This guide discusses my “Legion” build for GW2 Mesmer. The build revolves around direct damage, boons, and buffs provided by phantasms and clones.
For the Mesmer class, there are two ends of the spectrum in terms of how you leverage your illusions, i.e. your phantasms and clones. On one end of the spectrum, we have shatter-based builds, which consume illusions for damage, conditions, and distortion (evasion). On the other end, we have builds such as “Legion” which treat illusions and in particular phantasms as valued allies on the battlefield.
If you question the latter approach, please see the FAQ regarding the shatter mechanic.
Build Calculator, Gear, and Mechanics
sPvP Hot Join: http://www.intothemists.com/calc/?build=-Ng-FR;0VPV5127cVF71;9;49JEE92;019-3;05;02;0L-V44;1sV2DsV2D8Bl
Once you get used to the build in sPvP you can replace Knight’s Amulet with Berserker’s.
Tournament (Forest or Forefire): http://www.intothemists.com/calc/?build=-Ng-FR;0VPV5127cVV71;9;49JEE92;019-3;05;02;0L-V44;1sV2DsV2D5BY
Tournament (Khylo) assuming you’re the primary trebuchet gunner: http://www.intothemists.com/calc/?build=-Ng-FF;0VPVz047cVF71;9;49JEE92;019-3;05;02;0L-V44;1sV2DsV2D5Bi
Amulet + Jewel: Berserker’s/Knight’s + Berserker’s
Runes: 6 x Runes of Divinity
This build emphasizes direct damage, therefore the weapon sets are Sword/Pistol and Greatsword.
For the dual-weapon set, take your pick between offhand Pistol and offhand Sword. The Sword phantasm crits for 3k+ and attacks every ~4-5 sec, as opposed to the slower attack rate of the Pistol phantasm. The main downside of the Sword phantasm is that after being summoned, it has to run to and stay in melee range of your target to land blows. For tournaments, I’ve been using the offhand Sword for the burst.
In tournaments and sPvP, Time Warp (TW) is a potent ability due to its wide diameter and the AOE quickness effect, which is awesome for supporting burst DPS and managing downed situations. For sPvP hot join, take your pick between Moa Morph (great for small fights and 1v2) or Time Warp. In the current metagame, Mesmer is the best class to man the trebuchet, because when the trebuchet is destroyed, once the Mesmer reaches the repair kit, they can port back using Portal Entre to the friendly trebuchet. Note that Blink is also helpful for traversing the distance to the repair kit.
In general for PVP I do not recommend stacking vitality (HP) without toughness, because you end up with a squishy HP pool that melts under direct fire. However, this build is slippery (thanks to Blink and illusions) and enjoys good uptime for the protection boon (33% direct damage mitigation) from the Illusionary Membrane trait and up to 9% direct damage mitigation from the Illusionary Defense trait, so in practice I’ve found that Knight’s Amulet (Power / Precision / Vitality) works well for this build.
The primary source of sustained condition removal is the Phantasmal Disenchanter (PDi), which can be summoned every 16 sec. Null Field (NF) provides AOE condition removal and strips boons from foes. Both PDi and NF remove condition from allies. Note that I’m one of the few players who likes PD; other players often opt to take the stealth ability Decoy instead.
This spec handles itself well in 1v1s and can manage 1v2 situations.
This build works in sPvP and PVE. I haven’t played this build yet in WvW (level 8 rawr) but for WvW I would replace the Pistol with Focus, so that I can pull opponents off a wall with Focus 5.
Build Pros and Cons
- Excellent kiting mechanics and ability to fight from 1200 range
- High crit rate (52% with Sword/Pistol, 47% with GW) triggers crit-based effects (extra burst from Sigil of Superior Air, bleeds from illusions)
- Good sustained damage
- Provides distinct support capabilities: AOE quickness (TW), AOE condition removal (PDi and NF)
- AOE boon strippage (NF) and sustained boon strippage from Sword 1
- Solid CC capability: conal knockback from Greatsword 5, AOE from Pistol 5
- Lacks high burst damage
- Lacks sustained CC
- Somewhat squishy
Build Ability Rotations
You generally want to initiate fights from range with Greatsword equipped. Activate Greatsword 2 for the vulnerability condition and might buff, then follow with Greatsword 4 to summon the Illusionary Berserker, which deals AOE damage. Note that for summoning abilities, you don’t need to have LoS or even be on the same Z-axis as your target. You just need to be in range of the target.
I often activate Phantasmal Disenchanter (PD) before I need condition removal, as PD will take care of conditions when they’re applied on you and strip boons off foes, and the cooldown is relatively short (16 sec). PD also strips boons from foes.
If you are not trying to kite or maintain distance, swap to Sword/Pistol and activate Pistol 4 as soon as possible to summon the Illusionary Duelist. You can root your opponent and port to them via Sword 3, then follow-up with Sword 2, which provides AOE damage and evasion during the channel. Sword 1 chain applies vulnerability and strips a boon, so it’s one of the best sources of sustained boon removal in the game.
Leverage the 5 ability for either weapon set whenever you need the CC.
If you’re in a scrum with multiple opponents, you can leave a phantasm on a target to prevent them from self-reviving while you deal with other opponents. Obviously, you want to finish a downed opponent as soon as possible.
Use Blink liberally. It is a superb ability for breaking disabling CC and for creating or closing gaps. If you are finishing a downed player, and they teleport, you can Blink during the finish cast to their new location and complete the finish cast (thanks Tamgros).
The great thing about this build is that when you’re in trouble, you can kite and let your phantasms continue to apply pressure to the opponent(s) chasing you.
Narrated PVP Videos
Videos listed in reverse chronological order.
“Legion” Build With Greatsword
“Legion” Build Overview
Introduction to Mesmer
Q: What is the difference between illusions, clones, and phantasms?
There are 2 types of illusions: clones and phantasms. All illusions can be shattered for various effects. Some traits affect clones, others affect phantasms, and the traits that affect illusions affect both clones and phantasms.
Clones look like the caster, have the same name, and wield the same weapon at the time they were summoned. Their direct damage is pitiful, literally ~10 damage per hit. The “Legion” build takes the 15-pt Dueling passive trait Sharper Images, so clones can inflict bleeds and therefore their DPS is not completely useless. For the most part, the role of clones is to provide “cover” for the real Mesmer and to inflict conditions on targets.
Phantasms have their own name, always prefixed by “Illusionary”, and they deal meaningful direct damage or provide other value, e.g. the conditional removal for Phantasmal Disenchanter.
You can only have 3 illusions at a time, and they work in a FIFO order: First In, First Out. So if you have 3 illusions alive and you summon a 4th, the 1st one is replaced by the 4th one, and so on.
Q: Do clones overwrite phantasms?
Short answer: it depends.
As long as you have 1 existing clone, a new clone will not replace a phantasm, the new clone will replace the existing clone. The only scenario where a clone will overwrite a phantasm is when you have 3 phantasms, and in this case, the clone overwrites the oldest phantasm. (thanks RunGalaad).
Q: Why don’t you emphasize shatter with this build?
When you shatter your illusions, they run over to their target, then shatter. Therefore there can be a delay before your shatters occur. This isn’t an issue for “phonebooth” fights at trebuchet or the smaller nodes.
Shattering doesn’t synergize with the design of the “Legion” build. When shattering with this build, you lose:
- The capabilities of those illusions: direct damage, bleeds, and for PDi condition removal
- Up to 9% direct damage buff, 9% direct damage mitigation, and the movement buff
- The “natural cover” provided by illusions. Not only do they create mental confusion for other players, they can take attacks that were intended to hit you
- The “bloodhound” nature of illusions. If a target stealths, once the stealth ends, your illusions will resume attacking the target. If your target runs, the damage numbers from your illusions tells you where they went
That said, there are situations when you can consider shattering, in particular Shatter 3 for the daze effect and Shatter 4 for the invulnerability – these are powerful options for managing downed state situations if both of your weapon 5 CCs are on cooldown.
You can shatter when your target’s HP is low, especially in AOE situations to inflict splash damage. That said, keep in mind that your illusions continue to DPS on a downed target, which is particularly useful when facing Thiefs, Mesmers, and situations where you are not able to attempt a finish, e.g. a 100 Blades Warrior is chasing you.
Illusions don’t disappear unless they are killed, their target is killed, they are overwritten, or they are shattered.
Q: Why don’t you use Decoy?
When I first tried an early version of “Legion” back in BWE3, I slotted Decoy but not Blink. Why the stealth was sometimes helpful, it doesn’t remove roots and snares and sometimes even though you are stealthed, you end up eating whatever AOE damage was cast at your location when you stealthed.
Blink IMO is a far more valuable, and reliable, utility skill.
That said, for ultra glass cannon builds, slotting Blink and Decoy is a good choice.
Q: How does this spec compare to confusion / condition shatter builds or power shatter builds?
I haven’t tried other builds, since this one is particularly fun and suits my desired playstyle.
Please share your experience if you have tried this and other specs!
- 2012/10/15: switched from Sigil of Superior Blood to Superior
AirFire for more burst damage
- 2012/10/12: updated spec links and added notes about using Sword/Sword instead of Sword/Pistol
- 2012/10/04: added Tamgros tip re: Blink while downing a target
- 2010/10/01: updated build links to use intothemists.com’s calculator
- 2012/09/27: added Greatsword video
- 2012/09/26: added more FAQ content
- 2012/09/24: added content for WvW and that Sword 3 won’t summon clone with 3 phantasms out
- 2012/09/23: initial version
[…] For the in-depth information on my “Legion” build, see the in-depth Guide. […]
[…] For the in-depth information on my “Legion” build, see the in-depth Guide. […]
Love this build but I’m curious as to the reasoning behind the change from staff to GS. GS5 is a very useful ability but I’m not sure it makes up for the loss of the utility and condition damage from the staff.
GS 4 phantasm deals AOE damage, higher burst than Staff 3 phantasm. Also GS 2 applies vulnerability and gives might.
GS just works better for a direct damage build.
Good points – do you think that direct damage is the way to go now in PVP? I recall you said in one of your earlier videos that condition builds do quite well because not many people have adequate condition removal.
Condition damage is viable. Direct damage is viable. The main thing about condition damage is you need to be able to “vomit” conditions onto your target so that you overwhelm and exhaust their condition removal.
For whatever reason the 3 builds I’ve been for Warrior and this “Legion” build are all built around direct damage. It just worked out that way.
Hi I’m curious why did you change from 25 in inspiration to 15 in inspiration and 10 in domination. Was that extra hp for phantasms not worth it? And is the trait in domination affecting all illusions?
Empowered Illusions (+15% illusion direct damage) is functionally equivalent to Phantasmal Strength (+15% phantasm direct damage), because buffing clone damage by 15% is negligible, since they literally only hit for ~9 damage per hit.
That said, the 10 points in Domination boosts your power by 100, which increases your damage and that of the phantasms.
I’ve been trying to find ways to increase damage, and the loss of 1k HP and a bit of healing has been worth the tradeoff. E.g. when I run 25 in Inspiration, Phantasmal Berserker typically hits for ~2800, but with Empowered Illusions I’ll get crits over 3k.
The extra HP for phantasms isn’t as valuable as the increase in overall damage.
Well i just test this – 10 points in domination (only 10 points there) with and without trait (III) 15% more damage for illusions and i can say that the trait also boost damage of phantasms. That is actualy the same with 5 in illusions – 20% faster recharge rate for illusion summoning – its for phantasms and illusions…..if u actualy take trait (X) 20% faster recharge rate for phantasms it wont give u even lower cd for skills.
Any time it says Illusions, it refers to both Clones and Phantasms. The the trait for 20% faster recharge rate for phantasms is not reduction in the skills that summon Phantasms, but a reduction in the skills the Phantasms use after being summoned. The Phantasms actually gain Haste and attack faster with this trait.
“Any time it says Illusions, it refers to both Clones and Phantasms.”
Thank you so much.
To add to what I’m saying, Taug was agreeing that both Empowered Illusions and Phantasmal Strength do the same thing for Phantasms, only the Empowered Illusions also buffs the damage of the Clones as well. Problem is the Clones don’t do enough damage that the increase actually means anything, so only buffing the Phantasms is enough.
Correct, in terms of just comparing the effect of the traits.
Clones deal ~10 damage per hit, it’s pitiful :)
At least with the “Legion” build, clones can apply bleeds to the target.
Hi Taugrim, first and foremost thx for all your guides! Been following your blog since RIFT, through SWTOR and now GW2.
Love your mesmer build, suits my playstyle perfect, but how about changing Blink for Decoy, it’s just phenomenal when you’re in for the finisher and quite handy for “Runaway!” situations!
If you remember my 1st Look video for Mesmer from BWE3, I was running Decoy instead of Blink.
That said, Blink has far greater utility, as it allows court coverage. The issue with Decoy is that the stealth does not remove roots and snares, and even if you are stealthed you’ll still eat whatever AOE damage (e.g. Hundred Blades) that was cast on you when you stealth.
Blink >>> Decoy
If I need a quick finish or revive, I pop Time Warp.
I only pvped in WvW, so my build is obviously different, more focused on reflecting damage and crowd control, but for what is worth I can confirm that Blink is way better than Decoy. Getting out of roots or simply out of a bad situation fast is top priority.
I also would like to point out that clones (and to a lesser degree phantasms) can be used as “plague rats”. Various traits gives them the “inflict X on killing” and in a crowded situation they get killed really fast, stacking the enemy’s group with conditions.
Good point. Have you found you are able to keep enough illusions alive in WvW to be able to shatter 2-3 illusions and apply heavy conditions? That’s the one question I have.
I’ve only just started a Mesmer in WvW (thinking it may be the style I’ve been looking for) and am not even level 11 yet, but in keep battles with all the AoE, my illusions seem to die almost instantaneously in most cases. I’m thinking unless I can get a dramatic increase in their survival, for large keep battles the Legion build may not be able to get its full use.
I would however be VERY interested to see a “Plague Rat” build like Gathbard mentioned. If the illusions can’t stay alive much longer than they are for me right now, their best use may be “on death” effects such as that. I’ve started theory crafting one now but if you (Gathbard) want to expand upon that idea I’d love to see what you’ve come up with.
Your experience in WvW makes sense.
I designed “Legion” for sPvP.
Yep, and its a GREAT sPvP build… I just have to figure out what “purpose” I want to use my Illusions for in WvW. I’m actually shying away from this “plague rat” idea because it occurred to me that it would favor condition damage. I’ve been much more pleased with direct damage in the current state of WvW. In zergs, if there are too many condition damage people you start to cancel yourselves out. I can always do direct damage whether there are 50 other people trying to stack bleeds or not.
I know so far, I’ve REALLY enjoyed dropping Greatsword 4 on top of a keep wall and watching all the red names scatter :)
Yea I agree re: condition damage and zergs. As you know, conditions stack in either in intensity (max 25 stacks) or duration, and neither is good if there are too many players trying to stack the same kinds (e.g. bleeds, confusion, etc) on the same target. Plus in zergs there tends to be AOE condition removal.
Greatsword is probably the best WvW weapon, because the damage from the auto-chain scales with distance.
For WvW, I’d probably opt to go glass cannon in terms of stats and stay at distance as much as possible.
I would still slot Blink, and Portal is must-have IMO. For the 3rd utility, I’d probably take either Null Field or Phantasmal Disenchanter. Gotta have condition removal, esp to remove roots and snares, or you’ll get run over in WvW.
Great tips there, Feedback also seems to be a favored slot skill.
Greatsword for Mesmers seems to be the weapon I’ve been dreaming of in WvW since I first set foot there. Truth told I’m a thief at heart and while they can be downright destructive in WvW their ranged capabilities leave a little to be desired for me. I’ve tried Guardian and Ranger as well but the GS Mesmer seems to be able to scratch that itch the others couldn’t reach so to speak.
Feedback is good in WvW and against players who shoot through the bubble.
The GS is simply awesomesauce for WvW. I pair that up with Sword/Focus.
Correct me if I am wrong, but if you are quick on summoning your illusions and use the shatter skill before they die, then they wont be killed in the process of running to your target to explode. I have not tested this specifically, but have noticed this in big sPvP scrums on points where they dont die to AoE. If this holds true, then you could definitely use them as “plague rats”.
One more question along this line of thought: do the “cause X effect when killed” traits (like Confusing Combatants – 25 points in Dueling) apply when you shatter your illusions? In other words, do shatters count as “killing” your illusions?
“Cause X effect when killed” traits work when an illusion is REPLACED by another illusion or KILLED by an enemy player, not shattered.
Nice guide as always taugrim :)
I might be doing something wrong, but i just don’t find the PD a reliable skill. More often than not his projectile doesn’t bounce back to me or my allies. So when i see conditions i want to remove asap (or remove boons from my foes) i just use the Null field so i barely feel the effect of the PD.
Iv’e actually tried to replace PD with Decoy and i gotta say it works fairly well. The forced target drop really helps out in pretty much every situation and it saved my ass many times.
I watched my previous videos, and PD strips conditions off regularly. I haven’t tested the frequency but it’s enough to make it solid.
Decoy is solid *but* the main issue is that it does not remove roots or snares. So you may end up eating whatever AOE damage was directed at you at the time you popped stealth.
I was a big player of your last revision Legion Build, I understand that you choose to drop some survivability for damage… But wouldn’t it be better to keep 25 in Inspiration and Take the Glamour Mastery(reduced 20% cooldown for Null Field) ? Sure you will lose the 200 damage on the berserk but will gain again 1000 Hp plus 9 seconds on Null field… To me the Vulnerability on interrupt is useless… and as you said yourself 15% for the clones is a joke… Maybe it’s just a matter of personal preference between a little bit more burst, or a little bit more survivability and utility?
Glamour Mastery would be worth it if I took 2+ Glamour abilities.
I dropped just 1k of HP and a bit of healing to gain 100 Power. It’s worth the tradeoff IMO, the build packs more punch.
“This is a common misconception. Clones never overwrite phantasms. Phantasms overwrite clones and other phantasms. You can have multiple phantasms of the same type up.”
Just wanted to provide an exception to this rule. Clones DO overwrite Phantasms IF you have 3 phantasms up. The first phantasm will be overwritten by the next clone you summon.
I’ve seen it happen in PvE (mainly on long boss fights), though I guess if you do manage to get 3 phantasms up for an extended period of time in PvP, something’s terribly wrong (with you or your opponent).
I have tested and recorded this in PVP in Mists on target dummies and it never happens.
I also know when I have 3 phantasms up, the dodge roll clone trait doesn’t activate, and Sword 3 doesn’t summon a clone.
Maybe different weapon abilities overwrite phantasms with clones. Not this one AFAIK.
Strange, I just tested it out in Mists again and it does overwrite. For every weapon (including Sword 3) and even the dodge roll clone.
How are you testing it? What I am doing is slotting the Disenchanter and Defender utility skill, pop both + the OH phantasm, then hit my clone skill once all 3 are up. The first one is always overwritten without fail.
I was running sPvP and it looks like I’m wrong about this. At least, I tried popping Sword 3 clone when I had 3 phantasms out.
I’ll test another night to confirm.
Phantasm builds are a bit harder to work with in WvW in my opinion. For attacking keeps, I find it hard to land phantasms on enemies due to line of sight from keep walls. I have been running a shatter build for WvW with Sword/Focus and GS. The burst that you can dish out on someone after pulling them off the wall is pretty great; you will either kill them or make it easy enough for the enemy to be finished off by your allies before making it back into the keep. Maybe you will have a better time with a phantasm build for WvW! Good write-up regardless though!
this is the build you want to test in wvwvw ;) http://www.gw2build.com/builds/reptilens-w-v-w-v-w-domination-guide-greatsword-scepter-pistol-6613.html
Hey again T :) so I have tested 6 different builds now and I came back to your original as my personal favorit … Though I have been testing the superior blood runes and they dont seem to proc at all … I had 1 on my GS in pve and it never procced, so I ran into the heart of the mist and started testing … I never saw 1 single proc …
So I did some testing with other runes, so far superior rune of fire is my favorit on GS, it have a sweet aoe that can crit for 1.5k or so and it procs often.
I go with superior rune of the battle on my 1 hand sword, so my duelists get more power when I switch, or my next flurry delivers the extra umpfh :)
Im running with Decoy and Blink, you should try those to combined, they are epic :)
Try it out
ps: Mass invisibilty is so great :) ( not for tournaments though)
Do you have two Sigils in the same weapon set that proc based on crit or swap? If yes, you’ll run into the shared 2-sec sigil cooldown triggered by on-proc effects and the brutal shared 9-sec cooldown shared by on-swap effects.
It’s great for the extra survivability but I love Null Field for the AOE boon strippage and AOE condition removal.
I would remove the PD, not the null field.
Decoy, Blink and Null field is what Im using in spvp and its a very potent combination.
You may have more use of the PD though since you are using a build focusing on phantasms.
Nice ranged damage build. A bit squishy for my tastes, especially given the zerginess of sPvP nowadays.
Interesting choice to select 2 condition removes as opposed to 1. Was this to provide more group utility, or to provide the build some defense against builds that heap lots of conditions, like necromancers?
Have you tried using Portal more than just for trebuchet duty? I’ve found it very useful in a number of situations. (If my PuG teammates actually knew what to do with it, it would be even more helpful.) Here are some tips for Portal using:
– place in an inconspicuous spot prior to entering a contested area as a means of quick escape
– drop one at the start of a fight with a melee character. Useful against thieves
– use as a quick means to protect a node
– Foefire – drop at the point closest to the enemy base before trying to knock down their door
– Nifhel – drop a portal by your boss at the start of the match and head straight for the keep. You can teleport your whole team to the keep when they drop the boss, giving your team a 10+ second head-start
– Khylo – useful for kiting mobs off the clock tower then teleporting back up
I think it would make for an interesting blog entry to talk about the uses of the Mesmer portal, both for sPvP and WvWvW.
Understood. You can effectively DPS from range with the GS.
Null Field is a strong counter when opponents pop multiple boons.
Re: #2 above, we ran into a tourney team with a Mesmer who kept a portal up at the Keep, so they could effectively abandon a node to do other things but port back quickly when they could see the node was contested.
One thing I’d ilke to add for WvWvW (and sPvP) is how incredible the focus is, especially when traited for Warden’s Feedback. It’s incredibly powerful.
I like it best when you pull people off of a cliff when they don’t have enough health to survive the fall, it’s too hilarious.
I’m very curious how you’ll transfer this build to WvW when you happen to try that…
Reason being: there seems to be no PvE obtainable exotics where Vitality is the primary stat, making the Knight/Berserker Amulet stats un-obtainable.
A Knight flavored set of armor + Beryl Orichalcum rings, earrings, and amulet are the closest equivalent to the Knight Amulet + Berserker’s Jewel.
Hi Taugrim, nice guide as always, im interested in what armor set you would pick for this ? Berserkers for that crit or Knights for increased toughness ?
Knight’s Amulet and Berserker’s both have the same amount of Crit. I run Knight’s Amulet for the extra HP, so I have more time to manage incoming damage.
3 phantasm out, 1 clone popped, older phantasm is killed, pop another clone, and the previous clone will be overwrited but not the 2 old phantasm… That’s how it works.
Thanks for posting. Updated the Guide accordingly.
Beholden – the ProtLegion build – 100% regen uptime, 100% protection uptime. lol!
Honestly, I think you’d be better served by changing out those forge runes for 2 monk and 2 water; those runes would give you 30% boon duration as opposed to just 40% protection duration.
Good point. That actually frees up a utility slot, too while still giving full uptime on protection.
You’re giving up a lot of phantasm damage by not taking the 10-pt trait Empowered Illusions in Domination.
Debilitating Dissipation is good for a condition build but not for this one IMO.
Agree with sgilder re: runes.
Hey taugrim another great article keep up the good work here and on buildcast you were wasting time on swtor lol. Couple things may wanna try out. First of scholar and eagle runes for your gear imo are beyond OP and just tear up anyone. Then instead I hihly recommened using mirror images whether u shatter them or not they not only do a lot of damage but it breaks stun and if u are a shatter junky in one gcd popping them and doing adodge if u have thetalents gives u 3 illusions before 1 sec passes. Another option is decoy again it breaks stun but its also like a extra blink when I pop it I stop everything and just run as far as possible whhile I’m in stealth and I can make as far as blink literally walk thru the player attacking me and pop up 20 yard behind him which I personally like to use blink for leave 3 illusions up in his field of view and blink as far behind them as possible. Jus somethings to try.
Also arcane theivery is a much bettr way to strip boons rather then the phantasm even thou the phantasm has a 16 sec cd it dies quick is replaced and may or may not get just 1 or 2 boons off a enemy and it may not even be focused on a enemy that has boons. Meanwhile arcane theivery completely strips a enemies boons and gives them to u on a fairly short 45 sec cd and in competetive play if u can’t use it correctly and make it work then u have bigger issues then chossing between spells. If u have a enemy charging u while say defending a node99% will pop al boons at start which u can immediately steal making boon reliant casses useless.
Another spell that for competetive pvp that goes way under he radar is illusion of life especially when playing bust damge teams usuall the match is decied by the team that wins the first contested node and to be able to rez ur teamates and they get insta rezzed when killing a enemy is a gamechanger. Most battles of more then 2v2 when one team dies the other team is also at very low hp and ezzing ur team after the enemy thinks they put you away not only makes them easy kill targets with low hp and everything on cd but also psychologically messes with them.
If your showing us a dps build then the phantasmal disenchanter makes little sense. The weapons are dps oriented but that phantasm is not and id rather use mirror images like I mentioned above to not only insta summon 2 illusions but both be full out dps aswell as using it as a additional stun break. I just think with so many talents buffing illusions and the importance u stress above about those illusions means that we should try to use the more dps oriented ones and use null field, blink, port, rez as support to help ur team. Also again I don’t think any gear with any other stat other then dps is useless since u have to learn to dps and survive and do it with skill rather then lose some dps to gain a little hp. I just don’t think there is a middle of the road build for mesmers either u r full out tank or full out dps the middle is just weird imo.
Nice write up as usual. I strongly recommend giving some full shatter builds a try at some point. They are a lot of fun and are really the only way to fully educate yourself on using shatter properly. When you run phantasm builds, shattering is used only very situationaly so it’s hard to get good at shattering. As you know, getting off good shatters can be quite challenging. By running shatter builds you will not only get good at a different way of playing, you’ll be able to bring those shatter skills back into phantasm builds for more effective situational shatters. Also, shatter builds are, at least in my experience, the highest burst that a mesmer can get. There are downsides of course, as this is a game of tradeoffs.
That makes sense, in terms of getting more reps.
Shatters should still be used with “Legion” but it’s more situational as you noted.
Yes, they are popular in tournaments, especially for manning the trebuchet, because they can burst hard on a treb assaulter.
Arcane Thievery is currently bugged and will not remove more than 4 conditions, nor will it strip more than 4 boons.
[…] For more information about the latest and greatest version of the “Legion” build, see the full Guide. […]
links are not working for the builds. Is that Russian site down for the count or just temp down?
[…] Taugrim’s MMO Blog — Guide to Guild Wars 2 Mesmer “Legion” Build. “This guide discusses my “Legion” build for GW2 Mesmer. The build revolves around direct damage, boons, and buffs provided by phantasms and clones. For the Mesmer class, there are two ends of the spectrum in terms of how you leverage your illusions, i.e. your phantasms and clones. On one end of the spectrum, we have shatter-based builds, which consume illusions for damage, conditions, and distortion (evasion). On the other end, we have builds such as “Legion” which treat illusions and in particular phantasms as valued allies on the battlefield.” […]
Links are not working for me either :s
Hey I love that I found this, really helped me a lot in pvp with my Mesmer!
I am wondering though – What is your guild mates rogue setup? I have a rogue as well and I am finding pvp and wvw troubling…
Crescen’s build is here:
I would really like to try this build but the build links aren’t working for me , anyone got a link to the build using the http://www.guildhead.com/skill-calc instead?
Lol, I love your build! I was SPvPing with a thief (who claimed to have had a lot of experience) and I easily beat him, despite it being my first match as a Mesmer. He immediately said that Mesmers are overpowered and I laughed at that. Are Mesmers actually that OP or was he just a really bad thief? (His rank was quite high too: 21 to be precise)
Anyhow, great guide and I love this build! :D
FWIW, Glory rank doesn’t necessarily correlate with skill. It’s more a measure of time played.
This build is a strong counter to melee classes, since you can kite them while your Phantasms burn them down.
Can anyone post one of their “shatter” builds that people are mentioning? I’ve tried a couple that I created on my own but nothing has been as good as phantasm specs.
Nice writeup, just discovered it, have a few questions:
1. What’s your Protection uptime from Illusionary Membrane + Phantasmal Healing?
2. Does Compounding Power affect Shatter damage? Illusion attack damage? Or just damage directly emanating from your character and not your illusions?
3. I’ve tried Compounding Celerity and can’t tell a difference in my movement speed. I assume it’s like +1% per illusion or something like that. Is it really worth it (esp over other T1 Inspiration skills like Glamour Mastery)?
2.2 seconds per phantasm.
I believe it’s the latter, based on some testing in the Mists.
I haven’t tested yet, so I’m not sure of the numbers.
no.3: Perso, I’d pick 20% phantasm hp or VIgorous revelation, when I shatter illusions its usually to get my distortion buff to get away from 2-3v1’s. I also didn’t notice the difference in my speed.
I love how you think, this build is highly similar to what I use but I choose arcane thievery instead of phantasmal dis. for the simple reason that I can have another gunner or berserker up for more burst dps. Also picked elite skill mass invis. with the choice of Lyssa runes, which provides with some more precision, condition duration and provides you with all boons when you use an elite skill. Its great if you get stuck in a zerg or if you get surprised by a thief while fighting an opponent.
Hey! I just saw you in game :D gg I used to play mesmer a lot and used your build but now I play tank ele…I wanted to say something in game but it booted me after we won before I could say anything lol
Hey there, your team played well.
Thanks for dropping by :)
Even though now that I think about it…prob just a poser
No, it was me.
1st tourney since last weekend. Was fun to play again.
Hey Taugrim, thanks for the guide! Couple questions…
1) With the most recent patch of kicking the P.Duelist to a 20s CD, would you say you’d still recommend a pistol OH, simply because of the utility it brings to the table with it’s Pistol 5 ability or start to consider other OHs (sword, torch, focus)
2) Have you considered the trait to give +50 Precision with Swords being used and 20% CD Reduction on sword abilities in the Dueling tree? Two seconds off Sword 2 seems like a huge deal, but the other two traits (Clone on Evading Dodge, Phantasm Fury) are also so good… So torn, but if I had to guess, exchanging the Clone on Dodge would be the most beneficial, what’s your opinion on that?
Thanks for your time.
Prior to the nerf on 10/7, I was already testing offhand Sword for the phantasm, and it hits like a truck and has a low recharge. It’s great for sPvP.
I do miss the Pistol CC, but you can’t have everything.
And yes, I would recommend either the Pistol or the Sword for offhand to pair with mainhand Sword.
That is a good trait, but so are the Phantasmal Fury and Deceptive Evasion.
DE provides not only some clones for cover while dodging but you can consume them for shatters or use them to boost your heal.
Tough call to make.
Thanks for the response and feedback. My only concern with using the Swordsman instead of the Duelist for Phants (Sword OH v. Pistol, respectively) would create less on-demand DPS due to the ranged aspect of the Duelist.
I think that phantasm fury is a must have, and it still synergizes well with iDuelist after the patch. It’s RNG, but on average the duelist will get 4-5 bleed stacks per barrage which equates to an extra 1000-1250 damage.
As for the master slot, I have never gone with roll-clones because I think they’re mostly unnecessary given sword 3 clone which actually applies vulnerability and GS 2 clone which is spammable. They don’t make your enemy drop target. So I’ve rolled with the sword trait for 50 precision and 8s recharge on possibly my most important skill, sword 2. What the patch has done has made me seriously consider the pistol trait instead, which would drop the iDuelist cd back down to around 12s and Magic Bullet down to 20s. I am still unsure.
Chiming in on the Decoy issue, I think that yes it is amazing utility and I always take it, but only in conjunction with Mantra of Resolve. Otherwise you will run into the problem of not being able to get out of immobilized and eating a full 100b in stealth. Mantra of Resolve is perfect for small scale fighting where you’re not being focused by their entire team, and you can also get fears off you instantly with it.
Decoy is like, the love of my life. First and most important, it gets rid of the big red circle on your head. If you play-act like a clone after coming out of decoy (don’t dodge or use player-only animations) you can usually gain a lot of breathing space. Second of all it’s a great escape tool because of the psychological impact of leaving a clone where you used to be. If you can get off someone else’s screen in 3 seconds because they’re looking the wrong way they probably won’t catch up. Thirdly, stealth allows for a ton of freedom in doing the important tasks. You can stomp someone from stealth, or stealth res so no one thinks to cc you. You can even cast Moa Morph from stealth. It may still miss due to aegis or a dodge, but at least you won’t be interrupted. Decoy also produces an instant clone which can be used to power longer Distortions.
In fact, I’m such a fan of Distortion that I bring Signet of Illusions so I can use it twice, but this post is already getting too long.
Hey guys, great build as always from you Taugrim !
Been running it for a while and just made a sigil change to it to pack even more punch.
I gave up on the blood sigils to put sigil of superior battle on greatsword and sigil of superior bloodlust on sword/X (wich give 5 stack per kill in spvp not one).
So at two kills participation i’m sitting at a comfortable +100 power from sigil of bloodlust. Engaging with phantasm from sword/X, swapping to greatsword immediatly (+105 power from swap) followed by GS #2 and here you go, a nice+ 310 power for your iBerserker. Try to finish the fight with sword/X for an empowered sword #2 and another 50 power for the next skirmish to come ;)
[…] the Mesmer nerfs were announced. I think the Mesmer nerfs were warranted for balance reasons. My “Legion” Mesmer spec was not impacted much, as I only use one of the three Phantasms whose cooldown was increased, and I […]
Tried out this build. Great job! I’m still skeptical of Null Field and the PDi. Does null field remove shit while your are inside as well or just initial cast? And the PDi i guess i expected more of him :)
I’m pretty good at timing my weapon switches and spamming as much phantasm as I can given that the weapon switch wont nerf me too much ( having multiple button on mouse does wonders for ones gameplay ), Going to try and run with the defender phatasm to see if i notice a difference instead of PDi he never seems to be around when i need him. How fast should he help me when i cast him running away and get slowed down with conditions?
What a find cruel is when you cast a phantasm out of range, you have to wait the full cooldown. Any tips on avoiding it.. sometimes I just try to cast them a bit too fast since the GS has such long range.
Cheers thanks for the good build!
Yes, AFAIK, Null Field will continue to remove conditions and boons while it’s up, not just right after it’s cast.
You can see this in the 1v1 toward the end of this video, starting at 7:31:
I put my own spin on this build for WvW by taking the 5 out of Chaos and Inspiration (phantasms give retaliation, retaliation gives protection as 80% of the time your Phantasmal Berserker is too far from you to give you the boon.
Instead i put the extra 10 into Domination giving of course 100 additional Power but also 20% faster Greatsword abilities which enables me to get the Berserker out on only a 12 second cooldown which is great for seige especially since you dont even need LOS to get this beast out, great for tucking in and harassing the enemies on battlements and even taking out their seige which is slightly back out of other ranged aoe,
Running at 43% crit, 18k HP, 1365 toughness, working out great.
I am though however considering dropping the remaining 10 from Inspiration (move faster per illusion) as its pretty useless and adding it to Dueling to give 30 points, maybe the cloak and clone at 25%, or even 4% dmg per mantra if i can work a mantra or 2 into the build.
This would leave me at 17k HP though which is a tad low, so i would have to move some Valkyrie into my set instead of Berserkers to normalize my stats to what they are now. (vit in, precision out, as the 100 extra precision from Dueling makes up for this)
Thanks for sharing those changes, which seem sensible for WvW.
The only thing I’d argue is that the run speed buff is probably worth it given that this spec lacks swiftness. It sucks getting run down in WvW.
Indeed this build lacks swiftness, but the compounding celerity trait only gives 5% per active illusion. Its utility is minor versus any gap closing ability or ranged class. For wVw focus offhand 2nd set is a must have. Considering the long distances you have to run, also good for evading zergs along with blink/decoy combo. Also
At this point instead of putting 10 in duel I’d go get phantasmal haste for your berserker and iWarden reflect projectile which can be quite useful if he doesnt spawn too far.
I agree with that. Was going to post that yesterday but you beat me to it :)
The Focus offhand is not only good for the swiftness buff but also for using Temporal Curtain to yank enemies off a wall.
I see where you’re coming from with this as its what i originally thought of, but Phantasmal Haste is 100% broken, does not decrease the cooldown of any single Phantasm (at least last time i checked in mists).
I ran my above build with the run speed buff left in as you said Taugrim, but in all honesty Blink is enough and if you are retreating, your clones are down regardless.
I did in fact swap my Berserker Chest and Gloves for Valkyrie ones, and took the remaining 10 points from Vitality tree into the Crit tree. I took the 4% extra damage per Mantra as the 30 pointer and added in the 2 stack Condition Remove mantra. This thing is insanely good, any confuse or bleed specs are putty in my hands with this thing up as it removes 2 conditions per use, with 2 uses (no cooldown) and then 20 sec cooldown to refresh the 2 stack. Oh and yeah, an extra 10% critical damage due to the increase in crit tree :)
This is my best build yet for WvW, feels very strong and comfortable playing it.
You have to know that phantasmal haste influences the rate of the phantasms attack not its cooldown on summon. Doesn’t work on all phantasms, but most important in this build are duelist and zerker which each get about 1-1.5 seconds cut on the cooldown of their attack. Other than that, I would partly agree on your choice I like that you put more dps on with the 10 extra duel points but I wouldnt pick the mantra trait instead Id choose pistol trait for range and recharge time. Simply because I think mantras are such a waste of time, disenchanter works much more effectively per single cast. And the temporary 9% dmg is just too much trouble reseting your mantra’s to 0 if you want to benefit its full potential.
Disenchanter again i find very situational in WvW due to range and positional situations. Also the offset of choice is Sword Focus simply because the focus phantasm is very awesome, and temporal curtain is one of the best abilities in the game right now in WvW.
For now im sticking with the mantra for the passive damage and instant multi condition removals (great against confusion especially). Will see how it goes over time, but the only other viable choice for me is the cloak and clone at 25%
Would you please consider kindly linking a cookie cutter shatter build. You mentioned something about a 30-30-0-0-20 build on buildcast? (or something similar).
Here’s the base 20/20/0/0/30 trait point allocation:
Selection of utility and elite skills really depends on the map and your role.
Most players go with 1h sword for one weapon set, paired with pistol or sword offhand. Other weapon set go with staff or greatsword.
Thanks! Just tested http://www.gw2build.com/builds/reptilens-w-v-w-v-w-domination-guide-greatsword-scepter-pistol-6613.html. Very nice damage but way too squishy even though Im running a few knights pieces (in wvw). Ill test yours and get back.
This build and its success within the community highlights just how great Guild Wars 2 is for allowing all sorts of viable builds. I play my Mesmer in what can only be described as the opposite way to the legion, but it all works so well, and legion seems super fun too. Hopefully no FotM in this game! Thanks for the great guide. It was really interesting.
I love how with Guild Wars 2 you have a range of different viable specs for the same class. It’s the highest customization of mechanics that I’ve seen in any game.
There are FOTM specs, but they’ll be looked at over time. A good example was the 20/20/0/0/30 build that Mesmers were running in tourneys, but that build was impacted by the changes in early October.
Hey guys, just to let you know what has been working like a charm for me in WvW, just slightly rearranging originalTaugrim’s build this time.
Great survavibility, great damage, good combo opportunity with null field/time warp.
Added dispel with the heal, also Focus#4 is becoming a jack of all trades, providing mobility, control, reflect and dispel.
Switching null field with portal for more group utility when needed.
Having a blast with this set up atm, give it a try =)
I used to run 0/20/15/25/10 with the same traits you selected prior to switching to the current 10/20/15/15/10 build. The latter provides a bit more damage due to the 100 additional Power. But the former has more HP and a bit more healing.
Both are viable :)
Hey Taugrim. I’ve been a long time follower, especially in Rift with the MASH build ( was one of my favorites ^^).
I’ve been revamping and revamping this build since the release, as updates come out. it has never failed me and I find it tons of fun to play. Plays off of Ethereal Fields (4 in this build alone), Confusing Images, and Illusionary Duelist (preferably cast within the Ethereal Field cause all their attacks stack confusion that way). Let me know what you think ^_^.
Taugrim you are an amazing gamer with solid information and theroy crafting..Ty so very much for providing so much information for us want to be good gamers. Its helps no end.
Grats and Merry Xmas to all
Sliccer (Sea of Sorrows)
[…] For more information about the build I was using if you would like to try it this is an excellent guide – https://taugrim.com/2012/09/23/guide-to-guild-wars-2-mesmer-legion-build/ […]
If you guys need swiftness try the centaur runes works great imo or you can even try the air runes