Dragonhunter - Radiant Greatsword

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The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great.

Focused on: Direct damageControlActive defense.

Designed for:

Expansions required:

GW2 Heart of Thorns logo.png

Overview

A Dragonhunter build for running around in open world. This build deals extremely high burst damage and has excellent defensive skills allowing it to stay alive. Compared to Guardian - Radiant Greatsword, it has more burst damage and mobility, but less consistent sustained damage.

Skill Bar

GreatswordHealingUtilityElite
Sword/Focus

Weapon Variants

  • Your second weapon set is fairly flexible. Sword/Focus is suggested because it provides a good mix of defense, AoE damage, and mobility. Depending on what you need, you can run Hammer (crowd control), Scepter (ranged and high damage on bosses), and/or Shield (crowd control and projectile defense).
  • You can carry a Staff for tagging mobs in open world farming.

Skill Variants

Healing Skills
  • - defensive option. You can cancel the animation but keep the block by stowing your weapon during the cast. However, you won't receive any healing if you do this.
Utility Skills
  • - more burst damage.
  • - grants more retaliation for boss fights where you can't proc
    much.
  • - more crowd control.
  • - if you need condition cleanse.
  • - if you need to reflect projectiles.
  • - alternative projectile defense option.
  • - long-lasting swiftness while running.
Elite Skills
  • - defensive option.

Specializations

Variants
  • - if running
    or
    .
  • - if you're dying to lots of damage and/or conditions that you can't dodge. This is a 10% damage loss.

Zeal Variant

In short fights, or if you have an ally granting you retaliation, you can run Zeal instead of Virtues.

Honor Variant

When soloing extremely dangerous enemies such as Heart of Thorns hero challenges or Queen's Gauntlet bosses, it's sometimes worth running Honor instead of Virtues. This is a significant damage loss but allows you to dodge more often. Note that you will need to avoid using
to maintain the passive.

Equipment

Ascended gear and stat infusions are not required; you can use exotic gear with the same stats.

Standard Equipment

The Standard Variant uses similar gear to the Dragonhunter - Power DPS build for fractals and raids. This makes it a good general-purpose gear set and is the gear that most players should aim for.
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PvE weapon swap.png
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6x
Superior Rune of the Flame Legion

Optimal Equipment

The Optimal Variant is the best possible gear for this build. It's overkill in most cases, and you should only get it if you have spare gold or you don’t care about fractals and raids.
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6x
Superior Rune of the Flame Legion
18x
Mighty +5 Agony Infusion
Variants
  • provides high sustain at the cost of damage.

Marauder/Valkyrie Variant

For a tankier alternative, you can run this mix of Marauder and Valkyrie stats. You lose about 8% of your damage (significantly more if you drop retaliation) but have almost 70% increased health.
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6x
Superior Rune of the Flame Legion
18x
Mighty +5 Agony Infusion

Consumables

If you're having trouble you can use the following consumables:
Food
  • 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
    Consumable
    or
    Dragon's Breath Bun Dragon's Breath Bun
    Dragon's Breath Bun.pngDragon's Breath Bun
    Nourishment (20 m):
    Food.png+200 power for 30s after killing an enemy+70 Ferocity+10% Experience from Kills
    Consumable
    for more damage.
  • Bowl of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew Bowl of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew
    Bowl of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew.pngBowl of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew
    Nourishment (30 m):
    Food.png100% chance to gain might when you dodge.+40% to your Endurance refill rate.+10 Experience from kills
    Consumable
    for more dodges.
  • Scoop of Mintberry Swirl Ice Cream Scoop of Mintberry Swirl Ice Cream for more healing.
Utility
  • 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
    Consumable

Usage

Damage

  • Your main damage skills are
    Symbol of Wrath Symbol of Wrath
    ¼Activation.png
    20Recharge.png
    Symbol of Wrath
    Symbol. Pierce the ground with a mystic symbol that damages foes while granting retaliation to allies.
    Damage.png5Damage: 670
    Retaliation.png5Retaliation (1s): Reflect incoming damage back to its source.
    Book.pngNumber of Targets: 5
    Duration.pngSymbol Duration: 4 seconds
    Radius.pngSymbol Radius: 180
    Combo.pngCombo Field: Light
    ,
    Whirling Wrath Whirling Wrath
    ¾Activation.png
    10Recharge.png
    Whirling Wrath
    Spin in a place and swing your greatsword while hurling powerful projectiles.
    Damage.png7Damage: 637
    Book.pngNumber of Impacts: 7
    Book.pngNumber of Targets: 5
    Radius.pngRadius: 130
    Combo.pngCombo Finisher: Whirl
    Range.pngRange: 600
    ,
    ,
    ,
    ,
    , and
    . Swap between your weapons using these skills whenever possible, and fill with autoattacks.
    • Never interrupt your autoattack chain as all the damage is loaded in the last hit.
  • Retaliation Retaliation is a massive damage boost so you should try to have it up as much as possible. Your main retaliation sources are
    ,
    ,
    , and
    • resets off every kill thanks to
      . It's also a huge damage buff in its own right, so use it whenever possible.
    • In long fights where you can't reset
      you can consider bringing
      and traiting
      .
  • If running Zeal, fight enemies in your symbols to get the damage buff from
    .
  • If using
    , try not to get hit (ง ͠° ͟ل͜ ͡°)ง

Defense

  • is a powerful defensive skill.
  • ,
    , and
    blind enemies.
  • and
    can be used against projectiles.
  • is a block that also gives aegis, protection, retaliation, stability, and a stun break.
  • You can run
    for more active defense. You can also run
    but this comes at the cost of one of your best burst damage skills.
  • Remember to always dodge and sidestep attacks if possible. Don't get hit by anything you can move out of.

Sustain

  • This build doesn't have much sustained healing unless you have
    , so avoiding damage is extremely important in long fights.
  • is a powerful heal and condition cleanse. You can also use
    in the light field from your symbols to cleanse conditions.

Crowd Control

  • Binding Blade Binding Blade
    ¾Activation.png
    25Recharge.png
    Binding Blade
    Throw blades at your foes, causing damage over time. Bound foes can be pulled to you. The effect ends when a foe moves out of range.
    Damage.pngDamage: 369
    Targets.pngNumber of Targets: 5
    Duration.pngMaximum Blade Duration: 10 seconds
    Radius.pngMaximum Leash Range: 600
    Combo.pngCombo Finisher: Whirl
     Forward arrow blue.png 
    Pull Pull
    ¾Activation.png
    Pull
    Pull your foes to you.
    Radius.pngLeash Range: 600
    Range.pngRange: 600
  • Spear of Justice Spear of Justice
    ¾Activation.png
    20Recharge.png
    Spear of Justice
    Virtue: Burn foes every few attacks.
    Activate: Hurl a spear of light that passes through foes. Enemies struck become tethered and receive conditions periodically.
    Damage.pngDamage: 224
    Spear of Justice.pngJustice (6s): Periodically applies burning as long as you are within range of the caster.
    Burning.pngBurning (passive effect) (2s): 262 Damage
    Burning.pngBurning (active effect) (2s): 262 Damage
    Crippled.pngCrippled (1½s): -50% Movement Speed
    Book.pngNumbers of Attack to Trigger: 5
    Radius.pngInterval: 1 second
    Book.pngPierces
    Book.pngUnblockable
    Range.pngRange: 1,200
     Forward arrow blue.png 
    Hunter's Verdict Hunter's Verdict
    ½Activation.png
    40Recharge.png
    Hunter's Verdict
    Pull all enemies tethered by the Spear of Justice to you, breaking the link. This ability's recharge is separate from that of Spear of Justice.
    Radius.pngPull: 1,200
  • (as a last resort)
Build rating - 5 stars
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2 Ratings
5 stars
Chinkeeyong gave this build 5 stars September 2018

This build deals insane AoE burst damage which makes it great for farming. It's also a fast, fun build for soloing group events thanks to its mobility and many defensive cooldowns.

5 stars
Screaming gave this build 5 stars July 2018

An good build for open world, with a lot of room for mistakes via Aegis and lots of stunbreaks for those sketchier situations. With Binding Blade and Whirling Wrath, groups of mobs are nothing more than an minor inconvenience as you'll be able to pull them together and burst them all down.

Despite the low health of Guardian, it is relatively hard to die with this build, assuming you use your active defense well. However, the cast time on Virtues for Dragonhunter makes Guardian a lot worse than it could be, and make it inferior to Core Guardian for open world.

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