[GW2] Fountain of Boons

My first GW2 level 80 is an elementalist, and my current trait build is based around Elemental Attunement. This embraces the dissociative identity disorder that is the elementalist class: this character does not take a role, instead cycling through them as fast as skills recharge. If the point of my class is trying to use 16 skills plus 4 different auto-attacks as efficiently as possible, darn it, I am going to cycle attunements madly. I just need to figure out how to mix in a little more earth auto-attack for bleeding. I usually use a scepter and focus, switching to a staff for most WvW and purer support roles.

I have 30 points in arcana, so I get +30% boon duration and +60% attunement recharge rate. In any serious fight, I will be flipping attunements as soon as I run out of non-auto-attack skills in an element, which usually means something like 2-3-4-5-1-2-switch-repeat. It takes 3-5 seconds to use all the spells I want in an attunement, so I try to cycle through them every 15-20 seconds. Elemental Attunement means my group gets a boon every time I switch. The group should continuously have at least 1 stack of might plus 1-2 other boons, while the enemies are on fire and blind. Eventually, I am going to start hitting F1-F4 properly while doing this, and maybe I will even remember to use F1-F4 properly on all my other characters someday.

For other traits, I consider at least 5 points in air required and preferably 10 for One with Air. I want to move 25% faster, so I live in air attunement when not doing my combat cycle. I also keep 30 points in fire as my damage source. In solo PvE, fire is my damage. Once we have fast trait-swapping, I will probably go with 30 water for a support role. +damage per boon is nice, and every time I cycle through water I will grant everyone healing, regeneration, and double condition-removal (assuming Cleansing Wave and Cleansing Water stack).

: Zubon

9 thoughts on “[GW2] Fountain of Boons”

  1. “I want to move 25% faster”

    Do you have somewhere you need to be?

    It’s interesting to me how things have changed. The most “serious” group-play I ever did was the 18 months or so I spent main-healing at max level as a Cleric in Everquest back in 2003-2004. It was all about mana management and I absolutely loved it.

    Some clerics saw a perfect fight as one in which they did done nothing at all, meaning they had judged to a nicety that no-one was going to die and so didn’t need to use up any precious mana whatsoever. Since I also played a tank I was a little more sensitive to the stress that approach induced, so my goal was to make everyone feel as safe as possible while casting the fewest spells I could.

    That approach is still deeply ingrained. I am at my happiest when doing the least. I feel that to use anything more than the minimum resources required is both profligate and inelegant.

    Except when it comes to AEs, obviously.

  2. Have you seen the Evasive Arcana builds, those looking pretty fun and getting me interested in leveling an elementalist. Each of the spells cast by Evasive Arcana is a blast finisher, and a staff has plenty of fields to choose from. Even at low levels, using eruption and arcane wave as finishers, and comboing a water field for AoE healing (love that as a thief with shortbow using their blast finisher without cooldown on a rangers healing spring), or a frost field to trigger an AoE aura (any traits that affect auras, e.g. adding swiftness, fury, protection, works with that) or fire fields to add multiple stacks of might that last 30 seconds. The last one would be a good way for an elementalist to go offensive support.

    1. Evasive Arcana is definitely the way to roll. With a staff in group content it’s all about laying combo fields for your allies and occasionally quadruple-blasting them for solo-spikes.

      1. Lay Eruption (Earth 2)
      2. Lay field you want comboed (Fire 2, Water 5, etc)
      3. Roll into field
      4. Arcane blast
      5. Swap elements
      6. Second roll into field

      No wonder Zubon’s having problems with group content. There’s nothing there for survivability, which is needed in dungeons (especially exploration mode). 30 in fire and arcane and 10 in air leaves nothing for water and earth.

      The air move-faster skill is mostly useless. If you want move faster, swap to your staff and you can maintain 100% swiftness in air for traveling.

      Water 10 to cure conditions on your allies is huge. Water 30 to cure even more conditions is great as well but optional.

      Earth 10 for the reactive shield has saved me more times than I can count.

      Taking larger staff AOEs at Arcane 20 makes all your AOEs more effective in catching multiple targets and makes it easier for you to double-roll into and get off that fourth burst.

      I’ve gone 20 into fire for the cooldown reduction. The extra 30 can get you the ability to stack might on yourself automatically but it’s not needed when you can just quadruple-burst your Fire Font anyway. If you’re sitting in Fire long enough to max out Might stacks from the Fire 30 trait, you’re not swapping enough.

      1. No really, tell me which group content I’m having trouble with, other than not liking Arah.

        I am increasingly seeing the appeal of Evasive Arcana, particularly for group content with a staff. I spend more time soloing with a scepter, so I have fewer fields to play with. As I said, once trait-swapping is in, I plan to have separate PvE and solo builds.

        1. Arah was one of the easier Story Mode dungeons for me. You were having enough difficulty to interpret that dungeon as being balanced only for end game gear. Seems to imply troubles with other dungeons.

          [Zubon notes: this is an example of why you timestamp your claims about how hard content is when a game is patching every 1-7 days.]

          Author’s edit: Your post on Oct 4 references “last weekend” which was when I did mine, yes.

          I ran Story-mode Arah on my elementalist in green and blue gear and was the last to go down in any outing just be nature of tossing points in the right trait lines to help my defenses and finding the safe spots during attacks (yes, they exist).

          Solo I use scepter/dagger myself, but don’t retrait; there’s no need. I’ve been able to stand through protracted engagements in Orr where a few groups of 3 mobs have swarmed in on me just by playing defensive, using my evasive arcana combos, and wearing them down. Bleed them, defend, kite, and blow all my fire skills in a combo-nuke when they’re off cooldown.

          I actually leveled up into Orr going 30/30/0/0/10, not really knowing better. Once I got into Orr I decided to try swapping things around and it made all the difference. Enemies that I could take 1-2 in a very close damage race suddenly were handleable in groups of 3-4 without worrying too much. You can’t ignore survivability just because you’re not in a dungeon. Swap out Blasting Staff for Enduring Scepter or any other Arcane trait if you want when soloing (I don’t bother, but major traits can be changed just like utility skills) but a more balanced balanced build helps a great deal.

  3. Getting a mouse with 11 buttons (G700) was as godsend for GW2. Bound F1-F4 to one set, and 5-8 on another. Easy switching and sigil spam, while keeping my other hand on movement and the 1-4 keys.

    Played an Elem similar to how you describe it. Found it somewhat annoying because in effect you do just mindlessly spam every skill that is up, switch, and spam again. You win if you spam faster than the other guy.

  4. Relevant to your air speccing: the 25% speedboost does not stack with any other speedboosts. This trait will be useless whenever you have swiftness (which will be most of the time you are in combat, air attunement and have specced arcane), will make signet of air useless and does not stack with arcane trait dagger speed. Considering you can keep swiftness permanently with staff (combo lighting field with blast finisher and you get area swiftness), I would not recommend that trait and urge every elementalist to go at least 10 points into water. That alone makes for great support and survivability, making it 10 traits that could hardly have a bigger impact on your build.

    Also interesting: I have yet to meet an elementalist that hasn’t specced a lot into arcane. 30 is nearly a must and you can barely live without 20 points. The traits are great and you can always benefit from them and the attunement cooldown is to important to be left aside.

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