August 15, 2017 Update
Sorry for the delayed post this time around. We’ve all been hard at work, figuring out new gear, testing builds and doing a LOT of changes to the website in preparation for the expansion. There are still a few things missing, but we plan to continue updating stuff over the next few days.
So what changed in the 08/08 patch?
Both condi and boon duration food received substantial nerfs, instead of giving 20% duration, they now provide only 100 expertise or concentration. This equates to a 66% nerf, decreasing the DPS of all condi builds and power chrono by a fair amount. On top of this, we also received a rework for all utility consumables. For power builds, basic sharpening stones are now best in slot, and are a small increase compared to last patch. However for condi builds it was another nerf, early on we thought furious crystals would be the best, because they are the only ones to still give condi duration. After doing more research though, it seems toxic crystals are still superior, simply because they give so much more condition damage.
Due to the huge loses in condi duration from consumables, all condi builds require new gear. Berserker runes are much less common, instead we see more builds using nightmare, krait or balthazar runes to get there condi duration. Similarly; malice, smoldering, agony and venom sigils are often replacing earth sigils to get more condi duration.
Power based builds are still strong on all of the bosses they were previously, mainly Vale Guardian, Sloth and Keep Construct. While Gorseval, Samarog, and Deimos remain a good mix, where both power and condi builds perform similarly. The rest of the bosses strongly favour condition builds, even with the food nerfs.
Class Specific changes:
Warrior: received a huge buff to Blademaster, giving an additional 20% condi duration to all sword skills. A new Condition Duration Trait was also added, which helps to compensate for the food nerfs. Personal the damage output of both Condi PS and Condi DPS have increased by around 9% with the patch. Making Condi PS exceed 30K on the golem for the first time, and Condi DPS become one of the top builds for small hitbox. We believe these changes to be very unnecessary, because have made the Condi PS build even more overpowered. By contrast, Power PS received nerfs again, for the second patch in a row. Berserker’s Power has been rebalanced to give a 7% modifier for each bar of adrenaline used, stacking up to 3 times. Also burst skills while in berserker now count as T1, making it take a long time for the modifiers to ramp up. Before it was a small DPS increase over Condi PS at Keep Construct, but now it’s worse for all raid encounters.
Guardian: received some significant buffs, which boosted its strengths into one of the strongest dps classes for the current metagame. Retribution now also gives 250 ferocity on top of its previous effect. Symbolic Avenger got a similar buff, which now converts 13% of your toughness into power. Radiant Retaliation has been reworked and renamed into Righteous Instincts, which provides us with 50% extra crit chance if we are under the effect of retaliation. This allows the Druids in a subgroup with 2 power guardians to change
Spotter to Hidden Barbs in order to increase their personal damage and the overall group dps. Another, very interesting change that happened this patch was a change to Perfect Inscriptions which now gives the stats from your Signets to 5 allies when activated. Currently we are not 100% sure if it is really worth bringing anywhere though. It might be worth to use that trait on KC for the burn phase but we need to test it a little bit more until we can conclude anything.
Revenant: The food change forced Revenant to replace Berserker Runes with 4 Nightmare + 2 Trapper Runes. However, overall DPS is higher. Base damage of torment has been increased to match bleed, while damage against moving foes remains the same. Vengeful Hammers got a third hammer, which helps to proc Rampant Vex more frequently so you get more torment damage. Venom Enhancement gained an extra poison stack and Assassins Presence now gives 225 ferocity instead of 150. Condi Revenant should be a good choice at non-stationary bosses like Matthias, and also cairn because he counts as moving until he teleports around the arena.
Thief: Condi Daredevil received a small nerf from the condi food change, and is now using krait instead of thorns or berserker runes. Overall losing around 5% of it’s DPS, but still remaining the at the top for condi DPS builds. Note that the golem benchmarks don’t accurately reflect the DPS of this build, because whirl finishers from casting death blossom in fire or ethereal fields add a fair bit more damage in a real raid. For the power builds, Flawless Strikes and Side Strikes were merged into a single trait, now named Twisted fangs. Due to having more crit chance Spider Venom is able to replace Signet of Agility for a small buff in DPS.
Ranger: The condition food changes hurt druid a bit since it’s condition duration was not fully capped before. Even though the expertise from the new trait Taste for Danger helps to combat the duration lost from food nerfs, it replaced expertise training, which was another sizeable DPS loss. Overall Condi Druid’s damage is less than it was before the patch, however it still remains in an extremely strong spot in the meta. Unfortunately for Condi Ranger, the bleeding was removed from Companion’s Might, reducing the pet’s DPS considerably. This puts the build just barely above the Condi PS benchmark, so it’s definitely in a tough spot at the moment. With the changes to trapper’s expertise, it’s no longer viable to give regeneration from healing spring. Fortunately call of the wild traited is enough without any boon duration to overtake mesmer regeneration. Full minstrel still remains one of the strongest gear choices for strong boon support, overall tankiness and healing output. Full magi or any other healing setups are all fine and the healing difference between them is miniscule. Bountiful maintenance oil is a strong buff to healing output and is the strongest utility to run on any healing setup.
Engineer: Condition engi saw quite a significant nerf with the recent patch. Food changes forced engineer to replace earth sigil with malice, to make up for lost condition duration. Engineer also lost some strong damage modifiers.Explosive powder was removed from the game which is a 10% damage lose for explosives (grenades and bombs). The damage of many explosive skills were buffed as compensation, however grenade skills apart from shrapnel were not buffed, which resulted in a damage loss overall. Excessive Energy was re-worked to grant a damage modifier when endurance is not full, compared to before when it gave the modifier with full endurance. As dodging is a dps loss in the rotation, this change is a straight-up 10% Direct damage loss. Kinetic Battery previously was used for small DPS increase to double cast strong gadget skills like incendiary ammo, however it has been re-worked and no longer provides any DPS increase.These changes nerfed condition engineer’s DPS by approximately 2K, however it still remains as one of the strongest condition classes to run due to it’s high personal damage, and strong group DPS increase through Pinpoint distribution. Power Engineer received quite a significant nerf, with Explosive Powder being removed from the game. Bomb kit’s auto attack was not buffed, and one of the primary sources of damage in the rotation. Dodging for Excessive Energy and interrupting your rotation is almost a DPS, so Power Engi lost fair amount of damage as result of this change.
Elementalist: Tempest received heavy nerfs targeting Phoenix, Wildfire, Overload Air and Overload Fire. These nerfs pushed the scepter/warhorn and dagger/warhorn builds out of the raid meta. Fresh air staff also took a huge hit but still remains the go-to for highest cleave DPS. Standard staff elementalist which includes both the fire/air version and fire/arcane version didn’t see any nerfs to weapon skills this patch, but is still affected by the overload nerfs. This is slightly counterbalanced by the changes to Tin of Fruitcake, giving the elementalist slightly higher power than before. Overall staff tempest DPS will be slightly lower than before the patch, but it won’t be very noticeable. Condition Tempest received a small indirect nerf from the condition food changes as well as a large direct nerf to Burning Speed and Wildfire. These skills no longer scale with hitbox size, making an offhand focus optimal against any hitbox. Burning Speed has been made more consistent against small targets since the burning duration got increased, but it can no longer double-hit. This Conjure Fiery Greatsword passive does completely insane damage alone on Condi Tempest and has made it worthwhile to just hold onto it for the majority of its duration while using Fiery Eruption, Overload Fire and your utility skills off cooldown.This can be annoying however because the passive Lesser Fiery Eruption appears on completely random enemies, sometimes on random entities that can’t even be damaged. Glyph of Elementals is a strong alternative, as it does about 2k DPS for its duration, with Flame Barrage being used off cooldown, but it has much less burst potential.
Mesmer: received 2 new grand-master traits. To make room for these new traits Harmonious Mantras was removed from the game, along with Mistrust. Ineptitude received a small but insignificant buff, and moved from Illusions to Dueling (where Mistrust used to be). With the remaining slots Superiority Complex was added to Dueling, and Phantasmal Force to Illusions. Superiority Complex increases critical-hit damage by 15% and further increased to 25% against foes below 50% health or are stunned. Whereas Phantasmal Force grants phantasms a 1% damage boost whenever might is applied to them, and a 4% damage boost whenever they attack (up to 25%) and lasts until it dies. These changes significantly boosted Power Mesmer’s DPS, but not by enough to compete for a DPS spot. They did however help compensate for the food nerf on Condi Mesmer, actually increasing its DPS by roughly 1.5k compared to last patch. Condi Mesmer is still a good choice for a reflector at Matthias, because he moves around and attacks frequently, but lacks the DPS to compete for a spot on other bosses.
Necromancer: was unfortunately left relatively unchanged, apart from a slight nerf from the food changes, leaving condi reaper the same bad spot that it was in before the patch. Golem DPS numbers seem quite high for a bad build, but it relies heavily on getting whirl finishers in its chill field for bleeds. This can be very hard to achieve consistently in a real raid scenario, because of all the extra fields from your team.
Updated Condi Engi benchmark coming soon, should be a little above 34k.
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