Catalyst - Fresh Air Cata Roamer
The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great
Focused on: Direct damage and Mobility
Designed for: WvW Roaming
A Catalyst take on S/F Fresh Air builds for WvW Roaming. This iteration of Fresh Air offers high damage and lots of boon variety along with plenty of aura synergy.
- Off-hand Dagger over Focus is also a viable option.
- combined with increases your burst damage but lowers your sustain and removes some combo tools from the build. Use either a backpiece with Diviner stats or a couple of infusions with Concentration until you reach 25% boon duration, this is an important breakpoint to reach for Jade Sphere boons when using Sphere Specialist.
Note: if you don't want to invest into Ascended Dragon's stat pieces, Exotics from the Trading Post will do just fine. The trinkets are relatively cheap, here's a list of them from the official wiki.
Second set: you may have noticed a Focus on the second set, this one's for the tryhards. While Elementalists can't swap weapons in combat, they can still stack Bloodlust on random PvE mobs before fights using the second set then switch back to the first set once they're ready to PvP. The Bloodlust stacks will remain active without the need to sacrifice a sigil slot on the PvP set. It's enough to put 1 weapon into the second set as they'll inherit the missing one from the main set. If you have no intention to stack Bloodlust before fights then you don't need the 2nd set! It's not mandatory.
- A full set of Marauder gear would also work, your burst potential will be lower but your crit chance higher. Use Mighty infusions.
- Mighty Infusions are more popular than Precise on most other builds with similar stats. If you want to use this set of gear on other characters as well or you already have a set with Mighty infusions that'd also work just fine. In that case however you might want replace a Dragon piece or two with Marauder to make up for the lost crit chance.
There are plenty of viable choices:
- - passive damage mitigation and great stats.
- - highest damage non-ascended option.
- or - armor ignoring damage/healing procs plus extra Precision which is one of the most important stats to have. Could also make up for the loss of Precise Infusions if you're running Mighty ones.
- - defensive option with more evasion.
- or , whichever is cheaper at the moment.
Elite specialization basics
- Catalysts gain access to Deploy Jade Sphere which drops an AoE combo field with pulsing boons depending on the attunement they were used in.
- The Jade Sphere costs energy to deploy, you build energy by hitting enemies or swapping attunements thanks to .
- Jade Spheres are instant and can be used while casting skills or sitting in a CC.
- The build's all about swapping in and out of every few seconds, made possible by which recharges Air whenever you land a critical strike.
- Swapping to Air triggers which you should immediately follow up with a for instant burst damage. Entering this attunement also grants you Ferocity from for a few seconds, which is why most of your heavy hitting skills should land in this small time frame. More on that later.
- Recharging Air: to recharge Air you need to score a critical hit. The fastest way to do it on attunements with slower skills is to start channeling the air autoattack just before leaving . Swapping attunements doesn't break the channeling and Arc Lightning is almost guaranteed to critically hit at least once.
- Jade Spheres are great for this too. While their damage is insignificant, they are instant cast ranged AoEs that strike multiple times and can crit.
- This build can self-stack Might by blasting the fire field created by the Fire Jade Sphere and . Do not prioritize Might stacking, but do take advantage of the incidental opportunities which arise. Your blast finishers are:
- The first dodge you perform after swapping to Earth attunement
- is an excellent skill for setting up burst, use it right before swapping out of Air into another attunement.
- 's main purpose is to reduce/reset the CDs on and for extra sustain, but if you want to get greedy it could also reset burst and CC cooldowns of other attunement skills.
- Gaining an aura grants you 1 stack of Stability. The first combo you perform in a given attunement always grants you an aura via .
Notable burst combos
These are some potential combos you can use based on the techniques outlined above. The quicker you pull these chains off, the better.
- Drop your Fire Jade Sphere to passively begin stacking Might.
- ⇒ for more Might.
- - optional: right at your target before you finish casting Phoenix to make it near instant.
- - swap to this just before Phoenix is about to hit the target.
- then swap to during the channeling to make the projectiles land in the right attunement. Hurl is a guaranteed projectile finisher which has synergy with your Spheres, consider dropping one before doing this combo. Any Sphere except Water will result in a damage boost.
- - the trident does more damage to Chilled enemies which is important. Shatterstone should secure that but can do the trick too.
- Swap to while casting Water Trident, preferably even before the 2nd strike of Shatterstone goes off so that it may benefit from Air's damage modifiers.
- makes it easy to kite most specs. Avoid melee range whenever you can!
- is a source of spammable Chill which you can even place behind your back when running away. Chill is great at building distance.
- Needless to say other CCs can also be used for shaking off pursuers.
- and provide excellent protection against enemies who use projectiles. These however do not work against unblockable projectiles, and some ranged builds - such as this one - are mostly unaffected by projectile reflects and blocks.
- is the build's best condition cleanse which can also be used while stunned.
- offers protection against all kinds of pressure.
- is great at avoiding crucial skills by blinding enemies, and it also shuts down Power-based specs in general with the Weakness.
- The first hit of blinds enemies.
- Catalyst - Fresh Air Cata - sPvP version of the build.
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