Unable to survive close combat with Chrono — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Unable to survive close combat with Chrono

So, I understand some of the theory behind chrono-tanking, but I'm getting beat up anyway. I've seen the builds on Snow Crows and Metabattle and tried them out. I know Chrono has Blurred Frenzy on sword main hand, and Illusionary Riposte for sword off-hand, then Echo of Memory on the shield. I assume those are the defensive spells you are supposed to use to prevent damage. I guess with the illusions running distraction, this is supposed to make the mesmer tanky. Then I've got Gravity Well and Well of Calamity for some great CC on breakbars (it works really well I've found) and Well of Eternity and Well of Action as well for group buffing (which they are doing well).

And it definitely is tankier than my Elementalist main (no surprise there - everything kills that character if I don't nuke it fast). But I wouldn't call it tankier than my Guardian or Revenant, and definitely not as tanky as my Necromancer. I'm using a Chrono open-world boon-share build I took from a YouTuber (Nike) that seems to follow the theory behind the raid builds I've seen closely enough:

I had to use Berserker gear because I can't afford gear with specialized stats, but I didn't think it would make a massive difference... but anyway, I'm still getting pretty hammered in close combat on Heart of Thorns content. Chak Gerent... the big axe bosses on the Blighting Towers in Dragon's Stand... defend the camps events in Verdant Brink... it's not really working out. I'm getting curb-stomped. I swapped the off-hand sword out to a Greatsword as my main weapon, only using sword-shield as a panic-option when I get swarmed. Things got a lot better for me then. I could deal pretty good damage to things from a safe distance with my illusions distracting enemies and drop wells on groups of allies for big AOE damage and boon sharing. So it seems good, and I'm enjoying playing that way....

But I know this is not how Chrono-tanking is supposed to work. Greatsword sniping from afar is not how the concept is supposed to work. It's not "tanking" at all. But when I go toe-to-toe, I get in there, drop some wells, use my abilities on cooldown, and I'm getting stunned, knocked down, melted by poison. So I go back to Greatsword again where I can survive well (and it is pretty survivable).

I guess I just don't really "get" Chrono-tanking even though I've read a bit about it. Maybe I'm not supposed to use the shield abilities freely, but save them for when I know the enemies are using the big attack? But it really seems like a DPS loss to not use Blurred Frenzy on cooldown. Chak Gerent seems impossible - blue spit puddles that burn through your health, the blue donut insta-kill cloud, knock downs... I don't know how the players who are in close combat with that thing are even managing to do it without dying all the time. Ditto on the Axe guys in Dragon's Stand - how do you even stay close to that kind of firepower without melting? Are the Chrono block abilities precision instruments that are supposed to be triggered when you see the enemy telegraph an attack? If so, I feel a bit hopeless, because I've never been all that great at studying every tough enemy in the game for telegraphs.

I've seen the videos of Chronos standing right in the face of big bad enemies. I just don't get how they're doing it - it's a mystery to me.

Comments

  • Elspereth.1280Elspereth.1280 Member ✭✭✭

    I don't play a mesmer so I can't answer your question, but you might get a better response in
    https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/categories/mesmer

  • Ojimaru.8970Ojimaru.8970 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Irensaga.6935 said:
    Chak Gerent... the big axe bosses on the Blighting Towers in Dragon's Stand... defend the camps events in Verdant Brink... it's not really working out. I'm getting curb-stomped.
    . . .
    I've seen the videos of Chronos standing right in the face of big bad enemies. I just don't get how they're doing it - it's a mystery to me.

    Cool, you actually gave us some example encounters to work with.

    • Chak Gerent will kill anything that eats its Tail Slam attack (including the rock falls), or "donuts" (aka Pheromone Clouds). You can Block and Distort your way out of a few, but these attacks will still murder your character if you choose to let them "tank" the attacks. Take some time to observe the Gerent's telegraphs, and you'll realize that most, if not all, of its attacks can be avoided.
    • Axemaster Hareth is a poorly balanced meat head. The attack that will kill most players is the Thousand Axes, which are not projectiles, cannot be blocked, and has a very low cooldown. Dodge and distort away from him during this attack, because even Minstrels isn't going to save you from it.
    • Camp events in Verdant Brink have a few enemies that are higher threat than the rest, including Modrem Trolls and Modrem Stalkers. Having low DPS extends the fight with these enemies, and thus increasing their threat, be it the increasing number of Bee Clouds, or the Stalker simply bursting your unsuspecting character down. If you want to solo defend camps, leave one of the attacking Modrem alive (not including Tendrils), and kite them around.

    Combat in Guild Wars 2 requires you to understand enemy telegraphs, and learning which attacks can be ignored, avoided, or otherwise mitigated. It's a learning process.

    "Thief? How rude! I'm a Procurement Specialist." -Glenn Gynnafante

  • Irensaga.6935Irensaga.6935 Member ✭✭✭

    Oujimaru, it sounds like calming down and pushing the evade buttons methodically after studying the enemy patterns is better than just winging the fights and pushing the abilities on cooldown frantically.

    RNG, I'll have to take some time to digest all that. I will note that in Open World, the concept of a "tank" doesn't really exist like it does in a raid of course. So I don't have to worry much about having the highest toughness in the group unless I want it solely for my own benefit and not the group's.

    I tried going with commander stats in HoT content with my Elementalist main once when I got tired of dying. I didn't find the armor change made a lot of difference - my Ele still died a lot. I wound up going back to an Assassin's gear set and focused instead on nuking things faster so they'd do less damage to me. I still sucked, but it worked to a point.

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭

    No matter which class, combat in GW2 works via active damage avoidance. If you eat attacks, you will have a hard time.

    The classes which allow for the most attacks to the face are necromancer and warrior and as such are also often considered the easiest to get into the game (with ranger due to its pet, medium armor and medium hitpoint up there as well). Realize though, that even if you survive on these classes, chances are high that new players are playing poorly but simply not punished as hard.

    Similarly, elementalist and Thief can be among the hardest classes to get accustomed to since they will eat dirt within seconds if not played correctly. Thief being slightly easier compared to elementalist.

    Mesmer and chrono specifically becomes very tanky once you surpass the base skill level of: know when and how not to get hit. It then delivers by having a lot of skills which block, distort, aegis, blurr or in other ways make the Mesmer short time unattackable. The goal here is to use the skill set to supplement the avoidance of attacks, not weave the skills into a permanent invulnerable dance (though to some extent possible). That's mostly all there is to it.

  • rng.1024rng.1024 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Irensaga.6935 said:
    Oujimaru, it sounds like calming down and pushing the evade buttons methodically after studying the enemy patterns is better than just winging the fights and pushing the abilities on cooldown frantically.

    RNG, I'll have to take some time to digest all that. I will note that in Open World, the concept of a "tank" doesn't really exist like it does in a raid of course. So I don't have to worry much about having the highest toughness in the group unless I want it solely for my own benefit and not the group's.

    I tried going with commander stats in HoT content with my Elementalist main once when I got tired of dying. I didn't find the armor change made a lot of difference - my Ele still died a lot. I wound up going back to an Assassin's gear set and focused instead on nuking things faster so they'd do less damage to me. I still sucked, but it worked to a point.

    No one is asking you to go full toughness, and I specifically used your own wording to reason my suggestion. No one is able to tank HoT metas on zerker gear, you'll be hard pressed on marauder even. However what toughness provides is better mitigation of the big hits, which are extremely prevalent in every bossfight of the jungle. If you can already avoid them actively - by all means go full zerker, however that's not the impression I got from your previous post.

    This is why Commander's doesn't work on ele, as it might survive the big hit but gets consumed by the following small ones due to the already lowest healthpool. Mesmer is way better of as a) it has better boon access and b) it has just big enough of a health pool to match the HoT powercreep (tried and tested).

    In other words your best defense is active:

    • Avoiding red circles
    • Dodging
    • Blocking
    • Look for big animations
    • Saving cc for breakbars
    • Using your evadeframes at the right time
    • Standing behind boss or using range

    If you want we can make a compromise that let's you keep your current gear, won 't cost much and should really bulk you up.

    As you'll notice you now have the toughness of a medium armored profession, a chunky amount of healing power and added small heals (to make up for allied heals of the well), more condition cleanse and you get 5% of your health back whenever you block with your shield, scepter or aegis. And 10% more base health to boot, plus unlimited dodges if you tag critters in a fight.

    There's also things to keep in mind when fighting PvE bosses in metas:

    • Conditions won't help you survive at all, like blinds, weakness etc
    • It's all about the breakbar since when broken it does no damage to you, so save all your cc until it's up
    • Avoiding the red circles helps alot
    • Pay attention to it's animations over several tries to learn which you need to dodge/block and which you can simply walk out of range of
    • The f5 rift cannot be critically hit, so if all else fails try to cast it before you go down
    • If low on health, back away for a few seconds to heal so you don't get oneshot
  • Irensaga.6935Irensaga.6935 Member ✭✭✭

    @rng.1024 said:

    @Irensaga.6935 said:
    Oujimaru, it sounds like calming down and pushing the evade buttons methodically after studying the enemy patterns is better than just winging the fights and pushing the abilities on cooldown frantically.

    RNG, I'll have to take some time to digest all that. I will note that in Open World, the concept of a "tank" doesn't really exist like it does in a raid of course. So I don't have to worry much about having the highest toughness in the group unless I want it solely for my own benefit and not the group's.

    I tried going with commander stats in HoT content with my Elementalist main once when I got tired of dying. I didn't find the armor change made a lot of difference - my Ele still died a lot. I wound up going back to an Assassin's gear set and focused instead on nuking things faster so they'd do less damage to me. I still sucked, but it worked to a point.

    No one is asking you to go full toughness, and I specifically used your own wording to reason my suggestion. No one is able to tank HoT metas on zerker gear, you'll be hard pressed on marauder even. However what toughness provides is better mitigation of the big hits, which are extremely prevalent in every bossfight of the jungle. If you can already avoid them actively - by all means go full zerker, however that's not the impression I got from your previous post.

    This is why Commander's doesn't work on ele, as it might survive the big hit but gets consumed by the following small ones due to the already lowest healthpool. Mesmer is way better of as a) it has better boon access and b) it has just big enough of a health pool to match the HoT powercreep (tried and tested).

    In other words your best defense is active:

    • Avoiding red circles
    • Dodging
    • Blocking
    • Look for big animations
    • Saving cc for breakbars
    • Using your evadeframes at the right time
    • Standing behind boss or using range

    If you want we can make a compromise that let's you keep your current gear, won 't cost much and should really bulk you up.

    As you'll notice you now have the toughness of a medium armored profession, a chunky amount of healing power and added small heals (to make up for allied heals of the well), more condition cleanse and you get 5% of your health back whenever you block with your shield, scepter or aegis. And 10% more base health to boot, plus unlimited dodges if you tag critters in a fight.

    There's also things to keep in mind when fighting PvE bosses in metas:

    • Conditions won't help you survive at all, like blinds, weakness etc
    • It's all about the breakbar since when broken it does no damage to you, so save all your cc until it's up
    • Avoiding the red circles helps alot
    • Pay attention to it's animations over several tries to learn which you need to dodge/block and which you can simply walk out of range of
    • The f5 rift cannot be critically hit, so if all else fails try to cast it before you go down
    • If low on health, back away for a few seconds to heal so you don't get oneshot

    That makes a fair amount of sense. I thought my Mesmer seemed a lot naturally tougher than my Elementalist.

  • rng.1024rng.1024 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 15, 2019

    @Irensaga.6935 said:

    @rng.1024 said:

    @Irensaga.6935 said:
    Oujimaru, it sounds like calming down and pushing the evade buttons methodically after studying the enemy patterns is better than just winging the fights and pushing the abilities on cooldown frantically.

    RNG, I'll have to take some time to digest all that. I will note that in Open World, the concept of a "tank" doesn't really exist like it does in a raid of course. So I don't have to worry much about having the highest toughness in the group unless I want it solely for my own benefit and not the group's.

    I tried going with commander stats in HoT content with my Elementalist main once when I got tired of dying. I didn't find the armor change made a lot of difference - my Ele still died a lot. I wound up going back to an Assassin's gear set and focused instead on nuking things faster so they'd do less damage to me. I still sucked, but it worked to a point.

    No one is asking you to go full toughness, and I specifically used your own wording to reason my suggestion. No one is able to tank HoT metas on zerker gear, you'll be hard pressed on marauder even. However what toughness provides is better mitigation of the big hits, which are extremely prevalent in every bossfight of the jungle. If you can already avoid them actively - by all means go full zerker, however that's not the impression I got from your previous post.

    This is why Commander's doesn't work on ele, as it might survive the big hit but gets consumed by the following small ones due to the already lowest healthpool. Mesmer is way better of as a) it has better boon access and b) it has just big enough of a health pool to match the HoT powercreep (tried and tested).

    In other words your best defense is active:

    • Avoiding red circles
    • Dodging
    • Blocking
    • Look for big animations
    • Saving cc for breakbars
    • Using your evadeframes at the right time
    • Standing behind boss or using range

    If you want we can make a compromise that let's you keep your current gear, won 't cost much and should really bulk you up.

    As you'll notice you now have the toughness of a medium armored profession, a chunky amount of healing power and added small heals (to make up for allied heals of the well), more condition cleanse and you get 5% of your health back whenever you block with your shield, scepter or aegis. And 10% more base health to boot, plus unlimited dodges if you tag critters in a fight.

    There's also things to keep in mind when fighting PvE bosses in metas:

    • Conditions won't help you survive at all, like blinds, weakness etc
    • It's all about the breakbar since when broken it does no damage to you, so save all your cc until it's up
    • Avoiding the red circles helps alot
    • Pay attention to it's animations over several tries to learn which you need to dodge/block and which you can simply walk out of range of
    • The f5 rift cannot be critically hit, so if all else fails try to cast it before you go down
    • If low on health, back away for a few seconds to heal so you don't get oneshot

    That makes a fair amount of sense. I thought my Mesmer seemed a lot naturally tougher than my Elementalist.

    Mesmer is a "weird" profession in the way it's supposed to avoid and mitigate damage. If you have ever played a stance warrior then you know what tanky feels like, and while mesmer doesn't have that sustained damage mitigation you have several windows of invulnerability and mobility.

    For instance sword 3 and staff 2 - sword 3 should be cast at the start of the fight away from your main target to allow you a quick escape if need be, and staff 2 used to avoid circles.

    Another great utilization of the shield, is to cast the healing well and block/sword 2 during the pulses.

    Chaos Storm (from staff 5 or traited) is a great utility, as it has a chance to give you aegis aswell as disrupting foes, allowing you to stand your ground.

    Time Warp is another elite that deals 10% less breakbar damage, however it greatly enhances group damage and gives you more control over what you are fighting. The recharge is double, however you have f5 and alacrity to make up for it (and sigil of Frenzy if you want more recharge reduction).

    Well of Precognition will also give you immunity toward slow hitting foes and last 3 seconds so you can time sword 2 at it's end.

    A good practice for how to best utilize sword 2 is to keep in mind it shares cooldown with weapon swap. This means it should be the last skill you use on sword before swapping sets, and then you know it will be available the instant you swap back.

    Having a scepter in the other set you can do the same with the skill 2 block. So picture you swap every 10 seconds as soon as it's available:

    You start with sword 2. That is 1/10 seconds covered. Then both shield blocks. That's 4 seconds covered. Cast f5. Then Well of Precognition. That's 7/10 seconds covered. Double dodge. That's 8,5/10 seconds covered. Use f4. Now sword 2 is off cooldown, use it again for 10,5/10. Swap sets and use scepter 2. That's 11,5 seconds. Then the well again for 14,5 seconds. Use f4. That's 17,5 seconds. Dodge once for 18,25 seconds. Use scepter 2 again for 19,25 seconds. Swap to sword and use sword 2 for 20,25 seconds. Dodge for 21 seconds.

    So essentially you can tank for roughly 20 seconds. With Sword/shield in one set and Scepter/x in the other (which is great for power damage) you can evade/block for a minimum of 1,5 seconds every 10, which will help alot. The key is to allow your animations and skills finish squeezing that last drop of defense out before you move on.

    Just keep in mind you do no damage meanwhile, so spacing defenses out in periods of low threat will not only give you all your skills off cooldown when you need them, but also allow you to do optimal dps. Keep spamming alacrity though (shatters 1-3, shield 5 and/or the well) to have your skills recharge faster at all times. Make sure to always have clones out when you use f4, else it's a big waste of alot of defense and a big cooldown, however should only be used when your health get really low or you know you can win the fight in those 4 seconds.

    Just throwing stuff out there, hope some of it's usable atleast. This is the power of mesmer - the ability to negate all damage in brief windows of time. Knowing when to do so however, is what decides how well you'll do.

  • Sleepwalker.1398Sleepwalker.1398 Member ✭✭✭

    OP, play a staff/scepter/x mes for open world.
    Good for tagging, staying alive and solo champs.

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