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Guild Wars 2 BEST Class – How to choose?

GW2. BEST Class. What class should I play? How to choose my class. Guild Wars 2. 2022.



What is the BEST Class in Guild Wars 2?


This is the most common question between new players, and while most people will enjoy experimenting and finding out by themselves how every class performs, a big majority of players will look for advice to be sure their first class choice is the correct one to save time and possibly disappointment.

With this being said, the classes that are the “best” changes very often because each Guild Wars 2 class has several specializations and with new content being added and new balance patches, things can change more than you think. However, after experiencing how classes have been doing and what new players seek advice on until now in all the game modes, we can clearly set a top three recommended first pick classes for how easy and effective they are to start your journey in Guild Wars 2.


Guardian

Ranger

Necromancer


NOTE: All classes are good anyway, and here you can find resources, builds, and guides to make the most of them. Sometimes people look for the “flavor of the month” and that’s fine too, we also recommend the popular builds especially in competitive modes like PvP and WvW.

All the builds that you can find on this website provide realistic gameplay and very often full guides on the class mechanics. Versatile builds for all the game modes, and specific-mode optimized builds as well.

But remember! What is the best for most people might not be the best for you, so in this article you will find the information that you need about all the 9 classes and all their specializations to be able to make your own decision.


Your First Guild Wars 2 Class


At first you will only have the “core” or “base” class specialization until you level up and unlock the “elite specializations” that are part of the expansions progression of those classes. For this purpose I suggest checking the following article with Leveling Builds suitable for unlocking Hero Points to earn elite specializations.



All Classes of Guild Wars 2


While Guild Wars 2 has many diverse classes with distinct aesthetics and playstyles, there is no trinity in game which means that most classes can perform the same roles to some extent. It can be difficult to decide which class you wish to play, so this guide aims to introduce the main thematic and core mechanics of each class to help you decide.

Each of the 9 core classes offers 3 Elite Specializations, one from each of the Heart of Thorns, Path of Fire, End of Dragons expansions. These offer new ways to play the class after level 80. While you may prefer a core class while leveling up, most players eventually end up using an elite specialization and you may prefer the way an elite specialization plays from another class or a completely different weapon/trait setup of the same class.


Elementalist


With access to four sets of weapon skills they can swap through on each Attunement:

Fire – Water – Air – Earth

Elementalists have access to the most amount of skills. However, they can only use these skills while in the corresponding attunement, making which attunements you choose to improve and employ define your playstyle.

Like a traditional wizard or mage character, elementalists can choose a Staff, Scepter, and Focus and play a squishy ranged playstyle, or they can build for sustain and survivability with martial weapons like Daggers for a battlemage playstyle. Elementalist cannot weapon swap to a secondary set while in combat. Light Armor and Low Base Health.

  • Pros
    • Versatile
    • Great sustain
    • Combos well with allies
  • Cons
    • Fragile
    • Many buttons to press
    • Rotation reliant

Tempest (Heart of Thorns)

Tempests offer a supportive playstyle with Shouts and Aura synergies that can be shared to their allies. They can also Overload any of their attunements to invest in a more powerful spell in that attunement.

New Weapon: Tempest can equip a Warhorn


Weaver (Path of Fire)

Attunements are split in two, giving access to skills in two different attunements simultaneously at the cost of only swapping half at one time. Weavers gain access to many more skills per weapon due to the order that they weave in and out of their attunements, Dual Attacks.

New Weapon: Weaver can equip a main hand Sword


Catalyst (End of Dragons)

Combo Fields are improved and more readily available as Catalysts can create them with their Jade Sphere, allowing much more combo potential as well as Aura synergy when performing these combos.

New Weapon: Catalyst can equip a Hammer


Recommendation: Here you can find the BEST builds for each specialization that are created to perform well in all game modes with the same playstyle and equipment, you should start with these:



Necromancer


Necromancers gain Life Force from the death of nearby characters as well as from landing specific skills. They can use this resource to enter into Death Shroud which replaces their weapon skills with a new set of abilities and a second health bar to protect their own.

Death Shroud Skills

Raising the dead, stealing life from enemies, removing boons, finishing off the weak, and ramping damage over time are all characteristics necromancers enjoy. Necromancers often attack from range with Staff, Scepter, Axe, and Focus, but can sometimes benefit from Warhorn and Daggers in close combat. Light Armor and High Base Health.

  • Pros
    • High sustain
    • Debilitates and weakens enemies
    • Scales up in larger fights
  • Cons
    • Slow
    • Reliant on Life Force (build up)
    • Selfish

Reaper (Heart of Thorns)

Reaper Shroud abilities become more melee oriented and there is an emphasis on chilling enemies so they cannot escape.

New Weapon: Reaper can use a Greatsword


Scourge (Path of Fire)

Life Force is converted into barrier which can be shared to allies instead of keeping it for itself, making Scourges great for team play but much more susceptible when isolated. Scourges also control area using their Sand Shades to spread their shroud effects.

New Weapon: Scourge can equip a Torch


Harbinger (End of Dragons)

Rather than becoming more survivable in Harbinger Shroud, they gain Blight which lowers their maximum health. This high risk playstyle comes at the benefit of more sustained damage, mobility, and access to more powerful shroud abilities.

New Weapon: Harbinger can equip a main hand Pistol


Recommendation: Here you can find the BEST builds for each specialization that are created to perform well in all game modes with the same playstyle and equipment, you should start with these:



Mesmer


Creating Illusions has multiple motives for Mesmers. They can decide to leave Clones of themselves up to distract enemies or to Shatter those clones for a powerful effect.

Shatter Skills

Rather than directly solving situations, Mesmers manipulate their enemies, attack their weak points when there is an opening, and choose when to leave fights. Mesmers can create Clones and Phantasms on each weapon whether it is a Greatsword, Staff, Scepter, Sword, Focus, Pistol or Torch. Light Armor and Medium Base Health.

  • Pros
    • Mobile
    • Illusions can distract enemies
    • High utility
  • Cons
    • Fragile
    • Shatters require clones (build up)
    • Requires awareness and foresight

Chronomancer (Heart of Thorns)

Controlling space and time enables Chronomancers to speed up their skills or to recharge them faster. They can also create rifts in time to return to with Continuum Split, allowing elaborate skill combos to be used.

New Weapon: Chronomancer can equip a Shield


Mirage (Path of Fire)

Mirages can dodge with no animation using Mirage Cloak, making it harder for enemies to discern which one is real. Also they gain powerful Ambush attacks which become available after dodging.

New Weapon: Mirage can equip a main hand Axe


Virtuoso (End of Dragons)

Rather than create clones which are chained to specific targets, Virtuosos stock Blades which they can shatter at any time at any target and will pierce at long ranges, these are their Bladesong attacks.

New Weapon: Virtuoso can equip a main hand Dagger


Recommendation: Here you can find the BEST builds for each specialization that are created to perform well in all game modes with the same playstyle and equipment, you should start with these:



Ranger


Every Ranger has a pet companion that they can name and help them in combat. They can increase their pool of pets by discovering Juvenile Pets around the world like a class specific collection. The Pet UI can be accessed by clicking the pet icon to open the Pet Management window or press the default keybind “K”.

Despite being proficient with Bows, Rangers do not necessarily stay at range. They also work well with martial weapons like Greatsword, Sword, and Axes to get in front with their pets. Medium Armor and Medium Base Health.

  • Pros
    • Works well solo
    • Easy to play
    • Mobile
  • Cons
    • Selfish
    • Reliant on pets (limited controls)
    • Lack diversity

Druid (Heart of Thorns)

While normally a selfish class, Druids offer a supportive playstyle by entering a new Celestial Avatar form to heal their pets and allies.

New Weapon: Druid can equip a Staff


Soulbeast (Path of Fire)

If you don’t like using pets or want more interaction with pet types, Soulbeasts allow you to Merge with your pet, called Beastmode, increasing your stats and giving you extra abilities depending on the pet you merge with.

New Weapon: Soulbeast can equip a main hand Dagger


Untamed (End of Dragons)

For more control over every action your pet takes, Untameds can choose to Unleash themselves or their pet to access many more pet skills that they can combo with their own skills.

New Weapon: Untamed can equip a Hammer


Recommendation: Here you can find the BEST builds for each specialization that are created to perform well in all game modes with the same playstyle and equipment, you should start with these:



Engineer


Inventions and Gadgets allow Engineers many utility skills which give them solutions to any problem. Engineers can only choose between the Rifle, Pistol, and Shield weapons, but they can access Kits which grant them secondary weapon sets to choose from and every type of utility skill equipped will give access to a secondary Tool Belt Skill.

Tool Belt Skills

Engineer Kits

Engineers can specialize in Explosions, Elixirs, or even the Tool Belt skills they gain access to depending on which utility skills they choose. They cannot weapon swap to a secondary set while in combat. Medium Armor and Medium Base Health.

  • Pros
    • Versatile
    • Mobile
    • Combos well with allies
  • Cons
    • Lacks a defined role
    • Many buttons to press
    • Reliant on aim to land skills

Scrapper (Heart of Thorns)

Superspeed and Barrier allows Scrappers to get into the middle of a fight with ease. They can support allies or pressure enemies with the Gyros that surround them. The Function Gyro can revive allies or finish enemies while you continue your business.

New Weapon: Scrapper can equip a Hammer


Holosmith (Path of Fire)

Entering into Photon Forge mode grants Holosmiths access to very powerful abilities which generate Heat. At higher levels of heat, they gain more benefits but run the risk of Overheating which punishes them.

New Weapon: Holosmith can equip a main hand Sword


Mechanist (End of Dragons)

Mechanists lose access to tool belt skills, but acquire a powerful Jade Mech pet to control. There are many customization options to tune their mech towards specific stats and skill choices.

New Weapon: Mechanist can equip a main hand Mace


Recommendation: Here you can find the BEST builds for each specialization that are created to perform well in all game modes with the same playstyle and equipment, you should start with these:



Thief


Instead of having cooldowns on their weapon abilities, Thieves have a shared resource for all their weapon skills called Initiative . Using initiative strategically allows more burst potential or to choose what skills to invest in.

Steal Skill

Class Stolen Skills

Thieves can also Steal from their enemies to acquire specific environmental abilities which can give them an advantage against the enemy they stole from. Thieves can choose between Dagger, Sword, Pistol, and Shortbow. All these weapons have a special Stealth Attack on the first skill slot when in Stealth. Medium Armor and Low Base Health.

  • Pros
    • Mobile
    • High Burst
    • Versatile
  • Cons
    • Fragile
    • Single target focused
    • Selfish

Daredevil (Heart of Thorns)

Increased Endurance and Dodges are improved to become different attacks for Daredevils, and they can survive risky situations with successive dodges. Steal also becomes Swipe for a more active playstyle.

New Weapon: Daredevil can equip a Staff as a melee weapon


Deadeye (Path of Fire)

Steal becomes Deadeye’s Mark which allows Deadeyes to build Malice on the target over time to improve the effect of their stealth attacks, and their stolen skills become less pronounced as they can use them at range.

New Weapon: Deadeye can equip a Rifle


Specter (End of Dragons)

Specters gain Shadow Force which can be used to enter Shadow Shroud to help them and a tethered ally survive and provide all new abilities. Steal becomes Siphon.

New Weapon: Specter can equip a Scepter


Recommendation: Here you can find the BEST builds for each specialization that are created to perform well in all game modes with the same playstyle and equipment, you should start with these:



Guardian


Guardians passively gain benefits for themselves from their Virtues of Justice, Resolve, and Courage but can expend these Virtues for a more immediate and more team oriented effect. While on cooldown they lose the passive benefits, making decisions important according to the situation.

Virtues Skills

Most weapons Guardians use can create Symbols, which are areas of pulsing boons for their allies and damage to their enemies, who will regret getting close to them. Guardians can use martial weapons like Greatsword, Hammer, Mace, Sword, and Shield for an aggressive playstyle, but also use Torch, Focus, Scepter, and Staff for a more magical or supportive playstyle. Heavy Armor and Low Base Health.

  • Pros
    • Team oriented
    • Great sustain
    • High utility
  • Cons
    • Slow
    • Team reliant
    • Cooldown reliant

Dragonhunter (Heart of Thorns)

Virtues become Dragonhunter Virtues which are more powerful but with cast times. Along with Traps, they can control the space of the battlefield with mobility and control effects.

New Weapon: Dragonhunter can equip a Longbow


Firebrand (Path of Fire)

Virtues become Tomes for Firebrands to allow new expansive skill sets with great utility and the potential for a supportive playstyle.

New Weapon: Firebrand can equip a main hand Axe


Willbender (End of Dragons)

Virtues become Willbender Flames which are mobile attacks that leave behind trails of fire and no longer have benefits for their allies. They ramp up damage the more hits they land.

New Weapon: Willbender can equip an off hand Sword


Recommendation: Here you can find the BEST builds for each specialization that are created to perform well in all game modes with the same playstyle and equipment, you should start with these:



Warrior


As masters of physical combat, Warriors have the most weapon diversity of all classes. In combat they gain Adrenaline when hitting enemies which they can use to perform powerful Burst skills depending on the weapon they wield in their main hand: Greatsword, Hammer, Longbow, Rifle, Axe, Mace, Sword. Also they can use Shield and Warhorn as off hands.

Burst Skills

Warriors thrive in combat and are sturdy enough to withstand the punishment of being on the frontline. They are simple to play, but have many mechanics to fully master for their gameplay. Being aggressive is necessary to maintain pressure in fights. Heavy Armor and High Base Health.

  • Pros
    • Works well solo
    • Very durable
    • Heavy control and damage
  • Cons
    • Reliant on Adrenaline (build up)
    • Selfish
    • Long animations

Berserker (Heart of Thorns)

Berserkers use their adrenaline to enter Berserk Mode which makes them more vulnerable but improves their aggressive stats and grants access to more powerful Primal Burst skills.

New Weapon: Berserker can equip a Torch


Spellbreaker (Path of Fire)

Adrenaline is capped for Spellbreaker burst skill usage, but they can also use Full Counter to survive and recharge their burst skills for sustained frontline presence.

New Weapon: Spellbreaker can equip two Daggers


Bladesworn (End of Dragons)

Bladesworns lose access to one of their weapons but gain access to the Gunsaber which has ranged ammunition skills. Adrenaline is now Flow and can be converted into powering up their momentous Dragon Slash ability.

New Weapon: Bladesworn can equip an off hand Pistol


Recommendation: Here you can find the BEST builds for each specialization that are created to perform well in all game modes with the same playstyle and equipment, you should start with these:



Revenant


Revenants are only available to accounts that have purchased an expansion. They use Energy to cast skills, a resource they generate over time and when they Swap between Legends. This allows them to perform large skill combos if they conserve their energy well.

Revenant Legends

They can choose two Legends of the Past to represent their playstyle, and their skill sets will be composed of powerful skills requiring Energy. Legends will give fixed utility skills but weapons still can offer variety. Revenants can choose between Hammer, Staff, Sword, Mace and Axe. Heavy Armor and Medium Base Health.

  • Pros
    • High utility
    • Great sustain
    • Mobile
  • Cons
    • Energy and cooldown reliant
    • Lack of diversity
    • Requires an expansion to play

Herald (Heart of Thorns)

Heralds can channel the Dragon Legend Glint to use Facets which pulse buffs to nearby allies until they choose to consume them for a powerful effect.

New Weapon: Herald can equip a Shield


Renegade (Path of Fire)

Renegades can channel the Charr Legend Kalla to summon spirits and provide various buffs. They also gain access to Citadel Order skills.

New Weapon: Renegade can equip a Shortbow


Vindicator (End of Dragons)

Vindicators can channel the Legendary Alliance Stance of Canthan Legends Archemorus and Saint Viktor to choose between supporting their allies or destroying their enemies. Vindicators also use their single dodge to leap into the air before crashing down on their foes.

New Weapon: Vindicator can equip a Greatsword


Recommendation: Here you can find the BEST builds for each specialization that are created to perform well in all game modes with the same playstyle and equipment, you should start with these:



New Player Guide



📣 Questions and Discussion

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