Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Suggested changes to the Catalist from a wvw and pvp player.


Recommended Posts


(I have posted this on reddit aswell and it was pretty wel recieved so I thought it would be a good idear to also place it here) I unlike some Elementalist players was pretty hyped during the Livestream. While most were asking for a ranged specialization, I liked the close-range fighter classes way more. I have played Elementalist since launch, starting with the famed dagger/ dagger setup and currently enjoying dagger/ focus lightning rod weaver. I am well aware of the current state of Elementalist in the meta of both pvp and wvw but I won't go into that in this discussion unless it's relevant. I will be talking about the class mechanic, augments, weapon skills, and traits in that order ending off with a conclusion.

Jade Sphere

The idea of a Jade Sphere is good but in its execution flawed. It's nice to have access to a Waterfield on every weapon set. Specifically, Dagger/ focus or dagger/ dagger comes to mind. And it's a good idea to change the composition of the field every time an attunement is swapped. This also allows the cooldown of Elemental Epitome to not be too oppressive.

However, issues come to play (mostly in wvw) when you are not allowed to move the sphere. It's stuck in place and deactivating it for some reason costs all of your energy. This is all fine with point gameplay in pvp where you can just drop it on the node. But it's completely unplayable in wvw where fights are more dynamic and less static. Elementalist always had the problem that they can't keep up with most classes in wvw and being forced to stay static to use your professional mechanic is a terrible idea.


Discussion is probably needed but I would make the sphere act similar to engineer wells (gyros) where it simply follows the player. I would as well reduce the cooldown and remove the effect that all energy is drained upon deactivation. Especially since it's hard to gain energy in wvw and pvp while running a slow weapon like a hammer. This change would also allow the Elementalist to move while playing.


They were mentioned to be wells in the trailer but I assumed Arenanet would be afraid of the interaction it would have with Runes of the Chronomancer, allowing quickness on well usage. Especially on hammer quickness would almost be mandatory to use the weapon in a competitive setting so I would revert this change back to wells. The idea of Augments is that they become stronger if you cast them while staying In the Jade sphere, once more forcing static gameplay on a melee weapon. Even worse is that they force you to be in the respective attunement in line with the augment, forcing not just static play but also inflexible play, not allowing any swapping if you would like to get the stronger effect. It also must be mentioned that the Jade sphere has a cooldown of 15 seconds so even with perfect energy management the stronger effects can't be used for that duration of time. Before I talk about each individual skill I will recommend a quick fix to make these skills more flexible.

General Fix:

I would make it that the stronger effect of the augment remains for the duration of the augment buff if it's cast in their respective sphere element. This way you can leave the sphere or swap attunements while enjoying the buff. Mostly making it more flexible and less static. I would also consider turning augments into wells to allow the use of rune of the chronomancer but this mostly depends on other buffs the class would get, since we don't want to over tune the class.

Soothing Water: The catalyst heal skill will heal the Elementalist for 1340(0.2) every pulse for 5 pulses. In addition to this, it would cleanse one condition a second as long as the Elementalist stays in a water jade sphere. The cooldown is 25 seconds. In a competitive setting, you would be happy to cleanse one or two conditions in this way.

It's competition Glyph of Elemental Harmony heals instantly on completion of the cast time for 6494(1.0) While giving a boon depending on your current attunement. Soothing water over its duration heals for 6700(0.2). So without healing power, it's barely edging out and with healing power, the glyph of elemental harmony would easily output more healing instantly. Elemental harmony also has a lower cooldown of just 20 seconds which can be traited. Burst healing is also way more useful since it applies more of a buffer when you are low. This means that elemental harmony is just straight up a better heal if it wasn't for the cleanse. And the cleanse is a lot less accessible how it's designed now.

Fix Soothing Water:

In addition to the general fix I would recommend increasing the healing power coefficient. It's a really low heal and it isn't even a burst heal.

Relentless Fire: I actually like this skill, Although I would nerf it if, and only if, the general fix is applied. 5 seconds of unblockable attacks can be extremely oppressive mostly in a wvw group setting.

Fix Relentless Fire: Only if the general fix is applied, I would change the 5 seconds of unblockable attacks to simply the next 5 attacks, the simple ranger treatement.

Shattering Ice: I wouldn't change this augment if the general fix is applied. I don't see anyone using this in pvp but in wvw it could get some good use. I must admit I have not tested it in a group setting, for instance, combining it with a meteor shower on a zerk but the damage value is pretty low so it shouldn't be oppressive. Combine this with the fact that scrappers exist and the chill wouldn't be too bad either.

Invigorating Air. I wouldn't change this augment if the general fix is applied. Elementalists are starving for good stun breaks and this is actually a nice addition. Cooldowns on mist form and armor of earth are so insanely high that most players have been using signet of air, which mostly only is used for the stun break and an alternative is always welcome.

Fortified Earth. I wouldn't change this augment if the general fix is applied. Mostly for pvp, I like a defensive skill on Elementalist that doesn't stop point capturing or defending. The cooldown is also completely reasonable.

Elemental Celerity: I like the idea of this skill, I really do but it's just terrible. The cooldown is completely insane especially considering the terrible interval. In a perfect world, which won't happen, You would need to hit an enemy every second at the exact interval to get 8 seconds less cooldown on only your current equipped kit. The cooldown also doesn't impact anything other than your current shown weapon skills.

Fix: In my fixes, I attempt to propose realistic fixes that can be done for release, and with this skill, the only thing I can think of is reducing the cooldown to 30 seconds in pvp and wvw. Especially with the attunement swapping the cooldown will barely be noticeable.


This will be a challenge since 20 skills are mentioned. So I won't go into too much dept with each skill. What I will say is some general pointers on the hammer weapon. The damage is absolutely terrible for how little the weapon can actually do outside of doing damage. For a weapon that should be focused on blasting fields, it doesn't create any! And with the massive cooldown of jade sphere and the trouble hammer has in getting the energy it will just not have a great time in blasting anything. Aside from that, the weapons cleansing option is very sad. Cleansing is mostly gotten out of the fire trait line which is mostly condition-focused and this weapon has terrible condition damage. Easy access to auras is only for a little bit during the jade sphere with a 15-second cooldown where aura cleansing is not done. Even more so you can't transmute any of the auras. For a class that is supposed to be a bruiser, it has no good cleansing options to deal with condi classes especially since some can effortlessly put up 4 or more cover conditions.


Singeing Strike: I would make it pierce, it's an auto-attack so I would not change much more.

Surging Flames: The damage coefficient is extremely low and it only applies a single stack of burning making it also a terrible skill for any condi build. I would perhaps think about increasing the coefficient and doubling the burning stacks.

Flame Wheel: Honestly a great skill! But one issue with it is that if the flip-over - Grand Finale is interrupted, the wait is long enough that you can't ever cast it realistically within the same cycle. My biggest fix would be increasing the duration of this skill to 7 seconds. This also allows for more freedom in the playstyle instead of being forced to swap often. Considering the orbs only hit the enemy in a particular range I don't believe it's too oppressive and can be easily countered.

Triple Sear: Make it a combo field probably, this way you don't have to completely rely on your Jade sphere. I would also recommend 50 to 100% more damage. It now barely affects downstate corpses and that is what the skill should ideally be able to deal with.

Molten End: A very slow skill for how low the damage coefficient is so I would think about a 30-50% Increase. Aside from that, it's very unlikely to hit multiple people in a pvp/ wvw setting so the might per target should probably be increased.


Stream Strike: Considering how slow the chain of the auto-attack is I would at least double the chill duration at the end, else it would just not be used. Perhaps a slight damage increase would also be welcome.

Rain of Blows: Hitting all strikes is not realistic in a competitive game mode. Random aegis, dodges, and movement skills can easily take care of that. So a 3 second chill on the final attack and only if everything has hit, is not enough. Combine that with the low damage and it's a non-skill. So to fix this I would double the range, which is now just 130. And I would add half a second of chill on each hit to make it easier to hit all of them. Perhaps even add weakness if all attacks are hit since it is an accomplishment really.

Icy Coil: Same as Flame Wheel.

Crashing Font: This is the only mobility skill on the hammer so I would consider reducing the cooldown to perhaps 15 seconds, making it available almost every cycle if used correctly. Perhaps add a single condition cleansed per target hit to allow Catalyst the condition cleanse it desperately needs.

Cleansing Typhoon: Currently the only cleanse on the hammer and it can't even reliably cleanse. I would make it cleanse 3 conditions regardless of enemies hit. Perhaps 2 conditions + 1 if an enemy is hit.


Wind Slam: Make it pierce, it's just an auto-attack so I won't ask for much more. Except for maybe a single stack of vuln added.

Hurricane of pain: I would at least double the radius since in a setting where enemies constantly move and on a weapon with no long-term lockdown it won't hit. Another fix would be to add the same circle of damage around the Elementalist in addition to the location they targeted. Of course similar to shades it shouldn't be possible to hit with both on the same target.

Crescent Wind: Same as Flame Wheel.

Wind Storm: All I would do with this one is add an evade frame. Hammer desperately needs more sustain and this would be a welcome addition.

Schock Blast: Add a passthrough CC, it's extremely hard to hit with enemies that are paying attention to the circle. This would also be a nice damage addition for lightning rod players who can get 2 cc's like this.


Stonestrike: Add bleeding, fire is the only weapon with some condi damage and even that is a pretty disappointing amount.

Whirling Stones: A bit of an odd one but with a cast time of over 3 seconds I would add damage reduction while spinning. Perhaps 33%-50% Less damage during the animation, else it would just be a suicide button with how little damage it currently does.

Rocky Loop: Same as Flame Wheel.

Immutable Stone: I would perhaps add a condition cleanse or 2 on the block. Hammer does really need it if it would want to survive into condition matchups.

Ground pound: This one is fine in my opinion



Elemental empowerment: Perhaps to make it a bit more interactive I would add a single stack for each attunement swap, and remove the while in combat application.

Elemental Epitome: Remove the internal cooldown, blasts are already pretty forced into the Jade Sphere this removes even more fluidity the build could have. Also, it makes it less rewarding to cast hammer 5 in earth, switch to fire for a fire field, and follow it up with fire 5. While the entire idea of the skills mentioned is to swap while casting.



Hardened Aura's: Without outside help, it's incredibly hard to keep this up for the 10% reduced damage. Considering that thief has Marauder's resilience which reduces inc dmg by 10% most of the time (only melee range) + adding a ton of vitality to the thief (I don't like this trait btw). It seems almost troublesome how hard it is for the Elementalist to reach this 10%. I would probably buff it to 3% per stack or increase the time you have to get an aura to refresh the buff to 7 or 8 seconds.

Vicious Empowerment: Love the trait, especially for lightning rod kind of builds so I wouldn't mind this one staying unchanged.

Energized Elements: It's fine I suppose, but I would perhaps add an increase to the maximum energy in this trait. Would be fun to see longer jade spheres if you trait towards it.


Empowering Auras: Same comment as Hardened Aura's

Evasive Empowerment: I like this one, especially since vigor can be troublesome to get in some builds. And since the hammer is pretty static it probably needs this as a defensive supply.

Spectacular Sphere: If the Jade Sphere is updated in line with what I suggested I believe this trait would be completely fine and fun.


Staunch Auras: Elementalist really needed a trait with good access to stability, especially since the hammer is static and unmoving.

Empowered Empowerment: Fun, wouldn't change anything about this!

Sphere Specialist: If the Jade Sphere is updated in line with what I suggested I believe this trait would be completely fine and fun.


Most changes I suggested primarily have fluid and flexible gameplay in mind. I must say I didn't much comment about the interaction with alternative Elementalist weapons but they for sure have been taken into consideration, it's just that this is already a huge amount of text and it would be even bigger if I mentioned it every possible interaction. I believe that catalyst with a hammer would be playable and even good in certain situations with the changes I mentioned. It would still lose pretty much every matchup in wvw but unfortunately, there are no easy number changes to fix that. Mobility is way more important in wvw(roaming) than in pvp, and it won't be easy to change anything to adjust to that.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...