Have you ever seen a light brown heart with a word or phrase flash randomly on your screen and didn’t know what it was? You contributed to a COMBO with an ally and you didn’t even know it!
What is a combo? Imagine shooting a wooden arrow through a bonfire. The arrow catches fire as it passes through the fire. On impact, the arrow itself does a fixed amount of damage to the target whether it’s on fire or not. The flame from the arrow will ignite the target to burn after the impact. This is a real world example of a combo. The bonfire is the COMBO FIELD: FIRE. The wooden arrow is the COMBO FINISHER: PROJECTILE. The target catching fire is the COMBO EFFECT.
The representation of combos in game are PUZZLE HEARTS. The heart is only whole when the two opposite halves fit together!
The very first thing needed is a combo FIELD. The field must be friendly and deployed before the finisher. Enemy fields cannot be used by you. Area skills create borders on the ground around the effect. But not every skill that has a border on the ground is a combo field. You see fields every time you’re in combat, and there’s a VERY EASY way to identify what skill is a combo field. No puzzle hearts? Not a combo field!
Now that we can identify a combo field on sight, what exactly IS a combo field? A combo field is an area that will imbue a future attack with the field’s juicy goodness. There are 9 different field types. Listed are the fields and the professions that can create them.
BE AWARE! What happens when a second field is plopped down on top of an existing field? Only one combo field can be used at a time, the bottom field. Lets say that a Necro lays down a DARK field on the ground first. Then a Mesmer comes up and lays down an ETHEREAL field on top of the dark field. Any finishers used will trigger the dark field since it’s on the very bottom. After the dark field expires, any finishers will trigger in the ethereal field until that expires, too.
“But what do I do with these amazing combo fields???”
There are 4 different FINISHERS that can be used in FIELDS.
BLAST FINISHERS are typically explosions or slams. They will create AREA (affects 5 targets within 240 range) effects. Of the 4 different finishers, blast are the only ones that affect more than one target. Two of the most sought after combos are blasting fire fields for long-lasting might, and blasting water fields for area heals.
LEAP FINISHERS are much like blast finshers, but the selfish version as they only affect one target. The leap must travel through some part of a field to activate the finisher. Notice the subtle differences, like the water field healing coefficient is much larger for leap than blast.
PROJECTILE FINISHERS come in two varieties. For ranged weapons, the #1 auto-attack skills are only 20% chance to be finishers (only a random 1 out of 5 attacks will trigger the combo). The projectile finisher skills with a recharge time are usually 100% guaranteed projectile finishers.
Projectile finishers are a little funny when it comes to positive effects for allies. Lets go back to the arrow analogy. Your ally is attacking an enemy face to face. You are ranged and shoot your arrow (projectile finisher) through a water geyser (water field) and strike the enemy. According to the table above, the effect is regeneration boon, but you do not receive that boon. Your ally does. At the point of impact, the single regeneration boon will jump a small radius to a random ally.
Special note. If you projectile finisher through a DARK field, lifesteal will siphon health back to you no matter the range.
WHIRL FINISHERS inside a combo field will shoot out projectiles finishers. Notice that the WHIRL finisher projectiles are virtually identical to PROJECTILE finishers.
Whoever creates the field doesn’t have any influence on the effect created. Here are two examples.
An Ele creates a water field. A Warrior blasts the water field for area healing effect. The healing attribute of the Warrior is what will increase the heals done since the Warrior used the finisher, not the Ele.
An Ele creates a fire field. A Warrior blasts the fire field for area Might boons. The ‘increase boon duration’ attribute of the Warrior is what will increase the duration of Might since the Warrior used the finisher, not the Ele.