If you'd asked me before HoT launched which class I'd be enjoying the most, I definitely would NOT have said Tempest. And then Snap Ground Target and this Staff Tempest build came along and -- wow! -- I'm loving it for zergy content like WvW, the Mad King's Labyrinth, and the new HoT zones. Anywhere there are lots of enemies to kill. It's a high risk, high reward playstyle. I get downed a lot but I kill all the things so fast!
I have quite a few hours of play into the build now, so I thought I'd share my perspective on it.
- Very high AoE damage, especially in melee range. And ranged DPS is still decent when circumstances make melee unwise.
- Great group utility: big, frequent heals (Wash the Pain Away!), lots of Might from just 1 skill (Overload Fire), Frost Aura for you and allies every 30 seconds from the GM trait Elemental Bastion
- Decent 'breakbar breaking' from Overload Earth
- Lots of stability and protection (just overload)
- SUPER SQUISHY: you need to be pro at dodge, blink, run away! (Learn to love fire staff 4, Burning Retreat -- it's a life saver!)
The build: This build assumes frequent use of Overload Fire right in the middle of a pack of enemies, along with your other Fire skills, especially Lava Font and Meteor Shower. It's designed to jump right into the mosh pit, DPS like a dervish and then dodge out again before you die. :) (Fire Staff #4 Burning Retreat is your BFF! Also "blink", aka Lightning Flash.)
Skills: Above is a typical 'I'm in a party' setup for me, but I often swap many of the utility skills. The only ones I never swap are Wash the Pain Away! (such an amazing heal!) and Lightning Flash (get out of the poo even when stunned!). Some options for the other slots:
- Feel the Burn! is just ok DPS wise, but it can help your and your allies stack a lot of Might. With Overload Fire 20+ stacks is pretty common when fighting in the middle of a blob of enemies.
- Cleansing Fire is a solid choice. The only condi clear in this build is Overload Water and that's far from instant.
- Glyph of Storms still has all it's superb utilty, esp for blinding a group of enemies or stacking vulnerability on a harder mob. Overload Air has a similar ability to stack vulnerability so you might feel the slot is better used for a different utility skill.
- Signet of Fire for more DPS.
- Mist Form for more Run Away!
- Glyph of Renewal for revive tricks.
- For elite, I've been experimenting with Rebound! but I'm not in love with it yet. Maybe it's great and I just need more practice. I often use the old standbys FGS and Glyph of Elementals.
Gear: POWER/crit stats w/ +power runes (Strength, Pack, Scholar, Rage, Flame Legion, etc). Personally I use Zerker gear with a couple Sentinel pieces for a little more health and armor, with Pack runes. Also zerker trinkets.
Weapons: Staff (zerker stats), Sigil of Fire (tagging... /lootstick) & Sigil of Force.
Ground Target settings: Here's how I've set up my own ground targeting options. The Snap Ground Target setting interacts with a lot of different combat options, and your own preferences will almost certainly differ from mine. IMO there's no "right" answer. Experiment with it and figure out what feels best to you.
Since I do 'lock' my target, this setting gives me a ton of freedom to dodge, blink, and run away!, and still pump lava fonts into a blob of enemies at max rate. It's so fun!