I Saw fairly early in PvE that the elementalist is an extremely fragile class and it's very important to be able to avoid damage Mobs which is a few lvls higher than you can easily take 30-50% of your health in one strike. When you have relatively few control skills (eg chill, cripple, blind, etc.) so it will be a lot kiting and you can almost never stand still as a elemntalist. Ranged mobs are something you should watch out for and see that you buff your defence with for example armor of earth, otherwise you will die in just a few seconds.
However, it is lack in armor and health is compensated by the rather extreme damage you can dish out, both AOE and single target. Playing along with a more robust class is definitely recommended then you can kill mobs extremely well.
Armor of earth is almost a must have skill when the boons it gives really helps against ranged mobs and when someone happens to come a little too close.
PvPing as ElementalistIn PvP the tactic is very much of a not to be attacked nature, and to avoid damage to any cost. Even if you specc for defense, you will always be the softest class in the game which inevitably leads to a lot of painfull attention.
The damage you do in PvP is just fantastic, it's not at all unusual to do critical hits up 6-7k with a defense spec. If specced only damage you can certainly without difficulty reach 10k critsbut then you will also go down in a few seconds.
Strongly recommend changing the default runes from armor to something more defensive. I myself used the Melandru set that gives + HP and reduced condition / stun duration, but there are certainly others that work just as well.
World Vs World & the ElementalistIn WVW the elementalist really comes into its proper element with its many AoE's and its high damage. However, one must keep in mind that AoE has a maximum limit of five targets (both buffs and damage) so do not assume that everyone in a pile of 30 players die because you throw the meteor shower.
Something I did a lot in PvE which is dual daggers. Mostly because of the incredibly good skills . The downside is of course that you have to be extremely close, and that the damage will not be significantly better than with staff / scepter. I hope that they somehow make daggers more useful in the future, or provides more defensive skills on them.
The most important advice if you're going to play the Elementalist in Guild Wars 2One thing I discovered early on is the core of the elementalist is to not get stuck in one or two attunements instead trying to use all the skills you have available all the time. In PvP, this becomes even more important. Let's say you are at range and use some fire aoe on a small group. A Thief dislike this and shadowstepps until you are ready to unleash a mad combo.
Instead of continuing to blast damage with fire, you can either change to the water and lay a snare, switching to air and run blind or switch to earth and buff armor (such as obsidian flesh of immortality until the thief's combo is complete).
The ideal would be obviously a mix, such as for earth - obsidian flesh (now assume that we are running scepter + focus), switch to water for freezing gust (chill), a step back, shatterstone of vulnerability, switch to the air, blinding flash (blind), then deal a bit of damage, and then gale for the kill..
All skills must be used, it is also important not to use all your trait points on one specific attunements but rather focus on general bonuses so you don't loose your trait bonuses when you keep switching from attunment to another.
Overall I think the elementalist is a incredibly fun to play, but also by far the hardest class I've tested so far There's so many skills to keep track of and possible if played right to do insane amount of damage! The big drawback is that you have access to relatively few avoidance skills (unlike the thief and the Mesmer with invisibility and clones for the mesmer for example) which makes mobility for the elementalist so much more important.