Catalyst is an elite specialization for the Elementalist class, it is a highly versatile spec that once combined with specific traits and skills can provide huge AOE burst damage, crowd control and utility in any WvW squad. Due to it’s high number of ranged skills available, you will be the main source of damage from a distance, and often the highest source of damage overall in the squad. This is the most challenging DPS spec to play in WvW, however once mastered and with the right support you can be sure you will relish in its capabilities.
Build Fundamentals & Priorities
The build is best described as a ranged DPS, your priorities will be to provide ranged pressure and huge spike dmg. To maintain high damage you’ll have the best overall output by casting your skills as close together as possible, and synchronizing your crowd control with damage during boon removal phases ‘bombing’ (i,e on spike calls ‘wells’ Well of Corruption ). You will be trying to gain maximum stacks of Elemental Empowerment through disabling and immobilizing the enemy, comboing to gain auras Elemental Epitome , evading Evasive Empowerment and simply being in combat. Thanks to the trait Empowered Empowerment this will increase your power significantly when you finally burst/bomb the enemy.
You will need to follow a simple rotation of skills in order to do this (find an example of the rotations above).
Staying alive should be prioritized above all else, you can help to keep your HP above zero through tactful use of skill rotation, positioning, timing and finally dodging.
Predicting where and when an enemy group will push, and using your skills in response, will allow you to provide constant pressure. Positioning your abilities accordingly is very important for your effectiveness, as this build utilizes a lot of stationary pulsing area attacks.
Summon your Jade Sphere (your f5 ability) by consuming 10 energy, creating a combo field and granting boons to allies in its radius based on your current attunement. Energy is gained by striking enemies, you can hold a maximum of 30 energy, which you do not lose in-between combat.
You will not gain energy from hits while any sphere field has been placed and is still active.
Although sphere’s can be placed 900 range, you should always be using them on yourself.
Attunement priority is not really set in any specific order, you simply want to use some skills off of cooldown, prioritizing low cooldown’s.
Skill 2 in each attunement should always be used and prioritized simply because of there low cooldown and high value, the following skills should be used on ranged spikes Lightning SurgeLava FontIce Spike
You may also wish to use lava font when bombing, if you do not consider double meteor to be more valuable. You can place Meteor Shower twice by refreshing the cooldown with your elite skill Elemental Celerity
Lava Font You may place this twice on occasions before swapping attunement to maximize your damage.
Your auto attack, Fireball is not only 1200 range, but it also explodes on impact hitting up to 3 targets allowing you to hit targets at a slightly bigger range. Remember to fill in gaps in your rotation with this skill, but beware of reflects as this is a projectile, however thanks to the skill Relentless Fire you can now successfully land your attacks.
You can use Burning Retreat for the evade or to gain distance from the enemy before using other damage skills.
Meteor Shower is your number one priority AoE damage skill, any movement will cancel its animation so be sure this doesn’t happen. Swapping attunements or casting other instant cast abilities however will not interrupt the skill. It is critical you do not get interrupted when casting Meteor Shower as this will reduce your damage significantly.
Ice Spike Place a giant spike from 1200 range on your enemies, use this skill on range spikes and off cooldown damage the enemy and potentially combo as it is a blast finisher.
Geyser Can be used to help sustain yourself or allies, it is a moderate heal and a water field for combo purposes.
Frozen Ground Unblockable chill and ice field, that also now provides frost aura to allies! Use this skill when the enemy pushes and prior to damage skills.
Healing Rain A water field that grants regeneration and cures 2 conditions per pulse. Each condition that is removed from an allie heal them. Use after clashes or during downtimes when you do not need to bomb to help sustain your group.
Relentless Fire Your attacks and conditions deal 15% increased damage, and your attacks are unblockable for 5 seconds. If this is cast within range of your Deploy Jade Sphere , the duration is increased by 3 seconds. Use this skill off cooldown prior to auto attacking with Fireball in fire attunement
Lightning Flash Teleport to a target area within 900 range. Use this to re-position, it is not a stun break but this skill has no activation time and can be cast in the middle of another skill or if you are stunned.
Firestorm Call down a firestorm from 900 range that lasts 10 seconds and pulses 11 times, use this skill off of cooldown.
Elemental Celerity Reduce the recharge of weapon skills of your current attunement. If this is activated in range of your sphere, gain a boon based on its element. This is your ELITE skill and should be used when you bomb, refreshing your fire attunement skills to be used again.