Guild Wars 2 has a total of five trait lines

Minor Traits

  • Stone Flesh (5 Points): Gain 1 toughness per level while attuned to earth. This is obviously 80 extra toughness at level 80 which is a fair amount.
  • Earthen Blast (15 Points): Does damage and cripples foes when you switch to the earth attunement. This one is actually really nifty for gaining distance.
  • Enduring Damage (25 Points): Deal 10% more damage while your endurance is full. This one is neat, since it’s a flat 10% damage until you dodge roll.

Water Magic – Healing and Vitality

Water is a support trait line and nothing else. Healing increases the health restored from your healing abilities and vitality increases your health. For vitality, 30 points will take you from 17,245 health to 20,245 or 3,000 extra health. That’s a few additional hits before you’re downed. For healing, Dagger 5, Cleansing Wave, will heal 1,302 at 0 points and 1,602 at 30 points. A sizable amount.

If you’re going support then you’ll want to max water out and focus your gear around healing. While GW2 doesn’t have dedicated healers, it does have dedicated support. For a support build, your major traits should be Aquamancer’s Alacrity,  Cantrip Mastery for increased survivability, and Cleansing Water for condition removal.

Minor Traits

  • Soothing Mist (5 Points): Regenerate health while attuned to water. It’s a nifty passive, but not horribly strong, about 90~100 health per tick at 80.
  • Healing Ripple (15 Points): Heals you and nearby allies when you attune to water. Heals for about 1,500.
  • Bountiful Power (25 Points): Deal 2% more damage for each boon.

Arcana – Boon Duration and Attunement Recharge Rate

Boon Duration works in percentages, 30% with 30 points and Attunement Recharge is 2% per point or 60% with 30 points. It’s a 15 second cooldown on previously used attunements with 0 points and that drops down to 9 seconds with 30 points. It’s a 2 second cooldown on available attunements when switching and about a 1.2 second cooldown with 30 points.

Arcana is useful in a variety of builds, mostly because it is rather generic. In a “traditional build” of 30/30/10, you’ll do 30 in one line, 30 in another, and 10 in arcana (or 30/20/20), although honestly the sky is the limit when it comes to picking your traits. Boon Duration is important, just because it lets you stack more duration / intensity because you have your boons lasting longer. Attunement recharge is also important because it lets you switch between your different attunements faster, making it easier to be more fluid with switching.

Elemental Attunement is a favorite because it applies a boon based on the attunement you switch to, which just general synergizes well with each build. The second tier abilities are all weapon based, so if your build involves a staff you’ll want Blasting Staff which makes your AoE staff abilities bigger. The last tier is an easy one, Evasive Arcana is generally a neat dodge roll mechanic and Elemental Surge is wonderful if you carry any arcane abilities and can synergize to get conditions on your foes quicker.

Minor Traits

  • Arcane Fury (5 Points): Grant yourself fury for 2 seconds on attunement swap. Fury for 2 seconds is kind of neat; it isn’t affected by boon duration however.   Fury gives you a 20% chance to critical strike and the two seconds gives you about enough time to get one or two spells off.
  • Lingering Elements (15 Points): Attunement bonuses last 5 seconds longer. This one is a bit tricky, basically your attunement is like a boon and it applies itself to you when you’re in that attunement. You can see the icon on the left side of your skill bar. When you switch, you’ll be in two attunements for 5 seconds, which lets the previous attunements affects apply to you for that duration.
  • Arcane Precision (25 Points): Skills have a chance to apply a condition based on your attunement on critical hits. Fire is burning, Water is chilled, Air is blindness, and Earth is immobilize.

It’s important to see how these attributes, minor, and major traits work together because your build will depend on it. What’s your favorite line of magic? Let us know in the comments section below.

Elementalist Trait Guide

Each profession in Guild Wars 2 has a total of five trait lines and they’re generally themed according to the profession. For the elementalist it’s actually quite simple, the first four are elements and the fifth is the arcane, a generalist trait line. Traits provide three separate bonuses, the first is the passive attribute bonus, the second is a minor trait bonus that unlocks at 5, 15, and 25 points and is not selectable, and the third is the major trait bonus at 10, 20, and 30 points which can be selected by the player.

Traits are critical to making builds because many of the major traits play directly into some build ideas. That’s why elementalists have be careful not to get stuck in the mentality that each trait line is for a specific element, but focus on what each one offers. Sure, putting your points into fire will make your fire abilities better, but it’s generally assumed that the fire line will increase your damage, with the option to buff summoned weapons, some signets, and your fire themed spells.

We’ll delve into each trait line and try to understand the various major traits, along with how the passive attribute bonuses contribute to the profession. If you need to know more about attributes, check out our attribute guide. We’ll also be taking a look at how traits syngergize and picking up combos is a great idea.

To make things simple, any numbers referenced are estimates and theoretical, based off of the default PvP armor set. As the game evolves, they may alter or move numbers around and you may gear yourself differently, so assume all numbers are there as estimates. Any combos of traits listed are basic synergies, traits are heavily build dependent and you must customize your traits to your build.

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