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How good is Scepter and where is it mainly used?


GoingMenthol.7281

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I'm not very familiar with the Mesmer profession as a whole, but whenever I see builds being discussed or meta builds in general, I think I've only seen scepter being mentioned once (and that's from a video from 2 years ago). So as the title mentions, how good is the scepter, and where would you see it used usually?

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Scepter is a really good defensive weapon due to the frequent block. It is also the MH weapon with the highest clone gen in the game giving you more material to shatter than you'll ever need as well as good synergy with the Illusionary Inspiration trait.

The main condis scepter applies are confusion and torment - however, Axe on Mirage is the superior condi DPS weapon while Staff provides better support, overshadowing scepter in PvE content. The only build that can make good use of scepters high clone generation is a condition chronomancer build - with a combination of Master of Misdirection (-15% shatter cooldowns), Improved Alacrity (50% increased recharge rate for skills) and Rewinder (reduced cooldown when shattered with 3 clones) it is somewhat capable of actually using that amount of clone generation. Due to the nature of confusion and conditions however, it is mainly useful in raids and strike missions where the boss lives long enough to actually let the damage tick, in other content it will hardly feel impactful and even in raids it will only see play on a handful of bosses that are weak to confusion.

As a result, scepter is relegated to something more of a PvP weapon with its defensive access. Clones can be used to block projectiles and scepter 3 has relatively respectable power damage. Overall players still tend to prefer other weapons though as mesmer lacks the access to a sufficient amount of unique conditions to be truly successful with scepter in a competitive game mode as the conditions can be cleansed too easily and its direct damage is too concentrated in scepter 3, making it too easy to avoid.

Meaning overall, scepter is basically used nowhere as a meta weapon. It's not a bad one but it lacks a bit of identity given that the high clone generation cannot properly utilized by most builds and that Sword has similar defensive access while also sporting an immobilize that can generally be seen as more valuable in competitive game modes than the straight up damage from scepter.

Edited by Endaris.1452
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Yeah prior to Mirage i could see some use as a sort condition stalling weapon but now it pretty useless outside core Mesmer.

 

I do have one use for you, Support.

Generally healing is based of clone generation + shattering. With that in mind you should never use anything other than Ether Bolt (1). The block (2) can be handy when you know when you use it, the confusion channel (3) is useless since you do 0 damage as support.
Scepter + Chronomancer shield is the only valid use currently and can provide Alacrity or Quickness plus Healing.

Edited by Mell.4873
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Scepter was pretty good in pvp/wvw and had some use in pve before I would guess about 2018. I dont feel like looking back at patch notes to figure out time-frame but at one point iirc it applied more conditions, the burst on 3 was bigger damage and like the phant on staff scepter 2 once generated 2 clones if you countered an attack with the block vs the 1 clone which gave it value formirage after it lost a dodge just like the phants on staff and allot of other things that got nerfed prior to the 1 dodge change that then never got revisited. Instead that was all seeminly forgotten/ignored then more nerfs or nothing for like 3 or so years now for Mirage and Scepter.

 

At least that's how I remember it. I dont really play Mesmer anymore unless I need for tower, Math, TL

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Also while people are talking about scepter and talking about what a nice long block it has, lets remind everone that its not like most blocks. It itsnt really a 3 second block its a counter in which your character stops attacking to wait for 3 seconds(up to) and will counter the 1st hit only then stops blocking. So if they are hit 0.5s into it its a 0.5 second block not 3 seconds and would get hit by any additional hits in the rest of that 3 seconds for full damage.

Edited by Moradorin.6217
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57 minutes ago, Moradorin.6217 said:

Also while people are talking about scepter and talking about what a nice long block it has, lets remind everone that its not like most blocks. It itsnt really a 3 second block its a counter in which your character stops attacking to wait for 3 seconds(up to) and will counter the 1st hit only then stops blocking. So if they are hit 0.5s into it its a 0.5 second block not 3 seconds and would get hit by any additional hits in the rest of that 3 seconds for full damage.

Yeah it is not really that useful if you want to do damage, if you learn an encounter I could see it being okay to avoid a stun or one-shot mechanic.

This is why I said it can work if you want to attempt a support/healer with Mesmer since DPS wont mater.

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11 hours ago, Mell.4873 said:

Yeah it is not really that useful if you want to do damage, if you learn an encounter I could see it being okay to avoid a stun or one-shot mechanic.

This is why I said it can work if you want to attempt a support/healer with Mesmer since DPS wont mater.

I used to use it and like it. It did good damage and helped you get a shatter off then generate 3 clones again very quickly, but that was all 100% dependent upon actually thinking and timing your various attacks in combination with the shatter and other skills you intended to use. Granted throwing out a block and waiting isnt super hard, but getting that block up quickly at the right time to counter the big damage and counter w stacks of torment and 2 new clones wasnt always easy. IMO it was good risk v reward potential. Now the weapon has little real gain. It just lets you pack an extra block, but on Mirage for example you basically have to drop axe or staff to gain it either of which is arguably better in almost any situation, heck even the axe has an evade you can use if its damage avoidance we are comparing. To compare the crap part about axe's evade on 3 is the poor range and the fact that you dont get the evade if they are out of range. It makes it too unreliable to count on most of the time.

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9 hours ago, Moradorin.6217 said:

I used to use it and like it. It did good damage and helped you get a shatter off then generate 3 clones again very quickly, but that was all 100% dependent upon actually thinking and timing your various attacks in combination with the shatter and other skills you intended to use. Granted throwing out a block and waiting isnt super hard, but getting that block up quickly at the right time to counter the big damage and counter w stacks of torment and 2 new clones wasnt always easy. IMO it was good risk v reward potential. Now the weapon has little real gain. It just lets you pack an extra block, but on Mirage for example you basically have to drop axe or staff to gain it either of which is arguably better in almost any situation, heck even the axe has an evade you can use if its damage avoidance we are comparing. To compare the crap part about axe's evade on 3 is the poor range and the fact that you dont get the evade if they are out of range. It makes it too unreliable to count on most of the time.

Yes essentially most new condition main-hand weapons (Axe and Dagger), make the old conditions weapons obsolete. Even the staff for the large part is bad outside of the ambush provided by Mirage. With that in mind I do find Scepters only real use case is clone generation in service to a rather bad healer (I mean Mesmer doesn't have that many options if you want to heal anyway).

Maybe in the future we will get a Confusion/Tank focused Mesmer elite that could be helped by scepter much like how Focus has become relevant for Virtuoso with the pull+piercing dynamic. Every block gives the target 5 stacks of confusion, something like that.

Edited by Mell.4873
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The auto attack is weak - the only perk is the clone generation, skill 2 is alright in pvp against average players and decent for tanking in pve. Skill 3 is a great damage but super slow so chances are you would get interrupted.
 

So all in all it is a pretty weak weapon unfortunately. Completely untouched since 2012 apart from cosmetic changes like adding some condis to auto etc. Hence it feels bit ancient. It has some niche uses but staff is most of the time more reliable

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4 hours ago, Mell.4873 said:

Yes essentially most new condition main-hand weapons (Axe and Dagger), make the old conditions weapons obsolete. Even the staff for the large part is bad outside of the ambush provided by Mirage. With that in mind I do find Scepters only real use case is clone generation in service to a rather bad healer (I mean Mesmer doesn't have that many options if you want to heal anyway).

Maybe in the future we will get a Confusion/Tank focused Mesmer elite that could be helped by scepter much like how Focus has become relevant for Virtuoso with the pull+piercing dynamic. Every block gives the target 5 stacks of confusion, something like that.

the block was actually pretty decent years ago. If you traited for scepter iirc you got the cooldown on the block pretty close to the duration of the torrment effect so that if you timed the block correctly to mitigate a large damage attack and also managed to apply the 7 or so stacks of Torment(? its been a while since I looked) each refresh it worked out ok. Not the peak dps but it had potencial some times in pve for kiting champs (torment used to do more while they move). Really a number of things have changed that seem like they impacted scepter even more since I stopped using it on mirage much.

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What about those who play core because they don't yet have or don't like the mechanics of the elite specializations for solo PvE?  I find staff slow and only use it as group support.  Sword really isn't an option if one prefers a ranged playstyle.  There is greatsword, but I find the offhand skills from torch or pistol to be more useful.  For good or ill, that just leaves us with the scepter.  

Edited by ZioGio.9102
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17 hours ago, ZioGio.9102 said:

What about those who play core because they don't yet have or don't like the mechanics of the elite specializations for solo PvE?  I find staff slow and only use it as group support.  Sword really isn't an option if one prefers a ranged playstyle.  There is greatsword, but I find the offhand skills from torch or pistol to be more useful.  For good or ill, that just leaves us with the scepter.  

The same thing extends to whole mesmer kit, it is very strange and rather different from any other class. I always say the best way to view Mesmer is through the Elite/focus of your build.

In terms of core you best bet is Power Greatsword and Staff if you want ranged dps. Just swap to staff when you want to evade or AoE.

Edited by Mell.4873
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8 hours ago, ZioGio.9102 said:

What about those who play core because they don't yet have or don't like the mechanics of the elite specializations for solo PvE?  I find staff slow and only use it as group support.  Sword really isn't an option if one prefers a ranged playstyle.  There is greatsword, but I find the offhand skills from torch or pistol to be more useful.  For good or ill, that just leaves us with the scepter.  

Yea scepter tends to be slow. It, generally, really can be horrible allot of the times as a general damage weapon on Mesmer.

To me I would say its strengths of scepter are that it will block 1 attack with a decent counter attack(or at least could at one point) and that scepter 3 burst can hit up to 5 targets. That said, hitting 5 targets with the beam pretty much required all 5 targets are lined up in front of the Mesmer and the Mesmer is able to target the farthest target to make the beam hit the other targets between. This is usually problematic because of limited time window to change targets to back + the others can move and its all going to have to fit into the 900 range (all 5) so that 5 target description on scepter 3 is sort of misleading. Its clone generation should also not be overlooked but considering how often shatters can be used and how clones dont do much unless the Mesmer is a Mirage with ambush damage I would say the clones arent that beneficial for core.

Staff is probably a better condi option. TBH Mesmer has always had very few options for a main hand weapon unless its a power Mes. Sword and GS can do pretty good damage from what I recall on core but leveling I think the utility from staff prob helps the game feel a bit easier since it has decent range and generates some boons.

Bottom line is if you are asking if scepter needs some love in the form of a buff. I would say yes for sure it could. IMO for core Mesmer to be viable Mesmer weapons all need some rather serious buffs along with utilities.  

TBH I think most people feel like scepter sucks. I actually used it when it was unpopular for Mirage and when I did I used it because the evades on the Axe felt unreliable and at best worked but forced you step right to the opponent which forces the Mirage to put them self at risk of more burst attacks basically to get that evade frame off axe 3. So personally I found axe to be a poor choice in places like wvw most of the time. For instance in a zerg you cannot go shadow stepping to opponents every time u need an evade, not to mention the 900 range limit same goes for roaming pretty much. Axe was always a half-suicidal option. For axe I think the big problem has always been that the evade should probably activate even when the target is out of range.

Edited by Moradorin.6217
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11 hours ago, Mell.4873 said:

In terms of core you best bet is Power Greatsword and Staff if you want ranged dps. Just swap to staff you want to evade or AoE.

One of the biggest misconceptions of great sword is that it’s a “ranged” weapon. It’s biggest combo whether in pve or PvP is mirrorblade into mindwrack. You want to be in melee range so you can immediately hit the target with your clone and with the self shatter. Since you’re power the clones don’t do damage so you want to be able to shatter them as often as possible and be close enough for the self shatter damage. I wouldn’t recommend staff with greatsword for any build.

 

The biggest upside of scepter is that it poops out clones like nothing else. You can shatter and have your clones back up in no time. Works well with condi chrono and condi core. For open world, story content, etc it works perfectly fine. For PvP chaos/inspi(ewww gross) core players use it and myself and a couple others play condi chrono with it. My buddy streams playing condi chrono with Scepter, his twitch is Imuit and he is a really good player. Recommend watching him if you wanna see it in action. 

 

 

Edited by Ronald McDonald.8165
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3 hours ago, Ronald McDonald.8165 said:

One of the biggest misconceptions of great sword is that it’s a “ranged” weapon. It’s biggest combo whether in pve or PvP is mirrorblade into mindwrack. You want to be in melee range so you can immediately hit the target with your clone and with the self shatter. Since you’re power the clones don’t do damage so you want to be able to shatter them as often as possible and be close enough for the self shatter damage. I wouldn’t recommend staff with greatsword for any build.

 

The biggest upside of scepter is that it poops out clones like nothing else. You can shatter and have your clones back up in no time. Works well with condi chrono and condi core. For open world, story content, etc it works perfectly fine. For PvP chaos/inspi(ewww gross) core players use it and myself and a couple others play condi chrono with it. My buddy streams playing condi chrono with Scepter, his twitch is Imuit and he is a really good player. Recommend watching him if you wanna see it in action. 

 

 

Good recommendation, Greatsword and sword + sword are really amazing melee weapons once you know the rotation. 

Another side note now they are buffing a phantasmal defender you have even more survability in the open world without lowering your DPS as much.

Edited by Mell.4873
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16 hours ago, Ronald McDonald.8165 said:

One of the biggest misconceptions of great sword is that it’s a “ranged” weapon. It’s biggest combo whether in pve or PvP is mirrorblade into mindwrack. You want to be in melee range so you can immediately hit the target with your clone and with the self shatter. Since you’re power the clones don’t do damage so you want to be able to shatter them as often as possible and be close enough for the self shatter damage. I wouldn’t recommend staff with greatsword for any build.

In sPvP, sure, but in PvE you're generally not trying to spike so you don't need to go straight into Mind Wrack, and if there's any other target, friendly or enemy, within the seek range for the bounce, you don't need to be in close to get full effect from Mirror Blade. So the one thing is that any non-Virtuoso damage shatter is going to be stronger in-close, but that applies to all mesmer weapons. Meanwhile, your auto scales with increasing range. 

Clones not doing damage really only applies with core or chrono, and even then you might have Sharper Images, although if you're using greatsword you're probably not packing condition stats so that still won't be a lot.

In most play, greatsword is absolutely a ranged weapon overall, the Mirror Blade trick just means it has some punch in close as well.

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12 hours ago, draxynnic.3719 said:

In sPvP, sure, but in PvE you're generally not trying to spike so you don't need to go straight into Mind Wrack, and if there's any other target, friendly or enemy, within the seek range for the bounce, you don't need to be in close to get full effect from Mirror Blade. So the one thing is that any non-Virtuoso damage shatter is going to be stronger in-close, but that applies to all mesmer weapons. Meanwhile, your auto scales with increasing range. 

Clones not doing damage really only applies with core or chrono, and even then you might have Sharper Images, although if you're using greatsword you're probably not packing condition stats so that still won't be a lot.

In most play, greatsword is absolutely a ranged weapon overall, the Mirror Blade trick just means it has some punch in close as well.

The greatsword auto is the tiniest part of your damage.

 

Even with Mirage when using ambush you will still be in melee as you’re going to shatter as soon as you can will generate 3 clones very quickly. 
 

 

 

You will also be in melee as optimally you are going to swap to sword+x to continue doing damage. 
 

I find it very difficult to watch Mesmer players on twitch as they don’t take advantage of shatters and use Greatsword at range taking 20 seconds to kill something that should be killed in 3 because they don’t shatter or use anything remotely close to a proper sequence of skills. 
 

A proper rotation on chrono would be something like CS illusionary berserkers, generate two clones, mirror blade, f1, (if playing chrono you can trait to have a clone created on three clone shatter), mirror images, f1, repeat. Dead target. 

Any proper rotation on any target would be in melee range. Sure you might start it in range but optimally you should end up in melee range. Or you might range to avoid an attack but you will end up in melee range to do optimal damage.  I would say I’m in melee range 70+% of the time on most targets.


Obviously you use it as both ranged and melee, but the biggest mistake I see players make is not using it melee range, this applies to both pve and PvP. 
 

 

Edited by Ronald McDonald.8165
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Using a ranged weapon in melee because it's part of a rotation where the other weapon is melee does not make it a melee weapon. By that logic, every weapon that as ever been used as part of a rotation with a melee weapon is melee. And, for that matter, any weapon that's ever been used in a stack-and-smack meta.

And like I said, if "you do more damage with shatters if you're in melee" is a determining factor, every mesmer weapon is melee (even virtuoso has F4).

Here's the thing: Mind Stab and Phantasmal Berserker lose nothing from being used at range. Mirror Blade loses nothing as long as there's something within bouncing range (and even if there isn't, you still lose less than you do when using and 'spray of projectiles' skill like, say, Bladecall at maximum range). Split Surge loses nothing from range if you're a mirage. Autoattack, if you're in a position where you end up autoattacking, gains from range.

It's a ranged weapon. It happens to be a ranged weapon that has skills that can be incorporated into a melee rotation, but that doesn't change what it is.

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14 hours ago, Ronald McDonald.8165 said:

The greatsword auto is the tiniest part of your damage.

 

Even with Mirage when using ambush you will still be in melee as you’re going to shatter as soon as you can will generate 3 clones very quickly. 
 

 

 

You will also be in melee as optimally you are going to swap to sword+x to continue doing damage. 
 

I find it very difficult to watch Mesmer players on twitch as they don’t take advantage of shatters and use Greatsword at range taking 20 seconds to kill something that should be killed in 3 because they don’t shatter or use anything remotely close to a proper sequence of skills. 
 

A proper rotation on chrono would be something like CS illusionary berserkers, generate two clones, mirror blade, f1, (if playing chrono you can trait to have a clone created on three clone shatter), mirror images, f1, repeat. Dead target. 

Any proper rotation on any target would be in melee range. Sure you might start it in range but optimally you should end up in melee range. Or you might range to avoid an attack but you will end up in melee range to do optimal damage.  I would say I’m in melee range 70+% of the time on most targets.


Obviously you use it as both ranged and melee, but the biggest mistake I see players make is not using it melee range, this applies to both pve and PvP. 
 

 

 

On 8/24/2022 at 5:58 AM, draxynnic.3719 said:

In sPvP, sure, but in PvE you're generally not trying to spike so you don't need to go straight into Mind Wrack, and if there's any other target, friendly or enemy, within the seek range for the bounce, you don't need to be in close to get full effect from Mirror Blade. So the one thing is that any non-Virtuoso damage shatter is going to be stronger in-close, but that applies to all mesmer weapons. Meanwhile, your auto scales with increasing range. 

Clones not doing damage really only applies with core or chrono, and even then you might have Sharper Images, although if you're using greatsword you're probably not packing condition stats so that still won't be a lot.

In most play, greatsword is absolutely a ranged weapon overall, the Mirror Blade trick just means it has some punch in close as well.

But just curious any opinon on scepter?? haha *smirk*

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9 hours ago, draxynnic.3719 said:

Using a ranged weapon in melee because it's part of a rotation where the other weapon is melee does not make it a melee weapon. By that logic, every weapon that as ever been used as part of a rotation with a melee weapon is melee. And, for that matter, any weapon that's ever been used in a stack-and-smack meta.

And like I said, if "you do more damage with shatters if you're in melee" is a determining factor, every mesmer weapon is melee (even virtuoso has F4).

Here's the thing: Mind Stab and Phantasmal Berserker lose nothing from being used at range. Mirror Blade loses nothing as long as there's something within bouncing range (and even if there isn't, you still lose less than you do when using and 'spray of projectiles' skill like, say, Bladecall at maximum range). Split Surge loses nothing from range if you're a mirage. Autoattack, if you're in a position where you end up autoattacking, gains from range.

It's a ranged weapon. It happens to be a ranged weapon that has skills that can be incorporated into a melee rotation, but that doesn't change what it is.

Buddy, whatever helps you sleep at night.

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16 hours ago, Moradorin.6217 said:

 

But just curious any opinon on scepter?? haha *smirk*

Haven't used it in a while? Doesn't work well with virtuoso, and on mirage staff is just better for ranged DPS. Which I do think is problematic - it'd be nice to see scepter being better than staff as a ranged condi weapon for mirage given that staff also has supportive aspects.

I was using scepter/pistol alongside staff on a core condi signet build in sPvP for a bit prior to EoD. It worked fairly well then as a single-target ranged pressure weapon with some defensive capability.

Summary would probably be that I like the overall design, but it's a single target DPS condi/hybrid weapon that doesn't really work well with either of the DPS-oriented specialisations right now.

Edited by draxynnic.3719
Second paragraph clarification
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