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Old May 6th, 2012, 16:44   #1
Marcus Ferret
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Reflection on the Guardian

Here are my thoughts on The Guardian… It’s a good read…

Ooops… Wrong type of Guardian


Virtues
:

The Guardian has three virtues at his disposal which can be activated in advance to provide a passive buff, or they can also be activated for an instant buff during teamplay:

Virtue of Justice (CD:30s) Burn foes with every fifth attack. Activate: Nearby allies set foes on fire with their next attacks.
Virtue of Resolve (CD:60s) Regenerate health. Activate: Remove conditions and regenerate nearby allies.
Virtue of Courage (CD:90s) Gain aegis every 40s. Activate: Grant aegis to nearby allies.

Weapon & Skills

The Guardian profession starts off with a mace, receiving a shield or a focus as a quest reward early in the game. Like all professions starting off in GW2, it’ all about spamming that all important [1] while waiting for the other skills to unlock.

Tip
: For those starting off as a Norn, there’s an arena at the starting area where random animals are released from cages for you to wreak havoc and destruction upon.

Having played a Templar and a Cleric in Aion, I opted for the Mace & Shield at start:





Quote:
KEY: C=Condition ; CD=Cooldown ; D=Damage ; EffD=Effect Duration ; H=Heal ; HR=Health Regen ; KB=Knockback Range ; ProjectileD=Projectile Distance ; R=Range ; Rad=Radius ; ShD=Shield Duration ; SymD=Symbol Duration
Skills

& True Strike (D:334 ; R:130 ; CD:0s) & Pure Strike (D:470 ; R:130 ; CD:0s) are basic mace attack skills with decent damage.
Faithful Strike (D:584 ; H:534 ; R:130 ; CD:0s) is an AoE heal.

Symbol of Faith (D:209 ; HR:+356/s (4s); R:120 ; SymD:4s ; CD:8s) has pretty weak damage, but it provides an AoE health regen for any allies within its range. This skill has an eight seconds cooldown and a four seconds duration, and while players probably won’t notice the health regen in lower levels due to the low health pool, it will probably have a greater result in PvP encounters and during higher level gameplay.

Protector’s Strike (D:584 ; Buff: 33% Damage Reduction for 3s ; R:130 ; CD:15s) Creates an AoE shield which protects yourself and all allies within its range, damaging foes that strike protected allies. However, the protection will last only as long as the Guardian is not struck in combat.

Shield of Judgment (D:376 ; Buff: 33% Damage reduction for 5s ; R:600 ; CD:30s) creates a frontal shield which reduces damage on all allies within its range by 33% for 5s.

Shield of Absorption (KB:320 ; ShD:4s ; CD:40s) Creates an AoE shield which pushes foes back.

Healing Skill
:

Shelter (H:2,485 ; ShD:2s ; CD:45s) Blocks attacks for 2s while providing a major healing boost.

Personal PvE Playstyle
:

Heavily armoured and equipped with a mace and a shield, it’s quite easy to believe oneself indestructible and start wading into combat face-rolling stuff. I soon found out I was going to be the one spending time face down in the mud when faced with the Sons of Svanir at the Bear Shrine near Wayfarer Foothills. The cooldowns for the defensive skills just don’t cut it when you have a horde of foes spawning every few seconds.

It’s quite easy for a Guardian to hold ground against two or three foes, but when you have to face five or six in a tightly-packed area, where dodging brings even more aggro, you’ll be overwhelmed in seconds. Still, the Heart of Bear event is a good start for unlocking, learning and understanding a Guardian’s skill set, and after a few suicidal attempts at tanking a handful of foes, I relegated myself to support duty where I found the skills to really shine.

Positioning myself just behind a melee frontline, yet still within melee range of targets, I would allow a warrior or another guardian to absorb the damage while I played around with the protective skills, hitting Shield of Absorption only if it there were too many foes to handle, or a wipe looked imminent. This early practise definitely helped (although I must add that it didn’t save me on more than one occasion) when I next visited the grawl cave at Grawlenfjord where the final event is just one huge massacre (for both sides) as wave after wave of grawls come rushing out from the cave.

Personal PvP Playstyle:

Due to the defensive nature as well as AoE health regeneration abilities of the Guardian mace and shield combo, I prefer to play a supportive role by using positioning to assist other players as they do battle. However, the pace within the WvW environment can mean that skills are not fully appreciated as players tend to kite and dodge attacks thus running out of heal and shield range.

It is also best not to use knockbacks too much unless you’re being pounded on my half a dozen foes in PvP. It’s difficult enough trying to close the gap, especially against ranged players, but by knocking your opponent back, you’re giving him/her an opportunity to kite and get away. There are better weapon sets to use should you wish to do damage as well as activate Shield of Absorption in PvP.
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'War tends to separate the weak from the strong... Peace separates us from reality... In life, we shall encounter our personal battles... In death, we discover peace...' ~ J. Marcus (1972-20??)

Last edited by Marcus Ferret; May 6th, 2012 at 18:20.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 16:48   #2
Marcus Ferret
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Sword & Shield





Skills
:

& Sword of Wrath (D:376 ; R:150 ; CD:0s) & Sword Arc (D:459 ; R:150 ; CD:0s) are basic sword attack skills.
Sword Wave (D:543 ; R:280 ; CD:0s) cone attack, striking up to three enemies.

Flashing Blade (D:84 ; R:600 ; C:Blindness (3s) ; CD:12s) Teleports to a target, striking them and blinding nearby foes.

Zealot’s Defense (D:1,104 ; R:600 ; ShD:3s ; CD:12s) Blocks ranged attacks while throwing magical projectiles.

Shield of Judgment (D:376 ; DR: 33% for 5s ; R:600 ; CD:30s) creates a frontal shield which reduces damage on all allies within its range by 33% for 5s.

Shield of Absorption (KB:320 ; ShD:4s ; CD:40s) Creates an AoE shield which pushes foes back.

Personal Playstyle
:

This weapon set reminds me of days of old when I was running around GW with a sword and board, but somehow things just don’t feel right for me when using the combo in PvE. Aside from the chain skills, the other skills seemed pointless… I don’t have to teleport to a mob as we’re all mob magnets in PvE, and if I wanted to throw projectiles at things, I’d have gone ranged.

However, this weapon combo is great fun in PvP, and I managed to chase down a Charr rifle warrior in WvW by Flashing Blade [2] to the target, spam [1], hit [3] for Zealot’s Fire when he regained his senses, hit [5] for a knockback – Switch to Greatsword, leap to foe, spam [1], and it was time to [F]inish him. I got zerged after that, but it felt great being able to cover the distance against a ranged fighter with a few easy skills.

Scepter & Focus



Skills


Orb of Wrath (D:355 ; R:900 ; CD:0s) Fires a slow moving orb at your foe.

Smite (D:2,070 ; R:900 ; CD:6s) Strike foes in the target area repeatedly.

Chains of Light (C:Immobilise (2s) ; R:900 ; CD:20s) Immobilises a foe for 2s.

Ray of Judgment (D:188 ; C:Blindness (5s) ; HR:+445/s (5s) ; R:900 ; CD:25s) Pass a ray of judgment over foes and allies. Foes are damaged and blinded. Allies gain health regeneration and lose one condition.

Shield of Wrath (D:1,044 ; R:225 ; CD: 45s) Creates a shield that blocks the next 3 attacks. If the shield is not destroyed, it explodes, damaging nearby foes.

Personal Playstyle
:

I enjoy playing melee classes for the simple reason that I like to be in the thick of the action, swinging away with my sword, axe, or mace, and bashing foes with a shield. Thus, to be given a twig and what looks like a cow bell as a weapon set is, in my humble opinion, a disgrace to the Guardian profession. Still, I managed to find some good uses for the combo, both in PvE and PvP.

In PvE, especially against champion mobs or higher, I find it better to go ranged rather than chance getting one-shotted. Use dodge to roll in and out of range if you’re switching between melee and ranged weapons, and activate Shield of Wrath whenever available.

In PvP, if you’re up against a larger force, bring out the wand…errr… I mean, sceptre, and repeat after me: “Avada Kedavra!” If nothing happens, leg it, return the wand, and get a refund from ArenaNet…

Seriously though, being able to do some damage from a distance, even if you’re not able to kill them outright, does annoy the hell out of players so having a Scepter in your inventory is definitely useful.
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'War tends to separate the weak from the strong... Peace separates us from reality... In life, we shall encounter our personal battles... In death, we discover peace...' ~ J. Marcus (1972-20??)

Last edited by Marcus Ferret; May 6th, 2012 at 17:20.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 16:56   #3
Marcus Ferret
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Mace/Sword/Scepter & Torch:



Skills
:
Cleansing Flame (D:94 ; R:300 ; CD:20s) Breath magical flames that damages foes and remove conditions from allies.

Zealot’s Flame (BurnD:10s ; CD:20s) Set yourself alight, periodically burning up to three nearby foes.

Personal Playstyle
:

Breathing fire is really awesome, though I got carried away while duelling with a Human Guardian at the Blue Borderlands and managed to aggro a flock of Moa Birds as they were running past us. Out of all 3 off-hands, I’ll probably be using the shield and the focus the most, but will definitely keep a torch handy for PvE grinding. And if ANet would only allow us to equip a torch in each hand, I’d be standing on the ramparts, juggling, and setting things on fire…

Greatsword





Skills:

& Strike (D:334 ; Range:130 ; CD:0s) & Vengeful Strike (D:376 ; R:130 ; CD:0s) are basic Greatsword attack skills.

Wrathful Strike (D:459 ; R:130 ; Buff:+5-35 Power (3s) ; CD:0s)

Symbol of Wrath (D:230 ; Buff:Retaliation (2s) ; CD:15s) Pierce the ground with a mystic symbol that damages and burns foes while granting the ability to reflect damage to allies for 2s.

Whirling Wrath (D:1,413 ; ProjectileD:1,412 ; R:600 ; CD:10s) Spin in place and swing your greatsword while hurling powerful projectiles.

Leap of Faith (D:459 ; C:Blindness (5s) ; R:450 ; CD:20s) Leap at your foe. On hit, blind nearby foes.

Binding Blade (EffD:10s ; Range:600 ; CD:30s) Throw blades at your foes, causing damage over time. Bound foes can be pulled to you. The effect ends when a foe moves out of range.

Personal PvP Playstyle:

The greatsword is my weapon of choice in Aion, not only because they have some of the coolest skins in the game, but also one of the best damage in PvP if played right. I have no doubt that it’ll be my weapon of choice for PvP in GW2, although as I mentioned in another post on the warrior thread, some of the animations seem pretty slow and result in foes getting away before the skills activate. Maybe it’s just my timing which I have to work on, or maybe it’s a FPS or latency issue. I’ll have to see during the next beta weekend…

For now, I generally wade into combat with [4]Leap of Faith, followed by [5] Binding Blade and hope for some pulls, before letting lose with [1] [2] & [3]. The cooldowns on some of the skills are pretty long, so dodge out of combat if foes are still alive, switch to Mace/Sword & Shield, and rush right back in again.

One huge problem with WvW is that there is a lot of AoE damage around so dodging could easily result in a case of ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’. On the final day of the BWE, I got so sick and tired of all the AoE damage from siege weapons, turrets, elementalists, mesmers, necros, etc, I switched to a Staff and played for 3 hours straight supporting the defenders at Stonemist Castle without even noticing the time fly by...
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'War tends to separate the weak from the strong... Peace separates us from reality... In life, we shall encounter our personal battles... In death, we discover peace...' ~ J. Marcus (1972-20??)

Last edited by Marcus Ferret; May 6th, 2012 at 17:47.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 17:03   #4
Marcus Ferret
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Staff




Skills
:

Wave of Wrath (D:276 ; R:600 ; CD:0s) Send out a powerful shockwave, hitting up to five enemies.

Orb of Light (D:551 (on hit) ; R:1,200 ; CD:3s) Fires a slow-moving orb of light that can be detonated to heal allies.
Flash of Light (D:276 ; H:803 ; R:1,200 ; CD:0s) Detonate the orb to heal nearby allies. Recharge on Orb of Light is set to 4 times its basic recharge.

Symbol of Swiftness (D:230 ; Buff:+33 movement speed for 2s ; Rad:180 ; SymD:4s ; R:1,200 ; CD:15s) Sear a mystic symbol into the target area, damaging foes and granting swiftness to allies.

Line of Warding (EffD:5s ; CD:50s) Create a line in front of you that foes cannot cross.

Martyr (Buffs:+20% Critical (5s), +100% Endurance regen (5s), +5-35 Power, 33% Damage Reduction (5s), +445 health regen (5s) & +33% Movement speed (5s) ; R:1,200 ; CD:50s) Draws conditions from nearby allies, and gain multiple boons for a short duration.

Personal PvP Playstyle
:

Unlike an Elementalist with a staff, the range of attack by a staff-wielding Guardian is horrible, so I tend to hang back and support players who need healing and condition removal from a safe distance.

Running around from one skirmish to another during a siege is not easy, not only because no one actually knows what a staff-wielding Guardian is doing there in the first place, but also because Symbol of Swiftness and Line of Warding have such a small radius it’s difficult to drop them when your allies are running all over the battlegrounds. It took me an hour of playing before other players started to realise that I was darting in to remove conditions and detonating heals, and darting out again to recover. Smart play follows enlightenment, and soon players were running towards me instead of me running around all over the battlefield trying to drop symbols, heals, and prots. But of course, if your allies can be smart, the same goes for your enemies, so it wasn’t long before I found myself to be quite popular amongst the red invaders. It was all the more fun though being able to switch to a greatsword and just whirl away when being set upon by a group of foes. I’m not saying I survived many of the encounters as my bank is actually empty now due to all the repairs, but hell yea… PvP sure is great fun!
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'War tends to separate the weak from the strong... Peace separates us from reality... In life, we shall encounter our personal battles... In death, we discover peace...' ~ J. Marcus (1972-20??)

Last edited by Marcus Ferret; May 6th, 2012 at 17:23.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 17:04   #5
Marcus Ferret
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Hammer





Skills
:

& Hammer Swing (D:368 ; R:130 ; CD:0s) & Hammer Bash (D;413 ; R:130 ; CD:0s) are basic Hammer attack skills.
Symbol of Protection (D:920 ; Prot:+33% damage reduction for 1s ; Range:180s ; CD:0s) Creates a symbol that gives protection to you and your allies for 1s.

Mighty Blow (D:551 ; R:180 ; CD:8s) Damage nearby foes with a might ground slam.

Zealot’s Embrace (D:368 ; C:Immobilise foes for 2s ; R:1,200 ; CD:18s) Send a wave towards your foe that immobilises foes in a line.

Banish (D:459 ; KBack:750 ; R:130 ; CD:35) Launch your foe with a powerful smash.

Ring of Warding (ShD:5s ; R:180 ; CD:45s) Create a ring around you that foes cannot cross. Trapped enemies cannot leave the ring while it is active.

Personal Playstyle
:

I unlocked all the skills for the hammer during the BWE event finale so didn’t really have much of an opportunity to test it out properly. I can probably see myself using it in PvP as the damage is pretty impressive although I do find it a little slow and cumbersome.

Banish is definitely a great knockback skill and I can definitely see many a Hammer players using it whenever its available. Wonder if it’s possible to slap down Ring of Warding first and then use Banish in order that I won’t have to run half a league to catch up with my foe? Hmmm… Guess that’s something to test out in the next BWE…
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'War tends to separate the weak from the strong... Peace separates us from reality... In life, we shall encounter our personal battles... In death, we discover peace...' ~ J. Marcus (1972-20??)

Last edited by Marcus Ferret; May 6th, 2012 at 17:52.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 17:13   #6
Marcus Ferret
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Verdict:

I wouldn’t be doing the class any justice if I gave a final verdict after only having played it for 2 days during the beta weekend. All I can say for now is that I truly enjoyed my time as a Guardian and it’ll definitely be a class I’ll play come launch. I’ve read on some forums that Guardians might not be very popular when it comes to instances as their damage is mediocre. Well, folks still have to stay alive to do damage to champion and legendary bosses so I guess the profession will have a role somewhere. I haven’t actually looked around to see if there are any good write-ups on the class, but here’s a video from Yogscast, which provides a good review of the profession:


Also, a second video showing what not to do regardless of the class you’re playing:


Learn to key-bind, as half a second could mean the difference between win and wipe.

Finally, my apologies for such a long write-up. Please be informed that the information provided above remains my personal views and experience with the profession, and not a final reflection on how the Guardian should be played. There's still so many utility skills and traits to play around with, it'll be quite a while before I can fully learn and understand all there is to know about the profession.

Thank you for taking the time to read through and I apologies once again for any mistakes or misinformation provided and wish you all a good game.
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'War tends to separate the weak from the strong... Peace separates us from reality... In life, we shall encounter our personal battles... In death, we discover peace...' ~ J. Marcus (1972-20??)

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Old May 6th, 2012, 18:48   #7
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Thanks for the right up, didnt make it far through the video - this shield is called "a gee ist" and the other nub whooping like a spaz...
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Old May 10th, 2012, 15:05   #8
Marcus Ferret
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Duel: Warrior vs Guardian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruff View Post
Thanks for the right up, didnt make it far through the video - this shield is called "a gee ist" and the other nub whooping like a spaz...
Maybe this video might hold your attention a little bit longer, Gruff

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'War tends to separate the weak from the strong... Peace separates us from reality... In life, we shall encounter our personal battles... In death, we discover peace...' ~ J. Marcus (1972-20??)

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Old May 31st, 2012, 03:07   #9
Marcus Ferret
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Defensive Point Defender Build for sPvP:



Can be pretty annoying...
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'War tends to separate the weak from the strong... Peace separates us from reality... In life, we shall encounter our personal battles... In death, we discover peace...' ~ J. Marcus (1972-20??)
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Old June 12th, 2012, 05:33   #10
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I played the Guardian exclusively this past weekend, and here are my thoughts.

  1. I am more and more convinced that melee is not for me. I keep trying, but it's just not my thing; so take everything else I'm about to say with a grain of salt.
  2. Virtues. I didn't find myself using them actively at all. They sat up there on my skill bar and gave me buffs and that's about it. I would occasionally throw myself an emergency heal, but it is extremely lightweight, not really doing you much good during most fights.
  3. Two-weapon setup. I loved the Mace/Torch combination the most.
    1. Smash, then bash, then final hit with a heal. Pretty solid.
    2. Symbol on the ground at your location that heals you and your party while damaging enemies in range. Works for me.
    3. Protection bubble that either knocks back foes that strike you or your party, or else grants you 33% damage reduction for a time. Nice defensive measure (and who doesn't love a good knock-back...more on that later).
    4. AOE blue flame damage to enemies, removes conditions from allies. Excellent.
    5. Set yourself on fire to damage nearby foes? Where do I sign up?
  4. One weapon setup. I hated the staff. Weak, weak, weak. I tried and tried and couldn't like it. I switched back and forth between the Greatsword and the Hammer. Love the AOE nature of the hammer, and it has the coolest skill in the game so far: Home Run (#4, official name is Banish). I couldn't get enough of just taking a huge swing and sending people flying. Pure damage is probably better with the Greatsword, plus it has the added benefit of being a great chasing weapon. #4 to leap to an enemy, #5 to attach chains to them, #5 again to pull them back to you. This was excellent in WvW for chasing people down.
  5. Utility skills are another creature. I found myself going back to a couple over and over.
    1. Wall of Reflection was very good in PvE because mobs are dumb. Throw it up to protect the party from ranged attackers while you beat down the melee. Gotta love that.
    2. Judges Intervention was also quite useful. Great to start a fight with melee as you leap to your target and set them on fire. Good for chasing enemies in PvP as well.
    3. Bane Signet was a nice damage boost when passive, and more knock-downs when activated. Love it.
Generally speaking, the Guardian has no real ranged ability. Yes, you can sit there with your scepter and wand away at people, but it's really quite ineffective and the skills are pretty blah (not to mention easily evaded in PvP). So if you go Guardian, be ready to be in melee range all the time or be ready to play a supporting role in any true team engagements (removing conditions, throwing occasional heals, creating protective bubbles, and so forth).

I did not love it, but I'm not writing it off either. I'll probably roll a Guardian at some point post-release, but I won't play one again in future beta events (if there are any). I have never, ever been an elementalist fan (I'm just not a good caster), so more than likely I will try out ranger next, maybe thief, maybe mesmer. Who knows, I might even try an engineer (they don't seem to be getting very much love).
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Old June 12th, 2012, 05:51   #11
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I spent the first BWE on an ele, and the stress test on a necro, and both of them felt a bit squishy (in the case of the necro it might have had something to do with the fact that I was a level 3 character in a level 15+ area with other SoFfies ), so I decided to try something a bit beefier for the second BWE and went with a guardian. Quite surprisingly, considering that I've always been playing caster classes, the profession fit like a glove and it's now my preferred choice for main character.

Marcus has already given a great rundown on the weapon skills of the class, so I won't touch those other than mentioning that I chose greatsword as my haymaker, and a mace+focus combo as the defensive fall-back set that I only had to fetch on the PvE side when soloing a boss. On the WvW side, though, I had to swap pretty often just to stay alive.

For gear and traits, I prioritized power first and toughness second as I felt that the guardian naturally leans more to sustained DPS instead of burst damage (which is warrior's specialty). My base stat profile ended up somewhere along the lines of 200% / 100% / 150% / 100% for power/precision/toughness/vitality and that served me very well. Unless wading knee-deep in mobs I never had to use my heal because stuff died too fast to have a chance to do any serious damage, and the inherent regeneration took care of minor wounds.

I unlocked the majority of utility skills but only used a few of them. For PvE I took the lazy option and loaded the bar full of signets, strictly for their passive benefits since guardian weapons already gave me all the utility that I needed. For WvW I felt that Wall of Reflection and "Retreat!" (for disengaging from a fight and also as a speed buff while on transit between keeps) were the essential choices that one should always carry around, and took Smite Condition as the third skill.

Based on the first 28 levels, I find the guardian a very strong PvE option for both solo and team play. The greatsword provides a powerful, easy-to-learn skill set for mass destruction, just aggro as much as you can, pull (literally), plant the symbol and spin for win! On the WvW side, guardian works well in a small strike force that assaults supply camps. It's less effective for taking keeps and practically useless for defending them because of limited options for ranged damage (I tried staff and scepter but those just don't cut it, at least in their current incarnation).

Also, guardian earned me the monthly survivor achievement which is swell as I really, really hate armor repair.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 07:07   #12
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Congrats on the survivor acheivement Tmak. I know what that takes as I got it on my thief as well.
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"More Stuff, Stuff. More Stuff, Stuffy, Stuff!" - the wise skritt.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 09:23   #13
Marcus Ferret
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Yay!! Guardian gets some loving!!

For a while there, I was thinking that no one else was going to roll Guardian at launch.

Gratz as well to TMak and Bunter for monthly survivor achievement. Got it on my thief as well... Smoke Bomb is so OP in PvE...
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'War tends to separate the weak from the strong... Peace separates us from reality... In life, we shall encounter our personal battles... In death, we discover peace...' ~ J. Marcus (1972-20??)
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Old June 12th, 2012, 16:37   #14
Bunter
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I had a guardian but only got it up to level 6 as I was playing the other two too much. I really like the guaridan class and it will probably be a mainstay of my GW2 characters (after thief of course).
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If life gives you melons, you're probably dyslexic.
"More Stuff, Stuff. More Stuff, Stuffy, Stuff!" - the wise skritt.
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Old August 14th, 2012, 03:59   #15
Kazgoroth
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I played Guardian during the BWE's getting to lvl 15 or so. I was somewhat underwhelmed with it, especially in PVE solo play, but I think alot of that had to do with the way I was trying to play it. I think it is clearly best as a support class, as being able to heal and apply every boon available.

I will roll an alt at release, more than likely a Norn female, with HUGE eyes......Probably use Mace/Shield and Staff as a backup plan. 30/30/10 Radiance/Honor/Virtues. I will try and max out the use of virtues and signets, for boons and healing ability and mix in the retaliation ability. Again the DPS will be lower, but I think it will be better for dungeons and PVE.

This is the build I am tinkering with.
http://gw2skills.net/editor/en/?fUMQ...9ggDsgYPw4H9IA
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