Illusionary Weaponry (IW) Mesmer Guide by Nobleman_Azure

Version: 1.5 | Updated: 07/28/06 | Printable Version

Illusionary Weaponry Guide
By: Nobleman Azure
version 1.5


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IWMG01: Introduction to Illusionary Weaponry Mesmers
IWMG02: Pros and Cons
IWMG03: The Basic Melee Fighting Techniques
IWMG04: IW Mesmer-Specific Techniques and Information
IWMG06: Builds
IWMG07: Weapons and Armor
IWMG08: Helpful Links
IWMG09: Closing FAQ
IWMG10: Credits and Thanks

IWMG01: Introduction to Illusionary Weaponry Mesmers

Illusionary is one of the most unique skills in Guild Wars. Its complication
and utter defiance of what is known to be common attracts many players to
try and use it.
Illusionary Weaponry is seen in builds that are specifically designed and
modified to take full advantage of its effect.

In this guide I will show you, the reader, the advantages and disadvantages of
this unique skill. I will instruct you the proper way to weild this spell
and give you sample builds to inspire you or give you a headstart to begin
using this spell.

Because of Illusionary Weaponry's complicated nature, many questions arise
about it. In this guide I will also answer these frequently asked questions
to further help you understand the workings of this spell and allow you
to be able to create your own unique combination of skills for a build
you can name your own.

IWMG02: Pros and Cons


-Illusionary Weaponry ignores the act of missing. Conditions like blind will
not affect your ability to deal damage, this applies to hexes such as blurred
vision or ward vs, melee as well.

-Illusionary Weaponry does constant armor ignoring damage. You will do damage
equal to what is seen in the skills description. Only certain things can reduce
this damage. Absorption runes, shield damage reduction mods, as well as
some protection prayers can reduce or negate the damage.

-Fun factor: Its not common, so it should be fun to play around with.


-Enchantment: being an enchantment means the core of your build is neutralized
if Illusionary Weaponry is stripped

-Long Recharge: Its long recharge adds to the strain of the situation when it
is stripped. When the enchantment is gone you will most probably have to wait
a bit to reapply it.

-Armor: Your armor is not tanking armor. Going into the fray can spell disaster
for you and your party's healer.

IWMG03: The Basic Melee Fighting Techniques

These are techniques that should be common knowledge to all melee players.
Believe it or not a good meleer simply would not click and wait and use skills.
Certain situations call for certain actions. Meleers are given a bad
reputation for the actions of those unenlightened of these techniques.
Know these well, and make sure you use them too.

1. Aggro: This doesn't apply to PVP but do not run into a group of enemies. Have
your party's designated puller do his job to allow the party to fight as little
amount of opponents at one point in time. If you want to or are the puller,
then be familiar with the next part;

2. Pulling: Pulling does not require but is strongly recommended to be done by
a long range weapon/spell. The best way to do it is with a longbow, any longbow
will do well. By doing this you are actively selecting a proper battle area for 
your party (proper meaning an area where you wouldnt be attacked by other 
opposing forces as you fight) and you may be separating the pulled group of 
foes away from another group. 
Simply fire the longbow at what you suspect to be a member of the party you 
want to pull and back away.

3. Call Target/Follow Target: As a mesmer this wouldnt affect you unless you 
are a damager type. 
A focused fire is more effective than spread fire in most cases, learn to call 
a target (ctrl+attack) and learn to follow targets if you arent the caller 
(T button will have your character target the called one).

4. Calling: Players can also call several things by holding ctrl and clicking 
at whatever they want to call. (This also could be called Pinging) 
They may declare they are blind, they have low energy, low health, or even call 
what enchantment or hex is currently on them. Use this to your advantage, 
as a mesmer you should learn how to respond to certain calls as well as be 
able to call them yourself. 
Saying "I have Deep Wound on me" and having someone respond and remove it can 
save you a bit of frustration and get you back into the battle.

5. Directions: Learn how to direct your party of humans to places with your 
This enables players to broadcast strategies without having to type it out. 
Always pay attention to the minimap since anyone might be directing the 
party or transmitting a certain battle plan.

6. Chasing: This is one of the most important parts of being a meleer.
Knowledge of when to chase and when not to chase plays a huge role in your
     -If you are on focus fire, do not chase a target running far back. 
      You do not want to be far away from your team's ability to help. 
      You also do not want to pull your team healers or supporters into the 
      chaotic area.
     -If you are snared, dont chase. If you are snared and cannot remove the
      speed reduction hex or condition, instead of chasing your target,
      switch to someone stationary. By doing this, you add to the party's DPS
      or damage per second and you are encouraging sevral people to run
      instead of letting them be carefree and do their job.

7. Retreat: Part of being a good meleer is retreating. Whenever you are in
danger, run back to your party. This is very cruicial to a meleeing mesmer or
an assassin. By doing this you are...
     -Not being a Healsink. You are giving your team healers a bit more
      breathing room, relieving them of pressure.
     -Pulling the enemy. Any casters or ranged opponents that nests at the far
      back of the opposing party that are locked on to you will be forced to
      move forward to continue attacking or casting on you. If they choose to
      do so, you are setting them up closer to your team and leading them to
      possible danger.
Retreat is not dishonorable as long as it is intended to further the win for
your party and not just to annoy the opposing team (i.e. running around to
keep opposing team chasing after you pointlessly even if you cannot do anything
to clear your objective [eliminate opposing team])

8. Snaring/Speed Buffing: This allows you to keep your target close to you and
increase your DPS should your target decide to kite you. Many meleers decide
not to bring a snare or a speed buff which is very unwise. Yelling at your 
target saying hes a coward for running is not a valid tactic. 
It is annoying and itshows how much of an ignorant you could be. 
Do not do this.

9. Know your hexes, stances, enchantments and weapon spells: Knowing which
of these affect your melee performance is cruicial. You do not want to strike
while under empathy or spiteful spirit. You do not want go near that Spirit
of Disenchantment, etc. Take time to read all the profession's skills and
try to recognize as best as you can those that affect your Build.

IWMG04: IW Mesmer-Specific Techniques and Information

1. Know of your limitations: You are not a tank, emphasize your ability to
retreat and preserve your life. Do not be a heal sink. Healers have their
energy to watch too.

2. Know the opponents that can pose a threat: Know who can strip that IW.
Know who can deal tremendous amounts of damage. Do your best to avoid these

3. If you plan on using IW in PVE, know the area: Know which areas it would
not be a good idea to use IW. Areas that have alot of opponents who can
strip enchants is a good example of an area that you should think twice to
use IW on.


Know the difference, there are spells that does better in one or the other.
Learn that tanking does not exist in PVP
Learn that mindless charging can put your party into serious danger.

Most players start mesmers for PVP, however if you plan to start a mesmer for 
PVE, brace yourself for many grievances. (Not being invited into parties is
an example)

IW isnt very reliable in high ranked organized PVP. Guild vs. Guild, 
Heroes Ascent, or sometimes maybe even Team Arenas. These are the areas where
enchant stripping is very common

Its best to make use of axes withteh skill cyclone axe in PVE rather than 
sword for AOE damage. Increases your DPS albeit spread to several targets.

Read number 3 in the IW Mesmer-Specific Techniques and Information section.

IWMG06: Builds

Here are some examples of creative and effective IW mesmer builds.

Remember that copying builds isnt the best thing to do, one should look at 
someones build  to get ideas and be inspired. 
Know how to use the build you are basing yours on. Don't be sheep: 
if you see an effetcive build, dont copy it with the rest of the sheep. 
You are a mesmer and remember that you dont fight fire with fire, 
much like you dont fight other peoples builds by copying it and pitting it 
against them. Use your creativity to develop counters instead.

[[Azure's Chaos Fencer]]

Healing Signet
Illusion of Haste
Illusionary Weaponry
Illusion of Weakness
Ressurection Signet

This build is based in one of the commonly known builds for IW mesmers.
The use of flurry with Illusionary Weaponry mix is an effective combination
and is the reason why M/W is one of the most common Mesmer builds known.
However, one of the difference between the common and my Chaos Fencer is the
addition of Illusion of Haste to rid of crippling and provide a speed boost.
Another difference that marks the reason for the name of the build is
Riposte. With high rank in Tactics, this skill does not get in the way
of your stance and it allows you protection and added damage.

[[Bia W's 55 IW Farmer]]

Protective Spirit
Illusionary Weaponry
Healing Breeze
Cry of Frustration
Sympathetic Visage
Essence Bond
Balthazar's Spirit

This build is used to farm the Underworld using the popular 55HP setup. With a
low amount of HP, you will take a low amount of damage when enchanted by
protective spirit easily healed by regeneration. Search's mesmer
forums for exact specifications for this build.

[[Patccmoi's Double Striker]]

Illusionary Weaponry
Dancing Daggers
Mantis Touch
Exhausting Assault
Shroud of Distress
Shadow Refuge
Ressurection Signet

(Description taken directly from Patccmoi's thread)
The basic idea is pretty simple : EVEN in IW, you can get your lead-offhand 
combo to work since they aren't attacks. They are both ranged spells. 
One cripples too, which is priceless. A 13 sec/15 recharge ranged cripple is 
extremely good for you. These allow you to strike your target with Exhausting 
Assault. Do it right after a Dagger attack, and since it's instant you'll 
get the 3 straight hit combo, doing a 120 damage spike.
In my opinion this is one creative build born from creative a creative mind.
The idea that the assassin's chain of lead offhand dual working with IW is a
priceless discovery that can open up to many other new builds for IW.

[[Milias IW Tank]]

Illusion of Weakness
Earth Attunement
Armor of Earth
Kinetic Armor
Stone Daggers
Sympathetic Visage
Ressurection Signet

IW build usually focus on the ability to deal alot of damage. This build
however was thought outside of the box. Breaking the common among IW builds,
this M/E variation focuses on defensive ability while using IW. This build
can be very viable in PVE.

[[jciardha's The Illusionary Beastmaster]]

Illusionary Weaponry
Tiger's Fury
Call of Haste
Predator's Pounce (or Disrupting Lunge)
Conjure Phantasm
Troll Ungent
Comfort Animal
Charm Animal

This build ignores defense for more damage potential. This isnt necessarily
bad as long as you play smart. This build has the most damage potential I
have seen in IW builds. However this build lacks utility and can be very
energy intensive.

[[Zergirl's Blackout IW Build]]

Illusionary Weaponry
Imaginary Burden/Ethereal Burden
Illusion of Haste/Illusion of Weakness
Conjure Phantasm
Power Spike
Ressurection Signet

The usage of blackout works well with IW builds because the build is naturally
in touch range. This is one of the best variants of IW that involve anticasting

IWMG07: Weapons and Armor

The best kind of armor for most IW Mesmers is the charlatan armor set. 
This armor set gives 10 more armor when enchanted, which is pretty much all
the time for your character if you are IW.

IW mesmers like weapons that has the the 20% longer enchantment mod to prolong
the life of IW as well as those that come with an energy +5 Mod

Focii is common among IW mesmers to give sufficient energy to energy intensive
builds as well as give the half skill recharge mod for illusion magic spells
in able to make IW ready early in certain chances just in case.

I myself prefer a shield however when I use my build because of its high
attribute levels for Tactics and my concerns of defensive capabilities.
The shield I use of course is the one that gives 2 damage reduction and
45 Health while enchanted.

IWMG08: Helpful Links
------------------------------------------------------------ forums Mesmer Section: 
Here is were I actively participate in helping people. T
here is no better place than here to fin Mesmer-specific Help

Azure's Build Analysis: Illusionary Weaponry:
Here is a thread I made that outlines the workings of Illusionary Weaponry
based builds as well as links to most of the builds mentioned in the
previous section.

Helpful online encyclopedia of everything Guildwars 
The main site of the game. Shows what updates were made and many others

Cerulean Midnight [CeM] Forums: 
This is my guild forums, if you would like IW-mesmer help you are welcome to 
drop by and ask me personally

My In Game Name is Nobleman Azure. 
You may contact me to ask me questions about the IW builds or guild wars 
in general. 
I will give you an answer whenever I can

IWMG09: Closing FAQ

Is Illusionary Weaponry Prophecies only?
Yes, Illusionary Weaponry is an elite skill that can only be found in Tyria. 
It is unique to the prophecies campaign.

Where can I get Illusionary Weaponry?
Illusionary Weaponry can be captured from these bosses:
1.Didn Hopestealer (Snake Dance)
2.Digo Murkstalker (Iron mines of Moladune)
3.Seear Windlash (Talus Chute)

How does Illusionary Weaponry work?
Illusionary Weaponry makes your melee weapon not hit. 
Not hit means it will not work with any attack skills that add damage to your 
attack, since that attack will not hit either way.

How come I dont lose HP when I use IW while hexed with Price of Failure?
Not hit does not mean Miss, Spirit of Failure or Price of failure will not 
trigger should you swing with IW while being hexed by either.

I am supposed to dodge! I Blinded him! Why is he still doing damage/
IW will damage through any dodging stance or if you are affected blind or 
other hexes that gives you a chance to miss. Since all of those are based on 
the hits you deliver, they will not work.

Which attack skills work with IW?
IW responds to your hit motion. While cyclone axe will not add damage, 
its AOE motion will work with IW, allowing you to deal chaos damage around you.
This also works with disrupting chop since it causes you to cancel your 
current hit into a quick hit.
Attack skills that simply add damage to your melee attack will have no effect
since IW will make your regular melee attack not hit anyways.

IWMG10: Credit and Thanks

Thanks to for providing a place for us mesmers to delegate

Thanks to Arenanet for creating this game

Thanks to Patccmoi for his Double Striker Build

Thanks to Bia W for the 55 IW build

Thanks to Milais, jchiardha, and Zergirl for their creative IW builds.

Thanks to Hahnsoo for breakdancing in my guild's Guild Hall.

Version History

07/28/06: Updated from v1 to v1.5
          (Updated to give more permissions and minor changes)

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Copyright 2006
Nobleman Azure