This is an introduction to the Virtuoso specialization.
Blades and Bladesongs
As a Virtuoso, instead of clones we have blades as our resource and the typical cap of three is increased to five.
You have a few skills that stock blades:
Blades, if unused, will stay around indefinitely as long as you don't swap instances or swap elite specializations.
Out of combat you gain one blade every ten seconds, upon entering combat with a raid boss and most strike mission bosses you immediately get five blades.
Additionally, our profession skills are now Bladesongs instead of Shatters.
Bladesongs are unique to Virtuoso, they inherit all traits that affect Shatters. Bladesongs unlike Shatters have a small cast time.
Our Bladesongs are:
- shoots up to five blades, deals increasing damage per blade and pierces. This is our typical power-focused F1.
- shoots up to five blades, inflicting one stack of Confusion per blade and pierces. This is our typical condition-focused F2 while still dealing notable power damage.
- combines all your blades into one, dealing increased Breakbar damage per blade spent. This is our typical crowd control F3.
- blocks incoming attack for two seconds, its damage scale per blade. This is our typical defensive F4.
Phantasms and Blades
You have a few skills that summon phantasms:
Phantasms carry out an attack and then will transform into blades. The attack can be completed or interrupted, either will cause the phantasm to become a blade.
Phantasms play an integral part in our rotation as they deal a good amount of damage and are responsible for the majority of our blade generation, via the typical means of turning into blades but also through the interaction between and .
Psionics are a unique utility skill-type to the Virtuoso traitline and deliver a unique variety of effects, interacting primarily with our blade mechanic.
The Psionics you will come across with this build are:
is our auto-attack, it is very fast and pierces. Notably it deals more damage on every third hit.
throws three piercing blades in a cone from the caster. Upon reaching the furthest point they return to the caster for a total of six hits. Make sure that the target remains between you and the return path of the daggers or you will lose out on hits. It will also stock a blade upon one of the daggers connecting.
fires a storm of blades that travels forward for six seconds, upon touching the storm enemies take a large amount of damage. Additionally, the storm will send out three blades every one and a half seconds, these blade are homing as long as they are in range to hit. Only one of these three blades can hit an entity per pulse.
Note that it is possible to get more hits with proper positioning or if used on a large hitbox.
is your auto-attack on Greatsword, it deals more damage the further away you are from your target.
throws an illusionary blade at your target, stocking a blade if it hits. On impact the blade bounces six time between nearby objects, granting Might to allies while dealing additional damage to foes.
It should be noted that this skill will deal less damage as it will bounce between allies instead of hitting your enemy unless you are as close to the center of the hitbox as possible.
inflicts a decent amount of damage and Cripple enemies within its radius.
throws an illusionary greatsword at your target, summmoning two greatsword phantasms that whirls at your foe.
pushes foes in a cone in front of you.
blocks the next incoming attack, makes you Evade afterward and stocks a blade. Its damage is equal to the last part of your auto-attack chain, meaning that it can be a DPS increase if timed well. As long as no attack has been blocked, you can re-cast it to Daze up to five targets in a line.
leaps at your target first and then performs a . You gain Might when the first attack hits, which is why you usually don’t have to worry about your Might uptime. It also is a leap finisher.
It is important to note that you can stow for a DPS increase, this is because it is both a physical strike from the mesmer and a summon, with Quickness the summon part occurs around 680 ms while the strike occurs around 750 ms. Make sure to stow after getting the physical strike!
General Virtuoso Tips
As a Virtuoso we want to optimize our uptime of while also making sure we use our Bladesongs for the raw damage they provide, thus we want to always use with five blades while should in situations be used with less blades than five.
should be saved for Breakbar damage if needed.
However for situations where we don't need to provide Breakbar damage we can use it for damage and uptime. Since the damage does not scale per blade it is more efficient to use it with as few blades as possible for this purpose.
Phantasms all have different attack durations, listed below, and on finishing their attack they will trigger which is one of our highest sources of damage.
- ≈ 2.5 seconds
- ≈ 1.6 seconds
- ≈ 3.5 seconds
Before a fight or phase starts you can pre-cast to save time.
You almost always want to queue the next ability while the current one is already casting to not waste any time in your rotation. However you should be aware that , and Weapon Swap will cancel your current skill.
If executed correctly you should always get one five blade per Greatsword loop, and one five blade plus one five blade per Greatsword loop.
If there are breakbars then do not use for damage, use it for CC!
You can stow for a noticable DPS increase.
= 50 Breakbar damage per blade spent, up to 250 Breakbar damage.
= 200 Breakbar damage.
= 150 Breakbar damage.
= 300 Breakbar damage.
= 150 Breakbar damage.
= 600 Breakbar damage.