Welcome to raiding. This is my personal raid info breakdown. Copied and entered here from my guild specific version. Let me know if anything needs to be updated or fixed. Also see my new player guide for more info and guides.
When to raid?
I would suggest that you don't try to rush into raids and that you focus on story and your character if you are brand new to the game, otherwise see below:
Basic requirements are that you have a level 80 character and the Heart of Thorns expansion (Maybe get it on sale?) (for wings 1-4) or Path of Fire (for wings 5-6). You will also be expected to unlock an elite specialization by getting an additional 250 hero points (any that you got from a map count towards this number). The best places to get Hero points are the expansion maps, a single hero point there is worth 10 points instead of 1 point in the non-expansion maps. Heart of Thorns has some hero points that need a group, but Path of Fire can be all soloed. If you're having trouble, look for a "Hero Point Train"/"HP Train" or ask your guild for help.
If you want a VERY detailed full guide on raids please see Tevatron's guide here.
Picking a class
The main roles can be broken up into DPS (power/condition damage) and support (healing/boons). Many bosses also have aggro based on the highest toughness so those fights have a "tank" that draws the boss’s agro. A standard setup for a normal raid group is to split the squad of 10 into 2 groups of 5 (most boons are limited to 5 targets). Each group will almost always have 2 support chronomancers to provide mainly quickness and alacrity (one is usually the tank), 2 druids (more experienced groups run 1) to provide might, healing, and spirits, and 1 banner warrior to give the banner buffs to the full group. The other 5-6 are all pure DPS.
When just starting out I would HIGHLY suggest gearing a power DPS (easy to gear, don't have to worry about too much else while learning.)
Every elite specialization will require either HoT or PoF so make sure you have the expansion.
Suggested (power) builds:
- Berserker/ Spellbreaker/ Warrior: Brings banners for the group as banner slave (BS) berserker or base warrior. Berserker is going to be more damage on fights that don't need CC. Can also run as full DPS as berserker or spellbreaker though only run spellbreaker if you don't have berserker or need boon removal (Qadim). The banner builds are going to have an easier rotation but groups will only want one player running banners at a time. The power builds have simple rotations and are mainly about timing big skills when you have damage buffs. All the options are great starters but I would avoid spellbreaker in most cases.
- Dragonhunter ( Guardian): Dragonhunter is a great power DPS build with a lot of burst damage. For short fights or bosses with phases it's one of the best options. Rotation is deceptively simple and revolves around timing your burst with your damage buffs. Strong healing, good damage (and burst), with a pretty simple rotation makes this a good starting build.
- Weaver/ Tempest ( Elementalist): Power DPS weaver has a very fast paced rotation that needs you to keep track of attacks and damage buffs. Very high damage with a fluid rotation that can be fun to play once you have it down. Tempest is very similar to weaver with need of some fast switching of attunements and very specific rotation. Low health squishy character with a very high skill cap, not recommended unless you want a challenge.
- Holosmith ( Engineer): Very strong power DPS option. Rotation and build is easy to pick up but hard to master. Has some variations in build and rotation so there is room to grow and it's not too bad to start on. Good starter option.
- Chronomancer ( Mesmer): Highest (next to rifle DE) power DPS build but has a tricky rotation as it requires some knowledge of the class and fast inputs. One of the harder classes to perfect, not recommended for newer players.
- Daredevil/ Deadeye( Thief): Deadeye has a very simple rotation for high DPS. The loops are very easy to pick up but if the rotation is interrupted or messed up (go down, miss a stealth hit) you loose a lot of damage. It also has a severe lack of cleave damage as almost everything is focused only on your target. Good, easy to pick up build, but gets punished heavily from mistakes. Daredevil also has a very simple rotation with great damage. The difficulty mainly comes from knowing when you can stand still to attack, keeping your endurance used, and timing your damage buffs. Daredevil also gains some very strong stolen skills on certain bosses. Overall the rotations are simple and the single target damage is huge, but sometimes needs knowledge of the fight to not be stuck in bad spots when jumping around and using charge.
- Reaper( Necromancer): Power DPS Reaper has a pretty simple rotation but does require some timing to get right. It also relies on it's dark fields for a decent amount of it's damage so you have to be aware of positioning and which fields you entered first (if other players drop them). Beginner friendly and has some of the best cleave available but requires awareness of positioning and lifeforce to play well.
- Soulbeast ( Ranger): Power DPS build provides good burst and CC. Medium difficulty rotation that can be a little hard to master. Revolves around damage buffs and hard hitting skills. Some knowledge of the fight will help a lot as well since you have so much burst and skills that lock you in place. Will take some practice to get good at but is not otherwise a difficult class.
- Firebrand ( Guardian)/ Renegade( Revenant): Honorable mention here as these builds are hybrid DPS/boon builds that need to be run together to be effective. Firebrand has a power quickness build that can get away with only swapping a couple pieces from dragonhunter and is then able to provide quickness for your sub squad and replace a chrono assuming you have 1 renegade providing alacrity for the whole squad. The Firebrand rotation is pretty easy and is mostly similar to dragonhunter with the addition of activating your mantras and shout when they gain charges. Alacrity renegade is harder to build since it needs diviner gear so that alone makes it a poor first choice but it's rotation is pretty easy if you do build it later. Alacrity renegade and quickness firebrand need each other to be effective so make sure you know someone that can play the other, otherwise it may be hard finding groups (though again firebrand is very close to dragonhunter and could just swap 3 trinkets to DPS).
If you want to try and gear a support or condition class the proper stat sets are much harder to get (Viper for condition DPS, Diviner for Chrono/Renegade (couple on quickness firebrand), harrier for Druid (or most other healing variants)).
You can view the benchmarks for all the builds here*: Snowcrows Benchmarks
* Do note that they get these numbers with perfect rotations, full ascended gear, stat infusions, food + utility, and permanent uptime of boons and conditions on a training golem. If you are trying out your rotations expect to only hit 80-90% of what they get. Check out the “Buffs” section on the benchmarks for more details.
Now that you have an idea of what class you want look up the appropriate raid build here (you may need to select a different build in the top right once you select your profession): https://snowcrows.com/raids/ and see what exact gear and weapons you need.
- Note: Please ignore stat infusions entirely (they are <2% DPS and are very hard to get), don't worry about food (we'll go over that later), and don't get focused on getting all ascended gear (priority should be accessories then weapons, then MAYBE armor).
Please use this guide to get gear and if you do end up buying armor please get the cheaper named sets and not the crafted armor!
Food / Utility
You will be expected to bring and use food on every boss fight where we are going for the kill. If we are doing training we will let you know once we want you to start using food. There are two buffs that you'll want, a food buff that gives you stats (or sometimes special bonuses) and a utility item that converts stats. I'll break down what to get based on the type of build, but you do NOT need the top tier expensive food. You are only expected to bring close to it and I'll give some examples and alternatives. Note that most listed prices are at time of writing and are the lowest option (crafting / buy price). Please check GW2 Efficiency for crafting vs TP costs.
Also see the updated food section on the gearing guide.
- Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup: (…/hr) Very expensive, would not bother getting or making, should basically never be used by most players especially those learning.
- Avocado Smoothie: (.../30min) Just slightly below squash soup, but requires Living World Season 4 to make and you need to farm the unique resource there, but basically free otherwise.
- Plate of Truffle Steak (or Steak with Winterberry Sauce): (…/30min or .../45min) Costs too much for the stat difference, but if you can craft the winterberry version (Living World Season 3) it is actually quite cheap and easy to make.
- Plate of Steak and Asparagus (or Can of Steak and Asparagus): (…/30min or 5 Badge of Honor) Very cheap and the cans can be gotten from WvW with badges of honor.
- Potent Superior Sharpening Stone: (…/hr) Pretty cheap now and best in slot.
- Superior Sharpening Stone: (…/30min) Usually better to get the potent for double duration.
- Tin of Fruitcake: (…/30min) Price changes with the winter event (it gets higher the longer it's been since) so the price can change a lot. When the event is going on these drop in huge amounts basically for free.
- Ogre Sharpening Stone: (.../45min) Requires collection and is usually worse than potent.
- Red-Lentil Saobosa: (…/30min) Cheap to craft PoF food 7-8s off TP instead
- Rare Veggie Pizza: (…/30min) Better to sell and get Saobosas or Koi Cakes imo.
- Koi Cake: (…/20min) Very cheap, just as good as top tier, but only 20 min (more of a pain to remember and keep food up.)
- Super Veggie Pizza / Boxed Super Veggie Pizza: (…/30min or 5 Badge of Honor) Very cheap and the boxed version can be gotten from WvW with badges of honor.
- Toxic Focusing Crystal: (…/30min) Have to craft otherwise they are 3x the price, recipe can be hard to get.
- Tuning Icicle: (…/30min) Price changes with the winter event (it gets higher the longer it's been since) so the price can change a lot. When the event is going on these drop in huge amounts basically for free.
- Potent Master Tuning Crystal: (…/1hr) Minor loss vs Toxic Focusing Crystals, but is a stable alternative to Tuning Icicles.
- Delicious Rice Ball: (…/30min) The go to healing food (looking for Healing Effectiveness (Outgoing)), but is a seasonal item so the price climbs when supply drops, only comes from Lunar New Year.
- Bowl of Tapioca Pudding: (.../30min) Outgoing healing with more burst on heal skill, stable price.
- No other outgoing food options so people usually don't bother, priority stats would be healing power and concentration.
- Bountiful Maintenance Oil: (.../30min) Best utility, but decent cost, rare recipe, and needs to be crafted.
- Peppermint Oil: (…/30min) Concentration to help cap boon duration, price changes with the winter event (it gets higher the longer it's been since) so the price can change a lot. When the event is going on these drop in huge amounts basically for free.
- Potent Master Maintenance Oil: (…/1hr) 1hr version of peppermint oil.
- Furious Maintenance Oil: (.../30min) Gives healing power, but is hard to craft, needs recipe, and is expensive, better spent on Bountiful Maintenance Oil.
- Fried Golden Dumpling: (…/30min) Good on chrono to cap boon duration and provide more might, otherwise you run power food/util.
- Damage reduction: mainly used for hand kiting, Fried Oysters are .../30min, but full list here: Food#Damage_Reduction
DPS and logs
The only approved DPS meter is ArcDPS. It is recommended that you install it so that you can see your progress and how well you are doing. Just ask if you have issues installing (cut and dry programmer description is not that great). The meter also has the ability to save logs (in the options you tick the box once it is running). Do note that you will need to update the meter after most patches otherwise it can crash your game.
Ask for help
Finally feel free to ask me about any questions you may have on raids, gearing, or the guide itself.
- Dak.2749 in game
- Dak393#2588 on discord