Heart of Thorns Beta Weekend Event 3 Thoughts: The Scrapper
These are my general thoughts of the Engineer elite specialization: the Scrapper. After Beta Weekend Event 3 for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns I have to say I was quite impressed by the specialization. More specifically, the brawl nature this spec brings to the Engineer profession.
The hammer is one heck of a good melee option. It has a block, projectile reflect, a unique gap closer and an AoE stun. It defines the role of holding your ground while also allowing to engage from medium range.
Positive Strike: this skill chains into Negative Bash and then Equalizing Blow. The first attack grants might, the second grants vulnerability and the last hit grants might and applies weakness. For a hammer, these attacks come in succession quite quickly.
Electro-whirl: This is one of my favorite skills. You spin around blocking projectiles while also doing damage around you. Great for fending off capture points in PvP.
Rocket Charge: this skill allows you to dash forward three times damaging enemies. This skill evades and has an accumulative leap combo finisher. Meaning if you dash through poison field, then a dark field, both combos would apply on the 2nd and 3rd strike. If you have a target, you’ll rocket charge and “dance” around the target for the duration if you’re in melee.
Shock Shield: This skill blocks attacks while striking foes in front of you. Combining this with Electro-whirl versus range while waiting for cooldowns is amazing.
Thunderclap: Places an AoE that initially stuns and does damage. This skill I find is pretty core as it combines really well with Rocket Charge; you can really gain an advantage on a capture point in PvP with.
Overall, the hammer dictates a “try to force me away” mentality. It provides so much to keep a Scrapper in a fight and access to decent crowd control to boot. Using a grenade kit or tool kit is probably the best thing to swap to when the hammer skills are on cooldown. Mortar Kit is nice for a long range option but I can see Elixir X/grenades still being a good option to run.
The gyros are ones that I thought would be interesting to make builds out of but it turns out this wasn’t entirely the case.
Medic Gyro (Heal): A gyro that heals nearby allies. Tool belt skill: create defensive field around you that grants protection to allies in it’s area. The heal is okay for healing others but there’s travel time for the gyro that’s involved. I think healing turret is a better option as it provides pretty much the same heal (for an engineer and allies) if not better. The protection from the tool belt is nice though.
Blast Gyro: A gyro that seeks and detonates at a target location. Tool belt skill: grants super speed to nearby allies. This is a one-hit gyro which I can’t see people using too much given other better options. This kind of saddens me given the tool belt skill grants AoE superspeed.
Bulwark Gyro: A gyro that absorbs damage for you and nearby allies. Tool belt skill: Creates a reflective dome around you. This one was actually a decent gyro soaking damage for me. I didn’t entirely gauge how much this gyro could take damage wise but, if tuned right, can be a valuable asset.
Purge Gyro: A gyro that removes conditions from you and nearby allies ever few seconds. Tool belt skill: creates a poison cloud. Now, you’d think this would be a good gyro given the engineer’s problems with conditions. However I felt the traits I used helped mitigate condition quite well. I also has Healing Turret / Medi Gyro to help me out. I can’t be sure but I feel it’s not a great gyro competitively.
Shredder Gyro: A gyro that whirls at a target location using combo fields below it to strike enemies. Tool belt skill: Sets down a lighting capacitor that dazes foes nearby it. Now, I’m all for whirls but I wasn’t really convinced by this gyro. Having various bolts flying around is great but I feel there are better options to slot than this gyro.
Sneak Gyro (Elite): A gyro that stealths you and nearby allies in an area. Tool belt skill: reveals stealthed enemies in an area. I think the gyro itself would be perfectly fine but with two tweaks: 1) the stealth gyro follows the Scrapper at all times. I noticed the gyro lagged behind sometimes and it really needs to keep up in order to use it well. 2) other means of stealth can stealth this gyro. If gyros can use boons and take damage, then stealth should be a viable option, especially for the Sneak Gyro. You know if you see a Sneak Gyro, you can shoot a bunch of AoE towards it from range or break the gyro from range. Without these tweaks, it doesn’t seem useful enough to use.
I feel that gyros that go to nearby allies should fly around the Scrapper at all times instead; a mechanized aura if you will. This still provides support but the Scrapper can always benefit. I will say that the tool belt skills the gyros provide are really good overall. Some gyros just aren’t justifiable enough to slot for the tool belt skill alone though.
Alright let’s talk traits! The traits mainly center around defense, stability, superspeed and access to lighting fields. Recovery Matrix, which reduces damage for a time after using a healing skill, is a really good trait given healing heals like Healing Turret are on a short recharge. Mass Momentum is quite good allowing you to build more tanky while still gaining access to power and via stability you can get might. Rapid Regeneration was one I toyed around with and I think it can use a bit of a tweak given a Scrapper’s possible diverse access to swiftness and superspeed. Adaptive Armor is one of the best traits Scrapper has. You gain stacking toughness when hit and a reduction to condition damage. That is just simply glorious. This also helps with the Engineer’s innate problem of dealing with conditions.
To conclude, the Scrapper is a great new way to play a front line bruiser with some support elements via gyros. I feel that the hammer and traits are solid but the gyros need a bit of work. I definitely plan to run a bruiser Scrapper that can take a lot of hits but dish it out just as hard. We’ll see how this elite specialization pans out at launch.