Catalyst - Fresh Air Cata Roamer

The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great

Focused on: Strike damage and Mobility

Designed for: WvW Roaming

This build was last updated on April 09, 2024 and is up to date for the March 19, 2024 patch.


A Catalyst take on S/F Fresh Air builds for WvW Roaming. This iteration of the Fresh Air archetype offers high damage/mobility and lots of boon variety along with plenty of aura synergy while bringing the usual burst damage to the table.

Skill Bar


Skill Variants


  • Off-hand Dagger over Focus is also a viable option. This variant has more damage and better mobility but overall worse survivability due to the loss of skills like Obsidian Flesh.

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  • Sphere Specialist combined with Bountiful Power increases your burst damage but lowers your sustain and removes some combo tools from the build. Use either a backpiece with Diviner 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.



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.



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 Energized Elements.
  • 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 Air Attunement every few seconds, made possible by Fresh Air which recharges Air whenever you land a critical strike.
  • Swapping to Air triggers Electric Discharge which you should immediately follow up with a Lightning Strike for instant burst damage. Entering this attunement also grants you Ferocity from Fresh Air 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 Arc Lightning just before leaving Air Attunement. 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 Might by blasting the fire field created by the Fire Jade Sphere and Flamewall. Do not prioritize Might stacking, but do take advantage of the incidental opportunities which arise. Your blast finishers are:
  • Dragon's Tooth
  • Phoenix
  • Comet
  • Magnetic Wave
  • The first dodge you perform after swapping to Earth attunement
  • Gale is an excellent skill for setting up burst, use it right before swapping out of Air into another attunement.
  • Elemental Celerity's main purpose is to reduce/reset the CDs on Magnetic Wave and Obsidian Flesh 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 Stability. The first combo you perform in a given attunement always grants you an aura via Elemental Epitome.

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.

From Fire:

  1. Drop your Fire Jade Sphere to passively begin stacking Might Might.
  2. Dragon's Tooth
  3. Fire Shield Transmute Fire for Might and AoE damage in melee. Both Transmute Fire and Dragon's Tooth have a delay, your goal is to swap to Air by the time these skills go off.
  4. Phoenix - optional: Lightning Flash right at your target before you finish casting Phoenix to make it near instant.
  5. Air Attunement - swap to this just before Phoenix is about to hit the target.
  6. Lightning Strike
  7. Blinding Flash to avoid/mitigate incoming damage, but it's not required

From Earth:

  1. Rock Barrier
  2. Dust Devil
  3. Optional: if you're in melee range of an enemy you may throw in a Magnetic Wave which can proc Relic of Fireworks if it hits something.
  4. Stone Shards + Hurl then swap to Air Attunement 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.
  5. Lightning Strike

From Water:

  1. Shatterstone
  2. Water Trident - the trident does more damage to Chilled enemies which is important. Shatterstone should secure that but Freezing Gust can do the trick too.
  3. Swap to Air Attunement while casting Water Trident, preferably even before the 2nd strike of Shatterstone goes off so that it may benefit from Air's damage modifiers.
  4. Lightning Strike


  • One with Air makes it easy to kite most specs. Avoid melee range whenever you can!
  • Shatterstone is a source of spammable Chill 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.
  • Magnetic Wave and Swirling Winds 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.
  • Magnetic Wave is the build's best condition cleanse which can also be used while stunned.
  • Obsidian Flesh offers protection against all kinds of pressure.
  • Blinding Flash 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 Dust Devil blinds enemies.

Related Builds


This build has a rating of 5 stars based on 1 votes.
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5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars • January 2024
A very strong build with extremely high burst damage and very little downtime. Sustain is on the lower end but the build does have tools to play around that if you're willing to put in the effort. Not the easiest build to play in general, but also not the hardest within the Fresh Air archetype. Current FOTM spec. SotO edit: still going strong


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