This is the second skill in the Skills of Interest series. I have chosen "Gale" today, as it is the "underachiever" of the movement altering Air Magic skills - or I have not seen the space and time where this skill can shine, compared to its brothers in Air Magic and "skill relatives" from other professions:
Current GW2wiki description (2nd BWE, 2012) :
Knock down your foe with a charged wind blast.
Knockdown: 2 seconds
Traits affecting the skill
Focus Air Gale 50
Change-log (since February 2012)
- The recharge timer has been increased from 40 to 50 seconds after the first press beta weekend
- Knock Down duration has been reduced to 2 seconds.
- One of the two knock down skills the Elementalist has, compared to the GW1 Elementalists that had 7 unconditional and eight conditional knock down skills, making him the lead profession causing knock down effects after the Warrior (who had a similar number, but more Elites and conditional effects to cause a knock down).
- Knock downs in general are very scarce in Guild Wars 2, which makes the effect a valuable asset.
- Knock down effects interrupt foes, just like in GW1, but have to be timed much better by watching foes prepare for big hitting moves.
- The 900 range is pretty good as other Guild Wars 2 knock downs are melee range or e.g. traps
- Compared to the other knock down skill the Elementalist has, it offers less (Earthquake has the same range, is also a Blast Finisher move and recharges 5 seconds faster) not even the longer knocked down state, which lasted 3 seconds before the 2nd BWE and is now on par with 2 seconds - the same as Gale and Earthquake. Earthquake also effects multiple foes in the area of effect.
- The 50 second recharge is bad compared to the "cross profession" Warrior's Tremor, which has 1200 range, can effect multiple foes in a line and has a recharge time only 25 seconds.
- In comparison to the "Push" effect from Gust (Staff skill) or Updraft from the Off-Hand-Dagger skills, Gale can provide nothing to rival those extras like Swiftness boons or faster recharges.
- As Knock down effects are so situational and scarce, taking the "Grounded" trait for this 20% damage bonus is hardly worth the slot.
- Aeromancer's Alacrity will help the skill to get a recharge timer of 42 seconds, but of course Gust & Updraft would also profit from that trait, keeping their leading position on Gale.