Chronomancer is an elite specialization for the mesmer class, bringing some of the best utility, crowd control, boon removal and some condition cleanse for large WvW battles. While it is meta class, only a few Chronomancers are needed per squad. This build is hard to master because of Continuum Split, which gives you a short window to essentially use your key abilities twice! Continuum Split offers incredible combo potential to get the most out of.
Build Fundamentals & Priorities
The build is best described as unique utility, simply put you will provide mass stealth for your squad via Veil , burst boon removal via shatters due to Shattered Concentration combined with crowd control thanks to Vicious Expression and your final third auto attack on sword Mind Spike, generate quickness on shatters and last but not least revival of allies with Illusion of Life . Commanders will often call for specific skills during an encounter, be prepared to communicate your skill cooldowns and adapt to their commands or any given situation. You’ll have the best success by casting your skills synchronizing your crowd control with damage during boon removal phases ‘bombing’ i,e on spike calls ‘wells’ Well of Corruption .
You will need to follow a simple rotation of skills in order to do this (find an example of the rotations above/to the right).
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.
Chronomancer’s shatters are powerful instant-cast skills that will not interrupt any action that the mesmer is performing. Due to their range shatters must be used as soon as you are in melee range to burst remove boons. Each shatter skill is enhanced by the number of clones available however clone generation is unreliable in large-scale encounters. Each shatter skill has a unique active, thanks to the traits Shattered Concentration and Rending Shatter this makes all shatter skills remove boons and apply Vulnerability to up to five targets on impact.
Split Second Strike nearby foes damaging them after a small delay hits again. Thanks to the trait Shatter Storm this skill becomes an ammo skill that can be cast twice, removing up to 10 boons per use!. Due to the low cooldown this skill can be used on range spikes for alacrity and quickness depending on if you are running . This shatter will be used with other shatters to remove as many boons as possible.
Rewinder applies Crippled and Confusion. Again this shatter will be used with other shatters to remove as many boons as possible, whislt providing some condition cover for important skills such as ImmobilizeChilled
Time Sink applies Slow and Daze. Vicious Expression and Superior Sigil of Absorption allowing your interrupts to potentially remove and steal boons respectively, removing up to 25 boons in total. The sigil has been nerfed recently with a 3 second internal cooldown against other players, but it is still the best in slot sigil for chronomancer.
Distortion Distortion is back! Gain immunity to conditions and damage for 1 second, for each clone you destroy gain an additional 1 second of distortion. This skill can be used during moments where you either need to survive and have other defences on cooldown or you wish to guarantee the success of casting a skill and ensure its not interrupted. i.e during the cast of Illusion of Life
Continuum Split allows you to duplicate your skills for a short time, you can use multiple skills and have their cooldowns reverted to the state before entering Continuum Split. Continuum Split is by far the trickiest to master, as when casted the skill forms a rift which is visible to and vulnerable to enemy players. If you are killed or your rift is destroyed during combat you will be teleported back prematurely to where you originally cast the skill. In addition to resetting your skill cooldowns, your health, endurance, and position will revert to their previous state.
If you find yourself in a bad situation during Continuum Split you can close the rift early using Continuum Shift, reverting you back to your original position.
Mind Spike (third skill in the auto-attack chain) strips boons. This is primarily used to quickly finish downstate enemies.
Blurred Frenzy is a one-second evade that fixes you in place. This can help you survive while casting shatters in melee range, be careful not to use when your group is moving as you may get left behind, finding it hard to get back to your group.
Illusionary Leap summons an illusion that leaps at your target. Activating this skill again swaps you with the clone and applies Immobilize on nearby enemies. Following up this skill with shatters will strip boons from nearby enemies and apply cover conditions.
You may also try to use this prior to your Continuum Split combo in order to gain 1 clone increasing the window duration on which you can use skills.
Temporal Curtain is a 600 ranged field that provides Swiftness to allies and inflicts Crippled on enemies. Activating it a second time activates Into the Void, a 600 radius pull. Altogether this makes you able to pull from up to 1200 range! Use this skill to pull enemies towards your squad, putting them within attack range of your squad.
Phantasmal Warden summons a phantasm that blocks some projectiles. With the recent patch thanks to Escape Artist this will help mitigate damage due to the invulnerability.
Echo of Memory is your main block. If you are hit during its cast you will gain a new block – if you’ve misjudged your Continuum Split and need to return to your zerg you can chain together Continuum Split casts to safely reach your Commander.
Tides of Time is a great crowd control skill, casting a slow moving shield that stuns enemies and blocks projectiles before returning to your location. Thanks to synergy with Vicious Expression and Superior Sigil of Absorption this skill can be a massive boon counter, with each interrupt stripping and stealing boons.
Well of Eternity Is a pulsing cleanse light field, that initially heals yourself and allies on the last pulse.
Null Field Place a ranged field up to 900 range away, that rips boons from foes and cures conditions on allies. Pulses five times! can to be used on clashes or used during ranged spikes, be flexible depending on what will bring most value.
Illusion of Life is high-value and one of the best revive utilities in battle, allowing you to temporarily revive up to three players to 80% health via Superior Rune of Mercy. Revived allies have 15 seconds to kill an enemy, allowing players to either re-enter the fight and rally or to reposition to a safe revive location. Failing to kill an enemy within 15 seconds will return them to downstate. Hold onto this skill to revive multiple players rather than casting it on a single individual. When using it, communicate with your squad to avoid doubling up with another resurrection utilities.
Veil generates Stealth on any allies that pass through it and has no target limit. One of your main responsibilities is to grant Stealth to your squad. At the request of your commander, place Veil just slightly in front of him unless otherwise directed.
Gravity Well is one of the best crowd control skills in the game, knocking enemies down, then floating them and pulling them in. Use this in combination with Continuum Split. Commanders will often call for a bomb explicitly, so you may want to save it for when it’s called for on voice.
Stretched Time can be swapped in to gain and give alacrity if your party should need more utility, you lose quickness so you will struggle to Continuum Split combo.
Having only one reliable phantasm on this build you may wish to swap in for more self Phantasmal Haste quickness.
Signet of the Ether Heal yourself whenever you summon an illusion passively, when activated heal yourself and reduce the recharge of phantasm skills by 50%. This means you can reduce the cooldown of your shield block Echo of Memory