Guild Wars 2 PVP Video: D/D Elementalist in WvW [Vol 2]


The Feb 26th update brought several nerfs and a fix to D/D Elementalist:

  • Ride the Lightning: This ability’s recharge has been increased to 20 seconds (previously: 15 seconds)
  • Soothing Disruption: Vigor and regeneration boons granted by activating cantrips have been reduced from 10 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Zephyr’s Boon: Fixed a bug that caused Shocking Aura to apply double the boons of other auras.

In this video, I discuss my adjustments to these changes:

  1. Kiting with a decreased emphasis on Ride the Lightning, given that RTL’s cooldown has been increased from 15s to 20s
  2. Stacking boon duration to 90% (1.9x), to help offset the shortened durations of the boons from cantrips and auras

Thanks to GW2 BuildCraft’s calculator, I can share my complete WvW setup:
http://gw2buildcraft.com/calculator/elementalist/?1.0|8.1c.h1h.8.1c.h5|0.0.0.0.0.0|1c.71g.1c.71g.1c.71h.1c.71h.1c.b1h.1c.b1h|1k.68.1k.68.1k.68.1k.68.1k.68.1c.68|0.a1.0.u35b.u56b|1.1|1n.1v.1s.1u.29|e

My spec is based on daphoenix’s most excellent guide on “Tanky DPS” Dagger/Dagger Ele:
https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/elementalist/Guide-Mastering-the-D-D-ele-12-20-12

Let me know your questions and feedback.

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Posted in Elementalist, Guild Wars 2, PVP, Video
27 comments on “Guild Wars 2 PVP Video: D/D Elementalist in WvW [Vol 2]
  1. Great video Taugrim.I just watched the GW2guru state of the game earlier today, and even though there’s still some balancing to be done, it seems like they are hitting a lot of the right points in terms of not being two heavy handed with the nerfs, but also trying to bring other classes up instead of completely shutting down strong builds.

    I do think there still is a lot of balancing that needs to be done however, to certain classes/builds. Necro’s and Guardians seem pretty well rounded at the moment, and have plenty of diversity in terms of available builds they can utilize, so I’d like to see that diversity in some of the other classes as well. Specifically Thief since that’s my main hehe I’ve heard mesmers, rangers, and engi’s could use some love too. Although I have to say there does seem to be a lot more viable builds in PvE and WvW than structured PvP, but I guess that’s to be expected.

    On a side note, from watching the “State of the Game” with gw2guru today, it seems like leader boards are extremely close, with spectator mode and custom arena’s following behind soon after. Not sure how much time you’ve been spending in Spvp lately, but do you think you’ll be doing more tournaments once those are implemented?

    Hope all is well though, would be awesome to have you back on gamebreaker at some point heh, even though I know work is taking priority I’m sure. Hope you still have time to game though.

    • taugrim says:

      Corey Jenkins (@coreycrimzen) :

      I just watched the GW2guru state of the game earlier today, and even though there’s still some balancing to be done, it seems like they are hitting a lot of the right points in terms of not being two heavy handed with the nerfs, but also trying to bring other classes up instead of completely shutting down strong builds.

      That’s encouraging to hear. As you said, good balancing is about incremental refinement, and that means toning down strong builds and toning up weaker ones.

      I really dislike it when a game developer swings the nerfbat too hard – it makes it harder for a gamer like me with limited time and willingness to re-gear every time something becomes unviable. And overnerfing tends to piss off a lot of players.

      Corey Jenkins (@coreycrimzen) :

      I’ve heard mesmers, rangers, and engi’s could use some love too. Although I have to say there does seem to be a lot more viable builds in PvE and WvW than structured PvP, but I guess that’s to be expected.

      I think Ranger and Engineer need the most improvement overall. Mesmers are pretty strong in PVP and WvW, although I’ve heard the illusions suffer from the same issue that AI does in PVE – too squishy and stand in AOE too much.

      Corey Jenkins (@coreycrimzen) :

      On a side note, from watching the “State of the Game” with gw2guru today, it seems like leader boards are extremely close, with spectator mode and custom arena’s following behind soon after. Not sure how much time you’ve been spending in Spvp lately, but do you think you’ll be doing more tournaments once those are implemented?

      I do sPvP as a change-of-pace and to mess around with new classes/builds. I don’t anticipate doing the tourney scene – to do well you really need a committed roster of players who practice together, and my hours are inconsistent enough that I can’t commit to anything so structured.

      Corey Jenkins (@coreycrimzen) :

      Hope all is well though, would be awesome to have you back on gamebreaker at some point heh, even though I know work is taking priority I’m sure. Hope you still have time to game though.

      I play when I have free time, but I’ve cut back on hosting / streaming out of necessity due to RL work and such.

  2. Gothir says:

    I love the d/d elemenalist gameplay and it is probably the build I run the most in wvw. The nerfs didn’t really affect my gameplay though…probably because I run 70% or 90% boon duration too.

    I actually like the change to frost aura with the new 10% damage reduction. It changed my rotation a little bit because I now start off in water to cast frost aura on approach for that 10% reduction right before I jump in with the fire combos. I feel this helps out a bit when I am jumping into a large group because I take the most damage within the first few seconds anyway before people start dieing.

    The change to flame aura is interesting and will probably help the signet builds that use the trait Fire’s Embrace. But with my d/d build I already stack up a lot of might from the sigil of battle, combos, and boon duration anyway.

    I like the extra boon duration from the omnomberry cream but I don’t like giving up a nice secondary stat boost since the magic find doesn’t help in fights. So I usually use the Bowl of Curry Butternut Squash Soup for some extra damage/crit.

    You should check out some of the cavalier accessories now that they are easily available from karma vendors. I think they work great with the d/d ele since they keep you really tanky but increase your damage a good bit too. The build I run gives up 1500 life and 500 healing from your build but gains 20% more base crit chance, 64 more toughness, and 37% more crit damage. I am still really tanky but put out quite a bit more damage.

    Here is what I run with: http://gw2buildcraft.com/calculator/elementalist/?1.0|8.1c.h1h.8.1c.h4|0.0.0.0.0.0|1n.71g.1n.71g.1n.71h.1c.71h.1c.b1h.1c.b1h|1i.67.1i.67.1n.67.1n.67.1n.67.1i.67|0.a1.0.u35b.u54b|39.1|1n.1s.1u.1v.0|e

    • taugrim says:

      Gothir :

      I love the d/d elemenalist gameplay and it is probably the build I run the most in wvw. The nerfs didn’t really affect my gameplay though…probably because I run 70% or 90% boon duration too.

      I didn’t always run with the boon duration food before the Feb 26th patch, but I see it as a necessity now.

      Gothir :

      I actually like the change to frost aura with the new 10% damage reduction. It changed my rotation a little bit because I now start off in water to cast frost aura on approach for that 10% reduction right before I jump in with the fire combos. I feel this helps out a bit when I am jumping into a large group because I take the most damage within the first few seconds anyway before people start dieing.

      I still start in Air, for the gap closure / blowout from Air 4 and 5.

      The new 10% mitigation is a nice minor buff.

      Gothir :

      The change to flame aura is interesting and will probably help the signet builds that use the trait Fire’s Embrace.

      What’s this about?

      Gothir :

      You should check out some of the cavalier accessories now that they are easily available from karma vendors. I think they work great with the d/d ele since they keep you really tanky but increase your damage a good bit too. The build I run gives up 1500 life and 500 healing from your build but gains 20% more base crit chance, 64 more toughness, and 37% more crit damage. I am still really tanky but put out quite a bit more damage.

      Cavalier’s in your case makes sense since you have Knight’s armor for the Precision. So you have more boom in your build, whereas my build has lower damage but is more tanky. This is definitely a preference thing.

      I really like having the healing, and I’ve been considering actually swapping out some Soldier’s for a bit more Cleric’s.

      • Gothir says:

        They changed the fire shield to apply a might stack for 10 seconds everytime you are hit and they increased the duration from 3 to 5 seconds(though I haven’t tested to see if the traited fire shield gets this increased duration or if it is just the focus 5 skill).

        So you use the fire’s embrace trait(fire shield every time you use a signet) to generate constant fire shields. Then when you are attacked by a couple people the might stacks start to add up because each hit gives you might. If you have 4 signets you can keep fire shield up for 12(20 if the traited fire shield got the boost) seconds at which point the signets start coming off cooldown to be used again.

        I do lean more to the damage side of things most often. I thought I would miss the healing too when I first swapped out my cleric’s gear but I found I didn’t miss it that much. I can still jump into a group of people and do my thing without getting killed…except I just do more damage now.

        • taugrim says:

          Gothir :

          They changed the fire shield to apply a might stack for 10 seconds everytime you are hit and they increased the duration from 3 to 5 seconds(though I haven’t tested to see if the traited fire shield gets this increased duration or if it is just the focus 5 skill).

          Ah yes, the Fire Shield effect is applied when:
          a. you are using Focus 5 in Fire attunement, or
          b. when leaping through a Fire field, e.g. via Earth 3 after Fire 4 with Dagger/Dagger

          http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Fire_Shield

          I would assume that the signet trait tooltip is correct: 3 seconds.

          Gothir :

          I do lean more to the damage side of things most often. I thought I would miss the healing too when I first swapped out my cleric’s gear but I found I didn’t miss it that much. I can still jump into a group of people and do my thing without getting killed…except I just do more damage now.

          When I get the karma or badges saved up, I may try replacing Cleric’s trinkets/jewels with either Berserker or Knight-oriented stats.

          You know what the funny thing is? I went in the opposite direction for sPvP, going with Cleric’s ammy and jewel and found that I appreciated the extra healing.

  3. Dirk Pitt says:

    Can anybody confirm the healing amount nerf for Evasive Arcana Water proc is also valid for WvWvW or it is only s/tPVP nerf….

    • taugrim says:

      Dirk Pitt :

      Can anybody confirm the healing amount nerf for Evasive Arcana Water proc is also valid for WvWvW or it is only s/tPVP nerf….

      The nerf is only for sPvP, and I think it’s a fair balancing nerf, after playing my Ele in sPvP to assess the changes.

  4. TomC says:

    Where do you play on Blackgate? I’m playing WvW a lot now but I’m mostly following orders from the Teamspeak channel and defending towers/camps with my guild. Curious where you are in the WvW organization scheme.

    • tomcrowley says:

      hmm no edit button. That should say “I’m playing WvW a lot ON BLACKGATE now…”

    • taugrim says:

      TomC :

      Curious where you are in the WvW organization scheme.

      Unlike other games (e.g. LOTRO, WAR, SWTOR), I’m not meaningfully involved in leading or coordinating in World PVP – I just don’t have the time or the energy for it in this season of my life.

      I try to help out the server when I can :)

  5. Picpoc says:

    I tried a slightly different route to handle the changes. I’m not convinced it is the right way to go, but I like it so far.

    Basically, I took 10 points from Arcana and gave it to Air (0/20/0/30/20). I then took the Master Trait “Aeromancer’s Alacrity” (20% faster air skill recharge) which makes RTL back down to 16 seconds and Shocking aura 20 seconds. Combine the extra critical percentage with the changes to “Renewing Stamina” and now Vigor is up almost 100% of the time while in combat. The extra DPS stats in Air help, and while you don’t lose any “main” stats with the reduction in Arcana, you do lose 10% boon duration, 20% attunement recharge rate, and Evasive Arcana.

    The losses I thought would be a big deal, but so far I have barely felt them. Losing Evasive Arcana is probably the biggest, but honestly only the water heal is missed. So far the extra DPS, almost normal RTL cooldown, and other increased air skill usage seems to have balanced things out pretty well.

    I’m sure I will switch back to normal 0/10/0/30/30 a few times before deciding a long term approach.

    • taugrim says:

      Picpoc :

      I tried a slightly different route to handle the changes. I’m not convinced it is the right way to go, but I like it so far.

      Basically, I took 10 points from Arcana and gave it to Air (0/20/0/30/20). I then took the Master Trait “Aeromancer’s Alacrity” (20% faster air skill recharge) which makes RTL back down to 16 seconds and Shocking aura 20 seconds. Combine the extra critical percentage with the changes to “Renewing Stamina” and now Vigor is up almost 100% of the time while in combat. The extra DPS stats in Air help, and while you don’t lose any “main” stats with the reduction in Arcana, you do lose 10% boon duration, 20% attunement recharge rate, and Evasive Arcana.

      That’s a creative solution for RTL lovers, thanks for posting it :)

      I would miss Evasive Arcana a lot, especially the effects in Water and Earth.

  6. Bill says:

    I play a d/d ele almost exclusively in WvW and have almost since start. The change to RTL really bothers me. I know that lots and lots of people complained about the ele ability to get away from a fight. ArenaNet listens and nerfs it. However our mobility was already matched with a corresponding decrease in attack power.

    In WvW I spend most of my time either running supply to build up defenses or solo scouting enemy zergs. In both cases I run into big groups that I need to escape from. Before the patch I could do this, now I almost never can. I used to count on being able to outrun anyone or catch up to anyone, now I’m regularly overtaken by thieves and warriors (at least). It was kind of ele’s thing, like stealth is the thief’s thing.

    So now, what’s my role? I can’t do damage with d/d, I’m not the most mobile, I can’t help zergs, and I have no range to help take or defend a tower/keep (I do carry a staff and change at those points though). I felt like we already made a trade off attack damage for mobility.

    Look at the thief though. Lots and lots of complaints against them since day 1. They have high mobility, high burst damage and stealth. Yet none of that has changed. Why aren’t they forced to make a trade off? I’m regularly hit for 4-10k by thieves and I run into a lot with my role. Yes, I know how to defend against them, yes I know they are glass canon, but I have to slowly whittle them down due to my low attack damage and they can disengage at will.

    I see the same thing in your video. I see 3 fights there.

    In the first you engage a couple of people at the door. It’s kind of silly because I don’t think you actually thought you could do anything but a little damage and then run, just too many there. So I see you hit 1 guy and then have to turn and run. The vet hits you along with 1 player and your health goes to half. You do manage to evade and 2 follow. When you are joined by the ally thief you turn and go back. If you look at the damage on the target you can clearly see where the thief hits him and almost downs him. Your damage is almost negligible.

    The second fight I see is 1v1 with maybe the worst mesmer I’ve seen. I’ve done lots of 1v1 and duels in WvW and almost no one is hit by churning earth, yet this mesmer eats the whole thing and keeps the dot.

    In the last fight it looks pretty even, about 5v5. The enemy all seem to ignore you and the damage you are doing is low. Yet you have to keep leaving the group and healing up. They manage to down your allies and then chase you off.

    Long story short, I was willing to trade damage for mobility, but now we have neither.

    • 5 seconds on a single ability is not the difference between life and death when running away in this game. It’s still a really balanced profession with really balanced abilities. Taugrim was using chills and crips to facilitate his retreat – There is the short range fire attunement dash that can be used too. If you really need to use a long range dash/port more that 3 times a minute, there is something very wrong. There are always lots of ways to achieve things in this game. Chill is an awesome example of another way to create distance, so is stun, so is immobilize, so is cripple, so is knock down, so is knock back. Come on, there are a lot of tools – just use them, man.

      • Bill says:

        I can tell you from experience already that it has been the difference between life and death. Look at his video again. In the first and third fights he doesn’t get chased for long, the attackers break off because of his allies nearby. I normally only play on borderlands and I’ve been chased by enemies from the NE tower to the SE tower before. If you have a group of enemies that won’t give up the chase you will get caught now whereas you wouldn’t have before the patch. I’ve heard the same thing from several other eles on my server.

        • taugrim says:

          Bill :

          I can tell you from experience already that it has been the difference between life and death.

          Yes, it can be, but…

          Bill :
          Look at his video again. In the first and third fights he doesn’t get chased for long, the attackers break off because of his allies nearby.

          …I kite zergs for great distances, and I get away from people trying rather hard to kill me.

          Just because it’s not in the video, doesn’t mean I don’t do it. It would make for very boring footage :D

          You could try what Picpoc suggested, taking the 20% cooldown trait with 20 points in Air to get RTL back to 16s cooldown.

      • taugrim says:

        Matthew Snelling :

        Come on, there are a lot of tools – just use them, man.

        Agreed!

        That is part of the reason why I posted the video: there were a fair number of Ele’s who were very grumpy about the RTL nerf.

        D/D Ele has plenty of tools for kiting.

    • taugrim says:

      Bill :

      However our mobility was already matched with a corresponding decrease in attack power.

      When was Ele attack power reduced?

      Bill :

      In WvW I spend most of my time either running supply to build up defenses or solo scouting enemy zergs. In both cases I run into big groups that I need to escape from. Before the patch I could do this, now I almost never can. I used to count on being able to outrun anyone or catch up to anyone, now I’m regularly overtaken by thieves and warriors (at least). It was kind of ele’s thing, like stealth is the thief’s thing.

      I kite zergs for great distances after the Feb 26th patch. Is it a bit harder with the 33% increase to RTL cooldown? Yes. The mobility is still outstanding.

      The only way I can get that kind of mobility on my Warrior is to pair two weapon sets (Greatsword and Sword) that doesn’t really synergize together and slot Mobile Strikes (20 points in Discipline).

      Bill :

      Look at the thief though. Lots and lots of complaints against them since day 1. They have high mobility, high burst damage and stealth. Yet none of that has changed. Why aren’t they forced to make a trade off?

      This probably won’t make you feel any better, but even if Thief mobility combined with stealth is too strong right now (which I would agree is the case), that isn’t a rationale for not balancing another class with high mobility and survivability (the Ele).

      That is, the argument of “but what about X class, they’re still OP” isn’t a good enough argument – and if you read the forums you know players found D/D Eles very frustrating to fight with due to their escapability.

      Bill :

      In the first you engage a couple of people at the door. It’s kind of silly because I don’t think you actually thought you could do anything but a little damage and then run, just too many there. So I see you hit 1 guy and then have to turn and run. The vet hits you along with 1 player and your health goes to half.

      I got the Asura Ele to 50% HP with my first 2 attunement swaps – that’s not “a little damage” in my opinion.

      There were actually 4 enemies hitting me: 2 Vets, a Dagger Thief, and a lowbie Guardian.

      Bill :

      Long story short, I was willing to trade damage for mobility, but now we have neither.

      D/D Ele doesn’t actually trade damage for mobility.

      You can have high mobility and gear much more offensively than I do. Of course, survivability takes a hit.

      • This is my philosophy when it comes to nerfs – and I think a lot of other people share it – find the solution and improve, or die. Guardians recently got a nerf to spirit weapons that took the spirit weapons from being invulnerable to being about as easy to kill as other pets (they have since boosted them by 33% to improve balance), but I didn’t feel that they were worth using anymore because I thought that cooldowns were now too long and I was quite hamstringed when they were on cooldown (I played a squishy glass cannon). I LOVED them when they were invulnerable, because I had some great damage and burning (S-sword), unrivaled CC and burning (S-hammer), and defence from ranged (S-shield), and I liked being a little overpowered for 30 seconds for the sake of being quite vulnerable for the following 30 seconds. But the feeling of the utility changed, and my build wasn’t working as well anymore I am very sure I could still use them in different configurations, but my relative enjoyment changed because of my expectations regarding how I wanted to use them – so I dropped them, and adapted and I was better than before. I learned to use chill (1 sigil of speed (on sword)+ 2 sigils of hydromance (offhands)+ runeset of Grenth) – I changed all of my traits to favour signets and meditations because of the passive 10% damage reduction a signet gave me, and the healing signet, and a long range damaging teleport. And I took only sword mainhand for the blind and port on 2, the blind on F1, the blind on focus, and reduced the cooldowns on my offhands (which I now had space to do) to create over 6 seconds of chill every 10 seconds due to weapon swapping as often as I could, and learning to interrupt with blinds. Now, as far as getting into battle, and getting around an active battle, I am unrivalled for mobility. I am reasonably tough, and I slow everyone all the time (final fantasy reference for slowing both abilities and movement at the same time). I was forced to learn to use my profession mechanic properly to intercept big hits and spam blind foes. And I learned to use the ports in interesting ways (like getting away by selecting a moose on the edge of the battle, and then a rabbit in the distance, and porting in their direction like doorways). The point is that the game offers no end of options. Almost every ability can be used in 2 or more ways. There is no sense in banging your head against the wall when you can learn a new skill to scale it.

  7. Derek says:

    ^^ this really sucks if true. I’m a staff ele but have full pvt gear and 2 Daggers in inv. I’m ready to respect, but now I’m bothered.

  8. Dasde Thwar says:

    Taugrim, what build are you running on your warrior lately? If you shelved it, which build did you enjoy the most?

    • taugrim says:

      Taugrim, what build are you running on your warrior lately?

      I’ve been playing a build on Warrior since early Feb that I call “Bully”.

      Here’s the writeup on it I posted on Maven’s guild forum:

      http://www.intothemists.com/calc/?build=-sg-s;1RK-N0e4oK-60;9;4J-J9J48;209-0;049-S-F6;2CoF2CoF2H

      You remember that bully who picked on you when you were a kid?

      You couldn’t outrun him, he’d knock you down, and he was hella tough?

      This is that build.

      3 ranged roots, 1 knockdown charge, 1 AOE stun, 1 AOE knockback, and 1 knockdown. Just a ridiculous amount of CC.

      PVT armor, Knight’s weapons, Knight’s trinkets with Berserker orbs, 6/6 Runes of Hoelbrak, 2 x Sigil of Battle.

      Base stats with food (Bowl of Lemongrass Poultry Soup)
      3250 attack
      27% crit
      43% crit damage
      3100 armor
      22.2k HP
      -60% passive condition duration, which makes conditions just roll off you

      In a group context, works well as a main assist, as the spec is beefy enough to stay in the pocket to chain-lockdown a target. While Hammer CC abilities are on cooldown, you still have 3 ranged roots and the knockdown charge to work with.

      When running in a group, if you play this role as a CC/tank and are not concerned about damage, it works better to go with full Soldier’s gear.

  9. Raziel says:

    Why do u use sigiil of battle??, i dont understand that plan, u never swap ur weapon.

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