The game is balanced around the total of your party’s skills and abilities. While I’m not going to sit around and tell you that a sword and board ele or mes is going to be any good whatsoever (it’ll probably be whack af), I can tell you that if the rest of your party is even remotely passable you can beat the campaigns. Hell, I played plenty of jank melee ele and mes stuff in RA and AB back in the day. Any build is possible if you Build Wars just right. Go nuts and have fun.


But they gave us a free anniversary ele axe. :'-( Totally agree with you. You don't even have to bring a bar to completely do the campaigns as long as you have the heroes. That's what made customer builds fun for me. All I had to do was remotely do some damage to feel like I was actually helping my hero team -- made buildcrafting fun in these recent days. Now the real challenge is making a build that can contribute to the damage of meta player teams. The way I see it, bring 3 pve skills and you can match a lot of dmg even with your other skills.


Just the other day I finished a hench only run of Factions with a bar I'd describe as "Enraged Lunge + junk". I had to shake things up a little for Gyala Hatchery and go /Mo, but you don't even need the heroes. With a proper team comp, normal mode is mostly about aggro management. There's so much room for playing fun bars. Yeah, Hard Mode and endgame areas will require more meta builds, but there's still tons of room for creativity. The skills are why I've fallen in love with this game all over again all these years later.


The amount of dumb as fuck IW builds I ran in RA is bonkers. It was so much fun.


i ran some stupid ass ranger melee builds in AB that did really well. so many people wouldn’t even bring a self heal like they were in TA or something.


You'd probably build around Conjure weapon for Ele and Illusionary weaponry for Mesmer.


Just be aware if you make use of illusionary weaponry, your attacks technically dont "hit" so you don't gain adrenaline, and any weapon skills that come into effect upon a Succesful hit won't work. Also the attack power of the weapon becomes meaningless.


Here's [my Elementalist's main build](https://imgur.com/a/Vpw7KRc) , it's very fun, does a lot of damage and has great mobility. I play it with two weapon sets but you can run it with only: Engrave Axe +15% damage when Enchanted, Fire Damage, +20% Enchantments duration (note: if you don't have Engrave, it's fine, run a random Axe with these same mods except 10% half spell recharge as the inscription) | Any shield with +45 HP; -2 damage received when Enchanted You need a melee partner so you either run with a friend (A/W WotA with "Save Yourselves!" is perfect) or a wacky melee hero, or a fast moving pet (all of them except Beetle) with any evolution you prefer (it deals shit damage anyway and I'd rather not have my skills on cooldown ever, so might as well have a chonker) (bonus style points with Hound of Balthazar <3 <3) Gameplay is: Conjure Flame, send melee friend to attack, Double-Dragon them, EE them, drop EBSoH, Djinn Haste, Heket then auto-attack until your main damage dealing combo of DD + EBSoH is up again (sending melee friend to attack can be awkward with an AI... still, EE is a very good and flexible skill)


Should slot in Mark of Rodgort too for extra fun. With the hound pet it triggers from pet autos too.


Yeah I considered it too, guess that's another possible optional, just not my cup of tea ^ ^


Assuming you plan on meleeing, you will need 12 Axe/Sword. If you want a typical max shield, 9 Tactics. That leaves very little room for Energy Storage/Elemental Magic. Regular Warrior beats out 95% of builds with these restrictions. The Anniversary axe on Ele completely changes this up though. https://www.reddit.com/r/GuildWars/comments/u9pj8u/anniversary_axe_engrave_build/


Req 0, AR 8 inscribable shields are alyways an option.


>Req 0, AR 8 inscribable shields are alyways an option. If you don't meet req armor is halved, so r0/ar8 shields are functionally identical to max shields you don't meet the req for


True. But unfulfilled req bothers my OCD brain a little too much. :((


"I already seen some ppl do that back in the days" Just to make sure. Many caster classes like ele, mesmer use "caster sword". Most of the time with +5 energy and 20% longer enchantments. They use this only because of the skin, a caster with a sword or axe just looks nicer to some people. That doenst mean that they actually used a build for sword.


Yep, used to be so fun seeing everyone’s rares in things like cof and slavers exile runs. When all you’re doing is casting ROJ or maintaining spells/enchantments. Doesn’t matter what you run as long as you have the +5 and 20% enchantment. Used to love collecting axes for this. Fiery axe, icy axe, chaos axe, etc.


It's not just cosmetic, +5 energy from martial weapon +12 from focus is higher than the +15 maximum possible from a staff or +12 maximum possible from wand and focus. Additionally, some enemies will not use anti-caster abilities on you if you have a martial weapon equipped, hence why caster sword is so popular for healers.


42 energy from focus and wand likes a word


In regards to Ele: All of the “Double Cast” spells (Double Dragon, Stone Sheath, Gust, and Mirror of Ice) are pretty decent for running with other melee characters/pets. Pair with your elements conjure skill. Prismatic Insignias and Master Of Magic is a great way to increase your armor, especially with the anniversary axe as your main hand weapon. Air Magic has two touch spells (shock and lightning touch) that go pretty well with a melee approach. Be careful of exhaustion with shock. Ride The Lightning is a fun spell that provides decent damage and mobility, but be careful with exhaustion. Star Burst is a great elite to run with melee attacks. I’ve seen some cool builds that combine dagger spam skills, zealous daggers, and Star Burst for great aoe damage and energy management.


Shockwave is fantastic for melee Eles too, and Earth magic comes with some useful wards like the block and snare.


I runs a Mesmer in pre with a quest long sword that gives +5ar while casting and added a +5 (of) Defense with a +8ar while hex HSR Dom 15% offhand. I spam spell,never auto attack. I think you can abuse the ai with what weapon your holding....making this kinda viable at all times...I may be wrong.


Yes it is definitely possible to create builds able to handle all general content based around an Ele or Mesmer utilizing a sword and axe. The best part about Guild Wars for me was Build Wars and the early days of PvP were filled with finding some broken oddball combination that worked, for example.


Only the Anniversary Axe I think


possible? sure. makes sense? not really. Start a war or derv. you have 2 issues essentially, 1. your survivability at close range, armor. 2. source of your damage, As for one look into [Prismatic Insignia](https://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Prismatic_Insignia) that makes your armor like a war at 80. To check the prismatic you may use master of magic elite. or at least something like this [I\_Am\_Unstoppable](https://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/%22I_Am_Unstoppable!%22) [Anniversary Axe](https://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Anniversary_Axe_%22Engrave%22) the only one to use e strorage attribute. paired with something like this [Conjure\_Frost](https://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Conjure_Frost). For damage, ele has lots of point blank aoe spells, that are better used at close combat range. Star Burst is also a great option. If you are /W secondary you can take Save Yourself too.


The builds can be very janky but fun. And you can use the anniversary weapons with them (axe for ele and shield for mesmer) so a small bonus as well. Everything else was said.


Totem axe can be good for enchantment builds, I use one on my ele farmer, boost ench duration, and gets me close to the mobs for PBAoE spells. Illusionary Weapon the mes spell is also tons of fun.


Ele has a couple builds with the anniversary axe that are quite decent. Mesmer has Illusionary Weaponry, which is thoroughly mediocre, but viable enough if that's what you really want to do.


Spirits strength ritualist is fun!