• The Virtuoso is a Power-based specialization
  • This elite spec uses a dagger and phantasmal blades to deal damage and inflict conditions on enemies
  • The Virtuoso sacrifices illusory clones in favor of a higher upfront damage potential

The first elite specialization for “Guild Wars 2 End of Dragons” has been revealed, giving Mesmer players a completely new way to play their favorite class.

The Virtuoso is a new Mesmer spec that’s designed for hard-hitting Power builds, granting the class a strong DPS option for dealing high amounts of upfront damage as opposed to the usual damage-over-time effects of the Mesmer’s other specializations.

ArenaNet showcased the new elite spec as part of its “End of Dragons” livestream, which gave players a quick look at the upcoming content of the new expansion pack.

Armed with a dagger and the class’ trademark magic, the Virtuoso excels at dealing damage from close-medium ranges. They sacrifice the Mesmer’s signature illusory clones in favor of phantasmal blades, which they can launch at enemies or use to protect themselves from harm. Phantasms will still be available to the Virtuoso, though no clones will be created.

The Virtuoso’s class mechanic revolves around phantasmal blades for their new Bladesong abilities that grow stronger depending on how many phantasmal blades are available. Blades can be created by casting certain skills and they are spent by casting Bladesong abilities.

Mesmers will remain short-medium-ranged casters even with a dagger equipped. Dagger abilities are focused on dealing multiple hits to one or many targets at once, making this elite spec a prime candidate for Power/Crit builds.

The Virtuoso’s Utility Skills offer decent damage on top of debilitating effects like Vulnerability and Immobilize. They also have solid defensive options as well in the form of the class’ unique Distortion mechanic and AoE knockback.

At a glance, the Virtuoso is more geared toward being a DPS class with a fair bit of offensive utility and self-peel. The lack of clones and damage-over-time effects might skew this elite spec more as a PvE class rather than a PvP one, however, as the lack of hard CC and defensive options may prove to be difficult to play with when facing other players.

Players will be able to try out the Virtuoso elite specialization in a character beta that’s scheduled for mid-August. Similar betas will also be available for three other elite specs, including a pistol-wielding Necromancer, in the following months.