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What's the best elite specialization for greatsword?

Shrike Arghast.3856

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I realize this probably gets asked a lot, but... might as well add my mark to the tally.

I've recently dumped my weaver because a) I completely suck at it, and b) is doesn't offer - for me - the smooth, relatively slick combat that I'm accustomed to in GW2. 2h sword Mesmer on the other hand... yes. Now, I realize that I'm only 56, and that things can and will change, but at least so far, I'm enjoying mesmer more than any class I've played.

However, I'd really like to stick with the greatsword moving forward - primarying it even once I choose an elite specialization. So which of the three fits this objective the best? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it isn't chronomancer (but if it is, that's fine, too). Please steer me in the right direction. Thanks.

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All 3 elite specs work with GS.


GS has the best power burst damage from mesmer kit. In addition, with Bountiful Blades( https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Bountiful_Blades), it becomes quite good with generating clones/blades. Both power chrono and virtuoso has meta raid/strike build that uses GS.


As for mirage, GS ambush is unique and strong. It is probably the best tagging weapon mesmer has access to.

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You can sit on greatsword with Mirage, but you need 2 sigil slots specifically filled for this, and you also need 2 great swords.

Superior sigil of stamina: Fill endurance on kill

Superior sigil of energy: Gain 50% of endurance on weapon swap

You constantly weapon swap between your two greatswords and every time you do, you gain half your endurance. You also gain all of your endurance when you kill. The build also has permanent vigor. You literally spam dodge, which gives you a powerful attack and you keep avoiding stuff. You also make ridiculous amount of clones, and you can spam your shatters (need dueling for this). You also get healed a lot with your heal passive. It's a pretty basic but strong build in open world.

Here is a quick build, feel free to tweak anything, only what I said here is needed:


This variant of the build has 100% crit chance with fury.

Edited by Nezekan.2671
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The best elite spec will depend on the content that you're doing. It's best to understand how the spec work so that you can tweak it to your needs.




Greatsword exclusively deals power damage, so you'll want your armor to be a mix of assassin and berserker.  You want to get 100% crit chance with fury (boon) to max-out ferocity damage. As sigils you want force/impact or force/accuracy. Phantasms don't get sigils bonus, so you want force/impact for Chronomancer and force/accuracy if you're running anything else. I'll explain later why.




Trait-line 1

Most of your Greatsword damage multipliers come from the  Domination trait-line, therefore making it mandatory in that spec. People usually run "Bountiful Blades", "Egotism", and "Vicious Expression" (1-2-1). But you can also run "Shattered Concentration" instead of "Egotism" if you need to boonstrip..


Trait-line 2

Then as your second trait-line you have a choice between Inspiration, Illusion and Duelling. Duelling and Illusion are both dps trait-lines and inspiration is for support. Duelling will give your phantasms fury, as well as extra ferocity and increased damage to target below 50% hp or disabled (stun, float, daze, pull) as well as extra ferocity if you play with sword. Illusion will give you quickness when you summon phantasms, and provide reliable boons as well as give you increased damage regardless of the weapon you use. And Inspiration will allow you to condi cleanse yourself, and get passive heal when summoning phantasms or make your phantasm taunt enemies for them to tank.


So... it goes like this. Do you get boons from your teammate ?

Yes --> Duelling (usually instanced content: Raids, Fractals)

No --> Illusion (usually open world, dungeons)


Are you fighting a condition heavy team in PvP ?

Yes --> Inspiration

You're unlikely to run Inspiration in Open World since mobs don't really inflict that many conditions and you can usually one shot mobs by using "Mantra of Pain" in conjunction with Shatter F1. In PvP though if you're fighting a condi class, and you need sustain, then you might want to run Inspiration. But only if you have to fight long fights (as a sidenoder for instance), and you know that you'll be matched up against a condi heavy team, otherwise it's overkill.

Duelling - "Phantasmal Fury", "Fencer's Finesse", and "Superiority Complex" (1-3-1). Phantasmal Fury is mandatory as it gives your phantasms fury. If you're not running Sword/Sword or Sword/x or if you're not swapping off Greatsword enough, then you can run "Blinding Dissipation" instead of Fencer's Finesse. And you always want to run "Superiority Complex", the only exception would be if you run Mirage with "Infinite Horizon" trait with "Superior Sigil of Stamina" (but that's mostly a spec to tag mobs in meta).

Illusion - "Persistence of Memory", "Phantasmal Haste", "Phantasmal Force" or "Master of Fragmentation" (2-2-1) or (2-2-2). "Shatter storm" is an alternative to "Persistence of Memory", you'll get an extra F1 shatter, but your "Might" and "Quickness" uptime will be significantly lower. It won't matter against trash mobs, however while fighting stronger foes such as Veterans you might run out of "Might" and "Quickness" before the end of the fight. You almost always want to have "Phantasmal Haste" as quickness makes you attack 33% faster. Regarding your greater trait: "Phantasmal Force" if you're fighting a single monster for longer than 10s otherwise, "Master of Fragmentation".


Trait-line 3 (Elite spec)

Now as your third trait-line you can run Chaos, Chronomancer(HoT elite), Mirage(PoF elite), Virtuoso(EoD elite). Here it's quite straightforward.

Chaos - If you require high stealth uptime, stability (prevent stun, daze, knockdown, interrupt, pull), and access to protection (-33% physical damage) and superspeed. Basically for PvP most of the time. If you run that spec for PvP you want to take "Master of Manipulation", "Auspicious Anguish", "Prismatic Understanding" (3-1-2) and for PvE "Method of Madness", "Chaotic Transference", "Bountiful Disillusionment" (1-2-3). Basically, for PvP you want high stealth uptime to get a clean one shot combo on your opponent since they won't expect you. And for PvE you want the stability plus improved boons.

Chronomancer - Open world & Dungeons. That's your highest dps spec in open world. Chronomancer gives you access to improved shatter, and the "Chronophantasm" trait, which re-summons your phantasm to deal 75% of their damage. You also get alacrity which recharge your skills 50% faster with "Improved Alacrity trait". If you run that spec, you want to take "Time Catches Up", "Improved Alacrity", "Chronophantasma" (2-3-3).

Mirage - Open world & Meta. Highest mobility spec for open world. It deals less damage Chronomancer, but you gain access to Ambush skills, and you dodge while attacking. People usually pick one or the other depending on their play style preference. They are both viable to be fair. If you run that spec, you want to take "Self-Deception", "Desert Distortion", "Infinite Horizon" (1-1-1).

Virtuoso - Instanced content  (Raids, Fractals, Strikes). That's currently the highest DPS spec. You want to run it in instanced content. It has a lot of damage modifier, and gives you improved fury. Although it's not great in open world since you cannot instantly shatter. For instance, you cannot focus pull into great sword + shatter + mantra of pain. Which would usually one shot a pack of 5 mobs. If you run that spec, you want to take "Mental Focus", "Phantasmal Blades", "Infinite Forge" (2-2-2).

Then your last option if you don't have access to any of the elite spec yet, but want to do good dps. You want to run Illusion / Duelling / Domination.


I hope this helps.



Edited by tim.4596
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