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I'm thinking of playing around with a radiant guardian in pvp and open world pve. Anyone have a favorite guide for a guardian noob? I've never really played guardian, but am reasonably proficient with thief, ele, mesmer, and rev. A quick Google search revealed a number of older guides. I'm not sure if they are still relevant.

Alternatively, change my mind and give me a better build. In pvp I'm interested in firebrand, but have struggled to get the feel for the class so far.

Edit: more details below.

I'm a pretty casual player. Guardian was the first class I tried years ago, but it didn't really click. Lately I've played a lot of thief and rev. I play pvp where I'm gold ranked, so nothing special, and also do solo open world content, with occasional fractals. In pvp, I want to be able to switch to roles that are lacking on the team when needed. As I mainly play thief and rev in ranked, I'd like to learn a good team fighter when the fast rotational roles are filled by others.

I'm interested in radiant guardian as it seems from metabattle that similar builds are playable in pvp and open world. This provides some synergy, where I can learn weapon skills and class mechanics in open world that translate we'll into pvp. Rev is this way, while thief isn't so much.

I've played a few queues with meta firebrand and radiant hammer builds, but I still feel like I'm a complete novice at guardian. So basic guides and tops are appreciated.

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fb rad fun build for supporting while making unexpected damage..http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vVAQRAne7dnsADtCh1BDOCDkCjF+Bz6BMu2TYBgZQRY/i+RPpA-jZhAQBEa/BReEAAwJBYjPAAJWGAA

and a dh build that focus on taking down enemies fast while maintain a good amount of armor.While not radiance, is one of my favorite.http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vVAQRAse7dnkIC97glDBWDB8DhlGi6aYXgAIL+uv8T+4L+pH-jpxHQBK8IA8tHAg9KDAgTAABPIAWY/BA

I like to follow meta, but also like to experiment on some parts of it.

Those builds are for pvp. Try them on unranked first cause you need to time abilities to be viable.

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I would use the GS/sword & focus under metabattle conquest for sPvP. Use it as is but take retribution instead of wrath of justice. One root every 20 sec is not worth it considering you will give up 10% damage and 250 ferocity.

For PvE, for power builds use DH. It is almost the same concept as the build above. Core guardian can work but DH is better. Metabattle does not have the the DH meta build for some reason. You can refer to Snowcrows. You use DH/radiance and zeal. Do not use virtues for power builds in PvE.

Heads-up it plays nothing like thief or rev and do not try it to play as such in sPvP. It is primarily AOE in mid. You can do okay in small fights, but you are slow and have 1 unreliable CC. Do not try to play as a plus one or decapper. Just focus on AOEing the heck out of enemies mid.

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Hello, I am one of those braindead core Guardian enthusiasts (role-playing issue) and will highly reccomend you to try DPS-Guard version in PvP or WvW (kinda open world:))Also, I feel that WvW contenders are generally weaker than in PvP, so it could be nice place to start.I use this build (which is similar to mentioned 'radiant' ones with some minor differences):http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vVEQNAR8enkIClDhdDBWDB8DhjBi6etfQFYDgqtNzF4C2gA-jFSBQBY4gFchnAgIV+BgLoAN2fwSq/wIlg6R3TAAEgbezsZb2m38m3srbzbezbezbezbezbWKgIWGB-wTargets to avoid when solo: Ranger Soulbeast (superior range control, ridiculously sturdy class in general), Necromancer Reaper (can outtank and outdamage in melee, hard to pull range because of condis applied)50/50 targets: Necromancer Scourge, Mesmer Mirage, Warrior SpellbreakerWay-to-go targets: all others!

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I would recommend a burn firebrand.


I'm plat 2 with this build.

Essentially, you're going to want to stack your burn with axe auto attack, and then use your condition Mantra to keep the burns applied. It applies vuln, cripple, and blind, and provides good cover for your burning stacks. Your axe 1 and 2 also apply bleeding, and with the Virtue line, you can also make your Shield 5, Axe 2, and Axe 3 apply chill, which provides some short-term cover as well as a daze/knockback to prevent spell casting.

Auto-attack chain, then Axe2 plus Mantra, auto attack chain, axe3 plus mantra... you can steadily keep ticking them for 3-4k burn hits.

Learn how and when to use your virtues (team fights, hopefully, but you can solo pretty well with this build as well), and you'll do great things.

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Hey Man,

Looks like this post is a few days old but in case you're still browsing the replies, I'd like to share the Firebrand build that I've been playing currently in WvW. You can use this in PvE if you'd like and swap out some of the Wanderer trinkets for Valkyrie or Cavaliers for some ferocity. It's a variation of a build I saw by a really great YouTube content creator named Donee. It uses the Radiance trait line which I really really like because it opens the gateway to huge damage without having to build for the damage as much in your gear thanks to Retaliation. I'm still working on my variant because at this point I don't think I get the same bang for my buck as Donee's, but there is some good synergy there and I feel like it is trending in a good direction. I'll link both his build and my build so you can compare and maybe take things that you like from both:

Donee's build: http://en.gw2skills.net/editor/?vVAQNAseRnsADFBjVDBmDBkCjlBCbvhORzoWBgqVb66a1AqAA-jFCIQByUfA12fgnq/sUlgA4BA4tjAwAV+hvTBApACcqF-w

My build: http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vVAQNAR8ensADtCh97AmCBkCjF+BDLAkeGC7b0P6J16BMu2TA-jVCFQBM4IAUtHAgP1NAgDCAIVC+QlfL4CAgU1fKy+DkCIwpWA-w

As you can see, Donee gets his mileage out big spikes of damage and healing whereas I'm (trying) shooting for more sustained damage and condition cleanse. Here's why:

The main difference that stand out right off the bat when comparing the two is that Donee runs Meditations and gets a lot of value out of the spike damage from Smite Condition and the spike heals from both Medi's and the traited Minor Smite Condition when using his heal. I'm trying out a shouts build using Radiance and Honor traitlines for 2 reasons: 1 - The shining star of this build is the Retaliation boon and the combination of the shouts I picked and the mantras generates very high Retal uptime. I value this so much because of reason 2 - the amount of boon strip in WvW and PvP is the highest it has ever been now thanks to many of the new spec traitlines on many classes. If my boons get stripped or corrupted, I want to be able to cleanse those conditions with my Pure of Voice shout trait cleanse and Trooper runes and get my Retal right back. Retal is the gateway to your damage using the Radiance trait line. You want that boon as much as you want food, water, and a roof over your head ^.^ .

This rolls right into the next variation which is the Honor trait line, most obviously for the shouts but equally crucial for Empowering Might; Grant might when you critically strike. This trait paired with the trait Righteous Instincts in Radiance and the food enables me to jack up the might very quickly. Between the +50% crit chance from Righteous Instincts, the +10% from the minor trait Radiant Power in Radiance, the very quick intervals on both of those, the fury from sword 2, and the fury from Save Yourselves, I will be crit hitting a lot. The might you can rack up is crazy and the boon duration in the build offsets some of the mitigation your opponent brings by dodge rolling, etc. Don't forget, your GS symbol gives you Retal too. Remember to animation cancel the GS symbol aftercast by stowing weapon as soon as your GS drives into the ground!Less highlighted in this trait line is the Vigor uptime from critical striking thanks to Vigorous Precision, again confirming the importance of Retal. More Vigor uptime = more endurance regen = more dodges = more heal ticks from the minor trait Selfless Daring. In build editor it says 624 healing per dodge. I just took a look in WvW and I get a 711 heal. Not bad in the absence of the Meditation spike heals but definitely not as strong if spike heals is what you're after especially when you get the smite condition heal every time to use your mantra heal.Honorable mention going to Protector's Impact for the Prot symbol and 50% damage reduction when using a heal skill. This has saved me from dying in clutch moments. It also combo's nicely with the Fireband trait Stalwart Speed; Granting Aegis or Stab gives you Quickness. If I'm in control of a fight and I'm feeling greedy, I'll use a stack of my heal mantra for the Prot symbol (which does a bit of damage), the Aegis, the Quickness from the Aegis, the 50% incoming damage reduction, and of course THE RETAL from the Radiance trait Healer's Retribution, and combo with spin to win GS 4. More Retal, more crit hits, more vigor, more might. You can use a stack of your ult mantra instead if you don't need the heal or damage reduc. I like using the heal more because the recharge is a lower cooldown.The nice thing about the Honor trait line is that it is flexible and accommodates solo and group play. If you're running in a group, by all means switch Protector's Impact to Invigorated Bulwark and Pure of Voice to Force of Will if your group is fine for condition cleanse and needs a bit more healing.

Now I must admit, Firebrand is still new to me. I've played Guardian since I started playing GW2 but I took 3 years away from the game and wasn't here when the spec came out. The Tomes still feel awkward to me but I'll sort that out with time. But I've power studied the spec since I came back and the best Firebrand traits are pretty clear. Archivist of Whispers and Loremaster are hands down the best, and Stalwart Speed just works for what I'm trying to accomplish with this build. The Immobilize from Weighty Terms does not last long enough at base then add on the likelihood that your opponent in WvW will be running at least one form of condition duration reduction and the shear amount of cleanse in the game. Not worth in my opinion. If you wanted to run a condition build or something like a Celestial Hybrid (which looks like a ton of fun) then I can see a case being made for Quickfire and Legendary Lore but again, that isn't my objective with this build.

Ok so those are the main trait line differences between my build and Donee's. Again, two different builds the demand two different approaches to playing the class. Both have strengths. Both have weaknesses. Full disclosure: I feel like I'm trolling without JI and Smite Condition sometimes. Those skills feel really good but that's only because I'm so used to using them on core Guardian and DH. Once you get your head wrapped around using shouts and not having that nice long range teleport, the shout build feels pretty good.

As for the skills, here is why I picked the shouts I use:

Stand Your Ground - Stun break, Stability (and Quickness courtesy of Stalwart Speed), Retal (more damage, more Might, more Vigor).Save Yourselves - Stun break (you need these in WvW), a ton of great boons most notably RETAL (more damage, more Might, more Vigor), Fury (more damage, more Might, more Vigor), and Resistance and Prot are always nice.Retreat - I like movement speed. In any game. You get permanent Swiftness and also Aegis, which means Quickness from Stalwart Speed. If you don't want to use your heal mantra or Ult mantra for quickness, hit Retreat and combo it with GS spin to win or sword 3 for extra fast projectiles. Those are two examples of good Quickness combos. I also really like having quickness when blasting off Justice Tome and Resolve Tome autos.


I like Guardian sword. A lot. The third chain of the auto attack is excellent with the three pronged burst and Air Sigil works pretty well with it. The 2 is a very good blink that can port you up, through, behind all sorts of landscape and obstacles. Play around with it. You can catch people off guard with how you can close gaps using this. It also gives you a fury symbol which does damage and of course increases your crit hit chance which means Hello Empowering Might and Hello Vigorous Precision. Did I mention a blind? That blind can come up clutch when you really need it. The 3 is a nice projectile block and delivers projectiles right back. I like shield the best because of the utility. Sure you're giving up damage that you'd have with focus. But for me, that utility goes farther in player v player game modes. Shield 4 gives Prot and Aegis, which also means Quickness. Try a combo of sword 2, shield 4, sword 3 for a nice quick blast from range. Shield 5, the bubble, blocks projectiles, bounces your opponent away from you and knocks them down, and even heals for a bit if you pop it. Very very valuable utility. Your team mates can take refuge in it and cleanse conditions because it's also a light field.

GS. I've always been a fan of Guardian GS because I value mobility so much. You get that from the 3. Leaps are great for closing gaps, leap finishers, and this one also blinds. The GS auto is fine. The third chain gives you a stack of Might which supplements the Might stacking that you already have. The 2, spin to win. Love this skill. Pair it with quickness. I also like to stack it on top of the 4 which is a symbol that gives our favourite boon: RETAL. If you're able to, try and stack the 2 and the 4 and some Quickness. It takes a bit of mind game to catch your opponent in that but if you can do it, the damage is bananas. The GS 5 is a great CC ability which you can use to corral opponents in to your GS4 > Quickness source > GS2 combo. Make sure you animation cancel the GS4 aftercast with stow weapon!

Sigils. I can't rave enough about on-swap sigils. I love them. Sigil of Energy gives you a free dodge when you weapon swap. Sigil of Hydromancy give you a nice burst of damage and chill when you weapon swap which you can stack on top of a combo, say, at the end of your GS spin to win and Quickness combo. Sigil of Cleansing clears three conditions off you when you swap weapons in WvW. In PvP it only cleanses one which sucks but it's still useful. Yeah man. On-Swap sigils. Delicious.

I can't do a good enough job explaining the Tome skills and demonstrating their uses right now so I will drop this link to a Marauder Firebrand guide by another awesome YouTube content creator, DoNotD. Guardian is his speciality. This video gives excellent simple explanations on the Tome skills and he even gives demo's of some really great Firebrand combo's. You can also check out his build if you'd like a more big D DPS build. The vid:

I hope you find this useful in your search for a build that suits you. Cheers Dawg.

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