Welcome back, friends, for another fabulous week of Big Swords and Butterflies, where we do our best to get you the most out of your Mesmer.
The game is getting to the point where many people are reaching level 80; they are starting to run dungeons a lot more, they are getting into sPvP, and trying to take the field in WvW. Most of these players are playing with a team and we discussed a few weeks ago about the role of the Mesmer in dungeons, so this week I’d like to talk a little more generally about playing on a team and using glamour skills.
“Glamour? What does that have to do with being a team player?” you might say? I’m glad you asked! The official definition of a glamour skill, per the wiki, is “a type of utility skills exclusive to mesmers that create shining fields on the ground, which have helpful effects on allies or harmful effects on enemies.” Grammar aside, we can see that these fields are useful to your team in that they provide “helpful effects” (aka boons), and these effects are plentiful, plus they also function as combo fields.
Most of the glamour skills are found as part of our utility skills, while a few can be found on the various weapons. Here’s a list of the weapon based skills:
- Chaos Storm – create a storm at a specific location, granting random boons to allies and random conditions to enemies.
- Temporal Curtain – grant swiftness to allies and cripple enemies; activate to pull enemies in the area to the curtain’s location.
That’s it, just the two – but they are two very useful and powerful spells. Most of the time, we see Mesmers using Chaos Storm on the enemy to get the damage going, but using it on your team can, in many ways, be the better option. Capping a point in sPvP? Drop Chaos Storm on the point and your team will gain Aegis. You could drop it at the beginning of the match and see if your team gains Swiftness, but the percentage of time that I’ve seen that pop up is very low. Instead, use Temporal Curtain to grant your team Swiftness!
As for the utility skills, there are a few more of those:
- Feedback – create a bubble around your target that reflects all projectiles.
- Null Field – create a field that removes all boons from foes and conditions from allies.
- Veil – create a wall the grants stealth to your allies.
- Time Warp – create a field that grants quickness to your allies.
So with these skills, we have some very interesting options. Feedback is a very powerful spell in PvE against ranged, projectile mobs because they will often do a significant amount of damage back to themselves. I personally love to use this on Eir in the Twilight Arbor end fight.
If you want to more directly support your team, though, any of the other three are very useful. Null Field, like Feedback, is especially useful in some PvE fights. You would also want to use this in sPvP and WvW to really help your teammates. There are some very nasty conditions out there, and having the ability to remove everything from friendly players with just the push of a button is a very good idea.
You’ll notice that we’ve mentioned Time Warp in our list of utility skills and this is a rather handy elite. What it does is grant you swiftness, which makes your skills cast significantly faster. This applies to all skills, which includes revivals! Time Warp can be used to great effect in the middle of a siege to get downed or defeated players back on their feet, and back into the fight.
When building a glamour-focused build, there are a few traits that you will want to consider taking. Confusing Enchantments, for example, applies Confusion to any foe entering or exiting a glamour field. Put down Chaos Storm just before pulling an enemy and watch as they run through the field gaining confusion.
While it can be seen that we have access to a large number of fields, there are very few methods of applying these effects to a group of people. When it comes to applying combo effects to other players, and yourself, you will need a source of a blast finisher. Sadly, we only have one blast finisher on any of our weapons. If you want to be able to provide the combo field effects, you’re going to have to take the torch, which will give you access to The Prestige.
Using The Prestige does a few things: first, it makes you invisible, which can be a very useful skill to have! There are plenty of times when the going gets tough, and being able to instantly drop aggro really helps. Second, using this skill provides the blast finisher that will interact with all of the various field types. Using The Prestige while in a Null Field will result in everyone gaining Chaos Armor. This armor will help apply boons to your allies and conditions to your enemy any time that someone is hit. Finally, if you ride out the stealth portion, you’ll set anything in the area on fire when you reappear. Not bad for just one spell!
Here is a build I threw together that makes the most of the various fields and what they do. The focus of the glamour skills is in helping your team – it’s meant to be a support role. Not the most glamorous (pun intended), but in the end, Guild Wars 2 is not about who does the most damage. It’s a game about whether you accomplish your objective. Did your team down the final boss in Arah? Did your team take that keep in WvW? Did you beat your opponent in sPvP? If the answer is yes, then congratulations! Mission accomplished. Give yourself a pat on the back and collect your reward!
Next week, we’ll take a look at underwater combat and examine the various options available to us, but until then – keep ‘em guessing!