GW2. How To Fight Guardian. How To Beat Guardian. Class Mechanics. Matchup Guide. Guardian Dragonhunter Firebrand Willbender. Guild Wars 2 PvP 2023.
Your ability to adapt to situations in PvP is not only tied to your knowledge of your class, but also of the classes you will be facing. This is a basic guide to understanding Guardians in PvP so that you can figure out how to fight them without having to learn to play the class entirely.
Guardians have two main mechanics you need to play around: Symbols and Virtues.
Symbols are ground targeted circles that all guardian weapons have access to. These symbols give them boons while damaging enemies. Fighting them inside their symbols is an uphill battle. Lure them out of the area or wait until they end to reengage.
There are three Virtues: Justice, Resolve, and Courage. These all provide passive benefits, but when activated they provide a more immediate effect to themselves and their allies. Justice gives burning, Resolve cleanses and heals, and Courage provides defensive boons. While on cooldown they lose the passive benefits, making decisions and timing important according to the situation.
Seeing the buffs on their bar shows you which ones are on or off cooldown, so you know that if the Resolve buff is missing they are low on cleansing, and if the Courage buff is missing they can be stunned (assuming the stability from virtues). They can even recharge their virtues with their elite skill, Renewed Focus, which gives them invulnerability while they recharge. A guardian with its cooldowns is hard to kill, but a guardian without its cooldowns is an easy target. Try to keep track of their cooldowns and swap target to them when their defensives have been used for their allies. Because guardians scale up so well with their allies, they are easy to focus when alone.
If you manage to get an enemy guardian into the downed state, disposing of them involves handling a few skills:
Point Blank Knock Back – Stealth will not work since guardians do not need a target to knock back, but blind, stability, invulnerability, and ports will help you to secure the finishing stomp.
Revival Symbol– After 8 seconds a guardian can create a symbol that will pulse revive to them. Make sure there are no enemies nearby that can potentially revive them since they can do so much more quickly.
While you can learn how to play against meta builds, not everyone plays the same builds and there are some variations of guardian that may differ from one another. Understanding their traits and how they synergize with their class can help you to fight them.
The most common traitline that guardians run is Virtues, to provide stability and other boons to its team as well as lower their virtue cooldowns.
The elite specializations guardians can play offer new mechanics and virtues to play around.
Virtues become Dragonhunter Virtues which are more powerful but with cast times. Try to hit them from behind to land your attacks during their Shield of Courage duration. Prioritize dodging the Spear of Justice because the tether can pressure you and allow them to pull you in. If you do get tethered, pop defensive cooldowns and play more aggressively to pressure them so there is less distance they can pull you, or go behind terrain so that the pull stops when you hit the wall. Dodge the True Shot when they kneel with their bow.
Virtues become Tomes for Firebrands to allow new expansive skill sets with great utility and the potential for a supportive playstyle. They have more sustain, CC, cleansing, but are more susceptible to burst and being focused because their skills have more cast times and are less selfish.
Virtues become Willbender Flames which are mobile attacks. They ramp up damage the more hits they land, making them great in team fights but lacking in momentum in smaller scale fights where you can prevent them from ramping up their buffs by kiting and not being hit for a few seconds. Avoid trading blows with them during their Crashing Courage duration since they will keep generating Aegis and negating counter pressure.
There is always a potential to beat an enemy either by rotating into better fights or outplaying their mechanics, but these are the main dynamics of how specific classes interact with guardians:
- Guardians stick with their team, making it hard for a thief to isolate them
- Guardians protect their teammates, which makes it hard for thieves to target anyone in team fights
- Guardians have great cooldowns to handle burst damage
- Blind and Aegis allow guardians to trade blows against warriors without taking hits back
- Guardians give stability to their allies which stops much of the CC a warrior can dish out
- Warriors must be in melee most of the time which forces them to stand in guardian symbols
- Ranger pets can remove the Aegis applied by guardians to prevent their more important skills from being blocked
- Guardians can block projectiles
- Rangers often like to be in small fights while guardians in larger fights
- Necromancers corrupt the boons that guardians provide their team
- Guardians remove the conditions necromancers apply to their team
- Guardians work well with allied necromancers for the same reasons they are good against each other
- Revenants can remove the Aegis applied by guardians with how many multi-hitting attacks they have
- Guardians run out of cooldowns while Revenants do not
- Revenants can remove boons and have unblockable damage
- Mesmers remove the boons and disrupt the synergy of guardians
- Guardians struggle to catch up to and stick to mesmers
- Mesmer clones can remove the guardian Aegis easily
- Elementalists thrive in sustained fights that guardians create
- Guardians do not lock down enemies efficiently enough to control elementalists
- Elementalists handle Aegis well with their many different skills
While there are more things that counter guardians, the ability for guardians to synergize well with other classes in group fights more than makes up for it.