Illusionary Weaponry allows a caster to inflict respectable amounts of melee-range damage that cannot miss or be blocked, since the caster's actions do not count as attacks. This also allowed the skill to serve as a cornerstone for Mesmer solo builds.
- IW-builds rely on enchantment spells for their damage, so they must include cover enchantments, e.g. Illusion of Weakness (which also relies on Illusion Magic and has no duration).
- As with any melee build, they include skills that increase attack speed, notably Flurry (which does not reduce IW's damage output).
- As with any caster, IW mesmers require energy management.
- Builds typically include interrupts or other types of shutdowns.
- IW mesmers require self-heals to maintain survivability, e.g. Feigned Neutrality (which will not end while attacking with Illusionary Weaponry).
- IW requires a melee weapon, typically a sword or axe (because of their faster attack rates). However, Daggers can be used against an individual foe and Scythes against clusters.
- Of Enchanting modifiers increase the duration of Illusionary Weaponry and the cover enchantments.
- Shield upgrades that trigger on being enchanted are useful, since the character will almost always be enchanted.
 Play style
There are three typical ways to play an IW mesmer:
- As a front-line melee fighter.
- As a mid-line caster, only using IW when the opportunity presents itself.
- As a combination of the two, typically using Domination Magic to punish opponents (e.g. with Empathy) or shut them down (e.g. using Distortion).
- The biggest weakness in the build is there are currently far superior and less risky ways of using Mesmers to inflict armor-ignoring damage.
- IW mesmers are vulnerable to enchantment removal, so they are useless for much of the high-end and Beyond content.
- They only come into full productivity against heavily-armored opponents, since one of the build's primary advantages is the armor-ignoring damage.