Static discharge builds have existed for years. They are the epitome of high-risk high-reward gameplay in WvW. The premise is to design around the trait Static Discharge, which typically leads to an incredibly offensive power-based build.
Ranged projectile-based damage is safer and more reliable for this build. The rifle is our go-to weapon.
Hip Shot is the auto-attack. The 1200 range and high power-based damage makes it one of the most used skills in the build. You should always be using this in combat unless you've got another skill to cast.
Net Shot is a simple ranged immobilization. Skills like this can be used offensively or defensively. Typically this skill is best used to keep melee opponents at bay. For instance, preventing a warrior from hitting you with a Rush saves you from taking needless damage.
Note that immobilization prevents opponents from using their dodge, which is especially relevant in this build since much of the damage comes in bursts. For this reason, it may be useful to use this skill offensively in some situations as well.
Blunderbuss deals massive area damage. It should be used whenever available. Try to use it when in close proximity to an opponent for the extra damage, but don't put yourself in a dangerous situation.
Overcharged Shot is a great CC skill that launches the target, meaning that it can affect downed opponents as well. This skill has no cast time, which makes it an ideal inclusion in the initial burst.
Jump Shot is incredibly powerful and has a high skill ceiling. It provides mobility and high damage - two critical aspects of this build. Using this skill properly will take some practice. Is it worth saving to use as an escape mechanism or is it better to use for its landing damage? There is no rule of thumb - each scenario will be different.
A.E.D. is ideal for this build. Aside from the massive healing and condition cleanse, it enables you to continuously apply pressure to opponents when you would otherwise have to worry about going down.
- Static Shock is the tool belt skill. The most common use case for this skill is to stun an opponent while they're attempting to revive one of their allies. You can start casting this skill while out of range, then as the cast in finishing, enter melee range to have it land safely.
Tool Kit grants access to a few key skills and also synergies well with some traits. The notable skills are:
- Pry Bar deals massive damage to a single target. Use this ability whenever you find yourself in melee range of an opponent.
- Gear Shield is one of the only real forms of defense this build offers. Use it wisely.
- Magnet is an unique skill. There are many intricacies, but the two things everyone should know when using it are:
- Always follow up with a Pry Bar.
- Run away immediately after using it. You are fragile, being in melee range is dangerous.
As for the tool belt skill:
- Throw Wrench does significant damage if used properly. Its a core component of the burst. You should always attempt to throw it in such a way that the wrench will hit your opponent a second time on the way back - it literally doubles the damage. This skill is also a tool belt skill, so Static Discharge will trigger.
Rifle Turret is simple. Place it at your feet when a fight is starting and forget about it. It will give you a minor damage boost. The real reason this skill is used is for the tool belt skill.
- Surprise Shot is another core component of the burst. The high damage, instant cast, and short cooldown along with it being a tool belt skill to activate Static Discharge explains its importance in this build.
Elixir U gives relevant offensive boons (might, fury, and quickness) and is also our only stun break. This skill can be tricky to take full advantage of because in many cases you will want to use it purely for the stun break, and other times purely for the boons. Rarely will you find yourself benefiting from both aspects at once.
- Toss Elixir U randomly generates a Smoke Screen or a Wall of Reflection. The use cases are obvious, and its an all-around great skill to have access to.
Sneak Gyro is the perfect elite skill for this build for the following reasons:
- Significant improvements to survivability and escape.
- Stealth prevents opponents from watching your animations, making it more difficult to predict when you'll unleash your burst.
- Pulsing stealth every few seconds allows you to maintain pressure while popping in and out of stealth. This makes it harder for opponents to keep track of you (similar to how maintaining a target on a mesmer can be hard).
Explosives provides numerous passive increases to our damage output. Evasive Powder Keg is a great way to maintain damage while kiting.
(Adept) Glass Canon is not particularly exciting, but provides a flat damage boost. The alternatives are not great in this slot so this is a no brainer.
(Master) Aim-Assisted Rocket is yet another bit of damage that will trigger when unleashing the burst. It deals non-trivial damage and has a generous internal cooldown.
(Grandmaster) Thermobaric Detonation is unfortunately the only sensible option here. The blast finisher is nice to have in group fights, and the increased damage to Evasive Powder Keg is also great when kiting.
Tools provides us with Static Discharge. Additionally, there are numerous improvements to both mobility and defensive measures.
(Adept) Static Discharge is unsurprisingly at the core of this build. Not much needs to be said about it, the perks should be obvious.
(Master) Streamlined Kits appears to be simple on the surface, but has many hidden intricacies. It grants swiftness when equipping a kit and produces some effect, depending on the kit equipped. This is the primary way an engineer gains access to swiftness. In fact the internal cooldown of this trait means that, even without increased boon duration, engineers can maintain 100% swiftness uptime, which is critical in WvW. Rapid Regeneration (discussed next in the Scrapper specialization) used alongside the Tool Kit has excellent synergy with this trait. Super speed triggers from equipping the kit, which is vital for repositioning offensively or defensively, which in turn causes you to gain health from Rapid Regeneration.
(Grandmaster) Adrenal Implant for the substantial endurance regeneration.
Scrapper is a well-rounded specialization for this build.
(Adept) Perfectly Weighted is taken just for the stability. Since we are not running a hammer, we will not benefit from the extra damage, but frankly this is the best option in this slot.
(Grandmaster) Adaptive Armor is a straightforward option that improves our defenses.
We want to be as offensive as possible with this build. Running with Berserker's equipment through-and-through is recommended, but at the cost of minor damage, you can gain some valuable survivability by replacing some pieces of equipment with Marauder's. The economical way to do this is to replace most of your trinkets since crafting armor and weapons with that stat is expensive. For sigils, Sigil of Air and Sigil of Fire are the best options. Runes are more flexible. Rune of the Scholar is what I have been running, but you will lose your 10% damage bonus most of the time. It can be helpful when starting off a fight though - the majority of the damage comes as a burst - you can gain value off it before your opponent has time to react. Alternatives options should be super offensive, preferably with power and ferocity, such as Rune of the Ogre.
This build is incredible fragile. Getting killed is easy, and it will happen regularly if you are not careful. The element of surprise is what gives you an advantage with this build. Most people will not expect you to be running Static Discharge, and will likely be killed instantly, or at the very least will have to employ some serious defensive measures to avoid dying. Against good players, many of them will recognize you the second time around and approach fighting you differently - you should adjust your play accordingly when this happens.
The initial sequence of actions you perform is crucial. The idea is to push through as much damage as you can in the shortest amount of time (in under a second). In many cases, you might consider engaging with your Sneak Gyro active to increase the chances your attacks will land. Here's the sequence:
- Start by casting Throw Wrench. Be sure to position yourself in such a way that the wrench will hit a second time on the way back.
- As Throw Wrench is being cast, use Surprise Shot (it will not interrupt the cast since its an instant cast).
Then follow up with one of the following immediately after:
If done properly, this sequence of actions can result in the following instances of damage (excluding the auto-attacks).
- Throw Wrench (outgoing)
- Throw Wrench (returning)
- Static Discharge from Throw Wrench
- Surprise Shot
- Static Discharge from Surprise Shot
- Aim-Assisted Rocket
- Sigil of Air proc
- Sigil of Fire proc
- Blunderbuss / Overcharged Shot / Jump Shot
After the Initial Burst
At this point, many of your high-damage abilities will be on cooldown. You should balance out using auto-attacks with the remainder of your high-impact abilities until the main abilities are available again.
Static Discharge builds are challenging, but rewarding. They take lots of practice to pull off consistently, but once you get proficient, they are a blast to play. If you are looking for a non-meta build that is still able to compete, then this might be something to try out. Thanks for reading!
- Wolfineer no longer makes content, but his old videos are fantastic.