This is a WvW based balanced guardian build that I use in the zerg and in havoc. I was going for a pretty balanced stat allocation. You can get a bit more power and health with Soldiers armor but in my opinion it’s too big of a hit on critical chance. NOTE: I have played this with great success in PvE as well.
Shelter: Block plus heal.
- Purging Flames – Burns for a decent amount of damage, removes 3 conditions from allies, and shortens condition duration by 33% of allies standing in it.
- Hold the Line – Protection and Regeneration for your party.
- Stand Your Ground – Stability and Retaliation for your party. Should be saved for pushes whenever possible. This is also your stun breaker.
Renewed Focus: You become invulnerable and it refreshes all of your virtues. Optionally, you can run Tome of Courage if you feel you can survive without Renewed Focus.
- Armor: Full Knights (Toughness High, Power/Precision Low)
- Amulet: Ascended Berserker (Power High, Precision/Ferocity Low)
- Rings, Earrings, Backpiece: Ascended Soldiers (Power High, Toughness/Vitality Low)
- Berserker Hammer and/or Greatsword (Power High, Precision/Ferocity Low)
- Cleric Staff (Healing Power High, Power/Toughness Low)
We’ve chosen Trooper (used to be Soldiers) runes for this build due to the additional condition removal on shout and the additional vitality and toughness. These runes also aren’t expensive so they lend themselves well to newcomers to the class.
This build uses its sigils to focus on support and survivability. We’ve picked Water and Stamina for each weapon. Water gives a base AoE heal of 396 on hit with a 30% chance and a 5 second cooldown. This should fire off every 5-7 seconds. Stamina will refill your endurance to 100% on every kill and is definitely a zerg friendly choice. It also combines nicely with the heal on dodge trait. The combination of these 2 sigils provide very good team healing over time and stack really well when multiple people are running them. Other options could include Luck, Energy (instead of Stamina in non-zerg situations), Bloodlust (more damage), Life (more healing power), and Benevolence (more healing effectiveness).
Food and Nourishment
Lemongrass or Poultry and Leek Soup are the preferred food items for this build. Fortunately most commanders drop pots of these regularly so expense shouldn’t be terrible.
Sharpening Stones are preferred in this build over Maintenance Oils. The Extra power is more important than critical chance.
This trait selection was made with the intention of people being able to take in all that a guardian can do, one step at a time. There are different and sometimes more viable setups than this, but it was our consensus that this was the best introductory package, with other things to come in later builds or after discussion with our Guardian Team Lead.
The current build is 0/0/6/6/2 or rather, 6 points in Valor, 6 points in Honor and 2 points in Virtues.
- Minor 1 – Valorous Defense – Gives you aegis when below 50% HP when struck.
- Retributive Armor (VI) – Gives additional precision equivalent to 7% of your toughness.
- Minor 2 – Courageous Return – Recharges Virtue of Courage when you rally.
- Strength in Numbers (IV) or Purity (V) – Strength in Numbers grants 150 toughness to you and nearby allies and Purity removes a condition every 10 seconds. Only one guardian per party needs Strength in Numbers. The rest can run Purity.
- Minor 3 – Might of the Protector – Might on block.
- Altruistic Healing (XI) – Applying a boon to allies heals you. That’s any boon you apply including to yourself. Let’s be real. You’re a guardian so everything you do applies a boon. This adds insane sustain if you’re using your skill rotations effectively.
- Minor 1 – Vigorous Precision – Vigor for 5s on crit. Has a 10s recharge so you should have Vigor up 50% of the time.
- Superior Aria (II) – Reduces recharge on shouts by 20%. Very important for Stand Your Ground.
- Minor 2 – Selfless Daring – Dodge roll heals nearby allies. Heals yourself and up to 4 other players. It also has one of the best healing coefficients in the game. The coefficient is 1 which means it heals 1 health per point in healing power.
- Two-Handed Mastery (IX) – You’ll be using all two-handed weapons and this will recharge those skills 20% faster. That means more Symbol of Swiftness, Line of Warding, Empower, Binding Blades, Ring of Warding, etc.
- Minor 3 – Elusive Power – 10% more damage while your endurance isn’t full.
- Pure of Voice (XI) – Every ally affected by a shout will have a condition converted into a boon.
- Minor 1 – Inspired Virtue – Adds boons to your virtues. Justice grants might. Resolve grants regen. Courage grants protection.
- Master of Consecrations (VI) – Increase duration and decreases recharge of consecrations (Purging Flames) by 20%.
On staff, fall back to 400-600 range (Empower range) of pin. Skills 1, 2 (not the detonation), and 3 should be used on cool down for pressure damage. Orb of Light can be detonated if the front line needs burst healing but remember this comes at a DPS and healing cost due to the 4x longer recharge after detonation. Empower (#4) when your commander calls for it or your party needs support. Line of Warding shouldn’t be on constant cool down but it should be close to it. Watch the enemy’s movements and you’ll see where it’s best used.
When “spike”, “drop the bomb”, etc. is called:
If running GS, swap to GS and jump in with #3. This will get you to the pin while also dropping blind on the targets it hits around the pin negating some damage. As soon as you land, cast Binding Blade (#5). DO NOT cast the pull unless the people affected move out of range of the pin’s damage area. Remember Binding Blade is a damage over time skill. Immediately after #5, drop your symbol (#4) then Whirling Wrath (#2). Spam #1 and reuse #2, #4, and #5 on recharge or until pin calls for team to let up on spike damage. Remember to watch symbol usage when water fields are called.
If running Hammer, swap to Hammer and jump in with #2 and immediately follow it up with #5 to trap as many people in the spike area as possible. If you see someone running away, target them and use #3. Spam #1 and reuse #2 and #5 on recharge or until pin calls for team to let up on spike damage. Remember to cancel third attack on #1 when water fields are called.
If you’re in trouble, Shelter and Renewed Focus should give you 4 seconds of near invulnerability. Remember to use any virtues that are off cool down during the invulnerable period of Renewed Focus as they’ll be instantly recharged at the end of Renewed Focus. As soon as you’re safe, use Empower for a large self heal.
Detailed Skill Information
- Wave of Wrath – Also known as Loot Stick. Decent AoE damage while you’re in staff but please use your skill rotations to their fullest.
- Orb of Light -> Detonate – The initial orb heals up to 5 allies as it passes through them and recharges rather fast if you don’t detonate it. This initial orb should be spam’d while in staff. Watch the battlefield and only detonate if your team needs healing as it dramatically increases recharge.
- Symbol of Swiftness – Swiftness to allies and AoE damage. You’ll want to keep the road in front of your group littered with these when moving between places on the map. You’ll also want to get this down during fights away from your zerg for the additional damage. Don’t place near the zerg unless the commander calls for light fields.
- Empower – 12 stacks of might and a burst heal at the end. The commander will call for it. Use it when he/she asks for it and when your party needs it.
- Line of Warding – Places a line on the ground that enemies can’t walk through. Stability will allow enemies to walk through but it costs them a stability.
- Hammer Swing -> Hammer Bash -> Symbol of Protection: The symbol at the end of this chain is extremely useful. It has most of the hammer’s damage and the protection to allies will cut down incoming damage.
- Mighty Blow – Blast finisher and damage.
- Zealot’s Embrace – 2 second immobilize on your target. Useful for catching people at the back of a zerg when they’re trying to run away.
- Banish – The 750 launch on this skill is extremely useful when enemies are near cliffs, trying to rez a single down of their own, or trying to stomp a single down of ours.
- Ring of Warding – Creates a ring that enemies cannot pass through. This can be walked through with stability. This is a great skill for choke points and for holding enemies in place during a commander’s “bomb here” call.
- Strike -> Vengeful Strike -> Wrathful Strike – The final attack grants might.
- Whirling Wrath – Spin to win!! This whirl finisher is your main damage on the greatsword. Learn to stand inside of your target’s hitbox for maximum damage output as all projectiles will hit as well.
- Leap of Faith – 600 range leap finisher which hits up to 5 targets with damage and blind. This is a great gap closer but can also be used at short range for the blind and leap. For example, leap finishers inside of Static Fields cause daze which can be huge.
- Symbol of Wrath – AoE damage and Retaliation for allies. Drop it when you see that you’ll be fighting in place for a bit or when the commander calls for light fields.
- Binding Blade -> Pull – The initial blades here cause damage over time. Pressing the skill again will fire off the pull.