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The Adjudicator - Durable Guardian DPS


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#1 Soryuju

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

Since the Guardian forums have been a little slow lately, I thought I would take the opportunity to share a build that's been working very well for me in PvP and see what the community thinks of it.  I've always enjoyed the playstyle of the offensive Guardian, and I've been experimenting with a lot of different builds recently, but this one is easily my favorite.  Here's the spec:

http://gw2skills.net...ItwYgxBiNEvQmEA


Overview

This is a durable offensive build designed primarily for aggressive point defense and team support, excelling in 1v1 situations and amplifying the offensive momentum of its team in teamfights.  It utilizes the relatively uncommon combination of the Soldier's Amulet and Right Hand Strength/Retributive Armor to achieve a strong balance of offensive and defensive stats,  and sets itself apart from most Soldier's/RHS setups by running both the Hammer of Wisdom and Ogre Runes, which maximize its capacity for disruption and pressure.  The build is also an excellent reviver/executioner, possessing multiple instant-cast skills it can use for defense while channeling.

The build's primary weakness is low mobility - allies with AoE Swiftness buffs are always welcome.  Additionally, while the build is not especially weak to conditions, it can't always cleanse fast enough when focused by multiple players with condition damage specs.  It is, however, much less vulnerable to Necromancers than the traditional bunker Guardian.

Detailed Build Description:
Spoiler


Just as a final note, this build is designed primarily with free tournaments and below in mind, since the meta in paid tournies is pretty rigid at this point (and besides that, I can't really test the build in paid tournies, since I don't have a team to compete with).  I'm open to any criticisms people have of the build, though, and I encourage anyone who's a fan of tanky-DPS type builds to try it out.

#2 SpelignErrir

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:07 PM

Just used this in hotjoin pvp, worked really well. I switched out hammer for contemplation of purity, though...I couldn't find a use for it and was being loaded with conditions. Also, with Monk's Focus, it's a slight heal too.

#3 Soryuju

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:07 PM

View PostSpelignErrir, on 23 November 2012 - 05:07 PM, said:

Just used this in hotjoin pvp, worked really well. I switched out hammer for contemplation of purity, though...I couldn't find a use for it and was being loaded with conditions. Also, with Monk's Focus, it's a slight heal too.

Glad to hear that it worked well for you! HoW is definitely a flexible utility than can be exchanged to match the situation, and if you're dealing with a lot of condition damage, CoP could be a good option (in that case, switching out Retributive Armor for Meditation Mastery would also be a good choice, though you'll lose some DPS).

About HoW, typically I'll cast it at the beginning of every fight it's available (which is actually most of them, despite the lack of traits for it).  Its knockbacks and knockdown help keep pressure off of me while forcing opponents to play defensively (especially when the Rock Dog is up with it). By keeping the initiative and frequently interrupting, you're passively preventing conditions, and that makes Ray of Judgment, Smite Condition, and Signet of Resolve/Purity a very effective cleansing system.  When you've got multiple foes consistently loading you with a bunch of conditions, though, that's when you start looking at CoP, so based on what you described, you probably had the right idea. I still prefer HoW outside of that sort of situation, and I'd encourage you to give it another shot, but to each his own.

#4 Westwater

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:33 AM

I kinda like how this build works.  The only thing I would change is the 2nd Radiance trait.  5% more sword damage is a pretty minor increase.  Maybe switch it with Inscribed Removal for some extra condition removal, or maybe A Fire Inside since you have hammer on there.  Only having 1 meditation with meditation heals is a little confusing, but I can see why you want that tree maxed out.  More toughness=more crit which also benefits from the extra crit damage.

#5 Soryuju

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:29 AM

View PostWestwater, on 25 November 2012 - 12:33 AM, said:

I kinda like how this build works.  The only thing I would change is the 2nd Radiance trait.  5% more sword damage is a pretty minor increase.  Maybe switch it with Inscribed Removal for some extra condition removal, or maybe A Fire Inside since you have hammer on there.  Only having 1 meditation with meditation heals is a little confusing, but I can see why you want that tree maxed out.  More toughness=more crit which also benefits from the extra crit damage.

Yeah, Powerful Blades isn't anything amazing, but unfortunately, Radiance has a lot of major traits that are either geared toward specific playstyles or are just plain bad, so options are limited.  I did consider both Inscribed Removal and A Fire Inside for that slot, but ultimately went with PB because it offers me the most consistent benefit, and I'll usually also have another +10% damage from Radiant Power to stack with it, as well as a further +4% from the Runes of the Ogre.  

About the other options, Inscribed Removal would let me strip one extra condition every 32 seconds, which is kind of underwhelming.  Like I said above, I haven't found that conditions are a huge issue for the build unless you're getting focused with them by multiple players, and in that situation, IR won't help that much anyways.  AFI would definitely improve my damage output when the Hammer of Wisdom is up, but that's only for every 20 of 65 seconds.  The pets in the build are mostly there for the sake of passive pressure, and I don't want to invest too much of the build's damage in them when they aren't always going to be around. Since other options in Radiance really aren't worth considering, Powerful Blades is what I've ended up sticking with.

Also, I'm sort of hoping that eventually, the Guardian's weapon traits are going to be buffed in the same way that our Honorable Shield trait was, and that Powerful Blades will pick up a cooldown reduction or something.  Wishful thinking, I know, but I'm not going to complain about a free boost to the build if Anet ever gets around to it. :P

It's good to see that people seem to be liking the build so far, though.  Like I said, I unfortunately can't test it at any level of play above PUG'ing in free tournaments, but if nothing else, it appears to be fairly good at what it does.

#6 Rainbird

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

Zomoa from Alpha Collective uses/used a very similar build:
http://de.twitch.tv/ac_zomoa (the Guardian Build at the bottom). There are some VODs where he is playing it, I think. I tried that build in hot-join and really loved it.

I am also currently trying to find a viable hard-to-kill Sword/Shield/Scepter/Focus build for tournaments because I don't like mace due to the lack of a gap closer or an immobilze. Compared to the common mace/shield/greatsword bunker, a build like this loses selfless daring, the symbol heal and the heal from the mace auto attack. But you gain 3 blocked attacks from focus #5, the heals from the sigils of blood, and a lot of DPS, which helps a lot in 1v1. If you use contemplation of purity instead of the spirit hammer, you can also handle condition builds really well.




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