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Tyler

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  1. Regarding advanced blocking with mesmers, about a month ago, Blurred Inscriptions was moved from Domination to the grandmaster tier of Inspiration. Because Warden's Feedback is in the master tier of Inspiration, you can now have both Blurred Inscriptions and Warden's Feedback without using Domination, so you're free to use something else. But going in a slightly different direction, replacing Domination with Illusions, makes the scepter and sword combination much easier. It's so easy that you don't need a safe spot, you don't need to know how to tell what you've blocked, and you can solo block. The only things that you really need to know are the animations, the frequency of spits, and the skill rotation (explained below). But it requires a particular build (including equipment). The idea behind the build can be summed up by Ricky Bobby: “I wanna go fast.” With this build, you'll have nearly 100% up-time on both Alacrity and Quickness! I'll provide the ascended equipment version, but I believe that this might still work with exotic equivalent—though I haven't tested it. You can either use Giver's stats or Harrier's stats (or even a combination of the two); I prefer Giver's stats because they're also viable for WvW content and other big group events in OW content. This build will not work as described with quadruple stats, so please don't try using Minstrel's stats or such. However, if you have full ascended/legendary equipment, then there's room for one piece of equipment to have Plaguedoctor's stats. Specializations Illusions Shatter Storm—Though this isn't technically necessary, it gives you a little bit of wiggle room and the other options aren't particularly applicable. Maim the Disillusioned—The scepter auto-attack inflicts Torment and you'll be shattering about every six seconds, so Maim the Disillusioned fits with the build. Malicious Sorcery—This is required. You won't produce clones quickly enough without it. Inspiration Medic's Feedback—You really shouldn't ever need this, but it's the only option that makes even a little sense. Restorative Illusions—This provides extremely powerful healing for a trait. It gives you a lot of freedom of choice regarding the healing skill—freedom of which you'll exploit to make room for freedom of choice regarding a utility skill. Blurred Inscriptions—This is required. You won't be able to block as effectively without it. I suppose that this build can technically get away with never using its slot skills, but that would be more difficult than necessary. Chronomancer Time Catches Up—None of these options do much for this build, so there's not much to say about this. Improved Alacrity—This is required. Even if you can't keep 100% alacrity up-time with this, it's still required because the fact that the recharge-speed buff is much greater than the duration nerf means that it's still a great buff. Seize the Moment—This is required. You need to be able to power through a skill or sequence of skills at a moment's notice. Slot Skills Signet of the Ether—This is required for blocking. Though its passive healing effect works well with the build, you should pretend that the passive effect doesn't exist; the fact that it provides Distortion upon activation is far more important. Signet of Domination—This is required for blocking. It has near-instant-speed activation (especially with Quickness) and the fact that it works well with the Torment stacks that you'll be issuing is a nice touch. Signet of Midnight—This is required for blocking. It has instant-speed activation and the fact that it works well with the Torment stacks that you'll be issuing is a nice touch. Well of Recall—If you're struggling to keep alacrity up, then this will help fill in the gaps. It also helps your allies during the burn phase. Time Warp—Your choice of ultimate skill doesn't particularly matter, but Time Warp helps with the burn. But don't use Continuum Split for it—save that for your more important skills. Armor Tixx's Masque Superior Rune of Leadership Tixx's Epaulets Superior Rune of Leadership Tixx's Doublet Superior Rune of Leadership Tixx's Wristguards Superior Rune of Leadership Tixx's Breeches Superior Rune of Leadership Tixx's Footwear Superior Rune of Leadership Weapons Tixx's Wand Superior Sigil of Bounty—Be sure to get the Bounty stacks before you begin blocking. Kill some easy enemies while you wait for the event to start. Because this build doesn't focus on damage, this could take a few minutes, so feel free to join up with the escort team to get some easy kills. But don't expect to get all twenty-five Bounty stacks from the escort event. In a level-80 area, this build would have +100% boon duration even without this sigil, but due to level scaling, you'll have to make up lost ground via this sigil and the consumables. Tixx's Blade Superior Sigil of Concentration Trinkets Giver's Sabetha's Defender Crucible Giver's Spectral Ward Giver's Berg's Token Giver's Talisman of Holt Giver's Defender's Energized Loop Giver's Defender's Woven Band Consumables Magnanimous Sharpening Stone Magnanimous Maintenance Oil Magnanimous Tuning Crystal Chocolate Omnomberry Cream Skill Rotation With this build, you'll be shattering incessantly, so you need to be able to keep the clones coming. The scepter's auto-attack chain will create a clone about once every five seconds. Via Flow of Time, each clone that you shatter grants two seconds of alacrity. So if you shatter three clones, you'll get six seconds of alacrity. And remember that producing three clones takes less than six seconds. In short, you should use the scepter's auto-attack chain and Mind Wrack to maintain full Quickness and Alacrity up-time. There are two situations in which you'll deviate from this “maintenance chain”. While you read through the rest of the explanation of the rotations, bear in mind that shatters have no activation time and can be activated independently of your weapon or slot skills. When the wurm swings, block it via Illusionary Counter. Bear in mind that this ability will be affected by Quickness. So instead of having a two-second window to block, you'll only have a one-second window. Technically, you can activate Illusionary Riposte for this instead and still be fine. However, Illusionary Riposte is useful to keep up in case you make a mistake and somehow have no other way to block eggs. I'll talk more about that later. When you've successfully blocked the spin, finish Illusionary Counter via Counterspell. Not only is Counterspell another little jab, it also allows you to begin recharging Illusionary Counter and to activate other skills sooner. In regard to blocking, the Distortion skill has first priority. So you need to be sure that your maintenance chain doesn't prevent you from getting its full effect. With that in mind, if you anticipate a spit within the next five or six seconds, hold off on using the Mind Wrack component of your maintenance chain. Instead, this would be a great time to activate Well of Recall to keep Alacrity up. If you lose Quickness during this part, then that's fine. It's nothing to worry too much about. Knowing when to expect the spit before the animation starts will take practice. If you have at least one clone and have the Continuum Split skill up but don't have the Distortion skill up, then Continuum Split and your three signets take priority. When you activate Continuum Split with at least one clone, you will get at least three seconds of quickness, so you should have no trouble stuffing all three signets into the rift. When you're done, activate Continuum Shift manually so that Continuum Split will began to recharge sooner. If all else fails and neither of those blocking routes are available, hard-activate the three signets and hope that your cool-downs. And then, if you're noobing so hard that that's not even an option, then you probably don't even know what you're about to block. In this scenario, activate Illusionary Counter, immediately follow it with Illusionary Riposte, and hope that it was an egg spit. Neither of these skills block husks. Note that Illusionary Riposte is not affected by Quickness. After you're done blocking, resume use of the maintenance chain. Under no circumstances should you create a phantasm. Phantasms don't shatter until they become a clone. This means that if you shatter with two clones and one phantasm, then you'll only get four seconds of alacrity instead of six. So never activate Phantasmal Swordsman. Bear in mind that Signet of Midnight stops your auto-attacks. Be sure to resume them immediately.
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