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"Energy management" refers to any method used by a character to actively recoup energy faster than normal or, in general, a plan for utilizing energy in an efficient manner. This article is a brief overview of energy management techniques often used in the Player-versus-Environment (PvE) aspect of the game.
In addition to what skills are used, a character's overall build in terms of skill cost, cooldown (i.e. how often a skill can be used), attributes (e.g. Expertise and Soul Reaping), and equipment (e.g. zealous weapon upgrades) are important considerations for energy management.
Energy management attributes
The following attributes provide energy management tools for their professions. With the exception of Inspiration Magic, these are all primary attributes that do not benefit characters that use them in a secondary profession. In addition, some of them provide raw energy gain when certain conditions are met. Click on each for more information:
- Energy Storage: Provides +3 energy for each rank in the attribute.
- Expertise: Reduces the cost of attacks, Rituals, touch skills, and Rangers skills.
- Critical Strikes: Increases the chance of landing a critical hit and provides energy whenever the character makes a critical hit.
- Divine Favor: Heals a friendly target of a spell for a certain amount with every cast, thus giving you more for your money, so to speak.
- Inspiration Magic: Provides many utility skills that also provide energy gain.
- Leadership: Provides energy for each ally affected by the character's shouts or chants.
- Mysticism: Provides energy and health whenever an enchantment ends on the character.
- Soul Reaping: Provides energy whenever a creature dies.
Energy management criteria
There are two basic criteria to gauge the usefulness of energy management skills, the net gain of energy over a period of time for the use of a particular skill and the amount of points invested in a skill's attribute. The total benefit from using a skill includes the cost subtracted from the energy gained with relation to how often a skill can be used.
Each attribute point invested for a skill should consider the opportunity cost of spent points, which could lead to diverse attributes with increased or reduced effectiveness of skills based on whether or not a skill is linked to that attribute.
Considerations When Choosing Skills
While some energy management skills simply provide more total energy, one should consider other important factors such as the following:
- Difficulty and Opportunity - A skill such as Energy Drain is easy to use and has a wide window of opportunity, requiring nothing more than an enemy target. The elite skill Mantra of Recall has a near-infinite window of opportunity, but a smaller payoff. A skill such as Power Drain will net you significantly more energy, but has a smaller window of opportunity as it requires a spell to be interrupted.
- Health Costs - Skills like Offering of Blood sacrifice health in addition to the energy cost. It's generally not a good idea to choose Offering of Blood for energy management if you're an easy target, such as a monk, since you don't want to be sacrificing health while under pressure.
- Reliability and Vulnerability - Long-duration skills like Elemental Attunement are susceptible to enchantment removal. On the other hand, short-duration skills that need to be spammed in order to be useful, such as Boon Signet, are vulnerable to disabling skills like Diversion. Know that every skill has a weakness, so select one that you'll be able to cope with.
It is also very important to consider the overall balance of your skill setup. There are two categories of skills that use no energy:
- Signets - most professions boast some signets. The value of these is that they can be used at leisure; however, they have drawbacks: usually (but you have to examine the exact skill closely to be sure), they have long activation times, take a long time to recharge, or have reduced effects compared with similar energy based skills.
- Adrenaline based skills - these are only available to warriors or paragons (primary or secondary). These skills are often quite good, but it takes time to build up adrenaline; thus these skills are not always available when you want them.
Warrior energy management skills are generally only useful for melee characters.
Bonetti's Defense provides energy whenever a melee attack is blocked, which is useful for any melee build with Energy-based skills.
Flourish is really only useful to primary Warriors because it is linked to the primary Warrior attribute Strength. Flourish provides a single, large energy boost while also recharging all attack skills.
Much like Flourish, Warriors Endurance is linked to Strength. However, unlike Flourish, it provides constant energy to fuel a steady stream of Energy-based attacks.
Most Ranger energy management skills are linked to Expertise, making them only useful for primary Rangers.
While under the effects of Marksman's Wager, a character will gain an amount of energy when their arrows hit but will also lose 10 energy when their arrows miss.
While under the effects of Expert Focus, a character's bow attacks cost less energy (applied before the Expertise reduction) and get a slight damage bonus.
This spirit reduces the energy cost of skills by 15, with a minimum cost of 10 energy for skills that cost 10 energy or above. The downside is that all skills recharge 25% slower, although this can be negated through the use of Quickening Zephyr.
This elite bow attack returns energy upon a successful hit while under the effects of a Preparation, and in combination with Expertise's cost reduction, is a good source of energy for primary rangers.
This bow attack works similarly to Prepared Shot, but requires that the foe be suffering from Cracked Armor. This usually requires coordination with teammates, as rangers don't have a skill that inflicts Cracked Armor.
This elite stance provides a pip of energy regen and 4 pips of health regen for each condition and hex the user is suffering from. As it is linked to Wilderness Survival, secondary rangers can use it effectively.
While under the effects of Scavenger's Focus, a character will gain an amount of energy whenever attacking foes with a condition. Note that this is not a preparation, but a skill with no activation time, meaning it cannot be removed. It also works with any weapon and not just bows.
While in this stance the user receives energy whenever they are hit by elemental damage, as well as increased run speed. It combines well with damage conversion skills like Greater Conflagration and Stone Striker. It is in wilderness survival, and thus also can be used effectively by secondary rangers.
Air of Enchantment is extremely efficient for spamming enchantments on a particular ally. 5-energy enchantments such as Reversal of Fortune and Guardian can be cast indefinitely, as the single point of energy lost will be regained during the cast time. Having at least 12 points into Protection Prayers (or 9 with a weapon of Enchanting) will provide a window of opportunity to recast this on that ally at the reduced 1 point cost. Larger-cost enchantments may be easily worked into the cycle as well. The drawbacks are that this may not target the caster, the spells must be enchantments for the reduction to apply, it is only possible to maintain this on one ally at a time, and that, as an enchantment, it may be removed (although the spammed enchantments often cover it from single-enchantment removal). While not recommended for a monk trying to keep an entire party alive, it can be a great asset to keep a single target alive. Due to the enchantment spamming, Zealot's Fire is often used as a cheap source of damage to foes around the target ally.
Blessed Signet is used by monks, such as bonders, that maintain many enchantments. Combined with Balthazar's Spirit on a bonder and/or Mantra of Inscriptions, Blessed Signet can turn maintained enchantments into a source of energy. Blessed Signet's main weakness is that it needs to be used fairly often and that it has a slow activation, making it a prime target for interruption.
Signet of Devotion is a no-cost heal, that is particularly efficient against energy denial and opponents without the ability to interrupt. Due to the long casting time, it is often coupled with spells like Guardian, Shield of Deflection, Distortion, and Bonetti's Defense.
Signet of Rejuvenation is another no-cost heal whose benefits are similar to those of Signet of Devotion (above). Although it has a slightly longer recharge time, it's activation time is lower and if the condition is met it will heal for a greater amount than Signet of Devotion.
Divine Spirit, like Air of Enchantment is useful in that it allows a character to spam low cost Monk spells for the entirety of its duration. Divine Spirit's primary drawback is its long recharge time which is why it is often combined with Glyph of Renewal. This skill also has great synergy with Deny Hexes.
Use this signet on an attacking foe for direct energy gain and some holy damage.
While a foe is under the effect of this elite hex, the caster will gain energy whenever the foe's attacks hit. Foes that can hit multiple targets at once, such as with Cyclone Axe or Barrage, will return more energy. The foe must hit for the energy-gain effect to work, so blind and miss hexes do not synergize with Defender's Zeal.
Just like Divine Spirit, Selfless Spirit will reduce the energy costs of Monk spells for its duration.
Blood is Power provides energy for an ally, making it useful for party energy management, but useless for personal energy management. It is much more efficient than Blood Ritual. It is a core skill for Batteries.
Blood Ritual provides energy for an ally, making it useful for party energy management, but useless for personal energy management, is much less efficient than Blood is Power, and is touch ranged.
Consume Corpse can also be a viable energy management skill but this facet is usually overshadowed by its use as corpse control. With no recharge, use is limited only by available corpses, which can be both a boon and a curse for energy management. When primarily used for corpse control, usually only enough points are invested to make the energy gain balance the cost. But, on a character with strong Death Magic, Consume Corpse can provide large amounts of energy.
Offering of Blood, while once the preeminent elite energy management skill for monks, has since been patched to lower its overall effectiveness by increasing its sacrifice. Offering of Blood is now mainly used in energy intensive primary necromancer builds or other builds that can gain use out of the Blood Magic investment. The strengths of OoB lie in its relatively fast recharge (15s), its fast activation (1/4s), and its unconditional energy provision. The downside is the 20% sacrifice, which, besides potentially costing energy to heal, can be hazardous to use (or with low health, impossible to use).
Signet of Lost Souls is a signet with a fast activation time meaning that it's unlikely to be interrupted. Furthermore, it recharges rather quickly. While the skill is powerful, you'll have to invest in the Soul Reaping attribute to make it effective. The second, more limiting disadvantage, is that you have to target an enemy with less than 50% health for it to work. However, this is generally balanced by the surfeit of enemies found in PvE.
Reaper's mark is a hex which nets you some energy when the enemy it is cast on dies. It's main drawback is, of course, that the enemy has to die before you actually get energy back, thus the return is neither sure nor immediate.
This is a Necromancer spell that requires a corpse to use. While standing in its are of effect characters will receive energy X regeneration for Y amount of seconds, along with health regeneration.
The Mesmer energy management skills are relatively versatile and can be used by Mesmer primaries or secondaries without particular regard to the character's role. In addition, because all of the Mesmer energy management skills are linked to Inspiration Magic, characters can take a number of Mesmer energy management skills with investment in only one attribute.
Channeling provides 1 energy per spell cast for each foe in the area. Although Channeling is an enchantment, its low cost and recharge somewhat mitigate the usual drawbacks of enchantment removal.
Energy Drain, changed to a lower recharge in the same patch that changed Offering of Blood, is coming back into use, particularly by monks. The energy stealing nature of Energy Drain is double-sided: you deny the enemy energy, but if that enemy has little or no energy, then the user gains no benefit.
Inspired Hex has a dual role as energy management and hex removal. As straight energy management, Inspired Hex does not provide much net energy gain and simply as hex removal, it has a relatively high recharge. But, as a combination, Inspired Hex can be useful to provide modest energy to a character while also benefiting the team as a whole by removing a hex.
Mantra of Recall, similar to Energy Drain, has gained popularity with the change to Offering of Blood. It has a relatively high net energy gain over time. While it is an enchantment, it doesn't follow the general trend of timely removal spelling disaster, but using a +20% enchantment length upgrade is undesirable. Casters having a second set of weapons is common (whether to combat energy denial or simply to have a different set of upgrades and modifiers), so the enchantment length upgrade problem is manageable. With a relatively high energy cost of 10, an early enchantment removal can break a user's "rhythm," so care must be taken to reserve some energy for Mantra when it recharges in such a case. For monks, Mantra of Recall also has a particularly useful combination with Contemplation of Purity.
Power Drain provides a very high energy yield and has a low cost but requires that the user interrupts a spell. For some characters, such as primary Mesmers (who might be trying to interrupt the enemy anyway), this is not a problem. But, for monks, this might be distracting and detrimental to their efforts as a monk. Some players also seem to simply not have the knack for interruption, making this a poor choice for them. On the opposite, Heroes, being extremely effective interrupters, can use Power Drain even with relatively low Inspiration Magic. In some cases, the enemy might be short on casters so successfully using Power Drain might be more difficult than usual.
This signet will just give you lots of energy when you really need it, no strings attached. However, it recharges very slowly.
Although not directly an energy management skill, Mantra of Inscriptions can boost the energy rate from signets. The mantra has little drawbacks : it is a stance and will activate immediately ; it is very useful for professions which normally use no stances (such as monks) ; however, you'll have to invest some energy before you recover it over time by using your signet.
The Elementalist attunements (Air Attunement, Earth Attunement, Fire Attunement, Water Attunement, and the elite Elemental Attunement) are extremely effective for Elementalists (and the odd "fast cast Elementalist" Me/Es), they are also fairly specialized. An Elementalist using only one elemental attribute can reduce costs of his elemental skills by 80% by using attunements. Elementalist using more elements can still save an impressive 50% on all elemental skills by using just Elemental Attunement. However, as enchantments, attunements can be removed by the enemy - Aura of Restoration makes a good covering enchantment due to its long duration and low recharge time. It's not uncommon for an Elementalist build to rely on dual attunements and their effect can be viewed the other way around: an elementalist with his attunements removed is now 50-80% less effective. It is also worth noting that Elemental Attunement has been changed to tie it to the Energy Storage ability, making it much less useful for secondary elementalists, and even primary elementalists without the attribute points to spare.
Ether Prodigy is useful for Elementalist primaries that bring skills from other professions and so attunements are not as useful. Prodigy's strength comes from high efficiency (vs exhaustion) with the ability to recast at any time if necessary(with low energy, after being removed, or even after resurrection). Prodigy is most commonly seen on E/Mos with both Elementalist skills and relatively expensive monk skills such as Heal Party, Aegis, or Convert Hexes. Such monk skills are effective without the monk primary attribute, Divine Favor, and with only a moderate attribute investment. Like attunements, Ether Prodigy is an enchantment and so if consistently removed, Prodigy can be rendered useless. The other drawback to Prodigy is the potential damage it deals. The damage can be reduced by careful use of Prodigy and the energy it provides (or even by use of Heal Party).
With an attunement, high Fire Magic and skills which inflict Burning, this skill can provide decent energy gain, however it is fairly ineffective without heavy investment into Fire Magic. Can also be used effectively through preemptive use of Glyph of Immolation.
Glyph of Energy is commonly used in builds that occasionally use expensive spells or repeatedly use spells which cause exhaustion (Gale, Obsidian Flame, Earthquake). For expensive Elementalist spells, also consider Elemental Attunement. (combine with Auspicious Incantation to gain 100%-196% of the original cost of that spell for a net cost of 10 energy with a gain of 25-49)
Mind Blast is highly useful for an Elementalist that uses high ranks of fire magic. Many fire magic skills have high energy costs, and Mind Blast can be a good way to keep the energy that is necessary to cast them. However, its useless in a situation where the player has few energy (such as after being resurrected).
Most Assassin energy management skills are generally either linked to Critical Strikes or involve dagger attacks, making them only useful for primary Assassins and dagger using secondary assassins.
The only Assassin energy management skill which isn't linked to Critical Strikes and doesn't require Daggers. If the target dies before the hex expires, it provides moderate energy, as well as recharging itself and all other skills.
Extremely effective for primary Assassins. Since Assassins gain energy on critical hits, this skill adds even more energy, plus the additional benefit of increased chance to strike critical.
An effective way to recover energy at the end of an attack chain. This skill is always a critical hit (unless the target uses a skill that doesn't allow critical hits, like Stoneflesh Aura.) So the skill double strikes, is a critical hit, AND gives additional energy. With high Critical Strikes you can get about 12 energy with a single use.
Easily explained, Way of the Empty Palm makes off-hand and dual attack assassin skills cost no energy for it's duration. Best combined with very expensive dual and off-hand attacks with low cooldown times.Also combines well with Repeating Strike which allows a decent chunk of extra damage, has no cool-down time and is an off-hand attack that can follow an off-hand attack.
A high level in Spawning Power decreases energy costs significantly, rendering other energy management unnecessary. However, it cannot be maintained indefinitely due to a long recharge time. Therefore, there's a certain amount of downtime forcing one to use only low energy cost skills or no skills at all. Casting Attuned Was Songkai costs not only 10 energy, but holding the item will reduce maximum energy since one cannot hold a weapon set at the same time. Bear in mind one should have at least 30 energy remaining when casting Attuned Was Songkai, otherwise no energy will be left for other skills.
It has a rather short recharge time, but if it is used without a spirit within earshot, it requires a 17% health sacrifice. Higher benefits require more points in Channeling Magic.
This spell is very useful when you have summoned spirits like Life or Restoration. When Life dies, your party is healed for 1...6 health for each second when it was alive, and Restoration resurrects nearby allies when it dies. Your party is healed and you gain energy.
Many Paragon energy management skills are chants which can potentially affect the entire party, they are generally powerful but unfocused, making them more useful for situations in which several party members need energy than for situations in which only one party member needs energy.
Semi-spammable skill that is very useful in conjunction with Energizing Finale.
This skill is good for after a fight. Use it to help your group gain their energy back. However, this skill isn't used very often due to its energy cost of 25, and the fact that allies will probably be using skills again right away.
Most Dervish energy management skills are linked to Mysticism, making them only effective for primary Dervishes.
Only effective for Enchantment-heavy builds.
Although it is more of a self-heal than an energy management skill, Meditation synergises well with Pious Renewal.
Only effective for Enchantment-heavy builds.
Many dervishes use this skill for energy management. Consider using it with a skill that increases your attack speed, like Heart of Fury. Downsides for this skill would be since its an enchantment, it can be removed prematurely, and that it recharges faster than it ends, so an inexperienced dervish might use it again before they get their energy.