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Primary profession guide

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Warrior

"The mightiest of mighty, the bravest of the brave, the Warrior is the master of melee combat and heavy armor."

Warriors are the tanks of Guild Wars. They can take damage very well, and they're very good at dishing it out. Most Warrior skills focus on dealing damage, and some inflict conditions, particularly deep wounds and bleeding. Warriors are available in all versions of Guild Wars.

Pros:

  • Highest base AL in the game (unconditional), and highest defense against Physical attacks.
  • Popular and often necessary in parties, with many high level area teams requiring at least 2 Warriors.
  • Simple to play, and a good choice for new players.
  • High damage per skill attack, thanks in part to their primary attribute, Strength.
  • Many skills require Adrenaline (instead of energy), which can be gained by just hitting enemies or being injured.
  • A variety of weapons to choose from, to fit your playing style.
  • Possess a variety of defensive skills.
  • Warriors have Shouts, a non-interruptable, non-removable skill-type that can benefit all party members.
  • Easy-to-apply Deep Wound.

Cons:

  • Are quite vulnerable to status effects and hexes, as Warriors lack the energy and the skills to remove those themselves.
  • Hard to find parties in a number of areas in the game (too many warrior players in game).
  • Little tactical diversity. Warriors generally just hit things until they stop moving.
  • Require melee range to deal sufficient damage.
  • Lowest base Energy and Energy Regeneration of all classes (similar to Paragons).
  • Compared to the other classes, there are only a few ways to use Primary Warriors effectively with another secondary profession.
  • Adrenaline may be difficult to be gained sometimes (when you are for example blind)

Ranger

"An agile and wily survivor, the Ranger specializes in archery, beast mastery, and attunement to nature."

Rangers are great debilitators. They usually don't inflict as much damage as Warriors or Elementalists, but impart a wide variety of conditions on enemies. Rangers interrupt enemy plans, prevent enemies from fleeing, set devastating traps, and summon spirits that affect everyone, friend and foe. Rangers are available in all versions of Guild Wars.

Pros:

  • Can attack from the furthest range than any other classes, providing you are on equal ground, or higher ground than the enemy.
  • Highest armor against elemental attacks, and relatively high base armor level.
  • Valuable debilitating/interrupting skills, especially in PvP.
  • Can tame Pets, which are permanent and very versatile.
  • Have many nature ritual skills, creating Spirits that provide a variety of effects to all creatures in its range.
  • Traps allow for Rangers to play a greater supporting role, while usually not needing to put the party in great danger.
  • Increased arrow range and damage when attacking targets from a higher elevation. (the amount of additional damage varies, however you must be substantially higher than your target)
  • Their Primary Attribute allows for a greatly reduced energy cost on all non-spell skills.
  • Many speed-enhancing and defensive skills to choose from.

Cons:

  • Sometimes require more pre-combat setup than other classes, such as from Preparations or Traps.
  • Are not in great demand in many PvE areas.
  • Reduced arrow range when attacking targets from a lower elevation.
  • Attacks are projectiles, and therefore require Line of Sight in order to strike the enemy.
  • Arrows can be dodged easily if not under a speed-boosting skill (for the arrows).
  • Have a small energy pool and only 3 pips of energy regeneration, so cannot use many skills effectively with low Expertise, or if the skills are spells.
  • Slow natural attacking speed with Bows.
  • Vulnerable to Hexes due to lack of hex removal.

Monk

"The servant of divine spirits, the Monk uses prayer to protect, preserve, and restore the well-being of companions."

Monks are always needed, and rarely wait long to get into parties.

Despite the supremacy of Monk healing, Monks can be effective offensively. Smiting monks do reasonable damage, especially against undead. Monks are available in all versions of Guild Wars.

Pros:

  • Provide exceptional healing abilities.
  • Have many skills which remove conditions and hexes.
  • Monks are in high demand with Parties, so finding a group is easy to do.
  • Possess many skills that deal or add Holy Damage, which deals double damage against Undead creatures.
  • Primary Attribute allows for all Monk spells targeting allies to heal for an additional amount.
  • Provide high amounts of defensive and damage-reduction skills.
  • Are party-friendly. Most Monk skills are directed towards aiding your party rather than damaging the enemy.
  • Good farming abilities.

Cons:

  • Weak armor, with base AL the same as other casters.
  • Relatively passive during combat. Monks are always busy, but spend more time watching Health bars than enemies.
  • Possess very few energy-management skills, so a secondary profession is often required to maintain a satisfactory Energy level.
  • Monks are expected to have certain skills, making questing more mandatory than other classes.
  • As a monk, players expect you to heal. Playing up your secondary class or playing as a Smiting Monk requires frequently informing other players that you are not a healer.
  • Usually more prone to skills that remove enchantments.
  • Many difficulties in PvP, where monks are usually the main target. This sometimes ends up as aimlessly running about to avoid spells and warriors, which can cause the player to run into enemies or run too far away from the party.
  • Weapon and offhand attribute requirements are very restrictive, almost always requiring you to have points in Divine Favor if you're not a Smiting Monk.
  • Difficult and awkward to play as a healer with henchmen, as you monitor both health bars and enemies to direct the henchmen at.

Necromancer

"One who has learned to draw power from blood sacrifice and communion with death, the Necromancer uses black magic to cast curses and raise undead minions."

Necromancers are a powerful class. Their blood magic allows them to leech health from opponents to keep themselves alive. Their minions can be raised from nearly any corpse and can be quite powerful. They also have hexes, bringing nasty effects to the enemy. Necromancers are available in all versions of Guild Wars.

Pros:

  • Ability to summon undead allies to somewhat increase your party size
  • Many skills allow you to drain health from an enemy and heal yourself for that amount.
  • Extensive playing variety and flexibility.
  • Quite popular in parties.
  • Have the ability to provide the highest Energy Regeneration to allies of all 10 classes
  • Primary Attribute allows for lots of energy returned to you when any creatures dies around you.
  • Many effective self-healing skills (Soul Feast, Taste of Death, etc)
  • Many Skills do Armor-ignoring damage, making necromancers very effective against warriors and classes using armor boosts.
  • Life Stealing cuts through damage reduction enchantments, such as Protective Spirit and Stoneflesh Aura, as it is not classified as damage. This means many tanking builds, such as invincimonks or terra tanks may find themselves taking unexpected damage, which they are unprepared for.

Cons:

  • Weak armor, as with the other caster classes.
  • Some armor makes you comparatively weak against holy-typed attacks.
  • Complex to play, and not recommended for beginners.
  • Many skills require a Health Sacrifice.
  • Vulnerable to Hexes
  • Death of the master causes minions to become hostile to everything.
  • Many Death Magic Skills require corpses to activate making battle against undead foes difficult.

Mesmer

"The paragon of illusion, misdirection, and control, the Mesmer subverts the damage-dealing capabilities of others, manipulating their perception to achieve personal goals."

Mesmers have a variety of unusual and unique skills. Mesmers are the masters of hexes, persistent spells that affect enemies for a length of time, damaging them or otherwise generally hindering the enemy. Hexes cover all sorts of situations, allowing Mesmers to be the bane of any other class, with the appropriate skill setup.

The Mesmer's unique Fast Casting attribute allows faster spellcasting. Mesmer is likely the rarest primary profession in Guild Wars, though it's a common secondary. Mesmers are available in all versions of Guild Wars.

Pros:

  • Fastest casting class of all professions, through their primary attribute.
  • Possess skills to counter basically any opponent.
  • Damage is irresistible, making most skills always deal a certain amount of damage.
  • Provide effective shutdown skills.
  • Arguably the best anti-caster class.
  • Uncommon in the game, resulting in very cheap to buy equipment.

Cons:

  • Many skills are consequential, meaning that the enemy must do a specific task in order for a specific skill to be effective.
  • Weak armor, like the other spellcasting professions.
  • Possess very few skills that are area-of-effect, resulting in players having to either stay on one target, or switching targets all the time.
  • Are a relatively complex class. Difficult to play effectively, and not recommended for beginners.
  • Have to play a specialized role in a party, and have many requirements in order to be effective.
  • Interruption skills require fast reflexes and a good internet connection in order to be effective.
  • Skills require the Mesmer to act offensive to be defensive.
  • Vulnerable to Conditions.

Elementalist

"The master of arcane lore and magical aptitude, the Elementalist calls upon the power of fire, earth, air, and water to obliterate enemies."

Elementalists deal damage most effectively of all spellcasters. They are the best nukers and also spike effectively. Each element tends to focus on a certain style of play. Fire deals area damage, water causes area-of-effect hexes, air destroys single targets while earth provides the best Elementalist defense.

Primary Elementalists can easily get the largest energy pool of all classes, since their primary attribute, Energy Storage, increases maximum energy by 3 for per level. Elementalist energy pools can exceed 100 energy. Elementalists are available in all versions of Guild Wars.

Pros:

  • Many available options and play styles.
  • Relatively straightforward to play, and easy for beginners.
  • Largest energy pool in the game, having been known to have over 100 Energy.
  • Can find parties quite easily, almost as easily as monks.
  • Massive damage in PvE.
  • Have many armor-ignoring or armor-penetrating spells.
  • Many skills deal direct, PBAoE damage, making you potent at both long-range as well as close-range.
  • A variety of gear to choose from.

Cons:

  • Weak armor, as with other spellcasters.
  • Certain enemies are strong against certain elements, which restricts you from playing a certain way in certain areas.
  • Damage-over-time skills have reduced effectiveness since a previous patch.
  • Many skills cause Exhaustion.
  • Damage is direct, meaning it is quite predictable and easy to prevent. This is especially evident through Protection Prayers.
  • Have some of the longest average casting times of skills than any other class.
  • Vulnerable to Hexes and Conditions.
  • Playing as this class first will often distort your views of energy when you play other classes.

Assassin

"The Assassin walks the shadows, a deadly viper ready to strike at the heart when the enemy least expects it, nowhere and everywhere at once."

Assassins are the sneaky deceptors of Guild Wars. They possess the ability to chain attacks together for fast and massive damage dealing. They also are able to Shadow Step, which is similar to teleportation, allowing them to swiftly move from place to place. Assassins are considered to be somewhat of a mix between the Mesmer and the Warrior classes, with heavy Melee damage, and many different Hexes that confuse and wreak havoc upon your enemy. Assassins are available in Guild Wars: Factions.

Pros:

  • Relatively strong armor (compared to casters).
  • Specializing in Daggers, giving them the highest attack speed of all classes (through double attack).
  • Possess the ability to Shadow Step.
  • Chaining Attacks for fast and heavy damage.
  • 4 pips of Natural Energy Regen (more than most attacking classes).
  • Receive an excellent self-healing skill, Shadow Refuge, early on.

Cons:

  • Require melee range to deal sufficient damage.
  • Do not have strong AL (of 80-100 like Warriors) for Tanking, which is what you'll often end up doing at Melee range.
  • Not hitting one attack in a chain of attacks often screws up your entire chain.
  • Low normal attack power, so once a chain is finished or ruined, an assassin can't deal much damage with just weapons.
  • Few AoE attacks, which are preferred in PvE.
  • Hard to find parties, as Assassins are not too effective in most aspects of PvE.
  • Fewer skills than those classes found in the Prophecies campaign.
  • Vulnerable to Hexes.

Ritualist

"They channel otherworldly energies that summon allies from the void and employ mystic rituals that bend those allies to the Ritualist's will."

Ritualists are the mystics of Guild Wars. They, like Rangers, have the ability to cast Rituals to summon spirits to aid the allies in their fight. These spirits are much more lively than those of the Ranger, however, as they can heal, block attacks, or even attack the enemies themselves. A combination of Necromancers, Rangers, and Monks, Ritualists possess the ability to deal spike damage, summon, and heal allies with their own category of healing spells. Weapon spells by the Ritualists also aid the allies' attacks by boosting the power of the allies' weapons in a specific way. Ritualists are available in Guild Wars: Factions.

Pros:

  • Effectively complements the healing monk(s) in the party with non-removable weapon spells and spirits effects.
  • Spirits that boost the allies' stats, like Shelter and Union, have a range almost 3 times the normal aggro circle radius, making it very hard for enemies to reach them or interrupt the ritualist.
  • Attacking spirits, like Pain, have the attacking range that a longbow would have.
  • Summon spirits to do specific tasks without requiring full attention of the player.
  • Summoned creatures and spirits have more health, through the primary attribute, Spawning Power.
  • More Energy than the attacking classes (Rangers, Assassins, Warriors, Dervishes, Paragons).

Cons:

  • Fewer skills than those classes found in the Prophecies campaign.
  • Weak armor, just like the other spellcasters.
  • All Binding Rituals have long casting times (only in PvP) which makes them easy to interrupt.
  • Binding Rituals cannot move so they must be recast when the battle shifts position. A way around this is Draw Spirit or Summon Spirits.
  • Vulnerable to Hexes.

Dervish

"A scythe-wielding holy warrior"

Dervishes are fierce mystic warriors. The weapons of a dervish are twofold. Their large, foreboding scythe is capable of hitting multiple opponents and can deal substantial damage to lightly armored foes. An assortment of enchantments are used to deal damage and conditions to nearby foes as well as provide healing and protection for the Dervish. In addition, the Dervish may temporarily take on the form of any of the gods of Tyria to gain extra power in battle. Finally, the Dervish has a number of prayers to heal allies, often at the expense of enchantments. Dervishes are available in Guild Wars: Nightfall.

Pros:

  • Relatively strong armor (compared to casters).
  • Automatic multi-hit for scythe attacks.
  • Dual purpose enchantments that activate on both cast and removal.
  • 4 pips of Natural Energy Regen (more than most attacking classes).
  • Have the highest maximum weapon damage range (9-41).
  • Have the highest maximum health compared to other professions.

Cons:

  • Require melee range to deal sufficient damage.
  • Do not have strong AL (of 80-100 like Warriors) for Tanking, thus requires enchantments for sustaining health.
  • Fewer skills than those classes found in the Prophecies and Factions campaign.
  • Relatively low max energy pool.
  • Easily shut down with enchantment removal.

Paragon

"Guardian angel of the Elonian people"

Paragons are the bards of the game. Numerous chants and shouts give both offensive and defensive bonuses to the entire party. In addition, Paragons are heavily armored distance fighters. Wielding a spear in one hand and a shield in the other, they can deal and take a good deal of damage on the battlefield. The Paragon, as with the Warrior, has numerous skills charged by adrenaline, helping to compensate for the low energy regeneration. Paragons are available in Guild Wars: Nightfall.

Pros:

  • Numerous skills to provide bonuses to the entire party.
  • Highest base AL in the game (unconditional) combined with distance attacks.
  • Adrenaline based attacks helps to reduce dependence on energy.
  • Works well with Warrior shouts and adrenaline buffs.

Cons:

  • Low energy regeneration.
  • Considerably weaker if no allies are around.
  • Fewer skills than those classes found in the Prophecies and Factions campaign.
  • Hexes that disable shouts and chants shut down the paragon quickly.
  • Vulnerable to energy and adrenaline denial.

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