Guardian - Radiant Hammer

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

Focused on: Direct damageControl.

Designed for:


A PvP hammer guardian build which takes advantage of the crit chance buffs of the Radiance specialization to deliver massive bursts.

Skill Bar


Slot Changes


Greatsword can also work with a couple of adjustments, replacing Hammer:

  • Take
    on Virtues.
  • Replace Sigil of Intelligence with Annulment.
  • In the burst combo just substitute
  • Optional Taking
    on Radiance can help you land Whirling Wrath.



  • can be considered if you're having trouble utilizing
    and want to squeeze out a bit more sustain or Retaliation Retaliation from the build.


Superior Sigil of Intelligence
Superior Sigil of Intelligence.pngSuperior Sigil of Intelligence
Your next three attacks after swapping to this weapon while in combat has a 100% critical chance. (Cooldown: 9s)
Superior Sigil of Agility
Superior Sigil of Agility.pngSuperior Sigil of Agility
Gain 5 seconds of swiftness and 1 second of quickness when you swap to this weapon while in combat. (Cooldown: 9s)
Superior Sigil of Energy
Superior Sigil of Energy.pngSuperior Sigil of Energy
Gain 50% of your endurance when you swap to this weapon while in combat. (Cooldown: 9s)
Superior Sigil of Cleansing
Superior Sigil of Cleansing.pngSuperior Sigil of Cleansing
Remove 1 condition when you swap to this weapon while in combat. (Cooldown: 9s)
Superior Rune of the Lynx
Superior Rune of the Lynx.pngSuperior Rune of the Lynx
(1): +25 Power (2): +35 Condition Damage (3): +50 Power (4): +65 Condition Damage (5): +100 Power (6): +25% Movement Speed
Valkyrie Amulet
Valkyrie Amulet.pngValkyrie Amulet
+1200 Power +900 Vitality +900 Ferocity

Equipment Changes


  • Superior Sigil of Agility Superior Sigil of Agility
    Superior Sigil of Agility.pngSuperior Sigil of Agility
    Gain 5 seconds of swiftness and 1 second of quickness when you swap to this weapon while in combat. (Cooldown: 9s)
    fits both sets, but can only be used one one at a time because of the shared 18s CD. If you wish to use it on Sword/Focus, replace
    Superior Sigil of Energy Superior Sigil of Energy
    Superior Sigil of Energy.pngSuperior Sigil of Energy
    Gain 50% of your endurance when you swap to this weapon while in combat. (Cooldown: 9s)
    with Agility, and put
    Superior Sigil of Annulment Superior Sigil of Annulment
    Superior Sigil of Annulment.pngSuperior Sigil of Annulment
    Your next attack after swapping to this weapon while in combat will remove 2 boons from your target.
    on Hammer.



  • Valkyrie amulet doesn't provide any critical hit chance, that's where the boons and traits come in:
    adds 10% against burning foes, Fury Fury adds the usual 20% and Retaliation Retaliation will further increase it by 50% thanks to
    . Always try to maintain Retaliation, but don't spam all the sources at once otherwise boon removal can be too punishing.
  • Try to aid allies with
    as traited with
    it can break stun and apply stability among other things.
  • is refreshed after each kill so make sure you always have it on cooldown right before a kill. Using it also applies AoE Blind Blind which can be useful for stomping or making high priority skills miss.
  • Try to burn through all of your virtues before resorting to
    . RF is a great skill to use if you're being focues by the enemy team and you don't have any CDs left. Just keep in mind that this skill makes you lose capture point contribution for its duration.
    • Your virtues that aren't on CD can be (and should be) activated while channeling this elite.
    • Don't blow
      until the last moment of the channel. Let it heal you as much as possible.
  • Every utility skill is a meditation, therefore can be used both defensively and offensively thanks to the Fury Fury and healing from


  • Hammer provides various different CCs namely immobilize, launch and a ward, making it possible to decap enemy points.
  • The auto attack chain is rather slow but ends with a powerful symbol which applies Protection Protection.
  • Spam
    pretty much on CD. Combo it with symbols as often as possible for AoE condition removal. This should be the first skill you use after swapping to this weapon, unless you really need to CC someone.
  • is rather self-explanatory, use it to root people into important skills (most notably
    ) or to keep them off the capture point a bit longer.
    • Keep in mind that this is a projectile and can be reflected or negated accordingly.
  • works on downed bodies which can be useful for disrupting rez attempts or just knocking enemies off-point to bleed them out (thus delaying their respawn) while you capture the objective.
  • is a powerful area denial skill which can also be used to trap people inside it, even from range (with
    ). Enemies knocked back with Banish won't leave the field therefore it can be used to CC people without knocking them out of Mighty Blow's range.


  • This is the defensive set of the build, but still has some hard hitting skills.
  • The main source of burst damage here comes from
    . Note that the projectiles can be very unreliable in anything but melee range. If you have Sigil of Agility on this set, always try to use it after swapping weapons to get the most out of it (except if you need to cleave a downed body, then use the quickness to auto attack).
  • has many uses: vertical mobility via teleportation, symbol for cleaving, Blind Blind to make an important skill miss, or a combo field which can be used for AoE cleansing by executing a blast finisher in it.
  • is a ranged skill with great damage over time.
  • is both an excellent defensive and offensive skill (more about that below). As far as defense goes, this can be used to block important attacks even while stunned. Always try to use it in a symbol (a Light field) for AoE condition cleansing.

Main burst combo (preferably executed from a safe distance):

  1. If possible, have an active Aegis Aegis to gain the damage bonus from
  2. should be activated before the combo. Try not to get hit because you'll need it to explode for damage. Wait until only ~1 second remains of its duration then quickly proceed with the rest of the combo.
  3. Weapon Swap (in combat this also triggers your sigils).
  4. - start casting it from range.
  5. to teleport to the target right before MB finishes its animation.
  6. (to gain Retaliation from
    ) should be used just before Mighty Blow lands.
  7. adds a nice bit of extra damage.


  • Boon removal (as it takes away much of the build's damage)

Top Streamers

Build rating - 5 stars
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16 Ratings
5 stars
Unbornchikken gave this build 5 stars September 2018

I run this with greatsword, and I have to agree this is a decent build indeed. I believe my reaper much stronger though, but the mobility makes this build my favourite. However I made a couple of changes to be able to be effective with GS: because of channeling nature of my combo, I needed a better protection, so I'm using Paladin amulet. And because I have two gap closers, I replaced Judge's to Sword of Justice.

5 stars
Lady Xuxu gave this build 5 stars July 2018

Just one sentence is needed to describe this build: close to op.

The only thing that this build doesn't have is mobility. You can stick to a target but you have no speed buff to rotate tho. Totally agree with Harveason: Excellent build!

P.S.: Personally I prefer Permeating Wrath more than Indomitable Courage

5 stars
Forgotmypasswordlulz gave this build 5 stars July 2018

Such a braindead easy build lol you have to suck real hard to not see why this is good

Even pros play this sometimes because it can oneshot ppl and it's the best thing for guard after bunker. Survival is not perfect but that's the price for the dmg and it should be enough

13 More Ratings
5 stars
Harveason gave this build 5 stars July 2018

I don't even main guardian and this build is FANTASTIC, especially for solo que. It carried me to plat, the damage is great, decent survivability, excellent in team fights.

The unfavorable matchups for this build I would say are soulbeasts and deadeye glass cannon builds, they will snipe you but even then, you can teleport to them and deal massive damage. other than that, you're going to be killing a lot of players. Excellent build.

0 stars
Sir Own d' Sound gave this build 0 stars July 2018

This build can be easily counterplayed. As it has become more prevalent people seeing the core guard icon in a pvp match will know exactly what to do to shut you down. At best in plat 2 and above you need to burst from behind a wall so they cannot anticipate it coming and dodge.

You have some mobility but you shouldn't use judges intervention just for getting around and it will leave you without a key skill when you need to fight. As said by nalluj this is outdone by pretty much anything labeled a 'pof spec'. It is fun to play but its viability is questionable.

5 stars
Froggy11235 gave this build 5 stars May 2018

The heal makes this build amazing. Short cooldown for a good heal and retaliation! Heal is also a smite, a very useful way to remove condis with the heal and a smite for a nice damage pop. Thanks to the virtues line, you also have the ability to put aegis on allies. Renewed focus will help in a few tight spots. Hammer 2: Symbol of Protection will also grant protection. Judge's intervention and Sword 2: Symbol of Blades will allow you, along with your rune, to catch-up to many who realize their mistake and start to run. Use Hammer 4: Banish as a nice interrupt or to push enemies off a cap. Use Sword 3: Zealot's Defense to block projectiles while doing damage and Focus 5: Shield of Wrath to reduce some damage. Valk Amulet works so well with this build because it uses other methods of increasing crit chances. Glacial Hammer slams foes with unblockable damage and chill while giving hammer skills a reduced recharge. In my opinion, this is a better build and is more fun than the bunker/support guardian.

5 stars
Nailuj gave this build 5 stars March 2018

Good burst damage and okayish sustain. However this is quite clearly outperformed by just about any PoF build.

5 stars
Rato Modesto gave this build 5 stars February 2018

What can i say?....... If you master that build and you are a good player then you going to get high rank easyyyy(i get my plat with bunker druid, another great build). A lot of damage, a little bit of sustain, simply blows up any bunker, and to close you will be hated, hahaha. And of course it's clearly the best free build.

5 stars
Drummermean gave this build 5 stars February 2018

Superb build. Making use of Valk amulet and the involved traitlines give you very high precision, power, ferocity and vitality. Much of your damage will come from retaliation, as well as standard attacks. The opening burst is fantastic, and the build has good access to sustain and condi cleanse.

5 stars
Nuru gave this build 5 stars January 2018

One of the best F2P builds like war's one. YOu have many condi cleans and solid damage, cc, sustain, its pretty tanky, breakstun everything

5 stars
Zyke gave this build 5 stars September 2017

TFW a defensive weapon deals the most damage.

TFW you take Radiance but it isn't a burn build.

TFW you actually take Valkyrie.

TFW you find a use for retaliation.

TFW it's medihammer all over again.

In all seriousness, this build sports a ton of damage and good amounts of party utility but it's hampered by the serious lack of personal defense that the DH lines brings. It is also seriously kitable.

5 stars
Lampstaple gave this build 5 stars September 2017

Should probably be included in the gameplay section, you should always be using smite condition immediately before your bigdick hammer 2 lands to 1. clear blind/weakness (use contemplation of purity if you have too many condis to clear blind weakness with only smite) and to 2. moar damage obviously.

In teamfights, hitting aoe 3k autos and 5k bigdick hammer 2's while being super tanky AND providing protection support is fucking phenomenal.

More susceptible to condis than most guardian builds because of the choice to take glacial heart, so I could see people swapping glacial heart out sometimes for the resolve trait. This makes you MUCH weaker against thieves especially, though, that glacial heart proc is HUGE for bursting annoying-ass thieves down before they can stealth and run away like little bitches.

Great build, it's really funny hitting 4k with only smite condition and glacial heart proc and watching thieves die to an instant cast skill.

5 stars
Maidaen gave this build 5 stars September 2017

Kinda fun to see the build i have been playing for 2 months appears on metabattle ... when I was getting flamed for not playing metabattle builds.

The damage over time is a bit weak compared to the dragonhunter and the CC is not that great (let's recall that banish has a 1s cast time and 18s CD single target skille, while deflecting shot is AoE with 1/4s cast time and 10s CD !), the defensive abilities are totally shaved (wings of resolve heals 2 times more than the core virtues with a bonus gap closer, there is no passive stability traps, there is no 8 s of protection from trap, there is no 10k healing trap), and the hammer is an extremely slow weapon. BUT: the build has a tremendous AoE burst potential, which makes it extremely fun to play. The gameplay is also more active than what HoT brought, which makes it feel more rewarding for the player and definitely requires more skills than the previous DH builds.

5 stars
Utrex gave this build 5 stars September 2017

The amount of damage is CRAZY!! It has a ton of gap closers as well as two ranged options (hammer+sword).

5 stars
Keebs gave this build 5 stars September 2017

I am absolutely loving this build. Never really gave hammer much of a chance in PvP but this build makes it so much fun. The bursts are huge and survivability is great. It also has some of the best decapping potential of any guardian build with hammer 3,4 and 5.

5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars September 2017

I'm glad Anet's finally bringing core specs up, and this seems to be one of the best ones. Outstanding damage, decent CC, and a bit of group utility.

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