Guild Wars 2 Mesmer Information

Guild Wars 2 Mesmer Information by Thalanor Thornhale


  1. Prologue
  2. Mechanics
  3. Armor and Weapons
  4. Skills
    1. Weapon-Based Skills
    2. Shatter Skills
    3. Healing Skills
    4. Signets
    5. Mantras
    6. Other Auxiliary Skills
    7. Elite Skills
  5. Traits and Attributes
    1. Domination
    2. Dueling
    3. Chaos
    4. Illusion
    5. Inspiration
  6. Combos and Strategies
  7. Media

1. Prologue

Between the many interviews, a lot of information about the Mesmer has actually emerged. I thought it would be a good idea to start a community project in which we try to put the different puzzle pieces together here in this thread. In time, this page can serve as a Mesmer resource page or serve as a template for one such page. So let me put down a start. It is not complete by far. Let’s work together to make it better. I will check back here frequently to update this first post as more information is found.

2. Mechanics

Mesmers are magical duelists who rely on deception and confusion to keep their opponents in check.

The resources that the Mesmer manages are his illusions. Most illusions are directed at a specific target, but anyone can see and attack them. They can only exist for as long as that target is alive and can only be dispelled by attacking the illusion itself. A Mesmer can maintain up to three illusions at a time, with the oldest illusion being replaced by the newly created one. A Mesmer always has the option to shatter all of his illusions with various effects (see below).

Illusions can either be clones or phantasms. Clones look like the caster, however have low hit points, and are only meant for temporary diversion. Phantasms are in-world representations of what was known as a hex in GW1 and often have more specialized functions.

Mesmers also have access to two-phased skills called mantras. In the first phase, these skills need to be charged up. In return, the mesmer can then use the charged up skill to instantaneously cast a given spell. Mantras can be simul-casted, meaning that charged mantras can be instantaneously activated even while another skill is still being cast.

Some Mesmer skills can cause a stackable condition called “confusion”. An enemy with confusion on him/her takes damage each time the foe activates a skill. The amount of damage scales with the amount of confusion. Mesmers also have access to a boon he/she can give to his/her allies called “retaliate” which reflects some amount of damage back to the attacker.

3. Armor and Weapons

Mesmers wear scholar-type (light) armor.

A mesmer can use a variety of magical, ranged, and melee weapons. These include:

  • Main Hand: Sword, Scepter
  • Off Hand: Focus, Pistol, Sword, Torch
  • Two-Handed: Staff, Greatsword
  • Underwater: Harpoon, Trident

On land, the variety of weapons available for the mesmer gives him/her a total of 10 ways to chose the first weapon-set and 9 ways for the second weapon-set, totalling 90 possible combinations to choose at least 24 weapon-associated skills. Of those combinations, however, some combinations will vary in only the off-hand weapon for example. Eliminating partial overlaps, this gives the Mesmer 29 unique ways to chose 10 weapon-associated skill slots from a pool of at least 24 weapon-associated skill slots.

Note that the above number is not the total number of builds possible with the Mesmer. This count does not include any of the shatter skills which the Mesmer always has access to via F1-F4 keys, nor any auxiliary, healing or elite skills. When one considers the additional layers of complexities that come from the trait system and filling the other skill slots the number of possible Mesmer builds will be much higher.

4. Skills

4.1 Weapon-Associated

Scepter (Main-Hand)

With an emphasize on confusion and blinding, the scepter is a short to mid-range weapon that is slightly more defensively oriented.

1. Ether BoltEther BlastEther Clone Chain

a. Ether Bolt: Shoots out a purple beam and causes the enemy to be confused.
b. Ether Blast: Shoots out a second bolt of energy and confuses foe.
c. Ether Clone: Creates a clone that shoots Ether Bolt.

2. Illusionary Counter: Block the next attack. Counter by creating a clone that casts Ether Bolt.
3. Confusing Images: Channel beam of energy that damages and blinds foes.

Sword (Main-Hand)

The sword is a more offensively oriented short-range weapon.

1. Mind Slash – Mind Gash – Mind Stab Chain

a. Mind Slash: Slashes enemy for damage.
b. Mind Gash: Gashes enemy for damage.
c. Mind Stab: Stabs enemy for damage and causes Vulnerability.

2. Leap: Creates clone at location and leaps Mesmer in the direction he is facing to cripple nearby foe.
3. Illusionary Leap: Creates clone and leaps the clone forward leaving the Mesmer in place and crippling nearby foe.

Sword (Off-Hand)

The off-hand sword provides close-combat utility.

1. Riposte: Block foe, creating an illusion when attached. If not being attacked gain the boon “retaliation”.
2. Illusionary Swordsman: Create an illusion that attacks your foe.

Pistol (Off-Hand)

The pistol is a mid- to longer-range offensive weapon.

1. Illusionary Duelist: Creates phantasm that unloads a volley of pistol shots.
2. Trick Shot: Hit up to 3 foes with pistol shot for damage. 1st foe is blinded, 2nd foe is dazed, 3rd foe is stunned.

The illusions can be sent “into the prey” and combined with a shatter skill, but it is not clear whether “Into the Prey” is its own skill or a chained skill associated with the Illusionary Duelist .

Focus (Off-Hand)

The focus provides the mesmer with auxiliary skills good for both attack and defense..

1. Temporal Curtain: Creates wall of energy that cripples foes and gives allies swiftness.
2. Illusionary Warden: Creates phantasm with two axes that performs a skill similar to Whirling Defense.

Torch (Off-Hand)

The torch provides the mesmer with short-range auxiliary skills good for offense and defense.

1. The Prestige: Makes the Mesmer vanish in a flash of smoke, cloak, and reappear 3 seconds later setting foes in an area on fire.
2. Illusionary Mage: Creates an illusion that applies confusion to enemies & retaliation to allies.

Greatsword (Two-Handed)

The greatsword is a mid- to long-range offensive weapon.

1. Spatial Surge: Shoot beam at foe that deals increased damage with increased distance.
2. Feigned Escape: Roll away from foe summoning clone that casts Spatial Surge at destination.
3. Mind Stab: Thrusts Greatsword into the ground creating powerful attack that damages and dazes foes.
4. Phantasmal Berserker: Creates a phantasm that uses a whirling attack to damage and cripple foes.
5. Illusionary Wave: Send out magical wave that pushes back foes in front of you.

Staff (Two-Handed)

The staff is a mid-range support oriented weapon.

1. Chaos Strike: Apply random condition to your foe.
2. Duplicate: Summon an illusion that attacks your target with Chaos Strike.
3. Winds of Chaos: Send out orb that bounces of foes and allies applying random conditions or boons.
4. Illusionary Warlock: Summons an illusion that deals more damage for each condition on foe.
5. Chaos Storm: Creates a circular area in which foes get random conditions; allies get random boons.

Harpoon (Aquatic)

1. Stab: Stab your foe.
2. Feigned Surge: Surge forward, attack and teleport back to the original location
3. Illusionary Mariner: Summon evading illusions that attack foe.
4. Slip Stream: Create current that rapidly propels you forward and pushes back foes that enter.
5. Vortex: Pulls enemies closer.

Trident (Aquatic)

1. Siren’s Call: Shoots ribbon of sonic energy that bounces off multiple foes and confuses them.
2. Ineptitude: Befuddle your enemy with a blinding flash of light.
3. Spinning Revenge: Give retaliation to allies and summon a clone that attacks foe.
4. Illusionary Whaler: Summon illusion that bleeds foes.
5. Illusionary Drowning: Attach anchor to foe and cause him to sink while taking damage.

4.2 Shatter Skills

1. Mind Wrack: Destroys your illusions and does damage to opponents near them.
2. Cry of Frustration: Destroys your illusions and gives the confused condition to nearby foes.
3. Diversion: Destroys your illusions and stuns nearby foes.
4. Reflection: Destroys your illusions and places a barrier around the mesmer, which reflects enemy projectiles.

4.3 Healing Skills

1. Ether Feast: Gives heals for each illusion created by the mesmer.
2. Mirror: Reflect incoming projectiles and heal.
3. Mantra of Recovery: Charge this spell to give instant healing later.

4.3 Signets

Signet skills have two toggable states: passive and active. Each state confers a unique ability to the bearer of the signet.

1. Signet of Inspiration: When passive, it gives a random boon every 10 seconds. When activated, it copies all boons on caster to nearby allies.
2. Signet of Domination: When passive, it gives improved condition damage. When activated, it stuns foes.
3. Signet of Midnight: When passive, it improves boon duration. When activated, it blinds nearby foes.
4. Signet of Illusion: When passive, it gives more health to illusions. When activated, it recharges shatter skills.

4.3 Mantras

Mantras are special skills that need to be charged first before use. In return, they can give a marked advantage in the heat of battle as mantras can be insta-casted and casted even while another skill is executed.

1. Mantra of Pain: Charge to deal instant damage to foe later.
2. Mantra of Daze: Charge to daze foe later.
3. Mantra of Resolve: Charge to remove conditions from mesmer later when needed.
4. Mantra of Concentration: Charge to gain stability and ability to break stuns later.

4.5 Auxilliary Skills

1. Veil of Invisibility: Creates a circular area giving stealth to allies within it.
2. Portal: Each time cast, this spell creates a portal through which the Mesmer and his allies can travel to once the other end of the portal is cast.
3. Blink: Teleports Mesmer backwards.
4. Decoy: Makes the Mesmer invisible and creates a clone at its location.
5. Distortion: Mesmer evades all attacks for 3 seconds.
6. Mirror Images: Summons 2 clones that attack foe.
7. Illusionary Disenchanter: Summons an illusion that damages foes and removes boons from them.
8. Null Field: Creates field of energy that removes all boons from enemies and all conditions from allies.
9. Mirrored Feedback: Creates dome around foe that reflects projectiles.

4.5 Elite Skills:

1. Moa Bird: Targeted foe becomes a moa bird for a limited amount of time.
2. Time Warp: Creates a temporal distortion that allows the caster and allies to use skills and actions twice as fast.
3. Mass Invisibility: Nearby allies and caster become stealthed for 5 seconds.

5. Traits and Attributes

Each profession has one profession-specific attribute. For the mesmer, the profession-specific attribute is:

  • Guile: Reduces the recharge on all Shatter skills.

Skills and attributes aside, the complexity of the mesmer profession cannot fully be appreciated until the trait system is also fully considered because traits further allow certain customization of skills and actions in-game. The mesmer has access to 5 lines of traits many of which have certain resemblances to Mesmer magic lines found in GW1. Starting at level 11 onwards, characters gain 1 trait point per level. A level 80 character thus gets to spend a total of 70 trait points. Each trait line has 30 levels (1 point per level). Leveling each trait also increases two attribute lines. For the mesmer, the trait lines and associated attribute levels are:

  • Domination: Power and Expertise.
  • Dueling: Precision and Prowess.
  • Illusions: Malice and Guile.
  • Chaos: Toughness and Concentration.
  • Inspiration: Vitality and Compassion

To read what each of the attribute lines do, read the Arenanet blog article on attributes and traits. In brief, putting in a certain number of trait points into a trait line unlocks these various minor and major traits. The first minor trait unlocks when 5 points were invested into a trait line. 2 additional minor trait abilities unlock for every further 10 points invested. Major trait slots unlock at 10, 20 and 30 points investment. Unlike minor traits which automatically unlock, major traits merely unlock a slot that needs to be filled from a collection of major traits, allowing for further customization. Below, each trait line is divided up into minor trait and major trait.

5.1 Domination

  1. Minor Traits
    • Illusion of Vulnerability: Successful interrupts also give foe 5 seconds of vulnerability.
    • Confounding Suggestions: +50% chance to cause 1 second stun when you daze a target.
    • Wastrel’s Punishment: +5% increased damage to inactive foes.
  2. Major Traits
    • Greatsword Training: Gives +50% Power when wielding a great-sword.
    • Mental Torment: Gives an additional 30% damage to Mind Wrack
    • Empowered Illusions: Gives +30% to illusion skill damage.
    • Rending Shatter: Shattering illusions also cause vulnerability.
    • Halting Strike: Damages foe when he/she is interrupted.
    • Crippling Dissipation: Clones cripple nearby foes when those illusions are killed.

5.2 Dueling

  1. Minor Trait
    • Critical Infusion: Get 1 second of vigor when critical hit is landed.
    • Deceptive Evasion: Summon clone at current position when you dodge.
    • Confusing Combatants: Illusions give 3 seconds of confusion to nearby foes when killed.
  2. Major Trait
    • Deceptive Decoy: Cloak and leave behind a clone of yourself at 25% health.
    • Blade Training: Gives +50 precision when wielding a sword or a spear.
    • Phantasm Fury: Phantasms have the boon “fury”.
    • Duelist’s Discipline: Gives increased pistol attack range to caster and its illusions.
    • Protective Mantras: Increases the armor of caster while casting mantras.
    • Empowered Mantras: Causes damage from ready mantras to be increased.
    • Retaliating Shields: Gives caster 3 seconds of retaliation when you block an attack.

5.3 Chaos

  1. Minor Trait
    • Metaphysical Rejuvenation: Gives mesmer 5 seconds of health regeneration when foe’s health reaches 90%.
    • Illusionary Membrane: Gives +50 toughness while health is less than 90%.
    • Chaotic Transference: Gives +10% toughness and bonus condition damage.
  2. Major Trait
    • Chaotic Interruption: Interrupts also cause a random condition.
    • Decent Into Madness: Whenever caster receives falling damage, chaos storm is created at that location.
    • Reviver’s Retribution: Gives an additional 5 seconds of the boon “retaliation” to caster and revived allies.
    • Chaotic Dampening: Gives mesmer +50 toughness when wielding a staff.
    • Illusionary Defense: Gives mesmer +30 toughness for each summoned illusion in the world.
    • Bountiful Interruption: Gives mesmer a random boon when successfully interrupting a skill.
    • Prismatic Skills: Gives +2 seconds on cloaking skills.
    • Debilitating Dissipation: Clones give nearby foes a random condition when those illusions are killed.

5.4 Illusions

  1. Minor Trait
    • Illusionist’s Celerity: Gives +10% faster cool down on all Illusion skills.
    • Shattered Mind: Shattering illusion also causes confusion.
    • Mighty Revelation: Shattering illusions also gives the caster the boon “might”.
  2. Major Trait
    • Masterful Reflection: Reflection lasts twice as long.
    • Phantasmal Haste: Summoned phantasms have faster skill recharge.
    • Compounding Power: Gives +30 power for each created by caster still in the world.
    • Malicious Scepter: Gives +50 condition damage while wielding a scepter.
    • Precise Wrack: Gives +25% chance to land a critical with Mind Wrack.
    • Confusing Cry: Confusion caused by Cry of Frustration lasts twice as long.
    • Imbued Diversion: Also gives the caster the boon “retaliation” when Diversion is activated

5.5 Inspiration

  1. Minor Trait
    • Vengeful Images: Phantasms have the boon “retaliation”.
    • Phantasmal Healing: Phantasms grant health regeneration to allies.
    • Phantasmal Strength: Gives phantasms get +25% to damage.
  2. Major Trait
    • Restorative Illusions: You are healed when illusions are shattered.
    • Restorative Mantras: Heal nearby allies when mesmer casts a mantra.
    • Vital Storage: Gives +50 vitality when wielding a torch or a focus.
    • Persisting Images: Phantasms gain +20% more health.
    • Vigorous Revelation: Gives the boon “vigor” to allies upon shattering illusions.
    • Compounding Celerity: Move faster for each illusions you have summoned.

Note: A trait tool is available from The mesmer traits can be accessed here.

6. Combos and Strategies

Mesmer skills just like any other profession have the potential to form a combo with other professions. Following is a list of known combos. Inferred combos are bracketed.

Combos with the Engineer
1. Super Elixir + Illusionary Duelist = Condition Eraser: Foes close to target get their conditions removed.

Combos with the Ranger
1. Chaos Storm + Rapid Fire = Crazy Arrows: The arrows cause foes hit to get confused as well.

Combos with the Elementalist
1. Lava Font + Leaping Attack = A Burning Sensation: As the sword-wielding mesmer leaps towards foe, he deals additional burning damage.

7. Media

(*) = Recommended
(**) = Highly Recommended

7.1 PvE

Cursenetwork: Guild Wars 2 – Female Norn Mesmer Playthrough (Pt1)
Cursenetwork: Guild Wars 2 – Female Norn Mesmer Playthrough (Pt2)
IGN: Guild Wars 2 – Playing the Mesmer Walkthrough
Yogscast: Guild Wars 2 Beta: Norn Part 1 – Character Creation and Starting (*)
Yogscast: Guild Wars 2 Beta: Norn Part 2 – Hearts and Helping People
Yogscast: Guild Wars 2 Beta: Norn Part 3 – Bear Cubs and Swimming
Yogscast: Guild Wars 2 Beta: Norn Part 4 – Personal Story

7.2 Organized PvP

GW2Online: El PvP de Guild Wars 2: El Bosque de Niflhel
GW2Online: El PvP de Guild Wars 2: La Batalla de Kyhlo
Cursenetwork: Guild Wars 2 – Mesmer PvP Gameplay
Akamikeb: Guild Wars 2 – Mesmer PVP – Battle For Khylo (*)
MattVisual: New PvP Map | Forest of Niflhel
Jurien Raines: GW2 – Séance de PvP en Envoûteur (PvP with Mesmer) CBT Press
IGN: Guild Wars 2 – Conquest Mode PvP Walkthrough
TapRepeatedly: Guild Wars 2: Mesmer PvP (720p) (**)

7.3 WvW

Jurien Raines: GW2 – WvW Borderlands CBT Press

7.4 Miscelaneous

GWOnline: Mesmer Skills and Traits (*)
Cynical Brit: GW2 Beta – Mesmer Gameplay / Overview (**)
Yogscast: Guild Wars 2 Beta: Mesmer Spotlight (*)

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