Making Builds: For the team, or despite them? — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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Making Builds: For the team, or despite them?

Hey, Im looking to seriously get into Strike Missions and T4 Fractals, and I have 2 Ascended sets for my Mesmer. The problem Im running into, however, is how to build for the content. Ignoring any math, the problem Im having is design based. Because the "Meta" (Statistically the highest damage output) is dependent on buffs from other classes (Things like Spotter, Banners, Perma-Slow for Danger Time, etc.), Im unsure whether I should have my gear statted with those buffs in mind, or statted assuming I'll never have them. I don't have a dedicated group yet to play with, and the people I do play with have a large range of skill level. I feel like theres a "right" answer that Im just not getting, hopefully someone here will know what Im talking about and help. Thanks.


  • 1st Idea: Let me compare these two builds - (Build with Boons in mind, but doesnt) VS (Build that doesnt use Boons). Whichever has higher DPS will be the one I lean towards.

  • Eramonster.2718Eramonster.2718 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 21, 2020

    Depending on class and role. Best to go for Boons in mind for PuG. From exp, a "smooth/good" requires both, exp players and good boons uptime. Can't help much with the first, not immediately. But the later(boons and uptime) is something that can be prepared beforehand.

    Using mantra group healer as a mesmer isn't optimal. As a damage dealer, mainly there's Dps and boons/utilities. For optimization, you would want to have BOTH. But don't that limit you, try to get as much as possible from the class.

    @Dwarfthrower.4217 said:
    1st Idea: Let me compare these two builds - (Build with Boons in mind, but doesnt) VS (Build that doesnt use Boons). Whichever has higher DPS will be the one I lean towards.

    Situational but most of the time; to obtain high dps requires boons. Question is boons from(?) self sufficient or party provides.
    Ps : A friend in game uses core mesmer build for fracs and does "good" dps, above all pug dps most of the time. Answer(s) are tied with the question: How? :smile:

  • LadyKitty.6120LadyKitty.6120 Member ✭✭✭

    As chrono who pugs a lot, Kitty can recommend her illusionary 10-quick heal chrono. It spams illusions with scepter auto and other skills to heal as much a druid while also bringing aegis and chrono utilities. If you end up raiding, it works as tank.
    Gameplay example:

    It's Kitty. The young lady who streams and records videos playing various (non-)metabuilds. Raid/fractal videos at, Kittymarks test results at and

  • Noodle Ant.1605Noodle Ant.1605 Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 22, 2020

    I personally built my mesmer ‘despite the team’ (without the aforementioned buffs/conditions in mind).

    The choice might’ve been a bit easier for me since it was simply the act of retaining the old chrono build. When Danger Time got omegabuffed into existence, it was something I never got used to, and so I’ve been running technically ‘off-meta’ mesmer builds all this time, including the aforementioned core mesmer build.

    Looking back, it made sense as I never brought my mesmer to raids, instead leaving it for fractal content where having those specific buffs was rare and horribly unreliable. Furthermore, boon management (and healers lol) wasn’t as prevalent back then, so having a ridiculously self-sufficient build was a massive boon for me and any casual pug group I happened to join. This is obviously somewhat different now, but the point where I benefitted more from not playing the meta build because I wasn’t going to use it the manner it was expected still stands.

    So from my experience, I would say:

    • If you plan to take said mesmer to raids, run the ‘meta’ build/gear, not being 100% optimised for fractals/strikes shouldn’t be that much of a big deal.
    • Otherwise, go for off-meta (i.e. take the meta build, but deviate from it to /suit your needs/what you get/optimise it to what you expect) because there’s no point having wasted potential when it can be replaced by something useful.
    • Or, you could simply play what you enjoy more or find yourself most effective on - e.g. I found replacing Illu with Domi clunky so I stuck with Illu (because I was ‘better’ at it, despite supposedly doing less dmg) until I meme’d on core mesmer and eventually ended up playing that instead (because I’ve fallen out with chrono at this point :smile:).

    There is no definite ‘right’ answer because it’s a choice that you ultimately have to choose between.

    Currently meme’ing on core mesmer for PvE content.

  • Personally I'd gear myself for optimal scenarios and use traits, skills, and food to compensate for unoptimized pugs.

    For example golden fried dumplings can provide might.

    Seize the moment on chrono gives quickness etc

  • Just play whatever feels comfortable

  • Naxos.2503Naxos.2503 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 7, 2020

    I had the chance of having a build that can self buff to a degree. It's not enough to snowball, but it is enough to help the might uptime. Remember to use your combo fields kids ! Fire circle + blast equals area might. Water circle + blast equals area heals, and so on. By that I mean, use your allies circles (bound to pop up) and use your skills based on the circle if you need them. I havent mesmered in a while, but I assume they have blast finishers right ?

    Edit : just peeked at the mesmer finishers. Owch. Nevermind, only 1 blast finisher is kind of harsh.. You do get a lot of fields, but nothing that gives might or heals, mostly chaos and dark auras in there, not the best. If you're a condi user with Torch, you can probably get away with using Prestige in an ally's field, but since it's the only blast finisher, that's not reliable at all, and doesn't even apply to all builds. That's meh D: somebody need to change that

  • Infusion.7149Infusion.7149 Member ✭✭✭✭

    If you plan on fractals at all just build full zerk. You could still run Seize the Moment for quickness with far less DPS loss; alacrity is almost always supplied by Renegades these days.

    That said, be aware even power chrono has ramp time due to the way shatters work so it's more akin to a condi build than a typical power build. This makes it worse off in fractals where the focus is not one one boss at a time but a lot of trash (Siren's Reef for example).

    I'd also ignore any damage bonus coming from Danger Time. The metrics involving Danger Time are skewed toward niche setups such as 10 Time Warp Chronos. You aren't going to have appreciable slow up time.

  • Sykper.6583Sykper.6583 Member ✭✭✭

    T4 Fractals, there are I think effectively 2 classes that optionally get some support for the 4 other players, which helps make the runs a cakewalk. You can go in with the offensive options and some CC regardless and if played well should wipe the floor with everything.

    Raids is where the talk of builds takes off, largely due to what you would want to bring in. As a Mesmer you can play the tank, which is never NOT needed, or provide the offensive support from your class specific buffs.

    There are a few classes that only bring damage to the table but that's their intent, and when synergized with you, and everyone else, the squad as a whole topples raid bosses rather easily.

  • Noodle Ant.1605Noodle Ant.1605 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 8, 2020

    I think the title is a bit misleading.

    What the OP’s post reads is something along the lines of, “Should I build pretending that I have all the buffs, or none of them (besides my own)?”.

    This becomes somewhat clear when the OP mentions “perma-slow for Danger Time”, which is responsible for 15% of the meta setup’s total crit chance. Spotter and banners is also roughly 5% each. Without any of these, the OP could be looking at a build which is stuck at ~70-75% crit chance, or 80-85% in fractals (w/ fury). If OP was considering playing support, they could ignore all of this.

    When the OP says, “gear statted with those buffs in mind, etc.” they are likely referring to the zerk:sins stat ratio, or the possibility of using off-meta runes/sigils such as eagle/thief over scholar. Their follow-up post asks whether they should be playing the standard raid build of Domi 2-2-1 Duel 1-3-1 and Chrono 2-1-3, or some other build with alterations (because a raid build is optimised for organised raids, not necessarily for pug strikes or fractals). They don’t really mention anything about playing support themselves.

    OP sounds as though they are planning on playing DPS. They are asking how they should optimise this role, when they expect frequent gaps from support (mainly unique buffs such as banners/spotter, slow-uptime etc.).

    Currently meme’ing on core mesmer for PvE content.