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Note: this article is intended to provide guidance for experienced characters playing a new elementalist or experienced elementalists looking for additional options. If this is your first time playing Guild Wars, please see Getting started in Guild Wars Prophecies.
An Elementalist's Place
As an elementalist, you are the artillery, causing massive damage from the rear lines. You are not a tank. Elementalists have low armor, few healing or survival skills, and, except for certain situations, should not be in the front lines. Elementalists have the most expensive skills, the largest energy pool and energy management.
Specialty Skills and Unique Conditions
Elementalists have one type of skill unique to the elementalist profession:
- Glyphs are quick casting skills that modify the subsequent spells used by the caster. Glyphs last for 15 seconds from when they were cast. Glyphs cannot be removed or stripped and have no target. All glyphs have a 1 second casting time and can be interrupted.
Apart from energy, Elementalists have another spell cost: Exhaustion. When an elementalist casts a spell that causes exhaustion, the top 10 points of the elementalist's energy pool are "grayed out", and cannot be used. Exhaustion expires at the rate of 1 point every three seconds. Exhaustion stacks, so a second exhaustion spell causes an additional 10 points to be deducted from the caster's energy pool.
Being an Elementalist
Elementalists are master spellcasters, calling fire from the heavens, freezing foes in their tracks, blasting enemies with lightning, and crushing them with stone. Stay to the rear of the party and communicate with monks and necromancers for health and energy management. It is usually best to wait for foes to settle on a target, preferably the warriors, before beginning your siege.
Target enemy monks and ritualists, as these characters have low armor but are very effective at extending the life of the opposing party. Move on to other casters and warriors. It is best to leave rangers for last unless you have armor ignoring spells, as rangers have higher armor against your attacks.
Elementalists in PvP tend to be hybrid support characters and are often flag runners in Guild versus Guild battles. Energy Storage complements expensive healing spells such as Heal Party and Extinguish.
Choose an Element
Elementalists are most effective if they concentrate on a single element and maximize the effect of that element. Additionally, each element has an attunement spell that refunds some of the cost of that element's spells. These attunement spells should be kept active constantly. See Runes and Armor for suggestions on creating an elementally flexible character.
The Fire element contains some of the most powerful Area of Effect spells. Fire elementalists must be careful when casting these spells to avoid scattering foes. Fire Spells are usually expensive, slow casting, and have long recharge times, but have large areas of effect and widespread damage.
- Interesting Fire Skills:
- Fireball is a decent spell that deals AoE damage.
- Meteor Shower, Fire Storm, Rodgort's Invocation, Incendiary Bonds and Searing Flames are powerful directed area of effect spells.
- Phoenix, Lava Font, Inferno, Flame Djinn's Haste and Flame Burst are excellent point blank area of effect spells.
- For Prophecies characters, the elite skill Mind Burn is the only elite skill for the Fire Magic attribute.
- The skill Mark of Rodgort is very useful for setting multiple enemies on fire. Consider using it in conjunction with area fire skills such as Fireball or simply using a flame wand.
Most air magic spells cause Lightning damage, and many have 25% armor penetration. Air magic spells are most effective as spike skills against warriors or rangers with high armor. Air spells are usually inexpensive, fast casting and fast recharging, but have very focused damage, with a tendency to target single foes. Air skills are also capable of causing Blind, Cracked Armor, Dazed and Weakness.
- Interesting Air Skills:
- Shell Shock can be used to apply Cracked Armor increasing the damage of all following spells.
- Lightning Strike, Enervating Charge, and Lightning Orb can be combined into an effective spike.
- Gale and Shock can be used to knock down targets.
- Arc Lightning, Chain Lightning, and Invoke Lightning are the only multitarget spells available to Air elementalists.
- Blinding Flash and Blinding Surge cause blindness and can be used to suppress warriors, dervishes, assassins, paragons or rangers.
Water magic is the bastion of hexes and snaring. Most water magic spells cause cold damage, and many cause the target to be slowed for several seconds. Water spells are usually moderate in cost, fast casting with long recharge times and low damage, but have many other advantageous effects.
- Interesting Water Skills:
- Armor of Mist and Armor of Frost grant additional armor.
- Mist Form can make you impervious to the efforts of rangers, warriors, dervishes and assassins.
- Blurred Vision can help defend against attacks.
- Maelstrom and Rust can be used to shutdown casters and inhibit signets, respectively.
- Deep Freeze is an area of effect snare with high-damage output but high energy cost.
Earth magic has several powerful protective spells and more than a few spike and area of effect spells. Earth is more balanced than the other elements, providing both powerful offensive and powerful defensive skills. Earth spells are usually expensive, slow casting, medium damage and have long recharge times, but have large areas of effect and many protective and defensive effects. Earth skills can also cause conditions that focus on weakening the enemy as well as the largest number of knockdown skills of any element.
- Interesting Earth Skills:
- Earthquake and Aftershock are a powerful area of effect combination, knocking down and causing damage to the area.
- Kinetic Armor, Armor of Earth, and Obsidian Flesh grant additional armor bonuses, and Stoneflesh Aura provides high damage absorption.
- Wards provide defensive bonuses for all allies in the area of effect.
- Eruption and Ward of Weakness can cause Blind and Weakness to hamper enemies in an area.
- Dragon's Stomp and Earthquake cause knockdown unconditionally, but they are expensive spells and cause exhaustion.
- Churning Earth, Stoning, and Unsteady Ground can cause knockdown if their conditions are met and are much cheaper to cast.
- Ash Blast combines well with knockdown skills to Blind enemies.
For each rank of Energy Storage, your maximum energy increases by 3, making energy storage important for all elementalists. Energy Storage contains powerful energy management skills and the only self healing skills available to elementalists.
- Interesting Energy Storage Skills:
- Aura of Restoration is an excellent cover enchantment, as well as providing small amounts of healing with every spell.
- Glyph of Restoration can be used as a good spike heal with the next two spells you cast.
- Ether Prodigy can be used to cast several high-energy spells right after each other.
- Elemental Attunement refunds 50% of the cost of elementalist spells from any of the elemental attributes (air, water, fire, earth).
Glyphs are a type of skill unique to elementalists. They may be tied to an attribute or as a standalone skill. Glyphs work by modifying the next spell the caster uses. All glyphs cost only 5 energy to use and have a variety of effects.
- Some glyphs include:
Because of the high cost of elementalist skills, it is very important to have the maximum skill level in your chosen attribute. For a flexible elementalist, purchase 4 separate Auras or Third Eyes:
- A Fire headpiece infused with a Minor Rune of Fire Magic
- A Water headpiece infused with a Minor Rune of Water Magic
- An Air headpiece infused with a Minor Rune of Air Magic
- An Earth headpiece infused with a Minor Rune of Earth Magic
Then choose the armor set you prefer, then apply the following runes to the body armor
- a Minor rune of Energy Storage.
- a Major or Superior rune of Vigor
be careful to balance the health costs of Major and Superior runes against survivability in combat. For some additional health consider fitting runes of vitae into your armor.
Choosing a secondary
For ideas on choosing a secondary profession, see Secondary professions for an Elementalist.
- Glyph of Energy and Glyph of Lesser Energy: these glyphs are great energy management skills, and can reduce or eliminate the cost of more expensive "nuke" or "spike" spells.
- Elemental Attunement and Air, Earth, Fire or Water Attunement: when combined, two attunement spells can return 80% of the cost of completed elemental spells. An expensive spell like Rodgort's Invocation under both Fire and Elemental Attunement has a net cost of just 5 energy, which would be regained during the casting time.
|Effective profession guides|
| Warrior • Ranger • Monk • Necromancer • Mesmer • Elementalist|