Heart of Thorns Beta Weekend Event 1 Thoughts: The Dragonhunter


These are my general thoughts of the Guardian elite specialization: the Dragonhunter. I was able to try out this elite specialization for the first time ever in the first beta weekend event for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns! I’ve got quite a bit to say about this one.


Now, the addition of Longbow is great for Guardian players as it offers a new ranged option. However, it may not be necessary better in terms of what players want to use it for. The longbow is meant to be a more support type of weapon; but we all know a majority of people want to do damage with it. So, in terms of fighting rather supporting, some of the longbow skills feel a bit slow. Let’s go over each skill:

Puncture Shot (Skill 1): The basic attack speed is quite in line for a longbow although it could be difficult at times to get the cripple feature if there are few enemies and they’re not lined up.

True Shot (Skill 2): A big hit that you have to stand still and channel for. Since it has 1200 range I can live with it; but it makes for a predictable projectile to dodge.

Deflecting Shot (Skill 3): is an arrow that takes out enemy projectiles that blinds and does damage on targets it hits. I don’t have a really problem with this skill. The only thing I would like, and this is a personal preference, is to have this skill automatically shoot where you’re facing or targeting rather than be a skill shot.

Symbol of Energy (Skill 4): is a slow arcing arrow that turns into a symbol on impact that causes damage and burning while granting vigor to allies. It’s a pretty good symbol but I’d say speed up the slow arcing part.

Hunter’s Ward (Skill 5): is basically a Ranger’s Barrage with a barrier that locks down enemies in the area after you successfully channel it. This is a bit of a double edged sword. If you guess correctly where enemies will be 3 seconds after the cast, they’ll be locked down. If not, they won’t be locked down. If you move, the entire cast ends early. Also, it looks like there’s a bug where the barrage portion doesn’t hit at all versus smaller targets.

Landing Symbol of Energy and Hunter’s Ward can be a pain sometimes. Using these two skills are more rewarding in group fights given that you’re at a good distance and not getting jumped. I will say thought that attacking crippled opponents with these skills provides better results.


Ok, now for Dragonhunter traps. To be quite frank, these traps have way too long of an arm time. In Verdant Brink, I used traps if I wanted protection in case some random enemy came at me or if I knew I could get a full cast in. I say shave the arm time in half. I hate to make the comparison but the other traps in the game have a 1/2 second arm time and I feel that’s a good spot for trap cast time.

With this in mind, the only traps I saw worth using in PvE were Procession of Blades which does straight up 10 hits of damage, Test of Faith which is a zone trap that cripples foes who pass through the threshold, and Dragon’s Maw which is the elite trap that pulls in and holds enemies. The healing trap Purification meant death for me as it has a long arm time, an initial heal and a trigger heal. If I’m fighting a ranged enemy, I get half the benefit of this skill. There aren’t a lot of enemies currently that warrant the reveal effect from Light’s Judgement but the 10 stacks of vulnerability it applies might be worth testing out more. Fragments of Faith could be possibly good for the defensive aegis fragments but I’d prefer using the other traps. I can see traps as a whole being more useful in sPvP Conquest.

New Virtues

The new virtues are a bit of a conundrum with me. Overall, they’re kind of weird to use because they’re not an instant active anymore. I know the rule of thumb is not to use the actives given the passives provides better overall combat effectiveness. But if I’m about to die, I’m popping virtues. Anyways, let’s go over the new virtues. With Spear of Justice (F1), it may have been just me but, I found that I never saw a “light spear” getting thrown per say. Also, it always looked like I tethered to one enemy rather than 2 or 3 if I used the spear in a mob; Maybe I’m just bad at getting that effect to proc. The burn pulses works well though. Wings of Resolve (F2) is alright, maybe the animation when reaching max height and coming down could be faster in order to flow better. Shield of Courage (F3) is good but the cast time should be instant in my opinion.

The Dragonhunter specialization line is solid for adding benefits for the longbow, traps and virtues. Depending on what you want to do, there is a pretty clear path on what to choose which simplifies things. A personal thing that I think should be changed is the Heavy Light trait. This trait allows Dragonhunters to knockback with a longbow basic attack on a 7 second cooldown. Players hate Ranger Point Blank Shot knockback because it pushes enemies out of AoE. So please, please don’t add onto the pain.

Overall, Dragonhunter feels a little clunky to use. Some tweeks are definitely needed in order to make the skills from this elite specialization flow better.

Summed Up In Video Format

Posted on August 13, 2015, in Games, Guild Wars 2 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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