It should be noted that Phantasms and Illusions should not be seen as a permanent fixture of the mesmers playstyle. Treating them as a damage skill, rather than the view point of some as temporary pets is a much better way to handle their death and often inability to attack more than once before they are killed.
In this guide I’ve detailed what Phantasms do what and why I prefer some over others.
Out of all the Phantasms, the Berserker is probably my favourite. Not only does it deal large damage (though a little less than the Warlock) it also provides good area of effect damage and will cripple its targets. What really makes the Phantasm shine is the fact that it will appear right next to your target the moment it is cast, regardless of their elevation. As long as you are in range and can see them, the Phantasm will appear next to them, meaning for those who think they can escape, they really can’t. If you prefer an aggressive play style the greatsword and its Phantasm really is the weapon of choice.
The highest damage dealing Phantasm in a mesmers arsenal, the Warlock really does hurt. With a cool down of only 18 seconds by default and as a ranged attack, the skill is formidable in dealing high damage quickly. What makes the Phantasm interesting is that it deals more damage based on each unique condition on the target. Each unique condition on the target provides a 10% damage buff and with a total of 11 conditions in the game, the damage potential is enormous if you pair with a condition heavy player. It isn’t uncommon to see the Warlock dealing damage in excess of 8,000 with the right build and condition stacks.
With that in mind, you might wonder why I consider the Phantasmal Warlock a more “offensive” Phantasm considering it deals less damage. The simple answer is that the Berserker appears next to the target where as the Warlock appears next to you and fires a relatively slow projectile, one that can be avoided simply by moving out of its range.