Tips for New Players: The Five Basic Roles
Everyone within a five man PvP team has a job to do, and everyone knowing what their job is and carrying it out correctly is one of the many keys to success. This article is going to cover the five general roles that you can fill, will discuss what is expected of them, and what they need in a build. It is important to bear in mind that a five man team may not just have one player for each of these roles, and in fact may decide it’s best to have two of a particular role, or someone who fills more than one. Also remember that these are the five basic roles, therefore higher tier play may feature more roles, and more players and builds that accomplish more than one within a match.
1 Near Point Defender
The job of the near point defender is to make sure that their near point stays in their control. However, don’t mistake this as a need to stand on the point without rotating anywhere else during the game. This just means that the near point should be the focus of their rotations, and that you should be the one to move there quickly if it’s being contested. This also means that mobility is key for a near point defender, as they need to be able to quickly rotate to the point and defend, whether this mobility comes from movement skills or high swiftness uptime. It is also key to have good 1v1 capability, as it will often only be one person contesting your point, however, this capability should not come from burst as they should have strong sustainability and a constant, steady damage output. Finally, they need to be able to at least survive a 2v1 or even 3v1 until support arrives from other teammates rotating to the point. It’s important to stress again, that someone in this role should not just stand on the near point, as it puts their team at a disadvantage since the enemy can ignore you and play 5v4 on the other two points and secondary objectives.
Currently, the best near point defenders are elementalists, warriors, and engineers.
2 Team Fight Support
A team fight supporter is very similar to a near point defender, and requires high survivability and preferably some steady damage output, but will generally have less mobility and a higher focus on boons and condition clear for themselves and teammates. A good amount of team fights will happen at the middle point but can often times move over to side points. Team support generally wants to stick with the team in these scenarios rather than roaming and getting themselves into 1v1 situations. Staying on a point in a fight is important to either attempt to decap, to stop the enemy from decapping you, and if possible, they should attempt to get the enemy to focus them as they typically have higher survivability in that their health pools are generally larger as well as higher toughness than that of your team’s damage dealers.
The best team fight support classes at the moment are elementalist and warriors. Engineers, guardians, and rangers can make a stand for their own but generally aren’t sought out as point holders in the current meta.
3 Team Fight Damage
The job of this role is to keep heavy damage pressure during a team fight, be it in an AoE or high single target burst. The rotations for this position don’t compare to any other as each burst class has their own source of mobility, or lack thereof. Coordinating portals and group rotations is essential to making the most out of what your team has at your availability. Within team fights damage dealers should move to avoid the enemy’s burst and position themselves to be able to kill the enemy first. This may all seem obvious but when caught in the heat of the moment positioning can be fatal. Saving dodges and heals for the right moments is key, but something that’s hard to teach in an article as it requires practice, situational awareness, and a knowledge about when it is important to avoid enemies abilities.
Strong classes and builds for this role are meditation guardian, celestial rifle engineer, power ranger, shatter mesmer, panic strike thief, and power necromancer. There are plenty of other builds available but I listed a few of the popular ones.
This role is possibly the hardest to define and teach in this format. The roamers job is to be active all over the map, decapping points, intercepting and distracting the enemy players and reacting quickly to support at fights. A roamer needs to have an incredibly high level of map awareness as well as knowing when you need to disengage. Communication is also key as a roamer is going to be the one to know where enemies are moving and relaying that information to their team is imperative to your team matching numbers across the map. The most important features of a roaming build are high mobility, 1v1 capability, and easy disengage to leave a fight if it is not going your way.
Currently, top roaming classes include elementalists, engineer, and thief. Warriors can make a stand with shoutbow but lack vertical movement which can make abilities such as lightning flash, blink, shadowstep, and infiltrator’s arrow hard counters to making it back to a point on certain maps.
5 Far Point Attacker
The far point attacker will generally go to the far point as part of the initial split and will continue to harass it throughout the match. This role is often filled by the roamer as builds for each role generally need the same things: mobility, 1v1 capability and easy disengage. However, it’s advisable that far point attackers have survivability or sustain to survive a 2v1 and decap for as long as possible. Mathematically, decapping a point, and fighting 2v1 for 10 seconds (although it’s likely it will be significantly more time that that) before you die is depriving the enemy team of approximately 7 points, as well as distracting 2 of the enemy players and leaving your team in an advantageous 4v3 position. This role can be risky within a team as it can leave a team in a 4v5 position; as such it is often filled by the roamer.
As well as the standard roamer builds, a strong build for a far point attacker is elementalist, engineer, thief, and warrior.
A five man team composition, as I said earlier, does not need one of each of these roles; often a far point attacker and a roamer will be the same thing. A near point defender will just be a slightly more mobile team fight support, or at really high levels there will be different roles that I haven’t covered. These are definitely the most basic roles and what you play and what works for your team is somewhat of a personal preference. Take this as a general guideline, not a rigid structure and see what role fits your playstyle the most!
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