Elementalist - Leveling Summoner
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- 1 Leveling Tips
- 2 Overview
- 3 The Build
- 4 Progression
- 5 Elite Specializations and Post-80 Content
It is strongly advised that you review our Leveling Tips Guide before proceeding with this build.
Elementalist is a powerful, highly active class that focuses on swapping between "Attunements" rather than swapping weapons like some other classes. Each Attunement grants you new skills based on your weapon choice and as such Elementalist can be a very difficult class to learn.
Elementalist is a powerhouse in many areas of the game, especially Instanced PVE, and even when its not on top it can hold its own against other classes very well. It has a moderate skill floor and an incredibly high ceiling, with the potential to outclass almost everything else in the game when played well.
Leveling an Elementalist can be a fun and rewarding experience, as it has high DPS even Pre-80. It's lack of defensive skills can occasionally put you in a bind, however, so be sure you're dodging attacks often and using defensive cooldowns such as or
This is a preview of the build you are aiming for. Progression is explained below. This build assumes that you are using Dagger/Focus, but any weapon set is viable here.
Trait and Skill Variants
This build is geared towards high survivability through the use of Elementals, however you are free to experiment with any skills and trait combination you like. This build is not set in stone. Tweak it to your liking.
This build consists of several high DPS moves and defensive cooldowns. This section will explain, briefly, what skills to focus on. The skills listed below don't represent any particular rotation, but rather skills which you should try to use frequently.
- + - summons a strong melee dps
- + - summons a ranged DPS elemental
- + - summons a very tanky elemental to hold aggro
- + - A tanky elemental that can heal allies
- + - creates a large amount of Vulnerability and deals high damage.
- + - Creates a large dust storm which causes Blind in an area.
- - reflects projectiles
- - destroys projectiles
- - very short projectile block
- - a long-duration invulnerability
Unlocking the build above will take quite some time, but you should aim to follow the guide below. Note that you should have more hero points than you will need for this build, so do some experimenting and unlock things that seem fun to you. This build a guideline, not a hard rule to follow.
Tier 1 is level 2-10 and during this tier you will be slowly introduced to some of the core concepts of the game, like weapon and profession skills. As an Elementalist, you'll start with unlocked, along with Weapon Skills 1 and 2. Changing your weapon will change what skills are available to you, so play around and find ones that you like as you level.
For now, just focus on exploring the world around you. Complete events that you run into and do hearts, find points of interest and vistas, etc. At level 5 you will unlock and gain access to even more skills!
At level 8 you will gain a Trident and Aquabreather. Equip these, as it can be hard to find replacements for them. They are part of your underwater gear.
At level 10, you'll unlock the next Chapter of your Personal Story and the ability to Weapon Swap. Elementalist can have two weapon sets but since they have Attunements (more on those later), they cannot weapon swap in combat like other classes can.
Complete your Personal Story and proceed to Tier 2.
From levels 11-20 you'll be in Tier 2. You will automatically unlock , which typically provides good support, defense, and healing. This tier is also where you begin making decisions about your build and is where you start unlocking Slot Skills.
Slot Skills are divided into three categories - Healing, Utility, and Elite. You already have your Healing Skill, but now you can begin unlocking Utility Skills.
On reaching Level 11 you'll receive 5 hero points. You can get hero points from levels or completing Hero Challenges in the world, but for the purposes of this guide we will only consider your hero points gained from levels.
To start off, open your hero panel and look under the Training tab. You'll see several options for Slot Skills. Your goal in Tier 2 is to unlock the following skills and any skills that come before them:
On reaching level 15, you'll automatically unlock your and will have access to all possible weapon skills for Elementalist. By this point, using Dagger/Focus, Dagger/Dagger, or Staff is recommended, though any weapons will work well.
Remember to focus on Power gear as you level. As Elementalist is somewhat glassy, it may be a good idea to find gear that has both Power and Toughness or Power and Vitality, though Power and Precision is a great combination for maximizing damage.
At level 20, you will unlock Chapter 2 of your Personal Story. Complete it and proceed to Tier 3.
Tier 3 contains levels 21-30 and right away you will unlock the ability to select Core Specializations and unlock Traits.
Your goal in this Tier is much the same as Tier 2 and 1: Complete open world events, hearts, vistas, and the like while gaining levels. With your main utility skills already unlocked, you will want to focus on unlocking specific traits.
Open your Hero Panel under Training again but this time we're going to look at the Arcane Specialization. You have two traits to focus on here:
Note that most of the Arcane traits activate when you swap attunements, so you should swap often. and provide you with the most damage. and will provide you some defense.
Each of your Glyphs will also gain a different function based on your current attunement, so be sure to pay attention to that. Using in provides a very large area blind which can be useful for taking out groups of mobs, for example.
At Level 30, complete your next Personal Story chapter and move to Tier 4.
From levels 31-40, right away we get to unlock an Elite Skill. Elite skills are unlocked at the end of any Skill Line Training and can be very powerful. For our purposes, we'll focus on:
You're already familiar with the Lesser Elementals, so you shouldn't have any trouble using this Glyph to your advantage. This one does come with a few bells and whistles though. This will summon one large elemental which has its own special skill you can command it to use by using your Elite Skill again. Each of them can be strong, but the strongest for this summoner build is typically the Ice Elemental you summon while in . It's skill heals in an area, which can be useful for keeping you and your Lesser Elementals alive. Once you get this, summon a Greater Ice Elemental and use your smaller elementals for DPS rather than tanking.
is a very simple skill that will give you a bit of extra sustain or damage when you dodge, based on your current attunement. It isn't especially important to this build, but the Minor Trait that comes before it, is one of the primary reasons Arcane was listed first. It will reduce your Attunement recharge, which will smooth out the Elementalist playstyle considerably.
It is worth noting that you will begin unlocking dungeons here, as listed in our Leveling Tips guide. Be sure to consult that section, as dungeons are a valuable source of gold and experience.
At level 40, complete your Personal Story chapter and move to Tier 5.
Levels 41-50 get really interesting as we begin unlocking our second Specialization at level 45. Here, you can choose to go for more defense or more offense - though your choice isn't permanent.
If you want more damage, it's time to start looking at Fire. This Specialization contains a number of powerful traits that increase your damage drastically, and by level 45 when you can unlock them you should have somewhere between 110 and 170 hero points. This means that you can unlock many traits right away, if you haven't already spent those points. The main stars of Fire are:
Aside from those three, you can opt for whichever traits sound good to you, though and are recommended. The traits above will grant you a considerable damage bonus while attuned to Fire, which will increase your overall damage output.
For more defense, it is recommended to dip into either Water or Earth. If you have Power gear with Healing Power, Water will serve you better. If you do not have any healing power, go Earth.
Note that even though we have spec'd into Water here, you still will not do much damage while in . This variant will grant you considerable healing and regeneration when combined with Healing Power gear while maintaining decent damage thanks to and .
Earth's Major Traits don't actually matter that much. The real stars of the Earth Specialization are minor traits and .
You should be able to fully unlock one of these specializations by Level 50, but if not just keep going. Complete your personal story chapter at level 50 and proceed to Tier 6.
Tier 6 and Tier 7
The next two tiers, 6 and 7, are mostly the same as Tier 5. You will unlock new dungeons like Twilight Arbor and Sorrow's Embrace, and will be able to complete more of your personal story. During these Tiers you will start getting gear with 3 stats rather than 2, so you should start focusing on bringing up your Power and Precision, generally, with the third attribute being of your choice.
Runes and Sigils
By level 60 you will be able to obtain Superior Runes and Sigils, which can alter your gameplay drastically. Find some that you like and that are very cheap and use them in your gear. It is not recommended to purchase any specific runes or sigils until level 80, however, so just use ones that you find or are given by the rewards system for now.
Once you have completed your Tier 7 Personal Story, you are ready to proceed to Tier 8.
Level 71 is where you start getting your first tastes of the end-game. Here we unlock our final Specialization slot, which we'll be dedicating to Air. Air requires you to have a decent amount of Critical Hit Chance to function, so your gear should contain a good bit of Precision by this point.
If your Crit Chance is higher than 50%, you can opt to use instead, which will bring an entirely new playstyle to the build involving very rapid attunement switching. For now, is a good catch-all which massively increases damage.
By this point, you will have most of the maps in Core Tyria unlocked and will have made your way to the Orr maps. These maps, such as Malchor's Leap, have extremely frequent events and you will often find "Event Trains" in their public map chat. Join up with these trains for large group activites that are both highly profitable and grant large amounts of experience.
After exploring Orr and participating in events, you will have reached level 80. From here, proceed into your final Story Chapter, and upon completing it you will be ready for some of the end-game content.
Elite Specializations and Post-80 Content
Just because you're level 80 now doesn't mean the game is over, however. Guild Wars 2's leveling experience is a fun series of exploration, story, dungeons, and learning experiences. Post-80, much of that remains the same. There are more level 80 maps in the game than pre-80 maps, so exploring those and experiencing Heart of Thorns, Path of Fire, and the Living Story episodes will give you more of that unique leveling experience.
You will also want to unlock your Elite Specializations. You can do this in a similar way to your Core Specializations, by obtaining Hero Points, but Elite Specializations require many more Hero Points than Core. The best way to obtain these is to venture in to the Heart of Thorns or Path of Fire maps and complete Hero Challenges there, which grant 10 Hero Points each. You can often find "HP Trains" in the LFGs for these maps or in map chat, which will allow you to very quickly and easily complete these Hero Points.
The difficulty level of maps ramps up considerably from Core to the Expansions, so be ready to get hit hard. You'll want to explore our Open World section for good Core Builds to level up your Elite Specs.
Fractals and Raids are also unlocked at 80, and if you own the expansions you can jump right into them. Fractals are a lot like dungeons but with a tiered progression system. Higher level fractals can be very profitable and challenging content but require special Ascended gear. Raids, on the other hand, can be an excellent source of Ascended drops and provide rewarding group content to complete with up to 10 players. You can start off raids in Exotic Gear, which is often relatively cheap, so don't be afraid to look for Training Guilds.
From here, your goals are your own. You can seek to conquer the fractal progression, join up with raids, or participate in the massive number of meta events available around Tyria. Whichever path you decide, you'll need a build for it, so consult the other builds on this site to find one that suits you best.
Good luck out there.