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Newbie Guardian needs help with OW PvE build and weird weapon choice


Kyarra.8912

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Hello! (and sorry for my English in advance).

I'm struggling with modern OW content, both HoT&PoF. Mobs hit harder, have weirder abilities and I end up downing all the way on big events and champions. I tried some builds from Metabattle, but outcome was not so great, mainly because I'm bad with GS and really, REALLY hate scepter. I tried all awailiable weapons and most satisfying for me were mace, focus, torch and sometimes even staff. I also try to make LB usable, because DH was my dream spec for so long.

Can I make this weird setup into working pve-build?

What I need is good survivability, decent (not amazing!) damage and support (heal&boons) for a friend I am playing with. I'd even try full-support build, but as far as I know they don't work in OW PvE (meta-events and champions).

I'll be gratefull for any help :)

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Using your requirements, here's a possible build:http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vVAQJApdn8ABFChtCBedCkdiF/hSO8H/4PLCrwdwKA+27E-jxRBQB7b/hJeCAuiyPKp+jZUCCgHAAe0DAA-e

Mace and Focus are great defensive weapons, but you have to be careful not to squander the blocks. I picked the glass cannon Berserker gear set, but have augmented it with Runes of Durability for more Toughness, Health, Boon Duration, and group boons when struck. Another alternative would be Runes of Radiance, which gives more Vitality, more Boon Duration, and extends your Light Aura. In case you're unfamiliar, you can generate your own Light Aura each time you use your Spear of Justice, thanks to the Radiance minor trait, Justice is Blind. Light Auras grant you Retaliation when you're struck, which in turn greatly increases your damage thanks to Retribution and Righteous Instincts traits in the Radiance line. In addition, while you have Light Aura, all incoming Condition Damage is reduced by 10%.

Trait choices are the standard fare. Retaliatory Subconscious gives you a free out if you failed to avoid an enemy disable, while Absolute Resolution and Battle Presence gives you and your friend some passive healing; you can swap Battle Presence for Indomitable Courage for a group stun break, making your Shield of Courage even better. The Radiance line is made for pure damage, especially when you gain Retaliation. Last but not least, the Dragonhunter line is also pretty straight forward; optionally, you could forego Zealot's Aggression for Bulwark to double down on the best defensive skill in the game, Shield of Courage.

As for Utilities, I took "Receive the Light!" for the heal because you mentioned about wanting to do a bit of group support; while on your own, swap it out for Shelter or Signet of Resolve. The rest is the standard DPS selection: Bane Signet gives you more passive damage, and can double as a Defiance Bar break if needed; "Stand Your Ground!" is a source of Stability, and stun break, but also an important source of Retaliation, which as discussed earlier is a crucial part of your damage output; Procession of Blades is the big heavy hitter, so you'll want to make sure you have Retaliation on when using it; and Dragon's Maw is great for grouping enemies up, breaking Defiance Bars, and chunking enemies down.

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Thank you for such a detailed reply! It seems like a great build and it includes nearly anything. I'll try it ASAP <3

I also wanted to ask two minor questions: 1) I never tried shield, is it viable, what role it can peform in OW PvE? And 2) are support-guardians usefull in OW? Big events, champions etc.

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When I was having any issues radiant,virtues and dh, think it’s templates called radiant greatsword worked great. Gs with sceptre/focus was what I found was most versatile. If u meet any tough baddies hit enemies with focus 4 than gs5 or gs2 than immediately hit judges intervention. A lot of times all the sword projectiles will hit the one enemy deleting them out right,champs not so much obviously lol

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@Kyarra.8912 said:

@Psycoprophet.8107 said:When I was having any issues radiant,virtues and dh, think it’s templates called radiant greatsword worked great. Gs with sceptre/focus was what I found was most versatile.Yeah, and I am unlucky one who strongly dislikes both GS and scepter =) Bad for me, 'cause it seems to be everybody's meta.

People like those weapons because they are the highest DPS, and honestly that playstyle comes with experience. Lots of people also like the visual aspects of GS.I'm neither of those people either but when I group up, I use them anyway. I won't allow my personal likes or dislikes to have a negative influence on the enjoyment of other people. Besides, I don't dislike them that much.

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@Yannir.4132 said:People like those weapons because they are the highest DPS, and honestly that playstyle comes with experience. Lots of people also like the visual aspects of GS.I'm neither of those people either but when I group up, I use them anyway. I won't allow my personal likes or dislikes to have a negative influence on the enjoyment of other people. Besides, I don't dislike them that much.What kind of group did you mention? I found zero tips about group play in OW - like metas and champions. Only solo.

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@Kyarra.8912 said:

@Yannir.4132 said:People like those weapons because they are the highest DPS, and honestly that playstyle comes with experience. Lots of people also like the visual aspects of GS.I'm neither of those people either but when I group up, I use them anyway. I won't allow my personal likes or dislikes to have a negative influence on the enjoyment of other people. Besides, I don't dislike them that much.What kind of group did you mention? I found zero tips about group play in OW - like metas and champions. Only solo.

Mainly instanced content like dungeons, fractals or raids. But the same can be applied to OW grouping as well. Far more casually though.OW content is mostly aimed at solo players. So if you are in a group with a friend, it's basically just 2 solo players that are constantly together.

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@Yannir.4132 said:Mainly instanced content like dungeons, fractals or raids. But the same can be applied to OW grouping as well. Far more casually though.OW content is mostly aimed at solo players. So if you are in a group with a friend, it's basically just 2 solo players that are constantly together.I was asking only for OW-build here :)If I was up to farm instanced content, I would surely use some meta-builds, and I would probably roll a support )

BTW, are there any use for supports in OW, like Palawadan or any other events with plethora of hard champions?

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@Kyarra.8912 said:

@Yannir.4132 said:Mainly instanced content like dungeons, fractals or raids. But the same can be applied to OW grouping as well. Far more casually though.OW content is mostly aimed at solo players. So if you are in a group with a friend, it's basically just 2 solo players that are constantly together.I was asking only for OW-build here :)If I was up to farm instanced content, I would surely use some meta-builds, and I would probably roll a support )

BTW, are there any use for supports in OW, like Palawadan or any other events with plethora of hard champions?

Well, I don't think anyone will complain about it. But nobody will ask for it either.

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I'm running through the story lines and exploring on my Guardian. The toon was boosted, so I am sporting Soldiers gear, using Great Sword and Septer/Shield.

My Talents are:

Zeal - 3,2,3Radiance - 3,3,2Virtues - 2,1,1.

I run all five Signets in my skill slots, since Radiance give me boosted passive. Virtues give me increased passives for Virtues. With all the passives buffs I rarely have to hit a skill button to stay alive, and GS does enough damage to kill most things.

I would not take the build into fractals, but map exploring and story clearing it works great.

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@Kyarra.8912 said:BTW, are there any use for supports in OW, like Palawadan or any other events with plethora of hard champions?

A support character during grouped open world events is definitely a great thing to have, but for two major shortcomings. First, during events like Palawadan, player density is so high that even if five or ten players get Downed, or even Defeated, there are still 20-30 around that will revive them. Second, due to the low visibility of incoming support (heals, boons, etc.) and players' preoccupation with tagging enemies, the benefits of a support player is rarely, if ever, noticeable. Ironically, you're more likely to get be thanked for reviving a Defeated player than you are for healing them or dumping nine different boons on them.

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Firebrand is your best bet in my opinion. A hybrid quickbrand is great in open world.

If you're dying too often I'd go for different gear before anything else. I've always maintained that giving up some offensive stats for vitality is the way to go. So something like Marauder or, if you play with Radiance, Valkyrie.

Now mix and match some other pieces to add a bit of healing power and concentration, go Radiance & Virtues and the full middle line in FB, grab the quickness & burning & heal mantras & SYG and you've got a FB that can carry small groups in open world by topping people off with F2 tome, providing stab and aegis and of course churning out quickness for fun while still doing good damage. Basically any weapons can work here, it's open world. All you really need to pay attention to, especially if you use Valkyrie gear, is to use your heal mantra & dipping in and out of tomes offensively to keep retal uptime high & spam symbols off CD for Fury.

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The thing about support builds is that they work best when you're working with a team and you can coordinate with other people. When you do open world content solo or with a friend a support build puts you at a disadvantage, more so if you don't want to use the weapons that would actually keep you alive while being support. Support works best when you are doing Raids/Fractals/Dungeons in which that kind of attention to detail shines and you have more people to cover for your lack of overall DPS output or in WvW. When you do support with just a friend that friend has to pretty much be able to cover for you, especially if you are very selective with your weapons. For team play I always recommend going with the weapons that actually work as it takes the pressure off of your friend to overperform. Not wanting to use specific weapons that work really does shift the burden of group play to him and away from you. When soloing I think any weapon is fine as it's just you. But with other people, there should be some thought and consideration to what your weapon choices require your friend to have to cover for.

Sadly, it may be the case that you can't have it all. We can give you builds and advice and everything but if you're insistent on being support and you're insistent on not using the good weapons then on some level you have to come to terms with dying more often than another player might. When you take on the hard champions you really want to be using the best tools your build has, at least until such time as your player skill can carry you with any weapon choice you make. As player skill increases you find yourself freer to be more picky about the weapons you use.

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@Dace.8173 said:The thing about support builds is that they work best when you're working with a team and you can coordinate with other people. When you do open world content solo or with a friend a support build puts you at a disadvantage, more so if you don't want to use the weapons that would actually keep you alive while being support. Support works best when you are doing Raids/Fractals/Dungeons in which that kind of attention to detail shines and you have more people to cover for your lack of overall DPS output or in WvW. When you do support with just a friend that friend has to pretty much be able to cover for you, especially if you are very selective with your weapons. For team play I always recommend going with the weapons that actually work as it takes the pressure off of your friend to overperform. Not wanting to use specific weapons that work really does shift the burden of group play to him and away from you. When soloing I think any weapon is fine as it's just you. But with other people, there should be some thought and consideration to what your weapon choices require your friend to have to cover for.

Sadly, it may be the case that you can't have it all. We can give you builds and advice and everything but if you're insistent on being support and you're insistent on not using the good weapons then on some level you have to come to terms with dying more often than another player might. When you take on the hard champions you really want to be using the best tools your build has, at least until such time as your player skill can carry you with any weapon choice you make. As player skill increases you find yourself freer to be more picky about the weapons you use.

When I was asking advice, I mentioned solo and duo in pure-dps build. If my role is just damage and a little bit of utility for my friend, I'd rather not stick to weapons I dislike. As a support, I'm far more flexible with weapons and buildmaking.

It's just two different questions: about solo/duo dps build for DH with some rare weapons in mind and the one about usefulness of support builds in OW PvE.

Though... if possible, I'd like to avoid using scepter in any build. I don't just dislike it, I can't get used to it and do some decent dmg :)

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Use whatever you like. Why do you feel pressured into using scepter? You don't need to think about maximizing DPS in open world.

I change my weapons all the time in open world to keep it varied and fresh. GS, Hammer, sword, axe, focus, shield, torch, scepter - I use all of these. I don't use mace and staff they really are support weapons and barely have damage, and I don't use LB because I kinda hate DH and never run it. Outside of that they all see use. It's a flavor decision because it really doesn't matter much. I run around with shield a lot, is it actually useful in PvE? Not really, I just like it flavor wise and I want my FSP skin to see use.

Gear and traits are more important than choice of weapon.

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Open world support builds have a few drawbacks:

  1. they have a hard time tagging enemies for a kill in group events
  2. They are boring outside of groups events because you kill so slow
  3. people will not be grateful for your help (they won't notice your contribution to the team's survival)
  4. Due to the way most metas scale, other players will be instantly downed from big hits, so healing is useless (I wish more bosses would focus on less burst and more damage over time, to make healing more relevant)

Despite that, I mostly play support open world builds because that's what I enjoy. In general, I prefer going hybrid Dps/support so that going around alone isn't that awful.

The problem with guardians is that they have the lowest HP pool, and in open world, where it's normal to face multiple opponents, your blocks/aegis will be insufficient and will frequently go down. My guardian specs for power and healing power, and most fights have my health jumping up and down by large chunks frequently, which also means being downed frequently.

My sole advice would me to look into including some vitality in your gears (not necessary for all your gears, but you must experiment to figure out how much you need).

Experience also plays a big role, specially with HOT enemies as they have hard hitters that can be completely avoided (often without a need of a dodge) if you can see them coming. More health gives you some cushion for the inevitable "unseen" attack that would down you in the chaos of open world events.

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@Kyarra.8912 said:

@Dace.8173 said:The thing about support builds is that they work best when you're working with a team and you can coordinate with other people. When you do open world content solo or with a friend a support build puts you at a disadvantage, more so if you don't want to use the weapons that would actually keep you alive while being support. Support works best when you are doing Raids/Fractals/Dungeons in which that kind of attention to detail shines and you have more people to cover for your lack of overall DPS output or in WvW. When you do support with just a friend that friend has to pretty much be able to cover for you, especially if you are very selective with your weapons. For team play I always recommend going with the weapons that actually work as it takes the pressure off of your friend to overperform. Not wanting to use specific weapons that work really does shift the burden of group play to him and away from you. When soloing I think any weapon is fine as it's just you. But with other people, there should be some thought and consideration to what your weapon choices require your friend to have to cover for.

Sadly, it may be the case that you can't have it all. We can give you builds and advice and everything but if you're insistent on being support and you're insistent on not using the good weapons then on some level you have to come to terms with dying more often than another player might. When you take on the hard champions you really want to be using the best tools your build has, at least until such time as your player skill can carry you with any weapon choice you make. As player skill increases you find yourself freer to be more picky about the weapons you use.

When I was asking advice, I mentioned solo and duo in pure-dps build. If my role is just damage and a little bit of utility for my friend, I'd rather not stick to weapons I dislike. As a support, I'm far more flexible with weapons and buildmaking.

It's just two different questions: about solo/duo dps build for DH with some rare weapons in mind and the one about usefulness of support builds in OW PvE.

Though... if possible, I'd like to avoid using scepter in any build. I don't just dislike it, I can't get used to it and do some decent dmg :)

I recognize that, but it doesn't change the advice I gave. The thing is, while you're new to something you really should focus on learning what works and what doesn't and why. Understanding those things allows you to pick up any weapon you can wield and succeed. If you don't understand the nature of why things work then a lot of advice people could give won't work for you. If you understand what about greatsword or scepter works it lets you understand how you can use other weapons too and not be weaker for it.

I don't give folks advice to tell them what they want to hear. I give advice that I think will help them understand what's going on and what they likely need to do to get better. Part of getting better and not dieing is understanding how things work and why. The best way to learn how things work and why is to practice with it and see what it does and how. I use weapons I hate all the time so I can get a better understanding of what I need to do to make my favorite weapons work.

You're free to play however you want. Doesn't bother me one bit. You asked for advice though and that's what I gave, advice. Learn why the weapons you hate work and you won't have as many problems when you use the weapons you do like.

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@Chuck.2864 said:Use whatever you like. Why do you feel pressured into using scepter? You don't need to think about maximizing DPS in open world.My problem with scepter is I don't see max DPS from it ) It's kinda average at best and I see more advantages in LB and even staff (+healing). Everyone says scepter is fine, but it doesn't work for me.

@"Coinhead.7591" said:What do you mean by "usable"? For another thread I recorded 2 minutes of longbow dragonhunter gameplayHow much more usable you need it to be for your open world build?I saw you video and liked it! But I'm doing far less dmg with LB personally. Maybe it's a gear problem?

@Skotlex.7580 said:Despite that, I mostly play support open world builds because that's what I enjoy. In general, I prefer going hybrid Dps/support so that going around alone isn't that awful.TY for your reply, it was very helpfull! Can you show this build or smthing alike, so I can try it and see whether I can make myself usefull? )

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When I was struggling with open world (or even now if I have a tough situation), a good ol' fashioned meditrapper build works wonders for me. Valor, Radiance, DH. The Monk's Focus trait is so nice! Throw on a few mediation skills like Smite Condition, Judge's Intervention, Litany of Wrath, Renewed Focus (ok, maybe not all of them) and you have multiple heals, nearly constant fury. Great survive, good dps. It's a "Oh Shit" build I highly recommend. Oh btw ... repeat after me ... "I love my sceptor" " I love my sceptor" .... ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

@Blacksky.4671 said:I'm running through the story lines and exploring on my Guardian. The toon was boosted, so I am sporting Soldiers gear, using Great Sword and Septer/Shield.

My Talents are:

Zeal - 3,2,3Radiance - 3,3,2Virtues - 2,1,1.

I run all five Signets in my skill slots, since Radiance give me boosted passive. Virtues give me increased passives for Virtues. With all the passives buffs I rarely have to hit a skill button to stay alive, and GS does enough damage to kill most things.

I would not take the build into fractals, but map exploring and story clearing it works great.

I know you didn't ask for feedback, but I thought I'd send you some.

You're correct that in OW everything is ezmode, but you are still heavily gimping your build with running Perfect Inscriptions, when the grandmaster trait below it, Righteous Instincts, gives you 50% crit when retaliation is up; given you are running gear with no precision on it, that 50% crit will help immensely in bursting mobs down.

And while Bane Signet and Signet of Courage (elite) are great choices for open world (well, any game play really), I think you are missing out on a lot of potential by running signets in the other slot.

For example:Healing Slot: Litany of Wrath - this skill is broken powerful. It pretty much translates to: activate me, jump into a as many mobs as possible, hit GS 2 and heal up to 100%. The only time it sucks is when you need a heal but aren't hitting things, but that doesn't happen all too often.Utility Slot: Sword of Justice - as spirit weapons go, this is considered the best. Applies crippling and vulnerability on 5 targets, and deals some decent damage. If you're in a situation where you need more CC than Bane Signet, you can swap this out for Hammer of Wisdom, which takes a nice chunk out of a defiance barUtility Slot #2: for me this is the floater slot, which would change depending on what I needed. If you're in a story instance you can slot Retreat for some on demand swiftness. Fighting against something that interrupts or knocks you down, Stand Your Ground for stability. Normally I would run Smite Conditions as it's a quick AoE that also clears conditions (which boosts the damage this ability does) on a fairly low cooldown.

While a retaliation Guard running Righteous Instincts is the only power build I know of that can mostly ignore precision, Soldiers gear has no precision and no ferocity, so again you're missing out on damage. I'd look for an opportunity to swap in a few pieces of Berkserker, Valkyrie or Marauder gear as soon as you can, to up your precision and ferocity.

Sure open world tyria is hardly a challenge, but killing stuff faster always feels good B)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled forum thread....

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