This is the first Earth Magic skill in the series of Skills of Interest and also the first Staff skill featured. I chose Eruption, because it has a lot of potential beyond the "just pop up one damage number" ability.
Current GW2wiki description (2nd BWE, 2012) :
Shake the ground until it erupts and damages foes.
6 Bleeding: 12 s Radius: 240 Combo Finisher: Blast
Traits affecting the skill
Staff Earth Eruption 6
Change-log (since February 2012)
- The Blast Finisher ability was finally added in the May beta (after being on and off since February according to GW2wiki entries)
- The six stacks of Bleed were clarified prior to the May beta.
- The skill offers a very good ratio of recharge time (6 sec) and range (1200).
- No other Elementalist skill adds that many stacks of Bleed for such a long duration.
- With the "Serrated Stones" trait, it should be possible to cast up to three Eruptions onto a foe, stacking even more bleeds. The trait prolongs the bleeding to 15 seconds and 20 points in Fire Magic can get that number up to 18 seconds. Even without a three time stacking, which would be difficulty to time right anyway, it will be easy to maintain two casts of Eruption on a foe.
- With the low recharge of condition removal skills in GW2, it is hard to shake off Eruption's bleed, which also can be used as a "cover condition".
- "Geomancer's Alacrity" will help the skill to get a recharge timer of 5 seconds (this needs to be verified, depending on how the game rounds its fractions), but with a very good recharge time it does not matter a lot, even when trying to add more stacks of Bleed (mentioned before).
- With the "Blast Finisher" ability and its 6 sec recharge, an Elementalist can try to set off combo effects almost every time, once he spots a field created by allies.
- The ability to set off his own combos is limited by the fact that there is no Earth Magic field effect from the staff or any other weapon. The Elementalist needs to cast a field from another attunement and switch to Earth Magic to set off a field effect with Eruption. He does not require a target in the area of the field, as Eruption is a ground target skill.