Returning Player - Support Builds — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Returning Player - Support Builds

Hello all, I'm getting back into GW2 after a few years off and was wondering what the current picture is for support builds and professions. I've been reading a bit and it seems like Druid and Tempests are the go-to heal specs. I've found I prefer support builds more than anything in PVE and WvW. I do not do PVP if I can help it. I enjoy dungeons, and am looking for the latest on what people typically look for in groups or raids. I tend to lean toward Guardian, Engineer and Reaper, and have a lower-geared Chronomancer, but would not be opposed to leveling a Ranger for the Druid specialization if that's the preferred supporter and the end goal is raiding. From that perspective, is Firebrand as a support worth the expansion, or could I go with a buff-focused Scrapper or something else? Thanks.


  • steki.1478steki.1478 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 31, 2019

    Currently best support duos in pve are chrono+druid or firebrand+renegade because they provide all relevant offensive boons as well as some damaging buffs, lots of cc and some defensive capabilities such as revive, aegis, reflects. Tempest and scourge (and maybe herald and scrapper) are quite strong defensive supports (which usually isnt needed in better groups, but they can help a lot for beginners, especially scourge) - tempest has strong healing output (can also be played as a hybrid or more focused on offensive support, but not as effective as 4 supports mentioned earlier) while scourge provides lots of barriers as well as unmatched aoe revive capabilities.

    When it comes to wvw firebrand is pretty much the only mandatory support that's necessary in every group due to lots of stability and general utility it provides (heals, boons, cc, reflects, condi cleanses etc). Other strong supports are chrono (aoe stealth, strong ranged cc, stability, condi cleanses), scrapper (very strong heals and condi conversion) followed by ventari rev (both herald and renegade are good; it has strong burst heals, good condi cleanses and decent alacrity uptime) and tempest (strong heals in big radius, good condi cleanses, ranged cc). Scourge can also be played as support (does same as in pve) but can be risky because if you pull downeds in one place and not rez them fast enough they'll just be bombed a lot easier (considering that scourge has strong base values on barriers, it's usually not recommended to go full support).

    If you want to play one class in both modes, the best option is firebrand or chrono.

  • phs.6089phs.6089 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I would go for Firebrand. Druid was nice sup but FB is outclassing it on any level in any game mode if you ask me.
    People still look fro Druid outta habit but that will end soon. Dru took several nerfes, heavy nerfes.

    "There is always a lighthouse, there's always a man, there's always a city."

  • Hoodie.1045Hoodie.1045 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 31, 2019

    In my opinion, the professions that fit the support role best are scrapper, tempest, firebrand, druid, chronomancer, renegade and scourge.

    Scrapper with med kit and tempest with staff are pure healers. You won't be providing boons to allies like druid, chronomancer, firebrand and even renegade, but you are capable of keeping your allies alive and away from being downed. Scrapper does require kit knowledge and utilizing the regeneration boon for the highest healing output and tempest requires good timing skills and combining multiple blast finishers.

    Firebrand in PvE is quite varied. The quickbrand build is a powerful one if you have a chronomancer or a renegade giving you alacrity as the reduced cooldowns make this build shine in fractals, condition firebrand has great AoE burning and support firebrand is an all-around great build, especially in fractals with inexperienced groups.

    Druid has some healing, but the main reason people want a druid in their group is because of the offensive boons, like might, fury etc. It can stack might on allies without breaking a sweat and it can output a descent amount of healing, just enough so the group doesn't get downed as much. Same thing goes for chronomancer and renegade, the only difference being the lack of healing, but both chronomancer and renegade has access to alacrity. While renegade isn't as wanted as a chronomancer in PvE groups, it is a viable replacement for chronomancer.

    Scourge may seem like an odd choice for a support specialization, but hear me out. You can either play a pure healer build or a hybrid DPS build. It can give allies lots of barrier which is great for tanking damage and the best part about support scourge is its rallying capability. While other professions play the support role in terms of healing and buffing, scourge has rallying. I would say it's one of the best, if not THE best rally profession in the game. As underestimated as it is, I would say support scourge is a viable replacement for druid, if you play a hybrid DPS build or a full healer build.

    Karras The Engineer

  • Infusion.7149Infusion.7149 Member ✭✭✭

    Firebrand is the least likely to be fully nerfed as it takes more skill to play. Due to the way tomes work there's an opportunity cost to using them as you can't attack with your weapon and they have cooldowns. If you are running it in WvW it is a backbone WvW class.
    -- would be my recommendation

    Chrono has been mostly gutted. Only with an organized group and in a situation people will stand in your wells (PvE) for 3 seconds or the final tick is it worth it. Basically your performance is based on other people...
    -- in WvW Mantra of concentration is often run by chronos but it doesn't have as many stacks of stability. Signet of Inspiration can be used with coordination but with blurred visions trait, you apply aegis to people when you use a signet . Veil is still great though and so is gravity well.

    Power renegade sometimes is run for alacrity and/or heals in PvE but in WvW it's generally power heralds with hammer+staff. Heralds in WvW are brought for permafury and permaswiftness on 10 people when traited. In addition a good herald can land Coalescence of ruin (hammer 2 / "CoR") on enemy backline with great frequency.

    Druid is mostly spirits + celestial avatar spam. Pets use AI and are thus buggy at times. Unwanted in any largescale WvW.

    Tempest is aura + overload spam. The overloads lock you out of an attunement unless you run Fresh air , then overload air doesn't have that issue. Sometimes run as offense in WvW where tempest spec allows for more stunbreaks and protection effectiveness , but weaver hits harder due to the flat +120 power and/or +120 ferocity.

    Support scourge is barrier spam , both in PvE and WvW. If you can drop AoEs with scourge in WvW basically you can play scourge.

    Scrapper is med kit spam and generally unwanted in PvE ; in WvW you only need one or two per squad for condition flipping. It's not as difficult as it seems as there is no opportunity cost switching in and out of kits other than the 2s swap weapon delay.

  • Gulbasaur.1865Gulbasaur.1865 Member ✭✭✭

    @Infusion.7149 said:
    Chrono has been mostly gutted. Only with an organized group and in a situation people will stand in your wells (PvE) for 3 seconds or the final tick is it worth it. Basically your performance is based on other people...

    I say "I am using wells. If you see a big clock, stand in it for boons." The visual gives people time to get to it. You don't have to sit and wait for three seconds, you have to get to it before the timer ends and often that will be exactly where you were two and a half seconds ago. The payoff for the timer is that they are ridonkulously powerful - mine give 9 seconds each.

    Obviously I try to throw them where they'll do the most good, but if you're dodging wells, that's down to you.

    Support chronos went from being a squad repair kit to having a specific role. Before their role was "do everything except heal", so I would say they weren't gutted so much as had their wings cut off and brought down to normal...

    Druid is mostly spirits + celestial avatar spam. Pets use AI and are thus buggy at times.

    Pets need management, but you can target and recall them. They're basically a toggleable damage over time with added CC or boons. They're not buggy, but you have to be active in the commands you use.

    Druids also usually take on knockback, boon generation and immobilisation where needed, but there are cases when you mostly just whoosh about healing people and hoping your spirit of nature's rez isn't interrupted.

  • Jimbru.6014Jimbru.6014 Member ✭✭✭

    I play a support scourge in dungeons and fractals. My bag of tricks...

    • I can gather and revive multiple people simultaneously and quickly.
    • I spam barriers, provide secondary healing, and clear conditions to keep people from falling down in the first place.
    • My boons are relatively limited, so I don't bother investing in boon duration. I can provide Stability and chip in some Might and Regen, but that's about it.
    • I wear full Marshal gear, so I have a useful amount of damage to go with my support.
    • I also have good CC abilities.
©2010–2018 ArenaNet, LLC. All rights reserved. Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, ArenaNet, NCSOFT, the Interlocking NC Logo, and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCSOFT Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.