presence, or when you are running away from a mob. It gets countered by any long range CC, such as daze, knockback, stuns, etc (but not immobilize).

Fire3

  • Fire3 in itself is a very strong method of initiation. Because the range of this spell is much shorter than air4 or lightning flash, it is recommended that you lure an enemy into close range quarters to use this. Use line of sight to force an enemy into close / mid range quarters, and use this skill to initiate

Air4+Reverse 180 during air4 Deselect targetAir5+Fire2+Fire5

  • Reverse initiation. It can work in your favor, even if your enemy decides to dodge backwards (because you will updraft dodge roll in the same direction too!). You should be close up to your enemy after using this, and can follow up with fire3 should they try to widen the distance b/w you.

Earth 3 + any “WASD” key spam / changing attunement before final destination

  • If you just cast earth 3 by itself, chances are you are going waste the entire time waiting for the full duration of the spell. End the spell by cancelling it early, while still retaining its full effects.

Skill techniques
Fire4+Earth4 and/or Earth5

  • This is the best method of stacking might. Fire 4 is a fire field, and earth 4 / earth 5 are both combo blast finishers. Using a fire field + combo finisher gives you 3 stacks of might. The combo finisher is applied at the beginning of the cast, and does not physically apply onto your boons until the end of the cast. Basically when you use earth 4 or earth 5, you apply 0 damage first to all enemies within 300 radial units, and then your regular damage upon the cast finishing. This means you can stun yourself on an enemy elementalist’s air3 ability before finishing your cast. Also when might stacking using this tactic, make sure that your actually utilizing the CC and damage to the best of your ability as well.

Fire2+Fire5

  • This is a great way to deal a lot of burst and burning damage in a short frame of time. Fire 5 deals more damage when your target is on fire.
    You can deliver the damage in two different ways: Using a full duration Fire 2, or a 1 proc Fire 2. If your facing several enemies at once, use the full duration Fire 2. If you need a quick, finishing burst, cancel Fire 2 early then use Fire 5.

Fire 4+Earth 3

  • Use this to gain fire aura (Constant burning damage to enemies adjacent to you), and any benefits from zephyr’s boon. Its also a great idea to use this when many enemies are attacking you at the same time, such as vs mesmer’s clones.

Any fire field (Fire3 or Fire 4)+ EA earth dodge roll

  • Use this to give yourself 3 stacks of might, while trying to harass your enemy at the same time.
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Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Other Camera tricks
Double click screen + Air 4 + Target nearest enemy+ 180* turn + Air 5+ 180* turn

  • This is one of the best methods to maximize your distance from an army chasing you. Learn to use this properly.

Look backwards + Release right click +“About face” +Fire 3

  • This is an extremely powerful method of ambushing an enemy chasing you, granted they are within the right distance for this to work. Enemies generally will not see this coming, and the “about face” key brings a whole new level of confusion to your enemies.

Fire3+”About Face”+Fire5

  • Use fire 3 and make sure the blast effect hits on the backend of your trail. Quickly changing directions and casting fire 5 usually connects and can be used to confuse your enemies.

360* panning + casting

  • Learn to play while actively looking around and killing your enemies :P

Running + hold “Look Backwards” + Staff AoE casting / Underwater abilities

  • I use this tactic primarily while playing staff. By looking backwards, I can effectively cast as far as I want behind me without ever stopping while running forward. This takes a lot of practice to do, since you effectively have to hold the “look backwards” key

Maximizing spell output and efficiency using signet of restoration
Always attunement swap at the beginning of a cast, unless you plan to use more spells in that attunement. Use every dodge roll spell possible under evasive arcana, except maybe air.

Running+ Double click screen+ Auto attack (repeatedly)

  • This is a very advanced tactic when using signet of restoration. It is one of the few tactics that I am not fully accustomed to yet, but if you want to maximize healing then do this.

Evasive arcana dodge roll+Attunement swapping

  • Evasive arcana procs near the end of the dodge roll, and the spell that comes out depends on your attunement that you are currently. I prematurely dodge knowing that my attunement is not ready at the moment (aka the spell I want), but will be midway through the dodge.

Animation end effects cancellation

  • I do this fairly often in most of my videos. Almost all spells have an end cast animation. Dodge rolling effectively eliminates this end cast animation. I usually dodge roll 9/10ths the way into the spell, thereby reducing the total cast time of spell, and any drawback after effects.

Water2+Water3+Water1

  • The fastest way to pull off as many spells as possible is to cast your channeling spell first, and interrupt it with another spell before the channel spell ends.

Water3+Dodge

  • This builds distance between melee enemies
Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Underwater techniques
Double click screen + Water 5+ 180* turn + repeated “s” backpedaling +Water 3 + 180* turn

  • This is the fastest way to get around underwater. Double click the screen to deselect all targets. The repeated backpedalling animation cancels approximately .5 to 1 seconds of aftercast effects. Water 3 always moves you directly backward relative to where your character is facing

Dodge+ horizontal air 3 + teleport+ dodge

  • In order to maximize the furthest distance you can possibly achieve using air3, dodge before you use the ability as dodging during the duration of air3 negates the effects of how far you can get. When casting air3, always cast it parallel to the surface of the water, as this gives you the greatest net distance you can possibly achieve. There really is no point in diving deep underwater when traveling, skirting the surface + using abilities are the best way to travel.

Water 5 + “w” forward movement spam

  • Another method to get away faster

Earth5 (freecast while not moving and slightly above ground floor)Water5 (aim it slightly downward to ground floor) Arcane Wave+ Water 3

  • Elementalist have access to 13 seconds of stealth underwater to escape in any situation. The best part of this technique is that enemies will not see you stealth since you are comboing, and the Water3 pushes you backward making this an effective juking method against anyone. The only downside is that you can’t be CC’d during this combo elsewise it will mess up.
    You can chain this with Air3 to move faster while stealthed, and Air4 to CC enemies in stealth. You don’t unstealth as long as you don’t deal any damage to enemies

Fire2+Blast finisher (Arcane blast)

  • More might stacking

Water5+Corner

  • You can proc Water5’s damage many times if you use it on an enemy trapped in a corner

Advanced terrain fightning techniques
Line of sight Earth 5 delayed Air3

  • Pop churning earth such that the enemies will be forced into a point blank position away from you when they reach your position. I did this in one of my videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXz5nVpS3Ds&feature=plcp). I dodge rolled off a cliffside and used tornado (this was prenerf nov. 15) for stability to give myself extra protection while waiting for my enemies. I then proceeded to time my churning earth perfectly as they jumped down the Cliffside to follow me, and popped a delayed air3 right as the first attack was about to connect. Most people’s instincts is to attack on sight before thinking it through, so I did not give my enemies a chance that small window to dodge right before churning earth hit. Also I forced them into stunning themselves right as my churning earth connected. You could use this same strategy elsewhere too, with any line of sight obstacle.

Line of sight + Earth 5 + Lightning flash

  • I did this in nearly every video I made, normally using an obstacle such as a tree. I position a tree inbetween myself and my enemy in a direct line, such that the tree is about 100-200 units away from me. This gives me both protection via against projectiles which allows me to cast churning earth safely, and gives me a large range of motion as to where I can counter attack with lightning flash.

Line of sight corner+ Fire 2 or Water 2

  • In (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXz5nVpS3Ds&feature=plcp), there was one point where I cut across a cliff side corner and shot water2 at them, forcing an enemy to stay back. You can use fire2/water2 around a corner and hit your enemies, without them ever giving an enemy a chance to retaliate. I also use this tactic fairly often with trees as well, similarly as what you’d see in a first person shooter game.

Earth arcane abatement + Mesmer portal + Fall

  • You can proc an infinite number of stuns onto an enemy by constantly portalling yourself upward and using the new fall down trait ability under the earth attunement (as it gives you an earthquake spell)

Again there are way more techniques out here than the ones I listed. It all depends on the situation and terrain you are fighting in. There’s way too many to name :S

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Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Reserved for more editing~!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Reserved for more editing~~~~~

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Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Reserved for more editing~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Anti-stealth
Thieves can be particularly annoying when they can just stealth and run away. The best way to counter a sneaky thief or any stealthing class ability in general is to use CC’s and AoE.
The first thing to do is predict when the thief will stealth. Most thieves will back out when there aware that they are losing a battle, or are taking way too much damage from the enemy player.
General scenarios:
I predict when the enemy will stealth. I cast earth 3 as he is casting stealth, and it connects while he is in stealth. Therefore I know that the thief is immobilized for 2 seconds at that location while stealth, and I will follow that up with earth 2, and then earth 4 once the immobilize ends. Follow thereafter, I cast Air 5 and knock him backwards, follow by the typical fire3+fire5 combo. Finish it off with a fire4 field, and randomly spread fire2 thereafter. Usually this will kill all the bad thieves, but good thieves will get away because they will break your immobilize , stun and dodge / port away before you know it.

Weaving
Weaving is an advanced tactic used against primarily ranged opponents (i.e. rangers). Fire1 and Earth1 are both incredibly strong auto attack abilities that weaving is great for. Basically what you do is run around your enemy and “weave” into their avatar constantly such that they never get a clean shot of you with their targeting abilities. You can then couple that with PbAoE abilities as well, such as earth 2, as this will hit regardless of where your facing. Earth 1 also does not require you to face your enemies as well, so this spell is great for weaving. Having swiftness up + crippling/ chilling your enemies makes weaving very effective.

Air dodging
I learned this awhile back from some random person in WvWvW, and I had originally thought it was useless. It is basically where you move+jump, immediately followed by a VERY quick dodge click. The animation looks as if your dodge rolling in mid air.

It’s a fairly hard technique to master. The timing must be PERFECT for this to work right, and of course you need enough energy to dodge. I don’t even get this down most of the time when I want too, it only works half the time I intend it too.

Now for its uses:
Air dodging is the most effective method of jumping from one location to another, as it gives you the furthest possible distance achievable. The reason why is as follows: Why do people dodge on the ground to get around places? It is because it is one of the most effective ways to travel, as dodging is basically an effective temporary speed buff. Technically ride the lightning is much more effective at doing this (you can jump cliff chasms with it), but this skill is specific only to d/d elementalists, and you will not always have it handy. Plus no other profession has access to anything remotely like ride the lightning.

Locations:

Any area that requires you to jump (i.e. low walls, hopping from island to island, far distance jumps, etc) benefit from air dodging. One particular location is worth mentioning. This is on Raid of the Capricorn, on the sPvP map at the “Docks” capture location area. There is a highrise “sniping” location at the “Docks” capture point that one team generally has access too from their starting location. You cannot physically get to that “sniping” location without wasting time running around the corners. You can’t to my knowledge teleport up there either using the elementalist’s lightning flash or the Mesmer teleport skill.

However, you can actually climb that “sniping” location by simply jumping on a box on the corner in the “docks” capture zone area, and jump up there. Normal jumping only works if your out of combat. However when in combat, normal jumping does not get you far enough to reach the “sniping” platform. Air dodging does get you far enough though.
Other locations that this air dodge is useful is jumping from cliff to cliff.

One very useful location is in the EB Jumping puzzle where enemies will attack you and therefore give you a “in combat” movement speed debuff, making it difficult for regular jumps to work. Air dodges ignore movement speed debuffs.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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The Almighty Level Up technique
Yes leveling up is a method of fighting too, albeit not something you would ever think of when fighting. There is a % chance that all enemies will be pushed back away from you, and you can use this to your advantage. Near the end of my 2nd video,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzBn32Fqm9w

I actually used this ability without realizing it. Everyone just flies away from you at such incredible speeds that its actually OP in its own right. Do your daily reward and accept it when you need it, if your EXP bar is almost there. Also you can use it to revive yourself too and fully heal yourself.
The only downside is this isn’t exactly reliable

Downed techniques
Since elementalist can use vapor form while downed, this actually brings in a whole new level of tactics in your arsenal. You can purposely die as a legit form of strategy, when you know you will die because your HP is too low and all your CD’s are on cooldown. This was done in my 5th video, I got moa’d with really low HP leftover and I knew I was going die. I used it to my advantage and found a nearby firefly.

You can also use a suicidal tactic as well. If you know that you have no chance of rallying yourself and are near a highrise, simply jump off the cliff using vapor form and you can make your silly enemies kill themselves.
Another tactic is to jump into a body of water using vapor form, and revive yourself that way out of combat. If an enemy decides to chase you down there, you can constantly surface and hold them off longer

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

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3/13
To be added later:

More terrain techniques (fall damage, more line of sight)
Mind games
Cover conditioning
Combinations with other classes
Fiery Great Sword
Racial Skills and Elite combos
Underwater/Land techniques

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Air casting
Air casting is very similar to air dodging, except instead of jumping + immediately dodging, you jump + immediately cast. The uses of this applies primarily to channeling /long cast type abilities (i.e. churning earth) and defending keeps with the staff weapon. I don’t use it too often since its rather hard to pull off in most cases when being pressured by many enemies at once, but I’m sure there are players that can utilize these strategies.

The 2 methods to use this technique
It is highly suggested you use arcane abatement (Water 8 trait, fall damage 50% reduction) when doing method 1 and 2.

Method 1 –
This method is for the D/D’s churning earth spell (earth 5)
The enemy is right below you, on a drop off at a cliff. Move and jump forward off the ledge and cast churning earth immediately. Your spell should channel in midair, and finish by the time you reach the ground. Chain the arcane abatement in earth attunement to also knockdown your foe while the churning earth goes off.
The best way to execute this spell is to be on auto run, jump off a cliff and immediately press churning earth.

Method 2-
This method is primarily for the staff’s meteor shower (fire5)
The enemy zerg army is assaulting your keep, and you don’t have line of sight with your staff to deal AoE damage while standing on the keep’s walls. Your fear is that once you have a clear AoE target to channel spells on the enemy mob, an enemy will drag you down to their army using skills such as the mesmer’s temporal curtain, thieves scorpion wire, guardian’s GS pull, etc.
The solution is to have a clear line of sight between you and the enemy army, and to jump into a no line of sight area. While jumping, cast the spell that you intend to using air casting. This can be done with spells that require you to stand still, such as meteor shower, so you don’t have to waste a lightning flash / magnetic aura to be on the safe side.
The best way to execute this spell is to use auto run, and have your AoE target marker ready before jumping.

Advanced Weapon Swapping
Weapon swapping before a battle starts is an extremely useful tactic that I use all the time. It requires the use of all weapon types – scepter, dagger, focus, and staff. The reason this works is because there is no cooldown when you swap weapons, and you are free to cast whatever abilities you want as each weapon has its own CDs associated with it. It is very commonly done with the warrior class to get a speed buff using the warhorn.
Essentially what you are doing is combining spells from all weapon types an elementalist has. The only downside of these techniques is that you can get caught while swapping weapons , i.e. namely with only 1 weapon in your hand. They’re also very micro intensive.
There are two types of weapon swap combos, support or offensive
I will use a different naming convention b/c it will get confusing when describing spells of different attunements and weapon types.
Z = Staff
S= Scepter/Focus
D = Dagger/Dagger
Earth 1 = e1 , Earth5 = e5, Fire 3 = f3, water4 =w4, etc. air 2= a2
Scepter Fire skill number 3 = Sf3

Support weapon swaps
This is the more useful of the two. There are several uses for this method such as gaining longer swiftness buffs, pre-might stacks, +300 armor, etc before a battle starts.

Swiftness Stacking
There’s 3 types. Type 1 takes less time to do but doesn’t give as many benefits as type 3.

Type 1:
Ze5+Za4+Za5 (onto Ze5)+Swap to D/D

Type 2:
Ze5+Za4+Za5 (onto Ze5)+Sf3 (onto Za5) +Swap to D/D

Type 3: (this is using zephyr’s boon trait, MS + Fury buff upon aura cast)
Ze3+Ze5+Za4+Za5(onto Ze5)+Da3+Sf3(onto Za5)+Sf5 +Swap to D/D

Armor buffing
Se2+Swap to D/D

Might stacking
Sf4+Sf3(onto Sf4) + Se4 +Swap to D/D

The combined total buffing (using zephyr’s boon trait)
Ze3+Ze5+Za4+Za5(onto Ze5)+Da3+Df5+wait until Za5 gone+Sf4+Sf3(onto Sf4)+Se4+Se2+Swap to D/D

This grants you lots of swiftness and fury, 7 stacks of might, +300 armor before a battle begins. You can chain it further by using scepter air skills 3-5 to attack your enemy before swapping to D/D, then use RtL to initiate

Offensive Weapon Swapping
Nobody will probably utilize these because the timing and weapon swapping needs to be perfect.

Sa3+Sa5+Sf2+Sf3+Df3+Df5
Blind, knock down your enemy, and follow up with a dragons tooth scepter combo and a dagger burst combo

Ze2+Ze3+Df3 initiation
Mid-range initiation blast finisher with a magnetic aura protection

Se5+De5+Lightning flash
The traditional churning earth+ lightning flash with invulnerability during casting

Zw5+Sf3+Se4+Se5+De4+De5+Lightning flash
Quad blast water healing to team + Invulnerability initiation. Only useful when you arrive and your team needs healing / ready to re-engage.

There’s more combinations than these listed here, this just gives you a general idea.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Role of a D/D elementalist in
WvW
sPvP
PvE

countering classes: warrior

countering classes: Thieves, backstab, permastealth etc

countering mesmers

countering guardians

Excala, Expert Elementalist
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Countering Mesmers

The best way to know how to defeat a class is to play one yourself. Mesmer Vs. Elementalist is generally decided upon the better player.

Since most people have problems fighting mesmers, I will list the tactics to combat them. The most common one is probably the “shatter cat” build by osicat.

https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/mesmer/Guide-WvWvW-Pve-Shatter-Cat/page/17#post1585372.

There are many variation of builds out there for mesmers. For the most part, most build setups revolve around 0/20/20/0/30 setups. From there, you can categorize the damage each mesmer does by the following:

Retaliation/Tank Spec
Confusion/Condition damage Spec
Burst/Zerker Spec

Then you can categorize mesmers by weapon type, almost all mesmer builds run a staff and a sword/x, where x is a focus, torch, sword, or pistol. Sometimes the mesmers might run greatsword for burst specs, or scepter for confusion/condition damage setups.

Steps to defeating a mesmer
1. First recognize what type of mesmer you are fighting.
Retaliation / Tank specs are generally the lowest threat ones, since you can really only kill yourself. You should assume all mesmers are burst / Zerker setups though, since this is the most common setup b/c the gear is cheap and easy to obtain from running dungeons. The highest threat build setup is the confusion/condition mesmer, as you can easily take 1k damage from 1 spell due to confusion stacks. You won’t find as many confusion / condition mesmers since the price of gear is so expensive. Confusion / condition mesmers also use scepters, so assume all scepter mesmer users as confusion types.

2. You need to watch out for the common Blurred frenzy + immobilization spike.
It is associated with their sword hand weapon number 2 and 3 skill. What happens is the mesmer sends a melee, crippling clone at you, and then teleports at that clone+immobilizes you, followed by a blurred frenzy spike (High DPS burst spell that makes them evade all attacks in place). Most mesmers also follow up with “shatter”, which is their F1 to F4 abilities, to which their clones blow up on you, dealing either daze, confusion, burst damage, or grants them evasion. Most will use the first 3 on you.
To deal with the spike, immobilization is their key ability to hold you in place. It lasts 2 seconds long, and blurred frenzy is a 2second spike + shatter. Essentially their spike has a 2 second time spam. You need to remove that immobilization and dodge ASAP when you see it. This means blowing off a cantrip with the Water 3+Water11 trait to remove it, or immediately swapping to water to remove 2 conditions. The other alternative is to use ether renewal, but it can be interupted if the enemy uses a daze “shatter” with their spike.

3. Watch out for the clones / Phantasms.
Clones are exact replicas of the mesmer, and deal very minimal auto attack damage, but can be devastating for “shatters” and combined traitlines. Phantasms hit extremely hard, but have less HP. Clones have about 3.2k HP, and its shatter based damage, and armor is dependent upon the mesmer’s stats. Phantasms ~2k HP.
Some mesmers can trait such that clones you kill give you various conditions. For the most part, it is recommended you spread your PbAoE / AoE upon both the real mesmer, and its clones/phantasms. Phantasms need to be dealt with before clones, since they present a threat.
Clones will run up to you when the mesmer uses his “shatter” ability. When you see the clones stop auto attacking, and run to you, dodge the incoming shatter. Shatter between clones has a 0.25second interval.

4. Use line of sight.
Mesmers utilize LoS very poorly, whereas D/D elementalist is the best class to utilize it. This is because, as mentioned earlier, D/D ele’s spells go right through trees / obstacles most of the time. Mesmers on the other hand, can actually lose out on their spell and cause it to go to CD without doing anything if their clone/phantasm summoning ability is blocked by line of sight.
That being said, fighting on open ground is an advantage to mesmers.
Mesmers also have the advantage on high ground access locations, due to their staff 2 ability as well.
Forest / tree heavy areas / walls/ obstacles / Flat terrain are all in your favor.

5. Your cantrips are your lifeline. If there all on CD, you might as well run.
Cantrips are used to coutner the blurred frenzy/ shatter spike by removing the immobilization, and if you don’t have any available you will most likely die. The alternative is to physically dodge right before the blurred frenzy spike by recognizing when it is coming. Your other alternative is to swap to water attunement right before the spike will occur, but a good Mesmer will spike you when you are already in water attunement and force you to burn a cantrip.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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6. Keep heavy pressure on the mesmers
Mesmers have almost no condition removal unless they use their utility skill. This means skills that cripple, chill, burn, bleed mesmers will seriously cause a lasting impact and end the battle sooner. Skills like Drakes breath, Churning earth+lightning flash, etc are strong counters. Getting into the mesmer’s comfort zone is the fastest way to kill one, since they have the advantage at long range. The best way to kill a Mesmer is to do it inbetween their Blurred Frenzy shatter spikes.
Do note that their staff2 ability makes them teleport 900 units away from you, and creates a clone where they were once at. The animation cue and sound cue is how you notice it. Also be wary that mesmers also create clones upon dodging too.
Their staff 5 ability creates a giant dome that applies boons to them and conditions to you every second. Counter this using mid range abilities, such as Drakes breath while outside of the bubble.

7. Watch out for cliff sides.
Mesmers have very strong pulling / pushing abilities with the focus and great sword. The focus’s temporal curtain is a freecast pull in any direction, and can easily pull you off a cliff if your not careful. Therefore, it is best to avoid cliff side drop offs.

8. Watch out for their downed state
Mesmers have one of the most powerful downed DPS states in the game. Their 3rd downed ability causes a whirling phantasm (same as their 4th GS ability), very similar to the warriors great sword 3rd ability spin. It has a 10second CD to start, and can deal upwards of up to 9k damage if you are not careful.
To counter this, hide behind a terrain obstacle and heal up once they are downed. Don’t go for the stomps, just keep AoE bursting them until they are dead WHILE constantly moving and dodging, as this will make it harder for their spike to land. Their downed state 2 ability is on CD right when they are downed, and teleports them / makes them invisible + makes a clone. The real Mesmer has a larger red triangle icon above its head.

9. Call target if you have a party
“Control + T” the Mesmer using the standard keyboard configurations. You will be able to see the real Mesmer at all times, provided they do not use stealth skills. IF they do stealth, you need to re-target. Also at the same time, note what stealth abilities they possess
1- Torch 4 provides a 3second stealth + burn AoE
2- Utility Veil provides a line that grants them 4 seconds of stealth
3- Utility decoy creates a clone that grants them 3 seconds of stealth (you can see when the Mesmer uses this by a change in their attack animation)
4- Elite Mass invisibility takes 1.75seconds to cast, and grants all allies 5 seconds of stealth
5- Utility teleport is also noted here as well, b/c they can use it while stealthed to escape. Or they can use their staff 2 teleport skill.

10. Note your spell counter vs. Confusion / Condition mesmers
Spells come in 4 forms for an elementalist, and are all affected by confusion and your signet of restoration spell.
Dodging = 1 spell
Attunement Swapping = 1 spell
Casting a spell = 1 spell
Each unique evasive arcana roll = 1 spell.
Dodging with an evasive arcana spell is considered 2 spells.
Channeling skills cancelled early are not considered spells. Therefore spamming Fire2 and cancelling it near the end with “escape” key is a strong tactic. Same with Water2

Confusion damage per spell ranges up to 1k per spell cast. Your average spell cast is about 1 cast / second, so it really adds up quickly, on top of the mesmers ability to shatter spike on you. The worst case scenario battle is when you fight both a confusion mesmer, and a condition necro at the same time. If that is the case, you might as well run b/c you will not win.

When fighting a confusion/ condition mesmer, the hardest thing to learn is to RECOGNIZE confusion stacks ASAP and NOT cast spells but instead to run away, heal up, and re-initiate. You need to utilize that line of sight tactic as much as possible to win, and time your condition removals perfectly.

11. The trick to winning against a mesmer is through attrition/long drawn out battles, since you have much higher access to healing abilities than they do.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
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Countering Thieves
As mentioned earlier, the best way to counter a class is to play one yourself.
Thieves are known to be the highest burst class in the game. Most thieves run a combination of Pistol/dagger, dagger/dagger, and shortbow. Occassionally you might find a Sword/pistol type, but they are not common.

Build types are not really important when countering thieves, unlike that of a mesmer. Identifying what weapon the thief is using is more important. Their main damage type is burst through direct damage, usually right out of stealth. Condition based thieves aren’t really that a threat to elementalist since they can’t cover it with other conditions.

Steps to defeating a thief
1. Understand what the thief is capable of
The first step is to understand how the thief actually works. They actually have an “energy” counter called initiative, that regenerates linearly. Thieves can only combo as much as their initiative allows them too. Most thieves will use their initiative and spam it on heartseeker, the dagger 2 skill that leaps them to you and deals more damage the lower your HP.

Often times you’ll see a thief use only a few skills, since in all honesty most of their skills are not worth using. The main skills you want to look out for are the following:

-Cloak and Dagger - Dagger skill 5. Melee attack that stealths them if it lands on you. Almost every thief relies on this skill to stealth, and if you cause this attack to fail you’ll have the upper advantage.
-Heartseeker – Dagger skill 2. Enemy leaps forward toward you, and deals more damage the lower your HPs at. This is the infamous spam kill spell.
-Dancing Dagger – Dagger skill 4. Throws a crippling projectile at you.
-Infiltrator’s arrow – Shortbow skill 5. Allows thief to teleport to a position, similar to lightning flash but shorter range and spammable.
-Basilisk Venom elite – turns you into a statue, behaves like a stun. Countered by cantrips

You probably at this point have heard much QQ about thieves being able to instagib enemies, and this is mostly true. A thief before the 3/26/13 quickness nerf was able to perform a 15k burst on a fully armored guardian within 1.5seconds. The 1.5seconds spike only worked if the enemy utilized quickness, combined with consumables, utility preparations, basilisk stun elite (optional), and cheating with macros (1 click that performed several skills in sequence) etc. that had a fairly long cooldown of up to ~90seconds. Most burst from your average D/D thief occurs within a spam of ~5seconds though, with a spam of heartseeker thereafter if you aren’t dead yet.

2. Identify what type of thief you are fighting.
Most thieves come in two flavors : Dagger/Dagger (D/D) and Pistol/Dagger (P/D) for DPS.
D/D as mentioned earlier is infamous for its burst. The way they deliver this burst is from stealth, using a combination of backstab (2x normal damage from stealth), Mug (steal skill traited such that it does damage), cloak and dagger + another backstab, and heartseeker spam. If the thief is using quickness, you will not be able to react to the mug, and initial backstab which will do approximately ~9k damage. It is possible to avoid the next cloak and dagger +backstab, and fairly easy to identify the following heart seeker spam. Dodge as soon as you identify a thief spamming heart seeker, as this will negate most of their damage and initiative.
Once a thief’s initiative is used up, his next move will be to use cloak, either through his healing skill, utility, or cloak and dagger. This is when you hit him as hard as possible with your burst, CC’s, conditions, etc. You need to finish him off before he cloaks and runs away.

P/D is known to be a tanky archtype of the thief that is a roamer in WvWvW. They kill through a combination of attrition through condition based damage, and lack of condition removal on the enemy side. Most P/D thieves will start this attack from a safe distance away. He will then follow up with a “cloak and dagger” skill to re-stealth

Arganthium.5638:
What you can expect from Dagger/Pistol D/P is:
- A lot of blinds
- A combo field that blinds you if you stand in it. Also, the combo field allows for thieves to HS?Stealth, so be prepared for that.
-Tends to rely more on HS than regular D/D builds would
- A bit more of a “tanky” thief build, but still one where you might want to watch out for Backstabs, as they can still really, really hurt.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

Note that all of your spells can hit a thief except updraft, as long as you can predict where the thief is right after stealthing. Drakes breath is extremely effective here.

3. Understand how stealth works.
This applies to any class with access to stealth on their own- engineers, mesmers, rangers, elementalist, and thieves (yes I did say elementalist, rangers, and engineers). Stealth can be stacked several times in duration, as long as you don’t deal damage. When you do deal damage in stealth, you are “revealed” for 4 seconds, preventing any re-stealthing from occurring. This does not apply if you let stealth wear off and then attack, but thieves lose out on any special first moves if they do this.

4. Know what stealth moves the thief is capable of.
Most thieves will bring in their utility and heal slot:
http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Shadow_Refuge
http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Blinding_Powder
http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Hide_in_Shadows

Shadow refuge is something every thief will carry. It grants them 15 seconds of stealth, and has a noticeable animation. Thieves will generally stand within this area to build up on stealth, and exit the area once the spell is done. You can land many attacks when the thief is building stealth in this spell, especially with spells such as Fire2,3,4, earth 2,4,5, water 2,3, air1. If the thief’s HP is low, you may actually down them in stealth refuge. If this is the case, feel free to spam AoE for the next 15 seconds within that area, + a little bit surrounding it. A thief can revive himself with 15seconds of stealth as long as they are not attacked, but if you spam AoE you can stop this from happening.

Blinding powder is an instant AoE cast, and has a noticeable animation as well.
Hide in shadows is a utility skill that most thieves use to stealth+heal.
Cloak and dagger as mentioned previously
Combos as well, but your average thief won’t perform this.

5. Keyboard and Mouse Reflexes
Offensive reflexes
You have to be quick when dealing against a thief in order to kill them. P/D thieves will attack and give themselves a short time frame for you to attack. You can counter this by constantly 360* panning + Closest target filter + ride the lightning once they unstealth and instantly start your DPS combo. This applies to D/D thieves as well, when they are trying to run away.

Defensive reflexes
For D/D thieves, you need to prepare for the worst situation possible. Assume that a thief can spike you in 2-3seconds, using quickness and the elite basilisk venom (turns you into a stone statue). Have your Dodge and cantrip button ready to be pressed the moment you see the thief’s animation clipping and hitting you. Identify the spike by looking at your HP bar first, since there is a slight animation delay between your HP dropping, and the enemy’s blur. Dodge as soon as you can, and use any other spells that can CC / prevent you from dying such as earth 4 and air5.

6. Predicting, countering, and positioning
Thieves only have a limited stealth duration, and will generally strike near the end of it to reap the benefits of HP reg, initiative reg, and CD on spells. Expect D/D thieves to be within melee proximity when they’re stealth is running low. You can cast AoE spells such as earth 5, fire 4, fire 2 (and do a 360*) to easily hit them when this is going to happen, and just spread AoE at random.

For a more defensive approach, use air3, air 5, earth 4, etc. when you expect a D/D thief to come at you from stealth. Air3 can be casted in advance and still be effective, and this will stop D/D thieves in their tracks.
Thieves also deal double damage if they hit you from behind with their 1st ability out of stealth. You can easily make this extremely difficult for a thief to perform if you run around in circles, constantly spamming random AoE spells to punish them if they are in range.

7. Downed state
Thieves have 2 downed moves that allow them to escape. The 2nd downed move allows them to teleport to any location they want, and the 3rd ability stealths them. You can only stomp a thief if you do so within the first ~1second of them being downed, otherwise they will teleport/ stealth. If they do teleport, you can always chain your stomp with lightning flash.
The best method to killing a thief in its downed state is to just burst them on the floor, so you don’t have to worry about either ability they possess. Just spam AoE until they teleport, and spam more AoE where they stealth. Repeat until thief is dead. You can always chain this while killing another enemy at the same time as well.

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

Arganthium.5638:
8. -Spam AoE/PbAoE” when Shadow Refuge is thrown down. Typically, thieves can do little or nothing about damage you do to them when they’re in SR, and, 99% of the time, thieves will spend the entire duration of SR just sitting there, waiting to max out stealth. If there aren’t any nearby enemies threatening to kill them, they’ll typically just stand in the center, but otherwise they’ll stand closer to the edge of the circle to avoid getting hit. I would say that this makes Lightning Whip most useful, because it hits the entire radius around you, while other skills don’t have that option. Also, because LW is so powerful, that gives you yet another reason to use it.

Reserved for editing
countering elementalists, rangers, engineers, necro etc

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

TGSlasher’s post stuff

Combos
Fire 3 and 4 are Fire Combo Fields.
Finisher
Earth 3 is a Leap Finisher now fixed again (this is not mentioned in the tool tip unless it was updated with the latest patch)
Earth 4 and 5 are Blast Finishers
These are the only combos you have within the weapon skills.
There are other skills that will create fields available to the elementalist in dagger dagger spec. These include:
Combos Utility/Traits
Util: Fire Axe 4 same skills as Fire 4 and a Fire Combo Field
Util: Lightning Hammer 5 same skill as staff air 5 and a Lightning Field
Finishers Utility/Traits
Util: Arcane Blast is not a blast finisher, it is a 100% Projectile Finisher
Util: Arcane Wave is a Blast Finisher
Util: Fire Axe 5 is a Leap Finisher
Util: Frostbow 2 is a 20% Physical Projectile (its a multi hit skills with 20% chance per projectile to apply the finisher effect) (I think this is incorrect and it is actualy 100% per projectile as 100% flaming ice bolts of justice are cool and the ingame tool tip says projectile finisher without 20%)
Util: Lightning Hammers 3rd skill in its auto attack chain is a Blast Finisher
Util: Lightning Hammer 2 is a leap finisher
Elite: Fiery Greatsword Elite skill 3 is a Whirl Finisher
Elite: Tornado is a Whirl Finisher for its full duration
Trait: Evasive Arcana dodge in earth attunement is a Blast Finisher
Back to the basics.
Combos Basic
Fire 3 or 4, then earth 3 will grant a fire shield, and if you are using Daphoenix or my build then you will get fury and swiftness from Zephyr’s Boon
Fire 3 or 4 then earth 4 or 5 will grant you 3 stacks of might
Fire 4 then earth 4 then earth 5 will gran you 6 stacks of might
To use one of these combos you must be within the fire field at the start (earth 3 must be in the field or at least pass through the field on travel). Therefore, if you use earth 5 you must start the skill in the field, you will then see “area might” or similar in a heart then you can use the lightning flash to teleport at you foe. The blast finisher for earth 5 churning earth does not need to “explode/blast” in the fire field, it counts as long as you start the skill in fire.
If your using Daphoenix’s earlier build with 30 arcane and Evasive Arcane instead of 20 arcane and 10 fire then you can dodge whilst in earth inside a field to get a combo. For Evasive Arcane to be counted as a finisher the end of your dodge must be within the field, not the start or middle but the end animation.
Your max might rotation is now, fire skills bla bla, fire 4, switch to earth, dodge into the field so you will end within the ring, earth 4 then earth 5 and teleport if you need to or if you want to damage your foe. This grants 9 stacks of might.
Earthquake (earth 4) and Churning Earth (earth 5) have long cooldowns, ring of fire is quite short, so your next rotation you can go fire bla bla, fire 4, earth 3 so you are in or pass through and net yourself some boons and a fire shield.
If you are fast enough or you foe is standing inside the fire field you can use earth 3 for the boons, then (dodge into the field if arcane 30) earth 4 then earth 5 and teleport to foe. This will net you fury, swiftness, a fire shield, protection from switching to earth and 9 stacks of might.
With the 20 arcane and 10 fire your net might will be 9 if you used the teleport, 6 for earth 4 and 5 in fire then 3 from lighting flash and the fire trait.
Those are all the combos for your weapon set
Combos Utilities
This is up to you, if you use dapheonix’s build you wont need to worry, if you have your own variation then you can experiment around with the different finisher from the utilities.
For e.g. if you drop a cantrip and take arcane wave you will gain 12 stacks of might from that fire 4, earth dodge, earth 4, earth 5 and arcane wave during earth 5 before the teleport then teleport.
(note, arcane skills can be used at any time like cantrips and not interrupt your skills in progress)


There’s more of TGSlasher’s stuff on page 6 of the thread (very useful information imo =P).
I’m kind of running out of room here and I don’t wanna be redundant

https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/elementalist/Guide-Mastering-the-D-D-ele-12-16-12/page/6

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

My Videos

epic WvWvW w/ epic music =P
Episode 1 to latest videos made from top to bottom (episode 7,8, and 9 are my fav)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ-c0wK13Ww&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzBn32Fqm9w&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5LPuQdiMCE&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXz5nVpS3Ds&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY3vwYuoceY&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suBOJ9f2R2E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2_GXr9o-Us&list=PLttydQxkm4qudK4xJT3_UvJ0ekkwq5lIH
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeZODCzAPgw&list=PLttydQxkm4qudK4xJT3_UvJ0ekkwq5lIH
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdJeibf3e60&list=PLttydQxkm4qudK4xJT3_UvJ0ekkwq5lIH

sPvP / tPvP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEEkv8KmkTs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s08bmVKG_DU

WvWvW commentary
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wettu6MqNI&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBP4_ZzunaU&feature=plcp

Older videos (some of these techniques used in video were nerfed)
http://www.youtube.com/my_videos_edit?ns=1&video_id=o_DE7AZrTj8
(highlights some of the 1v1 aspects of ele, full on 1vArmy rushes, insane escapes, etc)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3r0eQczl0E&feature=youtu.be
(highlights how useful an elementalist can in be in competetive PvP)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7U45lv_uY0&feature=youtu.be
(highlights more full on 1vArmy attacks and juking techniques)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgG_IwJTQBA
(Highlights almost all of the juking methods an elementalist possesses)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67ToSaS9xjQ
(Highlights how effective this PvP build is for PvE scenarios)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgNuu4peuk4
(Highlights two consecutive 4v1 battles)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og8tnQ-rieI
(Highlights survivability)

and more=S

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

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Posted by: daphoenix.4283

daphoenix.4283

Excala, Expert Elementalist
Fort Aspenwood [EXC]
http://www.youtube.com/user/daphoenix555?feature=mhee

(edited by daphoenix.4283)

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Posted by: Weapon X.5163

Weapon X.5163

good luck!!!!!!

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Posted by: TGSlasher.1458

TGSlasher.1458

Was wondering when you would make a guide.
Nice build btw. I’m using the typical 0 0 10 30 30, dagger dagger, with monk, water and earth in my amour for protection duration and clerics with knights for my amulet.

Might try out celestial for some more balance (healing is too high and damage too low on my current build. Good for tanking sPvP or pug tPvP, but cant finish any of those other bunkers)

How do you go in tourneys?

Slasher Sladorian – Charr Warrior – [DECM] | Sea of Sorrows
Sophea Sladorian – Charr Ranger – [DECM] | Sea of Sorrows
Sophea Of Elements – Human Elementalist – [DECM] | Sea of Sorrows

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Posted by: Fidjit.4162

Fidjit.4162

Thanks for the reply daphoenix, I’ll delete my post so I don’t screw up the continuity of your guide.

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Posted by: Aurum.9534

Aurum.9534

Im really sorry if Im annoying you but I just realized what is your dungeon build?

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Posted by: Mars Hill.1542

Mars Hill.1542

Thank you for taking the time to make this extremely helpful thread. I’m still new to the Elementalist, so I look forward to trying out this D/D class and see how it helps me.

Personally, I prefer the feel and play of the S/D, so it would be awesome if you covered that as well, if not at least a general overview?

Anyway, one question: with your build, do you stay as D/D or do you fluctuate between other weapons? Is it as effective? Is there any incentive to switch to a Staff or a Scepter?

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Posted by: Malykk.6524

Malykk.6524

awesome thread. have been looking for something to get me pumped up about ele again. will try this out. way in depth – really appreciate the effort you’ve put into this

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Posted by: The Demonic Spirit.3157

The Demonic Spirit.3157

Indeed , I believe that D/D are the best weapons for the Elementalest.
This is my build >>
http://gw2skills.net/editor/?fEMQJAoYhMmcbsx3gjDABFEww4BIhQiQhFNA
You will notice that I focus on fire , then air and earth.

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Posted by: TimeBomb.3427

TimeBomb.3427

Weapon types
Dagger / Focus (D/F) – This is considered to be the worst setup of all the weapon choices available. It is almost never used as the dagger and focus abilities do not combine well.

I can’t get over how much more wrong you could be here. I’ve used S/D, D/D, S/F, and D/F quite a bit – my most common build being D/F. D/F is by far the best weapon set for bunker builds that Ele has. The synergy between the two weapons is excellent. Set it up correctly and it’s not only quite fun to play, but also virtually impenetrable. It works in SPvP and PvE, but due to the lack of range and AoE, it does not do very well in dungeons or WvW.

Also note that I found easily S/F the worst of the four combinations. The DPS was lacking even more than D/F , to the point where I couldn’t bare it anymore and switched back to D/F. The lack of mobility is certainly not fun, either, though it’s not much different for D/F. S/F is also, IMO, a lot less fun to play than… any other weapon set that the ele has, D/F included.

That being said, focus in general is a tricky weapon to use. It primarily lacks mobility and DPS, but if you are able to both synergize focus abilities with your MH weapon and are able to efficiently use the focus defensive abilities. It’s easy to use them at the wrong time.

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Posted by: Superkav.5012

Superkav.5012

Nice guide so far, I have read some of your other threads and you seem to have done your homework. I have run a similar build for some time now, though sometimes going 10 points into earth for more defence instead of going full water (as I usually don’t have issues with conditions).

One question: Why do you use the healing signet over the glyph in spvp?

I tried both and I am not sure what is best. The upside of the glyph is that – in this buidl – it provides regen and thus provides an extra condition removal. Moreover, you are better able to sustain boons which benefit from the +2% dmg increase in water 25 (Bountyful Power). In addition, if you need a boost heal on the signet, it will loose the passive healing effect for 25 sec.