Tips for New Players: Choosing A Class

One of the most frequently asked questions about Guild Wars 2 in general (espically it’s now free to play), and not just sPvP, is “what profession should I play?” In this article, we’re going to go way back to basics and give an over view of each profession, their play style and place in sPvP currently.

Soldier Professions – Heavy Armour

Warrior

Warriors have a place in sPvP as high physical damage dealers, using high damage weapons like greatsword, along with weapons high in control and aoe pressure such as hammer and longbow, to lock down opponents and deal high damage during that time. Their unique profession mechanic is “adrenaline” which builds up as you take or deal damage, which can be used to activate a “burst skill”, which usually offer heavy damage or cc. Damage builds do partially rely on an elite skill, “rampage”, for a lot of their big team fight impact through large damage and control, but are still a strong profession without it. They also have a strong support build using a longbow, sword and warhorn known as shoutbow, which is an effective teamfight tank and support. For sPvP you should choose warrior if you enjoy a simple, in your face, high damage play style, as well as a good option for a team support play style.

Guardian

Guardians are currently the masters of support, but also have many tools at their disposal to deal heavy damage if they wish. Currently they are usually played with a “bunker” build, offering a lot of tanking ability and team support in fights, with a lot of healing, boon application and easy revivals. If this play style doesn’t appeal to you, guardians can be viable using high physical damage builds, or more commonly using condition damage to burst people down with the burning condition. The guardians unique mechanic is “virtues,” 3 skills which add to both offensive and defensive capability, through burn damage, blocks and health regeneration. Currently you should use guardian in sPvP if you enjoy being incredibly survivable with a focus on team support, but want options for other, arguably less effective, high damage builds to play for fun.

Adventurer Professions – Medium Armour

Thief

Thieves are the quintessential assassin profession. They specialise in using stealth to set up high damage bursts, secure kills and fights, and stealth again to disengage. If you enjoy being hard to pin down and kill, and having high damage bursts then thief is the right profession. While thieves may have been weakened slightly in the specialisations patch (for example they no longer hard counter mesmers, it’s more the other way round), they are still incredibly useful in every team, if anything for their potential for team play with stealth, and mobility, making it easy to get free decaps on enemy points.  The thief’s unique mechanics are twofold. Their first is initiative, a resource they use for weapon skills, similar to mana in other games each weapon skill has an initiative cost, but no cooldown, making them spam able to a point, and giving the thief a very fast paced play style. The thief also has “steal” which teleports them to an enemy and gives them a skill depending on the profession they steal from. You should play thief in sPvP if you enjoy high mobility and high burst damage, and being strong in 1v1s.

Ranger

The ranger is a profession, which may currently be weak, but has a versatile skill set and can fill a lot of roles. The first common play style is high physical damage using a longbow and a greatsword, which can be a powerful tool when played correctly in a team fight. The second is a wide variety of condition damage builds, from the slower, tankier style, to burst condition damage using trap skills and crowd control. The ranger’s unique mechanic is pets, which give them extra skills and damage to work with (damage is split between the ranger and the pet), and through some specialisations pets can be an incredibly powerful tool for damage and lockdown. In sPvP you should play ranger if you like the purely thematic idea, or gameplay styles of strong damage from long range (but relative weakness up close), or good 1v1 capability through condition damage builds.

Engineer

Engineers utilise tools and gadgets to give a wide variety of physical damage, condition damage, and potential for team support. A large part of their utility is their “weapons kits” which are skills such as, “tool kit,” “grenade kit,” and “flamethrower kit” which replace your weapon skills and can be toggled on or off with no cooldown. These give the engineer a large skill set to work with, and makes up for their lack of 2 weapon sets. As their unique mechanic, they get 5 extra skills based on their utilities, called tool belt skills, which again adds to the utility they have. Engineer played well is a strong 1v1 and team fight class. You should play the engineer if you want to be all round strong in a wide variety of areas, from 1v1s to team fights, but not necessarily excel in any.

Scholar Professions

Mesmer

The mesmer is one of the kings, if not the king, of high burst damage and is one of the strongest professions at the moment (along with elementalist). By creating illusions and using their unique profession mechanic, “shatters” (destroying their illusions for different effects to enemies) they can stack a lot of debuffs on an opponent, and then deal a lot of damage incredibly quickly, all while locking down said opponent with large amounts of instant cast stuns. They have incredibly high mobility due to teleports and stealth, and through the creation of portals have great team utility. In sPvP, you should play the mesmer if you enjoy incredibly high levels of damage, which requires some level of mechanical skill to execute, as well as strong mobility and team utility.

Elementalist

The elementalist is a champion of the “war of attrition” style of play, slowly killing an enemy while they can’t kill the you, but also has options for high burst damage or team support, and are currently one of the two strongest professions (along with mesmer) and make a very strong case for being THE strongest, especially in a 1v1 situation. The elementalist has only one weapon set, but can “attune” to each of the four elements, gaining 5 new weapon skills for each one, giving them a total of 20 weapons skills. In general terms, fire offers strong damage through physical means and burning, water offers strong healing and condition cleanse for both you and your team, air gives strong physical damage and lockdown, and earth offers condition damage through bleeding and a lot of physical survivability. Play the elementalist if you especially enjoy having 1v1 fights, having extremely high survivability, but taking slightly longer to kill your opponents.

Necromancer

The necromancer, similarly to the ranger, has solid options for both physical and condition damage play styles as well as potential for strong tanking ability. A necromancer’s unique mechanic is life force, which builds up through the use of certain skills as well as when enemies die around you. Life force is used through your F1 ability “shroud,” which when used gives the necromancer a new health bar and 5 new skills until it’s deactivated or your life force runs out. Necromancers are in the middle of the food chain and often sought out quite frequently in PvP. They are thought to be the counter to several extremely good 1v1 builds in PvP and can often reign supreme against condition-focused teams and players in particular. While they may be sluggish while moving around the map, they can be a great asset to your team if used wisely. If left alone to do their own thing time after time, Necromancers can become the king of the downed state.

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