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Introduction to Guardian

Published Aug 31, 2022 Updated Jan 3, 2024
Pixel meta team
Protector of Weh no Su

The Introduction to Guardian will help you understand the basic mechanics of this profession. Additionally, you will learn the specific specialization perks that each Guardian build has.

Guardian Mechanics

Guardian Virtues

Guardians has three Virtues, each with a passive buff and an activation Cooldown to buff your allies.

  • passively inflicts Burning every 5 hits; activation causes allies to apply Burning with their next attack.
  • passive Healing; activate for a burst Heal for you and nearby allies.
  • passively gain Aegis; activate to grant Aegis to you and nearby allies.

Virtues can be improved with traits.

Dragonhunter Virtues

Dragonhunters have an upgraded form of Virtues, with the same passives but new actives.

  • tethers you to foes, Revealing them and pulsing Cripple and Burning; activate again to Pull enemies with (doing so ends the tether and all related effects).
  • grants you increased mobility through a Healing leap.
  • grant Aegis to you and allies, and creates a shield to Block multiple incoming attacks for you and allies.

Firebrand Virtues

Firebrands replace the active form of their Virtues with Tomes, accessing multiple skills with separate Cooldowns, each draining Pages from a shared pool.

Tome of Justice

  • Chapter 4: Scorched Aftermath, Chapter 2: Igniting Burst, and Chapter 1: Searing Spell inflict Burning.
  • Chapter 3: Heated Rebuke Pulls enemies
  • Epilogue: Ashes of the Just gives allies stacks of a unique buff to apply Burning, using your damage modifiers.

Tome of Resolve

  • Chapter 4: Shining River and Chapter 3: Azure Sun grant Swiftness, Vigor, and Regeneration.
  • Chapter 4: Shining River and Chapter 1: Desert Bloom grant direct Healing.
  • Epilogue: Eternal Oasis and Chapter 2: Radiant Recovery cleanse conditions.
  • Epilogue: Eternal Oasis temporarily increases Healing received by allies by 33%.

Tome of Courage

  • Opening grants Aegis to five allies in a wide radius.
  • Chapter 1: Unflinching Charge grants Swiftness and Protection.
  • Chapter 2: Daring Challenge grants Resolution and Taunts enemies.
  • Chapter 3: Valiant Bulwark reflects projectiles.
  • Chapter 4: Stalward Stand grants Resistance.
  • Epilogue: Unbroken Lines grants Protection, Stability, and Aegis. Additionally grants 300 Toughness, which can affect enemy Fixation in Raid encounters!

Willbender Virtues

Willbenders lose their passive Virtue effects, but heavily modify their active effects: each provides mobility, creates to strike targets, and activates a timed unique buff that grants special bonuses with every 5 hits. Multiple virtues can be activate at the same time.

Skill Initial Effect Triggered Effect
Rush and strike target Burning
Heal, Evade, and cleanse movement-impairing conditions Heal
Ground-Targeted Shadowstep, gain Aegis and Stability Aegis and Stability


Symbols are unique to the Guardian class. They pulse AoE damage to enemies and grant boons to allies.

Skill Weapon Boon
Axe Fury
Greatsword Resolution
Hammer Protection
Longbow Vigor
Mace Regeneration
Scepter Might
Sword Fury
Staff Swiftness

There are a variety of traits that also affect symbols:

  • increases player Power damage and causes symbols to inflict Vulnerability.
  • greatly increases Symbol Power damage.
  • increases outgoing player Power damage.
  • symbols now Heal allies.

Utility Skill Types

Spirit Weapons

Ground-Targeted AoEs with Ammunition Charges, allowing use in quick succession.

  • deals high Power damage and inflicts Vulnerability.
  • Healing.
  • Breakbar damage.

gain an additional Charge and inflict Burning.


Provide boons and general utility to your allies.

  • provides Aegis.
  • provides Quickness and Fury.
  • provides potent burst Healing.
  • provides Stability.
  • provides Regeneration and Protection.

causes Shouts to convert Conditions to Boons.


Ground-Targeted AoEs with utility effects over a long duration.

  • every pulse applies Burning to enemies and Cleanses Conditions from allies.
  • Heals allies, blocks enemy projectiles, and Knocks Back enemies, inflicting Breakbar Damage against Defiant enemies.
  • reflects projectiles.

extends effect duration by 2 seconds.


Shadowstep and improve survivability, emphasizing Condition Cleanse and Healing.

  • converts all outgoing Damage to incoming Healing.
  • converts all the Guardian's Conditions into Boons
  • Cleanse conditions and strikes nearby enemies.
  • Shadowstep to an ally, delivering burst Healing and Revival. Useful for mobility and certain platforming skips when combined with a Spirit Weapon.
  • Shadowstep to an enemy; useful for certain platforming skips.
  • grants you Invulnerability and recharges your Virtues.

grants Healing and Fury to allies.


Activating a signet puts its passive effect on Cooldown.

Signet Passive Active
boost Power damage Knockdown
boost Condition Damage Immobilize
boost Boon Duration Revive an ally from Range
pulse Healing pulse Protection, Resolution, and Stability


Dragonhunters Traps are AoE Power damage fields, triggered by a mob entering (or already standing in) their radius. Most are unblockable, and all grant Boons. Traps can be precast before encounters begin for extra damage.

  • very high damage with no target cap; grants Fury.
  • 2nd-highest DPS trap; applies Cripple and grants Protection.
  • high damage; Pulls in enemies and holds them in place; grants Might.

causes Trapts to inflict Slow.


Firebrand Mantras affect up to five targets within two AoEs from the player:

  • 180 Radius around
  • 450 Range cone in front

Try to either stand just beind your allies, or face them (when Fixated by an enemy).

Each Mantra has 3 Charges, with a short Cooldown; the last is stronger but puts the skill on a longer Cooldown.

Mantra Effect Final Charge
Heal yourself, and grants allies Protection and Resolution Bonus Aegis
Grant allies Quickness and Might Boons with extended duration
Burning Extra Burning
Regeneration and Cleanse Conditions Instead convert Conditions to Boons
Break Stun on allies and grant Stability and Resolution Extra Stability and bonus Swiftness

restores 2 Pages after using the final Charge of a Mantra, allowing you to cast extra Tome skills.

Physical Skills

Willbender's Physical skills inflict damage and smash Breakbars.

  • very strong AoE Power Damage and Burning
  • low Cooldown Stun Break that flips over into , a solid CC skill.
  • 400 (sic) Breakbar damage to a single target, then Knockback adjacent targets, all on a very short 20-second Cooldown!

Trait Lines


Gain access to bonus Critical Chance, improved Burning application, and self-application of Resolution.

Power builds leverage and to improve Critical Chance, and gain massive benefits from and when buffed with Resolution.

in the Zeal Trait Line and in the Virtues Trait Line improve Resolution uptime.

Condition builds leverage and ; and make triggering more consistent.

may trigger against weaker enemies in end-game encounters, immediately refreshing the cooldown of (but not ), and . It has no effect on Firebrand's pages nor the Cooldown of Tome skills.


Boasts great Power damage modifiers, and improvements to Symbols and Greatsword skills.

, , , and boost Power damage, while the last crucially reduces Greatsword cooldowns.

provides a damage boost to symbols, one of Guardian's most powerful skill types.

and improve Condition Damage output, but this traitline is generally an inferior option when constructing a build for organized PvE play.


Buffs the core class mechanic, Virtues. The minor trait reduces Virtue Cooldown, making the Virtues Trait Line automatically valuable to practically all builds.

, , and , are strong Power damage traits.

Use of by any Guardian player can help any Power DPS Guardian maintain Aegis for .

Condition Damage builds leverage (makes a best-in-slot choice for Burning) and (exceptional damage when fighting groups).

Healing builds use for Condition Cleanse, for a small bump to outgoing Healing, and to enhance the utility of Consecrations (refer above!)


The de-facto healing traitline, improving Healing output and broadening Guardian's supportive toolkit.

, , , and improve outgoing Healing.

provides Protection and synergizes with .

increases the value of Staff, improving both Boon and Healing output. helps builds that spend less time on staff still provide respectable Might uptime.

synergizes with in the Virtues Trait Line to bolster ally Endurance regeneration, stacking with Vigor!


Focused largely around damage mitigation and blocking to improve personal survivability.

(with ), , and directly grant Boons to allies.

and improve access to active group defenses.

provides excellent Self-Healing for tanking certain encounters.


Dragonhunter specializes in Power damage and trapping enemies.

and increase outgoing Power damage. does the same vs enemies tethered by , while permanently boosts damage vs Defiant enemies.

, , , , and ensnare enemies.


Firebrand focuses on a Condition damage and group support. This specialization's premier boon, Quickness has multiple sources; consult our individual guides for the most efficient strategies..

, , and bolster Condition damage output.

directly boosts Healing output. and improve access to staple Might and luxury Resistance.

Firebrand's myriad of high value utility skills in and , covered earlier in this guide, make it an incredibly potent support option at all levels of play. Most end-game challenges can be met with tools baked into the kit, or found in Guardian's base skill set.


Willbender specializes in Power damage, Condition damage, or Alacrity support.

Both Damage builds leverage the damage modifier (buffed by ), and are defined by . The latter trait augments the triggered effect of activated Virtues, causing them to reduce the Cooldown of the current weapon skills by 0.25 seconds. This effect can be stacked, just like the trigger effects of the default Virtues!

As a result, the cooldown of your weapon skills is affected more strongly by the tempo of their use and by directly landing hits on one or more enemies, emphasizing speed, active decision-making, and gap-closing.

in the Virtues Trait Line reduces the threshold of , triggering after every 3 hits instead of 5! Faster cooldown reduction is, naturally, valuable to builds of both damage types.

boosts Power damage and increase the direct damage of .

boosts Condition damage and causes to inflict Burning.

in the Virtues Trait Line allows Willbender to share the Alacrity and Regeneration generated by .

Breakbar Skills

Specialization Skill Name Skill Type Breakbar Damage
Guardian Hammer 232
Guardian Greatsword 150
Guardian Axe 150
Guardian Scepter 250 Immobilize *
Guardian Longbow 150
Guardian Shield 150
Guardian Utility Skill 300
Guardian Utility Skill 200
Guardian Utility Skill 150 x 5 = 750 (1050 *)
Guardian Utility Skill 300 Immobilize *
Dragonhunter Elite Skill 150 + 200 Slow *
Firebrand Axe 100 *
Firebrand Chapter 3: Heated Rebuke 150
Firebrand Chapter 2: Daring Challenge 75 Taunt *
Willbender Utility Skill 300
Willbender Utility Skill 200
Willbender Elite Skill 400
  • Immobilize, Slow, and Taunt apply Breakbar Damage over their duration, scaling with Condition Duration.
  • pulses 2 more times when traited with in the Virtues Trait Line.
  • Dazes when traited with in the Firebrand Trait Line.

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