Let’s think of this in more practical terms, a guardian can rush into battle with a mace and shield, attack their enemies with their auto-attack, which is a three part chain, but can also throw a symbol on the ground that grants regeneration, and shield themselves and allies from attacks. This is their defensive build, but by using weapon switching (the ability to switch between two sets of weapons), they can switch over to a two-handed hammer, which grants them hard hitting attacks, immobilize, and Ring of Warding which allows them to control enemy movement.
So the different builds allow them to play defensively, offensively, or as a support, like every other profession can, but the majority of their abilities do focus on defense and support, which makes them, again, an excellent point defend in structured PvP, someone to absorb damage for others in a dungeon, and a great ally to have on the field. Just remember, that unlike other MMOs, GW2 does not require a guardian or warrior to be in a group for it to be successful.
The guardian is a profession that plays defensively, but doesn’t lack in offense. Guild Wars 2 doesn’t feature the “holy trinity” of tank, healer, and damage, but instead each profession is self-sufficient. When it comes to the guardian, they are at their best while defending, but that doesn’t necessitate their lack of offense or support. There is a lot of comparison in the profession to the warrior, who is also very “tanky,” but again, Guild Wars 2 requires some relearning to understand what “tanky” means.
Guardian Quick Facts
- One of GW2’s two Soldier professions.
- Able to wear Heavy armor.
- Uses Virtues to provide a passive benefit or they can be activated to apply the benefit to nearby allies.
- One of the best professions to support and defend, can help protect siege weapons, defend control points, and block movement through choke points.
Guardian Themes and Combat Roles
It’s important to understand the fundamental mechanics of the game before one decides that the guardian is or is not the profession for them. While the guardian is similar to a tank or healer, it isn’t one. Nor is it a hybrid. It’s a profession like any other, but instead focuses more on defensive and support magic. Any profession in the game can tank or heal, as each profession has a vast array of defensive and support options, but the guardian simply has more.
There are no taunts in GW2, so by that account, gaining the attention of an enemy requires control. No profession in the game is durable enough to withstand constant damage, especially from difficult enemies, which makes tanking impossible in the traditional sense. Tanking is more about controlling the enemy with cripple, using wards to limit movement (a guardian exclusive), making sure everyone understands the necessity to avoid damage, and AoE skills to deter enemy movement.