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Beginner guardian advice


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hey there im new to GW2 and need some help with my guardian. im lvl 16 and very confused as to what i should be putting my hero points in. i spent all my hero points on signets and i am unsure if that was a mistake or not. either way what should i be putting my hero points into? and if it matters im mainly doing PvE, might check out PvP soon.

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For your core specializations and skills, you don't actually need to put too much though into where you put your hero points. Even if you never complete a single HP challenge in the open world, purely by leveling to 80 will give you enough HPs to fully complete your core specs.

While you're leveling, it will be helpful for your understanding of the game to look at the unlocks yourself and try out what looks useful. Whether you make the right choice of not, the core Tyria open world is forgiving enough that it won't restrict you seriously.

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Thanks Purgatori! I main Guard and found that this combo works best for me and what I accomplish in game (I'm strictly PvE with some very occasional WvW). But I agree--when you get to 80 is when you should really worry about a specific build and like onevstheworld said - you'll get enough Hero Points from leveling rewards to fully max your core utilities and trait lines.

Only other suggestion I can make is to make sure you play around with all of the weapons Guard can use and see which combination/switch you like best (that goes for any class, really).

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You don't have to worry too much about it yet, the game is pretty forgiving early on, and you can get through the first couple of maps with just your weapon skills mostly. Spend this time to rather experiment and try things out, find things you like.


Guardian has low hitpoints, but high armor, and a lot of defensive mechanisms. The virtues gives you built in slight life regen, and pops up an Aegis (1 use block) at a set timer. But more importantly you have a bunch of skills that gives defensive boons and effects.

Example a skill like "Retreat!" can be used right as you watch an enemy do a big attack on you to get an instant "Aegis" which will cancel the next attack against you. Your "Virtue of Courage" can do the same thing, and is another instant cast! While your start heal skill Shelter gives you a 2 seconds block that you can use to walk out of things or stop big attacks, several weapons like Shield can give you similar effects.

Using these kind of skills and defenses will help you survive almost anything in the game. So spend the early levels playing around with weapons and skills and find creative ways of avoiding attacks.

Example: If you go into options and remove the "auto target" option, then you can use Greatsword #3 Leap without a target to move in the direction you're looking (instead of it auto finding an enemy to leap at), this way you can use it to actually jump away from an enemy charging you, or just jumping over an damaging area, or reach new ledges in a jumping puzzle! Love my GS#3!


Try out all of them over several levels and get a taste/feel for them. Each plays a bit different, and will change the way you play a good bit.

The one weapon I always recommend to at least have in your back pack in case you need it, is the Scepter because it's the only real range weapon Guard got while leveling. Some times, you just really need that range while learning the game. (especially against the Giant of Nageling)

  • -2hand-
    • Greatsword: Popular, good at hitting several enemies.
    • Hammer: Good damage, good control/breaking control bars. Not as good at many enemies.
    • Staff: Support/Control. can heal, stop enemies, and give swiftness. But not very good at damage. Short range now (300) for auto attack.
  • -1hand-
    • Sword: Good fast mainhand weapon, with teleport and a counter to ranged attacks.
    • Mace: Defensive, bit slow, but can heal yourself overtime.
    • Scepter: Only real range option we got (900) useful.
  • -Offhand-
    • Shield: Pretty decent, defensive, with some damage, fun to use #5 to bounce enemies about.
    • Focus: Can feel a bit weird to start with, but can be very fun. #5 is actually a good damage if can make it explode.
    • Torch: Is mainly a condition damage weapon (all that burn!), but also lights up dark caves!


I'm not a big fan of signets on Guardian myself, but they work. The main thing I'd recommend is try to not run only signets, but try to use other skills as well to get used to using active skills in combat.

  • Meditations: Used a lot in all game modes, with traits. Generally good offense/defense in one. "Purging Flames" stand out as a good skill, low cooldown, remove conditions, and does some damage to neary enemies. With traits all meditations heals you and gives you fury on use, good stuff.
  • Shouts: Group support, used a lot in WvW. "Stand Your Ground" stants out as a reliable way to give Stability to group. But for starts "Retreat" gives you a long Swift for running around. And "Hold the Line" gives you protection+regen which will help you personally while exploring PVE.
  • Consecrations: Creates AoE's on the ground that gives different effects. Can be a fun play style, but most adds 1-2 of these to other skills. "Purging Flames" is good for making a field that removes conditions for friendlies, and does quite a bit of burning to enemies. While "Wall of Reflection" is one of the best counters to ranged attacks in the game.
  • Spirit Weapons: Honestly I don't see these used much, they have a reputation for being a bit weak since launch to present. If you want to use a couple of skill points to try out 1-2 of them go ahead, but I probably wouldn't invest in the entire line early.
  • Signets: Not a fan of them personally, but you can easily use 1-2 signets inbetween other skills to good effect. They act more as specialized utilities to other builds. But try "Signet of Judgement", decent passive, and an interesting active that can be useful in many situations. But both "Bane Signet" and "Signet of Wrath" have useful active abilities for fighting Break Bars against champions, or other players in PvP/WvW.
  • Healing: I'll be blunt, "Shelter" is best heal! ;) just remember to use it proactive instead of reactive. Those 2 seconds of block is great of stopping big attacks or running out of a hairy situation. "Signet of Resolve" is populat with the PVE crowd, but I have never wanted it over Shelter myself. The other two are mainly taken for trait synergies, if at all.
  • Elites: Guardian is one of those classes that is a bit limited on Elite skills. For a general rule I'd suggest "Renewed Focus", it's out most all rounded elite (3 seconds invulnerable and refreshes our virtues). "Feel my Wrath!" is a decent short cooldown offensive elite, that works well with groups, but is a little underwhelming for just yourself. I don't see any point to "Signet of Courage" myself, but I guess some people pick it for the silly looking aura :p


There are several synergies between Traits (unlocked at level 20-21 or so) and skills. For start I'd recommend either "Valor" or "Virtues".

  • Valor: It has several usefull traits, but also lets you trait straight into Meditations if you want. Valor trait line + Meditations is a good way to combine both offense (damage and Fury) with sustain (self healing) and condition removal. And forms the basic for many Guardian builds.
  • Virtues: have a good selection of interesting traits that can be used with just about any type of build. Since virtues affects up to 5 players, any trait that enhance them are benefits for people around you as well.
  • Radiance: Have a very fun synergy with "Virtue of Justice" that makes it refresh each time you kill a mob. This can be fun running around mashing F1 for burn damage, kill mob and mash F1 again. Personally find it a bit tedious in the long run unless you map F1 to something easier to get to.
  • Zeal: Most people take this for the trait that increases greatsword damage with 5%, adds some minor heals and faster cool downs.
  • Honor: More of a defensive/support traitline, wouldn't start with it.

Ok, sorry. That got a bit longer than I had planned.

TLDR: Don't worry about using the hero points, just play what you want and try as many different things as you can to learn and get a feel for them. You get enough Hero Points by the time you turn 80 to buy out all the (non elite) stuff anyways. Pack a scepter in your backpack, don't run only signets, an have fun testing everything out.

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