Elementalist - S/F Fresh Air
The community gave this build a rating, making it second-tier: Good
Designed for: PvP Conquest
An oldschool, core version of the PvP archetype. Its role is to roam the map and +1 fights, quickly bursting down targets. With enough experience it could also win some duels, although that's not the main focus here. Scepter/Focus FA is one of the harder elementalist specs to master, but the core version actually has better condition removal than most other iterations of FA which should make it a bit more forgiving to play.
Core Fresh Air isn't just some stripped down version of an elite spec build - being able to run Fire makes it quite strong in its own right.
Being a core Ele build it's available for F2P players.
- - much like FGS this could still be used as an escape tool, and the CC combined with the damage this skill deals could act as a finishing move against low HP targets who just barely survived your burst. The CC even works on downed enemies, allowing you to mess with ground targeted rez skills like by flinging the downed enemy out of the rez skill's target radius.
- - the Fire elemental is very underrated and can do a lot of damage, but another reason to take this would be the synergy. This trait can give you a lesser once every 20 seconds when using an elite - the glyph's chain skill (which is on a 15s CD) can also proc this trait. You may choose to delay using the active a bit and enjoy a frequent instant defensive proc, or just take this skill for a bit of extra damage.
Amulets and Runes
- - makes the build a bit more forgiving to play in exchange for lower damage. Take if you go with this amulet.
- Avoid 1v1s whenever possible, keep moving between capture points to outnumber fights and burst targets down.
- 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.
- is a valuable defensive skill but one that could also be used offensively for the Vulnerability and damage. This is a very greedy thing to do and you could get punished for it, but sometimes it can make the difference between getting a kill or not. It also has the potential to instantly reset Air attunement (if it crits).
- This build can self-stack Might by blasting the fire field created by . Do not prioritize Might stacking, but do take advantage of the incidental opportunities which arise. Your blast finishers are:
- 's purpose is twofold.
- Mobility: and are excellent movement skills that can help you disengage from fights if your defensive CDs ran out, or if you want to get to the other capture point as soon as possible.
- Cleave: , and are potent AoE skills that could mow down balled up enemies (for instance if they're trying to rez a downed).
- You get a free proc from traits whenever you conjure up the Greatsword. This is useful in every situation from running away to attacking enemies without having to worry about interrupts or incoming damage for a short while.
- Try to aim slightly behind your target whenever you can. This skill passes through targets while doing damage, explodes on the ground, then returns to you once again damaging targets it passes through. The goal here is to hit the target with all 3 parts of the skill, not just the explosion damage.
- Because of the slow travel time it's also best used in melee.
Notable burst combos
These are some of the most common burst combos used by FA players. The quicker you pull these chains off, the better.
From Fire: (ideally Air Attunement should already be available by the time you start this combo)
- ⇒ - both the transmute and Dragon's Tooth have a delay, your goal is to get into Air by the time these go off
- - optional: right at your target before you finish casting Phoenix to cut down on the projectile's travel time.
- - swap to this while casting Phoenix. Note: swapping out of fire triggers an explosion from , dealing considerable damage in melee (after a short delay). Swapping to Air while in melee range of the target therefore adds more damage to your combo.
- to avoid taking damage in melee, but it's not required
Note: if Air isn't ready by the time you get to step 3, you need to recharge it somehow with a proc. This is greedy but you could sacrifice an instant utility skill like or and hope for a crit. That's the most seamless way because it doesn't risk messing up your timing, but a cast or two could also get the job done.
- Optional: if you're in melee range of an enemy you may throw in a which can proc if it hits something.
- + then swap to during the channeling to make the projectiles land in the right attunement.
- - the trident does more damage to Chilled enemies which is important. Shatterstone should secure that but could substitute it.
- - swap to this the moment you press Water Trident. The goal is to make the 2nd strike of Shatterstone and Water Trident land while the Ferocity bonus from is active.
- makes it easy to kite most specs. Avoid melee range whenever possible! Don't stay in melee unless the target is Blinded, CC'd or you're about to burst them.
- 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.
- Swapping to Fire procs a Fire Aura from and gaining an aura removes 1 condition via . In the 5th slot on Fire you'll find a skill which grants the same aura, but if you already have the aura it flips over to its chain skill . Smothering Auras removes 2 conditions when you transmute an aura.
- If you need to cleanse a lot of conditions do the following chain:
- - cleanses 1 condition as you gain an aura.
- - cleanses 2 conditions.
- Use Focus #5 , removing yet another condition.
- Transmute again for another 2 cleanses.
- if necessary for another cleanse.
- is great at avoiding crucial skills by blinding enemies, and it also shuts down Power-based specs in general with the Weakness. could fill a similar role. While this is one of your stunbreaks, it could also be used proactively to blind dangerous skills instead of tanking them.
- FA Cata - Catalyst version.
- Freshweaver - a higher damage version of the build that's even harder to play. Bit of a gimmick, it's arguably less viable than core.
- FA Roamer - WvW roaming version of the same build.
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