Guild Wars 2 Hub

Your Source for Original GW2 Guides and Features

Guardian Build Guide: PvE Balanced Build

Around the Web

January 2, 2014 - 11:35am -- Lee B.

I want to start by saying this build isn't about being "ALL THE MAX DPS!" or "I CAN SURVIVE ANYTHING!" it's about being a build that has a touch of everything so that you can do anything. Need to hold the attention of the boss for a bit? You got the sustain to hold on while your one other party member picks up the rest of your party. Need to pump out some damage? Good news! You can focus on just that to make sure you squeeze out every drop of damage from not only yourself but also those around you. This build takes the "address any situation" tool-kit that a Guardian has and extends it even further. 



Truly a Jack-Of-All-Trades build.

Master of None.

Incredibly flecible for different play types.

Requires some customization for each play type.

Takes advantage of multiple stat blocks.

Can be expensive to build up to.

Allows you to handle any PvE Content.

Takes a bit of practice to understand exactly how to handle situations.

Please Note:  Your skill bar needs to change with different situations. This basic set synergizes incredibly well with your traits, but expect that you will need to swap out Hallowed Ground for Purging Flames or Wall of Reflection dependent on if you need more condition cleanse or projectile denial.

This build is to help you stand up to any situation that you can face in broad PvE player, including Dungeons. You'll find that you have the sustain to hold up in longer fights, and the damage to knock out Elites and sometimes Champions by yourself. The beauty of this build is it's adaptability and it's evenly dispersed stats to keep you hitting hard and healing strong.

It encourages you to move fast and kill often. You can constantly keep stacks of Might going with your traits just by killing mobs; and you are encouraged to keep "Retreat!" on your bar for the extra Aegis (which will provide you a small heal) that also gets you from point A to point B all that much faster. Throw in the fact that you are encouraged to keep Virtue of Justice activated (due to extra damage against burning foes, blindness, 3 stacks of might, vulnerability and the fact Justice recharges every time you kill something) you will be literally burning through content while nearly always benefiting from the benefits.

The biggest weakness of the build is that you can over reach. You can stand toe-to-toe with a Champion for a good while, if your skills are set properly and you time everything correctly. There is a learning period as you adapt to being not so tanky as a full Knight's Guardian, and not so damaging as a Berserker Guardian. You need to make sure you get them both to work together before you take on a level 80 Champion Drake Broodmother by yourself.

There are basics I highly encourage you to take advantage of each time you get into a fight:

  • When your natural Aegis fails, allow yourself to take a few hits before you use "Retreat!" or Virtue of Courage. Your Aegis provides a small heal so take advantage of that and let yourself lose a little health.
  • Stack Might off of your Hallowed Ground. That, with your Virtue of Justice and possibly Empower, will keep you hitting like a tank when you need to. I've been able to keep an average of 12 stacks of might if roam quickly enough between fights.
  • When Hallowed Ground is down stack Retribution off of your Hammer's auto-attack light field. "Stand Your Ground!" and the fact each of your Virtues gives you Retribution means that you are always giving some back to your enemies.
  • Remember your staff is essentially a self-heal weapon. I always immediately detonate Orb of Light right in my face for a strong heal, and the heal off of Empower has saved my ass plenty of times. Top on the fact that if you put Superior Sigil of Renewal on your staff you can generally give yourself a decent heal til your Signet recharges.

But always remember to adjust your skills to any situation. Sure you may have a decent heal kit with boosted Healing Power, but Wall of Reflection is the best thing against a mob that's hammering range. Sometimes you also need a bit more sustain and then I'd highly recommend ditching "Retreat!" for "Hold the Line!". Adjust yourself to what you prefer, and what you need.


Poison Êbony's picture
Submitted by Poison Êbony (not verified) on

Thank you so much for this article. I'll refer to it when I'm leveled up to 80.

However, I am curious. I think many readers, particularly those beginners trying to find their footing, might appreciate articles on how to keep their sanity as they level up to 80.

Yes, such an article would prove pointless for those who've already gotten a number of characters to that level. However, at my level 16, I don't have 70 trait points to distribute, neither are all my skills open to me.

Although I'm enjoying Guardian very much, to the point where I seldom need to rely on healing, I find my attempts to level up an Elementalist often fails. Many of the tutorials mention how to distribute trait points and what traits to choose along with weapons, armor, etc. once a player reaches level 80. But that information is less than valuable if getting to the top level proves to be a disaster.

Just a thought.


Tulaure's picture
Submitted by Tulaure (not verified) on

I know what you mean, I have a Thief and Necro at 80, got a Guardian in the works and I love it to death but I have more slots and I just can't pick what I want to play or how to play it and the like and I have a hard time leveling as it is (I have no idea why I just do, its sucks bit time so glad I got a couple instant 20 scrolls).

I like this idea and would love to see it happen!