Yesterday my guild mate Wethospu asked me about my opinion concerning "Signet of Air", which an Elementalist in his Fractals teams proclaimed to be the "best utility skill the Elementalists has". I could not agree, so I am asking myself: "Why did that person think that this is so good?". Pondering about the skill created this weeks Skills of Interest thread. Enjoy and join the discussion.
Signet of Air
Current GW2wiki description (November, 2012) :
Passive: Grants a 25% increase in movement speed.
Active: Blind your target and nearby foes.
Blind: 5 s Damage
Radius: 240 Range: 1,200
Traits affecting the skill
Signet Signet of Air 20
- Fire's Embrace - When you activate a signet, you gain a fire shield for 3 seconds.
- Signet Mastery - Signets recharge 20% faster.
- Written in Stone - Maintain the passive effects of signets when you activate them.
- Shard of Ice - Arcane and signet skills cause vulnerability when activated.
- Arcane Energy - Arcane and signet skills restore 25% endurance when used.
Change-log (since March 2012)
- It started out as a 10 second blind.
- Became a Tier 2 skill when the tier system was introduced in May 2012 beta events.
- The "nearby foes" had been specified to a 240 radius prior to the release of GW2 in the June beta event.
- With the Decemver 14th, 2012 update the 10% passive speed buff was increased to 25%.
- This skill can be activated while stunned or knocked down, or while activating other skills. It shares this ability with Cantrips, so it is not exclusive.
- The passive speed boost of 25% is now on par with the Thief's "Signet of Shadow", which makes this "almost swiftness speed" much better than it was before the Dec. 14th, 2012 update.
- Is travelling across maps better with Signet of Air? Again, the 25% it has now makes it now a viable travelling tool compared to "One with Air", especially since you can swap out the signet faster than change a trait before entering combat.
- Side note: For fast running, a combination of "Updraft" + "Glyph of Elemental Harmony" in Air and attunement swapping can still keep up a permanent swiftness boon and is faster than just using "Signet of Air".
- How does the blind effect compare to other skills the Elementalist has? "Blinding Flash" (Scepter) activates twice as often (un-traited Signet), but only blinds one foe and has no damage component. "Lightning Surge" (Staff) does four times the base damage, but only has half the radius. "Dust Devil" has similar damage & recharge, but twice the duration of Signet of Air. It also has the potential to blind more foe due to its cone shaped AoE. It can be evaded though.
- A big plus of Signet of Air is its utility bar status, as it can be used in addition to the weapon skills named before, offering more blind.
- Its big rival as a mass blind is Glyph of Storms in Earth Attunement. As the damage pulses re-apply blindness after three seconds, the earth storm can keep group blinded longer and more effectively than the Signet. The very long recharge of Glyph of Storms forgives no bad tactical casting compared to the Signet.
- A very big plus of Signet of Air is its synergy with a lot of traits (listed above). A signet build offers faster recharges (goes down to 16 seconds), free Vulnerability condition and more dodging due to an endurance gain.