Guardian Guide

dryad

Guardian is a tank bloodline, but she isn’t a traditional tank by any means. She fits more into a supportive DPS role because her main method of protecting teammates is to put out a ton of pressure, forcing enemies to focus her. Guardian doesn’t have many complicated mechanics, but she does need to have good map awareness to maximize her potential.

 Deals 140/160/180 damage on consecutive hits. Consumes Judgement if the effect has stacked 4 times turning the Sweeping Strike into a powerful 180 degree cone attack dealing 200 damage and inflicting Slow.  Slow Reduces movement speed by 25%, lasts for 1,5s.  Judgement Effect stacks up every 2.5s, stacks a total of 4 times. [M1] Sweeping Strike

Sweeping Strike is one of Guardian’s most devastating sources of damage if used correctly. Every few seconds, she builds up Judgment buff stacks on herself. When she has 4 stacks, her next M1 attack swings in a 180-degree cone in front of her, hitting all enemies caught in it and inflicting slow. The damage of her M1 increases with consecutive hits as well.

Guardian depends on her Judgment buff mechanic, which can be built in a few ways: passively over time and through the use of her Intervene ability. Manage your Judgment stacks and you’ll be able to dish out lots of burst damage on demand.

When to use Sweeping Strike?

  • Spam it on your target when you have no other spells to use.
  • When you have 4 stacks of Judgment, save it for when you can make the most of it.
 Deals 160 damage and inflicts Incapacitate. The axe pierces enemies dealing 40% less damage for each target pierced.  Incapacitate Incapacitates target for 0,4s, damage breaks this effect. [M2] Axe of Zechs

Axe of Zechs is Guardian’s only projectile ability and it’s a fairly good one. It’s a boomerang-like ability that inflicts damage and incapacitates both on the way out and on its return path. The range is satisfyingly long enough to pressure even far away enemies and the damage is considerable, though it deals less damage for every target it hits.

The most important component of Axe of Zechs is its incapacitate. The damage is nice but only amounts to an amount equal to an M1 in most cases, so it doesn’t have huge burst potential. The incapacitate, on the other hand, is critical for disrupting the enemy team’s rhythm. Hit as many targets as you can every time.

When to use Axe of Zechs?

  • When the enemy team is clumped together or lined up.
  • When you need to interrupt an enemy’s cast time or channel.
  • When you’re chasing an enemy.
Deals 80 damage and inflicts Armor Break on enemy impact. Heals self and ally for 120 health, grants the Guardian full stacks of Judgement and resets cooldown of Intervene on allied impact. Guardian is unable to intervene the same ally target again during the next 3s. Duration of Armor Break increases with distance dashed.  Armor Break Increases damage taken by 15%, lasts 2 - 5s.  [Space] Intervene

Intervene is a dash ability that deals damage and the Armor Break debuff (more damage taken) when she hits an enemy, but heals herself and the target when she hits a teammate. Additionally, when she hits a teammate, the cooldown for Intervene doesn’t trigger AND she gains full stacks of Judgment, but there is a short period where she can’t Intervene the same teammate.

Intervene is unique to Guardian in that she can theoretically always have Intervene off cooldown with every use. The cooldown reset mechanic allows her to be a constant presence all over the battlefield as long as she has teammates that can “connect the dots” from one location to the other. It’s also a way for her to support her team with heals.

Intervene also has an EX version, which causes her to leap instead of dash to the target location. When she lands, she swings her axe and deals considerable damage to all enemies in front of her as well as the Armor Break debuff. The leap is particularly useful for crossing gaps and walls, which Guardian normally can’t do with Intervene.

When to use Intervene?

  • When you can hit a teammate. Always a solid choice.
  • When you want to burst down an enemy.
  • When you need healing or need to escape.

When to use Intervene EX?

  • When you need to cross a gap or wall.
  • When you need burst damage.
Deals 80 damage and inflicts Chains of Zechs on nearby enemies after a 0,9s delay.  Chains of Zechs Incapacitates target for 2,2s, all cooldowns are locked during the duration. Damage breaks this effect, the damage breaking source is reduced by 50%.  [Q] Chains of Zechs

Chains of Zechs places an AoE on the ground. After a delay, it triggers and inflicts all enemies caught inside with the Chains of Zechs debuff, which incapacitates for a long time and locks cooldowns for the duration. Damage breaks this effect. This is Guardian’s long-range control and it can be extremely weak or strong depending on the player.

While Chains of Zechs can be used as a simple incap, you should really maximize its usefulness by using it for its cooldown lock mechanic. For example, you can use Chains on an Alchemist just after she throws a Sleep spell; doing this effectively lengthens her Sleep cooldown significantly.

When to use Chains of Zechs?

  • When you need to interrupt an enemy’s cast time or channel.
  • When you can catch multiple enemies in it.
  • Just as an enemy uses a long-cooldown spell; preferably the enemy healer.
Negates the next projectile, melee or direct area damage attack directed at the Guardian within 1s. Negating an attack removes all movement impairing effects. The Guardian leaps towards target location and strikes in melee dealing 140 damage and inflicts Silence.  Silence Unable to use abilities, lasts 0,8s.  [E] Counter Attack

Counter Attack is Guardian’s trance spell. When casted, Guardian enters a trance; if she’s hit while tranced, the attack will be negated AND all of her movespeed-impairing debuffs will be removed AND she’ll leap to the mouse cursor and inflict damage and Silence to all enemies in melee range after she lands.

Counter Attack has two important aspects: the escape potential (the only way she can cross gaps and walls without using an EX ability) and the Silence debuff. Counter Attacking into the middle of a group of enemies and Silencing all of them can instantly turn the battle in your favor.

When to use Counter Attack?

  • Trance onto your attacker.
  • When you need to escape.
  • When you want to switch targets.
Shields target ally, reduces damage taken by 60%, absorbs up to 160 damage, lasts for 2,5s. Breaking the shield with damage causes an explosion that inflicts Weaken on nearby enemies.  Weaken Reduces damage and healing done by 40% for 3s.  [R] Sanctuary

Other than Intervene, Sanctuary is Guardian’s only other form of directly supporting her teammates. It places a shield on a target teammate (or yourself) that drastically reduces incoming damage. The shield breaks after absorbing too much damage and inflicts the Weaken debuff on all enemies nearby the shielded target. Weaken reduces the damage done and healing done of the enemy.

Sanctuary is why you need good map awareness as a Guardian. Despite your near-full-offensive playstyle, you must keep an eye on your teammates and shield them when they’re being focused. Don’t just save it for yourself, although feel free to use it on yourself if you ARE being focused.

Sanctuary also has an EX version, which throws a healing projectile at the target location. This heal bounces to nearby teammates up to three times and applies the Breeze buff on each target hit by it. The initial heal is massive and the healing is lessened per bounce. Breeze increases the movespeed of the target.

When to use Sanctuary?

  • When a teammate is being bursted by enemies.
  • When you or a teammate jumps into the fray.

When to use Sanctuary EX?

  • Right after being bursted by an enemy.
  • When your team is clumped together.
Deals 300 damage and inflicts Deep Wound. Guardian becomes Immaterial during the dash.  Deep Wound Deals 40 damage every 1s, additionally deals 30 damage every time the target uses an ability, lasts for 3s. This effect cannot be dispelled.  [F] Cyclone Charge

As an ultimate, Cyclone Charge is one of the more simple ones. Guardian turns immaterial and dashes towards the mouse cursor, spinning her axe all along the way, inflicting massive damage and the Deep Wound debuff on all enemies caught in her path. Deep Wound inflicts damage over time and damages the target every time they cast a spell.

Cyclone Charge is a pressure-outputting monster of an ability. Not only does it deal huge initial damage, it keeps the pressure on all enemies by forcing them to make a decision: run away and stop casting to preserve health OR keep fighting/casting and lose more HP. Absolutely devastating if you can hit the entire enemy team, but especially potent on the enemy healer.

When to use Cyclone Charge?

  • When the enemy team is clumped together or lined up.
  • When you can hit an enemy with little or no Recovery HP.

Basic Tactics, Techniques, and Combos

Intervene for map control. This is one of the harder techniques to nail down because it forces you to look at the map differently: instead of seeing enemies and teammates, you have to see your teammates as landmarks that can quickly get you from A to B using Intervene spam. If you constantly zip from here to there, it will throw off the enemy and give you some room for zoning.

Stopcast your Judgment-stacked M1s. If you swing an M1 with full Judgment stacks, it’ll consume those stacks and trigger the effect whether you hit an enemy or not. Therefore, if you’re about to swing and know that you’re going to miss, use the STOPCAST key (default ‘T’) to cancel it.

Burst damage combo. M1 (full Judgment stacks) > Intervene (teammate) > Intervene (enemy) > M1 (full Judgment stacks) > Axe of Zechs. This combo depends on passively building full Judgment stacks and then double Intervene for full stacks again. This combo is useful whether you’re aiming for a single target or a clump of enemies.

Guaranteed gap closer. If you have a target in mind, you can hop on them with a near-100% success rate by using this combo: Axe of Zechs > Intervene > M1. This is just brutal if you have 4 stacks of Judgment, but it’s even more brutal if you can use Intervene EX instead of Intervene.

Defensive awareness. Because Guardian is so offensive, it can be hard to switch to a defensive playstyle when necessary. Always keep an eye on your cooldowns–Intervene, Counter Attack, and Sanctuary in particular–and fall back when none of them are available. It’s better to play defensively for a few seconds than to be over-aggressive and die.

Don’t underestimate Armor Break. The Armor Break debuff on Intervene is not amazingly powerful, but it does add up over time. Whenever possible, always start off your damage combos with Armor Break on the target. Even on the most mediocre of combos, you can earn a free M1’s worth of damage just from the debuff itself.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s