Elite skills in Guild Wars 2 will be quite different from what players used GW Gold to in Guild Wars. Ravious described it as "ace-up-your-sleeve-type of play." Cartwright said:" the core element of elites is not an insta-kill everything, but to create a moment of power." "Every single elite is either a big shapeshift, or summoning some crazy weapon, or summon a bundle. There are no elites that don't change how you play in a very drastic way." Peter added.
Elite skills are a double-edged sword. In PvP, it is 1loMnDDd not the one who used elite skills first wins but on the contrary, "Whoever throws it first, loses." If an opponent uses the elite skill first, players can seize the opportunity to make the opponent's elite skills bathing. Players still have potential to burst but the opponent has no chance at all because they are recharging their elites. Therefore, elite skills are used to turn the tide of battle when they're most needed. The elite skills are usually used as more fall back skills, instead of skills to rely on.
You may be curious about how many skills each profession will have. Peters said that there will be about 200 utility skills altogether. Every profession will have about 20 utility skills in addition to the racial ones. There are 4-5 heals and 4-8 elites per profession. As for how many skills on earth Guild Wars 2 will have, it is depended on the final version when it launches, but ArenaNet assured it will be plenty.