Greetings, shield brothers and sisters! This week I want to respond to a reader request and outline how Guardians benefit (and can benefit others) through the use of the cross-profession combination system. These combos prove that, when it comes to group play, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Where the inexperienced player may not even be aware that such combinations exist, a seasoned veteran will look for opportunities to use them to his or her advantage.
After today’s article, you’ll be able to count yourselves among the latter.
For those who are unaware, many abilities across each profession fall into two different categories: Fields and Finishers. Fields are elemental in nature, and correspond to a persistent ground-based effect that trigger from a specific ability.
Finishers are also tied to abilities, and they react with fields to create powerful effects above and beyond what just the field or finisher would do alone.
This list of how each finisher reacts with each field is taken from the official Guild Wars 2 Wiki, and it’s extensive.
|Field||Blast Finisher||Leap Finisher||Projectile Finisher||Whirl Finisher|
|Dark||Area Blindness||Blindness||Life stealing||Leeching Bolts|
|Ethereal||Area Chaos Armor||Chaos Armor||Confusion||Confusing Bolts|
|Fire||Area Might (x3)||Fire Armor||Burning||Burning Bolts|
|Ice||Area Frost Armor||Frost Armor||Chilled||Chilling Bolts|
|Light||Area Retaliation||Retaliation||Remove Condition||Cleansing Bolts|
|Lightning||Area Swiftness||Dazing Strike||Vulnerability||Brutal Bolts|
|Poison||Area Weakness||Weakness||Poison||Poison Bolts|
|Smoke||Area Stealth||Stealth||Blindness||Blinding Bolts|
|Water||Area Healing||Healing||Regeneration||Healing Bolts|
As Guardians, we’ll start with a look at the fields we can create. This becomes important for advanced solo play and for maximizing your contribution in groups. The two fields we have mastery over are Light and Fire.
A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
Light is, by far, our most frequently created field. It ties to a number of our weapon abilities and utility skills, including:
- Line of Warding - Staff
- Ring of Warding - Hammer
- Sanctuary - Consecration
- Shield of Absorption - Shield
- Symbol of Faith - Mace
- Symbol of Judgment - Downed State
- Symbol of Protection - Hammer
- Symbol of Swiftness - Staff
- Symbol of Wrath - Greatsword
- Wall of Reflection - Consecration
- Judgment – Tome of Wrath. Not the most reliable source, given the 3-minute cooldown of the elite skill, but it’s still a source.
- Mighty Blow - Hammer. With a 5-second cooldown, this is our go-to solution for blast finishers.
- Shield of Wrath - Focus. This blast finisher has a 45-second cooldown (36 seconds with Focused Mastery). Not only is it one of the best defensive abilities in the game, but it triggers its finisher upon activation.
- Leap of Faith - Greatsword. This is our one and only leap. Our other gap-closers are teleports and do not interact with fields in any way. Remember that Leap of Faith already has a built-in area of effect blind, so avoid using it on Dark fields. Blind stacks in duration, but it’s almost pointless to do so, given how quickly attacks happen in the game. Personally, I believe blinds should stack in intensity instead, so 3 blinds would make the next 3 attacks miss, but that’s a fight for another day.
- Binding Blade - Greatsword. Understanding that this ability has more uses than just the secondary pull separates novices from veterans.
- Protector’s Strike - Mace. Similar to the Focus, this Whirl only triggers as a secondary contingency if you aren’t struck.
- Whirling Wrath - Greatsword. The marquee ability of our Greatsword just got even better! Look for fields, and SPIN TO WIN!