If you are one of those players that seek original ideas, out-of-the-box combos. If you are tired of playing barrage with your ranger, SoS with your ritualist or Panic with your mesmer, then welcome friend ! You have come to the right place !
Making builds is a very interesting part of the game. If you are curious about my solo builds, go check the pages dedicated to my characters, you may find some of them really cool to try.
Most of the time, original builds are created using a natural synergy between two or several skills/weapons/attribute's effect: for example, Fire Arrows synergizes well with Ignite Arrows and preparations in general ; a scythe user can deal interesting damage spamming Symbolic Strike under Battle Rage ; an Expertise ranger can spam Vampiric Touch and Vampiric Bite at a low cost... Sometimes a combo may fall short to be fun to play with. Sometimes it simply isn't possible to use it because it requires a full team to revolve around it. Here are a few teams of my own design :
- 1 Reap Dreams
- 2 Explosive Bones
- 3 Equinox Languor
- 4 Quick Famine
- 5 Psychic Zephyr
- 6 Next Teams
General idea : Fevered Dreams' effect allows to spread conditions to all foes in the area, turning a spike in an "in the area" AoE. Fevered Dreams also comes with a handy 3s (can be increased to 4s) daze which will renew itself each time a new condition is applied. Damage is done through the health degeneration from the 4 conditions disease/bleeding/burning/poison, Fragility and several other spiking skills.
Fevered Dreams doesn't spread conditions upon renewal meaning that the condition must either expire or be removed before being reapplied to spread again. This is especially true for the daze which is renewed each time a new condition is applied. As the last applied condition it can be removed with the skill Reap Impurities.
Too much single target damage is not advised, lest you kill your Fevered Dreams target before spreading all conditions. However Fast Casting can reduce Fevered Dreams' recharge to 6s instead of 10s, while also halving the 2s casting time, so 7s is therefore the optimal time per kill.
Midline Fevered Dreams Mesmer Caller
Comments :16fast casting and 13 illusion, 13 fast casting and 16 illusion if facing resilient foes. 4s daze required, with a silencing martial weapon (preferably with a shield) to increase the duration. During fights, you are the caller. Target the closest foe and try to get as much foes as possible in the area of that foe. Use Fevered Dreams immediately followed up by YMLaD and YAAW. That way foes should instantly be crippled, weakened and dazed. With proper timing, the applied daze will also interrupt any unwanted hex removal spell. Cover with Phantom Pain or Shrinking Armor. Use Fragility to spike single foes. Remember that somes bosses have Natural Resistance, and therefore conditions will last half as long on them.
Frontline Reap Impurities Spammer
Comments : 0 scythe mastery. Spam Reap Impurities to remove daze. Balthazar's Rage applies burning : use it well to re-apply Daze right away. The re-applied daze will spread and interrupt foes. Grenth's Aura is optional and allows you to strike single foes decently with no investment in Scythe Mastery. Use Asura Scan if human.
Midline Blinding Surge Spammer
Comments : blind is the most powerful condition against melee opponents, and blinding surge is the fastest recharging skill allowing reliable and maintainable blind. Spam on recharge (10 air magic means 6s blind for 6s recharge and 3/4scasting). Stone Daggers at low earth magic can be interesting with the overcast from gale : it will apply a new condition every 1-2s second, leading to mass interrupt through the spreading of dazed while also triggering Fragility twice in a very short amount of time.
Frontline Reap Impurities Disease Dervish
Comments : Barbs, Meekness, ... so much interesting things. Blood Magic 13 is good to maintain 11s conditions (after effect of Awaken the Blood), +20% ench advised for Awaken the Blood. Blood Bond is really good as dervishes hit several foes per strike. All hexes are cover for Fevered Dreams. Blood ritual on the Fevered Dreams user, you might want to remove Awaken the Blood to avoid sacrificing too much health.
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...more to come...
Problems left to handle : healing (sadist's signet ?)/hex removal/condition removal(signet of Malice ?), hard res. Damage reduction perhaps, if some AoE spells goes through all this. Also, a way to deal with fallback cases or attacks coming from different directions.
Ideas for the remaining characters :
- Earth magic bomber with Crystal Wave/Aftershock (/Stoning for kd)
- A Minion Master : minions triggers daze and keep the melee foes close to the caster ones (casters and melee in range of FD). This allows a bit of protection/healing for the dervishes
- Sadist's Signet/Signet of Malice/Signet of Deadly Corruption/Signet of Shadows/Signet of Toxic Shock are a good basis for secondary monks using Infuse Health or Martyr, but can also be used by a Keystone Signet Mesmer. This will however shorten the life span of the fevered dreams target.
- More burning and "They Are on Fire!" paragon for damage mitigation. Imbagon is always better though.
- A lot of Assassin skills requires a target with condition, not only signets. Trampling Ox and Jungle Strike are good examples.
- A trapper ranger. While it may seems like an odd choice, Tripwire and Piercing Trap will both trigger and deal knockdown/extradamage. Archer's Signet will boost the duration of conditions from Barbed Trap/Throw Dirt/Viper's Nest, therefore making for some of the longest conditions in the game.
Strengths : AoE snare, health degeneration along with deep wound blind and daze. AoE Weakness and cracked armor as a bonus. Re-apply of daze also cause AoE interrupt, making Fevered Dreams an interesting ersatz of Panic. Light condition removal such as Mend Condition isn't a problem, as daze covers everything on the target, therefore daze will be removed first, and re-applied soon enough.
Weaknesses : Party-wide condition removal, such as Martyr and Cautery Signet, though both can be countered to some extent with Hypochondria. Heavy condition or hex removal such as "It's Just a Flesh Wound!", Restore Condition, Purge Conditions, Purge Signet, or Deny Hexes, Convert Hexes, Withdraw Hexes, Expel Hexes can remove the conditions or Fevered Dreams itself. Peace and Harmony has a special reward for also reducing the duration of new hexes and conditions. Another weakness is the fact that foes out of the area of effect will avoid everything. Interrupt of Fevered Dreams is of course a nasty thing, as well as blind/blurred/soothing on dervishes, though the latter will only limit the daze and the interrupts from it. And last but not least, melee bosses with natural resistance will be blinded, weakened and crippled only half of the time.
General idea : Jagged Bones spawns a new minion upon the death of another one. The interesting point is that the game considers the controller of the original minion as the creator and controller of the new minion, and therefore will trigger the controller's Explosive Growth, Spirit's Gift and Boon of Creation, allowing for a possible eternal cycle of jagged horrors inflicting damage through Explosive Growth and Death Nova (and bleeding), refunding energy and health through Boon of Creation and Spirit's Gift.
Targetless JB will automatically enchant the closest minion not already enchanted by JB, therefore there's no risk of overenchanting a minion.
Since the team relies on minions so much and applies poison and bleeding, it is most effective against fleshy foes.
Backline AotL MM Ritualist
Comments : Use Blood of the Master as a counter to AoE. Do not use it too much lest you sacrifice too much health and because it isn't very combo. Feast for the Dead is also against AoE, since it will sacrifice one of your minion and heal all the others.
Backline SoS MM Ritualist
Midline JB Healer Necromancer
Midline JB Curses Necromancer
Midline JB Smite1 Necromancer
Comments : Zealot's Fire deals quite a lot of damage, and energy is refunded by Soul Reaping.
Midline JB Smite2 Necromancer
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...more to come...
The teambuild is already efficient by itself : the main problem is again too much AoE. The second other problem is JB's recharge : skills such as Ebon Battle Standard of Wisdom or Quickening Zephyr might be interesting. Also, massive enchantment removal (chilblains for example) strikes hard. Foul Feast+Smite Condition is not good.
Ideas for the remaining characters :
- A saccer (BiP) to provide more corpses
Strengths : Having a meatshield and a team based on soul reaping from necromancers is always good, especially if one can make use of Spawning Power for a higher survivability of minions. The ritualist enchantments allow for an overflow of damage and energy.
Weaknesses : Without fleshy foes, the use of a saccer is advised if not mandatory. It is still possible to build an army of minions out of thin air with Aura of the Lich, but it is very long. Not enough party-wide healing make the team vulnerable to AoE (for example from traps). a team based on minions has naturally a lot of problems, especially from anti-minion skills such as Spiritual Pain, Banishing Strike or Consume Soul. It is also nearly impossible to spike a dedicated opponent in a team, as minions don't follow orders and are easily bodyblocked.
General idea : Equinox's effect increases overcast from spells in range, meaning skills such as Mind Freeze, Mind Burn, Meteor, Maelstrom, Meteor Shower (some of the most dangerous skills used by foes in PvE) will cause 15 or 20 overcast instead of the usual 5 or 10, therefore putting more pressure on the energy pool. Not all skills cause a natural overcast, therefore the idea is to cause overcast from the foes' spells, namely with Arcane Languor, which triggers Equinox' effect for a 20 point of overcast per spell.
Overcast will only disappear with time at the slow rate of one point of overcast each 3s.
Most casters, but also Dervishes and Assassins (since they rely on enchantments and spells) will reach full overcast in a couple of spells. They become then virtually useless and a great target for skills such as Wastrel's Demise or Wastrel's Worry.
Minions are a must in such a team, because they act as a decoy for melee and force casters to use their spells, including hexes and condition-inflicting spells they wouldn't use on spirits.
Comments : Roaring Winds against shouters, Frozen Soil against rezzers. Ritualist with high Spawning Power for more survivability of Equinox. Trapper ranger variant possible.
Arcane Languor Wastrel Mesmer
Comments : Aneurysm take into account the full energy pool. Need verification to check if failed spells trigger overcast (interrupted ones do not). Ignorance is an option if facing too much signet-users. Energy management problems ?
Arcane Languor Anti-melee Mesmer
Comments : Beware of overhexing a target with Arcane Languor. Leech Signet, Power Drain, Waste not, Want not for energy management.
Arcane Languor Mesmer 3
Comments : Beware of overhexing a target
AoTL Minion Master
Comments :To come
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Ideas for the remaining members :
- An anti-melee such as blinding Surge
- A party-wide damage reduction such as ST
- A healer such as an UA monk
- More damage.
Strengths : Arcane Languor is in the Fast Casting attribute, meaning a great freedom in build, even though the elite is taken. 20 points of overcast per spell provides heavy energy denial and has the potential to limit energy regeneration to 1energy/3s, which is extremely slow. It also cannot be removed, which make it the best solution againt casters (especially spell spammers).
Weaknesses :Only one foe can be hexed with Arcane Languor at a time, meaning this teambuild will struggle against large numbers of casters. Hexes removal, interrupts (especially Complicate and Distracting Shot) will also make the job difficult. Killing the Spirit of Equinox (with Gaze of Fury or mere attack/spells) will also severely diminish the power of Arcane Languor, though its recharge is only 15s. Another problem is that you need to wait for a successful casting of the spell for the overcast to trigger, meaning interrupts are not combo and that the fight will be in two parts : a first part where you (or your minions/spirits) take the full firepower of the enemy team and a second part once overcast has depleted the opponents' energy resources where you can finally counterattack.
General idea : Quicksand's effect causes massive energy loss, further increased by both effects of Quickening Zephyr. Having low energy means PvE foes, especially casters, will be much less dangerous and limited to auto-attacks, causing again energy denial from Quicksand (especially in Hard Mode). All energy denial sources in that process can also incur damage using Famine's effect.
The main downside to the team is that Nature Spirits affect the whole battlefield, and the team must avoid getting trapped too by using cheap skills such as adrenaline attacks with zealous mod, 5-10 energy skills with a high recharge time, energy stealing skills such as Tease and last but not least signets such as Keystone Signet or Signet of Weariness to keep the energy pool above 0. However with such skills, the destruction and survival power of the team is still high due to Quickening Zephyr halving all recharge times, allowing to use them more often.
Comments: ritualists don't have enough energy. Even a ranger may need a BiP or Blood Ritual support. Serpent's Quickness before Quickening Zephyr or bring a second Quickening Zephyr on the Quicksand user.
Comments: can be a ranger or a ritualist
Comments: Signet of Weariness is great. Fast Casting recharge speed bonus stacks with Quickening Zephyr, with close to 70% recharge time reduction. Secondary to choose among monk, assassin or necromancer for example.
Comments: Tease is extremely powerful in this teambuild. More signets ?
Signet Support Curing Paragon
Comments: secondary to choose, Antidote Signet over remedy signet perhaps ?
Comments: not necessarily a ritualist
Comments : reckless haste ? Blood ritual ? Malaise ?
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Ideas for the remaining members :
- Party-wide healing !
- Melee control
- BiP/Blood Ritual
- A melee using "Fear Me!"/or Avatar of Lyssa (zealous weapon required)
Strengths : Mess up with the AI (they have no energy, therefore they attack, therefore they lose energy, therefore they take damage from Famine). Quickening Zephyr both mess up with the opponent's teambuild and helps your team a lot by halving recharge time.
Weaknesses :Again the fight will be in two parts : a first part where you (or your minions/spirits) take the full firepower of the enemy team and a second part once the opponents' energy resources are depleted. Spirits are vulnerable and can be killed easily. They also draw more aggro. Your characters must spam their signets/skills lest they begin attacking too (and deplete their own energy pool). Foes in PvE have a higher energy regen than players, especially in HM, not to consider blood ritual/BiP and other energy management skills. Also problems with signet-heavy opposing builds (mirror fights). Against signets : Ignorance, Rust, and Primal Echoes which is the absolutely most boring thing. Gaze of Fury or Signet of Binding to capture it then kill it. Foes with high auto-attack damage and high health (bladed aatxes, shiro, the undead lich...) can still deal massive damage.
General idea : Quickening Zephyr's effect stacks with Fast Casting, allowing close to 75% recharge time reduction for mesmer skills. This is especially true for Psychic Instability, which allows for a 4s knockdown with a 12s recharge : this means one mesmer can keep a group of foes adjacent to each other on the ground for almost as long as it pleases him. On the ground means vulnerable to wastrel skills and AoE such as chaos storm (which can be maintained). Several PI mesmers can deal with several groups/ensure the group stays on the ground.
Energy can be supplied by inspiration magic skills such as Waste Not, Want Not or a BiP user or Blood Ritual user (the user of Quickening Zephyr can do) without fearing too much danger since foes are on the ground.
This team works as of today, 15/08/2015 but will probably get a nerf hammer bash because most other recharge time modifiers do not stack with fast Casting and 75% recharge time reduction is just too much, especially for mesmers.
Backline Quickening Zephyr Ranger
Comments: It is possible, albeit not easy, to run this build as a SoS or Spirit Channeling Ritualist with 12 wilderness survival and high spawning power. This means more survivability of QZ due to spawning power and the possibility to use SoS, but requires a way to recast one QZ under a previous QZ : Air of Superiority (which requires killing foes), Powerstone or another character also running QZ (even at 0 wilderness survival) can do.
Maintain Quickening Zephyr with Serpent's Quickness. Expertise reduces Binding Spirits' cost, which means you can bring some along. Situational skills are : Soothing against adrenaline skills ; Earthbind to bypass Stun Immunity ; Roaring Winds against shouters ; Muddy Terrain against speed boosters and if you want to slow the movement) ; Frozen Soil against rezzers (PI food though). Optional skills : Armor of Unfeeling can avoid Quickening Zephyr to die too quickly ; Nature's Renewal (and Tranquility) can be interesting if the team doesn't rely on enchantments too much, as aside from wastrel skills few hexes are used ; Winnowing to increase damage from Brambles ; Pestilence to spread conditions such as bleeding or weakness, but those spirits can backfire to your team. You can also go and trap foes while they are knocked down if you are bored (possibly with Smoke Trap, for example), but remember to go back to backline to cast QZ safely. Throw Dirt if you are human. Smoke Trap, Black Powder Mine or Dust Trap to protect QZ from melee
Midline Psychic Instability Mesmer 1
Comments : Chaos storm is AoE and causes foes to scatter, so you may want to remove it for another skill (spiritual pain, energy tap, drain enchantment are good options)
Midline Psychic Instability Mesmer 2
Comments: Signet of Weariness for weakness if any melee slips through. Beware of overhexing a foe.
Midline Energy Surge Mesmer
Comments : The build is for a necromancer for the soul reaping energy refund, but any profession should do. Blood ritual can be interesting since QZ reduces its recharge, but requires to move and cost more. One can run BiP on the ranger instead of Trapper's Focus, but in that case no summon spirits/draw spirits on the ranger.
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Ideas for the remaining members :
- Party-wide healing
- Party-wide damage reduction (Imbagon syngerizes well with this team because it relies on adrenaline rather than energy and because QZ reduces the recharge time of Focused Anger and "There's nothing to fear!")
- More anti-melee
- Something frontline, minions, crippling melee or spiker. Bring "None Shall Pass!" against foes fleeing AoE for more kds (watch out for the bug due to QZ + auto-recharge time, if it's still not fixed)
- If any slot left, more E-Surge damagers and PI users
- A Stolen Speed mesmer may be interesting, or any way to lengthen activation time.
- SoS Ritualists especially like QZ and can get powerful energy and healing through Boon of Creation/Spirit Siphon by spamming SoS or simply saccing the spirits.
Strengths : knockdowned foes can't do anything. Quickening Zephyr is extremely powerful for party-wide recharge time reduction, wastrel deals massive damage and waste not want not do a great job for energy management. Mesmers are extremely potent armor-ignoring damage dealer, and Psychic Instability is in the Fast Casting attribute, meaning great freedom of build.
Weaknesses : The biggest problem is that PI is only adjacent range. Also, especially if in AoE such as Chaos Storm's range, foes may move and/or not always use skills (melee especially) : PI will not be able to knock them down in that case. The team is also fragile since it is mainly made of mesmers. Also a backline ranger is not very useful even if he goes trapping once in a while. Problems with foes with stun immunity (earthbind ?) and/or immune to armor-ignoring damage (cyndr, for example).
- Several Barrages + Great Dwarf Weapon + Earthbind (for AoE knockdowns) but that doesn't exploit any "rarely used" skill. Maybe add Order of the Vampire or Order of Apostasy ?
- Infuriating Heat with an adrenaline-based team. However dragon slash combo doesn't work. Also problems with enemies out of reach/cripple/blind/miss skills/anti-attack skills/soothing skills... well, with adrenaline problems.
- Greater Conflagration in a team with high armor vs fire damage and burning-based builds with Mark of Rodgort and "They're on Fire!". Not much combo though, and only physical damage => full damage from non-fire elemental damage, life stealing and armor-ignoring damage.
- Paraway of course, with short-lasting chants and shouts to trigger echoes, the problem is that 1) most paragon elite skills are crap, 2) need mass adrenaline ( Infuriating Heat says hello again !), 3)attacks, 4) Too few echoes renewing easily. I can see Song of Purification and Song of Restoration do some healing/curing.
- Full dervishes avatars team (at least Avatar of Melandru+ Avatar of Dwayna). Not really a combo, but funny