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GW2 Path of Fire Elite Specialization Changes

Arenanet is making some changes to the Path of Fire Elite specialization since the beta weekends.



Hiya scoundrels!
With the launch of Path of Fire coming up quick, here are the changes (excluding core/daredevil updates) you’ll be seeing for the upcoming Deadeye specialization.

  • Death’s Retreat: Fixed a bug that prevented this trait from working with Assassin’s Reward and Lead Attacks
  • Rifle: Fixed an issue where rifle skills could not be reflected properly
  • Spotter Shot: Changed this animation from a hip shot to an aimed shot animation.
  • Deadeye’s Mark: Fixed a bad interaction with Hidden Thief that allowed mark to be canceled in order to grant stealth.
  • Three-Round-Burst (Kneeling): Reduced damage by about 16%

For the most part, it’s just bug fixes. We did feel that there was a more negative push with Three-Round-Burst in that pressing Death’s Judgement was a bad decision, so we ended up slightly lowering TRB’s damage. We’ll continue to keep an eye on this elite specialization, making changes and balance adjustments as necessary.

The Crystal Desert awaits. We’ll see you there soon!


Hail Guardians,

With Path of Fire on the horizon, we anticipate many axes being sharpened and magical tomes being read. Since the Elite Specialization Preview weekend and various stress tests we’ve been listening and reviewing your feedback. We wanted to give you a list of changes, specific to the upcoming Firebrand specialization, that have been made since those game versions.

  • Tome activation skills reduced from 0.75s activations to 0.5s. Added a 0.5s delay before you can use ‘stow tome’ upon entry into a tome.
  • Tome of Courage: Reduced the cooldown from 90 to 50s.
  • Tome of Justice: Fixed a tooltip display issue. This was inflicting 2 seconds of burning, but was only displaying 1s.
  • Unflinching Charge: This ability now grants 4s aegis in addition to its previous effects.
  • Unbroken Lines: This ability now grants 4s of aegis in addition to its previous effects.
  • Tome of Resolve: Reduced the cooldown from 45s to 40s. Healing scaling of ALL its skills increased significantly.
  • Radiant Recovery: Increased number of conditions cleansed from 2 to 3.
  • Eternal Oasis: Increased the number of conditions converted from 3 to 5.
  • Mantra of Solace: Increased healing scaling for base activation and final charge skills. This skill now applies its effects in a 120 radius around you in addition to a 300 range cone ahead of you. This ability can now be cast while in the air.
  • Mantra of Flame: This skill now applies its effects in a 120 radius around you in addition to a 300 range cone ahead of you. This ability can now be cast while in the air.
  • Mantra of Truth: This skill now applies its effects in a 120 radius around you in addition to a 300 range cone ahead of you. This ability can now be cast while in the air.
  • Mantra of Lore: This skill now applies its effects in a 120 radius around you in addition to a 300 range cone ahead of you. This ability can now be cast while in the air.
  • Mantra of Potence: This skill now applies its effects in a 120 radius around you in addition to a 300 range cone ahead of you. This ability can now be cast while in the air.
  • Mantra of Liberation: This skill now applies its effects in a 120 radius around you in addition to a 300 range cone ahead of you. This ability can now be cast while in the air.
  • Symbol of Vengeance: Reduced cast time by 0.25s.
  • Burning Edge: Increased radius slightly, from 25 to 30 degrees (mirrored).
  • Legendary Lore: Tome of Courage effect is now 4s protection in place of 5s of aegis.

As you can see, most of the Firebrand changes are aimed at gameplay flow issues that were raised after the demo and stress tests: In particular the cast times for tomes felt a touch sluggish, the impact from Rome of Resolve’s ability to heal in a pinch was on the low side, and mantras that affect allies being cone-based when used by a melee-centric specialization were among the points we wanted to address.

See you in the Crystal Desert!


Hey everyone. With Path of Fire only a few days away we wanted to give you a quick summary of the changes to Holosmith that we’ve made since the demo.

  • Photon Forge: Fixed an issue where Photon Forge skills did more damage in PvP than intended. PvP damage values reduced by about 20% as a result.
  • Sword Auto Attack: Retimed attacks in this sequence to flow better.
  • Radiant Arc: Reduced aftercast of this ability by around 1/4 second to better allow for Quickness usage.
  • Hard Light Arena: Now shares boons with allies in the arena at half duration.
  • Crystal Configuration Storm: Fixed a bug which allowed projectiles to be fired behind you. Lowered damage by 10% when compared to normal photon forge auto attacks. Changed projectile behavior to fire in straight lines rather than hovering relative to ground height.
  • Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit: Reduced might duration from 8 seconds to 6 seconds.
  • Photonic Blasting Module: This trait now shows a red ring for enemies (and a white ring for the caster) prior to detonation so you can see the affected area. Reduced damage by 20%. Fixed an issue with the damage fact not showing the correct values. Increased burn stacks from 1 to 2.

It’s fairly safe to say that Holosmith was doing a little too much damage during the demo weekend. A large portion of this imbalance came from a particular nuance of the PvP environment which scaled up the damage on Photon Forge. This has been corrected and forge damage will be consistent between game modes on release. A few other traits that we felt were overperforming have had their damage reduced as well. The rest of the changes were all aimed at improving flow between skills and addressing some missing functionality in a few areas.


Hi everyone, we’ve made a bunch of changes to the Mirage specialization since the demo weekend and we wanted to give you a list of all the changes prior to Path of Fire’s release.

Profession Mechanic

  • Mirage Cloak: Increased duration to 1 second.
  • Ambush: Increased window for ambush skill use after gaining mirage cloak to 1.5 seconds. Ambush skills now attempt to interrupt your current action rather than queuing. (Note that certain types of skills, such as healing skills, cannot be interrupted in this way.)


  • Ether Barrage: Removed shadowstep. Lowered damage per strike by 35%. You can now move while activating this skill.
  • Split Surge: Increased beam width. Now fires all 3 beams at the same time. Increased clone damage values by 150%.
  • Mirage Thrust: Capped clone generation range to skill range. Clone versions of this skill now proc interrupt traits and Dazzling.
  • Imaginary Axes: Increased damage by 33%.


  • Axe Auto Attack: Increased damage by 10%.
  • Lingering Thoughts: Increased radius at which a clone will be summoned from 300 to 480.
  • Axes of Symmetry: Increased damage by 16%. Fixed an issue where the player would spawn further away from the target than the clones.


  • False Oasis: Reduced recharge from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.
  • Mirage Mirrors: Duration increased from 5 seconds to 8 seconds. Added duration skill fact. Increased damage when shattered by 100%.
  • Crystal Sands: Increased projectile width. Adjusted projectiles to be more reliable on uneven terrain.
  • Mirage Advance: Removed line of sight requirement.
  • Mirage Retreat: Removed endurance gain. This skill now leaves behind a clone at your previous location. This skill now breaks enemy targeting.
  • Illusionary Ambush: Reduced recharge from 30 seconds to 20 seconds.
  • Sand Through Glass: Reduced recharge from 30 seconds to 25 seconds.
  • Jaunt: Increased range from 400 to 450.


  • Renewing Oasis: Fixed a bug that caused this trait to give 3 seconds of regeneration instead of 4.
  • Speed of Sand: Increased superspeed duration to 1 second.
  • Self-Deception: Now creates a clone if you have at least 1 illusion.
  • Shards of Glass: This trait has been removed and replaced with Distorted Desert.
  • Distorted Desert: This trait causes all illusions shattered by Distortion to become Mirage Mirrors for 15 seconds. Additionally it allows allows ambush skills to be used whenever you grant yourself Distortion.

Most of the changes are aimed at improving the feel of Mirage Cloak and its associated ambush skills though we’ve also made many small tuning changes to various utility and weapon skills.

EDIT: Missed a trait change.


Welcome legendary Revenants,

The mists will soon be opening a path to the shifting sands of the Crystal Desert. There you may learn the invoke the fiery wrath of Kalla Scorchrazor and the Razor warband she led. Since you first had the chance to invoke her power as your own during the Demo we’ve made a few changes as we’ve listened to feedback and tuned this specialization.

  • Heroic Command: Decreased energy cost from 20 -> 15
  • Citadel Bombardment: Decreased energy cost from 40 -> 35
  • Orders From Above: Decreased energy cost from 30 -> 25
  • Shattershot: Fixed a few bugs that caused this ability to pierce incorrectly when traited.
  • Bloodbane Path: Increased the duration of bleeding inflicted by this ability from 5s to 7s. Reduced energy cost from 5 to 4.
  • Sevenshot: Increased torment duration from 3s to 4s. Reduced energy cost from 10 to 7. Increased CD from 6 to 7.
  • Spiritcrush: Increased burn duration from 1s to 2s. Reduced cost of Spiritcrush from 15 to 12, increased CD from 8 to 9.
  • Scorchrazor: Reduced cost from 20 to 16 and increased CD from 10s to 12s.
  • Breakrazor’s Bastion: Increased heal scaling and base value of for both the initial and heal over time. Increased % reduction of condition damage from 33% to 50%. Removed Stunbreak.
  • Darkrazor’s Daring: Decreased energy cost from 35 -> 30, added stunbreak and initial stability on cast.
  • Razorclaw’s Rage: Added a removal limiter on the unique buff to prevent it from blowing out. Now has a maximum grant of 50 stacks of bleeding over 10 seconds if affecting 5 allies.
  • Icerazor’s Ire: Increase damage from individual missiles.

Overall we sought to ease some of the energy constraints caused by shortbow energy costs with minor tweaks to them, reduced the profession energy costs to encourage their use while channeling other legends, and modified several of the warband summons to better balance their tactical applications. While we’ve made these functionality and numeric changes there has also been a visual overhaul of the Razor warband summons, conjuring images of ambushes and raids that the Charr of old have become famous for.

The time to fight fire with fire approaches!


Greetings Necromancers,

As the sands of the Crystal Desert beckon several things have changed since the previews of the Scourge elite specialization.

  • Manifest Sand Shade: Reduced duration of shade from 25s to 20s. Reduced target cap from 5 to 3.
  • Nefarious Favor: Increased cost from 15% to 21% base vitality in life force.
  • Garish Pillar: Reduced cost from 50% to 40% of base vitality in life force.
  • Desert Shroud: Increased cost from 40% to 50% of base vitality in life force.
  • Harrowing Wave: Now grants 3% life force per enemy struck.
  • Serpent Siphon: Poison from 1 stack for 3s to 2 stacks for 5s.
  • Sand Swell: Increased duration of portal from 6 to 8 seconds. Increased number of allies that can use it from 10 to 20.
  • Trail of Anguish: Now grants stability in addition to swiftness.
  • Desert Empowerment: Reduced base barrier value and healing scaling granted from this trait by 27%.
  • Sand Savant: Reduced the increased number of targets on Manifest Sand Shade from 5 to 2. (So it now increases it to 5)

The cost of some profession abilities has been changed to better pair with their level of impact and some of the punishment skills received minor buffs to their non-corruption abilities.

Of major note Manifest Sand Shade (F1 by default) has had its target cap reduced to 3 per shade and is increased by the trait Sand Savant to 5 while wielding a greater shade. There are several reasons for this change, including:

• Potential 20 target caps in WvW blew things out. Compare this to 5 target caps on the vast majority of abilities with the rare 10 cap abilities.
• Sand Savant smooths out multi-party teams and offers greater control with an effective 10 target cap (at you and your shade).
• There is an effective 12 target cap if you and your three kitten are all active, but it is deliberately not sustainable so you can have a period of increased power at the cost of lessened effectiveness later on.

We expect this change will reward more skilled use of kitten while remaining effective area control in the vastness of Elona and beyond.

Hone your magics and command the sands!


Greetings, Rangers!
Your daggers are sharp ready. Your pets well trained. The Soulbeast awaits you!
Here are the changes that have occurred for the Path of Fire launch, which have not been shown in a Demo or Stress Test. What we’re showing here today are Soulbeast changes only, with Core/Druid changes being left for the more official channels.

  • Dagger auto-attack chain: All condition durations increased from 3s to 4s. Re-tuned each of the dagger skill animations for general smoothness and added a next skill shortcut so that it will move through the skill sequence a touch faster. Notably the 2nd and 3rd steps in the sequence are about 0.3s shorter, with the 4th attack being about 0.25ms longer.
  • Double Arc: Bleed Duration increased from 4s to 5s and increased stacks applied from 4 to 5. Reduced the duration of the poison proc buff from 10s to 6s.
  • Player version of Iboga Crippling Anguish – reduced durations of conditions from 6s to 3s base.
  • Player version of Iboga Narcotic Spores – reduced durations of conditions from 8s to 5s base.
  • Maul: This skill grants a merged ranger 25% increased damage on their next attack.

The goals here have been mainly to improve the damage components of the dagger to feel more fluid, while also giving more counter-play to the condition side of the Soulbeast. With that said, we’ll continue to watch the new elite specialization at and after launch, making changes where applicable.

See you in the desert!


For all those warriors that are following the development of the Spellbreaker, we wanted to give a quick update on some of the changes we’ve made to the specialization since the last demo. For the most part we’ve been pretty happy with how Spellbreaker has been performing so most of these changes are aimed at fixing bugs and QoL fixes.

  • Full Counter: This skill no longer cancels your auto-attack.
  • Eviscerate: Fixed an issue that made this skill undodgeable. (This only occurred with the Spellbreaker version of the skill.)
  • Breaching Strike: Slightly lowered the startup time of this ability.
  • Winds of Disenchantment: Flagged this skill to be exempt from the culling system for better visibility in WvW.
  • Revenge Counter: Resistance is now only granted if a successful counter occurs.
  • Magebane Tether: Added unblockable skill fact.

Additionally, there will also be a few core warrior updates in addition to these changes that will be messaged with the update on the 22nd. Some of these changes are aimed at improving burst usage for Spellbreaker.


Hello Elementalists!

We hope you’re ready and excited for the Path of Fire, with all of the elemental weaving to come. There has been some iteration on the the Weaver since you’ve seen it in Demo and Stress Tests, which you might have interest in! There will be a couple more release notes on launch day for the core profession, but we want to deliver the Weaver information a little early so you can know what changed.

  • Call Lightning: Increased lightning damage by 12.5%. Slightly reduced the aftercast of this ability.
  • Polaric Leap: Increased the leap distance of this ability from 450 to 600. This ability will no longer queue and will interrupt skills, if able, in order to cast.
  • Quantum Strike: The cooldown of this ability has been increased from 15 to 18 seconds. Physical damage has been increased by 10%.
  • Cauterizing Strike: The physical damage of this ability has been increased by 17%.
  • Earthen Vortex: This ability will no longer queue and will interrupt skills if able, in order to cast.
  • Primordial Stance: Fixed a bug that caused this ability to deliver 3 instances of burning instead of 1, when dual attuned to Earth and Fire.
  • Unravel Hexes: Trait has been renamed to Woven Stride. Trait now grants swiftness when inhibiting conditions are inflicted, regeneration when swiftness or superspeed is gained, and increases swiftness effectiveness from 33% to 40%.

Most of these changes have been made with the goal of keeping the Weaver dangerous in combat. We felt that the physical damage ability for sword was a bit low, and that it also could use a little more distance on its primary engagement ability, Polaric Leap. Unravel Hexes was reworked due to its complicated nature and given something along the same vein of movement, with a few more trait synergies to boot.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in-game!

*Edit: Fixed Earthen Vortex

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

35 replies on “GW2 Path of Fire Elite Specialization Changes”

FYI: For SOME silly reason, the word “shades” is censored on the forums. All censored words are replaced with kitten.

Would be pretty funny if Necros could summon Witch-hat-wearing kittens in PoF, but hey. Maybe they’ll do it for Halloween, or April Fool’s Day.

The shorter duration on sand shades is fine, decreasing the targets by 2 (as well as decreasing greater shade target by 5) kills it in PvE. If I’m trying to apply buffs to a raid team now, I’d need to take the time to cast 3 shades every 20 seconds – and id still only be able to hit 9/10 of the party?

Unlike the other classes, scourge loses a heck load without it’s shroud. If this is the direction they balancing, greater shade should allow three shades to be cast instead of reducing it to one – though they should just hurry up with skill splitting between WvW and PvE -.-

Honestly I never had many chances to hit 20 targets in PvE…and if there are it’s generally stuff that dies in half a second. Leaving at most 5-8 sturdy enemies to fight…which are perfectly covered by the new cap.

Also…with mesmer i hit just 5 people in a raid squad, so ? It’s not gonna like you can every use two necros in any raid team anywa…because people would still want at least one PS for the minmaxing of the banners + empowering allies. So it’s really not gonna change much in a raid enviroment.
Plus you just need two shades to buff 9 people. You are a “cast location” too, kinda like shatters. With 3 shades you have an actual target of 12 people.

Yo, perhaps I’m not getting this. Can one have 3 or 4 shades max?

My impression was that you could have 3 shades max, each hitting 3 targets (for a max of 9 targets) and that this would apply to giving out friendly barriers as well as damaging foes?

I think you’re forgetting that the shade skill effects also come from the necro themselves, meaning with normal shades you can hit a maximum of 12 targets, not 9 (although I would assume since they didn’t mention it, the necro still has 5 target limit from the skills, meaning 14 target limit with normal shades and 10 with greater shade)

Support will most likely run big shade. That’s 5 targets on shade and 5 on yourself, easily covering if ever needed 2 groups. Not so bad, is it?

Depend on what format you playing. It may be viable in wvw but sacrificing a grandmaster trait for full coverage may be too big a blow in raiding – when compared to just bringing another druid (which apparently gets a buff from the new harrier stats somehow) .

Will have to see how useful them barriers are.

they didn’t nerf skill damage so I don’t see what people are complaining about Torment still will apply burn which equals a fun time because Anet has yet to nerf burning in the game.

Thats how you know your class has been hit hard by the nerf bat – when they start replacing your undead spirits with summonable kittens.

Necros were nicely rect even pre release. That 20 cap is anyway hardly realistic, but if you nerf class for over 50%, is it still legit excuse for not hitting 1 target with more then 1 shade? And that 3sec torment… With food/etc it is mostly close to 1sec. All boonload will be converted for 2 conditions. Why even bother to add condi, boonstrip would be less insulting at least…

they didn’t really nerf the condi factor or damage factor of scourge if you read, they mainly touched up on the “shroud abilities”.

To begin with condi factor in itself was low, couse of that insane target cap. Now with it lowered by 2/5 per shad. Without starting idea of coverage quality by quantity. Now you nead either waste 2 shads at 1 spot, or get your naked(no shroud) butt on hot pan of melee zerg. And all your effort is for boonstrip, not literal corruption.

So does that Soulbeast Maul change fix the Greatsword Maul from 1hit killing everyone and everything including god himself or make it worse or not effect it cuz it’s a different Maul?

Who didn’t expect this? Expect even more once this goes live. The rest of the ‘beta testing’ starts when the expansion is released.

Necros were nicely rect even pre release. That 20 cap is anyway hardly realistic, but if you nerf class for over 50%, is it still legit excuse for not hitting 1 target with more then 1 shade? And that 3sec torment… With food/etc it is mostly close to 1sec. All boonload will be converted for 2 conditions. Why even bother to add condi, boonstrip would be less insulting at least…

So nothing on the stupid bug of Ranger pet condi damage simply dropping when you absorb your pet cause it uses the pet’s stats instead of yours? Cause it just make a condi soulbeast worse than just running a core condi ranger. You lose so much damage when you absorb your pet. that bug is rdiculouse

Who didn’t expect this? Expect even more once this goes live. The rest of the ‘beta testing’ starts when the expansion is released.

mirage still sucks because its counter productive with the shatter skills as well as u need to waste an evade/ dodge in order to use ambush skill is even more so. if ambush duration was connected with shatters like alacrity on chronomancers then it would be a lot better.

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