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Sigil Elements vs What They Do

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Coming off the back of the crafting mismatches, it became apparent that the sigil element (Control, Enhancement or Pain) isn't always consistent with what the sigil actually does.

I imagine the designers have hummed and hawwed over the sigils quite a lot already, so I decided to draw up logical categories from an outside-of-the-design-team perspective—because sometimes fresh eyes can be useful.


What I will do is take the 3 sigil elements of Control, Enhancement and Pain, and divide up all the functionalities between them in a way I think is logical. I will make a note of edge cases.

Then I will draw up a list of sigils I would expect to be in that element and see how that compares to the live game. Sigils that I expected to be in an element but currently belong to another one will be in italics. A short reason for my placement will go afterwards.

Okay let's begin!

Element: Control ~ modifies the player's status and outgoing effects

Encompassed sigil funtionalities:

  • applies a non-damaging condition (a debuff)
  • +% condition duration of any kind (i.e. all debuff mods)
  • +% outgoing cc
  • +% outgoing healing
  • direct heal (not lifesteal or regen)
  • direct endurance recovery (not vigor)
  • clears or transfers conditions
  • recharges skills
  • strips boons

Excluded edge cases:

  • lifesteal (Pain)

Expected Sigils:

  • Absorption
  • Agony (Enhancement) +bleed duration
  • Chilling (Enhancement) +chill duration
  • Cleansing
  • Debility
  • Demons (Enhancement) +torment duration
  • Energy
  • Frailty
  • Frenzy
  • Generosity
  • Hobbling (Enhancement) +cripple duration
  • Hydromancy
  • Ice
  • Incapacitation
  • Malice (Enhancement) +condition duration
  • Mischief
  • Nullification
  • Paralysation
  • Peril (Enhancement) +vulnerability duration
  • Purity
  • Rending (Enhancement) inflicts non-damaging condition
  • Renewal
  • Restoration
  • Smoldering (Enhancement) +burning duration
  • Stamina
  • Transference
  • Venom (Enhancement) +poison duration
  • Water

Notes: condition duration mods are split between Control (e.g. Debility) and Enhancement in the live game. I expected debuff mods to fit better under Control, as they apply to enemies.

Element: Enhancement ~ buffs the player directly

Encompassed sigil funtionalities:

  • beneficial modifiers (not damage, conditions, cc)
  • stat stacking
  • applies temporary stats
  • applies boons
  • +% boon modifiers

Excluded edge cases:

  • +% damage or condition damage mods (Pain)
  • +% all condition duration mods (Control)
  • +% mods to outgoing cc and healing effects (Control)

Expected Sigils:

  • Accuracy
  • Agility
  • Battle (Control) applies boons
  • Benevolence
  • Bloodlust
  • Bounty (Control) stat stacking
  • Celerity (Control) applies boons
  • Concentration
  • Corruption
  • Cruelty
  • Life
  • Luck
  • Momentum
  • Perception
  • Rage
  • Ruthlessness (Control) applies boons
  • Severance (Control) applies temporary stats
  • Speed (Control) applies boons
  • Strength
  • Stars (Control) stat stacking

Notes: quite a few of these have ended up in Control, although as they apply boons or stats they'd be better off as Enhancements.

Element: Pain ~ inflicts or directly modifies damage

Encompassed sigil functionalities:

  • +% damage or condition damage mod
  • anything with a direct damage or lifesteal packet
  • anything that applies damaging conditions

Excluded edge cases:

  • +% duration for damaging conditions (Control)

Expected Sigils:

  • Air
  • Blight
  • Blood (Control) lifesteal packet
  • Bursting (Enhancement) +% condition damage mod
  • Centaur Slaying
  • Demon Slaying
  • Destroyer Slaying
  • Doom
  • Draining (Control) lifesteal packet
  • Dreams aka "Nightmare Court Slaying"
  • Earth
  • Elemental Slaying
  • Fire
  • Force (Enhancement) +% damage mod
  • Geomancy
  • Ghost Slaying
  • Grawl Slaying
  • Icebrood Slaying (Control) +% damage mod
  • Impact
  • Justice aka "Outlaw Slaying"
  • Karka Slaying
  • Leeching (Enhancement) lifesteal packet
  • Mad Scientists aka "Inquest Slaying"
  • Night
  • Ogre Slaying
  • Smothering aka "Flame Legion Slaying"
  • Sorrow aka "Dredge Slaying"
  • Serpent Slaying aka "Krait Slaying"
  • Torment
  • Undead Slaying
  • Wrath aka "Sons of Svanir Slaying"

Notes: the lifesteals are split between Control and Enhancement in the live game, and the same goes for a few of the damage mods.

As there are so many sigils I probably missed some in my first pass, so I may edit this post with any updates.

edit 1: added Absorption, Draining, Rending & Ruthlessness from WvW.

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