A few people I’ve been playing with have asked me about my engineer builds in Guild Wars 2, to explain what traits, armor and weapons I’ve chosen. What most people don’t ask is how do you play Engineer? That, to me, is really the important question people need to ask for any class really. But, with engineer it’s particularly important because you can do so many different things. If simply spamming 1 is your objective, look elsewhere – you really cannot be effective that way with the engineer class. This build requires that you use you skills and kits in a specific order to achieve might stacking, vulnerability condition stack and maximize DPS.
Since I mainly run PVE, my grenade build is focused in that area. Mostly for dungeons/fractals and solo map running. This build could be more effective in WVW probably with some minor tweaking, but I haven’t gotten into that side of the game very heavily just yet. I’ll review that last in this article.
My build is primarily focused on DPS by leveraging vulnerability, grenades and bombs. I can effectively put 25 stacks of vulnerability in just a few key strokes and maintain it for the duration of a fight. This condition is distributed AOE with grenades so it’ll apply it to multiple enemies at a time. Getting enemies grouped up when playing solo may take a bit of kiting, but it is certainly worth the outcome. Keep in mind, 25 stacks of vulnerability is effectively a 25% increase in DPS.
For the kiting aspect, I’ve addressed that with appropriate trait usage to keep your speed up, so you shouldn’t be taking too much damage with this build if played correctly. On the other hand, if you get in with a zerg and just stand around spamming grenades, you’ll get dropped. So, I’ve also included some healing to provide enough health and condition removal to get out of combat and heal. This is certainly not a tank build.
There’s a lot of options here too, many people choose to run a rifle because of range and jump shot. I prefer to run two pistols primarily because of Glue Shot and Static Shot. With the Rifle, you will get slightly higher DPS and it adds to your vulnerability stacking (Jump Shot). Pistol shield is also good as you can get additional might stacking with Magnetic Inversion due to the blast finisher.
Traits – Explosives (6):
- II – Shrapnel or III – Forceful Explosions : Either of these will work, I go between the two depending on the situation. You really cannot go wrong with either, but II Shrapnel will ultimately elevate your DPS and be your best choice.
- VII – Explosive Powder : Provides a 10% damage increase on explosions, this is a no-brainer.
- XI – Grenadier : Increased range for grenades by 300. Always a good thing to stay back out of the mix to deliver your DPS whenever possible.
This is a core trait combination to ensure that grenades do the maximum damage possible, while providing lots of range for you to kite and stay further away from combat.
Traits – Firearms (6):
- II – Sitting Duck : Apply cripple and vulnerability to enemies you immobilize.
- V – Precise Sights : Chance to apply vulnerability on critical hits.
- XI – Modified Ammunition : Increases damage for each condition on a foe. Swap this out for IX – Rifle Mod if you choose to run a rifle.
You have a couple options here depending on which weapons you use. Sitting Duck plays off of Glue Shot and Glue Bomb really well so you can typically maintain a cripple and increase your vulnerability stack with that combination. The Grandmaster trait should be changed based on your choice of weapon.
Traits – Tools (2):
- VI – Speedy Kits : Gain swiftness whenever you equip a kit.
This should be an obvious one. You get faster endurance regeneration and effectively permanent swiftness – this comes in handy when kiting mobs.
Armor & Trinkets:
Standard zerker gear here, this really is the META that everyone is running to maximize DPS.
Sigils and Runes:
For your armor, run Superior Rune of Strength. Again, this is a no brainer for the might stacking and power increase for a zerker build. Standard issue stuff for any zerker build. However, these runes are pretty expensive as a full set will cost you around 75g. Superior Rune of the Scholar is a cheaper and viable alternative, but doesn’t not have the might stacking benefits. Ideally, you want to ensure that your rune increases power and ferocity first.
Sigils are really dependent on what weapons you run. I personally choose to use Superior Sigil of Battle for the consistent 9 stacks of might it applies by itself. Superior Sigil of Peril is in my secondary pistol and should be a strong contender in your build as well. The increase in vulnerability duration is one of the key elements in maintaining a 25 stack on your enemies.
- Elixer H – I prefer this because it gives an instant health increase. However, the healing turret has a Water finisher which is also highly effective if you combine it with Rocket Boots.
- Grenade Kit
- Bomb Kit
- Elixer C – This is helpful if you are in an area where you’re having a lot of conditions applied to you. This can be swapped for Rockets Boots when necessary.
- Supply Crate – A no brainer for the Engineer as a whole. I’m not sure there is anyone running end game engineer without this.
Playing the Grenade Build is the real tricky part. There are lots of ways you can do it, but I tend to focus on using my grenades for max damage and keeping vulnerability stacked. Switch to pistols on cool down and use Glue Shot and then apply bleed with Fragmentation Shot, then flip over to bombs for Glue Bomb and the combo fields. You can then use Big ‘Ol Bomb to trigger the blast finisher to additional might stacking.
Effectively, there’s a LOT of combos and ways you can run the build in combat to keep vulnerability stacked and have at least 15 stacks of might. Just be prepared to keyboard dance or program all the buttons on your MMO mouse appropriately. Timing is key, particularly with the blast finishers.
I can see the following potential changes for WvW making this a bit more effective in that area.
- Weapons: I would not run two pistols, likely I’d run rifle for the increase in range and Jump Shot for the added benefit of a finisher.
- Traits: Switch to XI Rifle Mod.
- Kits: I’d probably dump the bomb kit, keep your focus on using grenades and the rifle at range. I’d probably replace it with Rocket Boots.
Build Editor View: