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Core Guardian
August 2022

Open World
Dps

Armor

Illustrious Visor icon Superior Rune of Strength icon
Berserker's HelmSuperior Rune of Strength
Illustrious Pauldrons icon Superior Rune of Strength icon
Berserker's ShouldersSuperior Rune of Strength
Illustrious Breastplate icon Superior Rune of Strength icon
Berserker's ChestSuperior Rune of Strength
Illustrious Warfists icon Superior Rune of Strength icon
Berserker's GlovesSuperior Rune of Strength
Illustrious Tassets icon Superior Rune of Strength icon
Berserker's LegsSuperior Rune of Strength
Illustrious Greaves icon Superior Rune of Strength icon
Berserker's BootsSuperior Rune of Strength

Weapons & Sigils

Greatsword icon Superior Sigil of Force icon Superior Sigil of Strength icon
Berserker's GreatswordSuperior Sigil of Force Superior Sigil of Strength
Scepter icon Superior Sigil of Force icon
Berserker's ScepterSuperior Sigil of Force
Focus icon Superior Sigil of Strength icon
Berserker's FocusSuperior Sigil of Strength

Trinkets

Quiver of a Thousand Arrows icon
Berserker's Backpiece
Black Ice Earring icon
Berserker's Accessory
Asgeir's Talisman icon
Berserker's Accessory
Asgeir's Amulet icon
Berserker's Amulet
Black Ice Band icon
Berserker's Ring
Mistborn Band icon
Berserker's Ring

Utility Skills

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Following build is designed to guide you through your first playthrough, or simply offer you a decent and reliable Core build if you are on Free to Play account. Core builds are not advised to use later in game due to superiority of elite specializations.

While the name could suggest otherwise, Guardian is an extraordinary fighter, smiting opponents with fiery consecration and slicing with powerful and dynamic sword-wielding techniques.

This build focuses on dealing heavy direct damage enhanced with boons provided mostly by Guardian’s Symbols and gear upgrades. You gan access to close to permanent Fury and almost 25 Might stacks with very decent Resolution, some Quickness, and a multitude of on-demand defensive boons.

Core Guardian shares many fundamental gameplay elements with the end-game Power Dragonhunter build, which could be your next build to unlock.

Build Fundamentals

This build relies on a lot of synergy between weapon skills, traits, boons, and conditions, multiple passive damage increasing traits be active only when you meet specific conditions, and your goal is to keep those enhancements active at all times.

One of your main damage increases comes from having a very high Critical Chance even at a low level, you will be combining Fury from "Feel My Wrath!" with a Critical Chance increase from Righteous Instincts that’s active while under the effect of Resolution and from Radiant Power that’s active against Burning foes.

That means that as long you have Fury and Resolution, and your target has Burning, you will have a 60% increased Critical Chance.

Your Symbols not only apply boons like Might (from Symbol of Punishment) and Resolution (from Symbol of Resolution ) but deal increased damage thanks to Symbolic Power and increase your overall damage via Symbolic Avenger.

That’s not all, you also gain damage increase from Retribution while under effects of Resolution.

All this, and the fact that Resolution alone is a very powerful defensive boon, makes this buff crucial for this build.

Your general strategy is to use engage combo when possible, and keep using strong abilities off-cooldown, as well as using Weapon Swap off cooldown.

Weapons

On both weapon sets, skills 2 and 4 are your strongest, that is Whirling Wrath and Symbol of Resolution on Greatsword, and Symbol of Punishment and Ray of Judgment on Scepter.

Shield of Wrath is a powerful defensive ability, but if shield is not destroyed, it explodes increasing your damage, you can also generate some additional Might if you use Shield of Wrath (which is Blast finisher)  inside the Fire field from Purging Flames.

Leap of Faith can be used as a mobility skill, and Binding Blade can pull enemies in, but both can be used for damage if needed. If you do so, don’t use Pull from Binding Blade, and let the damage tick.

While this build might look like it lack Condition Cleansing as your only obvious cleanse comes from Virtue of Resolve, you can utilize Light field from Symbol of Resolution and multiple finishers that will cleanse conditions from you and allies around you: Blast from Shield of Wrath for area cleanse, Leap from Leap of Faith for self-cleanse and Whirl from Whirling Wrath for cleansing bolts.

Virtues

Guardian’s profession mechanics are Virtues, a set of 3 additional, powerful passive skills with active ability bound to F1-3 by default. Virtue of Justice will passively apply Burning, Virtue of Resolve will heal you over time, and Virtue of Courage will periodically apply Aegis. Each of them will offer an enhanced effect when used at the cost of not providing passive effects when they are on cooldown.

Virtue of Resolve and Virtue of Courage are powerful defensive tools, and due to Indomitable Courage, Virtue of Courage is your only stun-break, allowing you to break from “hard” Crowd Control effects (for example knockback), and shortly preventing to be CC’d again thanks to Stability it applies.

Inspired Virtue further enhances your Virtues, with Might, Regeneration, and Protection.

In most cases, you’ll benefit more from not using your Virtues, but when forced, defensive ones can save you from difficult situations, or if you are not under much pressure, you can use them offensively to provide yourself with more Resolution for increased damage from traits synergy.

Virtue of Justice will provide you with some extra Fury via synergy with Inner Fire and will further increase Critical Chance via Radiant Power, depending on the situation you might or might not want to use its active component.

Since your goal is keeping the enemy Burning, during long fights with a single enemy, the most beneficial will be not using it, but when fighting with a group of mobs or when jumping from enemy to enemy, you want to make use of Renewed Justice that will refresh your Virtue of Justice.

Skills

Sword of Justice and Purging Flames are your strongest utility skills. Apart of dealing very good damage on their own, Vulnerability from Sword of Justice will increase your overall damage, as will Burning  from Purging Flames via trait synergy.

Purging Flames is another passive damage increase, but when needed, it deals very high Breakbar damage, which will be very useful against foes with the Defiance bar.

Your elite skill, "Feel My Wrath!" offers decent Fury uptime as well as some Quickness, it should be used when chaining multiple offensive skills together for best effect.

Alternatives

When mainly dealing with multiple enemies you will be generating Might when constantly activating Virtue of Justice which will be often reset by Renewed Justice. You can then use Superior Rune of the Scholar for most damage or Superior Rune of the Pack for some more Fury if you struggle upkeeping that boon.

If you don’t need Crowd Control, you can swap out Purging Flames for another ability best suit your current situation.

Crowd Control

Gearing tips

Since this build is designed to be your entry point to Guild Wars 2 world, let’s start with the basics, if you haven’t checked the guides below, give them a read to make yourself familiar with game basics.

Don’t try to invest in Runes and Sigils before you acquire proper level-80 Exotic gear with Berserker’s stats as transferring upgrades is not possible without destroying the item, and retrieving them during the process has a small chance with most salvage kits.

From drops, crafting and level-up rewards pick items with Power, and on later levels supplemented by Precision and Ferocity.

Unlocking skills

If you’re looking up this build as you’re leveling through the wide world of Tyria we recommend unlocking Sword of Justice and Purging Flames.

The first specialization at level 21 should be Radiance as it offers the most useful traits in early levels. At level 45 get Zeal and finally at level 71 unlock Virtues.

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