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Intro Guide to Dodging and Vigor

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July 31, 2012 - 7:47am -- Sardu
GW2 Dodge and Vigor Guide

The ability to dodge during combat is a deceptively simple mechanic, but one that can be critical to your survival and overall effectiveness in combat. In this guide we walk you through the basics of dodging, and provide details on the supporting boon, Vigor.

Early on in PvE you will be prompted with an on-screen tip that helps introduce you to your ability to dodge (shown below) and the default key mapping to do so. You can initiate a dodge roll by double-tapping any of the directional movement keys (WASD) to dodge in that direction, or by pressing the [V] key. The main benefit for doing so is that you will be temporarily invulnerable to attacks, so will not take any damage regardless of what skills an enemy uses against you.

This can really save your proverbial bacon in many situations as it allows you to avoid larger direct damage attacks, crowd control effects, or can even help you quickly move out of the radius of an area-of-effect (AoE) attack. A perfect example of the latter would be the massive damage dealt by the trebuchets in the Battle of Kyhlo structured PvP (sPvP) map.

Before we get too far into any advanced usage situations or concepts, let’s take a closer look at the nuts and bolts of how the system works.

Dodge System Basics

As noted above, the default key mapping for preforming a dodge is to double-tap one of the directional movement keys, or pressing the [V] key. You have the ability to alter this to another key of your choosing, which can also help you avoid accidentally dodging when you didn’t intend to. Nothing is worse than accidentally dodging off a platform it took you 20 minutes to reach while out exploring, after all!

To alter the default mapping, open the Control Options window by pressing the [F11] key on your keyboard. From here you will be able to remap the dodge ability to another key of your choosing. For example, many players will map the dodge ability to one of the thumb buttons on their mouse which can be incredibly handy if you naturally prefer mouse movement to using the default keyboard controls.

GW2 Control Options

Now that you have your preferred mapping set, I cannot stress enough how important it is to begin using the ability to dodge early on during combat. This is going to help you achieve two critical things:

  1. Knowing how and when to dodge in combat can mean the difference between staying alive and taking an untimely dirt nap
  2. It will give you a better feel for how long it takes the dodge meter to replenish

What’s this about the dodge meter replenishing you ask? Good question, so let’s take a look at how this aspect of the dodge system works.

The Dodge Meter and Vigor Boon

Located directly above your health meter are two small yellow bars. This is your dodge meter, and is split into two halves which represent your ability to dodge twice before depleting the meter. You will need at least one of these filled to be able to dodge; if it drops below that point from consecutive dodges you will not be able to dodge again for a brief period.

GW2 Fun Fact

The meter will naturally replenish over time, but you can also speed this process up via a handy Boon called Vigor. Vigor increases endurance regen by 100%, and can stack in duration. This boon is often overlooked in builds, but can make a sizable difference in your overall survivability. Simply put, the more often you can dodge, the less often you will be hit by incoming attacks.

To learn more about Vigor be sure to check out our Complete Boons Guide. You can also view a complete list of skills and traits for each profession that grant Vigor below:

Profession Skills Traits
"Save Yourselves!" Vigorous Precision
Call to Arms Vigorous Focus
Toss Elixir H (random) Invigorating Speed
Lightning Reflexes Primal Reflexes
Vigorous Evasion
N/A Bountiful Theft
Martial Agility
Heat Wave
Renewing Stamina
Soothing Disruption
Siren's Call (random) Critical Infusion
Vigorous Revelation

As you can see above, necromancer is the only profession that does not have any skills or traits that grant Vigor, at least not directly. They can still randomly gain Vigor through the utility skill Well of Power which transforms negative conditions into boons every two seconds. Through Well of Power, Bleeding (a very common condition) will be transformed into Vigor, so necro builds do still have the ability to grant Vigor, albeit not in a direct fashion.

Have any questions on dodging or vigor? Let us know in the comments!


oneeyered's picture
Submitted by oneeyered on

Gone are the days of eating bon-bons, mapping macro's, cooking brisket and doing laundry while your in combat. Huzzah! I love the fact that you have to move to survive. Nice write up.

Its a simple world for complicated people



Cronck's picture
Submitted by Cronck on

I had made a build for the Engineer that focused on Crits and Endurance for dodging. would love some Constructive criticism as to what i should maybe adjust, was already thinking swap heal turret for the Med Kit. and maybe the Tool Kit for the elixir that removes conditions (Elixir C). EDIT - Made changes to more fit PvP. And added the build as a guide to allow for comments on the page and voting.


When life gives you lemons, shoot them back at life at high velocity.

Lewis B's picture
Submitted by Lewis B on

I'll reply back to this with my thoughts tomorrow morning Cronck :) 

Lewis B's picture
Submitted by Lewis B on

HI Cronck,

It's an interesting build but I do think it lacks focus and is quite wasteful in certain areas.  You’ve taken Rifle and yet your power is ridiculously low (too low to be effective with it) while I consider your crit chance actually too high.  50% is more than enough to trigger traits constantly.

I also think your specialisation in the Tools trait line is relatively pointless based on your build.

Adrenal Implant is terrible compared to the vigor buff earned from X,  Scope is pointless based on the fact you should never be stood still and Armor Mods is largely redundant based on the fact retaliation is improved by power (you have very little) and +50 toughness is negligible.

I think something like this might suit you better:

You also get permanent Vigor and Swiftness, as well as constant burning :)


ArcherAvatar's picture
Submitted by ArcherAvatar on

The reason why Necro is the only profession without direct access to the Vigor boon is because THEY don't need it... ;-P

Seriously, I love how resilient Necro is.

sylvinstar's picture
Submitted by sylvinstar on

I'm working on a dagger necro build that procs mark of blood on dodgesmiley

Sardu's picture
Submitted by Sardu on

That trait was finally working in BWE3 and is definitely worth working into a build. The recharge is long enough that you won't be able to create two marks back-to-back, but can still be useful to get some regen going. If you're going to use staff for your second set, I'd also recommend taking Fateful Marks from Death Magic which makes marks unblockable.

As far as dagger builds, I've shifted away from dagger/dagger in sPvP for the time being but still use it heavily in PvE. I didn't play dungeons this past event, but before that daggers was a core part of my approach to tanking for sure.

ArcherAvatar's picture
Submitted by ArcherAvatar on

Fateful Marks has changed.  As of the stress test on Aug 2nd this trait now causes you to fear all nearby enemies whenever you are disabled (daze, stun, knockback, knockdown, sink, float, fear, launch) which CAN lead to one of the most hilarious moments I've personally witnessed if an opposing necro fears you... basically everyone runs away.

The ability you recommended has now been added to Greater Marks.  (you get increased radius marks AND they are unblockable.)

Lots of changes coming between now and launch folks...

Ayelet's picture
Submitted by Ayelet on

I've only used the directional keys to dodge and you dodge in the direction that you double-tap.  What direction do you go if you use the V to dodge?  

Galen's picture
Submitted by Galen on

@ayelet Using the V to dodge, you dodge in whatever direction you are facing.

In general, though, I definately agree with this article on the importance of dodge.  I have been having problems with the who Move or Die approach to the game, but this last BWE I realized that yes, you should keep moving, but it is only really required in reference to your target.  Continous movement is not as required or focused upon as I thought it was.  The real key to staying alive is definately the dodge. 

I remember the best example of it I had was when fighting a Basilisk.  I came right up to him and was beating him up.  Then he stopped bitting for a moment and I could tell he was building up for something so I quickly dodged to the side and only barely avoided his turn to stone beam.  While he was beaming out at the air around him, I came in to the side and chopped away at him.

Just moving would not have gotten me away so quickly, only dodging would.




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

I suppose sometime in the 10 month interval since the last comment was posted and now, hitting the Dodge key with no direction key pressed will send you rolling backward (opposite from the direction you're facing).

I'm new to the game, so no idea when they changed it.