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Holosmith - Tools Holo Roamer

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

Focused on: Strike damageMobility and Control

Designed for: WvW Roaming

Expansions required: Path of Fire Builds

This build was last updated on July 08, 2024 and is up to date for the June 25, 2024 patch.


Built around the toolbelt synergy of Tools and damage procs of Explosives Explosives, this WvW Holosmith roaming build is capable of doing massive burst damage without much setup. While the sustain's not that great by default, there's plenty of room for customization in the build that allows players to finetune things for their needs.

Skill Bar


Skill Variants


Viable choices for the optional slot:

  • Rifle Turret - it's mostly for the toolbelt skill, Surprise Shot is an instant trigger for Static Discharge and improves your burst damage. Has great synergy with the Tools spec in general because of its low CD. Currently the most popular pick.
  • Tool Kit - CC, block, and some decent damage on Pry Bar.
  • Elixir S - great panic button against any kind of pressure and even has Stealth Stealth access on toolbelt.
  • Spectrum Shield - defensive skill that also breaks stuns and its CD could be reduced when used at high heat levels.


  • Hammer - this is an equally viable option for people who own both Heart of Thorns and the Secrets of the Obscure expansions. The two sets offer very similar things - block, projectile-reflect, CC, leap finishers. Hammer is a slower weapon but has more damage.


  • Med Kit - worse cleansing but higher healing thanks to the toolbelt skill Bandage Self and the water field the kit offers. Goes up in value compared to Coolant Blast when NOT playing with Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit.


  • Prime Light Beam - unblockable ranged CC on low CD.
  • Supply Crate - a different kind of AoE CC, and the combo field could even be used for Stealth Stealth stacking.

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There are 2 main versions for this build: Thermal Release Valve and Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit.

  • With Thermal Release Valve you'll focus on dodging for heat management and Explosive Entrance synergy. You should aim to hit 90-100% bonus endurance regen. 50% is provided by Vigor Vigor from Tools and the rest should either come from OR Adrenal Implant on Tools, but never both! You don't want to overcap endurance regen. If you take Adrenal Implant you get to use ascended food and still have 100% bonus endurance regen, if you take the dodge food you'll only have 90% endurance regen but retain access to Kinetic Battery.
  • If you go with Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit your burst potential is going to be even higher, your Holo skills become stronger but your heat management gets worse, forcing you to use Photon Forge less often. Both of the Tools GM traits and both of the food options remain viable choices, but you'll no longer have to maximize endurance regen if you don't want to.



Equipment Variants


  • Rune of Superior Rune of the Pack - lower sustain, more damage, retains the same boon duration.


If you're confident in your ability to handle conditions even without Sigil of Superior Sigil of Cleansing, other options open up:

  • Sigil of Superior Sigil of Celerity - lines up perfectly with Thunderclap when playing with Hammer, significantly improves Quickness Quickness uptime.
  • Sigil of Superior Sigil of Vision - improves the consistency of your bursts.
  • Sigil of Superior Sigil of Air - higher burst potential.


  • Relic of Leadership - boosts your condition cleansing. Works especially well with Mortar Kit as the kit has no cast time and no CD, making it easy to proc this relic every 30 seconds even while stunned.
  • Relic of the Daredevil - improves your consistency by adding a frequent 100% crit chance proc to the build.



  • - defensive ascended choice with passive damage mitigation while also providing a decent amount of offensive stats.
  • - defensive option with Explosive Entrance and Thermal Release Valve synergy.
    • - budget version.


  • or


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 and also by activating forge skills. Higher CD skills generate more heat.
  • Reaching maximum heat (150) should be avoided as Overheating damages you and locks you out of the forge until heat goes back to 0.
  • 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. Be careful when entering it above ~70 heat as you may risk overheating.
  • 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

  • The autoattack chain can do considerable cleave damage especially with Quickness Quickness.
  • Holo Leap should be used on CD most of the time as this is an incredibly loaded skill on a very short CD. This skill provides mobility/cleansing via Crystal Configuration: Zephyr, does decent damage, and even functions as a Leap Finisher.
  • Corona Burst tends to be the first skill Holosmiths use in combat right after entering holo mode. This is a two-parter that also stacks Might Might. The second strike goes off after a delay, making it ideal to combo with other skills for burst damage. Try to squeeze in 2 Corona Bursts before exiting the form.
  • Photon Blitz offers some ranged pressure on an otherwise melee-focused set. You could combo this with the toolbelt skills Particle Accelerator and Surprise Shot for ranged burst damage if going into melee is too risky, but it's worth using for the damage regardless of range.
  • Holographic Shockwave is an excellent AoE CC and also a Blast Finisher. You may also fake cast it by stowing your weapon right after activation in order to bait dodges from enemies.


  • Coolant Blast and Photon Wall are best used above 50 heat for maximum effectiveness. For Sword skills you should be aiming for 100+ heat.
  • Superspeed on toolbelt is the only stun break in the build by default, but at least it recharges quickly. Slick Shoes could be used while stunned in hopes of CCing enemies.
  • Elite Mortar Kit is a versatile kit useful in just about any situation and has a lot of combo potential. It has a Poison Poison field for healing reduction (that could also make it harder for enemies to rez their downed allies), Blind Blind and Chill Chill to avoid damage or kite enemies, and a Water field to combo extra healing. Most skills also do solid damage and could be used to pressure targets both in melee and range, further reducing your downtime between burst combos.


  • The more heat you have, the more damage you do thanks to Laser's Edge and Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit.
  • After every dodge roll you gain Explosive Entrance which adds a decent damage proc to your next attack.
  • When playing with Sword/Shield follow up with Radiant Arc and Refraction Cutter right after exiting the forge (while your heat is still high), preferably in this order - Radiant Arc leaps to your target which makes it easier to land Refraction Cutter in melee range, increasing the chance of landing all projectiles on one target.
  • Particle Accelerator and Surprise Shot are the best skills for proccing Static Discharge. These provide frequently available instant burst damage and should be used as often as possible.
  • Photon Wall is primarily a defensive skill, but its chain skill lets you shoot it at nearby enemies for extra damage. Using this skill only for the damage is hardly ever worth it (as it's one of your few defensive CDs and doesn't hit that hard), but you should consider using Launch Wall when Photon Wall is about to expire.
  • If taken Prime Light Beam is a powerful unblockable ranged AoE CC on low CD and works great for setting up bursts. The skill is very telegraphed and somewhat easy to avoid if you don't have Quickness Quickness, but you could even pull some mind-games with it. PLB roots you in place and makes you face towards your target - with skill retargeting enabled under Combat/Movement Options you're able to cast it on target A, bait out a dodge and then switch to target B in the last moment, hitting them with the beam.
    • If target A dodges and there is no target B simply stow your weapon to cancel it and try again a few seconds later, don't waste your elite.
  • Once your heat is back at a reasonably low level enter holo mode and spam those skills, that's really all there is to it.


  • Every Hammer skill except the autoattack could be used defensively.
  • Electro-whirl does great damage in melee while reflecting projectiles, Rocket Charge has a lengthy evade frame on top of being a double combo finisher and having high damage, Thunderclap stuns enemies while leaving behind a pulsing damage field.
  • Shock Shield is the most defensive thing on Hammer, being a block skill with barrier. While the damage is mediocre it's still worth using it in melee as you gain barrier whenever the skill strikes an enemy, but even if you don't do that the block is still very useful.
  • Slick Shoes is great at turning things around. The instant unblockable AoE CC could stop most burst attempts made by enemies without Stability Stability while also creating the perfect opening for counterpressuring targets. Really good at immediately punishing teleport skills like Phase Traversal or Steal too.
  • Toolbelt skills remove conditions. Since you're going to be spamming Surprise Shot and Particle Accelerator quite a lot you should be able to keep them at bay just by playing offensively. When conditions start to overwhelm you use Cauterize (preferably at high heat).
  • The only stunbreak in the build is found on toolbelt skill Superspeed (not to be confused with the effect of the same name).
  • Photon Wall is an extremely valuable blocking skill that allows you to keep pressuring targets without having to worry in most cases.
  • Standing inside any of the AoE fields created by Elite Mortar Kit is already going to make you a less attractive target, but Flash Shell and Endothermic Shell are especially useful when used defensively. Elixir Shell isn't scary but being a water field you could use your many leap/blast finishers like Detonate Rifle Turret or Rocket Charge to get even more healing out of it.

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This build has a rating of 5 stars based on 1 votes.
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5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars • February 2024
It's a bit like Fresh Air Ele but for Engi. Great damage, has just enough cleansing, uses superspeed and blinding skill to stay ahead and kite. Requires a careful playstyle as it can be rather squishy at times, but has all the tools to be a strong duelist when played right.


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