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Guild Wars 2 Scepter/Dagger PvP Build

Guild Wars 2 Scepter/Dagger PvP Build by Reveaux

Hello, my name is Reveaux. I am currently rank 40+ and have my home in Anvil Rock. Many of you, however, know me by the name of Pintresting!

Before i enter the nitty gritty of the guide, feel free to post suggestions below on what you would do differently for other players who are reading. I am not the best player out there, however, i created this guide in order to share my knowledge in order to make other players better. I hope you guys post some helpful knowledge!

Another reason I am creating this guide is to try and introduce other players to a different kind of gameplay other than a d\d aurashare build. Many of the topics floating around concerning this build has left many players feeling bored thinking that there is only one viable way to play elementalist. Hopefully I can introduce to new and current players a different approach on elementalists that they may find not only entertaining but viable as well.

In advance, I would like to apologize for any bias based opinions that may appear in my post. My intention is not to advertise one play style over another, but rather to inform the players on different ways to approach their elementalists. I will also be slightly piggybacking off of some of the collective ideas from the forums themselves concerning elementalists and I will do my best to give credit to their source as best as possible.

Ele – “We see the elementalist as the king of versatility. The skill ceiling for the Ele is exceptional, as the ability to leverage all four attunements at the right time is crucial for understanding the elementalist. The Ele boasts some of the best team support and control abilities in the game, as well as some great area of effect damage.” (A- net developers)
Video Guides:
Pintresting’s GW2 Scepter/Dagger Elementalist PvP Burst Build Part I
Pintresting’s GW2 Scepter/Dagger Elementalist PvP Burst Build Part II
Chapter I – Why Scepter/Dagger?
Chapter II – Scepter/Dagger Bunker Build (Invincible Elementalist)
Chapter III – Scepter/Dagger Bunker Build….The Method to the Madness
Chapter IV – Scepter/Dagger DPS Build
Chapter V – Scepter/Dagger and You! (Making Your Own Build)

Scepter/dagger is the most versatile of all the weapon sets. It has great mobility (second only to Dagger Dagger) and the potential for heaviest aoe burst damage of all weapon sets. Scepter/Dagger also has the greatest defense of all the weapon sets with its quick heals, rock barrier, and quick blinds. The main issue this build is overlooked is because of the ease that comes with being able to dodge the burst that comes primarily from the fire attunement.
SCEPTER/DAGGER IS HARD! The inability to guarantee damage makes it hard, however with the right setup the skill cap is determined by being able to land the damage! In the right hands a S/D bunker will not die and a S/D DPS will have the ability to give incredible burst damage! The issue is that because it is harder people aren’t able to see the potential as easily as D/D.
There are many reasons that people think D/D is preferred over the S/D setup.
1) Aura share is a boss
2) Too easy to dodge burst from S\D
3) QT Vain plays D/D and he’s boss!
However, there are also many reasons that S/D is a viable setup for reasons people don’t realize
1) THE MOST BLAST FINISHERS OF ANY ELEMENTALIST WEAPON SET. For those who do not understand blast finishers and combos please follow the link below and educate yourself.
Guild Wars 2 Wiki – Combos

using air attunement (aside from arcane utilities)! For example, you are stomping a player and you know he is about to use a downed state skill that prevents you from stomping. While in air attunement, you can blind that player mid stomp and prevent the CC ensuring a successful stomp.

3) THE BEST DEFENSE FOR WEAPON SETS. S/D offers the best defense of all the weapon sets. This is a very close comparison between d/d and s/d but tips in s/d favor very slightly.
D/D has access to shocking aura, an extra chill, and cone of cold which ensures a heal readily available whenever you switch your attunement to water. D/D’s main attacks are usually about ½ seconds long to cast reaping the most benefit from Signet of Restoration.
S/D has access to two blinds (blinding flash and dust devil), rock barrier which grants 250 toughness (that’s a lot!), condition removal and vigor from phoenix, and water trident which heals for twice as much as cone of cold with a fraction of the cast time. Cone of cold is 2 ¼ seconds to cast once. Casting it twice takes 4 ½ seconds, has a chance to be interrupted, and does less healing than Water Trident. Based off the facts given S/D is easily more durable that D/D, however, the comparison becomes slightly closer when we consider that most of the main auto attunement attacks take at least ¾ of a second to cast giving less of a benefit from Signet of Restoration.

4) GREATEST BURST POTENTIAL. This is old news, everyone knows that the burst for the weapon set is boss but is easy to dodge. The trick is to not waist your damage, which I will explain later in the guide.
What am I sacrificing to switch from D/D to S/D?
You can’t really pull someone away from what is believed to be a meta build without supplying proper reasoning behind your beliefs that what you have could be just as good.
1. You no longer are considered Aurashare!
This is the main and most important thing you end up sacrificing to switch to a S/D build. Aurashare focuses on two main principles, give auras and buffs to your team. Shocking aura would be what you lose which would be most devastating to Aura lovers. As Aurashare becomes more popular it is easier to spot this aura and easiest to counter. All your enemy has to do is stand at a distance and attack! Even if the enemy attacking is stupid and attacks you at most he will only be disrupted for 2 noncontiguous seconds (usually).
The biggest loss would be the ability to share your frost aura. Frost aura is a wonderful aura when shared with your team. Giving mass chill to the enemy always turns out to be a nightmare without condition removal; however, teams that know to watch for it will usually have some form of condition removal on standby for massive stacks of chill on their allies.
Of course, you lose the ability to give your team lots of fury and swiftness.
2. You lose a two second immobilize
Let’s face it, immobilize is the most devastating condition applied in the game when used properly (followed shortly by chill)….
3. Great sustained melee damage
This being said I would still encourage people to try some of the builds I have created below to show to themselves that there is something more to scepter dagger!
That being said, the following are two builds created for use with S/D. The first is a bunker build and the second is a burst build. To avoid confusion please take the time to study my reasoning behind each piece of the builds.

This build is commonly referred to as the Invincible Ele build because it offers superb defense against any opponent. It is the jack of all trades bunker in that it offers fantastic physical defense and unmatched condition removal and healing. It also has the ability to give great stability stomping and team support via boons, heals, and condition removal.
AMULET: Shamans Amulet/Shamans Jewel OR Shamans Amulet/Knights Jewel
RUNES: Runes of Earth or Runes of the Forge
SIGILS: Sigil of Superior Life, Sigil of Superior Energy
UTILITIES: Signet of Restoration and All cantrips!!! (Mist is a must)
ELITE UTILITY: Glyph of Elementals

This build is the strongest bunker build available to elementalists. This build allows for incredible amounts of CC, healing, condition removal, toughness, dodging, and stun breakers.
EARTH MAGIC: The reason you pick III is for the Armor of Earth which grants the stability and protection. With the 30% boon increase from Arcana you are looking at about a 10 second protection and stability buff at 50% as well as an automatic stun break. Also, I found the other choices to be not as viable for a bunker setup
WATER MAGIC: This combined with an increase in attunement recharge makes water attunement changes very powerful to restore hp. This setup allows for a condition to be removed as well every time you switch to water (aprx 10 seconds for attunement cd with 30 Arcana). It also grants about 12 seconds of vigor and regeneration when you cast a cantrip. Finally, when you give regeneration to yourself you remove an additional condition from yourself. This means all cantrips remove a condition and you remove an additional one when you change to water attunement! This build is also a low hp build so it relies on the vitality gained from a full 30 in this skill tree.

ARCANA: A full 30 in Arcana is always strongly advised no matter what type of ele build you prefer. The attunement recharge rate is too invaluable to waist. The V is self explanatory for the buffs granted to you and your team are invaluable (especially when you get more of those buffs with a faster attunement recharge). The IV is just a final safety trigger to help save your life if your health is getting low. Three hits of protection doesn’t seem like much but it will save your life more than you know. Finally, Evasive arcana is invaluable for this build for the air and water dodge. The water dodge will grant you over 3000 hp each time you use it and the air dodge will inflict aoe blind.
AMULET: Shamans amulet gives the best toughness and great healing. Makes your primary source of damage your conditions, your strongest skill will become your flames and your earth attunement autoattack. Jewel discretion is allowed for trading a little toughness and healing for some vitality.
RUNES: These are your best bunker runes for this setup. Substituting the 6 for earth shield for another toughness rune as allowed as well because earth shield may conflict with final shielding from arcana tree.
SIGILS: Sigil of Superior Life is optional but Sup Energy is a MUST. Energy works with your attunement swaps giving you A LOT of extra endurance overtime which helps also with your evasive arcana!
UTILITIES: Signet of Restoration is the only viable heal. Each cantrip grants 12 seconds of vigor and regeneration, removes one condition, and breaks stun on use. Mist is the only necessity out of the four cantrips. Amor of earth grants fantastic protection and stability but has a rather large cd which will hurt you in a long fight. Blink is fantastic for getting back on the point or evading a strong amount of melee burst. Cleansing fire damages the enemy and removes three conditions (great for removing trash conditions preventing cleansing of deadly conditions). Finally, Mist form is a must because it grants guaranteed stomps every time (assuming the target doesn’t move or is revived).
ELITE UTILITY: Only viable Elite
General Tips for this build:
Thieves: Watch for them! They will usually short bow attack you off point. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO LEAVE POINT TO PRESSURE A THIEF!!! Especially when it is a 2v1 against your favor. Focusing the thief helps make sure you do not let your guard down and get instadead due to thief burst.

Warriors: Watch out for Hundred Blades! Keep your blink ready in case of immobilize!
Mesmers: You will probably not kill the Mesmer solo, so avoid the shatters by dodging into them. Again, have blink or cleansing fire ready to remove immobilize followed by Mesmer instaburst!
Elementalists: More than likely it’s a D/D, so cleanse conditions = win! And watch out for insta burst from arcane spells. These guys generally don’t have stun breakers (except for mist) and poor condition removal so feel free to use frost aura and stun them!
Hunters: Try not to show your back too much……LOS if possible.
Engineers: Condition build is your big problem, be on your toes for condition removal.
Necromancers: Use your Condition removal wisely; don’t pop cd’s when you only have a small amount of bleeds on.
Guardians: If it’s a bunker have a dance off till someone assists. If it’s a DPS just dodge roll and apply damage to the best of your abilities.

This build isn’t set up to destroy any target that comes your way, rather, it is a great distraction build to distract the other teams members and keep them from fighting your teammates! You also need to be smart about your dodges! Don’t dodge if it won’t help you! If you have Armor of Earth and Mist you have EXCELLENT stability stomping abilities, so use them well!

OPENING ROTATION: You will open in this build in air attunement. When you engage in combat or are about to engage switch to earth and cast rock barrier then begin your rotation. From there you will change attunements as necessary and dodge when necessary (which most times means whenever you can dodge)

Also don’t be afraid to run off point! You do no good as a dead bunker, a lot of the times two fantastic burst classes (thief, Mesmer, even warrior) can annihilate you even when your build like a tower. Know when you need to run and know when you can survive. IMMOBILIZE IS YOUR DOWNFALL. When running against known immobilize teams be sure to use blink and cleansing fire with your mist utility. These offer your best change against surviving an immobilize burst onslaught!

This build is an offshoot of the aurashare build for d\d (made popular by Qt Vain). It is modified for scepter/dagger and I found it works out quite fantastic!
AMULET: Valkyries Amulet/Berserker Jewel
RUNES: Runes of Divinity or Runes of Scholar
SIGILS: Sigil of Superior Battle and Sigil of Superior Bloodlust
UTILITIES: Signet of Restoration, Arcane Blast, Arcane Wave, Mist Form
ELITE UTILITY: Glyph of Elementals
AIR MAGIC: Gives the increased precision and critical damage from putting 10 points into the tree as well as 20% increased damage to the targets with less that 33% hp!
WATER MAGIC: This setup is similar to the bunker setup for the survivability. The increased damage above 90% comes in handy because many players don’t realize that you have extra damage when you are at 90% or higher and wont attack you unless you are the focused target. The condition removal comes in handy against stacking condition builds to give you a little more diversity and able to handle many situations. If preferred, XI can be swapped for XII for the sharing frost aura with your team. Even without giving your team the buffs from aurashare or the ability to share Shocking Aura, using XII can still be viable because frost aura is so powerful when shared among your team because it affects attacking enemies no matter what the range (compared to close range shocking aura)! The 2% additional damage for each buff is also a plus and works fantastic with the V from Arcana tree!
ARCANA: The reduced cool down on your arcana skills is invaluable when running two arcane abilities. The V (Elemental Attunement) is a must no matter what build you run because it is foolish to give up free buffs. Finally XII (Elemental Surge) turned out to be a real diamond in the rough for me. You can give even more chill on your targets ultimately helping you and your team’s survivability. You can also choose to use them to apply burns to targets who insist on playing in stealth. The blind is use full to assist in stomping to ensure you don’t get interrupted. The immobilize works FANTASTIC in coordination with your team or ensuring a proper landing of Dragons Tooth!
AMULET: This amulet is the perfect hybrid giving you enough healing and toughness to keep you alive but giving you the power and critical damage to make you deadly on the field.
RUNES: These are the two strongest power runes available
UTILTIES: The arcane skills are instant cast and have very short cooldowns. Your imagination is the limits when it comes to creating different tactics to use these with your Elemental Surge trait. Mist Form is always a necessity no matter what you play on Ele, it’s just too amazing not to use!
ELITE UTILITY: Only viable Elite
The big issue behind this build is the burst damage is sometimes hard to land, so here are some tactics to assist you in your battle to the top!

Opening with Updraft, switching to fire attunement, and casting Dragons tooth will not always guarantee a successful hit! Even though Dragons Tooth is a one second cast time it still hovers in the air long enough for someone who was just knocked down to stand back up and dodge. Normally if the target cannot dodge he will eat the dragons tooth, however, if you feel the target may dodge, quickly switch to earth attunement and cast arcane blast before he stands back up. The target will not expect the immobilize and will more than likely eat your burst damage.

DON’T PUT YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET. It’s normally not smart to cast both your arcane skills at the same time, if one misses then they both miss. It doesn’t hurt to wait a second to ensure the target isn’t invulnerable or dodging between casts and then cast your second one.

DON’T WAIST A BLAST FINISHER! This is the biggest issue with players playing this build, they waist their burst! You don’t have to waist a dragons tooth ever again! Your dragons tooth has a very short cd and will be available every time you switch into fire attunement. Every time you enter this attunement begin by casting this skill, follow it immediately by ring of fire and then phoenix. Even if your dragons tooth misses you get 3 stacks of might from the blast finisher three stacks from phoenix. Phoenix has a large area of impact so don’t be afraid to cast it right into the right of fire to hit your target who may be standing outside it!

Your target will not dodge every dragons tooth in a group fight when fighting on point. Sometimes dragons tooth is good to cast just to get your target to dodge and use endurance or to waist a cd for fear of annihilation if stunned. Many times though in a group fight your target won’t even see the dragons tooth unless the player is very good (of which he still has to move out of the way which works in your favor because you are making him dodge more). Most people don’t have time to watch for it or think it does so much damage that its worth using a cool down to avoid!

STACK YOUR MIGHT! You have A LOT of blast finishers so make sure you are in your fire field every time you use one, this tactic used in conjunction with the sigil of superior battle will give you a lot of might if you utilize your combos properly!

Your target can’t dodge your burst too well on point! You should do massive damage to those who are point defenders for the shear fact that they can’t always dodge or move off point!

Know when to run! You have a lot of toughness to survive a little of incoming damage and fight head on off you have to, but your best bet is to run away and heal up and come back into the fight! Ride the lightning is an amazing tool to exit a losing battle so use it! Also remember that you can pop mist if you get jumped by a thief and then ride the lightning away! Even switching to earth attunement is a cooldown in itself because it gives you over 6 seconds of protection!

Chill is probably your strongest tool! If you ever come across a class who just constantly seems to tear you apart try to chill them! Chill makes the strongest of players look like kittens! Don’t be afraid to cast that Frost Aura or use your arcane skills while in Water Attunement.

Updraft works well with arcane blast! If you use updraft followed by arcane draft there is a chance your arcane blast can hit your target twice! This means twice the damage and twice the condition duration! Seeing as it is useless to immobilize your target while he’s knocked down or double blind him your best bet is switching immediately to fire or water attunement after updraft and casting arcane blast for double chill or burn.

OPENING ROTATION: You will start in air attunement and open with updraft if possible, more than likely your target will freak out after seeing a dragons tooth heading his way and pop a cd. This is your chance to lay on some burst using your phoenix and fire field, remember your combos! If you fail to land the updraft at the start it would be wise to go to earth attunement instead of fire and give yourself rock barrier and prepare for a fight. Also remember to change attunements frequently and make use of your chills and immobilizes!

Too many bad guides have been put out misleading players about what builds they should be playing and how to play it. This guide was made as a way to introduce a new way of playing ele and explaining the ins and outs of my reasoning. Even if you have no desire to play S/D there is a lot of information In here that hopefully could make you a better ele!
There are some key things to be noted when you make a S/D ele and decide to make your own build.
1) Arcane utilities – generally help increase your overall damage/burst
2) Cantrips – generally helps defensively
3) Signets – besides restoration are currently not viable in pvp for eles.
4) Conjure Weapons – Currently not viable in pvp, however, some eles have been successful in creating builds with Earth Shield and Frost bow. I would not advise using unless you absolutely know what you are doing!
5) Not going a full 30 into Arcana not only risks survivability but damage as well! At this point in time 30 in this tree is required no matter what your build or weapon set. Fast attunement swaps is the most important thing for a versatile ele!
6) Going deep into your Water Magic tree gives not only damage but good survivability as well, 2% for each boon at 25 in the tree really goes a long way and going the full 30 gives great survivability!
7) Going into fire or all the way into air for Grounded (XII in Air Magic) is overrated. Going into fire tree or really far into air will take away from survivability and your damage. Fire is just not worth it at all at the moment and grounded is too far into the air tree to make it good to use.
8) Having troubles with dying? – Elemental Surge (Arcana XII) – Can be substituted for Evasive Arcana for increased survivability! This also works great with Sigil of Superior Energy (50% endurance restored every weapon swap, CD: 9 seconds)

These builds aren’t guaranteed to be amazing for your playstyle or for your team’s composition in tourneys, but it lays an excellent framework for the player to determine how he will play his ele or if the player finds that a S/D build is only good for sPvP. One thing I can promise is a very rewarding skill cap when you become proficient with these builds (especially the bunker build).

Hopefully this guide will evolve over time and I can fix the loose ends and even create a video to show tips and tactics for these builds. If there is any flaws in this guide feel free to let me know and I hope you all learned something!


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