Holosmith - Protection Holo


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The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great.

Focused on: Direct damageSupport.

Designed for:

Overview

A tanky sPvP Holosmith build made to win duels and occasionally help out in team fights by bringing both damage and support to the table.

Skill Bar

Sword/ShieldHealingUtilityElite
Elite Mortar Kit

Slot Changes

Utility

Specializations

Variants

  • 24px Purity of Purpose makes it easier to maintain boons (and even obtain ones the build doesn't have access to normally), but the maximum potential damage reduction is going to be lower.

Variants

Equipment

Sword.png
Shield.png
I.png
Superior Sigil of Agility
9Recharge.png
Superior Sigil of Agility.pngSuperior Sigil of Agility
Gain 5 seconds of swiftness and 1 second of quickness when you swap to this weapon while in combat. (Cooldown: 9s)
Superior Sigil of Energy
9Recharge.png
Superior Sigil of Energy.pngSuperior Sigil of Energy
Gain 50% of your endurance when you swap to this weapon while in combat. (Cooldown: 9s)
I.png
Superior Rune of Sanctuary
Superior Rune of Sanctuary.pngSuperior Rune of Sanctuary
(1): +25 Vitality (2): +5% Boon Duration (3): +50 Vitality (4): +10% Boon Duration (5): +100 Vitality (6): Gain a barrier with health equal to 20% of any heals you receive.
Demolisher's Amulet
Demolisher's Amulet.pngDemolisher's Amulet
+1050 Power +1050 Precision +560 Toughness +560 Ferocity

Equipment Changes

Rune

  • is a tanky choice which also adds an instant source of Resistance Resistance to the build.
  • trades the vitality of Sanctuary for toughness and adds another source of Protection Protection to the build.
  • offers higher overall boon duration than any other rune on this list plus an instant source of cleansing, but it's less tanky.


Sigils

  • Superior Sigil of Intelligence Superior Sigil of Intelligence
    9Recharge.png
    Superior Sigil of Intelligence.pngSuperior Sigil of Intelligence
    Your next three attacks after swapping to this weapon while in combat has a 100% critical chance. (Cooldown: 9s)
    over Agility.

Usage

Elite specialization basics

  • Holosmith grants access to the Photon Forge (sometimes referred to as holo mode) and introduces a new resource: heat. Heat is generated passively while the forge is active, or by activating forge skills. Higher CD skills generally generate more heat.
  • Reaching maximum heat (100) should be avoided as Overheat Overheating damages you and locks you out of the forge until heat goes back to 0. The best tool for heat management is dodge rolling, which vents 15 heat per roll via 24px Thermal Release Valve and does some moderate AoE damage.
  • Engage Photon Forge.png Engage Photon Forge is used to activate the forge, after which your weapon skills will be replaced by 5 new ones. You can't exit the forge for at least 6 seconds, so be careful about reentering with high heat levels.
    • Both Engage Photon Forge and Disengage Photon Forge count as toolbelt skills and will work with related traits. Both skills can proc weapon swap sigils too.


Forge skills

This is where most of the damage comes from

  • Although the autoattack chain got significant nerfs in March 2018, it can still do considerable cleave damage especially with Quickness Quickness.
  • Holo Leap.png Holo Leap will be used to maintain permanent Swiftness Swiftness and Vigor Vigor (through Invigorating Speed.png Invigorating Speed), keep using this skill out of combat as well but don't build too much heat (manage with dodges accordingly). Holo Leap also does considerable damage while in combat. Keep in mind that this is a Leap Finisher, so always try to combo it with either a Light Field for Light Aura Light Aura or a Water Field for healing.
  • Corona Burst.png Corona Burst will be the primary source of Stability Stability in the build and an important source of Might Might, granting up to 5 stacks per use. There's a second attack too which goes off after a short delay. This should be the VERY FIRST SKILL you use after entering holo mode.
    • Stability Stability won't be applied unless you hit at least one enemy.
  • Photon Blitz.png Photon Blitz can be useful for reaching targets trying to escape and serves as a nice followup skill to be used after a CC.
  • Holographic Shockwave.png Holographic Shockwave is an excellent AoE CC and also a Blast Finisher. You can also fake cast it by stowing your weapon right after activation in order to bait enemy dodges.


General

  • The Protection Protection boon is the very backbone of this build. Not only does it remove 1 condition per application, but its effectiveness is further enchanced by Over Shield.png Over Shield / 24px Anticorrosion Plating (and by extension 24px Purity of Purpose, if taken). Aim to maintain it as much as possible. Sources of protection include:
  • Healing Turret.png Healing Turret cleanses a total of 4 conditions (2 baseline, 2 extra from Inventions traits) - 5 if you're using Rune of the Herald.
    • If you're under heavy condition pressure consider picking up the turret (F by default) instead of detonating it to shave 5 seconds off its CD for more frequent cleansing. Alternatively, detonating the turret in a Light field sacrifices some AoE healing but cleanses one additional condition, bringing the total amount of cleanses to 5 (6 with Herald).
  • Static Shield.png Static Shield is one of your strongest defensive tools. Not only does it grant Protection Protection and block attacks, but also stuns anyone who attacks you which can even CC enemies out of evade frames such as Dagger Storm.png Dagger Storm. The stun can buy you enough time to pull off a Healing Turret.png Healing Turret uninterrupted.
  • If taken Thumper Turret.png Thumper Turret is one of the most versatile skills in the build:
    • Right after deployment it does an AoE CC, triggers a Blast finisher, applies Protection Protection, and activates a projectile-reflection bubble.
    • Detonate Thumper Turret.png Detonate Thumper Turret is a 2nd Blast finishers. Note: try not to detonate/pick up this turret while the bubble is still up, as a 2nd AoE CC will go off right before the shield drops.
    • Rumble.png Rumble (toolbelt) is a stun break with Stability Stability and yet another Blast finisher.
  • Sword is rather mediocre. The autoattack chain is weaker than Photon Forge's, skill 2 is only ever worth using as a filler above 50% heat + point blank range. 24px Radiant Arc is what matters, which is an incredibly loaded skill - gap closer, leap finisher, Quickness Quickness uptime (always try to use this skill above 50 heat), and the damage isn't bad either.
  • While the build is mainly about sustained damage, there are a couple of burst combos you can do. An example:
  • Hard Light Arena.png Hard Light Arena will be your best cleanse and party utility tool, removing up to 12 conditions over its duration whilst also applying its own boons every second. As a Light combo field any Blast finisher executed in it will AoE cleanse 1 condition, while Leap finishers grant Light Aura Light Aura. Always try to use it above 50 Heat to prolong its duration. This skill is about mitigating moderate-to-high sustained damage over a longer period of time, making sure that - with the combination of other skills when necessary - no damage will overwhelm you.
  • Spectrum Shield.png Spectrum Shield is what you use to survive bursts of any kind. Against direct damage this should be used preemtively, whereas vs conditions it's sort of a last resort option under overwhelming pressure which buys you a couple of second until (hopefully) your cleanses come back up or the conditions fall off.
    • The toolbelt skill 24px Flash Spark may seem relatively unimportant (and that's not far from the truth), but an instant source of Blind Blind that's usable even while CC'd isn't all that weak when you're being pressured or if you need to blind a downed interrupt whilst stomping someone.


Mortar Kit

Elite skill

  • This one is fairly straightforward. This kit contains 5 long range attacks, 4 of which are combo fields (and of that 4, 3 are defensive by nature). Despite its range most of the time you'll be spamming these directly at your feet for sustain (and some damage as the impact damage does okay damage) whenever you can spare some time for it.
  • Since you'll be overlapping a bunch of combo fields, here's what you'll do: pick the field you actually want to utilize, and use that one first. Want Frost Aura Frost Aura? Start with Endothermic Shell.png Endothermic Shell. Raw healing? Elixir Shell.png Elixir Shell it is. Pile all the other fields on top of it - in situations like this the oldest field is going to be at the top of the priority list.
  • Note: the kit shares a cooldown with Photon Forge!


Understanding combo fields & finishers

Important fields


Important finishers


Notable interactions

  • We're not going to list everything, just the few most common ones.
  • Leap/Blast + Water field = healing
  • Leap/Blast + Ice field = Frost Aura.png Frost Aura
    • This aura provides a direct damage reduction which stacks with other forms of mitigation such as Protection Protection
  • Leap + Light field = Light Aura Light Aura
  • Blast + Light field = AoE condition removal

Top Streamers

Build rating - 5 stars
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9 Ratings
5 stars
Katzenfutter gave this build 5 stars 5 weeks ago

A great build. It got a lot of sustain, decent damage and is a great addition to teams which rely on boons.

5 stars
Ulkhan gave this build 5 stars January 2019

Amazing at matches, a bit slow at duels but win them all. Nice variant for everything, and especcially- condi.

5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars December 2018

One of the best holo builds atm, great sustain/utility and decent damage. Looks like the shield buffs may be enough to bring this archetype back.

6 More Ratings
5 stars
Bobruler0896 gave this build 5 stars August 2018

In my honest opinion though; the basic build is 'okay', you just have to re-tune it to your playstyle. I do honestly believe the S/Sh works a lot better for this build. Rifle is too lack-luster and useless for anything other than auto-spamming. Plus you get a lot more tankiness and easy access cleansing with shield o/h.

5 stars
Shirin gave this build 5 stars July 2018

Great build ton of sustain and lots of fun to play!

5 stars
AlekSeven gave this build 5 stars April 2018

A good build that helped me and team to survive the condi bomb of 2 Scourges. Good mobility with PH 2 and a lot of boons with convert and Supply crate with Exp Turrets. Ran this in ranked it it deserves its good note.

5 stars
Zoopop44 gave this build 5 stars April 2018

great to play and throw you enemies off by not expecting a build like this.

5 stars
Filthi gave this build 5 stars March 2018

as of my own understanding of gw2 mechanics/meta right now, i cant see why maurader isnt present as the main or secondary choice for amulet using this build. My Decision for marauder factors on the low health pool vs meta condi scourge. Having the extra hp for fighting condi is a big help. more hp = more time to kill them before healing yourself for a bigger burst. the time givin in fighting condi builds is helpful.

toughness counters power ---> but does not mitigate condi damage

vit counters condi --->but higher hp pool requires more heal

once the condi gets toned down i could perhaps see demolisher ammy as more viable

5 stars
CGSN gave this build 5 stars February 2018

This score reflects how powerful Hard Light Arena with the inventions/alchemy condition converting is. We talked a bit about how great the toolbelt for Medic Gyro was with inventions/alchemy as a 5X protection pulse while Hard Light Arena with its 12 pulses initially escaped our theorycrafting.

Thumper turret is pretty clever with the smoke bomb offering a double smoke blast escape from CC.

The third utility slot is real difficult to find something that feels great. I haven't tried Photon Wall in this build yet but it was nice to play with in the SD build, so I'll try that out for a bit.

Regardless of the small details though, Hard Light Arena is one of the strongest condition-hate skills in the game now with inventions/alchemy and will hard carry teamfights on its own.

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