Scourge - Blood Sage
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A hybrid PvP Scourge build with a mix of condition pressure, bit of support, and exceptional rez power via Blood Magic. More popular than Shadefire (the Curses version) in ranked.
Archival note: removed from play by September 2019 the shade changes
- - if you need better condition management.
There are plenty of viable options for the remaining slot:
- - vertical mobility, Punishment synergy.
- - stun break, Stability, Punishment synergy.
- - protects against direct damage, breaks stun, helps with resource management.
- is a decent sustain bump, but you'll be forced to take to make up for the Life Force lost.
- - if your team provides you with a sufficient amount of Swiftness then you may want to consider a rune such as this one for more damage.
- - increases HP while also boosting the effectiveness of various Burning related traits.
Elite specialization basics
- is replaced by shade skills, but shroud related traits still work. Life force (LF) is no longer drained passively or upon taking damage, but instead serves as a resource used by F2-5 skills (F1, which places the shade, is free).
- adds a bit of range to the build and acts as somewhat spammable source of damage especially with .
- If no shades are active, as F2-5 skills go off around the caster. If there is a shade placed, these skills will only go off around the shades, which heavily reduces your survivability if a shade is active and you're not standing on it.
- will proc on every single shade skill, including Manifest Sand Shade.
- Every shade skill inflicts Burning (5s ICD), Cripple, and Torment.
- Playstyle: your role is to aid your team in larger fights by keeping the enemy team under constant pressure through condition applications, CC, and boon stripping whilst also supporting them to some extent (more about that below). Avoid 1v1s whenever possible.
- The build has a lot of barrier applications, keep in mind that you can't have an active barrier higher than 50% of your maximum health, although reaching the cap should be more than rare.
- Do not spam your staff marks on the ground while out of combat, as a single dodge can undo them all. Placing on chokes to detect enemies crossing in stealth is fine however, as it's a rather short CD and weak one.
- Necromancer mobility/sustain is rather bad, so try to make use of the terrain with proper positioning. Make it hard for enemies to reach you especially ranged ones - pillars are your second best friend, right after a bunker Firebrand.
- The build only has 1 mass cleanse by default: (potentially 2 if you took ). Hold onto them as long as you can.
- Consider using before your heal for the Stability while under heavy pressure.
- is a rather powerful skill, but also easily avoidable. Don't just drop it randomly at the start of the fight, wait for the right moment - look for a situation where you can make your opponent overcommit. Place it on enemies trying to revive their downed teammate, or under yourself on low HP to scare them off.
- is not only a great spike skill, but also a defensive one - thanks to the low cast time CB can be used to counterpressure targets. Someone's chasing you with Stability and Might stacks? Turn their boons against them, right into Fear and Weakness! It's also unblockable.
- Even just a two skill chain of ⇒ is already a decent burst combo, inflicting up to 6 different conditions and stripping at least 5 boons (potentially more with sigils).
- Blood Magic traits and Scourge mechanics make this build exceptionally good at reviving allies:
- triggers , which restores both normal and downed health for all allies around you. This will also teleport downed people to the very first time they come in range of the skill. Channeling isn't interrupted when you begin to rez manually (pressing F by default), nor when you go into downed state, which means even if it won't fully revive you, it can still make it easier for allies to do so.
- procs a Well that heals and revives.
- cancels the regular downstate HP degeneration.
- Try to share the barrier from and , plus the condition conversion of with as many allies as possible. They'll have to be in range of either you, or your shade for the latter two.
- causes your barriers to cleanse 1 condition from allies.
Life force management
- As your shade skills cost LF, being efficient at managing this resource will be crucial for both your damage and sustain. We're going to list all the sources and provide a few tips for getting the most out of them.
- All staff skills generate life force:
- is a rather weak skill and there's no way you'll be able to use it much under any pressure. It does however generate 5% LF per target hit, and you should use it for the occasional ranged poking. Alternatively, right after you won a fight (and no enemies are nearby who could rez their downed allies) you can use the downed bodies as batteries and just spam staff autos at them for a substantial amount of free life force.
- Marks are unblockable and generate 3% LF each. and can be used freely for just pressure and LF building, while and are more powerful and should be kept for the proper occasion (Putrid for mass cleansing and Reaper's for interrupting).
- On scepter/torch you have 2 such skills:
- should be used with at least ~4 conditions on the target, both your burst damage and LF stacking benefits from the higher number of conditions on the target. Make sure that this skill lands by CCing the target with either or .
- is rather straightforward, just try to hit as many targets as possible including Ranger pets and Mesmer illusions.
- is an excellent defensive tool as it breaks stun, applies Protection and generates LF for defensive abilities while under pressure.
- gives LF whenever you successfully apply fear to a target (5s ICD). could almost refund its entire cost for example.