Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Guardian PvE Build

I have updated my build a bit in the past couple of months to since I no longer WvW, I have run 100s of dungeons with dedicated groups, and because of fractals. I no longer need the vitality from P/V/T Soldier gear, and have instead switched to a combination of knights and berserker for more critical damage. I have also switched to a 0-0-30-30-10 build to take advantage of wall of reflection and spirit shield cooldown/duration times for fractals.

Helm, Chest, and Legs are now Knights stats (power/prec/tough).
Shoulder, Hands, Feet are now Berserker stats (power/prec/crit dmg)
I replaced the jewels in my knights jewelery with exquisite ruby jewels.
I am using the ascended gear with stats power/tough/crit damage.

The ascended gear is situational, you could go something like berserker for ~10% crit chance. Or if you don't have ascended, I would use knights with ruby jewels for my rings/back.

This gives me roughly the same toughness, around 16k health, and 103% crit damage (currently ascended pwr/tough/crit% rings are bugged and give 22% each after tests). I do lose out a bit on crit chance because I no longer have 10 points in radiance, this can be remedied by using Omnomberry Pies, Maintenance Oils, and because I run in a 2 warrior group, a large amount of fury uptime. This will put your crit chance around 62-70% with fury up.

Wall of Reflection and Spirit shield are amazing for fractals, including Shaman Boss, Harpy Fractal, Dredge Fractal, and other various mobs in the dungeon. It makes certain fights and fractals extremely easy. This was worth giving up the Signet cooldown for my heal. Instead, I now take the human racial heal or Shelter depending on the circumstances.

In normal dungeons, I hardly ever die. It was worth getting more crit damage instead of health, especially if you run in a dedicated group with 2 warriors to speed run through dungeons quicker.

These changes aren't necessary, it's just what I did to increase my damage since vitality is wasted if you hardly ever die. If you are having more trouble staying alive or need to carry bad PUGs, then Soldier armor would still work.
/End Update___________________________________________________________

Speed runs of various dungeons can be found on my page so you can see the build in action, more are being added almost daily:

I have also received feedback on what builds we use for warriors, my recent guide regarding this subject can be found in the Warrior subforum:

Okay this may sound crazy (so here's my number.. j/k) but I actually have 2x 80 guardians (long story, basically started necro main, guardian alt for farming, loved guardian, hated necro, but hated charr, rerolled human after wasting tokens, badges, and like 20g on my old guardian, blah) and have gone through and tested a variety of builds. I've finally decided on my primary build, and I must say, I love it.

My primary playtime is split between dungeons and WvW, I have almost all dungeons complete and am working on Arah path 1/4 right now. I would say this build is useful and maybe even "ideal" in a large amount of settings. I'm not gonna lie, there are a few instances where some consecrations would be ideal, but I believe this build is situationally ideal a majority of the time. It is also good for guild roaming in WvW which is what I do a majority of the time these days. This shout build isn't a mystery, but I thought I'd share my build, gear, and playstyle since.. well actually I'm bored at work.

Healing + Shout Build:

As far as gear, I use the HotW dungeon exotics which have power/vit/toughness runed with Superior Soldier.

For Jewelery I use Exotic Emerald which is power/prec/toughness.

I also have a exotic mf set for farming (typical 5x pirate, 1x traveler rune) + exotic GS with sigil of luck.

The following list are the weapons I use which are statted based on the situation/combination I use them in:
Greatsword with Power/Prec/Crit and 5% crit chance sigil
Hammer with Power/Tough/Vit and 5% crit chance
Staff with Prec/Vit/Healing and 50% energy on swap
Scepter with Power/Prec/Tough and 50% energy on swap
Focus with Power/Prec/Crit and 5% crit chance
Shield with Power/Tough/Vit and 5% crit chance
Sword with Power/Prec/Crit and Bloodlust +10 power stacks
Mace with Power/Tough/Vit and 30% chance to heal

I don't have/use a torch.

All of the power/vit/tough weapons (and staff) are from AC tokens
The power/prec/toughness is crafted
The power/prec/crit is from CoF

The reason I took the runes I did in the weapons I did are because of the situations and combinations I use them in.

Greatsword and Hammer with 5% crit chance are obvious.
Staff with Energy should also be obvious. If I'm in melee range I'm not using staff, I would switch to staff for an extra dodge which usually means I need to backoff. This allows me to instantly dodge + heal in any situation, sit back and stack might stacks with staff 4 (more heals) + another big heal at the end of the channel.
For 1-handed weapons I use the following combos:
Sword + Focus
Sword + Shield
Scepter + Focus
Mace + Shield

By keeping the 5% crit chance runes on my offhand weapons, I will always have 5% crit.
If I'm swapping to scepter from melee it means I need to get out of range, so the extra dodge + heal is key
Sword I don't use much and it's purely offensive, so it's good for building power stacks
Mace is a pure tank weapon, so the extra heal is nice.

Okay so let's get down to it, explanation time.

First off the actual build is a typical boon/shout build that heals. This is NOT a pure support build, it is a tanky DPS build whose primary focus is to deal moderate damage while relieving pressure from your party through boon heals. Many people don't seem to realize how valuable Altruistic Healing is in a group setting, while both allowing you to passively support through shouts, soak damage, and still deal significant amounts of damage yourself.

The first thing you want is enough health to survive conditions and large spikes, but not spec too much health where it dimishes your e-hp from healing. This is what the 17000~ hp from vit armor and runes of the soldier gives. The toughness from all gear slots really helps to increase your e-hp past that because of the huge amount of heals the guardian has making toughness more valuable once you get an adequate hp pool. In addition, you have a large amount of power for direct damage and retaliation damage, plus precision (and bonus from the major trait) to push your crit chance up to levels where you will apply might and vigor stacks from crit a good amount of the time.

I primarily use GS or Hammer + Staff 95% of the time. Scepter + Focus is situational for times I need to range. I'll be honest, I don't use mace, sword, and shield all that much, mace/shield is very situational when you need to be very defensive, I haven't used sword in a long time other then building bloodlust stacks under certain circumstances.

With Altruistic healing your base heal per boon with this build is 72 for each boon per person (including yourself). In addition, all symbols which continuously proc 1 sec boons will heal at every tick, in addition addition might stacks act as individual boons mean 5 might stacks = 5x72.
Virtue of resolve = 102 per tick
Regeneration buff = 168 per tick
Dodge Roll Heal = 429 heal per roll in AoE

As you can see, we have a large amount of ways to keep sustained healing. If you are able to time your dodge rolls (also why I use superior sigil of energy on certain weapons) you can "tank" for a good portion of time, including protection boons. In pug dungeon runs, it's obvious that alot of people don't use their dodges effectively which is huge for any "tank" type class. A guardian who uses their dodges effectively, with selfless daring, energy runes, shouts, and vigor procs is huge in any group. That in itself is really what sets apart players in dungeons.

Another big benefit of this build is the flexibility. I'm a firm believer that the Honor and Valor line are the 2 strongest Guardian trait lines. Zeal is overall pretty weak past 10 points, and Radiance is good up to 15 for farming, but isn't really as useful past that outside of PvP for spike damage builds. Virtues is a strong line and is what I run on my consecration guardian and can also be useful with shouts, but overall I prefer the boon healing build over the increased boon duration build, although both are still valid and useful.

Now as you can see, you can easily switch to a solo meditation build which is ideal for solo farming DEs and MFing, you can also switch out Empowering Might and/or 2-hand Mastery for things like Pure of Voice or Res traits for different situations. This gives you a huge amount of options for a variety of situations in terms of traits, while still being useful with your gear/stat setup.

This is in fact the main reason I switched to Guardian from Necro. Guardian is extremely flexible and can be used to support, "tank", or dps depending on the situation, and this build really exemplifies that. I hated being so confined as a necro, considering pets are terrible which is 1/3 of their skills/traits, and alot of the other stuff is broken or has low synergy. The available synergy that a Guardian has is huge and I feel extremely useful in every situation.

This is obviously not the only way to play guardian, and for many people may not even be the "best." There are many other viable guardian builds based on a situation or playstyle. From my personal experience though, I believe this is the "best" build for me. It is highly flexible, does good damage, provides excellent support, and can be used for a variety of settings.

Hopefully this will help some other guardians out, especially for running some of the harder dungeons in the game. I don't claim to know everything, and any feedback or corrections or maybe even telling me I'm a dumbass is always valuable

Good luck!

The videos really let you see how tanky this build can be, the damage it produces, and how valuable skills like staff 4 are in an AH build.

By Strife025


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