A Beginner’s Guide to Guardians
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2) Boons and Conditions
6) Weapon Overview
14) Healing Overview
15) Utilities Overview
20) Spirit Weapons
22) Traits Overview
23) Making A Build
12/19/12 – Minor description changes in accordance with recent patch notes.
11/5/12 – Changed description of Renewed Focus to reflect recent changes.
9/21/12 – Added mention of the DoT component of Binding Blade. Thanks Aseyhe.2948!
9/16/12 – Added section on Sword
9/16/12 – Began first round of corrections and small edits.
9/15/12 – First draft of the guide completed and posted.
9/15/12 – Finished Table of Contents.
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This is my first attempt at a comprehensive and approachable guide for beginners (and curious veterans) to the Guardian class. Guild Wars 2 is a brand new game, and the meta-game is still in its infancy. Many of us are struggling to understand the principles of this game while shedding ourselves of the pre-conceived expectations cultivated by years of playing WoW. There is no trinity, no concept of DPS, no tank-and-spank, no backline healbotting and no “pure support role,” and so we’re all in one way or another learning to play all over again.
This guide will attempt to accomplish the following:
This guide will not do any of the following:
So, here we go!
It’s ANet’s Fault: A Compendium on Complaining On The Forums
Inviable: Why This Class Is Broken And Why You Should Reroll
Schadenfreude: Slaughtering Necromancers And Feeling Good About it
The Light And How to Swing It: By Uther Pendragon
“Blade with whom I have lived, blade with whom I now die: serve right and justice one last time; seek one last heart of evil; still one last life of pain. Cut well, old friend. Then, farewell.”
Good Reasons To Play A Guardian:
Bad Reasons To Play A Guardian:
The Guardian is a defensive soldier. A heavily armored combatant whose playstyle focuses on contending with enemies while supporting one’s allies with robust boon application, heals and shields. Guardians are remarkably versatile, capable of adhering to a broad range of playstyles—spreading conditions, dealing sudden bursts of damage, being an immovable wall—but a few basic principles define the core of every Guardian’s playstyle:
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That’s Guardian in a nutshell. This is what a Guardian is not:
There is only you, your allies at your back, and your enemies before you. That’s the role of the Guardian.
Boons are effects that improve your allies’ abilities somehow. Different Guardian abilities activate different boons. If you want to be literate in Guardian abilities, learn what the boons do. Here’s a quick rundown:
Conditions are the opposite of boons. Conditions debilitate, weaken, harm or otherwise reduce your enemies’ ability to fight you. Here’s a quick rundown of all the conditions:
Guardians have access to nearly every boon. Might, Retaliation, Aegis and Regeneration are probably your most common, but you have easy access to Vigor and Stability too. Fury is a bit harder to come by.
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As for Conditions, we spread Burning like nobody’s business. But that’s about all we have. Guardians do have some strong Blind abilities, one or two Immobilizations and access to limited Vulnerability. But our most common condition is by far Burning.
So, Symbols are a mechanic peculiar to Guardians. A Symbol is an area we create on the ground that damages enemies and provides a boon to allies in its radius. Later on I’ll discuss traits that improve Symbols, but for now, here’s a list of all our symbols:
Guardians have access to three Virtues, which are our Profession skills. Virtues come in two flavors: Passive and Active. As long as you don’t activate a Virtue, it’s in Passive mode, and gives you a small boost of some sort. When you activate the Virtue, you lose the Passive bonus and get the Active bonus. The Passive bonus returns once your Virtue is off cooldown.
Think of Virtues like signets that you always have. They give you small, constant bonuses when not in use, and if you activate them, they grant bigger bonuses to your entire team. Here’s a quick overview:
How to use it: Leave it on, for the most part. Virtue of Justice essentially makes your fifth strike deal more damage. A strike is defined as any time you hit your enemy. So any weapon or skill that has multiple, fast strikes is going to activate Passive Virtue of Justice more frequently, right? I’ll cover Justice synergy more thoroughly when I get to specific weapons, but the rule of thumb is: The faster your weapon attacks, the more damage you get out of this Virtue.
Activate Virtue of Justice when you have several allies around you. Every nearby ally’s next attack will set the enemy on fire for five seconds. So if it’s five of you attacking one champion, that’s 25 seconds of burning. Not too shabby.
Virtue of Justice comes off cooldown pretty quickly, so feel free to use it liberally if you have allies around you.
How to use it: Leave it on. You won’t notice it, but it’s there to help you. Virtue of Resolve grants you a small amount of health back every three seconds, but it does add up over the course of a battle.
Because of the long cooldown, activating Virtue of Resolve just to heal yourself is not recommended except in a pinch. Use it when you need to spread a modest heal to your nearby allies. It’s strong enough to save them if they’re starting to get low.
How to use it: Again, leave it on. The cooldown on this is way too long to justify using it except in particular situations. Courage gives you a free Aegis every 40 seconds. That’s a free block every 40 seconds. Every 40 seconds, you’ll totally negate one attack. Activating it gives Virtue immediately to every ally around you. It can be a great lifesaver if you’re expecting nearby allies to take a big amount of damage, or if you just want to give them some mitigation in anticipation of a lot of damage.
Either way, rule of thumb: Leave it on. Use Courage if you desperately, absolutely need to block something NOW. Otherwise, save it for when you’ve got allies around you who are under attack.
We sure do. So, Combos are one of the underrated mechanics of GW2 at the time of writing this guide. People tend to glaze over it, or ignore its efficacy when discussing an ability. I honestly cannot understand why—Combos are wonderful. Combos add so much to a Guardian’s group dynamic. But how do they work?
Combos are pretty simple in theory. A combo is created by a Combo Field + Combo Finisher. Every Combo Field has a particular type. The type of Combo Field you create determines the effects of the Combo Finisher. Let’s take Hammer for example.
Hammer has Symbol of Protection, which is also a Combo Field: Light. You can tell it’s a Combo Field by the bright, shining borders. Hammer also has Mighty Blow, which is a Combo Finisher. If you perform Mighty Blow (Combo Finisher) inside Symbol of Protection (Combo Field), you produce a Combo effect.
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Why are Combo Fields so useful? Simple: Any ally can activate them. The more allies you have performing Combo Finishers inside your Combo Field, the more Combos you create. Here’s a quick list of our available Combo Fields:
Combo Field: Light plus …
… Combo Finisher: Blast = Area Retaliation
… Combo Finisher: Leap = Retaliation
… Combo Finisher: Projectile = Remove Condition
… Combo Finisher: Whirl = Cleansing Bolts
Combo Field: Fire plus …
… Combo Finisher: Blast = Area Might
… Combo Finisher: Leap = Fire Armor
… Combo Finisher: Projectile = Burning
… Combo Finisher: Whirl = Burning Bolts
This seems like a lot to take in, and it is, but you’ll get used to it the more you play.
Guardians have access to the following weapons:
Every weapon you equip grants you a different set of abilities that provides you with a different set of tactics. Two-Handed and Underwater weapons grant you a grand total of five attack skills. Main-Hand weapons grant you three, and Off-Hand weapons grant you two. You can combine Main Hand and Off-Hand weapons in any way you like.
Before I get into the specifics of weapons, I want to make a few things clear:
1) Every weapon is viable. There is no such thing as an inviable weapon. I’m actually not a fan of the way “inviable” gets thrown around as a word—if you see someone on the forums or in the game complaining about how Hammer or Mace or Greatsword is inviable in such-and-such situation, they’re just whining. Trust me. Now, there is such a thing as a weapon being more useful in one situation and less useful in another. That is important to remember. If you want to deal big spike damage, swinging a scepter is probably not your best option, for example. And if you want range, swinging a mace is probably not your best option. But Scepter sure is.
2) Keep a good copy of every single weapon in your inventory. Seriously. Just because you can switch between two weapons in combat doesn’t mean you should only ever rely on two weapons. You are a Guardian. You have access to an entire range of weapons. Keep all of them, and learn two switch weapon sets when you’re anticipating their use. I’ll talk more about this later, but I want this idea percolating in your minds for a while.
3) You are not defined by your weapon. You are not limited by your weapon. While it’s true that certain Traits do encourage the use of certain weapons, remember that Traits are not at all permanent. Look, just because you have a Trait that gives you +15% Crit with a one handed weapon doesn’t mean you can never ever use a staff or a hammer. Be flexible.
Ah, the Hammer. Big. Slow. Ponderous. The hammer is actually surprisingly versatile for something that looks like it was designed for a single ultraviolent purpose. The Hammer is a slow weapon partly because it has a built in symbol in its attack chain. Yes. That’s right. Every three attacks, Hammer creates a big Symbol of Protection on the ground that gives you and all your friends Protection for a little while. It also hits like a truck, if you could swing a truck with both hands.
Hammer Swing/Hammer Bash/Symbol of Protection – This is your auto-attack. The first two swings come out at an average speed, but the last swing is very slow. Time it right and it’ll hit hard and create a Symbol of Protection on the ground, dealing additional damage to enemies and protecting allies. Oh, and it doubles as a Combo Field: Light
Mighty Blow: Learn to love it. Mighty Blow is just straight damage. With Mighty Blow, timing is everything. It hits hard and fast, so use it just after a Symbol of Protection to lay on a sudden spike of damage. Remember that it’s a Combo Finisher too, so use it to activate any combo fields.
Zealot’s Embrace: A long range immobilize. Use it to help close distance or control fleeing enemies. Use it to keep enemies from chasing your less armored allies.
Banish: I can’t get over how much fun this attack is. Despite the relatively long cooldown, Banish deals a modest amount of damage and sends an enemy flying. Use it to interrupt enemy skills, and keep them controlled—an enemy flying through the air and struggling to get back up is an enemy that isn’t attacking. Send enemies off cliffs. Keep them off your allies.
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Ring of Warding: One of two wards the Guardian gets. This is an amazingly versatile ability, and one of the few abilities that can force an enemy to stay on you. I don’t actually recommend this, by the way. Forcing an enemy to hit you is about the worst way to mitigate damage. Instead, consider using it as a cage. Lock an enemy in—you’re free to run out, but they’re not. Also, it’s not terribly wide, but you can use it to lock up choke points.
Why The Hammer is Awesome:
Another highly versatile two-hander, faster than Hammer and a bit more well-rounded, Greatsword is a popular everyman’s weapon, useful in leveling, general PVE, and even support. Greatsword is reasonably fast, at least compared to Hammer, and provides Might in your attack chain. It’s designed for fighting multiple enemies, comes with a combo field, three combo finishers, a distance closer and control.
Strike/Vengeful Strike/Wrathful Strike: A solid, wide-sweeping attack chain. This chain grants you three seconds of Might at the end of it. For every enemy you strike, you’ll stack another Might. The duration is static, but the intensity grows with every enemy you hit. Three seconds is coincidentally about long enough for another chain, meaning constant Greatsword auto-attack = constant Might.
Symbol of Wrath: The damage is strong and racks up the longer an enemy stays inside the Symbol’s borders. It also provides retaliation, but not for long, so it’s useful to use just before an enemy strikes you. To top it off, it’s a Combo Field. Use it with Whirling Wrath, as detailed below.
Whirling Wrath: Best used when facing multiple enemies, which is exactly what Greatsword is designed to do. Whirling Wrath will trigger Cleansing Bolts off Symbol of Wrath, granting condition removal to nearby allies. It also hits hard, though the damage is variable, and tends to be more reliable when you have more than one enemy beside you. The closer you are to enemies, the more Whirling Wrath’s projectiles will hit.
Leap of Faith: The cooldown is a little long to use this indiscriminately. It is, however, a good distance closer coupled with good mitigation due to the Blind effect. Don’t use it purely for damage, but use it to jump into a group, or leap to an enemy charging at an ally. It’s a Leap finisher—not, in fact, all that great from Symbol of Wrath (your Retaliation might not do much if your enemy is blinded—it has to actually hit you to trigger Retaliation), but the Leap is worth keeping in mind.
Binding Blade: Control and an interrupt. Binding Blade does modest damage and produces a leash on the enemy. Use the Pull ability to interrupt them and immediately drag them on to you. The distance—a medium 600—takes a little getting used to, but this is a useful way to either corrall enemies, punish them for running away from you or create setups for Whirling Wrath. This is a Whirl finisher.
Binding Blade also has a significant DoT component. It isn’t a bad idea to allow the DoT to deal some damage before Pulling.
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Why the Greatsword is Awesome:
Don’t mistake Staff for a dedicated healer weapon. Staff is versatile and comes with powerful support abilities, and every Guardian should keep a good staff in their inventory, regardless of your build, spec or playstyle. The Staff provides strong mid-range support and functions best when you’re with allies, but not necessarily in the thick of the fray. Use it to grant Empower and drop a Symbol in anticipation of a big fight, or roll back to the midline, use Empower, then switch back to a more aggressive weapon. Line of Warding may be the single most powerful ability available to Guardians.
Wave of Wrath: Rainbow power! Wave of Wrath hits all enemies at 600 range across a very wide arc. Per-hit damage is middle-of-the-road, but the wide range makes up for it. Use this ability to tag multiple opponents in dynamic group events. Use this ability to lay damage on swarms of enemies. Use this ability with a good amount of crit and Empowering Might (Honor VIII) to grant several stacks of Might to all your allies—constantly. Use this ability with Renewed Justice (Radiance 15) to keep Virtue of Justice constantly recharging.
Orb of Light: Moves relatively slow, but has a fast cooldown. In tightly packed areas or with enemies up against walls, Orb of Light can add a lot of damage—fast. Detonate it for a modest heal to all allies in radius. See what I mean about benefitting from fighting in tightly packed areas, or having allies around?
Symbol of Swiftness: Grant a speed boost to any ally that steps in its radius, in addition to being a nice Combo Field. This symbol actually works in interesting ways. The Swiftness lasts eight seconds, and it activates the full duration per pulse (i.e, once a second). So every time an ally runs through Symbol of Swiftness, they should get a full eight seconds of extra speed. Run back through it to refresh. With traits that improve Symbols and reduce cooldowns on Staff abilities, expect to see this symbol in every fight.
Empower: Don’t let the long channel time dissuade you. Use this from the midline to give your front line a very powerful (12 stacks) Might boost and a strong heal. Use it in anticipation/preparation for a fight before switching to an aggressive weapon like Greatsword. Use it with Altruistic Healer to give you lots of health back. The cooldown is sufficiently low that, especially with a trait, you could use it in every significant encounter. This is one big reason to have Staff in your pack at all times.
Line of Warding: Hello, coolest and most versatile ability in the entire Guardian line. Line of Warding creates a line in front of you that no enemy can cross. At all. For a whole five seconds. Use it to block off entire corridors. Use it to force enemies to run around objects or use it to split enemies apart. Use it to block or create choke points. Use it while screaming “You shall not pass!” …kittenit. I made the reference, didn’t I? sigh
Why the Staff is Awesome
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Mace, like Hammer, is a slow, steady, powerful weapon. Unlike Hammer, it’s highly defensive, built for attrition, blocks and counters. Swinging a mace could help you get through fights that might otherwise leave you plastered to the ground in a big, bloody, vaguely Guardian-shaped mess. Seriously, Mace saves lives.
True Strike/Pure Strike/Faithful Strike: A relatively slow attack chain that ends in a big uppercut and a small heal. The heal might not seem like much, but with a decent amount of +Healing, a steady attack chain, and additional healing, defense and mitigation from your other abilities, it serves its purpose in the aggregate defensive strategy that is Mace.
Symbol of Faith: I love this attack. A little on the slow side, but it punches a damaging symbol of the ground that grants Regeneration to all allies, including yourself. This, along with Faithful Strike, keeps a small but steady stream of mitigation to any allies that crowd around you like the shining, mace wielding, face bashing beacon of defense that you are. A fast recharge makes it a dependable and useful Combo Field as well. Free Retaliation and Condition removal for everyone!
Protector’s Strike: This is what I love about Mace. Every single attack skill works well together. Symbol of Faith and Faithful Strike keep up mitigation through heals, and Protector’s Strike gives you an area block followed by a big counter. If nothing hits you, free Protection for all nearby allies. You can move while you use Protector’s Strike, and any ally inside its radius should be guarded by your block. By the way, the counter attack? Hits everyone around you like a sucker punch square in the jaw. It hurts.
Why the Mace is awesome
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Ah, Scepter. The Guardian relationship with Scepter is…a lot like a shotgun wedding. You’re pretty much stuck with it. Or else. So you better learn to love it. Seriously though, Scepter’s slow projectile speed and wibbly-wobbly bubbly looking projectile aside, this is a highly effective midrange weapon (long range if you’re against more stable foes in PVE—Champions, for example) that also happens to be our only ranged weapon. And I just cannot say enough good things about Smite.
Orb of Wrath: Slow, bright, shiny. Yeah, it’s pretty much this, except, you know, dangerous and it hurts things. Orb of Wrath’s slow projectile speed really only matters at past the ~800 range. It’s effective against stable Champions at long range, but, surprisingly, it actually does well in melee, especially when compared with….
Smite: I <3 Smite. Smite does a lot of damage. Smite does a lot of damage in a relatively small area. Smite is balanced around the fact that enemies run out of that area and stop taking damage. Smite also has a small cooldown? So what makes smite so awesome? Use it in melee. Melee enemies aren’t going to run away from you despite being kitten-slapped a dozen times by the Gods. It’ll turn the melee vicinity into a death zone. Seriously, try leveling with Smite. Just try the first 10 levels. You’ll be shocked to see how fast things die.
Chains of Light: In order to understand Chains of Light, you need to think about it as a bridge between Scepter and whatever other weapon you’re using. Sure, Chains of Light is nice to stop an enemy and then drop a Smite on them, but it’s even nicer when you’re using Scepter to attack from range and want to keep something locked down while you enter melee. The Vulnerability is small, but significant, and stacks well with Vulnerability from other allies. And, as always, feel free to use Immobilize as a means of mitigation—keep an enemy OFF your teammate.
Why The Scepter Is Awesome
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Your off-hand weapons don’t work in exactly the same was as main-hand or two hand weapons. Most of them, with the possible exception of torch, include long cooldown abilities. What off-hand weapons actually do is let you augment your main-hand weapons. I’ve covered main-hand/off-hand synergies above, but to reiterate briefly:
Focus is a bit of an odd-ball. It provides a pretty huge amount of mitigation through Ray of Judgement—provides a Blind along with reliable condition removal—and Shield of Wrath. For the most part, Focus works well with any weapon you’d like to use in melee. Blind is essentially a free block, and Shield of Wrath comes with an additional three blocks. This makes Focus a strong weapon for a defensive setup. But it can also deal solid damage. A detonated Shield of Wrath hits especially hard.
Shield provides more passive defense than Focus. With the right traits, and Shield’s inherent stats, you’ll stack more toughness on yourself. Where Shield differs from Focus, and distinguishes itself, is group synergy. Shield protects more allies than Focus. Shield of Judgement applies Protection to allies in its cone, and Shield of Absorption is potentially very powerful. Used at the right time, it completely nullifies all ranged attacks, and can be detonated early for a modest area heal. It’s a free Combo Field: Light to boot, providing potential for conditional removal and retaliation.
Torch. Set yourself on fire, and then set your enemies on fire, and then take their stuff from their charred corpses. Why settle for anything else? Torch spreads burning quickly through Zealot’s Flame, which doubles as a high damage (if relatively long-cooldown) ranged attack. Cleansing Flame also hits many, many times for a lot of damage, so it’s going to trigger at least two instances of passive Virtue of Justice. Remember, however, that Cleansing Flame does NOT set enemies on fire by Burning.
Every class has a healing power. Guardians are no different. Our heals are a little more versatile, including a potent self-heal, a more altruistic group-heal, and a defensive heal that sacrifices some raw health regeneration for added mitigation. So, which one’s the best one? How do you know which one to pick?
The honest truth is, there isn’t a best choice. If you want to look at pure numbers, then is wonderful. It returns a massive amount of health, removes conditions while inactive, and enjoys all the benefits of Signet-related traits. You can bring this down to a 32-second cooldown if you’d like, provided you take a few traits in Radiance.
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But what about ? At first blush, Shelter seems strangely below par. With a mere ten second cooldown advantage over Signet of Resolve (or a paltry two seconds, with Improved Signets), Shelter heals for half Signet’s health return. Why would you ever use it? The answer is in mitigation. Shelter gives you a two second block, during which any and every attack aimed at you is blocked. Depending on how well you time your Shelter, you could be saving yourself a great deal of damage. Therefore, in terms of raw numbers, Signet of Resolve is superior to Shelter. But if your build and playstyle emphasizes blocks, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of Shelter, provided you use it at the right opportunity.
And finally, we have . At Signet of Resolve’s base cooldown, Healing Breeze returns less health to you, with the added payoff of returning health to all allies in a cone in front of you. Depending on your build and your party dynamic, Healing Breeze might be your Heal of choice. Use it to top off the health of nearby allies and keep your momentum going.
Remember, you can—and should—change your skills on the fly. If you’re playing solo and just leveling, Signet of Resolve is probably the way to go. But if you’re about to run headfirst into a group event, then why not switch to Healing Breeze? If you’re anticipating a lot of damage, or facing several opponents, or using a Block build, consider switching in to Shelter as necessary.
If you’re new to Guild Wars and a veteran of MMORPGs, Guardian Utilities will almost certainly throw you a curve. Nearly every new player—myself included—tend to assume that Utilities are where the heart of our support lies. Utilities should provide the heals, the shields, the condition removal or the boons necessary for us to fulfill our support role. Right?
You see, utilities all have pretty long cooldowns across the board. Even if you wanted to, you can’t use utilities indiscriminately, or constantly. Utilities are trump cards. They’re powerful abilities available every one or two—maybe even three or four—significant encounters. The key to mastering Utilities lies within two basic principles:
So the reason I call Utilities an accidental ‘red herring,’ is because they tend to fool new players into assuming that these are the core abilities of your class. They’re not. Let me repeat that.
Utilities are not the core of your support.
Hang on. I need to shout this one from the mountain tops.
Utilities are not the core of your support. The core of your support is YOU. Support is defined by the aggregate of your utilities, your traits, your weapons, and most importantly, your playstyle!
Anyone who tells you differently is either mistaken or some kind of pernicious curmudgeon who wants you to feel bad because you’re not a dedicated healer. Are you going to let people like that run your life? Snaff did. And now he’s dead.
(Okay, that was kind of mean. I’m sorry.)
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Consecrations are Guardian skills that emphasize terrain control. Consecrations activate effects on the ground around you (or, with the right Traits, somewhere near you), which grant benefits to your allies and make your enemies regret stepping into your territory. Consecrations are governed by the Virtues trait, and run the gamut from routinely useful to highly specialized. Here they are:
Hallowed Ground and Purging Flames are your only two Combo Field: Fire abilities. For this reason alone, they deserve special consideration. Hallowed Ground has a relatively long cooldown and will likely require Master of Consecrations (Virtues VI) to use routinely. In general, while leveling, you probably won’t need to worry about stability much. Not too many PVE enemies are going to daze, stun or knock you back in ways that can’t be easily predicted and dodged.
On the other hand, Purging Flames is a powerful and useful ability that will find room in just about any build. If you’re in melee, Purging Flames is your friend. It’s a wide-field burn with a duration about equal to Virtue of Justice when activated, removes a condition from yourself and all allies. Any enemies that enter the area immediately trigger five seconds of burn, so use it to punish enemies swarming through choke points.
Sanctuary and Wall of Reflection are your two defensive Consecrations. Sanctuary itself is pretty ridiculous. Provided whoever’s inside it stays inside it, they’re completely safe from the outside world and all its scary existential threats for a good six seconds. And they’ll take a pretty decent heal on top of that (equal to about one and a half Healing Breeze on allies. Or half a Shelter). The problem with Sanctuary is that it’s small. With a radius of 120, this is a pretty small, if totally durable, turtle shell. Master of Consecrations, again, pays dividends in this skill. Don’t forget that you could, if you really wanted, use this to cut off a choke point. It’d have to be a tiny one though.
Wall of Reflection is different. Don’t confuse this with Shield of Absorption—this is actually a wall. A flat plane, two dimensional wall you drop in front of you. This is also the sort of ability that you want to use when you want to show off your mad Guardian timing. Wall of Reflection reflects all projectiles. All projectiles. If it flies through the air and wants to hurt you, Wall will send it right back.
Meditations are a relatively versatile set of utilities. Along with providing robust Condition mitigation, they can help fill in mobility gaps with useful teleports. Meditation bonuses come from the Valor tree, and despite the Valor tree’s (not entirely factual) reputation as a defensive tree, Meditations can and should be used aggressively as often as they are defensively.
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Judge’s Intervention and Merciful Intervention are your two aggressive and defensive teleports, respectively. Judge’s Intervention works similar to Purging Flames, in fact. It has a shorter Burning duration and no persistent area, but it breaks stun, travels a considerable 1200 range and breaks stun to boot. With 45 seconds of cooldown, this is a modestly reliable ability which, augmented by traits, can be available every couple significant encounters. Use this to close distance instantly or break out of stun and reposition yourself. You can actually use this defensively by targetting an enemy en route to an ally. And, you know. Intervene.
Merciful Intervention is a bit trickier. It’s available half as often as Judge’s Intervention, so you don’t want to waste it, but it can be a lifesaver. Just be aware of the 1200 range; it’s a double edged sword. Merciful Intervention will take you to the ally with the lowest health in a relatively wide range, and that might not always be the ally you want to go to. Still, the hefty heal creates a kind of triage effect, and you can save a life. Depending on the situation of the ally, this would be a good time to apply boons and heals, or remove conditions, or just shove away whatever it is that’s smacking them. Despite its theme, Merciful Intervention is both offensive and defensive. It’s offensive in the sense that it can immediately take you to the point of most danger—which is often the front line.
Just be careful with it. The teleport is far and the advantage of instantly arriving at an ally’s side can be used to get you out of a tough spot too. But have an eye on your allies before you use this ability.
Smite Condition and Contemplation of Purity are your two condition removal meditations. Smite Condition is easy to use and straightforward. In fact, I recommend every beginner Guardian get used to using this ability. Learning to use Smite Condition will teach you to anticipate and react to condition application—and immediately punish every enemy around you for solid damage the moment they drop a condition on you. Any condition. At a mere 20 second cooldown, this is a reliable staple of any Meditation-oriented Guardian—or any Guardian.
Contemplation of Purity is a fascinating specimen of a Utility. Here is a perfect example of a Utility skill that can be easily wasted, but if used correctly, has enormous potential to change the tide of a battle. It’s a stun breaker that instantly converts every condition on you into a boon. Damage-dealing conditions become Regenerations. Movement reduction conditions give you speed. Weakness gives you Might. For general condition removal, Contemplation of Purity has a prohibitively long recharge time. But in areas and encounters where you expect heavy condition application, it’s a game-changer.
Shouts are utilities Guardians share with Rangers and Warriors. Powerful little bits of rhetoric we bellow and inspire you to acts of greatness or something. Shouts are versatile, the one common thread between them being their synergy with allies around you. The more allies you have, the better your shouts. The Honor trait line governs Shouts.
Let’s start with Save Yourselves, since I’ve already just mentioned it. Save Yourselves is a bit of a power-up. To be honest, in most PVE and general leveling, you’ll rarely draw conditions to yourself. In that case, Save Yourselves becomes a powerful, if selfish, shout that stacks a ton of conditions on you. Best used in anticipation of a tougher fight. However, Save Yourselves in a condition-heavy fight with allies can save a lot of lives. Just make sure you can survive it.
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Stand Your Ground and Hold The Line are on relatively short recharges, making them routinely available for most significant encounters. At 4-6 second duration, they last long enough to give your allies a boost of momentum, but can be squandered if used at the wrong time. It’s tempting to just lay out a Shout and hope it makes a difference—but don’t do that. Stand Your Ground is a great Shout when you want to give your allies a bit more momentum, and they’re in melee with several enemies. The Retaliation will add a lot of damage for every blow dealt by enemies, and Stability should prevent any annoying stuns, dazes and knockdowns.
Hold The Line, on the other hand, is a bit more defensive. You want to use it to soften the blow, just prior to several enemies attacking you. Use Stand Your Ground to give your allies a boost to momentum, but use Hold the Line to rob your enemies of momentum. Allies with Protection and Regeneration are going to be able to withstand the first wave of attacks pretty well, which means a better counterattack.
And don’t mock _Retreat. I know I do, but Retreat has a lot of general use. Despite the relatively long cooldown, the boons last a while. You don’t have to use it defensively at all—in fact, I recommend using it for the opposite of running away: Charging! This is a great shout when rushing into battle. The free Aegis will nullify the first attack of the enemy, and you’ll close distance fast, and be able to stay on top of any fleeing enemies. The free Block is also similar to Virtue of Courage—use it to give all your allies solid mitigation just before a big enemy attack.
If you see a lot of allies standing around in glowing red circles—you know, the ones that indiciate something bad is about to happen to them? Use Retreat. It’ll help.
The concept of the Signet should be pretty familiar to you. Virtues function in exactly the same way. While they’re equipped and inactive, they provide a constant passive bonus to you. Once you use them, you enjoy a shorter duration but more powerful bonus. Guardians can actually do some amazing things with our Signets.
Signet of Judgment has the fastest recharge of every Signet in our repertoire. At 20 seconds—16 with Signet Mastery—expect it up at every fight, if not twice a fight. This is an underrated but wonderful signet. While passive, you’ll take 10% less damage from every source. Activated, and all nearby enemies gain Weakness, further crippling their damage capacity, while all nearby allies gain Retaliation, punishing the enemies for the pitiful damage they somehow manage to deal.
Signet of Wrath and Bane Signet provide more control. Bane Signet’s long range interrupt deals a modest amount of damage, while knockdown functions as a movement control, an interrupt, and even a makeshift stun. Wrath adds a long immobilization, which, coupled with Hammer and Scepter, can keep an unfortunate enemy chained to ground for nearly long enough to kill it outright. Wrath provides +50 Condition Damage at 80, which is equal to about 12 more damage per second on Burning, and Bane Signet provides 90 Power at level 80, which is a little less than 3 stacks of Might.
Signet of Mercy is an oddball. It’s probably going to sit passive in your Utility bar for 90% of its use, partly because its Active power is so rarely used, and partly because its cooldown is so terribly long. For exactly these reasons, it benefits quite a bit from Signet Mastery (which reduces its cooldown by 48 seconds) and should be used with care. But Signet of Mercy is an instant revive. Not a rally. A revive. Any ally—player or NPC—dead nearby can be brought instantly to life with a click of a button. It’s hard to overestimate just how important having another ally alive can be, so judicious use of Signet of Mercy can competely turn the tide of a losing battle.
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I don’t see nearly as much discussion on Spirit Weapons as I should. Are you guys all scared of using them or something? They’re totally independent pets. There’s very little micromanagement. They’re versatile. Dangerous. They deal solid damage, have great effects, and you can improve them to the sky with Traits. Seriously, why aren’t you using these? Spirit Weapons can account for a massive improvement in damage and mitigation, and you can use up to three at a time!
Spirit Weapons work like this. You summon one. It lasts its base duration, or you can burn it early for a powerful attack. Once it’s un-summoned, the ability begins to recharge. When it’s off recharge, you can use ita again. Some people have this notion that Spirit Weapons begin recharging the moment you summon them. This is false. You have to wait for them to disappear before they recharge.
Let’s go over your divine panoply of awesome weaponry:
Sword of Justice is your first (usually) available Spirit Weapon, and it is beautiful. Summon it, and for thirty seconds, this weapon bobs along beside you with all the glee and zeal of a happy puppy, slaughtering and slicing through whatever enemies you’re up against. Damage is strong, duration lasts a good while, and the recharge is likewise short. You can Command the sword to destroy itself before its duration runs dry, dealing high damage (the equivalent of about 4 sword strikes) to everyone in a wide radius. If you’re trying to spike damage, you should have a Sword of Justice.
Hammer of Wisdom is a bit more specialized. Damage comes in three-hit chains, with appended knockback. Command the Hammer to destroy itself for a big, 600-radius knockdown on all enemies for an impressive three seconds. Three seconds is a long time in the heat of battle. Hammer of Wisdom does take longer than Sword to recharge (45 seconds) and lasts for a shorter duration (20 seconds), but the control it brings is worth it. Consider Hammer of Wisdom when you want to lock down a group of enemies, or you’re more interested in mitigation than raw damage.
Shield of the Avenger and Bow of Truth are your defensive weapons. Both their cooldowns are longer than usual (60 seconds) and they last as long as the Hammer of Wisdom (20 seconds). The Shield of the Avenger will follow you and periodically lay down an effect visually similar to Shield of Absorption that absorbs projectiles. Remember that, unlike Shield of Absorption, the Shield of Avenger’s effect does not cause a knockback. Be aware of both the Shield and the Bow’s tendency to lag behind you as well, at the time of writing this guide. Command Shield of the Avenger to act as a more aggressive version of Shield’s Shield of Judgement ability. Instead of granting Protection to allies, it Weakens all enemies.
Bow of Truth is a bit more passive. Rely on it to keep conditions off your allies so you can focus on smashing faces. _Command_ing the Bow of Truth will create an area around you that provides steady healing over time to any ally that enters its radius. For this reason, you’ll want to position yourself so that Bow of Truth’s Command ability hits the allies that need it most. Don’t blow this on just healing yourself. Both Shield of the Avenger and Bow of Truth are remarkably useful for midline play, but support any playstyle effectively.
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Taken together, we’re looking at up to three Spirit Weapons readily available in most encounters, all of which cause burning, deal a solid amount of constant, passive damage, knock back enemies, knock down foes, reflect projectiles, spread weakness, remove conditions and heal allies. It’s like a personal army!
If you’re a total beginner to the Guardian class, you don’t have to worry about Elites right now. You’ve got enough on your mind, between worrying about Queensdale’s bandit problems to internal debates about the peculiar frequency of giant terrifying worms destroying everyone’s crops. Take it easy. Put it aside for a little while.
But by the time you approach your first Elite unlock, you should be excited. These are the Big Guns of your Utility line-up. Your trump cards. You’ve been working toward them for thirty-something levels, and they should change the way you play a Guardian.
Elites may be some of your most powerful skills in terms of pure numbers. But your Elite does not define your playstyle. In most cases, you are not going to build around your Elites. Guardian Elites are emergency buttons—long cooldown panic buttons the careful application of which can have the greatest single influence on a battle. But you need to remember that while Elites are powerful in and of themselves, your playstyle should never hinge upon the use of an elite.
Renewed Focus is poorly understood, and at first glance, lends itself to a defensive ability best used to withstand powerful attacks. In fact, the true value of Renewed Focus is not in its invulnerability, but the renewal of your Virtues. Renewed Focus grants you three seconds of invulnerability; attack skills have no effect on you, and any damage you take will be from ongoing conditions, which Renewed Focus does not cure. The key to using Renewed Focus, however, is returning all your Virtues to you and having three seconds of time to return some cooldowns. Renewed Focus essentially presses a reset button on an encounter, returning all your Virtue resources to you. Burn your Virtues prior to using Renewed Focus, absorb any attacks coming your way, and return to battle stronger.
Tome of Wrath and Tome of Courage temporarily transform you into powerful sources of aggressive or defensive magic. Each Tome lasts twenty seconds—thirty, with Elite Focus (Virtues Master Trait). Generally speaking, Wrath spreads conditions on enemies while granting aggressive boons to allies (Might, Swiftness, Fury, Quickness), while Courage heals allies, cures conditions, blinds enemies, and grants protection. Both Tomes include one very powerful spell you’ll only have time to cast once. Might’s “Judgment” deals tremendous area damage, coupled with a knockdown. Courage’s “Light of Deliverance” is a full heal on five nearby allies.
Courage is not going to turn you into a healbot for twenty (or thirty) seconds. Neither is Wrath going to transform you into a condition and damage machine. These tomes should be used in critical moments, as safety nets to catch a runaway encounter from going south. Unexpected adds, downed allies, difficult odds.
If you’re like me and came to Guild Wars from a background in MMORPGs, traits will—at first glance—seem like the ubiquitous Talent Tree system, a set of available specializations that further define your character, a template for creating builds.
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Builds in Guild Wars 2 are much more fluid. The key to understanding Traits is realizing that they’re temporary. Traits are not set in stone. There is no single damage Trait line. There is no Support Trait line. To top it off, the Traits you unlock aren’t set in stone—every 10 points you invest in a Trait line unlocks a set of Traits, all of which can be switched and mixed around at your pleasure. To top it off, resetting Traits is cheap, and at Level 80, costs 3.5 silver.
The lesson is that you shouldn’t feel tethered to your Traits. Your Traits are not who you are. Your Traits augment, enhance and enable your chosen playstyle, but they can, and should, and will, be changed to suit your situation, your build, your weapon, and—of course—your whim.
If you’re brand new to Guild Wars 2, then Traits are an additional way to customize your character’s abilities, first available at level 11. As you progress in level, you’ll unlock more Trait points, which you may invest as you please. By level 80, you will have accumulated 70 Trait points to divide among your five Trait Lines.
Throughought this guide, I have attempted to illustrate particular synergies between Traits and Skills. It’s important to disassociate the thought of a particular Trait line being intended for a particular playstyle. Different Trait lines enhance your build in different ways. What if you wanted better Symbols? You could go into Zeal. Or you could go into Honor. What if you wanted more damage? Honor improves recharge on Two-Handed weapons. But Zeal improves Greatsword damage. And Radiance is great for one-handed damage. And Virtues improves your damage by Burning.
The point I’m trying to make is this: Traits should free you, not lock you down. Traits should encourage you to experiment with builds, try new things, express yourself imaginatively and see what works for you. Traits exist to give you the tools to make your favorite playstyle work for you.
Here’s a quick overview of Guardian Traits, and a brief rundown on picking the Traits right for you:
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I can’t tell you specifically how to build, partly because I don’t know your playstyle, and I don’t want to feed you cookie-cutter builds. Traits are about experimentation, and I’d rather not get in the way of that. Still, here are a few quick guidelines and some synergies to consider when making a build:
If you still need some direction, I’m going to include a very flexible build that I think is a good choice for beginners who don’t know what to take:
1) Go down Radiance. Go up to at least 15 for Renewed Justice.
2) After you hit 15 Radiance, take 5 Virtues.
3) When you’re done with that, take 10 Zeal for Fiery Wrath.
4) Put it all together. 15 Radiance returns your Virtue of Justice every time an enemy you’ve attacked dies. Solo, this means Virtue of Justice is up every single fight. Guaranteed. In a team, this means you’ll be spamming Virtue of Justice every time anything dies, granting you and your entire team multiple stacks of Might, plus 5s of burning against every foe. Finally, you’ll personally deal more damage on burning foes.
Why do I recommend this build? It’s the one build I can think of, right now, that’s flexible enough to fit any and every playstyle and every weapon. It’s simple, it’s straightforward, it’s newbie-friendly, and it’ll get you used to a few concepts:
When you’re ready to experiment with traits, here’s a small list of interesting synergies I’ve discovered. Feel free to come up with your own:
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These are just a few suggestions. I haven’t even begun to figure out all the possible synergies, strategies and tactics available to Guardians. No one has, and none of us will for a long, long time. That’s part of the fun of being part of an MMO community during its earliest days—we shape the metagame.
This leads me to the end of my guide, but before I wrap things up, I want to talk about a few issues frequently encountered by new players:
There isn’t one. Dungeons are challenging, instanced content for five players, but victory in dungeons depends on preparation. Preparation requires coordination with your teammates, setting up your Utility skills and Traits in accordance with what works best with your team. Victory in dungeons requires coordination, good dodging and smart play more than overdependence on a specific build.
If anyone’s asking you to “go healer” for a dungeon, they’re probably just misguided. Steer clear.
Fights end relatively quickly in Guild Wars 2, and unlike other MMOs, standing toe to toe with the enemy and exchanging blows doesn’t work. Every enemy has a rhythm to their attacks, a timing between blows. As you practice, you’ll develop an instinct for this timing. Keybind your Dodge ability somewhere simple, and learn to dodge in anticipation of powerful attacks. Dodging alone will mitigate a tremendous amount of damage if done right.
Along with dodging, learn to use defenses judiciously. If you’re using a Mace, learn to time your blocks just before an enemy attack. Learn to stack blinds with dodge. For example, if I have a trait that makes Virtue of Justice cause Blind, I might do this: Flashing Blade to get in close; the enemy is blinded and misses. Virtue of Justice; the enemy is blinded again and misses. Dodge the next attack. Block the next one. Flashing blade again, the enemy’s blinded again.
Proper timing of your abilities can completely nullify an opponent’s ability to hit you. Standing there and taking blows, though, or wasting your blinds, dodges, leaps and heals lead to sloppy habits, which lead to dead Guardians, which makes Dwayna cry. You don’t want that, do you?
At the earlier levels, it honestly doesn’t matter much. Just upgrade as you go. As you approach 55-60, you’ll want to take a closer look at your stats. In general, you want a relatively even spread of stats, with an emphasis toward the kind of playstyle you enjoy. Gear comes and goes fine, so don’t worry too much about having the wrong kind of gear if you decide to suddenly change playstyle. But in general…
A lot of Guardians swear by Greatsword, and for good reason. It’s a versatile and powerful weapon. But, you know what? I leveled with Sword and whatever I wanted, because my build supported it, and I wanted to make the most out of Virtue of Justice. You should honestly have one decent copy of every Guardian weapon in your pack for any given situation, and you should switch weapons around to see what you like best.
It’s not like leveling is particularly hard, and most of your leveling happens from events, exploration, crafting and Hearts, not actual kills. Don’t let anyone tell you to pigeonhole yourself in one weapon.
I will make an exception for Scepter though. The truth is that it’s our only 1200 range weapon at the moment, and in the course of leveling, you will come across situations where you just need a good ranged option. In that case, having a Scepter on hand will save you.
That’s all for now. I’ll update this as time goes on, and clean things up and make edits. Thanks for reading, if you got this far. If you’ve enjoyed the guide or have any questions, please let me know. If I got something wrong, please correct me.
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Sword is one of the Guardian’s most aggressive weapon options. A fast attack speed, multiple strikes, a teleport to close distance and a high-damage ranged attack—all of which enjoy relatively short recharge times—facilitate a fast, mobile and active style of play. Sword deals damage—quite a lot of it—but its fast swing speed and dependence on Virtue of Justice triggers mean you’ll see smaller individual numbers than, say, Hammer, but more cumulative damage with the right builds.
It’s worth mentioning that despite Sword’s propensity for aggression and the high damage of Zealot’s Defense, Sword doubles as a competent defensive weapon. The key is Flashing Blade, which—at a mere 10 second recharge—is a wonderful mitigation tool. Time your blinds in anticipation of the enemy’s attack.
Furthermore, while Zealot’s Defense does include an excellent (if short-duration) projectile nullifier, don’t feel obligated to save it as an anti-projectile. Zealot’s Defense does enough damage on its own to justify frequent use. Plus it looks amazing.
Why Sword is Awesome:
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[Reserved for future updates.]
Great work. Now every new guardians have a place to start.
Great guide, I just wish we had that kind of guide for every profession!
Nicely done. I haven’t spent nearly the time on my lowbie guard as ele, but you definitely opened up some applications/synergies I hadn’t considered.
What is Hammer of Justice and Divine Shield?
and omg.. so huge. I think I just waste an hour and I didn’t even read it all.
I was about to roll a Guardian alt and this is a huge help. Thanks for posting!
You are doing Dwayna’s work in this thread. 10 thumbs up – those are from me and my entire party. This needs a sticky.
Very good intro guide!
- Boons that mitigate damage:
- Aegis: Block (take no damage from) the next attack. Regardless of how strong an attack is, if you block it, it has zero effect on you.
- Regeneration: Gradually return health per second
The Shield of the Avenger will follow you and periodically lay down Shields of Absorption that knock back allies and stop projectiles.
Bow of Truth will create an area around you that provides steady healing over time to any ally that enters its radius.
Shield of the avenger does not create a Shield of Absorption: enemies are not knocked back and projectiles are not blocked but absorbed (i.e. on block effects are not triggered)
Both are a bit lazy to follow you during battles (not sure if this is a bug) so targeting the healing of the bow is difficult and may require some collaboration by your allies.
- Taking both the Zeal and Radiance trees makes your Symbols potentially very powerful. They heal, deal more damage, apply vulnerability and cover a larger radius.
Radiance doesn’t improve symbols. Honor improves symbol size and makes all of them heal.
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. You know, oddly enough, the forums have locked me out of making edits, so I can’t include the three fixes you just mentioned, Bluel. Great points though. Can’t believe I forgot about Protection and mixed up Radiance and Honor.
Edit: Wait, figured it out! Making corrections now.
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Many thanks for the fantastic guide, I’ve been playing my Guardian since launch and I’m level 55 now – but there was still a lot I wasn’t sure about and this guide really helped me understand a few aspects better, I’ll be sure to reference it in the future if I ever need some information.
Thanks again! Appreciate it : )
You’re welcome! Be sure to let me know if you have anything you’d like to add—interesting synergies and additional commentary. Also, if I’ve misrepresented certain aspects of the profession, feel free to bring it up. The guide is in a state of minor revision as well.
Thanks for this. I can’t see it helping me, because every other class just crushes me with pure DPS, but thanks for trying to help.
Thank you for taking the time to write this. ;.; It helped me learn quite a bit and I will booky it.
I am around level 24 and I am not good with choices. x.x I wish I could do everything!
I kinda fell in luv with spirit weapons recently.
I noticed you covered most of the weapons but I didn’t see sword. It is my favorite weapon right now. Were you going to add it later?
…I didn’t cover Sword?
I didn’t cover Sword!
Sweet Dwayna. How the hell did I miss Sword? Hang on, I’ll work on updating it.
:D I look forward to reading it. Thank you!
Updated with Sword
To add a bit to what you mentioned in the sword section, it’s hugely effective against single enemies, and certainly not as great against groups (although not terrible against them by any means). Also, sword and focus represents one of the most balanced defensive combinations possible to the guardian, with two blinds, a 3-block skill, and a short duration ranged block with offense rolled into it.
Sword and focus is really absurdly good, and is (I think) one of the more popular combinations out there, and for good reason. It’s certainly high on the list for solo exploring, anyway.
Thanks for making this….just made a guardian this morning so this will definitely help
This guide is way to big, way to big. Good job on writing it, it has some useful information, especially about the combo finishers… I always was wondering what cleansing bolts meant
Made me think, I have chosen the right profession.
Once again, great job on writing it.
Thanks for the guide, it will make my lower level guardian easier to play.
I wouldn’t necessarily advocate stacking +heal, even for support guardians. This thread on how it scales is worth a read.
Nice guide, making me consider making a Guardian. It’s amazing how the opinions of a “common player” can make or break something.
Hmm… a picture of a lil’ Asura in heavy armor with an afro is now in my head…
Great, this should be a sticky
Thanks for the kind words. I wish I knew how to request a mod/admin to sticky a topic.
Wow. Amazing job, friend! Thank you for this compilation of all the info I could ever want for my burgeoning Guardian, it’s cleared up a lot of questions and niggling confusions I had. Definitely deserves a sticky.
Grats on the sticky, very good stuff in here.
A bit naive.
*Sword/Mace: (…) Outnumbered? Use mace. Thin them out. Switch to Sword. Or use Sword to close distance and apply blind. Use the blind time to switch to mace and drop your Symbol. Their next attack misses, and you block their second attack (and that of their friends) with Protector’s Strike. (…)
^This is false. The enemy may miss because of blind, but for the second attack you only block one enemies’ attack, not all of them. Meaning the rest of you can still hit you.
*Mace + Focus: You didn’t even mention the condition removal which is half the point of 4, you don’t need to stack regen as it only stacks in duration. Using 4 for that is a waste. Your allies can live for 4 secs without regen.
*Signet of mercy doesn’t revive dead targets, only downed ones. And it’s not even a full revive, it’s just a very large heal that targets downed players. If the player is poisoned and at very low health, he won’t be resurrected, merely healed.
*You’re actually encouraging Judge’s Intervention as a gap closer, which is incredibly bad in PvP. It’s usually the only stun-breaker in someone’s skill bar, are you really suggesting that they blow it for 1,200 distance covered?
I didn’t read it until the end, because the jokes are extraordinarily tiresome for a guide that’s already artificially lengthened by pointless remarks. To be fair, there’s no reason to ever include such basic information as what every skill does, only tips and tricks for them. People can read tooltips, and the whole chapter is pointless.
I’ve read this before but ignored it since it wasn’t a sticky and unlikely to get anyone killed, but you might want to review it now. And trim it. I doubt anyone would rather spend 30 minutes reading tiresome jokes about their class instead of just playing it.
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Thanks for the feedback!
The enemy may miss because of blind, but for the second attack you only block one enemies’ attack, not all of them. Meaning the rest of you can still hit you.
This is a good point. Corrected the guide to remove the reference to blocking in an area.
You didn’t even mention the condition removal which is half the point of 4, you don’t need to stack regen as it only stacks in duration. Using 4 for that is a waste. Your allies can live for 4 secs without regen.
I didn’t mention condition removal because I wanted to emphasize the additional blind as a form of mitigation. That paragraph deals with Mace/Focus synergy. You’re right that the Regen isn’t nearly as useful for party support as Condition removal. I’ll add a line in the off-hand section to reflect that.
Signet of mercy doesn’t revive dead targets, only downed ones. And it’s not even a full revive, it’s just a very large heal that targets downed players. If the player is poisoned and at very low health, he won’t be resurrected, merely healed.
I’ve used it to revive dead targets. But if something’s changed or I was mistaken, I could use more feedback on this point. I’ll do some more testing once I can get home.
You’re actually encouraging Judge’s Intervention as a gap closer, which is incredibly bad in PvP. It’s usually the only stun-breaker in someone’s skill bar, are you really suggesting that they blow it for 1,200 distance covered?
This is a PVE guide. Yes, one of the possible uses of Judge’s Intervention is a gap closer, but it doesn’t have to be a gap closer as a means of entering combat, but moving within a battlefield. I’ve used it to good effect in the heat of battle as a way of getting to a problematic enemy.
I apologize if the length was excessive, but I erred on the side of caution. I can’t predict how much or how little a new player knows, and this guide was intended to have something useful for any new player.
Thanks again for the feedback.
Congratulations on such an amazing guide. This really deserved a sticky. I got a lot out of it as a beginner guardian.
late, bute grats on the sticky!! this is a great guide and wish i saw it better. : )))
has given me an even better idea of how to gear and build my Guardian! (love this forum here! ahaha)
i used to be focused on maxing one or even two trait lines, but after slowly playing more and REALLY understanding how the guardians skills and my own play style work together, i’m not so worried in having traits maxed but rather, picking the traits that i would benefit most as a Guardian.
like you said, experiment and try different builds and most importantly have fun. i can’t stress enough the importance of carrying every single weapon set available in your inventory! yes you might have to sell more frequent or even destroy some items but it’s more than worth it. i used to never give up the sword and torch combo. it’s done me wonders, but once switching, you slowly learn to use the abilities to your advantage and every situation calls for something different. i think as Guardians we just have to dig deep and allow ourselves to be acquainted with each weapon each skill. slowly unlocking all my utilities so i can try everything, and then hopefully by lvl 80, i’ll know how i want to play (for now) and build my traits that way.
:DDDD thanks again for this!! found this from your sig too, so do keep it there. lol.
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