Guild Wars 2 Guardian PVP Video: Sword/Shield Sceptre/Focus


I try out a Guardian build that focuses on Meditations / Signets. This build provides multiple sources for sustained healing, superb mitigation against direct damage with 1950 toughness, good condition removal, two ranged gap closers, ranged attacks, and solid sustained damage.

Five of the seven traits selected for this build improve the usage of Signets and Meditations.

Note that I have revised the weapon pairings after the video based on feedback and subsequent testing.

Build Calculator and Gear

http://gw2skills.net/editor/en/?fUAQRAsd7elYgSDHHSJEm4Eh1DCaQ/hVgjXPgYEbIA;T4AA1CnoqxUjoGbNuak1swYgxBjtIPMmiA

Amulet + Jewel: Soldier’s + Berserker’s: 923 power | 569 toughness | 514 vitality | 75 precision | 5% critical damage

Runes: 6 x Rune of Divinity

Sigils

  • Sword and Sceptre mainhand: Sigil of Superior Blood: 30% chance to life steal on critical
  • Shield and Focus offhand: Sigil of Superior Battle: 3 stacks of might for 20s on weapon swap

Let me know your questions and feedback, and please share your tips and builds!

EDIT (2012/07/08): been getting some great feedback from other Guardian players. For the next Beta event I’m planning on testing the following changes:
a. switching the offhands to Sword/Focus and Sceptre/Shield
b. replacing Runes of the Forge with Divinity. This build is already pretty tanky so this change will help it pack more punch
c. replacing Pure of Heart (which I now know heals for 655 on Aegis removal) to Resolute Healer, which creates a Shield of Absorption when reviving

BuildCast Show on GAMEBREAKER Incoming!!!

If you didn’t catch the announcement in last week’s GuildCast (see 31:06), a new GAMEBREAKER show is debuting in July. The show is called BuildCast and will focus on PVP theorycrafting, build analysis, and gameplay. Matthew Sorg (@tamgros) and I will be co-hosting :)

For more Guild Wars 2 content, subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter.

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Posted in Guardian, Guild Wars 2, PVP, Video
35 comments on “Guild Wars 2 Guardian PVP Video: Sword/Shield Sceptre/Focus
  1. Sufi Frost says:

    Great news about BuildCast. Looking forward to seeing you & Tamgros back amongst it.

    • taugrim says:

      Sufi Frost :

      Great news about BuildCast. Looking forward to seeing you & Tamgros back amongst it.

      I’m really excited to be working with Tamgros again. Matt is hilarious and a smart player. We’ve had some great moments fighting with and against each other.

  2. EucridEucrow says:

    Good stuff. I’ve found the z-axis ports to be practically non-existent, even with the ground targeted ones. They have a tight grip on that it seems. Sure you CAN ground target port from bottom level of clock tower to outer scaffolding but that is about it on z-axis stuff.

    • taugrim says:

      EucridEucrow :

      Good stuff. I’ve found the z-axis ports to be practically non-existent, even with the ground targeted ones. They have a tight grip on that it seems. Sure you CAN ground target port from bottom level of clock tower to outer scaffolding but that is about it on z-axis stuff.

      My guildee Top said that he thinks z-axis teleports will work if there is a path that you could run around that has a total distance within the range of the port.

      I haven’t had the opportunity to really test it.

  3. Madbumper says:

    Grats on the new show Taug! Well deserved, I’m sure everyone agrees that seeing you on guildcast etc always guarantees a good show, and I’m sure your new show is going to rock too! I always find your advice is spot on, and you have a knack for making your build design easy to understand and execute in game. I’ve been following you since my Pally days of wow….which is a really long time now that I think about it. Lol

    Keep up the great work!

    • taugrim says:

      Madbumper :

      Grats on the new show Taug! Well deserved, I’m sure everyone agrees that seeing you on guildcast etc always guarantees a good show, and I’m sure your new show is going to rock too! I always find your advice is spot on, and you have a knack for making your build design easy to understand and execute in game. I’ve been following you since my Pally days of wow….which is a really long time now that I think about it. Lol

      Keep up the great work!

      Thanks Mad!

      I have played the medium/heavy armor healing-capable melee archectype across a lot of games. LOTRO Captain, Aion Chanter, Allods Online Melee Healer, WoW Paladin, RIFT M*A*S*H Cleric.

      It’s an archetype I really enjoy, and Guardian fits into that mix.

  4. srodney says:

    Hi Taugrim. Long time reader, first time poster. Is there any chance you can apply your theory-crafting skills to Mesmer, Elementalist and Necromancer. I know that they don’t really fit your play-style, but my during my use of them in the beta events, I found them incredibly squishy and your advice would be extremely welcome. Congrats on the new Gamebreaker show. I am really looking forward to it.

    • taugrim says:

      srodney :

      Hi Taugrim. Long time reader, first time poster. Is there any chance you can apply your theory-crafting skills to Mesmer, Elementalist and Necromancer. I know that they don’t really fit your play-style, but my during my use of them in the beta events, I found them incredibly squishy and your advice would be extremely welcome. Congrats on the new Gamebreaker show. I am really looking forward to it.

      Oh, I do enjoy playing clothie RDPS.

      I’ve played Elementalist quite a bit in Beta, it was the first class I tried. I really enjoy the dynamic gameplay of having 4 “stances” (attunements) to swap between.

      I haven’t had the time yet to try out Mez or Necro.

      One of the things I’ll be doing between now and live is polling viewers / readers to find out what class people would like to see me try out next. So a vote. I’ll get around to setting that up.

      • Scott says:

        Awaiting the vote. I would love to see a Mesmer or Necro review by you.
        I am always melee in MMO’s but for some reason the Necro just feels right to me. I still may play some warrior and thief. But for sure my main will be Necro.

        Namaste,

        • taugrim says:

          Scott :

          Awaiting the vote. I would love to see a Mesmer or Necro review by you.
          I am always melee in MMO’s but for some reason the Necro just feels right to me. I still may play some warrior and thief. But for sure my main will be Necro.

          Namaste,

          Necro is really strong, with some potent group utility, excellent durability, and probably the best condition capability in the game.

  5. Chandalen says:

    While not necessarily always an improvement, switching out soldiers amulet for knights amulet gives the build some interesting changes which seem to improve the build in the majority of situations. Because the mitigation from your base armor is equal, we can ignore it to compare the effective health changes. The mitigation from toughness is equal to 1-(BAR/(BAR+TOUGH) where BAR is your base armor and TOUGH is your toughness stat, and your effective health for this comparison is simply 1+(1-(BAR/(BAR+TOUGH)) times your health.

    With the soldiers amulet, we get 1+(1-(2127/(2127+1950) * 17945 = 26528 effective health.

    With the knights amulet, we get 1+(1-(2127/(2127+1381) * 20235 = 28201 effective health.

    When looking at this, you have to both consider that toughness makes the health you restore though your heals harder to take away, meaning your heals with the soldiers amulet are roughly 8.5% stronger [which is from the difference in the mitigation from the toughness, or (1-(2127/(2127+1950)))-(1-(2127/(2127+1381)))]. What this means is that to make up the 1673 difference in the effective health in favor of the knights amulet, you would have to gain that 1673 health back through healing. It takes 1673/.085 to gain that back, meaning you need to heal/be healed for 19682 health to make that up. This is a tough value to reach, but in long fights does mean the soldiers amulet would be stronger.

    Of course, this is all assuming that all the damage you are taking is not condition damage, which totally ignores the toughness and only takes your raw health into account, meaning that if you aren’t able to keep conditions off you effectively (which is not always possible despite it being a strength of this build) the knights amulet becomes a better choice.

    The other stat changes are the power change and the critical strike chance change. The net change is a loss of 229 power and a gain of 27.09% crit chance. To examine how these change affect damage output, we will first look at how power affects abilities.

    When calculating damage of an ability, the total power of your character is multiplied by a static power coefficient and a static number based on your weapon damage. Most power coefficients are low, usually around .3 and almost always under .5 with channeled abilities being the exception, with lower damaging abilities having lower coefficients and higher ones having higher coefficients. This means that on most of your abilities the most damage you will be losing will be about 115 damage (assuming a .5 coefficient) and on many you will only be losing about 68 damage (assuming a .3 coefficient).

    For the crit chance change, we simply multiply the change in crit chance, 27.09% by the critical damage multiplier (in both builds a base of .5 + .35 from talents, equalling a bonus 85% damage). This gives us a 23.03% damage increase over the other build, which should, especially in combination with the sigils of superior blood and earth, which mean additional damage increases from the bonus 27.1% crit chance (.271*.3*325 = 26.42 extra damage/healing on each attack on average from the sigil of superior blood [the 325 damage/healing on proc is from http://www.guildwars2guru.com/topic/36865-detailed-effects-of-sigils/%5D and, assuming the 5s of bleed rounds up to 6 from the runes, 6*(40+300/20)*.6*.271 = 53.66 extra damage on each attack from the sigil of superior earth).

    I think that this shows that the knights amulet is better in terms of survivability and damage output in almost all scenarios (with the soldiers amulet being the stronger choice in long sustained fights with little condition damage), although if someone notices a flaw in my math or something I have overlooked, please let me know. I’m running through similar scenarios with my thief build, and would like to know both for myself and for other people who read this/my builds if I’m doing something wrong.

    • taugrim says:

      Chandalen :

      While not necessarily always an improvement, switching out soldiers amulet for knights amulet gives the build some interesting changes which seem to improve the build in the majority of situations. Because the mitigation from your base armor is equal, we can ignore it to compare the effective health changes. The mitigation from toughness is equal to 1-(BAR/(BAR+TOUGH) where BAR is your base armor and TOUGH is your toughness stat, and your effective health for this comparison is simply 1+(1-(BAR/(BAR+TOUGH)) times your health.

      With the soldiers amulet, we get 1+(1-(2127/(2127+1950) * 17945 = 26528 effective health.

      With the knights amulet, we get 1+(1-(2127/(2127+1381) * 20235 = 28201 effective health.

      When looking at this, you have to both consider that toughness makes the health you restore though your heals harder to take away, meaning your heals with the soldiers amulet are roughly 8.5% stronger [which is from the difference in the mitigation from the toughness, or (1-(2127/(2127+1950)))-(1-(2127/(2127+1381)))]. What this means is that to make up the 1673 difference in the effective health in favor of the knights amulet, you would have to gain that 1673 health back through healing. It takes 1673/.085 to gain that back, meaning you need to heal/be healed for 19682 health to make that up. This is a tough value to reach, but in long fights does mean the soldiers amulet would be stronger.

      This is a great discussion, and something we could debate about til the cows come home.

      I don’t have the math per se, but I do have my impressions and experience.

      Back in BWE1, I did try playing a Guardian without toughness stacked via gear as you are suggesting, and I simply felt too squishy.

      For the recent Stress Test, I decided to try playing a much more beefy Guardian (1950 toughness), and I found that I was noticeably more durable while still able to put out functional damage.

      If the intention were to improve the offensive capability for this spec, we could do what ocirne23 suggested on the GW2Guru forum: swap Runes of the Forge with Runes of Divinity, which is something I’ll likely test in the next Beta event. This would tradeoff some survivability and about 100 toughness for significantly improve offensive capability (3% more crit chance and 18% more crit damage).

      • Chandalen says:

        Another possibility is that the formula for damage mitigation is just wrong. It seems weird for arenanet to have toughness be so weak as a stat, so it’s possible that the formula everyone is basing their math off of is just wrong. It would be cool to see you and tamgros do some research during the next BWE and break into a huge math discussion on guildcast :)

        • taugrim says:

          Chandalen :

          Another possibility is that the formula for damage mitigation is just wrong. It seems weird for arenanet to have toughness be so weak as a stat, so it’s possible that the formula everyone is basing their math off of is just wrong. It would be cool to see you and tamgros do some research during the next BWE and break into a huge math discussion on guildcast :)

          The simplest test honestly is to fight the same Profession NPC over and over again, but with different toughness levels.

          I’m actually very impressed with how well the power / toughness / vulnerability system works, in my actual experience.

  6. zoltarr says:

    congratulations on your show. I can’t wait to watch it.

    • taugrim says:

      zoltarr :

      congratulations on your show. I can’t wait to watch it.

      Thanks. Will be fun to see how the show plays out and what the viewer response will be.

      • Fel says:

        I basically only watch The Republic because of your insight on SWTOR pvp so having a GW2 show dedicated solely to pvp should be epic. Looking forward to it and gratz.

        • Madbumper says:

          Im in the same boat, quit playing swtor a little after patch 1.2…got my war hero etc and then was like…now what? And I still wathc the Republic mostly for Ed’s insight. Altho I’ll be honest and say Justin is spot on most times as well and Larry and Gary are just fun to watch.
          I’m super looking forward to your new show, I think youre show is going to be a hit.

  7. Dinkle says:

    Hey Taugrim.

    Great video.

    It’s not quite related to hard target teleports or charges, but I actually have been able to traverse the Z-axis with the Thief’s number 5 ability on short bows and the Elementalist’s lightning attunement blink ability (I forget which weapon gives that trick, I played an Elementalist briefly during the first stress test.)

    The trick for ground targeted teleports is to aim for the vertical facing wall connected to whatever surface you want to be standing on.

    It’s a great way to get up to the clock tower quickly.

    • Dinkle says:

      I’m still trying to figure out a way use steal on a Z-axis disadvantage.

    • taugrim says:

      Dinkle :

      Hey Taugrim.

      Great video.

      It’s not quite related to hard target teleports or charges, but I actually have been able to traverse the Z-axis with the Thief’s number 5 ability on short bows and the Elementalist’s lightning attunement blink ability (I forget which weapon gives that trick, I played an Elementalist briefly during the first stress test.)

      The trick for ground targeted teleports is to aim for the vertical facing wall connected to whatever surface you want to be standing on.

      It’s a great way to get up to the clock tower quickly.

      Thanks for sharing that insight.

      I don’t have a teleport in any of the current specs I’m playing, altho for Ele I was thinking of taking the Cantrip teleport, which is ground-targeted.

  8. Arutha says:

    Hey Taugrim,

    Great video. I followed your guides for rift closely. I really enjoyed the play style of the Rift/Blade pally in that game. What, if any, class/spec in this game mirrors that most closely? Thanks!

    • taugrim says:

      Arutha :

      Hey Taugrim,

      Great video. I followed your guides for rift closely. I really enjoyed the play style of the Rift/Blade pally in that game. What, if any, class/spec in this game mirrors that most closely? Thanks!

      Guardian is the closest to Riftblade/Paladin, because Guardian has ranged capability with Sceptre and good block capability.

  9. tony says:

    There is a great Guardian trick where you use the sword 2 blink ability to fool your opponent. When you are being chased you run off a high platform and fall to the ground. Then hit sword 2 and blink back up to the top where your target still is. Your opponent then follows you off the ledge but can’t get back up and may even loose track of you completely. Have a look at this vid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKFEErVkee4&feature=plcp for a demonstration (time 3:06). X axis blink works but not all the time. The player in this vid calls it a bug.

  10. tony says:

    It is also good to remember that the Virtue of Justice also refreshes when you kill pets. So necros and mesmers are going to be significantly easier with the Renewed Justice trait. See above vid for demonstration.

    • taugrim says:

      tony :

      It is also good to remember that the Virtue of Justice also refreshes when you kill pets. So necros and mesmers are going to be significantly easier with the Renewed Justice trait. See above vid for demonstration.

      Yes this is a good point. Gives a lot of usage for VoJ.

  11. Hoodoo says:

    Got a date for the new podcast yet?

  12. Hoodoo says:

    Looking forward to it, gl.

  13. Yamirashi says:

    Maybe kinda late here, but why was it suggested to swap the off-hands? Also do the cooldowns work in a way that would allow using a shield in both sets or would using shield 5 in set 1 cause the shield 5 in set 2 to go on cooldown?

    • taugrim says:

      Yamirashi :

      Maybe kinda late here, but why was it suggested to swap the off-hands? Also do the cooldowns work in a way that would allow using a shield in both sets or would using shield 5 in set 1 cause the shield 5 in set 2 to go on cooldown?

      The Focus 5 ability works great in close quarters. Focus 4 has really good utility. So Focus pairs up well with Sword.

      The Shield AOE knockback pairs up well when trying to kite with Sceptre.

      • Yamirashi says:

        Makes sense, this is sorta what I was thinking, but wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something else.

        Thanks!

  14. Mazar says:

    Hi there Tgrim, i really enjoyed the SWTOR ironfist vanguard build and looking for something similar in GW2, could this profession be it? Thanks in advance.

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