Simple Raid Builds
When starting with raids, it can be helpful to have a build with a somewhat simple rotation that can allow you to focus on mechanics as you learn. The following builds are chosen such that they fit the following requirements:
- Strong autoattacks (if DPS), allowing the player to contribute to an encounter while still unfamiliar with the class.
- Easy rotation, allowing the player to improve quickly with the class.
- Highly effective in the hands of a skilled player, so that it remains a strong choice long-term.
- Minimal responsibility for mechanics.
- Viable on the majority of encounters.
Virtuoso is a very strong spec that simultaneously offers among the highest DPS potential of mesmer whilst also removing many of the most-difficult elements of the class. There are several ways to play this, but the simplest is to run the focus variant without the mainhand sword (so using a single mainhand dagger). You should also run the and traits.
With these modifications, the rotation becomes very simple:
- Use your utilities, elite skill and dagger 2 and 3 off cooldown
- Use a Bladesong whenever you have five blades stocked, with the priority 1 > 2 > 3 > 4
- Use Sword 5 as the first skill when you weapon swap, then when you use it again weapon swap back to focus, use focus 5 whenever it is available and weapon swap back to sword as soon as you can
Thanks to , you generate a huge number of blades, so you can hold on to F3 and F4 if you need CC or an emergency block. This build is also fully ranged, which makes is very forgiving with your positioning.
As you gain confidence, you can try to switch to the full greatsword build for a significant boost in damage. Note that the simple rotation is almost identical to that of the Condi build, making it easy to switch between the two.
The strength of Mechanist lies, fittingly, in the mech. As the mech functions independently of the player and is unaffected by most mechanics, it is capable of providing constant damage regardless of what the player does, especially if the F-skills are set to autocast. With a fixed amount of damage guaranteed, the player can focus more on handling mechanics and paying attention to the encounter.
Additionally, the rotation is very simple and almost entirely ranged, which makes positioning easier.
If you are struggling with the kit mechanic, can be swapped out for , which means the rotation basically boils down to pressing all DPS skills off cooldown.
Condi Daredevil already has a very simple rotation, but it can be simplified even further if desired by changing the to a , which removes the need to weapon swap. Although this build requires being in melee constantly, you are surprisingly survivable as you spend the majority of your rotation evading.
If you find positioning the trap to be awkward, you can also swap it out for . Be aware that your venoms gain maximum damage from being applied to allies, so ensure you are on the stack when you use them.
Daredevil has an advantage over other thief specs due to the power of its stolen skills. These skills provide a powerful effect that is usually very helpful for the encounter you get them so learning which skill you will get is very useful.
Much like the power build, Condi Virtuoso deals impressive damage while remaining simple. There are two variants of condi Virtuoso: the higher-damage Duelling build, and the even simpler Chaos variant.
A new player could start with the Chaos build, then switch to the Duelling version as they gain confidence. The Duelling build has an almost identical rotation to the simple power build presented above, so the class provides a smooth learning curve that can provide you with both a capable condi and power build.
Much like the power build, Condi virtuoso is fully ranged, and provides an abundance of blades that offer great utility. For condi, is especially useful as it provides significant healing, which makes the build even better while learning!
The vast majority of heal builds in Guild Wars 2 are expected to also function as boon supports, and this is no different for Heal Mechanist. Heal Mechanist has a distinct advantage over the other builds in this role, in that a significant amount of its support happens automatically as long as the Mech is on the group. This makes it a perfect class for beginners.
You can provide support to your group simply by autoattacking on mace as this provides both Barrier and Alacrity on the final hit. Your mech also pulses the same effects around it on a regular interval. By setting the F3 and/or F2 on autocast, you can provide full boon support to your group without any input whatsoever - though be aware that if the Mech is not on the group these abilities will be wasted, so you need to keep track of it.
If you need extra healing, you can jump into and spam all the abilities until people are back to full health.
with the trait and are both instant-activation mantras that apply quickness in a small area around the Firebrand and a cone in front of them. The charge system on also makes it much more forgiving if the player is prone to miss skills coming off cooldown, as it can be cast twice in quick succession to “catch up”. Note that this does not work for as the quickness is applied via the trait, and has an internal cooldown.
Which flavor of Quickness Firebrand works best will depend on the squad. The support version is the safest option, but Condi is the most generally useful if the squad does not require extra healing.
In addition to the builds above, there were some that didn't meet all of the outlined requirements but can be strong options nonetheless.
The Power Scrapper can be modified by replacing with .
This removes the need for kit swapping but also takes away the Scrapper’s ability to deal ranged damage.
If running kitless, place your at the start of the phase and use off cooldown. You could also towards the end of the phase for more damage. deals good damage but can be saved for CC if necessary.
Thanks to , this build generates a large amount of Barrier on itself, which makes it very survivable.
Condi Weaver boasts high sustained DPS as well as being very bursty for a condi class. Although the full rotation is one of the hardest builds in the game, it can be simplified greatly while still doing great damage.
Change your elite skill to and summon it while in . Then follow the rotation:
- Attune in the following loop: Fire/Earth ⇒ Earth/Fire ⇒ Fire/Fire ⇒ Fire/Fire then repeat
- This means your attunement presses are Fire ⇒ Fire ⇒ Earth and repeat
- Use all utilities and your elite skill off cooldown. One cast in fire attunement
- Use all weapon skills except Earth 5
If you have downtime between/before encounters, keep casting and you can end up with quite a large number of them for a significant damage boost!
Though the rotation is quite fast paced, it is fully ranged and can generate a surprising amount of incidental Might which can help groups where the boon supports are struggling.
With extremely high burst, Power Soulbeast is a strong build, but one of more advanced of those here.
The bulk of its damage come from the combo of and . So you can do a lot of damage just by camping Axe/Axe and keeping these two skills "synced" while otherwise casting everything else off cooldown (except ).
This build is harder to play than others on the list due to the reliance on flanking for damage, as well as being rooted during the cast of . The build also lacks the survivability that other classes do, and if you mistarget you lose a huge amount of damage.
Scourge occupies an interesting space between DPS and healer. The full DPS build doesn't deal the most amazing damage, but makes up with it with a fully ranged, mostly unstructured rotation and some incidental support. The Heal Build is a very potent support, but very niche in the current meta where many groups will run healers that also provide Quickness or Alacrity and are unlikely to need an extra.
Where Scourge really gets interesting is its ability to mix and match elements between the two in a way that most other classes cannot. The key to this is the Blood Magic traitline, which gives Scourge access to , which will teleport downed players to your location and begin reviving them. This enables Scourge to save a group from situations that would otherwise be a wipe. You can also run heal Scourge traits on the DPS build to provide a surprising amount of support while also doing respectable damage.
The focus on damage prevention rather than healing means that Scourge is best when the player is already familiar with the mechanics of an encounter, and care must be taken with to ensure that downed players are not teleported to unsafe locations.
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