The Glorious Guardian: The support/sustain role - Part 4 - The Honor Trait LineBy: Darth Meraj posted at Oct 17, 2012 3:27 pm
Welcome back to my series that takes a look at the Guild Wars 2 Guardian profession as a support/sustain role. If you are just tuning in, you should check out my previous articles which cover various aspects starting with weapon skills in Part 1. Following that I covered utility skills in Part 2 and I began covering the trait lines with Valor in Part 3. This article will break down the Honor trait line which is the quintessential healing investment for the Guardian.
The Honor Trait Line
When you invest in this trait line you are going to directly boost your sustain by increasing your overall HP with +10 Vitality per point, while also giving you a very important +10 to healing power. Of course, at 30 points you'll gain a total of 300 points into each stat. I can't stress enough just how important this trait line is if you are looking to support your team. It contains some very strong traits that help you save downed allies and also grants some extra healing methods which you can never have enough of.
This trait is slightly out of place within this line. It has nothing to do with support but it will help you survive more in tight situations. It's very situational because it requires you to critically hit your target, which will give you vigor, allowing you to regenerate your endurance faster. There are two specific circumstances that make this trait work well, if you have good dodge timing or if you are doing a lot of PvP. Overall this trait relies heavily on your gaming skills and timing, as well as your critical hit chance.
Grants your dodge an AoE heal at the end of your roll. How epic is that? A free heal and it holds great synergy with Vigorous Precision. If your timing and positioning is exceptional, you'll benefit the most from this trait. Beyond that, there isn't much else to say about this trait except that it's satisfying to use.
Once again, this trait has heavy synergy with the previous two minor traits, making your dodge ability grant you increased damage by using endurance. This skill does not give more damage per endurance you have missing, but instead it grants you an additional 10% damage when your endurance is below 50%.
When your Aegis breaks, you gain retaliation. This trait is really great for the sole reason that you completely negate damage done on with the first hit you take and then make any damage you take perpetuates the edge you've gained by returning a portion to your attacker.
Your shouts recharge 20% faster. There are so many important and useful adept major traits but I'd put this one in the top. If you recall my utility skills review, I explained just how powerful shouts really are and having those ready even more often can never be neglected.
This trait isn't the best choice in every situation but there are a few times where you'll be grateful it's available. Writ of Exaltation will make your symbols larger, covering more ground. This is especially helpful when you are using symbols in a large group or even a smaller group that is spread out. If you have a team that sticks close together or pays more attention to when you lay a symbol, this trait isn't the best choice. It has great synergy with the master trait Writ of the Merciful or Writ of Persistence.
This trait is great for both a fallen ally and yourself as it will provide you both aegis, protection, and regeneration for 10 seconds after you revive a downed ally. It's most helpful due to the fact that you'll likely be taking damage while you revive somebody and also helps the downed person recover quickly, which means they'll be less likely to go back down right away. This is a very powerful trait and I recommend using it if you are going to be the designated reviver.
Similar to the previous trait, this one will is very powerful when saving the lives of your allies. When you start to revive an ally you will gain a shield of absorption, which pushes back any nearby enemies and will absorb projectiles. The reason this trait can be so powerful is that it gives you some breathing room while reviving while also protecting you from ranged damage. This can be invaluable in the heat of battle, especially when an ally goes down in a really bad spot.
You will be healed when your aegis is removed. This is a pretty good self-sustain trait, but it really only shines when you have other traits or skills that revolve around aegis. For example, Indomitable Courage giving you aegis every 30 seconds instead of 40, Courageous Return giving aegis when you rally, and also of course Protective Reviver.
I mentioned this trait earlier, it will make your symbols last longer. It is particularly powerful for symbols when you are using them offensively because they will do more overall damage. Though the beneficial effects are simply gained when passing through the symbol and doesn't require you to stay inside the AoE.
In my opinion this trait is very out of place, but that's not surprising. I really have to address the fact that ArenaNet changed up all of the guardian's traits from the beta to release. When you look at these trait lines during beta though, you can easily see why they had to force unusual composition, because it was simply overpowered. The honor trait line in particular was so powerful for healing that there is no way it could have been balanced. Anyhow, this trait will give your nearby allies a 5 second might boon when you critically hit. I suppose traits like this aren't a bad thing to have plopped into unusual places because it gives players a chance to have unique and interesting trait builds
This trait grants all two-handed weapon skills a 20% quicker cooldown. It's a pretty self-explanatory trait but also a very powerful one. If have both of your weapon sets as a two-handed, then you can get the most out of this trait.
I really couldn't wait to get to this trait, it's one of my all time favorites for healing. If allows your symbols to heal allies once every second, healing for a bit more than regeneration boon does per second. This trait is so powerful that it's almost destructive for you to not have it. There are other builds which will allow you to utilize the other master traits, but those aren't builds dedicated to healing. If you are looking to put out a ton of healing, you'd be trolling to not pick this trait.
Allies that are affected by a shout will convert one condition into a boon. It's completely random as to which condition it will cure and what boon it gives you I cannot be certain but I'd imagine it goes along the same listing as Contemplation of Purity. Check the link to see the match-up of conditions to boons. This additional effect placed on every one of your shouts is extremely powerful on top of the raw power that shouts grant you and your allies. There is currently a problem though with Hold the Line shout not giving a boon for a condition cured and also sometimes doesn't work curing a condition either. I assume this will be fixed soon though.
Absolutely one of the most powerful traits in the game in my opinion. Your nearby allies will gain the passive effect from Virtue of Resolve, which is health regeneration. If you are heavily invested into the healing stat this passive effect is very strong, even at lower levels. I would personally choose this grandmaster trait over Pure of Voice, but would consider otherwise if I'm heavily vested in using shouts when there's a lot of conditions being placed on your allies.
Overall I'd have to say that I enjoy the honor trait line greatly. It's got some very powerful choices that can really put your character on a whole new level when it comes to sustain and support. Up next I'll be covering the Virtue trait line.
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