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 specialize in protective and defensive magic. A deep sense of loyalty to their allies fuels their passion and power. As a soldier profession, guardians wear heavy armor.
The Guardians' unique abilities are Virtues. Virtues provide passive effects to the Guardian; when activated they provide various effects for nearby allies as well. Guardians have 3 distinct virtues which can be further augmented through traits for more powerful effects.
- Virtue of Justice — Virtue: Burn foes every few attacks. Activate: You and your allies inflict burning on the next attack.
- Virtue of Resolve — Virtue: Regenerates health. Activate: Heal yourself and nearby allies.
- 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, due to their virtues and many utility and elite skills which focus on the use of boons, active defense, and protecting 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 their 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.
- Meditation — Utility skills that heal, or cleanse conditions, and provide mobility.
- Shout — Skills that provide positive effects to nearby allies.
- Signet — Signets grant passive effects while equipped, and produce a powerful effect when activated. The passive effect is lost while the signet recharges.
- Spirit Weapon — Ghostly weapons which attack enemies or give benefits to allies.
Some Guardian weapon skills have additional effects
- Symbol — Several guardian weapon skills place symbols on the ground, which persist for a few seconds and then dissipate, creating positive effects for allies, or negative effect for enemies. 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.
- Skills unique to elite specializations
- Traps — Traps placed on the ground that activate when a target walks over them. (Dragonhunter elite specialization only)
- Mantra — Mantras are skills that cast instantly to hinder enemies or aid allies. Mantras have charges and recharge over time. (Firebrand elite specialization only)
- Physical — Mobility skills that focus on damage and crowd control. (Willbender elite specialization only)
The guardian has five core specializations, and two 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, and symbol and shout skills.
- Virtues — Focuses on virtues and resolution. Enhances hammer, consecration, and virtue skills.
- Dragonhunter — Gains access to longbows, a set of trap skills, and replaces the active virtues with ones that manifest in a physical form.
- Firebrand — Gains access to axes, a set of mantra skills, and replaces the active virtues with Tomes.
- Willbender — Gains access to off hand swords, a set of physical skills, and replaces the virtues with ones that have no passive effect, but provide movement abilities when activated.
The guardian is a soldier profession and 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 and inflict conditions on foes. (Firebrand specialization only)
- Mace — Supportive melee weapon for healing allies and blocking attacks.
- Scepter — Offensive long-range weapon used to smite and immobilize foes.
- Sword — Balanced melee weapon with mobility and projectile defense options.
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 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.|
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 have moved away from this religious approach, wielding their magic in a more immediate, pragmatic manner than spellcasters.
- Notable guardians
- The guardian was previewed under this image until its unveiling on the 27th 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 core profession in the game that cannot wield the same weapon type in their mainhand and offhand.
- Guardian on the official website.