Silven's Guardian Guide
-- Introduction --
Current builds -> http://tinyurl.com/S...nGuardianBuildsHey guys!
My name's Silven, today I'm going to be bringing you a guide to playing a Guardian in tPvP. I will start off by making the Bunkering guide and then a side point / dps guide, simply because it takes too long to do it all at once =3
Quick introduction first! I'm very much into theory crafting and testing, I honestly test every single build I've seen posted, no matter who it's by. This is simply because sometimes I miss things while theory crafting and by playing it I can see how good it actually is. I correct myself constantly and I train a lot! Unfortunately I am only 3/4 of the way through r39 and don't have too many QP's. I work 38+ hours a week and am exhausted quite often but I try my best always to get in enough practice and paids.
I make guides because I enjoy the help others receive from it and it's a fun hobby. At the moment my team has come from losing 2nd or 3rd round in frees to winning 92% of our games in the last week (paids included) and yes I do count, I'm stupid like that. Since we got our core together we've improved so much to the point we're beating top teams like ALFA.
Without further introduction here's the start to my guide <3
-- Build List --
Triple Meditation Builds --
Meditation builds by default will have a lot of defence through shelter/RF and the meditation heals. SYG over contemplation is always an option, and some of the traits can be changed. Dual energy mods can keep you alive for insane amounts of time, just make sure you don't sac too much offense.
Balanced Roamer (Sw-Sh / GS) - http://gw2skills.net...GbNuak1ssYYxMCA
Balanced between AoE and Single target DPS, both extremely strong. This is so you can easily hop into team fights and still be very strong 1v1. Very resistent to burst builds and can force stomps with high AoE. If you have no clue what your enemy is running this is quite often your best build, if you're roaming.
Side Point Master (Sw-Fc / Sc-Sh) - http://gw2skills.net...Nuak1s YYxOi5HA
One of the Strongest side-point holders, but can easily roam too. Good point assault, can Shield of Absorbtion + Chains of Light twice to neutralize a point. Directly counters symbol DPS Guard build (aka Kaypud's build). Dual energy sigils with Shelter, Shield of Wrath and RF means you're extremely resistent to burst. If you're learning the offensive Guardian this is definitely your startpoint.
Full Damage (Sw-T / Sc-Fc) - http://gw2skills.net...NOukct YYxOi5HA
Maybe you just want to do a bucketload of damage, this build hits 3k auto-attacks and has an insane spike. You sacrifice your health and toughness though. Resistent to Burst and has extremely strong single target spikes (can easily reach 15k-18k damage). You have to really know how to use your dodges and shelter/RF or you'll find yourself dead very quickly.
Symbol Nuke Builds --
Symbol builds provide high AoE DPS as well as high amounts of support, through symbol boons and healing. They can easily turn the tides in fights, and can 1v1 very well. They have a few optionals but usually these builds sacrifice armour and health to gain high crits on the symbol ticks (easily over 1.2k tick damage each symbol).
Blind Exposure (GS / Mc-Fc) - http://gw2skills.net...NOvketGZMyOiJBA
Your standard Symbol DPS build, complete with the Blind Exposure (Bug?), not entirely sure. Gives 3% vulnerability for each enemy hit, to each enemy hit, with Leap. Which means if you hit 3 enemies it will give 15vul to all of them, not sure if that's unintended or not. Don't drop the rage sigils, no matter how tempting it is! You need them to accurately land Whirling Wrath on skilled enemies.
Controller (GS / Hm) - http://gw2skills.net...NOvketaYMyOiJBA
Has slightly less mobility due to the lack of Retreat, but SY gives you a ton of extra damage and utility. Uses a hammer and GS for massive amounts of control and damage, while having the hammer to still pump out symbols. Very strong on point assault.
Moar AoE (GS / Mc-Fc) - http://gw2skills.net...NOvketGZMyuhJBA
Symbol when you drop under 25% hp, Purging flames to make sure fiery wrath triggers with all your symbols and you can walk in and out of it like crazy to lose conditions. Probably one of the biggest AoE Builds there are for Guardian.
Defensive (St / Mc-Fc) - http://gw2skills.net...NOvketsYYxuhJBA
Tonns of healing with a lot of support and still carries a lot of damage. Can win fights where normally you wouldn't have enough healing. Staff auto can hit 1.2-1.5k with empower (aoe), very important on spirit watch for denying caps.
Control Bunker --
This is the current bunker meta for Guardian, you gain and hold the point by using control abilities like Banish and binding chains. You can also use these abilities to assist in a spike. You have very strong defence against burst/conditions/control while DPS (or conds if you can't remove them) or missing burst are strong against you. Most of what you do will boil down to hitting or being Banished. Auto-attacks are stronger against you due to not having 3.2k armour. Obviously swap in sword on Khylo and Staff on Spirit Watch.
Vigor Hungry (Hm / Sc-Sh) - http://gw2skills.net...WuskZt Y8x jZEA
This is the standard build for most, I've been moving slightly away from it and bringing more support, focusing more on the team fights, but this will be your best solo bunker build by far. Has the maximum control/anti-control/vigor all together.
Vigor Support (St / Sc-Sh) - http://gw2skills.net...WuskZt Y8x jZEA
Get around the battle fast with swiftness and support hard with the Staff, this build is for quickly getting to every teamfight and always supporting, still has tonns of vigor and you can swap the Hammer for Staff. Less solo damage than other builds but I've been loving this build a lot recently, empower can buff your team to a quick teamfight win.
Balanced Dual 2h (Hm / St) - http://gw2skills.net...WuskZt Y8x jZEA
Last but my new favourite, the dual 2h build, thanks to Spirit Watch. Dropping fury-vigor due to the slower attack speed and need for cond removal. This build has tonns of control and team support while still retaining damage from the hammer and the control. Pretty much unrivaled in its diversity.
-- Contents --
You can use Control+F to search them!
Introduction and Build List
1.0 - The Bunker
1.1 - My Original Build
1.2 - Progressing Towards a Better Build
1.3 - Playing the Bunker
-- The Bunker [1.0]--
The bunker is an important role the Guardian plays for teams, it can be used to hold a point for the duration of the match entirely, or just delay the enemy from capturing it as long as possible (until reinforcements arrive or your team has enough time to capture another point).
The cool thing about playing a bunker is your have enough room to add on little additions to your build such as high critical damage, control or support, to help out your team to a greater extent. First we need to build our bunker!
Important Things to Note ----
- You gain a lot of survivability through the use of offensive, keeping your foes pressured so they can pressure you less.
- High toughness is always a must or your enemy can actually just auto-attack you to death =(!
- You have to have enough health to survive burst, I will go through the rest of the stats later.
- You must be able to support your allies, even if it's simply just your virtues and "Stand Your Ground!"
It's important to look back and see how I actually got to my current though process today, at first I was very focused on having higher than 17.5k hp, 3k armour, high crit chance and trying to keep protection up for ages. Now this still performs very well against classes with raw power, infact it's pretty un-killable against them, but it performs very poorly against condition based builds and control can render you fairly weak.
Every once in while I would make a small change to try make myself more effective, originally I had a similar build with Staff/Mace-shield and Soldier's Rune+Jewel, and then slowly got more offensive to stop my enemy from killing me.
Then finally I made the giant leap to a low vit Amulet, which made a giant difference. Low vitality amulets give you the most damage/defence but you lose your vitality.
So to get to the point, with a lot of testing and help from other people I finally got to this jewel:
Progressing Towards a Better Build [1.2]----
We now get to the point where instead of tanking as much damage as we can we're trying to avoid it completely while staying defensive against auto-attacks and spikes. By using the Cleric's Amulet we can use our dodge rolls for healing and invest our points from Valour elsewhere.
To start with I was using this:
Conditions being a big pain in the backside, made me always spec against them. And I went totally overboard! When fighting tougher and tougher players I realised my weakness now was burst. I had no problem with conditions, I could easily clean them with shouts or wait for them to drop off with purity.
Which brings me to what I'm currently running:
http://gw2skills.net...WuskZt Y8x jZEA
At first I hated Shelter, can be rupted by GS pull with a full cooldown, doesn't heal too much either. But it stops spikes in their tracks, it's perfect for this build, and frees you up for Fury when burning, which means you don't have to spec too far towards crit chance because you get it automatically!
Weapons: Scepter/Shield - Hammer (Energy/Minor Accuracy - Energy)
Armour: Full Solider Runes Cleric's Amulet / Knight's Jewel
- Zeal: 0
- Radiance: 10 - IV
- Valour: 10 - V
- Honour: 30 - II, IX, XI
- Virtues: 20 - II, X
- "Hold the Line!"
- "Save Yourselves!"
- "Stand Your Ground!"
- Renewed Focus
- On Khylo always bring Sword (energy) > Scepter (energy)
- Sanctuary with Virtues IV > Save Yourselves Virtues II
- Signet of Resolve with Radiance II > Shelter Radiance IV
- Tome of Courage > Renewed Focus
- Sigil of Life > Sigil of Minor Accuracy
- Honour VIII > Honour IX
The build again:
http://gw2skills.net...WuskZt Y8x jZEA
Holding the Mid [1.3.1]----
As a bunker you have many roles we'll start off with holding the middle point. Holding the middle point is so important in any match, quite often you win simply by holding it the entire game, thus it is usually the main focus of the enemy team too, and you're going to have to deal with the enemy bunker aswell as a lot of enemy players. Having high amounts of control to secure and hold the point is extremely important, also the ability to resist control is key.
Banish is your big 'gtfo-my-point' skill! It's so strong I almost always get the 20% reduced recharge for Hammer when playing this build. Unfortunately it has a high chance to miss, you have to have your enemy standing infront of you and it's animation is slow and obvious! But this can easily be used to your advantage, pressing escape will cancel the skill and set it on a ~4second recharge. Do this when your enemy puts up stability in reaction or you know you're going to miss, you can also do it to force your enemy to try and counter it. Make a lot of use of the cancel, GW2 gives literally no negatives for cancelling.
This is one of the best skills in the game, on Khylo it ensures you cap the point (granted they can teleport back up) but scoring a knockback with this is game changing.
Banish has a cast time, which means you can 'wind-up' the skill and then when it's just about to hit turn around and use it on them, this is good for gaining a better position to knock an opponent who thinks they're safe!
Here's an example from Khylo:
The windup (Red being how I'm going to knock, black being my movement)
The pewpew knock!
Keep between your enemy and the circles on the side and not the stairs, unless knocking, this will prevent them from knocking you down all the way, I will go into greater detail with this later!
Shield of Absorption --
Shield of Absorption is another amazing Guardian skill, instant knockback, ~1.2k+ heal, blocks projectiles. Everytime you use SoA make sure you click again, either at the start or end of its duration, this will give you the healing but it stops absorbing projectiles, if you need the absorb then use it at the end, if you're using it for the knockback then just double click it and press esc (otherwise you standstill for no reason, the bubble still appears but it is useless). The knockback is not as nearly as impressive as the one from banish but it still has its uses!! Being instant, if your enemy accidentally moves out of position, you can easily knock him off the point and it interrupts abilities (most importantly heals or strong skills) such as ToC 5, Empower, Earthquake, heal skills, Hundred Blades, etc!
The tell-tale signs of a heal
- Hands above head
- Blue-ish aura
- Low hp and they need a heal!
Ring of Warding --
Ring of warding has 3 awesome uses:
- Keeping an enemy out of a certain area
- Keeping an enemy in a certain area
- Kocking down an enemy
Pushing Your enemy back to capture a point!
Zealot's Embrace / Chains of Light --
These skills are very, very good to chain, especially with other control skills. The can keep an enemy off a point for you to cap it. Chains of Light is amazing since it can be used on any enemy anywhere around you, regardless if you're looking at them or not. While Zealot's embrace can be used beforehand (as an enemy is coming towards you) and has a shorter recharge, sometimes enemies can try and dodgeroll Zealot's embrace and still get hit by it =).
Chaining these skills on melee classes (AND IMPORTANTLY NECROS IN PLAGUE FORM) will reduce their damage considerably. In fact you can go from really close fights to just winning outright by keeping your enemies melee off your team.
Control Necro's in Plague Form!!!
An important thing to note while using Zealot's Embrace is that it's better to deselect your enemy to cast it (unless they're already immobilized) or it will cast where your enemy is and sometimes they can dodge it by simply moving =(!
It also should be noted that you can cast it while looking away from the enemy so that you can quickly turn around at the end of the animation to snare them and turn back.
*insert the picture showing how to set up effectively*
Line up where your enemy will be.
*image hitting with it*
And hit them without using the targeting system!
This is extremely important so that you are much more accurate!
Resisting Control [1.3.1c]--
"Stand Your Ground!" --
"Stand Your Ground!" is quite possibly the best Guardian skill in the game, even better than Banish in this build SYG removes two conditions, breaks a stun, gives a random boon, Stability and Retaliation. On a 24second recharge this skill blows everything else out of the water!
Firstly this skill's main use is the instant stability, use it when the animation of an important control skill is occurring to nullify it completely. In Guardian vs Guardian fights you'll want to save it for Banish usually. It can then be used to get up instantly so you can teleport to the middle of the capture point, saving precious seconds walking back.
It's very useful for getting off your healing skill, ToC 5 or even your own offensive skills. As a last resort it's very good for getting rid of harmful conditions, especially poison and high bleed stacks! Dodging the Mesmer Sword 2/3 is really easy with SYG and and a dodgeroll.
It's extremely important to watch for animations and react using this or Virtue of Courage. Things like Banish, the Fear symbol and the Ele Stomp are very easy to spot and react to!
These are some of the important skills you can easily stop with Stand Your Ground!
"Save Yourselves!" --
A very all-round skill! Removes two conditions, breaks stun and Gives you all boons bar stability. It doesn't matter if you're playing defensively or offensively SY performs incredibly well in both situations. It's very useful in pushing an advantage for either a kill or to force an enemy off a point, with swiftness, fury and a little extra might. Excellent for defence; protection, vigor, regeneration, retaliation and swiftness. This skill is amazing. It's incredibly important to try save this for the stun break, if you have to use it to pressure or save yourself from conditions that's definitely acceptable, just don't spam it.
Always watch your party bar, especially when resing. You can pull off poison from your allies to res them at normal speed, and it's extremely useful to pull of poison when an ally wants to heal. Beware you can pull dangerous conditions onto yourself and even force yourself into a spot where the enemy will just kill you because you pulled poison or something.
Just practice pulling poison when you see allies heal, your teamfights will improve by a lot!
Shelter / Renewed Focus --
Both these skills can be used as an anti-control mechanism aswell as anti-burst. Be extremely warey when using them, your dodgerolls will be your main source of healing, try to save Shelter and your virtues/RF until you desperately need them! I will go into detail later on specific uses for these skills =)
Although I will go into greater detail of virtues and other things later, to sum up control/resisting control. You have to take and hold a point, you can't just sit on a neutral point, you can't just sit on an enemy point and you definitely can't take it and then they just neurtralize/take it back. Your job is to get the most points from the centre point.
1v1Vs Guardian --
This is the matchup I completely excel in, playing 1v1 against another Bunker Guardian. When fighting on the middle you have to be able to control the other Guardian off the point, gain little advantages until you capture the point. While you normally do this in any match-up against any composition, normally you won't be able to kill the enemy bunker (nor should they be able to kill you). So slowly capping the point by gaining slight advantages is your way to go. I will explain this in more depth shortly.
- Against any builds without ranged attack you can simply kite with the scepter and only melee when you have your Banish recharged. You will have a gigantic advantage against these builds and you'll find them often burning utilities just to hit you. Save your snare when they reach you or try leap to you, then just snare and walk away.
- Take note if they're running Shelter or Resolve, Shelter will imply more dodge roll / damage avoiding based, they can't tank as much damage as Resolve, which is more likely a very high or very low toughness build.
- Sometimes you aren't playing against Guardians who have built that well, or are built around team fighting, if they don't have high regen/protection upkeep with around 3k toughnessm you're going to be hitting 450+ with scepter auto-attacks, you can actually just auto-attack these players to death.
- Important skills to dodge roll (in order of importance):
- Whirling Wrath
- Zealot's Embrace
- Hammer of Wisdom Auto-attack / Commanded attack
- Bane Signet
- Zealot's Defence
- Binding Blade
- Shield of Wrath
- For Empower and Light of Deliverance, just wait until the last second to interrupt them, this forces them to waste time casting it with little to no reward. Unless you know their blind/block/stab will be recharged intime, then do it straight away.
- Use cancel casts (pressing the button then esc before it ends puts it on a short recharge) on Mighty blow especially, to draw out stabilities, blocks and blinds. Then reuse your skill when they end. This is effective against any enemy, any match, any time!
Vigor/Control Bunker (the one I'm using above):
I have a feeling this build is going to become a lot more popular very soon, so get used to playing against it. I will list out some traits of each build so you can simply see their strengths, weaknesses, etc.
Strengths: Very strong vs conditions, control, burst, very strong control and has high fury uptime.
Weaknesses: Sustained damage can easily cancel out the healing from the dodge rolls and bursts can instant kill if utilities are on cooldown.
Dodge: Banish, Zealot's Embrace, Zealot's Defence (on Khylo), Mighty Blow,
This Guardian will be extremely strong against your immobilize, thus as a rule never stack immobilize on them, they will use a shout to simply remove it (which is effectively two of your skills wasted) rather use one straight after the first ends. This can definitely be used to your advantage too, burning their shouts will make them have much less defence against your damage skills or your allies. I've seen many times when my enemy has burnt SYG or SY on a simple immob, just to get dropped by the Necro 20seconds later because he has no removal.
To put more pressure on your enemy, spam Mighty Blow!!! I'm not joking at all, this is extremely important, Mighty Blow does a tonn of damage, and has a very short recharge. Use it as much as possible, this is very, very important. Simply by hitting 5 or 6 more Mighty Blows than the enemy, you can force them off the point completely, or to heal, or to burn additional cooldowns. Keeping up your DPS (especially since Guardians will constantly activate your Fury on burning trait) will wear down your enemy a great deal.
Save your SoA for important situations, don't waste your instant interrupt, this means if they have Resolve, use it to interrupt that if it forces a kill. If you need it to capture a point that's super important, but 100% save it for Light of Deliverence if they're running ToC, that's gamechanging. Remember to watchout for stability, there's nothing more awkward than SoA'ing through stability >>
When they swap to Hammer, keep them immobilized as long as possible, then try and get them in a position to Banish, quite often they will try and get off a Mighty Blow straight after immob ends, this can easily force them off the point. Chaining your knockbacks and immobs can lead to small gains in point control and eventually the entire point.
Cancel casting is what gives you your advantage is this match-up, Banish has a very easy to spot animation and your enemy will usually react with stability to counter it. By cancel casting you can then use Banish again a few seconds later when it has worn off and they have no counter to it. Because so many players are from WoW they generally won't use this tactic at all, you must beware of it yourself. Also, always keep your enemy between you and the biggest place you can knock them back (well, as much as possible) this means they can't actually knock you way off the point, only a slight amount if they hit, but you can knock them back as far as possible.
That point I just mentioned is soooooooooooooo important, because sometimes it just gives them a free capture, you DO NOT want that ever. Keep in your hammer set as much as you possibly can this means you always have your sword available to swap to and use Flashing blade to teleport back up to the top of Keep if knocked off (by keeping your enemy as your target always). Try to get them into the corners of the clocktower cap point (pictures shown later) to knock them down the stairs, and stay away from these corners yourself. Make sure all Banish's are blinded or blocked or stability controlled no matter what, as if you do get knocked down later on you will have enough time to get back up.
Try to time your immobilizes to trap your enemy in your trebuchet shot (they can't dodge roll) and only use your own dodges on Trebuchet Shots, Banish and Zealot's Defence. If you have to swap weapon to gain a dodge, definitely do so! If you get snared against their treb shot, either pop your elite or a shout and dodge.
Again, always try to avoid damage and control your enemy off the point as much as possible to gain the advantage on the point, you can also sacrifice your advantage by using RF which gives you your invulnerability and Virtues back. This is definitely a fight where you find the most skilled Guardian will usually win outright.
Crit/Symbol AH Bunker (xxxx)
Was the standard a while ago, less common now, but still very strong.
Strengths: Steady amount of healing, can deal a lot of damage, high hp/armour and crit damage, strong party support and almost permanent protection.
Weaknesses: Condition damage is very, very effective, very limited on control abilities, limited range option, average stability/block/blind options.
Dodge: Whirling Wrath, Protector's Strike, Binding Blade
You have to be very careful when playing against this build, if you miss a dodge on whirling or protector's strike, they can bring you down to very low hp, quickly. Keep in mind that they're built pretty high damage whilst still retaining 3k+ toughness and almost permanent protection. You can't actually kill this build at all, unless they screw up, but you can capture the point off them pretty easily.
Force out their stability/block etc. so that they're in a position where you'll easily land your knock. Keep immobilizing them to force them to remove your conditions and possibly just take the point. Once they've burnt condition removal Necs, Rangers even ele's will be able to kill them easily with conditions. So basically your job is to try and keep them off the point while removing their ability to defend against your allies!
Many things I've said also go for this section too, concentrate on cancelling and forcing them to counter, chaining controls and keeping up your damage. Try to kite a lot more against this because it's so melee focused and can dps you quite a bit.
Sounds kind of silly but; you actually just win. You have way more control, you have teleports and you will probably have the point in around 2 minutes 1v1. Just force their stability, dodge the trebuchets and knock him when he's not ready. If you knock against the wall and not quite off the edege, try immobilize then teleport and SoA.
Not really too much to beating this Guardian build but on Foefire just concentrate on shutting down their support because most of those matches will be teamfights. If you catch them near the edge of the point though control them till you have the point.
Nowhere near finished! Currently working 12+ hours a day Im trying to get this done ontop of that >>! A lot to come guys!
Feedback is welcome, except (Dis guideded it be not finished), would love to hear you opinions!