Guild Wars Pyromancer/Fire Elementalist

In Guild Wars, there is no best character, nor is there a best version of any particular build. In addition, there are multiple ways to play or build any particular character combination. This guide attempts to provide a straight-forward, step-by-step character development that has proven to be effective. Players should feel free to make changes to fit their own style of play.

Character type: Fire Elementalist, aka Pyromancer
Suggested class combo: Elementalist / Mesmer

General concept: A pyromancer is a master of fire. Their skill selection includes some of the most damaging area effect spells in the game. Fire works quite well in defeating many of the typical foes encountered in the PvE portion of the game. Many of these skills use large amounts of energy, and some can be rather slow to cast, but the amount of devastation they can unleash against groups of foes is difficult to match by most other characters.

Style of play: The fire skills are fairly simple and straight-forward to utilize. In general, you select your target, then choose which form of fiery death to use against them. Two keys to success are learning to manage the energy pool, and learning which skill to use against various foes. The character also uses some enchantments to help boost life and conserve energy. At various stages of development, some mesmer skills will be used to round out the character. This character is designed to participate in PvE quests, missions and explore areas with a party comprised of human players and/or henchmen. It is not intended as a solo build.

Obtaining skills: The game progression provides elementalists with a pair of good fire skills (Flare & Firestorm) at the beginning in Pre-searing, thus encouraging this style of elementalist from quite early on. Many of the remaining skills in this guide are obtained in the early stages of the game as well. As a result, new players should have an easy time obtaining the necessary skills for this character.

Versatility: It’s rather easy for a Pyromancer to change discipline to another element in later stages of the game by using refund points. Besides tracking down the skills (either thru quests or buying them), you just need a new headgear + rune, and a new wand/focus or staff for that element. Many PvE aeromancers, geomancers or hydromancers started out as pyromancers before making the switch. It’s not unheard of for them to switch back to pyromancer as well.

Armor crafting: Elementalist armor is cloth based. Try to obtain as much as you can. The main source for cloth is from salvaged monster armor. Other crafting items you will want to keep include scales (for pyromancer armor), shells (for hydromancer armor), granite (for geomancer armor), plant fibers/linen (for aeromancer armor), & glittering dust (for flame headgear).

Beginning in Pre-Searing

Visit each of the elementalist and mesmer trainers. Howland near the gates gives you Aura of Restoration & Flare. Next visit Lady Althea and take the Mesmer’s Burden quest. She’ll give you Conjure Phantasm, Ether Feast & Imaginary Burden. After completing that quest, return and take Mesmer as your secondary class. Next stop is Foible’s Fair, where you’ll meet Ralena, an Elementalist trainer & Vassar, a mesmer trainer. Go ahead and take their quests to obtain Blinding Flash, Lightning Javelin, Backfire & Shatter Delusions. Even though you may not use their skills very much, it’s hard to turn down a freebie. From there, head southwest into the mountains to meet the last trainer, Aziure, who will give you Firestorm & Glyph of Lesser Energy. At some point, team up and complete the healer’s quest for the Rez Signet as well. You’ve now obtained all the pre-searing skills available for your class combo. Time to set up your skill bar. I recommend the following:

– Aura of Restoration (keep this up at all times to provide yourself some self-healing)
– Glyph of Lesser Energy (use this before using an expensive skill like Firestorm)
– Firestorm (use this when facing groups of enemies)
– Flare (one of your primary attacks. You’ll use this a lot in the early going)
– Conjure Phantasm (a nice Damage over Time skill. Here in presearing it makes short work of your foes)
– Ether Feast (lets you heal yourself by stealing energy from your foe)
– Backfire (you won’t use this much in pre-searing, but have it ready in case you face a monster that casts spells. There are a few that do.)
– 8th slot – Your choice.

In all likelihood, the top 7 skills listed above will be more than sufficient for you for quite a while. You’ll probably find yourself using a mixture of Flare & Conjure Phantasm to kill single enemies and Glyph+Firestorm to defeat groups. Once you’ve had some time to practice these skills, and you have completed a few more quests, you should be ready to leave pre-searing, but feel free to stay here as long as you’d like. I recommend leaving anywhere between 5th to 8th level.

For attributes, focus on Fire Magic and Energy Storage (in that order) and assign any extra points to Inspiration and/or Illusion. Don’t worry about where you put points. As you gain levels, you’ll often be refunding any extra points you assigned and then re-applying them with your new points to keep your Fire magic and Energy Storage as high as possible. A few ranks in illusion magic at these low levels can be useful w/ Conjure Phantasm, but don’t grow too attached to that skill or the Illusion attribute since you won’t be using it for very long.

For equipment, get the best wand and off-hand focus item you can find. These will almost always be superior to the staves you can find here. Don’t worry about finding the pre-searing armor collectors. All the armor here is paper-thin and it won’t help you enough to matter. You’ll be upgrading your armor shortly after leaving pre-searing.

Post-searing Ascalon area

Visit the AL 30 armor crafter in

Ascalon
City

and craft pyromancer armor ASAP. The extra fire resistance will help when you face the Charr in the near future. If you lack crafting resources or gold to craft this, go exploring to obtain more loot and sell it to raise the funds you need. You’re going to be keeping this new armor for a while, so you might as well make some decent stuff. Also, make sure to craft an AL 30 Flame’s Eye headgear to give +1 to your fire magic. Feel free to buy and use minor Runes of Fire Magic (recommend applying it to your head gear), Energy Storage and the best Vigor rune you cant get.

In this region you’ll find a couple skill trainers for both elementalists and mesmers, along with various quests with skills as rewards. Ambassador Zain’s “Helping the People of Ascalon” quest will award you Energy Tap & Lava Font. Both are useful to the pyromancer. I suggest dropping Backfire, since you won’t have any ranks in domination to help it. While exploring much of Old Ascalon, and doing missions 1 thru 3, your setup will likely look like this:

– Aura of Restoration
– Glyph of Lesser Energy
– Firestorm (Works wonders in some of the tougher battles)
– Flare (Continues to be your primary attack)
– Conjure Phantasm (DoT skill, but you’ll be using this less and less)
– Lava Font (extra way to deal damage vs foes that close on you)
– Energy Tap (lets you steal energy from foes to recharge your own energy pool)
– Ether Feast (heal yourself in a pinch) or Rez Signet (sometimes more useful w/ parties)

After completing mission 2 (Fort Ranik), you’ll have the Frontier Gate on your map. From there, journey south toward

Serenity
Temple

. The “Troublesome Artifact” quest available in Ascalon can help guide you toward the temple. Near the edge of the Eastern Frontier map, you’ll find Cynn who will give you the “Caravan in Trouble” quest. Accept and this and complete it to receive Phantom Pain and Fireball. Fireball is a very usefull skill with some AoE properties, and it’s well worth using. At this point, however, your energy pool may still be a bit too small to properly support both Fireball & Firestorm w/o heavily impacting your energy pool. Thus, you may find it is too demanding to try packing both in your skill bar at this time.

After completing mission 3 (Ruins of Surmia), you’ll have the

Nolani
Academy

waypoint. From here, you can journey northward to reach Grendich Courthose where you’ll find a new skill trainer. Buy Immolate. This will replace Conjure Phantasm in your skill bar. Immolate has a DoT burning effect that is very powerful. Against single targets, you’ll likely find that a seqeuence of Immolate followed by some Flares, then repeat works to kill something quickly. It’s fun watching the enemy burn. You can also buy and try another potent fire skill,
Phoenix
. What you’ll likely find is that the 3 second casting on
Phoenix
makes it harder to use than Fireball, but your results may vary. Your skill setup will probably look like this for a while:

– Aura of Restoration
– Glyph of Lesser Energy (use before firestorm, fireball or phoenix)
– Firestorm
– Flare
– Immolate (burn, baby, burn!)
– Fireball or Lava Font or Phoenix (try them, each have their pros and cons)
– Energy Tap
– Ether Feast or Rez Signet

From this point on, your attribute allocation should be entirely in Fire Magic, Energy Storage & Inspiration. You’ll be using primarily these skills for some time, so get familiar with using them.

Shiverpeaks

With the larger party size here, you may find you don’t need to pack a rez signet any more; other characters can usually be relied upon to have one. In addition, how much aggro you draw from the dwarves will vary depending on party mix. Thus, your choice between Lava Font,
Phoenix
, Fireball or something else can vary. If you learn to hang back far enough and wait for teammates to attack first, you shouldn’t get attacked much. As a result, you can usually get by without a close-range AoE. By now your energy pool should be larger too, enabling you to support an additional 15 energy skill. Fireball’s faster casting generally makes it preferred compared to
Phoenix
, but you can decide which you like best. I would only use Lava Font if you’re getting surrounded a lot, but that shouldn’t be happening if you are playing this character correctly.

As your increasing energy storage and better items (staff or focus) increase your energy pool larger and larger, you’ll eventually find you no longer need to use Glyph of Energy as often to fuel those 15 cost skills. As a result, you can experiment replacing it with another skill. Here’s the skill setup I suggest for the Shiverpeaks:

– Aura of Restoration
– Glyph of Lesser Energy (or something else if your energy pool proves adequate)
– Firestorm
– Flare
– Immolate
– Fireball or Phoenix
– Energy Tap
– 8th slot (Ether Feast, Rez, or something else)

Before leaving the Shiverpeaks, try to reach Ice Tooth Cave (quite a ways north of Beacon’s Perch or west of The Frost Gate) where you’ll find a trainer. I recommend buying the Drain Enchantment skill which you may find quite useful in some of the upcoming areas.

Kryta / Maguuma Jungle
Your fire skills should continue to serve you well in these regions. You may find that Drain Enchantment or Spirit of Failure (a skill you can get from Deep Root’s “Dropping Eaves” quest near Ventari’s Refuge) are more useful than Ether Feast or a Rez Signet in these areas. After completing the
Riverside
mission, you’ll get the Sanctum Cay mission waypoint. From there explore north to reach Fisherman’s Haven. There you will find the “Royal Papers” quest that rewards you with Fire Attunement. This will fully replace your Glyph of Lesser Energy if you were still using it. Fire Attunement will greatly help your energy situation. The resulting skillbar will look like this by the end:

– Aura of Restoration
– Fire Attunement
– Firestorm
– Flare
– Immolate
– Fireball or Phoenix
– Energy Tap
– 8th slot (Drain Enchantment, Spirit of Failure, Ether Feast, Rez Signet, etc)

For equipment, you may want to consider a trip to Bergen Hot Springs or Beetletun for AL 39 armor. Otherwise, you can wait until you reach Ventari’s Refuge where you’ll be able to craft AL 45 gear. Another option is picking up basic AL 51 armor from the jungle collectors. There is no right or wrong armor to get, but hydromancer is probably the least helpful as you won’t face many cold attacks around these areas.

Crystal
Desert
The collectors here have “perfect” wands and staves. It’s worth getting those. In addition, you can find collectors that offer AL 60 basic armor here. Otherwise, the crafter in Amnoon Oasis can craft AL51 armor of your choice. I’d recommend either crafting geomancer or pyromancer armor or getting the collector gear.

Ascension Mirror
Battle

There are a number of ways to defeat your doppleganger. One general rule for success is don’t take any skills that can cure health. Rather, take ones that the AI isn’t as good at using or avoiding.

Area of Effect vs. AI: If you don’t want to change up your attributes, take several AoE skills. The doppleganger won’t move out of them, and will suffer full damage from them, but you are smarter than that and can move out of any AoE spells he casts at you.

Domination vs. AI: Another proven option is to temporarily change up your attributes to max out domination. Take Empathy & Backfire. Don’t cast if he backfires you, but wait until it’s gone and then backfire him & empathy him as well. The result is that he will quickly kill himself with his own attacks & spells.

Post-Ascension
After ascending and doing both of the 15-point attribute quests, I recommend a final attribute distribution of 11 Fire Magic, 10 Energy Storage and 10 Inspiration. You can add a superior fire rune or continue just using a minor one. The net result with runes & headgear will be 13 (or 15 w/ superior rune) Fire Magic, 11 Energy Storage, 10 Inspiration. I would recommend only using the superior rune of fire if you can also use a superior rune of vigor. Otherwise, your overall health may be too low.

I recommend crafting AL60 armor in Droknar’s Forge. I found Geomancer armor pretty good for the crystal desert and southern shiverpeaks. Meanwhile pyromancer armor can be helpful in the 3 last ring of fire missions.

Southern Shiverpeaks
After ascending and reaching the
Southern Shiverpeaks
, head east from Droknar’s Forge and look for a mesmer boss named Skiik Hungrymind. He’s usually far to the east in this explore region. Kill him and capture his elite skill, Energy Drain. This is vastly superior to Energy Tap. Though you’ve still got some PvE areas and missions left, your build is now mostly complete:

– Aura of Restoration
– Fire Attunement
– Firestorm
– Flare
– Immolate
– Fireball or Phoenix
– Energy Drain [elite]
– 8th slot (signet of capture, your choice, etc)

That skill setup will work to the end of the game. You can try other fire skills, including some fun ones like Meteor, Meteor Shower, Searing Heat, Mark of Rodgort and so forth. Many of these skills have long casting times or large energy requirements, making them costlier and/or slower than I prefer, but you may find them more to your liking. Many of these other fire skills are very powerful if you manage to cast them and catch the enemy in their blast.

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