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Elementalist - S/F Fresh Air

The community gave this build a rating, making it second-tier: Good

Focused on: Strike damageMobility and Control

Designed for: PvP Conquest

This build was last updated on July 14, 2024 and is up to date for the June 25, 2024 patch.


An oldschool, core version of the Fresh Air 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 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 Fire for extra damage and cleansing makes it quite strong in its own right.

Being a core Ele build it's available to F2P players who are trying to get into GW2 PvP for the first time.

Skill Bar


Skill Variants


  • Conjure Fiery Greatsword - much like Tornado this could still be used as an escape tool, albeit on a much longer CD. Offers better mobility and AoE pressure but no CC. A second conjured weapon is created on the ground which is also usable by allies, so it provides some group utility as well.
  • Glyph of Elementals - the Fire elemental is very underrated and can do a lot of damage, but another reason to take this would be the Final Shielding synergy. This trait can give you a lesser Arcane Shield once every 20 seconds when using an elite - the glyph's instant cast 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.

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Equipment Variants

Amulets and Runes

  • - makes the build a bit more forgiving to play in exchange for lower damage, might be a good idea for beginners who are just learning the build. Take Rune of Holosmith 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 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.
  • Signet of Air is a valuable defensive skill but one that could also be used offensively for the Vulnerability 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 Might by blasting the fire field created by 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
  • Tornado is more versatile than it looks:
    • Dust Charge is an excellent mobility tool that could help you either chase or run away from enemies. Using an elite procs a lesser Arcane Shield that could make it even easier to escape.
    • Dust Charge is also a powerful CC ability that even works on downed enemies. If you see an enemy Guardian with Stability Stability casting Signet of Mercy and nobody on your team can interrupt it, you could use Tornado on the downed enemy and blow them out of the signet's radius, denying the rez.
    • Entering Tornado for a single use of Dust Charge could be used to set up burst via CC.
    • Staying in Tornado form periodically CCs targets around the caster, which makes it harder for enemies to damage you for an extended period of time while you're waiting for CDs to come back up.
  • Try to aim Phoenix 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)

  1. Dragon's Tooth
  2. Fire Shield Transmute Fire - both the transmute and Dragon's Tooth have a delay, your goal is to get into Air by the time these go off
  3. Phoenix - optional: Lightning Flash right at your target before you finish casting Phoenix to cut down on the projectile's travel time.
  4. Air Attunement - swap to this while casting Phoenix. Note: swapping out of fire triggers an explosion from Pyromancer's Puissance, 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.
  5. Lightning Strike
  6. Blinding Flash 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 Fresh Air proc. This is greedy but you could sacrifice an instant utility skill like Lightning Flash or Signet of Air and hope for a crit. That's the most seamless way because it doesn't risk messing up your timing, but a Flamestrike cast or two could also get the job done.

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.
  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 could substitute it.
  3. Air Attunement - 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 Fresh Air is active.
  4. Lightning Strike


  • Swapping to Air Attunement is just as important for defense as it is for offense. Even when you're running away you should try to get some Fresh Air procs just so you can abuse blinds and superspeed.
  • One with Air makes it easy to kite most specs via Superspeed Superspeed. Avoid melee range whenever possible! Don't stay in melee unless the target is blinded, CC'd or you're about to burst them.
  • Blinding Flash is great at avoiding crucial skills by blinding enemies, and it also shuts down Power-based specs in general with the Weakness Weakness. Being an instant cast skill this can also be used while CC'd. Signet of Air fills a similar purpose, so does Dust Devil although that one has a cast time.
  • Shatterstone is a source of spammable Chill Chill which you can even place behind your back while running away. Chill is great for building distance plus the damage could recharge Air, and swapping to Air gives you Superspeed Superspeed which makes it even easier to run away.
    • Swapping to Water, dodging for healing/cleansing then dropping Shatterstone on top of your target and using its damage to go back to Air is a common defensive rotation.
  • Needless to say other CCs can also be used for creating some breathing room or making sure that your burst won't be disrupted.
  • 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.
  • Swapping to Fire procs a Fire Aura from Sunspot and gaining an aura removes 1 condition via Smothering Auras. 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 Transmute Fire. Smothering Auras removes 2 conditions when you transmute an aura.
  • If you need to cleanse a lot of conditions do the following chain:
  1. Fire Attunement - cleanses 1 condition as you gain an aura.
  2. Transmute Fire - cleanses 2 conditions.
  3. Use Focus #5 Fire Shield, removing yet another condition.
  4. Transmute again for another 2 cleanses.
  5. Phoenix at your feet for another cleanse, if necessary. Swapping to Water and performing a dodge roll or swapping to Earth for Magnetic Wave could add even more cleansing to the chain.

Related Builds

  • 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.


This build has a rating of 4 stars based on 5 votes.
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4 stars
Hanz gave this build 4 stars • October 2023
Updated it for the relic patch, actually saw a few eles switching to this in ranked after Cata nerfs. I don't think core is better overall, but it could do a bit more damage and has better cleansing. Reduced recharge on Fire skills isn't bad either. It's surprisingly good once you get the hang of it.
3 stars
Ssendink gave this build 3 stars • May 2019
Decent build for f2p players, but lack of all
4 stars
ShaoAZ gave this build 4 stars • March 2019
With all the changes the core specs got, it's hard to say if Freshweaver is actually better than this one if played with Fire. With more control over skills at a loss of a rather telegraphed burst of weaver, core gets to be more volatile and organized, which is arguably putting the player in a better place for any type of situation. IMO water should not be used any longer as long as a focus is involved, the might , damage increase and cleanses in Fire are way more accessible and efficient for dueling.
5 stars
FalkonLink gave this build 5 stars • May 2018
This build has given me quite a bit of success. After a few matches I swapped out S/F for D/D to see if it would make a difference and ended up far more successful.
5 stars
Walle gave this build 5 stars • January 2018
This build has given me the most success with ele so far I still find ele squishy that's why I only put good but obviously that's just the current shape ele is in. I really enjoy playing this build


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