This is the third skill in the Skills of Interest series. I have chosen "Phoenix" today. I really liked this skill for its multiple abilities and diversity of use. I hope you will wither agree with me here or add some critique based on your experience:
Current GW2wiki description (3rd June, 2012) :
Release a fiery phoenix that first attacks foes in a line, then explodes and returns to you, removing conditions and granting you Vigor.
Explosion Damage: 2.25x
Vigor: 5 s Combo Finisher: Blast Range: 900
Traits affecting the skill
Scepter Fire Phoenix 20
Change-log (since pre demo season 2011)
- The recharge timer has been reduced from 30 to 15 seconds
- Ability to heal as been replaced by the Vigor boon and condition remove in the Feb 2012 press beta
- Was one of the initial five skills featured upon profession release
- 2nd BWE returned the recharge to 20 seconds
- It is the only skill the Elementalist has that creates an unconditional Vigor boon on the surface (and one out of five skills on all professions in GW2). "Heat Wave" grants it to allies under water, but not to the Elementalist himself.
- Due to the decent recharge time to boon length ratio, the Elementalist casting Phoenix on recharge can dodge 50% more than other professions that are not buffed. The ratio can even be improved by taking Pyromancer's Alacrity to reduce the recharge to 16 seconds.
- The ability to execute a ranged Blast Finisher (Range 900) allows the Elementalist to either trigger allied field effects or one of their own (see the Skills & Combo thread for a list)
- Phoenix still removes ALL conditions upon return, which makes this skill the best condition removal available, after "Signet of Water" and "Cleansing Fire" were altered.
- With the trait Stop Drop and Roll you can remove more conditions as the Vigor boon fuels additional dodges that can be used for that purpose. Evasive Arcana also helps creating an attunement based boon on dodge, which is easy to create for an Elementalist with lots of Vigor boons.
- With the Vigorous Scepter trait you can further improve your endurance gain (although the exact increase is not known right now).
- As Phoenix damages foes on his path to the blast area, with the blast and on its way back, it has the ability to hit foes three times for a big splash of damage (see numbers in the table for reference).
- Damage done is direct damage and not a short burning condition burst, so armour reduces its power.
- The skill animation is large and flashy and easy to spot. Together with the slow movement of the phoenix skill effect, the skills path can be evaded by a dodge pretty easy.