Guardian PvP Compendium v1.0
1.0 Recent Updates
2.0 FAQ: Common Questions Answered
4.0 Resource Links
5.0 Current state of the class
6.0 Guardian Basics
22.214.171.124 Focus6.2 Utility Skills
6.2.4 Spirit Weapons
6.2.5 Elite6.3 Virtues
8.0 Common Guardian Build Templates
9.0 Finer Details on Guardians
9.1 Unique Class Mechanics
9.2 Situational Tips and Tricks
11.0 Recent Profession Changes
12.0 Current Problems and Concerns
I hope that this guide finds all current, potential, and future Guardian players well. It was originally assembled as an internal resource for my guild, but it just makes sense to share it with everyone else.
I would encourage anyone who feels like they might be a good fit to apply for Opposition by checking out the "Recruitment" link on our website. We play on the Jade Quarry server and are a small tight-knit guild made up of older, more experienced gamers with a strong desire to win, but who understand real life commitments take priority over a game. Our members range from 25 - 45 and each has between 5 and 15 years experience in competitive gaming. Many of us come from RvR experience in DAoC, Shadowbane, MUDs, WAR, and others. Our primary focus is on small scale skirmish style fighting using superior coordination, tactics, and mobility to stay a step ahead of the enemy.
07/26/2012 - Begins development.
08/05/2012 - First release.
08/06/2012 - Removed inaccurate weapon range graph, corrected the reversed Sanctuary/Shield of Absorption descriptions, added "Save Yourselves!", updated description for Signet of Resolve.
11/06/2012 - Formatting adjustments.
11/10/2012 - Updated sections 1 - 126.96.36.199. More updates coming soon.
11/20/2012 - Too many updates to count! Formatting fixes, changes in content, updates, etc. This is the first major update since the release of the game, and as such I've moved it to reflect version 1.0.
Q: I gave feedback in the comments, why didn’t you respond?
A: This is a huge guide, I work full time, have a family, work on-call and have hobbies outside of Guild Wars 2. I will do my best to respond to any corrections or intelligent comments left for it, but simply put I won’t be able to monitor it all the time. Additionally I’m not going to get into arguments with anyone. I’m happy to wisely discuss and change as needed, but ignorance and insults will get no response.
Q: Why don’t you use specifics for the damage and healing amounts?
A: Content for the game is continuously updates and the classes each receive tweaks and adjustments after each patch, which happens often. I would love to have a ton of specifics and detail, but I can't commit to an update schedule that will keep things accurate as far as numbers go every time that ArenaNet makes a change announced or otherwise. I would love to see someone with the time available do this though!
Q: Why don’t you include 1v1 breakdowns? Those are super useful!
A: I agree! The only issue is that they’re mostly unreasonable to write for Guild Wars 2. Each profession has 70 trait points to play with providing great variety and 5-10 different weapons they can wield causing a completely different play style. A defensively traited Guardian wielding a sword and shield should be handled entirely differently than an offensively traited Guardian wielding a sword and shield. I can’t possibly write real, comprehensive, and worthwhile breakdowns on each class, trait, and weapon set you’ll run across and keep it updated as each class (including ours) goes through changes. I’m sure someone will put up a list somewhere else that will declare “the ultimate strategy” for each class. I’m equally sure that it will be pretty useless.
Q: Why don’t you cover the Aquatic weapons?
A: At this time most people will spend less time in WvWvW using Aquatic weapons over the course of a year than it would take me to even copy the descriptions by hand. If they become used in WvWvW to any reasonable extent without Krait involved I’ll add them at that time. The only time you’re going to run into the need to know them is taking Quaggan camps which is mostly a hit-and-run scenario anyways. Ever seen anyone defending a Quaggan camp? Me either.
The Guardian class is one of the most interesting in the game, in my opinion. People draw a simple parallel between the Paladin character type and the Guardian and that isn’t entirely off-base with some builds. This class is so much more than that. Being viable for damage, control, and support the Guardian has some extremely unique abilities and skill sets that allow it to go far beyond the typical MMO limitations of a sword-wielding support class.
3.1 StrengthsThe Guardian has been labeled as a support class by almost everyone who plays the game. This is a huge area where the Guardian excels and has a plethora of options to keep a group up and going. Their melee damage is surprisingly high if built correctly and their mitigation and prevention of damage is the best in the game without exception.
As far a WvWvW goes the glaring weakness for Guardians seems to lie within the realm of ranged weapons. Although damage can be improved with a proper build focusing on Precision the ranged damage of Guardians doesn't do well beyond a single target. Staff has some low-damage AoE attacks in a short cone in front of you, and scepter provides decent single-target damage, but we're seriously lacking in AoE damage or condition abilities. I don't see this changing though in the near future, which means we need to employ some different strategies than most classes when it comes to situations like large-scale group fighting.
Guild Wars Insider Guardian Blog
The Guardian, as a whole, is in a very good state. Our strong points continue to be obvious with defense, decent control, and reasonable melee damage. Certain weapons such as the mace and torch tend to be pretty infrequently chosen though and these builds and weapon choices have the potential to be great with some tweaking, in my opinion.
The selection of weapons that are available to the Guardian isn’t huge. Because of this the amount of skills that we have is not nearly that of what some other classes. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Certain professions such as the Elementalist have so many weapon, skill, and elemental attunements that the amount of skills to keep track of requires a cross-reference database to keep straight. Some are great for one situation, some not so great for that situation, and some that are simply “ho-hum” for overall use but situationally effective. The Guardian does not have that. We have a manageable set of skills that all serve a very specific purpose and time be used. This is great for us because we’re able to spend more time watching the field around us, learning what is happening, and paying attention to our opponents.
Simply put melee is the bread and butter of most Guardian builds. This is probably in part to the fact that the class is melee-based in its conception and partly because in general for WvW our ranged options are lackluster to put it nicely. Most of our weapons are melee range weapons. Most of our skills are melee range skills. Most of our effectiveness, speed, damage, support, and control all happen within the melee range.
The sword is one of the staple weapons of the Guardian. You’ll want it for a number of reasons. The first being that it does a decent amount of damage. Secondly it provides you a certain amount of defense. Thirdly, since the sword is one-handed, this will enable you to use an offhand weapon which will give you even greater options, selections, and utility. As far as small-to-medium-scale WvWvW combat goes the sword is a solid decision due to the combination of attack, defense, and utility it offers.
1 - Sword of Wrath - Swings at your foe. This is the auto-attack for the sword.
1 - Sword Arc - This is a second attack. You will get this as long as another skill is not used after Sword of Wrath is executed. This is simply another plain auto-attack that is used as a intermediary between Sword of Wrath and Sword Wave. There is nothing special about this skill and you can not trigger it by actively doing anything.
1 - Sword Wave - As long as Sword Arc completes and another skill is not chosen Sword Wave will happen. This skill will attack up to three enemies in front of the Guardian doing AoE damage. The damage that this outputs to a point-blank-range enemy is nice as far as a #1 skill goes, and provides some (very small) AoE opportunity.
2 - Flashing Blade - This skill will teleport you to your target and blind nearby enemies. This is a FANTASTIC skill. Many times people will simply mash buttons because they’re on cooldown but this is one of those skills that should absolutely be thought out before-hand. Many professions have escape tools. For us this is a capture, catch-up, or finish skill. With a range of 600 you won’t always be able to get it off, especially if the chase has already begun, but you will want to save it for the right moment. If you use Flashing Blade, then your opponent uses their escape you have no way to get to them without burning a utility skill (if you’ve even selected one of the needed utility skills). If at all possible the most effective way to use this skill is to cause damage and create pressure and WAIT until your opponent uses their escape. Once they do you can follow them immediately with this skill. It will both catch them as well as do damage and quite possibly throw them for a loop if they’re not prepared with another escape skill right away. This skill, when used properly, can be extremely useful for flustering your opponent and creating pressure. The second part of this skill is the area blind which means everyone in the area that you flash to will miss their next attack against you providing you a brief moment of immunity to make your kill, control your opponents, or simply not worry about damage.
3 - Zealot’s Defense - This skill will block incoming projectiles for 3 seconds as well as throw projectiles towards your target. You will be stationary during the 3 seconds it takes to execute this skill, but it is a fair trade. The block is something that you would normally need to use a defensive skill or utility skill on, but instead you actually cause damage (as long as you’re in range) while blocking as well! This is a great skill with the ability to cause a medium amount of pressure against your opponent. The natural tendency will be to use Zealot’s Defense when the cooldown comes up. Since you will be stationary during those 3 seconds it is almost a guarantee that your target will walk away from you. At this point, unless you are ready for the kill or know that your targets escapes are down, you should be mindful to not jump immediately to the #2 skill of Flashing Blade. While your target has been walking away from you during the last 3 seconds they have not needed to use any escape skills making it far more likely that their escape skill cooldowns are up. This is not a hard rule, but much more often you should not be using the #2 skill right after your #3 because you will end up out of range again immediately afterwards unless you have another weapon or skill to use in order to close the gap afterwards.
When you breakdown the skills of the greatsword you will see that it does fill some of the standard roles of the Greatsword that you would expect (eg. extra damage) and some that you might not expect (eg. movement and control). The weapon has a good ability to keep a gap closed and be able to maintain pressure although the spike damage may not be what one would expect. The consistency and movement enhancement make up for this quite nicely though if you plan around it. They key with the greatsword is providing constant pressure on your target and taking advantage of the opportunities for AoE.
1 - Strike - Hits your target. Does damage. Standard auto-attack.
1 - Vengeful Strike - Similar to the above chain for the sword. This auto-attack triggers when no action or interruption occurs between the first Strike hit and the next auto-attack. This does about 10% more damage than Strike.
1 - Wrathful Strike - Does about 20% more damage than Vengeful Strike but also applies a stack of Might for each opponent that you strike with the attack. This is pretty neat, but again if you spend all this time auto-attacking in PvP you’re probably going to get interrupted somehow or are getting your face bashed in already.
2 - Whirling Wrath - The Guardian will spin and throw projectiles at a range of 600. This skill is coupled well with #4 and #5. Damage output is good, and you will need to rely on this heavily to maintain a consistent output. The skill really shines when you are in large groups and can take advantage of the AoE. The original implementation of this skill in the early beta weekends forced the user to be stationary during the skill, but now movement is available at a reduced rate, allowing you to extend your coverage area to moving opponents. I would consider this the staple skill of the Greatsword skillset.
3 - Leap of Faith - Gap-closer. This is a 600 range leap ability that will hit your opponent for medium-low damage and will blind foes in the nearby area. This is nice to close a gap with as needed when chasing. Consider the usage recommendation of the #2 sword skill as well when using this ability. Using it reactively in a chase is often times much more effective then using it proactively.
4 - Symbol of Wrath -Does a low amount of damage to nearby enemies. The damage is paired with the secondary ability from the skill which grants nearby allies 5 stacks of retaliation for 2 seconds. You need to generally use this skill proactively when you think a big hit is coming. The damage caused to opponents also causes burning, which can be quite useful and effective if traited correctly. If you have a burning-focused build this turns into an effective damage-inducer.
5 - Binding Blade - The mechanics on this skill are unique for the class, typical roles, and greatsword weapon but one that provides extremely good utility for the Greatsword-wielding Guardian. This skill by itself will channel (~1.5 seconds) and then throw a sword at the target doing medium-low damage. You need to use this early in the process as often your target will run out of range if you do not use it until they begin to flee.
5 - Pull - The chained Pull ability is where Binding Blade really shines and provides a lot of utility for the class. After Binding Blade has been used there is a 10 second window where Pull is available. As long as you remain within the 600 range of your target this skill will immediately pull your opponent to your location and knock them down. This is extremely effective for runners if you manage to get binding blade off in time.
This is one of my favorite weapons for sPvP. The amount of control that you get from it is simply fantastic for defense. This is an incredible weapon for group defense, node defense, and escapability. Although the normal damage for PvP is not significant is does have its advantages for keeping opponents off step and out of rhythm. This is OK for WvWvW in general as a control build in smaller group fights, but doesn't shine very brightly in large melees or against a number of ranged attackers.
1 - Hammer Swing - Low damage attack. Standard auto-attack with 2 chained skills.
1 - Hammer Bash - Low damage auto-attack chained to Hammer Swing. Same as the #2 skills for sword and greatsword.
1 - Symbol of Protection - This is where the hammer gets interesting for Guardians. As far as auto-attacks go the first 2 skills are nothing special. In fact, they’re identical to the greatsword auto-attack skills except with a different visual skin. Symbol of Protection though does medium-high damage more than doubling the damage done by the Hammer Bash chained skill, extending the range of the hit out to 180 from 130 AND providing 1 second of Protection, which reduces your incoming damage by 33%. As far as skills go this one is on par with, or better than, other weapon skills for most weapons. The issue is that you need to let 3 auto-attacks to happen in order to get to this stage, so the overall sustained damage may be better than other options but you need to forego all of the movement and control skills that you could be performing otherwise. As far as damage goes, this is useful though if you need that. Generally you’ll be better off switching weapons though if you’re looking for damage output.
2 - Mighty Blow - This is another medium-high damage skill that causes AoE damage around the Guardian. The damage is on-par with the damage you get from the 3rd chained auto-attack (Symbol of Protection) but without the 1 second of protection. Useful if you need to do some quick damage. Best sequenced right after the Symbol of Protection hits. Helps out with closing small gaps quickly due to the leap that happens before the blow.
3 - Zealot’s Embrace - a 1200 range 2 second immobilize that impacts anyone in a straight line between you and your target. Effective and ranged. At 1200 if you manage to stop someone that is enough time to hit them with a Banish or switch weapons once you catch up with them.
4 - Banish - Wind up hammer. Swing hammer at target. Send target flying across the map and knock them on their ass. This skill is simply nothing short of incredible fun. It is great for getting an opponent away from you, in a particular place that you want them, launching people off of cliffs, and is just damn fun to watch. It makes me giggle like a little girl damn near every time that I use it. The downside is the ~1.5 second channel and the very short range so be careful when you use it. If you miss your opponent will make you pay during the long cooldown.
5 - Ring of Warding - This is an interesting skill because it can (and should) be used both offensively and defensively. Creates a ring on the ground with a range of 180 that will not allow foes to cross it. This means that if they’re in the circle they can’t leave it, and if they’re out they can’t get in. This does not protect or shield anyone from anything, just prevents movement across the ring. Scroll down for more on this in section 9.2.3.
The mace is our melee-range healing weapon. The damage output is low and if you’re using this weapon you probably should either be in PvE where it is most effective, or supporting your group and not trying to kill targets in PvP. Your damage output simply isn’t going to be enough with this weapon out in order to take down a target. When wielding the 1H Mace your purpose is to heal and defend, or just staying alive. If you’re out on your own you most likely don’t want to be using this weapon set as you will not be putting out enough pressure to concern your opponent at all so they will be free to do mostly what they want. As a solo player you’re probably going to want to switch weapons. This works very well as a field-commander type role or a heavy-support role with a group though just based on survivability.
1 - True Strike - Low damage auto-attack.
1 - Pure Strike - Low Damage chained auto-attack.
1 - Faithful Strike - Low damage chained auto-attack that heals nearby allies. The heal is about the same as a single tick from the #2 skill. Minor healing but it is spread out over allies. The more people around you the more effective this skill is. With recent changes though this will only heal up to 5 people, but with the high movement in WvWvW it is unlikely that this will be much of an issue for you.
2 - Symbol of Faith - Creates a symbol on the ground with a range of 120 (yes, less than the distance that normal melee weapons have for a range) that heals with 4 ticks of regeneration and damages foes standing within the circle. This ability is created underneath the Guardian and can not be targeted or moved once it has been placed. This skill is useful if your target (friendly or enemy) is stationary and will be able to get the benefit of the symbol or if you can put it in a high-traffic location. I'm highly conflicted on how I feel about the usefulness of this skill in WvWvW.
3 - Protector’s Strike - Surrounds you and allies nearby (130 range - the same as normal melee weapons) with a shield. The tooltip explination isn’t fantastic, but the functionality isn’t complicated. If you, or anyone within the shielded area, are hit during the 3 second duration the shield will block the attack, hit the attacker for medium-low damage, and dissipate the shield. If no one within the shielded area is hit during the 3 second duration it will grant everyone within range protection (33% damage reduction) for 3 seconds. Synergy with shield skills is high, and it makes sense to pair that with either the shield or focus for defensive abilities.
The shield is a staple of many Guardian builds. Since many people consider the Guardian a support class and the current iteration of the class offers good defense the shield is a natural choice for many people. Using defensive and support builds, which is much of what the Guardian is widely viewed as, the shield becomes an easy decision in the selection process. The 2 available skills for the shield make it a no-brainer for anyone looking to support their group.
4 - Shield of Judgement - Sends out an AoE cone in front of the Guardian doing low damage and offering all allies within 600 range 5 seconds of protection, granting 33% damage mitigation. Paying attention to which/when your allies are in range for this is important, but the protection is granted as a circular 600 range boon, even though the damage only goes forward. This means that this skill should almost always be off cooldown when you’re in a group fight and around allies. 5 seconds of 33% damage reduction might be enough to catch some spike damage (especially if you’re alert and see it coming) and change the tide over the course of a several-minute fight.
5 - Shield of Absorption - Creates a dome around you and your allies that pushes back any opponents. Great for saving yourself, saving someone who is rezzing an ally, negating a projectile attack, protecting an ally, or just simply knocking an opponent on their rear and disrupting their current action. This completely blocks opponents projectiles from entering, but leaves the user vulnerable to melee attacks still. Knockback + Protection = Quite fantastic.
At this time the torch is pretty lightly used. Not many builds use the torch because its role is somewhat confusing and doesn’t seem to really fit in with the rest of the skills when you evaluate them in comparison to the rest of the weapon skills. The primary use of the torch in its current state is really with a burn build. If you have a build that capitalizes on the burning conditions (a good one is in the builds section later in this document) it can be quite effective. Once outside of a burning-centric build though it just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the class. The range is awkward and AoE cone damage is difficult to manage in close-quarters combat if you’re not careful.
4 - Cleansing Flame - low damage frontal cone AoE that also removes conditions from allies. At this time it does not appear to apply burning.
5 - Zealot’s Flame - burns nearby opponents every 3 seconds for a 10 second duration.
5 - Zealot’s Fire - Medium damage from 1200 range that applies burning and decreases ability recharges of your opponent by 50%. Best if used immediately after an elite or strong utility skill by an opponent or to finish someone off quickly when they’re low on health.
As far as ranged weapons to go it is important to keep in mind that although the majority of what we do as Guardians is based around the melee weapons ranged weapons, for both offense as well as support, have important uses as well. In sPvP ranged weapons are nearly useless though. The maps in sPvP simply do not work well with ranged weapons. There are frequent walls, hills, stairs, windows, boxes, and ramps that will get in the way of the slow-moving projectiles that our ranged weapons are known for. For WvWvW though these weapons can become invaluable. Keep in mind that in order to get credit (at least in the beta weekend events) you need to actually do damage to your enemies on an attack or defense. This means either doing damage to the wall or doing damage to an attacker while you’re standing on the wall. You’re going to want a ranged weapon for either of those scenarios.
Much of the staff’s use comes from AoE attacks and support. While not having directly targeted abilities this particular weapon is a bit unique in the mechanics compared to the rest of the weapons that the Guardian. The staff is more of a ranged-group-support weapon that offers somewhat awkward skill placement for healing. I’ll do my best to get some skill videos up here once the game releases and we have access to it again so I can show how the skills actually work. Seeing them in function will assist more than lengthy explanations with multiple interpretations can provide. One thing is for certain with the staff - you won’t be killing many people on your own, but you will be loaded with support abilities that cover a variety of situations.
1 - Wave of Wrath - Medium range attack that does low damage with a slow moving projectile. Having a little bit of range is nice, but the damage is insignificant enough that you’ll probably want to be doing anything else other than auto-attacking. In its current state this is a pretty useless skill for almost any role.
2 - Orb of Light - Shoots a slow-moving projectile out with a range of 1200. “Hit it and forget it” does not apply to this skill though. The projectile will move on its own and then does nothing unless you actually activate the chained skill to it. If you're lucky enough to hit your target then it does damage as it passes through as well. If the orb passes the 1200 range mark it will simply disappear. Aiming the orb towards friendlies is a challenge though, and getting your target to stand still to hit this is equally difficult.
2 - Flash of Light - Causes very low damage to nearby enemies and heals nearby allies for a medium-low amount of health (as far as healing goes). The recharge is decently low so this should really be your primary skill use when using a Staff. Spam the hell out of this skill whenever it is off cooldown and there is an ally around.
3 - Symbol of Swiftness - Targetable ability! This is one of the few skills we can ground target so enjoy it when you’ve got your staff out. Additionally this is a pretty slick little skill too. It does a very low amount of damage (notice a theme here?) to your enemies within the field area and grants all allies swiftness. Usefulness is there certainly to help someone chance or escape, but the damage is lacking.
4 - Empower - A 4 second channel that gives all allies within the range 6 stacks of might for 12 seconds and heals them for a large amount. The might lasts a long time, the healing is significant, and the channel time leaves you vulnerable. If you’re not being targeted you should keep this skill on cooldown all the time. Over the course of a fight this can add up to significant healing and damage bonuses. If you’re being targeted don’t bother with even attempting this. Any competent opponent will interrupt you.
5 - Line of Warding - “Creates a line in front of you that opponents can not pass.” This, by itself, doesn’t seem terribly interesting. There are a whole bunch of fun uses for this though. Examples: Block off entry paths to capture nodes preventing enemies access for an additional 5 seconds so you can prep and call for help. Throw it down in front of a fleeing ally so the train of opponents all get knocked down buying that person some time and space in their escape. Use it against champions to prevent some damage while soloing them. Keep in mind this doesn’t block attacks or projectiles - only people. Additionally, the line CAN be dodged through if the enemy is alert.
The scepter is an interesting monster. The damage output to stationary targets is decent, but when moving it struggles. This is a weapon with good single-target damage output, but offers little in a large group setting.
1 - Orb of Wrath - Very low damage and very slow moving projectile. As far as auto-attack damage goes there are better options certainly. Stacking precision can help this out a lot when paired with appropriate traits. A good deal of your scepter damage in gruop fights will be caused by this skill.
2 - Smite - Causes repeated damage to foes in the area. Medium-high damage output and worthwhile skill to use. Unfortunately this skill has several drawbacks. The first of which is that it is a very small area that is ground targeted. We finally get a damage skill that is ground targeted and the area of effect is simply awful. Useful for sieges, stationary targets, or just trying to put pressure on someone to move. The second drawback is that there is no condition associated with the skill to as soon as the enemy walks outside the target area the damage stops.
3 - Chains of Light - 3 stacks of vulnerability for 6 seconds and a 2 second immobilize on a 20 second timer. Nice utility skill that brings the scepter together and makes it useful. Best when chained in the 3-2-1 order. Immobilize, use the AoE ground targeted #2 skill so you know they’ll be in range, and follow it up with the auto-attack if everything else is off cooldown.
1 - Ray of Judgement - Sends a ray out towards your target and then bounces up to 3 times. Since it can bounce 3 times, this means it can impact 4 people. Yay math! Enemies will be blinded for 5 seconds where friendlies will be given 5 seconds of regeneration for medium amounts of healing. With a 25 second cooldown this is a nice skill to have for both the damage avoidance for friendlies as well as the regeneration. A great skill to use on longer fights.
2 - Shield of Wrath - This is a fantastic defensive and offensive skill. When casted it will create a shield around you (and only you) that will absorb the next 3 hits. This shield lasts for 4 seconds, but if there are any charges of absorption left on the shield when the 4 seconds are up then it will explode causing medium damage to opponents within 225 range.
6.2 Utility Skills
Healing Breeze - Does a good amount of healing to you over 3 seconds and provides a some healing to nearby allies in a frontal AoE cone. Although this seems like a great skill (and it is, really) you need to keep in mind that the healing to allies is done in a cone in front of you at a short range and ticks over those 3 seconds so keeping targets in the affected area can be difficult. Additionally the self-healing is lower and takes longer than the alternatives.
Shelter - Heals yourself for just barely more than what Healing Breeze does, but blocks all incoming attacks while you cast the heal. The heal takes 2 seconds instead of 3, and as far as I can tell you are entirely immune during this short duration. This is a good decision if you're running the commander-type build and will be up in the front lines often.
Signet of Resolve - Removes a condition from you every 10 seconds and heals you for about the same as Healing Breeze. If you’re struggling with conditions this is a good choice. Going up against condition-based rangers, mesmers, or necromancers this is a bit of a benefit to have if you can live long enough to get a couple of them pulled off. With the pace that some classes are able to stack conditions this feels like an incredibly underwhelming aspect to the skill, but with healing significantly better than the other two options in addition to only having a 30-second cooldown this is a great option and one that I almost always take.
Hallowed Ground - 900 range stability to all allies for 10 seconds and generates a combo field of fire. This is a fantastic skill in WvWvW for seiging enemy locations and running through the gate right when it falls. Additionally this is a fantastic skill for sPvP allowing you to get your finishing blows in on a downed player without being knocked down or pulled by enemies trying to stop you.
Wall of Reflection - 10 second flat wall that reflects projectiles back to their source. With a 40 second cooldown the uptime is quite respectible and it can be a great utility skill to cause some damage, give some protection, and generate enough damage to get credit for some location defense.
Contemplation of Purity - Removes all conditions from you and converts them to boons as well as breaks stun. With a 60 second cooldown this may be more useful for the stun-break than condition removal, but it is a viable option for those of you who find yourselves in the middle of a melee often.
Judge’s Intervention - Teleport to your target and give nearby enemies 3 seconds of burning doing medium damage. This skill also breaks stun. This is a good skill to consider for any offensive build, and is a must-take for a burning build.
Merciful Intervention - This is the inverse skill to Judge’s Intervention. Within a 1200 range you will teleport to the ally with the lowest health and create an AoE heal around them. This does a decent amount of healing and with the heal being an AoE this is an even nicer skill. With an 80 second cooldown this is something that you will often want to use intentionally in tandem with the teleport/get away aspect of the skill instead of spamming it, but certainly a worthwhile skill to have. Following this skill up with Shield of Absorption can save someone quite effectively.
Smite Condition - Remove a condition and cause very low damage to nearby foes. If you actually remove a condition the damage is doubled, although still low. With a 20 second cooldown this may be something worth taking if you pair it with Signet of Resolve in order to maximize conditional removal. The damage it does is so small though that unless you’re really having condition issues and are willing to downgrade your heal in addition to this skill it probably isn’t terribly useful to have.
“Hold the Line!” - Within 1200 range all allies get 33 seconds of protection, 6 seconds of regeneration, and it breaks stun. A very solid skill that should be considered for any build that is based on support. If you’re going in to WvWvW this is a great skill to have.
“Retreat!” - Grants 5 seconds aegis and 15 seconds of swiftness to up to five nearby allies. You could equally call this skill “Charge!”. Its great for movement, its great for running away, its great for chasing down someone, and its great for disrupting enemy groups. Charge into the middle of an enemy group and start wrecking havoc, or escape and live to fight again. The choice is yours.
“Stand Your Ground!” - Provides stability for 5 seconds and retaliation for 10 seconds to allies within a 1200 range with a 30 second cooldown. Effective in group battles, but only truly useful when supporting allies.
Sanctuary - Creates a 120 range bubble for 10 seconds that heals those inside of it for a significant amount while preventing both enemies and projectiles from entering. An excellent choice for any defensive or support build.
Purging Flames - Creates a ring of fire on the ground. Burns enemies as they run through it causing high damage while removing conditions from allies when they run through it. Lasts 5 seconds. A must-have for any burning build.
"Save Yourselves!" - Draws conditions from nearby allies within 1200 range while granting you: 10 seconds of Fury, 10 seconds of Vigor, 10 seconds of Might, 10 seconds of Protectino, 10 seconds of Regeneration (which adds up to pretty decent healing), 10 seconds of Retaliation, and 10 seconds of Swiftness. A pretty fantastic skill that gives you 10 seconds of super-strength, speed, and protection every minute. A great skill to have both for support to draw conditions in addition to all-around butt-kicking.
Bane Signet - Passively improves power by 5-90 depending on your level. Active: Knocks your foe down and damages them for 244. Good up to 1200 range. This skill provides most of its use from the interrupt via knocking your opponent down. What’s nice is that you have a huge area in order to knock them down in so you’re able to instantly interrupt at a distance. With a 45 second cooldown this is a good skill for an offensive build, or effective in a 2-3 man group if you pay attention around you to use the knockdown defensively to save your allies.
Signet of Judgement - Passively reduces incoming damage by 10%. Grants nearby allies retaliation for 10 seconds on activation while giving 5 seconds of weakness to enemies with a 600 yard range. Great option for defensive or support builds. The 10% damage reduction is huge and being able to impact the damage output of your team for 10 seconds with a 20 second cooldown is fantastic. No other utility skill in our class has close to a 1:2 duration-to-cooldown ratio.
Signet of Wrath - Increases condition damage by +50 at level 80 passively while giving a 3 second immobilize on activation with a 30 second cooldown. Good choice for a burning build, but probably not much else. The 3s immobilize isn’t compelling enough to take up an entire utility slot for a defensive or support build.
Signet of Mercy - Passive: +75 bonus to healing at level 80. Active: Breaks stun and revives an ally within 900 range. This skill is awesome for any support Guardian without exception. Passive healing bonus? Mobile ranged revive? Yes please.
6.2.4 Spirit Weapons
*Important note about spirit weapons. They can not be targeted or killed by opponents. The only ways that they disappear are through the cooldown expiring on their creation or through using their command ability (your hotbar will change from the summon to the command when you use it the first time) if you do not have the needed talents. They will continue to live even after you've been downed. As a general rule I recommend not taking any talents that modify spirit weapons unless you're using a building build, or using more than one spirit weapon on a consistent basis.
Bow of Truth - Summons an arcane bow that removes conditions from you and your allies for 20 seconds. When commanded it fores a barrage of healing arrows at its location which then destroys the bow without traits. 60 second cooldown gives it potential 30% uptime which is pretty decent if you’re really focusing on condition removal. Duration is 20 seconds and cooldown is 20 seconds on the command, so you only get to use it once even with traits.
Hammer of Wisdom - Summons the popular “big ‘ol smackdown hammer” which knocks over your opponent. There’s a normal 3-chain hit like the basic auto-attacks of sword/mace and the final hit in the chain is a knockback. When commanded the hammer does an additional knockdown for 3 seconds. What is interesting about the hammer is that the cooldown on the command is 15 seconds even though the hammer duration is 20 seconds. This means (provided you have the right traits) that if you’re very attentive you can cast the hammer, pull of a knockdown, let the auto-attack chain go until the hammer is almost gone, and then cast the knockdown again. This skill in general can be very aggravating for enemies and is a great choice for any damage or control build that needs more control.
Shield of the Avenger - Standard spirit weapon 20 second duration with a 60 second cooldown. This periodically casts a Shield of Absorption which will deflect projectiles and knock back enemies. The command is 15 seconds cooldown as well, much like the Hammer, and provides 6 seconds of weakness to enemies in the 1200 range. This is an interesting skill to consider for a strong support build simply because of the passive. The command weakness leave a lot to be desired, but the passive makes up for it. The downside is that you have no control over when the Shield of Absorption casts so there is a heavy element of randomness to it potentially making it useless for the 20 seconds if the timing is poor or if the shield ends up in a random spot where it does little use (also likely). I have a love/hate relationship with this skill. Sometimes it feels like it doesn't work and I'm not convinced that the knockdown from shield of absorbtion really triggers properly all the time.
Sword of Justice - Summons an arcane sword to attack your enemies. This is a solid skill to have for any damage build. The damage is respectable, even if the command feels a little weak when it doesn't crit.
Renewed Focus - Makes you invulnerable for 2 seconds and resets the cooldown on your virtues (F1, F2, and F3). There's value to this somewhere, but I've never felt a need to equip it. I can't think of a scenario except for possibly an all-or-nothing burning build where I would be willing to bypass the other options to take it.
Tome of Courage - Opens up the following support spells that last for 20 seconds. You can improve this to 30 seconds with Elite Focus. Although the cooldown is very long the benefit justifies it, even without Elite Focus. Expect any good sPvP team to blow you up as soon as you pop this though. My general strategy in WvWvW with this is to go straight down the line 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and then spam 1 and 2 alternating. After that just hit any skill that comes off of cooldown for WvWvW.
Heal Area - Does a medium-large amount of healing. 3 second cast with no cooldown.
Purifying Ribbon - Sends out a ribbon of light that removes conditions from allies and blinds enemies for 3 seconds.
Protective Spirit - Grant protection and regeneration for 5 seconds to allies within a targetable cone that has 1200 range. Use this every time it is off cooldown.
Pacifism - Dazes opponents within 1200 yards for 3 seconds. This works on up to 10 opponents (or at least did).
Light of Deliverance - Yep. 100% heal on up to 5 allies within 1200 range. This skill is amazing. Sadly even with Elite Focus you can only cast this once.
Tome of Wrath - The flip-side of the previous tome. All damaging abilities that can wreck havoc on your opponent. Lasts for 20 seconds, or 30 with Elite Focus. The Tome of Wrath isn’t all that amazing as far as allowing you to do damage really, but opens up a lot of opportunities for your allies. It provides them with damage, critical, and speed increases while knocking down and doing damage to your opponents. If you’re going to solo-damage this may not be your best option as many of the skills really fall into the “support” role. If you’re with a group and don’t need to play the hero this is a great choice. The #1 AoE damage skill is great for quickly putting pressure on an enemy team though, and good even if you're primarily a support player. The Abilities are as follows:
Conflagrate - Causes burning for 2 seconds in a target area. This is great will a burning build and the ability has no cooldown. Burning is stackable. Set fire to the rain, folks.
Affliction - Projectile that bounces 5 times causing 3 seconds of weakness and 3 seconds of crippling to enemies while dealing low damage. 3 second cooldown.
Smiter’s Boon - grants 10 seconds of might and 5 seconds of swiftness to allies within 1200 range.
Zealot’s Fervor - Gives 10 seconds of Fury and 3 seconds of Quickness to all allies within 1200 range.
Judgement - Knocks down up to 5 targets for 2 seconds within 600 range and deals a medium-large amount of damage. It also is a combo finisher of the “Blast” type.
Virtues are important skills to the Guardian class and one of the things that makes us unique. The passive bonuses offered to us by them help keep us on pace with other classes and their activations give us brief small bonuses. What is nice is that we get these virtues for free right out of the gate (minus leveling unlocks).
Passively we get granted aegis every 40 seconds for ourselves. On activation we can apply aegis to ourselves and all nearby allies. With a 90-second cooldown the bonus is mediocre, but helpful. With a free skill it’s hard to complain though.
Burn foes with every 5th attack and gives burning to both yours and your allies next attack. Passively and naturally you do very low damage on a single tick of burning. Actively the burning lasts for 5 seconds and really does an increased amount of damage. Add in to this that all of your allies get to inflict 5 seconds of burning on their next attack too and it can either help make quick work of a single target or put decent pressure on an opposing team.
Things that are really important to understand about the Virtue of Justice:
*Each 5th HIT causes burning. This means that skills that hit multiple targets will get to that next 5th hit quicker (or at least did). This includes any type of attack that you initiate from your 1-5 weapon skills.
The burning effect is the fire that you see glowing on your skill bar as seen here. It will grow until it has gotten to the 5-hit mark and then from there it will disappear once it has been used.
The Virtue of Resolve is one of the nicest skills in the game. A passive heal skill is never to be overlooked and for a skill that does not cost any points, time, or effort to purchase being able to offer an AoE heal to nearby allies is fantastic. The healing offered isn’t huge but with a small-medium area heal available to us every 60 seconds its hard to complain. This should never be off cooldown if you're not at full health. Traits allow you to share this passive effect with nearby allies, which is fantastic if you're often in close quarters in WvWvW.
The trait selection is probably as important as your weapon selection and your utility skills. Each of these factors plays heavily into how your character plays and what role it fits on a pretty equal level. Because the traits are self explanitory in their description I’m not going to copy them all from every other guide and your screen in-game. Its written down enough other places already and this document is long enough at this point to make most people’s eyes bleed I’m guessing. I’ll just cover interesting notes that you should take on the various lines. The one piece of important advice that I would give is to pick the traits and don't go into a specific line just because of the stat bonuses. You can always compensate for stats with your gear. I’ll also give a breakdown of the stat bonuses for each trait line.
* +10 Power and +1 Expertise per point invested.
* Lots of burning bonuses in this trait line. If you’re making a burning build, you should probably invest 30 points here.
* This is the line that has all of your Spirit Weapon bonuses as well if you’re going for a Spirit Weapon build.
* This is also a line you’ll want to invest heavily in if you’re making a Greatsword damage build providing a %5 damage increase, vulnerability every time you immobilize an opponent, and healing on every Greatsword attack.
* +10 Precision and +10 Malice per point invested.
* Another very good line for a burning or condition build.
* Excellent line for sword DPS providing 20% total bonus to damage.
* +10 Toughness and +10 Prowess per point invested.
* Primarily a defensive line providing options such as +90 toughness when wielding a shield, +30 toughness to nearby allies, 20% decreased shield recharges, and instant self-healing meditations such as Merciful Intervention and Contemplation of Purity.
* +10 Vitality and +10 Compassion per point invested.
* A good combination of defense and support in this line.
* Nearby allies healed at the end of dodge rolls via Selfless Daring. This is fantastic for group support in WvWvW battles!
* Larger, longer-lasting, and always-healing symbols help greatly with group support.
* +1 Concentration and +1 Willpower for each point invested.
* Primarily a support line.
* Consecrations can be ground targeted through the use of Consecrated Ground. This is certainly nice. Too bad we don’t have one that does this for Symbols!
* Extra 10 seconds of Elite skills through the use of Elite Focus. This is huge for us!
* Various Virtues and boon/condition bonuses that help us passively.
There are a couple important to things to keep in mind. The below builds are intended to be a template for your own builds. Depending on your weapon preferences, your trait preferences, your playstyle, and the group (or lack of) that you play with regularly these are not designed to be a catch-all or “ultimate build”. Instead they’re a starting point that I recommend you tweak for your own needs. Don’t bother leaving any comments on little tweaks, etc on how to min/max these builds because they’re not really intended to be run as is without changes unless it really fits your unique playstyle and group.
Also I have yet to find a GW2 build creator online that is actually up to date with details on the latest BWE3 and the final stress test. Some of these are wrong. I know this, but there’s nothing I can do about it until the build generators update after release.
Be sure to click the links to examine the builds.
The purpose of this build is to be able to safely put pressure on enemies in a group setting both through melee and through ranged - making it ideal for both node attacking with a group in sPvP and as damage/harassment in WvWvW for both small skirmishes and sieges. This is generally one of the more versatile builds for the class.
The general idea with this in group fights is to be out on the front lines providing a push-back against the enemy and moving the front lines of the battle. The defense offered is good but not great so you don’t want to over-extend, but certain tactics such as popping Virtue of Courage, running a bit into the enemy lines, and then popping a Shield of Absorption to disrupt them, cause a bit of chaos, and then roll back to your team can be quite effective for pushing enemies back. You’ve got enough damage and to stand up front with sword and shield, and if you need to dodge back in to the group and switch to scepter/focus for some range damage while you heal up you can do that as well.
Dodging between back-row allies gives them heals while you cast ranged ground-targeted consecrations for allies in the front rows. Your survivability is low compared to some other builds, but you can throw down Symbols of Faith and enough shields to survive and help out while using your Virtues. Lots of passive help and the ability to provide front-row support with sword/shield for a few moments while providing ranged support with staff. Keep in mind for WvWvW you need to do some damage still in order to get credit for dynamic events!
Designed to be up and in the fray. Toughness is added for more staying power while using mostly cooldown-reducing and damge-increasing traits. The nature of the Guardian's damage output is much more consistent instead of being spiked, so the focus is on power over precision. Designed to keep your target close for melee damage and gives you options with both weapons and and a utility skill to teleport to your target as well as a knockdown.
The idea behind this build is simply to not die. You might just be putting pressure on someone, harassing a person/group, or defending a node/keep. Shield/sword are used here with the purpose of providing defense and shields. Hammer is used for control to knock people out of your area and keep them away. Consecrations are used for knockback and damage avoidance. You won't be killing many (any) people with this configuration, but you'll live for a good amount of time while your allies come to your side. Check out the tips/tricks section below on some good ideas to use while in this build.
Light up a doobie and set the world ablaze. Set people on fire with your attacks, virtues, blocks, utility skills, spirit weapons, and torch. Not a huge amount of defense so it would be ill-advised to just run in and start smashing things, but played defensively you can stack enough burning on a single target that will make them consider joining the fire department IRL.
I'm not really sure how viable this build really is, but is more of a concept. Because of increased durations and reduced cooldowns you should be able to keep a spirit weapon up almost all the time and use some of the commands more than once while they are out. This is more of a novelty build than a real option I think at this point, but could be fun if it works reasonably well.
9.1 Unique Class Mechanics
No Targettable Symbols
All skills for the Guardian are based in a small circle around the Guardian on the ground meaning that for it to be effective as either attack or support you need to be right on top of either your opponent or your ally. This means that movement and positioning for Guardians is exceptionally important. Chasing someone down for a heal or boon will most likely end in a wasted cooldown due to the very mobile nature of WvWvW. When setting down these Guardian-based ground AoE boons it is very important to consider the impact, duration the target is likely to be within the AoE area, and alternatives. Many times using skills such as the HoT Mace #2 skill it simply isn’t worth using if anyone is moving. This is a huge drawback to the Guardian class as it makes many of these skills nearly useless in open combat in both sPvP and WvWvW.
*Banish is so much damn fun. Beyond being fun it has incredible uses. Obvious uses: Knocking people off of ledges. Knocking people out of nodes. Knocking people through windows. Interrupting skills. Just watching things fly.
9.2 Situational Tips and Tricks
It is more valuable to live and fight than it is to die. Death loses you and causes teammates to then need to either leave you for dead or spend their own effort saving you instead of dealing with the enemy. Play cautious.
More details below in 9.2.3 on this, but you can use the hammer Banish and follow it up with the Immobilize on #3.
Use your Shield of Absorption for a knock-down of surrounding opponents before you turn-tail-and-run for a little bit of separation.
Dropping a Line of Warding right in front of you and running through it is incredibly effective when escaping from small groups, as is Ring of Warding.
*Managing the hammer auto-attacks is something that should be done. It is a learned skill that will take some time to be really effective with, but the damage output is greatly improved when you manage it correctly. Due to the math on how the chained auto-attacks works you need to try and always time your #2 skill immediately after the final auto-attack chain when you’re going to use it. If you are interrupted in any way your chain restarts and your DPS drops drastically. This includes using any of your own skills! Using a utility or weapon skill other than allowing the auto-attacks to continue will reset the chain and keep your DPS low. By using the #2 skill before the 3rd chained auto-attack goes off you negate any benefit from waiting for a second auto-attack and use a cooldown for damage that would have been free had you not done anything at all. Additionally you’ll miss out on the free second of protection and the Light combo field. Pay special attention to this and take some time in PvE to learn the icons, the pattern, and the timing. You will not always need to worry about this (hopefully you’re not auto-attacking for all that long always) but when you do utilize it over the course of a minute or two fight the difference in damage can make a significant impact.
Node Defense / Self Defense
These tricks work to keep someone out of a node, or away from you. Ultimately the purpose of this is to keep your target from doing damage while keeping yourself alive waiting for a timer to tick down for capture points or waiting for reinforcements to come.
This has to be my personal favorite strategy when defending a node in sPvP. While using the hammer line up your target when they get towards one side of the capture node. Use the #4 banish skill (careful not to miss!) and send them flying outside the ring. Once they stand up use the #3 skill and Immobilize them. Use this moment to cast a self-heal if you need it or use your virtues. Once they start coming towards you throw down your #5 skill (Ring of Warding) so that the edge just overlaps outside the edge of the capture node. If you time it reasonably well, which isn’t hard to do, they will probably run into the edge of the ring and get knocked over. If you have shield on your other weapon set you can swap sets and use the #5 (Shield of Absorption) to throw your opponent back outside of the ring again. Swap to scepter if you have it and use your #3 immobilize. When you add all of this up you can get some pretty significant time away from your opponent and alone in the center of the node moving the capture bar. Knockback gives you ~2 seconds, Immobilize gives you 2 seconds, knockdown from running into the Ring of Warding gives you a little over a second, and knockback again from the Shield of Absorption will give you another 1.5-2 seconds. When added up you end up with almost 8 seconds of going untouched from a melee opponent if everything lands. If you’re trying to neutralize a node or just need a little bit to finish a cap this is the ultimate way to do it. Its fun to watch, and even more fun to execute.
Group Defense and Support
If you pick up Selfless Daring be sure to dodge whenever you get the chance! Obviously be smart when you’re close to the front lines, but if you’re roaming in the middle fo a friendly pack that is taking ranged damage be sure to maximize the dodge heal bonus.
Its damn near impossible to get a random friendly player to understand how the Guardian class works, and honestly its not really their fault. There are a lot of options out there for classes and playstyles and if you’re going to run a full support build on your own with random players something you’ll have to accept is that they just won’t get it. Know beforehand that most consecrations. shields, and heals that you drop on the ground won’t be used. I’ve been part of more battles than I can count even during the beta weekends where I would drop a Sanctuary on top of a group of friendlies being attacked and as soon as they saw it go up they would run out of it and stand next to it. They just don’t understand and no matter how hard you try you will constantly be surrounded by people that will actually go out of their way to avoid the help you placed right on top of them. Its just how it works. If you’re playing with random players going full-support might not be your best move.
Toughness vs Vitality
Toughness will decrease the amount of damage you receive. Vitality will increase your health pool. Upon simple inspection this might seem like they’re equally valuable, but its simply not true. The value of taking less damage through increased toughness is better than Vitality when you’re in a support role. Taking less damage will give you the opportunity to survive more abuse and will mean that you need to pay a bit less attention to healing yourself and can pay more attention to supporting your group. Vitality, in a support role, is still useful but should be considered a secondary stat. As far as control and damage builds go you will most likely want to have a much more even distribution of the two.
Wall of Reflection
Using Wall of reflection while defending a location is fun and useful. Since Guardians struggle with range getting damage to earn enough credit to get a Gold for the "Defend the _____" when in a heavy support build with melee weapons this can help boost the damage numbers a bit in order to assist with that. The trick is to drop the Wall of Reflection right in front of your own gate as the enemy is attacking it and then roll right back in to the stronghold. Projectiles will get reflected back and although it may not be enough to kill anyone (although sometimes it is) after 2-3 times you should hopefully have enough damage to get solid credit for defending the location.
“Save Yourselves!” + “Retreat!” + Symbol of Swiftness = a whole lot of swiftness. What is even better is that we can share “Retreat!” and Symbol of Swiftness with the people around us.
* Utility skills can be swapped while not in combat. I frequently pick a skill that I could afford to live without in WvWvW and swap it out with “Retreat!” while running. When I get close to my target or see a battle I will swap it back with the original utility skill I had intended for combat. be careful with this as you can’t swap utility skills when the skill is on cooldown either so you need to anticipate your arrival time and line it up with your cooldowns. If you’re getting close to your destination or a skirmish play it safe and just swap it out a few seconds early.
*This is probably the most useful crafting skill for a Guardian to pick up. The obvious benefit is that you can make a full set of your own armor, which is excellent. This allows you to really select what you want for statistics on your armor instead of simply having to deal with whatever the best thing is you’ve found via loot or questing. This bonus is not to be understated.
*Secondly armorsmithing allows you to make bags for yourself! If you’re anything like me you’re always short on inventory space because “I just might run into a situation where I’m going to need to switch out my +Power sword for a +Toughness sword. I better keep both with me.” I know that it’s unreasonable a lot of times, but I also acknowledge that I have an issue and just learn to live with it.
* Armorsmithing allows you to make bags for your friends! Guildies will love you if you can supply them with more storage space too. Its a great way to help out when you’re not smashing faces and flinging people across maps with your hammer.
* You can sell all sorts of stuff! The open market for heavy armor, runes, and bags will be booming and this is a great chance for you to make some money to keep up with the repair bills you’ll incur wearing all that plate.
*Foci, scepters, staves, and tridents. A good array of ranged weaponry that we use comes from here. If you find yourself running a lot of support builds or ranged damage builds this could be a serious consideration. Aquatic weapons may have a good trade market since I don’t anticipate there will be strong interest in it for crafting. Potions are also craftable by artificers, but since they’re not usable in PvP there is little point to considering that as a reason to pick up this crafting skill.
Tons of benefits here for WvWvW! Stack lots and lots of food and build up a whole bunch of bonuses from stats to magic find to health regen. For serious WvW players this is almost a must-have!
*We can make torches with this. Might be a good option if you like using burning builds, but probably not a whole lot else.
*Makes rings, earrings, and necklaces. My experiences in the beta and stress tests has been that these items are generally hard to find in quality or quantity. This may be a great option to pick up if armorsmithing and/or weaponsmithing is already covered within people that you know. Everyone needs those additional items, the markets will be good for them, and it will help round out your character in WvWvW. This could be a good option to consider if you can’t decide which way to go. As much as being a weaponsmith is great, you can only wield two weapons at a time where being a Jeweler lets you wear up to 4 self-crafted items at a time. Certainly something to consider.
*Leatherworking currently offers nothing for Guardians to consider for PvP benefits.
*Tailoring currently offers nothing for Guardians to consider for PvP benefits.
This is a nice juicy option for any Guardian. The melee weapons really are the center of the class and any build will almost be guaranteed to have at least one, if not two, melee weapons in it. Being able to make your own with the stats you want is fantastic. Hammers, maces, swords, greatswords, and even shields come from weaponsmithing giving us a large array of choices that will benefit both us as well as our teammates. Additionally we can use inscriptions which add bonuses to weapons as well. This will become the first or second choice for many people playing the Guardian class who want to utilize their own crafting abilities with their character.
We've seen over the last couple of months since release a decent amount of reduction in the survivability that we have. This was not uncalled for. Although I miss being invincible we're much closer to where we should be as far as our lasting power goes and are much more inline with the other classes in the game depending on our build. This reduction in survivability has been mostly in the realm of duration reductions on our protection abilities and our "Save Yourselves!" skill.
*Self-based ground AoE symbols. This makes it difficult to effective boon and heal allies without standing on top of them always.
* Sometimes the defensive builds don’t feel so defensive in sPvP. Full defensive builds can still be taken out extremely quickly by 1-2 opponents who are heavily offense-based.
Edited by xirrin, 21 November 2012 - 12:01 PM.