Considering my external hard disk drive blew up on the Friday before the servers opened, I couldn’t record any structured tournament PvP throughout the entire weekend. Instead, I’ve been combing YouTube to find signs of excellent play from the individuals who took part.
First up and because I played Mesmer for the entire weekend, is a video from Xeph over at Team Paradigm. What I find interesting about this video is that he’s using a build almost identical to my own when I’m soloing.
Although he specialises 10/20/0/30/10 in his traits, mine only differs slightly by being 10/30/0/25/5.
What I find most interesting from watching the video is that people are so shamelessly seeking his build. With any familiarity of Mesmer traits, it’s somewhat simple to deduce most what he has and hasn’t taken from the trait lines (based on minor traits you know he hasn’t reach or traits that activate). Where it becomes a little more difficult is deducing what his amulet/rune and jewel setup is. As our builds are so similar (even including skills and weapon sets) I’ll get the obvious out of the way first and detail what I took, which I suspect is what he might also use.
10 points in Domination
I use the trait Crippling Dissipation to cripple foes when clones are killed. This is really important with a melee centric build on the basis that you need to keep your target standing still. As Blurred Frenzy roots you on use as the animation plays out, its paramount you use it when you know your foe can’t escape.
30 points in Dueling
I’ve a little more freedom to splurge on a multitude of traits. I’m no particular fan of any in the Dueling traits, but the three I took were Duelist’s Discipline to increase my pistol range, Furious Interruption to combine with Signet of Domination and Trick Shot as well as Blade Training for an additional 50 Precision.
25 points in Inspiration
Much of these traits depend entirely on the circumstance (I take Medic’s Feedback in sPvP Tournaments) but when soloing use Glamour Mastery to bring Null Field down from 45 to 38 seconds and Temporal Enchanter to increase Null Fields duration. This is a really important skill when fighting against Boon heavy professions such as Guardians. I suspect in Xeph’s case, as he ventures 30 points into the line he chooses to take Vigorous Revelation to keep his endurance up as much as possible when he Shatters his Illusions.
5 points in Illusions
Simply for the cooldown reduction on Illusion summoning skills, by 10% to marry with Mirror Images. Based on the critical strike damage of Xeph’s Illusions when he uses Mind Wrack (and the frequency of them), I suspect he has taken Precise Wrack though I would probably take Dazzling Glamours.
In relation to gear, amulets and runes make it a little more difficult to determine what Xeph has used. In my circumstance there are several options I’ve toyed with but I tend to use Soldiers Amulet (+798 power, +569 toughness, +569 vitality) to make up the shortfall from not specialising in the Chaos traitline. Based on Xeph having 21,900 health, it’s likely he has only taken an amulet affording +284 vitality; 15,082 (base health) + 3000 (traits) + 2840 (amulet) = 20922. The 1000 difference is likely where Jewels and Runes come in.
If he had taken an Amulet affording +569 vitality, his health pool would have rocketed to over 23,000.
What I find interesting is that if he has taken a rune that affords just +284 vitality (likely Berserker’s); he is heavily crippled defensively, relying on dodge and evade of Blurred Frenzy to survive. It’s really impossible to tell based on the video below.
I’ve gravitated towards Rune of Eagle for an additional +165 precision, and +8% crit damage combined with Rampagers Jewel for an extra +125 precision, +45 power and toughness. I must admit though, the addition of 3% crit damage to Rune of Divinity has really caught my eye, providing +60 to all attributes and a boost of +10% crit damage.
Lastly, I use Sigil of Superior Earth to bleed my foe when I crit (the same as Xeph) but also use Sigil of Superior Accuracy for a little extra crit chance.
- Amulet: Soldiers: +768 Power, +569 Toughness, +569 Vitality
- Jewels: Rampagers Jewel: +125 Precision, +45 Power, +45 Toughness
- Runes: Eagle: +165 Precision, +8% Crit Damage
- Sigils: x1 Sigil of Superior Accuracy: +5% Crit Chance, X1 Sigil of Superior Earth: +60% chance to do a 5s bleed on critical.
- Power: 916 + 768 (Amulet) + 45 (Jewel) + 100 (Traits) = 1829
- Precision: 916 + 300 (Trait) + 50 (Trait) + 125 (Jewel) + 165 (Rune) = 1556
- Toughness: 916 + 569 (Amulet) + 45 (Jewel) = 1530 (2467 total armour)
- Vitality: 916 + 250 (Trait) + 569 = 1735
- Crit Chance: 40%
- Health: 23,272
- Prowess: 38 (+188 Critical Hit Modifier)
I must stress that I could be wildly off the mark with the traits and items that Xeph is using, but as our builds are incredibly similar (I only use the staff as an escape tool) I don’t suspect I’m too far away. In any event, and contrary to the GW2 Mesmer Forums, the profession is capable of dealing amazing damage even with the tweaks to Mind Wrack and Illusions. Xeph plays excellently in his video and it’s good to see an individual who clearly grasps what the profession is about. The use of Illusions purely as a spike, rather than a tool to hide behind (though that still plays its part) is really my favourite aspect of the build.
I’m going to try to get in touch with Xeph and Team Paradigm to have a chat about the Mesmer and other professions to get a feel for their take on Guild Wars 2's PvP. If you haven’t already skipped to the bottom and watched the video already, enjoy!