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How To Mesmer - sPvP - In work, feedback appreciated


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#1 Blowi

Blowi
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Posted 08 August 2012 - 03:57 PM

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INFO: 8th September will I be leaving for 4 months where I'll be going to Bangladesh in order to do charity work on St. Matthew Schools. My job is to help maintain the schools, and help the younger children with educating themselves. I'll probably still have internet access a couple of times, but I'll be nowhere near as active as previously. If you notice any changes in-game or anything related to this guide, or me I'd love to get a PM about it. Takes for the support so far guys, I really appreciate it. I'm far from done with the guide, and I'll keep it updated and still work on it as best as I can while I'm in Bangladesh.

Best regards,
Blowi



Greetings fellow Mesmers and newcomers to this lovely profession!  The purpose of this thread is to help you as much as possible to get into the profession.  I’ll do my best to give you some tips and also explain various aspects about the Mesmer.  I will largely be discussing the PvP aspect of the Mesmer and more than likely will not be touching the PvE side.  All information (builds, thoughts, comments, etc.) are related to PvP, so please keep this in mind.

--  If you have anything to add or anything, be free to PM me --


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Mesmers are maestros of mirage. They weave mental magic that confounds, controls, or evokes emotion in their enemies. With a wave of the hand, they can shatter their own illusions to produce even greater special effects. As a scholar profession, mesmers wear light armor.

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The mesmer profession is capable of producing a good amount of control or burst when needed. At the moment the mesmer excels at 1v1 and 1v2 in sPvP compared to a larger fight where they tend to fall a bit off compared to other professions. This doesn't mean it's not useful in a 4v4, since we have Chaos Storm, Time Warp, Stealth and we are good at removing conditions and boons to help our allies.

You may use a lot of different builds with your Mesmer.  Some of them are based around shattering your illusions, while others will make you stronger for keeping an illusion up.  If you like a profession where you can be difficult to kill once you master:  The use of illusions, shatters and other subsequent tools given to us through weapons, then you will love this mind twisting Mesmer.

Furthermore, if you’re looking for a profession which is hard to master (in my opinion) and enjoy being rewarded for outplaying the opponent, then I would definitely recommend Mesmer.  You can really feel when you outplay an opponent and trust me, it feels great!

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There are ten possible weapon sets for this profession and two while underwater. The mesmer can switch between two weapon sets while in combat.

I'll go through each weapon and explain the use of the skills, and my thoughts on each weapon.
  • Main-hand
    • Scepter — Causes blind or confusion at range
    • Sword — Focuses on melee-range attacks and character movement
  • Off-hand
    • Focus — Offers offensive and defensive illusions
    • Pistol — Offers thief-like dps and multi-target conditions
    • Sword — Offers a defensive clone created by blocking and an offensive swordsman phantasm
    • Torch — Gives user short invisiblity or confuses target
  • Aquatic
    • Spear — Focuses on damage and manipulation of position
    • Trident — Damages and applies various conditions and boons
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Posted Image Spatial Surge
  • This is a pretty straight forward skill:  The further away you are, the more damage it does to your target.  However, remember that if you create clones through dodging, they will copy your #1 attack.  So in this case, you will have a couple of clones doing laser beams from a distance.  Also, it makes a sound that you will either hate or love.
Posted Image Mirror Blade
  • If you are using GS, this skill can be pretty good if you use it well. It'll bounce fairly fast and do decent damage, plus leaves an illusion at the first target hit. The boon you receive is Might which increases your damage. It applies vulnerability now as well. It'll bounce twice onto your enemy. Really use this well, and the cooldown isn't even long!
Posted Image Mind Stab
  • This is hard to use, but removes a boon and does it in AoE. You have to land it yourself, and the animation is quite long. Takes a while to get used to. I'd suggest to play around with this and try to land with combined with some sort of CC for best use.
Posted Image Phantasmal Berserker
  • A really strong phantasm, it is also extremely annoying for the enemy due to its way of attacking. It basically spins through your enemy and applies a cripple and damages everyone it hits in its spin. This means it puts itself at a distance from the enemy, so he will have to use a specific target spell or wait until it's in range, though it spins really fast.
Posted Image Illusionary Wave
  • A good spell to peel for someone, protect yourself or knock someone away from a capture point. The range on the knockback is pretty good, and you can really set a distance between you and your enemies if you time it well.
Traits affect Greatsword My thoughts on Greatsword
Greatsword is a pretty strong weapon at the moment, and its only major issue is #3 being rather sluggish with its animation. You are locked in place for quite a while, besides that the #4 and #5 are both amazing. The damage you get from #2 is also great, especially if you are standing right next to the enemy. I really suggest to try this weapon out and play with it, another thing which can be quite bothering is the amount of "casting" you do, and can get stuck in #1 channel. You are easy to interrupt and can be a little inbetween pressure.

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Posted Image Winds of Chaos
  • This is a pretty good spam spell. When you spawns illusions while wielding this weapon, they will copy this attack. They might not inflict huge damage, but the conditions or boons from those attacks are the real deal. Your illusions applied burning, it scales with your burning stats. So in theory it's pretty good damage from illusions.
Posted Image Phase Retreat
  • An amazing spell. You can use this to escape from someone. It's also on a fairly low cooldown. It's a great counter to those professions that rely on being in range to deal damage. Just remember, it won't break a stun, however you can use it while stunned! This means you can still put yourself at distance from burst.
  • Basically, you can use Phase Retreat during a stun, but it won't remove the actual CC on you, but you can still get a distance between the enemy and you. Amazing if a warrior knocks you down and wants to unleash hundred blades.
Posted Image Phantasmal Warlock
  • A good range on this phantasm, and he works really well with your #1 attack. His damage will increase really fast. It's 10% extra PER unique applied condition. It's really worth the use, but watch out with shattering it, or replacing it too fast; its cooldown is sadly rather long.
Posted Image Chaos Armor
  • An amazing spell. Probably one of the best a mesmer has for almost anything. You're fighting a thief or warrior sitting on you? Pop that combined with a chaos storm, and they will be pretty scared. It also works on ranged attacks. It grants you 5 seconds of protection upon use, this is insanely good. Remember though that you can only get the protection from Staff, not through combos.
Posted Image Chaos Storm
  • Again a Chaos spell. Both Chaos Armor & Storm both amazing. This is such a great spell for defending a capture point as it almost takes up the entire space, leaving them to take damage and conditions while the mesmer gains boons. It's brilliant in a larger team fight as well.
  • Another thing is the psychological aspect of it. A lot of people see this huge storm and they rather stay away until it ends. Basically, if people back down from staying in the storm you will have time to gain the advantage, get your health back up, conditions on you will most likely decrease and so forth.
Traits affecting Staff My thoughts on Staff
It's really amazing. It does everything. It gives you offensive pressure, defensive boons and situations. You can escape from someone. It's one of the best weapons for a mesmer in sPvP by far. The utility is just too great to say no to. It offers so much utility as well, plus the iWarlock does a good amount of damage from a far distance.

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Posted Image Ether BoltPosted Image Ether BlastPosted Image Ether Clone
  • This is a Chain spell. Basically you attack a target one time, and it'll do the Ether Bolt, you then have the option to use Ether Blast for a few seconds.
  • This opens the last stage of the chain, Ether Clone, which in this case is a little higher damage and you create an illusion. It's a decent #1 because the damage isn't the worst, however you should really watch out with overriding important illusions/phantasms through the spam of this skill.
Posted Image Illusionary CounterPosted Image Counter Spell
  • If you use Illusionary counter, you will block an attack. However, if you use Illusionary Counter but it doesn't seem anyone is going to attack you, then you can terminate the counter and use Counter Spell, which will blind your enemy. However it doesn't do both.
  • It's a decent spell, but the cooldown is rather long. 12 seconds until you can block again, and if you use it mindlessly you won't block an important spell, so it's rather tricky to use efficiently. Remember that you don't have to stand still for the block to work.
Posted Image Confusing Images
  • This spell is pretty much the main reason you would use Scepter. It's a channel spell where it attacks the enemy 5 times if you channel it from the start until the end. Each attack it'll deal damage and apply a stack of Confusion.
Traits affecting Scepter My thoughts on Scepter
It's decent for a confusion build since you can spam illusions and apply confusion with each shatter, plus 5 stacks on a target from 1 spell is good. The #2 was recently buffed in its modifier which means higher damage. The Scepter doesn't really allow burst, but more damage over time. It's a really dangerous weapon in a confusion based build now.

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The sword can be used in both slots and 2 swords at the same time if that is what you want. I've split them up so you can see what you gain from each hand.

Main-hand

Posted Image Mind SlashPosted Image Mind GashPosted Image Mind Stab
  • This is another Chain spell. It's really great and I use it a lot when I'm playing. It deals decent damage, and first 2 attacks apply vulnerability, however the 3rd deals huge damage and it removes a boon from the target. That is really good.
Posted Image Blurred Frenzy
  • Most likely one of the best spell for a mesmer in the game. It's incredible, I love it with all my mesmer heart. You can use this to avoid damage, deal huge damage to everyone in front of you. The only downside of the spell is that you stand still while channeling it, but you can interrupt the channel if target should break your CC or run away. It works really well with proc sigils such as Earth and Air as well.
Posted Image Illusionary LeapPosted Image Swap
  • Another spell which is insanely good for a mesmer, the is our only real gap closer. The way it works is that you send out an illusion which applies cripple, and you can then for a few seconds swap position with the illusion. This action will immobilize the target for 2 seconds which leaves a good window to use Blurred Frenzy. The cooldown isn't bad either.
Off-hand

Posted Image Illusionary RipostePosted Image Counter Blade
  • Works the same way as your #2 on Scepter.
  • If you use Illusionary counter, you will block an attack. However, if you use Illusionary Riposte, but it doesn't seem anyone is going to attack you, then you can terminate the counter and use Counter Blade, which will Daze your enemy. However it doesn't do both.
  • Not really worth relying on in my opinion.
Posted Image Phantasmal Swordsman
  • This phantasm behaves like a ranged one staying still while the skill is on cooldown. On refresh he re-leaps at the target. It'll deal around 3k damage per leap and if you are specced into illusion damage it can crit for around 5.5k, and it performs a combo each time it leaps. Its attack rate is rather fast. It's worth playing around with.
Traits affecting Sword My thoughts on Sword

Main-hand
The main-hand is amazing and really allows your mesmer to be offensive while still keeping a lot of measures to escape, defend yourself and in general be a threat. This is a weapon I use all the time on my own mesmer. Really worth trying.

Off-hand
It has some potential, the #4 can be decent if you get the benefit of dazing all people in a line each target, and the #5 will do decent damage as well, but as I've said - It's trick to rely on as it can so easily be ruined.

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Posted Image Temporal Curtain
  • This is a really good spell. It's great for the mobility which a mesmer deeply lacks compared to a lot of other professions. This speeds you up and slows the enemy, however the Focus itself isn't that much of a good off-hand either.
  • Temporal Curtain when activated you can activate again and it will drag all enemies into the middle of the curtain.
Posted Image Phantasmal Warden
  • This is decent, it reflects all projectiles but the issue why I don't like this spell is that it's staying stationary while doing so. You move around a lot in sPvP and a lot of enemies can easily put out of position with spells. It's just not worth relying on.
Traits affecting Focus My thoughts on Focus
The mobility this offers is great, but besides that it's not worth running around with. The 2nd activation on focus is amazing though, you can really mess with peoples mind when you use that, combined with some time AoE damage it can leave people with very little health. However, unless they change the #5 I think it'll stay like this for a long time.

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Posted Image Phantasmal Duelist
  • One of your highest damage spells in the game. It'll unload upon an enemy with 8 attacks each time. It deals really good damage, and it works really well with the trait where illusions apply bleeding on crit combined with the Fury on illusions.
Posted Image Magic Bullet
  • Another insanely good spell overall for sPvP. It'll do 3 shots where the first target it hits is stunned for 2 seconds, the 2nd is dazed for 2 seconds and the 3rd is blinded for 5 seconds. This offers good CC which is needed for other our damage to work.
Traits affecting pistol My thoughts on pistol
This is by far the best off-hand for a mesmer at the moment it offers everything you want as a mesmer, utility, control and damage. The iDuelist is great for stacking up bleeds, he attacks fast and does a good amount of damage. The pistol is really amazing for 1v1 or a larger team fight.

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Posted Image The Prestige
  • This gives stealth for 3 seconds and blinds enemies for 5 seconds, and when the stealth ends you will inflict everyone with burning for 3 seconds. The damage is decent, and it is a great escape tool, but you can easily access the needed tools through utility instead if needed.
  • One really good thing about this spell is that it's multiplied for each target it hits. So if you hit 2 targets, the burning will last for 6 seconds. I think this goes all the way up to 15 sconds, or more. I've at least got it to 15~ seconds.
Posted Image Phantasmal Mage
  • It'll apply retaliation to allies and confusion to its target which lasts 9 seconds. That is quite a while, but it's not really anything impressive. It requires you to be close to get the boon, the damage it deals isn't impressive either.
Traits affecting Torch My thoughts on Torch
It's decent for a condition based build, but as I said you can easily find the tools in Utility if needed. I would hope for a change to #5 in order for this to be really useful.

I've honestly not done any underwater combat at all, so I'll wait with judging these weapons.

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Posted Image StabPosted Image JabPosted Image Evasive Strike (chain)
Posted Image Feigned Surge
Posted Image Illusionary Mariner
Posted Image Slipstream
Posted Image Vortex

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Posted Image Siren's Call
Posted Image Ineptitude
Posted Image Spinning Revenge
Posted Image Illusionary Whaler
Posted Image Illusion of Drowning

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Shatters and illusions are what seperates mesmer from other profession. I'll explain the shatters fairly quickly and go through the use of each of them.

Traits affecting all shatters
Domination
Inspiration Illusion Posted Image

Posted Image Destroy all your clones and phantasms, damaging nearby foes. 15 seconds cooldown.
  • This is used as your burst, often you want to have 3 illusions up for maximum damage, but not always needed. When you activate shatter, you can summon new illusions without them overriding the current ones because they are already "set to explode" if you may say so. This is a good thing to keep in mind.
Traits affecting Mind Wrack
Domination
Illusions Posted Image

Posted Image Destroy all your clones and phantasms, confusing nearby foes. 30 seconds cooldown.
  • If you are anything except for condition based this isn't worth using, unless the target already has confusion stacks on him or you are traited for a condition removal, healing or something. As this really lacks damage output, compared to often keeping illusions up. Though it's very situation based, so play around with it a little and see when you feel it's right to use.
Traits affecting Cry of Frustration
Illusions
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Posted Image Destroy all your clones and phantasms, dazing their target. 45 seconds cooldown.

  • This is a really strong shatter, but it's important to remember that daze cannot stack in this game, so if you are using daze when 3 illusions are already at the target, they will all daze and it'll only be 1 second. Though, if you have a ranged illusion up, and a melee you can daze with the melee and then the ranged illusion will reach your target a couple of seconds after. This is really good to mess with people. Rather long cooldown, so save it for when you can interrupt a heal or when they are about to set up a rotation of damage on you.
Traits affecting Diversion
Illusions
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Posted Image Destroy all your clones and phantasms, gaining Distortion for each one shattered. 60 seconds cooldown.
  • A really good spell, it's really strong. You can use it during CC as well, this makes it possible to completely block the damage when an elementalist knocks you down, a warrior hits his stun and is going all out with his hundred blades. You can also you this while channeling a stomp which secures a 100% kill. It's really great, but make sure not to use it bad as you will end up being punished for it and the cooldown is rather long. And always try to get 3 illusions if you can, but it's not always needed.
  • Remeber the illusions shatter instantly, they don't have to reach a target first.
Traits affecting Distortion
Illusions
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Clones — Have the caster's appearance, main-hand weapon, and name. Clones are attributed with low health, low damage and will use the slot 1 skill associated with the caster's weapon. These are often the ones you want to shatter, use as meat shield to block projectiles and such. They are fairly easy to generate.


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Phantasms — Have the caster's appearance with a purple glow, but have the name of the skill (e.g. Illusionary Duelist) instead of the caster's name. They have their own weapons that range in different appearances and behaviors. Phantasms are attributed with higher health and higher damage than clones.

It's important to keep this in mind as you can someone lose a fight if you used your shatter wrong, and killed those 2 phantasms you just created.

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I'll go through the spells available to pick from where we have signets, mantras, utility and 3 elites. This will help you get a better understand of the spells.

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Heals

Posted Image Ether Feast
  • Heals yourself after 2 seconds of channel, heals 650~ extra for each illusion. 20 seconds cooldown.
  • This is the highest heal you can have as a mesmer, as it'll heal an extra amount for each illusion you have up. A max of 3 illusion. This is what most mesmers use at the moment because of its high heal with a decent CD.
Posted Image Mantra of Recovery
  • Heals yourself instantly. 8 seconds cooldown.
  • Works like any other mantra, you can charge it up and then use when needed. The issue with this is, it may be good for the first but after that the cast time is just too long for its heal to work out in sPvP. I realize this isn't the case in hot join sPvP, but I'm trying to share my opinions mostly on tournament play.
Posted Image Mirror
  • Heals yourself instantly, and reflects a projectile for 1 second after use. 30 seconds cooldown.
  • This will heal you for a lower amount that Ether Feast, but it'll give you 1 second of reflection where the 1st projectile that hits you during that second will be reflected. This is rather hard to use, and if you cannot use it properly or the enemies don't have anything worth reflecting it's not really worth picking up.
Mantras
Mantras are spells you can activate twice after 4~ seconds of casting time for an effect. You have 2 charges of each mantra.


Posted Image Mantra of Concentration
  • 2x Breaks stun and gives you 2 seconds stability on use.
  • This is a decent mantra as it offers a stun breaker and stability for 2 seconds where you cannot be CC'd. This is really good to secure a stomp, or escape a tricky situation where you are the target. This is fairly good with the trait though that allows you to activate it again, this is 6 seconds of stability combined with 3 stun breakers! This cannot be used to get out of a knockdown though, remember that!
Posted Image Mantra of Distraction
  • 2x Dazes your target for 1 second on use. 20 seconds cooldown.
  • Fairly decent spell. You have 2 two interrupts combined with your other spells as a mesmer this can be really huge when fighting someone who relies on casting a lot. It'd suggest to try this out and go for an interrupt build where you deal damage at the same time.
Posted Image Mantra of Pain
  • 2x Damages your enemy on use, scales with power. 1 second cooldown.
  • Decent damage, you need the trait which allows you to use three times for the damage to be worth while. It's decent burst though if all three crit, it can really be good for the initial engage and take an enemy by surprise.
Posted Image Mantra of Resolve
  • 2x Removes all conditions on use. 15 seconds cooldown.
  • This is the same as Concentration. It removes 2 conditions per use, and it can be really great in a fight if you are focused, however we already have a couple of ways to get conditions off. Which is why it might be a little lacking. It's still worth taking up if it's a heavy condition based team you are up against.
Traits affecting Mantras
Domination
  • Harmonious Mantras - Mantras can be activated three times before needing to be channeled again.
Dueling Inspiration Signets
Signets are spells where you have an activation spell and a constant passive spell.

Posted Image Signet of Domination
  • Stuns your target for 2 seconds. 45 seconds cooldown.
  • The passive increases condition damage.
  • Really great spell. It has a fairly long cooldown so make sure to use it right, and not waste it. Those 2 seconds stun is what you need to land the perfect burst, interrupt a heal or escape. Really a good spell.
Posted Image Signet of Illusions
  • Resets all shatter skills. Cooldown 90 seconds.
  • The passive increases your illusions health by 50%
  • Not a bad signet at all, but it sort of works against each other as the activation resets all your shatter skills which is really good, but the passive increases the health by illusions/phantasms by 50%. However, it might work still as you can always save the reset if you quickly need that 2nd burst or distortion to survive a tricky situation.
Posted Image Signet of Inspiration
  • Copies your boons to all nearly allies. 45 seconds cooldown.
  • The passive generates a random boon every 10th second.
  • This is another good signet, as you can get a lot of valuable boons and the whole copy mechanism is really strong. Let's say you have 8 stacks of might, and you copy this to someone else, they will also gain those 8 stacks combined with his current stacks of might. This can really help in a team fight.
Posted Image Signet of Midnight
  • Blinds nearly enemies for 3 seconds and break stun. 35 seconds cooldown.
  • The passive increases boon duration by 10%.
  • I've not really played with this a lot, but it can be decent against melee profession who are just sitting on you, but I think any of the other signets outshines it.
Traits affecting Signets
Domination
Dueling Chaos Manipulation

Posted Image Archane Thievery
  • Steals all boons from your enemy, and gives him your condition instead. 90 seconds cooldown.
  • This is a decent spell, but I think the cooldown is rather long to make it worth of taking up an utility slot.
Posted Image Blink
  • Teleports to your targeted location and breaks stun. 30 seconds cooldown.
  • I've not really felt it was needed to use this spell, as with #3 on Sword being fixed, we have a gap closer if you are using MH Sword, plus we already have a lot of tools to escape and avoid damage. The stun breaker is of course nice, and perhaps if you are not using sword and you feel like you are lacking a gap closer, this might be it for you.
Posted Image Illusion of Life
  • Allows allies who die in the area of the Illusion of Life to get up and fight for a certain amount of time, and if you down someone during that you will remain alive.135 seconds cooldown.
  • I've played a little around this, and I think we might see more of this spell in the future, if you are facing a strong burst team this can be really good to get back up and continue the fight. I see a lot of potential with this spell.
Posted Image Mimic
  • Absorbs an incoming projectile attack and lets you send it back to an enemy for 4 seconds. 15 seconds cooldown.
  • There is some potential if you are fighting someone who uses this, but it requires a good amount of skill and fast reaction to use this properly, but the cooldown isn't awful so perhaps this is worth testing and toying with on release.
Traits affecting manipulation skills
Dueling
Chaos Glamour spells

Posted Image Feedback
  • Reflects projectiles around your enemies for 6 seconds. 45 seconds cooldown.
  • I don't really find this to be very useful, as it relies on the enemies using a lot of projectile based spells which isn't always going to happen, I cannot think of a situation where it is beneficial. It might be different when game is released.
Posted Image Null Field
  • Creates a field which removes boons from enemies and conditions from allies every 2 seconds. 45 seconds cooldown.
  • A really strong spell which I recommend almost any mesmer picks up when you are playing a tournament game, simply because of how strong it can be in both regards of offensive and defensive.
Posted Image Portal Entre
  • Create a portal yourself and allies can go from one point to another. 60 seconds cooldown.
  • This is fun, but I've not really found any use in sPvP, or perhaps I've not given it a fair chance. The good thing is when you place your first portal, you have quite a bit of time before you need to place your 2nd. This allows for a rather huge distance, I suppose it's fast to swap from 1 point to another for quick defending.
  • I am certain you can make some good play it with if you are up against a high mobility team in tournament play (which you are aware of) as this could certainly help in Kyhlo to help defending the trebuchet or taking down theirs, moving from waterfall to middle in Foefire and so forth, but honestly I think you need way more organized teams and game knowledge for this to be optimized perfectly.
  • This is also extremely good for repairing your own treb in Kyhlo. USE IT IF YOU ARE ON TREB!
Posted Image Veil
  • Give yourself and allies stealth when they run through your wall. 90 seconds cooldown.
  • This is actually a much stronger stealth that your elite. The wall lasts 8 seconds, and your stealth from the wall lasts 4 seconds, however if you pass through the wall it refreshes your stealth. This can be pretty good in a large teamfight as people will lose target and you can really get the edge there.
Traits affecting glamour spells
Domination
Inspiration Illusions Illusion spells

Posted Image Decoy
  • Gives you stealth for 3 seconds, breaks stun, and creates an illusion. 40 seconds cooldown.
  • This is a pretty strong spell, the stealth is really good in this game as you cannot be seen in stealth unless you break it yourself by casting a damage spell onto the enemy. It's good to get a stomp in, or take people by surprise as you open up on them.
Posted Image Mirror Images
  • Creates 2 illusions of yourself, and breaks stun. 45 seconds cooldown.
  • This is decent, but I'd say that Decoy is mostly always a better pick unless you are built around shatters only.
Posted Image Phantasmal Defender
  • Summon an illusion that redirects half of your incoming damage to itself. 30 seconds cooldown
  • This is decent against high burst teams, combined with the 50% extra health from a signet its cooldown isn't that long, and it's worth picking up if you are focused a lot. It'll tank quit a bit of damage for a short cooldown.
Posted Image Phantasmal Disenchanter
  • Summon a phantasm who removes boons from enemies and conditions from allies. 20 seconds cooldown.
  • This is decent as well if you are against a heavy condition based team, as its cooldown isn't too long, however its attack speed isn't the best. You can of course improve this through traits, but without it's around 8 seconds per attack. Still good!
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Posted Image Mass Invisibility
  • You and your allies gain stealth for 5 seconds. 90 seconds cooldown.
  • Honestly, I don't find this to be worth of an elite, sure the CD isn't too long but if you really want to pick up a stealth as mesmer, you have Veil. The other 2 elites outshine this by a lot.
Posted Image Moa Morph
  • Transforms your enemy into a Moa! 180 seconds cooldown.
  • This is also a really strong elite, it goes through stability as well. This means you can moa a necromancer's elite, a guardian's elite and so forth. It is really strong 1v1, or 1v2 if you need to wait for an ally to arrive. It's good to have if you are engaging a point where the other team only has one player standing, basically they aren't capable of doing anything but running for 10 seconds.
Posted Image Time Warp
  • Gives everyone in the Time Warp quickness for 10 seconds. 210 seconds cooldown.
  • This is an insanely strong team fight spell, quickness is in my opinion a way too strong buff, and this gives it to everyone inside the Wrap for 10 seconds? Yes please! You can use this to win the initial fight when you're waiting in Foefire for middle, since it's very crucial to get that point. This Elite will help you get that edge.
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I'm not saying all builds that I'm going to create will be viable for top play, but the game isn't only about top play. Some of these builds are just for fun, or perhaps they will all be viable when game is released. No one knows.


It all depends on how you build your team composition as well.

If you have a build which you believe should be added, I'm more than happy to hear from you!

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Sword/Pistol & Staff

Sword/Pistol & Staff v2

Greatsword & Staff

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Scepter/Pistol & Staff

Sword/Pistol & Staff Hybrid


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Sword/Sword & Staff

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Sword/Pistol & Staff

Greatsword & Staff


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Sword/Pistol & Staff

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Trait info here

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I'll talk about the use of combo spells which adds another layer of depth to the sPvP in GW2 and how you can use those effieciently, this knowledge will improve greatly as game is released but it's to help you get an idea and what to look for.

I'll also try to give some helpful tips with a couple of spells and such.

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What do you mean by combos?

Combos, also called cross-profession combos or skill combinations, happen when skills interact with each other to create an additional effect. A skill must be a combo field or a combo finisher to be combined, which is an effect which is included in the skill description. For a combo to occur a combo field skill is used creating an area effect and then one or more combo finishers can interact with the field to create a combo. The largest number of combos are available through two characters of different professions working together but combos can also be created with two of the same profession or a single character.

The combo field, or initiator, is a skill that creates an area effect of a particular type. The type is a recognizable element or characteristic which determines the effect they cause on a finisher; for example, a Flamewall will allow some eligible finishers to inflict burning. Fields are either a circular field or a linear "wall". For circular fields, all finishers will combo if they activate while the character is inside the field. For linear combo fields, leap and projectile finishers will combo so long as they pass through the combo field on the way to their destination.

The combo finisher is a skill which causes movement through or within the initiator's field such as creating a projectile or spinning or jumping the player. An eligible initiator augments the finisher by adding damage or creating other effects. For example, using Cyclone Axe near a Flamewall throws fire projectiles in different directions. Finishers can only interact with one initiator at a time.
Whenever a combo is created, a notification will show on the player's screen, acknowledging it and indicating which skills were used to create the combo. However, the indicator's appearance is independent of whether the combo was actually performed - for example, using Vital Shot only has a 20% chance of triggering a combo, but the indicator will still appear to notify the player of the combo whether it was performed or not."

These two pictures will help you get an understanding about them as well:

Fields

Finishers

Good and easy selfmade mesmer combos
Ethereal: Chaos Storm, Null Field, Time Warp and Mirrored Feedback.
Light: Temporal Curtain and Veil.

Projectile
As a mesmer you have 2 projectile attacks (Mirror Blade & Trick Shot) and Illusionary Duelist's bullets are projectile, each of them.  This means that combined with an ethereal field you will be able to apply confusion upon the target which is hit by the projectile.

Ethereal
1. Place a chaos storm upon yourself and make your duelist stand inside it, 20% chance to proc confusion on each bullet.
2. Throw your mirror blade or launch your trick and make sure your projectile crosses through an ethereal field and you will inflict confusion which is 100% guaranteed when it's done by yourself.

Light
1. Place a temportal curtain and make your duelist shoot through it, and it will remove a condition, same goes for the Mirror Blade & Trick Shot. This can come quite in handy if you are against a heavy condition based build.

Whirl
As a mesmer you don't have any whirls yourself, but two of your illusions do: Illusionary Warden and Phantasmal Berserker. Both of them are capable of applying confusion bolts.

Ethereal
1. Make sure that your phantasms cross/spin through an ethereal field such as Chaos Storm when reaching the enemy, this way they will shoot out confusion bolts.

Light
1. When your phantasms whirl through your Veil or Curtain it will shoot out cleansing bolts which will remove conditions, again this shouldn't be underestimated in a team fight!

Leap
You have two leaps yourself, Phase Retreat and Swap and then your Illusionary Swordsman leaps each time he attacks.

Ethereal
1. Placing down an ethereal field and using one of these is an incredible way of generating an extra chaos armor which you should try to utilize as best as possible if you are using the weapons required for these spells. This will help with survivability, apply extra pressure and keep you in the middle of the heat.

Light
1. You will gain retaliation when you leap through your curtain or veil. This can be pretty neat for some extra damage returned to the enemy.

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1. If you need to escape from people chasing and you are using Sword as MH it can sometimes really trick them if you send your #3 onto the furthest away enemy and wait a couple of seconds, even if the illusion dies you can still swap if the timer isn't up, and then swap position. Often helped me escape tricky situations.

2. I recommend binding Inventory to a fast key and organize it on your UI so it pops up right at your mouse, for me it's on the right side where I have Focus as 1st item available and then Greatsword. This is simply because sometimes it's really good to swap into GS and knock people away from a point if you really need to neutralize. Focus offers a lot of mobility, quickly place #4 on the ground and go back to your real Off-hand.

3. Distortion and Decoy can both be used to secure a stomp, can be used while channeling the stomp.

4. The #2 on Sword MH is really great as it gives Evasion during its channel. This can be used offensively, if an elementalist is riding the lightning toward you, and you begin to use this - You will win the trade, same with a warrior using Eviscerate on you and so forth. It's also really good to quickly avoid a lot of damage if you are immobilized and don't have any CC breakers.

5. If you have already activated a shatter effect, you won't lose those illusions by generating new ones. You can also summon while casting a new illusion/phantasm.

6. Phase retreat is not only great for escape, if you quickly turn your back with a fast mouse turn you can use it to teleport toward people. This is great for chasing people, requires a bit of practise but give it a go!

7. When you are defending as a mesmer and people are approaching, more than you can handle and you ask for help - placing down a #4 in Focus is a great way of slowing them down. Remember, you don't get into combat until you actually take damage yourself, this way you can prolong the enemies from reaching you, thus giving more time for allies to arrive.


Playstyle

When you are playing as a mesmer people will often think are you immortal if you are fighting 1v1 simply due to our amount of immunities, but with mesmer we aren't tanky as a warrior or a lot of heals as a protective guardian. We are avoid all damage or avoid none, since we take a lot of damage if it should hit us.

When you are playing a mesmer you want to analyze the fight and decide rather easily when and how you will engage the fight. In a real 5v5 we aren't capable of soloing a player insanely fast when fighting in a large teamfight. We are good at helping with a kill due to our quick burst, daze, stuns and we can quickly engage an opponent and deliver burst and get out.

As a mesmer you don't want to be one of the people in the front, but you can follow up with the needed spells for that moment. Cleaning, a chaos storm, a daze or perhaps a stun on the warrior who is smashing your elementalist or an immobilize on the guy with stability trying to kite. Your decisions are game changing, so communicate with your team - ALWAYS - and judge the situation.

When you are defending and people are approaching I often like to summon my illusions when they are at a far distance as this is will get damage out without me being close to them, they are in combat thus moving slower, and you have the advantage. A reminder; you don't get in combat until you take damage! This means you can easily swap back and forth with your weapons which is something you should abuse and make them cry when they are 60% and just reached you.


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Elementalist

Warrior

Guardian

Ranger

Thief

Necromancer

Mesmer

Engineer

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Here I'll go some of the basic things, not really 100% mesmer related but I wish to deliver a whole package for a sPvP mesmer.

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Please don’t start a discussion about whether clicking is fine or not.
If you are not binding most of the spells that you use in sPvP you will be facing a disadvantage. If your opponent is faster than you all the time, especially if it’s same class, then they will always have and edge to win that fight which may very well lose you the match.

What I think most people are doing wrong is making their keybindings too difficult. If you are wasting too much time reaching a spell that you use a lot, like using "K" for an elite, it’s quite stupid. It’s a very important spell for your class, and if I need to reach back and forth constantly, it’s simply a waste of time and your precious energy!

Try to keep it simple and within reach. I recommend binding weapons display as well, to stop casting instead of turning with mouse or pressing esc.

When you are making keybindings ask yourself this:
  • Which spells do I use the most?
  • Which spells are based on fast reaction, timed usage and position required?
  • Is this keybind appropriate for this spell?
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There are a couple of things I think a player should remove/change in order to become faster and more precise with your actions. Remember though that this is purely based on my opinion, and if this isn't working out for you find what does the trick for you, and stick with it.

1. Enable Fast-Cast ground targeting
  • This speeds up your use of Chaos Storm, Null field and such. Sometimes you need a clutch placement, and you'll only have to click once instead of twice where you first place it as well.
2. Disable Double-Tap to evade
  • I personally removed the chance of doing a double tap for a dodge, I use V to dodge and that only. I prefer that instead of accidentaly using a dodge which you can easily get punished for.
3. Disable Auto Attack
  • Again, this is personal experience but I really hate the auto attack being activated, you can remove this by holding down CTRL and right clicking on the icon. It sometimes attacks and takes up time where you should have used another spell.
4. Disable Double-Click to Attack
  • Again, if you are quickly swapping to another target just to CC them, you don't want AA to prolong the amount of time you are spending on that target. These things may be small, but it's still important.
5. Enable Show Skill Recharge
  • Enable Show Skill Recharge, this will show you the exact amount of seconds before your skill is ready again. This isn't enabled by default for some reason, but you should really have this on as you can properly time your spells between weapon swaps then.
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As the game gets released I'll love if people who streams will PM me with their stream and I'll add it to my list of streams. This should make it easy for people to specificly find mesmer streams.

I'll also begin to add up to date movies and organize those by spec, type of PvP, commentary and such.

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Streams

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Tournament games

Tournament games w/ commentary
Blowi:
sPvP games

sPvP games w/ commentary

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I'd like to thank those who have given me inspiration, help or basically anything made possible so that I could make this guide. Should you notice any mistakes regarding the facts I've written, English language, wording and so forth please PM me with the change and I'll correct ASAP. I hope you enjoyed the guide.

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  • Usk Delt is the man who delivered my all these amazing banners, title everything! I simply asked in Guild skype conversation if anyone had some knowledge with making pictures and such, and this guy said he would help. Been impressing me each time with the designs, keep up the good work man. You're the boss!
  • I've borrowed the charts from a thread by Gelroller. Thanks a lot! (If you read this) Link
  • Starcookie & Rudy helping with some wording and spelling.
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I really hope you have enjoyed, and perhaps learned a little about the mesmer and if you are up for playing it when the game is released. As I said earlier, I'll keep working on this guide and make sure it's up to date when game is released, and I suspect several changes to come. If you have any things that should be added, questions, or anything - please don't hesitate to either PM me, or write here.

Updates to the guide
v1.1 - August 3th, 2012: Changed a lot of wording and spells
v1.2 - August 4th, 2012: I've added some more information to the combo section, fixed spellings, links and wordings.
v1.3 - August 5th, 2012: Changed the order of content, added Match Ups and Traits.
v1.4 - August 13th, 2012: Added Playstyle section.

v.1.5 - September 1st, 2012: Changed some things, added builds and fixed changes since release.

Follow Team Paradigm for more guides and videos to come!
Team Paradigm Website
Team Paradigm Youtube


Alright, time to give me the feedback and everything!


#2 BaklivaX

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:14 PM

S1ck <3, didn't bother to read (yet) but it really looks like you put a lot effort in it :)
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#3 Rothira

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 09:28 PM

Will upvote this just like I upvoted your reddit post. Great work Blowi!

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#4 Blowi

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:04 PM

Thanks a lot ;)

#5 Prometheus0110

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:36 PM

This looks very good, I love the layout - Mesmer is my second love and I will probably alt one very quickly.  

What do you think they could do to the Scepter to make it better?

#6 wAhsa

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:49 PM

Really dig the layout and I look forward to seeing the rest of it.

#7 Vesi

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:34 AM

Great guide, thanks Blowi.  Showed it to my GF as her main will be a Mesmer :)

#8 theGijesus

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:03 AM

Fantastic guide, I love to see people putting such effort into this game. I will book mark for future fappin gaming.
Provider of great Guild Wars 2 shoutcasts and tactics videos
http://youtube.com/theGijesus

#9 Windwrath1

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:54 AM

Very good guide.

I'm definitely going to be playing a Mesmer in release, I think the style is my own, though they were obviously weak in BWE3, comparatively.

I hope they tweak out the Mesmer a lot between now and release because it seems Staff/Sword+Pistol is already cookie cutter. I hope we have more viable options when the game is live.

I also hope they figure out their strategy around weapon swapping, I think it's kind of shitty that the game is so smooth but we might be forced to do manual weapon swapping to keep up. Also, I think it relegates the value of focus to "only out of combat!" and never a primary weapon.

Also, it seems to me that I need to play around with mantras, more. If you can use a mantra twice before having to re-memorize it, and you can use it during other actions, that's pretty... I dunno, pretty interesting. I plan on getting into the stress test tomorrow, so I guess I'll take a look then.

#10 PastorT

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:34 PM

Great Guide.  Lots of Good Info.

#11 Lyr_1337

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:45 PM

Nice work blowi! As i told you yesterday i would have a bunch of builds, i would like to share. will send them to you, when i am @ home!

#12 Coven

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 05:45 PM

Mind = blown lol, nice work

#13 Lunde

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 06:12 PM

Really nice work, can't wait for you to fill it up!

#14 imbah

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:08 PM

very impressive post, i read most of it and didn't find anything i particularly disagreed with or that was wrong, and it has a really nice layout with the mesmer colors/theme as well, it really is an awesome post.

I feel pretty strongly that mesmer's biggest problem right now is weapons. Currently, in pvp, it seems that the only real option for mesmer is using Staff and Sword/Pistol. Aside from testing out the other weapons in the first place and using the focus out of combat for mobility between points i only used this set.

Another point i wanna make is with the mh sword 3 skill - this move can be used very effectively for defense as well as a gap closer. Like rogues do with shadowstep you can use the clone on an attacker/chaser as you jump down from somewhere, and then swap places with the clone to go back up when they've followed you down. It was very useful for surviving zergs and taking the clocktower on that one map (with the trebuchet things).

Also i think we may have at least 2 mandatory skills in tournament - pvp once people start getting good at the game. As you mentioned Null Field is amazing and should be used by all mesmers in spvp. The other is portal entre - this spell is amazing. The first portal lasts for an entire minute, which allows some insane defensive and offensive play, and really helps the mesmer fulfil a roamer type style in spvp. Setting up a portal at one point, attacking and taking another and then porting back to defend the initial point is entirely possible, and it's one of those moves which is bound to have many applications that players will figure out over time. It is also suprisingly good in combat. Blinking back and forth makes mesmer even better in 1v1 against melee - it actually can just feel unfair in the right circumstances.

I think you may have overestimated mirror-images. Back when shatter was much better in BWE1 it was worth a good look, but this spells value comes mostly from how good shatter is, and it seems only distortion and the daze shatter are really worth using frequently. The confusion shatter seemed basically useless to me, and mind wrack is occasionally worth it for burst i don't think it is worth using more frequently.

#15 Windwrath1

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:10 AM

After playing in the stress test, I feel if the AI was better on some phantasms, how good different weapons are, relative to each other, might change.

#16 Greight

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:50 PM

A great compendium of information! Really easy to look at with some good tips.

#17 ExcEsc

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:56 PM

This will come in handy! Thanks.

#18 Heu

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 06:04 PM

Great reading! This definitely tipped me over to the Mesmer side as they really seem to be a lot of fun and different :)

This is hereby bookmarked ;)

#19 Rhymes_w_Grape

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:29 PM

Great guide, just one thing (I'm probably being nitpicky):

One of the things that helped me learn basic elementalist burst combinations was viewing Genip's + Izkimar's elementalist videos. Granted, they aren't a comprehensive listing of all possible burst combinations, but it helps to have something without going in blind.

If you could list some of the basic shatter combos (i.e: signet --> sword #2 --> shatter while casting that), it might help newer players out.

Either way, phenomenal work and thanks.

#20 Blowi

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:37 PM

You mean, record combos or write them down for different weapon combos?




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