Breaking The Meta: Fresh Air Elementalist
The aim of this article, and those that will follow it, is to give guides for builds which are not considered the “meta” builds for their respective classes. While I understand that fresh air elementalist is commonly used in pick up groups and solo queues, it is still not considered to be a “meta” build for elementalist. A fresh air elementalist uses the traits “Electric discharge” and “Fresh air” in the air magic trait line to give large bursts of damage amongst lower, but constant, damage from other attunements. This build fills a different role than that of a celestial dagger/dagger elementalist. It is also harder to play effectively, but can have just as much of an impact on a match when targeting priority players.
Fire Magic: 0
Air Magic: 6: VI (Bolt to the Heart), X (Air Training), XII (Fresh Air)
Earth Magic: 0
Water Magic: 4: VI (Vital Striking), X (Cleansing Wave)
Arcane Power: 4: II (Renewing Stamina), VIII (Elemental Attunement)
This particular variant of the build is based around using sceptre and focus.
- Sigil of Air: This build already relies on critical hits and more damage output on critical hits is useful.
- Sigil of Fire: Also has an effect on critical hit, but punishes people who get close to you, which is a general weakness of this build.
Runes: There are two variants on the runes you can use for this build, which both offer different benefits.
- Rune of the Pack: This rune gives +175 power and +125 precision, which both contribute to increasing the damage output of the build. In addition to this it also gives bonus swiftness duration and a 25% change to give 10 seconds of fury might and swiftness to yourself and allies when you are hit (with a 20 second cooldown). The uptime of these boons, especially the fury massively increase the damage the build puts out, as more crits mean more attunements to air.
- Rune of Strength: This rune gives +175 power, as well as giving longer might duration, a 25% chance to get 5 seconds of might when struck (with a 5 second cooldown) and 5% bonus damage when under the effects of might. Might stacking is easy on an elementalist (although easier with d/d) which makes this rune strong on almost any ele build, however for fresh air the fury and precision makes the rune of the pack the favourable option.
- Berserker: This is by far the amulet that gives the most effective play with a fresh air build, it gives high offensive power, especially as it gives high amounts of precision, meaning more crits and more air attunement damage. This may lead to the question, why not assassins amulet? In PvP berserker amulet also gives you vitality, which offers a fresh air elementalist some much needed survivability.
Heals, Utilities and Elite
- Signet of restoration: This heal is incredibly strong with any scepter or dagger build as they are weapons which focus on low cooldown skills, which leads to a lot healing from the signet per ability used.
- Lightning Flash: This skill offers an elementalist so much utility it would be nigh on impossible to leave out of most builds. This build, in particular, is fairly slow, and the blink offers some much needed mobility, as well as an option for a 1-3k damage spike.
- Arcane Shield: This skill gives the build survivability, as a well timed shied can block a high damage burst from many classes. However, it also acts as another source of critical damage to refresh air attunement.
- Conjure Fiery Greatsword: This skill is mainly for mobility and adds to what a fresh air build lacks.
For the final utility slot options:
- Arcane Blast: A strong source of single target damge and a critical hit to refresh air attunement.
- Arcane Wave: Another source of critical damage to refresh air attunement, and an aoe blast finisher.
- Mist form: Adds for more survivability to get out of fights and avoid burst damage.
- Cleansing Fire: Should be used against teams that will likely have a lot of condition pressure.
This build has incredibly high burst damage on a single target, which should be timed to hit just after a dodge. It’s important not to spam skills, as making sure you get the most out of crits and air attunement is important.
- Air Attunement: This is your highest source of constant damage. Make sure you air attune just after someone has dodged, or their block or invulnerability has been used or timed out, or you will miss out on a large chunk of damage.
- Gale + Dragon’s Tooth: Dragon’s tooth is an incredibly easy skill for an enemy to dodge, as it has a very long and obvious animation before it lands. Casting dragon’s tooth and the gale immediately after, or the other way round, can help to ensure that your enemy takes the high damage from dragon’s tooth. This can also be used with Phoenix.
- Secured Stomps: Arcane shield, mist form (if you take it) and obsidian flesh can give you a secured stomp on guardians, warriors, rangers, engineers and necromancers. Swirling winds and Magnetic Wave can secure a stomp on warriors and engineers.
- Support: Attuning to water magic will remove conditions from you and your allies, and the scepter 3 skill, “water trident”, will allow for some aoe healing although it is minimal.
- Rotations: A fresh air elementalists movements around the map should be planned incredibly carefully, as they are generally slow to get from place to place. For this reason focusing on the mid and near nodes, and only venturing far as part of a team rotation is advisable, as moving their on your own will take time, and it’s easy for the enemy team to rotate two players and kill you.
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