Which is the best race for Elementalist for mainly WvW? Mainly I want to participate in organized big group fights in WvW.

  • 4
    Just because there is no "single best answer" to this question, should not be a reason to downvote this question. Many new players wonder how important the race/class combination can be, and this question is relevant to them. Please only downvote bad questions.
    – Lee White
    Sep 29, 2014 at 12:49
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    @LeeWhite A single line question, that's exactly the same as the title, is a bad question. I don't play Guild Wars 2, but this seems to be running the line very close to both Primarily Opinion Based, and Too Broad. The question needs more context, and what the goal is that is trying to be accomplished.
    – Frank
    Sep 29, 2014 at 13:21
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    @Frank The length of the question itself does not means anything. I dont think that it is right to write essay when there is no need for it.
    – vasili111
    Sep 29, 2014 at 13:40
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    I don't agree with closing this question, as there are only 5 races and 6 racial skills per race, so it's not too broad, IMO. Additionally, this question would fall under Good Subjective. @vasili111 However, providing more detail to your question can be helpful. Do you know what kind of preferred playstyle you have (zerging, seigeing, small stuff like hitting up camps, yak runs, etc.) or are you looking for more general utility? Being more specific can help people answer your question better.
    – FAE
    Sep 29, 2014 at 13:40
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    Because an Elementalist is such a versatile class, all of our meta builds (both PvP and PvE) don't include racial skills. Long ago, I remember the Human racial heal being preferred over all others, but ever since getting the Arcane Brilliance blast finisher, it has fallen by the wayside. Elementalists are very race-agnostic.
    – KOVIKO
    Sep 29, 2014 at 15:42

4 Answers 4


Disclaimer: I'd like to preface this by saying that, practically speaking, the races are on even footing as an Elementalist. None of the current meta builds for WvW include using any racial skills since our class-specific utilities are too great to pass up. However, in the spirit of the question, it is possible to justify a "best" race. Just don't expect it to grant you better performance than any other race.

In order to answer which race is the best race, we have to first consider what your race actually does. Your race in GW2 affects a few things:

  • Your physical appearance
  • Racial-locked skins
  • The first half of your personal story
  • Racial skills
  • Certain NPC conversation options

Also, we have to consider what we mean by "best." My assumption is that "best" means "most effective," and "most effective" includes damage output, survivability, and mobility. As such, only some of the above elements apply:

  • Your physical appearance
  • Racial skills

Finally, let's assume that by saying "best," we are agreeing to use the WvW meta builds of Dagger/Dagger roaming or Staff zerging. Anything else is out of the realm of "best."

Physical Appearance

The part of your physical appearance that is relevant to your success in PvP would be your visibility. Low visibility improves your survivability as players will attack you less frequently as they do not notice you. It also grants you more opportunity to scout without being spotted. Also, smaller characters' animations are harder to see or interpret, meaning your opponents won't notice the telegraphs of your abilities as easily.

Shorter characters have less vertical visibility. Thinner characters have less horizontal visibility. At a far distance, your nameplate is not visible and players will have to recognize you purely by your silhouette. As such, you want to be non-noticeable. Technically, your character's skin color and armor color could help them camoflauge. However, a player can select their settings to show team colors which overrides your armor coloring. So, we won't include colors.

  • Asura are small in stature. They are the smallest race, and therefore the least visible.
  • Charr are the second tallest race. They are also the widest race and very visible.
  • Norns are the tallest race. They will easily stand out against a clear background.
  • Humans and Sylvari are the same height, but larger than Asura.

In terms of visibility, Asura is the best choice.

Racial Skills

So, physically, Asura is the best race. However, visibility doesn't matter much once you've been spotted. You will need to fight or escape! As such, racial skills might improve your effectiveness.

Asuran Racial Skills

Asuran utility skills grant an Elementalist access to Confusion, Retaliation, Poison, Weakness, and a long-ranged Daze. The elite skills give you a summonable golem or the Power Suit.

Charr Racial Skills

Charr utility skills have one that grants extra Fury and Might, an extra 15-second cooldown evade with damage attached to it, and a bleeding trap. The elite skills can fire a ground-targeted AoE, conjure a weapon, or summon minions.

Norn Racial Skills

Norn utility skills grant access to an extra bleed and an summoned (immobile, but powerful) minion. The elite skills are all shape-shifting skills that grant new abilities with knockback, knockdown, cripple, daze, life-steal, and bleeds, however no one form has them all.

Human Racial Skills

Human has a healing skill that is a 30-second cooldown casted burst heal. The utility skills include a condition removal and a random condition + boon applier. The elite skills include a transformation, a minion summon, and an unblockable chill + poison applier.

Sylvari Racial Skills

Sylvari also has a healing skill that provides rooted regeneration near a targeted location. The utility skills include an immobilize and summoned turrets. The elite skills include one skill that summons multiple turrets, and others that summon minions.

Skill Usefulness

Many of these skills are essentially useless to Elementalists because we can already do them, regardless of race.

  • Summoning Minions: All skills that summon minions pale in comparison to Glyph of Elementals and Glyph of Lesser Elementals because the Glyphs allow you to situationally select an Elemental based on your attunement. All other summons pigeonhole you into a single selection.
  • Conditions: Some skills give you access to conditions. As Dagger/Dagger and staff, you will already have access to Weakness, Fury (from Arcane Fury, one point into Arcane), Chill, and Bleeding. Dagger/Dagger also has access to Immobilize (they have access to other conditions as well, these are just the ones the racial skills provide). Dagger/Dagger typically uses Sigil of Doom to apply Poison passively and continuously during combat.
  • Weapon conjures: Elementalists are the weapon-conjuring class. Weapon conjuring skills are useful for other classes, but not Elementalists.
  • Heals: Since you cannot have the racial heals alongside the Elementalist-specific heals, I'd argue they are useless. The two most used heals for meta builds are Signet of Restoration and Ether Renewal. The Human 1-second cast heal and the Sylvari range-limited Regeneration can't match up to the effectiveness of these.
  • Knockback: Dagger/Dagger and Staff both have access to knockback.

So, what is left?

  • Asura: 3 stacks of Confusion on a 30-second cooldown and 1200 range Daze. Also, transformation elite.
  • Charr: Extra evade on a 15-second cooldown.
  • Norn: Transformation elites.
  • Human: Transformation elite.
  • Sylvari: Turrets.

Considering so many races have transformation elites, let's take a look at that. You only get one elite, so to use a transformation elite means that you don't use Glyph of Elementals or Fiery Greatsword. Roaming Dagger/Dagger almost requires the Greatsword for mobility as Elementalists have a criminally low amount of access to Swiftness without traiting for it and not nearly same mobility as Thieves or Warriors with the Greatsword. And Staff Elementalists don't really get in-your-face, meaning that going into a transformation would force them to go into melee and then back to range after the transformation is over.

In my opinion, transformation elites are a wasted elite slot (unless transforming into a Tornado, but even that is weaker now than it once was).

At this point, we are left with just the following abilities:

  • Asura: 3 stacks of Confusion on a 30-second cooldown and 1200-range Daze.
  • Charr: Extra evade on a 15-second cooldown.
  • Sylvari: Turrets.

In my opinion, none of these are particularly great. However, if we are strictly comparing the races to each other, it would appear that Asura has more viable Utility options than the other races.

So, who's the best?

Asura is the best in terms of visibility and Utility. Therefore, it is the best race for Elementalist.

  • Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to "show my math," so to speak.
    – KOVIKO
    Sep 29, 2014 at 15:43
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    "In terms of visibility, Asura is the best choice." If you're trying not to be seen by the enemy, yes. If you're trying to be seen by your own team (if you're leading a group, for example), no.
    – Brian
    Sep 29, 2014 at 17:36
  • @Brian That is a good point. Typically, you'd overcome that shortcoming by using your Commander tag and wearing armor that stands out to your teammates (a lot of us know our commanders by their Wardrobe choices). But for leadership, being invisible is the last thing you want, in which case Charr would be an even match for Asura.
    – KOVIKO
    Sep 29, 2014 at 18:31
  • @Koviko Thank you for so complete explanation. Everything is very clear and easy to understand.
    – vasili111
    Sep 30, 2014 at 13:20
  • Some good reasoning there, and I agree in general, so +1. However, you're also making some assumptions/assertions I don't agree with, such as saying that condition X in a racial is pointless because an ele already "has access to" that condition. In a 1v1 situation, any extra stun you have is a huge bonus, because you use your first one, wait for them to use their stunbreaker, use the second, and have your wicked way with them (they rarely have two) while they're helpless. I also wouldn't discount being able to stealth on the leopard transform; it can save your Norn hide in a sticky situation. Oct 1, 2014 at 14:22

Asura? You're smaller and harder to spot I guess.

Otherwise it makes absolutely no difference other than visuals. Don't forget that visuals can be overridden by turning on enemy names anyway.

If you are looking for a specific race to play, look at the racial skills and see which ones you think will be most beneficial in WvW, should you have space to fit them into you build.


  • 2
    In my experience, the only racial skill worth bringing to WvW is Grasping Vines (wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Grasping_Vines). This can be great for keeping enemies inside your AoE attacks, but elementalists have plenty of other useful utility skills too.
    – Brian
    Sep 29, 2014 at 18:41

There is really no finite answer to this, as it will boil down your preferred play style. I haven't dug that deep into elementalist yet, but I know they are quite flexible due to their attunement ability. WvW is PVP, so you can't really predict what will be most useful. Damage, defense, healing? Or maybe a mix? Tho, again, it boils down to your play style.

I'd dare say, due to elementalist's flexibility, it is better to just pick a race, and prepare a spec around that. Tho according to the wiki, majority of races have somewhat similar racials in therms of defense and offence.


Based on skills alone, I find Asura to have the most useful racial skills: Radiation Field
Weakness on a 15s field is pretty useful.
The poison field can be useful, but I think you have enough other fields as an Elementalist.

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