Category: GW2

Altruistic Healing/DPS – PvE

This build focuses blinding, medium dps and ties in altruistic healing to compliment your shouts. It has high survivability and a decent amount of damage, taking advantage of the Valor’s critical damage bonus to go with precision.

While anchor builds on guardians are always a plus in dungeons, sometimes you may want to go with a bit more damage. With this build, you can keep your survivability, up your dps, and still be able to help support your party.

Gear and stats at a glance

This is about what your stats should look like. These will go up significantly with your added food buffs and sigils. Right now I’m running with knight’s helm and coat, with berserker’s shoulders, gloves, leggings and boots. All accessories are ascended berserker’s with the exception of an exotic berserker earring and a knight’s ascended ring. In the end, you’ll want to work towards all ascended gear to make the most of your gear stats.

Runes of the Soldier help with condition removal, removing one per shout.



v  Berserker’s Hammer – Superior Sigil of Perception

v  Berserker’s Greatsword – Superior Sigil of Energy

v  Knight’s Staff – Superior Sigil of Perception

v  Knight’s Scepter – Superior Sigil of Energy

v  Knight’s Shield – Superior Sigil of Water

v  Berserker’s Spear – Superior Sigil of Perception

v  Berserker’s Trident – Superior Sigil of Energy

You’ll be using hammer/greatsword or  greatsword/staff for the most part, but ranged options are a must. I prefer to keep a scepter shield and staff with me at all times. Staff has some nice support abilities and is great for tagging things (hence the use of an “on kill” sigil). Adjust your sigils to match the combinations you like best so that you have one weapon with sigil of perception and one with sigil of energy.

Traits – Blinding, Altruistic Healing, and Recharge Rates

Most of your blinding will come from Radiance. The 5-point minor trait makes Virtue of Justice blind on activation, and the 15-point minor trait keeps this virtue up by renewing it every time you kill a foe. Blind Exposure (VI) helps with your damage by inflicting 10 seconds of 3 stacks of vulnerability when you blind something. With the aoe blinds from Virtue of Justice and Leap of Faith on greatsword, this is a great way to mitigate damage through blinding as well as stacking vulnerability.

For the second major trait in Radiance, we’ll want to pick up Signet Mastery for the recharge rate increase on your heal.

Valor is where the bulk of our points will be. It’s an easy way to get some additional critical damage, and gives us access to Altruistic Healing (XI), which heals you every time you apply a boon to allies. Two more traits we’ll want to pay attention to are Purity (V), which removes a condition every two seconds, and Glacial Heart which makes crits with hammer chill your foe for 5 seconds. While this has a 30 second cooldown, it can still be useful in situations where you’re trying to immobilize/slow down foes. If you don’t like the idea of using glacial heart, Retributive Armor (VI) is a good alternative. This gives 5% of your toughness as a bonus to precision.

Lastly, we’ll want to put 20 points into honor to pick up some things to make skills and utilities recharge faster. Superior Aria makes shouts recharge 20% faster, and Two-Handed Mastery makes skills on your two-handed weapons recharge 20% faster. The minor traits here are also really useful. You get 5 seconds of vigor for every critical hit (with only a 5 second cooldown), complimenting the other minor trait, Selfless Daring, which heals you and your allies at the end of your dodge. Combined with your shouts/altruistic healing and runes, Signet of Resolve, and Purity, this makes for steady healing and decent condition removal.

Tips, Tricks, and Food!

Experiment with your keybindings if you’re still using the default ones. I didn’t really notice what a difference this made (since I’ve never really used the default bindings) until I switched to another computer to do some screen capture for this guide. Defaults seem really unintuitive, make you stretch your hand across they keyboard (or click) and doesn’t really provide the minimal effort to reach my virtues that I’m used to. It may take a while to get used to, but there are much better ways to bind your keys. Taugrim’s blog has a nice layout (similar to what I currently use) here:

If you’re not used to utilizing your virtues, this is the time to do it. Don’t be selfish with them! Keep your Virtue of Justice on cooldown for the blinding and ability to make your party’s attacks burn foes as well. Virtue of Resolve also provides a nice party heal in tight situations. If you see someone having some trouble, stay around them, pop resolve, and do some dodging. Every bit of support makes a difference.

For those of you that swear by the Tome of Courage and still aren’t satisfied with the party support in this build, don’t feel like you have to use Renewed Focus. Although this is mostly for added damage, your party probably won’t complain if you see an opportunity to fall back and heal them.

Food! Food! Food!

With a Bowl of Curry Butternut Squash Soup and some Master Maintenance Oil, you can bump up your precision to 53% and your critical damage to 81%. It’s a really nice bonus, and a good way to up your stats a bit. Just don’t forget to use them!

A useful substitute to the soup is the Bowl of Saffron-scented Poultry Soup. It gives +70 healing power and a 100% chance to remove a condition when you use a healing skill, so if you want to make the most of your condition removal, go ahead and throw this in.

Mesmer – Mantra build (PvP)



For those of you that don’t like retaliation, here’s one with two skills swapped out (same distro):

Contact me for a more in-depth explanation/guidelines. This is directed more towards those who have been playing mesmer for a while and were curious about how to incorporate mantras.

Two slightly different builds, and both seem like they have a lot going on. These are actually very simple to play with the ability to drop almost every condition (save for immobilize and fear), as well as access to every boon in the game, including stability.


Lots of boons, lots of conditions, and tons of retaliation. While you don’t do any damage, this can quickly backfire on your burst damage classes. Both you and your phantasms will frequently have retaliation. Double block (one on scepter and one on sword, with torment on scepter), 3 different forms of control effects. You also effectively have 3 stunbreakers. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, two of these grant you stability as well.

Frequent questions about this build:

Do you really need that much retaliation?
No, not really. But it’s nice to have some form of damage, and you won’t be doing a ton of damage with this build. Survivability is the focus. With 916 power, 9% crit chance and 10% crit dmg, you won’t be doing much. Bunker down.

So how much retaliation are we talking exactly?
Well let’s see… 3 seconds of retaliation on block, retaliation on your phantasms, retaliation on Cry of Frustration, and retaliation as a possible boon from your chaos storm…you get the idea.

Why choose block over blur?
One word: torment. While blur is generally more useful (as it blocks ALL incoming attacks), we’re not using utilities or traits to gain clones. The only clones you’ll be getting are from your weapons. Each successful block creates a clone, plus the block on scepter puts 5 stacks of torment on your target. Check out the section I have on torment for specifics.

No clones on dodge?
Nope. We’re not running a shattercat build, and having clones up actually gives us some bonus points in toughness. Between blocks, phantasms, and other skills that produce clones, this is more than enough to have plenty of clones up.


On to the build:

I’m going to quickly cover the trait distro. You’re going to learn a lot more from this build by going and getting used to it (as it can be a little awkward to run at first) than listening to me talk about how it’s supposed to be played.

10 points in dueling for the 3 seconds of retaliation on block (III). We won’t be doing a lot of critical hits, so critical infusion makes a very minor difference, if any.

20 points in Chaos:
5 points gives us regeneration at 75% health, and the minor trait at 15 gives 3 seconds of protection when you gain regen. Illusionary defense gets you 3% reduced damage per illusion you have up, and Mirror of Anguish mirrors back any disable effects back to the source. This gives you an advantage not just because your attacker will be disabled too, but because you have 3 other stun breakers, giving you the next chance to attack.

30 points in Inspiration gives us a nice little Vitality boost as well as (more) retaliation and a few ways to make the most of phantasms. Vengeful Images gives phantasms retaliations, Phantasmal Healing makes them grant regeneration to allies, and Phantasmal Strength gives them a 15% damage boost. For major traits, pick up Vigorous Revelation – III for vigor on shatter (applies to you and any nearby allies), Restorative Mantras – X, (heals allies every time you cast a mantra) and Restorative Illusions – XII which also heals every time you shatter.
Our last 10 points can go into illusions for II or VI. With II, Cry of Frustration grants retaliation. If you’re sick of hearing retaliation (I know I’m getting sick of saying it), pick up Illusionary Invigoration to recharge your shatters at 50% health. Coupled with Signet of Illusions, this can be pretty useful.


Heal Utility: Ether Feast is hands down the best heal, but in this case we’ll want to pick up Mantra of Recovery. It may not heal quite as much as ether feast, but don’t forget we’re traited for a little extra healing (2600 healing with a 600 radius) when channeling a mantra. Keep in mind this is when channeling, not when activating. Two completely different things.

Utility 1: Signet of Midnight – Stunbreaker #1. It’s passive bonus is nice, but I really don’t seem to get stunned a lot. Even so, I wouldn’t recommend going through this one unless you know you know you’re about to take a big hit, or your Mantra is on cooldown.

Utility 2: Signet of Illusions – Grants more health to your illusions passively. Actively, this is another way to recharge your shatter skills if you need to. (I primarily use this if both Diversion/Distortion are on cooldown and I have an immediate need and ability to use them).

Utility 3: Mantra of Concentration – Stunbreaker #2 and #3. This is one of the most useful utilities you can have when you need to bunker down a bit. Not only can this be used (twice) to break you out of a stun, but it can also be used when you need stability.

Elite: Moa Morph – Yep. You guessed it. While I generally don’t like using this and prefer stealth (or time warp in party situations), I’ll be the first to admit it’s pretty damn funny to watch your enemy go running like a chicken with its head cut off. (Murk found a video that proves chickens can indeed run around without a head).

Most people, when they get morphed, will go running. There have been a few times when I’ve had someone turn around and attack, but generally they just run. While moa skills are actually somewhat usefull, they generally don’t get used. So while they’re busy running, this will give you time to kill them (if they were low on health) or buy someone else time to get there to help you.
That about sums up the build. I’ll be creating a video guide for a better explanation and some gameplay to give a better idea on how to run this.

Optional (mandatory) reading:


For anyone who hasn’t really looked at torment, it has a pretty big damage potential. So let’s say with this build you’ll do about 59.78 (59.775 to be a little more accurate) dps per stack. That’s roughly 298.89 damage per tick, and deals damage twice (597.75) per tick if your enemy is moving. That’s a little over 4700 damage (given they don’t stop moving around) in the span of the 8 sec duration. Even in a few seconds, and especially if they’re low on health, this can make all the difference. Also don’t forget, illusionary has a fairly short cooldown (12 seconds?).



EDIT: 7/8/13


Instead of putting 5 points in illusions, put it into Inspiration for the condition removal on shatter. Alternative if you don’t like the 5 in illusions and are lacking condition removal.


About the build:

This build utilizes both phantasms and shatters. Since phantasms don’t attack all that frequently and are generally killed off before they get a second chance to attack, make the most of them with your shatters.

Trait distribution focuses on glamour skills and giving phantasms a boost in power.

Another player pointed out that I forgot to mention Diversion. Not only do people really not pay much attention to this shatter, but it’s incredibly efficient with this build. Shattering with diversion=more stacks of vulnerability. Diversion is definitely strongest when used with a mix of clones and phantasms.

Here’s the great thing about throwing phantasms into your Diversion shatters: the more spread out they are, the longer their target will be dazed. Daze does not stack in duration. However, if you have a berserker that’s right up against the boss, and a duelist or other ranged clone that’s farther away, generally the ranged phantasms/clones are going to spend longer than one second running to the target. This leads to multiple dazes with the same shatter.

Also, don’t forget about your Distortion! Although it has a longer cooldown, it’s a great “panic button”, especially if you have three illusions up. This can get you out of a tight situation.
For gear:

Ascended, ascended, ascended!

If you have all-stat ascended back pieces, great. If not….well, join the “I hate fractals” club. (But you’ll really want need to get these for the best overall dps.)

For armor, you’ll want Knight’s chest and leggings, valkyrie’s helm, gloves and shoulders, and zerker boots. Feel free to swap around the minor pieces. You’ll want to slot your gear with 6 emerald orbs.

Sigils: Sup sigil of energy x2 one on greatsword, one on the main hand of your second weapons set, Frailty xhowever many offhand weapons you swap with.

For weapons, I run with all berserker stats. If I could, I’d be running 1-2 of those as cavalier weapons. Again, it depends on how much you like fractals. (I may be wrong, but I think that’s the only place you can get them to drop.)

For accessories, I’m running straight zerker. Really, you’ll want to run zerker trinkets with emerald orbs instead for added toughness and more precision. Cavalier’s back piece preferred, zerker can be substituted. In the long run, you’ll want to continue working towards ascended trinkets/back piece. This is an absolute must for maximizing your dps.

Now that you have an idea on what you’re getting into, here’s the guide.

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