Tips For Surviving With Sword — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Tips For Surviving With Sword

I just got my Warpblade and have been wanting to try Sword Ele, but I've run into a problem. Even dodging all the bad stuff, sometimes I just... die. Mob auto-attacks are enough to kill me in Fractals and stuff, and I don't have enough Endurance to dodge them all.

What's the trick to staying alive using Sword/Dagger? Or should I just relegate that to fights which have tank aggro and use Staff for everything else?


  • steki.1478steki.1478 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Sandstorm and arcane shield can help in a lot of situations, but of course, mastering class means that you know how to adapt your build to every situation. Both tempest and weaver have a few strong options.

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  • fuzzyp.6295fuzzyp.6295 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 16, 2018

    My advice for new weavers learning sword is to start with Dire Gear. Weaver has decent condi output that you can use to solo PvE so you'll still be able to kill things, and the extra toughness and vitality make it very forgiving as you start to learn how Sword combos with itself and with other weapons. It takes some time, but its how I learned. I don't believe condi weaver is meta anywhere so its not a build you'll run in fractals, but a good build to get used to the way sword feels.

    If you feel comfortable enough with how Sword runs, don't go full glass right away. Keep mostly Marauders/Valkyrie Gear and slowly begin to glass out. Running full zerk on Sword Weaver is a lot different than running full zerk on Staff. I have thousand of hours on ele but even I still find it easier to toss in a piece or two of marauders. Also, until you feel super comfortable with sword, don't go full DPS utility. Take utilities like Arcane Shield or Twist of Fate to help.

    As for general tips, don't waste your dodges. You will need to master your matchups in order to know just when to dodge and when to use a utility to avoid.

    • Remember your combos Sword Water 2 -> Sword Earth 2 for blast finisher to heal yourself. Both of these skills are also evades, so you can also use them when you need to avoid damage and not necessarily going for the healing combo.
    • Dagger Air 5 is also an evade so use it if you need to avoid an attack, not just to knock back an enemy.
    • If you're running, you can click random mobs in the distance and use Air Sword 2 to shadow step towards them to get some distance between yourself and the monsters. Works on ambient creatures too.
    • Sword Fire/Earth 3 is a pulsing barrier. I think even without any healing power, you should still get around 2,000 extra health. Consider using it if you know you are about to take some damage or if you're condi up since it will eat away at the barrier before you health.
    • Sword Air/Earth 3 is a 3 target stun so use it when you're under pressure.
    • Sword Water 3 is a powerful heal, but its not really useful to go out of your way to try and use it unless you're running Unravel, and there really isn't a reason to run that skill too much.
    • And of course, Dagger Air 4 is great for disengaging fights you can't win.
    • Don't try and counter on your barrier from the weaver traits, it scales of healing power and in PvE you will almost always be using Power stats, which makes most of its gain pretty useless in the long run.
    • Oh, one more thing I often forget to mention. Since no other Ele Weapon has an auto-attack chain, alot of eles try and treat sword like its a dagger. You get a lot of damage from completing your auto-attack chain and might be actually hurting yourself by trying to swap up different skills with different attunments before it completes its chain. So, atleast for air (and fire), don't be afraid to let the AA finish. Remember the best way to survive is to kill your opponent after all.

    Also, consider focus instead of dagger at least at first. The extra survivability with focus really helps with learning the rotations. And most important it will take time. You will learn through your many, many deaths just what you can and can't take as a sword weaver. But you eventually just the feel for it. I hope this helps.

  • MyPuppy.8970MyPuppy.8970 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Dodge fast, kill faster. Maybe celestial Gear Can help getting started?

  • For running Fractal, Full Berserker is required. Use Arcane Shield, Circle targets, Knock back to avoid hits and use Air 4 close range target, Air 2, Water 2 can evade, Arcane Shield provide 3 blocks, plus 2 retreat, ele has 9 evade skills to dodge, Ele has high learning curve so be patience with the class. Practicing is the only way.

  • Dace.8173Dace.8173 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Much like everything else, practice, practice, practice. Getting Mender down is a matter of trial and error and learning from your mistakes. I've been making small adjustments here and there. I just picked up two Ascended Celestial rings to help out. Gonna see how that works out in WvW and PvE.

  • Tips here are reasonable but
    If you find yourself struggeling you are Not in an Environment in wich ele shines. The Lack of Bluffs and Long phases/ Lack of add clear make your life a chore and you are better of playing dh or holo

  • Dace.8173Dace.8173 Member ✭✭✭✭

    People keep telling me Dragonhunter sucks.

  • @Dace.8173 said:
    People keep telling me Dragonhunter sucks.

    but it''s easier to stay alive and provide better dps since it's not h-24 downstate . The dps loss is kinda compensate and now the dps difference is not that huge compared to the old days.

  • Zhaid Zhem.6508Zhaid Zhem.6508 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 16, 2018

    In fractals
    DH : >35k burst, 20-23k dps
    Weaver >40k burst, 20-25k dps
    (with proper build, rotation etc, of course)
    The main difference : DH has "panic skills" with f2-f3, focus #5, better healing skills, better cc, some regen/heals, applies 25 vulnerability + it can provide Stab, aegis, wall of reflection if needed. Cons : need a good amount of retaliation : need a good chrono or a second guard.
    Weaver doesn't have "hard rotation", but it's very squishy and you need to place yourself properly and avoid to take aggro of trashmobs etc. It's pure damage, you don't have support for others, or play tempest.

    The reason people say it sucks : too many people play guard, because it's noob friendly, but don't look at their rotation, their dps.
    I can say the same of half the chronos, wars, druids I see, but people in pugs don't criticize support classes (they already happy to have one, they won't want to wait for an other to come)

  • Alrighty, thanks for the advice, folks. I'll focus more on making sure I have an evade skill available when I'm under pressure rather than hard-focusing on the absolute best DPS rotation.

  • I go sword dagger and I find that the earth fire skill number 3 combo helps a lot to survive AND do extra damage.

  • zencow.3651zencow.3651 Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 17, 2018

    Just don't get hit. For group instances this is easy enough with positioning but for open-world/story etc, do use Sandstorm aka Glyph of Storm (Earth) and Glyph of Lesser Elementals and Glyph of Elementals (ideally earth) so they can tank for you.

  • Try using marauders rather than berserker stats. You can try using staff for open World content, it exposes you less to damage and covers more aoe.

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  • Mara.6782Mara.6782 Member ✭✭

    Superior sigil of Celerity help you kill faster with 5s quickness when you disable. You can start your burst with air 2.

  • @Conqueror.3682 said:
    Try using marauders rather than berserker stats. You can try using staff for open World content, it exposes you less to damage and covers more aoe.

    Using Marauder's stats was a big, BIG help for fractals and stuff. I still ran full Berserker's for raids and that was fine, though.

  • SoulSlavocracy.4902SoulSlavocracy.4902 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 1, 2018

    So as far as fractals goes, I run full zerk + a few valkyrie pieces + weaver minor trait 3 and sit around 17.3k health most of the time, and still pump out some extremely good damage, so it's ok to have a little more vitality -- in fact as far as pug groups in t4 fractals goes, I'd recommend it most of the time so that you don't end up being a burden when your kitten healer misses you 3 times in a row.

    For utility bar in t4 fractals I run glyph of storms, lightning hammer and twist of fate. Twist of fate is technically a DPS loss, but the stunbreak & evade it provides has saved me many times in fractals. I don't doubt that some can easily run full zerk/full dps utilities and be fine, but I'm not that experienced yet.

    When you're about to die (4000 health or lower), switch off your DPS rotation (the snowcrows rotation is available on their website if you don't already use it) and go to water, use riptide, then earth skill 2 > use water 4+5 for some self heal and evades, usually this is enough to bridge the gap and allow your healer to get your health up.

    edit: and if you're attempting t4s without a healer, you'd either need to play extremely intelligently or just straight up face-tank with full marauders, I reckon

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  • Here is a tip for sword build that doesnt kill you because you have to melee with most fragile class in the game :

  • apharma.3741apharma.3741 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @MyPuppy.8970 said:
    Dodge fast, kill faster. Maybe celestial Gear Can help getting started?

    No, go marauder as it's basically all the power damage stats with a bit of extra vitality so you survive 1 or 2 attacks, you can also get bonus precision feeding into bonus ferocity.

    In general though I'd say drop arcane blast and take arcane shield and as you said, kill faster. It also helps to play with people who subscribe to the same max damage ethos as you. If you're berserker and your friends are in PVT like back in 2014....well you're going to get aggro fast and die faster.

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