GW2 Mesmer Guide, Build - Deceive Your Enemies and Assist Your Team!
Guild Wars 2 Mesmer Guide
If you're a player who likes beating your enemies with tricks and deception, Mesmer is definitely a class for you. They are witty illusionists that create mirages and clones of themselves in order to confuse their foes. Mesmer’s skill set provides them with a ton of defensive and offensive utility. They can be played as damage dealers and with the Chronomancer elite specialization they become really effective supports.
Creating and Shattering Illusions
The design of this class is focused mostly around the ability to deceive enemies, by creating illusions. They can later shatter those mirages for a powerful special effect. The illusions can be used to pull enemies or even to tank mobs in some specific setups. Mesmer can also apply confusion to their enemies, causing them to take damage every time they try to use an ability. Moreover, there are some interrupts in their kit.
One of the shatter skills provides the caster with a unique boon – a distortion that grants temporary invulnerability. The elite specializations also provide some interesting unique mechanics. Alacrity is a great buff for any spell caster and Mirage Cloak amplifies the dodging and provides access to some extra skills.
Illusions are the most famous, identity-defining skills associated with the Mesmer profession. They are actually divided into two subcategories. Clones are relatively weak, but they look exactly like the caster. Phantasms are more powerful variants that have their own weapons, but they’re easy to recognize.
Other important Mesmer’s skill types include Mantras – abilities that have to be prepared in advance. They have a relatively long casting time, but they provide you with charges that can be used later. Glamours are placed on the ground that can have positive effects on your allies and impair the enemies. They’re similar to Necromancer’s marks. Manipulations are utility skills focused on misdirection, mobility and avoiding attacks. The Mirage elite spec also brings ambush and deception abilities that are associated with dodging.
Being one of the scholar professions, Mesmers wear light armor. As far as weapons go, this class has come a long way since the first Guild Wars days. They don’t have to be backline mages anymore and they also can efficiently use some melee weapons in combat.
Main-hand: Scepter, Sword, Axe (Mirage only)
Off-hand: Focus, Pistol, Sword, Torch, Shield (Chronomancer-exclusive)
Two-handed: Greatsword, Staff
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Specializations and Traits
Similarly to all the other GW2 classes, Mesmers can choose between various specializations and traits in order to assume different roles and playstyles. Each tree amplifies a different power of Mesmer’s skillset. Choosing the right ones for your build is a crucial part of making it work.
Domination – this specialization synergizes with a greatsword. It focuses on inflicting vulnerability and interrupting enemies. It empowers shatter skills and amplifies Mesmer’s damage output. It’s used in some open-world builds as well as in certain support setups.
Minor traits in the Domination tree help you inflict vulnerability and further increase the damage you deal with targets suffering from that condition. As far as the major ones go, different builds use different setups. There are plenty of damage options like Empowered Illusions, Egotism, and Mental Anguish. Meanwhile, you can also get plenty of utility and disruption with Confounding Suggestions, Shattered Concentration and Power Block.
Dueling – works well with swords and pistols. It amplifies your dodges, making it easier to survive longer in fights. It also amplifies your critical strikes. This specialization helps you inflict more conditions, both through direct attacks and through your illusions. It significantly increases the DPS done by your phantasms. Dueling is often used in various DPS builds as well as in all-round open-world setups. It can even sometimes be found in utility support builds.
Minor traits provide you with a more critical chance and lt your illusions inflict bleeding with their critical strikes. Major traits are pretty much identical in most builds. Phantasmal Fury gives your phantasms some critical chance, Fencer’s Finesse empower your swords with more critical hit damage and Superiority Complex makes your crits even more powerful. Some other options are Blinding Dissipation and Ineptitude for extra blindness and confusion.
Chaos – one of the more defensive specializations. It’s focused on utility, random boons and inflicting conditions. It can provide plenty of protection, damage reduction, and other defensive tools. It’s mostly used paired with Chronomancer in various support builds. It also enhances staff damage and manipulation skills.
You can get extra regeneration, protection and outgoing boon duration from the minor Chaos traits. As for the major ones, Descent into Madness is great for basically every build. Random boons and conditions are always helpful. In the second slot, Chaotic Transference is great for condition damage builds, while Chaotic Dampening helps with defense and recharge reduction. In the final position, Bountiful Disillusionment provides you extra boons when you shatter your illusions. The other option is the Chaotic Interruption. It immobilizes your enemy when you interrupt them, providing you boons and inflicting conditions to foes.
Inspiration – the other supportive core specialization. It synergizes with using a focus in the off-hand. Inspiration enhances signets and mantras, providing extra healing at the same time. It’s used exclusively is support setups, often alongside Chronomancer and Chaos, but sometimes replacing the second one.
The minor traits let you remove conditions, provide Aegis* and heal your allies. You can choose a few viable options from the major traits. In the first position, Medic’s Feedback protects you from projectiles while you’re reviving an ally and Sympathetic Visage lets your phantasms take your conditions.
In the second slot, Restorative Illusions give you a self-heal and condition cleansing while using a shatter ability. The other option – Warden’s Feedback reduces the cooldown of your focus skills and gives them the ability to reflect missiles. In the third position, Blurred Inscriptions enhances your signets and gives you distortion when you use them. Another possibility is Illusionary Inspiration that provides AoE healing when you clone yourself or create phantasms.
*Aegis – a short boon that blocks the next incoming attack
Illusions – weapon-wise it synergizes with scepter and torch. Furthermore, it increases the power of your various illusions and shatters skills. This tree is often used in different kinds of DPS builds and in the open world.
Your minor traits empower your condition damage, decrease the cooldown of shatter skills and let you inflict confusion on the enemies. In the first slot, The Pledge is great for condition DPS builds since it provides some burning damage. However, Shatter Storm makes Mind Wrack become an ammo spell, which is great for power DPS setups.
In the second position, Maim the Disillusioned inflicts torment on your enemies for even more condi damage, while Phantasmal Haste temporary empowers your phantasms after their creation. The best option for the final slot is the Phantasmal Force that further increases your phantasms’ damage. At the same time, Master of Fragmentation can also be considered, since it enhances the shatter skills what works great with Shatter Storm.
Chronomancer – as it was with basically every other GW2 professions, the Heart of Thorns elite specialization opened up a lot of new possibilities for the Mesmer class. Thematically, Chronomancers have a possibility of impacting time. Their new shatter skill – Continuum Split, allows them to go back in time to get back the lost health, endurance and cooldowns. It also provides access to shields and well skills.
Gameplay-wise Chronomancers is one most powerful supports in the current meta. They’re definitely not pure healers, but they bring a ton of utility and boons. They utilize wells for healing and other various effects and provide powerful buffs to their team.
The minor Chronomancer traits provide extra mobility and cooldown reduction. With major traits, you have a few choices. In the first slot, All’s Well That Ends Well grants your good abilities extra healing. The other option – Time Catches Up, accelerates your illusions and empowers shatter skills.
In the second position pretty much everybody goes for Improved Alacrity since access to this specific, cooldown-reducing boon is one of the main selling points of Chronomancer. For the final slot, you should probably go with Seize the Moment to get the quickness boon that accelerates your spell casting.
Mirage – as usual, the Path of Fire elite spec is the opposite of the Heart of Thorns one. In this case, it means that Mirage is often used in DPS builds. However, it also adds some good survivability which makes it great for the open-world setups.
This specialization allows for using axes and amplifies your dodging with the Mirage Cloak mechanic that provides you with invulnerability for a short time. It also provides access to new types of skills: deception abilities that are focused on stealth and ambush skills which are only available while under the effect of the Mirage Cloak.
Your minor traits provide you with the ability to dodge more frequently, more condition damage and provide extra mobility in the Mirage Cloak. For the first major trait, you should go with Self-Deception for extra clones.
If you’re using an axe, you should go for the Mirrored Axes in the second position. For other weapons, Mirage Mantle is a great option that grants you protection upon exiting the Mirage cloak. As the final trait, you can go with Infinite Horizon to enable Mirage Cloak fo your illusions or Sand Shards for extra bleeding in condition DPS builds.
GW2 Mesmer Builds
Mesmers can fill multiple roles in Guild Wars 2. For the most demanding endgame content, most people play them as Chronomancer supports, but in other situations, they can provide a lot of different assets. Acting as melee DPS and using the illusion mechanic is a really fun and efficient way of playing in the open world. Mesmers can also deal with decent direct or condition damage to play those roles in various dungeons and fractals.
Let’s take a look at some of the meta PvE Mesmer builds and the specializations, traits, and skills that they use. Understanding those combinations and synergies will definitely help you in creating your own personal favorite GW2 Mesmer build and later adjusting it to different locations. We're not going to discuss WvW and other PvP builds since this guide focuses on PvE. Runes and sigils are also pretty standard, so we're not going to dive too deep into them.
Open World Axe Mirage
The first setup we’re going to discuss is an open world build that uses Mirage dodging capabilities and axe+torch mostly condition damage. It combines good DPS with really high survivability. With this setup, you can avoid most of the incoming attacks and inflict bleeding, burning, torment, blindness, and confusion onto your foes. In general Mesmer playstyle is not that simple, but it's really engaging and fun, as even the basic builds utilize interesting mechanics.
Six of your major traits are focused on amplifying your condition damage one way or the other. The remaining ones amplify your phantasms. Meanwhile, you still have plenty of defensive utility, critical rate, and empowered illusions and shatter spells from your minor ones.
There are no strong variants that would replace a whole specialization tree, so you’ll probably need the Path of Fire to play this style efficiently (Mirage brings so much survivability that it’s hard to replace). You could, however, go for less condition DPS and more direct damage with some other traits.
Phantasmal Fury, Fencer’s Finesse and Superiority Complex can bring some of it, while Shatter Storm and Master of Fragmentation complete the setup. It takes away most of the condition damage but replaces it with tons of critical strikes.
Skill-wise, go with False Oasis or Ether Feast for healing. Signet of Midnight and Signet of Domination are great for the condition damage, while they also bring some more utility and defensive options. Then you can finish off your build with Sand Through Glass and Jount. You can also consider Mirror Images in one of the utility slots. Blink is a great option for mobility.
Chronomancer Boon Support
We simply have to analyze the most meta build available for the Mesmer profession. There are a few variants of this builds. Basically, all of them are based on Chronomancer and Inspiration trees, but some of them use Chaos, while others prefer Dueling. As we already mentioned, this is an extremely powerful setup in terms of providing boons to your team and amplifying their attributes and damage output. At the same time, it's helping a bit with keeping your party alive and clearing the locations really fast.
The Chronomancer tree is used for alacrity, quickness, and wells. Team-wide alacrity and quickness might be impossible to achieve all the time, but when it’s active, it massively increases the DPS output of your party. Restorative Illusions provide decent extra healing, while Blurred Inscriptions enhance your signets. The Dueling variant of this build is mostly amplifying your own damage output, while the Chaos tree might provide some extra boons and conditions.
As far as the skill bar goes, you definitely want to include Signet of the Ether, Signet of Inspiration and Well of Action. As the elite spell, you can either go with Time Warp for even more quickness for your team or choose the Gravity Well if you need a powerful AoE crowd control tool. With this setup, you should use a staff as your primary ranged weapon and stay in the backline, out of range of enemy damage.
This build is a bit difficult to play. You have to optimize the uptime of your most powerful boons – quickness and alacrity on your whole team. In order to do that, you need your allies to stay inside your wells, which is often impossible, especially with pick-up groups. Placing your wells correctly and perfecting your rotation is crucial for playing with this setup. Another extremely important thing about Chrono Support is rune and sigil choice. You definitely need Superior Rune of the Pack with Mighty Agony infusion and Superior Sigil of Concentration to extend the duration of your boons. If you need some gold, master this build, gear up and we guarantee that you won't have any trouble finding a party.
Chronomancer Power DPS
Chronomancer elite specialization can also be used as a part of a strong power DPS build. In terms of sheer damage numbers, Mesmers can’t really compete with the most powerful classes, but they can definitely keep up in most fractal runs and some raid boss fights, especially if a high level of single-target damage is needed.
This build is also heavily based on generating the Chronomancer trademark Alacrity and Quickness and using them to amplify their own and their team DPS. This build also gets plenty of extra power and critical ratio. Phantasms are a significant part of the damage output.
The variant we’re talking about utilizes Dueling, Illusions, and Chronomancer as specializations. Almost all the traits here are focused on increasing damage, improving critical strikes and giving extra power to the Phantasms. They are the sustained source of damage, while the Mind Wrack can be used for some extra burst.
Phantasmal Fury is crucial for this build since it provides your summons with the ability to land more critical strikes which greatly improves their DPS. Phantasmal Force makes is to so damage buffs on you, also apply to the illusions. This build is somewhat viable in a core version that replaces Chronomancer with Domination. It’s not great since you lose a lot of buffs, but you get some extra damage for your summons and shatter skills, as well as the possibility to inflict vulnerability.
Skill-wise, the most important ones are obviously Phantasmal Defender and Phantasmal Disenchanter. Gravity Well is probably the best option for the elite slot. If you're using a sword, make sure to often cast Illusionary Leap. You can also consider squeezing Mantra of Pain in one of your utility slots as it can be a major damage gain with the Power Spike.
Guild Wars 2 Classes
Unfortunately, every powerful Mesmer build relies on one of the elite specializations. This means that they require either Heart of Thorns or Path of Fire expansion. If that is not what you’re looking for in this ArenaNet game, check out our GW2 Classes Guide. The other professions are Necromancer, Elementalist, Ranger, Thief, Engineer, Guardian, Warrior, and Revenant. If you want to learn more about them, you can read our clas-specific guides.
Guild Wars 2 is an MMORPG developed by ArenaNet. It has been released in 2012 and got two major expansions: Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire. It spawned a loyal community of players - people invested in the world of Tyria and its progressing story.
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