Best Open World Build for Willbender Guardians in Guild Wars 2: End Of Dragons
- Willbender’s best traits for the open world
- The best gear/utility skills for building the Willbender open world
Interested to check out the best open world build for your Willbender Guardian in Guild Wars 2? You’ve come to the right place, grab a stool and find out how to turn your Guardian into a tsunami of steel.
The Guardian is a very capable class in the Guild Wars 2 meta, as they can fulfill a variety of roles and come out of the box with a ton of support and utility for their party. However, the Willbender is a great elite spec to spec for the open world as it has very capable damage and sustain.
The Master of Will Explained
The Willbender is a highly mobile and hard-hitting martial arts master. They take the Guardian’s support nature and invert it to become a more self-focused damage dealer. We’ll be covering a very good open-world build setup for the Willbender, allowing you to switch between enemies and dispatch them in quick succession.
Crouching tiger, active virtues
The Willbender grants the Guardian the ability to swing a sword casually and modifies normal Virtues that provide stronger passive buffs and occasional boons when activated. Your virtues become movement-based, briefly activating them improves your attacks. For example, activating Rushing Justice (the default hotkey is F1) will cause you to move forward and give your consecutive attacks the chance to cause burning status effects.
There is an optimal DPS meta in most games and Guild Wars 2 is no exception. While you may have to mix things up in party content, in the open world you can use any weapon you like. Just keep in mind that weapons in GW2 generally support a specific playstyle, with a Guardian Torch and Scepter supporting Condition Damage, while a Greatsword deals Power Damage.
Willbender’s best traits for the open world
While there are many very good builds for a Willbender – there are great options for Condition and Potency damage, and there are also some good Alacrity builds, there seems to be a bit of a shortage of builds for casual gamers who just want to hit things in the open world and stay alive. Putting Berserker gear on your Squishy Willbender is a good recipe for frustration if you’re a beginner. Why is that? Guardians are a low hitpoint class, as they’re more known for supporting their allies – they don’t have the raw ability of a warrior or necromancer.
We’ll be looking at class fantasy for the Willbender here, and with these trait selections you won’t be topping the damage charts, but you’ll have a blast slaying creature after creature in the open world. We’ll go into the details and equipment selection of the build below. Starting with…
You’ll start by choosing the following traits from the Virtue range – Resolute Subconscious, Inspirational Virtues, and Pervasive Anger.
- Resolute Subconscious – Gives you aegis and resolve when disabled (stunned, knocked down, stunned, etc.) staying on the move is very important to the Willbender, it gives you some room for error
- Inspiring Virtues – Gives you ten percent extra hit damage (so pretty much free extra damage) when activating a virtue, you will activate your virtues all the time on a Willbender
- Permeating Wrath – Virtue 1 (Rushing Justice on a Willbender) skill’s passive effect triggers faster and in one area, this allows you to apply the burn a bit more generously, which has some synergy with other other building elements.
The perks you get for putting points into Virtue also give you the following bonuses:
- You gain Protection, Might, and Regeneration each time you activate a Virtue
- You gain resolve (a 33% damage reduction per condition) when you activate your Virtues
- You gain additional condition damage (not important) and your virtues recharge 15% faster
In the Radiance range, you’ll grab the following: Inner Fire, Retribution, and Righteous Instincts.
- Inner Fire – Gain Fury (+20% Critical Hit Chance) when hitting an enemy that has three or more stacks of Burning, this will be easy to proc through Permeating Wrath
- Retribution – Gives you a ten percent boost to hit damage while you have Retribution, which through Virtue you will have almost all the time
- Righteous Instincts – Resolve gives you a stack of Power every second and increases your critical strike chance by 25% (stacks with Inner Fire for 45% more critical hit chance!)
Here are the bonuses you will get just by putting dots in the Radiance trait line:
- Gain a light aura and blind enemies when you activate your Rushing Justice Virtue
- Your Rushing Justice is renewed every time you kill an enemy – this means you will have it constantly in the open world
- You gain an additional 10% chance to critically hit enemies on fire
master of will
This line of traits gives us Willbender mechanics and access to the offhand sword, you will select the following traits – Vaniteux Curé, Saint Reckoning and Tyrants Momentum.
- Pretentious Cure – Gives you extra healing power and modifies your Willbender Flames to heal you when they hit enemies – this gives us a decent amount of sustain in the open world
- Holy Reckoning – You gain fury when you activate Rushing Justice (your first virtue) You also gain power when you trigger virtue effects, this means attacking enemies consecutively will make the passive active, burning enemies AND giving you a extra power
- Tyrants Momentum – Lethal Temp (you get a stack of this each time you activate a Virtue or trigger its passive effect) gives you bonus damage but has a reduced duration, this is a great trait to amp up your overall damage
Here are the free bonuses you get by specializing in Willbender:
- Access to casual swords, physical utility skills, and movement-based active virtues
- Faster movement speed (25%) and quickness each time you activate a Virtue
- The Lethal Tempo passive bonus which is a stacking buff to attack damage (up to a max of 15% with the Tyrants Momentum trait)
It’s all about Trait Points – all synergized to provide you with tons of buffs and perks, and we’ll take full advantage of that with our gear selection.
The best gear/utility skills for building the Willbender open world
The gear stats we’ll be using are incredibly simple – you’ll be using Diviner’s gear (Might, Accuracy, Ferocity, and Focus) in each slot, i.e. weapons, armor, and jewelry/trinkets. Why soothsayers? This gives us damage-focused stats to hit hard, but dramatically increases the duration of the boons you give yourself – which are extremely important for building efficiency, with this gear you’ll have nearly one hundred percent uptime on fury, resolve and might.
For your weapon sets – you will use a main sword and a secondary sword, and you can use a greatsword as a secondary weapon.
For armor runes – it’s up to you, but infiltration (power, accuracy and hit damage bonuses) is recommended.
For your armament – the upper sigil of blood and bounty are fantastic options.
While Diviner’s gear is fantastic for the open world, it probably won’t work as well in raids (it might work well in Fractals, but that depends on how open-minded your party is).
For your utility slots, you will use the following:
- Healing Skill – Litany of Wrath – a great panic button to get a huge healing rush
- Utility Slot 1 – Rolling Light – a good stun break, the Willbender should be able to constantly move
- Utility Slot 2 – Whirling Light – a high damage skill that burns enemies and debuffs them with weakness
- Utility slot 3 – Bow of Truth – another good heal when you’re in a tight spot
- Elite Skill – Signet of Courage – another great source of support and gives you healing ability for your allies
Keep in mind that these are only suggestions – if you think there are better choices, insert them.
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