Welcome back for another week of distractions and misdirections! Guild Wars 2 does a wonderful job of helping all of the professions to play multiple roles, but there is one thing that every player, no matter which profession, has to be aware of – their own health pool. Every single profession gets a healing spell in the number six skill slot and thankfully there are a few options that any profession can use. Today we’ll take a look at the healing skills that are available to the Mesmer and how we might best put those skills to use in the game.
When you log in for the very first time on your shiny new Mesmer, you will begin with a scepter in hand, the ability to unlock the first three skills, and Ether Feast already unlocked on your bar. ArenaNet has designed the game so that it teaches you about the synergy between skills, both on your own bar and for those around you in the world. Ether Feast is an interesting skill in that it does additional healing for each Illusion that you have summoned.
Illusions, as we discussed last time, are a very important aspect of the Mesmer gameplay, and this healing skill interacts very well with those illusions. Given that we begin with a scepter, we have access to Ether Bolt, which will create a clone on the third hit. If you use Ether Feast while the clone is still alive, it will give additional healing, thus teaching us that we want to try and use Ether Feast while our Illusions are alive and the more Illusions, the better the heal. Yet there is a bit of a learning curve here because of the way that the Illusions work.
If you are fighting off multiple mobs and are planning to use Ether Feast, you will need to watch your Illusions closely. There is nothing worse than needing a heal only to see all your Illusions disappear and you left on the floor as a puddle of goo. When using Ether Feast, keep a very close eye on your Illusions so that you can make the most of this neat heal.
If you don’t want to be bothered having to manage Illusions and would rather just have a nice, defensive, heal, then Mirror is what you will want to look at. Mirror causes you to reflect incoming projectiles while you are in the process of getting the heal off; it works a lot like the Guardian skill Shelter, but misses out on blocking all incoming damage. That doesn’t mean, though, that Mirror is a dud skill – it’s not! First, it doesn’t have the requirement of Illusions being present to gain a healing boost, plus any blocked damage is better than none. The recharge is currently set at 30 seconds, which isn’t too bad given the nature of this ability, so you’ll want to make sure you have some other form of defense in your build.
Perhaps the most interesting of the three skills is the Mantra of Recovery. Mantras are an interesting mechanic for the Mesmer and they take a little bit of planning and thought to make the most use of them. Let me quote the official wiki on this mechanic so we get our information straight from the horses mouth:
Mantras are a category of skill that have two phases. The Mesmer first activates the mantra, which has a long cast time (3 seconds in developer-given examples) and replaces that skill slot with an instant-casting skill that the Mesmer can then use. Mantras are powerful because many can be charged up before battle and then used in the middle of another spell, without interrupting that spell.
That right there makes this heal a very interesting piece to have on our bars. Because it can be used right in the middle of conflict, and its instant cast, it provides a great means of countering the oh-no-everything-is-falling-apart moments. Yet, like other skills in our repertoire, it does require a bit of thought. If you don’t have the mantra already in place, then you will have to chant the spell, then press the button again to use it. Be especially careful with this as you may not have enough time to get both button presses off before you end up in the downed state. Risk vs Reward is the name of the game here.
Of course, these heals are not limited to just doing what the tooltip says, because we have a whole mess of traits that can be applied to skills for various effects and “bonuses”. For the healing skills there are a few traits in the Inspiration line that will affect how the heals work. Plus if you put points in Inspiration you will be gaining Compassion, which increases the amount healed.
At ten points you’ll unlock a major trait slot and have access to Mender’s Purity, which causes a condition to be removed whenever you use a heal. Conditions can be very nasty, so having a means of removing them when you get in trouble is an excellent option to have, especially if you know you are going into a condition heavy fight.
While not a direct healing spell in and of itself, if you want to put 15 pints into Inspiration then you’ll pick up Phantasmal Healing. This will cause any of your phantasms to grant Regeneration to all nearby allies. It may not be much, but every little bit can help and since you’ll probably be using phantasms pretty regularly this is definitely something to consider.
There are two other traits that you may want to consider and that are at the top end of the Inspiration line: Restorative Illusions and Restorative Mantras. With Restorative Illusions, you’ll receive a small amount of healing whenever you use a shatter skill, and given that you’ll most likely being using shatters a far bit it could add up over time. The other option you’ll only want to choose if you are going to be running a mantra heavy build, plus it says that it heals allies when a mantra is used, so you may not even be able to use it as a self heal (would have to check on that).
Overall, the healing skills offer a lot of variety when trying to consider your build. Do you want a straight heal that will be better with Illusions? Do you want a little bit of protection while using your heal? Or do you want a heal that is going to be ready at a moments notice, as long as you remember to keep the mantra ready? There is a lot to think about and discuss so head on over to the forums and post your theories and ideas! Until next time, keep ‘em confused and guessing!