GW2 Elementalist Guide: Scepter Mainhand Weapon for PvE (Part 2 of 2)
Having evaluated the fire and water attunements for the Scepter weapon in the first half of this guide, let's move on to the air and earth attunements to see which one was disappointing and which one was impressive.
In theory, the scepter weapon’s air attunement can put out quite a lot of damage with the channeled 1-spell, Arc Lightning, which deals incrementally increasing damage within 3 seconds. But there are simply too many interrupts in the game for this to go off reliably, especially when facing PvP opponents. Reset
Even worse is how even your own evade moves will disrupt the channeled spell. I guess the alternative of allowing the channel to persist after an evasive move was too overpowered in the view of developers. If that wasn’t bad enough, turning away from the enemy more than 90 degrees or so also prevents you from setting off the spell or cuts it off if you’re midway through, making that time-honored tradition of circle strafing quite frustrating when in Air.
Here’s a typical opening attack sequence in Air attunement: Pull with Arc Lightning, set off spell-2 Lightning Strike while the channel is ongoing, activate spell-3 Blinding Flash to inflict the blind condition, to negate the first attack, and then eat an obligatory hit while completing the second channeled spell.
Spell-2 Lightning Strike is straightforward enough as a direct damage spell with a 5 second cooldown. Don’t be fooled though by its visual effects; even if seems to come down from above as a lightning strike, it can still be obstructed when you break line of sight. If there’s one definitive advantage to air, it’s that it shines against highly mobile Champion mobs; the Arc lightning easily follows the mobs and the blind status shields against their death-dealing blows.
Between the two off-hand choices, each has its own advantage. The dagger is fantastic for running long distances on the map because both spell-4 and spell-5 provide movement speed boosts. I used it for traveling to points of interest and vistas to outrun mobs and knock down those that manage to stick to me. Meanwhile, the focus has nifty support abilities that shut down projectiles and knock down foes.
The Earth attunement was a pleasant surprise. Its balanced mix of direct and bleed damage through the spell-1 Stone Shards made it a great leveling attunement. Fire might have a slight edge in pure killing speed, but it can be just as quick and even manages to mitigate damage. Spell-2 Hurl puts up a shield that raises armor and lasts through the average mob fight.
I open out of combat with a Hurl activation to put up the defensive armor before attacking the target with a ranged Stone Shards. Just before arriving to deal melee damage, I cast the spell-3 Dust Devil to inflict Blindness then move back to spamming Stone Shards. If I want to make the fight quicker, I trigger the Hurl armor and convert it into a damaging attack on top of the Stone Shards barrage and bleed.
Another great thing about Earth is that it can be just as effective in melee or distance fighting. There are also no complicated positioning and targeting requirements. Simply click on the target and go through the three spells as described in the above rotation. The three spells just seem to work well together.
Of all the attunements, Earth is arguably the best for single-target PvE leveling because of its strong offense and defense. I pair it up with the focus off hand for better defensive capabilities that allow me to escape fights that I cannot hope to win; the spell-5 Obsidian Flesh gives a literal miracle barrier.
Earth though lacks the massive attack output of other attunements, which could be sub-optimal in World vs. World. This is where the Dagger off hand can help. Its massive area attacks shores up the deficiencies of Earth scepter in this regard.
Part 1: Fire and Water Attunement
The part 1 of this guide previously tackled the fire and water attunements.
Michael lives for MMOs. You can catch him spamming alts in every online game imaginable from the standard-bearers like World of Warcraft to Kickstarter-funded upstarts and everything in between. He is a contributing writer at MMO Play.