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Guardians are devoted fighters who protect their allies and smite their enemies by drawing from the power of their virtues. True guardians are brilliant tacticians and selfless defenders who know how to empower their allies to achieve victory. Guardian

Guardian is a profession of devoted combatants who manifest Virtues as their profession mechanic. Virtues passively provide benefits to the guardian, and can be activated to grant a more powerful effect to nearby allies while temporarily losing the passive bonus. Guardians act with conviction when smiting their foes and supporting their allies with their unshakeable faith. As a soldier profession, guardians wear heavy armor.

Guardians who venture into the Heart of Maguuma with the Heart of Thorns expansion can choose to become Dragonhunter icon small.png dragonhunters, manifesting their virtues into physical form, while laying traps for their enemies.

Guardians that traverse the Crystal Desert and Kingdom of Elona with the Path of Fire expansion can choose to become Firebrand icon small.png firebrands, protectors of history and truth who manifest their virtues as sacred tomes of knowledge to burn their foes and heal and protect their allies while they chant mantras to empower friends and weaken foes.

Guardians who wander the Canthan Empire of the Dragon with the End of Dragons expansion can choose to become Willbender icon small.png willbenders to manifest their virtues as mobility skills. These fast and agile combatants are always on the move, striking their enemies before they can react and favoring a more physical solution to their problems.


Profession mechanic[edit]


The Guardians' most notable unique abilities are their Virtues. These provide passive effects to the guardian and, when activated, provide various effects for nearby allies as well. Guardians have three distinct virtues, which can be further augmented for more powerful effects through the use of traits.

Virtue of Justice.png Virtue of JusticeVirtue: Burn foes every few attacks. Activate: You and your allies inflict burning on the next attack.
Virtue of Resolve.png Virtue of ResolveVirtue: Regenerates health. Activate: Heal yourself and nearby allies.
Virtue of Courage.png Virtue of CourageVirtue: Gain aegis periodically. Activate: Grant aegis to yourself and nearby allies.

The guardian has a reputation for being the most durable profession in the game—despite their lower initial vitality—due to their virtues and many utility and elite skills that focus on the application of boons, pro-active defense and protection of allies in general.

Virtues have been said to help balance the guardian. For example, they have a lower base health than the Warrior profession, but compensate for this with a higher health regeneration (granted by Virtue of Resolve).[1]


Primary article: List of guardian skills

Skill types[edit]

  • Consecration — Skills that focus on providing condition removal, projectile defense and control for the guardian and its allies by purifying a chosen area of terrain.
  • Meditation — Utility skills that heal, cleanse conditions or provide mobility.
  • Shout — These skills provide positive effects to nearby allies.
  • Signet — Signets grant passive effects while equipped, and produce a more powerful effect when activated in exchange for the loss of the passive effect until the signet recharges.
  • Spirit Weapon — Ghostly weapons that attack enemies and/or give benefits to allies.

Some guardian weapon skills have additional effects:

  • Symbol — Each guardian weapon has a skill that places a symbol on the ground, which persists for several seconds before dissipating, pulsing positive effects to allies or negative effects to enemies standing within its radius. All symbols provide Combo Field: Light.
  • Ward — A few guardian weapon skills place a temporary line or ring on the ground that pushes enemies that attempt to cross it.
Skill types unique to elite specializations
  • Dragonhunter icon small.png Dragonhunter: Traps — These allow traps to be placed on the ground, which activate when an enemy walks over them.
  • Firebrand icon small.png Firebrand: Mantra — Mantras are skills that have to be charged, providing access to instant-cast skills that aid allies or hinder foes.
  • Willbender icon small.png Willbender: Physical — Mobility skills that focus on damage and crowd control.


Guardians have five core specializations and three elite specializations.


Zeal Zeal — Focuses on increasing strike damage, improving symbols, and applying vulnerability. May enhance greatsword, scepter and spirit weapon skills.
Radiance Radiance — Focuses on burning, critical hits and resolution; based on Virtue of Justice. May enhance torch and signet skills.
Valor Valor — Focuses on damage mitigation via blocking and aegis; based on Virtue of Courage. May enhance focus, shield and meditation skills.
Honor Honor — Focuses on dodging, healing and protection; based on Virtue of Resolve. May enhance mace, staff, symbol and shout skills.
Virtues Virtues — Focuses on virtues and provides resolution. May enhance hammer, consecration and virtue skills.


Dragonhunter Dragonhunter — Grants access to the longbow and a set of trap skills, and replaces active virtues with ones that manifest in a physical form.
Firebrand Firebrand — Grants access to axes and a set of mantra skills, while replacing active virtues with Tomes.
Willbender Willbender — Grants access to off-hand swords and a set of physical skills, and replaces virtues with ones that have no passive effect but provide movement abilities when activated.


See list of guardian traits.



The guardian is a soldier profession and thus wears heavy armor.


There are twelve possible weapon sets for this profession and two weapon sets while underwater. The guardian can equip and alternate between two weapon sets during combat, starting at level 10. Guardian's main-hand and two-handed weapons have access to a Symbol.

See also detailed list of guardian weapon skills.

  • Aquatic
    • Spear — Offensive mid-range weapon used to pull enemies and deal area damage. Its symbol grants fury.
    • Trident — Supportive long-range weapon with projectile defense, area damage, healing and a sinking ability. Its symbol does not grant a boon.


The following crafting disciplines can create items that are useful to the guardian:

Personal story[edit]

In the biography step of character creation, guardians must decide which article of clothing they will wear to show their dedication. This choice is merely cosmetic and determines their starting shoulder or head armor, which can be hidden or transmuted after character creation.

As a symbol of my dedication, I wear _____.
Biography Conqueror's Pauldrons.png Conqueror's Pauldrons ("conqueror's pauldrons") — When I was young, a famed hero returning from battle stopped and gave me his pauldrons. Ever since, I've worn them as my own, and I make every attempt to live up to his legend. I too will be a conqueror.
Biography Fanatic's Pauldrons.png Fanatic's Pauldrons ("fanatic's pauldrons") — Long ago, I determined my path, and nothing will sway me from it. I'm stalwart in my beliefs and immovable in my loyalties. The weight of my pauldrons reminds me of the burden I carry.
Biography Visionary's Helm.png Visionary's Helm ("a visionary's helm") — Tyria is bigger than we know and filled with mystery. This helm is open, allowing me to see with clarity. With it, I will seek out the world's greater truths that others fear to explore.


The guardian is one of the newer professions in Tyria, having evolved from a mixture of older, mainly human traditions; in particular, the heavily-armored, supportive paragons of Elona[2] and the deeply religious monks, who would often appeal to the human gods Dwayna and Balthazar for the magical fortitude to heal and protect their allies and smite enemies. Today, guardians can be found amongst all races, and as a result many have moved away from this religious approach, wielding their magic in a more immediate, pragmatic manner than spellcasters.[2]

Notable guardians
See also: Category:Guardian NPCs


Concept art
Pre-launch promotional screenshots


  • The guardian was previewed under this image until its unveiling on the 27th of January, 2011.
  • The guardian was widely known among fans as "Blue Mace Lady" (or simply "BML") prior to being revealed, due to this concept art.
  • The guardian was the first profession unveiled that is not present in the original Guild Wars.
  • During early development the guardian had less magical ability and was called a "knight". As the other professions became more defined, the guardian received more magical type abilities, pulling in aspects of the Guild Wars monk and paragon professions.[2]
  • The guardian is the only profession that cannot wield the same weapon type in their mainhand and offhand without leveraging an elite specialization or the use of the Astral Ward arsenal.

External links[edit]