The guardian is one of the hardest tanks to kill, if you play them correctly. Guardians are the anchor of any group or raid of adventurers, providing leadership and protection for their allies. Combining durable armor with an impressive array of defensive skills, Guardians can remain standing after absorbing substantial amounts of physical damage from their enemies. Stone-skins and other defensive skills is the guardians bread and butter. Up until ToV came out that’s all we were. Hard as nails but our DPS was one of the weakest of all the other tanks. Things have changed.
Why pick your class over another
I have a 95 pally a 95 Bruiser and a 89 monk. The guardian has always been my favorite to play. I will be honest for the longest time I have been jealous of my other tank brothers and sisters. The Pally heals, the taunt/dps/heal/power button clicks of Shadow Knights, the AoE of zerkers, and the DPS of our leather tanks. If you want a hard tank to play, play a guardian. The guardian can now finally push out some really good DPS and take multiple punches to the face with out breaking a sweat. Be warned, its not an easy task to play a guardian well.
AA choice and why - with screen shots Link to spec for --> click Holyguardian:
(STR) Executioner's Wrath: 1 point spent to have something to click.
(AGL) Dragoon Spin: 2 points needed to get to below abilities
(AGL) Dragoon' Cyclone: 10 points is 40% AoE, a must have. Note our AoE can be converted to Flurry.
(AGL) Dragoon's Avoidance: 10 points Extra defense
(AGL) Dragoon's Reflexes: 10 points. 12 seconds of 100% Parry and Strikethrough plus no AoE (as long as you are not the target)
---This Dragoon's Reflexes will become a big part of your defense. With 10 points spent in the Dragon Line – Dragon Roar (Increases the duration of beneficial abilities by 10%) this ability last 21.2 seconds. Now don't worry about the any combat arts used will drop the effect. Just don't use any combat arts. You CAN us your two main taunts: Provoke and Shout. With our Auto attacks doing 50% of our damage and these taunts you should still be able to hold aggro. Also, you can use Reinforcement ( threat priority increase of 1 per hit or taunt) and Plant. These will not break Dragoon Reflexes. With max 100% reuse you can use this ability again in 1 minute and 8.2 seconds. As soon as you cast Dragoon's Reflexes the cool down timer starts.
(STA) line Taken for a proc, extra DPS and block chance
(WIS) Belly smash, 1 point to have something to click on. Note this “sometimes” works on Epics.
(INT) with this line you will always have an extra 25% casting speed, 25% recovery speed and 41.2 attack speed active (well at least most of the time). Keep this in mind when you are reforging. Also the last choice Relentless Assault is just good to take. 12% reuse and 30% recovery
Most of the choices here are to make things last longer or to make things better. A few must haves
Enhance: Plant You will want the effect Radius of 10 meters. Our other AoE (all but Partisan Cleave that takes a minute to come back) are very short range. You can click Reinforcement and then Plant and you should have everything on you. Helps when that mage is hanging back to far.
Enhance: Sentry Watch. Again its the Radius 30 meters with this. Nothing like having a group death save when things are going bad and being able to reach those who are 30 meters away.
Got Your Back. AoE blocker for your other tank friends. Last 16.5 seconds and recast in 30 seconds.
Shoulder the Burden. 15% hate transfer (mini pally amends)
Fight Through Death. Well here is our death save. With 5 points in Enhance: Unyielding Will it will last 3 minutes 48 seconds and then be down for 7 minutes 30 seconds. If you don't take this line you will die when Unyielding Will expires.
Improved Moderation: 5% hate and -25% hate to your group.
Last Man Standing: 7 trigger Stone-skins.
We do have some good stuff here, but I only spent what was needed. Only 46 points. Remember our main DPS is our auto attacks
Spirit and Boby: Extra health a must have.
The second line, pot, crit and reuse you can move around. If you are max on reuse, pick the other two.
Robust Bulwark. This ties to Battle Cry which is up 100% of the time as long as you cast it. Having 5% more health for the group is great.
Emboldened: 10% Damage reduction, can be up 50% of the time
Perfect Counter: 3 trigger stone-skins. Also will push that damage back to the enemy.
Partisan Cleave: AoE that gives us up to 8% damage reduction if we hit 8 enemies, and extra crit bonus. Our best AoE with a 15 meter range.
Yelinak's – points spent to get to Outnumbered. Increases all attributes by 14%. I wish I had another 3 points to spend. Only triggers when being “hit” by more then 4 mobs, but there seems to be a lot of groups in zones/raid.
All self explanatory. More health, more health when taunting, more mitigation and a 25% heal with Dragonic Shout. You have to be in defensive stance which I typically always am.
Ancient Focus. This is a must have. Remember all those stone-skin we have? After a stone-skin triggers, we are immune to damage for 1.1 seconds with Ancient Focus. If we look at our Tower of Stone (4 trigger stone-skin) this would mean we are immune to damage for 4.4 seconds... but that's only IF we get hit 4 times in 1.1 seconds. What this means is that Tower of Stone will typically last for 5-15 seconds before it drops. If we get hit by a physical attack, it triggers. If the mobs auto attack is once ever 4 seconds (most mobs are like this) we will trigger stone-skin on the mobs first auto attack. Then 4 seconds later when it auto attacks again a 2nd stone-skin gets used, up to 4 triggers, or 16 seconds of damage immunity.
Ancient Advance adds crushing damage to our 2 main taunts
Stalwart Aura: 3 points 5% Damage reduction for 11seconds when healed. Up about every 20 seconds
Protecting Stance: 3 points. 3% Damage reduction when Hunker Down is up.
I picked the right side for the main reason of Defender's Charge and Defensive Bulwark. This gives you a total of 6% damage reduction 100% of the time. You also benefit from Grit and more crit bonus.
Spells/combat arts discussion, basics on your stuff.
Lets talk about all the Stone-skin/you cant hurt me abilities we get first.
Block (1 trigger)
Tower of Stone (4 triggers) – note you need a shield equipped to cast this, but then you can switch to duel wield weapons
Dragoon's Reflexes (21.2 seconds of 100% parry) – Always switch to duel wield weapons if up.
Perfect Counter (3 triggers) – Always switch to duel wield weapons if up.
Last Man Standing (7 triggers) – Always switch to duel wield weapons if up.
--The above is all on one hot bar. See below. This is also my casting order typically. Tower of Stone first (it comes back the fastest), then Dragoon's Reflexes, block, Perfect counter (by now block and tower of stone is back), Last man standing, by now Dragoon Reflexes is back, etc.
IF I do not have any of the above abilities available I am going to run all of the following at the same time, plus I put on my shield.
Hunker Down: (13% damage reduction, more block chance, and increased Mitigation vs physical damage
Defensive Mind: 20% dodge chance and strikethrough immunity. (also more reuse and casting speed but this should already be 100%
--Between these 4 ability's running you are fairly safe for 30 seconds. By the time these run out, you should have a stone-skin back up.
--Keep in mind you should always have Battle Cry running. This can be maintained and up all the time. Group 5% more health, group damage reduction 3% and more group mit vs physical damage
We have (just like all other tanks) Rescue (8 positions with AA's), and Sneering Assault (3 positions).
We also have: Cry of the Warrior (2 positions) – shadows line Warrior tree.
Reinforcement. If you need aggro always use Reinforcement first. With Reinforcement each time you use a combat art or taunt it will trigger a threat position and it last for 14.3 seconds. If you hit an AoE, all mobs hit with that AoE will trigger a threat increase. Also Reinforcement comes back in 90 seconds. This means when reinforcement ends it will be available again in 75.7 seconds.
We also have Recapture. Consider this a threat increase for all other tanks in your raid.
Assault, Dragoon Spin(AA) and Partisan Cleave(AA)(Blue AoE). Keep in mind Plant is also a blue AoE to technically we have 4 blue AoE. They do not hit very hard (except Partisan Cleave) but when tied with Grit they can be amazing.
Lets talk about Grit before we cover other single target attacks. With the AA line picked your Defender's Charge will cast Grit on your next combat art. This will do 4 hits of about 2141 - 3977 damage. So if you hit Defenders Charge, and then hit an AoE, they will all get hit with those 4 triggers of Grit.
So on an AoE fight. Time your grit with your AoE's. Hit Defenders Charge, then an AoE (grit hits all mobs with your AoE). Wait for Defenders Charge to come back. Hit Defenders Charge then your next AoE. I have my AoE lined up so I click on the one that comes back the fastest first. This will ensure you have an AoE up when Defenders Charge is ready to be used.
Defenders Charge should be cast every time it is available. Remember it is your damage reduction and will be one of the highest combat arts on your parse
Focused Offensive. This is one of the best things that has ever happen to a Guardian.
The bad-Disables the caster's ability to AE Auto Attack.
The Good- converts AE to Fluury, .15 auto Attack Multiplier, Instantly recast any single target offensive combat art the guardian uses
So you need to be smart about this ability. When hitting 1-4 mobs you should have this on, IF I am not having an issue with hate. If you have 4-10 mobs I would turn this off and let your 100% auto attack do its work. Turn it on and turn it off when needed to max your DPS
--Wrath of Vel'Arek – Myth buff, immune to control effects (chance its up) 5% damage reduction
--Hold the Line – Hit the guardian or the guardian blocks and it will proc threat 50% chance
--Iron will – STA +92.4, + mit vs ele, nox and arc.
--Reversal (AA) small proc threat and damage
--Improved Moderation - (+5 hate, -25 for group)
We have Armored (Defense) and Forward Charge (Offense) plus Recklessness. To be honest I always run Armored.
--Deity pet of course
Buffs I put on people
--Shoulder the Burden: 15% hate transfer. Typically highest DPS'r in my group
--Moderate: Decrease hate gain by 36.2%. My next highest DPS'r as long as they do not have a hate transfer on me. Other wise healer
--Sentinel – Proc stone-skin for one person, if not scout or fighter. Put it on main healer.
--Never Surrender -54% avoidance check. Healer, unless I am requesting someone's else avoidance.
--Draconic Effigy item is available – Threat priority on first combat art and extra weapon damage for 18 seconds.
--IF I think its going to be a hard pull, I will put up Sentry Watch. Group death save. Note: A well timed Sentry Watch can save 3 members of your group. Be the hero and save those that need it. Not only will this save the persona but it will also do a threat proc for you.
Casting order, combat arts/spells, temp buffs, and why
--Bow: After pre pull buffs I will typically use my Bow, unless I have to body pull.
– Provoke and then Shout: When mobs are running in I will use my single target taunt Provoke (4 second recast), and then my group taunt Shout (5 second recast). These two taunts come back very fast, so use them when ever they are up. Remember they do crushing damage, threat and increase your health. Shout on groups is very important. All in-counter mobs get hit with that crushing damage.
----If Group of mobs Partisan Cleave - Because I used Defenders Charge Grit is now charged up. So when Partisan Cleave its they will also get hit with Grit.
----If single targetDecimate. Decimate cannot be parried, deflected, riposted or blocked
--Bash Bash will increase your block chance by 25%. You can recast Bash before this ends so it should always be up.
Note by this time Bash is available. I will always use the “above” combat arts before using the below ones. The last 6 Precise Strike, Taunting Blow, Lay Waste, Execustioner's Wrath, Gut Kick, and Overpower will get used if nothing else is available. But remember if you look at my hot bar setups, the ones above should always get used before the ones below.
Oh no buttons, when things go bad.
Well, it is rare to have any “oh no” moments. Because we can cycle through our stone skins and Dragoon's Reflexes you should be safe most of the time even with a healer down. Our best “oh no” button is for our group. Sentry Watch. Just in case I do have the Overclocked Lifestone, and Bristlebanes miracle 16.5 seconds you can't kill me. For aggro control hitting Reinforcement and throw out all AoE's will get you aggro.
This was a hard one. For the new ToV Arcane/Potent gear I went with 5 items with health. And 2 for DPS. This seems to be a good balance. I focused on getting Reuse to 100% first. Then AoE to 100%
Crit chance to what you need to do the zone
STA Astral Adornment of Endurance on Head, Hands, Ear and Wrist if you can
DPS on Chest, and Waist
3% extra Riposte chance (Smoldering Adornement of Avoidance on Neck.. must have for all tanks
Other white I got just to top off any ability that need a few extra points.
Mostly DPS , AoE and Strike through. I would put priority in AoE up to 100%, then Strike through (100%) then DPS on what is left. For the chest piece you should get mit or block chance. I have yet to get that.
Best in class Purple adornment for weapon, cloak, etc.
With these 3 and potent/raid gear I am sitting at 750K health.
Deity/other items (mana stone, etc)
I went with Bristlebane for the you cant kill me ability
Mana stone of course, Steward's Cloak of Eternity, cure pots,
Macros you use
My main macros are to let everyone know I am using a Threat Priority snap. I do have Fighting Chance (instant cast, instant recovery) tied to both my Taunts. Also I have equip shield and dual wield weapons macro.
Useful tools you use (outside of game) - including download links
Holy - If you put superior parry adornments in both of your rings, your Uncontested Parry will get close to cap.
Really? I did not think the + what is it 32? parry would effect this. Only stuff with a % on it. Great to hear I will make changes tonight.
Hrm, I will have to look at my gear. Since that's the only place I have parry stuff in I assumed, but maybe there's innate things on my gear I never paid attention to? I was also thinking we were wearing the same number of defensive pieces - that could play into the parry stat difference there.
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