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Swapping to Firebrand as my main


Martimus.6027

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I've played Warrior, Ranger and Elementalist to 80 and unlocked their elite specs....

Just recently played a Guardian to 80 and unlocked Firebrand and I can say without exaggeration: This is the most fun playing any class on any MMORPG I've ever had.

I absolutely love this class and playstyle. Just AOE burning the absolute crap out of everything around you like some archangel come down to smite the wicked.

Having said that, I've looked at some builds online, but I was hoping to get some direct player opinion on a build that has a good balance of DPS and survival: an open world solo Firebrand that can take care of itself while taking just about anything down.

Thanks in advance for your opinions. I've looked at snowcrows and other sites, but actual active player advice is always more valuable to me.

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For open world you don't have to worry about survival, as Firebrands have many skills to keep themselves as well as their allies alive. Just run full Berserker gear with Scholar runes.

For specializations you can use Virtues for improving virtues and Valor if you're using a shield and meditation skills. That's just my opinion on what specializations I would use in a Firebrand build.

For utility skills, you can choose whatever you want, whether it's a mantra skill, meditation skills or shouts skills. You can use the same utility skills you use for core guardian on Firebrand.

In my opinion, both core Guardians and Firebrands are way better than Dragonhunters. Every time you see a Dragonhunter, you'll know that they will not support their team and instead just shoot arrows at their foes. Dragonhunters are a very selfish profession and they are the complete opposite of what the guardian is meant to be: a team supporter with good sustain, despite it being squishy.

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@Martimus.6027 said:Power? For Firebrand? Every single guide I've seen online suggest Condition as the unparalleled stat priority. What is the benefit of using Power over Condition damage?

In open PvE stuff dies fast on power due to lack of toughness. But in expac areas id say stay on condi. You can run tankier gear and outlive stuff longer. Or you can go hybrid and full on ham, that works too.

Grieving with balthazar runes is probably best in open PvE. Vipers and Renegade runes for Group content. Dmg wise they are similar but the grieving variant has better burst but less wind up dmg with condis, tgats why its better for mobs and slightly less good for bosses.

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What is the benefit of using Power over Condition damage?The benefit of power is that it rewards you for knowing how to play your profession. It rewards you for timing your hard hitting skills as well as using combos with certain skills.

Condition damage is boring and stale. You just mash buttons and wait until your opponent dies. Unless you're playing core burn Guardian, I've never seen the profession benefiting a lot from condition damage.

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@Hoodie.1045 said:

What is the benefit of using Power over Condition damage?The benefit of power is that it rewards you for knowing how to play your profession. It rewards you for timing your hard hitting skills as well as using combos with certain skills.

Condition damage is boring and stale. You just mash buttons and wait until your opponent dies. Unless you're playing core burn Guardian, I've never seen the profession benefiting a lot from condition damage.

Having said that, since Guardian/Firebrand is also a support class, wouldn't Power also make you into more of a selfish player?

Condition(fire) ticking on your target after you've stacked it up allows you to swap to your other Tomes and support the team while also doing good damage as the burn proceeds. I would think Power would considerably reduce that situation occurring as you have to avoid swapping to support Tomes to maintain that DPS.

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wouldn't Power also make you into more of a selfish player?Being power or condition oriented doesn't make the player selfish, the build does. Selfish builds include: Dragonhunter, Deadeye, Berserker etc.

Since we're talking about open world or PvE in general, I have no issue with players running condition builds. If you want to run a condition build, then more power to you (no pun intended).

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@Hoodie.1045 said:Unless you're playing core burn Guardian, I've never seen the profession benefiting a lot from condition damage.

That makes no sense. Firebrand is a lot more effective when played as a condi class. 3rd highest DPS on a small hitbox.It is true however that condi might not be the best option for playing in the Open World. The ramp-up time required means that Power is generally more efficient.

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@Hoodie.1045 said:

What is the benefit of using Power over Condition damage?The benefit of power is that it rewards you for knowing how to play your profession. It rewards you for timing your hard hitting skills as well as using combos with certain skills.

Condition damage is boring and stale. You just mash buttons and wait until your opponent dies. Unless you're playing core burn Guardian, I've never seen the profession benefiting a lot from condition damage.

Seriously, is there anything about this post that is not wrong? Both power and condition builds reward you for knowing your class and what skills to use when. The extent of the reward is dependent on the specific build, not on its type. And finally, FB profits from condi damage a lot more than core guard does. Likewise, it scales worse with power than core or DH does.

@Martimus.6027, concerning the power vs condi question, power is in general considered to be better for open world because most mobs have relatively little health, so front-loaded damage kills them quickly. Condis first need to be applied, then they need to tick, that just takes longer. However, there's no point in using a build that has little trait synergies with power gear, and that's the case for FB. The FB trait line does not contain a single damage modifier for power damage. Compare that to DH, Zeal, Radiance and Virtues. By a rough estimate, a power DH will deal 25-40% more damage than an otherwise comparable power FB. Given that condi FB has a higher damage ceiling than power DH and that FB relies on burns that can be applied quickly and tick for high damage, it's rather likely that a condi FB will be comparable to or better than a power FB even against weak trash. Against anything stronger, condi FB will massively outperform power FB and you have the advantage of not being totally useless if you want to get into instanced contant.

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FB profits from condi damage a lot more than core guard doesAgainst anything stronger, condi FB will massively outperform power FBI'll admit it, I'm not much of a condi player. I've always been a power player and never bothered with condition builds. Whether a profession scales better with condition damage than power, I have very little experience in that subject. I've always used power on the professions that I play. Even if I was to start playing Firebrand I would use power instead of condition at the start. Over time, I might consider playing condition if that's true.

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Thank you everyone for the extremely informative posts. I really appreciate you taking the time to say this. It is helping me be a better player, and it's stuff like this I don't really find on websites to absorb....

.......actually this IS a website but, you know what I meant.

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For open world I use hybrid build on my FB, with about 750 Condi damage, with the remaining stats between power, precision and fury. I used sword/scepter and torch. It play mostly similar to an old DH build with similar setup. It does not suffer from long setup and scales well with high HP enemies. Though my focus is not to use tomes, but they are still solid With the build.

Also, I have a FB setup with sinister gear, full condi build and primarily utilizing tomes. It works well in open world PvE. It is not slow by any means. If that is the play style you prefer, then go for it.

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@"Martimus.6027" said:Thank you everyone for the extremely informative posts. I really appreciate you taking the time to say this. It is helping me be a better player, and it's stuff like this I don't really find on websites to absorb....

.......actually this IS a website but, you know what I meant.

I use a really nice FB build and its amazing both WvW and PVE.If interested, check out this full guide here:

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@"Hoodie.1045" said:For open world you don't have to worry about survival, as Firebrands have many skills to keep themselves as well as their allies alive. Just run full Berserker gear with Scholar runes.

For specializations you can use Virtues for improving virtues and Valor if you're using a shield and meditation skills. That's just my opinion on what specializations I would use in a Firebrand build.

For utility skills, you can choose whatever you want, whether it's a mantra skill, meditation skills or shouts skills. You can use the same utility skills you use for core guardian on Firebrand.

In my opinion, both core Guardians and Firebrands are way better than Dragonhunters. Every time you see a Dragonhunter, you'll know that they will not support their team and instead just shoot arrows at their foes. Dragonhunters are a very selfish profession and they are the complete opposite of what the guardian is meant to be: a team supporter with good sustain, despite it being squishy.

There was once a time where Dragonhunter had greater group support then Core, just by having more practical utility then Core Guardian without giving up any of its key support options. Even in front line configs, the change to virtues increased mobility, range, control, and projectile blocking, all while keeping access to Courage stun break and just massive all around better resolve. It only looks like crap now, because Firebrand is just orders of magnitude better then anything else on the table.

With all that said, DH are neither bad, nor inherently "selfish" compared to the majority of other DPS builds.... its just not meta any more. PvP, WvW, Raids...... there was next to no reason to not run DH, as its entire support role is comprised of basically 5 utility skills that had could be run regardless of what the rest of the build was running. Not only was that acceptable, it was literally the META for a couple of years.

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@Mea.5491 said:I totally agree! I'm also a new Firebrand main (since February), did full story and map completion in Celestial gear, no deaths, nice burns. :)

Do you think that your damage is good enough? I'm not sure about stat weights, but I'm basically stacking the heck out of cond and power where i can get it. Maybe getting all the stats in equal amounts really benefits the build. And wow, I bet all that healing works very very well at survivability on top of what firebrands already have.

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@Martimus.6027 said:Do you think that your damage is good enough? I'm not sure about stat weights, but I'm basically stacking the heck out of cond and power where i can get it. Maybe getting all the stats in equal amounts really benefits the build. And wow, I bet all that healing works very very well at survivability on top of what firebrands already have.

Well, it's good enough for me. I also have a Cele Engi and a Cele Ele but my Cele FB deals a LOT more damage compared to them because it only uses one condi, Burning. So I can use Balthazar Runes, Sigil of Smoldering and Radiant Fire trait for 85% Burning duration which is awesome. Ele and Engi use different conditions and don't have enough burns to make the runes and sigil truly useful so their condi duration is lower.

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