Energy management describes how a character controls its energy in order to ensure being able to use its skills. Energy management is a global term which encompass all effects providing reduction in energy cost, direct energy gain and/or extra energy regeneration. Adrenaline management is a similar concept but focuses on adrenaline instead.
Energy management can be "active", if you use at least one dedicated skill on your skillbar for it, or "passive", if you rely on another source of energy management, such as a primary attribute, a Zealous modifier or another outside energy source. Active energy management reduces freedom when building a skillbar since there is at least one less skill slot (see also Bar compression).
Energy management differs based on your activity. The most effective energy management effects are actually continuous energy management effects which depends on the action you do : for example, a ritualist can use a skill such as Energetic Was Lee Sa on a build regardless of the type of skill being used, yet Boon of Creation will provide a far superior energy management if using many binding rituals.
Attacks further increase the difference in action, because you can get energy (in addition to adrenaline) on attacks through skills such as Warrior's Endurance, Zealous Vow, or simply by wielding a Zealous weapon, but you cannot attack (and therefore cannot get energy nor adrenaline) while using skills with an activation time. This is an important note especially for paragons, because they must stop their attack for using their chants (but not their shouts, which are instant), therefore slowing down their adrenaline gain or any special energy gain from attacks while doing it.
Types of management
However, energy management effects can roughly be discriminated in five main types :
- One-timed energy gain from attacking, with skills such as Body Shot or Counterattack.
- Continuous energy management on attacks, using skills such as Zealous Vow or Warrior's Endurance, Zealous weapon modifiers and the primary attributes Critical Strikes and Expertise (when using attack skills)
- One-timed energy gain from using non-attack skills, such as Ether Signet or Blessed Signet, Eremite's Zeal...
- Continuous energy management on using a certain type of skill, such as spells with Aura of Restoration or Channeling, or with the primary attributes Leadership (when using chants or shouts affecting at least one ally), Expertise (when using ranger skills, Binding Rituals or Touch Skills), Mysticism (dervish enchantments)
- Continuous energy management from outside sources, such as deaths with the primary attribute Soul Reaping, battery effects such as Blood is Power or Energy Boon, or temporary skills such as Scepter of Orr's Power.
Energy conservation plays an important point in energy management, especially in PvP. Good energy conservation involves avoiding energy-expensive skills that cost 15 or 25 energy, or saving them for only when needed (e.g. not use Meteor Shower on an enemy that would die to Flare or wanding). Favoring adrenaline skills, signets, weapon swapping (most notably to avoid energy denial).
The natural energy regeneration plays an important role in energy conservation. Warriors, paragons and rangers have a low energy regeneration with respectively only 2,2 and 3 pips of energy regeneration. As such these professions must be especially wary of their energy level. All other professions have 4 pips of energy regeneration, meaning twice faster energy regeneration compared to warrior or paragon, which help them maintain a decent energy level when using low energy skills (typically 1 or 5 energy skills, unless spamming). However, keep in mind that usually the cheaper a skill is, the higher the recharge time or the weaker the effect will be.
Relying on the primary attribute
Primary attributes are designed so that it is usually a safe choice to invest your skill points there when creating your build, especially regarding energy management. Even without any form of passive energy management, the attribute often has a few skills related to energy management. For example, Signet of Lost Souls can be used by Necromancers to get energy without any need of a nearby creature dying. Try to match your primary attribute (and your profession) with your skills and playstyle:
- Necromancers use many energy-expensive spells related to dealing damage or summoning minions. Investing in Soul reaping gives you energy each time a creature dies, and will therefore resplenish the energy each time you kill a foe or each time one your minions die. Necromancers typically have good energy management when the situation involves killing foes (at least having them below 50% health) killing allies (especially creatures), inflicting conditions on oneself or sacrificing health (PvP only). They also can get energy management when using necromancers spells.
- Elementalists are specialized in energy-expensive spells, but they have a plethora of enchantments and Glyphes (such as Ether Renewal, Elemental Attunement or Glyph of Lesser Energy) which get more effective with a good investment in Energy Storage and help them afford the energy cost of the said spells. Elementalists have extremely good energy management with enchantments and spells in general, especially elemental spells. They also can get fine energy management if their foes are suffering from burning, weakness, a water magic hex or cracked armor.
- Ritualists focus on summoning spirits and minions, or on dealing damage using Item or Weapon spells. In addition to increasing the duration of weapon spells and the health of any summoned creature, ritualists investing in Spawning Power will have good energy management for spells, especially ritualist hexes, binding rituals, weapon and item spells. They will also have energy management for summoned creatures, especially spirits (including the ranger's Nature Rituals).
- Paragons use chants or shouts that affect their allies in earshot, and relies heavily on Leadership to get energy from doing that. In addition to the fact that the chants or shouts often affect attacks, paragons themselves also have to attack to build adrenaline if any of their chants and shouts requires it. In addition to their natural energy management for shouts and chants affecting allies, paragons can get good energy management if their foe is burning.
- Dervishes rely on building enchantments and removing them, most often with attack skills (the so-called teardown mechanism). Mysticism affects the first part of the mechanism, building enchantments ; an invested Mysticism provides a passive energy reduction for all dervish enchantments, additional bonus armor when enchanted. In addition to the passive effect of mysticism, dervishes have good energy management when losing dervish enchantments and when casting spells if enchanted.
- Rangers rely heavily on an invested expertise to get effective passive energy cost reduction for all ranger skills (up to ~50%). Additionnaly, invested Expert Focus or Marksman's Wager will allow for more energy when attacking with a bow.
- Assassins rely on critical hits to deal more damage and get bonus effects from some of their skills. Their primary attribute Critical Strikes precisely increase the chance to critical, plus give them energy when they do, and access to invested skills such as Critical Eye which also do the same. Assassins can display good energy management against a hexed foe or when attacking, especially when attacking with melee weapons and among those, especially with daggers.
- Warriors need adrenaline, and energy mostly for building adrenaline quicker. Even with that, invested Strength grant them access to interesting energy management skills for melee attacks, such as invested Counterattack and above all else the potent Warrior's Endurance, which grant them energy on hit. Warrior also have good energy management (through Flourish) when using attack skills.
- Monks can make use of Divine Favor to heal more when using a spell on a target, but greatly suffer from the lack of passive or active energy management. Blessed Signet is a very effective when using maintained enchantments (which are monk-specific enchantments) and Scribe's Insight is effective when using signets, and aside from the two skills monks strives not to waste energy.
- Mesmers also suffers from the lack of active or passive energy management from their primary attribute Fast Casting, which allows them to cast their spells quicker. However and especially in PvE, investment in Fast Casting reduces the recharge of mesmer spells, especially those from Inspiration Magic which are often tied to energy management, allowing to use them more often. Otherwise, mesmers are especially skilled in energy management with signets, since being able to reduce the recharge greatly and make use of Symbolic Celerity to cast other professions' energy management signets with the current Fast Casting rank : in that case mesmers can get energy on burning foes, on foes under 50%, maintained enchantments and on summoned spirits.
Sometimes regular energy management skills (and even regular non-energy related skills) scale with the primary attribute: as far as energy management is concerned, this is the case of Cultist's Fervor, Glowing Gaze, Glowstone, Glowing Ice, Shock Arrow and Elemental Lord, Critical Agility (and more generally any IAS if using Zealous weapon, skills or attributes that grant energy on attack) for example.
In some situations, knowing which profession would be the best for a given build can still be unclear. For example, a minion master could be a Ritualist with a good investment in Spawning Power (access to Boon of Creation, Spirit Channeling or Signet of Creation, plus other useful invested skills such as Explosive Growth, Rupture Soul or Spirit's Gift and give your minions more health), or a Necromancer which will get energy from Soul Reaping each time one of the minions dies while also getting access to invested Angorodon's Gaze and Signet of Lost Souls. Another example would be using a ranger or an assassin for a dagger spammer build: rangers have a higher armor against elemental damage and make therefore better tanks plus have reduced energy cost of the attack skills thanks to expertise, while assassins can get more critical hits and energy from it.
Energy when attacking
Permanent energy gain
Zealous weapons can provide an energy refund on hit, especially when using weapons with a fast attack speed, daggers with a high dagger mastery investment (due to the chance to double strike) and scythe (since those can strike several enemies). Some skills mimick the energy gain on hit effect of zealous weapons: such skills are Marksman's Wager, Scavenger's Focus, Warrior's Endurance, Weapon of Fury, Zealous Renewal and Zealous Vow. In the case of assassins most notably, increasing Critical Strikes and using the skill Critical Eye will provide energy gain on critical hits (while also increasing the chance to inflict them). Using skills allowing to strike several foes at the same time, such as Whirlwind Attack, or increasing the attack speed increase the energy gained that way.
Expertise provide a global reduction of the energy cost of attack skills. Expert Focus further reduces the cost of bow attack skills. Way of the Empty Palm negates the cost of dual and offhand attacks.
One-time energy gain
Prepared Shot provide energy gain when under a preparation. Body Shot (requires cracked armor).
Zealous Sweep (when hitting at least two foes not counting any other effect), Radiant Scythe.
Auspicious Blow (hammer), Knee Cutter (sword, requires cripple). Primary warriors can make use of Counterattack, which is a melee attack skills and works therefore especially well with scythe or daggers for hitting more than once.
Flourish can also be used, even by non-primary warriors. It resplenishes few energy by itself for non-warriors (requires 3 attack skills for a net energy), but it recharges all attack skills, allowing you to use your other energy management attack skills twice.
All types of "Lotus" skills when their requirement is met (i.e. lead attack, dual attack, being enchanted, hexed target or knock-downed target). Primary assassins can make use of Critical Strike.
Energy when casting spells
Permanent energy gain
Channeling, Aura of restoration, Ether Renewal, Elemental Lord and Arcane Zeal cause energy gain when using spells. Channeling is the only skill not tied to Energy Storage or Mysticism and therefore can be used by non-primary elementalist or dervishes, such as monks : this has led to the strategy of Channel tanking. Lyssa's Aura is an interesting option, providing energy regeneration and renewing itself each time the user casts a spell, however it takes an elite skill slot.
Cultist's Fervor reduces the cost of necromancer spells. Healer's Covenant reduces the cost of Healing Prayer spells.Selfless Spirit reduces the cost of spells that target an ally. The different attunements (fire, earth, water and air) reduce the cost of the spells of their respective elemental attribute. Elemental Attunement and Master of Magic, while reducing the cost of all type of elemental spells, are only effective when used by primary elementalists. Divine Spirit (monk only) reduces the cost of monk spells, however it can only be active 1/3 of the time.
One-time energy gain
Auspicious Incantation will refund you with 110~200% of your next spell's energy cost, only increasing this skill's recharge by 10~5s. This synergizes especially well with Arcane Echo (its recharge time is fixed and it also is a mesmer spell) to allow casters to use a powerful spell twice in a row in PvE. Glyph of Lesser Energy is another option which can be used by any profession (even though the skill belongs to Energy Storage, the primary attribute of Elementalist) and reduces the cost of the next two spells used by a character. Glyph of Energy can also be used, especially due to its ability to prevent overcast, but is elite and is better used by primary elementalists anyway.
In addition to energy managements skills for spells, Signet of Corruption is a PvE-only skill which works great for energy management if using hexes, especially those affecting all foes in an area of effect. Anguished Was Lingwah is rather meant for ritualists and reduces the cost of ritualist hexes only.
In addition to energy managements skills for spells, Meditation cause energy gain when an enchantment ends on the user. Air of Enchantment reduces the energy cost of enchantments on the enchanted ally.
Flash Enchantment Spells
In addition to energy managements skills for spells and enchantment spells,Mysticism specifically reduces the energy cost of those skills. As a result, Pious Renewal and Zealous Renewal at high rank in mysticism will refund more energy than their cost and can as such be used as a way to resplenish a dervish's energy pool.
Binding Rituals, Nature Rituals and Ebon Vanguard Ritual
In addition to energy managements skills for spells, Ritualists have plethora of skills in order to reduce the cost of their Binding Rituals (Attuned Was Songkai, Soul Twisting) as well as energy management skills based on sprits (Reclaim Essence, Spirit Channeling), some of which become more interesting the more spirits you control (Signet of Creation, Signet of Spirits (PvP)). Skills such as Spirit Siphon, Essence Strike, Clamor of Souls or Offering of Spirit are still available to ritualist and non-ritualist professions.
Expertise also reduces the cost of those skills.
See also energy on creature creation.
In addition to energy managements skills for spells, Blessed Signet is available to monks.
Weapon and Item Spells
In addition to energy managements skills for spells, Renewing Memories and Wielder's Zeal can be used by primary ritualists to reduce the cost of these skills. Caretaker's Charge, Clamor of Souls and Soothing Memories also trigger energy gain if holding an item.
Energy on other types of other skills
Ranger skills, Touch Skills
Expertise specifically reduces the energy cost of those skills.
Shouts and Chants
For ranger shouts, see above.
Shouts affecting several allies are better used by Paragons, since their Leadership will grant them energy. Energizing Chorus will provide energy to every party member for their next shout or chant. Energizing Finale will provide very minor energy on shouts/chant ends on a single target.
While it may sounds strange to use energy management with signets, this can allow to use more energy expensive skills on the same bar. Skills that can trigger energy gain on signets are Scribe's Insight, an enchantment that grant energy each time a signet is used, and Lyric of Zeal, a chant that will grant every party member in earshot energy with their next signet.
Symbolic Celerity can allow mesmers to use energy-management signets such as Glowing Signet, Signet of Lost Souls or Castigation Signet, with much more efficience that they could otherwise do due to the use of the Fast Casting attribute. Additionnally, Keystone Signet will recharge all signets.
Masochism (PvP) (necromancers mainly) is the only skill to cause energy gain on health sacrifice.
Boon of Creation (ritualists) is the only skill to cause energy gain on creature creation
Energizing Wind is the only skill to reduce the cost of all skills in its range, of 15energy (skills cannot cost less than 10). However the Nature Ritual has 5s casting time and last 33s for a recharge of 60s (on top of being easily killable), making it difficult to use in combat.
Direct energy gain
General energy gain
Inspiration Magic is an unavoidable attribute since it is based around managing energy. Ether Signet, Ether Lord most notably will provide a direct energy gain if you energy is low. Waste Not, Want Not is another good option, especially if using knock downs and/or AoE in PvE since it will prevent foes from attacking and using skills. Assassin's Promise is a powerful elite hex spell able to both recharge all your skills and provide you a high energy gain if the hexed target dies before it expires. Leader's Zeal, Eremite's Zeal (even without a teardown skill) can be used as efficient energy management skills, even at low investment in Motivation and Wind Prayers. Offering of Blood and Offering of Spirit (even without a spirit nearby) can be used to turn health into energy, but take an elite slot. Castigation Signet provide energy management and damage if used against an attacking foe, but requires investment in smiting prayers. Bringing a pet and using either Scavenger Strike or Ferocious Strike is good for energy management, but requires an investment in Beast Mastery and is better used by rangers due to expertise.
Defender's Zeal can be used as a good energy management and cover hex skill, especially in PvE in hard mode, however it takes an elite slot.
Second Wind can be used by non-elementalist professions, and one can quickly build the overcast needed for its effect by repetively canceling it, however most professions cannot bear having too much overcast nor having to lose all enchantments. The same goes for Ether Prodigy, which also bears the threat of health loss.
Delayed energy gain, such as those from Mantra of Recall and Signet of Recall are generally considered inefficient for energy management due to the difficulty to coordinate the energy gain with the use of other skills. Similarly, the low energy return and high recharge of Ethereal Burden and its duplicate Kitah's Burden, even at high ranks in Illusion Magic, make them poor options for energy management.
Star Burst can be used for energy management, but you need to hit several foes in melee range and even like that the energy refund is low. Mind Blast can be used for energy management, but you need to have more energy than your foe.
A few mesmer skills can steal energy from foes, usually this requires to either interrupt a chant or spell or cast a hex that will cause spells or attacks to fail. Such skills are Power Drain, Leech Signet, Power Leech, Tease, Spirit of Failure, Shame and Guilt.
Avatar of Lyssa will cause energy stealing from all nearby foes on dervish enchantment loss, but lasts less than half of the time for non-dervishes.
A few skills mimick the energy stealing effect: Energy Tap, Energy Drain, Drain Delusions (requires a mesmer hex) will cause a minor energy loss on a foe and return you an amount of energy based on how much energy was lost that way.
Situational energy gain
Drain Enchantment only works against foes using enchantments ; you will encounter this type of opponent fairly often so this is often a good energy gain skill. Hex Eater Signet works similarly well against foes using hexes.
Essence Bond is a very powerful energy management bond if using a tank (the tank can also use it on himself). Balthazar's Spirit.
Steady Stance can be used if facing a lot of knockdowns (especially if you self-trigger those knockdowns with Desperation Blow and Drunken Blow)
Song of Power can be used to quickly resplenish the energy of your allies but requires them not to use skills: therefore this skill is more suited used by human teams, between groups or waves of foes. Well of Power is similar in that heroes/henchmen can't detect the presence of a ward, but it also requires a fresh corpse.
Inspired Hex, Revealed Hex, Revealed Enchantment, Inspired Enchantment can prove to be extremely effective if used to remove a monster hex or enchantment, since the skill will instantly recharge and you'll have gain energy and hex/enchantment removal at the same time.
Smooth Criminal will always provide 5 energy at rank 5 or higher in the asura title track, along with the possibility to randomly steal a foe's spell, which can be useful against foes using dangerous spells (i.e. AoE damaging spells). However, for the sole purpose of energy management other skills are usually better.
Consume Corpse will provide net energy gain as well as health gain, but only works by exploiting a fresh corpse and requires death magic 6 or higher to actually return energy. It can still be used in areas with a lot of corpses, such as the Jade Quarry.
Energy management from other team members
A handful of skills allow one (mainly Monks, Paragons, Ritualists, Elementalists and Necromancers) to provide energy for allies. A character serving this function is sometimes referred to as a battery.
Blood is Power (and its non-elite version Blood Ritual) shines as one of the most efficient of these skills, having given birth to the BiP archetype. Balthazar's Spirit is another frequently used skill, often used on tanks to allow them to maintain energy. Other alternatives include Succor, Energy Boon, Aria of Zeal, Zealous Anthem, "The Power Is Yours!", "Never Give Up!" or Weapon of Fury.
Energy gain when being the target of attacks, spells, etc.
Additionally to the above skills, a few selected skill will provide energy to the user whenever hit by a hostile spell or attack. This happens typically when tanking or solo farming.
The mesmer mantras (earth,lightning, frost, flame) and the ranger stance Storm Chaser will give the user energy whenever hit by the appropriate elemental damage: this can be forced-triggered by using Stone Striker to convert all incoming damage to earth damage, or by using Greater Conflagration and/or Winter.
Bonetti's Defense and Wary Stance are both stances which will block incoming attacks while refunding energy whenever blocking, even for non-primary warriors such as Monks in PvP.
Melandru's Resilience will provide energy and health regeneration for each hex or condition on you. Is especially good if the area has many foes inflicting conditions or hexes, such as areas with lava floor.
Essence Bond and Balthazar's Spirit, as said above, are still good options when being used on oneself.
- A list of skills, giving their net energy gain per second: here.
- Continuous effects dependant on the number of times they are triggered: here.
- Battery skills: here.