Guild Wars 2: End Of Dragons – Best Open-World Build For Virtuoso Mesmers

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  • Virtuoso Explained
  • The Best Virtuoso Traits For Open-World
  • The Best Virtuoso Gear And Skills For Open World

Want to know the best open-world build for your Virtuoso Mesmer in Guild Wars 2? You've come to the right place! Let us show you how to turn your Virtuoso into a psionic monster!

The Virtuoso uses the power of their mind to destroy their enemies. They differ greatly from core Mesmer and some other expansion elite specs, but they make up for it in ease of use, great damage, and good sustain.

Virtuoso Explained

While the Mesmer is normally known for illusions, clones, and deception, this is not the case with the Virtuoso – this Canthan battle mage trades tricks for pure offensive power. The Virtuoso gains access to daggers, Psionic skills (high damage utility skills), and replaces Shatter with Bladesong – which consumes your stacks of stocked blades to either deal big damage or afflict a target with multiple conditions.

The Virtuoso is much simpler to play than the core Mesmer – there is no need to constantly micromanage clones and illusions, although your lack of clones leaves you more vulnerable to attacks. This class handles this by either outright obliterating enemies or by certain gear and trait choices that give them some fantastic sustain.

Overall, the Virtuoso is an incredibly fun profession to play. It has a much simpler rotation than other Mesmer builds but is capable of some heavy-duty damage.

The Best Virtuoso Traits For Open-World

The picture above shows you the best traits to pick for Virtuoso (in the open world). We'll be taking Illusions, Dueling, and of course the Virtuoso trait line itself. The image is a handy reference for you to follow, but if you want to understand these traits a bit better then please read on, as we'll break down the build and tell you how it all works.

While this is a selection of trait picks that most people will do very well with, you could always swap out one trait line for another – if you're struggling with survivability then you can always replace illusions with inspiration, for example. This will seriously ratchet up the sustain, but it's unlikely to be needed (unless you're trying to solo content that isn't meant to be).


In Illusions, we'll be picking the following traits: Shatter Storm, Maim the Disillusioned, and Master of Fragmentation. Illusion bumps up your DPS by adding more conditions to your Bladesong ability. Your Bladesong profession mechanic is very important for your overall damage output – boosting this helps you take down heavy targets faster.

  • Shatter Storm – your first Bladesong skill (usually bound to F1) becomes an ammunition skill, basically giving it two charges.
  • Main the Disillusioned – your Bladesong skills apply torment when they hit an enemy, which gives a nice little bump to your damage.
  • Master of Fragmentation – further improves your Bladesong skills by altering them to apply more conditions on their activation


In Dueling, we'll be picking up these traits: Duelist's Discipline, Fencers Finesse, and Superiority Complex. Dueling is a very important trait line for this build, as it allows bleeds on a critical hit, as well as giving you access to tons of fury and ferocity bonuses/extra breakbar damage.

  • Duelist's Discipline – pistol attacks cause bleeding and interrupts will recharge your pistol skills. This gives us a nice bit of extra damage.
  • Fencers Finesse/Blinding Dissipation – causes sword skills to grant you a stacking ferocity bonus (harder-hitting critical hits) if you don't want to use an offhand sword use Blinding Dissipation instead.
  • Superiority Complex – your critical hits hit harder, if below 50 percent health or the enemy is disabled then you gain a further bonus to critical damage.


Virtuoso gives us our bread and butter skills and abilities that make this build work. You get access to the main dagger weapon, Bladesong instead of shatter, and some handy-dandy Psionic skills. We'll be going full bottom line Virtuoso (because this is a condition-based damage build). These are the traits of choice: Jagged Mind, Sharpening Sorrow, and Bloodsong.

  • Jagged Mind – causes Blade attacks to cause bleeding on critical hits (Blade attacks are all of your dagger weapon skills/plus Psioninc skills). You also heal yourself the equivalent of three percent of all condition damage.
  • Sharpening Sorrow – you gain fury when activating Bladesong Sorrow (usually bound to F2). Fury also gives you bonus expertise (condition duration).
  • Bloodsong – bleeds you inflict deal 25 percent more damage, you'll also gain a blade charge every five stacks of bleed you inflict. (Blade charges are what you spend on your Bladesong skills – you can have a maximum of four blades, you should always be generating blades and spending them).

This build functions around applying tons of bleed, alongside a few stacks of other conditions to boost your damage. However,the bulk of it will come from psionically slicing your enemy up with bleeding conditions. This is pretty cool by itself, but this build needs the right gear choices to operate at peak levels.

The Best Virtuoso Gear And Skills For Open World

There is a bit of nuance to the gear selection to this build, it relies heavily on critically hitting, so we're going to get gear that builds our precision as much as possible while at the same time giving you higher condition damage.

Armor And Runes

For your gear slots, you'll use be using a combination of Sinister and Rampager gear. Sinister gear focuses on condition damage with power and precision, and Rampager gear focuses on the precision stat with extra power and condition damage. You can do a 50/50 split with Sinister and Rampager.

You could do 3 armor slots with rampage and 3 with sinister, and then in your back piece, rings, amulet, and accessory slots also do a 50/50 split between Sinister and Rampager. Always give priority to the precision stat – try and get your critical hit chance as close as you can to around 60 percent with no boons.

Use a full set of Superior Armor Runes of the Krait, this increases condition damage and gives longer duration on bleeds

Weapons And Sigils

Always use the dagger as your primary weapon, but you can combine it with whatever offhand you like. We recommend pistols because of the extra range and additional blade damage but they all work pretty well. Use Rampager's or Sinister gear depending upon how high your precision stat is – remember you need to try and get your critical hit change to as close to 60 percent as possible, but don't sacrifice too much condition damage for it.

Use Superior Sigil of Accuracy (+7 percent critical hit chance) and Superior sigil of Earth (inflict bleed when critical hitting). As you can see, these Sigils synergize well with our bleeding and crit-focused build.

Utility Skills

You'll be using the following healing and utility skills:

  • Signet of Ether – Healing Skill – Gives you a nice heal every time you stock a blade.
  • Rain of Swords – Utility Slot 1 – very nice cleave damage and applies vulnerability.
  • Signet of Domination – Utility Slot 2 – extra condition damage, activate to stun an enemy for three seconds.
  • Signet of Midnight – Utility Slot 3 – extra expertise (condition duration), activate to blind and stealth yourself.
  • Thousand Cuts – Elite Slot – deal massive targets to enemies in front of you (counts as a blade skill and is also unblockable damage).

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