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"Energy management" generally refers either to how characters use various skills that give themselves more energy in addition to that created by their natural energy regeneration or to a plan for using energy. This article is a brief overview of energy management techniques used often in player-versus-player (PvP) matches.
In addition to what skills a character uses, the character's overall build, in terms of skill costs and recharges (i.e. how often skills are used); attributes (i.e. Expertise and Soul Reaping); and equipment (i.e. zealous upgrades) are important considerations.
Energy management attributes
The following primary attributes have inherent effects which can be used to either gain energy or reduce the energy costs of skills:
The inherent effect of the Energy Storage attribute does not reduce energy costs or provide (direct) means to recover energy, however it does increase the energy capacity.
Common energy management skills
Although there are many skills which provide energy, not all are suitable for energy management in general. Such skills often have restrictions that make them unhelpful for most characters such as conditions on their effect, like Ether Lord. Some others need a certain attribute which is otherwise not of use or simply not available. In particular, warrior and ranger skills are not often used for energy management, although skills such as Bonetti's Defense and Storm Chaser can be very effective in specific situations.
The two general criteria for usefulness of an energy management skill are the net gain over time for using the skill and the attribute cost of the skill. The former considers the energy gained minus any costs and how often the skill can be used. The latter is not simply the attribute points invested for a skill but the opportunity cost of spending those points (which may mean picking a certain secondary, making your other skills less effective, or strengthening skills linked to that attribute).
Considerations When Choosing Your Energy Management
While some energy management skills provide more energy total, you need to consider other important factors when choosing which one to use, such as:
- 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. A skill such as Power Drain will net you significantly more energy, but has a small window of opportunity as it requires you to interrupt a spell. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the elite Mantra of Recall which has a near-infinite window of opportunity, but a smaller payoff.
- Secondary Costs - Skills like Offering of Blood have, in addition to the initial energy cost, a sacrifice cost as well. When you're playing a monk, it's generally not a good idea to choose Offering of Blood as your energy management since you will be an easy target, and you don't want to be sacrificing health when you're under pressure.
- Reliability and Vulnerability - Long-duration skills, such as Elemental Attunement, are vulnerable to enchantment removal. Short-duration skills that need to be spammed to be useful, like Boon Signet, are vulnerable to disabling interrupts like Diversion. Every skill has a weakness; select one you'll be most able to cope with.
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 will be regained during the cast time. Having at least 12 points into Protection Prayers (or 9 with a weapon of Enchanting) will provide enough time to recast this on that ally at the reduced 1 point cost. Larger-cost enchantments may easily work into the cycle. 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 encouraged enchantment spamming, Zealot's Fire is often used for 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 or Mantra of Inscriptions, Blessed Signet can turn maintained enchantments into a source of energy. The main weakness is Blessed Signet needs to be used often and has a slow activation, making it a prime target for interruption. Distracting Shot or Diversion can potentially shut down Blessed Signet and force all but four of the maintained enchantments to drop.
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. However, it becomes less useful with a Divine Favor attribute below 13, and is more effective against degen and pressure than spike damage.
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 that it is guaranteed to provide energy without any special external considerations. 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).
Channeling is the preferred form of energy management in the Heroes' Ascent tournament because of the potentially large number of enemies. Monks very often use Channeling as non-elite energy management. Channeling is particularly discouraged for use in GvG by monks because they are generally supposed to hang back and out of the fight, but in HA, things are more chaotic and hanging back might not even be possible. Such a melee often makes Channeling more effective, not uncommonly to the point of having 5 energy spells actually provide the caster with energy. While Channeling is an enchantment, its low cost and recharge mitigate the usual drawbacks of enchantment removal.
Drain Enchantment used to be an important skill in Arenas such as Team and Heroes' Ascent. But after the Nightfall update the recharge time was increased to 30 seconds, as opposed to the previous 25. In addition, the energy gain from it was drastically reduced, along with many other highly used Inspiration Magic spells. Perhaps this was done to protect the Dervish profession in competitive play, as many of the buffs used are enchantments. Two people with Drain Enchantment can dramatically reduce the damage potential of a Dervish. Inspired Enchantment offers a slightly shorter recharge time (instant if it fails to remove an enchantment) and a somewhat lower energy gain, similar to Inspired Hex below.
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.
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. In some cases, the enemy might be short on casters so successfully using Power Drain might be more difficult than usual.
The Mesmer energy management skills are relatively versatile and can be used by either Mesmer primaries or secondaries, without particularly regard to the character's role. In addition, they are all Inspiration Magic spells, so a character can make several varied skills available for energy management with investment into only one attribute.
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 was useful for elementalist primaries that utilized costly skills from other professions. 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).
Glyph of Lesser Energy can be used on Elementalist primaries and secondaries to great effect. Glyph of Energy, its elite counterpart, is commonly used in builds that use expensive spells or repeatedly use spells which cause exhaustion (Gale or Obsidian Flame). For expensive Elementalist spells, also consider Elemental Attunement.
Offering of Spirit provides the same energy gain as Signet of Spirits, however it has a shorter recharge time, and if it is used without a spirit in earshot, it requires a 17% health sacrifice instead of not functioning. Higher benefits require more points in Channeling Magic.
Net energy per unit time for selected skills
The following tables list some of the above skills and their net energy gain per unit time. This is computed as:
(energy gain - energy cost) / recycle time
for each given skill, assuming the given attribute rank for the linked attribute.
- Recycle time is activation time + recharge time for a skill, unless noted.
- Skills are assumed to always achieve their full effect (as in, there's always a hex to remove or the enemy has enough energy to satisfy Energy Drain).
Skills connected to a primary attribute
|Net Energy Gain||5||6||6||7||8||8||9||10||10||11||12||12||13||14||14||15||16||16||?||?||?|
|Energy Gain/Second without Exhaustion1||0.17||0.2||0.2||0.23||0.26||0.26||0.3||0.33||0.33||0.36||0.4||0.4||0.43||0.46||0.46||0.5||0.53||0.53||?||?||?|
1considering to recast it in a 30 seconds cycle, so Exhaustion doesn't stack
|Net Energy Gain||5||7||9||11||13||15||17||19||21||23||25||27||29||31||33||35||37||39||41||43||?|
|Energy Gain/Second without Exhaustion1||0.17||0.23||0.3||0.37||0.43||0.5||0.57||0.63||0.7||0.77||0.83||0.9||0.97||1.03||1.1||1.17||1.23||1.3||1.37||1.43||?|
1considering to recast it in a 30 seconds cycle, so Exhaustion doesn't stack
|Energy discount per spell||10||11||11||12||12||13||13||14||14||15||15||16||16||17||17||18||19||19||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Maximum net Energy gain||15||17||17||19||19||21||21||23||23||25||25||27||27||29||29||31||33||33||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Effective energy gain/second||0.48||0.55||0.55||0.61||0.61||0.68||0.68||0.74||0.74||0.81||0.81||0.87||0.87||0.94||0.94||1.00||1.06||1.06||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Net Energy Gain||-12/3||-12/3||12/3||12/3||12/3||5||5||5||81/3||81/3||81/3||112/3||112/3||112/3||15||15||15||?||?||N/A||N/A|
|Energy from Regeneration||3.3||4.0||4.0||4.6||5.3||5.3||6.0||6.6||6.6||7.3||8.0||8.0||8.6||9.3||9.3||10.0||10.6||10.6||11.3||12.0||12.0|
|Net Energy Gain||–5.6||–4.0||–4.0||–2.4||–1.7||–0.7||1.0||1.6||2.6||3.3||5.0||6.0||6.6||8.3||8.3||10.0||11.6||11.6||13.3||14.0||15.0|
|Net Energy Gain/Second||–1.12||–0.67||–0.67||–0.34||–0.21||–0.09||0.11||0.16||0.26||0.30||0.42||0.50||0.51||0.59||0.59||0.67||0.73||0.73||0.78||0.78||0.83|
Skills connected to a secondary attribute
|Net Energy Gain||3||4||5||5||6||7||8||9||9||10||11||12||13||13||14||15||16||17||17||18||?|
|Net Energy Gain||0||1||1||2||3||3||4||5||5||6||7||7||8||9||9||10||11||11||12||13||13|
|Energy Lost By Foe||2||2||3||3||4||4||5||5||6||6||7||7||8||8||9||9||9||10||10||11||11|
|Energy Gained By Caster||4||4||6||6||8||8||10||10||12||12||14||14||16||16||18||18||18||20||20||22||22|
|Net Energy Gain||–-1||–-1||1||1||3||3||5||5||7||7||9||9||11||11||13||13||13||15||15||17||17|
|Energy Lost by Foe||4||4||4||5||5||5||5||5||6||6||6||6||6||7||7||7||7||?||?||N/A||N/A|
|Energy Gained by Caster||8||8||8||10||10||10||10||10||12||12||12||12||12||14||14||14||14||?||?||N/A||N/A|
|Net Energy Gain||3||3||3||5||5||5||5||5||7||7||7||7||7||9||9||9||9||?||?||N/A||N/A|
|Net Energy Gain||–1||–1||0||0||1||1||1||2||2||3||3||3||4||4||5||5||5||6||6||7||7|
1recycle time is 21 seconds
|Net Energy Gain||–7||–6||–5||–5||–4||–3||–2||–1||–1||0||1||2||3||3||4||5||6||7||?||N/A||N/A|
1recycle time is 21 seconds
|Net Energy Gain||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||?||N/A||N/A|
|Net Energy Gain||3||4||4||5||5||6||6||7||7||8||8||9||10||10||11||11||12||13||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Skills connected to no attribute
|cost of next spell||25||15||10||5|
|net Energy discount||20||10||5||0|
|maximum Energy saved per second||1.25||0.63||0.31||0|
|Net Energy Gain||5||15||25||35||45||55|
1This presumes Exhaustion is maintained at the level shown
(and Second Wind is cast once every thirty seconds).