Mesmer and mantras

GW2 Asura Mesmer

While idly browsing the official Guild Wars 2 forums, I stumbled over the balance thread again. I had completely forgotten about this one. In fact, the only detail I did remember was that thieves will get a change in their initiative gain. So I had a look at the parts for the warrior (nothing of interest for me there) and the mesmer.

This post made me pause, though. Let me quote the relevant part:

I think this might give us 3 strong mesmer build archetypes.

1) Shatter
2) Phantasm
3) Mantra

What I find “meh” is that I fell in love with the confusion build, but it’s just not very effective in PvE and it doesn’t seem to be a priority for ArenaNet to fix this. On the other hand, especially conditions build probably give them a headache with the limits of condition stacks on mobs and the amount of huge group fights (aka zergs) they support with every living story step.

GW2 Mesmer IllusionsI haven’t played my mesmer much at all in the last few months, so I’m out of the loop when it comes to builds. I know I’m not a fan of shatter builds and I think I’d definitely prefer a phantasm one, but I haven’t yet found something that I’m really comfortable and happy with. But 3) seemed… like the odd one out. Mantra builds? What did they do that makes mantras viable? Or what will the balance patch change to make them be put on this list? And this is an honest question, because the last thing I’d heard was that mantras are lackluster and ArenaNet themselves said they were trying to find a way to make them better. So what has changed/is changing? I’ve always just avoided mantras up until now and pretended they didn’t exist. :p

I’ll definitely have to dig into this more as this would be another way of playing my mesmer that I have not tried yet. Maybe… maybe I will find something that makes me fall in love with my mesmer again.


  1. I definitely didn’t see anything in that post to indicate that “mantra” builds are going to be anymore effective… quite honestly, unless they are planning to re-work the mantra skills themselves (not just traits that effect them) then I don’t see this changing, at least not for me personally.
    Typoezz uses Staff and Greatsword, with stats focused mostly on precision and crit damage and a lot of evasiveness. His build is centered around Deceptive Evasion (X Dueling) Vigorous Revelation (III Inspiration) and Illusionary Persona (XI Illusions)… he never runs out of illusions to shatter… gains vigor and might with each shatter and is one the three characters I rely on to take on the most difficult content in the PVE game (or WvW)
    His utility skills are usually Decoy, Feedback, and Mantra of Resolve (with the Feedback being swapped out for Nullfield, or Portal, or others as the situation dictates.) Although I use Mantra of Resolve routinely, none of the other mantra skills are particularly appealing to me personally.

    I’m not sure if that is considered a “shatter build” but I definitely do make heavy use of shatters in every combat. I try to make use of the “class mechanic” on all of my characters. My necro emphasizes and reinforces his Death Shroud, my thief devotes a few traits to his Steal (and uses it constantly – very under-rated class mechanic imo) and my warrior uses his burst skills all the time and runs a “shout build” that makes building adrenaline completely effortless and very fast. I don’t think a player “has” to utilize the class mechanic of their character, but I find it to be a fundamental defining feature of each of my characters.


    1. I think Mental Torment and Precise Wrack are what shatter builds use. More damage for Mind Wrack.

      I never leave the house (okok, Lion’s Arch) without Null Field equipped. What I really want with my mesmer is swiftness and more stun breaks. I have Mirror Images with me, just so I can get out of stuns (or/and can get two clones for shattering). Coincidentally, I just came out of a HotW p1 run and had two “of the traveller” exotics. The game wants to tell me something here… ;)


      1. Oh… Typoezz’s runes are Traveler’s and his sigils are Battle… I actually run Traveler’s runes for my guardian most of the time also (but have a 2nd armor set with Dolyak runes for when I need to be extra tanky.)
        I can’t stand running slow. Many of my characters are able to get basically 100% swiftness uptime, but for those who can’t, I at least get them to the 25% increased run speed from signets or runes.

        Regarding the stun breakers… I’m usually dodging and so don’t need them quite as often, but if ANet were serious about making “Mantra Builds” more viable and more often used by larger number of players the first thing they should do is combine Mantra of Concentration and Resolve together… then combine Mantra of Pain and Distraction into one (the damage from Pain is not nearly good enough on it’s own to justify a utility slot being spent on it, but with the interruption added in it would become highly useful.)
        With those 4 skills now condensed into 2, they need to introduce a Mantra that provides AoE confusion: 600 range PB burst centered on the target with between 3 to 5 stacks of confusion, and then a fourth mantra … perhaps something that applies a reverse time warp to the target (slowing their skill usage for a brief time) or some sort of movement impairing field effect.
        Do that, or anything even close to it, and I would have to seriously consider devoting quite a number of traits to augmenting Mantra skills AND actually put 3 or 4 mantra skills on my hotbar.
        Until then, the diverse, multi-purpose hotbar I usually run with will be my preference.
        P.S. I’m pretty sure I have 2 Superior runes of the Traveler lying around in my private guild vault… if so, I’ll send ’em over to ya. Those plus the ones you got from the dungeon run should mean you just need to buy 2 more yourself for the complete set (plus 1 for the aqua breather if you would also like the movement underwater, which I highly recommend.)


        1. Thaaaank you! :)

          I usually use my two dodges and THEN get stunned which is ultimately followed by an attack that instantly downs me unless I dodge out. Just my luck… ^^ Not in regular PvE settings, obviously, but during some of the guild missions and dungeon encounters. I stopped having that problem when I switched to my warrior, because she can get out of that stuff much more easily… but it may also be her defensive gear. ;)

          Do you know this build: I’m thinking of giving it yet another try. But I always tend to favour sword/pistol over any other combination. I’m also hoping we’ll get to see pistol/pistol one day… *dreams*


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