To begin, I want to get my thought process down here before I move on to talking about explosives line in detail. Many classes' offensive trait specialization lines (e.g. spite/curses in necromancer, dueling/domination on mesmer) have a complementary mechanic that comes alongside the damage oriented traits and styles. Referring to the examples, spite/curses have boon removal and corruption, and dueling/domination have blinds, reflects, stuns, and boonrips, and furthermore, guardian has zeal/radiance with blinds/retaliation mechanics and burning/damage buffs, and warrior has might/endurance regeneration in strength.
When we take these kind of complementary mechanics into mind and look at engineer's arms/explosives, explosives has this strange lack. Arms has a healthy amount of critical chance buffs, boons, and condition damage buffers as well as damage modifiers, but explosives feels like a lot of the traits are outdated or nonvital to any build, really. From this, I say explosives line on engineer could definitely use some sort of complementary mechanic, akin to the ones discussed above. Before you say "mines on dodge" hear this: there's no endurance regeneration in explosives, that's in tools. My suggestion? Give explosives boon stripping capabilities. The only classes that have relevant boon removal are spellbreaker, necromancer, mesmer, and thief. Spellbreaker's boon removal isn't something that is widely applicable, being oriented largely around the ominous bubble. Mesmer and thief are two duelists that don't have much place doing damage/lockdown oriented tactics in a large scale setting, as far as I can tell, and they more excel in duelist settings. Necromancer is almost a necessity in group pvp/wvw content due to it being the only consistent area boon removal class. If engineer's explosives line got relevant boon removal mechanics, they could at least be a relevant substitute if not rival to necromancer's obligatory boon removal, and break the enforced meta of using necromancers as boon removal bruisers. Engineer has the area capabilities of necromancer with the right kits, and could very well contend hypothetically. If you're reading this and thinking "that'll just enable more boon-heavy builds to seem balanced and tip the scales against every other class", to that I say adding boon removal to engineer isn't necessarily an expansion on boon removal, since explosives line is a specialization not many engineers currently take, and many would consider it a sacrifice of another line to do so. A little extra nugget on that, a few engineer skills already remove boons, namely throw mine: I felt that was a good idea that could very well be built further on.
TL:DR engineer explosives should get boon removal to add more variegated counter-play to boons in pvp and wvw settings as well as provide a complementary mechanic to its damage as other classes have in their offensive core trait specialization lines. (Also check out what's bold for a quick highlighted version)
What are your thoughts on something like this? Good? Bad? Makes you want to punch me in the face for not being satisfied with the lackluster situational damage modifiers explosives already has? Share what you think.