So this is my first time posting a build on here (please be gentle!).
The build I’m about to post is mainly for sPvP.
I’m not a super pro Mesmer or anything like that, and I just play for fun. I usually run a conventional power shatter build when I do tPvP.
Well, here’s the build.
- This build is based around Phantasms for dps output and Mantras for utility/survivability.
- It does well in on-point fights.
- Tons of fun to use (to me, anyway).
-Different, and therefore far from cheese.
-Very satisfying when played right.
-High constant dps through phantasms (as long as they’re alive).
-High condition cleansing.
-Much higher survivability than your run of the mill glass cannon build. (Even with glass cannon gear)
-Excels at both ranged poking, or sustained, on point fighting.
-2 stun breaking skills from utilities alone.
-Relatively fast casting interrupt weapon skills.
-Cleaving classes (and even bow condition warriors) seem to wreck phantasms.
-Being blinded at the right time could completely negate your main source of damage (phantasms).
-Easily interrupted while channeling Mantras.
-Mediocre personal damage output with Compounding Power as the only source of a personal dps boost.
-Low mobility (as every other Mesmer build).
Why phantasms? Why mantras?
- Mantras, as you probably already know, are rather underwhelming/underestimated and therefore underused. I was trying to find a way to explore the mechanic and incorporate it into active battle. All I ask is to keep an open mind.
- Phantasms deal constant dps (as long as they’re alive) even if we don’t attack – a perfect match for charging Mantras. Watch out for blinds!
Trait spread: 2/4/0/5/3
III – Empowered Illusions: Phantasm dps.
II – Phantasmal Fury: Phantasm dps.
VII – Protected Mantras: Now this is a very controversial choice, as I’ve not seen anyone running it – even so, keep an open mind. My reasoning is that you don’t want to be completely defenseless while charging your Mantras. Mantra Mastery (VI) for the cooldown was also an option, but Mantra of Concentration and Mantra of Resolve both have relatively lengthy cooldowns anyway, so chances are you’ll already be done with the fight if you get a chance to charge them. Mantra of Recovery has a 10 second cooldown untraited, so 20% off of that would bring it down to 8. I suppose this is a personal choice, but so far I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the extra 600 toughness I get when channeling a mantra. If you’re running a zerk amulet, it effectively gives you almost 70% extra toughness. This gives you slightly more toughness than you would have while wearing a Soldier’s Amulet, all while having Berserker stat Phantasms. Not to mention this syncs well with Restorative Mantras – explained in the Inspiration line. I just wish they’d buff this trait to give you stability while channeling your mantras as an added effect. This would completely solve the big target you place above your head as you channel your mantras.
IV – Mender’s Purity: This was an easy choice with Mantra of Recovery and the condition meta everyone seems so fond of using.
X – Restorative Mantras: As aforementioned, Restorative Mantras syncs well with Protected Mantras. It gives you just that much more survivability in a pinch, and it provides a cushion for when your opponents try to burst you down while your phantasms wail away on them. Charging mantras suddenly becomes a defensive, restorative skill, rather than making you just a sitting duck mumbling weird things to yourself while wiping the imaginary window.
We went 5 points deep into Inspiration for the grandmaster minor trait that gives your phantasms another 15% extra damage. (Sweet!)
Why no Persisting Images (V)? It would have been ideal, but I couldn’t give up the other two traits for a 20% increase in health for the phantasms. I prefer the 20% cooldown reduction from Illusionists’ Celerity, but it’s a personal preference. I honestly don’t notice much of a difference with or without the trait. If people want to kill your phantasms, they will kill it just as quick with or without that 20%.
III – Compounding Power: Just for a little extra dps for yourself.
We went 3 points into Illusions for Illusionists’ Celerity – so that you can not only summon your phantasms faster, but also iLeap and Mirror Blade sooner as well.
- Mantra of Recovery: It’s a low cooldown heal, with extra effects from your runes and traits. You heal after charging, and heal while activating, removing 2 conditions each activation to boot. Don’t forget the random boon from your runes!
- Mantra of Resolve: Our lowest cooldown condition removal skill. It removes 2 conditions per cast – much like Mantra of Recovery with Mender’s Purity, just without the heal. So be sure to note when to use it and when to use Mantra of Recovery instead! Conditionmancers ain’t got nothing on you between these two mantras. Signet of Spite? No problem.
- Blink: To add some in-combat (and out) mobility. It repositions you when you need it the most, and is a stunbreaker to boot. Pretty standard in Mesmer PvP builds.
- Decoy: Say you’re all out of mantra charges, your phantasms are on cooldown and a Thief appears out of nowhere and starts doing the signature 2222222222 with a dagger mainhand. Always helps to have an escape skill for when poop really does hit the fan. You can then choose to use it offensively (summon phantasms from stealth) or defensively (run away or start charging mantras in stealth).
- Elite: Mass Invisibility: I use MI over the Moa as it has a lower cooldown to proc the runes (converting up to 5 conditions into boons). Moa requires teamwork to focus either the moa or the other player(s) but seeing as how people tend not to know how to use the T button (in sPvP at least), I’ve given up on it. MI helps with rezzing as well.
- Mantra of Distraction: I actually did run this for a while over Decoy, and boy was it fun interrupting necros in deathshroud siphoning life, or other Mesmers trying to use Mass Invisibility etc – but I was also using different traits back then and was almost playing a lockdown build – but now I can’t see taking any utility away to replace this with. Perhaps if you enter a duel and know that your opponent doesn’t use much cc or conditions, you could take one of the other mantras away and slot this in.
- Mantra of Pain: I also used to run Mantra of Pain, since it practically has zero cooldown, but the damage is rather underwhelming (maybe 1.5k – 2k crits with zerk amulet?) and had the same charge up time as the other Mantras. If you want to use it, I would suggest taking Harmonious Mantras (Dom XI) to maximize it before having to recharge immediately.
- Mantra of Concentration: 2 seconds of stability? Warriors would laugh in your face. But that’s really all you need with the stunbreak. Hammer Warriors would stop laughing when they realize that they just can’t keep you cc’ed between being immediately broken out of the stun or having stability on. Great for summoning your phantasms, recharging your mantras safely or stomping. I used to run this instead of blink, but the repositioning capabilities of blink just made more sense, on top of the fact that three Mantras are rather hard to juggle.
- Portal: Great for team utility (if you’re playing with friends) and to look cool as you portal stomp people, but it requires quite a bit of either team co-ordination (and this build is based around sPvP) or careful planning. It also has an immense cooldown so you’ll have to deal with that.
With the complete overhaul of how runes work post April 15 2014, I’ve experimented with a spread of runes that suddenly became available/awesome.
- Runes of Lyssa
I originally used Runes of Lyssa pre-April 15, and I must admit that I’m still using them post. The complete condition cleansing/boon gaining effect was nerfed to simply converting up to 5 conditions into 5 boons, but the change seems of little significance to me. I never used Mass Invisibility to simply gain all the boons for a few seconds anyway, and removing 5 conditions practically means removing all your remaining conditions anyway. (Unless you get hit by signet of spite JUST as you cast it). Extra precision means extra crits, so that’s always nice. This runeset has become especially useful after my swap to the Celestial Amulet. Extra crits means extra bleeding from Sharper Images.
- Rune of the Traveler
A great addition to sPvP. Seeing as how this build has horrible mobility (akin to most Mesmer builds), this would alleviate it. However, it’s an all-rounder rune set, with celestial stats (not much in total either), and some condition/boon duration. The only real reason to take these runes are the 25% movement speed it gives, which is great to move from point to point, but doesn’t benefit you that much once you’re actually on point. Still an extremely viable option, though.
- Runes of Strength
With the change to dual swapping sigils, I’ve started running Sigil of Battle, so Runes of Strength naturally crossed my mind as an option. However, this build only has Sigil of Battle as a means of gaining might, and with the amount of corrupting/stripping of boons going around, it might not be as useful as the Runes of Lyssa. Also, this build relies on phantasms for dps, so personal dps is my lowest priority.
- Berserker’s Amulet: Pre-April 15 patch, I used to run a Soldier’s Amulet with a Berserker’s Jewel, for the added defense. As they’ve removed jewels altogether, I’ve swapped over to the Berserker’s Amulet to turn my phantasms into trucks. Protected Mantras gives you a ton of added survivability (added 70% of base toughness – giving you slightly more toughness than you would have wearing a Soldier’s Amulet), and having 5 points into the Inspiration traitline means you should be sitting at almost 21k hp even with the Berserker amulet on.
- Celestial Amulet: I’ve recently started running the Celestial Amulet with this build. Now I know that there have been countless debates on how Celestial Amulets don’t work on Mesmers due to the fact that unlike Elementalists, Mesmers don’t have constant access to high stacks of might. After a fair amount of tests (still on-going), I’ve decided that with this build, you don’t need high stacks of might to still be able to dish out tons of damage. This is due to the fact that your damage output comes from your phantasms instead of your actual Mesmer. While Might does affect your phantasms somewhat, the effect if severely diminished, especially when compared to how any other class benefits from it.
Furthermore, neither phantasm builds nor mantra builds are played as burst builds. Combining the two creates a more sustained dps output build. The Celestial Stat spread therefore benefits this build in all aspects; the defensive stats are pretty self explanatory – for more survivability and sustain. While the power is reduced, your phantasms will still hit like trucks due to all the phantasm boosting traits we’ve selected. Condition damage comes into play due to the fact that we’re using the iDuelist and iZerker; both of which are multi-hit phantasms. With permanent fury and Lyssa runes, they will be critting quite a bit, applying high stacks of bleed due to Sharper Images. Try it out, you’ll be surprised.
- Greatsword: Probably our strongest power based ranged weapon (though that doesn’t really say much). Minor boon stripping with Mind Stab, a nice interrupt/knockback with illusionary wave, and decent AoE dps with iZerker with a cripple to boot.
- Sword/Pistol: iDuelist for the high single target DPS and Magic Bullet (another interrupt). Sword for the low cooldown invulnerability which can double up as “burst”. iLeap is of course buggy as all hell but when it does work it’s great.
- Sigil of Energy: because who doesn’t like being able to dodge on command? Even without deceptive evasion, dodging is essential in being able to stay alive. This should serve as a base sigil for both weapon sets.
- Sigil of Battle: With the change to sigils (and now allowing 2 on swap sigils to proc at the same time), Sigil of Battle has been awesome for the extra might. It’s purely offensive, (and almost passive) so if you find that you find it difficult to stay alive, you might want to try something else.
- Sigil of Bloodlust/Perception: What I used to use in place of Sigil of Battle. I’m not a big fan of stacking sigils (due to having to build them up and having the extra pressure of losing all your stacks if you get downed), but these would be a better passive-offensive option than Sigil of Battle. With over 50% crit chance, I believe Sigil of Perception should start out-dps’ing Sigil of Bloodlust, but don’t hold me to it.
- Sigil of Hydromancy: Interrupt, chill, knockback (interrupt again)? Yes please! Fun option to use, though it requires melee range (works great while on point). Be careful when swapping weapons while in stealth; Sigils of Hydromancy damage opponents hit, which will knock you out of stealth and you will be revealed.
- Sigil of Doom: After swapping to the Celestial Amulet, I’ve been trying out different condition-applying sigils to serve as minuscule cover conditions. Doom is great as you don’t have to worry about it knocking you out of stealth, but as it’s on hit after swap, you may not hit your intended target.
- Sigil of Leeching / Sigil of Renewal: Both add survivability. Sigil of Renewal seems to scale very poorly with Healing Power, and heals for a minute amount, but may be worth taking if you feel like the added survivability would be beneficial.
- Why no on crit/hit sigils? Well, this build revolves around relying on your phantasms for dps, activating your mantras for utility, and charging your mantras for sustainability. None of these require you to actually hit your target. While yes, a Sigil of Air or Fire would be added dps for when you actually do hit your target, a lot of their potential is essentially wasted when you’re charging your mantras or summoning your phantasms in stealth.
- This build was made for fun and I’m not saying that it’s more optimal than other builds. It gets the job done for me, and I have a lot of fun doing it.
- Of course, this build, like its creator, is far from perfect, so any constructive criticism would be very much appreciated. Unless you’re mean. Then you won’t be appreciated. No, really.