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WTB more elementalist builds! Just made an ele, and have absolutely no idea how to play it. Veteran players, share with us your genius!

Fine then! Here you go! This is a slightly altered version of the old d/f ele that was in the fractal meta a while back, it's a little simplified compared to that, but if you play this and enjoy it then you can look into some more focus builds from the theorycrafting experts.

I was a little sceptical about focus when I first tried it, but I almost immediately started to love it and rarely run anything else on my ele in PvE.

Focus Elementalist


  • Build theme (if it has one, not obligatory): Making use of a couple of simple yet effective combinations between your skills to deal a highly respectable amount of damage.
  • Class: Elementalist
  • Build for: Open World and instanced PvE
  • Build Type: Efficiency
  • Build Main Damage Source: Direct Damage
  • Build difficulty: Depends on the gear you wear. Hard in full Zerker gear, medium to easy in Soldier's
  • Build Link: Run this with whatever (power) gear you feel most comfortable using. Tankier gear will lower your damage output but make mistakes more forgiving. Very few builds have a legitimately different playstyle depending on what gear you use anyway.
  • Build details: This build is based around making use of two "mini" rotations that each result in a fair bit of might and damage. Learning these is the most important part of using a focus. The main advantage of this is that the might output isn't front loaded like a lot of ele builds that blow a load of finishers all at once but then can't do much until a minute or so later. Instead you just switch from one rotation to the other whenever you finish one and keep up a consistently high damage output, which is especially important in longer fights.

    This build can be used from lower levels, but the most important part is the air grandmaster trait Fresh Air. If you're trying to use this below 80 then take air as your first specialisation and train Fresh Air as soon as you can.

    Earth rotation.
    • Start in Fire attunement.
    • Use fire 4 to place down a thin fire field on top of your foe.
    • Switch to earth
    • Stand on top of the fire field you placed and use earth 4, this will blast the field for might.
    • Use your Arcane Wave utility (7 in my build) on the fire field as well to blast for more might
    • Switch to Air attunement
    • DPS with Air 1 until fire attunement is off cooldown
    • Begin the Water rotation

    Water rotation
    • Start in Fire attunement
    • Use fire 4 to place down a thin fire field on top of your foe.
    • Switch to water
    • Stand on top of the fire field you placed and use water 3, this will blast for might
    • Make sure you have a target selected and use water 5. If the target is standing on the fire field when they're hit then you'll blast for more might. This is tricky to pull off correctly so don't worry too much about it.
    • Switch to Air attunement
    • DPS with Air 1 until fire attunement is off cooldown
    • Begin the Earth rotation

    Other useful skills
    It's important to complete the might stacking phase fast without using too many other skills in between the steps, or you'll lose your fire fields, but you have various skills that are useful for defence, which can be used when you need them.

    Heal (6): A medium length channel that heals you for a lot and removes a great deal of conditions, and has a short cooldown.

    Earth 5: Complete invulnerability for a short time. Unless you have ticking conditions already on you then this guarantees your safety for a few seconds, though there's the odd skill on dungeon bosses that seems to go through it somehow. Either use this as a panic button or use it as part of the earth rotation to get a few seconds of free damage without taking any in return.

    Air 4: Creates a large field around you that destroys projectiles, amazing for protecting yourself and your group, but bear in mind that it doesn't reflect them back and can prevent allies from reflecting if they're trying to do this. A trick is to jump while chanelling this skill so the field is placed in the air, this means that there's less chance of projectiles with an arc going over the top and not being destroyed.

    Air 5: Knocks your target down, great for knocking off defiance stacks or as actual CC when you need it.

    Air 3: An aura that stuns foes who try to hit you for a few seconds, can be used during your DPS phase when under pressure or to remove defiance if you know what you're doing.

    Water 4: It's an aura that reduces incoming damage for a while. If you can get it off while you happen to be in water anyway then why not?

    Most of your other weapon skills skills aren't particularly important.

    Utilities
    You have two free utlity slots that aren't needed for your might rotation, here are some things you bear in mind for them.

    Signet of Air: A stunbreak that gives you a passive speed boost. What's not to like? The only real reason not to use it is if you think something else is more important.

    Signet of Fire: A passive crit boost. Slot this one if you're overwhelmed enough by the build already not to want any extra complexity, since you just leave this one here and never touch it anyway.

    Ice Bow: Don't we all love Ice Bow? It's ludicrously overpowered (when using the channel 4 anyway) so quite a popular choice.

    Glyph of Storms: Stacks a huge amount of Vulnerability if used in air attunement, which boosts your DPS. The Earth variant is a pulsing blind which can be a decent panic button if you need one.

    Elite slot: Erm... we're an elementalist. You don't have an elite that's really worth using. I tend to take Fiery Greatsword just to run around more quickly.

    Other important things to bear in mind
    The crucial Fresh Air trait resets the cooldown of your air attunement whenever you crit, for this reason running some precision on your gear is a good idea, since the build depends on hopping back to air frequently. If you can't manage full Zerk then try some tankier pieces with precision.

    Keep a target selected all the time, even though very few of your skills require one. Every time you swap into air attunement you deal some damage to your current target.

    The Persisting Flames grandmaster trait in Fire causes your fire fields to also give fury when blasted. This gives you 100% fury uptime and makes triggering Fresh Air easier.

    The Arcana specialisation give you access to Bountiful Power as a grandmaster. The more unique boons you have, the more damage you will do, though the bonus is only small. You can swap this out for Evasive Arcana to get an extra blast finisher (during the earth rotation) if you feel short of might, but Bountiful Power is pretty consistently 8-10% more damage which is a better deal and still gives you a boost if you're at 25 might already.

    If you're feeling daring you can run Arcane Brilliance as your heal for an extra blast, but this leaves you without a reliable heal skill to use when your heath runs low.
Ingjald Firebeard
~The Magpie Mercenaries~
Posted Sep 9, 15 · Last edited Sep 9, 15
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I just knew that someone was going to recomment d/d before I finished my d/f text wall.

Be assured that you will burn for your heresy one way or the other! Focus is the only true offhand weapon.
Ingjald Firebeard
~The Magpie Mercenaries~
Posted Sep 9, 15
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I just knew that someone was going to recomment d/d before I finished my d/f text wall.

Be assured that you will burn for your heresy one way or the other! Focus is the only true offhand weapon.
But, but... I put a staff in there too :c
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Aelius Brightmane | Cailean Angelonia | Evi Velvetpaw | Growl Bladeskin | Kristopher Lockhart | Demolitionist Lhymm | Maelon Amaryllis | Inquisitor Moltenclaw | Bioenhancer Mukhin | Mikael Shineblood | Ichomancer Zhuliss | Sceledrus Irontail | Sulyenn Nightborn | Tilaw Stainsoul | Chronoanalyst Vekk | Vethorn Ulfkelson | Zehim El Khouri
Posted Sep 9, 15 · OP
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The Swashbuckler


  • Build theme (if it has one, not obligatory): Clones, clones, and more clones!
  • Class: Mesmer
  • Build for: Open World PvE, Dungeons
  • Build Type: Original and Efficient
  • Build Main Damage Source: Condition/Immobilize/Stun
  • Build difficulty: Medium to Hard
  • Build Link: Click it!
  • Build details: This is also a signet build, which worked well for my first Mesmer. Means I don't have to worry as much about skills and can dodge way more than normal.

    The only Signet I don't use is Signet of Domination. The signets I have selected are all geared to aiding condition damage and making my clones tougher. Even the specializations work to that end, with a few that are geared to the weapons I use (such as sword, pistol and scepter)

    Everything from falling damage to strength of clones to the damage of clones is built to increase condition damage, confusion, immobilization and stuns.

    This build is tough, considering Mesmers are thought of to be rather squishy and this build means you have to stand toe to toe with the target. But dodging is your friend. Dodge and make clones, use skills to make clones, and then shatter them on the target and then start making clones again.

    This is the set I use for Pania, and it works quite well, plus it's something nice if I'm in the mood to be fast and speedy.
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Posted Sep 9, 15
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Slowly but surely we are getting a fair number of builds in here, keep'em coming!
Piken Square
Aelius Brightmane | Cailean Angelonia | Evi Velvetpaw | Growl Bladeskin | Kristopher Lockhart | Demolitionist Lhymm | Maelon Amaryllis | Inquisitor Moltenclaw | Bioenhancer Mukhin | Mikael Shineblood | Ichomancer Zhuliss | Sceledrus Irontail | Sulyenn Nightborn | Tilaw Stainsoul | Chronoanalyst Vekk | Vethorn Ulfkelson | Zehim El Khouri
Posted Sep 9, 15 · OP
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There were no Ranger builds, and Ranger needs some loving. Sadly, can't do any Druid builds yet, so here you'll get another one instead: I call it the lone Strider.

Lone Strider


  • Build theme: Some people just find their home on the road, far away from the glorious halls of Divinity's Reach or the warming fires at the Hoelbrak Lodges. They're the stranger at the end of the bar, the wayfarer who stops by only once in your life and then follows the path less traveled out of your little hamlet. They're by themselves, followed only by their trusted wolf and hawk, but for that short moment of respite when you catch them by the campfire, they will tell you stories of adventures and far away lands that you never dreamt of before. You'll fall asleep before they do, and wake up to find them gone with the wind, traveling to whereever the unbeaten path leads them.
  • Class: Ranger
  • Build for: Open World PvE, PvP (Conquest), WvW (Roaming)
  • Build Type: 50/50
  • Build Main Damage Source: Direct Damage
  • Build difficulty: Easy-to-Medium (Extremely high sustain through Dodges, Blinds, Weakness, Protection and Invulnerability, with the best Range afforded in-game.)
  • Build Link: Take the path less traveled
  • Build details:

    First of, you'll have a metric f*ckton of evades at your disposal. 3 alone from Sword/Dagger, another 2 manual Dodges, 1 from your Utility skills and another 1 for free whenever you switch to Sword/Dagger. On top of that, you'll have a permanent 20/60% increase to Endurance regen, depending on wether you use the correct Food or not. With all this, you could possibly go for a Full Zerker build, but as sometimes Champions attack faster than you can always Dodge, I prefer Soldier in Open-World PvE. Full Zerker or Valkyrie will do you better in WvW, and Marauder is the way to go in PvP.

    The build is centered around a 3-1 Ratio between Power and Toughness/Vit/Precision/Ferocity. With Ascended gear, you gain ~1500 Power, with ~580 Tough/Vit/Prec/Fero, making the build very balanced in terms of offense and defense, with focus on the former.

    Your Melee Weapon set is, as stated, Sword/Dagger. Your primary source of DPS comes from the Sword Auto-attack, while the other skills are merely there as dodges to be used at your discretion. Don't waste them in order to keep on the attack, however use the Poison against enemies that Heal (Such as Mordrem Menders) and Crippling Talon to chase down fleeing enemies.

    Your Ranged Weapon is the Longbow, and it will do you wonders. Using Rapid Fire while closing in followed by Barrage gives you a good Head-start, while Hunter's Shot and Point Blank shot controls the flow of battle. Long Range shot is for kiting enemies, making good use of the extra 25% Movement speed from the Speed Runes. Furthermore, not even a Thief can outrun Long Range Shot + Quickening Zephyr in open terrain.

    Utility skills are primarily Survival Skills with added Wilderness Knowledge. This takes care of Stunbreaks, Condition cleanse and healing all in one go, while also granting you Fury whenever they're used, allowing you to counter-attack with interest. Signet of Stone is an "Oh Shit!"-button that can easily save the day, and "Strength of the pack!" pulses Stability, Fury and Swiftness. Entangle is to consider if you're not facing CC-heavy opponents, especially since it can be used both to prevent escape or pursuit.

    Now, your pets for this build aren't there for DPS, they're pure and complete CC. The Wolf is Self-explenatory, with a Knockdown attack as well as an AoE Fear. The Hawk might be a strange choice, but the reason for this is simple:
    Both the Adept and Master trait in the Beastmastery line, Go for the Eyes and Wilting Strike, have NO internal Cooldown, meaning that the short Cooldown (4 1/2s) on the Hawk's Activated ability means you can spam Blindness and Weakness every 4s in an AoE around your pet, with a Taunt thrown in every 15s. Go for the Eyes and Bestial Warden kicks in soon as the Pet initiates the attack, while Wilting Strike requires a successful hit. This Means that the Wolf's Howl will first attract enemies, then send them running, meaning that's a whole 3-4s they're CC'd, plenty of time to land a Rapid Fire even without Quickening Zephyr.

    Overall, this build deals pretty good damage on top of being surprisingly sturdy and survivable, but requires the player to properly control themselves and their pet in order to maximize efficiency.
I have too many characters...
Posted Sep 9, 15
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Ya know, I said to myself "Self," I said. "Self, if no one puts up one for a thief by the time I get home, then I'm gonna."

Here I am, at home, and no thief.

Just need a build name...

Jerk that Smoke Wagon

...no...

When I kill you, you'll be awake, facin' me, an' holdin' a gun.

...no...

the man in black fled across the desert...

...too long...

I am the fastest gun in Tyria.



  • Build theme (if it has one, not obligatory): Pistols! Daggers! Speed!
  • Class: Thief
  • Build for: WvW, Open World PvE, Dungeons
  • Build Type: Original and Efficient
  • Build Main Damage Source: Condition Damage/Slight DPS/Slows,Precision
  • Build difficulty: Easy to Medium
  • Build Link: Click it!
  • Build details: This is not just Shani's build, but it`s the first character I started with in Guild Wars 2. Thief was my introduction to the game in Beta and the early access. Shani's build has changed since, and this is one that I've settled on (for now)

    This is all about speed, slows, precision, bleeding and burning. Make the target feel just what a mistake it was to tell you how small you are (Shani's about 5'4"). Three signets off the hop. Healing Signet, or Signet of Malice, Signet of Shadows, and Signet of Agility. This grants heals as you attack, it increases your speed, and it grants more precision.

    I did mention slows, didn't I. That's when you need Dancing Dagger from the dagger off hand skills, Caltrops, and Dagger Storm. The latter two also add a bit of DPS and slow to targets.

    Stun, from the off hand pistol skill, helps keep a target off balance with a stun.

    For specializations, Acrobatics, Deadly Arts, and Critical Strikes. In Acrobatics, Vigorous Recovery, Hard to Catch and Assassins reward help make you just a wee bit more slippery. In Deadly Arts, Mug, Panic Strike, and Executioner help give just a bit more damage while helping give a little bit of health. In Critical Strikes, Flawless Strike, and Ankle shots help increase critical damage and slow or immobilize a target. Invigorating Precision helps give some of your health back for each critical hit.

    This build is all about speed and quick damage. I often swap it out with shadow skills at times to make things interesting or beef up the defense and healing.
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Posted Sep 9, 15
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I just want to say, I love how a lot of these builds aren't just rehashing meta builds, or common playstyles! Will add a few of my own - but will deffo try some of these out for some varied gameplay!
oDCJxBd.jpg



"The world is different, and it terrifies me - In my absence, Tyria had turned a new leaf, only to have it crushed under the heel of yet more evil."
Posted Sep 9, 15
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I just want to say, I love how a lot of these builds aren't just rehashing meta builds, or common playstyles! Will add a few of my own - but will deffo try some of these out for some varied gameplay!
I was actually hoping for this outcome since we are a RP community, and I'm glad it went that way!
Piken Square
Aelius Brightmane | Cailean Angelonia | Evi Velvetpaw | Growl Bladeskin | Kristopher Lockhart | Demolitionist Lhymm | Maelon Amaryllis | Inquisitor Moltenclaw | Bioenhancer Mukhin | Mikael Shineblood | Ichomancer Zhuliss | Sceledrus Irontail | Sulyenn Nightborn | Tilaw Stainsoul | Chronoanalyst Vekk | Vethorn Ulfkelson | Zehim El Khouri
Posted Sep 10, 15 · OP
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So, time for a completely cosmetic and thematic build, again for Ranger.

The Warlord


  • Build theme: There he's seated, upon his throne of bones and marrow. The slayer, the conqueror, the Warlord who has stood undefeated for as long as he can remember. At his feet rest his trusted hounds, who has followed him into battle since they were but cubs themselves. And trust that their fangs and claws are as sharp as their Pack leader's blade. A call rings through the empty hall, where once he celebrated victory. Now, he celebrates only War, and what a magnificent day this has become. The call sounds for enemies at the gates, and his hounds' maws are curled into voracious snarls. War has come again to claim him, and with a tired grin on his face he will answer as he always have: With his Blade.
  • Class: Ranger
  • Build for: Open World PvE, Solo'ing
  • Build Type: 90% Thematics, 10% Efficiency
  • Build Main Damage Source: Direct Damage
  • Build difficulty: Easy to pick up, Medium-Difficult to master.
  • Build Link: To the Armory
  • Build details:

    The first thing that will strike you is that the Warlord uses only 1 weapon in combat: The Greatsword. Pets are free to pick, but for the best thematics Wolves or Bears might do you better, or Felines for a more southern flare.

    While the Warlord only uses 1 Weapon, it's imperative that you equip 2 Greatswords for this build to work properly. Why? Because even if you have the same weapon, you will still have access to Weapon Swap. You won't be swapping weapons, but activating Weapon Swap will still trigger any Sigils or Traits related to Weapon Swapping. (In your Case, that's Battle (2 stacks of Might for 20s), Intelligence (3 crits, gauranteed)).

    But the most important are your traits. Swapping Weapons will net you Swiftness and Fury from the Skirmishing Trait Line, as well as activate Quick Draw, which reduces the next Weapon Skill Cooldown by 66% after Swapping Weapons. With a traited Greatsword, that means Maul is taken down to 1s, Swoop goes down to 3s, Counter-attack goes down to 4s and Hilt Bash goes down to 7s, depending on which skill you tandem this in with.

    Not only that, but as this build has also traited Remorseless, gaining Fury causes you to regain Opening Strike. Opening Strike means 5 Stacks of Vulnerability, 100% Critical Hit Chance and 25% Extra Damage on your next Attack, so always try to Open with a heavy hitting attack once you gain Fury, such as Maul. Each Greatsword Attack (In other words, all of your attacks) also has a 50% Chance to grant you Fury every 10s, which also procs Opening Strike.
    Switching Pets is also important, not only to keep them alive but also to activate Clarion Call and Zephyr's Speed for Might, Fury, Swiftness and Quickness.

    As you might've guessed, this build has little to no use for Precision. It uses Spotter for a meager base value of 11%, but that's where it stops. Valkyrie Gear dominates for this build, but you can also throw in Cavalier Trinkets in order to gain some Toughness and resistance against Direct Damage as well. Chief interest is Power and Ferocity, however, to make the most of your Spikes. Runes can be a few things: Pack are great but hella expensive, Wurm synergizes extremely well with Valkyrie gear and Rage can be used to gain a better uptime of Fury and a chance to gain fury when struck.

    For Utility Skills, this build goes for Shouts and Signets. Traited Shouts gives you "We Heal as one!" on 16s Cooldown, with Added Regeneration and Swiftness. "Sic' Em!" sends your Pet into a Frenzy and increases DPS considerably, while also giving it Regeneration for Sustain. Signet of Stone is, as always, there to absorb Damage in a pinch. Signet of the Wild is a Damage Buff, Stability and Might baked into one, but if you're facing condition-heavy mobs you should switch it out for Signet of Renewal. "Strength of the Pack!" is the given Elite, as each Pulse of Fury renews Opening Strike, allowing you to stack an easy 25 stacks of Vulnerability and land Many Crits on your target.

    When the Warlord and his pet frenzies completely, activating "Sic 'Em!", Signet of Stone, Signet of the Wild and "Strength of the Pack" at once, then you better hope he doesn't look your way. Because for a short time, he and his pet will be completely and utterly unstoppable.

Rotation:
  • Maul
  • "Sic 'Em!"
  • Auto-attack until Maul is almost off cooldown
  • Weapon Swap
  • Maul
  • Hilt Bash
  • Wait until Maul is off cooldown, do not attack for about 1s.
  • Maul
  • Autoattack until Maul is almost Off Cooldown.
  • Pet Swap
  • Maul
  • Autoattack until Maul is almost off Cooldown.
  • Weapon Swap
  • Maul
  • Counter-attack or Swoop
  • Hold off on Attacking until Maul is Ready.

Always make sure to use Maul after Pet Swap and almost always after Weapon Swap, unless you think you'll need 2 Evades or Blocks in a short Timeframe. Use Hilt Bash to interrupt enemies.
I have too many characters...
Posted Sep 10, 15 · Last edited Sep 10, 15
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