Guide

Raid Team Composition


Introduction

Squad compositions in Guild Wars 2's raids are typically made up of a selection of DPS classes, classes that provide offensive support/buffs and anywhere from 1-3 healers in a 10 man group. This guide will explain commonly used options in each category, as well as providing some frequently-seen compositions and explaining what makes them work. Different encounters may also have mechanics that make certain classes or builds stronger in that specific encounter, including tanking mechanics and breakbars- these will also be touched on in this guide.

Roles

The builds listed are not the only options - for the sake of keeping this guide to a manageable length it only includes commonly seen builds in the current meta and so many builds more than capable of participating in a raid boss kill have not been included. For a more complete list of builds for each role and class see the full list of raid builds and a compilation of beginner-friendly builds.

DPS

The role with the largest variety of options, and also the most variability between encounters due to different mechanics or quirks of each encounter. While typically a player in the DPS role should be focused on dealing the most possible damage to the boss, many encounters will have mechanics that are often taken care of by a DPS role.

Class Elite Specialization Link Description Notes
Dark-icon-elementalist.pngElementalist Dark-icon-weaver.pngWeaver Weaver - Staff DPS Ranged power DPS
  • Able to execute entire rotation at range with minimal DPS loss
  • Loses significant damage against moving targets
  • Less effective against bosses with small hitboxes
  • Very unreliable CC options
Weaver - Power Sword Melee power DPS
  • Unreliable CC options
Dark-icon-thief.pngThief Dark-icon-daredevil.pngDaredevil Daredevil - D/D Condi DPS Melee condition DPS
  • Can lose damage if adds are in close proximity to the boss
  • DPS rotation involves a large amount of movement
  • Very high CC capabilities
Daredevil - DPS Staff Melee power DPS
  • Very high CC capabilities
Dark-icon-warrior.pngWarrior Dark-icon-berserker.pngBerserker Berserker - DPS Condition Ranged/Melee condition DPS
  • Alternates between ranged and melee weapon sets
  • Flexible utility skill slots
  • Able to bring large amounts of CC if needed
Dark-icon-engineer.pngEngineer None Engineer - DPS Condition Ranged/Melee condition DPS
  • Capable of executing rotation entirely at range if needed
  • Strong hard and soft CC capabilities
  • Provides a passive aura stat buff that benefits condition damage classes
Dark-icon-holosmith.pngHolosmith Holosmith - Power DPS Melee power DPS
  • Unparalleled (among DPS builds) hard CC capabilities
  • Provides a passive aura stat buff that benefits condition-damage classes -
Dark-icon-necromancer.pngNecromancer Dark-icon-scourge.pngScourge Scourge - Condi DPS Ranged condition DPS
  • Able to execute entire rotation at range with minimal DPS loss
  • Weak CC options, but can add more in exchange for a lowered DPS output
  • Unparalleled ranged cleave damage capabilities
Dark-icon-mesmer.pngMesmer Dark-icon-mirage.pngMirage Mirage - DPS Clone Melee condition DPS
  • Able to provide massive CC on a long cooldown if needed
  • Short DPS ramp up for a condition build
  • Weak cleave damage capabilities
  • Is not affected by boss movements
Dark-icon-revenant.pngRevenant Dark-icon-renegade.pngRenegade Renegade - Condi DPS Melee condition DPS
  • Provides a passive aura stat buff that benefits power damage classes -
Dark-icon-ranger.pngRanger Dark-icon-soulbeast.pngSoulbeast Soulbeast - Condition Stance Share Melee condition DPS
  • Provides a minor DPS boost for allies
  • Weak CC capabilities by default, but is able to provide large amounts of CC by exiting beast mode and swapping pets
Dark-icon-guardian.pngGuardian Dark-icon-dragonhunter.pngDragonhunter Dragonhunter - DPS Greatsword Scepter/Torch Melee power DPS
  • Very high burst damage
Dark-icon-firebrand.pngFirebrand Firebrand - Condition DPS Melee condition DPS
  • Very weak CC options

Offensive Support

Builds in this category have significant overlap with Healers and Tanks - it is common for builds to be fulfill both roles. Others builds are simply similar to DPS builds that have swapped traits, skills or gear in order to provide buffs. Typically only a selection of these are used in a squad at once - you can only have so many buffs!

Class Elite Specialization Link Description
Dark-icon-mesmer.pngMesmer Dark-icon-chronomancer.pngChronomancer Chronomancer - Utility Boon Support Provides large amounts of Quickness Quickness and Alacrity Alacrity as well as helping to maintain other useful boons such as Fury Fury and
Protection Protection
30Recharge.png
Protection
Apply protection to yourself.
Protection.pngProtection (10s): -33% Incoming Damage
Range.pngRange: 1,200
Chronomancer - Minstrels Tank Tankier version of Chronomancer - Utility Boon Support
Dark-icon-ranger.pngRanger Dark-icon-druid.pngDruid Druid - Support/Healer Staff Might} and Fury Fury, can also maintainVigor Vigor and
Protection Protection
30Recharge.png
Protection
Apply protection to yourself.
Protection.pngProtection (10s): -33% Incoming Damage
Range.pngRange: 1,200
. Also provides numerous unique damage buffs (
,
,
and a passive stat aura -
Druid - DPS/Support Condition Capable of providing a similar range of boons and the same unique damage buffs and stat aura as Druid - Support/Healer Staff while doing significantly higher damage (but less healing)
Druid - DPS/Support Power Capable of providing a similar range of boons and the same unique damage buffs and stat aura as Druid - Support/Healer Staff while doing higher damage (but less healing)
Dark-icon-warrior.pngWarrior Dark-icon-berserker.pngBerserker Berserker - Support Condition Provides unique damage buffs through banners -
and
and a passive stat aura -
Dark-icon-revenant.pngRevenant Dark-icon-renegade.pngRenegade Renegade - DPS/Support Condition Provides large amounts of Might Might and Alacrity Alacrity
Renegade - Raid Healer Provides large amounts of Might Might and Alacrity Alacrity as well as a passive stat aura -
Dark-icon-guardian.pngGuardian Dark-icon-firebrand.pngFirebrand Firebrand - Quickness DPS Provides large amounts of Quickness Quickness and moderate Might Might

Healers

As you will notice, almost all of the healing builds also provide some degree of offensive support leading to a lot of overlap in the two categories. Many groups use 2 healers for all encounters, with more experienced groups opting to run fewer healers. Less experienced groups may choose to take an additional healer for encounters with high incoming damage pressure.

Class Elite Specialization Link Description
Dark-icon-ranger.pngRanger Dark-icon-druid.pngDruid Druid - Support/Healer Staff Provides a wide range of boons and unique offensive buffs and strong healing while in
. Healing output drops significantly while not in
. Can bring large amounts of CC to help with breakbars.
Druid - DPS/Support Condition Provides similar range of boons to Druid - Support/Healer Staff, capable of strong general DPS and moderate heals while in
but has only very minor heals outside of
. Can bring large amounts of CC to help with breakbars.
Druid - DPS/Support Power Provides similar range of boons to Druid - Support/Healer Staff, capable of good general DPS and moderate heals while in
but has only very minor heals outside of
. Can bring large amounts of CC to help with breakbars.
Dark-icon-revenant.pngRevenant Dark-icon-renegade.pngRenegade Renegade - Raid Healer Unparalleled burst healing abilities, can also provide frequent condition cleanse and some offensive support. Offers large amounts of CC to help with breakbars
Renegade - DPS/Support Condition Sacrifices a large amount of the healing of Renegade - Raid Healer for significantly increased DPS potential.
Dark-icon-elementalist.pngElementalist Dark-icon-tempest.pngTempest Tempest - Staff Raid Healer Unparalleled sustained healing with very little effort required, strong defensive boon generation and condition cleansing. Amazing revival capabilities thanks to
but almost no DPS or CC capabilities.

Tanking

Due to the need to run toughness on their gear in order to gain access to boon duration as well as the very high amount of blocks, evades and invulnerability available to them, chronomancers are almost always designated as the tank in encounters with a tank mechanic.

Class Elite Specialization Link Notes
Dark-icon-mesmer.pngMesmer Dark-icon-chronomancer.pngChronomancer Chronomancer - Utility Boon Support Default tanking setup. Make sure to replace berserker gear with knights until you have sufficient toughness to maintain aggro.
Chronomancer - Minstrels Tank Provides significantly increased sustain at the cost of almost all of your potential DPS, should only be used in encounters where you are struggling to stay alive as the tank due to significant incoming damage pressure.

Goals of designing a raid team

Before beginning to think about how these builds come together, it is important to understand the basics that should be present in a raid squad:

Boons and Buffs

A well-built raid squad should be able to maintain the following buffs on all 10 members:

As laid out earlier in the guide, these all have multiple sources, so there isn't a set in stone method of how they can be provided to your squad. You will also often maintain other miscellaneous (but often important) boons such as Swiftness Swiftness, Vigor Vigor and Regeneration Regeneration as a side-product of having classes that provide the primary offensive buffs, so you shouldn't need to specifically find a source for them.

It is also highly recommended that you include at least one Warrior (typically a Berserker - Support Condition) and one Ranger of some variety (typically a Druid - Support/Healer Staff) in your squad so that they can provide the following unique and powerful group DPS buffs:

Finally, there are several stat auras available that are a nice bonus to have but are not essential buffs, and depending on whether your DPS classes are primarily Condition or Power based some may have little effect:

  • - Found in Warrior's Tactics specialization
  • - Found in Ranger's Skirmishing specialization
  • - Found in Engineer's Firearms specialization
  • - Found in Revenant's Devastation specialization
If at least one of these classes is in your squad they should generally be expected to provide the buff, however be sure not to double-up on them in the same subsquad, since multiple sources of the same buff do not stack! Try to organise your subgroups so that everyone is able to gain the maximum benefit from the buffs - condition-based DPS classes should be paired with
, and power-based DPS classes should be paired with
,
and
if possible.
Healing

All encounters can be completed with only one dedicated healer, but generally groups will take two healers in order to provide a safety net, as a single healer will struggle to heal a 10-man squad through any failed mechanics. Any of the Healer builds listed earlier in the guide can provide ample group healing.

CC

A lot of Raid mechanics revolve around breaking Bosses breakbars. Try to not use too many CC skills as to not cripple your DPS but make sure the bar still gets broken fast enough. The CC readily available to each build is generally listed on its build page, and a detailed explanation of all CC options can be found on the official wiki. The amount needed varies from encounter to encounter,

Vulnerability
Maintaining 25 stacks of Vulnerability Vulnerability is important for a raid team, as it provides a very large damage boost for everyone in the squad. Many compositions will be able to maintain 25 vulnerability naturally, especially if you're running Power Holosmiths, Dragonhunters, Condition Renegades or Condition Soulbeasts with dagger. However, if you find your squad isn't able to maintain 25 vulnerability on the boss during encounters a Druid should equip
- no further changes are necessary as Storm Spirit by itself is enough to maintain 25 vulnerability as long as everyone is in range of the spirit and hitting the boss

Common Compositions

These are some commonly used compositions that are able to generate ample offensive support, healing and CC when played well. DPS slots can generally be filled with any DPS class, encounter specific suggestions for DPS roles will be discussed in the next section.

Double Druid, Double Chronomancer

1 Dark-icon-chronomancer.pngChronomancer - Utility Boon Support Dark-icon-druid.pngDruid - Support/Healer Staff Dark-icon-berserker.pngBerserker - Support Condition DPS DPS
2 Dark-icon-chronomancer.pngChronomancer - Utility Boon Support Dark-icon-druid.pngDruid - Support/Healer Staff DPS DPS DPS
One of the most common compositions in less organised groups, or in groups that want a safe clear with the utility of two druids. With this setup it is less important for the druids to have boon duration on their gear, as they are able to alternate
usage to maintain might. Try to put any power DPS players you may have into the same subsquad as the warrior so they can benefit from
. If the healing from the second druid is unnecessary they can swap to Druid - DPS/Support Condition. Be sure to coordinate tanking responsibilities between the two chronomancers.

Single Druid, Double Chronomancer

1 Dark-icon-chronomancer.pngChronomancer - Utility Boon Support Dark-icon-berserker.pngBerserker - Support Condition DPS DPS DPS
2 Dark-icon-chronomancer.pngChronomancer - Utility Boon Support Dark-icon-druid.pngDruid - Support/Healer Staff DPS DPS DPS

A variation of the first team composition that has a higher team DPS but lower healing, commonly used in groups with a high level of coordination and familiarity with the encounters. It is important for the druid to have a close to 100% boon duration as possible in order to be able to maintain might across the squad. If additional healing is required, particularly for high pressure fights, a DPS player should swap to Druid - DPS/Support Condition to provide additional healing.

Renegade/Firebrand Offensive Support

1 Dark-icon-chronomancer.pngChronomancer - Utility Boon Support Dark-icon-berserker.pngBerserker - Support Condition Dark-icon-druid.pngDruid - Support/Healer Staff DPS DPS
2 Dark-icon-firebrand.pngFirebrand - Quickness DPS Dark-icon-renegade.pngRenegade - DPS/Support Condition DPS DPS DPS

An squad composition that replaces the role of a chronomancer with a firebrand to provide quickness and a renegade to provide alacrity to their subgroup. On encounters with low damage pressure the druid can swap to Druid - DPS/Support Condition's traveller rune variant to provide higher damage while maintaining a similar might output.

Encounter-Specific Suggestions

Each raid encounter has a range of mechanics and quirks that favor certain builds over others, particularly when it comes to the DPS classes you bring in your squad. Typically the core of the squad's offensive support, healers and tanks will remain the same between each encounter, while DPS classes may change build (or in some cases even role). It is important to note that this section is not a strict guide, and you can clear all encounters with only a single DPS build available to you.

Spirit Vale

Dark-icon-raid.png Vale Guardian

  • Some portion of your DPS builds should be capable of doing most (or ideally all) of their rotation at range due to the green circle mechanic.
  • Vale Guardian's very low armour rating means that in general power builds will deal higher DPS than condition builds, however it is still important to have at least one condition-based DPS build in your squad due to the Red Guardian's extremely high toughness.

Dark-icon-raid.png Gorseval

  • If you plan on intentionally not breaking the breakbar you may want to avoid DPS rotations that involve a large number of individual hits in rapid succession due to the Retaliation Retaliation Gorseval gains while it is up.
  • AoE immobilizes such as
    may be useful during the split phases.

Dark-icon-raid.png Sabetha the Saboteur

  • DPS builds with long ramp up (such as Mirage - DPS Phantasm) or force movement in their rotation (such as Daredevil - D/D Condi DPS should not be assigned to do cannons since they'll take a very long time or have a high risk of falling off the platform and dying.

Salvation Pass

Dark-icon-raid.png Slothasor

  • Condition-based DPS builds are weakened by the frequent condition clears Slothasor will do to itself throughout the fight, especially following the changes in the 12/12/17 patch that increased the DPS ramp up of condition builds.
  • An AoE condition cleanse or stunbreak is essential to mitigate the fear attack that occurs following each breakbar.
  • Projectile mitigation such as
    or
    may be useful if the Slubling adds are not being pulled on to the boss to be cleaved.

Dark-icon-raid.png Bandit Trio

  • DPS builds with low amounts of AoE damage are very weak on this fight due to the large number of trash mobs that need to be dealt with.
  • If your group is struggling to deal with all the trash mobs you may find a Scourge - Condi DPS with
    useful.

Dark-icon-raid.png Matthias Gabrel

  • DPS builds that rely on the boss standing in pulsing damage fields for a large amount of their DPS output such as Weaver - Staff DPS are weak in this encounter due to the unpredictable movements that Matthias will have throughout the fight.
  • Due to the large amount of incoming damage pressure it may be useful to swap a DPS build for a 2nd (or 3rd) healer - Tempest - Staff Raid Healer is especially useful here due to the large amount of pulsing healing it provides.

Stronghold of the Faithful

Dark-icon-raid.png Escort

  • DPS builds with low amounts of AoE damage are very weak on this fight due to the large number of trash mobs that need to be dealt with.
  • If your group is struggling to deal with all the trash mobs you may find a Scourge - Condi DPS with
    useful.
  • It is useful to have sources of Immobilize Immobilize to prevent the Warg Bloodhounds from reaching (and subsequently one-shotting) Glenna. You may want to assign a DPS build with easy access to Immobilize Immobilize to be responsible for solo-killing the Warg Bloodhounds that spawn near the starting location of the encounter.

Dark-icon-raid.png Keep Construct

  • Condition-based DPS builds are very weak in this encounter due to the mechanics of the fight dictating that most of the damage to Keep Construct will be dealt during the short phases while it has the Compromised debuff. Especially following the changes in the 12/12/17 patch condition builds are unable to adequately ramp up their DPS during these phases, which drastically increases the difficulty of the fight.
  • provides a considerable increase to power-based DPS builds in this encounter because it increases your damage to Keep Construct while it has the Compromised debuff. Similarly, the elementalist trait
    provides a massive DPS increase for elementalists on this encounter.

Dark-icon-raid.png Xera

  • DPS builds with strong AoE damage are very useful in this encounter to clear Bloodstone Shards and the dangerous trash mobs that spawn.
  • Condition-based DPS builds are less desirable in this encounter due to the Bloodstone Shards converting all the conditions on Xera into boons when she steps into them, providing her with deadly buffs and forcing them to re-start their ramp up.

Bastion of the Penitent

Dark-icon-raid.png Cairn the Indomitable

  • You may want to bring an additional healer in the place of a DPS build to take the Shared Agony mechanic away from the group while being able to sustain itself.
  • Another option is having 3 Scourge - Condi DPS using
    standing at range to receive Shared Agony while your healer(s) remain on the main group. An advantage of using this option is the Scourges can rotate their use of
    to completely neutralize Cairn's projectile attack.

Dark-icon-raid.png Mursaat Overseer

  • This encounter has no mechanics that favor certain compositions, but if your group is struggling to deal with the Jade Soldiers you may find a Scourge - Condi DPS with
    useful.

Dark-icon-raid.png Samarog

  • DPS Builds with strong AoE damage may be useful to clear any Spears placed near the group.
  • Knockback skills or
    Temporal Curtain Temporal Curtain
    ¼Activation.png
    25Recharge.png
    Temporal Curtain
    Create a wall of energy that grants swiftness to allies who cross it and cripples foes who touch it. Allies may cross the wall more than once but receive less swiftness after the first crossing.
    Swiftness.pngInitial Swiftness (12s): 33% Movement Speed
    Swiftness.pngSwiftness (1s): 33% Movement Speed
    Crippled.pngCrippled (5s): -50% Movement Speed
    Duration.pngDuration: 5 seconds
    Combo.pngCombo Field: Light
    Range.pngRange: 900
     Forward arrow blue.png 
    Into the Void Into the Void
    Into the Void
    Shatter your Temporal Curtain, pulling nearby enemies toward its position.
    Book.pngNumber of Targets: 5
    Radius.pngRadius: 600
    and sources of Immobilize Immobilize are useful to ensure Rigom is positioned correctly during the applicable phases.

Dark-icon-raid.png Deimos

  • A DPS role should swap to a specialized hand-kiting build such as Herald - Hand Kiter to safely place the Soul Feast fields away from the main group.
  • A build capable of a channeled block skill such as
    or
    can be used to spawn the Rapid Decay fields in a safe location even during Deimos' Mind Crush attack.

Hall of Chains

Dark-icon-raid.png Soulless Horror

  • Knockback skills, immobilize and ranged DPS are useful for ensuring the Tormented Dead that spawn regularly die in a safe position away from the group
    • A common option is to replace a DPS slot with a druid wielding Longbow and using
      to knockback using
      and then immobilize the Tormented Dead. In combination with this one or two Scourge - Condi DPS with
      are able to use epidemic to rapidly kill the Tormented Dead once they are in an appropriate position.

Dark-icon-raid.png Dhuum

  • Similar to Deimos, a DPS role should swap to a specialized build such as Tempest - Staff Raid Healer to kite the Dhuum's Messengers that spawn throughout the fight.
  • You may want to bring sources of boon removal or corruption such as
    or
    to remove the boons that are stolen by Dhuum during the fight.