Boonway: alternative Guardian build

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

So, I’ve been hearing a large number of complaints about Guardians, and I can’t help but think they’re at least in part related to the prevalence of the standard AH cookie-cutter build. Not that AH-based builds are bad; quite the contrary! They’re so good as to throw most other builds into the shade. However, complaints about lack of mobility, lack of damage, relative weakness in solo play, and uselessness in WvW roaming (among others) abound, partially because of the few weaknesses it has. This is my answer: the build I’ve been running since beta. Others have developed this build or something closely approximating it as well, so I’m not claiming it’s original; it just needs a lot more attention than it’s been getting. Please note: I do PvE (open-world and dungeons/fractals) and WvW, but I don’t do much of any sPvP. While it was unstoppable as a roamer when I tried it in sPvP, that was before the nerf to SY, and I haven’t gotten into the higher ranks of sPvP.

The Boonway Build
http://gw2skills.net/editor/?fUAQNAR7dlYgqCHFyvDf4ESOjVCBtPQQYPwI4rjA;T0Ag0CtUbp0iqLjXCvsi56SK2CjRG7IA
Forums don’t like URLs with semicolons. Copy/paste the link into a new tab, or use this tinyurl link: http://tinyurl.com/boonway-build.

Obviously the stats are a bit off due to the PvP builder: I run P/V/T armor, and power/precision/crit% accessories. Runes are as listed, but the Sanctuary runes are the major versions rather than the superior, which grants me an extra 10% boon duration (rather than 20% chilled duration). I end up with about 16.5k health, 4% less crit chance than listed, about 50 less power than listed, about 200 more toughness than listed (I forget the exact amount), and around +60% crit damage.

Nothing about the build is weapon-specific. Pick whatever weapons you like; they’ll all work very well. I prefer GS in WvW, hammer in dungeons/fractals, and scepter/focus for my ranged option. I don’t spend much time at range, but the scepter/focus (while not being useful beyond 600 range) at least allow you to deal damage while closing with enemies, snare attackers to give you breathing room, block incoming attacks, and even put out a fair bit of hurt if anyone’s silly enough (or CC’d enough) to stand still under an onslaught of blue tennis balls.

All that aside, let me put forth what this build does really, really well: BOONS. Guardians do boons like no one else. Just about the only boon we can’t hand out readily is Fury (without a tome elite, at least). However, with this build, you get 33% uptime on every single boon in the game, including Fury, through Save Yourself alone. You should have perma-vigor, retaliation and about 8 stacks of might in combat (12-15 if using GS with Sigil of Strength, as suggested), permanent protection if using the hammer, perma-swiftness at all times, and regeneration all over the place. Moreover, these boons give you bonus damage, to the tune of 1% apiece. Doesn’t sound like much? Sure, it doesn’t, but neither does the 70 health per boon from AH, until it stacks up with a lot of boons. The end result: we have 8% improved damage 33% of the time, with a minimum of around 5% at all times. Might stacking improves our damage even further, and we can might-stack like nobody’s business thanks to Renewed Justice, especially in PvE situations or places where enemies are dying frequently. Fury brings us up to around 50% crit chance 33% of the time, with around 34% crit chance the rest of the time (completely ignoring the minor accuracy sigil, which I favor heavily, and when stacked brings your crit chance up to glass-cannon levels). Plus, we get 0-10% bonus damage depending on our endurance—and we heal from dodging, which gives us incentive to dodge frequently.

Attachments:

(edited by Kharel Arhew.1437)

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

Playability
So, on to the more intangible effects. First off, permanent swiftness. This is the bread and butter of the build. In WvW this makes you a roaming king, nearly inescapable and very hard to trap, especially combined with your blocks, blinds, and invulnerability. In PvE, this makes running a breeze; mob AI can’t keep up with a player with Aegis and Swiftness sprinting past them. Most attacks simply miss, and those that don’t can be dodged or are blocked by passive aegis.

Virtues recharge surprisingly quickly thanks to the +25% recharge rate from Virtues, and this is ignoring Renewed Justice and Renewed Focus. Absolute Resolution not only improves your passive self-healing fairly significantly, it adds condition removal to the active (useful for solo play, even more useful in groups). Virtue of Justice becomes another active ability, to be used constantly (nearly on-cooldown in combat, in fact)—it gives you retaliation, 3 stacks of might, 5 seconds of burning on next attack, blinds nearby enemies, refreshes on-kill or on a 24-second cooldown.

You’re nearly immune to conditions. You remove one every 10 seconds passively, and can remove up to 6 on-demand, with 3 more after a 3-second delay (popping Renewed Focus). It’s also all AoE, and much of it is on fairly short cooldowns. If that’s not enough condition management to keep down an annoying shortbow ranger or necro’s damage output, nothing will be.

Chasing Power
Consider this: most things that keep you off an enemy’s back are conditions. Chill, cripple, immobilize, and fear. The other things—knockback, stun, and knockdown—are hard to apply, have long cooldowns, and can all be countered with stability and/or a stunbreaker.

There only remains one problem: enemies plain outrunning you, probably with swiftness, a passive movespeed boost, and/or weapon skills. As it so happens, we have permanent swiftness, which is stronger than any permanent passive movement speed boosts, and higher duration than any class that hasn’t specifically built for permaswiftness. We also have weapon skills with immobilizes, pulls, wards, dashes, and/or teleports. In addition, permanent vigor allows us to dodge frequently, making it harder for enemies to pin us down and making it easier for us to open or close gaps as we choose.

In fact, we have more strong CC on our weapons than most classes have in their entire builds, with the possible exception of Warriors and Elementalists (and only very specific weapons/builds for them). As a side bonus, swiftness increases the range of the greatsword’s leap, extending it to around 800 and making it an excellent tool for chasing or escape if you decide on it as (one of) your melee sets.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

Survivability
So, we can chase and escape better than most, and we can deal damage. What about surviving? Haven’t we lost one of the key survivability elements of a Guardian when we drop AH, leaving us with nothing but our primary heal to counteract incoming damage?

Well, as it turns out, not really. While we certainly don’t have the burst healing that AH provides, we do have an extreme amount of healing over time. Let’s look at a few numbers…

A standard AH build won’t have much or any healing power in it, and in any case healing power scales horribly with AH. So, let’s assume a nice generous figure of 72 health per boon applied. Let’s also consider Stand Your Ground, a basic shout applying two boons to up to 5 targets. That’s 10 × 72 = 720 healing for using this shout, which is pretty darn nice. Traited (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t when running either build?), this shout has a 24-second cooldown. 720 / 24 = 30 health per second. Not bad, considering that we have 3 of these shouts, though in our chosen scenario of a group of 5 people Save Yourselves will actually give us less healing. Still, we’ll ignore that for now, and assume that 3 shouts will net us a total of 90 hp/s. We’ll also tack on to that 20 boons (3 might stacks + retaliation for 5 people, generously assuming 15 points in virtues) for a VoJ active, for another 60 hp/s. So, in this scenario, AH gives us around 150 hp/s in healing. We’ve been very generous with numbers, not taken into account the fact that most shouts have double the listed cooldown, and assumed traits that may or may not be selected with an AH build, so let’s discard for now the boons that can be applied by weapons, as they’re far more situational.

Let’s compare this to Selfless Daring, with permanent vigor, reserving one dodge’s worth of endurance at all times (which also maintains a 5% flat damage boost through Elusive Power), and only the 300 healing power from the Honor line. With Vigor, we can dodge once every 5 seconds. Assuming dodging on cooldown (somewhat generous, but let’s roll with it for now [pun completely intended]). Selfless Daring heals for 129 + 1 x healing power. We have 300 healing power, so we’ll end up with a heal of 429 every 5 seconds, or 85.8 hp/s.

Selfless Daring applies this heal in an AoE. AH applies it only to yourself. Selfless Daring will apply this heal no matter how many allies are affected. Our AH estimates assumed shouts affecting 5 allies, which isn’t the case if we’re roaming or if some allies in a dungeon are outside the 600-range shouts’ radius.

Well, we can do an AH build that includes Selfless Daring. All well and good. 0/15/30/20/5 could do the trick, right? And we want to take 20 in that line anyway to pick up Empowering Might. Yes, this will give us Selfless Daring. However, we lose out on Virtue of Retribution, which reduces the amount of Retribution we can apply to a group. Not a huge deal; though that does lose us some healing off our above estimates we get it back with interest by grabbing Empowering Might.

However, 10-15 points in Radiance are pretty much immutable in both builds, so if we do this we cannot get Absolute Resolution. This is by no means devastating (the difference in VoR strength between the builds is around 10.5 hp/s), but we did just lose the ability to remove 3 conditions on ourselves and allies. Considering that we only have 2 condition removals on a 10s timer (and those unable to be activated on demand) in an AH build, that would’ve been very handy. As it is, immobilize is really annoying, especially if it’s covered by other conditions. Ditto for cripple and chill. This lets condition builds shut us down much more quickly, and can relegate us to the relatively undesirable scepter and focus. This causes the AH build to be much easier to counter by impairing movement via conditions, and Save Yourselves may pull undesirable conditions to yourself without leaving you any ability to quickly remove them, leaving you vulnerable and unable to chase.

(edited by Kharel Arhew.1437)

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

Summary
I could write more analysis—a lot more, especially in comparison of the healing properties of both builds. At the end of the day, it wouldn’t matter that much, and people will still pick whatever build fits their playstyle. I posted this build after seeing so many complaints that (I think) are being caused by people trying the “cookie-cutter” standard build, without experimenting to see what other options are out there. Brutaly’s AH build is awesome, and is very strong. My build is very strong, and works very well with my playstyle.

All this is to say, know that there are options. Don’t base your evaluation of a Guardian’s strengths and weaknesses off one build, when there are a variety of builds that work extremely well, and provide different strengths and weaknesses. Experiment, try what works well for you, and incorporate it into your own build!

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Arken.3725

Arken.3725

bad link my friend.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

bad link my friend.

This is why I said to copy/paste it to a new tab. These forums don’t like semicolons in links.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Vitu.3580

Vitu.3580

All looks very interesting. I just can’t bring myself to use scepter. Perhaps I’ll try with Sword instead, or maybe Hammer.

I may also replace SYG for JI. JI is just too useful imo to pass up.

Other than that I may give this a shot.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Arken.3725

Arken.3725

bad link my friend.

This is why I said to copy/paste it to a new tab. These forums don’t like semicolons in links.

Ah I apologize, thank you.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

All looks very interesting. I just can’t bring myself to use scepter. Perhaps I’ll try with Sword instead, or maybe Hammer.

I may also replace SYG for JI. JI is just too useful imo to pass up.

Other than that I may give this a shot.

By all means! Sword/Focus and Hammer are great alternatives, with their own strengths. It limits you somewhat if you don’t have a ranged option, but at the same time the Guardian’s ranged options are so underwhelming as to be of questionable value in many scenarios. I do like to at least carry a scepter around, though, for those rare occasions I need to participate in a siege or engage at range for some reason.

You can run JI with this build, certainly, and if you feel the need for JI it’s certainly a viable alternative. The main reasons I prefer SYG are that I’m already traited for shout cooldown, Stability allows me to ignore whatever CC I can’t remove (allowing fights against impossible odds to sometime succeed since enemies can’t CC me to death), and the extra retaliation duration makes me laugh (getting up to around 30 seconds of retaliation by the end of a fight isn’t uncommon). However, without running AH, using JI instead of a shout doesn’t hurt your survivability at all—so feel free to experiment!

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Segnal.2530

Segnal.2530

Interesting build, I´ll give it a try. But as Vitu said, I´m too not a big fan of scepter. Maybe sword/shield will be better option overall. But guardian weapons options depends on situations and many circumstances in sPvP/PvE/WvW/Dungeons. So, take a set of weapons for every situations will be the best solution.

Ranger Segnal Fanored
Universalis
Aurora Glade

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

Interesting build, I´ll give it a try. But as Vitu said, I´m too not a big fan of scepter. Maybe sword/shield will be better option overall. But guardian weapons options depends on situations and many circumstances in sPvP/PvE/WvW/Dungeons. So, take a set of weapons for every situations will be the best solution.

Definitely. You’re not locked into any particular weaponset with this setup, so pick what you want, and always carry at least a green of each weapon for various scenarios. I’m not a fan of the torch as a weapon, but I’ll still bring it out for the snowblind fractal’s dark forest and occasionally for the EB jumping puzzle, just for the light. I keep one in my “hidden” bag for just that reason.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Wobels.1679

Wobels.1679

to fix your link go to tinurl.com put your link in there and make it tiny then it will be a clickable link. just FYI

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Penslinger.8702

Penslinger.8702

Here’s the current build of my guardian. Focusing more on keeping myself alive in the front line and also dishing out a lot of boons for my party and some heals along with it.

http://gw2skills.net/editor/?fUAQNApeWlYgqCHFyvDm4ES2jVqkUQsCAw1jESiYIA;TABg2yrEWJtSdlyKquMeJ8yKmrLpYLQGbsjYCC

EDIT: i actually use “Hold the Line” instead of “save yourselves”.

“I make anti-heroes.”

http://dizzt.deviantart.com

(edited by Penslinger.8702)

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

to fix your link go to tinurl.com put your link in there and make it tiny then it will be a clickable link. just FYI

Good call—I’ve added a tinyurl link as well (plus the original link if people don’t feel comfortable using a shortened URL).

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Vitu.3580

Vitu.3580

So I’ve been trying your build out with a few minor modifications and I have to say, I am really enjoying it. In WvW this is pretty powerful

2 thumbs up!

The perma-swiftness makes this build so powerful

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Alarox.4590

Alarox.4590

When I play my Guardian I only use something along the lines of this. The main benefit is nearly perma-Swiftness (I also use runes of the pack). However, I use Pow/Pre/Tuf instead of Pow/Tuf/Vit.

http://gw2skills.net/editor/?fUAQJARSlYgqCHFyvDfIFR+hVafggYPwYGh/VBKC;TkAqkMJJSymkLJZSLQGgsjA

My build ^

However, MF 0/15/30/20/5 still has much more survival. Only reason I use this build over that one is because not having Swiftness makes you an easy kill for any enemy that knows what they’re doing.

Alarox – Human Guardian
Rampage Wilson – Charr Engineer
Sea of Sorrows

(edited by Alarox.4590)

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Blasino.3128

Blasino.3128

It is a nice build.

My advice is improving your gear choice. When you mix gear prefixes, doing armor with one prefix and trinkets with another prefix is not optimal.

One idea:

Soldiers: Helm, Chest, Legs, Back (embellished ruby), Rings (embellished ruby), Accessories (embellished ruby)
Zerker’s: Shoudlers, Gloves, Boots, Weapons, Amulet.

Basically you want to take the pieces that have the worse crit damage and minor stat ratio and use those as your zerkers. I hope this helps.

Uturunku Yana, Guardian / Alinca Yana, Mesmer
Group Stability is a hell of a Drug – Rick James
vT

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: stone cold.8609

stone cold.8609

This looks like a nice build. I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

It is a nice build.

My advice is improving your gear choice. When you mix gear prefixes, doing armor with one prefix and trinkets with another prefix is not optimal.

One idea:

Soldiers: Helm, Chest, Legs, Back (embellished ruby), Rings (embellished ruby), Accessories (embellished ruby)
Zerker’s: Shoudlers, Gloves, Boots, Weapons, Amulet.

Basically you want to take the pieces that have the worse crit damage and minor stat ratio and use those as your zerkers. I hope this helps.

I see what you’re saying, Blasino, and I do agree. The reason for my gear choice as it stood was simple expediency; a lot of my exotic equipment’s stats came from the AC explorable dungeon vendor (I had around 1k tokens when I started getting my stats set up), so power/toughness/vitality was an easy armor set to acquire. Once that was acquired, I really did want 30-35% base crit chance, which left me only the accessories. It’s slightly sub-optimal as it stands, but it’s close enough to the ideal setup that it’s viable. If I was gearing from scratch, though, I’d definitely mix things up as you suggest.

That being said, I’m glad people are enjoying the build. The mobility and anti-condition nature of the build make it marginally more useful in open-world PvE and WvW than in dungeons (where conditions, if present at all, tend to come in twos and threes rather than larger numbers). However, I’ve run pretty much every dungeon under the sun, and been able to complete them all without being a burden to the group.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Sicachu.4081

Sicachu.4081

Thanks for sharing this build, it deserves more attention. I had always wondered if guardian able to play a massive boons style and you just showed and proved it. I’am on my way farming for gears now to change to this build.

Hope to see more updates from you!

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: akamon.2769

akamon.2769

heh recently switched one of my builds to be sth similar to this. 0/15/0/25/30 to go full into virtues to pick up both absolute resolution and indomitable courage – which i find priceless in WvW.

due to the increased boon duration, you won’t even notice a big difference in terms of survivability comparing strictly to any given AH build. least, that’s how it feels. good stuff!

Akaimon | Jolly Good Guardian
Akaigi | Warrior Made of Wood
[CDS] – Sanctum of Rall

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Dristig.9678

Dristig.9678

How do you get perma-swiftness? Is it from retreat only or are you also using the staff?

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Vitu.3580

Vitu.3580

How do you get perma-swiftness? Is it from retreat only or are you also using the staff?

Retreat and Save Yourself

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Invictus.1503

Invictus.1503

I’m new to Guardian and love the idea of this build (still leveling so I haven’t tried it). Now for my stupid question. What is “AH”?

It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Balerathon.2184

Balerathon.2184

AH refers to Altruistic Healing, most people refer to this thread: https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/guardian/Guide-Hammer-and-Altruistic-Healing-gameplay

found in the sticky section. AH is a level 80 trait that basically applies a heal for each boon you have on you, so it stacks and makes for very high survivability. Click the link and find out more.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Nevpaurion.4712

Nevpaurion.4712

First of all I have to say I LOVE this build. As someone who ran triple meditations and found my self still unhappy with my survivability, I have to say this is awesome.

It feels like Guardian really comes into its own by embracing boons.

It’s SO much more supportive than triple meditation too.

Using virtue of justice, and Sigil of Strength on my weapons gives so much might that I don’t do THAT much less damage with this spec as I did with triple meditations.

That being said I think a very viable option for a more aggressive choice of rune would be superior rune of Hoelbrak/Fire/Strength. You get 25 power instead of 15 vitality, and you get 20% might duration rather than 10% boon duration.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Tumbero.3945

Tumbero.3945

Not bad at all , but i dont like it anyway. Im now using more my warhammer against big zergs and mace + shield. also im more a boomer tank.

SBI Firstborn.
(LX) Legion

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kracin.6078

Kracin.6078

been running with 90% boon duration, full cleric, and shouts for a while. boon duration is the king of all the other builds that rely on using abilities in a pinch, because you can almost keep all boons on indefinately.

if you run a hammer, you can easily keep retaliation up permanently with just the hammer.. combo chain 1 til you symbol, then smash it, and you are imbued with 12 seconds of retaliation off of it, and can chain it out again before it wears off.

or regen, using save yourselves, your own virtues, or hold the line then you get tons of protection and regen and it stays up constantly.

with all of these and the sigil for 10% reduced damage, you can run around with triple regen’s going, 43% damage reduction at all times in a fight, and no cares at all. it’s a good solid build and lets you play our own style while staying alive.

if you play staff and AH along with this build and a high healing, the staff 4 will heal for nearly 10k hp when in a 5 man group.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Decently Evil.9648

Decently Evil.9648

Anyone tested this build in dungeons? How does it compare to an AH build in terms of survivability and support?

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Dristig.9678

Dristig.9678

Kracin.6078, what sigil are you talking about? I don’t see any on the wiki that do damage reduction.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Dristig.9678

Dristig.9678

So I switched to a variation of this and am absolutely LOVING the perma-swiftness. My variation if you care: http://tinyurl.com/a2gzuvg
I had stopped playing my Guardain and rolled an Elementalist just because I was so frustrated with the mobility in WvW.

However, I think I am really suffering from non-optimal gear or a play style change. I feel really delicate in Dungeons compared to my AH build.
My non-optimal stats: http://i.imgur.com/lvYMBld.png

I have some Karma banked. Is there a Karma vendor that sells Power/Toughness gear? I feel like the 300 toughness I’m missing is a big part of the problem.

(edited by Dristig.9678)

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Xynn.2748

Xynn.2748

This is pretty interesting. Might try it out. Thanks for posting it.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

Glad to hear people are enjoying the build!

Anyone tested this build in dungeons? How does it compare to an AH build in terms of survivability and support?

I authored the build (or at least this version of it), so I’m probably biased—take what I say with a grain of salt. That being said, I claim that this build is just as survivable as a typical AH-based build. However, the survivability is somewhat different in nature.

AH keeps you topped off in health by virtue of you using shouts, symbols, and other boon-granting tools frequently, handing out a large number of boons to a large number of people in order to net yourself as much health as possible. Thus, if you’re near teammates, you can keep your health topped off very effectively. You can keep a small stream of heals up by using a weapon that can place symbols and grant boons frequently (such as the hammer and/or staff), and you can keep yourself alive by simple virtue of healing whatever damage you take back. You can be CC’d and immobilized easily, but it doesn’t matter too much unless you’re out of ways to grant boons—you’ll just heal whatever damage you take while CC’d back with a couple of shouts, perhaps a few crits with Empowering Might, that sort of thing.

Boonway doesn’t have that healing. What it does have, however, is considerably longer-duration regeneration and protection (16 seconds every 48 compared to 10 seconds every 48), 25% stronger Virtue of Resolve, +300 base healing power (and we have things that scale well with healing power to make use of this extra), and an incredible amount of CC resistance. Used properly, your team should (as an example) never be pulled by Kholer, whether they dodge or not. They should also never have to deal with conditions. All of that condition removal I mentioned in the OP(s) is AoE; two of our shouts convert a condition on allies into a boon, and that’s ignoring the effects of Save Yourselves (sucking all conditions onto yourself, where they can be cleansed by popping VoR and a shout or two). Most things in dungeons and fractals stack a large number of the same condition rather than a broad number of conditions; you can cleanse allies in these cases easily without even pausing your DPS. If necessary, you can pop Renewed Focus and strip off any remaining conditions within 3 seconds, during which you gain invulnerability as a nice side benefit.

So, what’s the difference? Essentially, AH-based builds give you a constant stream of small heals. You’ll take damage when you’re CC’d, and your condition removal isn’t the most reliable in the world, but you can heal all of that back by handing out more boons. Boonway, by contrast, allows you to maintain a more active playstyle, in combination with more consistent passive bonuses. Since you and your allies won’t be affected by CC and conditions nearly as much, you can dodge more attacks, throw out more blinds/blocks, and generally be more mobile in combat. Your focus changes from soaking and healing to avoiding incoming damage where possible, using condition removal and stability where necessary to keep yourself and allies alive, mobile, and out of trouble.

You still throw out boons—and a lot of them, all of which last for a really long time—but instead of having to rely on allies receiving these boons for your own survival, you’re “untethered” from them, and can use whatever you need, whenever you need it, regardless of how many allies are in range. In a dungeon, that’s not as much of a concern as it may be elsewhere, but there’s still a lot of times where a longbow ranger or greatsword mesmer may be hanging back to deal more damage with their autoattacks, or someone might be hanging back at 1200 range with low health, taking some potshots at a boss while waiting for their heal to come back up. Since your shouts are 600-range, in an AH build these people are indirectly reducing your survivability. In a Boonway build, you don’t care—that ally won’t get the benefit of all of your boons, but that’s their loss, not yours.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Dristig.9678

Dristig.9678

Been reading about this build and it’s traits a lot more. I’m reading that Pure of Voice is bugged. Do you do anything about that? Would you consider taking it out of your build?

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

Been reading about this build and it’s traits a lot more. I’m reading that Pure of Voice is bugged. Do you do anything about that? Would you consider taking it out of your build?

Pure of Voice is very slightly bugged. Hold the Line doesn’t remove some conditions like it should—which doesn’t affect us unless we decide to drop SYG for it—and some people say SY doesn’t work as expected with it (though considering that there’s a number of possible ways it could work given the vague descriptions, “as expected” in this case could mean any number of things). However, SY isn’t such a bad case, since we’re pulling conditions off all our affected allies anyway, presumably with the intent of cleansing them off via more shouts or VoR activation. The condition removal aspect of it seems to work for me as often as not, anyway.

Do note, however, that in the rare case that I’m not expecting many conditions to be applied in an area, I’m perfectly willing to switch Pure of Voice to Battle Presence to give the team some extra survivability. However, I’m not going to shift trait points around; chances are I’ll be switching back to Pure of Voice soon anyway, possibly within the same dungeon/fractal. Condition removal is so key to sustained maneuverability that it’s not worth giving up except in extreme circumstances.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: akamon.2769

akamon.2769

I have some Karma banked. Is there a Karma vendor that sells Power/Toughness gear? I feel like the 300 toughness I’m missing is a big part of the problem.

if you’re looking for Soldier’s gear (pow/Tough/Vit) gear, you can definitely pick some up with Karma. The Temple’s in Orr when non-cotested will have a karma vendor and you can get PVT gear from them for 42k a pop.

this link should have all the info you need:
http://dulfy.net/2012/09/08/gw2-templegod-karma-armor-sets/

hope this helps!

Akaimon | Jolly Good Guardian
Akaigi | Warrior Made of Wood
[CDS] – Sanctum of Rall

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Keyce.8137

Keyce.8137

I have some Karma banked. Is there a Karma vendor that sells Power/Toughness gear? I feel like the 300 toughness I’m missing is a big part of the problem.

if you’re looking for Soldier’s gear (pow/Tough/Vit) gear, you can definitely pick some up with Karma. The Temple’s in Orr when non-cotested will have a karma vendor and you can get PVT gear from them for 42k a pop.

this link should have all the info you need:
http://dulfy.net/2012/09/08/gw2-templegod-karma-armor-sets/

hope this helps!

Temple of Melandru should have all P/T/V gear, though absoutely no temple has a P/T/V helmet. I don’t know why.

Also, the Temple of Grenth has P/T/V jewelry (amulet, rings, back, accessories).

On a more topic-related note, I’ve using this build since the mid 60’s all the way to 80. It’s been great fun. I have run enough dungeons that I am only missing two pieces of gear to be decked out in exotics (though I am looking to eventually get every single weapon in Knight’s stats, I am content with just the Hammer and GS for now).

I have not played an AH build at all, but I find this one to be fairly squishy against certain bosses (first boss of Path 3 Sorrow’s Embrace comes to mind). Is there a way I can increase my longevity in a fight without using a hammer all the time? Should I switch one of my other shouts to “Hold the Line!” ? If so, which one would be best to remove while keeping the (melee) group in mind?

Maybe I just need to abuse the dodge button more. Not for the sake of evading attacks (the amount of Block I can throw around, or stability I can grant is usually enough), but just for the heal on dodge effect I’ve got.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

On a more topic-related note, I’ve using this build since the mid 60’s all the way to 80. It’s been great fun. I have run enough dungeons that I am only missing two pieces of gear to be decked out in exotics (though I am looking to eventually get every single weapon in Knight’s stats, I am content with just the Hammer and GS for now).

I have not played an AH build at all, but I find this one to be fairly squishy against certain bosses (first boss of Path 3 Sorrow’s Embrace comes to mind). Is there a way I can increase my longevity in a fight without using a hammer all the time? Should I switch one of my other shouts to “Hold the Line!” ? If so, which one would be best to remove while keeping the (melee) group in mind?

Maybe I just need to abuse the dodge button more. Not for the sake of evading attacks (the amount of Block I can throw around, or stability I can grant is usually enough), but just for the heal on dodge effect I’ve got.

There’s a couple things you can do to increase survivability:

  • Dodge more. You should have perma-vigor, and you get a 5-10% damage boost for being low on endurance, depending on how low you actually are. Abuse this horribly to net an extra ~450 health for you and your allies every few seconds, avoid attacks, and reposition yourself. It almost feels more like playing a Thief than a Guardian at times.
  • Swap Retreat to Hold the Line. In dungeons, and especially bossfights, mobility is often a secondary concern to mobility, so your excess swiftness is (if not exactly wasted) generally unnecessary. You lose an extra Aegis proc, but chances are that would be of lesser value than reducing (potentially) damage from more than 3 attacks by 33%, plus gaining a tremendous amount of regeneration. Alternately, if a boss has no hard CC (stun, knockdown, daze, knockback), swap SYG to HtL, since the stability part will be wasted, and it’s not like we’re short on retaliation anyway.
  • Don’t be afraid to spam virtues. My VoR active heals for nearly 2000, not counting the huge amount of regeneration it provides and the 3 conditions it removes. VoC provides protection as well as AoE aegis; perfect for negating an incoming damage spike against the whole team. VoJ is, put simply, a miracle-worker in this build: short cooldown, AoE blind, long-duration AoE 3 stacks of might, 5 seconds of burning on next attack to all allies, and it refreshes on kill. When mobs start dying, start spamming this virtue like crazy—you can hand out more might off 3-4 mob kills (depending on how many crits you get in the process) than fully-channeled Empower can give, and you’re defending your allies in the process by blinding nearby enemies. Oh, and all virtues give long-duration retaliation. And we can refresh them through Renewed Focus. And their cooldowns are naturally reduced. Seriously, don’t “save them for a rainy day”; their actives are too powerful to waste!
  • Hammer’s not such a bad weapon choice. There are worse alternatives by far. Hammer DPS is actually competitive with GS in most scenarios; albeit somewhat less interesting to play. It’s relatively immobile, but our dodging abilities and long-duration swiftness make up for it, and let’s not underestimate the damage reduction equivalent of several hundred free toughness from perma-protection.
  • Scepter or Staff are useful. Having a ranged weapon set to swap to in dungeon scenarios is a must, at least in my opinion. They may not be as effective as our melee weapons, but at least you can back off and get some distance while you wait for your heal to come off CD or your regeneration effects to heal you enough to continue fighting, or in the case of the staff even heal you and/or your allies directly.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Keyce.8137

Keyce.8137

I’ll keep a ranged weapon in mind. So far, I’ve been running a greatsword with Superior Sigil of Strength in it for the majority of most trash fights, then swap to my hammer with a Superior Sigil of Perception once they start getting low health, to get up my precision stacks. Once there, I try to hang around in my GS for as long as I can until either downed, or a dungeon boss calls for the hammer specifically (because I know that not every boss can just be bursted down in melee). I generally use the active effects on my Virtues, except when my health is topped off and the boss isn’t going to use some ultra-powerful effect. The one exception being Virtue of Justice, which I activate ever time I see it come off cooldown. Miiiiiight staaaaaacks.

Maybe I should swap the Sigil of Perception in my hammer to Strength, my GS’s Strength sigil to Rage, and pick up a staff with the Sigil of Perception.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

I’ll keep a ranged weapon in mind. So far, I’ve been running a greatsword with Superior Sigil of Strength in it for the majority of most trash fights, then swap to my hammer with a Superior Sigil of Perception once they start getting low health, to get up my precision stacks. Once there, I try to hang around in my GS for as long as I can until either downed, or a dungeon boss calls for the hammer specifically (because I know that not every boss can just be bursted down in melee). I generally use the active effects on my Virtues, except when my health is topped off and the boss isn’t going to use some ultra-powerful effect. The one exception being Virtue of Justice, which I activate ever time I see it come off cooldown. Miiiiiight staaaaaacks.

Maybe I should swap the Sigil of Perception in my hammer to Strength, my GS’s Strength sigil to Rage, and pick up a staff with the Sigil of Perception.

Not a bad idea at all. I personally use a Sigil of Perception on my focus, which lets me use whatever mainhand I want most of the time (I rarely pull out a shield or torch except for short stints in specific fractals) and still get accuracy stacks. This means I can be fairly flexible—against single targets in melee-friendly fights, I can pull out a main-hand sword with a Sigil of Air for extra DPS; in fights I need range, I can run scepter with Sigil of Water to help myself and allies out; in fights I really, really need survivability for I can pull out a mace with a Sigil of Water, and all the while gain accuracy stacks whenever I’m in that set. My GS has a Sigil of Strength, and I’m running a hammer with Sigil of Hydromancy most of the time in dungeons, though I’m considering swapping that to Strength as well due to the way sigil cooldowns work.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Dristig.9678

Dristig.9678

I’ve been testing a variation on this build that some people might like. I personally find it much more effective in event PvE and WvW. I switch second set quite often between scepter/mace and focus/shield and staff. Greatsword is always on the other set. The shield 5 skill is just too good for pushing people off walls and away from finishing a teammate for me to switch to focus all the time. This build is higher DPS but doesn’t sacrifice much for survivability. I also “require” points in zeal to occasionally use the fall damage talent in WvW.

http://tinyurl.com/boondps

Let me know what you guys think.
PS perma-swiftness is AMAZING!

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: JustCurious.3457

JustCurious.3457

Absolutely loving this, the survivability isn’t a strong as AH can be BUT the only things that actually get me low/down are things that would if I was AH anyway and this build allows me deal more damage too. Perma swiftness and vigor is awesome too I end most battles with about +1m remaining, sometimes for retaliation too

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Lynnie.7213

Lynnie.7213

It’s just my personal opinion and not trying to be a party pooper, but with this amout of hp and toughness a warrior or thief can just melt you in no time, is just matter of wait the retaliation go off.

PS: Perma swift is always kitten good.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: JustCurious.3457

JustCurious.3457

It’s just my personal opinion and not trying to be a party pooper, but with this amout of hp and toughness a warrior or thief can just melt you in no time, is just matter of wait the retaliation go off.

PS: Perma swift is always kitten good.

My HP is the same when I go AH bunker only noticeable difference is the less toughness, though I haven’t tried this out in WvW yet as I don’t do it very often. I’ve only really tried it with the Temple events so far, plan to try a few dungeons tonight and see how I fare, I imagine it should be fine.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

It’s just my personal opinion and not trying to be a party pooper, but with this amout of hp and toughness a warrior or thief can just melt you in no time, is just matter of wait the retaliation go off.

PS: Perma swift is always kitten good.

Personal opinions are welcome; that’s the whole point of a forum discussion.

Anyway, a couple of things to take note of:

  • Between Stand Your Ground, Save Yourselves, and retaliation from Virtue of Justice (used on cooldown, not including refreshes from kills), you end up with 102% uptime on retaliation, not including combo fields, GS4, using your other virtues, re-popping VoJ after a kill refresh, or any other source of retaliation. There’s no “waiting for retaliation to go off”, because it never will. It’s not uncommon to end a fight with 30+ seconds of retaliation remaining.
  • This build with the gear listed is moderately squishy. I’ve since made a couple of tweaks to what I personally run, adding Celestial-stat rings, trinkets, and an amulet, which gives me a fair bit of extra survivability. Perhaps the PvE build editor would give a more realistic stat distribution. In any case, I end up with around 1200 toughness and 18k health. Between this and a high uptime on protection (which is worth several hundred toughness while it’s up), you’re surprisingly survivable.
  • Thieves have a lot of trouble against Guardians naturally due to our blocks and blinds. Burst-damage thief builds tend to lose a lot of their damage popping your initial Aegis, and even the ones that know what they’re doing have to attack you once to pop it, losing the element of surprise. If they lose the surprise attack, you can mitigate the rest of their burst between two more Aegis procs (VoC active, Retreat), 3 blocks from focus 5, 3 blinds from focus 4, VoJ active, and GS3, and if necessary Renewed Focus (which not only gives you 3 seconds of invulnerability, but another blind and Aegis proc from the refreshed Virtues). By the time they finish wading through all of that (total mitigation: 11 attacks, plus whatever they throw at you in Renewed Focus), they’ll most likely be low on initiative, at which time you can stomp on their face, given your ability to output very significant damage.
  • Warriors are tough customers. They have the HP and armor to soak up your burst, and they deal a lot of damage. However, this is where tactical play comes in. Timing Aegis, blinds, and dodges becomes a lot more significant, and watching what weapons the warrior brings is critical. If they only bring a Greatsword, it’s a free kill for you: their only real option is to try to CC you, but you have so much anti-CC ability that they shouldn’t be able to do so successfully. If they bring an axe, you’ll have to watch much more carefully, and try to avoid prolonged contact—that axe autoattack hurts.

P.S. Forgot to add a note: you can technically use this build with whatever gear stats you want. It’s really not set in stone; the gear I listed is just what I run and have found to be effective in most cases.

(edited by Kharel Arhew.1437)

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: ajudicate.5840

ajudicate.5840

This is my first post on these boards, I had the game since release but IRL was crazy and I finally just starting playing a love it. My gaurdian is about to hit 25, I enjoy looking at these forums and reasearching gaurdian builds and ideas for when I am 80. I really enjoy both GS and Hammer and I have messed around a fair bit with staff for traveling in pve and secpter/focus for ranged. I really like the idea of this build as my main focus will be wvwvw at 80. Are you still really enjoying this build. I am excited to try it. What tips can you give to a new player and gaurdian for the basics of this builds senergy to use. Thank you!

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

Hey ajudicate! Glad to hear you’re picking up on this great game; I hope you’ll enjoy your time here.

I still use this build, with minor gear stat variations here and there, and I still love it. Leveling with it isn’t necessarily ideal, as the strengths of the build don’t really show up immediately. Once you get your trait book at level 40, things start to come together more clearly, and once you get your grandmaster trait book at level 60 the build starts to fit together even better, but it’s not until you slot all of the runes that you get the kind of crazy boon duration that makes the build amazing.

However, don’t let that discourage you: Guardians have a good time naturally while leveling, due to their tankiness, and a lot of the traits this build uses are amazing in their own right. Here’s the breakdown of what I would suggest while you’re leveling, starting at level 25:

  • Level 25: 0/10/0/0/5 (Grab Signet Mastery from the Radiance tree; the +100 precision early on makes your damage output much better for a while, and the reduced cooldown on your heal signet will help you out a lot.)
  • Level 35: 0/10/10/0/5 (Grab Purity from the Valor line. As you’re leveling, conditions start playing more and more of a role, and this is one of the earliest condition removal traits we have access to.)
  • Level 40 [purchase Master’s Training Manual; resets traits]: 0/10/0/0/20 (Keep Signet Mastery, drop the 10 points in Valor; it’s time to get one of your strongest anti-condition traits available. Grab the Vengeful and Absolute Resolution traits in Virtues, and use Virtue of Resolve’s active whenever you’re in dire need of an emergency heal/condition removal.)
  • Level 45: 0/15/0/0/20 (At this point, you want to get Renewed Justice if you’re in PvE much, as it allows you to stack an obscene amount of might and blind mobs constantly. If you’re leveling exclusively through WvW, forgo the 5 points in Radiance and start pumping every single point you get into Honor.)
  • Level 60 [purchase Grandmaster’s Training Manual; resets traits]: 0/15/0/15/20 (Grab Superior Aria in Honor. Prior to getting this trait, feel free to mess with utilities as much as you want to see what you like, but once you get Superior Aria, you should be shouting enough to make your neighbors hate you.)
  • Level 80: Full build, 0/15/0/30/25 (Pick up Empowering Might for even more might-stacking, and Pure of Voice for the extra condition removal.)

Once you hit 80, if you haven’t already got everything you need for P/V/T exotic armor, focus on getting that first. The trinkets are very important (and actually provide as much or more in terms of stats as the armor), but you’ll want to fill the rune slots in your armor ASAP. Without the runes listed in the build, you’ll be missing out on an extra 40% boon duration, leaving you with swiftness downtime (which is a killer in WvW, especially if you like roaming), as well as lower durations on all the boons you’ll be relying on to keep you alive.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: ajudicate.5840

ajudicate.5840

Thank you very much!!! I will put this into use right away, I booked marked this post so I can reference that info while I level. Thanks again!

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: ajudicate.5840

ajudicate.5840

Hi Kharel. I was wondering if it is not to much trouble if you could list out an ideal set of armor/accessories/wep to get at 80 exotic, accessible from karma/gold (TP)/ and where to locate the pieces to make an optimal set for this build. I see someone above recommend some soldiers etc so wanted to clarify what mix would make the best exotic mix with accessible items. Thank you! Also wanted to confirm if you were still using the same runes etc on your link.

Boonway: alternative Guardian build

in Guardian

Posted by: Kharel Arhew.1437

Kharel Arhew.1437

I have tweaked what I consider to be an “ideal” setup, since I’ve started running higher-level fractals and doing more WvW. I use all Soldier’s (power/toughness/vitality) armor at 80, with celestial accessories (berserker when celestial is unavailable).

For the armor, you can get it from Ascalon Catacombs (from spending dungeon tokens at the vendor in Lion’s Arch), from the Temple of Melandru in Orr (42,000 karma per piece), or from the trading post (look for any piece of “Soldier’s” armor/weaponry), as well as armorsmithing.

The earrings are tough to get unless you’re in a large guild that runs guild missions. Due to this, I run one Ruby Orichalcum Earring of the Berserker and one Ancient Karka Shell of the Berserker (exquisite ruby jewel slotted). Two of the Ruby Orichalcum Earrings would work as well. For the rings and backpiece, I ran fractals until I could afford to pick up Lunaria and Solaria, the ascended celestial-stat rings, as well as the berserker-stat fractal backpiece. For the amulet, do dailies/monthlies until you scrape together 30 laurels, then pick up a Syzygy from a laurel vendor.

This spread lets you get some of the gear from gold, some from dungeons, some from karma, and some from fractals—it’s nice to have options!

As for the runes, yes I still use the same runes. I do have slightly different sigils; I like to have a Superior Sigil of Bloodlust on my hammer, which I run in dungeons, so I dropped the Superior Sigil of Perception on my focus for a Superior Sigil of Force.

(edited by Kharel Arhew.1437)