Holosmith - Holorifle

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

Focused on: Direct damageMobilityControl.

Designed for:


A WvW build utilising the power potential of the Holosmith in a smallscale roaming setting.



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Superior Rune of Durability
Mighty WvW Infusion



    • - budget version



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 and does some moderate AoE damage.
  • 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 5 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 auto attack chain got significant nerfs in March 2018, it can still do considerable cleave damage especially with Quickness Quickness.
  • will be used to maintain permanent Swiftness Swiftness and Vigor Vigor (through ), 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 a Water Field for healing.
  • 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.
    • The more targets you hit with this skill, the more barrier you get from which is important for your sustain. Against enemies like Rangers with pets or Mesmers with clones, aim to maximize targets hit by this.
  • can be useful for reaching targets trying to escape, otherwise it should only be used if you can make sure that all of its projectiles are going to land (for example if the target is CC'd).
  • 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.


  • The only sources of cleansing in the build are , , and .
    • Against condition burst 's immunity can bail you out.
  • is a mobility skill with few combat applciations. Feel free to use it if you wish to cut down on travel time, need to chase down someone, or if you're on low HP and have to disengage in a blink of an eye.
  • Toolbelt skills grant Vigor Vigor, and you deal 10% increased damage while affected by this boon.
  • 's self-knockback can be prevented via building Stability Stability with .
  • , and can CC people long enough to set up a burst.
  • Enable skill retargetting (under general options, combat/movement section). This lets you cast facing target A, potentially bait out a dodge, then switch over to target B just before the skill goes off and hit that target. Alternatively, just stow your weapon if the target dodges in order to not send the skill on full CD.
Build rating - 5 stars
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6 Ratings
5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars December 2018

One of the strongest roamers around, in no small part because it managed to evade most of the nerfs that were made to its sPvP counterpart. A+ damage, mobility and CC.

EDIT: updated for the december patch, largely based on the conquest build.

5 stars
Grxrg gave this build 5 stars September 2018

Pretty solid roaming build, it shines against bad players, enter photon forge holo3 plus holo5 plus autoattacks will destroy any profession without passives.

Against good players you have to time well photon forge skills and know how to cancel them, especially against spellbreaker's full counter or really good thieves.

If you don't run rifle turret for a pure static discharge build, using Lesser Utility Goggles is by far a better choice.

If you do so, drop Rifle and use Pistol/Shield with Cleansing and Energy sigils, you will lose damage, but gain nice utilities and sustain abilities.

Healing Turret->Overcharge it->Shield4 (blast)->Holo2(leap) will heal you for a lot if you are fast enough before the water field disappear.

Shield5 is quite a powerful skill which can block and stun even mesmer sword2 and revenant sword3 if they hit you while you are blocking.

If you face too many condi players especially against good scourges you can consider to swap Photon Wall for Elixir C mass condi cleanse and cleanse on toolbelt.

In this meta Passive and Active Elixir S are just mandatory, and the stealth comes in handy more times than you think.

One cool trick is to bait the elite Prime Light Beam a lot cancelling it making the enemy waste dodges.

Then you go stealth and cast it while in stealth to surprise your enemy. This tactic shines against warriors and spellbreakers after you procced both endure pain and they use shield5, you go stealth a

4 stars
Chinkeeyong gave this build 4 stars September 2018

A high-pressure roaming build that easily preys on Rangers, Necros, and other classes that have difficulty dealing with massive incoming damage. Its high cleave and CC makes it great for small skirmishes and PvE. However it's bad at protracted duels and tends to lose to other builds that it can't burst down quickly (at least in my experience).

3 More Ratings
5 stars
Bellator gave this build 5 stars July 2018

A fun, versatile build. I use a similar variant and have a blast.

5 stars
Lakumba gave this build 5 stars November 2017

Probably the only holorifle build I enjoy at the moment. I personally prefer Spectrum shield over Elixir Gun. Overall great build and fun to play.

5 stars
Atimor gave this build 5 stars October 2017

Incredibly fun build, the extra distance on the rocket boots makes getting out of sticky situations easy. I almost always escape from zergs when combining the boots with rifle 5 and stealth from elixir S. One of the only variation I have is to use knight's trinkets for more toughness. Sword shield can equally work well if the enemy favors range attack. Between the main weapon and photon forge, I never think to pull out my elixir gun so I usually replace it by Spectrum Shield or Elixir B. The engineer utilities are so varied that you can replace elixir gun by anything and still have a good time.