|Warrior • Ranger • Monk • Necromancer • Mesmer • Elementalist • Assassin • Ritualist • Paragon • Dervish|
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Reason: Needs to match the format in the Ranger and Warrior articles
Elementalists serve a variety of purposes. In general PvE, they focus mainly on using the various area of effect skills to deal damage to multiple monsters at once (Commonly referred to as 'nuking'). In more specialized PvE roles, where 'nuking' is ineffective, they focus on using high-powered spells to take out single targets such as bosses or foes with a high armor level. In PvP, outside of caster spiking teams, they serve more as utility, by running flags or relics, or by snaring.
- "For each rank of Energy Storage, your maximum energy increases by 3. Several skills, related to gaining Health or Energy, become more effective with a higher Energy Storage."
Energy Storage is a passive attribute. It gives you access to a much larger energy pool, and a few skills related to Health and Energy, making it useful on any Elementalist. Some very useful energy management skills such as Glyph of Lesser Energy, Elemental Attunement and Ether Prodigy are tied to the Energy Storage attribute.
- "No inherent effect. Many Elementalist skills, especially spells which deal lightning damage to and debilitate a single enemy, become more effective with higher Air Magic."
Air Magic is the best attribute for spike damage, making effective mostly in PvP, where taking out and/or debilitating single targets is important. Many Air Magic damage skills also have 25% armor penetration, meaning high armor level foes, such as warriors, can still be killed with relative ease. Additionally, some Air Magic skills can cause blindness, weakness and knockdowns, which are useful in PvP. Because it lacks damage over time, protective skills that reduce the effectiveness of spike damage, such as Protective Spirit, will vastly reduce the effectiveness of Air Magic skills.
Since Air Magic skills focus mainly on damaging single targets, it is a less popular attribute in PvE, where you will often fight many enemies at once. It is still very useful for fighting bosses and foes with a high armor level, where a 'nuker' is inappropriate because of dampened damage output. An example of this would be at the Tyrian mission 'Hell's Precipice' where the Titans are resistant to Fire Magic, the most commonly used attribute for nukers.
- "No inherent effect. Many Elementalist skills, especially spells which protect you or your allies or deal earth damage, become more effective with higher Earth Magic."
Earth Magic is more a defensive attribute than Fire and Air and has a greater variety of skills (like Water Magic). Commonly used for defensive party support in the form wards or as an alternative to a Fire Nuker (see below). Earth Magic spells can have a huge variety of effects, including knock-down, snaring, armor-ignoring damage and causing (defensive) conditions. Contrary to popular belief, Earth Magic nukes deal as much damage as similar Fire Magic nukes. The large amount of defensive skills available also make it possible for an Elementalist to tank or farm in PvE.
- "No inherent effect. Many Elementalist skills, especially spells that burn your foes or deal fire damage in large areas, become more effective with higher Fire Magic."
Fire magic is the most commonly used attribute for elementalist in PvE due to the large amount of damage over time Area of effect skills, which can deal a devastating amount of damage to large mobs that group together. Most fire magic skills will cause burning for a short duration, or induce burning upon certain conditions being met. Other fire magic skills can cause knockdowns. Most fire magic skills are AoE, as such they are easily countered by moving away, however this isn't to much of a problem in normal mode PvE where the AI will stay in one place.
While fire magic isn't the best choice for dealing with individual targets, it has devastating power when used on mobs. The most common form of a "pyromancer" (elementalist whose attributes are primarily in fire) is the "nuker", the nuker uses skills such as Meteor Shower and Fire Storm to cause a large amount of damage over X seconds, and in the case of meteor shower even knockdown enemies, making it harder to escape.
- "No inherent effect. Many Elementalist skills, especially spells which deal cold damage or slow and hinder your foes, become more effective with higher Water Magic."
Water magic is the best attribute for snaring opponents with most skills causing reduced movement speed, while not as popular as the other attributes, it is used by some melee players to hinder their foes and prevent kiting. Some water magic skills increase enemies miss rate, increase your own chance to block, and others can even greatly increase your defensive capabilities with additional armor and prevent burning. However water magic prevents damaging capability when compared to the other elementalist attributes.
This is the most commonly found elementalist non-primary attribute in PvP along with Air Magic for blinding and Earth Magic for wards.
Types of Elementalists
- The Nuker uses hard hitting fire damage spells such as Rodgort's Invocation, Searing Flames, Savannah Heat, Sandstorm, Earthquake and/or Meteor Shower to quickly wipe enemy mobs down. E/Me nukers can use Echo and Arcane Echo to duplicate Meteor Shower for massive AoE damage. Glyph of Sacrifice can be used to quickly cast Meteor Shower.The hex spell Assassin's Promise is used to quickly recharge skills and regain energy. Nukers are a fundamental part of most PvE parties due to their unmatched ability to deal large amounts of damage to large groups of foes.
- Spikers use hard hitting skills such as Lightning Orb and Obsidian Flame to deal lots of damage to a single foe quickly.
- A warder simply uses wards such as Ward Against Melee and Ward Against Foes to give the party an extra boost. Warders can be combined with other things such as Build:N/E Tainted Warder which maintains wards while Tainting the party. Warders are usually used in GVG, TA, or HA combat. Warders can be used effectively in conjunction with Snares.
- The Blindbot uses Air Magic skills to inflict and maintain blind on one or more foes.
- Snare elementalists use water magic skills like Deep Freeze to snare opponents. In PvE it is paired well with nukers. Snares can be comboed with Warders.
- Flag Runners are used exclusively in GvG to provide party support and capture the flag stand when it falls in the opposite team's hands. Skill bar is usually composed of a speed boost, condition and hex removal and various other skills mainly from the monk line.
Good energy management is more important than a high maximum energy. Try to include at least 1 skill that will give you energy (or reduce the cost of your spells). It will save you time between fights, but, more importantly, will prevent you from being unable to cast spells during the fight.
- Ask your tank to round targets up for the best nuke damage
- Do not spam wards, but find a strategic location, like the bulk of party members for Ward Against Melee or choke points for Ward Against Foes.
- Use snares on melee characters to help your support kite.
- Try to keep blind up on several targets
- Wards are best when your opponents are not retreating. Wards help even when your team is retreating.
- Try not to bring damage over time AoE spells, as they will not be nearly as useful when the target is smart enough to get out of the effect.
Since the goal of nuking is to do large amounts of AoE damage, most nukers use Fire Magic. The Earth Magic line has some potentially damaging AoE skills, while Water Magic has several AoE skills that can also snare targets.
Both of these skills can be used to semi-nuke up to three enemies. Beware of the exhaustion cost to use the skills.
This is a dual nuking and defensive spell, as it will release damage from opposing warriors fleeing its effect and has great damage potential.
A great offensive skill, as it can cause multiple knockdowns on foes with speed boosts, like all hard mode creatures.
Has the same range and damage as similar Fire Magic nukes, but can blind groups of enemies as well.
A nuke with a large range, low recharge, built-in snare and good damage. Can also be used defensively by targetting a group of melee.
Rodgort's Invocation has a high cost, but it hits very hard, has a large area of effect, and inflicts Burning. The short recharge makes this skill easily spammable as long as energy is properly maintained with other skills, such as Mind Blast or Glowing Gaze.
A low-energy, large area of effect spell; Savannah Heat is one of the more popular nuking elites due to its escalating damage.
These duplicate skills can be used together for area damage over time, as well inflicting Burning upon ending.
Searing Flames is easy to use due to its ability to target a foe and inflict AoE Burning or damage, as well as quick recharge. Searing Flames builds work better when several Elementalists can spam it, inflict more area damage in a short amount of time.
A core spell for many nuke builds, Meteor Shower provides several high-damage intervals and knockdown, easily neutralizing clusters of enemies. On the other hand, Meteor Shower has a very high energy cost, long recharge and long casting time, and causes exhaustion. Several utility skills can be used to reduce these penalties, such as Assassin's Promise, Glyph of Renewal and Glyph of Sacrifice.
An alternative to Meteor Shower, often used as a quick AoE damage and knockdown skill rather than constant damage. Has lower energy cost and casting time, but still causes exhaustion.
Useful as a quick area damage spell between nukes. Has fast recharge, low cost and high damage.
- A costly snare with very long duration and very long activation time. As attribute levels in Water Magic do not affect duration or penalty to enemy movement, Deep Freeze can be used purely for snaring without branching into more attributes.
- This is often used by touch range nukers to keep everyone around them.
- Short duration snare to keep all foes in its AoE at the nuking location.
- Can be used to both damage and incapacitate a group of caster when combined with the above mentioned AoE snares.
Glyph of Elemental Power is useful for providing additional damage to nuking spells.
Due to the long casting times of nuke spells like Meteor Shower, the instant activation ability of Glyph of Sacrifice allows a nuker to quickly unleash their high-damage skills. However, the additional recharge time is a liability without recharge reduction skills.
Armor ignoring and based on Energy Storage, but not very spammable. Not too reliable if you are constantly low in energy. To increase its damage potential, consider combining it with a high energy set.
A very powerful area of effect spike spell, without too much of a recharge. Useful for taking out groups of enemies or spirits.
Delayed high-damage hex. With three seconds until the lightning damage and knockdown are triggered, Lightning Surge synergizes very well with Lightning Orb for high spike combination.
A high-damage projectile with medium casting time, high cost but low recharge. Useful for throwing in huge damage before a faster spell. Works well with Lightning Surge's 3-second delay.
Usually used as a follow-up to Lightning Orb spikes.
Lightning Orb copy, except it does not require line of sight, but has an extremely prohibitive energy cost. For Air Spikers, Lightning Hammer is often used with Glyph of Lesser Energy to recover large amounts of energy. Also is used in Dual-Atunement builds for spiking in conjunction with Lightning Orb
A powerful spell due to its damage and armor ignoring power, though limited by exhaustion
Another armor ignoring, spammable spike skill, but has a requirement of the foe being enchanted.
Searing Flames, when combined with several elementalists help the fact it needs a first spell to set the target on fire. It can deal extreme damage when six elementalists are spamming it in timed spikes
Often used as a follow up for Searing Flame spikes because of its large area of effect and unconditional damage
The fast recharge makes it a great spell for spikes, but it has the down side of a long cast time and needing line of sight
The delayed damage is useful for setting up spike damage spells, like Fireball, or Liquid Flame.
Despite its cost, Rodgort's Invocation hits very hard and has a large area of effect, as well inflicting Burning. The short recharge makes this skill easily spammable as long as energy is properly maintained with other skills, such as Mind Blast or Glowing Gaze. The two second cast time makes it not as useful in spikes.
Usually a follow up in spikes to help finish and regain energy to prepare in your next spike.
Very long duration snare with short activation but long recharge. Make sure it isn't removed or ended by fire damage.
This is a very strong snare, with the downside that it's an elite spell. Good for flag runners to assist spikes in GvG.
Though the cast time gives off spikes, nuking spikes that get off as this spell hits usually results in good outcomes.
Powerful spike that has similar qualities to Lightning Surge.
Managing your energy well is more important than having a high maximum energy (a common mistake by those new to the profession). The following skills can help you cast your expensive spells.
- The elite version of the attunements (see below) can be used by itself when using multiple attributes, or in combination with one of the attunements to get more than 80% of the energy cost energy back when casting a spell (a so-called Dual Attunement).
- A popular energy saving skill, especially useful when using expensive spells with medium-to-long recharges.
- These skills will give you energy whenever you cast a spell from their attribute. These are more useful when casting spells with low recharges. Combined with Glyph of Lesser Energy (see above) a single, expensive spell can refill your energy bar.
- These skills deal damage to your target and, providing their conditions are met, give you lots of energy.
Flag Running (GvG only)
- This was a popular energy management spell for flag runners for a long time. It is used in builds that are constantly low on energy to regain just enough for another spell.
- Elementalist secondary runners often use this run skill as it is easy to uphold permanently and it has a short activation time.
- Alternative to Storm Djinn's Haste. It is not usually possible to keep the skill up all of the time because of a nerf to the recharge.
- This is used by flag runners with a strong investment in Water Magic (a common choice), as it offers good protection to break through enemy lines to the flag stand.
- Used to disable enemy melee when fighting at the flag stand.
- This is often used to snare enemy flag runners. It has a short recharge, and with the right attribute rank it can be a perfect permanent snare.
- Works perfectly to snare enemy runners as they are usually enchanted.
- A high damage spell used to assist spikes and gank enemy runners.
Nearly any wand or staff of your element is acceptable. For Elementalist who wish to switch attributes often, it is recommended to use a staff because the requirement only affects the staff's attack damage. A headset for each seperate attribute (for example, an Aura that gives +1 Fire Magic with a + Fire Magic rune in it) is advisable as it allows you to switch attributes with the least amount of armor swapping.
Few builds will benefit from Major and Superior Energy Storage runes (especially since Runes of Attunement add +2 energy without a health penalty) so it is advised to new Elementalists to always use a Rune of Minor Energy Storage.
Common Elementalist builds
Savannah Heat nukers are common, as are Searing Flames nukers. However, when going into high-level areas like the Fissure of Woe or the Underworld, using Meteor Shower along with a skill to reduce its long recharge is recommended (choices include Glyph of Renewal or Assassin's Promise).
Earth magic is mostly used for farming with several armor skills and Sandstorm or Obsidian Flesh (such as a Terra Tank). Earth nuking, while possible and very potent, is not too popular. When playing an Earth nuker, consider combining offensive skills with defensive support like wards (such as a Sandstorm Warder).
Due to the lack of damage, Water Magic builds are not popular for general PvE. Water Magic has some niche skills such as Ward Against Harm, usually in areas where there are many flame-based enemies. Deep Freeze and other Water Magic snares are frequently used in conjunction with a Fire Nuker to keep enemies trapped in the area of effect.
Blinding Surge Elementalists were common, until an update cut its effectiveness. Other Air Magic skills are often used in spiking due to armor penetration. Most Air Magic skills are single target, which makes it ideal in arenas and GvG.
Using Sandstorm along with wards is a good idea. Some teams in Heroes Ascent like to use several Elementalists to spike with Obsidian Flame.
Icy Shackles snarers are most common. Water Trident is also commonly used to to is spammability. Some Elementalists use a Shatterstone build to assist in spikes or Ward against Harm to counter Fire Elementalists.