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Mesmer Build Guide: Conditions/Confusion

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May 27, 2013 - 12:43pm -- Xerin
Mesmer Build Guide: Conditions/Confusion

In this guide we present to you a mesmer build focused on confusing your opponents. What I will add on this build is the fact that while it lacks spike potential, it does in fact deal massive amounts of damage when enough confusion is stacked on your opponents. Confusion is underrated by many and yet I've lost count at the amount of times I've seen a double dagger elementalist or thief kill themselves in only a few seconds by ignoring confusion. What I also love about this build is the fact you are so tough to kill. 

Please Note: This build transfers directly to PvE and WvW, you simply need to Passiflora items. Although these are expensive, the best alternative is Rabid.



Capable of handling multiple opponents at once through the staffs mobility

Can be vulnerable to condition removal

Players deal massive damage to themselves when stacked heavily with confusion

Relies on being able to land your shatters to truely stack confusion

Excels at 1 on 1 and transfers perfectly to WvW and PvE

Your damage potential is reduced when Nullfield/Feedback are on cooldown

Is highly capable of holding control points for long periods of time

Is relatively slow at dealing damage compared to raw power or full shatter based builds

Remains a powerful and flexible build

Is it actually too good? 

If played right you will hardly ever die


  • Crippling Dissipation
  • Confusing Enchantments
  • Debilitating Dissipation
  • Chaotic Dampening
  • Master of Misdirection
  • Dazzling Glamours
  • Blinding Befuddlement 

Why these Traits?

The entire purpose of this build is to stack as much confusion on your opponent as possible. Unfortunately many of the mesmers default skills (with the exception of the scepter) don't actually cause confusion. Instead, you have to rely on traits to bolt-on the condition to many of your existing skills. Crippling Dissipation is a solid choice to take based on the fact that most players when fighting a mesmer will utilise area of effect skills to destroy your illusions. This works to your advantage as by them doing so causes them to be crippled, significantly reducing their movement speed and allowing you to target them easier with your shatters. Confusing Enchantments compliments Feedback and Nullfield on the basis that once cast, every time your enemies enter or exit their fields they will suffer confusion. In the midst of a fight its gaurenteed that players will instantly exit either ensuring at least one stack of confusion. Using Feedback and Nullfield at the same time is also a viable tactic as it will cause at least 2 stacks.

Master of Misdirection will prolong your confusion stacks by 33% but when added up alongside your 20 points in Domination should see your confusion last around 53% longer. Finally, Dazzling Glamours and Blinding Befuddlement pair wonderfully together (also with Confusing Enchanements) as any Glamour fields you place down will not only blind your foes, but those foes who suffer blindness will also suffer confusion. Awesome.  

Please Note: Dependent on your playstyle, it's actually possible to drop 20 points from the Chaos Trait line and place it into Dueling instead, seeking out Desperate Decoy and Deceptive Evasion.

  • Ether Feast
  • Feedback
  • Null Field
  • Mirror Images
  • 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.

Feedback and Nullfield are both taken due to them being Glamour fields with wide radius'. Considering the traits you've taken, every time players exit or enter them while in combat they'll suffer confusion and blindness. Thankfully this build is so defensive through the use of staff that you don't need to use Null Field to cure your conditions, so be sure to use it as offensively as possible by attacking a player with Feedback and Nullfield simultaneously for maximum impact. Where possible, also try to drop both on large crowds to watch the numbers fly. 

Lastly, I choose to take Mirror Images as it acts as a stun breaker and allows you to create two clones at once. This build is already hugely survivable so I tend to use Mirror Images offensively (rather than for the stun break) to quickly stack confusion. 

Please Note: This build doesn't need Mirror Images, but I tend to take it as a skill to produce yet another clone or two. Alternative skills which really are excellent are Decoy (for extra stealth alongside The Prestige) or Signet of Domination to stun your opponents and increase your condition damage. Lastly, using the heal Mirror is an excellent choice here as your tankiness and healing power make it a viable, short cooldown heal. 

  • x6 Superior Rune of Undead
  • Superior Sigil of Corruption
  • Superior Sigil of Energy (on both offhand torch and staff)
  • Shaman's Amulet and Jewel

Why these Upgrades and Amulets?

Superior Runes of Undead provide you with a great boost to your toughness but also allow you to squeeze out even more condition damage (an additional 183 from the base statistics and a further 5% converted from your toughness). Default condition damage from all this should be around 1230, a considerable amount.  

Superior Sigil of Corrupted is here to further improve your condition damage (bringing your total to 1500 when fully stacked) while Superior Sigil of Energy on your offhand and staff is to support your ability to dodge and evade damage. 

Lastly, utilising Shaman's Amulet and Jewel guarantees high levels of toughness (around 1900) while still providing a good proportion of condition damage and extra healing. 

Please Note: If you want a little higher condition damage, you can take a Rabid Amulet and Jewel which will also provide you with a significantly improved critical hit chance.

  • Scepter and Torch (Primary)
  • Staff (Secondary)

Why these Weapons?

The weapon sets and purpose of them is to stack as many conditions as possible, specifically confusion. The Scepter and Torch aren't the most exciting weapon sets in the game, but they are a lot of fun to use. Illusionary Counter on the Scepter is a powerful block that also allows you to blind (and through traits, confuse your opponents) while Confusing Images stacks confusion 5 times and deals a surprising amount of damage (from a good range!). The Prestige on the offhand torch not only has a ridiculously cool name, but it also allows you to stealth and burn your foes while its Phantasm (Phantasmal Mage) stacks retaliation on you and confusion on enemies. 

In regards to the Staff, it's probably one of the best weapon sets in the game. It stacks conditions incredibly quickly through Chaos Storm (and boons on you if you stand in it) while it pairs wonderfully with Phase Retreat as when used inside a Chaos Storm will provide you with Chaos Armour. Using the combofield in this way realistically provides you with two Chaos Armour's.  Lastly, Phantasmal Warlock hits like a truck- just be sure to use it when your opponent has plenty of conditions.

When it comes to your attacking rotation I'd recommend you always start with the Scepter/Torch before then swapping to the staff. 

  • Phantasmal Mage
  • Confusing Images
  • Null Field
  • Mirror Images
  • Cry of Frustration
  • Change to Staff
  • Null Field
  • Chaos Storm 
  • Phase Retreat
  • Phantasmal Warlock
  • Dodge
  • Mind Wrack
  • Change back to Scepter when off cooldown
  • Confusing Images

If your opponent isn't dead, repeat the process ensuring that you time your shatters and the use of Cry of Frustration to maximise your confusion stacking.


Faolin's picture
Submitted by Faolin (not verified) on


i really like your hard work on this guide. Seams to work as far as i can say.


s3rvant's picture
Submitted by s3rvant on

YES! Thanks for putting this one together :)

What do you think of swapping out the torch for pistol and then taking the traits to stack bleeding on crit (tends to combo well with the pistol phantasm) ?

Proverbium of Epic Muffins [EPIC] on Dragonbrand

Lewis B's picture
Submitted by Lewis B on

I think that would work fine. However, you'd sacrifice a good burning skill in the torch as well as a phantasm that stacks confusion. I like the pistol phantasm, but its slow to cast and has a long cool down. 

kichwas's picture
Submitted by kichwas on

What about swapping out the staff? How much is lost?

I like the basic premise of the build, but I've never liked staff on my mesmer, preferring sword and some offhand (I like to be in melee anytime I can). Would that just be too great a sacrifice?

I'm currently running a 'tanky' shatter with my mesmer, but find I spend all my energy trying to line up confusion stacks - so the idea of redoing my build for that aim seems ideal.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Seems like too big a sacrifice to me.  The staff provides the meat of the conditions in this build (outside of confusion).  It's also a potent illusion factory and good mobility tool.  Sword / X doesn't really gel with a condition or confusion focus since it, and its offhands, have more of a power focus.

kichwas's picture
Submitted by kichwas on

Figured as much. Just really don't like the gameplay of staff on the mesmer, and seeking a melee option of some sort that can compliment my ranged weapon choice of scepter.


Luetin's picture
Submitted by Luetin (not verified) on

Can you post a screen shot of your armor so I can see what to craft in PvE

Michael Marino's picture
Submitted by Michael Marino (not verified) on

What do you recommend for PVE armor stats


Alex's picture
Submitted by Alex (not verified) on

Would it still work if i swapped out the torch for a focus?

Lewis B's picture
Submitted by Lewis B on

Not really, you need the stealth and burn that the torch offers.. 

Kesuka20's picture
Submitted by Kesuka20 on

Hey, thanks so much for the build, the concept is stunnnig and everything works wonderfully! 2 problem I have though and they're very tiny problems :) In the description of why you chose the specified skills you never mentioned an alternative elite skill to the Moa Bird or why you chose it, personally I don't like the skill and I find that Time Warp and Mass Invisibility are the only Asuran Mesmer elites I use :) I find the golemns are useless and the Moa just seems equally pointless. Secondly, you mentioned using Null Field and Feedback together to add 2 stacks of confusion if the foe were to leave the area of effect, but at the end when you note which skills to use at which point, you didn't mention Feedback. Is this perhaps a mistake or are you suggesting later on that it's not needed or any other reason? Sorry to be a pain, it's just it looks an incredible build but just got a little "confused" with these two points :D 

One more point, and this is nothing of your fault I promise, I hope this post doesn't seem negative because it's one of the best builds I have used for the mesmer so far :D But the Sigil of Superior Energy at the time cost 3 gold and you have said to use two, however for 25% endurance from the Major Sigil cost 2 silver so I went for the 25% rather than 50% as I couldn't afford it. Is that a problem or do I require the 50%

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Anon - you said "not your work" and provided a link to prove it, however the builds are not the same

20/20/0/0/30 your linked page

20/0/20/0/30 this page



hatze's picture
Submitted by hatze (not verified) on

Hi, I really liked reading through your guide! Since the Mesmer seems to be nerfed a lot (at least its what I read in forums and heard people say) is this build still "good" in WvW?