If you’re like me and have spend most of your Guild Wars 2 life running around the world, fighting monsters, killing dragons, and enjoying the PvE side of life then you will be in for a shock when you jump over to PvP. In fact, right now, it’s tough to PvP as an elementalist.
Story time: having gotten a little bored of late with the state of the PvE game and being on the worst server, literally, for WvW, I wanted to try something different. I’ve dabbled a little in sPvP since the game launched, but only enough to reach rank 9 and earn a few rewards. Of course the first thing you want to do when jumping into a new situation is take some time to prepare. A quick google search later turned up a neat little site called Into the Mists which has a database of builds, a very nice calculator, and articles and guides about different parts of the game.
Right now the top rated and featured elementalist build is the Blinx D/D Cantrip Ele. This build is designed for 5v5 tournament play and has some good support for teammates with some sustainability. The build itself is solid, tested by others, and will get you completely roflstomped if you take it into hot join PvP.
Why will it get you slaughtered at every turn in hot join? Because of the way hot join works. Right now, from my experience, the hot join scene is dominated by necromancers, mesmers, and thieves. The skill sets and current balance play nicely into these professions and when joining a random hot join server you’ll likely see a good many of these classes roaming about…and there’s very little that we can do. Each of these contenders has good pressure in the form of conditions, lots of minions to distract, and lots of tools for staying alive and killing you.
I’m not sure what ArenaNet is thinking when it comes to us elementalists and sPvP but by my estimations we’re sitting very low on the totem pole. We have very little in the way of health, the lowest of any profession actually, which requires that we gear aroundsurvivability. Doing so results in less damage output though and while being dead means doing no dps, being geared to survive gives just barely a little more.
It also seems that we need to carry skills that help keep us alive as a priority. Because of all the mesmers and necros running around conditions are highly prevalent, and this makes taking a condition cleanse like Cleansing Fire almost a necessity. Plus with the amount of fear and character lock downs happening, having the very horrible Mist Form around just to get out of stuns is a must. While having Lightning Flash comes in handy for getting around sadly it doesn’t break stun and serves as more of a range closer or escape tool than anything else. There are other skills that you could consider, Arcane Shield for example, but you still have to keep in mind the conditions and the stuns that are just everywhere.
So what’s a poor little ele to do? Frankly I’d say play another character unless you are playing with a team. It’s just painful for us right now in the hot join area, and we are not well equipped to handle what every one else is throwing around. Maybe you have better luck than I do, and if you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments below. For now, here’s me running my PvP dailies and getting majorly trounced. It’s ok, my skins thick, you can feel free to laugh til you fall out of your chair.
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