I have decided to go for another "earthy type" skill again this week, although it is a Cantrip.
Armor of Earth
Current GW2wiki description (3rd BWE, 2012) :
Protect yourself with earth armor that gives you protection and stability.
Duration: 8 s Stability: 6 s Protection: 8 s Breaks stun
Traits affecting the skill
Armor of Earth 90
Change-log (since February 2012)
- When Stability became a Boon during the August stress tests, the duration was reduced from 8 to 6 seconds.
- The duration of Stability was reduced from 12 to 8 seconds during the 3rd BWE in July.
- Became and stayed a Tier 1 slot skill, when tiers were introduced, therefore got its skill point cost changed from 2 to 1 in June 2012.
- Gained the ability to Break Stun (like all Cantrips) in May 2012.
- Did not have the Protection boon during the February press BWEs and also a 30 second recharge that was increased to 90 seconds once GW2 went to open betas.
- Shares the name with a Guild Wars 1 skill.
- The Protection boon of this skill offers 8 seconds of reduced damage, so you can get out of harms way by activating a heal, escape out of range or finish a foe that you have been on par with so far.
- The other skill offering Protection to the Elementalist is Glyph of Elemetal Harmony, but that lasts only 3 seconds, granting you not as much time as Armor of Earth.
- The long recharge of the skill (90 seconds) forces you to use it actively at the right moment, which requires a good battlefield awareness that is more common with veteran PvP players compared to casual PvE players, which might want to use the slot for a "less situational skill."
- The effect of Armor of Earth can be mirrored by the Trait "Earth's Embrace", which "auto-casts" the spell when the character reaches 50% of its health. The trigger at the threshold might be a good thing, when you can not react so fast, but could also be "wasted", if you are not in real trouble, as it enters its 90 second cool down after being initiated.
- Taking both "Armor of Earth" and "Earth's Embrace" is possible to increase the survivability.
- The long cool down can be reduced to 72 seconds by using the "Cantrip Master" trait.
- "Soothing Distruption" is another way of augmenting the skill, as you gain Vigor & Regeneration in addition to the Protection boon.
- The Stablity effect can prevent a lot of effects that will put you in a bad position (like knock down, stun & daze), so using Armor of Earth before you get hit a lot (e.g. by a spike from burst damage builds) might be the better usage than activating it to recover from the attack.