In this guide we present to you a mesmer build focused on utilizing two swords and the greatsword. This build remains very close to my heart as it is one that I have utilised since closed Beta with great success. While its damage potential isn't as high as a full shatter build, you gain much more survivability, retain a high level of damage in comparison to other professions and are capable of roaming alone without fear of others.
Please Note: This build transfers directly to PvE and WvW, you simply need to utilise Soldier items (such as those from Ascalon Catacombs).
+ Capable of handling multiple opponents at once while roaming
- Not 'as' high damage as a full shatter build
+ Deals high damage and also has amazing survivability
- Lacks high critical hit damage spikes
+ Excels at 1 on 1 and transfers perfectly to WvW and PvE
+ Has reasonably high survivability
+ Remains a powerful and flexible build
- Mental Torment
- Empowered Illusions
- Desperate Decoy
- Deceptive Evasion
- Menders Purity
- Vigorous Revelation
- Shattered Conditions
Why these Traits?
This build takes many elements from a Shatterer design and sacrifices some of that damage for survivability. When roaming and often as a loner it's important to be able to survive for length periods but also being able to quickly kill those you encounter. Mental Torment and Empowered Illusions significantly boost your spike potential, increasing Mind Wracks damage considerably while Empowered Illusions increases your already powerful Phantasms.
Desperate Decoy and Deceptive Evasion are both designed as tools to support your damage (summoning a clone on dodge) but also to provide you with a buffer should you need to escape.
Menders Purity and Shattered Conditions are both there to keep you condition free should Null Field be on cooldown while Vigorous Revelation provides near permanent Vigor. Just be sure to be near your Illusions when you shatter them to gain the boon.
Please Note: Blade Training is a great alternative trait to use instead of Desperate Decoy as it will reduce the cooldowns on both your set of sword skills. It's also possible to use Rending Shatter instead of Empowered Illusions to really stack Vulnerability.
- Ether Feast
- Mirror Images
- Null Field
- Moa Morph
Why these Skills?
Ether Feast remains the best heal for a mesmer utilising clones regularly. Each additional illusion you have active heals you for a further 670 health, totaling around 7900 with three active illusions. This is significantly greater than the other heals, though its cooldown of 20 seconds is relatively lengthy. However, you should find you're able to use it several times in protracted fights.
Mirror Images and Decoy are both chosen to disorientate your opponents and buy you breathing space to heal up or escape. As two stun breakers it's paramount you keep mobile so be sure to time the use of both in emergencies. What also makes Mirror Images so great is the rotation of Foward Dodge (to summon a clone) > Mirror Images for a 3 illusion spike on Mind Wrack.
Null Field I use offensively rather than defensively as it's much more useful to remove boons from bunker guardians than it is to cure your conditions. Make sure you time its use so you drop it on a player when they're immobilised or crippled to maximise its effect. In an emergency however, against condition heavy professions, feel free to drop it on yourself before Decoying away.
Please Note: This build already has a high amount of condition removal (the weakest element of a mesmer) and because of this, it's possible to swap in Veil or Feedback for a little more utility.
- x6 Superior Rune of Vampirism
- Superior Sigil of Bloodlust
- Superior Sigil of Energy (on both offhand sword and greatsword)
- Soldiers Amulet and Jewel
Why these Upgrades and Amulets?
Mesmers are incredibly hard to 'pin down' when fighting them due to their constant stealth and evasive skills. Utilising Rune of Vampirism allows you to have a chance of evading death just as you need it. I've lost count at the amount of times Vampirism has saved my life as it's bought me just enough time to see my heal or decoy become usable.
Superior Sigil of Bloodlust is there to provide you with an additional 250 Power when maximised (pushing your total attack power to well over 3350) while Superior Sigil of Energy is to support your ability to dodge and evade damage.
Lastly, utilising the Soldier Amulet provides you with a solid amount of defence and health, but also allows you to push well over 2200 Power by default. Your damage will be less than a full Berserker Mesmer, but you'll survive for so much longer.
Please Note: If you want an instant damage boost (considerable!) just equip a Berserker Amulet and Jewel and watch the numbers fly. Beware however, you will be significantly squishier. In PvE, simply utilise Berserker armour bought from the Trading Post.
- x2 Sword (Primary)
- Greasword (Secondary)
Why these Weapons?
I've had many lengthy discussions about the choice of Swords over the traditional Sword/Pistol combination and in many respects, I still believe Sword/Sword to be much more flexible and powerful. Here are a few reasons:
- Sword/Sword shares one trait able to reduce cooldowns for both weapons
- It has a powerful block (that deals high damage to anyone attacking you)
- It has a powerful daze
- It has the shortest cooldown Phantasm out of all the mesmers weapon sets
- It has one of the highest damage single target Phantasms
- It has two leap finishers (Swordsman and Leap) that react to combo fields amazingly well
- It looks awesome
With that in mind, I don't think there's much contest in terms of off-hand Sword versus Pistol though it is inevitably preference. For a secondary weapon, I always choose the Greatsword over Staff simply because as part of my damage rotation it compliments the offensive nature of Swords so much better. The huge damage spike Illusionary Berserker provides (as well as crippling those it hits) is formidable and makes for a great attacking combination at range of Berserker > Mirror Blade > Illusionary Wave > Mind Stab.
When it comes to your attacking rotation, I'd recommend:
- Phantasmal Swordsman
- Illusionary Leap
- Blurred Frenzy
- Swap to Greatsword
- Illusionary Wave
- Illusionary Berserker
- Mirror Blade
- Mind Stab
Amongst all this, use your shatters! There's very few professions in the game that can ever survive this spike.