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Can you say, "zerk meta"? (except for guardian, since lol bunker)

These builds are for PvE, but mostly for group content like dungeons. In solo play there are other options.

All gear and upgrades are just suggestions. I make no claim to their superlativeness. Utility skills (and utility traits, like for increased movement speed) should be changed to fit the situation.

See last section on this page for links to build calculators, if you want a visual representation instead of text.

Warrior - Sworded Details[edit]

  • Berserker's gear
  • 6/6 Rune of the Scholar (expensive but one of the best), Rune of Strength (much cheaper but not as good)
  • Sigil of Fire/Air (more expensive) or Sigil of Battle (less expensive), Sigil of Bloodlust or Perception

Healing Surge is a large burst heal, and Defiant Stance lets you ignore spikes; either might be a better skill depending on the exact situation, but Healing Signet is never a bad choice.

The way this build works is simple and boring: don't ever use your Burst skills. Swap to Greatsword for Hundred Blades only, and possibly Whirlwind Attack if you need the evade. Never sit on the Greatsword longer than necessary. Otherwise, sit on the Axe/Mace set and just autoattack. When solo, applying Vulnerability isn't worth it for this build, but you can still use Tremor if it's useful. During events or in dungeons, use Cyclone Axe and Crushing Blow as much as possible.

Ranger - Kingsfoil[edit]

  • Berserker's gear
  • 6/6 Rune of the Scholar, Rune of the Ranger
  • Sigil of Fire/Air, Sigil of Bloodlust or Perception

Water Spirit heals for a lot, but Healing Spring is one of the rare Water Fields in the game, and cures conditions too. Pets can be changed to others with high DPS (like Juvenile Eagle or Juvenile Blue Jellyfish for underwater AoE), or even swapped to "tanks" if needed. Note that the Reef Drake gets Feedback as its special skill underwater, which is of course only useful versus projectiles.

Warhorn is great, but occasionally you might want to take an offhand Axe for Whirling Defense.

Remorseless is useless about half the time, but it rocks the other half of the time; it's viable to drop it and take 5 more points in Nature Magic for Bountiful Hunter if you want something more general purpose. However, I like having the additional trait slot available for Eagle Eye or Piercing Arrows if needed.

Playstyle here is very simple. Drop Flame Trap and then blast it with Call of the Wild. Try not to get your spirits unnecessarily killed. Hit things really hard and stumble your way to success. Learn to pet swap instead of letting them die (long cooldown).

Thief - Blue Rogue[edit]

  • Berserker's gear
  • 6/6 Rune of the Scholar
  • Sigil of Fire/Air, Sigil of Bloodlust or Perception

Hide in Shadows is a decently strong heal and removes conditions; on the other hand, a skilled Thief player can stay alive just with Signet of Malice, which gives more health per second than most things in the game. If you trust yourself with Signet of Malice, drop Shadow Arts and take 10 points in Trickery - Kleptomaniac and either Thrill of the Crime or Flanking Strikes.

It's generally best to just stay on Sword set and spam Pistol Whip, which does insane damage, stuns, and lets you evade for a while. Whenever possible, try to position yourself behind or to the side of foes, for additional crit chance. You should also try to keep health above 90% and initiative above 6 for optimum damage. Don't forget to Steal appropriately - Mug is a decent heal, and many stolen skills are quite powerful.

Shortbow is useful whenever there's more than one target, and Choking Gas can be used for some quick, unblockable AoE Weakness. Pistol's Black Powder works almost as well, but has a much smaller radius and costs more. Cluster Bomb is a spammable Blast finisher.

Guardian - Rock of Aegis[edit]

  • Cleric's, Sentinel's (extremely expensive), Knight's, Soldier's... all would work
  • 6/6 Rune of the Soldier (usually cheaper to craft)
  • Sigil of Life, Sigil of Stamina, Sigil of Restoration

Shield is a better general purpose weapon for this build, but occasionally you'll fight foes who have attacks so strong that they ~instantly kill, or otherwise absolutely have to be blocked. That's where Focus is more useful. Staff provides additional healing, Might stacks, and its unique "wave" attack, but Hammer has infinite AoE Protection and a short-recharge Blast finisher.

If you are *absolutely alone* (not even random NPC allies), swap Battle Presence for Pure of Voice or Writ of the Merciful.

This build focuses on tanking, clearing conditions, and healing. It doesn't have very much damage, but is rather sturdy. Maintain Symbols as often as possible, roll often, and use shouts as necessary.

In situations where conditions aren't as important (or someone else can cleanse them), change Vengeful to Master of Consecrations. Purging Flames and Hallowed Ground have long recharge but are incredibly powerful skills.

Guardian - Shield of Faith[edit]

  • Berserker's gear
  • 6/6 Rune of the Scholar (more money, more effective), Rune of Might (less money, less effective)
  • Sigil of Fire/Air, Sigil of Bloodlust or Perception

Activate Virtue of Justice as often as possible. In general, you don't want to autoattack with the Greatsword, since the Sword's auto is much more powerful; only swap to it when its other skills (particularly Whirling Wrath) are ready.

Shield of Wrath on the Focus is a Blast finisher, so use it once you've got a Fire field going.

Engineer - Holystone Special[edit]

  • Berserker's gear
  • 6/6 Rune of the Scholar or Rune of Might (arguably *better* than Scholar for HGH builds due to silly Might)
  • Sigil of Battle


"Bombs! You want it?!"

You could swap for a racial elite, like Take Root; Supply Crate's recharge is too long to be terribly useful, and the other two Engineer elites are terrible. Elixir X can be useful underwater, though, if you're familiar with how to use Whirlpool and Plague.

Basically, burn your elixirs to grant you and nearby allies stacks of Might, in addition to the other effects, remove conditions, and strip boons. Then pummel foes with grenades. Swap back and forth between Rifle and Grenade Kit at least every 9 seconds or so, to ensure Sigil of Battle is triggered. The beauty of 409/HGH is that you can swap in different elixirs as the situation calls for it. I often like to have Elixir R handy in between battles, since an additional two dodges is very good for running past trash mobs.

Note that Jump Shot with the Rifle applies Vulnerability *again* for *every* foe hit, so it's particularly powerful against groups.

The Bomb Kit also has its uses, but almost always does less damage than grenades. It's still good to have it handy in case the group needs it for some specific reason.

Elementalist - Pure Wizard[edit]

  • Berserker's gear
  • 6/6 Rune of the Scholar, Rune of Rage, or Rune of Might (hard to say)
  • Sigil of Battle

Bolt to the Heart will increase your damage, but Quick Glyphs recharges your heal faster and makes Glyph of Elementals more attractive. Arcane Brilliance is an additional Blast finisher, but often heals for very little, so it's dangerous to use.

Always Blast Fire fields, whether they belong to you or not. You can do this with Dragon's Tooth, Phoenix, and Earthquake. Churning Earth is also a Blast finisher, but takes too long to cast most of the time. The reason to have a Staff is because Lava Font is the most spammable Fire field, so if the rest of the group has a lot of Blast finishers, it can be useful to swap. You can keep a Fire field going more or less indefinitely this way. This is especially useful to do before a pull, and then swap back to Scepter/Dagger just before aggro actually happens.

Air Attunement recharges every single time you crit, and Electric Discharge actually hits fairly hard. This even works while using a Conjured weapon, so swap back and forth always. However, Air is a poor element to sit on if the skills are recharging, as is Earth, so be careful of that.

Use the right Conjure for the situation:

  • The Flame Axe does decent, constant ranged damage, and has a very useful backwards dodge. Good for solo play due to ease of use and safety.
  • The Frost Bow has an extremely powerful ranged AoE that destroys large targets and structures. It also has a powerful stun. However, those skills are on a long recharge, so you'll only be able to use them 2-3 times at most per Frost Bow; the other skills are pretty mediocre, so it's generally not smart to hold onto the Frost Bow after burning through its skills (you can pick up the second copy later). It's of limited use for solo play; too conditional. Excellent choice for most dungeons, however, and it's expected for most Elementalists to be able to pull it out when needed.
  • The Lightning Hammer has an abusively strong spammable attack that always ends on a Blast Finisher with AoE Blind. The leap is a bit clunky, but effective; the launch is so-so; Lightning Storm (Lightning Hammer skill) is mostly useful for very large targets or structures; and it has a Static Field, but you can't move while casting it. It's a good all-purpose weapon, but not the safest thing to use (squishy class in melee range, champions don't care about blind).
  • The Earth Shield is more "annoying" than anything else; Fortify is very good, though, since Invulnerable is rare in this game. Earth Shield lets you and one other person ignore mechanics for 3 seconds, which definitely has its uses. Overall, it's less raw power than the other weapons, so more of a niche tool. Decent for solo play.
  • The Fiery Greatsword does extreme damage to both structures and organics alike; it's a great skill all around. The whirl is actually even better if you are slowed/immobilized, but since that can't be planned for, just try to aim at things standing next to walls or other obstructions. Helpful hint: the dash/leap can be used without a target, which sends you forward a pretty good distance and leaves a burning fire trail behind you, dealing tons and tons of damage to things that stand near it. You just need to make sure "autotargeting" option is turned off. Fantastic for solo play, not often outclassed in group play.

Mesmer - Grass Grass Tea Time[edit]

  • Berserker's gear
  • Ruby Orbs are a common Mesmer upgrade instead of Runes. You may also opt for 6/6 Traveler or Speed runes, simply because Mesmer has no maintainable movement buff outside Rune of the Centaur (swiftness on heal, clunky because lol mantras).

It's feasible to swap out Focus for Pistol, but the Phantasmal Duelist is much worse as a "tank", and you lose your only source of Swiftness. I also like the Focus because it gives you a total of 3 really good reflect skills, more than any other class. On the plus side, Pistol lets you take Temporal Enchanter with no drawbacks. Sword offhand is so-so; Illusionary Riposte only deals damage if you were already in melee range, and it's clunky to use. The Phantasmal Swordsman hits quite hard (its coefficient is very high compared to most skills), but is more fragile; Duelist gets to stay at long range, and Warden makes up for melee by countering projectiles and having AoE. Torch doesn't do much with this build in any way.

Empowered Illusions vs Mental Torment: this really depends on what you're fighting. Sometimes your phantasms are going to get killed before they get their skills off, or they'll sit in AoE or something, so Mental Torment is better. Other times you'll fight mobile foes who move around unexpectedly; Shatters can miss if the foe is out of range by the time it goes off. Against structures, I'd stick with Empowered Illusions, since you can quite feasibly get 3 phantasms up at once.

Feel free to swap out for different utility skills if the situation calls for it; these are just general suggestions.

HELPFUL HINT: Try to make it a habit to summon phantasms on targets with high health, and clones on targets with low health (e.g. they'll die to a Shatter or a few weapon attacks). Similarly, when facing multiple foes, spread out your illusions so they aren't all locked on the same target. Phantasms are more useful the longer they are active, and you waste a lot of their potential if they disappear immediately because the target died. This is especially true for the Phantasmal Defender, which doesn't do much damage and is useful just by being alive. Clones do almost no damage, but cause the same effect as phantasms when you Shatter, while being much easier to replace. Structures are good targets for the "passive phantasms".

This build follows the "offense is the best defense" rule. You can't take very much *direct* punishment at all; that job is reserved for your illusions, which do a lot of damage and heal themselves, and should usually keep aggro off you. The Mesmer's job is to try and keep 3 illusions of some sort up at all times, and pester foes by Reflecting their projectiles continuously.

This isn't to say Shatter skills don't get used - you just make sure not to kill off phantasms before they use their skill, and clones (the weak ones that do 1 damage) can be killed immediately on summon with little penalty. Mind Wrack does the best damage; if it's on recharge, Diversion is good to use, since you stack Vulnerability every time you daze things (and actually interrupting adds even more). It's also great for removing stacks of Defiant on bosses - against a single player, bosses never gain more than 3 stacks normally, so the Mesmer can remove those all at once.

Greatsword is generally a safer weapon to stay on, but you should switch to Sword/Focus when its skills are on cooldown, since Spatial Surge is terrible damage when you're not at max range. Blurred Frenzy can be used ~immediately after weapon swap to guarantee safety; after that, I usually dodge and cast Illusionary Leap while running away, which cripples the enemy and distracts them. Focus skills can be cast from long range if needed. Temporal Curtain is a great retreat skill; break it just after the enemy is crippled, and they'll be pulled a respectable distance backwards, away from you. It's also a handy AoE random interrupt in general (causing Vulnerability too). The Illusionary Warden does a respectable amount of damage, is good at gaining aggro, and is particularly useful to summon against anything ranged. Ranged attackers rarely move around, so they will largely be unable to hurt the Warden, and probably take the full damage from its attack.

Elites: Mesmer's elites are stronger the more allies you have. Moa Morph/Polymorph Tuna can actually backfire, because enemies retain their stats, and on bosses for example, the transformed skills actually do a ton of damage. However, it's possible to use them while bosses have Defiant active, so I guess it can serve as a "priority interrupt" if needed.

Necromancer - Blood Runs Red[edit]

  • Not sure what works best, but I'd like to experiment with full Berserker's (power, crit, crit damage).

Have I mentioned that Scepters are incredibly boring?

This build racks up damage with a combination of life steal on every hit, and many hits frequently. It also makes the Necromancer hard to kill, since all that healing adds up, and of course Death Shroud adds additional sturdiness.

Dagger set: Use Dark Pact to hold foes still while channeling Life Siphon. Immobilized enemies (sometimes) don't turn around, so run behind them. Daggers always have slightly more range than you'd expect, so feel free to use basic attacks even if targets don't appear to be in range. Enfeebling Blood is a powerful defensive skill; as for Deathly Swarm, it's best used when you have conditions, but still useful as a random skill to blind multiple enemies.

Axe set: Racks up a ton of Vulnerability, especially if you can get Reaper's Touch to bounce off just one target (to you or one other enemy). Chilblains has a bit long of a cast time, but helps in maintaining snare when the cripple of Unholy Feast wears off.

Death Shroud: Try to line up targets for piercing Life Blast whenever possible. It does a ton of damage, and additional 5% if you're above 50% Life Force. If you need extra healing for some reason, Life Transfer will heal if you start it right before Death Shroud would expire on its own. Try not to stay maxed out on Life Force any longer than necessary, since that's just wasting potential resource.

I like using minions for this build, since they make for handy distractions and fuel Life Force when they die. You can also take the various Corruption skills, though, which are excellent. Blood Is Power and Corrosive Poison Cloud are extremely powerful, even moreso when timed with a Deathly Swarm. (Swap Vampiric Master to Dagger Mastery or something if not using minions.)

Elites: All the Necromancer elites are fantastic. Plague renders you more or less impossible to kill for the duration, and is one of the best AoE blinds in the game. Summon Flesh Golem is a good general purpose elite, and has a short recharge. You can use the charge skill to quickly destroy structures and enemies near walls. Lich Form boosts your attributes by a crazy amount, letting you do silly damage for the duration. For humans, Reaper of Grenth is an interesting elite, because it continues to function while Death Shroud is up.

Generic DPS dungeon builds[edit]

(I wrote this up for my guild, too lazy to merge info with existing wiki article right now)

This is just a super basic starting point for any potential recruits who are new to running full zerker. Everything here "works" but can definitely be made better with ideal runes, sigils, consumables, and exact rotation (I'm not a pro player by any means.) Also remember the first rule of zerking: a dead player does no damage. You can drop every single defensive utility in these builds for an offensive one, but it won't help if it means you die.


Persisting Flames:;4g20U0557NkY0;9;4TT;0901A56B;40;0SR;1o0-vhrTvhrTNBlnF6;1Fb-V1-60B1G2LZR_6Z-870HV8aNX8a;9;9;9;9;9;4VR77E

Stacks might and fury for the party via blast finishers. Can also use a staff; Lava Font is deadly and spammable, but you trade three good blast finishers for one bad one. Sometimes its skills are better suited for the dungeon, though.

Ice Bow: skill 4 is the main damage, and is primarily used for AoE and against structures (graveling burrows in Ascalon Catacombs, for example). Fiery Greatsword: to use this properly, you need to turn off the "Autotargeting" option. Using skill 4 without a target makes you run in a straight line, leaving a trail of fire behind that does massive damage to anything standing on it. It's especially powerful when a foe is stacked against a wall, since you run into the wall and the entire line is focused right on them. Fiery Greatsword can singlehandedly take down some boss fights in mere seconds, especially with a second Elementalist so that 4 out of 5 party members can use it.



You can run this with any weapon set; rifle is most useful for Jump Shot, which inflicts vulnerability per EACH foe hit and can stack ridiculously high in AoE situations (it's 6 stacks for a single target, still not too bad, and does good damage anyway). Grenades are your main source of damage and let you stack vulnerability forever. Change around the elixirs as needed by the situation; they all remove conditions and grant might. Elixir R is especially useful because it passively revives downed (not dead) people when thrown.


Justice (similar to other Guardian DPS build someone else posted):;4RFV2093ZF-90;9;49T-J91;059A;117-5;0LRV4-oG6vhrTvhrTNBGvcF35-VYo8kVq0u1zY4_Aa6Z-870HV8aNX8a;9;9;9;9;9;4VR77q

Stacks might and vulnerability, applies AoE blind, keeps fire combo fields up a very long time, reflects. Activate Virtue of Justice as often as possible (it's easy to forget). When consecrations aren't needed, you can take shouts instead; "Stand Your Ground!" is popular for dungeons that have running sections. Don't sit on Greatsword; Whirling Wrath is the key ability, and Leap of Faith applies more vulnerability. But you don't want to use the basic attack, overwrite fire fields with Symbol of Wrath, or spam Binding Blade unnecessarily. (It's a pull, and you want to save that for grouping up enemies or moving bosses.)

You should also keep a staff handy in your inventory; Wave of Wrath, Empower, Symbol of Swiftness, and Line of Warding are all excellent tools in dungeons.



Mesmer I'm not so knowledgeable on. What I can say with confidence is that Feedback is amazing and Illusionary Wardens are dangerous.


Death Shroud:;00;3kHVB0F43JkJ0;9;4T9;0T57B4;615B4RF06JF0vhrTvhrTNBlKF6oW1WYodC6C6BbB6DbAb6Z-870HV8aNX8a;9;9;9;9;9;4VR77Z

Death Shroud is your main offense - 100% critical hit rate without anyone's help (using Assassin gear, otherwise you need a +precision consumable). Try to be in Axe set before using Death Shroud. Deals with conditions and boons. Necromancers aren't popular choices for zerker dungeon runs, though, because they lack combo finishers, have bad combo fields, and anything they can do, some other class can do better. Also (and worse), they lack strong AoE damage and can't really "burst" enemies down quickly. The damage over time is decent, but dead things can't hurt you, so burst is often better for zerker dungeon runs.


Frost Spirit:;4Z2Gy-c2oDV-0;9V8I;1JJ-J916-04;236-5;0LRV46JF0zxrUzxrUNBGvVHgYKN_scOVTWYXcYi3o_6Z-870HV8aNX8a;9;9;9;9;9;4VR77t

You have two pets: Jaguar and Red Moa. Jaguar's Stalk skill improves its critical hit chance and critical hit damage by 25% for 6 seconds, so ideally you save it to combine with Rampage as One. Red Moa's Furious Screech applies AoE fury for 15 seconds, on a 25 second cooldown. It's redundant if you have an Elementalist (see above) in the party, since they will take care of AoE fury, so swap for some other damage pet in that case. Use Call of the Wild on warhorn after Fire Trap triggers for more AoE might and fury. Axe offhand set can be used to pull bosses, and Whirling Defense reflects projectiles if needed. If extra condition removal is needed, change heal to Healing Spring. Some people use Quickening Zephyr instead of "Sic 'Em!" (combine with Rampage as One); the damage is much better, but it's also dangerous and can cause unintentional deaths if used wrong.


Pistol Whip:;4Zwk_0K5FOVd0;9;4TT;0925938A;44;0LRV46JF0udbTudbTNBGv-A-6-N_scOVTWYXcYi3o_6Z-870HV8aNX8a;9;9;9;9;9;4VR77m

Pistol Whip is your one stop skill: it stuns, it does great AoE damage, and it evades for around 1.5 seconds. With Signet of Malice equipped, it also heals you a good chunk. Black Powder helps keep foes blind, but it costs a lot of Initiative, so use with care. Shortbow is on the other weapon set because it can spam blast finishers with Cluster Bomb, which is always useful. Smoke Screen blinds foes and stops projectiles; you can blast it for AoE stealth, which works well combined with Shadow Refuge to make annoying running parts easy for the entire party.



Swap to greatsword after you've stacked vulnerability, but *only* use Hundred Blades and (if needed) Whirlwind Attack to evade. Fortunately, Hundred Blades recharges only slightly slower than weapon swap, so it's an easy pattern to pick up. Don't use your Burst skills unless for some reason you absolutely need the endurance gain. If other Warriors in the party already have Banner of Discipline and Banner of Strength covered, switch for other utilities like "Shake it Off!" or Signet of Stamina. Warbanner is occasionally useful if you expect the party might wipe, but takes forever to recharge, so use carefully.

Alternative longbow spec:;4NKkN0P4gK-60;9;4T9;0T49A4;657ALRF6-JF0udbTudbTNBlK78w6-N_s7kVq0u1zY4_Aa6Z-870HV8aNX8a;9;9;9;9;9;4VR77A

This is for when you don't have any other Fire combo fields in the party. Combustive Shot recharges in about 7 seconds, so it's pretty spammable (and the AoE is massive so it's useful for clearing up trash anyway).