For The PvP Druid Players Out There - It Still Works - Here's The Build To Use — Guild Wars 2 Forums

For The PvP Druid Players Out There - It Still Works - Here's The Build To Use

Trevor Boyer.6524Trevor Boyer.6524 Member ✭✭✭✭
edited March 26, 2020 in PVP

Axe/Axe Marshal Druid

Skirmishing: (1) Sharpened Edges - (1) Spotter - (3) Vicious Quarry
Wilderness: (1) Child Of Earth - (2) Refined Toxins - (2) Wilderness Survival
Druid: (1) Druidic Clarity - (1) Celestial Shadow - (2) Lingering Light "Don't take Ancient Seeds. You need the blind & extra heal"

Marshal Amulet / Dolyak Rune
"Dolyak is better than Resistance because it ticks CA bar with #6 ability, stacks 300 tough, and you already have enough condi cleanse as Druid"
Axe/Axe & Energy/Courage
Staff & Energy/Escape

6 - Troll Unguent
7 - Quick Zeph
8 - Sig of Stone "The passive 180 tough stacks with Dolyak 300 for = 480 tough, basically Paladin/Demolisher toughness stat
9 - Light Reflexes
0 - Entangle

Pet 1 - Optional - There is actually a lot of flexibility for what you can do with pet play on this build
Pet 2 - Bristleback - This is mandatory for dealing with stealth heavy Thief & Mes play, as well as having a pet that can land damage safely while staying out of the fray

Just want to point out that I'm not setting this build next to the potency of other specs that are clearly dominant right now. This is simply a post for the Druid players out there who insist on wanting to play Druid. After A LOT of testing within the past month, I can say that this is the build that you want to run if you are still playing Druid. This is not an immob/condi burst gimmick build. This is actually a viable build that has all the utility it needs to allow for larger skill cap play.

So a bit about what's going on here and how/why it works:

  • Marshal is: 1000 Power - 500 Precision - 1000 Heal - 500 Condi. This is perfect with Vicious Quarry & Spotter from Skirmishing, in conjunction with all the bleed & poison procs. The VQ will make all Fury add +30% rather than +20%. That in addition to Spotter, makes the crit range 63% and adds +250 Feroc to boot. If an opponent has its side or back to you, a minor trait "Hunter's Tactics" will grant another +10% crit chance, making that range 73%.
  • Power & Condi Pressure - This build stacks might quite consistently, which helps to build the power and condi side of its damage output. It deals light to moderate power damage pressure, depending on how you burst with Axe #5 and your pet. It deals light to moderate bleed/poison pressure also by how you burst with Axe #5 but also Axe #2 & #3 and Entangle. Due to the use of Sharpened Edges and the high crit chance on this build, it puts out consistent bleed pressure, as well as the poison pressure off of Refined Toxins. If a good burst can be landed utilizing both the power & condi and pet sides of the build simultaneously, the burst can deal moderate to heavy damage output, and in some cases down players from full health with a single Axe #5. Yes, this is a Druid build that actually has damage, real damage, not gimmick damage that's easily avoided.
  • The healing is adequate, but can still yield high healing results if cycled properly. Let me explain the rule of thumb to Druid heal cycles: 1) If CA and Troll are both ready to use, always try to use CA first. If you use Troll first, the heal ticks from Troll will do nothing to rebuild an already full CA bar. 2) Try to time the use of CA #3 and Staff #3 onto the Water Field on Staff #5, even while disengaging. This is really really important now to be able to catch your heal output. If some circumstance pushes you to emergency use these skills out of order, you miss the blasts heals, and boy is it a drop in reset potential after this last round of nerfing. So try to think ahead about when you will soon need to disengage/reset and do it early, rather than trying to do it reactively the moment you hit danger zone.
  • About current CA Kit patching - Every single skill in the CA Kit is actually garbage and a complete waste of time/CA charge to use, outside of CA #3. Druid players need to get this through their heads. You use CA Kit as a quick condi cleanse/quick heal blast finisher with a daze/turn it off stealth reposition. If you're in CA Kit longer than 2s at a time, you're doing it all wrong. If you are a player that is good at thinking ahead, you can preemptively use CA Kit for a stealth reposition BEFORE you take damage to begin with, which normally is the best way to go rather than using it reactively after taking damage, if you can make an opponent completely whiff on his burst. A good example would be a Warrior going into Rampage or a Necro going into Lich. If you know it's happening, just stealth disengage early. So get it through your heads! CA Kit is no longer a super bandaid kit and it hasn't been for quite some time. Learn to use it preemptively.
  • One thing that makes this build different from previous Druid builds - So I'm sure Ranger players of all forms have noticed lately how EVERYTHING has projectile nullifications and plenty of it, which has been putting projectile play into a sort of handicapped position. The staff is a channel that pulses 3x hits per 1 1/4th second cast. This 3 hit channel cast in conjunction with the high crit chance and Sharpened Edges, usually makes for at least 1 bleed per 1 1/4th second animation. Sometimes you might get 2 bleeds, sometimes none. But in general it's rather consistent and it turns the Staff into a damage hose that can't be stopped by projectile nullifications. Remember, these bleeds & power damage from the Staff channel is also working with Refined Toxin poison procs. So builds that normally would proj reflect you and have a moment to cleanse off condis and then do a small heal for 2k-3k, aren't able to do this vs. the Staff. The Staff maintains the pressure and the poison procs for -33% heal output, which is huge when players are trying to gain small resets. The best part is that this makes the Staff dangerous enough to kite around and use like a Longbow, rather than previous Druid builds where the Staff damage was completely negligent, turning the Staff into a disengage only tool. <- And that right there, being able to maintain reliable channeled attrition pressure simultaneously while disengaging, is where I found viability in Druid again. The utility in Staff Kit and the condis tied to the Staff channel is in every way better than Shortbow.

Here's a quick list of what you counter and what counters you:

  • Druid > Guardians/Dragonhunters - You will win as long as you don't make gross errors and get caught in some super burst
  • Druid = Firebrand - Usually an obnoxious battle that never ends
  • Druid > Warriors & Berserkers - They don't have the utility to catch the Druid to secure the kill
  • Druid = Spellbreaker - The Spellbreaker can kill you. This is mainly due to Magebane Tether Reveal & Pull. The Spellbreaker actually can turn himself into a hard counter vs. Druid if he swaps a few traits & utilities, but most Spellbreakers would never do this in a conquest match unless they were gunning specifically for the Druid.
  • Druid = All Revenant/Renegade builds and Condi Herald
  • Druid < Glass Cannon DPS Power Shiro
  • Druid > All Other Ranger builds - If you play this build correctly, it counters its own kind easily, especially after the Maul/Wi nerfing now
  • Druid > Thieves - You should be winning against every Thief build. If you aren't, you probably didn't listen to me and aren't using Bristleback
  • Druid > Core Engi
  • Druid = Scrappers & Holos
  • Druid > All Mesmer builds - Mesmer is just bleh right now
  • Druid = All these new variations of ele builds
  • Druid > Reapers - It'll take awhile, but you can out kite it and kill it
  • Druid > Scourge - Again, takes forever but you can kill it
  • Druid < Core Necro - This is the one Necro build that possesses weird tools to be able to beat the Druid, including Reveal from Shroud #5 and teleport gap close from Shroud #2. Then of course there's Lich ranged projectiles and the fact that the Core Necro is just so sustainy that it is hard for the Druid or any class for that matter, to pump out enough damage quickly enough, to even be able to put the Core Necro into the dangerous zone during a 1v1.

This build is meant to be played as a side node duelist as it is best in 1v1s, but it is also a capable team fight presence when needed. Remember to get it out of your heads that "Druids are Bunkers" because that stopped being true a very long time ago. A Druid is now a 1v1 duelist like anything else. It needs to be played carefully and with the purpose of avoiding 1v2s, unless you KNOW you are good enough to engage that situation.

Oh and before you all ask, yes it works great in WvW. Atually it's a lot stronger in WvW. To transition the build into WvW, just use all Marshal gear + Dolyak Runes, same exact setup I have listed here, but add these:

  • Energy & Air on Axe/Axe - The extra damage off Air Sigil is optimal for DPS output on this build in WvW.
  • Energy & Cleansing on Staff - Escape doesn't exist in PvE
  • Food: Holographic Supercake "gains 80 health per second - 30% endurance regen" Of course that health tick per second works for CA just like Dolyak does
  • Utility: Writ of Masteful Accuracy - +200 prec health above 90% = lots more crits, lots more power and bleed damage

~ Enjoy

Comments

  • Axl.8924Axl.8924 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 26, 2020

    I dunno how you do it trevor, was trying this build and it gets absolutely destroyed by most builds.

    I'l admit i'm not a expert on ranger or druid spec, but the dmg alone isn't enough to down a reaper on staff 1 auto attack, and CA5 which has root blind i think i get interrupted every time because you need to be on top of people to use.

    I'l admit i didn't have the food you talked about nor was i switching a lot to get the bonus in might for the xtra dmg.

    I was in a match with like 2-3 necros 2 core 1 reaper for sure, and i simply wasn't able to down the reaper with spamming autoattack 1 for max range.

    Here is my list of characters i got so far:

    Elementalist 80 with tempest:Talman nul
    Necromancer 80 with reaper:Zex vokar
    Mesmer level 80 no chrono yet:Klanga voosh.
    Level 80 Ranger with druid spec Jedkhan.

  • Avatar.3568Avatar.3568 Member ✭✭✭

    Interesting build that you pulled out, maybe I will try it out @home, did you try to swap troll unguent against the healing trap to get one more blast and more Condi cleanse (and for team mates).

    Is the healing of ca 4 that weak? Idk just interested if it has Totally no value

  • I agree what u write on staff but idk if nerfed sharpened edges provide much value on staff even if its intersting idea and ill try that out. What you write for sb is not true about condi dmg. Shortbow on ranger is fastest weapon ingame and very hard to read so than counterplay. Shortbow is hard to play but brings good value in some comps. Druid form is not trash and just for skill 3 Lunar impact, it depends how you set your build. I use seed of life and lunar impact for 3 condi remove and 5 for stab only sometimes full cast. Skill 4 doesn t heal much but 2k heal aoe on sage is still something in teamfight and its also water field which you can trigger with pet swap if you play marksmanship. Think about primal echoes if you like staff its amazing trait actually but outshined from druidic clarity. I decided to go different way than druidic clarity and stealth superspeed on exit CA. If you take survival knowledge and verdant eching on druid you have good condi cleanse already which alows you to pick primal echoes for daze on staff swap which trigers on entering CA aswell. Here is video if you interested:

  • Trevor Boyer.6524Trevor Boyer.6524 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Axl.8924 said:
    I dunno how you do it trevor, was trying this build and it gets absolutely destroyed by most builds.

    I'l admit i'm not a expert on ranger or druid spec, but the dmg alone isn't enough to down a reaper on staff 1 auto attack, and CA5 which has root blind i think i get interrupted every time because you need to be on top of people to use.

    I'l admit i didn't have the food you talked about nor was i switching a lot to get the bonus in might for the xtra dmg.

    I was in a match with like 2-3 necros 2 core 1 reaper for sure, and i simply wasn't able to down the reaper with spamming autoattack 1 for max range.

    The Staff isn't meant to be used as a means of main assault, in the same way that a Soulbeast uses a Longbow. Your main source of damage output is mid to close range with Axe/Axe. The Staff is to maintain attrition pressure to prevent the opponent from resetting while you reset.

    You're getting interrupt while using CA5 because it's way too slow and sucks. You'll never out kite something like the modern Reaper if you're standing still in CA and trying to use #5. I'm not joking around about this stuff guys, do not use other CA skills outside of #3. They're a waste of time that allows you to get caught. The heal values and damage/CC values on those other skills are completely negligent in your fight against the opponent.

    @Avatar.3568 said:
    Interesting build that you pulled out, maybe I will try it out @home, did you try to swap troll unguent against the healing trap to get one more blast and more Condi cleanse (and for team mates).

    Is the healing of ca 4 that weak? Idk just interested if it has Totally no value

    I've tried Healing Spring many times on plenty of builds, but it just isn't practical to use, and Druid is not practical to use as a team support in pvp. Let me explain why:

    • A FB or a Tempest as example, are able to supplement their team support healing/cleanse with aegis & auras & various other boons and effects, WHILE still maintaining offensive pressure as they do it. This makes it so they are never really "caught prone while they are trying to do a big team support cycle." They are always on their feet, still dealing damage, still CCing, and the type of support they throw is not completely ruined by being interrupted once or twice.
    • Druid on the other hand, must choose when it tries to go into a big massive team support heal cycle, and it has to drop all of its offensive pressure while doing that. So not only does it have to shift into a very obvious state of "Hey look at me I'm trying to heal everyone" but it deals no damage while doing that, and it is easily interrupted. A simple interruption or two against a Druid heal cycle completely dinks over any & all heal output that the Druid may have. The Druid lays a water field that accidentally was on top of a fire field, now the Druid has no blast heal output for his party. The Druid lays his water field but gets caught in a CC field and the water field runs out before the Druid can use his blast finishers for the party. Whilst the FB & Tempest are tossing random AoE heals and tons of other boons & effects, with every other skill they use, that don't require 100% dedicated defense cycles to utilize, that don't require complexly timed combo field usage for the team to benefit. <- These are all the very real reasons why Druid support is bad in pvp. And this isn't even to mention how ridiculous super unbelievably bad the heals are that come out of the CA Kit. Seriously, when was the last time you went into a full CA kit and tried spamming #1 on a few team mates or perhaps #4? Regardless of Mender+Monk/Altruism, the heal output is laughable at this point. It really is a complete waste of time to attempt to use those heals because we are talking about a numbers game here when it comes to combat. Look at it this way, what really is the difference between dealing damage or healing damage? A build that deals 10k damage per second but heals 500 per second is going to kill a build that deals 2000 damage per second that heals 2000 per second. Do you see what I'm talking about here? So if you are trying to spam +500 heal pops on people with your CA when you have to drop all of your offensive pressure from Axe Axe/Entangle while doing that, you're missing out on the much larger damage numbers that you would normally be dealing to the opponents. It just doesn't work man. These heals are so bad at this point, that they aren't even worth trying to use during clutch moments. Example: You see a team mate being chased by a Herald and a Reaper, he is at 25% health and is going to go into downstate. Do you really think that blowing your CA to slap +500 heals on his head per 1s is going to make any difference in that situation? The only difference that's going to make, is put you on a 20s CD for your own personal survival mechanisms for when those 2 guys turn around and start chasing you. If you're going to try and heal team mates, you better be doing it with Staff 5 > Staff 3 > CA 3 only, so that it counts. But every time you do this, be aware that you're staggering your own survival mechanisms by 20s. And the problem there amongst top tier play, is that good players will COMPLETELY exploit you as Druid, if they even once see you try to team support for someone. They'll be all over you and kill you, as soon as they know for a fact you are on a guaranteed 20s CD before you can mass condi clear/stealth reposition/reset. The Druid team support does not work in pvp. The CA Kit is functionally a self survival mechanism, regardless of what the design team originally intended.

    And yes, the CA 4 is a complete waste of time to use for every reason I already mentioned. It takes waaaaay too long to finish that channel for such tiny miniscule healing ticks, as you sit there and eat massive 5k-10k strikes every second, while you have to STAND STILL AND NOT DODGE for the CA 4 channel to finish. It's all designed poorly for competitive usage. The only redeeming quality for CA 4 is the water field, and tbh even that field is in a clunky spot for usage and often isn't convenient to use. When you're talking the difference between bellow bell-curve, at bell-curve and above bell-curve players, the above bell-curve players and mostly certainly the top players, are not going to give you time to sit in CA and use this stuff. As soon as they see you turn blue, they get on you with hard CC chains & damage bursts. Again, the problem here is you have no offensive pressure while in CA and the heal output will NOT stand against the damage output from something like a Holosmith or Spellbreaker or Reaper. You will lose that number trading battle in a hurry. The realistic margin of time you have to utilize CA Kit, is to go in, pop #3, and leave the CA Kit. And it's important to point out that the sooner you leave CA Kit, the sooner it recharges, the more mass condi clearing & stealth repositions you get. <- And that stuff matters everything in each and every combat you engage.

    @CroTiger.7819 said:
    I agree what u write on staff but idk if nerfed sharpened edges provide much value on staff even if its intersting idea and ill try that out. What you write for sb is not true about condi dmg. Shortbow on ranger is fastest weapon ingame and very hard to read so than counterplay. Shortbow is hard to play but brings good value in some comps. Druid form is not trash and just for skill 3 Lunar impact, it depends how you set your build. I use seed of life and lunar impact for 3 condi remove and 5 for stab only sometimes full cast. Skill 4 doesn t heal much but 2k heal aoe on sage is still something in teamfight and its also water field which you can trigger with pet swap if you play marksmanship. Think about primal echoes if you like staff its amazing trait actually but outshined from druidic clarity. I decided to go different way than druidic clarity and stealth superspeed on exit CA. If you take survival knowledge and verdant eching on druid you have good condi cleanse already which alows you to pick primal echoes for daze on staff swap which trigers on entering CA aswell. Here is video if you interested:

    I didn't say the Staff outdamages Shortbow, I said it was better than the Shortbow functionally in terms of utility provided and the purpose it serves.

    I'll have to make a rough edit video compilation for you guys. So you can see how this build runs against other classes, and how it is meant to be used.

    That should clear a few things up.

  • HeadCrowned.6834HeadCrowned.6834 Member ✭✭✭

    I have no idea on what level you play and its nice that u share your builds. But everyone is entitled to their opinion and on a higher level of pvp this build will not work out because:

    • Not enough vitality or toughness in total
    • Subpar dmg with staff. Bristleback doesnt hit as hard as it used to, and highly telegraphed skill.
    • weak on node sustain
    • no swiftness other than weaponswap in combat
    • no decap potential
    • no stability
    • resustain is mediocre due to nerfed healing coefficients
    • etc.

    Druid is and has not been a duelist for a long time because it cant win any matchup vs other meta sidenoders. The listed matchups that you wrote here are not realistically looked at. I can kill every class as well on condi soulbeast, but that doesnt mean its good. If you win several ATs with it against decent teams, then you might have something to work with.

  • Trevor Boyer.6524Trevor Boyer.6524 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 26, 2020

    @HeadCrowned.6834 said:
    I have no idea on what level you play and its nice that u share your builds. But everyone is entitled to their opinion and on a higher level of pvp this build will not work out because:

    • Not enough vitality or toughness in total
    • Subpar dmg with staff. Bristleback doesnt hit as hard as it used to, and highly telegraphed skill.
    • weak on node sustain
    • no swiftness other than weaponswap in combat
    • no decap potential
    • no stability
    • resustain is mediocre due to nerfed healing coefficients
    • etc.

    Druid is and has not been a duelist for a long time because it cant win any matchup vs other meta sidenoders. The listed matchups that you wrote here are not realistically looked at. I can kill every class as well on condi soulbeast, but that doesnt mean its good. If you win several ATs with it against decent teams, then you might have something to work with.

    Yup, already said the same thing myself!

    @Trevor Boyer.6524 said:
    Just want to point out that I'm not setting this build next to the potency of other specs that are clearly dominant right now. This is simply a post for the Druid players out there who insist on wanting to play Druid.

  • trevor boyer to the rescue once again!!!

  • Axl.8924Axl.8924 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 26, 2020

    @HeadCrowned.6834 said:
    I have no idea on what level you play and its nice that u share your builds. But everyone is entitled to their opinion and on a higher level of pvp this build will not work out because:

    • Not enough vitality or toughness in total
    • Subpar dmg with staff. Bristleback doesnt hit as hard as it used to, and highly telegraphed skill.
    • weak on node sustain
    • no swiftness other than weaponswap in combat
    • no decap potential
    • no stability
    • resustain is mediocre due to nerfed healing coefficients
    • etc.

    Druid is and has not been a duelist for a long time because it cant win any matchup vs other meta sidenoders. The listed matchups that you wrote here are not realistically looked at. I can kill every class as well on condi soulbeast, but that doesnt mean its good. If you win several ATs with it against decent teams, then you might have something to work with.

    I had that exact issue i was having some with mobility but the dmg and the thrust forward and leaps from warrs messed me up on druid, so did holosmiths.

    In fact most builds are incredibly hard for me. I have ranged some and won battles when people didn't engage and in unranked when i fought, i ended up getting saved multiple times by others. The worse and hardest thing is necromancers(core) specifically. The chill and condi bombs just destroyed me. I had a 2 core nec plus 1 reaper, and it was just the worse combo ever. The 2 cores condi bombed me with staff threw bleeds chill and poison on me reaper tried to melee me. Think reaper was easier for me than the 2 cores.

    Guardian wasn't too bad to fight actually. Maybe core guard i fought was bad, because in 1v1 i get destroyed by most. The guard i did fight did eventually get me but i stood on the wall ranging him with staff and killed him because my team was focusing him.

    I was even using zephyr which increased the damage noticeably actually, to where eventaully it built up to do almost 10k a fter a while, but if you stand around you probably will not usually be allowed.

    Druid feels like necro in the past where anyone who focuses you will make your life miserable. Its hard to escape, but you got a good deal of sustain actually, and you got with troll unguent that child of earth thing is pretty useful. Actually, i'm almost tempted to use child of earth and waste it just to cripple people and blind.

    I also do like druid more than core ranger so i am getting more entertainment from the druid build than core, not sure if its just me.

    I also kinda wish axe had more range on stuff, but i guess risk reward thing.

    Here is my list of characters i got so far:

    Elementalist 80 with tempest:Talman nul
    Necromancer 80 with reaper:Zex vokar
    Mesmer level 80 no chrono yet:Klanga voosh.
    Level 80 Ranger with druid spec Jedkhan.

  • LughLongArm.5460LughLongArm.5460 Member ✭✭✭

    Yep, druid is viable this season.