GodMode GuardianThu 13th Sep 2012 - 6:54pm Guardian
I am playing a variation of this build currently in tpvp, whenever my internets up to scratch, I will try to stream here: http://www.twitch.tv/bigteehunter
Great, now that the shameless advertising is out of the way, and if you're sitting comfortably, let's begin.
Azshene has done a very good job in explaining the guardian class, and offers 3 very viable builds. This guide is not meant to be an alternative, rather seen as a supplement, and I highly reccomend reading that guide before this one: http://www.teamparadigm.net/guides/Guardian/6/Azshenes-Guardian-Guide
The purpose of this guide is to provide a build for a full out defensive guardian, with very little damage, but maximum survivability and high cc ability. Primary to get inside a point, capture it, and stay there for a very long time, until backup arrives.
Hey there! A question I hear asked a lot is "How do I make my guardian un-killable?"
The answer, unfortunately, is you can't. However, you can make it a damn tough thing to do.
Before I go into this build, I will first stress, I am not suggesting this build is the most useful build for sPvP, in fact, I have started running a different build for tournaments, HOWEVER, this build can be very fun, and also very viable in tournament play, provided it is used well.
As I have previously stressed, this build is not a damage dealer, and do not expect to be top of the scoreboard. Infact, more often than not, if attacked by 2 or even 3 people in this build, they tend to give up and leave, and noone gets a kill. You have however defended a point effectively for your team, and you can give yourself kudos for that.
Now lets get down to business.
This build focusses on shouts as your utility skills, and it is similar to Azshene's supportive shout hybrid build, but instead there is no hybrid here. Because you are shout heavy, you are a very useful asset to have in a group fight, cleansing allies, applying ageis to them, etc. However, the secret of the matter is (shh, dont let any other class hear this) even though you are supporting them, it is them that make you invincible. It is almost impossible to die when you have even 1 ally nearby, as each boon you apply to them, heals you. That said, it makes sense to keep an eye on your allies, and do your best to keep them up.
But BigTee, I wanted a build that is tanky as a solo defender, not one who relies on allies!
Don't worry! Although it is very hard to die amongst allies, it is still pretty tough to take you down alone!
Lists of builds:
If you have the build open, it will be easier to refer to as I talk through it, and try to explain some choices.
1. Weapon choice
Mace + Sheild: Simple put, I believe the mace and shield provides the best defence/support options.
If you can land your third blow on Srike, you and allies recieve a heal.
Symbol of protection, not much to say there. Apply generously. COMBO: Use hammers mighty blow on symbol to give area relation.
Protectors strike, again, use as often as you like. Particularly useful for blocking a big attack, or protecting an ally.You will rarely finish this cast bar and actually get protection, still not a bad skill.
Shield of judgement, (reduced to 24 sec cd), aim at allies, grants protection. Nuf said, use asap.
Shield of absorption, (reduced to 32 sec cd), the trademark of the guardian it seems, with plenty of uses:
Use as an aoe knockback, look for boons such as aegis or stability on enemies before using though.
Use as a projectile shield, short cooldown however so don't rely on it to keep those arrows off you for long.
Use to heal nearby allies, pop the shield before it ends to heal anyone inside it (excluding you)
COMBO: Use hammers mighty blow straight after to give area relation.
Sword + Focus:
Flashing Blade is a very useful skill, not just to close gaps but also to keep yourself out of danger. It can be used to teleport youself back inside a control point quickly incase you get knocked out. Another little trick to buy yourself time on a contested clock tower in khylo, identify the point holder, target him, jump down to underneath the tower, hopefully 1 or 2 will follow you, the teleport right back up to the point holder back inside the control point.
Zealot's Defence, is probably your hardest hitting skill, pop this along side save yourselves, and you may actually have a little bit of burst. Still nothing to shout about though, you are not a damage build remember!
Ray of judgement, useful to use as an extra blind, if you can hit an ally in the mean time, all the better for your team.
Sheild of Wrath, Blocks the next three attacks. If left alone, it will explode, causing a combo finisher, however, most of the time you want to use this when it will be used up, so you get the most out of it. Long cooldown on this one.
I normally also carry a hammer, which I will swap for my Sword/focus, dependent on the situation. For example, in Khylo, if i see only one enemy heading towards the clock tower to contest me, I will pullout the hammer instead.
Hammer: The hammer comes with some very good control skills, allowing you bash your enemy around, and keep them out of the capture point. It also provides mediocre damage, allowing you to eventually down most players in an elongated fight.
Hammer Swing, If you can land the third attack, you will grant yourself protection. COMBO: Use hammers mighty blow on symbol to give area relation.
Mighty Blow, Your only combo finisher. Fairly high damage, does just what it says on the tin.
Zealots Embrace, 2 second root. Has two uses. One is to root a fiddly player to ensure you can get Banish off on them. The other is to use it right after using Banish, to keep the enemy away for longer.
Banish, Brilliant single target knockback, Useful for getting an enemy player right out of their point. Used with Zealots Embrace or Ring of warding, you should have no problem de-capping an enemy point.
Ring of warding, Use to cut off access to a capture point, use to trap enemies inside when they are low, or use to get melee's off your back for a while. COMBO: Use hammers mighty blow in ring to give area relation.
This build is really good at approaching an enemy point. The defender will normally be specced for defence, but instead of killing them and taking their point, you merely kick them around, and cap the point as they helplessly try to do anything about it.
With a bit of skill, and a pinch of luck, using your 2 knockbacks, 1 root, 1 ward you can fully decap, and recap an enemy position in one go. Especially useful in clock tower, where you can knock them all the way down the stairs.
2. Runes + Amulet choice
There is quite a bit of scope here for personal preference. I will explain the choices I made, but you are welcome to try out what works for you.
As this build relies a lot on self healing, healing power is an obvious factor here. Toughness is still important though. I flicked between a lot of different armour runes before settling on Superior Runes of the Monk.
At base, they increase your healing power, which is never a bad thing.
You also have a 15% boon duration there, and this build is boon heavy.
A chance to heal yourself when hit, every 10 seconds, is pretty nice! This just syncs well with the whole continuous self healing thing you've got going on.
And finally, grant aegis when using an elite skill, this goes perfectly with my choice of elite skill, renewed focus. I explain my choice of elite skill later, but briefly here, since a heal is applied upon removal of aegis, and renewed focus resets your virtues, you have invincibility + a free heal, without even applying any of your virtues yet. A very good panic button.
Sigils of Energy & Life:
A symbol of Energy as a main hand rune (Note, doesn't appear to work when equiped on offhand)*
Stands to reason if you are going for a weapon swap, and you do not have full health, and have >50% endurance, perform a dodge first -> free heal.
Ideally I would run with a symbol of leeching on the offhand, for an extra little heal upon swapping, but it does not seem to work along side the symbol of energy. Therefore, I have used a symbol of Life instead, for progressively more healing as the game goes on.
*Thanks to Brownie for pointing this out
Cleric Amulet + Knight Jewel:
Good mix of healing power, toughness and vitality. Change as you will though.
3. Healing, Utility and Elite skills
Signet of resolve: Best healing skill, in my book. Boost your health right back up there. Remember to use slightly in advance as it has a short cast time, maybe pop stability before if you are worried an enemy is on the ball.
Hold the line: Contrary to the skill description, this also gives protection and regeneration to yourself, as well as allies. It also, don't forget, heals you (twice) for every ally it hits.
28 second cool down, stagger with other shouts, but use when its off cool down, as long as its required.
Stand your ground: Can be used as a stun breaker, but is even better if you can use it right before you think you are going to be controlled! Staying inside that capture point is a must! Applies two boons, once again, two heals for every ally you hit.
Retreat: Can be used as a speed boost at the start of the game, however this is more useful as a quick way to apply aegis. Two boons, two heals, you get the picture.
Try to stagger your shouts, so that you have them coming off of cool down at different points, If you can time this right at the start of a fight, you should be in for a winner. You DO NOT want to panic, and hit every skill you have left. That is a sure way to die, as soon as your boons are up.
Renewed Focus: Could be controversial, as some people swear by Tome of Courage, but I believe this build benefits a lot more from focus than courage.
Firstly, Focus has half the cool down of courage.
Secondly, Focus makes you invulnerable for 3 seconds. Wowcha.
Thirdly, It resets your virtues, so obviously, make sure your virtues are all spent before using this skill.
Lastly, the recent change that removed stability from tome of courage, just makes Focus all that more appealing.
This brings me nicely on to...
4. Using your virtues wisely
Most of this goes without saying, but I thought I would include it as it does contribute to the build as a whole, how and when you use your virtues.
Thanks to our 5 points in the virtue line, every virtue also applies a boon which, you got it, heals you if it hits an ally.
Virtue of Justice: Not so much used as an offensive skill, but rather as a 5 second aoe blind. Use this as often as you can, providing you are not full health of course. Applies Might too.
Virtue of Resolve: Gives an adequate sized heal, to yourself and allies. Of course, if it hits allies, all the more heals for you. Applies Regeneration too.
Virtue of Courage: Grant aegis to yourself and allies. Aegis heals on removal, so look at this as a heal also TIP: Obviously, if Retreat is off cool down, use that instead, so the passive from this keeps rolling. Applies Protection too.
Once all your skills and virtues are spent, and you find yourself going down, now is the time for renewed focus. It not only buys time for some shouts to come off cool down, but it also resets your virtues, and grants you aegis. Again, ensure you never overlap aegis, as they do not stack!
5. Almost there, Time to talk Traits (and other stuff)!
I will not walk through every choice here, as that would take forever. I will however outline a couple of handy traits, and why they work well. I don't intend to spend a long time here though.
Pure of Voice: It is tempting to scrap these last 10 points in Honor, ditching a little vitality and healing, and put them into Virtues. Its not a bad idea, It would give 15% recharge on virtues and 15% longer boons (stacked to 30% with armour) However, if you are amongst allies with conditions (you almost always are) applying a shout will remove that, but more importantly, apply a boon, so, yup, that's another heal. This is another reason not to panic spam your shouts. Spreading them out is more likely to cure more conditions/apply more boons.
Inspired Virtue: Just reiterating, this makes your virtues far more useful amongst allies, with the boons they apply. As we know, boons = heals.
Selfless Daring: A dodge heals nearby allies. I think this trait is purely here to remind you to...
KEEP DODGING. You really shouldn't ever find yourself on full endurance during a fight.
Every dodge you perform, heals you for around 1.5k. So the more dodging, the more healing, not to mention you will be avoiding damage at the same time. Time your weapon swaps accordingly, so you never have more than 50% energy when swapping, as the swap will give you an extra 50%.
The few exceptions to this could be if a treb is firing on your position, and you are timing your rolls to dodge the treb, or if you see a set up for a big attack, and want to wait.
Otherwise, dodge them attacks, The more you play other classes the more aware you will be of when their biggy's are coming. Dodge is one of the most useful mechanics you can make use of, please do.
6. Finally, know your limits
As I said at the start, you are not un-killable. Every Goliath has a David, but knowing your weaknesses can go a long way to avoiding them.
Getting Locked Down is something you obviously want to avoid. Experience will tell you when to use your stability, but you still sometimes cannot avoid just getting stunned/rooted/dazed whatever the hell three people bashing into you might do. The only advice I can give is keep a look out for those players, try to save your stability for then.
Also, don't forget, you can still use your virtues, even when everything else is disabled. Your blind, aegis and heal should be enough to get you though to the other side. If you can manage to get your Renewed Focus off, the day is yours.
Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, if you find yourself as a cute little Moa Bird. Curse. Curse heavily, then die.
That's it guys, this has been my first ever guide, and I don't really feel qualified to post this! There are definitely better guardians out there, and I would welcome advice/criticism, anything you think could add to this build, just keep it civil. I only posted this here to help out any aspiring tanks!
Thanks for reading, please forgive any spelling/grammar mistakes!