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Dragon Hunter vs FB for PVE

Just came back to the game after many years, and going to start crafting ascended armor and wanted to make sure I make the right decision on Making a power or condition set.

Which is the safer build for PVE raids, fractals and open world power dragon hunter or Firebrand condition spec? Only going to have the materials to build one of these sets and don’t want to make the wrong decision.

Answers

  • Josiah.2967Josiah.2967 Member ✭✭✭✭

    They are both valid. The both have top tier open world, fractal, stike and raid builds.

    Firebrand is meta for everything right now.

  • It's power Dragonhunter everywhere except for certain raid bosses. Unless you are in raids, the burn damage won't have enough time to ramp up before the enemy either dies or phases + cleanses. Also, know that the buff ascended gives to power builds is greater than what it gives to condition builds.

    "Self awareness is knowing when you're sitting at the throne of ignorance." --Leo G.

  • Infusion.7149Infusion.7149 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 25, 2020

    Firebrand is fine in all modes. Arguably firebrand is the only condi profession even remotely usable in fractals due to the relatively high power damage in addition to the quick ramp of burning, at least per discretize. The other burning applications such as condi weaver or condi berserker are generally secondary to their power counterparts. For 10 man content it's relevant due to aegis and quickness. Just be aware that the condi firebrand is not a pure viper's gear build, it has grieving pieces (which allow it to have ferocity) as well as Sinister pieces.

    Dragonhunter is only used in roaming for WvW due to the mobility of the Soaring Devastation trait and in PvP it is countered by many different things especially if running longbow instead of sword+focus or any variant of scepter. The armor is generally marauder there.

    As far as a pure DPS in PvE after the bugfix change to Zealous Blade it falls a bit behind Holosmith (which stacks vulnerability and has very consistent damage with Photon Forge) and merged power Soulbeast (which typically has spotter or frost spirit and a damage boost via Sic Em or One Wolf Pack). Power chrono is not a realistic use case because of the slow required for Danger time , only people that blindly follow benchmark charts without understanding the implications of slow uptime and keeping up phantasms think it is a great DPS. The reason dragonhunter is popular is "Feel my Wrath" which allows for quickness application without dedicated a quickness support.

    If you're looking into gear I would put the money into ascended power gear first as everywhere other than fractals you don't necessarily need ascended armor. The typical DPS roles in fractals are all power damage, even the default quickness firerand is power rather than the condi variant which does more damage overall. If power DH suddenly dies off or the power multipliers available on firebrand suddenly become utterly bad such that it is unusable, at least you will be able to reuse the gear on warrior at the very least.

    TL;DR: If it's your first ascended armor it should always be power damage because fractals favor power damage.

  • Xelara.9132Xelara.9132 Member ✭✭

    I would recommend a Dragonhunter for Beginners. Firebrand needs longer to master in my opinion. Also for most general stuff (Open World, Dungeons, Fractal entry levels) it is just more convenient with just pure berserk build.

  • Vecuu.2018Vecuu.2018 Member ✭✭

    Personally, I find Dragonhunter boring.

    That being said, I'm also not a huge fan of Guardian's Greatsword, so take it how you will.

  • Buran.3796Buran.3796 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I have a couple of ascended armor sets in my two guardians (1 zerk, 1 marauder) and serveral ones more amongst my two revs (1 serk, 1 trailblazer, 1 viper, 1 legendary set) and was starting to work in either a new heavy legendary set or a new dire or celestial set for my guardians when ANet announced that they will implement a "legendary wardrobe" shared across your account, which made me halt the crafting to see how it goes.

    In the last weeks I've played plenty of power Herald, condi Herald, condi Renegade, power Dragonhunter, hybrid Firebrand and dire Firebrand, in both open world PvE, PvP and WvW, experimenting with the stats, the weapons, skills and trait selection. Until April the power Dragonhunter was my favourite iteration of the class: easier to play, bursty, excellent in PvE and decent at PvP/WvW.

    Is no longer the case: I changed my mind.

    Guardians traditionaly had two handicaps: limited access to permanent movement enhancers and low base HP; the Firebrand spec, after the last two months of patches (nerfs) added a new one: bad healings. This means that the class is stat-intensive: you need to chose either maximizing damage (which means being vulnerable to be one shooted and having mobility limitations) or enhancing your HP, healings or movement in different degrees which would subsequently lower your damage. To some extent is also what happens with the Paladin in the D&D tabletop game.

    But I'll encourage you to chose the Firebrand over the Dragon Hunter, and to craft your first ascended armor in berserker stats. My reasons:

    • GW2 prioritizes melee combat above ranged combat, and PvE pushes that to the max: most of the encouters in instanced content are about people stacking the foes and themselves against a wall. Longbow is currently meh at long range and pretty terrible in cqc, and even scepter is used mostly at point blank in PvE. So in terms of the new weapon and playstile the DH doesn't flows with the "mainstream". Yes, you can kite at 1200 with the LB and retreat with F2 and place traps in the way, but, that's not how you will figth in fractals, raids and even in world events.
    • Firebrand, instead, is a close range AoE fighter; most of the damage will come not from a spike from traps and greatsword #2 or sword #3, but from regular pulses from your symbols. Those symbols will stack over time both physical and burning damage, covering a large area and proccing boons for you and your fellows and debuffs to a large number of foes.
    • Firebrands have better cc than Dragonhunters; wasn't always the case but at the current moment it seems so: as a DH most of your cc comes from skills with a medioum to long cooldown; as Firebrand mixing axe + shield/scepter (or sword) + focus (or torch) means spamming your weapon skills over and over. Soloing hero poins and champs it FB feels easier becauseyou can break the defiance bar on regular basis without too much troubles. And those cc and the learn of their use is way more important to future PvP/WvW endeavours than to land burst in PvE. The thing is that the "stackontopareyouusingscholarrunes?burstnow!" won't teach you much about the GW2 combat system. Sure FB is more complicated than DH in terms of number of skills, mechanics and management, but will make you a better player.
    • In the past guardians had only a single condition to cause significative damage, burnig, which ramps up very fast but was hard to cover; core and DH had good fire builds, and part of that for DH was due the trait that applied burns on block. But that trait no longer exists. Firebrand has bleeds to cover your burns, and cripple, slow, immobilize, vulnerability and even a daze. Most of them are short lived, but very handy against mobs, and one of the reasons why dealing with bosses damaging their defiance works really well with this class. The Firebrand is a hybrid damage class; even if you gear your FB for pure power damage you will deal a good amount of burning thanx to the symbols and the F1 procs. I think that pure condi FB is a better burn guardian than a pure condi DH, and if we chose an hybrid (viper/griever) or even pure power build the extra condition damage fovours the Firebrand.
    • The aegis on demand through Mantra of Solace is huge; don't last much, so requires a good timing, which means that you're forced to learn which hits you should endure and which ones you should pro-actively block or evade. Is harder to use than the hard mitigation from DH's F3, but you will use this skill a ton more times. You will use cc to gain time to recover from cooldowns your evades, you will use evades to recover time to your mantras, you will use your mantras to recover time for your ccs... The more you play the FB the more organic will become that flow.
    • ...And there's the tomes, which of course are part of that flow. Enhances for better what before PoF was arguably the best support class in the game. So best became better. You have more damage and cc, cleansing and buffs, extra healing and support.

      So, do that: craft a berserker ascended armor; and get some cheap trinkets in the new S4/S5 maps: a set for power damage, a set for hybrid damage (viper/griever), another for support (cleric or minstrel) and even another for tank condition (trailblazer or dire). Craft marauder weapons if your HP seems too low or zerk if is ok. Don't bother with maximizing runes for a while: use fireworks or the cheap traveller alternative. If you have no much time gather iron or quartz, if you can play longer events do Auric Basin, Entangled Depths, Dragon Stand, Istan Domain and (once you have a Griffon) Dragonfall. For the time you would able to do T3/T4 Fractals you should have gold enough to craft more ascended armor sets. Or plan to play ~5 seasons in PvP to get the legendary one at low cost. Probably the next expansion will arrive sooner, so at that time maybe the new spec spices the things. Forget the metas, experiment with builds changing the trinkets, and Just have fun.

  • Ryou.2398Ryou.2398 Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 6, 2020

    @Buran.3796 said:
    I have a couple of ascended armor sets in my two guardians (1 zerk, 1 marauder) and serveral ones more amongst my two revs (1 serk, 1 trailblazer, 1 viper, 1 legendary set) and was starting to work in either a new heavy legendary set or a new dire or celestial set for my guardians when ANet announced that they will implement a "legendary wardrobe" shared across your account, which made me halt the crafting to see how it goes.

    In the last weeks I've played plenty of power Herald, condi Herald, condi Renegade, power Dragonhunter, hybrid Firebrand and dire Firebrand, in both open world PvE, PvP and WvW, experimenting with the stats, the weapons, skills and trait selection. Until April the power Dragonhunter was my favourite iteration of the class: easier to play, bursty, excellent in PvE and decent at PvP/WvW.

    Is no longer the case: I changed my mind.

    Guardians traditionaly had two handicaps: limited access to permanent movement enhancers and low base HP; the Firebrand spec, after the last two months of patches (nerfs) added a new one: bad healings. This means that the class is stat-intensive: you need to chose either maximizing damage (which means being vulnerable to be one shooted and having mobility limitations) or enhancing your HP, healings or movement in different degrees which would subsequently lower your damage. To some extent is also what happens with the Paladin in the D&D tabletop game.

    But I'll encourage you to chose the Firebrand over the Dragon Hunter, and to craft your first ascended armor in berserker stats. My reasons:

    • GW2 prioritizes melee combat above ranged combat, and PvE pushes that to the max: most of the encouters in instanced content are about people stacking the foes and themselves against a wall. Longbow is currently meh at long range and pretty terrible in cqc, and even scepter is used mostly at point blank in PvE. So in terms of the new weapon and playstile the DH doesn't flows with the "mainstream". Yes, you can kite at 1200 with the LB and retreat with F2 and place traps in the way, but, that's not how you will figth in fractals, raids and even in world events.
    • Firebrand, instead, is a close range AoE fighter; most of the damage will come not from a spike from traps and greatsword #2 or sword #3, but from regular pulses from your symbols. Those symbols will stack over time both physical and burning damage, covering a large area and proccing boons for you and your fellows and debuffs to a large number of foes.
    • Firebrands have better cc than Dragonhunters; wasn't always the case but at the current moment it seems so: as a DH most of your cc comes from skills with a medioum to long cooldown; as Firebrand mixing axe + shield/scepter (or sword) + focus (or torch) means spamming your weapon skills over and over. Soloing hero poins and champs it FB feels easier becauseyou can break the defiance bar on regular basis without too much troubles. And those cc and the learn of their use is way more important to future PvP/WvW endeavours than to land burst in PvE. The thing is that the "stackontopareyouusingscholarrunes?burstnow!" won't teach you much about the GW2 combat system. Sure FB is more complicated than DH in terms of number of skills, mechanics and management, but will make you a better player.
    • In the past guardians had only a single condition to cause significative damage, burnig, which ramps up very fast but was hard to cover; core and DH had good fire builds, and part of that for DH was due the trait that applied burns on block. But that trait no longer exists. Firebrand has bleeds to cover your burns, and cripple, slow, immobilize, vulnerability and even a daze. Most of them are short lived, but very handy against mobs, and one of the reasons why dealing with bosses damaging their defiance works really well with this class. The Firebrand is a hybrid damage class; even if you gear your FB for pure power damage you will deal a good amount of burning thanx to the symbols and the F1 procs. I think that pure condi FB is a better burn guardian than a pure condi DH, and if we chose an hybrid (viper/griever) or even pure power build the extra condition damage fovours the Firebrand.
    • The aegis on demand through Mantra of Solace is huge; don't last much, so requires a good timing, which means that you're forced to learn which hits you should endure and which ones you should pro-actively block or evade. Is harder to use than the hard mitigation from DH's F3, but you will use this skill a ton more times. You will use cc to gain time to recover from cooldowns your evades, you will use evades to recover time to your mantras, you will use your mantras to recover time for your ccs... The more you play the FB the more organic will become that flow.
    • ...And there's the tomes, which of course are part of that flow. Enhances for better what before PoF was arguably the best support class in the game. So best became better. You have more damage and cc, cleansing and buffs, extra healing and support.

      So, do that: craft a berserker ascended armor; and get some cheap trinkets in the new S4/S5 maps: a set for power damage, a set for hybrid damage (viper/griever), another for support (cleric or minstrel) and even another for tank condition (trailblazer or dire). Craft marauder weapons if your HP seems too low or zerk if is ok. Don't bother with maximizing runes for a while: use fireworks or the cheap traveller alternative. If you have no much time gather iron or quartz, if you can play longer events do Auric Basin, Entangled Depths, Dragon Stand, Istan Domain and (once you have a Griffon) Dragonfall. For the time you would able to do T3/T4 Fractals you should have gold enough to craft more ascended armor sets. Or plan to play ~5 seasons in PvP to get the legendary one at low cost. Probably the next expansion will arrive sooner, so at that time maybe the new spec spices the things. Forget the metas, experiment with builds changing the trinkets, and Just have fun.

    I love my gaurd but I am learning how bad that low hp for them can be, its really annoying and since group builds are based around dps gear I honestly feel like quitting as much as I love buffing groups and etc. Thank you for the information it really clears things up for me, from what you described here it also sounds like firebrand is still taking the spotlight signifcantly over the others which kind of narrows the diversity a bit.

    If you want to find the secrets of the universe think in terms of energy frequency and vibration Nikola Tesla.

  • Ryou.2398Ryou.2398 Member ✭✭✭

    @Vecuu.2018 said:
    Personally, I find Dragonhunter boring.

    That being said, I'm also not a huge fan of Guardian's Greatsword, so take it how you will.

    Seems to be the meta for allot of builds, I think it is a little boring.

    If you want to find the secrets of the universe think in terms of energy frequency and vibration Nikola Tesla.