Following build is designed to guide you through your first playthrough, or simply offer you a decent and reliable Core build if you are on Free to Play account. Core builds are not advised to use later in game due to superiority of elite specializations.
As an Elementalist, you have one of the best boon access out of all core classes. Knowing what abilities will grant you key boons will help you survive longer, move faster, and do more damage.
The recommended build makes use of summoned minions via Glyph of Lesser Elementals. You want to use Glyph of Lesser Elementals in Fire Attunement whenever it’s available, allowing you to summon up to 3 elementals to help you in dealing and soaking damage. Many of your skills are ranged, which allows your minions to tank threats while you deal damage to enemies from afar.
You will want to cycle through Fire, Earth, then Air to dish out damage while generating key boons for yourself. Most of your damage comes from your combos in these three attunements.
Ride the Lightning is also excellent for engaging enemies or retreating from unfavorable fights.
Switch to Water Attunement if you need healing, but make sure to do this after disengaging enemies, since it’s difficult to out-heal damage while enemies are actively attacking you.
Utility and elite skills
Use Glyph of Lesser Elementals in Fire Attunement whenever it’s available. If you use the skill off cooldown you can summon up to 3 elementals, and they can help you immensely in dealing damage and tanking overworld mobs.
Lightning Flash provides mobility for engaging enemies or retreating. This is the most flexible slot on your utility bar and can be switched out for other utility skills depending on the situation.
Arcane Shield is a defensive skill that can block 3 instances of damage targeting you, or can be used to Stun Break yourself out of control effects.
Conjure Fiery Greatsword is a powerful Conjured weapon that allows you to deal immense damage for a short time, and gives you great mobility for engaging or retreating from enemies.
Since this build is designed to be your entry point to Guild Wars 2 world, let’s start with the basics, if you haven’t checked the guides below, give them a read to make yourself familiar with game basics.
Don’t try to invest in Runes and Sigils before you acquire proper level-80 Exotic gear with Berserker’s stats as transferring upgrades is not possible without destroying the item, and retrieving them during the process has a small chance with most salvage kits.
From drops, crafting and level-up rewards pick items with Power, and on later levels supplemented by Precision and Ferocity.
If you’re looking up this build as you’re leveling through the wide world of Tyria we recommend unlocking Glyph of Lesser Elementals first. If you use the skill whenever it is available you can summon up to 4 elementals, and they can help you immensely in dealing damage and tanking overworld mobs. Glyph of Lesser Elementals also leads into Glyph of Elemental Power once elite skills are available.
The first specialization you should take at level 21 should be Fire as it offers the most useful traits in early levels. At level 45 get Arcane and finally at level 71 unlock Air.