Welcome to The Art of War, where we take a look at the tactics and trends of WvW and answer your pressing questions. We'll be popping in to look at the current WvW metagame, answer questions that the community has, and provide fresh tactics for you to use in World vs. World.
Q. I play a guardian and love WvW, but whenever it comes to attacking or defending a keep I find that I can’t do much. I don’t have enough range to hit anyone on top of the keep and there really isn’t much to do in melee range either. How can I contribute more?
- Lonely Guardian
A. Well Lonely Guardian, it’s a position a lot of the melee oriented professions find themselves in world vs. world. Part of it is the lack of general melee education on the proper use of ranged weapons and the other part of it is the lack of education on what a melee’s role is in WvW. Let’s start with the first.
First, guardians have two ranged options. The first option is the scepter and the second is the staff. Scepters have Smite, although at a very short range and staves have Symbol of Swiftness which you can use on the walls. The difficult part is that the skill 1 ranged attacks are slow moving, so they’re generally missed when a player moves behind the parapet protecting those up on the ramparts. Without a lot of range, the guardian generally has a tough time figuring out things to do.
Of course, the issue isn’t that there is nothing for them to do; it’s just that they are disadvantaged when it comes to fighting enemies up on the ramparts. The trick is that there are plenty of professions that can blast defenders off of the walls, but very few that can act as support and siege operators in a viable capacity. Guardians make the absolute best siege operators (especially rams) and support because of their general defensive theme. Shield of Judgment, for instance, can keep most non-melee attacks off of a ram and the Shield of the Avenger can keep it defended even while you’re operating one.
Another key role for a guardian is wards. You can place wards around the entrance portals to keep defenders from getting inside of the keep. This is critical, because once inside there is no true way to finish them off (unless you get super lucky and immobilize them in AoE on the ramparts). Downing them outside of the walls is the best way to do it and guardians can stop them from ever making it to the portal, giving the nearby attackers a chance to finish them off.
Of course, with all of this, we still run into the problem of the guardian bashing their head up against the door and not having anything to do. The ranged attacks may not be good enough to hit the walls, the siege may all be occupied, and no defenders may be around to reinforce. This is when you can do one of two things: be creative or break off and do something else.
You can borrow a bow from an elementalist to get enough range to hit walls (rather effectively I might add), although it’s a temporary solution. It might hold off the itch to attack something long enough for someone to arrive. You can also trait symbols to make them more effective, using them to attack players on the wall. You can provide pure support, healing and defending the attackers.
If that’s not working out, it’s time to move on from standing outside of the keep. As a guardian, you are perfect for doing some of the solo and small group activities in WvW, ranging from taking supply camps to assaulting dolyaks. While not directly bashing the walls in, denying supply is the most critical step in taking a structure.
I hope I’ve answered your question Lonely Guardian. If you have a question of your own, feel free to email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tactic of the Week
Do you know how powerful the mercenaries are? They can actually take structures by themselves if no one is around to repeal them. They are the most viable asset you can have in WvW and are one of the easiest things to obtain. You simply need to show up to one of their mercenary camps and either do their event (kill their enemy / resurrect their allies) or beat them into submission. Once you’ve done it, they’ll be on your side for a while.
It doesn’t take many players to do the events either; you just need a couple to make it go by quick enough. If you see the enemy in the area, feel free to take them out and continue to hack away at the event. The only time you’ll need actual numbers is if it’s being defended by the enemy. In that case, plan on having double of what they have. The first reason is because open field combat gives no one an advantage. The second reason is that the NPCs give the defenders a large advantage. So without any natural advantage, you’ll need larger numbers to wrest control from the enemy.
See you again soon! Be sure to send any questions you want answered to email@example.com .