Guild Wars 2 Power Holosmith PvE Build Guide
Guild Wars 2's Power Holosmith build is an incredibly flexible build for PvE game modes that enables you to switch between different builds with low switching costs. This guide will focus on two different build variants – open-world roaming builds and a power DPS variant – and the class of choice is the Engineer with its elite specialization being the Holosmith.
- Sword and Shield and Rifle combo
- Photon Forge
- Hollow Smith
- Shield skills
- Healing Turret
- Rifle turret
- Hard Light Arena
- Traits and specializations
- Grandmaster Trait
The Holosmith can offer very nice sustained and burst damage and has a relatively easy rotation. It's also very versatile, allowing for multiple trade choices and food to provide the necessary defense support. However, Holosmith is mainly a DPS pack and is quite squishy in raid gear. The Photon Forge timing can also be tricky if you overheat too much. Finally, Holosmith is a rather selfish build that doesn't have a lot of boon support.
The Holosmith also gains access to Exceed skills. These are directly tied to the Photon Forge and increase in power based on different Heat teams. Ideally, you'd cast them while at least 100 Heat to maximize their power. The Holosmith also has access to Toolbelt skills, with each Utility skill coming with a unique Toolbelt skill that you can use freely. This is very nice as this build includes three skills that give free damage via other Toolbelt skills.
Sword and Shield and Rifle combo
The weapon of choice for this build is the Sword and Shield and Rifle combo. Sword and Shield is the go-to weapon set for instance group content and optimal group activities, as it deals much higher damage than a Rifle. The rifle is the go-to weapon for general open-world roaming, as it does decent enough damage and gives you a very large range.
The Photon Forge adds another skill bar to your skill kit. Once activated, it starts to fill up the Heat bar, which you can find above your weapon skills. Using the Fallen Force skills inside the Photon Forge will generate more heat. When the Heat bar is full, you overheat unless you make some specific trade choices. After exiting the Photon Forge, you'll start cooling down after a short delay. The outgoing strike damage increases inside the Photon Forge based on the Heat level, so maximizing heat but not overheating is crucial to increase your damage.
The first skill in the Hollow Smith set is Hollow Leap, which can be used as a gap closer or to make use of combo fields. After the leap, Forge Corona Burst is the next priority, doing nice single target and AoE damage, and granting Might to you and nearby allies. It also has a neat interaction with heat, allowing you to keep it high for a longer period of time. Photon Blitz is next up and is a great damage skill that is prioritized directly after Corona Burst. Lastly, Holographic Shockwave is a CC skill in a large AoE radius, and a blast finisher, although it generates a lot of heat and is not used in the damage rotation.
The auto attack chain of the Hollow Smith scales with heat level, giving it more power with more heat. The final hit of the auto attack chain also recharges the other two sword skills by 3 seconds, making it essential to finish auto attacks when possible. Saw 2 Reflection Cutter is an absolute powerhouse for damage and should be prioritized outside of Forge.
Shield 4 creates a projectile-reflecting shield and also has a second cast that allows you to throw the shield at range and stun enemies. Shield 5 is a block on demand that also stuns enemies that attack you.
Utilities also come with a tool belt skill. Healing Turret is a good option for an open world, applying regeneration to you and healing on activation. It also distracts enemies from you from time to time. The tool belt skill is a nice stun that allows you to deal breakbot damage on demand.
Rifle turret is another useful utility, providing a passive source of damage, and Surprise Shot, a damage skill without a cast time at full range, coming off cooldown for free damage. Photon Wall gives you access to a 3-second block on demand, and its tool belt skill, Particle Accelerator, grants swiftness and is a projectile finisher.
Hard Light Arena
Hard Light Arena is also a great source of boons and protection in the open world. It also comes with a third instant cast tool belt skill that does high damage. The final utility option can be changed based on preferences, with Laserdisc and Romaine being the most popular.
When it comes to weapons, force, and impact are the two main types of damage. As for food and utility items, Powerball is the standard. Fried Gold Dumpling is a great option because it has a high crit chance, and it also applies a stack of might for every critical hit.
Traits and specializations
the firearm is a great choice for both group content and open-world roaming. Firearms increase your damage and give you a bonus against bleeding foes and foes with a health threshold of 450. Explosives are another good option for group content, as it increases your damage based on the amount of conditions on the foe. For solo roaming, tools are the best option, as it offers a good balance between damage and utility, and it also grants vigor, quickness, and super speed with their toolbelt skills.
Enhanced Capacity Storage Unit is a great choice for holo smiths, as it adds 50 maximum heat, allowing you to stay in the forge for longer. Recovery is also a great choice for tools, as it offers passive healing. For tougher content, Light Density Amplifier is a good option for more defense.
there are a few basics that you should keep in mind. The opener should start with preheating to 25, then using the rifle turret and forge 3 and 4. During the sword section, you should use sword 2 on cooldown and auto attack in between. For the forge section, you should always start with forge 3 and 4, then use Prime Light Beam and Laserdisc when you pass the third heat tier.
Finally, for more utility or higher DPS, you can use Photon Wall, Throw Mine, Forge 5, and the toolbelt skill AED. With better timings and infusions, you can reach the benchmark of 100k+ DPS, so practice your rotation and get the most out of your build!
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