The Virtuoso is the End of Dragons Elite Specialization for the Mesmer. As a Virtuoso the Mesmer drops the ability to summon clones. Instead, the Virtuoso summons illusionary blades which you can fire at your enemies. You can also use the blades to form a protective barrier. Continue reading to learn more about the Virtuoso’s skills, traits and builds.
- No more Clones for the Mesmer?
- Virtuoso vs. Mirage vs. Chronomancer vs. Core Mesmer
- Virtuoso’s Shatter Skills
- Virtuoso (Dagger) Weapon Skills
- Virtuoso Traits
- Virtuoso Build
- Ranking the Virtuoso Elite Specialization
No more Clones for the Mesmer?
If you ever played a Mesmer in Guild Wars 2 you must be familiar with clones and phantasms. Memsers are able to summon clones and phantasms by using weapon and utility skills. These clones and phantasms mimic the Mesmer’s actions and deal damage to your enemies. You can shatter clones to inflict damage, confuse enemies, daze enemies or negate incoming damage.
Once you unlock the Virtuoso Elite Specialization, you won’t be able to summon clones anymore. Instead you’ll summon blades that’ll float above you. These blades are automatically generated out of combat or can be stocked by using weapon or utility skills. These blades can be fired at enemies to inflict extra damage, cause confusion, daze enemies or block incoming attacks. So far, this similar to clones. However, clones and phantasms were tied to one specific enemy. If that enemy died, your clones would disappear. The Virtuoso’s blades however, will persist if an enemy dies.
So, if I stock a number of blades on enemy #1 by attacking, I can use the stocked blades on enemy #2.
A regular Mesmer would lose all its clones after the enemy dies and would have to re-summon their clones on the next enemy.
Virtuoso vs. Mirage vs. Chronomancer vs. Core Mesmer
Before we dig deeper into the skills, traits and builds of the Virtuoso, let’s compare the Virtuoso to the other Elite Specialization the Mesmer has access to; the Mirage and the Chronomancer.
Virtuoso vs. Chronomancer
The Virtuoso if focused on dealing as much damage as possible. It does not have as much support capabilities as the Chronomancer does. Chronomancers are great at providing Quickness and Alacrity to allies. A Virtuoso is more self centered. It does not have much options to support allies but has enough capabilities to survive and provide for themselves.
Virtuoso vs. Mirage
In terms of mobility, the Mirage beats the Virtuoso. With many deceptions, shadow steps and Jaunt (Elite skill) it is easy to reposition yourself. However, the Virtuoso has more potential to deal both power damage and condition damage. Whereas the Mirage only excels in dealing condition damage (damage over time).
Virtuoso vs. Core Mesmer
An Elite Specialization beats a regular specialization most of the time. So, does the Core Mesmer stand a chance? Depending on your playstyle you might prefer a Core or regular Mesmer over the Virtuoso.
The Core Mesmer can still summon clones that take the aggro of enemies. This will result in you taking less damage while you can damage your enemies. The Virtuoso has less abilities to redirect or distract enemies. For more experience Mesmer players, a Virtuoso is probably preferred. The Virtuoso can deal much more damage in a shorter period of time but is more susceptible to taking damage.
Mesmer Specializations overview:
|Core Mesmer||None / Base Game||Power (pDPS) & Condition Damage (cDPS)||The Core Mesmer can do a decent amount of damage and has access to a number of skills that provide mobility and deception.|
|Chronomancer||Heart of Thorns||Support (boons)||The Chronomancer is great at providing boons to your allies while also dealing a decent amount of damage.|
|Mirage||Path of Fire||Condition Damage (cDPS)||The Mirage excels in dealing condition based damage (DoT’s) and has access to a number of mobility skills.|
|Virtuoso||End of Dragons||Power (pDPS) & Condition Damage (cDPS)||The Virtuoso uses blades to deal damage to enemies and can deal an excessive amount of damage in the blink of an eye.|
Virtuoso’s Shatter Skills
The Virtuoso’s shatter skills are used to fire stocked blades at your target. These skills can be enhanced by traits from the Illusions and Virtuoso traitlines.
Bladesong Harmony is your first shatter skill. This skill has one purpose, dealing as much damage as possible. Using this skill fires all your stocked blades at your target.
Bladesong sorrow is your second shatter skill. This skill fires all your stocked blades at your target to inflict confusion and bleeding. This skill can also be enhanced by traits of the Illusion and Virtuoso traitline. Take for example Cry of Pain which inflicts two more stacks of confusion whenever a Mesmer uses their second shatter skill.
Bladesong Dissonance is your third shatter skill. This skill combines all your stocked blade into one big blade to daze your target. The more blades you have stocked, the more powerful the daze. This skill is useful whenever you are fighting an enemy with a defiance bar. This skill is limited to one target.
Bladeturn Requiem if your fourth and last shatter skill. This skill combines your stocked blades into a shield that blocks incoming attacks and damages enemies. The more blades you have stocked, the longer your shield will last.
Virtuoso (Dagger) Weapon Skills
As a Virtuoso, you’ll also be able to use another weapon in combat; the dagger. Although a dagger would be considered a melee weapon in most cases, it’s not the case for the Virtuoso. The Virtuoso uses a dagger as a ranged weapon to fire illusionary projectiles at enemies. All the Virtuoso’s dagger skills have a range of 1.200. That’s long! That’s the same range as most Staff skills have.
Flying Cutter is the first Dagger skill and also functions as your auto-attack. Flying Cutter fires blades of energy at your target. If you hit a target multiple times you’ll inflict a Flurry of blades that deals extra damage to your target. Flying Cutter also pierces targets. This means that your projectiles go through an enemy and can hit other targets in the process. This comes in real handy if you are fighting multiple enemies.
Your second skill, Bladecall, fires a fan of blades at your target. The blades will then return to you. If you hit at least one target with your Bladecall, it will stock a blade. Bladecall fires 3 blades and can hit up to 5 targets. This skill also pierces your target.
Your third skill, Unstable Bladestorm, summons a slow moving storm that damages enemies it passes through. The storm also fires daggers at enemies every interval.
Like all Elite Specializations, the Virtuoso also gains access to a number of new traits to enhance their skills and actions. Most of these traits are focused on inflicting more damage and conditions. There are just a few traits that provide defensive capabilities to the Virtuoso. These traits make the Virtuoso an extremely potent damage dealer but can leave the Virtuoso susceptible for damage.
The list below explains the Virtuoso’s traits and can be found on the official Guild Wars 2 Wiki.
|Tier||Trait Name||Trait Recharge||Trait Description|
|Minor Proficiency||Dagger Proficiency||–||You can wield daggers.|
|Minor Adept||Psychic Blades||–||Whenever a clone would be summoned, you instead stock a blade. Blades persist indefinitely until used. Your shatters are replaced with Bladesongs that consume your stocked blades, but still count as shatters for the purposes of core traits.|
While out of combat, you will automatically stock a blade every 10 seconds.
|Major Adept||Bladeturn Refrain||–||Bladesongs grant aegis.|
|Major Adept||Mental Focus||–||Strike damage is increased against foes within the range threshold.|
|Major Adept||Jagged Mind||–||Blade attacks inflict bleeding on critical hits. A percentage of your condition damage dealt heals you.|
|Minor Master||Deadly Blades||–||Blades inflict vulnerability on critical hits. After successfully casting a Bladesong, increase all damage dealt for a short time. This does not stack.|
|Major Master||Duelist’s Reversal||3||Blocking or dodging an attack grants boons.|
|Major Master||Phantasmal Blades||–||Phantasms that successfully complete their attack launch a blade at their target and grant you fury when they expire.|
|Major Master||Sharpening Sorrow||–||Gain fury when you activate Bladesong Sorrow. Fury increases your expertise.|
|Minor Grandmaster||Quiet Intensity||–||Fury gives an increased critical chance. Gain ferocity based on your vitality.|
|Major Grandmaster||Psychic Riposte||3||Blocking or dodging an attack stocks blades and causes your next Bladesong to be unblockable.|
|Major Grandmaster||Infinite Forge||–||Automatically stock blades while in combat.|
|Major Grandmaster||Bloodsong||–||Bleeding you apply deals increased damage. Stock a blade after applying enough stacks of bleeding to foes.|
As a Virtuoso you want to focus on a DPS build. You have little to no abilities and traits that support your allies. Since the Virtuoso’s traits offer enhancements to both power damage and condition damage, you can go two ways here.
If you want to create your own build for Power Damage, focus on Virtuoso traits like Mental Focus, Sharpening Sorrow and Infinite Forge.
If you want a Condition Damage build, focus on Virtuoso traits like Jagged Mind, Sharpening Sorrow and Bloodsong.
Virtuoso Open World PvE Build
If you want to use your Virtuoso for Open World PvE I suggest using a build that is optimized for that type of content. I’m personally a big fan of Vallun’s builds and will therefore recommend one of his builds.
Copy the string of character and load them into your Guild Wars 2 Build templates to use the Virtuoso Open World PvE build:
I highly suggest watching Vallun’s video about this build.
Ranking the Virtuoso Elite Specialization
I’ve played the Virtuoso for about a number of hours and I’m certain that this is my new favorite Mesmer Elite Specialization. More builds and information will be added to this article shortly.
The Virtuoso is an extremely potent damage dealer and I suspect it will become one of the highest DPS Elite Specializations in the game. However, if you have the wrong gear, traits or are unfamiliar with the Virtuoso's mechanics you'll most likely have a rough time in open world PvE. If this is the case, you are better off using a Chronomancer or the Core Mesmer.
Ease of play9