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  1. #1
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    Elementalist Tips and Tricks - Fantastic Friend Coop

    I'm about to post this up on Elemental Attunement, but I thought everyone here might find this helpful. Basically its just a handful of tips and tricks in playing the Elementalist. I'd also like to hear any tips anyone else has and i'll update this main post to include everything.

    Travel
    Tyria is a big place, you're gonna need to do some walking. There are some things you can do to make your trips a little shorter though. Do note it seems there is no speed cap however speed bonuses do not stack (the Swiftness boon stacks duration when received multiple times).

    • Depending on your current weapon you may have some nice speed bonuses. A staff has Windborne Speed on your Air Attunement which gives Swiftness for 10 seconds. A dagger in the off-hand gives your Air Attunement Ride the Lightning; a charge ability (be aware that it does lock onto enemies) and Updraft which grants Swiftness for 10 seconds (it does cause you roll backward however). If you have a dagger in the main-hand you will get Burning Speed (a charge like Ride the Lightning, however it doesn't lock onto enemies) on your Fire Attunement
    • Glyph of Elemental Harmony grants 10 seconds of Swiftness when cast in Air Attunement
    • Signet of Air gives a constant +10% speed buff when it's not on cooldown (unless you have the Written in Stone trait)
    • When Glyph of Lesser Elementals (and possible Glyph of Elementals) is used it creates an Air Elemental. The Air Elemental grants AoE swiftness to allies, however it does not seem to do this reliably or possibly only in combat
    • Lightning Flash can be used to quickly cover a short distance reducing your travel time slightly
    • 5 trait points into Air magic grants the Zephyr's Speed minor trait which grants a constant +10% speed buff while in Air Attunement
    • The adept trait One with Air (Air Magic) causes you to move 5% faster every 10 seconds while attuned to Air (up to a +25% speed buff)
    • The adept trait Elemental Attunement (Arcana) grants 5 seconds of Swiftness when you attune to Air
    • The master trait Windborne Dagger (Arcana) gives you a constant +15% speed buff while wielding a dagger


    Downed State
    Some may argue the Elementalist has weak or strong downed skills. That is all beside the point, you are going to get downed and you need to know how to react.

    • Lightning Discharge is fairly well ranged single target attack, it doesn't really do anything but deal damage so use it as such.
    • Grasping Earth's shining feature is it's channeled immobilize. By that I mean it will continue to inflict immobilize as you continue you channel it. This is helpful for prevent melee attackers advancing and keeping away other players from performing a finish on you
    • Vapor Form may seem like merely preventing the inevitable but sometimes you just need a little extra time. Adding that extra distance allows you to get those extra few hits in and those extra few seconds for an ally to show up and save you. It can also allow you to run around a corner and break line of sight allowing some time to heal up and get back in the fight. Remember that you can actually dodge roll while in Vapor Form and although you already take no damaged it allows you to travel that little extra distance.


    Self Combos
    While most professions either have mostly combo initiators or combo finishers, the elementalist has a good mix of both and with some skill and timing you can create some devastating combos all on your own.

    • The most obvious 'self-combo' is using the auto attack on the staff or scepter's Earth Attunement. Both are projectiles so they will both create a combo when they travel through any combo field; creating an additional affect to the projectile. E.g. You are wielding a Scepter and a focus. You start in Fire Attunement and cast Firewall. You then switch to Earth Attunement and attack using Stone Daggers through the Firewall. The end result will be the [/I][/SIZE]enemy receiving the Burning condition in addition to the Bleeding condition they would have normally received from Stone Daggers.
    • The other finisher an elementalist has readily available is a Blast. Blast will inflict an additional area effect when combined with a field. Blasts are found on all weapon sets, so have a play around and find what works best for you. E.g. You are wielding a Scepter and a focus. You are in Fire Attunement and cast Firewall. You then cast Phoenix on the Firewall creating an Area Might which grants 3 stacks of Might to nearby allies.


    Traits
    Picking which traits you want can be daunting, but there is a pattern to the utility skills that can help you choose.
    You may have noticed that utility skills are split into 5 types; Arcane, Cantrip, Conjure, Glyph and Signet. If a particular skill type appeals to you then go for mostly those utlities, then look at the trait lines and see which line has the traits pertaining to that skill type and start from there. You'll find it a lot easy to build around the idea of having a particular skill type rather than having a blank slate. For example I really like Cantrips, so I will instantly put 30 points into Water Magic and it has a lot of good traits for Cantrips.

    If your unsure how to build your character on you earlier levels I suggest firstly going for 10 points in Arcana while your still getting a feel for how you want to build your character. You'll be able to get Elemental Attunement (which shares a name with a really awesome site!). Elemental Attunement grants boons when you change attunement and can benefit a variety of builds.

    Specific Tactics
    'Might and Fire'

    1. Start in any attunement except Fire or Earth, and then switch to Fire granting 1 stack of Might
    2. Cast Glyph of Elemental Harmony to gain another stack of Might (now on 2 stacks of Might)
    3. Cast Firewall and then Phoenix on top to gain another 3 stacks of Might (now 5 stacks of Might)
    4. Switch to Earth Attunement and cast Stone Daggers through the fire wall until it fades


    'Flash Casting'

    The utility skill Lightning Flash is one of the few skills that can be cast 'at-will' even while casting another skill. The benefit of this is that you can charge a spell up at a safe distance and then use Lightning Flash just before the cast-bar finishes to bring the spell to the enemy. It could also be used to escape an enemy without interrupting a skill that requires you to stay still while casting.
    Examples:
    • Assuming you have a dagger in the off-hand, charge up Churning Earth away from the enemy at a safe distance and then use Lightning Flash to teleport towards the enemy so Churning Earth hits.
    • Assuming you have a staff, while casting Meteor Storm if you an enemy closes in, cast Lighting Flash to escape without interrupting the skill.

    Other skills that have this 'at-will' cast effect are all attunements, signets (untested), Lightning Strike and Blinding Flash (scepter air skills), Magnetic Wave and Obsidian Flesh (focus earth skills) and cantrips.
    Last edited by Redean; 04-09-2012 at 04:05.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redean View Post
    Specific Tactics
    'Might and Fire'

    1. Start in any attunement except Fire or Earth, and then switch to Fire granting 1 stack of Might
    2. Cast Glyph of Elemental Harmony to gain another stack of Might (now on 2 stacks of Might)
    3. Cast Firewall and then Phoenix on top to gain another 3 stacks of Might (now 5 stacks of Might)
    4. Switch to Earth Attunement and cast Stone Daggers through the fire wall until it fades
    Some very useful tips for beginners, Redean.

    I want to add, that the Might stacking obviously only works with Scepter (for Phoenix) and Focus (for Firewall).
    Gorani's Guild Wars legacy & the Kurzick Poet NPC in GW1
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorani View Post
    Some very useful tips for beginners, Redean.

    I want to add, that the Might stacking obviously only works with Scepter (for Phoenix) and Focus (for Firewall).
    Scepter and Focus may be the only ones that stack that well but you can still get the area might with other sets.
    Dagger/Dagger has 2 fire fields and a blast on Water and Earth. You have to be quick to get it but it is certainly possible.

  4. #4
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    In the [Basics] threads about Skills & Combos, which is currently located on page 2 (and though not easy to spot), you can find all the possible combos you can do with your weapons skills.

    PS: On traits

    I discovered I am switching attunements frequently now and started to put five points in all trait lines to get the benefits of the Adept minor traits, e.g.

    Fire - Flame Barrier - 20% to trigger burning is not much, but will at least damage those ranged attacks shooting your back while you battle someone else
    Air - Zephyr's Speed - 10% speed boost is always great for travelling or circle strafing during combat, as foes seem to be slightly faster than your normal speed.
    Water - Soothing Mist - We are squishy! If you run out of Condition removal (usually you do not have that much), you can at least shake off a bit of bleeding/poison to prevent getting downed. Under water (where I seem to take much more damage) it supplements my icy bolts and you can swim/jump on the surface & heal.
    Earth - Stone Flesh - 1 Toughness/Level is about 10-15% of what you have naturally and therefore prevents a lot of damage.

    Don't forget that 5 trait points mean 50 more attribute points across your stats.

    As you can see, I don't prefer a specialization, but a "swiss army knife" at the moment.
    Last edited by Gorani; 30-08-2012 at 22:45.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorani View Post
    In the [Basics] threads about Skills & Combos, which is currently located on page 2 (and though not easy to spot), you can find all the possible combos you can do with your weapons skills.

    PS: On traits

    I discovered I am switching attunements frequently now and started to put five points in all trait lines to get the benefits of the Adept minor traits, e.g.

    Fire - Flame Barrier - 20% to trigger burning is not much, but will at least damage those ranged attacks shooting your back while you battle someone else
    Air - Zephyr's Speed - 10% speed boost is always great for travelling or circle strafing during combat, as foes seem to be slightly faster than your normal speed.
    Water - Soothing Mist - We are squishy! If you run out of Condition removal (usually you do not have that much), you can at least shake off a bit of bleeding/poison to prevent getting downed. Under water (where I seem to take much more damage) it supplements my icy bolts and you can swim/jump on the surface & heal.
    Earth - Stone Flesh - 1 Toughness/Level is about 10-15% of what you have naturally and therefore prevents a lot of damage.

    Don't forget that 5 trait points mean 50 more attribute points across your stats.

    As you can see, I don't prefer a specialization, but a "swiss army knife" at the moment.
    I'm contemplating doing this as well. Elementalist just feels a lot more rewarding when you switch attunements often. Elemental Attunement is another good trait to get for attunement swapping and is only 10 points into Arcana. 5 points into Arcana also gives you 2 seconds of Fury every time you change attunement which is some what helpful (although I doubt how much can be achieved during the 2 seconds).
    I've also added another tactic above about using Lightning Flash.
    Last edited by Redean; 31-08-2012 at 05:09.

  6. #6
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    Some more tips & tricks:

    >> You are squishy, so try to approach boss foes & champion type foes () at greater range. As the abilities of foes scale up, they develop very powerful PBAoE attacks, that very likely take you straight to a downed state (or worse), when you are at dagger range. Staff is your best friend here as "field" support for others is probably more important than any other skill you could bring to the battle (Water magic is outright awesome in this situation). As you can't switch in combat, switch before entering combat range.
    >> Daggers require you to side-strafe to avoid being slaughtered by melee foes. Practice this "survival technique" and you will find main hand daggers very rewarding. Remember that ranged foes pretty much laugh at this and you have to use dodge to avoid being hit.
    >> Burning Speed & Ride the Lightning cause their damage burst on impact, so you have to either "slightly bypass" your target (so that it gets hit by the pass + gets the damage burst) or you should try to hit an object close to the target (like a tree or rock), so you don't rush past the foe and get out of burst damage radius.
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  7. #7
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    I've added some notes about the downed state and more skills to the list of 'at-will' spells.

  8. #8
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    I'm a dual dagger elementalist both in pvp and pve I haven't tried wvw yet though, I'm also level 71 at the moment. (Been leveling a Mesmer for a little while now (it's soooo hard!!!).)

    Anyway from my experience I found that daggers don't need much into condition equipment if you've put into Earth for the toughness and condition 200.

    My build is Earth 200, Lightning 200 and Fire 300 for the fire field time limit extension.

    In a PVP situation -if I don't get picked off first- I try to start off with fire attunement or wind because of winds 4 and Fires 3 which can close gaps very quickly. I never use wind 5 in the opening and also if I'm wind I go straight to wind 3 and switch to Fire for the Fire Circle which is the 4. Note I usually do this after a fight has started and I can dive into a group. Anyway if I'm not already targeting to squishy guy or the center of the group I immediately position myself for Fire's 3. 3 on Fire is Amazing, it's a great way to dive or get away and do huge chunks of damage in pvp with the explosion part and if you've left behind a fire zone then no one wants to cross it.

    In the ideal situation though I'm normally at 3/4th health by this point from all the aoe damage and I switch to earth attunement and immediately do 2->4->5 then 3->1 ->2 on any one really low.

    I also keep the trait for the earth armor at 50% that thing helps A LOT! I can't begin to explain how important that trait is for survivability it is the hand from the light that lets you stay in a fight till the end or get out without too much worry.

    After that if there are people alive I switch to Lightning and go 4->5 and pop 3 while I'm running usually with the earth armor. The only time I'll turn is if Fire comes off CD and Lightning 4 is off CD, then I'll dive back in switch to fire and yea fight to the death.

    So yes as an elementalist in pvp you have to swap out a lot. I'd imagine if you are using daggers you probably wont be using water attunement at all in pvp, I haven't been able to find any application for it that has synergism with anything else. In PvE water could be nice though but I go Earth for survivability, again I have Earth, Lightning and Fire with the 20% CD reduction.

    Oh and I almost forgot the most important utilities of all are the crit utility and the arcane shockwave one.

    I've been playing around with the toughness signet or the mist form but I really don't like mist form and I don't see the need for earth armor when I already have earth armor on traits.

    In a usual fight the numbers from fire to earth are.

    (4k Fire's 3 -and Ticks Fire-) -> (3k Fire's 4 -and ticks strong fire) -> (1.5k Earth's 2 -good Tick bleed-) -> (1.2k Earth's 4 -Knock Down (A lot of interrupts)) -> (5k Earth's 5 -huge bleed damage-) that about 10k flat damage in an aoe with about 5k in condition damage without really going into condition equipment. Also the arcane shockwave will add around 2k so it’s enough to knock out anyone who is build squishy in about 5 seconds.

    I will also say this, never think you will hit a whole group, people will run when they see chunks of their hp flying away especially when you get to the trembling earth. They will run, this gives me time to decide who to pick off and how to do it. It’s always good to just let Earth’s 5 finish since I have earth armor at 50% so I can tank for it’s duration. If the guy you want is too far away for earth 3 or being blocked off then I use Lightning 4 to Lightning 5 and switch to water and do Water 3 as soon as I can while spamming the auto attack at some point work in Water 5 and 3 with my heal and they notice that my armor is gone and want to try to down me. By this point Fire is ready again and it’s gg.

    In a 1v1 fight Fire will do a lot more damage than any other element both with conditions and at face value. Fire 5 with Fire condition and high crit can do 7k on it’s own. I’m not sure if it’s because all 3 parts of the cone hits the target or what but the damage can change a lot, one second you can crit for 7k next for 3k so I try not to rely on it in my team fight combo and save it for 1v1 where I can see plainly if I should commit or run (Aka switch to lightning then 4->5)

    While the game says lightning is for dealing out utility conditions the truth is it doesn’t do a great job of it on dagger. The 2 is the most avoided spell in my arsenal in pvp it is the definition of useless even in a 1v1, the time it takes for you to use it you could have just popped 3 and switched to a useful element like water (=P). Lightning seems to only be good for escaping or setting up a defensive when you initiate. Wind(4->3)->Earth(3-4-5).


    Personally with daggers and elementalists dealing condition damage I'd say conditions are just supplemental in pvp, to anyone who is building conditions on daggers I'd have to ask why do later what you can do now?

    As far as interrupts... yea daggers seem to be okay here we have 3 of them, granted two of them are useless to continuing an offense in most situations. There is Lightning Shield and Wind 5 and lastly the most useful interrupt in my opinion is Earths 4 which at best has a 40 second or so cool down.

    The strongest condition damage we have is either Fire Circle or Trembling Earth. Fire Circle is obviously better than Trembling Earth though since it is on a shorter CD and has no channel time, as well as it works with fire breath very well.

    Anyway I hope that has been helpful for you dagger ele’s and I’m not anywhere near the best ele around I’m sure but this is how I play and it’s worked for me.
    Last edited by Arceb; 07-09-2012 at 18:58.

  9. #9
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    If you are using dual daggers and your dps is sucky then you're doing it wrong. Dual daggers has Flame Breath for the Kite DPS, at level 50 there are some mobs that I could kill with just this 1 spell. I would farm a few mobs or catch them while they all aggro someone else and just let the burn damage finish them off while I went after another group.

    If you cannot do that then your best bet is to start learning how to switch between fire and earth. Fire is the main dps but Earth is a secondary source of DPS. The only draw back is that by the time you have everything useful on cd with earth fire is probably still on cd. So normally I go to lightning for the ride the lightning aoe to the 5 or the 3 depending on how much damage I'm taking, 5 if I need to kite and 3 if I can manage to take a few hits until fire is back up.

    Seriously if your enemies aren't dead by this point odds are you are fighting a veteran and if that's the case just kite him with fire breath until he drops and when he gets too close then Fire Dash and Flame circle across him so he takes the explosion and burn damage while keeping you at a safe distance to kit some more then turn and use flame breath.

  10. #10
    GWOnline.Net Member Arceb's Avatar
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    Yep, if you are not being pressured you can use mist form twice before you eventual kick the bucket. So basically Mistform, (Spam) Lightning, Mistform then Bandage works in pvp but isn't advisable in pve since you could pull the mob when you could have gotten away. It's better to just Mist form and then Mist form again without hitting back unless you really think you can get the rally.

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