Big Swords & Butterflies: Blink Is Number Seven

Welcome back to Big Swords & Butterflies! This week we’re going to continue to cover the individual utility skills of the Mesmer, andI’m going to go out on a limb here and make a pretty bold statement right from the start.  

So there are twenty different utility slot skills that Mesmers have available to them at this point in Guild Wars 2. As you probably know by now, you can pick three of these skills to have active at any time, and they are assigned numbers seven through nine on the skill bar.  Personally, I switch my utility skills up quite a bit depending on situation.  Portal will come out, naturally, for jumping puzzles.  Null Field and Feedback will be on the bar in dungeons and other group functions.  Arcane Thievery is a favorite sPvP skill of mine.  Decoy and Veil are good if you’re on the run.  But, there is one skill that’s always in my skill bar, unless I happen to be underwater where it isn’t available: Blink.  

I seriously have not moved Blink out of my slot number 7 since August.  It’s that good.  It’s that versatile.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s synonymous with being a Mesmer.  No other profession gets the privilege of having a utility skill even close to being this useful.  No other profession gets the privilege, nay, the responsibility of moving where ever they want instantly in a range of 900.  The lesser professions may try, but they all fall short.  They have shorter ranges, longer cooldowns, or predefined targets that limit true mobility.  Throw in the correct trait bonuses and you can be teleporting at 1200 range every 24 seconds.  All I can say to the 85%ish percent of you out there that don’t play Mesmer is eat your heart out.


Teleport to a target location.
Breaks stun
Range: 900
Cooldown: 30s

Trait Synergy:

Dueling: Far-Reaching Manipulations improves range to 1200
Chaos: Master of Manipulation lowers cooldown to 24s

For those unfamiliar with Blink, the mechanics are pretty simple.  The skill allows you to mouse click to instantly teleport anywhere within a 900 range of your current position.  If you’ve ever used the Night Elf Warden’s Blink move in Warcraft 3, or the Protoss Stalker’s Blink move in Starcraft 2, you already know exactly how this works.  The skill also includes a stun break, which is quite handy, but is fairly common for Mesmer utility skills.  The added bonus of Blink over other mobility-enabling moves is it practically allows you to move no matter what.  You can use it to move out of some dangerous area of effect damage while immobilized, and you can also use it to get up quickly after being knocked down.  A good Mesmer player should be able to use skills like Blink and their illusions to give them survivability comparable to Guardians.  Mesmers may be relatively fragile when it comes down to it, but they’re also so hard to hit that it really takes quite the effort to take them down.  Blink is a huge part of my personal survivability in GW2 because it gives you the power to put yourself in the right place at the right time every 30 seconds.  Avoiding AoE, kiting melee, and setting yourself up for a perfectly placed cast make all of the difference.

The only real limitation with Blink is that you can only teleport to locations you could get to by walking.  So, this means you cannot use it to move up on to a ledge or to traverse a jump, but you could use it to negate fall damage from particularly long drops.  Since you can walk off a ledge, you can cast Blink off it as well, and instantly be on the next level down and ready to go.  Especially with Far-Reaching Manipulations active, you can use this to drop in on a lot of unsuspecting foes in sPvP.  

The skill most definitely has a learning curve, especially in knowing the range of the cast and being able to pull off a successful cast in Guild Wars 2’s fast-paced combat.  All I can say is practice, practice, practice.  When you’re running somewhere in a straight line, try your best to max out the range of Blink and quickly place your cursor at that range.  This has the added benefit of being a good way to move faster without swiftness.  To really be the most effective with blink, you should be able to quickly estimate your 900 range radius circle for the fastest possible casts.

After you get more comfortable with eyeballing the correct range of the cast to avoid nasty misfires, you’ll find that only your imagination is the limit in to how this skill can be used.  Say, for example, you’re chasing a retreating opponent in WvW or sPvP with a couple fellow weaponbearers.  I have used Blink before to get out in front of the retreating individual, done a quick about-face, and used Illusionary Wave to push the fleeing opponent back towards my teammates, who quickly took care of the individual.  Cheating?  Sure feels like it, but it’s all made possibly by the best utility skill in the game.  Seriously, just put Blink in seven and forget about it.

Questions?  Fun Blink stories of your own?  Let us know in the comments!

Image courtesy of the wonderful Guild Wars 2 Wiki

About The Author: Garrick Jannene (9 Posts)

College student, musician, writer, gamer. Currently living the life in lovely Milwaukee, WI. Cap’n of Pirates for Better Rum [PBR] on Sorrow’s Furnace and resident mesmer extraordinaire.

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