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Need some advise with my Guardian build and survivability issues.


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The Guardian was the first character I created 10 years ago and I've been away from the game most of that time but came back a few months ago. I liked the Guardian play style, but when I tried to resume playing this character in the expansion zone it struggled hard. I gave up on it and began playing other characters. I leveled up a Necro, Ranger, and Engineer. And all 3 of these are so much more survivable for me (the Necro feels like cheat mode).

But the Guardian character has some sentimental value and I did like it's play style when I was leveling up. I was wearing a mixture of different types of Exotic gear (Rampager, Berserker, Dire, Soldier) So I recently replaced most of my gear with all Dire (I'm following a Core Condi build here: https://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Guardian_-_Core_Condition). It was a marginal improvement, but I still feel like I die much easier than any other character I play. 

I mostly play casually solo in the open world. I really want to like my Guardian. Any advise on how to make these character more fun to play? 

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Go with power.  Marauder or Berserker Gear, built for high offense.

Death s the ultimate debuff.  The dead deal no damage, and in many circumstances the easiest way to stay alive is to make sure your enemy dies first.  Guardians have a lot of active defenses via blocks and Aegis, and the best way to take advantage of these defenses is to do as much damage as possible while protected under them.  The healing skill Litany of Wrath when combined with high strike damage will make you effectively invincible for 6 seconds.  Currently, the two strike damage builds I use are these:



Built slightly more for survival, as I personally just use Berserker gear and the Bane Signet.  Both of these builds have an additional survival skill in Virtue of Courage.  Dragonhunters put a shield in front of them that blocks attacks for a few seconds.  Willbenders put down a pulsing damage field that will give them aegis periodically.  Willbenders also have an additional self-heal while using Virtue of Resolve, like a mini Litany of Wrath.  I have "Advance" on there to block additional attacks.  If you need more survival, the elite skills can be replaced with Renewed Focus, which will give you a second use of Virtue of Courage.  Alongside of that, Dragonhunters can lock down enemies at a distance while doing decent damage.  Their traps will slow enemies, drastically reducing the damage that they do.  Willbenders have access to an off-hand focus, that will block 3 additional attacks.

The other elite specialization, Firebrand, doesn't have as many tools for survival as the others, and also doesn't perform as well with a strike damage build.  Firebrand has the ability to create bubbles that reflect projectiles and burst out some self-heals while using the tome skills, but otherwise their survival is roughly on-par with core guardian.  

These builds are not set in stone.  Guardian has a lot of useful utility skills, traits, and weapons to take advantage of.  As you play the game, it is good to learn these utilities and take advantage of them as needed.  Some notable mentions are Wall of Reflection for projectiles, Sanctuary for Defiance Bars, Hallowed Ground or Stand Your Ground for stability, Purging Flames and Smite Condition/Contemplation of Purity for condition cleansing, and a few other Stunbreaks in high CC environments.  

Edited by Blood Red Arachnid.2493
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The difficulty spike from core to expansions is massive. Especially if you enter Heart of Thorns. These enemies have excellent ranged attacks and hit much harder than regular ones. The main problem with this build is that you do not have good options for active defenses - seen from a new player. Experts can survive a full zerg of Mordrem Elite Guards with 1 dodge per hour, but a normal player can not.

What are active defenses?
- your two dodges
- Aegis
- Blocks
- Movement
- Evades
- Stunbreaks
- Stability
- Heals & Cleanses
- Blinds

What do you have?
- Two dodges.
- Aegis, which has a cooldown of 38 seconds in your build and only blocks a single attack. [Virtue of Courage]
- Zealot's Defense (Sword 3) is a projectile-blocker, works for enemy that attack from range. Blocks everything for three seconds with a cooldown of 12 seconds.
- Symbols of Blades (Sword 2) is a teleport-skill, that moves you towards your enemy for 600 units. In addition, it blinds up to 5 targets within 120 range. Cooldown is 8 seconds.
- Litany of Wrath (Heal) converts outgoing damage into HP recovery for 6 seconds with a 12 seconds cooldown. 
- Purging Flames cleanses up to 8 conditions, with a cooldown of 20 seconds.

Walking Tyria without a single stun-break or any access to stability is imo foolish. Stunbreaks function as an emergency-button, whenever you got knocked back/down, stunned/dazed, frozen, ... etc. and helps you recover quickly. If you do not have these, a single crowd control skill can be your end. You can replace Signet of Wrath with Signet of Judgement for that. DPS will suffer a little, but you get an emergency-button with a 20 seconds cooldown. When not on cooldown, it reduces incoming damage by 10 %. Upon activation, you get -33 % damage from conditions on you and add another stack of burning on your target. = acceptable trade-off.

Symbol of Blades can be used as a combat-starter. That means you teleport to your targets and blind them. This grants you a little time. Every mobs first attack will miss, as well as the first attack after that from any of the targets. I know that meta-battle gives this skill lowest priority, but they expect you to survive without relying on its defensive features. As long as this is not the case, I would ignore the priority. Once you are skilled and experienced enough, you can focus on it again.

If you fight a single target, you can swap to Scepter and use Chains of Light (skill 3). Then step back a little. That skill locks your target in position. If it is a melee-unit, you can keep hitting from short distance while it cannot. That is a 5 seconds root, which is plenty of time to kill most single-target mobs.

Go to a place where mistakes are less impactful. Core Tyria for example or where you can find dummies that cannot hit you. There you can train these combinations.
=> Start with Sword 2 -> weaponswap -> Scepter 3 while walking backwards

How about multiple targets?
Start with Purging Flames or Sword of Justice. Then use Sword 2 to get into melee range, cast another area-skill. Cast Litany of Wrath, Zealot's Flame (4) and Smybol of Punishment (2). Even if you get knocked down, you will deal massive damage which is automatically converted into HP recovery. So every incoming damage is healed/countered. Litany of Wrath ran out? Dodge backwards! Swap back to Sword and cast Zealot's Defense. Most enemies should be dead by now. If not, cast Symbol of blades again.

Ranged enemies?
Ranged mobs follow a very simple protocol. When the the line of sight is blocked, they try to walk around it. But not like a player would do it. They walk towards you instead. That means they come into melee range. So you only have to hind behind an object, which is easy in open world and wait for the ranged mob to approach you in melee range. 

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