DoA Spiking Guide

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Before the run

Be prepared! On a mesmer, you should have the following:

  • Ranks: Pain Inverter, You Move Like a Dwarf! and Finish Him should obviously be maxed (r5), but even Ebon Escape heal can make a difference.
  • Armors: have a normal energy armor AND a high hp armor. No, removing your headpiece doesn't count as having a high hp set.
  • Equipment: 40/40, longbow, high energy set, spear/shield.
  • Stones: ghastly stones for damage, stones for breaking aggro (one of legionaire, zaishen, mysterious, etc) and Gakis for IaU.
  • Pcons: cupcake, apple, corn, egg, pies, war supplies, cookies, res scrolls. Don't be cheap, pcons will cost you at most 10% of what you earn each run.

For more details, check Mesmer Equipment

General Usage

Be Proactive

  • Before every spike select your own target and use preparations (Arcane Echo, Air of Superiority) early.
  • Spike when the ball is ready! A good spiker will cast their skills when the ball is ready. A great spiker will finish casting their first skill just after it's ready.

Communicate

It is important to be in VOIP and have a microphone. Don't expect people to read your chat messages, especially in critical situations, where you need to communicate the most.

  • If you are VoR and you need to delay the spike, say so!
  • Call your targets. Before a lot of spikes, say your Mistrust or Pain Inverter target. For example in foundry say "I'll mistrust Dabi / Su / Despair / etc", that informs other spikers not to mistrust the same target before your mistrust triggers.
  • Follow the calls, especially in critical moments. If the team decides to spike a group just do it even if you don't agree with the choice. By arguing against it or doing something else you will make the call automatically fail. Save your criticism for after the crisis has been resolved.

Optimize skill order

This might sound obvious, but understand what your skills do and how enemies trigger them. You want to do as much damage as possible in the shortest amount of time, so for example when using Wandering Eye and Energy Surge, always use wandering first, and then e-surge, because wandering takes time to trigger, so they will trigger at about the same time.

Targeting

Understand the range of your skills and use them accordingly. Hit as many enemies as possible with AoE and save your single-target skills for single-targets.

Understand the goal of each spike, in small spikes like in foundry the goal is do damage and kill, but in bigger spikes like city, 6-0 or gloom killing is easy, the hard part is killing everything cleanly. Because of that, in small spikes try to maximize your damage even at the cost of damage on targets on the side. On big messy balls try to ensure that all enemies will be hit by some damage while also hitting main ball. To do this, select targets slightly off the center in such a way that your skills will still hit most of them, but you also cover a bit of one side.

Cast from outside aggro

On most spikes move to cast range and then cast your skill as opposed to queuing your skill usage from away. This will ensure that you are not yet in aggro while casting your skill, so enemies won't try to interrupt you. It will also let you spike from further away from the ball, which can be important if you have to run back after the spike. This concept used to be needed only on Fury spike, but now it's really important in City and Foundry.

Picking up drops

Sometimes you'll get a valuable drop somewhere you'd have to go out of your way to pick it up. If you're going to be delayed to get to the next task, leave the drop on the floor. Remember you're part of a team, so any time added to the run is 8 people's time wasted, not just yours. Any money lost by not picking up a drop will be recompensed by completing the run faster and starting another one, getting more chests. When taking chests, don't rush; let the emo take it first, and at the Stygian Chest, kill some of the Torment Claws so they don't slash you. At the end of the run, unassigned drops are usually considered free-for-all: whoever gets to them first can take them. The exception is chest drops: if someone had to skip their chest after opening it, those gems still belong to them, and should not be taken by anyone else.

Skills Usage

Arcane_Echo

Arcane Echo

Use it to copy a powerful spell, typically Energy Surge. Always use Echo before a spike, and never during one.

Backfire

Backfire

Backfire is mostly brought to deal with powerful healers: Ki's in foundry and Monk Lord in veil. It is also used to speed up the wall, always use one backfire on each Su. It can sometimes also be used for off-damage or on any spellcasters. Remember that it's also very powerful against dervishes such as Ruks, Stygian Golems and the Derv Lord.

Cry of Pain

Cry of Pain

CoP is a simple AoE damaging spell. Try to use it earlier rather than later to use the degeneration part. Keep in mind CoP's range is huge, but its damage is relatively low, not enough to trigger eoe. Keep in mind the hex requirement and that it can be used as an interrupt.

Empathy

Empathy

Empathy is extremely strong (and energy efficient!) in taking down single-targets in prolonged fights. Keep in mind some targets will not trigger it at all, such as hungers and some spellcasters, so prioritize physical attackers.

Energy Surge

Energy Surge

E-surge deals AoE damage based on draining energy from the target. It can only drain as much energy as the target has, so if its energy is low, ESurge may not do maximum damage. For this reason, you should avoid casting it on warriors or paragons, or at least switch targets before casting again. It's generally safe to cast it repeatedly on high energy targets, though.

Finish Him

"Finish Him!"

This is excellent for finishing off single targets after everyone's spent their skills on the spike, so don't waste it on triggering EoE early unless you're sure it won't be needed for clean-up.

Mistrust

Mistrust

Prioritize Mistrust on foes whose spells you want to shut down, and balls of enemies you need to damage. Try to pick a target that doesn't already have Mistrust on it, and will cast an offensive spell in the next 6 seconds. If the target is on its own and has Backfire or PI on it, it's often better to just let it cast its spells, since those hexes can do more single target damage.

Overload

Overload

This is mostly useful as a feeder hex for Shatter Delusions. Target foes with long cast times, so you can more reliably catch them casting a skill, so Overload itself does damage.

Pain Inverter

Pain Inverter

Pain inverter is taken for very specific tasks such as killing tendrils and ele lord, but it can also be very effective as a single-target damaging spell. Use it on enemies outside the ball who can trigger it with either powerful spells (rage titans, dryders, water tormentors) or physical attacks (runds, tuks, fiends).

Shatter Delusions

Shatter Delusions

Unless you provide your own feeder hex, you will be shattering VoR. Obviously this reduces the damage that target will take from VoR, so make sure it will either finish off that one foe, or finish a ball of enemies more quickly, triggering EoE to kill the Shatter target.

Spiritual Pain

Spiritual Pain

The conditional AoE damage is useless; This skill is a simple single target damaging spell. With enough pcons it is strictly better than Necrosis (same recharge, more damage, faster cast), while not taking up a PvE skill slot and secondary profession. Use for foes outside the ball or cleanup. Take care not to use on city wall if there are spirits in range.

Unnatural Signet

Unnatural Signet

Always keep in mind Unnatural Signet's AoE damage requirement: a hex or enchantment, which luckily can be checked easily. If the enemy does not have a hex, consider using one of yours just to feed Unnatural, even if it won't have an effect. For example, it is common for TKs to use Mistrust on Fiends just for Unnatural.

On the other hand, remember that the primary target damage is not affected by the hex/enchantment and the AoE is actually less, so prioritize Unnatural Signet on single-targets.

Visions of Regret

Visions of Regret

This skill is probably the most important spiking tool of the whole team.

  • Make sure it doesn't get interrupted. Missing VoR can fail a spike, cause a team wipe, and lead to a run fail.
  • Always hit as many foes as possible. Pick a good target: don't just select the closest one.
  • Use VoR first. It requires time to do damage, and everybody is dependent on it for Unnatural Signet. The only exception to this rule is if you need to wait for more enemies to run into the ball, typically in Veil spikes. In that case, wait until you can hit most of them. This is especially relevant in the 6-0 spike, where an early VoR can ruin the spike.
Wandering Eye

Wandering Eye

Most targets will reliably trigger Wandering Eye very quickly, with several exceptions: hungers, dreamies, mesmer Komalies, and other foes that are too busy using their skills, running, or Calling.

Wastrel's Demise

Wastrel's Demise

Unless you can rely on your target to not use skills, Wastrel's will do very little damage. Since most enemies in DoA use Enraged (which cannot be disabled or interrupted), Wastrel's is not effective in a quick spike, except possibly as an improvised feeder for Shatter Delusions. Outside of the glitch spot, it is mostly used to damage groups of melee being pulled into a walling teammate, such as 360.

You Move Like a Dwarf

"You Move Like a Dwarf!"

YMLaD is typically used either as an interrupt or as a snare. Use it to interrupt the Black Beast's touch of aargh, knockdown dreamriders to prevent them from casting and keeping them in the ball, and snare foes to either break or kite them, such as hungers after ranger lord. Do not use it against enemies who are being killed by punishing hexes (Backfire, Empathy, Pain Inverter). If you have spare energy and no other use for it, you can also cast YMLaD with or as your last skill for a bit of extra damage.