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Creative Discussion: New Elite Spec for Mists-Themed Expansion


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I’ve been maining an Elementalist for a while now, and I also spend a lot of time reading the discussions and suggestions here. Instead of continuing my silence, I wanted to contribute to the discussion in a meaningful way. I think the current Alacrity and Quickness options on Ele miss the mark, so I wanted to build an Elementalist spec that fits within the mold of a high-speed, high-skill playstyle that uses its profession mechanic to accomplish its desired role without any more additional inputs–just from playing the spec well (following the precedent set by Harbinger). I also wanted to focus less on the four attunements and more on Arcane, by far the most underutilized skill type and trait line.

The general idea here is going for the DnD-inspired Arcane Archer with the Diablo-inspired Archon Wizard to give Elementalist a true ranged option (1200+) for both power and condition damage-based builds. The spec pulls largely from Holosmith mechanics, with bits of Revenant (slot skills) and Ranger (weapon skills) to fit within the elite spec themes of “multiclassing”. Additionally, the general theme of the spec fits nicely within the general “mists” theme (the widely speculated idea for the next expansion pack).

Apologies for the length--I didn't want to post this half-brained. I’m welcome to suggestions and feedback for everything here, just please keep it constructive.

Elementalist Elite Specialization - “Arcanist” (working title)

Going beyond their mastery of the four elements, Arcanists have learned to tap into the eldritch energies of the Mists to empower their allies and devastate their foes. Channeling such primal forces brings great rewards, but doing so recklessly comes with a price.

Profession Mechanic: Arcane Form

Assume a form of pure arcane energy, gaining access to new skills. Generate insanity while Arcane Form is active, taking torment damage with overuse. Insanity above certain thresholds empowers your skills. Gain access to the Exceed skill type.

Profession Skills

F5 - Enter Arcane Form

F5 - Exit Arcane Form - Return to normal and begin decaying insanity. Decay effectiveness increases over time.

Eldritch Terror - Unable to reactivate until fully decayed. Inflicts Torment.

Arcane Form

1 - Arcane Arrows. Launch a volley of three arcane arrows that track towards a target. The final arrow explodes, damaging and inflicting torment.

2 - Arcane Missiles. Fire a barrage of arcane missiles that explode on impact, damaging and inflicting torment. 
3 - Arcane Explosion. Leap to a target area and unleash the destructive energies of the mists around you, blinding and crippling your foes while inflicting torment.
4 - Arcane Empowerment. Empower yourself and allies around you with the energies of the mists, gaining might and fury.
5 - Disintegrate. Focus the destructive energies of the mists into a beam of pure destruction.

Weapon Skills

Discussion: Longbow weapon skills should fit within the current attunement themes: fire for burns and AOE, water for chills and support, air for vulnerability and single target burst, earth for bleeds and protection. The weapon skills should also be consistently placed across the four attunements to lower the skill floor. 1 & 2 should be single target, 3 a small AOE, 4 a field/large AOE, and 5 a large ground targetable AOE. 1 & 2 should be short CDs, 3 should be a moderate CD, and 4 & 5 should be long CDs.

Longbow Proficiency. You can wield a longbow.

Longbow - Fire Attunement

1 - Flame Shot. Fire a single flaming arrow that inflicts burning.
2 - Fan of Fire. Fire a spread of three arrows to burn your foes.
3 - Exploding Arrow. Fire an arcing shot that explodes upon impact.
4 - Wildfire. Fire a quick shot that sets the ground aflame, inflicting burning over a wide area. (Fire Field)
5 - Rain of Fire. Aim for the sky, calling down a rain of fiery bolts from above. (Fire Field)

Longbow - Water Attunement

1 - Ice Shot. Fire a single icy arrow that inflicts chilled.
2 - Freezing Shot. Fire a single icy arrow that freezes your target solid.
3 - Melting Shot. Fire an arrow that melts along its path, healing allies and damaging enemies.
4 - Flood Shot. Fire an arrow into the ground that floods the area, healing allies and damaging enemies. (Water Field)
5 - Downpour. Aim for the sky, calling down rains that heal your allies and damage your enemies. (Water Field)

Longbow - Air Attunement

1 - Lightning Shot. Fire a single lightning bolt that inflicts vulnerability.
2 - Lightning Volley. Fire a rapid barrage of lightning bolts that inflict vulnerability.
3 - Lightning Fury. Fire a rapid barrage of lightning bolts that split upon impact and arc back, damaging multiple foes.
4 - Squall Line. Fire an arrow that creates a squall line, damaging and stunning all who cross it. (Lightning Field)
5 - Microburst. Aim for the sky, calling down a raging thunderstorm that damages, stuns, and inflicts vulnerability. (Lightning Field)

Longbow - Earth Attunement

1 - Stone Shot. Fire a single stone arrow that pierces and inflicts bleeding.
2 - Gravel Shot. Fire a spread of stone arrows that shatter on impact, inflicting bleeding.
3 - Boulder Shot. Fire a stone arrow of impossible size that knocks back enemies and blocks missiles.
4 - Quicksand. Fire arrows that rend the earth beneath it, creating a pool of quicksand that damages and immobilizes all caught in it.
5 - Haboob. Fire arrows that shatter the ground, creating a massive sandstorm that blinds and bleeds all caught in it.

Slot Skills

Discussion: The idea here is tier-based interaction with the insanity profession mechanic, gaining effectiveness with higher levels of insanity. Higher risk, higher reward. There’s less of a focus on damage with the Exceed skills and more of a focus on utility, as the bulk of the DPS should come from Arcane Form and your attunements. There are of course a couple of damage skills, as running with all signets and the elemental glyphs isn’t fun for anyone, but this should let the Arcanist fit within a wide variety of encounters and comps across all game modes.

(Healing) Mist Regeneration. Exceed. Heal yourself and in a radius around you. Healing effectiveness is increased with increasing levels of insanity.

(Utility) Banish. Exceed. Temporarily banish your target to the mists, stunning them and inflicting torment. Corrupts boons with increasing levels of insanity.

(Utility) Mist Shift. Exceed. Evade through the mists, breaking stuns and gaining superspeed. Inflict torment on any foes you pass through, inflicting more with increasing levels of insanity. 

(Utility) Mist Shield. Exceed. Focus the arcane energies of the mists into a shield, turning back projectiles and imbuing them with torment. Gains duration with increasing levels of insanity.

(Utility) Mist Blade. Exceed. Focus the arcane energies of the mists into a large ethereal blade that cleaves in front of you and charges forward, damaging and knocking down any foes in its path. Gains size and damage with increasing levels of insanity.

(Elite) Mist Rift. Exceed. Focus the arcane energies of the mists into a rift beneath your target, pulling foes toward it, damaging them, and inflicting torment. Size and damage increases with increasing levels of insanity.


Discussion: The Arcanist traitline, similar to Holosmith, focuses on empowering Arcane Form in a variety of different ways. I see Power builds continuing to take Fire/Air/Arcanist, Condi Builds Fire/Earth/Arcanist, and SPvP builds taking X/Arcane/Arcanist to build a speedy, bursty playstyle that fits within the current metagame. All builds would reward weaving their chosen attunements with Arcane Form to maximize damage output (and boon uptime) while not punishing poor play (SPvP not included of course).

Minor Proficiency: Longbow Proficiency. You can wield a longbow.

Minor Adept: Arcane Form. Gain access to Arcane Form and to new skills while in Arcane Form. Generate insanity while Arcane Form is active, taking torment damage with overuse. insanity above certain thresholds empowers your skills. Gain access to the Exceed skill type.

Major Adept: Arcane Barrier. Periodically gain Barrier while in Arcane Form. Gain more with increasing tiers of insanity.
Major Adept: Arcane Speed. Periodically gain Superspeed while in Arcane Form. Gain more with increasing levels of insanity. 
Major Adept: Arcane Torment. Attacks in Arcane Form inflict Torment, inflicting more with increasing levels of Insanity. Torment you inflict lasts longer.

Minor Master: Impure Speed. Arcane Form attacks inflict Slow on enemies.

Major Master: Arcane Alacrity. Gain power. Pulse Alacrity to allies while in Arcane Form, gaining duration with additional tiers.
Major Master: Arcane Destruction. Deal 5% more damage. This bonus is doubled while in Arcane Form. Attacks against slowed enemies inflict more damage.
Major Master: Arcane Quickening. Gain condition damage. Pulse Quickness to allies while in Arcane Form, gaining duration with additional tiers.

Minor Grandmaster: Impure Power. While in Arcane Form, your outgoing damage is increased based on your current insanity level.

Major Grandmaster: Eldritch Evasion. Consume insanity to empower your dodge roll, damaging and crippling nearby enemies. (This will only occur with insanity.)
Major Grandmaster: Eldritch Empowerment. Maximum insanity increased. While above 100 insanity, periodically gain might. Some skills and traits gain additional tiers.
Major Grandmaster: Eldritch Explosion. Eldritch Terror now blasts damage and torment around you, no longer inflicting torment on you. Insanity can only be lost after reaching the maximum threshold.


I hope you all found this interesting--thanks for reading this far. Again, I'm open and welcome to feedback, just please keep it constructive. I would love to hear more ideas if you have them. I love Elementalist and want to see it grow further as the game continues to grow. 

Edited by arduran.3820
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Holy mother of God, that is some creative juice! Wow! Does ANET need a new member of the creative department??


This is brilliant. You not only did the overall what it is you came up with a backstory, head canon, weapon usage, skills, utilities, all they have to do now is program it. To the top with you! 

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I kinda feel that given how elementalist-like the NPC ritualists in EoD are, 'mist-themed elementalist' might well be 'ritualist'.

Putting that aside, though:

One thing that you might consider is going back to the Guild Wars wiki and looking at the skills there. There were a fair few 'arrow-themed' elementalist skills there, and it's quite likely that any bow-armed elementalist in GW2 will at least steal the names from there. Callbacks to GW1 skills like Shock Arrow and Lava Arrows would create a bit more variety in skill names. You could also look through the other elemental skills for naming inspiration. In particular, looking at the Energy Storage skill names could allow for skills used with arcane form to not all have the arcane prefix, and possibly remove them entirely. Arcane Empowerment, for instance, could be Ether Prism, which emits a series of beams to empower your allies, while the transform itself could be called Ether Prodigy (which had a similar 'if you're not careful you could blow yourself up' theme).

I'd also be tempted to have the transform stop using a bow and just hurl energy spears. The bow is a crutch that you no longer need when your wielding the very powers of creation. Which does spark another thought - what if the downside for remaining in the form too long wasn't 'insanity', but a reference to the magic buildup in the story? You could then have graphics that resemble an anomaly which is coloured like unbound magic when it's at a relatively safe level, volatile magic at a second tier, and void if you have a third tier. You could also have a trait where, instead of gaining Torment when you overload, you channel the energy discharge into the ground leaving a trail - a trail that can hurt you (encouraging you to keep moving, just like Torment), but can also hurt your enemies.

So maybe call it something like Volatility. It's less that it's driving you insane, and more that the power becomes more and more difficult to control as it builds up.

(I must admit that I do wonder if combining the elemental archer and arcane form concepts is the best approach, but that would raise the question of which weapon or weapons would fit better.)

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