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Core traits review (PvP POV)


aelska.4609

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Disclaimer

The goal of this small work is to get an overview of the guardian traits, what could be improved and what could be toned down. It does not target any special build (might it be bunker, support, physical or condi damage), but looks at the traits from a "PvP" point of view. Of course, my judgment might not be the same as an other, and the discussion is totally open on that purpose.

How to read it:

  • bold with heart <3: God tier trait
  • bold: Good trait
  • normal: Decent trait
  • italic: Quite meh trait
  • strikethrough: Absolutely garbage trait
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Zeal

Damage - symbol oriented traitline. Overall consistent traitline, my biggest regret is that it relies too much on enemies walking on symbols. Bringing "writ of persistence" to this traitline would certainly make things more interesting.

Tier 1

Zealot's speed : Nice additional damage output

  • Wrathful Spirit
    : Guardians already have lots of ways to get retaliation. And retaliation is one of the least useful boons. With radiance traitline, this trait gets better.
  • Fiery Wrath
    : 7% damage increase upon burning is nice.
  • Zealous Scepter: Decent might duration, but if justice passive effect triggers it means the foes is burning, so fiery wrath gets better. Unfortunately, and unlike other weapons traits, it does not reduce the CD of the scepter.

    Tier 2

    Symbolic Exposure
    : Vulnerability is always nice, 2 stacks for 5s / hit is great
  • Binding Jeopardy:
    Trait was way better with old focus (it could blind). Guardians do not have a sufficiently large amount of skills that immobilize or blind for it to be meaningful.
  • Zealous Blade <3:
    Everything we could expect from a weapon skill, extra damage, heals and reduces the CD.
  • Kindled Zeal: While the trait in itself is not bad, condition damage has hardly a place in this traitline. Bring it to radiance ?

    Tier 3

    Symbolic Power:
    The damage increase is nice, but the burning is irrelevant: 1s of burning each 3 pulses (on average) is weak.
  • Eternal Armory
    : Does everything we expect for a spirit weapons build. Now we can debate about the use of spirit weapons ...
  • Shattered Aegis
    : My favourite useless trait. While adding an effect to triggered aegis is an elegant idea, the damage it deals is totally insignificant. It could be anything better (protection ? daze ? more damage ?).
  • Symbolic avenger
    : I have mixed feelings about this trait. Damage increase inside symbols is nice as long as the enemy stands inside it, which will not often happen. The toughness to power conversion is nice, but it should have been vitality instead of toughness. With the lowest health pool and the highest armor of the game, the guard is more likely going to invest in vitality rather than in toughness. But 13% is probably too much in that case.

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Radiance

Damage - condi traitline. It gives guards strong burst potential, IF they have retaliation. A lot of these traits will significantly increase your critical chance, which will allow you to dump precision for an other stat.

Tier 1

Justice is Blind: Instant cast time AoE blind is great, and is great for both stomping or denying a burst.

  • Inner Fire:
    One of the only ways for guards to get fury.
  • Right-Hand Strength
    : Nice buff to all one-handed weapons. Too bad the recharge reduction only affects the sword.
  • Healer's Retribution:
    An easy way to get retaliation. While retaliation in itself is not useful, this traitline makes it extremely powerful.

    Tier 2

    Renewed Justice:
    If an enemy dies, you will probably not need this trait
  • Wrath of Justice
    : Strong immobilize, makes your burst easier to land
  • Radiant Fire <3:
    Nicely boosts the burnings, on top of the torch skills.
  • Retribution <3:
    +10% damage and +250 ferocity is a huge damage boost. Retaliation is quite easy for guards to get.

    Tier 3

    Radiant power
    : an other crit chance increase.
  • Amplified Wrath
    : Nicely boosts the burnings, but I don't get why there is an internal cooldown to it. Guards do not have that many "sustained blocks" besides DH F3 and shelter (heal skill).
  • Perfect Inscriptions:
    Not bad for signet builds. Now we can open the debate if signets are useful or not ...
  • Righteous Instincts <3:
    additional 50% crit chance upon retaliation is insane. You also get free might.

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Valor

Quite self-sustain traitline. While most of these traits are quite useless, the T3 ones may justify to take this traitline.

Tier 1

Valorous Defense: The guard's passive lifesaver. It can either block a devastating blow or a ridiculous one, which makes it the most random passive lifesaver skill of the game.

  • Strength of the Fallen
    : Allows you to bleed longer, which is exactly what you want to avoid in PvP. You want to be a burden to your team ? Definitely take it.
  • Smiter's Boon <3:
    Deals instant decent damage and clears two condis upon heal, which might remove the poison before your heal. With monk's focus trait, it will also heal you. Definitely a must take.
  • Focus Mastery
    : Protection is great, recharge reduction is also great.

    Tier 2

    Courageous Return: It's decent but it should not be in this traitline. It should be in Honor.
  • Stalwart Defender:
    Extra toughness is always good to take and recharge reduction is great.
  • Strength in Numbers:
    Up to 5% damage reduction for the squishiest ones. It is there so I would pick it, but I would never pick this traitline for this.
  • Communal Defenses: Free aegis each 15 seconds. Might randomly help.

    Tier 3

    Might of the protector: I am still bitter about the changes anet made to it. It will certainly provide you constantly around 5 mights in fight in a somewhat passive gameplay. Without icd, as it was before, you could use this trait more actively by waiting to absorb the burst of your enemy before bursting with all the might you got.
  • Altruistic Healing <3:
    Great way to get a lot of self-healing while being support, if allies are nearby. I only regret the heal scaling badly with healing power.
  • Monk's Focus <3:
    The healing it provides is exactly what maintains meditations build competitive. As for altruistic healing, it should scale better with healing power.
  • Tenacious Defense
    : One of the most useless T3 traits ever made. If you think guardian is an aegis machine you are wrong, at best you will get a 5s cd reduction after one minute. Without specialization, all you get is a faster aegis. Yeeeh.

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Honor

Support oriented traitline. It provides excellent healing abilities, to both self and allies.

Tier 1

Vigorous Precision: One of the only ways for guards to get vigor. Extra dodge is great, especially in this traitline.

  • Invigorated Bulwark <3:
    Up to 25% healing effectiveness, and greatly boosts the mace
  • Protective Reviver <3:
    The guardian's revive kit, which will eject the enemies from the downed player.
  • Protector's Impact
    : If you have to jump off a cliff in pvp, it is more likely to die faster. This trait will prevent you from that :(

    Tier 2

    Selfless Daring <3:
    While the base healing is not that great, the healing power scaling is awesome. That's exactly the trait you want to have if you take this traitline.
  • Honorable Staff
    : Staff is support, and this trait further increases the boon duration it outputs. Great !
  • Pure of Heart <3:
    Base healing is awesome, and it scales quite ok with healing power. Although core or DH do not generate that much of aegis, this trait is insane with FB.
  • Empowering Might
    : Totally out-of-context trait. If you pick this traitline you will most likely not crit a lot. The icd makes it even more ridiculous.

    Tier 3

    Purity of resolve
    : More dodge, more healing, yeeeeh
  • Pure of voice:
    More support while cleansing allies. This trait would be better if it could cleanse a bit more; shouts already have terribly high cooldown.
  • Writ of persistence: While the trait in itself is not bad, I keep the feeling it is the wrong traitline for it (bring it to Zeal !). Also, it scales badly with healing power. Your allies will never be willing to stay in your symbol for the few healing it provides.
  • Force of Will <3:
    Guardians need vitality, and this trait brings a lot of it. It also significantly boosts the outgoing healing, which is great.

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Virtues

Untraited guardian's virtues suck terribly. It is a shame to have to waste an entire traitline to fix this problem, but well ...

Tier 1

Inspired Virtue Protection is great. The radius is also huge.

  • Unscathed contender <3:
    It is hard to keep an aegis, but when it is the damage is extremely high.
  • Retaliatory subconscious: Can prevent cc lock thanks to free aegis. The retaliation is one of the thousands way for guardians to get it, so meh.
  • Master of Consecrations
    : Everything we want to be able to use consecrations skills. But are they useful ?

    Tier 2

    Virtue of retribution:
    Retaliation by itself is quite useless, and guards already have other ways to get it. But it becomes strong with radiance traitline.
  • Virtuous Solace: Can definitely save some lives. If you are willing to root yourself in AoE's for 4 s. The amount of (pulsing?) stability in the game reduces its effectiveness.
  • Absolute Resolutions <3:
    Extremely strong AoE condi cleanse. Definitely worth taking
  • Glacial Heart
    : "I give with one hand and take away with the other". Except for one-shot build, this trait is not worth taking anymore. The increase of damage is nullified by the increase of the CD.

    Tier 3

    Power of the Virtuous
    : Damage increase is great. CD reduction also is.
  • Permeating Wrath
    : Very good for teamfights with a condi build.
  • Battle presence
    : Hahahahahahaha. Not only the healing is crap, but it also requires to not activate F2, which has been made stronger by this traitline. On a positive side, it is >affected by both Absolute Resolution and Purity of Body.
  • Indomitable Courage <3:
    Gives a meaning to F3. It shouldn't require a trait, but so be it.

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@"aelska.4609" said:

Disclaimer

The goal of this small work is to get an overview of the guardian traits, what could be improved and what could be toned down. It does not target any special build (might it be bunker, support, physical or condi damage), but looks at the traits from a "PvP" point of view. Of course, my judgment might not be the same as an other, and the discussion is totally open on that purpose.

How to read it:

  • bold with heart <3: God tier trait
  • bold: Good trait
  • normal: Decent trait
  • italic: Quite meh trait
  • strikethrough: Absolutely garbage trait

Appreciate the effort you put through here. Going through some of the stuff:

Zeal

Wrathful Spirit : For power builds retaliation is essential. I play radiance/zeal/valor in sPvP. You must use this trait for retaliation uptime.

Zealous Scepter: This is not terribly bad trait in solo PvE. If you use scepter it is good for core builds. It is surely outclassed by Fiery Wrath for DH and in group setting. I do not think a change is necessary and CD reduction on scepter does not make sense. Maybe slightly increased damage.

Binding Jeopardy, useless. Not worth it what so ever in any situation. Guardian has much better tools for vulnerability anyway.

Shattered Aegis: had its niche uses, but with the last update it is dead. Daze on aegis shatter is a no no. I prefer something not tied to aegis what so ever.

Radiance

Wrath of Justice: I find this useless, not because it is bad, but cuz the competition render it useless.

Perfect Inscriptions: same problem as Wrath of Justice. The other two traits are better in every situation.

Valor

Strength of the Fallen: this trait is not only not useful, but harmful in PvP.

Altruistic Healing: not sure this is good. Most of the time, you only use valor line for monk's focus. There would be no reason for you to go into valor if that was not the aim. Virtues and honor offer much better support/heal options if you are not using mediations.

Tenacious Defense: Not sure what is the purpose of this. Again, why use it in any situation over monk's focus?

Honor

Protector's Impact: this is somewhat useful. It is particularly good in PvE when using FB support. Decent protection uptime and more useful than Invigorated Bulwark if you will not get hit.

Empowering Might: from my understanding, this is used for PvE might uptime. It works better than Honorable Staff in PvE for might uptime.

Pure of voice: I think the trait is okay. Shouts are not.

Writ of persistence: I like this trait. This is more geared towards sustain for dps builds, but honor as a line does not help dps builds much.

Virtues

Unscathed contender: I have the opposite view here. I find it a bad trait. Sure it is good for spike damage, but your ability to sustain aegis, especially in PvP, is close to non-existent. Guardian has no evasive skills/tools to begin with. In addition, this encourages the worst form of game play currently in PvP; one shot builds (not that guardian is good at that anyway). From a design standpoint this is stupid. Aegis is a defensive proc to block damage. Why would you have a trait designed for aegis not to be used to be effective.

Virtuous Solace: useless. A proc with 90 sec CD, which is passive. Combines all the worst traits of design.

Glacial Heart: I personally never found hammer builds good. They were one trick pony with a trick that rarely works. After the recent patch, both this trait and hammer are dead in PvP. It was no useful in PvE anyway.

Indomitable Courage: I could not care much about protection or the one aegis proc. The stability is what makes VoC good for core builds virtues. Personally, I find the design of VoC in the way it is to be extremely poor, making the virtue nearly obsolete unless you are using virtues and Indomitable Courage. Very limiting to build diversity.

Not sure why you did not include elites, but I have to mention Stoic Demeanor (FB grand master), inflict slow on foes you disable or immobilize. Probably the worst trait in the entire guardian arsenal. Slow is not that useful, and guardian is highly lacking in CC and immobilize to begin with. Not to mention it is a grand master trait..

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