42 comments on “Guild Wars 2 Build Guide – Staff Elementalist – Glyph Build with focus on Combos

    • Yeah, it’s still processing. I’ll edit that into the post, didn’t expect anyone to look at it so quickly!

      Edit: Fixed!

      • I just found your videos the other day and was immediately super impressed with your presentation and education. Awesome work. I subscribed to your RSS feed, guess that’s why I saw it right away.

      • do you even need signet of the earth? Also from what you’ve said would glyph of elemental power be overkill here?

        I’ve been playing around with a similar build based on arcane wave combo fields. It kind of morphs into a glyph build at some point, but I am not sure where to go with it.


        Trying hard to work in enduring damage because honestly I don’t dodge roll all that much and 10% damage is quite a bit. It’s a work in progress, but it’s very tough and decent damage. What do you think?

        • You don’t need signet of earth, but it does help for what I wanted it to do. Ranged immobilizes are incredibly powerful since they’re a form of crowd control that works through stability (it’s a condition so it’s not affected by stability like knockbacks/stuns/dazes are). I use it both in conjunction with friendly burst (setting up say a hundred blades combo for a warrior) as well as to hold an enemy in my lava font. The cooldown is pretty low too so I like that about it, and as of last bwe I think the toughness is pretty decent.

          I’m not sure about Glyph of Elemental Power. It’s a pretty good utility too, but I’m not a huge fan of random effects on key CC like that. I imagine you’d want to use it while in Water Attunement so that your spells all have a chance to chill since it’s the strongest of those conditions, but the usefulness of it sort of depends on the proc rate and I haven’t gotten around to doing extensive testing on it. If you know more about it please share!

          I’m surprised you don’t find yourself lower on endurance. I guess if you really don’t find it necessary then Enduring Damage might be good but I tend to think of it as more of a PvE trait or even a WvW trait than a sPvP one. Personally I find that the 15 point minor trait in Water that gives you a heal on attunement shift is pretty valuable as it’s a non-trivial amount of healing (~1500 IIRC) and I (try to) shift attunements quite a bit. Many people also recommend Evasive Arcana from the 30 pointer in Arcane. It’s been pretty massively buffed as of BWE3 with a significantly more powerful effect (albeit the internal cooldown sort of puts a damper on things). The spell you get out of it also counts as a “blast” finisher so you can use it in conjunction with the combo fields for extra combos, though I found it a bit hard to use with the fire fields (you have to roll into the field, not just out of it). Still, it’s pretty decent extra healing if you dodge inside of your water field (which I feel like you’re likely to do when you’re trying to heal with it anyway).

          I’d recommend you at least pick up the 30 pointer in Earth by dropping 5 points from Arcane if you insist on keeping the Enduring Damage trait. The stability to allies on shift could be very useful if you use it mid-stomp (just shift to Earth when you’re ~1/3 through the stomp and it’ll guarantee it finishes). Remember that you can shift attunements while doing pretty much anything (I believe even when you’re stunned) since it has no cast time.

          • thanks for the response! I was just reading your inscription breakdown and I think it’s probably worth it to get that and/or the 15 point water passive. I’ll probably make some variant with Enduring Damage for WvW. The more I look at it your build makes a lot of sense. Hard to improve on!

  1. I found your site through reddit and think your videos are top notch! I also like how you seem to play it cool, even during the 1v2, and get your combos through. What server do you play on?

    • Hey, thanks for the kind words. I’m not 100% sure on what server we’ll end up on. During BWE3 we were on Sea of Sorrows, IIRC. We might choose a different one though since it was sort of annoying not being able to get into WvW since it was full. We’ll have to see though!

  2. Awsome videos, thanks a lot, your comments helped me a lot! Will there be some BWE3 videos with commentary from you?

    • Yeah, there’ll be some BWE3 stuff coming up soon as I can get it all edited. Probably one in the next day or two and then ideally at least one a week, hopefully more. These take quite some time to put together though so we’ll have to see exactly how many I can get out.

  3. A really good build. I’m probably going to try it immediately. A little question, though: Arcane Blast is the only blast elementalist has? Is it necessary? I’d love to swap it for Cleansing Fire: is it viable?

    • Not at all; Arcane Blast is just a very accessible one. The Staff also has Eruption from the Earth Attunement (so you set the Eruption, change to whatever Attunement you want and set the field up and then when the Eruption explodes it will cause the combo). The other weapon sets have multiple as well and of course you can have your teammates blast the combo for you if you coordinate (Thief Shortbow is amazing for blast finishers).

      • Thanks. My guild will be probably loaded of thieves, so i guess i won’t have issues. I really like this build because it seems (at least at first glance) a solid team player.

        • you guys mean arcane wave not blast right?

          In regards to the build. It’s very solid. I have been trying to think of something better for a while now and this is a very good swiss army knife. If you tinker with it slightly it’s even great for WvW

  4. If you run a similar spec to this in PvE / WvWvW, what stats are you stacking, precision or power or equal amounts of both?

  5. This looks great! Are there any updates you would make to it based on BWE3 changes? In wvwvw for sieges one might swap out arcane wave for arcane blast for the 1500 range and slightly faster cooldown too.

    • ps. Are there wvwvw staff builds you would recommend for new elementalists? I have read and watched your scepter build and videos that you recommend for spvp and wondered what you would recommend in terms of wvwvw where the staff range would really shine?

    • No really big changes with BWE3. If anything with the nerf to Evasive Arcana I’m more set on something similar to this; I might consider slightly tweaking the Major Trait choices (maybe dropping Arcane Shield for Mist form and changing some of the traits that buffed only Arcane traits to some Cantrip supporting ones) but most of it would stay the same.

      Arcane Blast for range sounds good; I’d also consider moving all the Water points to another tree like Fire to get some more offense out of it.

  6. The recent stress test (Aug 15th) result in some changes to water. Most importantly, the remove condition skill on regen is now a tier 3 water trait. So I replaced ti with Cleansing Wave (remove condition on attunement to water) Kinda big nerf to support builds. Now you need to go all the way into Water which means giving up all sorts of other synergies

  7. Hey, I really like your videos. I have yet to play Guild Wars 2, but I do intend to get it in the next couple/few weeks. I’m definitely going to run an elementalist. Since I have not played this before, would you suggest a different build to start with? (I know you said it takes time to get down) I’m not the greatest gamer in the world but I do tend to catch on fairly quickly.

    • It’s probably easiest if you start in PvE. If you do that then you can probably start with any of these builds. If you really want to start in sPvP though then a condition damage based build with more toughness might be easier for learning how to play Elementalist.

  8. Hey, do you have any updates to this build now that the game has released or is this still the best way to do it?

    • OK, I updated it to be relatively close to what it was before. With Arcane Wave being nerfed in cooldown you might drop it for Armor of Earth and pick up the cantrip cd reduction trait as well; that said even at 30 seconds it’s still alright for occasional extra comboing.

      You also might take Evasive Arcana with 30 points in Arcane for more combos but you’d need to drop either 10 in Air or Water (Air would cut down heavily on boon stacking the build can do/its damage from crits and Water would hurt your condition removal significantly)

  9. Watched loads of videos on every class and they just seem to want to be a, “Hey ! Look how awesome I am”. BUT your videos are very very different. You tell us everything and what spells you use for what and why so just had to come on and say great job.
    Now this video I liked alot. The playstyle is sort of what I want to play so checked your links but the traits you used are not on that site anymore so if you could tell me what traits you used and why that would be very helpful for a noob player like myself.
    Thanks if you can… 🙂

    • Hi, thanks for the kind words.

      I’ve been busy with my wedding since launch so I haven’t had a chance to get back in and play yet. I’ll probably make it a priority to try in the next week to go back through all these beta builds and tweak them to work with the launch trait setup.

    • OK, I updated it to be relatively close to what it was before. With Arcane Wave being nerfed in cooldown you might drop it for Armor of Earth and pick up the cantrip cd reduction trait as well; that said even at 30 seconds it’s still alright for occasional extra comboing.

  10. Just a little confused with your Sigil, I just tried it out and changing elements does not proc it.. Is there something i missed??? wouldn’t the the +5% power or crit be a better option??

  11. Top love the build. I tweaked it a bit though.

    Check this out:

    The key here is Evasive Arcana. I just tested it, and you get blast finishers from dodging in fire, air, and earth attunement!! This gives you crazy access to blast finishers. Also I am running two cantrips in this build for extra synergy with soothing Disruption.

    When I discovered that Evasive Arcana gave me blast finishers on 3 of my attunements (and condition removal on the fourth) I was blown away! Tell me what you think 🙂

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