Exceptional rez power (when you're not the first one to die, that is) and a bit of party support with barriers and condi removals, but necro is taken for the damage and other builds do that better.
September edit: there's been a massive nerf to how shade skills work. The nec is now way more clunky, vulnerable, and less mobile.
This build is still very strong in the current season. Just make sure to stick with your firebrand.
I highly recommend using well of corruption in the final empty utility slot because on many maps it covers the whole point and allows both you and your firebrand to bunker a point super effectively against an enemy scourge / firebrand.
I often cover downed players with ghastly breach to punish any sort of res attempts, bonus if it also is on the point.
Torment destroy people who are not watching their stacks. Torch 4 and 5 go a long way to stacking it high and torch 4 alone puts out serious numbers in a 3v3 fight on the point if you hit everyone.
Use the long range of staff to start harassing enemy players on their way into points and through chokes. The best map for this is probably skyhammer because of the middle point's elevation and the choke points into mid.
Swapping to staff, staff skill 5, and going for a rez has about 90% success rate if you dont waste time.
Remember to utilize staff 4 against the enemy firebrand / scourge combo to throw those conditions back at them.
Spam shades because they are overpowered, if you arent willing to learn the class, just piano the keys with 3 shades up on a point and blow everything up.
Still just plain better for many situations in ranked and can function in ats as well
Pretty much everything Xavoran already said before. I am loving the extras the Blood Line brings to the battlefield.
I can definitely recommend this build. It's great for playing solo ranked, lots of support, ability to solo some classes. Only thing the build really lacks is mobility (take Sand Swell if this is a big problem for you).
I know it's mentioned as a viable alternative in the post, but since the build is already very support-heavy, I really recommend going Desert Empowerment instead of Sadistic Searing in the Scourge trait tree. It's just an incredible extra amount of sustain and condition removal since you already run Abrasive Grit. If not running it all the time, at least consider swapping it in when against condition-heavy comps, it's really worth it!
Agreed with other commenters who find this build strong in the current metagame.
In some matches I even run desert empowerment alongside abrasive grit, which allows one move (the sand shade) to provide barrier, cleanse, and might to teammates (not to mention a token amount of burning for enemies). The constant sustain provided to self/allies, a similarly constant stream of condition pressure, superior boon corruption, and just not dying as easily as your opponents hoped make this a great build for scaring boon-heavy bruisers off point.
Excellent as a node holder and team support, just have to be careful to survive/negate some of the big bursts that come your way at the beginning of fights.
Agreed. Tested and confirmed. Lot more sustain and overall performance is better, as anet probably has planned to scourge.
With the recent nerfs to corruption from curses I'd argue that this should be the current meta build now. The increased utility is just more worth it.
I agree with what Baescons said, this build right here is the support oriented role that Arena-net wanted for scourge, but actually ended up displacing with the superior firepower of condi scourge.
Regardless, this build is quite potent, offering a respectable mix of condition damage, barriers for teammates, and substantial rez capability, as well as much higher personal sustain than shadefire.
I think in the January balance patch this build will be buffed somewhat, and the shadefire variant will be nerfed to, hopefully, bring the two builds closer to equality.
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