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Catalyst - Signet Condi Cata

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Focused on: Condition damage

Designed for: PvP Conquest

Difficulty:
Easy


Overview

A condition S/D Catalyst sidenoder bunker build making use of the new Signet buffs.

Archival note: made obsolete by signet and scepter nerfs


Skill Bar

Scepter/Dagger
Utility


Template Code

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Specializations


Specialization Variants

Arcane Arcane over Fire Fire - this version has lower cleansing and weaker Fire skills, but offers reduced attunement swap/Jade sphere cooldowns on top of useful bonuses like another blast finisher and extra healing on dodge from Evasive Arcana:


Equipment

Scepter
Dagger
Sigil
Sigil
Rune
Amulet


Equipment Variants

Runes

  • Rune of Forge
  • Rune of Radiance
  • Rune of Divinity

Amulets

  • - better healing, lower damage.

Sigils

  • Sigil of Smoldering - improves your strongest condition.
  • Sigil of Doom - better condition variety and some healing reduction.


Usage

Elite specialization basics

  • Catalysts gain access to Deploy Jade Sphere which drops an AoE combo field with pulsing boons depending on the attunement it was 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.


General

  • Written in Stone makes your signets retain their passive effects after being used. With this you no longer need to make a decision between using the active and keeping the passive, feel free to use the signets pretty much on CD. For instance on other Ele builds using Signet of Restoration's active would be a desperate last resort option, but here you're encouraged to do it whenever you're missing more than 3k HP.
  • Because of Signet of Restoration you should almost always be casting something for the passive healing, even if it's just an autoattack that's not even hitting anything. An exception to this would be having high enough Confusion Confusion stacks that you'd take more damage than the signet could outheal.
  • Whether you need to get around the map faster or want to disengage from a lost fight, Ride the Lightning is a very strong mobility skill. Just make sure you have "auto-targeting" disabled in the options and use it without a target selected if you want to escape a fight, otherwise it's going to take you right back into the action.
  • Elemental Attunement grants you Swiftness Swiftness whenever you swap into Air. Swapping in and out of Air as much as you can while roaming the map increases your mobility.
  • Elemental Celerity (the elite) reduces the recharge of every weapon skill on your current attunement. Use it on:
    • Air if you need mobility/CC/evasion.
    • Fire for extra burst damage.
    • Water for healing/cleansing.
    • Earth for CC and minor sustain from Blind Blind and barrier.


Auras

  • You gain Stability Stability whenever you gain an aura thanks to Staunch Auras.
    • With the Fire Fire variant you also cleanse 1 condition via Smothering Auras.
  • Written in Stone further improves your signets by attaching auras to their activation. Each signet grants an aura based on the element the signet's associated with, for example Signet of Water applies Frost Aura Frost Aura.
  • Elemental Epitome grants an aura based on your current element when you execute a combo (with a 10s CD per element).
  • The spread of combo finishers on S/D isn't optimal for aura stacking with Elemental Epitome - Air and Water don't have any while Earth has up to 5. This however can be remedied with good timing and a little bit of creativity by switching attunements at the right moment, causing some finishers to land in a different attunement.
  • An example of spreading out finishers would be dropping the Jade Sphere on Earth, following up with Hurl and swapping to Air for Shocking Aura or casting a Phoenix in a Ring of Fire (elementalist) then swapping to Water before the blast goes off.
  • Combo finishers in the build:
    • Dragon's Tooth and Phoenix on Fire.
    • Hurl (chain skill of Rock Barrier), Earthquake, Churning Earth and the first dodge you perform after swapping to this element thanks to Evasive Arcana. There's also the autoattack Stone Shards but that's a bit random.
  • There're also some less complicated ways of obtaining auras. Water #4 creates a Frost Aura (and flips over into a chain skill which lets you transmute it for extra effects or, more cleansing via Smothering Auras when playing the Fire variant). Another easy one on the Fire variant is to simply swap to Fire Attunement for a Sunspot proc. These are both instant and can even be done while casting skills or sitting in a CC, preventing enemies from piling more CCs onto you via Staunch Auras.
  • As the Jade Sphere is instant you could even drop a combo field in the middle casting a combo finisher to gain an aura.


Damage

  • Fire is your strongest element, followed by Earth.
  • Flamestrike is an autoattack which is more dangerous than it looks, capable of rapidly stacking Burning Burning on enemies if you're allowed to freecast for a few seconds. Quickness Quickness from the Air Jade Sphere can help a lot with that, so dropping the sphere on Air before switching to Fire is always a good idea.
  • With the Fire Fire spec variant every skill used on Fire stacks Might Might for you, even the autoattack.
  • There's no set rotation on this attunement, only good practices like making sure your Blast finishers land in a Fire field and sending everything on CD before swapping out of Fire. Spam autos if you have Quickness Quickness otherwise burst targets with other Fire skills and use the auto as a filler once everything's on CD.
  • Dragon's Tooth and Phoenix both do good damage and are Blast finishers. Other than stacking auras they have inherent value as combo tools, for example if used inside the Fire Jade Sphere these two are going to stack Might Might which increases your damage.
    • Both of these skills work on targets behind your character, allowing you to effortlessly pressure enemies even while kiting them.
  • Dragon's Tooth has a delay and often forces enemies to keep a dodge ready so they can avoid it. Use the time while it's hanging above your enemy to unload your other fire skills while they're less likely to dodge.
  • Ring of Fire (elementalist) is a simple AoE that burns foes when cast (and whenever they cross the ring). It's also a combo field.
  • Fire Grab should always be used when the target has Burning Burning for the extra damage. Considering how every other weapon skill on this attunement inflicts burning that shouldn't be hard.
  • Air skills don't do a whole lot of damage compared to Fire but Lightning Strike and Blinding Flash offer good cover conditions to make your Burning stacks harder to cleanse.
  • While Rock Barrier offers a passive stat increase, most of the time people tend to go immediately for its chain skill Hurl to deal damage. Hurl launched 5 projectiles which apply Bleeding Bleeding that are guaranteed projectile finishers, these are best used inside the Earth Sphere to combo Poison Poison or a Fire Field for Burning Burning.
  • Dust Devil adds more condition variety to your bursts on top of being a great defensive skill.
  • Stone Shards isn't quite as good of an auto as Flamestrike but it's an okay filler skill when you've got nothing better to do.
  • Use Signet of Earth, Updraft, Shocking Aura Shocking Aura and Earthquake to root people into hard hitting skills like Churning Earth or Phoenix.


Sustain

  • The build has lots of passive strike damage mitigation and several tools that reduce incoming condition damage/duration:
    • Signet of Earth + Geomancer's Training + Stone Flesh + Protection Protection + Frost Aura Frost Aura against strike damage.
    • Rune of Orr + Signet of Water + Earthen Blessing reduce the duration of incoming conditions.
  • Arcane variant Simply swapping to Earth can already help you out against strike damage as you'll gain Protection Protection from Elemental Attunement. Earth Jade Sphere grants the same boon plus Resistance Resistance.
  • Water is the best attunement when it comes to dealing with condition pressure. With the Arcane Arcane variant your cleansing is limited mostly to Cleansing Wave and the first dodge on water via Evasive Arcana, while the Fire Fire variant turns every aura application and aura transmute into a source of cleansing due to Smothering Auras synergy. With Fire you get to do back-to-back Transmute Frosts for burst cleansing as the build has plenty of Frost Aura Frost Aura application (Dagger 4, Signet of Restoration and Water, plus the one from Elemental Epitome).
  • Phoenix cleanses 1 condition.
  • Water Trident is rather straightforward, heals when it strikes an enemy.
  • Water Attunement's Jade Sphere is a Water field, dropping blast finishers inside it is a good way of resustaining yourself. While Water doesn't have any such finishers, swapping to Earth Attunement right after and following up with a dodge (when playing Arcane) + Earthquake + Churning Earth for 3 blasts is a common play.
  • Chill Chill from Shatterstone and Frost Aura can help you kite enemies.
  • Blinding Flash and Dust Devil mitigate damage via Blind Blind spam, but Blinding Flash also has Weakness Weakness which is quite nice against power-based specs (and it's instant so could even be used while CC'd).
  • Rock Barrier is a decent barrier source for damage mitigation and makes Resistance Resistance negates non-damaging conditions.
  • Signet of Air is your only stun break, luckily it's on short CD and the build has plenty of Stability Stability. If you're good enough at reading the field you could even use it preemptively, Blind Blinding an incoming CC (or any other impactful attack skill) instead of reacting to it after you've been hit. The skill laso grants Shocking Aura Shocking Aura which stuns attackers.
  • Other than just being a powerful CC tool Updraft also has an evade frame which is quite useful if you're out of dodges and need to avoid something important.
    • Updraft also works on downed players, you could use this to knock enemies off of capture points to bleed them out slowly while you cap the node.
  • Ride the Lightning is great at disengaging from fights and Elemental Celerity lets you do it twice, which should make it impossible for most builds in the game to chase you down.


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Ratings

This build has a rating of 5 stars based on 3 votes.
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5 stars
Gkhougaz gave this build 5 stars • July 2023
NERF IT REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
5 stars
Goon gave this build 5 stars • July 2023
Absolutely putrid build that can play every role but support. Only weakness is lack of active defenses through blocks and invulnvs though with a near permanent 43% physical damage reduction who needs to block.
5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars • June 2023
Another top tier Cata build that has everything and does everything.

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