So, you are interested in rolling a Mesmer in PvP. Now before you hit that “Play Now” button there’s a ton of things you will need to know about Mesmers before you step into your first structured PvP match. In this guide you will learn the basics of Mesmer PvP, how they function, how they operate in teams, and on an individual level.
1. Mesmer Weapons
2. Mesmer Roles
3. Slot Skills
4. The Illusion Playstyle
6. Making an Impact
1.) Mesmer Weapons
A key part of learning to play Mesmer is to learn what the basics of each weapon entail.
Greatsword: When traited/geared with high critical hit damage and a lot of power it’s one of the most deadly weapons out there. Greatsword does more damage the further you are away from the target, coupled with kiting skills the Mesmer can quickly become a very high priority threat for the opposing team.
Staff: Boons for you and your allies, and mass conditions for enemies. If you trait/gear with condition damage and toughness/vitality it leads to a difficult Mesmer to combat. The ability staff has to generate boons and conditions intertwined with some basic kiting abilities make it a fairly strong weapon.
Scepter: Goes great with a Staff wielding Mesmer, easier to summon more clones and adds a large amount of confusion stacks. Not ideal if you are not running a condition build as the damage dealt by the scepter will not be suitable.
Torch: An off-hand weapon that goes great with any build, the 3 seconds of invisibility from the first torch ability “The Prestige” increases your survivability and if played right your burst. The stealth it gives is invaluable to survivability.
Sword: It is useful in burst builds that require you to be close to your target. The sword #2 adds for a lot of survivability as it makes you immune for a few seconds and it’s only on an 8 second cooldown.
Pistol: It is a highly useful weapon if played with the right build. The #5 ability that bounces is a strong CC in cluttered fights. In a heavy burst build the Illusionary Duelist you spawn with #4 does an immense amount of damage.
Focus: Somewhat useful in team fights, though it usually falls short in PvP due to its lack of utility.
2.) Mesmer as a Profession
Before you start actively PvPing as a Mesmer, you will need to know how it plays, cooperates with allies, and where its strengths and weaknesses lie.
Gameplay: Mesmer is a Profession that can cover three major aspects in PvP.
• Teamwork: Mesmers are invaluable if played right/given the right role in a structured team. All of a Mesmer’s elites are beneficial in team fights. In addition to that, the mental insecurity a Mesmer can cause to enemies is detrimental. Especially when there are 3 clones constantly up; running around, getting in the way of spells and detonating and leaving confusion stacks in their wake.
• Holding/Pushing Capture Points: Mesmer’s are what I would consider to be the best capture point “harassing” profession. As a Mesmer, upon arrival to a capture point 1v1, your opponent is left with the decision to flee, take massive harassment damage, or chase. After the point has been captured, due to the vast skillset and utilities at its disposal, a strong and experienced Mesmer will most likely defeat a majority of other professions in a 1v1. In addition to that, if you are running a defensive staff build it allows you to hold off higher amounts of people for a significant amount of time giving the rest of your team the opportunity to gain/maintain map control.
• Variation of Roles: Mesmer’s have the ability to be low HP glass cannons or defensive juggernauts depending on traits/weapons and play style. As previously mentioned, a Mesmer that is traited/geared into power and critical hit damage will be a prime representation of a Glass Cannon with the ability to nuke and be nuked. On the defensive side of things, a Staff wielding Mesmer traited/geared into toughness and condition damage is one of the strongest defensive builds. A defensive Mesmer has the ability to keep 2-3 enemies occupied while your team backcaps points.
Weaknesses: Alright, you know every Profession has them (Yes that includes Mesmers)!
• Relatively squishy in melee range.
• Illusions are susceptible to being killed prior to you shattering them.
• Cannot heal with anything besides utility. (Unless traited into illusion shatters that heals)
• If running condition spec, professions that have a vast amount of condition removals.
• If running burst spec, professions that can outlast burst. (Guardian, Warrior)
Arguably, one of if not the most important part of any Profession. The Utilities!
A Mesmer’s Utility Heal: A Mesmer has three potential heals. I’ll go over the big three and which I feel is the most useful.
Ether Feast: Heal yourself. Gain additional health for each active illusion.
Mirror: Reflect incoming projectiles and heal yourself.
Mantra of Recovery: Meditate to charge a spell that will heal you.
Enshadowed’s Pick: Mantra of Recovery is almost unusable in a high level PvP environment. Mirror has a longer cooldown than Ether Feast and heals the least.
Ether Feast is the way to go in my opinion; it has a short cooldown and heals the most.
A Mesmer’s Elite: The Mesmer’s elites play a big role in a 5v5 PvP Format. I’ll go over the big 3 and which I feel is the most useful.
Moa Morph: An ability that lets you morph your enemies into a harmless, easy to kill moa for 10 seconds.
Time Warp: Creates a large field which gives all allies quickness, and reduces the speed of enemies inside of it.
Mass Invisibility: Gives you and your allies stealth for 5 seconds.
Enshadowed’s Pick: The most beneficial by far is Moa Morph, as it has a decent cooldown for an elite and enables you to counter ANY other elite. In example a Necromancer uses his lich form or an Elementalist uses his Tornado. It will cancel their elite and turn them into a defenseless bird for 10 seconds, cancelling them from the fight for quite some time.
It is comparable to a mage’s polymorph in WoW; if you are approaching a capture point and you see 2 players capturing it, you could be able to conduct a 2v1. As soon as you enter the fight you Moa the one that’s the hardest to kill and focus on the easier one. If you are able to down the easier one before the Moa runs out than you have a manageable 1v1 on your hands.
Everything in-between (Slot 7, 8, 9): Utilities that the most useful are:
[Signet of Domination]: Improved Condition Damage. Active: Stun your foe for 2 seconds. 45s CD.
[Mirror Images]: Summon two clones to attack your foe. 45s CD.
[Null Field]: Create a field of energy for 7 seconds that removes all boons from enemies, and removes all conditions from allies. 45s CD.
[Blink]: Misdirect. Teleport backward. Breaks Stun. 30s CD.
Null Field for group play. Blink for solo play.
Why I These Utilities: Signet of Domination for a quick stun that will interrupt almost anything, from heals to bursty channeling spells. It is also helpful for stunning your opponent before you shatter your illusions.
It is essential to have Mirror Images, a quick spawn of 2 clones really turns the tide in any kind of fight. Not only does it allow for quick illusion shattering; if you are traited into it there is an ability that heals you whenever you shatter an illusion. This allows for quick small heals that add up.
Null Field/Blink: They are both survivability utilities, null field is excellent in team fights and even 1v1. It removes all conditions on you and all boons from enemies. It is extremely useful when opposing players are using heavy condition professions. Blink is less needed, it does help a bit more in a 1v1 vs. a profession with a high amount of burst. It also has the ability to port you away even when immobilized which is very helpful. Then again null field would just remove immobilize in the first place.
4.) The Illusion Playstyle
The idea of illusions/clones in a MMO isn’t new. However, the way ArenaNet implemented illusions in GW2 is completely new. Now if you’re wondering the purpose of illusions, rest assured they are not here just to mess with the heads of enemies. They are great sources of utility, healing and even damage.
[Diversion]: Destroy all of your clones and phantasms dazing their target.
[Distortion]: Destroy all of your clones and phantasms, giving you distortion per shatter. Distortion is a spell that gives one second immunity to all incoming damage.
You can already see how much utility that gives you, your able to interrupt heals and rezzing with daze. In addition you can avoid damage when a profession uses a strong move you just by shattering your clones for Distortion at a precise time. A huge counter and a big part of a Mesmers’ arsenal. Be sure to use both of these as much as possible when trying to counter an opening or avoiding damage.
There is a trait in the inspiration tree called “Restorative Illusions” it heals a small amount when you shred illusions.
One of if not the most useful trait you could ever have in PvP. It heals for 1-2k per one illusion shattering. When you use 2 shatters it heals for half as much as your healing utility.
[Mind Wrack]: Destroy all of your clones and phantasms, dealing damage to their target.
[Cry of Frustration]: Destroy all of your clones and phantasms, applying confusion to your target.
Damage is clearly there! There are also many traits to increase Mind Wrack damage and crit chance. The perfect traits to get if you decide to make a glass cannon build. On the other hand Cry of Frustration applies a condition called confusion that deals moderate amounts of damage whenever an opponent uses a spell.
As for builds, I have taken a liking to two current builds that really emphasize Mesmer in PvP. One of which being:
Greatsword Glass Cannon Build:
Objective: To push capture points and stay deadly from afar; the ability to blow up nearly anyone in a 1v1 situation.
Weapons: Greatsword and what I prefer in the offset is to have the Sword and Pistol. These weapons enable you to be versatile being as you can be deadly from afar and in melee range. They provide reasonable opening burst and the ability to continuously summon new illusions.
Traits: Arguably the most important part of any profession. What I have found to work best is:
-20 points in Domination, pick up: Mental Torment and Greatsword Training.
-20 points in Dueling, pick up: Furious Interruption and Desperate Decoy.
-10 points in Inspiration, pick up: Restorative Illusions
-20 points in Illusions, pick up: Precise Wrack and Compounding Power.
Runes: 6x Rune of the Scholar
Utilities: Signet of Domination/Blink/Mirror Images
Jewels: 5x Perfect Ruby Jewel
Amulet: Power Precision Crit Damage
Staff Defensive Build:
Objective: To capture and hold points for as long as possible. Hold off as many enemies as possible for the longest time. Note: (This build does minimal damage, your tankish!)
Weapons: Staff and in the offset will be a Scepter main hand and a Sword off hand. This results in a lot of blocking potential/boons and rapid illusion creation.
-30 points in Inspiration, pick up: Vigorous Revelation and Restorative Illusions and Shattered Conditions.
-20 points in Dueling (For illusion spawning, when dodging), pick up: Retaliatory Shield and Desperate Decoy.
-20 points in Chaos, pick up: Illusionary Defense and Prismatic Understanding.
Runes: 6x Runes of Melandru
Utilities: Null Field/Decoy/Blink
Jewels: 5x Perfect Agate Jewel
Amulet: Condition Damage Power Vitality
6.) Making an Impact
Now that you've gotten a primer for basic Mesmer PvP the next step is taking it into action. Practice these and other builds until you come up with one suitable for you that allows you to make the biggest game impact possible for your specific team comp/strat. Remember, taking the time to practice, fine tune builds, and master skill usage is key if you want to make an impact whereever you play.
In general, Mesmer’s in PvP typically don’t have much mobility. As far as contributing to the team goes; It’s either holding points and fending off swarms or being able to push capture points and preform quick kills in a 1v1 environment. As you learn more and develop as a Mesmer and as a player, different builds, usages of spells, variations of utilities, countering different Professions, etc. will come naturally and you’ll start being a huge contributing factor to the success of your team.