View Full Version : Guide: GW2 Elementalists - Conditions against Power & Criticals

27-05-2012, 10:24
Welcome to this thread which deals with the damage types the Elementalist can deal and how to increase your potential when dealing raw damage, conditions or critical hits. Of course you can't have everything, e.g. focusing on critical hits by using a lot of Air Magic, traits that augment critical hits and upgrades to equipment that add a "+x% bonus to critical damage", will diminish your ability to build up e.g. strong condition damage.
After going through the following tables and texts, I hope you will have understood the basics and can build your own combinations to enjoy your Guild Wars 2 game play.


There are two degenerating conditions available to the Elementalist: Bleeding and Burning:

1. Bleeding

http://wiki.guildwars2.com/images/4/4f/Bleeding_40px.png (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/File:Bleeding_40px.png)
Bleeding condition

Calculating Bleed damage:
(character level/2) + (Earth Magic*2) + (total number "+ condition damage/20)
= damage per second done by one stack of Bleed
multiply by number of stacks (25max)
multiply by total number of seconds

Lvl 80 Elementalist;
5 Earth Magic;
+20 condition damage upgrade;
casts "Eruption"
with 6 stacks of Bleed for 12 seconds

40 + 10 + 1
x 6
x 12

= 3672

As you can see, there are three components to the damage done by Bleeding. As those are multiplied (damage x stacks x time) you can outweigh the fact e.g that you are only half the level of your opponent by doubling the time of the bleed applied. So adding stack and duration can be more vital than having a great base damage.
Also notice that your "Power" attribute does not contribute to your level as well as your weapon damage.

2. Burning

http://wiki.guildwars2.com/images/8/8f/Burning_40px.png (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/File:Burning_40px.png)
Burning condition

Calculating Burning damage:
(character level/*4) + (Earth Magic*2) + (total number "+ condition damage"/5)
= damage per second done by Burning
multiply by number of stacks
multiply by total number of seconds

Lvl 80 Elementalist;
5 Earth Magic;
+20 condition damage;
casts "Flame Burst"
with 1 stack of Burning for 5 seconds

320 + 10 + 4
x 5

= 1670

If you take a closer look at the table for "Burning", you will notice that it lacks the ability to stack. You either burn or you don't. What makes this condition dangerous is the high base damage, as its level depended component is eight times as high as in bleeding. Keeping up the burning even a few seconds does much more damage, so preventing foes to e.g. move out of field effects will increase the damage.

Can I increase my base condition damage?
Yes. We have also incorporated those numbers into the tables listed above, when we gave our Elementalist 5 trait points in Earth Magic. Each point in Earth Magic is worth 10 condition damage. With 20 points in Earth Magic, his base damage would increase from 51 for one stack of Bleeding to 81 (which is almost a 60% increase of damage).

Can you decrease the duration of the burning and bleeding conditions?
No. Guild Wars 2 knows only skills, upgrades and traits that increase the duration of the conditions. To "decrease" the duration you have to remove the condition, e.g. by triggering the utility skill "Cleansing Fire".

What does Might do to condition damage?
The Might boon (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/images/7/7c/Might.png) does increase the condition damage by 5 + 0.375*Level for each stack, so our example Elementalist from the tables listed above would gain 35 condition damage from a single stack of Might.

How does Expertise/Condition Duration change the numbers?
Each point in Fire Magic will increase Expertise by one point, which translates into +1% to the duration of the condition. Lets assume 20 trait points in Fire Magic, the 5 seconds of burning condition would be increased to 6 seconds.

How do modifiers from items change the numbers?

Comparing Condition damage item mods to advancing in level

20 Condition damage = 1 bleed damage
20 Condition damage = 4 burn damage
20 levels = 10 bleed damage
20 levels = 80 burn damage

Since Superior runes (e.g. Rune of the Elementalist add a max. of +57 points to condition damage, the upgrade slots on armour might be better spent on other things, when you compare the numbers to a level gain). As a rule of thumb (as numbers come from community calculation and not official Arena.Net numbers), it "plus to condition damage" should be used in blocks of 20, because less has no effect on bleeding.

What are the best trait lines to pick, when you want to concentrate on condition damage?
As you can see from the explanations and examples in the last paragraphs, Fire Magic and Earth Magic will support a build made to deal heavy condition damage.
You can extrapolate this to other professions as well: All trait lines that increase Expertise and Malice will have the same effect on condition builds than Earth & Fire Magic.

01-06-2012, 12:49

3. Raw damage

"Call it whatever you like—DPS, damage per second—we just call it DAMAGE, and when it comes to making red bars go down, you can never have enough of it. There are so many ways that a character can do damage."
(Arena.Net: Healing & Death, blog post)

(Power + Weapon Damage +/* Skill Modifier) / (Defense + Toughness) = Damage Taken * Vulnerability Modifier

"Raw" damage is pretty much everything else that makes you lose health that is not a condition described at the post before this one. If you take a look at the "formula", you will see that level of your character is not directly linked to it, but this is misleading - your level pretty much is included in every addend: Power gets raised with every level you advance, weapons can only be used at certain levels (which prevents you from using a high end weapon with a beginner character in GW2), the skill modifier changes with increased level (e.g. GW2wiki usually lists the base damage of a Lvl 80 PvP character without any items/upgrades etc.) and of course the sturdiness of your armour is level depended as well.

This does mean, that every point you put in Fire Magic increases your Power level by +10. So all skills that use a damage indicator like this - http://wiki.guildwars2.com/images/6/6a/Damage.png - will benefit from this trait line. There are only a few skills, that have no base damage component (e.g. like "Flame Burst"), so adding Power via trait points or upgrades will increase the damage values.

Are there more powerful skills than others when dealing raw damage?
Yes. Since Elementalists can not swap weapons during combat, their base value for Power and weapon damage will always be the same. This means that a skill like Fireball with 314 base damage is more damaging than Water Blast with 111 damage.

Should I upgrade my weapons and armour when advancing to the nest level threshold?
Definitely yes, should you be able to afford it. Higher level armour or weapons has a better min/max value of its stats (attributes), so as soon as you replace it (as long as the upgrade components of the "modded" old weapon are not better than the new "un-modded" one) you will deal more damage (or take less).

How does Vulnerability change damage?
The Vulnerability condition has been changed during the last stress tests in August. Each stack does add +1% to the damage dealt to you (although still unknown, it is most likely that the stacks of Vulnerability are multiplied in the result of the formula). The effect of stacking Vulnerability is especially deadly against foes that have to deal with (critical) damage (remember, bleeding & burning is not affected by armour, so you do not need to "soften" targets before loading them up with conditions). A foe, foolishly not evading a "Shatterstone" will have his damage increased by 4% when he gets hit by a level 80 Elementalist (Shatterstone dealing four stacks of Vulnerability for 15 seconds => 252 * 1.04 = 262).

Power or Toughness, which should I upgrade if I have to chose?
When we take a look at the damage formula again Power is one of three components, while Toughness is only one of two, assuming that you do not get affected by Vulnerability all the time. Therefore, increasing Toughness to prevent enemy damage - at least on paper, with the same number invested in Power or Toughness - is the better choice. Of course, being "a tank" without the ability to make dents into enemy's armours doesn't help you too.

What does Might do to raw damage?
The Might boon (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/images/7/7c/Might.png) does increase the raw damage by 5 + 0.375*Level for each stack, so our example Lvl 80 Elementalist gain 35 Power from a single stack of Might.

01-06-2012, 12:49
According to the numbers I found on the net (I could not pick up a "semi-official number" from the GW2wiki), the basic chance to score a critical hit for a level 80 character would be 4%, which would mean that Level has no influence on the chance to score a critical hit.
Precision on the other hand does a lot to the chance to score a critical hit. Right now I can only extrapolate from the videos I recorded during the BWEs, that you need around 20 points in Precision to raise your chance by +1% (or 2 trait points in Air Magic)

4. Inflicting critical damage

http://wiki.guildwars2.com/images/thumb/7/72/Arcane_Power.png/53px-Arcane_Power.png (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/File:Arcane_Power.png)
Critical strikes

Calculating Critical damage for a
Lvl 80 Elementalist:
150% of base damage
+ Prowess in %
(max. +30 with 30 in Air Magic)
+3% for 10 sec after each Arcane utility used
(when using "Arcane Lightning" trait)

Calculating Critical chances for a
Lvl 80 Elementalist:

4% base + 1% chance for around 20 points in Precision (or 2 points in Air Magic)

+ item modifiers that increase
Precision or "+x% to critical"

Upgrade components
Sigil of Intelligence or
Sigil of Accuracy

Can I get a 100% chance to do critical hits?
In theory, probably yes - if you just add Precision & "+x% critical" components on you and spec 30 points in Air Magic. This set up would have way too many disadvantages though, because you will end up being frail and weak in all the other aspects. The only skill that a guarantees 100% critical hits is "Arcane Power" (currently for 30 seconds at a 45 second cool down).

How are traits and critical hits connected?
Quite a lot of traits trigger their extra effects on critical hits, so if you chose "Burning Precision", "Weak Spot", "Arcane Precision" or "Renewing Stamina", you should have a decent chance to hit critical, to make the traits worthwhile.

Can I hit critical with conditions?
No. Critical damage chances and condition damage are not connected. You can not increase your duration or the intensity of the condition with a high number in critical hits. Therefore, Air magic, which improves critical hits is the other side of the coin to Earth Magic (and Fire Magic to a lesser degree).

Why should I go for critical strikes, when I have Power?
Critical strikes increase the base damage of skills, so with critical strikes you can overcome high armour or still do some decent damage to foes that are under the Protection boon. A regeneration boon can e.g. outweigh the DPS you can do with your pure Power based attacks. This is something that makes e.g. some Skale PvE monsters hard to defeat.

09-08-2012, 08:36
5. Recovering from damage or not getting hit after all

This works both ways: You can try to get out of harms way by using the methods described below, but of course your foes will try to do the same.

Try to get a high amount of health points
The more health you have, the less vulnerable you are to condition damage builds (remember, that no armour will protect you from those). Your health will increase if you gain a level or by adding points to Vitality or Water Magic.

Each point in Vitality = 10 Health points
Each point in Water Magic = 10 to Vitality = 100 Health points

Try to get a high amount of armour
The more armour you have the lower the final damage will be. This will reduce the damage from Power based DPS builds as well as it will increase your chances to survive burst damage from critical spikes.

Each point in Toughness = 1 point to your total divisor for damage
Each point in Earth Magic = 10 points to Toughness

The best Vitality to Toughness ratio is?
The golden rule of creating an "effective health point pool" is to have ratio of 10:1 when it comes to comparing your health points to your total armour. Due to having the lowest armour class in the game and the lowest health pool it is hard to get that ratio as an Elementalist, because you can not get too many Vitality upgrades (an un-traited Ele has a 10.805:1836=1.7 ratio, suggesting to add 756 points to Vitality) without losing offensive qualities.
See discussion about the topic on the official forums. (https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/game/players/Guide-Survivability-EHP-vitality-vs-toughness/first#post631588)

Heal and regenerate
Everybody has a self heal, so you can get out of trouble by using it before you are downed, or prevent your foe from using it with a skill that e.g. launches him, like "Gust". Having some points in Water magic will make you a better healer, both on yourself and on allies

Each point in Water Magic = +10 to Healing Power

Don't forget conditions, boons and dodging
There is a vast array of things describes in the various [Basics:] threads about conditions, boons and movement, that can prevent you from taking damage or mitigates some of the damage you would take. See the threads for details. This list will just name a few of the possibilities:

http://wiki.guildwars2.com/images/4/46/Fury.png (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Fury) Fury (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Fury) increase their chance of critical hits
http://wiki.guildwars2.com/images/f/f9/Weakness.png (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Weakness) Weakness (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Weakness) increases the chances of a glancing
Attacks can miss due to being dodged (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Dodge), blocked (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Block), http://wiki.guildwars2.com/images/6/68/Blind.png (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Blind) Blind (http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Blind), obstructed or the target being out of range