Heavily based on stat increases on precision, critical damage, and a bit of added toughness, this Mesmer build is primarily centered on your phantasms. They’ll provide a variety of useful boons and a great source of some heavy damage. With just the right balance between damage and support, this is a viable build adapted for WvW. Just keep in mind it’s very dependent on your gear!
Gear and Stats in Detail:
Stat accuracy is incredibly important in this build. You want to find a good balance between crit chance and crit damage, as well as just a bit of a boost to your toughness, which can go a long way in a PvP environment. Stats won’t quite hit what they need to until you top off your setup with your nourishment bonuses.
Keep in mind this build is made with ascended gear in mind, as it’s best to work towards getting the most you can out of them. While exotics can be used, it’s highly recommended to eventually work on getting all ascended trinkets.
Weapons to keep on hand:
- Berserker’s Staff – Sigil of Perception
- Berserker’s Greatsword – Sigil of Energy
- Berserker’s Sword – Sigil of Energy
- Berserker’s Focus – Sigil of Fire
- Berserker’s Spear – Sigil of Energy
- Berserker’s Trident – Superior Sigil of Blood
Staff is great for tagging foes in WvW, so this is where Sigil of Perception comes in. If you’re not with a larger group that’s getting frequent kills, head for the coyotes before heading out. Or whatever other unlucky targets you happen to come across. Keep the staff, swap between your greatsword and your sword/focus as needed.
Sigil of energy is awesome for just about everything. In this case, not only can it mean avoiding some massive damage, but more clones as well (traited).
Sigil of fire is not required and can be swapped for one of the sigils of energy, but Mesmer lacks decent AoE dps as it is without your shatters. Every bit of damage counts, and this is surprisingly helpful.
These may take a while to get, but use exotics in the meantime. Be sure to pay close attention to the stats on the trinkets you’re getting, since ascended gear does give you the option of switching around your primary stats.
- Knight’s Helm
- Knight’s Shoulders
- Berserker’s Coat
- Knight’s Gloves
- Berserker’s Leggings
- Berserker’s Boots
Superior Runes of the Air
- Cavalier’s Amulet – Collar of the First Commissar
- Knight’s Ring x2 (PRECISION primary) – Cirque of Arah and Band of Brotherhood
- Knight’s Trinket x2 (1 precision and 1 toughness primary) Molten Ore and Warmaster’s Family Heirloom
- Berserker’s Backpiece – Quiver of Swift Flight, Book of Secrets, or Fractal Capacitor of this equivalent
You may be asking: why are we throwing in random Cavalier pieces exactly?
Easy answer: it gives us nicer, easy-to-round stats.
Actual answer: With toughness as the primary stat, it gives you just enough of a boost to hit slightly above 2500 armor. While it looks nice, armor is something you’ll really want to pay attention to when you’re going head to head with other players. Normally I’d say all-in the vitality, but mixing and matching the gear this way provides nice, well-rounded stats that give a decent amount of armor, and plenty of precision and crit damage.
For runes of the air: While using ruby/knight’s orbs will provide a nice bonus to the stats you’re focusing, the swiftness duration and swiftness on heal gives you some mobility to work with. Without blink in my utilities, I find myself falling behind pretty quickly if I don’t get speed boosts from the rest of the group even with a focus. Not to mention the 20% chance to gain lightning strike on hit is pretty nice, and it only has a 10 second cooldown. Along with the swiftness/swiftness duration, the extra critical damage complements the rest of your gear nicely.
Traits – Domination, Dueling, Chaos and Inspiration
Since this is a build based around boosting your phantasms/illusions and giving them a few extra boons, we’ll start in Power with Empowered Illusions (III). As a bonus, we’ll get Illusion of Vulnerability. If you have a focus, you’ll generally be interupting on pull. As an added bonus if you interupt, you’ll also be giving them several stacks of Vulnerability for 5 seconds. Also useful for dazing if you catch someone at the right moment.
In Dueling, pick up Phantasmal Fury (II) and Deceptive Evasion (X). This trait line does a few things for us that can really help with rewarding precision and giving our illusions/phantasms just a bit more damage.
Things you get out of it:
- 5 seconds of vigor on crit with a 5 second cooldown
- +1 clone every time you dodge
Benefits for phantasms:
- Constant fury
- Bleeding on crit
(Regular illusions will also cause bleeding on crit.)
Chaos: not just for the toughness. The bonuses are minimal, and what we’re really going for is the regeneration and protection anyway. The trait at 5 points gives 10 seconds of regeneration when you reach 75% health with a 30 second cooldown, which complements the traits in Inspiration which we’ll cover here in a second. If you put 15 points into Chaos, that gives you 3 seconds of protection when you gain regeneration. It has a 15 second cooldown, but that leads us into Inspiration, which provides another way to get regeneration.
With 25 points in Inspiration, you’ll get a bit of a boost to your vitality and healing power. This is also where your phantasms get quite a few other bonuses. We’re here for the minor traits again.
- Get retaliation at 5 points
- Grant regeneration to allies at 15 points
- Do 15% more damage
We can also use this build to pick up a bit of extra vigor (III) and healing to go with your mantra (X). Keep in mind it’s only going to heal on channel, not when using the skill that comes afterwards.
Tips, Tricks and Food!
As always, I recommend taking a look at Taugrim’s entry on keybinds if you’re still using the default setup in-game. Being able to quickly reach your keys provides a huge advantage (especially in smaller scale fights).
Since we’re going for a decent amount of precision in this build, you’ll want to always have these on hand. I wouldn’t recommend using anything else to substitute for these unless you just don’t have them.
- Bowl of Curry Butternut Squash Soup
- Master Maintenance Oil
A few things you can do to make the most of your skills:
- Your healing mantra isn’t just for combat situations! If you’re just moving across the map and don’t have a focus with you, use it to get some speed boosts when you find yourself falling behind. Speed boost on channel and both casts. Just don’t forget the cooldown.
- You can do a lot with your utilities. If there’s a select few that you find are useful only in certain situations and won’t be needed, swap it out for a mantra. You have two useful mantras for group situations: Mantra of Resolve for the condition removal and Mantra of Concentration for stability and stunbreakers. It provides you with some excellent utilities and heals the people around you.
Things to remember:
- Diversion, diversion, diversion. Even if you have one target selected, clones have a tendency to go after whatever they run into, spreading vulnerability to multiple targets. This is one of the few times clones NOT going after your target can be useful, especially if you have more classes with aoe/abilities that cause vulnerability.
- Swap weapons frequently, especially if you haven’t gotten those stacks built up from sigil of perception. Coupled with traits that grant vigor, stamina comes pretty quickly.
- While this is a phantasm-based build, you’ll still want to use your shatters for things like Diversiona and Distortion, as well as the occasional Mind Wrack. After they finish their initial attack, get in a shatter as quickly as you can. Shatter in between phantasms too. You should have plenty of clones from your dodging.
- Although it’s not as appealing as if you’re actually eating it, virtual food is important too. Get as many bonuses as you can.