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Dobri's Dungeon Guardian

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Over the course of the past few days, I have been working to upgrade (or maybe it's actually a downgrade?) my Guardian so it can be as efficient as possible in dungeons for frequent dungeon runs. That required adopting a mindset that I pretty much disliked, using weapons that I don't really use, but my, oh, my, was it worth the time and money put in it.


As you can see in the video I will post in the topic as well, it is a 25.5k HP build with lots of toughness and many protection features. I must admit I am still learning how to play this build, but it sure proves to be a very rewarding experience and a completely new way to play the guardian. Over the course of the last few days I died only once (after a full party wipe in a forward-up TA run), and got downed much less often than with any other build. Keeping in mind that I am a terrible player (sometimes being even too lazy, sleepy or unfocused to notice obvious things happening on-screen), I think this is saying a lot.


Build (Only Traits and skills, due to missing features)


This is the core of the build. 20 Valor, 25 Honor, 25 Virtues. I just can't help but wonder why the guardians get kicked so heavily in the rear end with their less than mediocre Grandmaster traits in almost every trait tree. The only decent grandmaster trait of all trees is +15% crit with one-handed weapons - or ok, maybe the one with GS attacks healing you too. That's it! Almost everything else is painfully mediocre, not like Thief's or Warrior's traits, for example. This is why I could never bring myself to go all the way to 30 in any of the trait tress.


Playstyle (note: still perfecting it)

* I use Mace/Shield & Scepter/Focus. It took me a while to realize what Lujate meant by saying that he would never use two weapon sets that share the same cooldown, but now I do. Mace/Shield provides just wicked protection at melee range. M#1 Heals you and all allies around every third strike, M#2 is awesome for stationary tanking and stacking and M#3 is for a more mobile guardian, as well as for blocking powerful enemy attacks and reflecting some damage back at them. The setback to M#3 is that you have a short channeling period, so you need to know when to use it - still, even if it fails, you get Protection (-33% damage), so it is not wasted.


A shield is a very different matter, and something I haven't been using for a long time, mainly because it is moot for PvE. In PvE, focus is pretty much enough, but in dungeons, sometimes you are left without much protection in you get swarmed, and I for one, know what it means to pull all the aggro and get downed in no time. Now, it is less of a pain. The Shield provides extra defense and I have a +90 Toughness boost from traits to back it up. S#4 is a really nifty skill to use against pretty much any attack - it is a Damage/Protection move which boosts the defence of up to 5 allies around. S#5 is shunned by many people, but it has some really nice healing properties. I, for one, never noticed that you can actually DETONATE that dome which reflects projectiles and heal allies for around 1350 in my case. Still, it is a knockback, so I would still be careful using it, cause there is no reason to deprive a warrior of his Hundred Blades combo just cause you feel like hitting the 5 button.


* Scepter and Focus provide your basic range attacks. It is nice to enter battle with these 2 weapons, as you can quickly hit Sc#5 and/or Sc#4 and give yourself a shield and/or regen. It is also nice to add weapon swap sigils to them - I haven't decided what type yet.


* The shouts are a different story too. An advanced player can keep protection on his party pretty much most of the time - M#3, S#4, Hold the Line and Save yourselves all provide protection. Since I put 25 in Virtues, my shouts last for an additional 25% (roughly 2.5s on Save yourselves nd 1s on Hold the Line) so this means: 3 + 3 + 5 + 12.5 = 23.5s of protection. M#3 has a 15s cooldown, S#4 recharges in 24s, and Hold the Line with trait recharges in 28s. This means you are already able to rotate those protection skills on the fly - if you can do it. I am still learning :)


Abusing Save Yourselves is mandatory. It draws all conditions to yourself, but you can cure those pretty much straight away. Prayer to Kormir and Virtue of Resolve with trait both cure up to 3 conditions. Add to that the mini Grandmaster trait in the Virtues tree (more damage for each boon you have) and you can easily double your damage for like 13s. This is so cool and acts as a substitute for not picking anything in power. This is playing a big part in my idea to buy two Monk runes from AC just to boost that duration by a further 15%, which will result in 14s buffs from Save Yourselves. Keeping in mind the cooldown is 48s with traits, this is awesome.


* For an Elite skill, I adopted Lujate's idea of using Renewed focus. With this build I am finding Tome of Wrath to be less important, because you can easily survive a swarm of spiders without worrying that they must be killed quickly.


This is pretty much it, I also added the video I made for youtube with all my reasoning. You must forgive a few lapsus linguis, but other than that, I tried to give my reasoning as best I can. And thing is - I haven't even considered foods and consumables! I am just using what leftovers I have from my thief's culinary aspiration a few months ago... I will get to that too later, but this build is already so tough, that one can go with omnoms if they want to. Still, I will check just how much HP I can add on top of that pool these days.

EDIT: Just did. With a Loaf of Omnomberry Bread I have 26.8k HP and 3360 Armor. Probably the best thing to use alongside that is the best type of sharpening stone you have handy to take advantage of the increased Toughness and Vitality values and transform some of that into power.

Edit 2: With some WvW bonuses (+6% Robust), now the build has 27k HP. Never thought it possible...


To conclude - if you wonder what's the price of this build, it is roughly 1.8g per insignia (6x1.8g) if you set your own price (2.2g if you buy directly) and 1.9g per inscription (2x1.9g). I also advise to craft your own jewelry if possible (Azurite orbs are like 10-11s on the TP), otherwise it will cost like 2.7g per piece. That's some gold to set aside, but the benefits are awesome in the end.


Video with full reasoning (with gear stats and features)



Enjoy guys :)

Edited by Dobri
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25.5k HP! Just wow! My Guardian is pretty tough and she is only at 16.8k. At 25.5k you must be virtually unstoppable.


One question, how is your DPS? My Guardian's is disappointing, but I just had to accept it as a consequence of boosting her survivability.

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Well, I think the dps is ok. It is much better than the bunker guardian (Toughness/Vitality/Healing) and it almost doubles with Save Yourselves, this is why I use it regularly. In the end, it all boils down to survivability and managing with the aggro - as I so painfully learned in all our dungeon parties, cause I usually get all the aggro on me. At least this way you can survive. The dps isn't all that important when you have to cope with the aggro from a few mobs, or a tougher boss. The build is supposed to be a tank and to allow other to do the dps, whilst still contributing enough to it.


Some time ago, I was considering switching to bunker guardian, but this one looks much better ;)


Edit: you can easily compare the values in the video with yours.

Edited by Dobri
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I had a good time reading your build and hear your reasoning in your video. 25k+ Health is a lot, especially for a guardian, that's amazing! I will also look forward to consider your opinions and expériences when I will make my own Guardian.


Good job on the build!

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Now that I am home, I can do a little comparison.


My numbers

Power 1771

Attack 2882

Prec 1474

Crit change 31%

Crit dmg 30%



Power 1769

Attack 2728

Prec 916

Crit chance 4%

Crit dmg 20%

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Well, your guard does have more firepower, because if you use Save Yourselves regularly, your crit change goes up to 51%, and that's almost 1/2 crits, which should provide a bigger damage output in the end.


I am pretty much reduced to relying on M#1 & 2 + Save yourselves for damage. My 9th slot is still free, so I can use the power signet on it. In this case, my power goes up to 1949 and my attack goes up to 2908. Unless I can suffer any control effects that would warrant keeping Stand Your Ground there, it is a viable option for both dungeons and PvE, because I can still cure conditions I draw to me from Save yourselves with Virtue of Resolve.


The way I see this build, is that it's an awesome way to go dungeon crawling even with a PUG party, cause even if the party goes toast, you can retreat and reset the last combat without actually having to do lots of repairs. As such, and as I'm sure Lujate and Kiy would agree, dungeon crawling is the best way to make cash and outfit your upcoming level 80s with a gear of your choosing. This makes having to worry about gear much less of an issue - and even better, keep your hard earned gold in your pocket, rather than go TP crazy :)

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Given the number of glass cannons you meet in dungeons, the low DPS is most often not a problem. A tank and a glass cannon can compensate for the other's weakness.


You are correct about dungeon gear. I always check the dungeon merchants before the TP.

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Hmmm... after a few parties with Bunker Guardians, I think I like mine better. Vitality/Toughness/Power is better than Healing Power/Toughness/Vitality. It really pays off to be able to do some damage than just bunker (hunker?) down and wait for the inevitable in case your party went down - cause you're not doing much anyway... Bunker Guards have a higher survivability than my guard build, but they are also quite inept at making a difference that won't take a millennium...

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