Guild Wars 2 PVP Video: “Legion” Mesmer Build – Now With Greatsword!


I’ve made 3 significant changes from the previous video of my GW2 Mesmer “Legion” build.

#1: Replaced Staff with Greatsword

Greatsword synergizes much more effectively with this build. Here are the reasons why it’s a fantastic weapon:

  1. The damage from the auto-chain scales with distance, so you have the option of dealing meaningful damage from range with Greatsword, instead of having to engage in close quarters with Sword / Pistol
  2. The Greatsword 5 knockback provides much-needed CC capability for managing situations
  3. The Greatsword 4 ability summons a phantasm that deals AOE damage
  4. The Greatsword 2 ability deals damage, applies vulnerability to your target, and buffs your allies with might

#2: Replaced Signet of Illusions with Null Field

Null Field provides AOE conditional removal *and* AOE boon strippage.

#3: Moved 10 points out of the Inspiration trait line and into Domination

The Empowered Illusions trait replaces the Phantasmal Strength trait, but the two are functionally equivalent given that clone direct damage is negligible and both traits increase phantasm damage by 15%. However, by moving 10 points into Domination you gain 100 power, which improves the direct damage of the Mesmer and the phantasms.

Let me know your questions and feedback.

For more information about the latest and greatest version of the “Legion” build, see the full Guide.

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Posted in Guild Wars 2, Mesmer, PVP, Thief, Video
37 comments on “Guild Wars 2 PVP Video: “Legion” Mesmer Build – Now With Greatsword!
  1. I did some testing in the Mists and it looks like the sigil of blood has an internal CD of 5 seconds and not 2 seconds like the tooltip says.

    • taugrim says:

      The Den of Sin (@thedenofsin) :

      I did some testing in the Mists and it looks like the sigil of blood has an internal CD of 5 seconds and not 2 seconds like the tooltip says.

      Odd.

      I just tested for a few minutes, and I couldn’t seem to get a 2nd proc within 5 sec despite my high crit rate.

      I tweeted this:

      • Serialnerd says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong but I remember seeing the Rune of Blood labeled with a 5 second cool down on the vendor for a while now. Could it only show when on the vendor before you purchase it?

  2. tested about 5 minutes of auto-attacking – never had a proc under 5 seconds.

  3. sgilder says:

    GS 4 might be the best ability for WvW other than the focus pull, imo. You don’t need line of sight to use and with the build I run I generally get a 5k AoE crit, then followed up by a 2.5 to 3k Mind Wrack crit. So nice!

    • taugrim says:

      sgilder :

      GS 4 might be the best ability for WvW other than the focus pull, imo. You don’t need line of sight to use and with the build I run I generally get a 5k AoE crit, then followed up by a 2.5 to 3k Mind Wrack crit. So nice!

      I ran with GS and Sword / Pistol for WvW last night, it was awesome!

    • This is true. Greatsword + Sworf/Focus has become a default weapon set for PVP and PVE for me.

      Though I’m not sure how good it will be once some traits are fixed. Two important notes on why Focus and GS are so good right now is that the 5 point Inspiration trait Vengeful Images is causing Phantasms to attack upon summoning. This means that if you have those 5 points in Inspiration, you are getting an instant AOE cripple from Berserker. Without Vengeful Images, the Phantasms feature a short delay before starting their attack animation. In PVP, this makes all the difference. That instant AOE cripple from Berserker, plus its high damage, is great for running down stragglers.

      The Focus trait that reflects projectiles is one of my favorite Mesmer weapon traits. It’s great for WvWvW and facing ranged foes in PVP. Again, with the Vengeful Images secret buff to Phantasm attacks, this means Warden starts reflected attacks on summons, but Phantasmal Haste is also causing iWarden to have only a 1.5 sec downtime. It seems the cooldown is being calculated from the time the attack animation starts and not when it ends. Since the animation can last 6 seconds, there’s only a 1.5 second downtime for iWarden attacking. Without Phantasmal Haste, Warden attacks far, far less. More so than how the Haste trait alters any other Phantasm’s attack uptime.

  4. Yamirashi says:

    I would be VERY interested in your Guidy’s thief build if he’s willing to share :)

  5. The Nathan says:

    I’ve been running your build with the GS since you posted it and have been loving it. The GS is such a epic weapon and I’m glad its so functional as well for this playstyle becuase it fits me perfectly. Thanks Taugrim!

    • taugrim says:

      The Nathan :

      I’ve been running your build with the GS since you posted it and have been loving it. The GS is such a epic weapon and I’m glad its so functional as well for this playstyle becuase it fits me perfectly. Thanks Taugrim!

      Glad to hear it, and you’re welcome :)

  6. Osion says:

    I’ve been running a similar build with some minor tweaks here and there. Generally still focused on improving phantasmal damage/health/Cooldown. These are some abilities I have personally found useful:

    In the video you rarely used GS 3 which I rarely used as well. The damage isn’t amazing for GS 3 but stripping a boon from your target I have found useful while you are waiting on your other abilities to come off of cooldown or if you see a particular boon you want to get rid of on your enemy.

    Have you considered/tested using Portal or Arcane Theivery? I have found Portal extremely useful (WvW obviously) for quickly getting back to defensive positions or dropping it on top of a ledge and jumping down. Portal allows you to drop down to capture a point and quickly escape up in elevation if trouble arrives. Rather than strip those powerful boons from your enemy why not steal them for yourself? The cooldown is rather long, so not always the best thing, just wondering what your thoughts were on it.

    • I tested Arcane Thievery and put up a bug report on the forums. It currently will remove no more than 4 conditions from you and strip no more than 4 conditions from your opponent.

    • taugrim says:

      Osion :

      In the video you rarely used GS 3 which I rarely used as well. The damage isn’t amazing for GS 3 but stripping a boon from your target I have found useful while you are waiting on your other abilities to come off of cooldown or if you see a particular boon you want to get rid of on your enemy.

      Agreed. GS 3 has some value but it’s situational, and it self-roots.

      Osion :

      Have you considered/tested using Portal or Arcane Theivery? I have found Portal extremely useful (WvW obviously) for quickly getting back to defensive positions or dropping it on top of a ledge and jumping down. Portal allows you to drop down to capture a point and quickly escape up in elevation if trouble arrives. Rather than strip those powerful boons from your enemy why not steal them for yourself? The cooldown is rather long, so not always the best thing, just wondering what your thoughts were on it.

      Portal is mandatory for WvW premades and for tournament finals in Khylo. Incredible utility.

      Arcane Thievery is a good tool, but I prefer the sustained AOE effects of Null Field, after having tried both.

  7. jurko says:

    i think i will try this build at WvW btw whit this build whil be good if i go set precision, power, cond dmg?

    • taugrim says:

      jurko :

      i think i will try this build at WvW btw whit this build whil be good if i go set precision, power, cond dmg?

      I would go Power and Precision for WvW and go glass cannon since you have Greatsword to fight from range.

    • Yamirashi says:

      Ahh, was thinking Taugrim said Sword/Dagger which I think of as more of a defensive build, was curious as to how you were doing as much damage as Taug talked about (He DID say Backstab a lot too :P )

      Still one of the better Backstab builds I’ve seen, simple, straight forward, everything has a purpose. I can see where the “finesse” part comes in.

      Thanks for sharing! :)

      • taugrim says:

        Yamirashi :

        Ahh, was thinking Taugrim said Sword/Dagger

        Yea I did, my bad.

        • Yamirashi says:

          No worries! Just hadn’t seen an “accepted” Sword/Dagger build, seems to be the red-headed step-child of the thief sets. Would love to see someone do well with it. Feels to me like much more of a defensive set. If you could at least stop a node from being capped in stealth you could probably make a good node defense build out of it, but the main flaw right now is stealth cancels your ability to move the cap bar on SPvP nodes :(

    • sgilder says:

      Play against any shatter build mesmers? I feel like they would be a counter to your play-style.

      • Crescens says:

        if they get their pistol daze off, you just use the shadow step utility to break the stun and run away. The build is not meant to go head to head with anyone, rather its meant to sneak in and gig someone before they know whats going on

  8. Valkyriez says:

    Taugrim, the build calculator for your legion build is broken. Any chance of a different build calculator being used?

    Great article as always. I play a bunker guardian spec and looking for an alt that will synergize with my playstyle, this looks like it might be it.

  9. SerodD says:

    The links for your build are down, can you fixed it?

  10. SerodD says:

    SerodD :
    The links for your build are down, can you fixed it?

    I mean *fix it

  11. sgilder says:

    aseriousmoment :
    is true. Greatsword + Sworf/Focus has become a default weapon set for PVP and PVE for me.
    Two important notes on why Focus and GS are so good right now is that the 5 point Inspiration trait Vengeful Images is causing Phantasms to attack upon summoning. This means that if you have those 5 points in Inspiration, you are getting an instant AOE cripple from Berserker.

    I don’t use that trait and the berserker still attacks instantly, so if that is a “bug” it is not within that trait.

    And honestly thats the only way you can damage enemies while attacking keeps other than chaos storm, as most of a mesmer’s skills state you don’t have sight on an enemy when using them; so imo it should attack instantly anyway even if it’s not suppose to.

    • sgilder says:

      And I’m horrible at quoting text apparently. LOL

      • LanceLet says:

        I’m seconding this. Phantasms start attacking right when they are summoned, the trait doesn’t do anything on that initiative.

        • taugrim says:

          LanceLet :

          I’m seconding this. Phantasms start attacking right when they are summoned, the trait doesn’t do anything on that initiative.

          Most of the phantasms attack immediately.

          The only exception of the ones I’ve tried is the Phantasmal Swordsman (offhand Sword), which summons where you are and has to run to the target.

          The PS hits like a truck and attacks once every ~4 sec.

  12. RunGalaad says:

    Just watched your Buildcast Show, I think you don’t talk about 2 keys tips: 1) The forth shatter can be use to be sure you will kill a downstate guy because you are basically immune to any interrupt(not talking about the fact you can use it to create a delay, your recognized you need to work on that), and 2 like said the other guy, Chaos Armor is one of the best buff, a Null field + Leap from sword = Chaos Armor, can be very useful versus Conditions rogues or others fast rate hitting classes

    • taugrim says:

      RunGalaad :

      Just watched your Buildcast Show, I think you don’t talk about 2 keys tips: 1) The forth shatter can be use to be sure you will kill a downstate guy because you are basically immune to any interrupt(not talking about the fact you can use it to create a delay, your recognized you need to work on that), and 2 like said the other guy, Chaos Armor is one of the best buff, a Null field + Leap from sword = Chaos Armor, can be very useful versus Conditions rogues or others fast rate hitting classes

      1. yes, documented in the Guide
      2. yep

  13. Ariel says:

    Been using GS and S/P since the beginning. Null Field is a strong choice, and Chaos Armor seems to give you protection for the full duration, which is nice when combined with Illusionary Membrane. I think I prefer Mantra of Resolve in most situations though.

    I also have to say I prefer Decoy to Blink. Stealth is just too powerful for casting Moa Morph, stomping, or even getting the sharks off of you for a second. I’ve also found my chances of escape are just as high or higher than Blink.

    I think you should talk more about invulnerabilities. I roll with Signet of Illusions, and yes it keeps my illusions alive a bit better, which means more damage and mitigation, but mostly it provides a refresh of Distortion. Distortion and Sword 2 are, I think, the most important abilities to time well and not waste, both offensively and defensively. To the point where I was using the sword master trait in dueling to get the cooldown from 10s to 8s. After the nerf, I have to choose between that and the pistol trait.

    • taugrim says:

      Ariel :

      Been using GS and S/P since the beginning. Null Field is a strong choice, and Chaos Armor seems to give you protection for the full duration, which is nice when combined with Illusionary Membrane. I think I prefer Mantra of Resolve in most situations though.

      I also have to say I prefer Decoy to Blink. Stealth is just too powerful for casting Moa Morph, stomping, or even getting the sharks off of you for a second. I’ve also found my chances of escape are just as high or higher than Blink.

      I think you should talk more about invulnerabilities. I roll with Signet of Illusions, and yes it keeps my illusions alive a bit better, which means more damage and mitigation, but mostly it provides a refresh of Distortion. Distortion and Sword 2 are, I think, the most important abilities to time well and not waste, both offensively and defensively. To the point where I was using the sword master trait in dueling to get the cooldown from 10s to 8s. After the nerf, I have to choose between that and the pistol trait.

      Decoy and Blink are great for glass cannon builds. I would take Blink, Null Field, and Decoy before taking SoI.

      Go post these comments in the Guide! :)
      https://taugrim.com/2012/09/23/guide-to-guild-wars-2-mesmer-legion-build/

  14. Mesmer Love says:

    here’s a bunch of up-to date mesmer builds for anyone who’s intrested :) http://www.squidoo.com/guild-wars-2-mesmer-builds

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