The best of the best! The Guardian!


Tribe of Judah Guild Wars Chapter Leader
We did have a Guardian thread just after release that died out in October. But we can make a new one to resume Guardian talk.

My thoughts: Guardian is really good with one or two builds. Everything else just seems unfinished or too niche to be effective. The spirit weapons are a nice idea, but I'm not convinced on their adding to DPS to counter the loss of survivability that shouts give. The ranged weapons aren't bad for the Guardian, but they aren't good. You will not kill things with either the scepter or the staff, so don't expect to be a ranged DPS Guardian. The staff is really good for area support, with nice CC, but the 600 range means you're still in the think of things. And the scepter is nice to give the 1200 range, but the DPS just doesn't make it viable if you actually want to kill things. Those the immobilize is nice.

But what the Guardian is great at is melee! Which is odd because I usually stay far away from melee in most RPGs I play. Mace is your defensive melee weapon if you need added healing for the cost of DPS. Hammer is your control weapon, using it to knockdown, knockback, CC, and smash things. Sword and Greatsword are your DPS machines, tearing through mobs like they were made of warm butter.

Right now I'm running a Shout build with Sword/Focus, but that's only because I got 5k kills on the Greatsword and wanted to try something new. While the DPS isn't as high as with the Greatsword, the survivability is phenomenal. To put it blunty.. I do not die! Ever!;TEA7NA

That's the build with the traits I use. I didn't add any armor to it, just so you can see what the skills/traits do on their own. To explain it:
  • Every time you put a boon on someone (either yourself or allies or pets) you get healed.
  • You have every boon possible in your utility shouts
  • You get TWO boons on yourself (and one boon on your nearby allies) whenever you crit
  • Whenever you use shouts you not only get the health from apply boons to allies, but you also convert 1 condition to a boon, which again heals you.
  • You loose two conditions every 10 seconds, unless you use your signet in which case you still loose 1 condition every 10 seconds.
  • Your healing signet recharges faster, making it the best heal for the recharge.
  • You have the maximum amount of toughness and vitality that your traits can give you, making you survive better. Also the maximum amount of healing power to make your heals even better (including the boon heals) AND your crit damage is as high as it can be with traits that factor into not only healing yourself when you crit, but also making sure the thing you're hitting gets dead.
  • Plus you have a start into precision which increases your crit chance (so more heals/more dead bad guys) and condition damage gets a little boost which makes your burning better.
  • And you heal yourself and allies at the end of a dodge roll for about 500. (plus/minus with healing power)

In essence, you get heals almost constantly, on top of Virtue of Resolves passive effect, you provide fantastic support through crit boons and shouts for your allies, and with the Greatsword, you're still doing a nice amount of DPS. And if you do happen to go down, you lose health 33% slower!

If I were to add armor or find weapons with specific attributes, I'd go with precision and healing power primarily, and then either vitality, condition damage, etc. depending on what I think should be shored up.

The only quibble I have with my build, and Guardians in general, is the elites. I think they are next to worthless, especially in my build, and the human elites don't help either. Which is why I bounce between Mistfire Wolf and Hounds of Balthazar, just to give me added DPS for those veterans and champions.
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Great thread!! only issue i have is my Guardian is a Norn and the Hounds are not available
any suggestions for a Norn elite?
Hmm.. With my build I'd probably go with Bear if I were a Norn Guardian. If primarily for the #4 roar skill. But I'm not a big fan of skills that change my skill bar, which means I'm not a big fan of any Norn elites.

For a Charr Guardian:almost any of the racial elites would be fun, even the Charrzooka, which negates my earlier resentment of skill-changing-skills.
Sylvari: Probably Summon Fern Mastiff, but any of them do not seem more beneficial or hurtful than another.
Asura: Either one of the two summons, most likely the offensive summon. Again, the third elite is a bar-changing skill so I am not a fan.

But this is all to say that it's your own personal choice. Unlike GW1 where build revolved around an elite, elites in GW2 seem very much ancillary and niche.
It certainly has the best name. Eh.. there's no point. It's by far the best racial elite.

I'm curious as to what other guardians may run. Anyone care to share their build?
I personally run very close to what you do. Exact same heal/utilities. Different racial, of course. I am not a fan at all of the guardian tomes - the lack of utility bar and especially ability to res kills it for me. I don't know what ANet was doing there.

Main difference is traits. I run:
15 radiance - recharge on VoJ + staffing down mobs is insanely useful, also gets you in habit of using
30 honor - used Protective Reviver instead of Empowering Might
25 virtues - 25% boon duration/virtue recharge, Master of Consecrations (for WoR), Absolute Resolution gives an instant 3 condition remove when you most need it

I try to make my guardian as tough as possible with gear, but outside of the points not super big on the valor line.
I dunno if this is allowed on our forum, but I am using this topic while I level up a guardian so I'm wanting to bump it back to the first page *hides*
No - we don't allow *bumps* - lol - of course we do...

I didn't read this the first time around - this is pretty exciting - especially now that I am moving into secondary characters. Thanks for bringing it back to our attention.

I'd be curious if this is still your opinion of the Guardian, Stc?

Also, Koeril, I signed up for your newsletter via the website...probably too late for the December one - but I'd like one anyway if that is possible.
Random note I forgot to mention before...Renewed Focus is my favorite guardian class elite by far. The description doesn't sound like much, but it allow you to stay alive in the rare times you need it, along with charging all your virtues. Usually you hadn't used your virtues, so you can score the invulnerability, heal/regen from Virtue of Courage, and an aegis for party members as well...with a relatively short recharge.
Ooh! Guardian thread! Just what I needed! :D

Thanks for bumping the thread, Koeril; it put it on the "What's New" page and brought it to my attention. :)
I thoroughly enjoyed running a Guardian up to level 11. What a lot of fun.
I'd be curious if this is still your opinion of the Guardian, Stc?

I still love my guardian! I'm running the same build now, but have gone more DPS with the Greatsword. I've also changed my other weapon to the staff, which synergizes really well with my build that I posted earlier. I still maintain that ranged weapons suck for the Guardian, but I can't run around with a greatsword into the WvW Zergs and the staff with the AoE attack is nice when facing multiple enemies. Plus the swiftness boon from the #3 staff skill is necessary in WvW as the Guardian doesn't have much in the way of getting from place to place.

But I still am rocking my Guardian. Siege warfare is a bit tedious, but I normally have a few arrow carts in my inventory and lay one down and PEW PEW to win!
Have you tried scepter/torch yet? does well in PVE so far...but im not lv80 so i still lack traits for full effectiveness
With a Scepter/torch combo you're running two weapons with very different range limitations. The scepter has 1200 range on all of it's skills and the torch needs to be within 400 to be effective. So while you can probably run an effective build with it, I imagine the immobilize > Smite > Cleansing Flame would be a good DPS spike, you still need to be in melee range and if you're in melee range you might as well just go greatsword :p
With a Scepter/torch combo you're running two weapons with very different range limitations. The scepter has 1200 range on all of it's skills and the torch needs to be within 400 to be effective. So while you can probably run an effective build with it, I imagine the immobilize > Smite > Cleansing Flame would be a good DPS spike, you still need to be in melee range and if you're in melee range you might as well just go greatsword :p

yes that is what i have been doing..greatsword for melee and scepter/focus to kite.
i do also like sword/focus as a second weapon set at times..but that's cause i am melee happy like it is a warrior and not a guardian lol.
i need to learn what trait trees go best for skill/weapon types so i can be more effective

i put my guardian on hold to try and get a lv80 whereas before i was leveling 8 characters at a time (one of each profession)
got to lv71 last night with the help of some guildmates.

it's awesome how they check to gather guild members for an event/dungeon before they take strangers.
and most importantly we have a great Bible study which i am very thankful for
Eyeing my Guardian again that I haven't played in months. I went looking in Guru and the official forums for Guardian builds, and, unlike other professions, found that there was quite a variety of Guardian builds that people are playing.

So I went back and looked for this thread and reread it. I know we have several die-hard Guardian players. Has your build changed much from what was posted here so long ago? I'm specifically interested in what people would recommend for someone getting into WvW with a guardian.
Hm, this is now a necro thread. At least they got their due!

To answer your question: yes! Specifically a few big changes come to mind for me for Guardians:

  • Line of Warding (staff #5) can be cast while moving, making it much better
  • Empower (staff #4) gives more duration
  • Battle Pressence has been fixed and now works.
  • Pure of Voice has been fixed and now works. This amazing grandmaster trait will convert a condition to a boon when you affect an ally with a shout. So, say your entire party is on fire. Casting Hold the Line! will not only give the normal regeneration to allies, but convert poison to regeration as well. KAPOOYA!
  • I discovered +40% boon sets, which are so nice.

Weapons - I still love staff, find myself using scepter/shield as often as I do greatsword. Armor is still cleric's and runes are major sanctuary, superior water, superior monk for +40% boon.

Build now is 0/0/30/30/10, a pretty common stat layout for bunker/tank guards. Grandmaster Traits are Altruistic Healing/Pure of Voice. PoV for the reasons mentioned above, and AH because it heals insaaaaanely well. With my gear I get ~80% of my health back when using empower to put might on allies.

Traits used for Valor - 33% less health taken when downed, purity, +toughness for allies, +toughness/shield skill reduction...swap these around occasionally.

Traits used for Honor - 20% shout reduction, 20% 2-hand reduction, still love protective reviver. Seriously nice to get aegis + 15 seconds of protect/regen on both you and the person you're pulling up from downed. Swap these based on where I am.

Traits for Virtues - Master of consecration for wall of reflection, spirit weapon duration if you prefer shield of the avenger.
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LoL at the Necro thread. Figured it was better than creating yet another Guardian thread.

Thanks for sharing, Ryan. Looks like a good place for me to start exploring Guardian again.
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Hey Ryan - thanks for the specifics. Do you have that build up on the Build Editor so we can look at it?

My Guardian is now a 72 and I'm starting to figure it out. Going to start using a staff more - I think that will be better in PvP than the greatsword/sword-focus I have been using to get along in PvE.

And congratulations, by the way - good to have you as our fearless leader.