Dragonhunter - Power DPS

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Part of the current metagame.

Our curator decided this build is in the current metagame regardless of rating. The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great.

Focused on: Direct damageUtilityBurst.

Designed for:


Expansions required:

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Dragonhunter is a heavy burst damage power DPS that excels in short fights (such as fractals) and raid encounters with short damage windows. It has strong CC and good mobility, and provides a good amount of AoE Might Might and Vulnerability Vulnerability. In addition it brings very high defensive support for a DPS class, with a party wide block in , a strong burst heal in , and the ability to bring Guardian utilities such as and .
Dragonhunter's biggest weakness is that its damage drops off after the initial burst, which causes it to have weaker dps than some builds in long fights. It is also somewhat reliant on Support Chronomancers and other Guardians to help it maintain Retaliation Retaliation.
On fights where you are confident in maintaining Aegis Aegis for , consider running Virtues instead of Zeal.

Skill Bar


Weapon Variants

  • Shield provides a knockback, which can be useful for helping with pushing (e.g. seekers on VG), at the cost of damage.
  • Sword provides better cleave damage than Scepter, and is better against moving targets, but is melee only.

Skill Variants

Healing Skill

  • can be used to blind mobs that can knockback (Sabetha and Gorseval) or deal a lot of damage (Xera).
  • can be used to help nullify niche mechanics, such as Slothasor's shake attack.


  • provides more Retaliation Retaliation as well as a stun break and Stability Stability.
  • can be used for more Retaliation Retaliation and Stability Stability.
  • can be used to Aegis Aegis big hits for your group like the knockback from Gorseval, the timed bombs from Matthias or the shockwave from Deimos.
  • provides additional CC if needed.
  • or if projectile defense is needed.

Elite Skill

  • Use to help slacking Mesmers keep up Quickness Quickness. It can also be nice at bosses where the group is split, such as Sabetha when doing cannons or Matthias in general.



  • provides a damage buff for your subgroup whenever you cast . This is technically the highest DPS trait on many encounters, but requires good team coordination to make full use of it. If running this, take instead of and instead of on your greatsword.

Virtues Variant

Bring Virtues instead of Zeal if you are confident Aegis can be maintained for .


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Superior Rune of the Scholar
Mighty Infusion


  • When running this build overcaps crit chance with fury, retaliation, , , etc. If you are confident in the uptime of these buffs, you can run more Valkyrie gear for extra survivability.
  • If running , take instead of and instead of on your greatsword. Swap to
    if a druid is not present in your subgroup.
  • Swap for slaying sigils or where applicable in fractals



  • Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
    Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup.pngBowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
    Nourishment (1 h):
    Food.png+100 Power+70 Ferocity+10% Experience from Kills


  • Potent Superior Sharpening Stone Potent Superior Sharpening Stone
    Potent Superior Sharpening Stone.pngPotent Superior Sharpening Stone
    Nourishment (1 h):
    Potion.pngGain power equal to 3% of your precisionGain power equal to 6% of your ferocity+10 Experience from kills


Opening Rotation

Precast and start in Greatsword.
  1. Weapon swap Weapon swap
  2. Autoattack until is available
  3. Weapon swap Weapon swap

Loop Rotation

  1. Autoattack until is available
  2. Weapon swap Weapon swap
  3. Autoattack until is available
  4. Weapon swap Weapon swap
  5. Autoattack until is available
  6. Autoattack until is available
  7. Weapon swap Weapon swap
  8. Autoattack until is available
  9. Autoattack until is available
  10. Weapon swap Weapon swap and repeat


  • Never interrupt your greatsword autoattack chain.
  • can be cancelled by walking or stowing your weapon. This dramatically speeds up the aftercast of the skill.
  • Use and (especially if the boss has adds) inside the boss's hitbox.
  • Retaliation Retaliation should be maintained by your chronomancers as long as they stand in your , but if you notice it is running low you can use your heal skill to increase your retaliation uptime.
  • Use with so it benefits from the damage multiplier. If all charges are full and you don't have Spear of Justice up one charge can be used.
  • Use off cooldown.
  • will recharge your . This allows you to have a higher uptime when there are adds around. Always try to keep up as much as possible.


  • is your strongest hard CC, but it should only be used in emergencies since it's a considerable DPS loss, unless you are running which will offset the DPS loss via the sharing of the passive.
  • The pulls from and can be used for CC if needed. However, you will lose the uptime on .
  • adds Slow Slow to all your traps, dealing 100 more breakbar damage with each second. This is both soft CC and hard CC.
  • pulls and applies Slow Slow on your target.
  • deals 150 breakbar damage and knocks back enemies.
  • deals 100 breakbar damage and renders enemies immobile.

Encounter-Specific Tips

Spirit Vale

Dark-icon-raid.png Vale Guardian
  • can block all the blue AoEs.
  • is a good gap closer as well as a strong heal, use it wisely.
Dark-icon-raid.png Ghost events
  • Try to look useful!
  • Pull stuff together.
  • You might want to use Greatsword + Sword/Focus for higher mobility.
Dark-icon-raid.png Gorseval the Multifarious
  • Consider playing the virtues variant here because it is possible to maintain 100% aegis uptime when dodging his knockbacks and pulling in the adds quickly.
  • You can use Shield of Courage Shield of Courage to share aegis for his knockback attack.
  • can hit you quite hard due to Retaliation Retaliation from Gorseval. To negate that you can use , which allows you to output DPS in the CC phase without losing the Scholar Rune buff.
Dark-icon-raid.png Sabetha the Saboteur
  • Use your to jump on the launchpads fast if you want to go up to a cannon.
  • Try to use Aegis Aegis for cannon shots or kicks from adds that people might not be able to dodge.
  • If you use your burst for it you can one-shot Karde's turrets in the last phase. However, this is not advised unless turrets are overrunning the platform. Simply dropping your on turrets should make a significant impact without ruining your positioning.

Salvation Pass

Dark-icon-raid.png Slothasor
  • is useful against the slublings.
  • can block everything at Slothasor which is especially useful when he does his shake attack, as many have trouble dodging it. It can also block the fear that Slothasor applies after the CC phase which is valuable, especially for the last CC phase at 10%.
  • If needed, you can pull slublings with your . Keep in mind that it pierces, so multiple slublings can be pulled with it if used optimally.
  • potentially stronger and cheaper than
    as killing slublings occurs frequently.
Dark-icon-raid.png Bandit Trio
  • Run for this fight to mitigate all the annoying CC.
  • Since you are somewhat tanky and have a lot of useful CC in the form of , , , and traps, it is a good choice for you to deal with the mortars, as you are able to solo the snipers on the bridge that respawn between mortar #2 and #3 really quickly and reliably.
Dark-icon-raid.png Matthias Gabrel
  • You can take the role of the main reflect in this fight; however, you have to keep in mind that the cooldown of is 30 seconds-the same as Matthias' invulnerability bubble. Thus, you need decent Alacrity uptime and must cleanse chill as fast as possible if it is applied to you.
    • A way to always have up in time without having to rely on Alacrity is replacing Radiance with Virtues and using . You will lose quite a bit of DPS in doing so though.
    • On a sidenote, all of Matthias' attacks in abomination phase have longer cooldowns. Accordingly, you don't have to worry about not having up in time.
  • In the phase from 40% until the end blocks become very valuable. A well-timed Aegis can block the undodgeable timed bombs. The same principle applies to the damage from the ghosts, which is blockable but not dodgeable.
  • can be brought for 10 player stability, which can help greatly during abomination and rain phases.

Stronghold of the Faithful

Dark-icon-raid.png Escort
  • Since almost all the mobs have some kind of annoying CC it is definitely recommended to bring .
  • If you need help with capturing the towers, a Shield is useful for knocking mobs out of the capture circle or away from each other.
  • Use your immobilizes and cripples to slow down the wargs engaging from the front.
Dark-icon-raid.png Keep Construct
  • Consider playing Guardian - Power DPS here, since you can keep up Aegis for pretty easily in the burst phases as long as you avoid the statues.
  • You can assist in pushing the orb into the rifts by pulling them with . Be careful with it though, as the impact of the spear hitting the orb will push it away from you a tiny bit before you can pull it in.
  • You can use everything you have including for CC without any drawback since after each CC phase,there will be some DPS downtime.
  • You can share aegis with to help your team when the room is filled with small AoEs before the last burn phase.
Dark-icon-raid.png Xera
  • You can deal with Xera's adds extremely effectively by pulling them in and/or bursting them down with the Greatsword.
  • Try to perform your rotation in a rhythm that allows you to be on Greatsword when Xera is spawning adds and on Scepter when she is the only target.
  • Your pretty decent ranged damage with Scepter allows you to assist with clearing shards and standing on the buttons surrounding the big shards that you have to destroy both before the fight and when you get teleported to the other platform.

Bastion of the Penitent

Dark-icon-raid.png Cairn the Indomitable
  • can be used for mobility.
  • You can use to block red circles or body block shards.
  • Bring for 10 player stability.
Dark-icon-raid.png Mursaat Overseer
  • Consider playing the virtues variant here as keeping up aegis on this fight is very easy.
  • You can use to share aegis and block the explosions from adds.
Dark-icon-raid.png Samarog
  • Consider playing the virtues variant here as you can easily keep up aegis by dodging Samarog's attacks and jumping the shockwaves.
  • You can bring for more CC. You can also consider .
  • Consider bringing for 10 player stability.
Dark-icon-raid.png Deimos
  • You can share aegis to block Deimos's pizza attack or Mind Crush.

Hall of Chains


Build rating - 5 stars
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8 Ratings
4 stars
Armorso gave this build 4 stars February 2019

In the beginning of the guide there is a mention ''On fights where you are confident in maintaining Aegis for Unscathed Contender, consider running Virtues instead of Zeal.'', but in the middle of the article there is a phrase ''Bring Virtues instead of Radiance if you are confident Aegis can be maintained for Unscathed Contender''. So, what tree should i drop for the purposes of aegis build?

Also, there is no any tip of capping 100% crit chance in fractals, which is probably can be done with decent ammount of AR without Radiance tree at all. Any suggestions about that?

5 stars
Screaming gave this build 5 stars December 2018

Extremely strong DPS with high burst, solid sustained damage, and excellent utility, both in-built and optional, as well as solid CC, an extremely large positive in a post 11/12-patch world. You really can't go wrong with Power Dragonhunter on the vast majority of fights that favour burst.

5 stars
Troupe gave this build 5 stars November 2018

High burst DPS and strong sustained DPS across all size hitboxes. Also capable of providing defensive support at little to no DPS loss

5 More Ratings
5 stars
Chinkeeyong gave this build 5 stars November 2018

An excellent, beginner friendly, burst DPS class for dungeons and fractals. It brings a lot of utility to cover common weaknesses in pug groups, and also performs well in raids.

5 stars
Cosaint gave this build 5 stars October 2018

The changes to Big Game Hunter last patch increased 10% damage from your burst phases, actually a bit more because of the increased time on tether duration. A very strong pick if you want something durable and effective...as long as you have fingers.

5 stars
Grisel gave this build 5 stars August 2018

Sadly the DH isn't what it was, the dps can reach 32k,34k with all boons and perfect rotation... Nothing compared with the good old days.

I would suggest to use the cond FB instead but the problem is there aren't much cond-dps groups out there to max your own performance. In LFG the majority of People expect the zerk-dps builds... So they will doubt about you. Use FB only with condition formed groups or friends groups.

Use the DH build to fit with random people in LFG tool to complete the dailies fast... but if you looking for a real DPS-zerk build in a serious way... try other profession

5 stars
Toomanyunknown gave this build 5 stars April 2018

With the alacrity nerf of the February balance patch, this build is no longer viable or justifiable as a DPS slot. Its damage has fallen down to a pitiful 30k dps and its utility pales in comparison to the higher DPS Holosmith in any variant. For groups learning raids it might be justifiable however its simple rotation will prevent any actual learning.

5 stars
Chairman Panda gave this build 5 stars June 2017

This build's greatest strength lies in the utility and versatility that it brings to a raid composition; it can be made capable of reflecting, blocking, pulling, dealing ranged damage, or performing a myriad of other useful functions. On top of all that, it deals less, but still comparable DPS compared with other DPS builds. I would recommend this build for any DPS player that wants to support their team in other ways as well.

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