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Why harbinger is the strongest of the 3 Elites


Kuma.1503

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Short Answer: Because Core necro has no weak traitlines. 

 

Long Answer:

 

I mentioned in a thread a while ago that, in order to make the new elites strong, they would need a strong core foundation to build from. If the core spec has gaping holes in it, then the Elite spec will have to be bloated in order to both patch in those holes and achieve the goal it wishes to achieve. 

 

Core guard is doing great for itself as a support spec, but dps has been lacking for a while. Meanwhile, Willbender has been designed dilberately so it cannot take advantage of Guard's supportiveness. 

New Virtues are designed so that they give small value when shared with allies. Their trade-offs scream to the player in big bold letters this is a selfish spec, not a support. 

 

Core lacks the foundation to build a functional dps spec. This puts pressure on the Willbender elite to patch in the holes, but Anet were careful to add enough trade-offs to the spec that it wouldn't be too overloaded. This is a fine approach, but remember, if core is full of holes, your elite will have to be bloated in order to fill in the gaps. Otherwise what you ship will be underwhelming. 

 

Compare that to Necro. 

 

Soul Reaping is godlike on virtually any build

Blood Magic is also splashable on most builds

Curses is great for condi and it even has some built in defense with transfers

Spite is great if building a dps

Death magic is great for bunkers. 

 

Necro's core spec is very well fleshed out. It has all the tools an elite would need to build a functional spec. 

 

If you look at what makes harbinger strong. A lot of it isn't just the elite. It's the elite abusing its synergy with core traits. 

 

One example is Eternal Life. Gain pulsing life force up to a cap when not in shroud. 

Harbingers constantly drain life force to heal themselves when not in shroud. Eternal Life is an infinite pool of life force. Therefore Harbinger has an infinite pool of healing when outside of shroud for just existing. 

 

Speed of Shadows gives quickness and breaks movement impairing conditions when you enter shroud. Harbinger can not only enter shroud at any time, even at 0 life firce, but they're the only core spec not to lose life force when they leave shroud. They also have two leaps that they can use to exit danger if they're being focused (previously the weakness of Necromancer). Add that all together, and if a harbinger is caught out with 0 life force, they can enter shroud, break any movement condis they may have on them, leap away twice to safety, and gain swiftness to help them kite. 

 

Add all this on top of the sustain you get from blood magic/death magic, and you have a spec that is not only deceptively tanky, but very sufficient at self-peel. 

 

It all comes down to synergy. Necro has the foundation for Harbinger to build synergies off of. 

 

Finally, lets look at Mesmer. 

 

This spec has been struggling in PvP for some time now. Thankfully, it does have the tools needed to build a functional dps spec, but functional is about all I can say for core mesmer. Neither power core or Condi core mesmer are good. They're gimmick burst builds at best. Most importantly, they rely heavily on layering instant casts to gain most of their value. 

 

Ex. Power core mesmer's bread and butter is: Mirror blade > Blink in (so mirror blade bounces)> Mind Stab, Mantra of Pain, and Shatter all at once. 

 

Virtuoso would rather not be in the enemy's face when they cast Bladesong. Getting CC'd mid cast is feels bad, and the addition of a cast time on bladesong means the enemy has time to dodge out of the way before the peak of your burst comes out. If casted from range, the enemy will have time to react to both the cast time and the travel time of blades. Each blade also hits one at a time, so even dodging late will let you avoid some of their damage. 

 

Core mesmer is currently  the "learn 2 dodge spec" where you dodge their burst and live or face tank it and eat a ton of damage. This breaks apart when you add in cast times and delays. 

 

Delays are good things to have because they allow for counterplay. The problem is that core mesmer's foundation does not support this playstyle. Virtuoso plays like a skirmisher where it wants to stick around in a fight, build daggers, shatter, build daggers, shatter, rinse repeat. The grandmaster traits heavily reinforce this playstyle.

 

But core mesmer is all about that one burst. You don't have the durability or the sustain to stick around and fish for constant shatters. Either Virtuoso needs the tools to patch in these holes, or core mesmer needs to be re evealuated. 

 

 

Edited by Kuma.1503
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I'll give you better explanation, Harbinger is just a twist on core necro with more mobility (kind of the same gameplay) and easier access to damage with pistol and shroud 1, 2 with quickness, so you can spam allot and overwhelm people with throw away attacks, since there isn't much to dodge there isn't much interaction in there, as in there isn't much you can do about me hitting the basic attack. Reminds me of Lich form actually.

 Willbender doesn't have the passives of guard and loses allot of sustained damage and defenses, also its clunky with the skills. The virtues do not feel right to be used for running around the map, since they are needed for the damage  output and it feels worse than using thief or rev. Also that is what Arenanet gets for trying to swipe ideas from the warrior forum meant for warrior and not for guard.    

Edited by Vancho.8750
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Generally i have pretty much the opposite view of Harbinger, in that Harbinger lacks synergy. Such is also the case for the other two elite specs as well.

 

The reason basically comes down to seeing what a real synergy looks like. Synergy, means when two or more things, when put together give you an output that is more than the sum of its parts. Does 1+1 give you 3? or does 1+1 give you 2. 

 

When 1+1 = 2, it means that the traits aren't synergistic, they just "function" as a sum of their parts...and this is really what Harbinger has mostly...its traits just "function"...and doesn't go much further than that.

 

Now there is at one synergy on Harbinger... which is that the following traits DhuumfireReaper's Might  and Unyielding Blast interactions have with Shroud 1, since Shroud 1 shoots two bullets instead of  1 like other specs, Then the above traits also do twice the amount of applications, all the condition applications therefor trigger Corrupter's Fervor, to grant basically perma protection. The sum of these parts here create a greater machine and this is what a true synergy is.

 

Things that just "function" are very 1 to 1...You get Blight? You gain damage. This is "functional" in that it gives you damage when you receive blight and that's cool u can do damage now...but there is no synergy in that. It's very much a similiar case with nearly all the options on the majority of harbinger and the other specs. In addition this is why the community seems pretty benign about the specs...they just "work" but they don't excel...It's typical to see this given the current balance paradigm.

 

Cheers,

Edited by JusticeRetroHunter.7684
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1 hour ago, JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:

Generally i have pretty much the opposite view of Harbinger, in that Harbinger lacks synergy. Such is also the case for the other two elite specs as well.

 

The reason basically comes down to seeing what a real synergy looks like. Synergy, means when two or more things, when put together give you an output that is more than the sum of its parts. Does 1+1 give you 3? or does 1+1 give you 2. 

 

When 1+1 = 2, it means that the traits aren't synergistic, they just "function" as a sum of their parts...and this is really what Harbinger has mostly...its traits just "function"...and doesn't go much further than that.

 

Now there is at one synergy on Harbinger... which is that the following traits DhuumfireReaper's Might  and Unyielding Blast interactions have with Shroud 1, since Shroud 1 shoots two bullets instead of  1 like other specs, Then the above traits also do twice the amount of applications, all the condition applications therefor trigger Corrupter's Fervor, to grant basically perma protection. The sum of these parts here create a greater machine and this is what a true synergy is.

 

Things that just "function" are very 1 to 1...You get Blight? You gain damage. This is "functional" in that it gives you damage when you receive blight and that's cool u can do damage now...but there is no synergy in that. It's very much a similiar case with nearly all the options on the majority of harbinger and the other specs. In addition this is why the community seems pretty benign about the specs...they just "work" but they don't excel...It's typical to see this given the current balance paradigm.

 

Cheers,

 

Good post. 

 

I can think of a few others that stand less but are still impactful. 

 

For example:

 

Vampiric Presence - Heal when you deal strike damage. Healing is increased when in shroud

Harbinger Shroud 1 - Attacks twice in quick succession.

Harbinger shroud 2 - Fires a group of bolts that each proc the trait

Middle Grandmaster (I don't know the name offhand) - Gain quickness in shroud. 

 

When it all comes together when you enter shroud you gain an enhanced version of vampiric presence, that you can apply twice on your autos with quickness and multiple times on your 2 skill. This gains even more value if the bolts pierce. 

 

This is definately a case of the overall machine being greater than the sum of its parts. 

 

The healing doesn't even stop when you leave shroud. That's when you life force to health conversion takes over. It all fits together nicely. 

Edited by Kuma.1503
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18 minutes ago, Kuma.1503 said:

 

Good post. 

 

I can think of a few others that stand less but are still impactful. 

 

For example:

 

Vampiric Presence - Heal when you deal strike damage. Healing is increased when in shroud

Harbinger Shroud 1 - Attacks twice in quick succession. Harbinger shroud 2 - Fires a group of bolts that each proc the trait

Middle Grandmaster (I don't know the name offhand) - Gain quickness in shroud. 

 

When it all comes together when you enter shroud you gain an enhanced version of vampiric presence, that you can apply twice on your autos with quickness and multiple times on your 2 skill. This gains even more value if the bolts pierce. 

 

This is definitely a case of the overall machine being greater than the sum of its parts. 

 

The healing doesn't even stop when you leave shroud. That's when you life force to health conversion takes over. It all fits together nicely. 

 

Ya. Out of all three specs, it seems that most of them function, which is a good thing (in comparison to say builds like PP thief which simply does not function) but they lack the build depth that would really give them specs greater build variety.

 

Another way to look at synergistic and functionality is by asking this question:

 

How do you play Harbinger, if you slot no traits at all. Then ask, after slotting some traits, How much does the playstyle actually change? If the answer is no it barely changes...as in you still play the harbinger class the same way with or without traits, than the traits are poorly designed.

 

Much of how I see the capacity of build variety comes from asking that question. The functional difference between playing PP thief, and DP Thief is very very different from each other...where as a Condi Harbinger , probably plays the same as a Power or Healing Harbinger, and you can tell this is the case by looking at the three grandmasters, since they all have identical mechanics. 

Edited by JusticeRetroHunter.7684
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19 minutes ago, JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:

 

Ya. Out of all three specs, it seems that most of them function, which is a good thing (in comparison to say builds like PP thief which simply does not function) but they lack the build depth that would really give them specs greater build variety.

 

Another way to look at synergistic and functionality is by asking this question:

 

How do you play Harbinger, if you slot no traits at all. Then ask, after slotting some traits, How much does the playstyle actually change? If the answer is no it barely changes...as in you still play the harbinger class the same way with or without traits, than the traits are poorly designed.

 

Much of how I see the capacity of build variety comes from asking that question. The functional difference between playing PP thief, and DP Thief is very very different from each other...where as a Condi Harbinger , probably plays the same as a Power or Healing Harbinger, and you can tell this is the case by looking at the three grandmasters, since they all have identical mechanics. 

 

I noticed that too. 

 

There wasn't a huge playstyle shift between death magic harbinger, blood magic, curses, spite, ect. The playstyle is very similar, the only thing that changes is that you shift a few numbers around. A bit less sustain here. A bit more condi damage there. A bit more power damage here. 

 

Whether you're autoing someone to death with soul reaping and death magic, proccing vuln, burning, poison, torment, and gaining capapace, or autoing some to death as spite soul reaping and gaining might and quickness while inflicting vuln. Or if you're autoing someone down with blood magic and procing vampiric presence with quickness, you're still running your target down with autos. Your skill priorities don't change, just the numbers behind them. 

 

There are little interactions here and there. Like when you leap into a fight where an ally is in downstate, proc transfusion, port them away from the enemy's stomp, then use your 5 skill to punish the enemy team for clumping on top of your downstates, but these are less noticable than the differences in other classes. 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, JusticeRetroHunter.7684 said:

 

Ya. Out of all three specs, it seems that most of them function, which is a good thing (in comparison to say builds like PP thief which simply does not function) but they lack the build depth that would really give them specs greater build variety.

 

Another way to look at synergistic and functionality is by asking this question:

 

How do you play Harbinger, if you slot no traits at all. Then ask, after slotting some traits, How much does the playstyle actually change? If the answer is no it barely changes...as in you still play the harbinger class the same way with or without traits, than the traits are poorly designed.

 

Much of how I see the capacity of build variety comes from asking that question. The functional difference between playing PP thief, and DP Thief is very very different from each other...where as a Condi Harbinger , probably plays the same as a Power or Healing Harbinger, and you can tell this is the case by looking at the three grandmasters, since they all have identical mechanics. 

It's the blob design, with the idea that elite specks should do it all instead of specialize, it was a necessity in HoT, but now we have 3 elite specks with more leeway and maybe elites should be good for specific role with clear purpose instead of cannibalizing the class by being way better than everything else from the same profession . Forced variety by restriction, every elite is good at something that the other elites can't have.  

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17 hours ago, Stand The Wall.6987 said:

i'm still surprised when i think to myself that blood + death magic are finally good trait lines. i hope every other class gets trait love.

honestly..   death magic isnt that great as you think..  if you are playing condi it offers 0 offensive..  pretty much..  unless you want to explode some minions..    its nice but it need work to better suit builds..    stacking 25 stacks for the protection isnt so easy on every class..  and while condi build of the new spec can stack it fairly easily with the gun..   i dont think the nerfed torment is strong enough for pvp..      as for..  power build..  reaper can somewhat make good use of it..  its easy to stack these on shroud if you take the 2 vun stacks on shroud 1 .. ..  but the new class design is kinda weird?  im not saying its weak its decent class but it doesnt motivate you to use your shroud at all.. especially in power version.. you kinda only enter use mobility and cc and leave shroud ideally in 1-2 seconds max.     or you stack stupid blights. ..      so you cant make good use of shroud 1 to stack that protection.  you also cant really stay much in shroud in pvp since you lose your only sustain you cant use elite skills you dont have second life bar no healing and you lose max life per second and get 1 shoot..  the new shroud while strong and fun combined with the mechanic of the new class simply not desinged or cant be used much for combat.. on power builds..   staying out of shroud and using axe is better..      back to deth magic..  death magic should either allow more ways to stacks their mechanic to be used or reduce some of the requirements lets say from 25 to 15  because these stacks does not refresh their duration..  or should increase the duration.. 
while theres nice trait for power 10 power per stack barely any power builds use it.. 

and they all decide to go blood magic even tho  being able to stack death magic would be better. 

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All these ppl saying necro traits arent that great yet necro sit at the top with around 5 meta builds in pvp and prob 1 or 2 more coming on expac. lol 

 

Meanwhile guards gets 1 support meta build a meme trapper build and to finishing it off willybender is the spec they get -_-.

 

 

Edited by Exile.8160
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