The Engineer has always been my favorite class in GW2. I first played one in the second Beta Weekend Event leading up to the release of the core game, and I had more fun with that class than I did any of the others. It was also the very first class that I ever took into PvP (doing pretty well for myself back then, if I remember correctly). Destiny being what it is, though, when the game went live, I somehow ended up playing a Mesmer as my main, and even though I made a Charr Engineer, he was relegated to the unenviable role of ‘alt’ for a while.
With the complete overhaul to the trait system, though, I decided to dust off old Rockgut Boltsmasher and take a look at what these deadly geniuses can now do under the new system. I feel like I’ve discovered this amazing profession all over again. It is just unbelievable how much unique capability ArenaNet has packed in there! Picking Specializations and Traits makes me feel like a kid in a candy store!
I’m calling this build “Ablative Gunslinger Engineer” because it uses twin pistols and it feels like things are always falling off of you. It sprouts a continual stream of healing kits and proximity mines, with a rock dog even showing up most of the time. In fact, the more you shoot, and the more your enemy hits back, the more stuff just goes flying off everywhere around you. It’s positively ablative!
The three main specializations lines are Firearms, Tools, and Inventions. The last one may seem like an odd choice, but Bunker Down and Mecha Legs seemed irreplaceable to me, since the proximity mines and healing kits spawned by Bunker Down (which show up EVERYWHERE because of the high crit chance) have become close to the very heart of the build.
Sharpshooter – Critical hits have a chance to cause bleeding.
High Caliber – You have an increased critical hit chance against foes within the range threshold.
Hematic Focus – You have increased chance to critically strike against bleeding foes.
No Scope – Critical hits within the range threshold have a chance to grant fury.
Serrated Steel – Bleeding you cause lasts longer.
Incendiary Powder – Critical hits inflict burning. Burning you apply lasts 33% longer.
Optimized Activation – Using tool belt skills grants vigor.
Static Discharge – Discharge a bolt of lightning whenever you use a tool belt skill.
Mechanized Deployment – Recharge of your tool belt skills is reduced.
Streamlined Kits – Equipping a kit creates an attack or spell and grants you swiftness.
Excessive Energy – While at full endurance you deal additional damage.
Kinetic Battery – After evading a strike, your next tool belt skill is instantly recharged.
Cleansing Synergy – Using heal skills triggers a cleansing pulse around you.
Automated Medical Response – All heal skills recharge when struck while you are below the health threshold.
Heal Resonator – When you use a healing skill, you apply regeneration to nearby allies.
Mecha Legs – Movement speed is increased. Cripple, chill, and immobilize durations are reduced.
Energy Amplifier – Your healing power is increased while you have regeneration.
Bunker Down – Create a proximity mine and med kit at your location when you critically hit with an attack.
Two Pistols – Berserker with Superior Sigil of Accuracy (+7% Critical Chance) and Superior Sigil of Strength (60% Chance on Critical: Gain Might (10 Seconds))
All armor is Knight’s (+Power, +Precision, and +Toughness) and all six pieces have Superior Rune of the Ogre. In total, these runes give +175 Power, +35 Ferocity, +4% Damage, and you have a 25% chance when struck to summon a Rock Dog.
All jewelry (and back item) is specced to give Power, Precision, and Condition Damage in PvE. In PvP, I just pick the Rampager Amulet. This cuts down on Toughness, making you more squishy, but amplifies Condition Damage, which is a big part of how you kill everything.
6 – A.E.D. – Activate your A.E.D., enabling the system to heal you after a brief period of time. If you take lethal damage while the A.E.D. is active, it ends and heals you for a large amount and removes conditions.
7 – Flamethrower – Arm yourself with a flamethrower that replaces your weapon skills.
8 – Flame Turret – Deploy a turret that burns foes.
9 (PvE) – Elixir B – Drink Elixir B to gain fury, might, retaliation, and swiftness.
9 (PvP) – Elixir C – Drink Elixir C, converting all conditions into random boons.
0 (PvE) – Elite Mortar Kit – Equip the mortar kit.
0 (PvP) – Supply Crate – Request a massive supply drop, complete with turrets and bandages.
The Ablative Gunslinger Engineer focuses on critical hits and condition damage to bring down its foes. As outlined above, the base critical hit chance stays somewhere between 50 and 60 percent, with certain factors driving this up quite a bit. If your opponent is within a range of 240 and on fire, for example, the crit chance will be 20% higher. And all of this has the potential to snowball quite a bit, especially since critical hits also cause burning due to Incendiary Power.
While there are a couple of good ways to spike down your opponent with this build, the real name of the game is versatility and survivability. Speccing into Inventions means that there will be a lot of healing kits scattered all around your feet pretty much constantly. The healing skill, A.E.D., is also the best in the game, as far as I’m concerned. And just think, with Automated Medical Response the thing just goes off cooldown whenever you are struck below 25% health! If you haven’t seen just how fun this can be, you need to!
You definitely don’t want to forget the tool belt here! You have MASSIVE additional burning by slotting in Flame Turret and Flamethrower, so when you lock onto your target, remember those two tool belt skills. Also remember that everything from the tool belt will fire a bolt of chain lightning when activated, and if you want to double up on one of those tool belt abilities, just dodge an attack and you can use your favorite one twice! Don’t forget that the A.E.D. even helps out with a great close range stun on F1.
The best chain of attacks I’ve been able to throw together so far with this seems to be to activate Elixir B (if in PvE) and then lead with the napalm on the tool belt from Flame Turret, and then pack in pistol 2 (wait for it!), 3, 4, and then the flame jet on the tool belt from Flamethrower. Then switch over to the Flamethrower kit (which surrounds you with a Fire Shield due to Streamlined Kits) and detonate the number 2 skill right on your opponent’s face, followed by skill 4 at his feet, and then a long blast with the flamethrower. In testing, nothing has actually survived this attack chain, so I haven’t had much reason to push it farther.
One note of caution would be that the Flame Turret seems more useful to me as a tool belt skill than a turret, especially if you are skilled at getting the double activation with Kinetic Battery. Once you place the turret, though, the tool belt ability changes to allow you to detonate it. That’s not nearly as helpful as adding a few more stacks of burning, so only drop the turret if you weren’t able to activate the Kinetic Battery.
I don’t yet have as much experience with this build in PvP as I do my Fire Tank Guardian, so there may be some things that I have to change around as my plans make additional contact with the enemy and inevitably fail. If I discover anything further, I’ll post my updates here. And if anyone has any thoughts on how to improve the build while staying true to the overall theme, then by all means please post them in the comments!
Good luck out there!