Guide to Winning PvP in Guild Wars 2 by Zoose

guild wars 2 pvp guide

Hello friends! It’s Zoose from Team PZ with a new guide for a new season of Guild Wars 2 League play!

In this guide I’ll be covering tactics and strategies that I’ve experienced over hundreds of hours of solo play.

You should take note that this isn’t a guide for just one class, one spec or one role.

From the solo queue rookie, to the seasoned veterans – I’ll be covering several roles that will enable anyone to achieve success! You can feel free to skip around to parts of my guide that pertain to you, but I recommend at least skimming through the whole guide – you might even learn something cool!

This is Part 1 of a 4-Part Guide I’ve published on Guild Wars 2 PvP & Solo Queue.

I highly suggest checking out the other parts of this series:

Part 1: PvP Tier List, Team Compositions and Winning (You’re reading it!)
Part 2: Forest of Niflhel Strategy
Part 3: Legacy of the Foefire Strategy
Part 4: Battle of Khylo Strategy

Let’s go ahead and jump right in!


Part 1: PvP Tier List, Team Compositions and Winning

So you queue up, get into a game, and you’re looking to win.

Many players spend their 90 second pre-game sitting there waiting for the match to start, but that time is valuable and can be spent analyzing team compositions. Press ‘B’ to bring up the scoreboard and look at both your team and the enemy team’s composition.

You want to think about what the best role you can play for that game could be. If you play multiple classes, then this becomes incredibly useful. However, if you don’t multi-class and have mastered your main role, then you can most likely turn yourself into a bruiser, support, or DPS. To help you figure out what you should play, I’ve created a tier list for each role.

Here’s an explanation of the multiple roles that classes can spec into:

  • DPS – Pure damage and squishy
  • Bruiser – Tanky DPS
  • Duelist – 1v1 Oriented & selfish spec
  • Support – Heavily based around healing or crowd control/utility
  • Skirmish – 2v2 oriented or small fights across the map
  • Team Fighting – 3v3 or 4v4 oriented

Next we’re going to go over a comprehensive PvP tier list of the Guild Wars 2 classes. This takes into account every role that a class can play in addition to the overall strength of the class itself.

I’ll list the strength of the role based on the key below:

  • S-Tier (Overpowered) – The best at what they do.
  • A-Tier (Strong) – Strong in the right team composition or as a counter.
  • B-Tier (Mediocre) – Similar to A-Tier, but will rarely ever outperform them.
  • C-Tier (Weak) – Just plain bad. Don’t play this.

Solo Queue PvP Tier List

Take note that if a role isn’t listed, then it doesn’t fall under that category or it isn’t meta enough.

Support Bruisers (Skirmishing)

  • S-Tier: druid, engineer
  • A-Tier: elementalist

Support Bruisers (Team Fighting)

  • S-Tier: elementalist
  • A-Tier: druid, engineer

DPS

  • S-Tier: revenant, mesmer
  • A-Tier: necromancer, thief
  • B-Tier: dragonhunter, warrior

Duelist

  • S-Tier: mesmer, necromancer
  • A-Tier: revenant, druid, engineer
  • B-Tier: warrior

Overall Carry Potential:

  • S-Tier: revenant, mesmer
  • A-Tier: necromancer, druid, engineer, elementalist
  • B-Tier: thief, dragonhunter
  • C-Tier: warrior

PvP Class Matchups & Notes:

elementalist Elementalist

  • – Good vs. Condition damage, Dragonhunters
  • – Bad vs. Boon strip or corrupt, high burst damage both power and condition
  • – Insane healing power with Clerics or Menders amulet
  • – Vulnerable without Earth 5 (Obsidian Flesh)
  • – Great team fight utility in auras and heals, small amount of CC

mesmer Mesmer

  • – Good vs. isolated 1v1s against Revenant, Druid, Necro, Elementalist, Thief
  • – Bad vs. Dragonhunter
  • – Incredible mobility and game changing utilities with blink, portal, Moa/Time Warp/Gravity Well
  • – Invulnerable frames that allow you to do damage during it
  • – Ability to make a game 5v4 with portal if the enemy does not have a Mesmer

necromancer Necromancer

  • – Good vs. Literally every class in a 1v1, great AoE in team fight, busted class right now
  • – Bad vs. focus fire due to low stability access and few escapes
  • – Excels in 1v1 and 2v2 situations, can also team fight well due to AoE
  • – Have to use good positioning, make a wrong step and you’ll likely go down

revenant Revenant

  • – Good vs. all classes that aren’t Necro or Condi-Mesmer
  • – Bad vs. condition overload due to low condi-clear or good Thieves
  • – Exceptional ability to live due to chaining dodge rolls, Glint heal, and blocking
  • – Excels at focusing one target, therefore flexible as a team fight assassin or 1v1 duelist

dragonhunter Dragonhunter

  • – Good vs. Condi-Mesmer, Thief, Necro
  • – Bad vs. unblockable spells, Elementalist, Revenant
  • – Traps give you an ability to play a unique mind game where you can zone your enemy
  • – Daze and AoE damage on downed bodies is incredibly high
  • – Longbow is the only good weapon on Dragonhunter unfortunately, so it’s countered by projectiles

engineer Engineer

  • – Good vs almost every class that isn’t a Necro due to sustain, stealth, or Moa/Rampage
  • – Gets destroyed by Necro’s
  • – Another class with incredible utilities such as Slick Shoes, Toss Moa, Rampage/Tornado, and Stealth Gyro
  • – Hammer has high base damage and provides a good amount of defensive capabilities
  • – Vulnerable to condition overload and without Elixir S trait

druid Druid

  • – Has a fairly winnable matchup vs. everything that’s not Thief or Revenant
  • – Search and Rescue saves teammates from themselves
  • – Without Astral Form you’re most likely going to die
  • – Vulnerable to +1 (Being 2v1’d)
  • – Has a good bit of healing and sustain, reliance on regeneration
  • – Has an interesting entangle mechanic that roots for what seems like forever
  • – Dazes wreck your life which is why Thief counters Druid

thief Thief

  • – It’s not supposed to be a 1v1 class, but it can kill Revenants and Druids solo
  • – Bad vs. everything that will kill you
  • – Still the fastest class in the game with Shortbow and Shadowstep/Shadowtrap
  • – Has easiest access to stealth in the game, you can effectively choose to never take a bad engagement
  • – Stealth = mind games…or uselessness (you decide)
  • – Excels at +1-ing a fight mostly a 1v1, and excels at porting up and down Z axis heavy maps such as Khylo and Temple
  • – Dazes wreck your life which is why Thief counters Druid

warrior Warrior

  • – The only viable warrior build I’ve run into is Condi-Warrior which can be strong in 1v1s
  • – There are better things than Warrior right now, but you can be the low tier hero like I was once upon a time

PvP Win Conditions

Now that we’ve defined the roles, gone over the matchups and have a tier list to work off we can answer the question,

Why is it important to look at your team comp pre-game?

Because you want to make the best possible team composition for your win condition. This will give you the best chance of winning. Now let’s take it a step further with an example.

Let’s say this is Team A:

revenant elementalist necromancer engineer dragonhunter

And this is Team B:

necromancer thief druid dragonhunter dragonhunter

If we judge this match by the team compositions alone, then Team A has a higher chance of winning than Team B.

I’ll explain why.

Team A has a balanced composition of 2 supports, 2 DPS, and a Revenant.

Revenants can be flexible in the fact that they can also be duelists. They are also the most self-sufficient DPS class, so you are left with 2 supports for 2 DPS, a perfect combo.

If the game ever gets to the point where you have a 2 point cap, your node holders can be flexible as either your duelists (Revenant or Necro) or your supports (Engineer or Elementalist).

You can also choose to focusing on skirmishing, team fighting, or dueling with this team comp, as all options synergize together perfectly. You have a lot of options to win, therefore you have more win conditions.

I’ll talk more about win conditions in a moment.

Team B has a composition that consists of 4 DPS and a Druid.

Two of which are Dragonhunters, which are countered by projectile reflect/destroy from the Elementalist and Engineer.

You would basically have to move 2 of your classes away from 2 of theirs, which in solo queue is close to impossible. Plus, on top of that there is only 1 support for 4 DPS classes.

Example Scenario:

So let’s say you are one of the Dragonhunters on Team B.

How would you make it a better team comp? Well, this is where win conditions come into play.

This is where you identify your own strengths and what you want your win condition to be.

  1. If you multi-class and you’re a good team fighter then look towards picking a support bruiser.
  2. If you are a DPS-oriented player then you can still look to take fights where you can hunt the other Dragonhunter.
  3. You could also look to be a duelist on the side nodes if you’re a really good duelist.

There are a lot of options even within the realm of just that one class.

In solo queue, the only counters that really matter are hard counters, and even then most of the time skill will trump it.

Even if you don’t multi-class, at worst you could turn yourself into a support by being a semi-bunker Guardian. It just really depends on what you’re best at. Pick what you’re best at, get into a comfort zone with it and always remember what your win condition is.

If you know you’re going to lose fights with an Elementalist in it, then leave and go to another one. If you are the Dragonhunter mirror matchup pro, then go slay their Dragonhunter!

Do those sort of things and play to your strengths.

For me personally, I would just switch to an Elementalist to be a team fight support, or switch to Mesmer to be a duelist and push Far with a portal and make the game 5v4 in my team’s favor.


In Summary

Your win condition will change from game to game, and you might not figure out what it is until after you’ve already lost.

Keep playing more solo queue games and always be looking for a win condition. Over time you’ll begin to understand what you’re doing right and wrong.

Continue reading my comprehensive Guild Wars 2 PvP guide:

Part 2: Forest of Niflhel Strategy
Part 3: Legacy of the Foefire Strategy
Part 4: Battle of Khylo Strategy

Check out Zoose on Twitter, Twitch.tv, and Youtube!

3 replies
  1. Nicol
    Nicol says:

    On, “Dazes wreck your life which is why Thief counters Druid”…

    Is that a valid statement for this season?

    I rarely win any fight against Druid on my Dagger/Pistol Thief.

    Reply
    • Team PZ
      Team PZ says:

      You’re not necessarily looking to win 1v1’s against Druid outright, but it’s possible to do so because of the long cast times that Druid has on their heals.

      In a +1 situation Thief will kill a Druid almost instantly as well.

      Reply
  2. Not Zoose
    Not Zoose says:

    Thanks for spending the time to write these guides, Zoose.

    Could you also write a map guide for Temple, since that’s also in Ranked play.

    Reply

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