Without traditional roles like tank/healer in Gw2 PVE, there is however the ‘trinity’ of:
- DPS (Group Buffs, Rotations, Gear/Traits, Nourishment)
- Control (Conditions, Disables, Positioning, Area Denial)
- Support (Boons, Aegis, Cleansing, Reflects, Stealth, Blasting, Conditions)
All professions are able to occupy these 3 overlapping roles at the same time depending on utilities chosen. Active Defense is achieved by utilizing Control + Support and at the same time DPSing without having to rely on Passive Defenses (Toughness/Vitality stats).
This guide aims to show where certain profession skills can benefit the party for specific Dungeon encounters. For a very in depth explanation of combat in Gw2, check out this great beginner’s guide.
- Group buffs: Warrior’s Banners of Strength/Discipline (this should be used whenever possible), Ranger’s Frost Spirit, Mesmer’s Timewarp, Guardian (Tome of Wrath for Quickness), (if Traited) Warrior’s Empower Allies, Ranger’s Spotter.
- Rotations: What sets a fast kill time apart from others (in solos for example) is in skill rotations. Knowing your class DPS rotations is the best way to maximize damage output.
- Nourishment: Potions appropriate for the Dungeon / Skale Venom should be used whenever possible for the damage boost. DnT’s guide to consumables for dungeons.
- Conditions: Chill, Cripple, Immobilize, Fear
- Disables: Stun/Daze, Launch, Knockdown, Push/Pull, Fear, Icebow Deep Freeze, Blinds
- Disabling a dangerous attack is always helpful besides mitigating it, Elite/Silver trash mobs (like Risen/Golems/Icebrood) can often be stunned/interrupted to prevent their high damage.
- Blinding mobs below Champion Rank, is helpful for surviving trash mobs especially Elites, keeping up blind uptime for the group can make a difference between a wipe and a clean fight.
- For Blinds, Thieves can use Smokescreen/Pistol #5/Guardian cycling Leap of Faith, Focus #4 and spamming Virtue of Justice (Traited)/Engi with Smoke Bomb/Ele with Glyph of Storms on Earth Attunement, Necromancer with Wells.
- Positioning: by using control skills to position foes, grouping enemies into a wall or corner dramatically improves your party’s damage, as melee weapons will cleave through them with ease.
- Mesmer focus Curtain/GS #5 push, Thief Scorpion Wire, Engi Magnetic Pull, Guardian Binding Blades/Banish, Ranger Point Black Shot
- Area Denial: Line of warding, Ring of Warding, Unsteady Ground, Static Field, Sanctuary
- Useful for skips (by placing Line to stop following mobs), allowing time to DPS Gravelings/Breeder in Spikes part of AC P2, or general trash.
- Boons (Might, Fury, Protection, Regen etc).
- Useful to prevent Imprisonment Crystal by Alpha in COE, Paralyze by Undergrowth Stonetouch in TA Up, Petrified by Simin in Arah P4.
- For bosses like Sure Shot in CM P3 where his attacks knockdown.
- Block hard hitting attacks like COE destroyer’s Dragon Tooth so party can focus on DPS.
- Cleansing Conditions
- Removing bleed stacks / confusion / burning quickly will help low HP classes.
- Removing weakness that hampers party DPS.
- Projectile defense
- Guardians when traited are able to keep up Reflection uptime by chaining Wall of Reflection/Shield of the Avenger and Sanctuary.
- Mesmer Feedback, traited Wardens and Temporal Curtain also has high reflect uptime for projectile heavy bosses like Alphard in Arah P2/Mage Crusher in Arah P3/Lyssa in Arah P4 for example.
- In groups without Guardian/Mesmer, a Thief can use Daggerstorm/Smokescreen, an Ele with focus Swirling Winds, Ranger axe Whirling Defense.
- Chaining reflect skills would allow the party to burst melee the Dredge Carrier in SE P3.
- Blasting combo fields for area might, healing, stealth
- Warriors/Eles/Thieves are ideal because of many blasting skills.
- Boon stripping
- Mesmers can strip boons with Null Field and Phantasmal Disenchanter.
- Useful for Security Golem in COE, Dredge in Sorrow’s Embrace and Fractals, and Risen Hunters in Arah.
- Stripping Defiance
- Defiance prevents Control skills from being effective unless Defiant stacks are stripped. Coordinating or having a player dedicated to stripping Defiance speeds up the fight by disabling some of the Boss attacks. A good use of this is Champion Abomination in Arah p2 that goes into Berserker state, this attack can be disabled so guns don’t have to be used. Bosses like Malrona that is not immune to Control can also be Defiance stripped for Deep Freeze.
- Thieves are ideal to manage stripping Defiance on Bosses with Pistol 4.
- Mesmers can also use Mantra of Distraction.
- Vulnerability: Besides capping Might, stacking Vuln is desirable to amplify the damage dealt. Engineers are great at stacking Vuln.
- Weakness: Strong in Fractals and for trash mobs like Risen Berserkers. Warrior warhorn is often used to provide AOE weakness.
- Chill: Useful for Elite trash mobs or bosses like Volcanic Fractal’s Imbued Shaman.
- If a Thief pings Smokescreen/Blinding Powder, help blast it to extend stealth duration for the group. If there are sufficient blasts, there would be no need to waste a slot on cooldown for Shadow Refuge.
- Portals can help in skips and coordinated to speed up runs.
- Swiftness (Warrior ideally swapping to warhorn to give party swiftness in between fights, also blasting Ele’s Static Field allows stacking longer swiftness for a skip).
- A ranger’s bear pet is useful to draw the aggro of some bosses like Champion Ettin and Little Tom in Fractals.
- A pet can also be used to bait strong attacks when pulling dangerous enemies, such as Champion Icebrood Wolf in CoE.
- A Guardian with Knights armor is often able to draw aggro from teammates.
- Allowing someone to attack mobs first, while others not attack makes it easier to kite said mob around and away from the party.
Some unexhaustive (and preferably lesser known) examples, by all means not complete so feel free to correct/add tips.