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.
Guardians are devoted combatants. Their profession mechanic is their virtues, which passively provide benefits to the guardian, and can be activated to lose the passive bonus temporarily and provide a more powerful effect to nearby allies. 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 dragonhunters, empowering their virtues for more tangible benefits 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 firebrands, protectors of knowledge and lore 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 friend and weaken foe.
Guardians who wander the Canthan Empire of the Dragon with the End of Dragons expansion can choose to become 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.
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 — Virtue: Burn foes every few attacks. Activate: You and your allies inflict burning on the next attack.
- Virtue of Courage — Virtue: 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).
- Primary article: List of guardian skills
- 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 or 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: Traps — These allow traps to be placed on the ground, which activate when an enemy walks over them.
- Firebrand: Mantra — Mantras are skills that cast instantly to hinder enemies or aid allies. Mantras have charges that recharge over time.
- Willbender: Physical — Mobility skills that focus on damage and crowd control.
Guardians have five core specializations and three elite specializations.
- Zeal — Focuses on increasing damage and applying vulnerability. Enhances greatsword, scepter and spirit weapon skills.
- Radiance — Focuses on burning, critical hits and resolution; based on Virtue of Justice. Enhances sword, torch and signet skills.
- Valor — Focuses on blocking and toughness; based on Virtue of Courage. Enhances focus, shield and meditation skills.
- Honor — Focuses on dodging, healing and protection; based on Virtue of Resolve. Enhances mace, staff, symbol and shout skills.
- Virtues — Focuses on virtues and resolution. Enhances hammer, consecration and virtue skills.
- 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 — Grants access to axes and a set of mantra skills, while replacing active virtues with Tomes.
- 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.
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.
See also detailed list of guardian weapon skills.
- Greatsword — Offensive melee weapon for dealing high area damage, pulling multiple foes and enhancing allies.
- Hammer — Defensive melee weapon capable of protecting allies with area damage, protection and enemy-warding.
- Longbow — Offensive long-range weapon used to enhance allies or burn and control enemies (Dragonhunter specialization only)
- Staff — Supportive weapon that can be used to heal and enhance allies, or ward away enemies.
- Axe — Offensive melee weapon that can pull enemies to the guardian and inflict conditions on foes. (Firebrand specialization only)
- Mace — Supportive melee weapon for healing allies and blocking attacks.
- Scepter — Offensive mid-range weapon used to smite and immobilize foes.
- Sword — Balanced melee weapon that enhances mobility and provides for projectile defense.
- Focus — Balanced weapon with damaging as well as defensive abilities.
- Shield — Defensive weapon that can protect allies with projectile defense, Aegis and protection.
- Torch — Offensive weapon for burning enemies and cleansing allies.
- Sword — Melee weapon with enhanced mobility skills. (Willbender specialization only)
The following crafting disciplines can create items that are useful to the guardian:
- Weaponsmith — Greatswords, Hammers, Axes, Maces, Shields, Spears, Swords.
- Artificer — Foci, scepters, staves, tridents.
- Huntsman — Longbows, torches.
- Armorsmith — Heavy armor.
- Jeweler — Jewelry.
- Chef — Food.
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 _____.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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 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.
- Notable guardians
- Braham - Son of Eir Stegalkin
- Logan Thackeray - Commander of the Krytan Seraph
- Almorra Soulkeeper - Leader of the Vigil
- 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.
- The guardian is the only profession that cannot wield the same weapon type in their mainhand and offhand without leveraging an elite specialization.
- Guardian on the official website.