Elementalist - Staff Backline

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Focused on: Direct damageSupportControl.

Designed for:


A backline build providing damage, CC and field support. Requires a precise usage of skills and positioning to survive.

Skill Bar


Skill Variants


  • for Tempest variants.


  • trade a defensive cooldown for instant AoE burst and a blast finisher
  • for Tempest variants.


  • Summon Druid Spirit Summon Druid Spirit is a strong elite for Sylvari Elementalists. Affects up to 5 enemies within a radius of 900' around the Druid Spirit. Sends one slow-moving projectile towards each affected target. Each projectile deals ~1800 damage and can result in a critical hit which deals +50% damage. Struck foes are immobilized for 1 second.
  • for Tempest variants.




  • for more condition clear and boons from .


  • Can't find such trait "Tempest Defense"! Please refer to our trait index Tempest Defense and Lightning Rod add significant damage but only if you can catch the enemy in your CCs (Especially Static Field) without Stability Stability.


  • for more evasion.


Swap Air for Water for more group support and sustain at the cost of damage.

Trade Arcane for Tempest for access to strong heal, utility and elite skills as well as some utility from overloads.


Marauder stat icon.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Superior Rune of Strength
Mighty WvW Infusion



  • Use as much Marauder's as you feel is necessary then fill out with Berserker's
  • Avoid inefficient stats like Valkyrie's. Marauder's is strictly better than Valkyrie's when considering effective power and health.


  • Extra survivability - Pairs well with


  • Better Fury Fury uptime in situations where it is not provided by the group.
  • Highest potential damage but difficult to maintain versus Retaliation Retaliation



  • Plate of Truffle Steak Plate of Truffle Steak
    Plate of Truffle Steak.pngPlate of Truffle Steak
    Nourishment (30m):
    Food.png+100 power+70 precision+10% Experience from kills
  • Carrot Soufflé Carrot Soufflé
    Carrot Soufflé.pngCarrot Soufflé
    Nourishment (60 m):
    Food.png+200 power for 30s after killing an enemy+70 Ferocity+10% Experience from kills


  • Superior Sharpening Stone Superior Sharpening Stone
    Superior Sharpening Stone.pngSuperior Sharpening Stone
    Nourishment (30 m):
    Potion.pngGain power equal to 3% of your precisionGain power equal to 6% of your ferocity+10 Experience from kills


The general purpose of the build is to use CC to trap enemies into your zerg's burst and then use damage skills to contribute to the burst. Which opening to use depends on commander's/own's preferences and zerg numbers.


  • This build requires to rapidly switch between attunement. You can reduce the time on an attunement by switching it while you are still casting a skill (this will not interrupt it).
  • Meteor shower is your main damage source, but it has a long cast time and by the end of it you can find yourself out of position or focused by enemies. You can avoid this in two ways:
    • Use after you start casting it.
    • Use the "burning retreat trick" (see GYF). This way avoids using but you can find yourself even further away from your zerg. Gfycat:
      Burning Retreat Trick
  • If you are alone and have to run somewhere, you can stack swiftness: Use in Air Attunement and switch out and into air to proc . You can also blast with by using Eruption before swapping to air attunement.
  • 's direction is based on your where your character is looking. Turn briefly while casting the skill to aim it and effectevily blocking the passage. Gfycat:
    See GYF for explaination
  • You can interrupt by using stow weapon as soon as you are full healed in order to save time.
  • provides great mobility and a damage boon when wielded. It can be used after casting to increase the damage.

Defensive opening

  • Start on Water. Use to slow down enemies, place so that the melee train will either heal and remove condition or gain
    Frost Aura Frost Aura
    Frost Aura
    Protect yourself with frost armor that reduces incoming damage by 10%. While active, it chills foes that hit you. Each attaker can be affected by this only once per second.
    Frost Aura.pngFrost Aura (7s): -10% Incoming Damage
    Chill.pngChilled (2s): -66% Movement Speed, -66% Skill Recharge Rate
    and finally for great damage and vulnerability for your zerg burst.
  • Switch to fire and deliver your burst/bombing: , to ensure bonus damage from and finally .
  • Switch to Air and use: to separate enemies from their zerg, . If you or your allies are slowed, use .
  • Switch to Earth, use to separate enemies from their zerg. If your zerg is attacking use to immobilize enemies. Place on the commander.
  • Switch to Water, place on the commander (if possible where you just put ) to provide area healing.

Aggressive opening

  • Start on Air. Use: to separate enemies from their zerg.
  • Immediately switch to Fire and use: , to ensure bonus damage from and finally .
  • Switch to Earth, use to separate enemies from their zerg. If your zerg is attacking use to immobilize enemies. Place on the commander.
  • Switch to Water, place on the commander (if possible where you just put ) to provide area healing and condition cleanse. Use and proceed with rotation from Fire.

Gameplay Videos

  • YouTube:
    Reta del Bratfish
  • YouTube:
  • YouTube Channel: Chemsorly Youtube
  • YouTube:
    TNG vs aX
Build rating - 4 stars
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7 Ratings
5 stars
Xivor gave this build 5 stars November 2017

I don't believe this build is bad enough to rate down to Basic, but it is definitely out-classed by Weaver. That being said, this build does still hold its own in DPS. Once the primary provider of healing through blasts on the water fields, now this build can be used primarily as a DPS option. I wouldn't run this is a 15-man comp, but I would run this in open-raid / public-raid zergs.

5 stars
Arete gave this build 5 stars January 2017

No longer viable in GvG/Small scale situations but still viable in large scale fights where it can land damage without being trained down. Fairly difficult to play due to widespread damage reduction reducing its impact and high damage ranged abilities like Coalescence of Ruin with the potential to kill from very high health percentages. Mostly outclassed as a damage dealer by other backliners such as Backline Hammer Revenant but still useful for its utility skills. The build brings the strongest set of AoE CCs in the game with Frozen Ground, Static Field, Unsteady Ground and Shockwave as well as strong water field access.

0 stars
Gigas gave this build 0 stars January 2017

A now completely out of date build with a terrible armor set in the first place. Staff ele has the highest damage AA in the game with Fire 1, so you want as much power as possible. Go with a valk/zerk mix, you don't need that much crit chance anyway since you hit like a truck.

Lightning Rod is no longer needed so instead change to Bolt To The Heart, you will do significantly more damage with it.

Arcane traitline is not a good choice anymore. Always go with Air/Fire/Water since it covers every need a staff ele has and provides all the good stuff for your guild/zerg/whatever.

Sigils are outdated too, Air and Force/Strength/Energy are your only choice.

4 More Ratings
5 stars
Billaboong gave this build 5 stars May 2016

A foundamental build for any wvw zerg. Gives field-support, CC and massive damage.

5 stars
Haru gave this build 5 stars April 2016

Completely pushed out of a meta but a classic build nonetheless.

5 stars
J0ttem gave this build 5 stars September 2015

Good DPS, lots of CC and excellent support. Essential to every medium & large sized WvW group.

5 stars
Chase gave this build 5 stars September 2015

Excellent DPS, sustaining better than necros even (but lacking their burst), great party wide support, and good control options help secure this build in any zerg/gvg.