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Guild Wars 2 Forum » Mesmer » Mesmer tips please1

8 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/14/03
Posts: 383

OP  9/04/12 9:26:22 PM#1

Hi all,


I THINK I like my Mesmer, but it's taking some definite getting used to.  Can any experienced (lvl 40+) Mesmers please share a tip or two, esp. regarding the use of clones, shatter, weapons to use, traits to slot, etc?  I'm particularly interested in WvW and 1v1 survivabilty there as I roam.


Thanks in advance!  I really want to like this profession; I just need a few pointers I think.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/14/03
Posts: 383

OP  9/04/12 10:57:59 PM#2
Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

9/04/12 11:08:25 PM#3

this is for sPVP but gives you a good look at mesmer in PVP and gives good tips on the class

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg


Novice Member

Joined: 6/26/08
Posts: 474

9/05/12 8:36:45 PM#4
Originally posted by Oyjord

Hi all,


I THINK I like my Mesmer, but it's taking some definite getting used to.  Can any experienced (lvl 40+) Mesmers please share a tip or two, esp. regarding the use of clones, shatter, weapons to use, traits to slot, etc?  I'm particularly interested in WvW and 1v1 survivabilty there as I roam.


Thanks in advance!  I really want to like this profession; I just need a few pointers I think.

I'm at level 20 so not that experienced, but because I'm enjoying it a lot and am at a lowish level, perhaps what I say might be of value to an absolute beginner who might stumble on the thread.

At first you have no idea what's happening and you just hopefully mash buttons.  But the more you play, the more you will start to understand what things do - and there's a lot of depth to the system, and you can make quite a variety of builds with the Mesmer Profession I think.

To start with, generally speaking (although not of course invariably) Mesmers will have Staff as one of the weapons.  Staff is the most "magic" oriented weapon, and it's all about granting boons (buffs) to friends and imposing conditions (debuffs) on enemies (although strictly speaking boons and conditions work differently from how buffs and debuffs normally work, it's a reasonable analogy to get you in the ballpark).  The fun thing about the Staff is that the boons and conditions it gives out are random - with the staff, you are a Chaos magician!

Now for the second weapon set, there are lots of different opinions.  All other combinations do fun things.  But some are more focussed on certain particular boons and conditions.  e.g. one weapon might be more focussed on imposing vulnerability on enemies, another on giving you and your allies might, or confusion, or stuns, etc., etc.  You basically have to just learn them as you go and start figuring out which you prefer for your playstyle.  There's a lot of variety here, so something for everyone.

Finally, one of the most characteristic things about the Mesmer is the illusions.  All Mesmer versions of weapons that Mesmers can equip have a couple of abilities that summon either clones or phantasms at your target, or near you.

Clones are straight copies of you with your slot 1 weapon, but they don't do any damage (although they can impose conditions, and can be made to do damage with traits), they just distract mobs.  Phantasms do damage and other interesting spells, and can be quite powerful if traited for.

When the mob they've been sicced on dies, your illusions "shatter" into little crystal purple butterflies (very pretty), doing damage and/or imposing conditions on any remaining mobs.

But the cool thing is you can "shatter" them any time you want with your F1, etc. abilities - and there you have the option to shatter + other effects.

Now here's the key point: don't be precious with your illusions, get used to shattering them tactically. They are cheap and frequently produced.  THEY ARE NOT LIKE PETS.  Well, they're kind of pets (they do have AI), but conceptually it helps to think of them more like aggro-management (clones) or  DoTs (phantasms) with a burst at the end.

There's a whole ton of stuff to learn, it's a very deep class, and this is just some key points to get you started, hopefully.  Have fun!



Novice Member

Joined: 7/10/12
Posts: 94

9/06/12 2:46:26 AM#5

Already some good stuff and advice from gurugeorge.

There are 2 types of damage around here.

The first one, the most common and what people can understand and mostly aim for, is what I'll name direct skill damage. It's the damage you see when you hit someone or a mob directly with your sword, bullet, fireball or whatever. You hit and take away a chunk of HP's. Mesmer doesn't shine in this kind of damage. It's possible to go for a build for this kind of gameplay but other toons are way more suited for this.

Second one I'll call it indirect or hidden damage and that's the real power of the Mesmer. Damage that comes from conditions and the more the Mesmer is surrounded by allies the more that damage is going to stack and rack up.


How I started to play my Mesmer recently (42).

Staff / scepter + torch (I prefer torch over focus but both are possible)

Focus on condition damage and toughness.

Traits focus on cd reduction for shatters, illusions and glamour skills + confusion on all shatters and whatever condition I can add to my shatters. (end game of course @80 but how to build it up)

Ethereal fields by taking 3 additional skills. (2 glamours + elite one)


The key is to not focus on the damage you can do yourself but to use your allies for combos on the Ethereal fields. This combo will pop Chaos Armor on your allies and confusion on your foes. Confusion stacks in intensity so the more it pops the harder it's going to hit on your foe eveytime it's or he/she's going to use a skill. Regularly shatter your illusions once you know you can repop them again.

Your illusions aren't here to tank so you don't take any damage. Because of Chaos armor, grant boon and put a condition on foe on being hit, you need to get hit. Don't be scared and take your share of damage during the 5 seconds chaos armor is up.

Remove your auto-attack and take the good habbit to attack with your first skill manually. You need to keep an eye on which target you're on and immediately switch back when you have been put on another one. Happens often but I'll let you find out why by yourself. ;)

Don't stay at 100 000ft from your target when summoning your clones. But get close to it. Chaos armor popped for what I've already explained and Phase Retreat (2nd staff skill) will teleport you away from your target anyway.

Don't get frustrated because you're not king/queen in killing stuff alone. It's a fact that it takes us more time and more effort to kill something or someone when solo. But on the "bright" side the more we're surrounded by allies the more efficient we become.

In staff mode it's very important to keep the clone you summon with Phase Retreat alive as long as possible. Your first skill (auto-attack you should learn to handle manually) and the clone of Phase Retreat is 2x winds of change. Best is skill 3 first as phantasm have more health than clones before Phase Retreat.



There's so much to tell and to discover with the Mesmer. I hope my little advice will help you a bit out OP. Enjoy it and take what you want from it.




Novice Member

Joined: 7/10/12
Posts: 94

9/06/12 3:01:45 AM#6

Just to add one little thing.

See your server as the hive, the collective. In the hive all the others are just the little drones while the Mesmer is the Borg Queen. And the bigger the hive the more powerfull the Queen becomes.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/08
Posts: 386

9/06/12 3:12:18 AM#7

My take on Mesmer (this is how I've had the most success so far) 

I discovered sword/pistol - GS back in BW1 (when everyone on official forums was complaining about melee, and sword mesmer being ridiculous etc.) and never looked back. It is now one of the most popular playstyles and versatile enough for most situations - as long as you plan your utilities correctly.

Sword/Pistol Good dmg, good defense (blurred frenzy and magic bullet), some decent control (sword 3) and basic attacks stack vulnerability (which is a bit weak but still) 

Greatsword allows me some modest AOE for tagging mobs in a big fights, the pushback is a great defensive trick, the phantasm does good dmg and cripples, and skill 2 adds might to allies. Skill 3 they might as well remove for pve in its current state though it is a AoE so useful for large mob tagging. 


Traits: (can't log on so not 100% exact) 

30 Inspiration (for regen, heals on shatters, and condition removal on heals)

20  Duelling (slotting for recharge skills, but mainly used for the bleeding on crit. 10/15 stacks easily from your phantasms)

20  Illusions (slotting reflection on distortion which is amazingly good) 



Currently testing various things. Prioritizing dmg over survivibility atm as with all the escapes, utility, shatter heals, and 30Inspiration I don't find I have issues in that area. But this may change clearly.



I change these depending on circumstance. In "solo" pve I usually use phantasmal decoy, mirror images and either feedback (makes taking out ranged mobs a breeze and it's an ethereal combo field) or one of the signets. 


Other wpns:

Staff is nice for sieges and very large pve encounters. I find it almost useless in regular pve or spvp (unless people sit in the chaos storm for some odd reason).

Sceptre is just horrid in PVE. It's supposed to be our defensive wpn but it's just a design mess in its current state. Confusion is just not that good against pve mobs due to their generally low rate of attack.

Torch is cute, but can't really justify losing the phantasmal duellist for it, or the awesome magic bullet. 

OH sword I don't personally like (not a huge fan of blocks) 

Focus, can be fun for wvw, but in regular pve I don't find its tricks very useful. 


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/17/06
Posts: 6280

9/11/12 7:37:22 AM#8

For 1v1 offhand torch is the best offhand survivability when used properly, bar none.


The best way to stay alive in an spvp style situation, either a match or some sort of 1v1 or 1v2 match up, is smart use of stealth, clones, and target drop.


You can build for WvW survival by trating chaos and inspiration, but i can tell you that even though it helps quite a bit, smart use of decoy and the prestige is far more powerful for surival.


Personally I do not use torch in WvW but in a spvp match its amazing defensively.


Otherwise you have condition stuff which usually involves staff.  You have power/crit which usally involves geratsword. Defensive stuff which IMO for non-tricky survival staff and sword/pistol is the best. 

You can build a mesmer to do alot of damage both single targe and AOE.  The AOE in PvE is maxmized by using shatter alot and taking the trait from chaos that applies confusion on illusion death.  Then GS and staff both have good AOEs.  If you can stack confusion up to 6 or more in an AOE you will notice you do alot of damage if you are in a group and the mobs are firing skills alot.  Using that you want to stack condition damage.  You can instead stack power and crit and try to maxmize phantasmal berserk which will also do alot of damage.

You can basically double your condition damage if you focus on it exclusively so later on gear choice does matter quite a lot.  Traits can also be key.  The extra bounce on bouncing attacks affects staff and has a huge effect and is great on staff + sword/pistol.


In the end though I would say that for mesmer you must master kiting(staff,GS) and skirmishing(sword/pistol/torch).  The rest is just seasoning.  If you cannot do kiting and skirmishing well this class will never perform well for you.