It’s almost here…the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Five years – 43,800 hours – have passed, and in one week we’ll get to play Guild Wars 2 whenever we want. I’ll wait while you get a tissue.
Back? Good, so now that we’ll be able to login and experience the game to your hearts content, what profession are you going to play? What are your crafting disciplines going to be? sPvP or PvE or WvW? While there are a lot of decisions to be made, I’d like to help you understand the ins and outs of the Mesmer so that you have all the information you need.
What is the Mesmer?
The official description of this unique class states:
Mesmers are magical duelists who wield deception as a weapon. Using powerful illusions, clones, and phantasmal magic to confuse and distract their foes, mesmers make sure every fight is balanced in their favor and their opponents can’t believe their eyes.
The Mesmer is a returning profession from the original Guild Wars game and retains a good amount of the same skill requirements. Unlike a Warrior, who can charge into battle without a care in the world, the Mesmer doesn’t have much in the way of armor, so finding other means of protecting oneself is key. Clones provide a unique way of distracting an enemy so that your foes don’t know which is the real you; Phantasms provide tough hitting, unique skills that take advantage of some of the strengths that other professions have.
The Mesmer, all-around, takes control of the field and dictates how the battle should go. If you want the flash of the elements or the bang of a gun, then you may want to check out some of the other professions, but if you want the enemy confused and crying at your feet, then you’ll want to roll a Mesmer.
Each profession in the game has a unique mechanic that is all their own, and for the Mesmers, we get Shatters. These skills provide us with a variety of different effects such as additional damage, conditions and boons, and more. When you roll a Mesmer, keep an eye out for chances to make use of the skills, as they can really help you up your performance.
Like all of the professions in the game, there is a set of weapons that are available to the Mesmer, and each of these weapons plays a different role. Having the right tool for the right situation is important, so here is a brief overview of what each of the Mesmer weapons can do for you:
Scepter: the main theme around the scepter is to generate a massive amount of clones and provide a means of applying confusion. There is also a defensive ability that will either block the opponent or blind them.
Sword: with a sword in the main hand, you are going to be getting up close and personal. Remember though that the Mesmer only wears light armor, so it can be dangerous! Keeping your foe close and avoiding damage is what you can expect with the sword, plus the ability to swap places with a clone.
Staff: most of the skills that you’ll find on the various weapons don’t have much to offer in the realm of area-of-effect (AoE) damage. The staff, however, does a slightly better job of making sure that you can defend yourself and deal with multiple foes at the same time. Many builds choose to use this weapon, since it is so versatile as their range alternative.
Greatsword: the greatsword is a very different take on a melee weapon in the hands of a more ranged-type character. Instead of getting in close to do damage, the Mesmer will fire off laser beams at their target from afar, and if they get in trouble, push the enemy back with a wave of magical energy.
Focus: when using this off-hand, there seems to be a balance around group utility and group protection. Providing Swiftness to other players is very important in areas like WvW and sPvP, so having one that you can swap to is a good idea.
Torch: misdirection is a powerful tool, and the torch does a wonderful job of providing just that. Through the use of blinds, burns and phantasms that confuse, the torch is a nice tool to have around when the going gets tough. Just be careful not to burn yourself in the process.
Pistol: this weapon provides a good amount of utility and is most often, but not always, paired with a sword. The two go together very well, as the pistol provides a means of snaring your foe so that you can use the sword to its full advantage. The phantasm with this weapon is also extremely useful and gives a large helping of DPS to boot. Pew pew!
The trait lines for the Mesmer all focus around a particular theme, which you’ll want to consider when reaching level 11 and acquiring your first skill point. Here is a general overview of the various lines:
Domination: This trait line focuses on making the enemy vulnerable, thus causing more damage to them, and shutting them down through interrupts. Each point in this trait line will also add 10 Power (making your attacks hit for more) and 1% increased Condition Duration.
Chaos: While mesmers only wear the lightest of armor, the Chaos line focuses on improving toughness, making that armor even better. This line also provides improvements to conditions and retaliation. Each point adds 10 Toughness and 1% Boon Duration.
Roles (sPvP, PvE, WvW)
Like many of the professions, the Mesmer is able to fulfill a variety of roles in the various gameplay formats found throughout Guild Wars 2. Of course, much of this will be determined by how you have set your traits and utility skills, but in general, the Mesmer will mostly be used in control or support roles.
Does your party need more, or better, boons? There’s a spec for that. Do you need to control what your opponent can do? There’s a spec for that as well. While the Mesmer may not be able to put out the same type of damage numbers as other professions, they make up for that with their ability to assist their teammates and control what is happening on the field of battle. This applies to all areas of the game – PvE, WvW and sPvP.
Bring a greatsword and force opponents off capture points in sPvP, or grab a focus and grant swiftness to everyone that runs across it. Time Warp is a great skill in WvW and PvE when you need to resurrect a player, as it does so in half the time! Of course, Portals are also very useful in every area of the game – jumping puzzles, dungeons and navigating the map in sPvP. The possibilities are limited only by your creativity!
There are a total of 8 crafting disciplines and of those, six are useful to the Mesmer in some way. Weaponsmithing provides greatswords, swords and spears; Huntsman has the ability to make pistols and torches. Artificer has the highest amount of usable weapons, being able to make foci, scepters, staves and tridents.
If making weapons isn’t your cup of tea, you can also create useful items with the Tailor discipline and be able to wear anything that is created. This can also be a useful discipline because of the bags and other enhancements that can be made as well. A Jeweler is able to make rings and amulets that can be worn by any profession, and Cooking is useful as well for the various enhancements that that discipline provides.
Personally I think that the Mesmer profession is in a good spot right now. We don’t do as much damage as a Warrior or an Elementalist, but when it comes to supporting our fellow players, there is no one who does it better! Plus we have the greatest elite skill in the entire game -Moa Morph.