GW2 Mesmer PvE Class Guide by Sanderinoa

GW2 Mesmer PvE Class guide written by Sanderinoa. This is the sixth of a series of GW2 class guides written by members of [rT], a former European dungeon speed clearing guild. (Up to date for 4th of January, 2018)


The standard Mesmer


The Mesmer is the one class exclusive to the Guild Wars franchise, and we are very glad that it’s here. This light armor class focuses on using combat magic to bend the mind and reality itself, giving it access to various copied and unique mechanics, with of course, illusions being the main trademark. This guide will be covering the mesmer’s role in a dungeon setting with general information as well as basic and advanced techniques.

The bottom line of the mesmer’s current value in instanced content used to be composed of the three P’s, with an optional fourth: Portals, Projectiles, Personal input and possibly pulling. Portals are a great way to skip content quickly, but require good knowledge of the dungeon’s structure and ask for efficient solo skipping . Projectiles are a very important thing to the mesmer for an obvious reason: reflection, the mesmer has by far the highest number of reflective abilities, providing defense as well as offense in a large amount of situations. In the end, however, the third P is by far the most important. the mesmer is a strategist’s class above all else, making the amount of effort and thought you put in your play bring all the difference between good and bad. Pulling is something the mesmer is used frequently asked to do, this will be mentioned in the weapons section as there is only one skill involved in this.

With the introduction of Heart of Thorns, chronomancy has become a large part of the mesmers job. Once the mesmer reaches that capability, three to four Ps turn into a Q and A, due to the extreme usefulness of quickness and alacrity sharing. But don’t worry about that yet, we’re just getting started here.

What sets the mesmer apart in terms of its skillset is that it has access to a large arsenal of mechanics from condition cleansing  to invulnerability. All of the skills giving access to these are, however,  a lot more limited duration wise, making timing a much more relevant aspect in your play. This guide expects a small amount of knowledge of the game as well as the class itself, but should be relevant to experts as well as beginners.

Glossary(credits to ele/thief guide)

  • Stack – all party members stand closely together to share boons or control enemy AI.
  • Aggro – slang for aggression or aggravation, usually referred to a mob targeting you or your party.
  • Mob – an enemy, foe, or creature
  • LoS/Line of Sight – usually referred to the act of obstructing melee and ranged enemies that are trying to hit you (e.g around a corner), which causes them to run towards the first non-obstructed location, thus stacking the mobs.
  • NPC – Non-player character. Computer controlled characters. You are usually accompanied by one or more NPCs in every dungeon path
  • LFG – Lookingfor Group
  • Pug – Pickup group. A group made up of people who you do not know, usually via the ingame LFG system
  • DPS – Damage Per Second
  • AoE – Area of Effect; any skill that has more than one target.
  • Pull – gaining the initial aggro of an enemy
  • Boons – also known as buffs, these give positive effects to you and allies
  • Blast – using a blast finisher in a combo field
  • AA – Auto Attack / first weapon skill
  • HP – Hit or health -points
  • Proc – Programmed Random Occurrence. Can sometimes be used when talking about non-random occurrences (e.g, “proc’ing the counter attack on Riposte”)

Mesmer damage explained

Illusion use

The mesmer is a class that uses illusions to do handle its tasks, summoning a maximum of three loyal (naturally) good looking minions. These illusions are separated into two categories: phantasms and clones. Clones generally do very little damage and look exactly like the mesmer himself, their health is minimal (3200 hp at lvl 80) and they only use the AA chain of the weapon used by the caster upon summon. Phantasms are illusions of a different type, they have a purple glow around them, use one specific skill and often mimic skills performed by other classes, depending on their type and corresponding weapon. Phantasms will be covered specifically in a later part of this guide.

After deciding between clones and phantasms, the mesmer has to make the choice whether to let illusions live, or have them destroy themselves using what is called ‘shattering’. When shattering, all of the illusions currently alive run to their corresponding target and destroy themselves, with an effect of choice to the enemy or caster. The first option of having illusions do their job is, however, the one most used in the PvE dungeon setting.This is because fights in dungeons take a relatively long time as mobs have generally high HP. Phantasms specifically deal a lot of damage over time rather than in a quick burst, this makes their survival preferred in a dungeon setting.

Phantasm damage calculations

Default phantasms have a health pool of approximately six thousand hp once the mesmer has hit level 80, but most of their other stats are all linked to the user in a much simpler manner. Armor,power, precision(critical chance only indirectly), ferocity and  condition related stats are all shared by the illusion with the user, and get updated as boons affect these.

Keep in mind that phantasm stats are not directly affected by boons applied to the illusions themselves by external sources. The following example shows how this affects damage when might is applied in a fight when a phantasm has been summoned.

If might is applied to the mesmer, its power stat will go up and this stat is transferred to the living phantasm, making damage go up. If this might is applied to the phantasm itself, its stats remain identical to the mesmer’s, resulting in an unchanged damage output.

The biggest issue with phantasm damage which is to be taken into account when theorizing and playing is that this stat scaling is all there is to the phantasmal damage. Phantasm stats are directly linked to your own, but they work as separate entities with their own weapons(exotic) and armor. This essentially means that % bonuses resulting from equipped armor or traits (e.g. +10% bonus from superior scholar runes) do not affect the damage done by your phantasms.

Reflection damage

As the second P in the introduction addressed, mesmers use reflection a lot for damage in fights. To help understand some of the mesmer’s choices, it is important to know how this mechanic works in damage calculations.

Regular damage calculation goes as follows:

Damage done = Weapon strength * Power * Skill – Specific coefficient / Target’s armor

After this calculation has been made, critical damage is added appropriately to chance and ferocity.

A reflected projectile, however, is not shot directly by the mesmer, meaning that weapon strength, power and the skill- specific coefficient come from the initial projectile launcher, the mob.

With this in mind, power will not affect your reflection damage, while precision can, as critical chance and damage is only added when the projectile reaches its final target.

In dungeons your damage will be split in two, between phantasmal and personal, what takes priority will be yours to decide, but this guide will assist with that in the builds and techniques section.


Shattering is a unique mechanic of the mesmer. When performing the art of shattering, the mesmer makes all of their illusions run up to their target to self-destruct. There are a total of 4 possible shatters, each with different effects, which will be discussed below. As of June 23rd 2015, all shatter skills will count the mesmer as an illusion, giving you the capability to use shatter skills without having any illusions up.

General synergy traits: Master of Fragmentation / Mental Anguish / Rending Shatter / Shattered Strength / Master of Misdirection

clip_image002Mind wrack (12 sec CD)

Mind wrack is very simple, your illusions will run up to their corresponding target, destroying themselves and damaging the foes around them when doing so.

Mind wrack damage increases at a slower rate per illusion shattered, meaning when three illusions are shattered in total, the damage done per individual illusion is lower than when shattering just one, even though your total shattering damage will be higher.

In PvE it is recommended to use this shatter when you are sure that your phantasms or clones are going to die at the next hit. Another option in combat if traited well for shatters (illusions+domination traitline), is to use mind wrack whenever your signet of ether recharges, allowing you to respawn your phantasms quickly after shattering.

This skill should also be used whenever your targets are closing in on death. The wrack damage will compensate for the fact that your phantasms couldn’t deliver another hit.

This makes the shatter something you will use often if there are a lot of trash mobs in your dungeon path.

  • Synergy traits: Mental Anguish

clip_image004Cry of frustration (25 sec CD)

Cry of frustration makes your illusions self- destruct inflicting confusion to nearby targets. As confusion is hardly viable in PvE, try to avoid using this.

clip_image006Diversion (38 sec CD)

Diversion makes your illusions self-destruct, applying a one second daze to their target. This can be used extremely well to remove defiance, but its long cooldown is not one of its benefits. Don’t forget that since June 23rd 201523, you count as an illusion as well, so calculate an extra daze in your diversion if you’re close.

  • Synergy traits: Dazzling / Furious Interruption / Power Block

clip_image008Distortion (50 sec CD)

Distortion makes your illusions instantly self-destruct, granting distortion to the user. This mesmer specific boon grants total invulnerability. Shattering decreases your damage as a phantasm mesmer, making this a skill you don’t want to use frequently, unless you’re sharing it.

Nonetheless, the low frequency of uses makes it unlikely to be on cooldown, and your phantasm playstyle makes illusions available almost 100% of the time. Because of the strong defensive effect and high availability, distortion must never be forgotten. Keep this shatter in mind as your last resort.

Synergy traits: Inspiring Distortion / Blurred Inscriptions)

Mainhand Weapons

While all weapons will be covered, the mesmer in dungeons should only really touch the sword as a main hand, with the offhand depending on the situation. Therefore the lesser used main hand weapons will be covered initially, to later spend more time on the more often handled weapons. An advanced section will be included for most weapon skills, giving knowledge above the basics, this includes tips and tricks.


The scepter main hand weapon is one with a very interesting set of skills and focuses on the deceptive capabilities of the mesmer. The weapon is officially limited to 900 range, making it fall into the mid-range category.

In terms of viability in PvE, the scepter is slightly lacking, but can be used by people who enjoy a more condition focused approach. The weapon’s overall slow attack rate caused by ether clone’s aftercast,  make for a suboptimal weapon choice in min- maxing  party situations. However, with the June 23rd & January 26th patches in 2015, this weapon has gained a boost in effectiveness, as conditions have been improved and the illusion traitline now allows for a faster attack rate. This keeps the weapon in a slightly suboptimal place in dungeons due to the time it takes to build up damage and its lack of cleave, but it may shine in solo situations, as well as open world PvE.


AA chain- Ether Bolt/Ether Blast/Ether Clone

The auto attack chain linked to this weapon has 2 initial attacks with a relatively slow activation time. These energy bolts do a low amount of damage and apply 2 and 3 seconds of torment, respectively. The final attack of the AA chain is a clone summon(unless you’re already capped on illusions). This clone will use only the first of the AA chain’s attacks because of clone apocalypse preventing measurements. This final attack will do about 1.5x the damage of the first two attacks and applies 2 torment stacks for 5 sec if a clone ISN’T summoned. This attack has about twice the activation time as well, resulting in a total AA chain duration of approximately 3.9 seconds.

Advanced: What is interesting to know is that the scepter’s AA can hit targets at ~1100 range, despite what the tooltip suggests.

Illusionary counter/Counterspell

The second skill of the scepter is a block. Illusionary counter is a two second block with offensive properties, summoning an ether bolt clone, doing decent damage and applying 5 stacks of torment to the attacking target. This block, however, will only stop one attack, so choosing which attack to keep it for and timing it properly is vital. If used well, this attack and its small cooldown create a very powerful defense. This makes the scepter much more viable when you can frequently proc the block (e.g. raid bosses with ticking aoe damage).

This attack, however, does not end with a simple block. If you are fighting a group of mobs and perhaps want to help out your group rather than yourself, the block can be released in the form of Counterspell. This release skill shoots out a bolt in a straight line for a distance of 900, and will blind any target it hits(up to a maximum of 5).

Confusing images

The last attack in the scepter’s arsenal is one which will be very much enjoyed by those who love the mesmer’s purple character. Confusing images is a skill with 900 range, where a beam is shot out of the scepter onto the target. This beam will do damage and apply confusion in a total of 6 ticks, applying one stack for every tick during the entire duration of the skill. With its casting time of a total of 2 seconds it may be the highest damaging skill of the mesmer’s scepter, but is sometimes hard to completely finish. With the buff to conditions, this a strong skill for the condition mesmer, so try to use this skill as much as you can because it compensates for the low damage auto attack, putting it close to sword against single foes.

Advanced: Due to the beam shape of the attack, this skill will damage all(max 4) who accidentally hit the beam’s path, piercing through them to still hit the target aimed at, this mechanic makes this skill have hard to use, but important to consider AoE capabilities. The last 4 ticks of the attack will hit those targets closer to the caster slightly faster than those further away, including the targeted enemy.


The staff personifies the mesmer’s chaotic character. With the combination of boons, conditions, clones as well as fast, slow, high and low damaging attacks it proves to be a very versatile weapon. This versatility makes it a weapon to be mastered before used.


AA – Winds of chaos

The auto attack performed by the staff is a bouncing attack. The projectile shot is homing and will hit a targeted enemy at a maximum of 1,200 range. Upon contact the attack will do a negligible amount of damage and apply either 1 second of burning, 7 seconds of bleeding or 5 seconds of vulnerability(all 1 stack and scaling with condition duration of course).

After hitting the initial target, the projectile will bounce onto the nearest enemy or ally, if the former, its effect will be identical. If the projectile hits an ally instead, they will receive 5 seconds of might(1 stack) or 2 seconds of fury. This bouncing effect is repeated another time as of June 23rd 2015.

Winds of chaos is still a very slow AA without a chain linked to it, one attack is launched approximately every 1.35 seconds with its damage coming practically only from boons and conditions, making for a relatively slow, condition based attack.

Phase Retreat

Phase retreat is the second skill on the mesmer’s staff, and is very different from the AA chain. This skill is a deceptive teleport, where the user teleports away from its target(or simply backwards if none is targeted), summoning a winds of chaos using clone at its original location.

In the few situations in which spawning clones is useful, such as weak groups of enemies that are more easily eliminated through shattering, the skill may be useful for its quick clone generation

Advanced: While the skill does no damage and has its main focus on deceptive abilities which are of no use in a PvE setting. The skill is often used without a target to speed up movement, by turning your character around mid-run, doing a backwards teleport. To help with this, consider binding a key to ‘about face’ in the options menu, this turns your character 180 degrees instantly.

While not a stun breaker, this skill can be used while under the effect of hard CC, allowing you to escape certain death if used to escape incoming attacks.

Phantasmal Warlock

The phantasmal Warlock is the first phantasm to be listed in this guide, it covers the full offensive capabilities of the staff and is in perfect sync with the other skills on the weapon. When cast, the mesmer shoots winds of chaos towards three nearby foes, and is followed up by casting a scepter wielding phantasm which will help you in the fight by shooting out a horizontally moving projectile. This projectile attack is shot at a moderate rate of once every 6 seconds but has issues with elevation changes as the projectile keeps to the ground.

The damage done by the warlock would fit perfectly in the staff’s skillset, but ironically it works best when you stop using staff once the phantasm is spawned. While its default damage is only moderate, the damage goes up by 10% for every condition currently present on the target, resulting in hard hits when you and your party members use a lot of conditions. The reason this also cripples you, is the fact that by running a condition build, required for proper staff usage, you lower the base damage of your warlock’s hits. This makes it best to use a power build and swap to sword after spawning it, and then letting your friends do the condition application.

This makes it a great phantasm for places like world bosses and occasional raids. Make sure, however, that you don’t stay stuck on the staff for too long, and that your party can manage other aspects like crowd control well.

Chaos Armor

Chaos armor is a very simple skill as it does exactly what the title suggests: it gives you the chaos armor effect, lasting for 5 seconds in total. Chaos armor is a shield effect and therefore creates effects when you are struck by an attack, in this particular case resulting in boons and conditions.

As the chaos armor wielder is hit, they will receive either 4 seconds of protection, 3 seconds of regeneration or 3 seconds of swiftness. At the same time, however, the enemy from which the incoming attack originated, is affected by either 3 seconds of weakness, cripple or confusion.

While very fun to use, the long cooldown of the skill makes it very impractical, but it is mostly the  random nature of the delivered conditions which make it an unreliable skill to use.

Chaos Storm

Chaos storm is a very characteristic skill as it is one of the only damaging real AoE skills in the mesmer’s arsenal. The chaos storm skill combines all that is the staff’s skillset and adds a little extra, and by that I do not just mean the longer cooldown.

Chaos storm places a field with a radius of 240 on a ground targeted location, affecting up to 5 enemies/allies within, resulting in an effect similar to winds of chaos and chaos armor. The supportive and offensive effects work separately, so the storm can effect a total of 5 enemies and 5 allies at the same time.

All enemies affected by chaos storm get random effects placed on them every second, these effects fill in what was missing in the earlier skills, granting one second of chill or daze, or two seconds of poison or weakness.

Allies affected by the same field will be randomly granted one of three boons every second, these include aegis, retaliation and swiftness, and will all last for a total of three seconds. The ability to give aegis which this skill provides to the mesmer is one of the reasons for the staff’s usage in certain speed clear records; ones which lack guardians.

Advanced: In PvE this skill is only really used for the aegis/swiftness boon and daze effects it brings to a large group of mobs, but because it works as an ethereal combo field, it may prevent your party from stacking might, making it a skill which is best kept unused, unless for personal swiftness upkeep or extra protection against trash, should your party not use or fire fields.


Despite what many may tell you, most of the best PvE mesmers will need to admit to having used the greatsword plenty, and this is definitely not because it is an incompetent weapon. As the first 4 of its skills can be used from 1,200 range, this is a long ranged weapon contrary to what you might have expected.

As the greatsword has a strong direct damage focus compared to the earlier mentioned medium to long ranged weapons, this weapon is definitely a recommendation above the staff and scepter. If you are not comfortable with meleeing enemies, the greatsword is the weapon you want to consider for your transition phase into the land of the melee mesmer.

Another positive thing about the greatsword is that it has a combination of AoE capabilities, which will benefit you a lot when dealing with large groups from a distance.


AA – Spatial Surge

The Auto attack on the mesmer greatsword is well known for its annoying sound effect and obvious tell, while you may be frowned upon for using this, it is important to know how it works.

Spatial surge is a beam attack much like confusing images on the scepter, but it will hit a maximum of three targets within every cast, and each of these will be hit for three times instead of 5. While this means that the beam attack will hit less targets and for less ticks, the damage is not necessarily much worse and it only takes about half the amount of time to pull it off.

Advanced: – The attack is a simple direct damage attack, its damage goes up the further you move away from the target, creating three different damage coefficients for the 300-600, 600-900 and 900+ range areas. Getting far away from your enemy and party, however, results in practically no boon sharing, so staying nearby may actually result in more damage.

– The Imaginary Burden trait(domination) has great synergy with the greatsword weapon, as is it is built around it. When considering this trait, please consider the amount of phantasms and clones you wish to have alive. This is important because the clones will boost your damage, as well as that of your phantasms with the might they provide.

Mirror Blade

Mirror blade is another bouncing skill, the projectile will apply three stacks of vulnerability to the first target it hits, but will also spawn a spatial surge clone next it. As it bounces back to an ally or foe, might or vulnerability will be applied in stacks of three again. After the first bounce, the projectile will bounce twice more time, giving off the same effect.

Advanced: Unlike its staff counterpart, this bouncing attack has a total of four bounces by default, and while not extremely relevant in PvE, this skill is also unblockable.

Mind stab

This one is a funny skill, mind stab makes a magical greatsword come from the ground and stab up to 5 targets on a ground targeted location with a radius of 240. Next to the fact that this skill does decent AoE damage, it also rips one boon off every target it hits, making it useful against buffed out groups such as the Ascalonians in fractals of the mists.

Phantasmal berserker

The second phantasm to be covered in this guide is a more regularly used one. When the skill is activated, the mesmer throws an illusionary greatsword towards their target foe, inflicting damage and 3 stacks of vulnerability similar to mirror blade. The sword will return the way it came, and a phantasmal berserker is spawned on the target. The phantasmal berserker uses a whirlwind attack similar to that of the warrior’s greatsword, and with it, hits several targets(max 5) at the same time. Its base damage is relatively high, but as it is divided into 4 hits, smaller creatures will not feel its full impact.

Illusionary wave

This is the only skill in the greatsword’s arsenal which has its range limited to 450. The wave attack is a knockback which will affect up to 5 targets in front of the caster. While not doing a significant amount of damage, the knockback will keep enemies at a safe distance, as the pushed enemies will be moved for another 450 in distance.

Stacking up large groups of trash mobs against walls is a commonly used technique in dungeon running, and the greatsword may be used for this, but as it is hard to control due to its simplistic character, using a focus instead is always the better option. Be careful not to push enemies away from your meleeing party members, as this will not benefit anyone in a regular situation.

Sword Mainhand

The main hand sword is the weapon you should and will get familiar with when using your mesmer in PvE, while being a melee weapon, the sword allows for a large amount of survivability, movement and direct damage.

What is important to keep in mind on the subject of melee weapons is that the cleaving effect of slashes could be considered AoE, but as it is not specifically meant to be considered an AoE attack, its damage does not get lowered because of it. This makes a melee weapon much more versatile in terms of damage.

Another base reason why melee weapons in general are preferred is the concept of boon sharing. Shouts and other boon applying skills often have a very small area of influence, with most shouts only having an effective radius of 600. Because of this, your damage output will always be optimal when you are close to your teammates.


AA chain – Mind slash/ Mind gash / Mind spike

The auto attack chain on the sword mainhand has a combination of effects. The first two hits, slash and gash are straightforward, they do good damage, and both apply 5 seconds of short lived vulnerability upon hit.

The third attack called mind spike is slightly different from the first two attacks, as this focuses more on boons than vulnerability. The third attack has two options: hitting a target with or without boons. When a target with currently active boons is hit, one of these is ripped off by the attack, and the damage of mind spike will be around 1.5x that of the first two AA attacks. If, however, the targeted foe has no boons active, the attack will instead do extra damage, resulting in a damage equivalent of approximately 2x that of mind slash or gash.

Because in PvE mobs often do not have any boons, mind spike really finishes off your auto attack sequence, so try to prioritize finishing off the entire chain before interrupting it if necessary.

Advanced: In comparison: The total  duration of the sword AA chain is 2.48 seconds, which is short compared to the 3.9 seconds of the scepter’s. Next to having cleaving abilities and this siginificantly faster sequence, the sword AA also does slightly more damage than the scepter’s per chain, giving it an enormous advantage in damage.

The vulnerability from the initial two AA hits will also increase your party’s damage output, while maybe only by about 3-4%, this can create a significant increase in damage overtime.

Blurred frenzy

This is one of the signature skills of the mesmer, and what a skill it is, blurred frenzy perfectly embodies all the mesmer stands for, apart from being a little overpowered of course.

This offense/defense neutral skill has a total duration of approximately three seconds, 0.5 seconds of this is the activation time, with the other 2.5 being the actual attack. As blurred frenzy is used, the mesmer hits its target repeatedly for a total of 8 hits of raw damage, making it a good source of damage when playing sword mesmer.

This damage, however, is not the skill’s primary focus, as during the 2.5 seconds of hitting, the mesmer receives an effect called ‘blur’, this effect is essentially a constant evade, making the skill perfect for survival in melee range.

As the trait called Fencer’s Finesse is one you will commonly use, the skill is generally put on a very short cooldown of only 10 seconds, giving you an amazing amount of protection, but more importantly: time to think.

Advanced: In a general situation this is the skill you’re going to want to be using to plan out your next move, when things get rough, you use blurred frenzy, look at your surroundings, your active phantasms and the location of your teammates and foes, plan out what you’re going to do next, and let the strategic mesmer in yourself do the rest of the work.

Of course there will be plenty fights where this will be unnecessary, during these you can just use the skill to stay in melee range, or simply to up your damage a bit more.

Keep in mind that the blur duration is very long, and will be active until the sword is back in its default position, a common mistake comes from the underestimation of the blur duration, resulting in suboptimal use of the skill as it is interrupted by movement.

Another thing to be taken into account when using this skill, however, is that it has a very small aftercast: for about a fourth of a second after the blur has ended, your character will still be locked in place, and while movement interrupts this, dodging does not.

Because of this, if you want to chain evasion durations, a dodge followed by blurred frenzy is always better than doing said rotation the other way around.

Illusionary leap/Swap

The third skill on the sword main hand weapon focuses on mobility, specifically, on halting that of your opponent while increasing your own. Illusionary leap summons a sword wielding clone onto your target from a maximum range of 600, which will cripple your target for 1 second, and then proceed to continue as a normal clone by repeating the AA sequence. While the entire sequence’s animation is covered, Mind spike will surprisingly do practically no damage compared to the slash and gash attacks.

What follows up on the illusionary leap skill is what is known as ‘Swap’. Swap will replace your third skill as you have spawned your illusion, staying available until it dies or is used.

Swap does exactly what the name suggests, it makes you switch places with the recently summoned clone, and while doing so, immobilizes up to 3 targets around your new found location for a duration of 2 seconds.

This skill no longer works as a stunbreak since the HoT expansion patch.

When using this skill, also keep in mind that it will go on a full cooldown if cast with a target outside of the 600 range, so be careful if you want to use it effectively.

Advanced: This is one of the few illusion spawning skills which functions against Invulnerable targets. This allows you to prepare illusions for shatters like continuum split, even while the target can not yet be damaged.

Offhand Weapons

Offhand weapons are going to be the ones you will switch between a lot, because phantasms are always slotted on the fourth or fifth skill slot.

A list of the mesmer’s offhand weapons and their skillset is listed below, starting with the most commonly used, and finishing with those fit for more specific encounters.


The focus is one of the offhand weapons you will be wielding a lot in your career as a PvE mesmer, there is simply no other option, as it holds a large amount of your most valuable abilities, the combination of small scale AoE as well as group support through crowd control and projectile defense make a mesmer without a focus a truly sad sight to behold.


Temporal curtain/Into the void

This first skill present on the focus is called temporal curtain, a 12 second swiftness buff line which is the key to the mesmer’s mobility, as it is the only swiftness it can provide by itself. This line, however, also has offensive capabilities, as it cripples foes who pass it for a total of 5 seconds.

Temporal curtain is also a light field, and stays present for 5 seconds, making it possible to use for condition cleansing if a projectile or whirl attack is used through or in its center.

Into the void is what replaces your curtain skill as it is placed, when detonated, the temporal curtain will suck everything (just kidding, up to 5 targets) in a radius of 600 towards the curtain to ball your foes up in the middle of the line. The curtain no longer pulls enemies further than the curtain itself.

Phantasmal warden

This third phantasm is one with many faces, while one of the most characteristic of the mesmer’s illusionary army, it is also one with a long history of problems. When activated, this skill throws a phantasmal axe towards the target, which immobilises them for 2 seconds before a phantasmal warden is summoned on them.

The phantasmal warden uses a skill identical to the ranger skill called ‘whirling defense’(whirl combo finisher), by default, this skill takes about 5 seconds, absorbs projectiles and has a cooldown of 9. Because multiple of these illusions can be put to use at the same time, they are an excellent way of protecting you and your party against projectiles.

The most relevant way in which the phantasmal warden is used, however, is in combination with the warden’s feedback trait. This trait will make the warden reflect projectiles instead of absorbing them, making it yet another skill which perfectly combined offense and defense.

Advanced:The warden in combination with the previously mentioned temporal curtain/into the void combination, make for a perfect weapon against lots of trash mobs, as the attack does AoE damage around the phantasm itself.

While the warden remained stationary in the past, it will now move towards its target to attack, but a combination of environmental issues may cause your warden to refuse attacking your target at all, in which case you will need a plan B.

Sword Offhand

The offhand sword is an amazing weapon to use when you are going for raw single target damage, just like the mainhand version, the skillset of the sword manages to combine defense and offense in a great way, giving the melee mesmer a trusty comrade when facing danger head on.


Illusionary riposte/counter blade

This skill is one of my very own favorites, and for a good reason. Illusionary riposte is very similar to illusionary counter on the scepter, but has a more direct character, the blocking duration upon activation is about two seconds, making timing relevant, but not amazingly hard. When you block an attack with the illusionary riposte, the foe you have just blocked will get a sword AA clone spawned next to them, which is expected when you look at the way the scepter’s counter works, but there is a small difference in terms of damage.

While the scepter’s block gives your target torment next to direct damage, the offhand sword will only focus on raw damage, creating a relatively massive hit, Illusionary riposte is therefore the highest hitting direct damage attack in the mesmer’s arsenal, shattering excluded.

Advanced:As was mentioned in the ‘mesmer damage explained’ section, this has a clear advantage when it comes to bonuses. While illusionary riposte may have the same damage coefficient as some phantasms, it will always result into a much larger hit, simply because it is affected by the  many +x% bonuses coming from your traits and equipment.

Combine this with a cooldown identical to blurred frenzy, and you’ve got an amazing skill to help you in your melee fights on the subject of damage as well as survivability.

But wait, there’s more! Just like illusionary counter, this riposte skill can be released while blocking in the form of the skill called counter blade. Counter blade shoots a projectile in a straight line much like the scepter’s spell, but will instead daze the targets it passes through, with a maximum of 5.

Phantasmal swordsman

The phantasmal swordsman is one you will also end up using very often, while it may not look like it does a lot of damage compared to others in raw numbers, this phantasm is your best choice in direct single target damage, not because of its damage per hit, but because of its damage per second. When activating this skill, the mesmer strikes their foe for a frankly insignificant amount of damage, buffing themselves with 8 stacks of might in the process, lasting 5 seconds. After this, the phantasmal swordsman is summoned.

The phantasmal swordsman has a damage coefficient which is slightly lower than that of, for example, the duelist or the warden, but because the damage of the swordsman is instant, and has a much smaller cooldown, a constant barrage of swordsman hits will always beat the raw numbers delivered by its slower hitting phantasm friends.

Advanced:This phantasm hits approximately every 4 seconds, by jumping towards its target(a leap combo finisher). As it finishes its attack, the phantasm will jump backwards, evading attacks for a small amount of time, to then remain stationary at 240 range. If your target moves away, the swordsman will follow it and attempt to stay within 480 range of the target, as this is the maximum range of its leap skill.

Combining the phantasmal swordsman with the trait called ‘phantasmal haste’ speeds up its attacks, and as the final part of the attack animation involves a dodge, this trait will also increase its survivability in some situations.


The pistol is an offhand weapon very similar to the sword, it has a single target phantasm, and does relatively high damage, largely used by condition mesmers. Because of the phantasm’s special properties and the weapon’s slightly less useful secondary skill, it is still a weapon more fit for more specific situations.


Phantasmal Duelist

When activating the Phantasmal Duelist skill, the mesmer shoots their target with a slow homing bullet, which cripples the target for 3 seconds. When hit, a phantasmal duelist is spawned nearby, attacking the target. The phantasmal duelist is a great phantasm, it shoots out a total of 8 shots at your target, doing damage slightly higher than the swordsman, though divided into more hits and therefore taking in slightly more time to take effect.
As the duelist spawns next to you and has no need to move from his location as long as the designated target is within shooting range, this phantasm is ideal to use against bosses which use hard hitting melee attacks with a lot of cleaving, as these will destroy your swordsmen very easily. Combining the phantasmal duelist with the trait called ‘Duelist’s Discipline’, results in extensive bleed application, which makes this your go-to condition mesmer phantasm.

Advanced: In exact numbers, the total duration of the duelists’s attack is 2.25 seconds, and it has a cooldown on the skill of 6 seconds by default, making the damage per second fall into a lower category than the swordsman’s.

All of the duelist’s pistol shots have a 20% chance of working as a projectile finisher.

Magic bullet

The fifth skill on the pistol offhand’s skillset is one with a really cool animation, your character will shoot out a single shot onto its target, which will then proceed to bounce to other enemies nearby.

As another bouncing skill, this skill bounces between targets and hits a total of 4, but contrary to the earlier mentioned bouncers, this attack is restricted to hitting only foes.

The first target that is hit is affected by a 2 second stun, the second by a daze for the same duration, then the third is hit by a 5 second blind, followed by 5 simple seconds of confusion to be delivered to the third target which is hit.

While a great skill for CC and defiance removal, its relatively long cooldown of 25 seconds makes it a skill which has little influence in most fights.


While the torch is not by any means incompetent, you will be using it to a lesser degree simply because of its corresponding phantasm’s ineffectiveness in an instance setting in PvE.


The prestige

The only blast finisher within the mesmer’s set of skills is found on the torch weapon, but can be used for more than just that. The prestige is a stealth skill, which will make the user go invisible for a total of three seconds, blinding up to five enemies around them for 5 seconds by default.

When the mesmer reappears after the stealth duration has ended, nearby foes will again be bothered, this time with a decent amount of damage, and 3 stacks of 3 seconds of burning. The blast finisher component of the skill appears at this point, where the skill ends.

Advanced:There are a total of three cases for which this skill is useful:

1. Blasting smoke or fire fields for stealth/might

2. Chaining personal stealth (to be used as a final component)

3. Blinding non-defiance mobs with the initial cast

4. Dps increase for condition builds.

While the first three points should be relatively clear, point number 4 may need further elaboration.

The prestige is a skill with an instant cast, meaning it will hardly interrupt your regular dps rotation at all when activated. Especially when running condition builds, the prestige skill can help boost up your dps by a small degree by activating it mid – fight  and letting the final blast do its work.

Phantasmal mage

The phantasmal mage is the final phantasm to be found specifically in a terrestrial environment. When acttivated, the mesmer will blast flames around themselves, burning foes for 3 seconds and doing a small amount of damage. After this, the phantasmal mage will be spawned next to the caster, to attack the targeted enemy with a magical projectile.

The mage’s attack will, next to doing a small amount of damage, add 2 stacks of burning for three seconds onto the target it hits, and will then bounce to two more allies or foes, if possible. When the skill hits an ally, they will receive no damage, and instead of burning, three seconds of fury will be added.

An issue with the damage capabilities of the phantasmal mage, is that the projectile seems to prefer allies over foes. Therefore, instead of bouncing back to your target after the first bounce, you’ll end up giving unnecessary fury to targets over extra burn to foes. Due to burning’s low damage output created by this, as well as the low initial direct damage output of the phantasm, it is currently best left unused in instanced content.

Advanced: The phantasmal mage’s attacks have a medium cooldown of 4 seconds by default, with their attack taking approximately 0.5 seconds. While summonable from 1,200 range, the phantasm itself will move to 800 or 1000 range inconsistently before it starts launching its attacks.


Underwater Weapons

Who knew we had underwater combat in guild wars 2, while the likelihood of you finding yourself in a situation which requires you to put on a swimsuit, knowing what to do with underwater weapons is not at all a bad idea.


The spear is an melee excellent underwater weapon. With its many abilities, it combines crowd control with raw damage and mobility , with only survivability being a somewhat less reliable subject.


AA- Stab / Jab / Evasive strike

The auto attack chain of the spear is a very simple one. The first two attacks of the sequence do a pretty reasonable amount of damage over about a second’s time. As the chain continues, the final hit, called Evasive strike, gives you half a second of evasion while stabbing your foe again, now keeping yourself stationary.

Because of the final thrust’s immobilizing character, the AA chain should grant a small amount of extra survivability, but eventually fails to do so as it is very hard to time it right.

Feigned surge / Feign

Feigned surge is a skill you want to remember to use plenty as a mesmer. This skill makes your character move in a straight line in the direction your character is facing, regardless of its target, damaging all foes in front of you for a maximum of 9 hits. Because a single enemy can be hit multiple times by this skill, it is particularly effective when used against a wall. Like all spear attacks, the attack cleaves, and is therefore also great to use when fighting groups. When the leap ends, a clone is summoned should you have a foe targeted.

Advanced:If you end up being in trouble during your cast, the replacement skill called Feign will allow you to teleport back to your original location, summoning a clone as a result and getting you out of trouble. This feign skill will remain available until 3 seconds after the skill’s initial activation, making it possible to summon 2 clones in total.

Illusionary Marinier

The illusionary marinier is in fact a phantasm, and the only phantasm you are going to want to see underwater. When activating its summon skill, the mesmer does an evasive strike similar to the final hit from the auto attack chain, after which an illusionary marinier is spawned. The illusion uses a spear, and launches a flurry of attacks onto your target while evading. The performed attack does a relatively high amount of damage, but has a long cooldown of 10 seconds, keeping damage per second still relatively low.


Slipstream is a fun underwater skill for mobility, with this the mesmer creates a line in front of itself, which again has effects for your allies as well as foes. When passed by an ally, they get sped up momentarily, giving a small mobility boost. When foes hit this line instead, they will get knocked back.

As the skill often ends up making your allies incapable of doing anything when they accidentally move into the badly visualized slipstream, this skill should not be used in combat.


The final skill on the spear is one that governs the crowd control aspect of the weapon. Vortex will suck a maximum of 5 targets around the caster towards it, making the mobs ball up and doing a negligible amount of damage.

Just like other pulling skills, this skill is best used next to a wall, so they have fewer places to go to. Combining this vortex attack with feigned surge is what makes the mesmer stand out in underwater combat.


The trident is the less used underwater weapon of the mesmer, simply because it is less viable in PvE. The trident has a combination of condition and boon applying skills, as well as a small amount of crowd control. The pure lack of raw damage attacks on the weapon still makes it a poor choice compared to the spear.


AA – Siren’s call

Very similar to the staff’s winds of chaos AA, the trident’s auto attack only has one skill. Siren’s call shoots a bouncing projectile onto your target, delivering 1 second of bleeding, to then bounce to another foe or ally. As an ally is hit, they will randomly receive either 5 seconds of one might stack, or 2 seconds of vigor/swiftness.

The attack has a total of 3 bounces available by default starting June 23rd 2015.

Blinding Tide

Ineptitude is a very simple skill, it is an AoE blind around the target. This blind will last for 4 seconds by default, and affect a maximum of 4 targets. A small amount of damage will also be dished out to the affected enemies. But this is not what the skill focuses on. Due to its extremely small cooldown of 12 seconds without traits, it is great to use against packs of enemies with slow hitting attacks.

Spinning Revenge

This attack is a clone skill with a very simple idea behind it. When using this skill, the mesmer grants three seconds of retaliation to nearby allies, and spawns a trident wielding clone which will attack the target using the AA attack. As of June 23rd 2015, this skill also adds chaos armor to the caster for five seconds upon cast.

Illusionary Whaler

Despite what the title of the skill suggests, this is a phantasm summoning skill. The first thing the mesmer does upon activating is cast Siren’s Call on up to three nearby targets. This is followed up by spawning a phantasmal whaler to attack the targeted foe. The phantasmal whaler is a stationary phantasm which surprisingly uses a harpoon gun. The whaler’s damage is dependent on the four confusion stacks it inflicts for three seconds every time it attacks. Because of the confusion infliction of the attack, its raw damage base is lower than average, making this an unviable phantasm much like the torch’s mage.

Illusion of drowning

Illusion of drowning is a simple skill as it only does one thing: it sinks. When activating this skill, your target will get a large illusionary anchor attached to it, pulling it down for 2 seconds in total. This skill can simply be used to help remove underwater defiance bars.

Mesmer Skill Types

Next sections will go over healing and utility skills, all of these are divided into several skill types, properties of which will be discussed quickly down below

Clones – These skills spawn a clone of the caster at activation, this clone will attack the targeted enemy, but will not spawn if auto targeting is turned off, and no target is selected. These skills also differ from phantasm skills in the sense that they often have effects on the caster as well.

Glamours – These skills create areas with special properties, granting support to allies and/or negative properties against foes.

Manipulations – All sorts of mesmer specific oddities, no specific use.

Mantras – These mesmer specific skills are skills which first have a large 2.25 second activation time, granting the mesmer a positive effect,  and giving the user 2 of its mantra charges. These charges will deliver corresponding effects to the user or target instantly, with a negligible cooldown until all charges are used.

Phantasms – As explained before, these skills will summon altered versions of the user to attack your targeted enemy with a specific move set. These skills also differ from clones in the sense that there are no extra effects granted by the skill.

Signets – As with all classes, signets grant passive effects over time when off cooldown, and have a special effect upon activation as well, giving two options for its use.

Healing Skills

While an important thing for keeping up your health, healing skills on the mesmer are not limited to a survivability aspect. The mesmer’s healing skills have quite some variety in them, and they also often have offensive components.All four mesmer specific skills will be discussed, with their abilities explained as well as their uses.

Ether fest

 clip_image002[20]This skill was the meta skill to use in the old days, and for good reason. Ether fest gives you by far the most health of all healing skills in the mesmer’s arsenal in one go. The default health granted by this skill is 5,560, but you’ll get another 640 health for every illusion you have at your side.

The cooldown on this healing skill is 20 seconds, making it an amazing tool for getting lots of health fast, as overtime it will definitely outheal most other healing options.

While this used to be the meta healing skill, its offensive properties are practically nonexistent, making it a heal only to be used when the fight becomes a little too much for you.

Mantra of recovery

clip_image004[6]This is the first mantra to be discussed, like all mantras, it has a 2.25 sec activation time, after which two mantra charges will be available for your instant use. Charging the mantra fully will also gain you a moderate (3,275) amount of healing.

The mantra charges you receive after the initial long activation time are called ‘power return’. These charges have 0 activation time and a 1 second cooldown. If you choose to only use one charge of the mantra, the implementation of the ‘ammo’ system means your charge will return itself in 20 seconds. While somewhat clunky to use, this skill has the highest health per second for the mesmer, it just doesn’t allow you to do anything else while using it.

Synergy: Mender’s Purity, Restorative mantras

When combining this heal with Mender’s Purity, mantra of recovery provided an excellent combination of  healing and condition cleansing, from which your party can also benefit.


clip_image006[6]This is one of the lesser used mesmer heals. Mirror has an activation time of 1 and a fourth second, making it the longest single charge heal there is in the mesmer’s set. Mirror has a cooldown of only 15 seconds, but has a default healing over 3,915 health, making it’s healing over time slightly worse than ether fest without any extra illusions.

Mirror does, however, have a very offensive component. For two seconds, beginning at the start of the animation, mirror will serve as a personal projectile reflection skill. Any projectiles that directly hit you will be reflected back onto the enemy that shot them, making for a decent upgrade in damage.

The low health upkeep and short reflection duration do however make this a very specialized heal only to be used when involved in fights that have a ridiculous number of projectiles.

Synergy:  Master of Manipulations

Signet of ether:

clip_image008Signet of ether is a really amazing heal which was granted to the mesmer class later in guild wars 2 progression. This explains why it requires 25 skill points to unlock, but it is definitely worth the trouble.

Signet of ether is a passive as well as an active heal, and has the strongest offensive capabilities of all the healing skills we have discussed before, in PvE at least.

By default, this signet gives you 240 health per three seconds when you have one illusion alive, 660 when two, and 980 when three, as long as the signet is not on cooldown.

When used actively, however, the healing skill gives you a default health of 5,560, just like ether fest, but has a much larger cooldown of 35 seconds, which can only be reduced to 28 with traits. Nevertheless, this is going to be the healing skill you want to use as much as possible due to its offensive superiority.

If you happen to use the signet’s active heal, all of your phantasm skills in weapon slots and utility slots will have their cooldown removed immediately. This allows for an initial phantasm spawn of 4(realistically 3) at the start of a fight, giving you an enormous amount of extra damage, protection or whatever you fancy using your phantasms for.

Synergy: Blurred Inscriptions

Utility and Elite Skills

Going over utility and elite skills next, skills will be discussed in pairs of their corresponding skill type.

Traitlines which provide synergy which is recommended to be considered when using these skills is listed below each individual one. Special effects will give a small summary

Clone skills


clip_image002[22]This is the first of your utility stealth skills, and what a skill it is. Decoy is a clone skill, and therefore will spawn a clone to attack your nearest target, but this is not where the skill ends.

Decoy will grant 3 seconds of special stealth to the user upon activation, but will interrupt any other skills currently being casted.

The best use for this skill in dungeons is stealth chaining, while personal, it will help you skip large groups of mobs, possibly to portal others through. Do keep in mind that turning auto targeting off for this is vital, as you do not want to spawn illusions while running.

  • Synergy: Prismatic understanding/ Illusionists celerity minor
  • Special effect(s): Stun breaker/ stealth.

Mirror Images

clip_image004[8]The second skill in the clone section is a lesser used one. This mirror images skill will create two simple clones to attack your target and will do nothing else.

This skill is a stun breaker and can be used very well in combination with shattering, but its use is often not optimal in a dungeon setting.

When used while 2 or three phantasms are alive, one of the clones will be summoned as already dead.

Chrono-advanced: This skill can be used really well to get 4 seconds of continuum split without being in combat. You’ll need a target at 1200 range to do so, however. This works well for stacking stealth with a bit more time.

  • Synergy: Illusionists celerity (minor trait)
  • Special effect(s): Stun breaker



imageThis may be the most iconic skill of the mesmer. Feedback is the mother of all projectile reflection skills, and it looks amazing too. This skill creates a large dome on a targetted location, which stays present for 6 seconds and reflects all projectiles coming in or out.

Due to its instant cast, this skill can be used while channeling other skills such as phantasm spawns, making it a great thing to use last minute. While different attacks may react differently to feedback, most projectiles what are shot from within get reflected immediately, and will not be able to damage your allies. Some projectiles may wait until they reach the feedback’s outer edges before getting reflected, so be careful with your placement.

A common mistake made by new mesmers is the use of feedback on targets without projectiles, please avoid from doing this.Feedback is a combo field which may overlap your party’s firefields required for might stacking. If you are not sure if projectiles are involved, ask party members or just wait and see during your first time at a certain encounter.

Feedback can officially reflect a total of 25 projectiles, after this, incoming projectiles will be absorbed instead.

  • Synergy: Temporal enchanter
  • Special effect(s): Projectile reflection / Ethereal field

Null Field

imageBoon stripping and condition removal are also abilities the mesmer is very proud of, and null field is one of those skills which does just that. This skill is a ground targeted ticking AoE with a radius of 240 and duration of 5 seconds. With a maximum amount of targets of 5, null field will remove one condition from an ally, as well as one boon from an enemy every second with a pulse.

While enemies in PvE don’t often have many boons, this field is definitely great to use at certain locations, but mostly for its condition removing abilities.

  • Synergy: Temporal enchanter
  • Special effect(s): Enemy boon removal, ally condition removal / Ethereal field

Portal Entre/Exeunt

imageAs mentioned at the start of the guide, the portal is a very important part of the mesmer’splaystyle. Because of the large amounts of distances this skill can help you travel with your party, several speed clearing records could not possibly do without it.

The portal skill is divided into two: Portal entre and portal exeunt. The first skill is entre, when activating this you lay down a purple portal on your current location and get portal exeunt in your skill bar. At this point you can still switch the skill for something else if you wish.
For 60 seconds, exeunt will be available for your use, after this your portal skill will return to entre and go on a small cooldown composed of the normal total cd minus the 60 seconds.

When exeunt is placed you place another portal on your new location, as you do this, a connection is made between the two. This exit and connection will remain present for 10 seconds by default.

Portal range is limited, when going further than 5000 units away from your entre portal, the connection will not be possible, meaning the use of exaunt not be possible.

clip_image002[24]As portal range is hard to estimate because of the abstract nature of range units, an illustration is given on the left.

When your mini map is at its largest, and you are completely zoomed in onto your character, the distance between you and the straight border of your map will be approximately 5000 range.

To explain in the image, the red dot represents the entre portal, and the area within the red circle represents the area in which your exaunt can be used.

Because portal range works in a straight line, large obstructions can be passed effortlessly by your party members once you have taken the time to walk around them, this is a technique commonly used in speed clears to pass content quickly.

  • Synergy: Temporal enchanter/ Mimic (to be used before exaunt)
  • Special effect(s): Large distance group travel


imageNext up is the second skill in the mesmer’s stealth utility arsenal: Veil. This is a skill much like temporal curtain in the sense that it is an area of effect line field. When passing the line, allies will become invisible for a short 2 second duration. Though often underestimated, this is an important part of your stealth chain.

Because of the short stealth duration given by the veil, it can be passed through multiple times by the same person. Veil does not stack up on other invisibility skills though, so this can only be used to renew your stealth after losing it.

By default veil will last for 6 seconds, is a light combo field just like temporal curtain, and has a cooldown of 72 seconds just like portal, so make sure to use it wisely.

The official buff which is created by veil is called ‘hide in shadows’ meaning it is identical to stealth, but will not stack with other stealth buffs granted by, for example, the thief. Unlike decoy, however, being revealed will not allow its use.

As veil will not stack with other stealth buffs, this should always be the first stealth skill you use.

  • Synergy: Pristmatic understanding / Temporal enchanter
  • Special effect(s): Special stealth buff, doesn’t stack.


Arcane thievery

clip_image002[26]This is a slightly unused skill, but interesting nonetheless. Arcane thievery has very little to explain. When using this on a target you will transfer three of your conditions to it, while stealing three of their boons.

This skill is unblockable, and can be combined well with the signet of inspiration, later to be discussed. Nevertheless, finding this in PvE is rare.

  • Synergy: Master of manipulations / (Signet of inspiration skill)
  • Special effect(s): Allows boon stealing and condition application.


imageForever a favorite of the author, blink is your friend from day one on the mesmer. This fast skill will allow for an instant teleport of 1200 range by default, at a small cooldown. The use of blink is varied, it can be used to skip content quickly, avoid hard hitting aoe or cleaving attacks, allow you to rush to a downed teammate, anything really.

Blink shares with the portal the principle of straight line ranges, meaning you can blink up object as long as the direct distance is within range. This can be used to cover a lot of ground fast in certain situations, but blink will only allow you to do so if you could walk to the next location without jumping. An example of where this can be used is given below.


When you are needed somewhere as a mesmer, blink is always around to help you get there fast!

  • Synergy: Master of manipulations
  • Special effect(s):Allows mid battle instantaneous movement / Author’s favorite / Stun breaker


MimicThe mimic skill was recently changed and is now very similar to the old Echo skill from GW1. When mimic is activated, you’ll gain a mimic boon for 10 seconds, and if you use a utility skill within those 10 seconds, said skill will go on a 1 second cooldown after usage, allowing you to use it twice. This skill works amazingly with large cooldown skills, but sadly doesn’t work with elite skills.

  • Synergy:Master of manipulations
  • Special effect(s): Allows utility skill repetition

Illusion of Life

imageThis fancy skill is a one of a kind, but sadly not something with a lot of uses in PvE.

Illusion of life will make everybody who is currently in downed state in a target area get the ‘illusion of life’ buff. This buff will allow downed players to fight for 15 seconds while standing up, giving them the ability to more easily rally or die instantly when downed again.

In PvE this is a skill you will not be using in any regular situation as you are never expecting people to go down.

  • Special effect(s): Allows downed allies to stand and fight.


With the release of Path of Fire, mantras all work with the ammo system, and as such will recharge one charge automatically if both charges arent used.

Mantra of Pain

Mantra of pain is easy. This skill has a 1 second cooldown on both the mantra and charge itself. Once the mantra is fully charged, you will receive 12 stacks of might, which last for 5 seconds. The 2 resulting charges hit multiple target s(max 5) in a radius of 360 around a target at a maximum of 1200 range and does a low amount of damage.

imageNow that this mantra is capable of doing aoe damage slightly higher than one of the two first slashes of the sword auto attack chain, it gained a new possible use. Mantra of Pain is now a skill you can use when fighting groups of trash mobs, or are trying to dedicate yourself to pure power mesmer damage. This will give your group a small dps increase, if you have time to charge it. Make sure not to use the two charges consecurively, as the ammo system will give you a higher damage per second output when not letting it go on full cooldown.

Special synergy: Restorative mantras – due to negligible cooldown

Special effect(s): Long range low damage aoe / Instant (can be used while performing other skills)

Mantra of Distraction

imageThis mantra will give you two charges of daze. The mantra has a cooldown of 12 seconds, with its charges having one of 4. Daze duration is only 1 second, but instant cast makes it great for interrupting opponents or removing defiance bars. This mantra also affects up to 5 targets, in a radius of 240 around your target enemy. When the mantra is fully charged, it will reduce the cooldown of your ‘diversion’ shatter by 15 seconds.

When combined with power block, this mantra can be used for a group dps increase like previously mentioned with the Mantra of Pain. While it will likely not affect as many targets as the pain mantra, This particular mantra’s use in this manner will increase your party’s damage as well as it’s survivability, due to the interrupt.

Special synergy: Dazzling (minor trait) / Confounding Suggestions / Power Block

Special effect(s): Instant aoe daze, great for interrupting and defiance removal.

Mantra of Resolve

imageA great condition removing mantra is what resolve stands for. This mantra cleanses 3 conditions instantly off yourself and up to 4 other allies. With a cooldown of 1 second on the charges, it is by far the best option for quick condi removal. The mantra itself has a cooldown of 12 seconds. When the mantra is first charged, this skill cleanses up to 12 conditions off the user.

Keep in mind that the radius of effect is only 240.

Special effect(s): Instantaneous group condition removal.

Mantra of Concentration

imageThis mantra is practically the mesmer’s only stability skill. With its duration of only 3 seconds, the mantra requires precise timing to use well. It grants 3 stacks of it. When first charged, this skill grants the user 5 seconds of aegis, stability, and quickness.

The charges of the concentration mantra have a 2 second cooldown, allowing you to keep up 6 seconds of stability by default with this. Another use of this mantra is using it as a stun breaker.

Special effect(s): Short lived stability / Stun breaker

Phantasm Utility

clip_image002[30]Phantasmal defender

The phantasmal defender is one of your few utility phantasms, as well as one of the only non-offensive ones.

The phantasmal defender has about 2.5x as much health as your regular phantasms and he has it for a reason. This phantasm wields only a shield w and will attack your target without doing any relevant damage. In a 600 unit radius of the phantasm a special buff will be applied to any allies(including NPCs). This buff means that the damage taken by these allies is split between the defender and said ally, in a ratio 33:66, though these portions may still crit.

In addition to the phantasm spawn, the mesmer also applies 4 seconds of protection to allies around him/her when the skill is used.

Though not a favorite of the author, this defender can be very useful in situations where hits are either too hard to see, or too frequent to dodge completely.

  • Synergy: Signet of ether / Illusionists celerity (minor trait)
  • Special effect(s): Decreases damage taken by nearby allies

Phantasmal disenchanter

imageThis is the final condition removing skill of the mesmer. Phantasmal disenchanter skill will first hit your target with a 240 radius attack, removing 2 boons from enemies and 2 conditions from allies nearby the target. After this the skill will spawn a phantasm with a scepter much like the warlock. This phantasm will shoot projectiles onto allies as well as foes every 2.5 seconds.

When the projectile shot by the disenchanter his an ally, 2 conditions will be removed, if a foe, the same happens to their boons.

The disenchanter’s projectiles somehow seem to prefer bouncing to allies, and it can bounce a total of 4 times. This phantasm is primarily used in high level fractals where the ‘No Pain, No Gain’ instability is active, making it an absolute must-have.

  • Synergy: Signet of ether / Illusionists celerity (minor trait)
  • Special effect(s): Boon stripping / condition removal


Overall synergy: Blurred inscriptions

Signet of inspiration

clip_image002[34]This signet was commonly used by the mesmers of the old days, made a comeback with the addition of the chronomancer specialization, but has received a recent nerf (October 18th 2016). Signet of inspiration copies all of your boons onto your nearby allies, but only for a limited duration. For quickness this is 3 seconds. When used passively, this signet will give you a random boon every ten seconds, with enormous variation.  As of June 23rd 2015, the swiftness boon is always applied for 5 seconds every pulse.

This signet can be used in parties when playing chronomancer to increase your quickness uptime. Aside from this, the signet can be used for the swiftness it provides, even out of combat.

  • Special effect(s): Boon transfer, swiftness uptime.

Signet of Domination

imageWith a useful active and passive effect, the domination signet should never be underestimated. The signet has a passive effect of giving a 180 condition damage boost, making it a must-equip for condition builds. When used actively instead, this skill will give your target a 3 second stun, rendering them incapable of doing anything, not even moving.

While there are many classes which can provide stuns, the three seconds on this signet make it one of the longest lasting ones in the game, and the 0.25 sec activation time makes it amazingly quick as well. Within the large arsenal of defiance removal skills the mesmer has, this is most definitely one of the strongest around.

  • Special effect(s): Long duration stun

Signet of Midnight

imageAnother author’s favorite, the signet of midnight is the prime example of a signet to be used with blurred inscriptions. The passive effect of this signet is also great for condition builds, giving you a stunning +20% condition duration essential when running condition builds.

The active effect is not necessarily amazingly useful, though it has gotten a buff in the July 26th patch. Its active skill is a is a 5 second unblockable blind for up to 5 targets around the caster in a 360 radius, which now also stealths the caster for 2 seconds.

Because this blind is unblockable it can occasionally save you from a hard hitting attack. Nevertheless, as and trash mobs often have few specifically hard hitting attacks, dungeons rarely give you the option of using it optimally.

The signet of midnight has three advantages over the other signets when combined with the blurred inscriptions trait. This signet has an instant cast, is a stun breaker and has a very short cooldown. When combined with blurred inscriptions, signet of midnight therefore works as a one second invulnerability skill which can be used in any situation, anywhere every 24 seconds.

  • Special effects: Author’s favorite / Stun break / AoE blind / must-have for condition builds

Signet of Illusions

imageA simple signet which is meant to work for both shatter as well as phantasm builds. This skill will passively give all of your illusions 50% more health, meant to keep phantasms alive more easily. Because of the large amount of one hit kill attacks in PvE, however, this will likely make very little difference.

The active use of signet of illusions will recharge all of your shatter skills. On a 90 second cooldown by default, this skill is only very rarely used in dungeons.

Note: Continuum split is not recharged by this skill.

  • Special effects: Illusion health boost / Shatter skill recharge

Elite Skills

Mass Invisibility

imageMass invis is the elite skill which has the largest amount of possible uses according to the author, but don’t take his word for it. This skill with a cooldown of 90 seconds is the final part of your stealth chain. Just like most other stealth skills the mesmer has, the boon given by it is similar to stealth but not the same. ‘Hide in shadows’ will be applied to the caster as well as a maximum of 9 allies for a total of 5 seconds.

This skill is great to help out downed teammates or skip groups of unnecessary mobs together. The radius of the skill is a stunning 1,200, so don’t be afraid that your allies will easily be out of range. The activation time is 1.75 seconds, which luckily links in perfectly with the earlier mentioned veil skill.

  • Synergy: Prismatic understanding / Master of Manipulation
  • Special effects: Large AoE stealth.


imageMaybe one of the most iconic mesmer skills, timewarp has been a curse and a blessing of the mesmer class since its origin.

This skill creates a large area in which up to 10 allies gain the quickness boon, and enemies gain the slow condition. The field has a total radius of 360, and lasts for 10 seconds. Quickness decreases activation time of skills by 50%, making auto attack chains much faster, resulting in higher damage done by your party. Sadly, the mesmer’s auto attack is not strong enough to be enough of a reason to use this in solo situations. The skill has recently been updated to give quickness stacks of 2 second duration ever two seconds, making it more effective than ever, albeit occasionally somewhat superfluous.

Timewarp has a cooldown of 180 seconds, which is enormous compared to a skill like mass invisibility, however, the pure damage enhancement it provides makes it a great pick. As of June 23rd 2015, this skill is a glamour and synergises with the corresponding traits.

  • Synergy: Temporal Enchanter
  • Special effect(s): 10 second AoE quickness boon + 10 second AoE slow condition.

Signet of Humility

This ssignetkill is hilarious, it will turn your target into a moa, replacing the mob’s skillset with those of the silly bird as well. This is a transform effect and counts as crowd control, making it an enormously strong defiance remover which will most certainly bring almost any bar down from 100% to 0. Sadly, moas are ridiculously strong, and with the mob’s power remaining the same they will likely wreck you if they don’t have a defiance bar. Still fun to use though, don’t let mister author stop you.

Being argueably the strongest crowd control skill in the game, signet of humility is a mesmer-must in many fractal and raid encounters.

As the skill was moved to signets in the June 23rd patch of 2015, it now has a passive effect as well. This passive effect will decrease the duration of stuns, dazes, fears and taunts used upon you by 20%

Cooldown on this skill is 180 seconds, and when used underwater, this skill will transform your target into a tuna fish.

  • Synergy: Alcohol / Blurred Inscriptions
  • Special effect(s): Transforms target / Is hilarious / Great defiance removal


The next section is going to go over everything related to what you’re going to be taking into the field as a mesmer, meaning weapons and armor, nourishment and extra consumables you may find useful.

Armor and Weapons

Choosing armor & weapon attributes

Because of the Gw2 combat system which involves dodging and complete negation of damage, the main direction you want to be taking in dungeons is damage. As your own skill can keep you alive rather than your strong suit of armor, the current dungeon meta therefore consists of the use of all out damage in every aspect.

Keeping this in mind, you as a mesmer are going to have to choose between two options: Assassin’s armor/weapon stats or Berserker’s. Assassin’s will get you extra precision resulting in more critical hits, while berserker’s armor and weapons will grant you more raw power.

While calculations have been made regarding the subject, the bottom line ended up being that the difference between the two sets is minimal, and an assassin’s-berserker mix will only come out on top in a perfect situation (25 might stacks, 25 vulnerability). If you wish to go for the absolutely optimal Assasin’s-Berserker combination for party setups as a power dps mesmer, make sure your helm, chest,gloves, and leggings are assassins, as well as one accessory, one ring, and one of your two weapons. Everything else you use should be berserker stats, and if you’re rich enough, add in seven precise infusions from fractals of the mists, as well as 11 power infusions.

What is to keep in mind when making this choice, however, is reflection.

As explained in the ‘mesmer damage explained’ section, reflection damage is not affected by power, while precision still has a damage increasing effect. This makes assassin’s preferable when you plan on reflecting a lot.

Don’t get too attached to your damage gear though, as mesmers are one of the most gear-frequently swapping classes in the game, but we’ll go into that when you reach the chronomancer section.


Rune of the scholar

clip_image001This particular rune has power and ferocity as main stats, helping out your damage a lot, but this is not the most important part of the rune. The scholar rune’s 6th attribute gives you +10% damage whenever you are above 90% health, giving you the highest raw damage modifier runes can give. Do keep in mind that this percentage bonus will not affect phantasmal damage, as explained in a previous section. When running power mesmer builds, always use this rune.

Rune of the eagle

clip_image003The rune of the eagle is one which is not used much anymore. This rune gives stat bonuses identical to the ranger run, but again has a difference in the 6th attribute. When you have 6 runes of the eagle equipped on your set, your damage output will gain a 6% boost whenever your target is below 50% health. While a lot less than the scholar rune, this bonus damage is received with no effort. This rune can be used well if you’re going for a full reflection damage set, as it gives precision rather than power.

Rune of strength

clip_image004The rune of strength is an interesting one to use. Strength runes will provide similar power bonuses to the scholar runes, but no ferocity. Instead of granting ferocity, these runes will provide might duration, which makes it interesting for use with special builds. The 6th rune bonus will grant a 6% damage bonus while under the effects of might, which, if the proper sigils are used, is always.

As might duration only affects might granted by the user, you need a source of this. This is why runes of strength are best combined with sigils of strength or battle(or both). If running with pugs or solo, this will allow you to keep up a large amount of might stacks (up to about 12) by yourself.

These runes should only be used for a phantasm damage build involving very little reflection, as the might upkeep affects your phantasms, boosting their damage enormously if properly used. Nevertheless, because of the missing precision and ferocity, your reflection damage will be lower compared to the previously mentioned options while using these runes.

Rune of the centaur

clip_image005The rune of the centaur is not meant for combat, but can be put to good use by the mesmer nonetheless. What makes the centaur rune stand out is its swiftness bonus. Aside from granting extra swiftness duration, this rune also has a very useful 6th effect. When equipped with 6 superior runes of the centaur, using your healing skill will give you 10 seconds of swiftness (13 due to swiftness duration boost). When combined with the mantra of restoration, this rune will allow you to keep up swiftness permanently, compensating for the mesmer’s mobility lack. If you have a tonic available, the skill which returns you to human form after using it will also proc this rune, and has no cooldown


The mesmer’s choices in sigils are relatively varied, but are often in synergy with your used runes, so keep this in mind. Since recently, different sigils have different cooldowns, meaning they can both be used in the same weapon set. Keep in mind that having two of the same sigils in one weapon set has the same result as having just one. As a mesmer, you also need to realize that your phantasms do not use your weapons, and therefore do not get any benefit from sigils.

Sigil of force

clip_image001[9]The force sigil is by far the most used one, its simplicity makes it king. Sigil of force will give you a constant +5% damage bonus when applied to your weapon. This bonus will not affect phantasmal damage, but is relevant for all other damage output you do, and will always be active. This is why it is recommended to keep one of these on your main hand sword, as this will be switched around very little.

Sigil of Air superior sigil of air is actually a really good sigil now. As the cooldown on this sigil has been fixed for 3 seconds, this will hit your target with a lightning strike at a 50% chance on crit. When you aren’t fighting a specific foe, it’s not night, and you don’t need the extra precision from sigil of accuracy, sigil of air will allow you to get a little more damage out than usual. As most sigils, it only procs on your own attacks however, so if you’re only using phantasms to do your bidding, this won’t be a great choice.

Sigil of accuracy

The sigil of accuracy is simply a default sigil to use when nothing else applies. With the addition of chronomancer, and the viability increase of rangers, this sigil has gotten a boost in functionality, as it allows the mesmer to run berserker gear and still hit near the 100% critical chance barrier. As this sigil simply applies direct critical chance, it does not affect phantasms. Nontheless, feedback as well as temporal curtain are affected. It’s a great sigil to use by default in day situations.

Sigil of the night

clip_image002[8]While this sigil gives double the damage boost force does, it will only work at night, and still does not affect phantasms. In night dungeons, however, this sigil will boost your damage tremendously, kicking up your sword’s and reflection’s damage to a next level. Do make sure to know when to swap to these sigils, as they will do nothing when used during daytime.

Sigil of X slaying

clip_image003[9]When you run a certain dungeon a lot, having weapons specifically for said dungeon is always useful. Sigils of X slaying give a maximum of 10% damage bonus, similar to the sigil of the night, when fighting a specific enemy type. As these sigils are very specific and easy to acquire, they are cheap and recommended for those who prefer certain dungeons.

Sigil of Battle

clip_image004[8]As mentioned before, in the rune section, the sigil of battle is great to be used with strength runes. When swapping to a weapon with this sigil in combat, you will receive a standard of 2 might stacks which will last for 20 seconds. The sigil itself has a cooldown of only 10 seconds, meaning your next swap will give you another 3, to last for the same amount of time, allowing for a constant might upkeep of six stacks.

Sigil of strength

clip_image005[8]Similar to the sigil of battle, this is well combined with runes of strength. With a 60% chance to give you a 10 seconds lasting might stack upon dealing a critical hit, this helps keep up your might really well. The sigil’s effect has a one second cooldown, meaning by default you could theoretically keep up 10 stacks of might.

Sigil of energy

clip_image006This sigil is one I personally use a lot during my off time. The sigil of energy is a swapping sigil just like the sigil of battle. When swapping to a weapon with this sigil while in combat, you will receive 50% of your endurance, which is the equivalent of one dodge. The amount of survivability the use of energy sigils brings is enormous, but make sure to use them wisely and not get used to spamming dodges too much. Mirages secretly love this rune, but don’t tell them I said so, except maybe once you’ve reached the mirage section.

Nourishments ( Credits to Zelyhn & Haviz)

Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

clip_image004[10]The most expensive food right now, and for a reason. This food lasts an hour and grants the user 100 power and 70 ferocity, making it the optimal food for a power mesmer.

Plate of Truffle Steak

clip_image001[11]This food increases your power by 100 and precision by 70. It lasts 30 minutes, but is a good budget variety for power mesmers.


Fried Golden Dumpling

Fried_Golden_DumplingThe chronomancer’s Favorite, this nourishment allows for some might stacking midfight, but is mostly used for the  boon duration which it supplies. Using this food allows you to more easily reach the amounts of quickness you wish to apply to your party.


Koi Cake/rare veggie pizza/Red-Lentil Saobosa is the condition mesmer’s favorite snack. It gives 100 expertise and 70 condition damage, making it optimal for condition use. Koi cakes are cheapest upon writing this guide, but times may change.

Bowl of Orrian truffle and meat stew

Great food for those who love dodging, the Bowl of orrian truffle and meat stew provides a fabulous 40% endurance rate recharge increase, allowing you to spam that dodge button to your heart’s content. Mirages love this for reasons that will be discussed later.


Bowl of Curry Butternut Squash Soup

clip_image003[11]Depending on the amount of reflection damage in the fight, and your choice between assassins/berserker gear, this may be one of the most optimal foods for the mesmer to use. If reflection is not relevant and you are using assassin’s gear, this food loses to its cheaper counterparts. Grants 100 more precision and 70 ferocity.

Plate of steak and asparagus

clip_image002[10]Economic version of the above mentioned food, gives 80 power and 60 precision, at a 5th of the price.


Plate of Truffle Steak Dinner

clip_image005[10]200 more power is the largest stat buff food can give. The only issue is that it works only after killing a mob which means it is usually not active during boss fights either because the buff fades out quickly or because we skipped every mob on the path to the boss. Exceptionally good in fractals where you spend a lot of time killing enemy mobs.

Carrot Soufflé

clip_image006[7]Same as the above one with the exception that it lasts 1 hour and has a French name, which is always nice.


Dragon’s Breath Bun

clip_image007Economical version of the two previous foods. Lasts only 20 minutes but costs only a fraction of their cost.


Omnomberry Pie

clip_image008[6]Acceptable food when playing casually. Instead of granting power like Plate of Truffle Steak it gives you a life steal ability when scoring a critical hit (1 second cooldown). Not only it increases your sustainability by healing you for 325, it also increases damage by dealing 325 more damage whenever the life steal triggers. Does not get triggered by phantasms.

Omnomberry Ghost

clip_image009Same as before but lasts 45 minutes and gives an additional ghostly effect (purely cosmetic).


Slice of Candied Dragon Roll

clip_image010Similarly to Dragon’s Breath Bun, this food is an economical version of two previous ones. Lasts only 20 minutes.


Powerful Potion of X Slaying

clip_image015General potions of slaying should be always used whenever possible. They grant the strongest damage boosts as well as reduction of incoming damage.

Superior_Sharpening_StoneMaster_Maintenance_OilSharpening Stones / Maintenance Oils /Focusing crystals

Sharpening stones are a utility nourishment option that provide an additional power bonus with the amount depending on the tier used, sometimes giving either a flat bonus or scaling based off of your toughness/vitality.

Maintenance oils are just like sharpening stones but instead provide an additional concentration bonus with the amount depending on the tier used, sometimes either giving a flat bonus or scaling based off of your toughness/vitality.

Focusing crystals are the condition variety, and therefore give condition damage.

Best to use here are the toxic varients for both maintenance oils and focusing crystals, while for ppower builds, superior sharpening stones are recommended. Short on money? Try out the wintersday counterparts called ‘Tins of fruitcake’,  ‘Peppermint oils’, and tuning icicle.

Other Consumables(credits to thief guide)

None of the consumables mentioned here are necessary to complete any content efficiently or quickly and are a sample of what you may see in a dungeon speedrunner’s inventory.

  • Harpy Feathers – 3 seconds stealth (6s CD). Can be chained with the next two consumables to achieve longer durations of stealth. Note: it applies blind to enemies in a small radius around you, which can put you in combat, so try to use them without hitting any mobs.
  • Order of Whispers Spy Kit – 3 seconds stealth (60s CD). Can be chained with Harpy Feathers (Feathers ⇒ Spy Kit ⇒ Feathers) to get 9 seconds of stealth.
  • Ash Legion Spy Kit – Applies camouflage for 10 seconds (60s CD). Camouflage is a type of stealth that works while motionless. Moving will break stealth. Camouflage is unaffected by stealth traits. Useful for dropping aggro or standing on pressure plates.
  • Fire Elemental Powder – Summons an Ember to fight for you for 5 minutes or until it dies. Offers a small DPS boost and fire fields, however it also has other uses such as catching the phase 1 -> 2 transition Grub at GiganticusLupicus.
  • Ogre Pet Whistle – Summons an Ogre Pet to fight for you for 5 minutes or until it dies. Offers a small DPS boost, however it also has other uses such as catching the phase 1 ->2 transition Grub at GiganticusLupicus. Using this item when knocked down will also act as a stun breaker.
  • Golem in a Box – Send out a long range golem to nuke your target. Useful for pulling mobs or killing your team on bosses that have reflects (Belka, Archdiviner)
  • Pot of Hylek Poison – Has 2 spells, one which gives you 10 seconds of swiftness on a 15 second cooldown, can help to compensate for the mesmer’s mobility lack
  • Medical Pack – Has 2 skills,Drop Bandages and Drop Stimulant. Useful for classes/builds with little or no access to swiftness or fury.
  • Power Matrix – Applies an AoE daze. Useful for large groups of trash mobs such as in Fractals.


As the mesmer has a very large amount of skills, switching builds frequently is necessary to always play optimally. As recent updates have made it possible to switch builds on the go, knowing which build to use where is vital if you want to become a good mesmer.

All of the possible mesmer builds known to man will be discussed below, but keep in mind that utility skills will often still need to be switched.

General High Damage Build – [Phantasm  power damage play]

Domination / Dueling / Illusions – This trait build makes use of  high damage phantasms. The phantasmal haste trait in illusions reduces the cooldown of phantasm skills by  20%, making their attacks faster. Phantasmal force makes your phantasm damage build up over time, allowing you to damage with the big dps boys as long as your target is relatively competent.

This build will generally ask you to use a sword offhand, as warden reflection is not included in this build. Your best call for damage is to run a pistol as secondary offhand weapon. In terms of utility skills, manta of pain will give you a boost, and signet of ether will allow your phantasms to be put up faster, but aside from that anything goes.

Your setup is similar to what has been explained earlier- You want to run a berserker-assasins mix with scholar runes, and use power-ferocity food in combination with sharpening stones.

The rotation is as follows and is very comprehensive:

  1. (charge your mantra of pain)
  2. Summon your non-sword phantasm (e.g. phantasmal duelist)
  3. Switch weapons and summon a phantasmal swordsman
  4. Use Signet of Ether and spawn another swordsman.
  5. Use mantra of pain ONLY if 2 charges are available. (Continue this throughout)
  6. Auto attack and use blurred frenzy whenever it is available.
  7. Spawn a third swordsman and keep autoattacking, using mantra of pain and blurred frenzy whenever you can.
  8. Dodge any trashtalk from your teammates about the uncomplicated rotation

You want to run builds of this type when reflection is practically not present, as warden’s feedback isn’t included into the build.

In most situations your phantasms are still best to keep alive, as their damage ramps up over time,  so make sure that you only shatter when appropriate, and make sure not to replace your phantasms either. The following situations are good examples of when to shatter :

  • You don’t have any phantasms up – Make use of the opportunity to get a quick Mind Wrack out, it will always top the +3-9% you get from compounding power.
  • Your Phantasms are going to die – Either because your target is going to die, or because your illusions are running into a mace to the face, make sure not to waste phantasmal lives by allowing them go out without a bang.
  • You are in desperate need for AoE damage – In some occasions, large trash groups will bring you trouble as a mesmer. In these situations mind wrack can help out a lot, in combination with the AoE mantras on your bar. Make sure to consider a phantasmal warden if the situation is dire, and be sure to respawn any phantasms post shatter
  • You are going to die – Distortion is love, distortion is life, never forget.

Ideally you won’t have to use diversion to break a defiance bar, as you give up a lot of damage for it. Instead you can pick skills like signet of domination to do your fair share of defiance bar removal.

Variation traits

There are various traits within this build which can be replaced depending on your preference and the situation you are in, they will be listed below.

Furious Interruptions(!) – Does your target not have defiance and are you safe? then this trait may give you more benefit than Blurred Inscriptions. ( Areas with lots of trash mobs like fractals often end up making this trait a great choice!)

Power Block – Do you want to throw in the absolute maximum damage? Take power block and use mantra of distraction identical to mantra of pain (Given your target has a defiance bar).

Shattered Strength – Are you incapable of using or keeping up phantasms for any reason? switch your signet of ether to mantra of restoration and use this trait.

Benefits of this build: High direct damage over time / fast phantasm spawning and personal damage. / Allows various utility choices and styles of play

Downsides of this build:  No warden reflection/ limited support abilities

General Reflection Build

Dueling  / Inspiration / Illusions– This build is one which focuses on the domain of reflection. This build allows you to dish out decent direct damage as well as indirect reflection damage through warden’s feedback. Due to the comparitive dominance of dueling over domination in the damage department, this is now the best build fo both qualitative and quantitative reflection.

This build is great to use whenever you are overwhelmed by reflectable projectiles,  and you want to quickly switch to warden reflection from your initial more direct damage focused builds.

Considering this build uses warden’s feedback, and you plan on spawning wardens frequently, the use of signet of ether is recommended in many cases. Weapon choices in this build are obvious: take a sword as mainhand, plus focus and pistol or secondary sword as offhand, depending on the situation.

The build’s all round usage makes it one you’ll often run when situations change rapidly and you want to be ready for anything.

Variation traits (excludes suggestions already mentioned in the above above build)

Evasive mirror –  Are projectiles annoying you despite your wardens, but are you alone or does your team not require extra protection? Keep using this build but try the Evasive Mirror trait to add more personal reflection to your arsenal.

Medics feedback – The inspiration minor trait persisting images simply improves your phantasmal lives a little bit, so taking either other trait doesn’t matter very much. In combination with temporal enchanter, medic’s feedback can help you ress your friends in hostile environments more easily, while keeping effects from condition damage at a minimum.

Benefits of this build: Lots of reflection to be used while still dishing out good damage / The inspiration traitline allows for more support than a damage build/  Focus reflection available for use.

Downsides of this build: A bit of both makes some aspects come out just below optimal conditions

But wait! you say, what about domination?!

Indeed, switching dueling to domination DOES have its own benefits, as it allows you to do aegis sharing! A combination of blurred inscriptions and inspiring distortion will allow you to frequently share aegis with your friends, ideal for when you are fighting hard hitting foes.

Skipping Builds

Chaos / Inspiration / Illusions– This  special build base is part of the mesmer skipping set and technique, providing optimal stealth and mobility for long as well as shorter skips.

Chaos Inspiration Illusions

Not all traits are filled in, as there is only a limited number of useful ones for skipping. All other traits are likely filled depending on your regular build.

Master of Manipulation shortens the cooldowns on blink, mass invisibiliy and possibly that of mimic,  while Prismatic understanding helps keep up stealth longer. Illusionist’s celerity in turn shortens the decoy’s cooldown and the pledge does the same for your torch’s stealth skill.

Understand that taking all of these traits will slow down runs, meaning that you should look at the traits you already have in your current build, and change traits only according to the difficulty of the skip.

Due to the fact that Veil does not stack, make sure to always use this skill as a starter.

Condition builds?

While condition mesmering is surely a possibility, the current viable condition mesmer builds are restricted to the Mirage specialisation, locked behind  the Path of Fire expansion. Due to their immensely superior output, I will not be discussing specific builds in this section. Nevertheless, I will discuss how condition mesmering works so you may produce your own builds if you wish.

First, let us look at the condition weapons and traits.

The mesmer is capable of delivering conditions via staff AA/ chaos storm, the torch, the scepter, some traits among which is ‘sharper images’. Ill go over these one by one.

Staff and conditions

The staff’s auto attack delivers a random condition to the target, to then have the projectile return to the target, buffing them, and then moving to either target or ally once more. This functionality allows you to build up a large amount of conditions, granted the projectile will hit the target more than once.

This is where a problem comes in, bouncing projectiles such as the staff’s AA, prefer allies over foes. This results in the projectile moving in a Foe-Ally-Ally trajectory if given the opportunity. The decrease in your condition application over a Foe-Ally-Foe path is then roughly 50%, which is quite tragic.

Surprisingly however, these buffing projectiles are unable to hit clones, which opens up an opportunity for the solitary mesmer. The staff’s condition damage is great in a solo setting. This technique will require you to summon 3 clones via phase retreat/mirror images or deceptive evasion, and to simply auto attack away at a target.

As the projectiles are unable to hit clones, and you are the only non-clone ally, the projectiles you and your clones send out will all follow the Foe-Ally-Foe path. This rather simple technique, will allow for strong condition damage, and with the occasional chaos storm, this is a good build to take when solo.

Again, this is a build for a SOLO setting. If used in a team, the damage from your winds of chaos will be split in half, decreasing your damage to a subpar amount.

The torch conditions

As you should know, the torch uses burning, and as such can be considered a condition damage based weapon. A very similar functionality to the staff is in play here, and brings up some issues with the offhand which need to be explained.

Torch 4 is an excellent burn applier on a high cooldown, this is therefore a decent skill for condition damage, which is made to have a slightly lower effect due to its cooldown.

Torch 5 on the other hand, is a whole different story. The torch’s number 5 skill is the phantasmal mage. This mage uses a bouncing projectile, which, as explained above, prefers applies fury on allies and burning on foes. In the staff section I explained how bouncing projectiles have a tendency to hit allies rather than foes, and sadly, this applies once more.

You may have noticed me mention the fact that ‘clones’ can not be hit by bouncing attacks. The use of the word ‘clone’, in this section was intentional, as phantasms can sadly be used as targets as well. This results in the projectile of the phantasmal mage almost exclusively moving in a Foe-Ally-Ally trajectory, allowing for very limited burning uptime, and a dissapointing offhand for condition damage.

The scepter conditions

The scepter has gotten a buff with the ‘malicious sorcery’ trait (Illusions line), and has therefore moved into the ranks of possible condition appliers. While still subpar compared to the sword in a power build, the scepter might find its way into a condition damage scenario.

The scepter applies two conditions: torment from the AA & illusionary counter(5 stacks), and confusion(6 stacks) from the confusing images skill. The high amount of torment application makes it so that a moving target is preferred when using a scepter.

A big advantage of scepter usage, is the fact that you are capable of using an offhand. In the chronomancer meta, your job in teams will be that of buffing your allies via quickness and alacrity, the former still being possible with a shield through the usage of tides of time. Alacrity also allows for a decrease in the cooldown of confusing images, allowing for more frequent usage.

The scepter can be considered a hybrid weapon in the sense that confusing images also deals a good amount of power damage, nontheless, this is a weapon to keep in mind, with the largest limiting factor being the amount of movement of the target.

Note: As mentioned previously, the scepter auto attack chain switches skills when the projectile hit, making your damage higher when in melee range.


Condition applying traits on the mesmer aren’t amazingly abundant, you can gain torment on shatter as an illusions master, you may gain slow application when using continuum split by using master of fragmentation in the same line, but both these traits offer very limited application of conditions. Therefore, the traits we will be focussing on are duelist’s discipline and sharper images.

Sharper images is a trait which makes all illusions apply 5 (base) seconds of bleeding when landing a critical hit, this trait is a minor in dueling, and can be your main source of bleeding damage. As the trait has no internal cooldown, a frequently hitting illusion can apply more bleeding stacks than a slow hitting one. This is where the phantasmal duelist comes in.

The phasmal duelist lands a total of 8 shots whenever it hits, allowing for a maximum of 8 stacks of bleeding. This is decent, but doesn’t quite cut it at a frequency of once every 7.6/6.6(PH trait) seconds. This is where duelist’s discipline comes in. This trait makes the duelist’s attacks apply bleeding at a 50% chance. The applied bleeding shares duration with sharper images, applying an extra 6 seconds by default.

What’s nice to know, is that the two traits work independently, and thus a critical hit from a duelist has a 50% chance to apply 2 stacks of bleeding instead of one. In combination with phantasmal haste, this will therefore be your number one condition phantasm, which can be considered to be of a hybrid nature.

Staff and torch fall off the ranking due to their inability to play in a team, leaving only the scepter and duelist. A good build to therefore use as a non-mirage condition mesmer is one using a scepter and pistol.

Chronomancy Section


The chronomancer is the first elite specialisation to come out for the Mesmer class, and it packs quite the punch. The specialisation opens the realm of time manipulation to the mesmer, and this specialisation therefore focuses on speeding up and slowing down of anything and everything.

As with every specilization, the class adds a profession mechanic, a new weapon, a new utility line and obviously a new set of traits. As these affect the mesmer playstyle by a large amount, this entire section will be dedicated to what the chronomancer does and how it is best used in dungeons, fractals, and raids.

The chronomancer adds the alacrity effect to the game, which is currently only available for mesmers. This buff is indicated by the, and speeds up cooldown recharge rate by 33%. Essentially this makes skills recharge 1.33 seconds of their cd within 1 second, effectively reducing all cooldowns by 25% as long as alacrity is maintained 100% of the time.  As this is an effect, it can not be increased through boon duration, but alacrity is a major gamechanger in teamfights and plays an important role in the chronomancer playstyle.

Chronomancer are essential to any fractal and raid party for their support.

A new shatter

The chronomancer adds a new shatter to the mesmer which is one of the most simple yet difficult to master mechanics the mesmer now has. As any shatter, it destroys your illusions and for each it destroys+yourself it adds effect. A short description is given below.

General synergy traits: Master of Fragmentation / Flow of Time / Master of Misdirection

Continuum split (90sec cd by default)                                                                                                                 Continuum shift

This shatter moves the chronomancer into a different timeline via a continuum rift for a period of 1.5 seconds per illusion shattered. In this timeline, any changes to cooldowns, endurance, health or placement are not saved and as the timer runs out, the chronomancer is returned to its original state, or timeline.

The continuum rift which is used to transverse to the other timeline is, however,  a targetable entity, and therefore can be destroyed, forcing you back to your original state. This rift can be used to remember where you’ll return to once the timer runs out. If wish to return prematurely, continuum shift can be used, as shown on the right.

When in continuum split you can use ANY skill within its duration without having it go on cooldown as you return to your original state. This includes elite skills and effectively lets you use these twice. Watch out that the end of a cast is most important: If you return from continuum split before the cast is over, the skill will go on cooldown for real. As a result, I recommend always using your long casting skills first, and simply activating continuum split at the almost-end of the cast. Do keep in mind that any health gained within the duration is ineffective as its returned to normal once continuum split runs out. Dying while in continuum split is also ineffective as you’ll simply return to living state after the duration, however this effect is limited to PvE, and to damage which does not simultaneously destroys your continuum rift.

While it is very tempting to use this shatter to use instantly spawn two timewarps, it’s often a better idea to instead use skills with a higher cooldown than the shatter ONLY when in continuum split. This allows you to simply reduce a 180second cd to 90 seconds, and allows consistent usage. Using the illusions traitline in combination with chronomancy reduces the cooldown to 76.5 seconds, making it even more effective.

Synergy-reminder: The ‘mirror images’ skill can be used outside of combat when you have a target nearby, to get 4.5 seconds of continuum split without getting in combat. This allows for easier non-combat use of CS, like placing portals and stacking stealth.

A new weapon

The chronomancer unlocks the ability to wield a shield for the mesmer. The shield is an offhand weapon with a focus on quickness, slow and alacrity. It provides the only real direct damaging offhand weapon skill to the mesmer in the form of tides of time. The shield is a weapon which I recommend using often, but it should be used in synergy with another offhand which has a more offensive phantasm.

Echo of memory

This skill is the only continuous block the mesmer has, and it’s one hell of a block. Echo of memory blocks every blockable attack for a duration of 1.5 seconds, and spawns an illusionary avenger once the duration ends.dejavu

This illusionary avenger is a shieldbearing phantasm which exerts an aoe attack every 7-8 sec on the enemy when it hits. In a radius of 240, this attack grants 2 seconds of slow to enemies and 2 seconds of alacrity to allies, but also does moderate damage to the enemies which it slows.

If an attack is blocked during the duration of echo of memory, the skill switched to ‘Deja Vu’, which is essentially the same skill. This, combined with the fact that this is a phantasm skill which can be recharged by the Signet of Ether, provides the chronomancer with enormous defensive capabilities. Deja Vu is available for 10 seconds.

To properly keep up alacrity, try to keep two illusionary avengers up at all times.

Tides of Time

Previously mentioned, tides of time is a direct damaging offhand weapon skill which combines various aspects of the mesmer and chronomancer in one effective skill.

Tides of time shoots out a wall of magical energy towards the target, which absorbs projectiles, grants 1.5 seconds of quickness to allies, stuns enemies for 1 second, and then returns to the mesmer’s new position to repeat the process. If you manage to catch the wall upon its return, the skill cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds. As the wall takes your speed into account this can sometimes be a difficult process.

As the skill has no target limit, Tides of time will hit target for every possible hitbox it has, therefore proving more effective in terms of damage the larger the target becomes. As every hit on the target stuns them, it can be very effective at removing defiance bars, and synergizes well with ‘on interrupt’ traits. The quickness this skill provides is also partywide, and is therefore effective at increasing your party’s damage.

Chronomancy Wells

The utility skillset which the chronomancer specialization brings is the addition of wells. Wells have an AoE nature and generally provide party support in combination with offensive characteristics. Every well affects 5 targets and pulses 3 times before finishing off with a final pulse which adds an additional effect.

Overall synergy: All’s Well That Ends Well of Calamity

The Well of Calamity is your offensive friend, and a well which you’ll be using frequently in the new content. Well of calamity has a 20 second cooldown, and only has offensive capabilities when not taking any traits into account. Every pulse, this well damages targets and adds 2 seconds of cripple and weakness to them.

The fourth pulse does a high amount of AoE damage to add. Due to the short cooldown of this well, as well as its damaging capabilities, well of calamity is a great replacemt for mantra of pain, and tops it by adding alacrity to the party when used with the ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ trait. of Action

Well of recall is a real chronomancy well in the sense that it focuses on slow and quickness. This well has a cooldown of 25 seconds, and does a low amount of base damage. Every pulse of the Well of Action grants 1 second of slow to the opponents standing inside of it, and the final pulse only grants quickness for 4 seconds to all allies within.

This is a great mini-timewarp which can effectively increase party damage significantly. The slow granted by the well also synergizes well with the ‘danger time’ mastertrait. Well of action is used in almost every chronomancer build. of Recall

Well of recall is an alacrity source. This well grants chill to your opponents every 3 pulses, and does so in packets of 1 second. This makes your opponent’s cooldowns longer, and the well also does a slight amount of damage to add to it. As the well ends, it grants 5 seconds of alacrity to all allies standing within it, making it your primary source of alacrity for the party. As the skill has a cooldown of 40 seconds, your alacrity is put to good use. of Precognition

This is a more niche- type well, as it has only defensive capabilities. Well of Precognition grants aegis to all allies standing within the well, and does so every one of three pulses. This is accompanied by stability in case of unblockable atacks. Once the well ends, all allies receive 30% of their endurance back.

If your party is in a pinch against mobs with blockable attacks, this may be just what you need. With a cooldown of 45 seconds, however, you may wish to use this wisely.

File:Gravity Well.png(Elite) Gravity well

The chronomancer elite skill is an interesting one. With a cooldown of 90 seconds, this well creates an enormous CC burst  within a 240 range. Gravity well is great at locking down large amounts of targets, and does so to a maximum of 5 targets. Gravity well has 4 pulses which do a decent amount of damage. The final pulse is comparable to Well of Calamity but doesn’t quite cut it. Gravity well first knocks the targets in range back, then floats them, and finally pulls them to the middle. This skill finds little use in PvE, but may be used for AoE CC against strong trashgroups, it also allows for an easy pull, but the fact that you’ll lose your other elite skills for it, makes it a skill you won’t often use.

Well of Eternity you thought I forgot the healwell, you were wrong. Well of Eternity is the healingskill added for the chronomancer, and it’s naturally in the form of a well. This well allows the mesmer to not only heal himself, but also his allies. As Well of Eternity is spawned, the mesmer is healed for a moderate amount.

Every pulse the well removes 1 condition from each ally inside of it, and eventually finishes off with an AoE heal similar in magnitude to that which the chronomancer receives upon cast.

As Well of Eternity heals in two stages, this is the only heal which can be combined with continuum split to gain extra healing. If you manage to return from the shatter before the well expires, it is possible to gain approximately 1.5x the total healing you would normally receive. With a cooldown of 30 seconds and aoe healing capabilities, this is definitely not a bad choice for a healing skill.

A note on quickness

Before we get on to the Chrono-Builds, some information on the quickness boon is important. As a chronomancer, quickness is your main priority, followed by alacrity in the current meta. This is because various classes( revenant, thief, guardian) have a rotation largely based on auto attacks, which are in no need of cooldown reduction for obvious reasons. In the case that you are running mainly with elementalists or warriors, alacrity starts becoming more important.

But the important thing we’re focusing on here is quickness. Quickness is a boon which increases the speed of actions by a good 50%, which is a strange way of putting it, but essentially this comes down to attacks being performed within 75% of their original casting time. This allows for a total damage increase of about 33%, and is thus very effective. The intracity of quickness comes when we talk about stacking the boon up. A boon which is stacked in duration functions quite differently from a boon which is stacked in intensity, and quickness is one of the former category.

Quickness stacks up to 5 ‘portions’ of quickness, after which any attempts at quickness application are nullified. The ‘portions’ we are referring to here, are individual packages of quickness which your skills apply, e.g. timewarp applies portions of quickness all consisting of 2 second, every second for 10 seconds. This means that while different skills may result in the same total amount of quickness, some may deliver it in different portion sizes.

Let’s list our possible quickness portions below to get an idea about portion sizes:

Timewarp – 5x 2 seconds

Tides of time – 2x 1.5 seconds

Signet of Inspiration- 3 seconds

Chronomancy rune(x6) well usage- 2 seconds

Well of action – 4 seconds

Furious interruptions(trait) –  3 seconds

Seized the moment(trait) – 1.5 seconds

As quickness can’t stack over 5 portions, you will want to cover as much duration divided over these nine as possible, bringing the favor to large portions such as the Well of Action delivers. Small portion skills such as Tides of Time on the other hand, may actually make quickness uptime more difficult, as it will prevent higher duration quickness portions from being applied.

Because of this, the author personally recommends any chronomancer to look at how many, and what portion size quickness skills they are using in any given rotation, and to cut off any skills which are unnecessary or even detrimental to your quickness uptime.


The chronomancer has an entirely new traitline which can be unlocked through hero point spendations. Once it is fully unlocked, the specialization offers a broad chrono-scala of traits which are a great addition to current builds. Some builds may require more skill than others, but in general the chronomancer only adds to the mesmer.

Chrono-Fraidomancer build

When lacking a proper name for builds you might as well attempt to combine the usages of the build in one word. Some combinations work better than others. The chrono-fraidomancer build is a build which is dedicated to fractals and raids, combined at ‘fraids’.. Maybe-just stay with me here. This build combines the chronomancer’s wells, and phantasm-shatter hybrid traits from the chronomancer to form an amazing sustain build which incorporates both shatters, phantasms and wells. This can be seen as a chrono-alternative to the phantasm-shatter synergy build.

 Covering the chronomancer aspects of the build first, this build uses ‘all’s well that ends well’, to provide alacrity to your party more effectively with the usage of wells. Next to that, it commonly uses the ‘improved alacrity’ trait to make sure that you’ll keep up sufficient alacrity yourself so you have more cooldown reduction on your alacrity skills so you can apply more alacrity to your allies. Something I am now officially naming the  ‘alacrity inception phenomenon’.

To then incorporate the phantasm-shatter synergy play we are using the amazing ‘chronophantasma’ trait. This trait allows you to shatter your phantasms but have them respawn once, allowing you to keep up damage from both sources. Due to the phantasmal force trait in illusions, it is still recommended not to be too shatter-happy, as this will be detrimental to your damage.

The illusions traitline is in this build to cover your phantasmal damage, but also to decrease the cooldown on your new F5 shatter skill. With the Grandmaster major trait named ‘Master of Misdirection’, you’ll be able to pop your F5 shatter every 76.25 seconds, effectively reducing the cooldown of your high CD skills like elites.

The adept and master major traits are also a lot more effective than before as chronophantasma allows for longer phantasm upkeep. The fact that phantasmal haste operates over time, and the shatter reduction still leaves you with a 70s+ CD, shows that this build is focussed on long lasting fights such as those in raids and fractals.

Lastly there’s the Dueling line. This traitline is there for damage. Currently, dueling tops domination in terms of damage due to its aptly named superior grandmaster trait ‘Superiority complex’.

A build like this often runs with well of recall and action, as well signet of inspiration. The fight is then best started by spawning one clone (sword 3) , shattering it for continuum split, popping every skill you have, and then getting 2 avengers and 1 damage phantasm up.

The I-still-run-dungeons build

This build was made in a time where dungeons just got cut in rewards, explaining the name quite clearly. Simply said, this build focuses on short fights instead of prolonged ones, and therefore asks for maximum damage in a short period of time.


In shorter fights, phantasmal haste simply doesn’t affect damage all too much, and in those cases you don’t want to have it with you. This is why the ISRD build uses both dueling as well as domination. As you’ll notice, the build has now also left alone the ‘improved alacrity’ trait. This is because the alacrity inception phenomenon simply doesn’t have as big of an effect in smaller fights which are often followed up by running. Danger time will make up for your last losses in precision in these situations, in which rangers are unlikely to be present. The fact that when rangers aren’t present, you can run danger time, is the reason berserker gear can be taken as main for the mesmer now.

The ISRD build can still be combined with mantras due to the lack of alacrity importance, and therefore benefits a lot more off the ‘harmonious mantras’ trait in dueling.

The Unicorn builds (support/tank)

This build focuses more on supporting allies, and for example provides more reflection than the four feedbacks you should already be able to pull off with the chronomancer. For you reflection greedy maniacs.


Quite simply, the Unicorn builds provide the strengths of the previously mentioned builds, but changes the damage focused dueling line to the supporting inspiration traitline. This traitline allows you to provide more quickness through the illusionary inspiration trait, group and personal condition removal with the menders purity and restorative illusions traits, additional healing through the restorative mantras, healing prism, and illusionary inspiration traits, and most importantly, allows aegis sharing through inspiring distortion.

While the base build uses illusions for an increased alacrity uptime through phantasmal haste, as well as a decrease in cooldown of continuum split via the master of misdirection trait, the domination variant is listed for additional aegis sharing supported by the blurred inscriptions trait. This is useful for bosses such as Gorseval in raid wing 1, who commonly does aoe knockbacks.

Improved alacrity is generally preferred in this build as the aim is to keep up as much support as you can. Nontheless, you may wish to take danger time  if you feel you can manage it.

Because of the high survivability provided by this build, as well as surpreme quickness and alacrity upkeep, these builds are ideal for tanking in raids.

The Skipping builds

While there is no build for chrono-skipping, you may want to return to section 1.8.4 to look at the original skipping build. To convert to chrono, simply move out inspiration and fill in chronomancy. Chronomancy will have positive effects on skips as you’ll be able to recharge your stealth skills faster(so run ‘improved alacrity’), and you’ll also be capable of using 2 mass invisibility skills in one go.

More techniques for this may be added to the ‘techniques’ section later.

New rune options

Rune of leadership of the most difficult to acquire rune of this moment, is currently also a great rune for the chronomancer to get. As your job as a chronomancer is to apply quickness and alacrity to your party, the rune of leadership works extremely well with a 30% boon duration(applies to quickness only) increase. This rune costs 600 crystalline ores to acquire a set from as of now. If you have a couple of hours to spare, make sure to get this for your arsenal.

Rune of the firebrand, more easily acquired possibility in terms of boon duration runes is the rune of the firebrand. This rune applies a total of 15% boon duration, covered over 5 individual runes. The final rune introduced to the firebrand set grants an additional 20% quickness duration, which means you’ll get a total of 35% quickness duration increase from this set. The additional condition damage supplied by it, however, has little to no effect. This rune is slightly worse than leadership due to its inability to supply  duration for other boons such as regen and aegis.

Rune of the durability rune of durability is for specialized tanks only. This rune set is relatively easy to acquire, and provides 20% boon duration combined with 175 toughness, and 125 vitality. This will make sure that you have the highest toughness in your raid squad, and allows you to stay alive more easily. This is best combined with a Minstrel or Commander set to make up for the lost 10% boon duration.

Rune of the Herald Rune of the Herald is an alternative to durability in its turn. This rune provides the same toughness bonus, but trades in 125 vitality and 5% boon duration for aoe toughness on heal use. Combined with mantra of recovery, this makes a fine alternative for chrono tanks.


Rune of the Water similar to the Rune of the Herald, Rune of the Water switches toughness around for healing power, and adds in another 5% boon duration. This rune is also quite a bit cheaper than the Herald variant, so it’s benefitial in more ways than one. Taking this does keep down your toughness just a bit, so make sure to coordinate with fellow chronomancers.


A new sigil choice

Sigil of Concentration

File:Superior Sigil of Concentration.pngDo you have lots of money? Then this sigil may be something for you! The sigil of concentration increases boon duration by 33% when swapping to the weapon which it has been applied to. Due to the immense increase in boon duration this provides,  the author has to recommend this sigil to any and all raid chronomancers.


Chronomancer dining preferences

As chronomancers mostly focus on power damage and boon uptime, here are the dining preferences of chronomancers listed in comprehensive order.

Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

clip_image004[10]If you’d rather add some extra commander pieces to your gear than get concentration food, this 100 power and 70 ferocity food is a great option to improve your damage.


Fried Golden Dumpling

Fried_Golden_DumplingThe chronomancer’s favorite, this nourishment gives 100 concentration, equivalent to some 6.7 % boon duration, at a reasonable price.


Chocolate Omnomberry Cream/ Spring roll idential to the Fried Golden Dumplings, these foods give 100 concentration as well as a nice magic find boost, but lacks might stacking capability. As might stacking is not your job, these are essentially cheaper variants of the dumpling.


Plate of Mussels Gnashblade

Food for the real chrono-tanks, this stuff provides 70 concentration combined with a stunning 10% decrease to incoming damage. It is slightly tedious to acquire through a recipe from dragon’s stand, but definitely worth it for the better chrono-tanks.

Maintenance oil

Maintenance oi. is esssential  for chronomancers due to the increased concentration yet again. You can take your pick between toxic, magnanimous, and master variants. Toxic is best for damaging chronomancers, while magnanimous is recommended for those chronomancers who prefer a minstrel set.

Gearing up your Chronomancer

Gearing a chronomancer is slightly more complicated than an ordinary mesmer because you need to take your boon duration into consideration. Below I will list two possible options for optimized mesmer setups, one for dedicated tanking, and the other for a leadership rune build. The aim of these setups is to achieve +100% boon duration when swapping to your concentration sigil, so don’t worry if you can achieve the same with a different setup. Commander stats as well as minstrels work well in upping boon duration through concentration. While interchangeable in terms of boon duration, minstrel gear will completely render your damage output insignificant in exchange for healing power and additional vitality, while commanders will only provide toughness and boon duration.

Mystical infusions

We’ll have to first note  something about what are called mystical infusions. If you are running ascended armor, various infusions including mystical ones can be used to up your concentration just a bit, allowing you to customise armor sets even more. These can be crafted in fractals of the mist for those that enjoy the content. While customizatin is endless, we’ve included a firebrand rune variant in the options as supplied by my friend Andulias.

Leadership variant

Weapons: Commander stats, sigil of concentration on mainhand, sigils of force on offhand.

Armor: Legging & chestpiece Commander stats, rest berserker. Runes of leadership.

Note for fractal enthusiasts: If you enjoy doing fractals, chances are you’ve unlocked some masteries for them. The masteries Agony Channeler, Recursive Resourcing, and Mistlock Singularities all give additional bonuses to the player when fractal potions are used. Most importantly, each stack of fractal mobility potion will increase a mesmers concentration with either 10, 25, or 30% of their agonay resistance, meaning you will naturally have more boon duration in fractals. Don’t waste money on additional gear or food if you plan to primarily play fractals, as 225 concentration amounts to a full 15% boon duration.

Trinkets: Backpack, amulet, & 1 ring commander stats, rest berserker.

Nourishment: Fried golden dumplings & Toxic maintenance oil.

Firebrand infusion variant

Weapons: Berserker stats, sigil of concentration on mainhand, sigils of force on offhand.

Armor: Legging & chestpiece Commander stats, rest berserker. Runes of the firebrand.

Trinkets: Backpack and amulet commander stats, rest berserker.

Nourishment: Fried golden dumplings & Toxic maintenance oil.

Infusions: 18x Mystical (on every available piece)

Minstrel tank variant

Weapons: Commander/minstrel stats, sigil of concentration on mainhand, sigils of transference on offhand (optional)

Armor: Full Minstrels, durability, herald, or water runes

Trinkets: Full Minstrels

Nourishment: Plate of Mussels Gnashblade (or dumplings again), (magnanimous) maintenance oil.

Note for fractal enthusiasts

If you enjoy doing fractals, chances are you’ve unlocked some masteries for them. The masteries Agony Channeler, Recursive Resourcing, and Mistlock Singularities all give additional bonuses to the player when fractal potions are used. Most importantly for us, each stack of fractal mobility potion will increase a mesmers concentration with either 10, 25, or 30% of their agony resistance, meaning you will naturally have more boon duration in fractals. Don’t waste money on additional gear or food if you plan to primarily play fractals, as 225 concentration (associated with 150 AR and full masteries) amounts to a full 15% boon duration.

Mirage section

The Mirage is the second elite specialization granted to the mesmer. This specialization was introduced with the Path of Fire expansion, and gives the mesmer access to desert magics taking advantage of the mind, and turning him or her into a shadowy mirage. This specialization focuses what are called ‘mirage mirrors‘ and their resultant effect called ‘Mirage Cloak’. Traits as well as weapons in the Mirage traitline focus heavily on condition damage, making this the dedicated condition damage mesmer specialization; Our highest damage potential at this point in time.

Mirage Cloak Mirage Cloak effect  is activated when dodging, as well as when entering a mirage mirror (produced by your own skills), and gives the mesmer access to ‘Ambush‘ skills as well as an invulnerability effect similar to blur. The ambush skills replace the first skill on any weapon,  available for single use. The invulnerability given to the mesmer when in Mirage Cloak means physically moving away from an attack has become unnecessary for the mesmer, therefore a mirage no longer moves when dodging, and instead simply activates its cloak effect. Several traits in the mirage line alter the mirage cloak, giving it additional benefits, making for a powerful tool.

Axe-ing it up

The new weapon provided to the mesmer as a mirage is the Axe. This weapon is specialised in the appliance of conditions, as well as simply cutting things to pieces. It is the best condition damage weapon currently available to the mesmer, primarily for its ambush skill and a recent nerf to scepter. We’ll discuss each of its skills down below.

Lacerating Chop, Ethereal Chop, Mirror Strikes   [Auto attack chain]

The auto attack chain of the axe is the followup of Lacerating Chop, Ethereal Chop, and Mirror Strikes. These skills do a decent amount of damage and apply the conditions bleeding and torment. The first two skills of the chain do the same amount of power damage, with an absolute base of 202, slightly lower to the sword AA (257). Lacerating Chop is the first of the chain, and applies two seconds of bleeding. This is followed by Ethereal Chop, which in turn applied two seconds of Torment. The final skill called Mirror Strikes combines the two first skills with a boost, and applies six seconds of both torment and bleeding, while doing the double amount of power damage. This means that you should try to never interurupt the final hit of your auto attack chain. Mirror Strikes is not limited to what is in front of you, as it hits all targets around the user. As these are all melee hits, all of the auto attack chain is capable of hitting three targets simultaneously. The total chain takes approximately 2.25 seconds to complete without quickness. Due to their fast condition application and fluid motion, the auto attack chain is your primary axe skill to use.



Lingering Thoughts Thoughts is the second skill on axe, which is one of the less used ones. Does quite the variety of things, as you move through your target hurling axes all over the place. Lingering Thoughts moves the user approximately 360 units towards or through your target, in a whirl that counts as four individual whirl finishers. When hitting targets around you, you apply three stacks of both cripple and torment. The torment will laset 5 seconds, while cripple is only present for 1. Finally, when the skill ends the mesmer spawns an axe clone on the nearest target within 480 range. The base damage of this skill is 441, slightly above the final auto attack skill. This, combined with the mediocre amount of condition application, the potential phantasm replacement, and long cast time makes it a skill limited in use for when spawning clones.

Axes of Symmetry

Axes of Symmetry, the third skill on the axe, is quite unique if you’re used to base mesmer and chronomancer. The skill is based around having clones up, and teleports all of your clones, including yourself, towards a random location around your current target, followed by a leap attack during which you evade. The attack itself applies 5 stacks of confusion when the player hits, while additional clones apply 1 stack individually. All confusion stacks last 4 seconds base. The base power damage this skill hits is 550, making it the hardest hitting skill on the axe mainhand. The most surprising thing about this skill is that it breaks targeting of the clones involved. This means that while your clones may have been targeting a one foe, when you use Axes of Symmetry on another, they will switch to that target permanently. This allows you to keep clones alive better. The large amount of confusion and power damage makes this a good skill to up damage just a bit over simple auto attacks.

Ambush skills

Ambush skills are the new kid on the block created by the Mirage specialization. These skills will replace your auto attack on any weapon while Mirage Cloak is active, allowing for one time use. Every weapon has its own ambush skill, which we will go over now. Ambush skills are not limited  to the player, as when clones have Mirage Cloak applied, they will also use a slightly modified version of the ambush skill.

Imaginary Axes

Imaginary axes is the ambush skill associated with the axe mainhand. This skill summons two phantasmal axes which seek the nearest target on which they deal a good amount of damage (366 base), while also applying three stacks of confusion lasting 5 seconds. This is a very strong skill, even more so when used in unison with clones, thus making for the main damage from clone based mirage builds.


Mirage Thrust

Mirage Thrust is the sword ambush skill, providing the first ever leap to mesmers all over the world. This skill makes the mesmer leap towards its target over a maximum distance of 600, dazing their target  for a fourth of a second, and doing a decent amount of damage. While the mirage will not often use a sword mainhand, this skill is great for when you suddenly require a leap for any reason.


Ether Barrage

Ether Barrage is the scepter ambush skill, staying nicely covered within the scepters arsenal. This skill shoots a barrage of magic towards the target, similar to the auto attack skill on the weapon. The complete barrage does a good amount of damage (460), and applies 4 seconds of both torment and confusion (single stacks). When running scepter, this skill significantly boosts the mirage’s dps.


Split Surge

Split Surge is the greatsword ambush skill, for those people who can’t choose what to attack. Split Surge does what is says, it takes the auto attack attack surge from greatsword, and splits the beam towards different targets around your current one. This allows for a bit more AoE potential on the mostly single target weapon. The skill also applies two stacks of might to yourself, and 2 stacks of vulnerability on your target. These both last 5 seconds in total.


Chaos Vortex

Chaos Vortex is the Staff ambush skill, and one of the more visually stunning ones. The skill shoots out a vortex of chaos energy towards your target, applying 2 stacks of bleeding, one stack of burning, and 3 stacks of vulnerability to whatever it passes, lasting 6, 3, and 5  seconds, respectively. When passing through allies it applies fury for 3 seconds and 3 stacks of might for 8. The power damage is, as we are used to on staff, quite low (242).  While stunning visually, the skill is not one you shall use often.


Ambush Assault

If you ever find yourself in underwater combat for whatever reason, Ambush Assault, the ambush skill for spear, is one you’ll be using. This skill does a series of 8 strikes to your opponent, stacking vulnerability with every one, lasting 8 seconds. The damage applied by the total amount of strikes is actually quite low, at a base of 242.



Wave of Panic

All people panic about underwater combat, and now you have a way to express it with the Wave of Panic ambush skill on trident. This skill throws out a wave of energy that does a rather decent amount of power damage (293), combined with 2 stacks of confusion lasting 4 seconds. It also stuns the target for half a second, helping with those pesky breakbars.



Deception skills

False Oasis

The heal skill first this time, False Oasis is a slightly offensive healing skill, with which you produce an oasis which heals you over time. When activated, a small amount of health is received (1620) with every one of five pulses, also applying 5 seconds of vigor upon initial casting. When the False Oasis dissapears, a mirage mirror is left.  This mirror will be present for 8 seconds. When a mirage mirror is shattered by walking into it, you gain 1 second of mirage cloak and apply a small amount of damage and 4 secounds of weakness to surrounding targets. Because of its mirage mirror, False Oasis can be used as a dps boost for clone mirage builds using ambush skills.


Crystal Sands

A great skill in the utility of the mirage is the Crystal Sands skill. This skill is targeted, and produces  a total of 6 magical sands converging on the targeted location. When these sands hit a target, they do a small amount of damage (106), and apply a stack of confusion lasting 5 seconds. To best make use of this skill, you ofcourse target it to land directly under your target, to have all 6 sands hit. When the skill finishes, a mirage mirror is left at the targeted location.


Illusionary Ambush

Illusionary Ambush is very similar to the Axes of Symmetry skill on the axe mainhand. This skill makes all you and all your illusions shadowstep around the target, gaining one second of mirage cloak. The difference between this and the Axes of Symmetry skill, is that phantasms are also affected. This would allow you to keep phantasms alive longer,  allowing you to take advantage of the phantasmal force trait in illusions.


Mirage Advance / Retreat

Mirage advance is a less used utility skill of the mirage. The skill makes you shadowstep a maximum range of 900 towards your target, doing damage and blinding your foe and those surrounding it. The retreat variant of the skill is now available for use, allowing you to portal back ( maximum 1200 range), to your previous location, leaving a clone behind. Insignificant damage and range makes this slightly subpar when blink is already available.


Sand through Glass

The final utility skill on mirage is Sand through Glass. This skill is similar to lightning reflexes on ranger, but has some magic added to it. When activating it the mirage rolls backward 300 units, evading for half a second. The location at which the skill was used now hosts a mirage mirror, available for shattering when required.



The elite skill of the Mirage is a fancy one. Jaunt ios a short range teleport similar to blink, with a couple of additions. The skill only allows teleporting a maximum of 450 units,  but in return removes a condition from the user when teleporting, and damages surrounding foes in a range of 180. The skill also applies 3 stacks of confusion for 4 seconds. Using the ammo system, this skill has a total of 3 charges which recharge within 20 seconds.



Mirage Builds

Mirage builds are slightly less varied than those of the chronomancer, because the specialization is mostly used for condition damage. Nevertheless, you can always play around with builds to make them fit your liking a bit more. We will focus on two sides of the condition coin, namely the clone and phantasm builds, both with their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Phantasm Mirage

The Phantasm Mirage build is one which asks slightly less of the user, but takes heavy need from phantasmal force. This means that when your phantasms are frequently destroyed, you don’t want to run this.











The phantasm build uses pistol phantasms exclusively, making use of Duelist’s Discipline as explained in the previous condition mesmer section. This trait allows the mesmer to produce significant bleeding stacks, while also providing torment, confusion, burning,  and power damage through axe play and potential torch use.

The mirage mesmer is more of a hybrid dps dealer than a real condition damage class, as phantasmal duelists are primarily power based, and the relatively inactive playstyle allows for more auto attack rotations. This means that your best bet in terms of runes if the berserker rune, combining the two.  Make sure to always leave signet of domination and signet of midnight off cooldown, as they provide significant buffs to your condition damage output. Jaunt and Crystal Sands are to be used whenever you wish.

A dps rotation in this particular set would simply involve putting down three duelists, spamming Jaunt and Crystal Sands off cooldown, as well as your dodges to keep going in and out of mirage cloak. While auto attackiong on axe, make sure to also use Axes of Symmetry for a small dps boost. You can use torch as an offhand weapon for an additional condition from The Prestige, and using geomancy sigils will make weapon swapping a dps increase as well.

Advantages: High dps output / Little demand from the user

Disadvantages: High reliance on Phantasmal force / Dps drops significantly if phantasms are destroyed.

Clone Mirage

The Clone Mirage build is the secondary variant of condition damage mirage buillds, using clones instead of phantasms. The build also uses axe mainhand, and makes extensive use of the mirage cloak and axe phantasms. This means the build relies heavily on the Infinite Horizon trait, giving your clones a boost.











A clone mirage spawns three axe clones through the Lingering Thoughts skill, and quickly starts popping in and out of Mirage Cloak. This allows both the mesmer and clones to continuously spam their Imaginary Axes skill, pumping the target full of confusion and power damage. While you will scarcely run out of mirage cloasks to use, auto attack from both you and the clones will also add torment and bleeding to the foe, and the use of a torch and The Prestige will add in some burning as well if you have the time. A good clone mirage uses every possible mirage cloak source, meaning they will use Crystal Sands as utility together with False Oasis rather than Signet of Ether. Signets of Domination and Midnight are still are still too powerful to let loose, however.

To increase the amount of cloaks available through dodges, a mirage can use Energy Sigils to swap to repeatedly, and thus increase endurance regeneration. The complete condition focus of this build calls for the use of renegade runes rather than berserker used by the phantasm build.

If you want to be fancy, you may use the Fencer’s Finesse trait together with an offhand sword, as it will increase your fercority by maximum of  150, upping your damage just a bit.

The Clone mirage build is the damage wise optimal build of the mirage, and mesmer in general. This build, however, requires a lot of continuous input from the mirage, as you will quite simply be spamming your mirage cloaks. A general clone mirage fight rotation goes as follows:

1) Spawn 2 clones using Lingering Thoughts.

2) Use Crystal Sands on your target to spawn a third, and do some damage.

3) Use your healing skill followed by The Prestige for a blast ed chaos field.

4) Use the following skills off cooldown: Jaunt, Crystal Sands, Axes of Symmetry, Evade combined with Axe ambush, False Oasis in combination with The Prestige, and weapon swap.

Make sure that mirage cloaks take your priority over skills usuch as Jaunt, Crystal Sands, and Axes of symmetry. Don’t ever let your endurance hit 100%, as it will imply a damage loss.

Advantages: Highest damage / No strong reliance on illusion survival rate/ Clear condition focus (no damage split)

Disadvantages: Demanding on user /  Low survivability due to endurance use for damage

Mirage sigils and runes

A mirage requires condition equipment, and as such sigils and runes used for conditons. These were mentioned briefly in the build sectiuons, but it’s listed here as well.

Sigil of Malice Sigil of Malice provides a significant boost to any condition build, and as such it is recommended for any build on the mirage as well. While slightly expensive, the sigil provides 10% extra condition duration, which can not be ignored. If you can’t afford the superior variant just yet, major sigils are also quite capable.

Sigil of Geomancy

Cheap, effective, what else can a person want? The Sigil of Geomancy is an on-swap weapon sigil which applies 3 stacks of bleeding for three seconds on foes around the user when swapped to the weapon it is equiped on. Due to its smal cooldown, it can be used at every swap, thereby making your weapon swap a weapon in itself. This is a great sigil to use in the phantasm build primarily.

Sigil of Energy

Previously used in solo play and power builds on base mesmer, the Sigil of Energy is making a comeback on clone mirages. This sigil returns 50% of endurance to the mesmer when swapping to the weapon it is equiped on. This allows for more dodges, meaning more mirage cloaks, meaning more ambnush skills, meaning more damage. This is a great sigil for the clone build specifically.

Rune of the Berserker Rune of the Berserker is  used by many condition-ish builds due to its hybrid nature. It provides a total of 100 power as well as 175 condition damage, but additionally provides a significant 5% damage boost to both condition and power damage, making it is more suitable for builds such as the phantasm mirage, but also fits well on the clone build.


Rune of the Renegade

The Rune of the Renegade is a great condition damage rune giving both ferocity and condition damage, at a ratio of 100/175 just like the berserker rune.  This rune instead gives 7% condition damage rather than both a power damage and condition damage boost, making it more fit for explicit condition damage builds.


Food reminder!

Never forget to use food in fractals and raids! you may be holding people down or losing sweet numbers in your dps. We’ll go over what to feed your precious mirage when the time for feeding is there.

Koi Cakes

Cakes, Koi, Koi Cakes! This food is identical to Rare Veggie Pizzas and Red-Lentil Saobosas apart from not taking as long to run out. Cheap and effective, koi cakes and similar foods provide 100 expertise and 70 condition damage, making you all the more effective as a mirage. Can’t afford this still? look for the cheaper pizza varieties such as the super veggie pizza. No condition build was ever hurt by a bit of pizza, saobosa or koi cake.


Bowl of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew

Lovely food for dodging, but nobody knows exactly why this stuff gives you so much energy! Bowls of Orrian truffle and meat stew give you +40% endurance regeneration, allowing for more mirage cloaks and thus more damage. If you’re using a clone build mirage you want to be using this lovely stew rather than pizza, as all that fat would only slow you down.

Tuning Crystals

Tuning crystals are essential to any condition build due to them being the only condition based utility available. They come in many forms, such as simple tuning crystals, toxic focusing crystals, and even tuning icicles. Due to their variable cost you may want to get a bunch of cheaper icicles for casual days, and take toxic focusing crystals for your proper raid and fractal runs.


Gearing your Mirage

Playing dress-up is an essential part of your guildwars career and as such you’re in the right place for advice. Always start with a good looking chestpiece and follow up with the rest… oh wait you want to know about optimal stats, runes, sigils and combinations? fine we can go over that too. Luckily condition builds are very easy in this regard.

Phantasm mirage

For an optimal mirage build, you want to take the following:

Weapons: Viper’s stats, Axe with Superior Sigil of Malice on mainhand, Pistol and Torch with Superior Sigil of Geomancy on offhands

Armor: Full viper’s armor equipped with Runes of the Berserker

Trinkets: Full viper’s stats set of trinkets

Nourishment: Koi Cakes and Toxic Focusing Crystals

(Optional) Infusions: 14x Malign, 4x Spiteful

Clone Mirage

For an optimal mirage build, you want to take the following:

Weapons: Viper’s stats, Axe with Superior Sigil of Malice on mainhand, Torch (optional: and sword) with Superior Sigil of Geomancy on offhand(s)

Armor: Full viper’s armor equipped with Runes of the Renegade

Trinkets: Full viper’s stats set of trinkets

Nourishment: Bowls of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew and Toxic Focusing Crystals

(Optional) Infusions: 18x Spiteful

Note: these are all optimal combinations for raids and fractals, you can replace viper pieces with sinister and other condition damage stats for non-optimal characters and still do fine.

General Mesmering

How to Phantasm: An Illustrated Guide 2.0

This small section of the mesmer guide will inform you on how to decide on your offhand weapon, with a simple illustration.


Next section will go over mesmer’s special techniques and what you should be doing exactly when playing on your mesmer character. The techniques explained here are mostly basic tips and tricks, but are meant to help you optimize your play.

Reflection Chaining

As the use of phantasmal warden is very relevant in projectile based fights, keeping up their reflection well is vital. With the phantasmal haste trait, timing becomes less narrow and you’ll have a much easier time keeping up reflection.

The general time it takes for the phantasmal warden to complete its animation is ~5 seconds. When phantasmal haste is used, the cool down on the warden’s attack is reduced to ~7.2 seconds from the original 9.

Because of this, phantasmal wardens give you a reflection duration of approximately 5 seconds, with a 7.2 second cooldown if the proper traits are used.

If properly timed, two wardens can keep up a reflection uptime of about 83%, with a short window through which projectiles can hit.

A demonstration of warden chaining with previously bugged wardens is given below. this bug allowed the phantasmal wardens to reflect 1 second before and after their animation, filling the reflection gap naturally. This does not work anymore. Achieving 100% reflection is still a lot easier with phantasmal haste, but requires a total of three wardens, meaning you will need to fill in the initial gap with feedback / temporal curtain reflection until the warden is off cooldown.

Old PH warden chaining demonstration


As is visible in the video, 1 second of the reflection gap is filled in by the warden’s aftercast. This means that in the current situation, you have to choose between putting up 2 wardens at this timing, or spawning the second one a second faster, to spawn a third later to fill the 2 second gap. recommended timing for the second warden that way is using the signet of ether and then finishing an auto attack chain. The combination of the 1 second heal, 2.5 second AA chain, casting time and human error will place your second warden to fall in for number one just in time.


Are you a chronomancer? Do you not like the inspiration triatline? Fear not! You can manage to keep up 4 feedbacks in a row using Continuum Split. This can be done through the use of mimic in combination with proper timing. A small demonstration is shown below.


The quadrouple feedback is great to keep your old traitlines if fights do contain damaging projectiles, but also don’t last very long.

The Chrono rotation.

Maximizing damage and support is not simply something you can do by knowing the theoretical most effective skills, but also involves technique. And like that, to maximize damage and support output, the mesmer needs to make good use of the signet of ether, his/her wells, and keep positioning and cooldowns in mind.

Being in combat creates a cooldown on weapon swapping, and as different phantasms may be needed, it is wise to start with one which does not immediately get you in combat: the swordsman.

To completely cover the party with alacrity and quickness, but also to keep up your own damage, the mesmer needs to time their skills properly. You want to keep up 1 illusion which does damage, while keeping two avengers up for additional alacrity needs.

The next bit comes down to Continuum Split. As this shatter allows you to use skills without having them go on cooldown, you can essentially lower the cooldown of skills such as Timewarp, which has a CD higher than that of your F5. This means that you’re giving the best sustain by only using these kinds of skills within your continuum split.

As Continuum split is naturally very important, you’ll want to use as many skills as you can within the timeframe, and as alacrity is a very influential factor, well of recall is important here too.

A chronomancer’s rotation depends on whether he/she wants to focus on alacrity or quickness in priority, but preferentially you would have both up at approximately 90-100%.

We’ll first go over an alacrity prioritizing rotation.

To do your proper rotation you’ll want to first spawn your 3 phantasms.

After this, start casting either Gravity Well or Tides of Time depending on your elite skill, and use Continuum Split at the end of the cast, making sure you don’t waste time in Continuum Split with casttimes.

Now,  as wells take a while to activate, start with well of action before swapping weapons, so that you save a bit of time on your concentration sigil. Follow up with Tides of Time if you haven’t already, to give you quickness and finish up with a weapon swap, well of recall and Signet of Inspiration. If you use Timewarp you’ll be using Tides of Time at the start if your rotation, so you can simply swap directly after putting down well of action, or even before. Timewarp can then essentially be added to the rotation whenever, but make sure you don’t risk putting it on a 180 sec cooldown too much.

Once you return from Continuum split you can put down an additional well of recall, and one of your quickness skills (Well of Action, Signet of Inspiration), given that you don’t use Timewarp. Just make sure you don’t overstack quickness.

Now you wish to simply keep up your static 2 avengers and 1 dps phantasm, while keeping quickness up on both yourself and your team. This can be easily checked by using your own quickness uptime as a reference, given that it is very similar to that of the party. As a general rule you simply don’t want to keep quickness skills off cooldown, except for just after Continuum Split usage, to prevent overstacking.


Temporal Curtain Pulling

Making mobs stand together is very useful. Due to melee attack’s cleave ability, having all of your targets near each other will make it a lot easier to kill them quickly. The temporal curtain is often used to make this ‘balling’ of mobs easier, but requires some skill on the part of the mesmer to do
Once the mesmer knows about the maximum pulling distance, they need to find a spot between the relevant mobs where as many of them are in pulling range of the curtain as possible. The more mobs you get near each other, the better.
Video example

Combining a pull with the ‘swap’ skill on your mainhand sword helps keep mobs in place while they are being killed, so consider using it immediately after the pull.
Note: The presented  video dates back to a time during which proper pulling required all mobs to be at exactly the maximum range from the curtain. This is no longer the case, and thus it will suffice as long as all the mobs you try to pull are at a distance of or below said maximum pulling range.

Stealth Skipping

Before we forget about the centaur runes and skipping builds, we are going to go over what is stealth skipping. Skipping is an extremely frequently used technique in fast dungeon runs, as lots of trash mobs do not need to be killed.

As a mesmer there are two situations in which you must skip: to run with your party or to run alone to later portal your party through.

The videos below illustrate how stealth chaining and skipping mobility work in different situations.

General skipping, stealth chaining small groups & mobility


Advanced portal skipping, stealth chaining larger groups


As stealth chaining on the mesmer requires the use of many of your utility slots, make sure to consider cooldown reduction traits before starting the skip. This will help you get back into the fight more quickly.

As the portal skill can be removed from your skill bar to later be replaced after placing the entre, it is possible to use all 3 of your utility slots for a skip without losing the ability to portal your party members through.

Chrono stuff

If you happen to be a chronomancer, you may wish to use stealth in combination with F5. This makes it possible to stack up two mass invisibilities, and therefore allows you to give your party more stealth. If you’re using some kind of illusion assist, like mirror images, you may also use veil with it. A small tutorial on how this works is shown below.



As a chronomancer you have the privilege to have lots of thing expected from you. This includes portalling like any other mesmer, but as a skilled chronomancer you may want to make things easier on yourself by using Continuum Split and blink in combination with portals. This is more difficult to pull off, but also results in not being stuck with a bunch of skipping skills on your bar.

If you’re using Continuum Split with portals, your best choice is to use mimic in CS, and use it for the Exaunt placement. If you only use F5 for the exit, your portal will simply go on the cooldown initiated by the entrance placement.

In some places you may require an upward blink combined with a portal, in which case you can’t escape having to do both inside of the CS duration, or simply having one of the two on cooldown.


Temporal Curtain Reflection

Reflecting with the temporal curtain is made possible once the warden’s feedback trait is equipped. But because the temporal curtain is smaller than, for example, the guardian’s wall of reflection, projectile reflection can be tricky.

Illustrations have been provided below to show how projectiles work in general situations and how temporal curtain reflects these best. There is a difference with the arc of projectiles between airborne launched ones, and those launched closer to the ground, the two figures will show you where a curtain can be placed best in both situations.

Airborne launched projectiles.

When an airborne projectile is launched, the projectile needs to reach its destination which is at lower altitude, because of this, the projectile needs to descend. The temporal curtain is often not high enough to reflect the projectile at its source, but will be capable of doing so easily when it is at its lowest point: the target.


Ground launched projectiles.

Projectiles launched from a target at ground level first need to become airborne, and make an entire arc. The launched projectile starts at ground level, ascends to a decent height, and then starts descending again to reach its target. Because of this, placing your temporal curtain directly on the mob, will reflect the attack instantly, allowing you and your party members to move around while keeping reflection up. Placing the curtain directly in front of you will still work, do keep in mind that you will be less mobile.


About the Author

This guide was written by Sanderinoa, the current (co)leader of retaliate [rT].

As several of rT’s core members, Sanderinoa started off as a solo player, spending most of his time making solo videos as well as enjoying the use of excessive commas and unnecessary vocabulary.

As an rT member he has also participated in several of their dungeon speed clears and is constantly trying to fit the mesmer class into the upcoming runs. His main is a mesmer but he has a hard time talking about himself due to a fear of sounding arrogant.

This guide was written by Sanderinoa alone (with some copy paste work from the other rT guides), but as he is not a theory crafter at all, makes use of the knowledge of various respected members of the mesmer community as well.

If you wish to know more about the author, check out his YouTube Channel

112 replies on “GW2 Mesmer PvE Class Guide by Sanderinoa”

Sandy single-handedly makes the Mesmer class cool and ‘kingly’. Anyhow, I love how the author tried to be funny and focus.
P.S. Plagiarism (on the nourishment section) is detected!

This is a great guide, as a mesmer, I thought I knew a lot already but I was mindblown by some of these information. This will help so much! I have only but one question, see the build I’m running is as follows:

2/4/0/6/2 = The New school reflection build except I put 2 more trait points in Inspiration instead of Illusions. Phantasmal strength grants 15% Phantasmal damage, and it also allows me an extra trait which I use one mesmer’s feedback as I find it very convenient to get feedbacks when ressing, and in some situations I can even rotate my feedback vs ressing feedback as the ressing feedback only has a cooldown of 10 seconds. It’s quite amazing. Now my problem is that I’ve read the whole guide and I saw the “Phantasmal Haste” trait to be a very very very useful trait that I’d LOVE to have. See I’m very keen on reflecting and I’d love having a bigger uptime, but to have that trait I must sacrifice 2 points from my current build. Domination grants illusions 15% damage, (does that count phantasms?), Dueling is important for blurred frenzy cooldown AND Phantasm fury(more DPS), Inspiration not only gives me warden,medic feedback, and glamour mastery, it also gives 15% more damage for Phantasms. So, what do you think? 😀 One way or another Im going to have to sacrifice some dps. : Thank you so much for this wonderful guide.

Hmmmm, I do see your issue with this, as quite frankly I would’ve loved to just be able to run 6/6/6/6/6. Anyways, while phantasmal haste is an amazing trait it only comes to use in long lasting fights where illusions last very long, giving about 15% damage extra in the end.
I suggest switching to 2/4/0/4/4 only when your damage is close to 70% phantasmal, and the projectiles being shot are delivered by no more than 2 (high hp) targets(guarantees warden protection).
While criticism is going to be granted, if your damage goes REALLY far info phantasms, you can even consider 2/3/0/5/4. In which case illusionist’s celerity compensates for the blade training loss to a small degree, and you keep your extra 15% minor.

Do keep in mond that running in inspiration gives 0 raw stat bonusses than e.g. dueling, and the extra traits there grant few non reflection traits. I therefore recommend switching out of your regular build when things are going well or projectiles are limited(preferably both).

I see. I did try phantasmal haste on some cursed shore mobs, and found out that they die too fast. So I should only trait it when I’m fighting a mob that’s maybe pure projectile based or mobs that dont destroy illusions as easily? Can you please clarify “only when your damage is close to 70% phantasmal”? Does that mean that it’s when I have to rely on my phantasms for damage? Because that’s most of the time >_<. Is it worth it to sacrifice blade training in 2/3/0/5/4? I've noticed that 12 seconds is a big difference from 9.5 in terms of blurred frenzy. "inspiration gives 0 raw stat bonusses" Do you mean Illusions? The vitality helps me quite a bit I think? XD. I see your point that the extra trait in inspiration wont be necessary if my party isnt dying a lot. After some thought 2/4/0/5/3 looks like a great build for when I'm confident in your party as you said :). Can you also please clarify what illusionist's celerity does? I checked my cooldowns and it doesnt seem that it got lowered. Thank you very much for your input! I'd love to learn more things from you :3.

Apologies, this was written at 6 am when I woke up to see that the guide was uploaded xD
Over 70% phantasmal damage is more of an estimation than a raw number. In fights where your phantasms stay alive practically all the time, but you are pushed back occasionally to dodge, this is the case. This is generally the case with SINGLE MOBS, as your phantasms are don’t cleave, but your personal damage does.

But yeah, when you rely on phantasms for a large majority of damage, so not when they get cleaved to death a lot.

As explained in the guide, blurred frenzy is a defensive skill more than an offensive one, so sacrificing it just puts more stress on your own survivability. The only issue isthe 100 precision loss, maybe try to compensate with food, and avoid using this when reflection if super important.

When I talk about ‘no bonus’ I mean no damage bonus 😛 because most builds try to work towards the goal of having the highest damage.

Illusionist’s celerity reduces the cooldown on all skills which spawn illusions, which obviously includes your phantasm skills. Its possible that the cooldown isnt visually reduced, but it definitely is. And while blade training creates the same cd reduction, celerity does so for all phantasms, not just the swordsman.

I see, when do you usually get on? I’d love to ask more questions.
Is your in game name Sanderinoa?

Wasn’t the old school reflection build 2/4/0/5/3 to capitalize on ‘phantasmal strength’ and ‘illusionist celerity’?

Also isn’t ‘phantasmal haste’ still bugged for the warden and swordsman?

Hehehe, nope, 2/4/0/5/3 is old school in the sense that it was the last meta. 2/6/0/4/2 was generally used even before that.

And nope, phantasmal haste has officially been fixed as of the April 15th update.

I simultaneously appreciate and despise these guides because now that I know so much about the class and my powers and abilities and different weapon skills, I learn that the way I have been having fun using my characters powers is wrong and I now should forget everything I’ve been doing and do it “right.”

I enjoyed the staff with its bouncing powers and the fun behind that chaos. but since it “does not allow for the high damage focus required in an optimal dungeon setting,” I should read up on the right way so that whatever dungeon pug I end up with won’t boot me for playing wrong.

I’m all for being more efficient in my killing things, and will therefore be trying some of the things pointed out in this write-up, but… sigh… I don’t wanna. Now I have to “work” to learn something new, which isn’t what I wanted my game time to be.

Anyway, thanks for the help and suggestions… Once I “get it,” I can kill things more efficiently.

Well, it is a guide for a reason. I don’t think you have to follow it to the bone, it’s more about preference really. 😀 But yes, the information in this guide is really nice and can help misguided players. Doesn’t always mean you’re wrong though.

Well if I wanted people only to use what which I see as most efficient, I would not have bothered with explaining staff and scepter skills to such a degree.
It’s a great thing that you enjoy playing the game using staff, and I won’t stop you at all. When doing so, however, I recommend either making your own pug groups in which optimal builds don’t matter. Another option is to just stay out of elitist groups and notify people of it.
While I know it may sound condescending, this is what the playerbase is currently like, so the best thing to do imo is to just go with it.
Id much rather have you become the best staff pve mesmer than try out sword and have you quit the game 😛

Very nice guide. Informative and casual. I wish there was anything like that when i started playing. Missed few small things, though.

It’s not mentioned that Blink is also a stun breaker.

Greatsword’s AA can hit targets little bit further than tooltip suggests, just like scepter. This sometimes can confuse and makes you miss 2 or 4 gs’s skill, since you’re out of range of 1200.

I find Mantra of Pain useful to get rid of blind condition. Especially when casting phantasms, since canceling the cast puts on 4 seconds cooldown and missing phantasm puts on full cooldown.

man this guide motivate me to try and make another Mesmer.
Mesmers has been the bane of my existance since Beta Weekend 1.

I even tried using the lvl 20 tome, and still find leveling a mesmer a chore. (i used 4 tomes!)

>Make a mesmer
>instant 20
>find out leveling is really hard w/ Mesmer
>delete Mesmer
>repeat 4 times.

Awesome, Im just hoping you have enough experience scrolls left.

Maybe try getting some tomes of knowledge to make things easier.(the single levelup ones)

I suffered a lot in the start leveling up my mesmer because she made little damage and died a lot, but with a shatter build, the damage bacame much bigger and with that the survivability. Try it! (other guides to the build may be more updated)

Try using a shatter build for leveling a Mesmer. Obviously this is slower going now with the new trait system, but once you can get Deceptive Evasion up and running, you can kill very quickly in solo play with shatters.

Awesome guide for mesmers, I’m tempted to stop leveling my elementalist and start a mesmer Alt instead. However, leveling and open world content issues like world boss events are currently the problems that is stopping me from starting one.

I love these guides and I hope more come. These guides shows how badly the gw2 community needs a site like While these guides gives an awesome foundation for the profession it is only specific to dungeons. It would be nice, tho unlikely, if others started to add builds/tactics for other game modes like sPvP, WvW, etc. Also these guides are only relevant now, and will have major/minor changes as ANET changes/nerfs things.

With a gw2 specific pvx site, the community could make guides specific for each game mode, change builds/guides with updates, rank builds in terms of strength, and vet builds. Of course then, this also shows the needs for ANET to make a template system like the old days.

Regardless, these are awesome guides. I have learned so much reading them, even tho I’ve played since beta. I love the diagrams of tactics too, hopefully these guides evolve as the game does and include more game modes.

While I agree with your main point, I would like to say that these guides will be kept updated as much as possible. Updates and such should not make it unusable.

I have 6/6 Superior Runes of the Traveler on my Ascended Berserker armor set. How noticeable would it be if I stomped on all those with 6 Superior Runes of the Ranger?

I mean, I hate to “throw away” ~45g like that, but I still have an ascended Sentinel/Soldier set that also has 6/6 Superior Runes of the Traveler.


That would definitely be quite noticeable. About a 10-15% damage boost at least. Switching between sets takes some effort but you’ll get used to it 😀

Just so you know Dulfy, these really long guides start to look very wonky — with overlapping text/images near the bottom half — when using Firefox. I usually use Chrome and it looks fine there.

Just a heads up. Thanks for the guides (and thanks to their creators, too).

Are you sure this has nothing to do with a personal add-on or an older firefox version? I have no issues with it and use firefox as well.

I was wondering. In the Mantra build what is the 20% reduce in recharge time on signets trait for? Since there are no signets in the build?

“The domination traitline is equipped with the signet mastery trait because you may want occasionally switch your healing mantra out for the signet of ether.”

To my opinion, the other possible traits only are attractive if your gameplay relies on shattering (trait I for instance) or if you are using a greatsword (trait X).

These guides are amazing thanks for writing them to all the writers. I am just wondering what are the estimations for the release of both the Engineer and Guardian guides I am really looking forward to those two.

I am very sad to tell you that the guardian, but mostly engineer guide will be taking some time. From what I have heard so far, the guardian guide will be very extensive, and I believe it will be up in max a week or two.
The engineer guide is tricky though, we have very few engineers in rT, and the one in charge of making the guide is currently very busy.
Therefore i ask your patience for this particular guide.

Thanks for the information I will be looking forward to the guides. Meanwhile I will be looking in some of the others while I level my other characters.

Just out curiosity I have always heard engineers were kind of a bad class for dungeons or is more like an elementalist a hard class to fully comprehend to play good?

Engineers are not necessarily hard to play, but the problem with them is that a lot of their damage is based on conditions, which is still capped at 25.

Another part of their suboptimal nature is the fact that elixers and such rely on RNG, which you can’t use in dungeon runs.
As the Engineer uses skills based off other classes, Engineers can definitely be played well and contribute, but are easily replaced by other more specialized classes.

At least that’s what I know of it.

“All attacks in this chain inflict torment, bolt gives 2 seconds default, while blast will apply 4. Because the clone spawned by the third attack uses ether bolt, these will also inflict 2 seconds of torment for each hit.” Not true, there is no torment in the AA chain, only with a successful block of the #2 skill, giving 5 stacks.

God dang this build helped me alot. I went from 700-900 at least with Auto Attacks, now it went up to 1000-2000 sometimes 3000 all with the change of a build. And I had no idea Signet of the Ether refreshed phantasm charges.

When running day dungeons, instead of x slaying should i go battle? What about accuracy?
Considering im assassins with ranger runes and berserker with scholar.

When doing daytime dungeons I generally recommend X slaying+ Force,
battle and accuracy need to be considered but depend on the situation.
If your party is incapable of stacking might properly and you are using
swordsmen/duelists, then go for X slaying+battle. Accuracy is only really relevant
if you don’t know what mobtype something is. Then go force+accuracy
:). Hope this helps

I usually only do arah and fractals with my mesmer:
I have the undead slaying on one of my sword for arah but my question was more for fractals.

I dont really want to have to exchange my sigil everytime i change the type of boss/mob of fractals.
I know what type of mobs i am expecting but sometimes i have to change more than 1 time the type of sigil for 1 fractal.

For dungeons, sometimes, I tend to forget to change the slaying food so imagine for fractals xD

So accuracy+force it is xD Thank you for the help ^^

This is an AWESOME guide. I started playing GW2 about 10 days ago. My mez (who is now 20th lvl) has been getting utterly shredded. I read your guide for the first time yesterday and have already noticed a huge difference. Thank you!!

While it’s clear that some of the information has been updated for the recent patch (June 23, 2015), I think you may need to go back and reassess some of the weapons information. You make several references to condition damage being low or ineffective in PvE…but that was also completely changed in the June 23rd update. I would argue that condition damage is the mesmer’s current best go-to for sheer damage output in the wake of that patch. I’ll be honest, I didn’t read through the entire guide, but I think that staff and torch in particular included comments about the weapons being ineffective because condition damage is ineffective. I have to respectfully disagree!!! 🙂

Hey there, thanks for your comment.

I’ll start looking at the current descriptions, as you are right that conditions are in a better place now. Nonetheless, because conditions take time to build up, and the staff weapon for example is rather slow at doing so, they’re still not optimal in dungeons. Fights in these dungeons take very little time, and thus the focus is still on quick damage and group support.

Either way, conditions are likely great for solo content, and I’ll try to add this to the descriptions in some time.

Looks like you missed a bit when updating it for the June 23rd changes. Describing Manta of Recovery:
“The offensive component of this heal is the same as every other mantra,
through the empowering mantras trait it will give you +4% direct damage
while you have unused charges, making it great for raw damage.”

Now you get the extra damage with the Harmonious Mantras trait when you spam the skill?

Edited, yes you gain extra damage when you activate the mantra charges, possibly spamming it. Im sorry if some parts have not had proper revision, the guide is very long as you know and I may read over some details.

Please tell me if you find anything else which is out of the ordinary.

Unless phase retreat has changed recently then I think you’ve undervalued it. Especially for solo’ing.

It produces the only clone which causes decent damage – because it’s condition rather than direct. Plus the conditions it applies to mobs – random with winds of chaos – boost the phantasmal warlock’s damage.

So if you start a fight with scepter and pistol, drop a phantasmal duelist, switch to staff, phantasmal warlock and phase retreat – you very quickly have 3 damage illusions up. Or other way round if you like.

Trait and gear for condition damage – which is viable now – and it’s a nice ability.

This guide is here to explain optimal GROUP usage of the mesmer, and while the staff is quite viable, it’s definitely not optimal.
The highest condition damage attainable by a mesmer is when using a staff with 3 normal clones. This means all phantasm traits don’t apply to it.
Scepter and pistol have a really low amount of damage, and I did try out duelists with bleeding, but it simply doesn’t hit the same amount of output.
The warlock hits a lot, but it scales with power, and as such the staff cripples itself in terms of stat choices.
Im not saying the staff isnt VIABLE, Im saying it’s not OPTIMAL, and I am therefore not including any builds for it in the guide.
The only place where staff would currently match power builds is high level fractals, and in these situations you want to be supporting your allies through the use of your shieldwells anyways.
Many players currently run power, and until there is a real reason to swap to condition damage, I won’t advertise buying an entirely new Viper’s set in this guide.

That aside, trait choices for condition play on the mesmer aren’t very difficult to figure out, as the mesmer simply doesn’t have many condition focussed traits.

The article is titled PVE guide, not GROUP guide. You specifically use the term SOLO in it 5 times. So…

Warlock damage doesn’t just scale with power. It gets a 10% damage boost per condition (type) on its target. There’s 2 on winds of chaos. Plus it can buff you with might or fury.

Why would you say mesmer’s highest condition damage comes from a staff with 3 clones?

Phantasmal mage does 252 direct damage + 786 burning every 4.8s (traited). Ignoring the direct damage that’s 163 per second. Winds of chaos (which doesn’t always apply condition damage) at best does 154 burning ever 1.32s, or 116 per second.

So phantasmal mage beats it by 40 plus percent. With the sharper Images trait and high crit chance, a phantasmal duelist can also stack up a lot of bleeding.

And that’s just phantasms. There’s plenty of condition damage available to mesmers and surely if anyone was going to claim a best weapon for it it would be scepter? Confusion and torment, plus you can trait for both again on shatter – which is obviously easier with a scepter.

“Many players currently run power, and until there is a real reason to swap to condition damage, I won’t advertise buying an entirely new Viper’s set in this guide.”

So it sounds like you’re living in GW2’s dark and terrible past when condition damage was often a poor choice in teams and zergs. And you’re just choosing to ignore it entirely.

Fair enough as a personal choice. But you’re doing the game a disservice by publishing a guide which treats much of its combat design as non-existent.

Thank you Nick for echoing exactly the same sentiment that I have discovered and attempted to discuss with this supposed expert.

This is a very detailed guide and all but it seems very one-sided. The guide emphasize on Power builds and neglects Condition Mesmer. I wish to see condition builds in the future.. It a very well written guide nonetheless.

As I commented below, I am aware that the guide currently focusses a lot on power builds. This is simply because there is no real situation in this game at the moment where a condition mesmer tops power mesmer in an instanced GROUP scenario.

I will simply not advertise buying an entirely new Viper’s set until this has a serious advantage in such a situation. Hopefully raids will open up possibilities, and in that case Ill definitely add staff builds to the guide.

Again, Im not saying these builds arent viable, Im saying they’re not optimal, and if I were to simply mention every viable build, people who simply come here to figure out builds would get confused as to what they should pick.

I’m sorry, but I completely disagree. You are placing yourself out there as an expert and there are quite a few condition builds that work. If you are going to -BE- the expert, you shouldn’t dismiss a viable way of playing especially after you include a NON-DAMAGE spec for play ie the stealth/skipping build.

And I respect your opinion on that. Still these builds will cover high level instanced group play, and the current builds have that purpose in mind.

I would advise you to wait until raids come out, as I will likely make a condition build for certain encounters there if the requests are there. I will however need to get proper gear out to test these in practice before I post anything.

I’m very sorry that you are being narrow minded. It has been proven consistently that condition builds can out DPS a power build in a lot of situations. If you wish confirmation of this information, go hit up youtube and take a look at Nemesis’ videos and explanations.

However, your inability to see past the advertised ‘meta’ of only using power builds is understandable. It takes a very big person to admit they are wrong, or to embrace change.

I am very sorry that you are believing people simply because they tell you what you want to hear. And Im also saddened that you think I havent tried any of these builds. That aside, nemesis’ videos don’t mention the mesmer at all as far as I know, and he’s therefore quite irrelevant.

I have tested builds, and staff mesmer does do decent damage in an optimal scenario, but contrary to what you may think, the mesmer is NOT there only for absolute damage.

If you run a staff, you lose your shield for quickness, require the use of 2 signets, which remove your wells, and you’ll simply stop being effective at helping with reflection, alacrity and quickness buffing.

Im not advertising the ‘META’, I look, together with many other mesmers who know what they’re doing, at what works best in the current system, discuss, and post that here.

If you disagree, I would very much prefer it if you come with positive evidence towards why Im wrong, instead of simply quoting videos.

Also on torch, right now the bounce goes foe-ally-ally, and therefore doesn’t apply enough burning :/ it would defintiely make condi damage easier if this phantasm was more effective.

Excuse me. I am NOT believing Nemesis because he’s telling me what I want to hear. I have done my own homework and come to my own conclusions regarding this debate. While Nemesis may not specifically mention mesmer, he has done his own homework with regards to the difference between power builds and condition builds.

You own statements above continue to show your ignorance. You speak of only two weapons, one main hand and the other an off-hand. This shows your lack of understanding of the other weapons -AND- the additional options available through the trait lines.

Yes, the mesmer class itself is built around utility and -HELPING- to provide additional resources to increase the damage done by the party. However, with the addition of the chronomancer elite their own personal damage has increased significantly.

You mentioned discussing your guide with other mesmers. Is this merely an internal dialogue with your guildies? If so, of course they are going to agree with you.

As for positive evidence, it already exists. Your inability to be objective has made you throw out a red herring argument, and attempted to place the onus of evidence upon my shoulders to divert from the topic at hand: adding condition builds to your guide.

Seriously… besides your ego, what would it hurt to include them? Of course, I know you would comment and claim the condition build is non-optimal.

I’ll let you have the last word. After this comment, I am done with individuals like you.

I have said what I felt was necessary. I’m glad we can finally agree on something, being that this discussion is pointless.

I agree. As I said below I think it does the game a disservice. For most of the game’s history it did strongly favour power builds in teams and zergs. But that’s been fixed.

Your guide is awesome. I just read it top-bottom and you clearly say it is for power oriented builds, so I think if anyone wants info on other gameplay styles, it can be found elsewhere.

Also thanks for showing the tricks with chronomancer and stealth stacking. I’ve been having lots of fun with the profession even though I don’t main one. All the article was very helpful.


Hi Sanderinoa, I run with a Guardian and Elementalist and they prefer me to run with Well of Action/Recall and Mimic, I am running Full Berserker with Scholars and Sword/Sword + Pistol Offhand.

Running the Chrono-Fraidomancer build


What do you think of Mesmer moving away from Reflects and allowing other classes to bring Reflections, of course when pugging if my team needs reflects dropping Illusions for Inspirations and pistol for Focus offhand.

With Chronomancer is it worth to go full Assassin just for those situations where Reflects are needed and what do you think of Air Sigil over 10% Night or 10% Slaying as a budget Sigil if you don’t have the resources to keep multiple weapon with different sigils.


Hey [your name],

Sounds amazing, small parties always make things a bit more challenging, and alters the group roles. It’s all going to depend on how much reflection is necessary, but I do believe that mesmers will continue to have to provide reflection, often just not through wardens anymore.

This is because mesmer finally has enough benefits to overshadow guardians, making their reflection capabilities dissapear. If you are still running with a guardian, I think it may indeed be a good idea to have him focus on reflections, while you speed up his cooldowns.

Assassins is always great for reflection, but if you’re running with a ranger and warriors, make sure you don’t pass too high over the 100% crit chance barrier. This will make your stats go to waste. Personally I rarely use danger time, and have a berserker set+ assassins weapons/trinkets.
Its funny that you’d bring up sigil of air, as it’s something I have forgotten to put in the guide. Sigil of air got nerfed a bit before, and therefore doesn’t compete with the +10% damage sigils at this point in time. Neither sigils apply to phantasms, and therefore sigils are difficult to decide on.
Personally I recommend the accuracy sigil for daytime, it’s much more ‘budget’ than air, and allows you to run berserker more than assassin’s, which is great in preparation for raids.

I hope that helps 🙂 If there’s anything unclear, please tell me so.

Thanks for the reply, will make the necessary adjustments.

Switching Air Sigils for Accuracy and Berserker Weapons/Trinkets for Assassin wherever I can.

What do you recommend for food, I am using Plate of Steak and Asparagus
+80 power + 60 Precision

Hi Sanderinoa,

How about camping shield and having 3 iAvengers up for 100% alacrity, allowing you to focus only on quickness uptime (Tides of Time, Mimic’ed Well of Action, and of course Time Warp) ? In addition to that, I use Chronomancer Runes and Illusionary Inspiration for boon sharing and a little bit of regeneration. Also, it allows me to have a utility slot disposable for blink/feedback/whatever without reducing team alacrity (since I don’t use Well of Recall).

My damage is pretty much inexistent in this setup, but the support feels great. I’m not sure however the party DPS boost it provides makes up for the personal DPS loss ; how is your chrono-fraidomancer doing in (long) boss fights with pug teams who may not always stand in the wells ?

Hey Ta’aun We,

Nice that you’re enjoying yourself with a more support-ish build. I think I suggested somewhere that chronomancer runes work quite nicely with illusionary inspiration, and it’s definitely a good call of you to use said synergy. I personally enjoy using my phantasms more and going for well of recall, but Im sure 3 avengers do a ton of alacrity sharing too.

A problem I am seeing, is the small range of the avenger’s attacks, and the bug they have with phantasmal haste. At this point in time, PH doesn’t work for avengers, and their alacrity blast radius is about half of what wells bring. If you’re running this in raids, it may actually be really good as a tank, seeing as how you’ll be less dependent on immobile wells, but more useful with moving alacrity avengers.

The fraidomancer build is performing as expected, the build is made for sustained damage, and as long the boss isnt moved out of wells too much, everything comes right into place. Im also using well of precognition a lot more than I expected.

Pugs are difficult, but often think stacking is the way to go, so I see no huge problem with wells in their case. If they don’t listen, tell them to stand in the wells, and if they still don’t, ignore them and get cooler pugs.

Thanks for your answer.

I hadn’t noticed the PH bug on avenger, thank you for pointing that out. Man, does history repeat itself.

I think I will give a more serious try at your fraidomancer. I think it is easier to ask pugs to “stand in the nice big clocks” than to “stay close to the little shield guys”. Plus, they look way cooler.

Little typing error :

The scepter applies two conditions: torment from the AA & illusionary counter(5 stacks(!)), and confusion(6 stacks) from the confusing images skill. The high amount of torment application makes it so that a moving “taret” is preferred when using a scepter.

You can delete that comment afterwards 🙂

Thanks for the condi info for those of us who are odballs! Just a question about why Vipers vs. Sinister in that regard?

Thanks for all your hard work in the community.


Condition duration almost always tops damage while under 100%, due to the bad scaling of condition damage(6 damage extra in bleed for 100 condition damage vs 15 expertise for 1 more second).

As a condition mesmer you have condition damage from several sources, making it best to boost these all as close to 100% duration as possible. This makes you want general duration over simply using sinister and condition specific runes, like e.g. burning elementalists can afford.

Im aware that vipers can be a pain to get, but the difference is there, and we’re all stuck with it.
May your wallet be overflowing,


It would make sense to a certain degree, indeed. I used to have a vipers trident but I think you’re better off keeping it berserker and depending on your spear phantasms to do the work. Vipers can be a ton of work to get, so zerker is cost/time efficiënt as well.

Amazing guide. Thanks for the update! However, it may be good to go into boon duration a bit more in terms of how much is needed.

I.e. to cap boon duration, you ideally need 94% (1s quickness rounds up to 2s at this point) and if you will consistently be with a herald, such as in a raid, you only need to aim for 44%, since you can get 50% from Facet of Nature.

Good point, Ill look into it and add a small paragraph dedicated to the role of the mesmer in raids, which ofcourse will mainly focus on quickness.

Happy new year!

Correcting my mistake: 94% isn’t actually the cap since the rounding apparently only applies to the tooltip, so 100% is the cap, but there’s next to not difference once you get over 94%.

Thanks again for the guide. This is a great source of knowledge!

Thank you very much for the time and effort you’ve put into this guide! It is very thorough, and unlike most, which simply tell you what to do, this actually explains the why behind it, and helps players understand how to actually use the builds and skills involved. Incredibly helpful and comprehensive.

Yes, I am also a great fan of yours and thank you very, very much for all your excellent advice and hard work you clearly put in to this guide. It’s an honor and most
definitely a pleasure to be schooled by you. S

Question: do the DPS calculations on the pistol phantasm take into account the bleed stacks which may be assumed in a raid situation (with capped or near-capped crit)? Obviously, the direct DPS is notably lower than the sword phantasm, but I wonder if the condition damage is enough to narrow the gap.

Hey there,

For bleeding to become relevant I presume you work with sharper images, and thus the dueling traitline. While this line isnt all that common in raids nowadays, it Will most certainly narrow the gap between swordsmen and duelists. It’s still there, but its smaller, sadly bleeding is a rather ineffective condition. I wouldnt make the distinction between pistol and sword based on the pure dps in raids anyways, the difference is but a fraction of a fraction of the squad dps. Make the distinction based on magic bullet vs illusionary riposte, rather, or personal preference is fine too.

Hope that helps

That is very helpful. Magic Bullet is mostly useless (unless you’re in a really CC-starved group), but Illusionary Riposte is similarly unhelpful unless you’re tanking. What it honestly might come down to for me is a) the fact that the sword phantasm is on 5, just like focus, and b) it is far far cheaper to craft a second ascended sword than level huntsman just to craft a pistol. 🙂

I like the Mesmer, but it scares me. For the Chrono builds what weapon am I using and what’s the best until you get to that point?

For Chrono builds you want to mainly be using a sword and a shield, as it allows for good survival and quickness/alacrity uptime.

Before you reach chrono, I would advise getting familliar with the sword as mainhand and focus offhand(reflection), but try out the other options for offhand weapons if you have the time.
Being able to adapt to situations is a very valuable skill, and you’ll need to know what each weapon can accomplish to be able to.

Wow 🙂 Thank you so much you are the first person who answered my questions intelligently and helped me to understand what I need to do. I really appreciate the fast response.

Hey sanderinoa,

I got a question about those quickness “portions”. Time Warp is 10 x 1s “portions” as I understood. Assuming that overall duration is sum of all “portions” this means that 2nd postion will start to “work” aftr 1st one vanish? (leaving spot “1” free to apply next quickness stack?)

Just i would like to say a big.. big thank you to You ^^!

I love my New chronomancer, because i read your guide many times.
My main char is guardian sience 2 years, but i read this guide And i make fast a mesmer, i think now the play with the chronomancer is.. Fun:-).
i have a question, if i dont bothering you with my comment^^.
where can i have match more fight experience with my chronomesmer? I have a lot of fun, sience i play with my cm, but i Wanna be a useful player too :-).
I dont Wanna be the worst player in my frends party, or in pug:-).
Thank you again, And the best for you ^^!

Dear Gábor,

Im glad you appreciate the guide. To get better at dungeons in general, you may want to try things out without a team. I personally found solo play to be one of the best ways of practicing your team play, to help you learn to stay alive more easily, giving you more control over team based rotations. This can be done well in fractals for example, where a lot of different situations occur, and you can simply set the difficulty for. That aside I would simply recommend joining a friendly guild which has some people around with experience. Playing with good players makes you strive to their level and improves your own gameplay.

Hope this helps,


Thank you Sanderinoa, your advice is wise i think, And very useful.
You are very Kind^^.
My Pleasure to meet you.


Thank you for this guide. The explanations are very useful for improving play, and your writing style and funny comments made it much more fun to read than I was expecting.

Oh my goodness, this is golden. I am in awe over the time you all people spent on making this. This is wonderful and glorious. I started up my new mesmer recently (previously I had norn, but norn ladies are a bit difficult to handle for me), leveled up quickly in Mad King’s Labirynth and that made me a much better mesmer than previously dungeons and fractals… Which may say a lot about my skills in those dungeons and fractals… Now I found the class very fun to play especially the condi variant, but I am strangely reluctant and repulsed by chronomancer. It just doesn’t work well for me, I do not understand it, and I do not really like it. I was wondering what to pick, what to use? And I found this wonderful guide, gods bless you.

I think my biggest trouble with Mesmer is that I’m absolutely spoiled by the Thief’s mobility. If we don’t count utilities and ONLY the shortbow and Daredevil dodge, the mobility is already insane. I’m desperately seeking a way to feel fast on Mesmer. I guess my only options are the Centaur runes with blink. :/

Heya, I will be updating the guide the coming days. Im afraid I have no control over the other guides, however, so it will just be the mesmer guide.
Please check again in a couple of days and you should see it updated!

Other significant Mesmer’s aptitude types incorporate Mantras – capacities that must be set up ahead of time. They have a generally long throwing time, yet they give you charges that can be utilized later. Glamours are put on the ground that can effectsly affect your partners and debilitate the adversaries. They’re like Necromancer’s imprints. Controls are utility aptitudes centered around confusion, versatility and maintaining a strategic distance from assaults. The Mirage world class spec likewise brings trap and trickery capacities that are related with evading.
Your guide is good, but good gw2 mesmer guide needs pvp part that is missing here.

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