Tempest (dagger+focus) gameplay guide

Introduction and role

This guide is all about making you good at playing Tempest in WvW! After reading and understanding this guide, you will hopefully be able to support your party in the squad with massive cleanses and more!

This is a secondary support build, the first one being your party’s Firebrand. Your job will primarily be defined by cleansing conditions and healing, but this build can do much more cool and unique stuff.
Tempest’s role is similar to that of a Scrapper’s, but whereas Scrappers convert conditions they cleanse into boons, provide smoke fields (for stealth) and more Superspeed, tempests have a higher burst healing potential, unique aura support, more CC and a 5-man stunbreak+superspeed. Ideally a squad should have both kinds of secondary supports (leaning towards more scrappers). If in doubt which of the two the squad needs more, bring scrapper though, as the q4 2020 balance changes nerfed tempest effectiveness noticeably.

Tempest’s unique class mechanic is Overload: after attuning to an element and spending 6 seconds attuned to it, a tempest can activate this element again, starting a 4-second long cast, its effects depending on an attunement.
There is a lot of synergy between overloads and auras within this build.
Overloads also break stuns, but can be interrupted by enemies (if the tempest does not have Stability boon and is hit by CC) or by the tempest themselves (swapping attunements prematurely, dodging or just cancelling the cast). Overloading an attunement, however, puts it on a longer, 20 second long cooldown.

Trait overview


  • is a free self-cleanse every 40 seconds.
  • is one of the reasons why this build exists and is so good at cleansing in the first place. Every time you give someone an aura, you will cleanse 1 condition from them. Also if you transmute one of your auras (using the weapon skill for the respective aura while you have that aura) you will cleanse 2 conditions from each of your party members. You can transmute Fire Auras with (Fire#5) and Shocking Auras with (Air#3) in this build.
  • attuning to fire grants you a fire aura. With this build this will mean each member of your party will also be receiving a fire aura, one cleanse and some healing (thanks to the traits in Water and Tempest, discussed below). Also subsequently unlocks for more cleanses right away. Beginning overloading fire also generates a fire aura but unlike warhorn and staff builds this one usually doesn’t overload fire.
  • — fire fields (from , ) can apply burning to A LOT of enemies and you also apply burning with or Fire Auras in general, which results in a lot of blinds while in melee. Blinds are quite impactful since they can mitigate very big skills such as from Herald, for example.
    Alternatively one can pick instead. This would result in more might for your party, but there already are plenty of sources of might — even you already have other good sources of might, so it usually feels like a waste to take it.


  • — your party regenerates health while you are attuned to water. Nice drive-by heal while rotating through skills, don’t stay in water just for this though.
  • — useful because burn is the strongest damaging condition right now  and chill is probably one of the strongest conditions overall after immobilize. Try to look at your party and dodge these conditions with a dodge roll if you can afford it. Having equipped means getting an extra dodge now and then.
  • heals nearby allies when attuning to water. This is handy.
  • cleanses a condition when attuning to water. This is also great, and, like the trait mentioned above, is a reward for swapping attunements often instead of camping water.
  • is the trait which makes this build possible. Every time you give yourself an aura, you share it with your party. That’s how you will apply auras to your party to cleanse conditions from them with the Fire Trait . This trait makes (Air#3) so much more effective.


  • gaining an aura when finishing overload also means that allies also gain auras thanks to and, subsequently, lose one of their conditions via .
  • — shouts now grant might to 5 allies and weakness to 5 enemies, cool!
  • — overloads grant protection, a very powerful boon. Also, you will take 40% less damage when having protection rather than 33% which helps with surviving.
  • — heal allies you grant an aura to. With this build you will be giving a ton of them. Also a passive Frost aura proc on a 40 second cooldown is handy.

Skill overview


  • . Using this skills is usually a bad idea, you want to be dipping in and out of fire to maximize sharing and transmuting fire auras, so putting Fire on a long CD is counterproductive. Use this for farming bags when you already won the fight and just need to tag a lot of downs. Emergency Stunbreak.
  • Fire 1: . A weak autoattack.
  • Fire 2: . Burn cone in front of you which applies Blind with . Has a long to cast time and you don’t want to camp fire.
  • Fire 3: . Fire field (hard to see but it is there), dash, dodge. You apply Blind via . This skill is great for dodging/repositioning quickly.
  • Fire 4: . Fire field which pulses Burn which again means Blind through . Try to make it hit as many enemies as possible. 
  • Fire 5: and . You can use right away after entering fire (the fire aura will already be on you thanks to ), then use to reapply Fire Aura for an extra cleanse, before leaving the attunement again.


  • . Pulsing cleanse and heal around you, this skill is very strong. Emergency Stunbreak.
  • Water 1: . A weak autoattack.
  • Water 2: . A cone/spray heal in front of your character. Similar to Scrappers’ Medkit#1 skill but stronger and on a 8-second cooldown.
  • Water 3: . Blast finisher and AoE chill around you. Use it in appropriate combo fields: usually either Water for healing or Light for cleanses.
  • Water 4: . Targeted chill, pretty clunky to use, can mostly be ignored
  • Water 5: . Blast finisher and daze. This skill seems clunky at first but is very strong with some practice. If you want to blast a field below yourself, then do the following: make sure you have no enemy targeted and then move your camera so you are looking at the ground and move your character a bit. That way, if you cast the spell, it will drop just in front of you and not elsewhere. This way you can control where this skill lands much better and aim it into combo fields.


  • . Can be used to tag enemies at the end of a fight and for a cleanse, use it once you put your other Air skills on CD, detonate the aura after finishing the overload with then leave the attunement.
  • Air 1: . A weak autoattack, but is a nice cleave, handy for tagging bags.
  • Air 2: . Decent skill when in melee range of enemies, applies weakness to enemies and fury to yourself (for all the good that does).
  • Air 3: . Great aura which means 1 cleanse. Shocking Aura strips stacks of Stability and is deadly if enemies have no Stability. Transmuting it with cleanses 2 conditions from allies (through ) and also stuns enemies around the caster.
  • Air 4: . Blocks projectiles in an area for 6 seconds. Nice skill, but there aren’t many strong projectiles in the current meta. Can counter clouds and take pressure off on regroups.
  • Air 5: . Strong targeted unblockable CC skill, can be deadly if the enemy has no Stability. Useful for pinning down enemies who get separated.


  • . Very good skill, provides Immobilize (a strong condition), self-Stability (which helps with channelling the skill and moving), and ends on a Blast finisher, cleanses one condition as well of course.
  • Earth 1: . A terrible single-target autoattack.
  • Earth 2: . Decent AoE skill which blocks projectiles but its short duration makes it very hard to use effectively.
  • Earth 3: . Awesome engage tool, you dash forward with an evade frame and immobilize foes in the way. It’s also a leap finisher which is awesome because many leap finishers grant auras.
  • Earth 4: . Cleanses 3 conditions from self, reflects projectiles and is a Blast finisher. Use it either as a panic cleanse or for blasting useful fields.
  • Earth 5: . Makes you invulnerable for 3 seconds while channeling. It’s a nice panic button that is best used if stuck out of position and need to get back to tag and/or walk through a bomb without taking damage. Unfortunately you can’t really do much during that time, but swapping attunements works.

Utility skills

  • . Great aoe heal with a cleanse on the final pulse. Make sure to stand on top of the low health targets when starting this skill as the first pulse only has a 180 radius. Heal Shout.
  • . Most stacked Shout the Tempest has. 5-man Protection, Magnetic Aura which means 1 cleanse. Cripple and 3 second Immobilize on 5 enemies and a Blast finisher at the end. Use it in Bubbles to root enemies and generate downs. Offensive Shout.
  • or . Your choice. “Flash Freeze!” is overall more defensive and probably safe with regeneration, frost aura and chill. “Feel the Burn!” is another choice with more Might and Blind (via Burn), can theoretically cleanse more if transmuting Fire Aura.
  • . Amazing 5-man Stunbreak and Superspeed. Use it to stun break your group or when in an enemy Warrior Bubble to run out of it. Escape Shout.
  • . Awesome shout which can turn fights. Prevent the next lethal blow on 5 people and heal them instead. When the effect runs out, you grant an aura based off the attunement you are currently attuned to, which results in a cleanse. Use it in clutch situations. Heal or “Save” Shout.

Gameplay & rotation

Tempest is one of the few classes where an approximate rotation can be defined.
The idea is to use Fire between every other other attunement, kind of like with Fresh Air builds in PvE only that we don’t have a “Fresh Fire”. We start in an attunement that is not Fire (usually Earth), overload it, and then swap to Fire and detonate Fire Aura with , then we swap to another attunement, overload it and use its skills till Fire comes up, swap to Fire again, , and repeat.

Attunement-based and utility skills should be used in-between the overloads depending on the necessity.

An example of a rough rotation loop through the attunements is:

The order of in which to swap to attunements other than is flexible and depends on which attunement’s skills would be the most useful.

Quick reference of which attunements to swap to when:

  • — use regularly for constant cleanses. Pop and leave the attunement as soon as possible.
  • — use when expecting big incoming damage and conditions. Overload only if you need strong cleanses and heals, otherwise it is a waste.
  • — use before or during a melee clash for the hard CC from .
  • — use for extra Immobilize from and , best used inside allied Spellbreaker bubbles.


  • Don’t be afraid to use your shouts, they are big skills which can make a huge difference.
  • Most of your supportive skills are short-range AoEs, so, as it is the case for most other classes, they should position themselves near the commander at all times, diverting only to support allies who are tailing behind or are downed (whenever it is achievable without going down yourself). Tempests are tanky enough to follow the commander anywhere and need not hang back.
  • Make sure to put every important skill on CD before overloading an attunement and leaving it so that it comes off CD together with the attunement and you maximize skill efficiency!
  • Every shout additionally removes one condition on cast (on 5 allies) thanks to the .
  • Utilizing the leap finisher on : Leaping through a Dark, Ethereal, Fire, Ice and Light fields grants Dark, Chaos, Fire, Frost and Light aura, respectively. Gaining an aura subsequently activates , , , resulting in even more cleanses, healing and unique aura bonuses.
  • Utilizing blast finishers: blasting an Ice field produces Frost aura. Blasting a Light field cleanses conditions on nearby allies. Blasting a Water field heals nearby allies. Blasting a Smoke field grants nearby allies 3 seconds of stealth.
    Your blast finishers are , , , , (on final pulse). You can sometimes use that to your advantage.

Written by Jonny.