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Guild Wars 2 - Sclagano the DIY guardian

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My first ever guide, so it might not be profound or anything that's not already created by countless others.


This is more a guide about my general play style and because I'm soloing about 90% of the time, I find that this is about the best approach. I've read and watched a number of guardian builds, but gained mostly tips from them rather than following someone else's build to the tee. This build is mainly for PvE, but I don't need to reset my traits for WvW or dungeons.


Weapons, Skills, Traits


About the Guardian:

The Guardian is not best suited for burst damage or ranged damage, so getting close and staying close is my #1 option. Once you're close, the guardian has some good Area of Effect skills and due to some good toughness he's able to stand and deliver against mobs of 3 or more with some comfort. I've tried my hand at the "group event" champions/elites and found that those are labled "group" for good reason, so although the guardian is tough, he's not indestructible.

In general, facing a veteran mob is not a problem so feel free to rush in and let the blood flow.


Getting close and staying close:

The greatsword is ideally suited for this and offers 3 combo finishers as well as 1 combo field. A DIY combo weapon, great for soloing.


1v1/more CC mob:

Symbol of wrath (combo field + burning + retalion)

Binding Blade (DoT + combo finisher - cleansing bolts)

Leap of faith (Blind + combo finisher - retaliation)


1v2/more CC/ranged mob:

Binding Blade (DoT + pull them all toward you)

Symbol of wrath (combo field + burning + retalion)

Whirling wrath (Area of Effect + combo finisher: cleansing bolts)

Leap of faith (Blind + combo finisher: retaliation) <-- due to traits, my Symbol of wrath lasts long enough to pull this one off right after Whirling Wrath ends = 2X combo!


Leap of faith is also a great initiator, although it does not have the greatest range. The blind it offers is enough to get some good damage done before the enemy comes to his senses.


So you're close and now how to avoid damage:

1. Virtue of courage (Guardian Virtue) - this activates every 40 seconds and grants Aegis, which remains until you take a hit. 1 free round of zero damage. If you take your first hit you can activate Virtue of courage for another reload of aegis which makes 2 free rounds of zero damage.

2. Leap of faith (Greatsword) - places a blind condition on the enemy which makes him miss, it's short duration but 1 free round of zero damage and aegis is still up if you initiated with Leap of Faith.

3. Shield of wrath (Focus) - although this has a long cooldown, it's a nice shield which can take 3 hits.

4. Ray of Judgement (Focus) - add another blind, enemy missed with another free hit and add Smite (Scepter) for a bit of Area of Effect.

5. Traited Virtue of Justice blinds nearby foes! 1 more zero damage hit.

6. Renewed focus - recharges all virtues + invulnerability/block for 3 seconds.

So here we have 9 instances where the enemy swings and misses and if used right against a 1v1 or 1v2 situation, you walk away with zero damage. And if you used Renewed Focus then Virtue of Courage and Virtue of Justice are recharged! This gives you 1 more block and 1 more blind!

Total: 11 blocks and blinds (no damage!) If you equip the mace, it can add one more block!

Now that's a whole lot of fighting without taking any damage! :paladin:


What's the use of skills and traits?

Well you're going to run into trouble more often than not. You're going to need your heal and every bit of additional damage you can put out.


  • Signet of resolve.
    This is the strongest heal for the Guardian and has a passive which removes one condition every 10 seconds. Traited, the cooldown is reduced from 40 seconds to 32 seconds. Because time feels like an eternity when your heal is on cooldown, that 8 seconds makes a huge difference!
  • Purging flames.
    Has a rather good Area of Effect ring of fire and acts as a combo field which grants burning blades for your great sword's Whirling Wrath and Binding Blades as well as Fire shield for the Leap of Faith.
  • Signet of judgement.
    The passive reduces incoming damage and active grants retaliation which sends damage right back to it's source! Traited, cooldown is reduced from 20 seconds to 18 seconds (woopy I know... really not much to rave about, but it's a rather short cooldown and up and running before you know it).
  • Renewed focus (Elite skill).
    Invulnarable for 3 seconds and recharges all virtues. This has a rather long cooldown, but I use it to shave an additional 3 seconds off when waiting for my heal to recharge
  • Last but not least, spirit weapons.
    I prefer Hammer of wisdom most of the time, because it has a knockdown. Sometimes this can be a bit of an annoying element, since close and personal is what you want, the hammer smacks your foe right out of your CC area. So pay close attention when your hammer starts swinging (the third swing is the one that knocks back your opponent) and act accordingly. Or wait for the mob to start his critical swing and "command" the hammer to interrupt and knock down. Sword of Justice is nice for extra damage (a long thin blue floating pet), which I use mostly under water. Shield of the avenger is nice against ranged enemies, but normally I'm in the fight before I notice how nice it would have been to have the shield around just about now... I don't use Bow of truth (yet).
    I list spirit weapons last because it fits into the next section, Traits, where I get dooldown reduction and longer duration.


  • Zeal - 10 points
    Create symbol of wrath when your health dips below 25% - free damage and combo field! In other words don't use heal when you're above 25%.
    Spirit weapons recharge 20% faster.
  • Radiance - 10 points
    Blind nearby foes when activating Virtue of Justice.
    Signets recharge 20% faster (mainly for the heal).
  • Valor - 20 points
    +200 toughness.
    Gain Aegis when your health dips below 50% (Another free block!)
    Virtue of Courage is recharged when you rally. Not ideal to be downed, but it happens... a lot. so getting 1 free block when you get up is real nice.
    100% chance to burn foes when you block - real nice because since you're going to be blocking a lot, you'll be burning foes a lot!
  • Honor - 20 points
    +200 health.
    Aegis heals on removal (now since you block with Aegis about 3 or 4 times in a good fight, you also get 3 or 4 heals for free! Not a ton of healing, but every little bit helps!
    2 Handed weapon skills recharge 20% faster which is a good thing for great swords!
  • Virtues - 10 points (I wish I could add more here, because of the cooldown to vitues and duration of boons.)
    Virtues grant boons.
    Spirit weapons last 50% longer.

I mostly equip items and armor that add power and toughness, but precision and condition damage modifiers are also nice and I try and get these on about 30% of items. Recently I've come to appreciate modifiers to healing... but my play style is more about avoiding damage than healing so only about 5% on the healing modifier.

My ideal split:

Power - 30%

Toughness - 30%

Precision - 20%

Condition Damage - 10%

Healing - 5%

Others (like magic find) - 5%



So there you have it. :xmastree:

The problem with playing this type of Guardian too long is that whenever I play any other class, I mostly forget to dodge or a least try and avoid damage! The heals for other classes are also not as impressive as I found with the Guardian who can heal for about 3/4 health.


My current gear stats (using Flooxim's Gear tool)


Edited by Scleameth
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Very impressive guide! I played a Guardian during bwe1 and I loved it. I played a couple times with your guardian by my side and I must say everything was pretty solid.


I confirm the last part (forgetting to dodge witg other characters), it also happened to me.



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Part of the reason that the Guardian's heal restores a greater percentage of health may be that, IIRC, the Guardian has the least amount of HP of all professions.


Wow, that's something that hasn't crossed my mind to be honest. I always just took for granted that the guardian would be viewed as some sort of tanky profession with heavy armor and such, but... looking at the base stats that this build tool provides, it certainly confirms that the guardian, thief and elementalist all have the lowest hp with warrior and necromancer leading the race.


The listed build tool is actually my favourite, because you can check which conditions, boons, controls and combos apply with your selection. It also shows you the reduction in timers or duration addition gained with traits.

I've just not been able to save the links successfully...

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