Jump to content
Light Guardian Jack

General Dungeon/Fractal Build and Group Composition Guide

Recommended Posts

Introduction:

 

So recently more people are showing up to our Fractals and Dungeons and many want to know what's the best way to contribute to their team and make the run more smooth.

 

The answer is..... complicated usually. Technically you can beat any dungeon or fractal with any build and/or group complication however you've probably noticed certain bosses/encounters are easier when someone brings reflects or condition removal to make the encounter easier. The truth is all 8 classes have a number of tools you can utilize to both mitigate damage to the group and increase group Damage, how you use them is what separates a smooth run from a frustrating grind. 

 

That's what this guide is for. It's to teach you what tools you have in your profession's toolbox that'll help you turn a frustrating encounter into an easy one.I'll be going over key skills, utilities and traits as well as providing a link to Meta Builds you can look at.

 

Quick note about armor

I won't be going over armor because the answer to "What armor should I run" is "As much Beserker's/Assasin's as your comfortable with". Your build is more defined by your skills you bring and the traits you run then the armor you bring.

 

General Group Tools Overview

 

For the sake of this guide I will split skills into "Defensive Support" "Offensive Support" and "Utilities" and overall that's the descending level of importance. There's even more types of support then I can cover but I'm here to highlight the most useful. I've listed each in the overall decreasing level of important so you can see what you should focus on bringing. Also on a side note, you may have noted I'm completely ignoring any sort of "healing", this is because most group healing is ineffective, you want to negate damage before it hits you most of the time then react by healing. 

 

Defensive Support:

 

Reflects/Projectile Absorption: Probably the simplest form of damage mitigation. Put up wall, block all projectiles, makes a lot of encounters easier.

Group Condition Removal: Also pretty simple. Conditions hurt, so cleansing them is helpful.

Blinding Fields Blinds negates one attack from an enemy, Blinding Fields pulse blind regularly negating a ton of damage. The only downside is bosses are often resistant to them 

Group Stability Stability protects against crowd control like pulls, knock backs, stuns, etc. This can be a Godsend in certain areas (Dredge...).

Group Protection Protection reduces all damage by 33%, it's not quite as strong as a reflection which negates 100% of damage but it can help the group, similarly Aegis blocks one attack and can come it handy to reduce damage taken.

Stunlock/Control skills: Control skills are often utilized to lock enemies and bosses into certain areas and to lock them in place. However Defiance and the difficultly of removing it often discourages it's use from random players. 

Group Resurrection: Group Resurrection can help a group who's struggling with an encounter recovery temporarily when many of their party members are downed. 

Aegis/Distortion: Aegis blocks one attack from one creature which can come in handy. Distortion also provides a very brief invulnerability.

Slow: Slow is a new tool but since it reduces enemy casting time by half, it can greatly reduce enemy damage.

 

Offensive Support:

 

Might!: Might is the boon which best way of increasing the party's damage output and should be the offensive support you should concern yourself with since it directly increases the power of your group and it can stack in intensity.

      -Fire Fields and Blast finisers: It's worth noting that a key source of might is fire fields and blast finishers, so often stacking might is done by the entire team stacking might by blasting one or 2 fire fields. For the sake of this guide, I'll listing fire fields and blast finishers separate from might.  

Fury: Fury is a duration stacking boon that affects your crit chance. Maintaining 100% upkeep can be difficult but it is helpful.

Unique Profession Boosters: A few profession have unique damage boosters that can help the group's DPS, these often don't stack with themselves but bringing one of each is very helpful.

Vulnerability: Vulnerability is a condition that increases damage taken from power builds.

Quickness: Quickness speeds up how quickly you can use skills increasing DPS.

 

Utilities: 

Stealth: Group Stealth can be used to skip entire groups of enemies to save time and make a trash run simple

Mesmer Portal: Advanced teams can use this skip sections of a dungeon, inexperienced teams can use to help members who have difficultly with a jumping puzzle or something similar.

 

 

Profession's tool-kits:

These are listed in order of overall usefulness to each profession and I'll be going over each professions strengths in a dungeon/fractal environment. Also I won't be listing every single skill that grants might, blocks projectiles, etc, I'll just be listing the best and most utilized to keep things simple.  

 

Guardian 

Update Status: Done

 

Meta Builds:

Power Greatsword: http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Guardian_-_GS_Mace/Focus/Torch

Burning Condition: http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Guardian_-_Condi_Burn_GS/Mace/Scepter/Torch

Fractal Hammer: http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Guardian_-_Fractal_Hammer

Guides:

DnT Obal's guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBfQUMRdobo

 

Post-Specialization update Guardians still excel at Defensive Support. They have a ton of defensive skills which makes them good at protecting the group. The classics are all here untouched, reflects, stability, condi-removal, etc etc. However Guardians actually got something new to play with (other then traits that broke the game), they can now apply a bit more offensive support in the form of "Feel my Wrath" their elite shout which applies Fury and Quickness. Not much has changed in the personal damage department though, they aren't great but they aren't bad either. Overall, I'd say Guardian is in a good place. 

 

Reflects/Projectile Absorption:

Wall of Reflection, Shield of the Avenger

Your most important tool, placing these in front of a projectile spamming boss will save your team from a lot of damage.

 

Group Condition Removal:

Purging Flames, Virtues: Absolute Resolution

Purging Flames is the best Utility, eliminating 3 conditions at a time, it's also a fire field and lays a field that causes additional conditions to expire faster. Absolute Resolution is a simple trait that removes 3 conditions when you use your Resolve virtue.

 

Group Stability 

Stand your Ground, Hallowed Ground, Virtues X Indomitable Courage

Guardians practically have a monopoly on Group stability. Depending on the situation, you could need only one of these or all of them (DREDGE) so always keep them in the back of your head.

 

Group Protection

Hammer Autoattack Chain, Virtue of Courage + Virtues: Inspired Virtue

Just a minor note, with your hammer auto-attack chain's 3rd strike you can maintain 100% protection uptime for everyone around you which is the basis for the entire fractal hammer build. Also a well timed Virtue of Courage use with Inspired Virtue can take some of the heat off your team. 

 

Might:

Virtues: Inspired Virtue + Virtue of Justice, Honor: Empowering Might,

Your main source of might should be poping Virtue of courage which grants 3 might at a time. Empowering Might isn't the best and you will have to sacrifice your personal damage to grab it but it's worth mentioning because it's a little bit of passive might, 

 

Quickness + Fury

"Feel my Wrath"

Feel my Wrath was the best gift Guardian got in the specialization update. 10s Fury plus 5s Quickness on a 30 second cool down is amazing and it can be traited for an even shorter cooldown!

 

Fire Fields: 

Hallowed Ground, Purging Flames

 

Blast Finishers

Focus Skill 5, Hammer skill 2

 

Vulnerability

Radiance VI Blind Exposure

 

Aegis

Virtue of Courage, Retreat,

 

Blinds

Radiance minor adept Justice is blind, Greatsword 3, Sword 2, Focus 4

Guardians can spam a lot of random one-time blinds. This along with Aegis can negate a lot of damage even if you don't have a full blinding field.

 

 

Warrior

Update Status: Done

 

Meta Builds:

http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Warrior_-_Phalanx_Strength

 

Guides:

 

 

 

Warriors are pretty much the precise opposite of Guardians. They excel at offensive support and Personal DPS. As a Warrior you have access to the easiest way to stack a ton of might, Phalanx Strength, a trait that gives your team might for every bit of might you give yourself. This is a God-send in uncoordinated groups because you don't have to stack, or make sure the wrong field is over the fire field, just hit stuff and everyone can punch things in the face harder. Other then that amazing trait, you got a few fury sources, some unique buffs that increase allied damage and a handful tools for a little defensive support.

 

Not a lot changed in the update, I didn't even have to really change the summary. Main change is now Phalanx Strength is a much stronger build over it's "Fast Hands" counterpart making it an even stronger choice. 

 

Might

Tactics: Phalanx_Strength, For Great Justice, Battle Standard

As I noted Phalanx Strength is an amazing source of might. Look at the Phalanx_Strength build link for more info. If you lack a major source of might it's a must bring. For Great Justice is also good for a small amount of might.

 

Unique Profession Boosters

Banner of Strength, Banner of Discipline, Tactics: Empower Allies

If your playing with another warrior on the team make sure you coordinate with each other so that each of you brings one of these banners and only one of you brings Empower Allies. If your alone make sure you bring all 3 as all of them are useful.

 

Fury

For Great Justice, Battle Standard

For Great Justice is a nice source of Might but it's also the main way a Warrior can contribute Fury. 

 

Vulnerability

On my Mark! Axe Skill 2, Mace Skill 4, Arms: Rending Strikes

Your weapon skills and Rending Strikes are a good source of Vulnerability you should always be bringing, On my Mark! is something you can bring if you want even more Vulnerability.

 

Group Resurrection

Battle Standard

This elite can help a struggling team in a pinch as it can revive your entire team from downed if you use it right. 

 

Group Condition Removal

"Shake it off", Tactics: Quick Breathing

"Shake it off" is simpliest condition removal if you need something, Quick Breathing is also now a good option since all you need to do is sacrifice Empower. 

 

Blast Finishers:

Warhorn 5, All Banners, Banner Skill 5, Stomp, Longbow 3

 

Fire Field

Burst Skill Longbow

 

 

 

Thief:

Update Status: Done

 

Meta Build:

http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Thief_-_D/D_S/P_Shortbow

 

Guides: 

 

 

 

For a profession traditionally associated with loners, thieves have more support and utility then you might expect. The obvious is they've got the best access to group stealth, allowing some skips to become possible. They also have access to blinding fields and some other defensive group options that can help in a pitch. If you pair them with a Guardian, they'll have access to all the defensive options a Guardian doesn't have. Their main downside all their support mostly comes from conditions and hindering their enemies. That shouldn't diminish how important they can be to a team but it should give you an idea of how you'll be limited.

 

Stealth:

Shadow Refuge, Blinding Powder, Smoke Fields + Blast Finishers

Most of the time thieves are used for Shadow Refuge before running past a group of mobs. I've listed some other options but Shadow Refuge is probably the easiest for that job.

 

Blinding Fields:

Pistol 5, Smoke-Screen, Blinding Powder

Pistol 5 or Black Powder is the best use blinding field to use against trash mobs with the other options being useful as back-up.

 

Reflects/Projectile Absorption

SmokeScreen

Doesn't last that long but it also doubles at a blinding field. Useful when you lack reflects on other members of the team.

 

Vulnerability

Critical Strikes: Sundering Strikes, Pistol 2. 

 

Blast Finishers

Shortbow 2

 

Fury + Might

Trickery: Thrill of the Crime

If your party lacks fury and might, Thrill of the crime can provide some fury and might upon using steal.

 

Stunlock

Basilisk Venom

Worth noting that it can lock a foe for 1 and 1/2 second if you hit a foe without defiance stacks.

 

 

 

Engineer:

Update Status: Done

 

Meta Build:

http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Engineer_-_Power_Grenadier

 

Guides:

http://www.wolfineer.com/the-engineer/

DnT Guides:

Sinister Engineer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UeNcqdSJI

 

Out of everyone in the specialization update, the engineer probably gained the most. Their main selling point is that they can still stack more vulnerability then everyone else and they're still the Jack of All trades that can do everything. There's just so much you can do, blinding fields, reflect walls, condi-clear, might stack, stability, you name it, the engineer probably has it! Only problem is that the Jack of all Trades is that they are also master of none, thief can stealth easier, Guardians have better condi-clear, Warriors can might stack better. Still Engineers are a ton of fun and you can always cover when someone else on the team is slacking.

 

Vulnerability

Firearms: Heavy Armor Exploit,  Explosives: Steel-packed powder, Rifle 5

Heavy Armor Exploit is a trait that inflicts Vulnerability on critical hits, combining it with Steel-packed powder and the Grenade kit will mean you'll inflict a lot vulnerability.

 

Reflection/Projectile Absorption

Tool Belt: Toss Elixir U 

Tossing Elixir U will result either a Wall of Reflection or SmokeScreen for 12 Seconds. This is as long as a Guardian's Wall of Reflection and thus is just as useful.

 

Group Condition Removal

Tool Belt: Toss Elixir R, Tool Belt: Toss Elixir C, Elixir Gun 3

Pretty simple, you can sacrifice damage from your kits to cleanse conditions from allies. Though keep in mind Elixir Gun 3 can used to clear conditions.

 

Stealth

Bomb kit 4 (Smoke Bomb) + Blast Finishers, Toss Elixir S

While it's a bit harder to use, you can use blast finishers with the smoke field created by a smoke bomb to stack stealth in order to skip mobs similar to using a thief's shadow Refuge. You can also use Toss Elixir S for a short amount of stealth in trash runs.

 

Blast Finishers

Flamerthrower 2, Elixir Gun 4, Thumper Turret, Denotate Healing Turret, Supply Crate, Tool Belt: Orbital Strike(Motar Kit)+ Many others

There are far too many Blast finishers that Engies have access to for me to cover, but the main ones are the ones on your flamethrower and Elixir gun which you can use in damage rotations. They can greatly aid in stacking might. Also if you need a single skill for many quick blast finishers use Thumper Turret as the one skill has 3 blast finishers built it. The new Orbital strike on the Motar kit Toolbelt can give 2 extra blast finishers when traited. Finally you can detonate your healing turret for an additional blast finisher.

 

Fire Fields 

Flamethrower 4, Bomb Kit 2

 

Blinding Fields

Bomb Kit 4, Motar Kit 4

Motar kit has a built in blinding field if you need it but you can also use the good old Bomb kit for that smoke bomb as well.

 

Group Stability

Toolbelt: Toss Elixir B

It only grants 4 seconds of stability but Toss Elixir B can be a source of group stability if you don't have a Guardian (or if there are too many Dredge).

 

Stunlock

Net Turret + Supply Crate

If you combine the net turret from Supply Crate with the regular net turret you can keep a boss permanently locked in place with immobilize. You can use this to provide your team some relief if your trouble against a tough melee boss.

 

 

Ranger:

Update Status: Done

 

Meta Builds:

Power Longbow/Sword:http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Ranger_-_S/A_LB_Spotter

Condi Axe/Torch: http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Ranger_-_A/T_Condition

 

Guides:

DnT Guide: http://dtguilds.com/forum/m/6563292/viewthread/12497757-dnt-ranger-build-127-patch

 

Rangers kind of have a bad reputation but it's not really that deserved. They have access to Frost Spirit and Spotter, 2 great unique boosts to DPS, as well as couple sources of might. They can maintain permanent fury and a lot of vulnerability thanks to some new traits they got last update. However beyond their great personal DPS and good offensive support, they don't have that much in the defensive support department. Still they should be welcome in casual run group.

 

Unique Profession Boosters

Frost Spirit, Skirmishing: Spotter

This is the ranger's main strength. Frost Spirit triggers 75% of the time to give 10% bonus damage, giving an average of 7.5% more DPS. Spotter is also a nice boost to precision. You can only have one of both in each team but they're quite handy.

 

Fury

Marksmen: Clarion Bond, Red Moa, Warhorn 5

Clarion Bond makes the ranger use Warhorn 5 every time you switch pets on a seperate 30 second cooldown. Along with either a Red Moa or a Warhorn, you can maintain 100% fury uptime even without a fire field.

 

 

Vulnerability. 

Marksmen: Opening Strike, Alpha strike Remorseless. Bow 2, Axe 4, 

Opening Strike is the main source of ranger vulnerability and you can now refresh it every time you gain fury with Remorseless if you need more.

 

Might

Marksmen: Clarion Bond, Jungle Stalker, Warhorn 5

If you need more might your Jungle Stalker can help you, Also your warhorn gives a bit of extra might. 

 

Blast Finishers

Marksmen: Clarion Bond, Warhorn 5, Drake Pets

 

Fire Fields

Torch 5

 

Group Resurrection

Spirit of Nature

If your team's struggling this is an option. 

 

 

 

Elementalist:

Update Status: Done

Meta Builds:

Staff: http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Elementalist_-_Staff

Scepter: http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Elementalist_-_S/x_LH

Dagger: http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Elementalist_-_D/F

 

 

Guides:

DnT Guide: http://dtguilds.com/forum/m/6563292/viewthread/12515254-dnt-elementalist-builds

 

Not much changed for the elementalist. Staff remains the strongest DPS in the entire game however their other 2 weapon options have weakened slightly. Not enough to make them useless just enough to cement staff's dominance. Overall the Elementalist is still the king of PvE for everyone who can learn all they have to offer. It isn't all upsides though unlike the ranger and warrior they have no access to any sort of unique profession group DPS boost (unless you count the frost bow) and while they can do a lot, most professions perform better in their own niches. Some days, it feels like the elementalist's only limit is their skill level making them an amazing profession to play. 

 

 

Which weapon to use if lost:

Staff: Highest DPS in the game, least blast finishers for might and fury. Easiest to learn

Scepter: Most Blast finishers for might and fury. Can use Swirling winds for projectiles.

Dagger: Mid amount of DPS and blast finishers compared to Staff and Scepter. Can use Swirling winds for projectiles.

 

Fury
Fire Magic: Persisting Flames

Nearly every profession can stack might by blasting fire fields, Elementalists can use this trait to also grant fury when blasting fire fields. This is why Elementalists are the best might stackers, they can grant nearly perfect fury uptime while stacking might. This trait also has a nice side effect of making your fire fields last longer.

 

Blast Finishers

Lightning Hammer Auto-attack. Arcane Brilliance, Arcane Wave, See links for weapon blast finishers.

Like the engineer, we’ll be here all day if I try to list all the elementalist blast finishers for weapons, all you need to know is Scepter/Focus has the most and Staff has the least (it makes up for it in damage). Lightning hammer’s auto-attack has a blast finisher built into it, making it the best for stacking might when you use it over a fire field. Arcane Brilliance and Arcane wave are your additional blast finishers you can equip in your healing and utility slot

 

Fire Fields

In fire attunement: Staff 2, Staff 4 Dagger 3, Dagger 4, Focus 4

 

Vulnerability

Glyph of Storms (air), In water attunement: Staff 2, Dagger auto, Scepter 2. Air: Weak spot.

Your main source of Vulnerability is your Glyph of storms in air, and some from critting your targets with weak spot. You can’t maintain 25 stacks like an engineer but you can temporarily inflict a lot of Vulnerability to soften up your target. 

 

Blinding field

Glyph of Storms (earth)

Yep, Glyph of storms can also become a blinding field if the situation requires it.

 

Reflects/Projectile Absorption:

Focus 4

Focus 4 or Swirling winds is your only projectile blocker, it’s short but it covers a wide area.

 

Group condition removal

In Water Attunement: Staff 5, Dagger 5, Water: Cleansing Wave

Keep in mind, Staff 5 Healing Rain is a water field, so it will get in the way of blasting fire fields.

 

Stunlock

Frostbow 5

This is advanced but if you can land Frostbow 5 on a boss with no defiance stacks, they’ll be stunned for 5 seconds!

 

Group Resurrection

Glyph of Renewal

You can revive up to 3 allies in earth attunement, use this in water to fully heal a revived ally, teleport an ally to you in air, or use this to self revive in fire.

 

Mesmer:

Update Status: Done

 

Meta Builds:

http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Mesmer_-_S/S_/F_/P

 

Guides:

DnT Guide: http://dtguilds.com/forum/m/6563292/viewforum/4280898

 

Post-specialization update, Mesmers and Guardian overlap even more in terms of defensive support. They both still provide stability, remove conditions, reflect projectiles and give boons but now the Mesmer can provide AoE distortion similar to the Guardian's Aegis. While the Guardian now has a cool new quickness elite, Time Warp now gives slow to enemies giving mesmers the only current way of providing slow on enemies. It's not all good for the mesmer though, their main weakness is their damage just isn't the best. Still Mesmers are the masters of utility and post-update that's even stronger. They'll be even more amazing when the Chronomaster comes.

 

Mesmer Portal

Portal Entre

The mesmer's unique selling point. While it only has use outside of combat, the mesmer portal is incredibly useful in so many situations. Just drop down 2 portals and you can teleport your friends up to the top of a jumping section, to the switch that requires to 2 at the end of a electric floor puzzle or teleport your friends to the next encounter after they speed kill a boss. Whatever, this little skill is amazing and chances are you already know about it and love it.

 

Reflection/Projectile Absorption 

Feedback, Focus 5 and Focus 4 with Inspiration: Warden's Feedback

Feedback's your main source of reflection but your focus can provide 2 backup sources if you need more. 

 

Group Condition Removal

Mantra of Resolve, Null field

Mantra of Resolve is your primary condition removal tool with Null field being a nice backup if you can get your fields to stay together.

 

Quickness + Slow

Time Warp

Time Warp used to be best quickness provider in the game, that title kinda got snatched away but now it also provides slow to enemies making it much stronger then before and an amazing tool in boss fights.

 

Group Stability

Mantra of Concentration

Your only source of group stability also can break stuns on your teammates.

 

Vulnerability

Sword 1 and 3,

 

Stealth

Mass invisibility, Veil

So somehow I forgot these last time but ya, mesmers have stealth, it's somewhat short for skips but it can keep mobs off you briefly.

 

Might + Fury

Signet of Inspiration, Inspiration: Illusionary Inspiration
 

You can use these to duplicate the boons you have to the rest of the group which can aid in stacking might and fury.

 

Distortion

Inspiration: Inspiring Distortion

Thanks to this trait you can give AoE distortion for 1 second every time you gain distortion yourself. It combines well with Blurred Inscription and Signet of Midnight so you have on demand distortion on your bar.

 

Double any of the above utilities

Mimic

Mimic is a unique skill, you can instantly recharge any utility skill, can come in handy if you need double of something.

 

Nercomancer:

Update Status: Done

 

Meta Builds:

Dagger X : http://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Necromancer_-_Dagger/X

Guides:

Spoj Forum Guide: https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/professions/necromancer/Guide-DPS-Necro-for-PvE

DnT Guide: http://dtguilds.com/forum/m/6563292/viewthread/12498059-dnt-necromancer-build-127-patch

 

The Nercomancer had high hopes for this update, they desperately needed some kind of group support and for the most part that’s what they got. Nercomancer now has access to some of the best group resurrection traits in the game and now they can give group life steal. Also now they can give group might and some group protection. Unfortunately other than that and their existing wells that’s where the new stuff for Nercomancer ends, they’re still sort of waiting for the Reaper to get that hard hitting damage spec and other professions outshine them in every other area. Still being able to teleport all your dying allies to your feet and resurrect them quickly is a huge plus in struggling groups at any skill level, just don’t expect any world speedrun records to be set by them anytime soon.

 

Group Resurrection

Signet of Undeath, Blood Magic: Transfusion, Life from Death, Last Rites, Ritual of Life

The biggest thing Nerco needed in this update was some type of support unique from anyone else that's really powerful. Well here it is! This isn't going to get you a spot on the world record for anything but you can use Transfusion teleports allies to your feet and res them when you use DS4. This combined with the minor "Last Rites" which stops teammates from bleeding out makes nercomancer the best profession for resurrecting teammates who continuously fall down. Ritual of Life is a good trait to also take if your really need to keep lifting up allies. O ya and your signet is still there which can be helpful

 

Vulnerability

Focus 4, Well of Suffering, Lich form 2, Spite: Death's Embrace, Rending Shroud, Bitter Chill,  Soul Reaping: Unyielding blast

Keep in mind Well of Suffering is a dark field (as well all the other wells) so don't put it over fire fields your team is trying to blast. Your traits should also let your provide a lot of vulnerability meaning it should be easy to stack up to 25 vul on an enemy.

 

Unique Profession Boosters

Signet of Vampirism  Blood magic: Vampiric Presense  Blood Bond

Horray Nercomancer got a unique Profession booster! Life steal in general benefits rapid groups of small attacks rather then slow big attacks, this makes it boost the damage of things like Ice Bow very well. This also doubles as healing meaning, you'll maintain your allies scholar rune bonus much easier. It's definitely not the strongest damage boost but it's something.

 

Reflects/Projectile Absorption

Corrosive Poison Cloud

Now the Nercomancer has a way of deflecting projectiles. If you need one more skill to deal with projectiles, consider equiping this.

 

Blinding Fields

Well of Darkness

As I said above this is a dark field. So careful about it's placement

 

Might

Blood is Power

It's not something crazy like Phalanx Strength but 8 Might for 8 seconds for everyone in one utility is worth a look if your party is having trouble stacking might.

 

Group Condition removal

Well of Power, Plague Signet, Blood Magic: Unholy Martyr

Most professions just cure conditions, Nercomancers apply them to themselves then transfers the conditions to their enemies. You may want to also pick up plague sending if your stacking these draw condition traits to prevent you from killing yourself if you really need the condi-removal though.

 

Protection

Vampiric Rituals

You can't quite give permament protection but this is your main damage trait option if your don't need Transfusion, it's useful to keep the bonus protection in mind.

 

 

 

How the Pieces Connect Together

 

Alright so you've looked at this long guide and now know what your class is capable of. So how do you tweak both your personal and team's build to help smooth out a dungeon run? Essentially you should focus on getting your defensive support in order first, then get a primary might source, then focus on other offensive DPS boosts.

 

As an example let's take this hypothetical group who has randomly joined together:

 

2 Warriors, 1 thief, 1 ranger and 1 Engineer.

 

With the most useful things being on top this is how each member could contribute.

 

Reflects/Projectile Absorption

The Thief and engineer could bring smokescreen and Toss Elixir U to cover the team in Projectile heavy areas. 

Blinding Fields

The Thief could bring smokescreen and black powder to blind trash mobs.

Might.

One of the Warriors should bring Phalanx Strength 

Group Condition Removal

If absolutely required the Engineer could bring Toss Elixir R, Toss Elixir C, and use Elixir Gun 3 to clear conditions from allies. The Warriors could also bring "Shake it off"

Group Stability 

The Engineer could also use Toss Elixir B if stability is helpful.

Unique Profession Boosters:

One of the Warriors should bring Empower Allies and the banners to boost group DPS, The Ranger should also bring Spotter and Frost Spirit.

Vulnerability

The Engineer should be using Steel-packed powder to stack Vulnerability as well as all the other professions with their various vulnerability sources. 

Fury:

The Ranger could use a Red Moa and a Warhorn to give fury, one or both of the warriors could also help with for great justice.

Stealth:

If required a thief can use Shadow Refuge to help a group skip mobs. 

 

 

As you can see even without key defensive classes (Guardian, Mesmer) you can still cover all of your defensive skills if your teammates are willing to modify their builds. After your defense is covered, Phalanx Strength is the best source of might and overall group DPS however the additional sources of Fury, Frost spirit, Spotter and Vulnerability will mean this group will dish out a lot of damage with little effort. 

 

Also notice how everyone has something to contribute. In the grand scheme of things most of the time there's something you can do to help out your team even if it's just bringing Frost spirit or a small fury source. Always ask yourself what tool can you bring to make things easier. 

 

This is just one example and as you can imagine what's best various on group composition, individual skill and how well everyone know their class but I hope this lets you tweak aspects of your future groups to make things smoother and less frustrating. 

Edited by Light Guardian Jack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree this guide is useful for Fractals, especially levels higher than 40. In terms of dungeons, I think there shouldn't be a specific meta class just to run the dungeon. In my personal runs, I run with whatever class joins in using the LFG tool and works out pretty well if you have 2-3 very experienced players. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like it as an intro to people who aren't familiar with the mechanics and aren't sure where to start. Maybe some links (e.g. wiki link to Stability article) as well, so that it's easier to find the applicable skills? 

 

In terms of party comp/builds, I don't think that it hurts to get people familiar with what they may end up seeing pretty often in pugs but continue not to require it; people can also customize it to their play style from there - also helps "Which traits do I unlock first?". 

 

It doesn't hurt to get people to start thinking about how they can make a run easier, though, especially when everyone in a group may be new. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree this guide is useful for Fractals, especially levels higher than 40. In terms of dungeons, I think there shouldn't be a specific meta class just to run the dungeon. In my personal runs, I run with whatever class joins in using the LFG tool and works out pretty well if you have 2-3 very experienced players. 

 

When I finish writing this I'm hoping to venture outside the meta to the lesser known traitlines/skills which can cover blindspots when you say.... don't have a Guardian on your team to reflect so Swirling winds and Smokescreen suddenly become useful. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Additional resources:

 

http://dulfy.net/category/gw2/class-guides-gw2/

 

Updates are in the comments section via their respective authors

 

Which warrior build should I use?: http://i.imgur.com/qyee2Jv.png

 

http://gw2dungeons.net to have an overview of the dungeons, and profession guides and such.

 

Not sure if I agree with the flow diagram.  From what I have seen, the majority of boss fights will outlast the might stacks from Ele.  TBH, I think Phalanx strength build is completely removing the eles role of being the main source of might stacking as phalanx strength will give you 100% uptime on 25 stacks of might, whereas the eles runs out.  One warrior with two targets can sustain this indefinitely.  The question I would ask is if there are two warriors or one.  If there are two, one should run phalanx, one should run EA whilst the ele optimizes personal DPS (assuming there is an ele, which I find running pugs there often isn't).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if I agree with the flow diagram.  From what I have seen, the majority of boss fights will outlast the might stacks from Ele.  TBH, I think Phalanx strength build is completely removing the eles role of being the main source of might stacking as phalanx strength will give you 100% uptime on 25 stacks of might, whereas the eles runs out.  One warrior with two targets can sustain this indefinitely.  The question I would ask is if there are two warriors or one.  If there are two, one should run phalanx, one should run EA whilst the ele optimizes personal DPS (assuming there is an ele, which I find running pugs there often isn't).

 

I interpreted the chart as basically asking if someone else is covering the job of might stacking since Ele traditionally gets choosen as the might stacker with Lightening Hammer builds since they also stack Fury with Persisting flames. Phalanx strength's main upside is it's ease of use which is why it's best for casual runs even if you have an ele. 

 

Also the Phalanx strength build asks you to bring Empower Allies so if you have one Phalanx strength warrior the other should go personal DPS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Minor typo in the guardian/Might section:  It's Virtue of Justice not Virtue of Courage that grants 3 stacks of might.

 

I think the discussion may be as valuable as the guide in some respects.  I agree that 2 warriors almost always one is PS the other is DPS.  Not sure I've ever seen a pure EA build.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Minor typo in the guardian/Might section:  It's Virtue of Justice not Virtue of Courage that grants 3 stacks of might.

 

I think the discussion may be as valuable as the guide in some respects.  I agree that 2 warriors almost always one is PS the other is DPS.  Not sure I've ever seen a pure EA build.

 

Thanks I've corrected it

 

And I'm up to the Engineer now. I never really appreciated the vast array of stuff you can do with that class until now.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no, I started a debate.

 

 

I think the discussion may be as valuable as the guide in some respects.  I agree that 2 warriors almost always one is PS the other is DPS.  Not sure I've ever seen a pure EA build.

 

I interpreted the chart as basically asking if someone else is covering the job of might stacking since Ele traditionally gets choosen as the might stacker with Lightening Hammer builds since they also stack Fury with Persisting flames. Phalanx strength's main upside is it's ease of use which is why it's best for casual runs even if you have an ele. 

 

Also the Phalanx strength build asks you to bring Empower Allies so if you have one Phalanx strength warrior the other should go personal DPS.

 

My main issue here is with the Elementalist being the primary source of Might.  I only have about 1800 hours on ele, most of which I spent in WvW, so my dungeon ele experience is quite limited.  But as I understand it, a might stacking ele is trait/speccing specifically to provide high (but not 100%) uptime on might.  I presume this would reduce the eles overall DPS.  As I understand it, a Phalanx Strength build provides 100% uptime on might whilst trading for a small DPS loss.

 

I could be wrong.  I'm far from as experienced with dungeons as many of the people who have "designed these meta builds".  But if it were me, I would have the warrior as the primary might source and have the ele as full DPS.  I mostly bring it up because I'm not sure.  But it makes sense to me.  So I'm kind of hoping someone will vindicate, retort or correct my thinking so that I can learn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My main issue here is with the Elementalist being the primary source of Might.  I only have about 1800 hours on ele, most of which I spent in WvW, so my dungeon ele experience is quite limited.  But as I understand it, a might stacking ele is trait/speccing specifically to provide high (but not 100%) uptime on might.  I presume this would reduce the eles overall DPS.  As I understand it, a Phalanx Strength build provides 100% uptime on might whilst trading for a small DPS loss.

 

I could be wrong.  I'm far from as experienced with dungeons as many of the people who have "designed these meta builds".  But if it were me, I would have the warrior as the primary might source and have the ele as full DPS.  I mostly bring it up because I'm not sure.  But it makes sense to me.  So I'm kind of hoping someone will vindicate, retort or correct my thinking so that I can learn.

 

From my understanding, that might that's not provided by the main ele is supposed to be made up for by the other party members using blast finishers in the fire fields provided by the elementalist. Also the main advantage of why it's being used in speed runs is you can prestack might beforehand where as there's a ramp-up time with Phalanx Strength. They also provide Fury whenever they blast a fire field due to Persisting Flames which is a distinct advantage over the warrior since keeping fury up is almost as important as might. 

 

That being said, you are correct in saying 90% of random groups are better off having the Warrior run Phalanx group and the elementalist running just a staff build or something because stacking might with Phalanx is just easier, it's too easy for someone to screw up fire fields if they accidentally lay down a light field or something.

 

 

Anyways this is taking a while but I finished the Ranger and look at that, they have lots of stuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't really have to put anything for Necros...they're already limited to what really works in dungeons or fractals, to the point where if anyone plays a necro they already know what works and what they make work because they don't enjoy the other way it works >.>

 

I play fearmancer in all of PvE, so I make it work even if it sucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elementalist:

...Well for one unlike the ranger and warrior they have no access to any sort of unique profession DPS boost (unless you count the frost bow) ...

 

 

Does Arcane Lightning, that gives 150 points to ferocity not count?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does Arcane Lightning, that gives 150 points to ferocity not count?

 

For the sake of the guide, I'm only counting DPS Sources that benefit the entire group (I should probably edit and clarify this) and not personal DPS boosts since... well there's a lot that falls under that category. So basically by that metric, I'm not counting Arcane Lightning though the builds I linked do use it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thief:

...

Their main downside all their support comes from conditions and affecting the enemy so they can't give might or fury or anything to their allies. That shouldn't diminish how important they can be to a team but it should give you an idea of how you'll be limited.

 

Traited steal can boon strip (and give to allies) as well as provide might, fury and swiftness along with a whole lot of other stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Traited steal can boon strip (and give to allies) as well as provide might, fury and swiftness along with a whole lot of other stuff

 

Can you find what specific skills grant allies fury and might? I did list their main blast finisher on the shortbow but I couldn't find fury in the main meta build I looked at.

 

EDIT: Ahh wait, Thrill of the crime, there it is I'll update the guide. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, something I just learnt recently. An engineer can drop all their turrets in one spot, then quickly overcharge their fire turret before exploding all of them to suddenly stealth everyone via smoke + blast. There's generally better ways of doing so but can be nice if you need to skip and no thief

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some comments on all 8 classes based on my experiences of carrying PuG dungeons/high fractals with them and some mathematics:

 

Engineer

 

Overcharge the thumper turret. Thumper overcharge + thumper blow + Big Ol' Bomb + thumper toolbelt + cancelled elixir gun blast = 5 blasts that dump 15s (maximum) stealth on the party. Smoke field is from smoke bomb - bomb kit 4.

 

The exact same rotation can be used with an overcharged healing turret instead for instant full HP AoE heal, good for Mai Trin.

 

The max damage rotation on an engineer involves usage of the rifle, toolkit and bombkit. Your rotation should not contain any more than 2 autoattacks per cycle, and those two autoattacks should be made with the bomb kit. You can stack more vulnerability at the expense of giving up personal DPS by working grenades into the rotation, but it also takes up the last utility slot making it impossible for you to condiclear for others while still holding the healing turret's water field. Doing this correctly is the single hardest rotation of any build in all 8 classes, and doing it wrongly makes you instantly suboptimal relative to thieves, elementalists, warriors, guardians and rangers.

Max-damage engineers have the lowest survivability of any max-damage spec in all 8 classes as well.

 


Warrior

 

A PS warrior can also run permanent 25 might + fury, but it requires full runes of rage plus Battle Roar - something ONLY charr warriors can do.

 

Also, if specced for max boon duration, a S/F elementalist can run permanent 25 might + fury if nobody overwrites the fire field, while dealing damage through Lightning Hammer. It's the highest DPS spec available for the ele - it's just not usually advocated for meta as it's much harder to do than rotating 2-1-1-1-2-1-1-1 on the staff.

 

Max personal DPS is also done with Axe/Mace ONLY. Swapping greatsword into the rotation makes it compulsory to take the weaponswap trait - which makes it impossible to take both berserker's power AND dual-wield agility - and the greatsword's rotation not only has a lower power average multiplier than the axe part of the rotation, but also does not benefit from the traits that boosts the axe rotation, such as Axe Mastery and Dual Wielding. The meta build has been wrong for months and the only change I've seen is that people have decided to swap berserker's power for dual-wield agility - but it's still wrong. 

 

It's trivial to see the damage loss from the numbers - under perfect conditions the max dps from the GS is 5.31+2.68 = 7.99 power mult in 5 seconds (1.6 m/s) on a 1100 attack weapon. AA and GS4 are worse at sub-1 multiplier per second values, while Rush is really bad at 0.85 m/s. It's lower in practice if WWA doesn't hit all the time as a target is not walled, or if a target walks away from your 100b.

 

In comparison, the axe autoattack multiplier per second value is already 1.72 on a 1000 damage weapon - which before traiting might be comparable, but benefits from +5% dps in DW, +10% dps in DWA and 5% dps with axe mastery - while greatsword mode in meta trait spec benefits only from slashing power for 10% - and since it's the AA chain, can sustain this indefinitely - without any walling reqs, and allowing you to attack while moving.

Forceful greatsword used in conjunction with a PS warrior or SFLH elementalist also reduces your damage per second, as their longer duration PS, FGJ and fire blast Mights are overwritten by your short-duration FG mights, which makes your might stack not maintain at 25, while anyone not taking the trait actually has greater 25 uptime.

 

The DPS build you linked for the war is a holdout from the pre-nerf era when 100b actually did more damage. Now, the greatsword is something really only useful for mightstacking in PS builds, and for mobility between fights - it's not something you actually want to swap to in the middle of combat anymore.

 


Guardian

 

Light field whirling is an AoE condition clear as well - one of the cases where having a light field is better than a fire field (in most others, fire is better). Guardians should know how to exploit this with the greatsword 4-2 combination. Warriors may also carry an additional offhand axe to do this in conjunction with a guardian on condition-heavy bosses.

 

Guardians should not take Empowering Might in a party containing a mightstacker for the same reason Warriors should not take Forceful Greatsword. It looks good on paper or when you're soloing, but in a party context, you overwrite long-duration might from blast finishers/FGJ with a short-duration might. It's an option that's good to have if you see your might never breach the 18 stack mark, but if your elementalist/PS warrior is doing his job properly, you'll want to take something else entirely.

 

Also note that the moment Virtue of Courage is refreshed by coming off cooldown, it drops AoE aegis. If you're using Renewed Focus as an invuln after already having used VoC, the act of renewing all Virtues at the end of Renewed Focus also drops AoE aegis. Timing this well gives you another reliable party AoE aegis to use.

 


Thief

 

All thieves must memorise the fact that stealth can never exceed 15 seconds. Practically speaking, the long stealth applications give 13 seconds each (3-5-7-9-11-13 over 6 seconds), while the short stealth application gives 7 seconds (3-5-7). Long stealth is achieved with either Smoke Screen + 6 SB blasts or with Shadow Refuge. Leaving shadow refuge forcibly destealths you, and it has a longer cooldown, but it can be used in the middle of enemy mobs. Smoke screen blasting can be used more often and its stealth cannot be removed by running early, but it cannot be used in a hostile area as blasting an enemy would destealth you. For this cause, smoke screen is always your PRIMARY AoE long-stealth, while Shadow Refuge is your backup, not the other way around.

Short stealth is achieved with Black Powder (pistol 5), followed by weaponswap and 3 shortbow blasts.

 

The fastest stealth runs over long duration involve balancing your cooldowns with your initiative and mixing both long stealths and short stealths, using SS in clear areas and SR in areas with mobs.

 

Also, shortbow skill 2 does 2/3 maximum damage when it hits the ground, relative to detonating an airburst with all 5 clusters hitting the target. Against stationary/slow-moving/large targets at range, you'll want to airburst instead. Airbursting also stacks 5 bleeds instead of only 1, but lacks the blast finisher (which you don't need at range). Finally, since it hits 5 times, it removes 5 shield stacks - something paramount for Volcanic fractal, when the final boss needs to be deshielded at the 75%, 50% and 25% HP marks. Doing this properly is a thief's job.

 

Shadowstep is worth a mention for being a 1200 u teleport skill - which is very important for both swamp and Thaumanova fractals. You are tied with elementalists for #1 class for doing the heat room in conjunction with a mesmer's blink-portal, and both are able to teleport/mistform into the final room even when downed, slowly res before activating both consoles solo with a condi clear/teleport.

SB 5 is worth a mention for being a way to activate all three consoles solo at the Uncategorised Fractal at the top of the guitar hero section, as well as in the Aetherblade Fractal at the laser wall section.

 

I wrote separately in a thief guide about this, but SP pistol whip thieves are also the highest aggro generator on a single mob in the game (2nd highest for large groups behind an elementalist using Meteor Shower), so they have the task of holding aggro and nullifying all single-target attacks with evades. Ergo, thieves are evade-tanks.

 


Ranger

 

The ranger's max DPS option is actually in a condition build, but unfortunately due to capping, you can only have one condition build per party. It's also worth mentioning that the ranger's water field can be used as one of the best sources of AoE healing when blasted. Engineers can do a similar thing but their turret is destructible while the ranger's field is not, and while staff elementalists have 2 water fields, it's not useable if for some reason you have no access to weapon skills (e.g. holding the hammer in Cliffside fractal).

Regardless of in condition or power modes, most rangers are very badly played. The class isn't actually that bad, but most of its users are, so you will have to expect and deal with negativity from other players until you prove yourself.

 


Elementalist

 

Note that the Flame Axe, while very heavily hated on by most players for having no understanding of how it works, is a sceptre elementalist's highest ranged dps option after the burst skills (dragon tooth, magnetic wave etc) have all been used due to how low the autoattack multipliers are for sceptre's autoattacks. You will be using the lightning hammer almost all the time, but in specific instances when meleeing is unadvisable or impossible, FA is the sceptre ele's ranged option. Frost Bow on the other hand does very high AoE damage and its 5th skill is useful for the longest CC in the game, but its sustained damage is laughably bad - so while it's good to use it in a Staff build for burst damage before going back to the 2-1-1-1 rotation, it's bad to use it in the sceptre ele unless the frost bow's burst kills all targets, or unless your target is very large and will take all of FB4's hits (e.g. Tequatl).

 

Dagger elementalists provide less utility/mightstacking support than sceptre elementalists and less healing/AoE spike than staff elementalists, while having less damage per second, less might blasts and less blinds than the Lightning Hammer conjuration. I would not recommend them for anything other than PvP scenarios, where their mobility is a significant advantage.

 


Mesmer

 

All of the Glamours except the portal, Staff 5 (which you probably shouldn't be carrying) and Time Warp are all Ethereal fields - and except the thief's random Gunk-steal skill and Necro's limited Spectral Wall, are also the only sources of this field in the game. What's worth noting is that both projectile finishers and whirl finishers (guardian GS2, warrior axe 5, GS 3, ranger axe 5, mesmer focus 5, greatsword 4) are capable of proccing AoE confusion within these fields - so by chaining the ethereal fields, you can dump unholy amounts of confusion on a target that literally make it kill itself, in addition to the 'main' effects you use the skills for. This is of extreme utility against targets that hit very often (harpies on rapidfire mode, Old Tom etc), but is somewhat useless against targets that hit once every 10 years for very high damage. In any case, try to chain fields. Never overlap two ethereal field generators unless you REALLY have to.

 

Phantasmal Defender is worth a mention for stacking with Protection (Guard's job) and Weakness (Thief/Necromancer's job) that can turn one-hit skills into survivable ones.

 


Necromancer

 

It's already been mentioned, but Necromancers that time/place their Dark fields badly are the worst kind of sabotage in group situations given how dark fields are generally the most useless field in the entire game, with the exception of exploiting projectile finishers through it to Lifesteal invulnerable targets to cheese mechanics. For instance, this technique is the only way to save an Amber wurm that does not have enough time to finish another swallow phase. Because of this, either know exactly when and where to place your Wells, or don't use Wells entirely.

 

Minions are also generally bad because AI in general is bad - they'll tend to get themselves killed or attract extra AoEs on them, are uncontrollable unlike ranger pets, and undetonateable unlike mesmer clones. Please don't take any of these.

 

The Plague Signet is one of the most important skills in a dungeon Necromancer's toolkit, and when used in conjunction with Dagger 4 or Staff 4, can constantly redirect conditions from your allies onto your target. This is essentially your main support - you are the best condition clearer in existence, bar none. You have no way of helping with projectiles, your boons generally can never be shared with anyone else, so you have to do the condition redirection job well.

In terms of damage support, your job is to keep Poison constantly active on targets so their intrinsic regen/healing summons are less effective - the healing you prevent will be more significant in many cases than the actual damage you do.

 

In terms of survivability support, your job is to keep Weakness constantly active on the hardest hitting targets, and Epidemic-spread them when necessary to debuff a whole group.

 

Because of the ways a Necromancer's support functions are done, Necromancers are most effective when specced in full condition builds of either the Rabid or Sinister variety. Since conditions cap at 25 at max, there can never be more than one condition user per party - and unlike Rangers, Necromancers have no viable direct damage build -  the power build revolving around Life Blast and dagger mainhand is a good 25-40% less DPS than any other power build of any other class. Because of this, any party containing 2 necromancers is lacking by default - because either both are condition-specced, which makes one a calefare, or at least one is power-specced, which makes it a liability relative to any other class.

 

Good condition necromancers are even rarer than good rangers of either type, making necromancers the #1 most kicked class in both dungeons and fractals - as the above support functions are already limited, and yet most players don't even do these.

If you are intending to dungeon in a necro, please spec it for conditions, and please have at least one other class you can switch to, or you're going to have a bad time.

 

P.S. In theory, it's better to have a mightstacking elementalist and a full DPS warrior, because warriors have to lose DPS to stack might - while the max DPS build for an elementalist is ALSO its mightstacking build (SFLH). In practice, most players don't stack might properly, don't trait properly or don't gear properly (or get downed all the time), so having a PS warrior + Staff ele instead becomes more effective in PuGs than a DPS warrior and a nonfunctional ele.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Communication

This is the core of teamwork, and teamwork is the core of success in cooperative content. This is less necessary for groups that play together all the time as they already know what the other players are going to do half the time without having to say it. It's more necessary for PuGs who have no idea what other PuGs are doing - and while some of the very best players are actually PuGs, they're not going to make good teams unless they work together.

While ingame Party VoIP would be optimal, in the absence of that, the most important tool in your kit is the Ctrl key. Ctrl has various utilities:

1. Holding it down makes all objects appear with yellow words. This can be useful to see what people have dropped/what objects are up ahead.

2. Ctrl-left clicking a target marks the target.

3. Ctrl T also marks a target by default.

4. Ctrl-left clicking a waypoint links the waypoint.

5. Ctrl-left clicking your skillbar links the skill you clicked.

6. Ctrl-right clicking your autoattack skill turns off autoattack.

7. Ctrl-left clicking a condition or boon links its name.

The good thing is that unlike normal chat which requires pressing enter, typing and enter again (which can screw you over if you forget to press the second enter and end up typing wwwwwwwww132312wwwwwwwwwww before dying), ctrl click instantly drops the text, so you can do this in the middle of a fight with no issues.

If you link what skill you're going to use before you use it, it'll make for much more efficient teamwork. You don't need to link EVERYTHING, only the things which other players must know you're doing. For instance:

1. Thieves should ctrl-click black powder, smoke screen and shadow refuge before using them for stealth so players know a stealthrun is happening, that they should stack, and to know how long the stealth will last for.

2. Guardians, mesmers, thieves, rangers and elementalists should ctrl-click their reflection skill before using it. If done correctly a PuG group can chain reflects, rather than all dropping them at the same time. Warriorflect and engiflect are not common in dungeons.

3. If a boss drops a 17 stack bleed on the party and you don't have a AoE condiclear to use, link the bleeding stack to 'ask' for a cleanse.

4. If an elementalist is going to attempt to open a fight with Frost Bow 5, ze should link the Conjure Frost Bow skill to signal to all other players to keep CC off until the frost bow's attack procs.

5. If any character is using a 1200u pull, ze should link it before using it so a pull is not interrupted by another pull.

6. A SP thief clearing defiance for an FB elementalist should link the last stack of defiance to signal to the ele to use Frost Bow 5 immediately after that stack disappears.

7. When more than one warrior is in the party, they should link their banners prior to the start of the dungeon to avoid duplicating banners. Normally you want only Discipline and Strength - all other banners should be converted to signets instead.

8. Any class dropping a specific field of importance to other players should link the field generator. For instance, link Flamewall before mightstacking so people know to blast your fire field, link Static Field before dropping it on an NPC so people know to blast it for area swiftness.

In some exceptional cases like doing tutorial runs (in which everything has to be explained by text) or activation of several objects in the world at the same time (in which a countdown is necessary), you'll want to use text. In most other cases try to keep typing to a minimum to avoid wwwwwwwwwwww11132www situations.


Combo fields and finishers

The first thing to say about fields is that the most recent field placed from the server's perspective will be the field used for a finisher if two fields overlap. Low-ping Guardians have been known to annoy everyone in general by placing light symbols on top of elementalists' fire fields at the start of a stack fight, or placing their light field over a stealthblasting thief, forcing everyone to wait for cooldown to drop.

There are several combinations you can use - one per field type and finisher, but these are the most important ones you should know. The other types are somewhat less useful. In descending order of field importance in a fight:

1. Fire field + blast finisher = Area Might

2. Water field + blast/leap finisher = Area Healing/Healing

3. Light field + whirl/projectile finisher = Area Condition Cleanse/Condition Cleanse

4. Ethereal field + whirl/projectile finisher = Area Confusion/Confusion

5. Light field + leap finisher = Light Aura

6. Lightning field + leap finisher = Daze

7. Poison field + blast/leap finisher = Area Weakness/Weakness

8. Lightning field + whirl finisher = Area Vulnerability

9. Lightning field + blast finisher = Area Swiftness

10. Smoke field + blast/leap finisher = Area Stealth/Stealth

In descending importance during movement (between fights)

1. Smoke field + blast finisher = Area Stealth

2. Lightning field + blast finisher = Area Swiftness

No other fields should ever be used for movement.

If you need a field's utility skill (but not the field itself), drop it early, so that the new skill user's field overwrites your field. When in doubt, don't drop a field that isn't Fire.

If someone placed a field badly, move your finisher's location to the non-overlapped area of the field you need. This doesn't always apply as a large light field can overwrite everything (ahem guardians), but in the case of a badly timed smoke field for instance, you can still blast stealth by aiming the blast finisher at the protruding part of the fire field.


The Ideal Party

Assuming that everyone knows exactly what they're doing, have specced their gear for high damage per second and carry the traits/utilities needed for support, the 'most viable' party composition and their roles in addition to personal DPS goes as follows:

1. Guardian [Role: Reflects, AoE null w/ Aegis, Condition Clear, Protection, Projectile Reflection, Swiftness, AoE pull, Light field source]

2. Thief [Role: AoE Blind, AoE Stealth, Defiance Clear, Single 1200u Pull, Projectile Null, Boss Single-target null w/ Evade-tanking, Vuln-maintenance, Vuln-spike w/ Mace, Condition Clear]

3. Warrior [Role: Vengbanner in case of whole party down, Disc/Power Banner(s), Vuln-maintenance, Vuln-burst, AoE fury, Whirl finisher source, PSEA for AoE Might/Power]

4. Elementalist [Role: AoE Blind w/ LH, Frost Bow Summoner, Fire field source, AoE might, AoE fury, Projectile Null, Water field source, Lightning field source, Condition Clear]

5. Ranger [Role: Vuln-spike w/ Opening Strike, Frost spirit source, Spotter source, Water field source, Projectile Null, Spirit of nature source (3-member revive, AoE heal plus condiclear utility, Condition Clear)

The general rotation will be:

Start of dungeon

Look at signets or ask questions to determine the general builds all other party members are using so you know what is needed, and what has redundancy. Warrior banner deconflicting and deciding between DPS warrior + SFLH ele or PSEA warrior + Staff/FB ele are some of the more important things to settle. Non-optimal party compositions may also be using this time to retrait. Use the for the dungeon and some source of food that helps your build. If in doubt, Dragonfly Cupcakes raise your power, and pays for themselves with the additional XP given/magic find boost. All potions except Undead slaying also always pay for themselves in additional XP given, in addition to the faster dungeon completion rates. A dual-consumable buffed character is far stronger than the difference between full exotic and full ascended - and if all 5 members take both consumable types, it's statistically equivalent to starting the dungeon with 6 members instead of 5.

Fight initiation

Thief starts off with mob aggro by kiting the mobs to the stack spot, the elementalist to place a fire field blasted by everyone's Blast finishers (including warriors dropping their banners into the fire field), the ranger summoning Frost spirit, the guardian to place a wall of reflection together with the thief's black powder once mobs reach the stack, the ranger to use Opening Strike and warrior to use Mace 4 on the highest HP target and then everyone to use their max dps bursts to clear off all the 'trash' mobs.

Sustained DPS phase

All members sustain might and vulnerability. AoE direct damage is avoided with dodges, Single-target damage is evade-tanked by the thief, Projectiles are reflected/nulled, Conditions are cleared with AoE condicleanses and Guardian Aegis helps if any of the earlier fail for some reason. Healing Spring off cooldown, Guardian Virtue/Symbol/Aegis/Dodge heals and Elementalist water-attunement bonuses should be capable of outhealing any damage that gets through anyway.

Panic phase

This will not happen if the Sustained DPS phase is done correctly. It starts if at least one party member goes below 20% HP, or down. If it's a single member, all party members should be ready to spam manual resurrection on the stack the moment the member goes down. If half the party goes below 50% HP, all water fields should go down, everyone should attempt to blast them, and the ranger should summon the Spirit of nature. If the ranger is about to go down or if 2+ members already go down, the Spirit of nature's activated skill should be used (if the timing is correct a ranger can resurrect hirself with that skill). If Spirit of nature fails, and 2+ members are still down, the warrior should drop Battle Standard. If the warrior is one of the multiple members downed, ze should use Vengeance followed immediately by Battle Standard for a suicidal party resurrection as a last resort.

This is used to guarantee a party can survive anything while still having very high DPS. You can get faster speed records by using 2x FB/staff ele 2x thief 1x PSEA warrior as its burst DPS is significantly greater, but that same composition will also be vulnerable to wiping if any small thing goes wrong as they lack a lot of the sustain options available if other classes are mixed in.

The vast majority of party makeups won't be 'optimal', but they do not have to be, either. Knowing what an optimal party might do might allow you to consider changing utility skills or weapon sets in order to bring your party closer to an optimal outcome. Some warriors who know their party has no sustain (say, warriors in warrior-thief-mesmer only parties) may choose to respec to shoutheal builds instead of going full-damage, for instance, while in parties with limited condition clear (say, 4 warriors and 1 guardian) under normal circumstances, warriors may take Shake it off instead, even though it's not standard for DPS builds. If there is no guardian and no elementalist, a ranger may suddenly become the main source of burning, and might opt for a torch offhand plus flame trap plus Sun spirit to upkeep permanent burning for greater overall DPS. If a thief is not present and a stealthrun is necessary, an engineer may add a Thumper turret to the skillbar even though it's not used in triple kit builds. If a mesmer is the only source of projectile 'reflection' in a dungeon and reflection helps a lot against a particular boss (Jotun Stargazer of Arah p1 and Wahlen of CM p3 come to mind), the mesmer may trait for Warden's Feedback even if using a direct-damage build.


How to kill your party

This serves as a 'what-not-to-do' guide:

  • Join a run asking for full glass builds in full nomad's, join a run asking for experienced members when you have never run the dungeon before, pretend to know what to do when you don't, join a run asking for only level 80s when you're level 55, complain about people taking too long to teach in a run marked on LFG as a tutorial run. It's just rude.
  • Overwrite fire/smoke fields with light fields or worse, dark fields.
  • Make personal attacks. There's a difference between suggesting that someone might do better if a utility skill was swapped for another for a certain boss before the fight - and calling someone a hopeless noob *after* a wipe has already happened. Negative PuG dungeon experiences is the main reason why some people avoid dungeons entirely. If fewer people play dungeons, you have fewer people to party with, and your wait times in LFG go up. In the long run it's beneficial for you to improve the dungeon community rather than attempting to flame people into leaving it.
  • Leave downed players on the ground when a boss is known to use instant-kill AoEs.
  • Insist on maximum personal DPS builds for every member without taking into consideration the overall party structure. 5 DPS warriors is significantly inferior to 4 DPS + 1 PSEA warrior.
  • Drop a reflection field when there is already a reflection field active.
  • Use Battle Standard when nobody is downed.
  • Use crowd-control skills blindly.
  • Dodge incessantly when your HP is low without looking at mob animations.
  • Use AoE healing skills when your HP is 20%, if you could have used it much earlier. Heal per second is determined by healing/cooldown, and sustain is significantly reduced if you artificially inflate your cooldown.
  • Spam autoattacks against a target known to use confusion. Ctrl-rightclick your autoattack skill prior to engaging bosses that use confusion to maintain control, and reactivate it after. The Aetherblade fractal golems (in the laser room) and ACp3's Howling King are especially bad with this.
  • Spam projectile autoattacks against a target with projectile reflection skills. This is most common with CMp3's centaur final boss. Use a melee weapon, use a non-projectile based ranged attack, or turn off autoattack with Ctrl-rightclick.
  • Don't join a run in your Necromancer if there is already another Necromancer in the party. List a separate LFG instance, or swap to another character.

When to leave a party

The list is pretty short.

  • When the party wipes on an easy boss early, and you know that later fights are more difficult. For instance, a party that cannot survive the first instance of Subject Alpha in CoE will repeatedly wipe later. You COULD solo Alpha 3 times. Or you could complete the dungeon from scratch in another party in half the time. If you stay, the dungeon may take 90 minutes, after which the dungeon is finally completed - but it wouldn't even matter from the perspective of 'helping' people, because players tend to ragequit after wiping too many times.
  • When at least 3 of the other members in the party are in the same guild, or if the most stubborn member in the party has a high Achievement Point count. PuGs, particularly new ones, are more liable to listen to suggestions and cooperate. With very few exceptions, players do not fail because their personal skill level is low or because their experience level is low. They generally fail because they refuse to learn. Incidentally, 3 is also the required limit for kicking someone from a dungeon. There is a non-zero chance that players in a badly performing dungeon may kick who they feel is the liability for the dungeon at the very end of the dungeon before loot is accorded - and players in a guild never blame 'their own people'. The shoutheal warrior that kept everyone alive may very well be kicked for 'not running max DPS' in such situations, so be wary.
Just leave. Don't drop any friendly advice, because prideful players will interpret it as an insult/blaming them for a failure, hate you, and still refuse to change anyway. Just type /leave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Combo fields and finishers

 

6. Lightning field + leap/whirl finisher = Stun

8. Light field + blast finisher = Area Vulnerability

 

While you've largely listed everything correctly these are off: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Combo

 

Lightning field + Leap is a Daze while Whirl is Vulnerability bolts

 

Light field + blast finisher is Area Retaliation, which is the main reason people get mad at Guardians dropping light fields when we're stacking might....

 

 

 Quick note on Conditions vs Power in PvE. The short answer everyone gives is that power always better than condition damage. The Long answer is that Condition damage has several disadvantages that make them worse than power most of the time.

  1. Condi-cap limits them. HoT seems to be addressing this but thanks for the condition damage cap, almost all condition damage is capped partywide when you hit max bleed stacks.
  2. Monster Toughness. Most PvE creatures have high amounts of vitality but poor toughness. There are a couple of notable exceptions like Lupiculus but mostly Monster toughness is low enough to favor power.
  3. Certain damage boosts only favor power. Alright so did you note all the ways in my guide we could do a % damage increase with stuff like frost spirit? A few of those don’t help condition damage users. This isn’t that big of a deal since Might increases Condi-damage and that’s your main way to boost damage and precision does help condi-users with their X condition on crit traits but it’s something to keep in mind.

 

Overall in a casual group these disadvantages are smoothed over especailly if you only have one condi-user. At the end of the day choosing to deal through conditions is just affecting your personal damage, it won't affect your team support very much which is more important when your not speedrunning.

 

I actually know of a couple DnT Condi-guys for Warrior, Engineer and Nercomancer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, something I just learnt recently. An engineer can drop all their turrets in one spot, then quickly overcharge their fire turret before exploding all of them to suddenly stealth everyone via smoke + blast. There's generally better ways of doing so but can be nice if you need to skip and no thief

Oh yes. I find it helpful in certain areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.