This section is currently in Draft mode and is under construction.
An Introduction to Solo Content
"Solo" content consists of two broad categories: Easy and Difficult. With Easy solo content, such as the story, it is recommended to simply use a General build from the main open world page. However, if attempting to solo especially difficult content such as champion Hero Points, bounties, or even dungeons, it can be beneficial to use a build that is tailored specifically to the challenge.
This section will discuss solo techniques, builds, and philosophy at length. It will serve as both a guide and resource pool and hopefully assist in explaining the dos, don'ts, ins, and outs of soloing difficult content in Guild Wars 2.
What Content Can Be Solo'd?
In general, almost any encounter in Guild Wars 2 can be solo'd in some form or fashion. Typically, the content that cannot be solo'd includes encounters that have multi-player mechanics (such as Souless Horror's tanking mechanic) or encounters with fail-state timers that require higher DPS than what is possible with solo builds.
Why Solo Encounters?
This question is asked a lot, and it's a valid question. In general, there is almost never a requirement or need to solo encounters in Guild Wars 2. The game enables parties to take on fights together, and shared loot pools incentivize them to do so. However, there are times when you may not be able to find another player to help, or you may just enjoy the challenge. In these cases, you can attempt to take on the challenges alone.
The solo gameplay style is not profitable, nor easy. It is a style that is antithetical to the systems that Guild Wars 2 has put in place, and it is generally not recommended. For the vast majority of players, this playstyle is an enigma and will decrease their enjoyment of the game. It is strongly recommended that you find groups for harder fights and use generalist builds instead.
In solo content, there are two styles of builds: Those tailored for speed and those tailored for simply completing the content. We'll refer to the former as Strikers, and the later as Juggernauts. These are terms created solely for ease of use in this guide and are not in popular circulation within the community.
Juggernauts live by their namesake. These are builds with extremely high personal defense and healing while still maintaining enough damage to complete encounters alone. Builds like Build:Scrapper_-_Power_Scrapper and Build:Scourge_-_Condi_Scourge can be played as Juggeranuts.
The primary advantage of these builds is that they are relatively easy to play. Most players will be able to quickly and easily pick up a Juggernaut build and complete even extremely difficult content with ease. The primary disadvantage of Juggernauts is their speed; as they invest so much into defense, they often have very little room in their build for damage or mobility. As such, these builds are exceptionally poor at speed-clearing instances alone. This can sometimes lead to being unable to complete some solo encounters due to time constraints, though these instances are rare.
Another major disadvantage of Juggernauts is that they typically use gear setups not seen elsewhere in the game, except rarely in World vs World. Juggernauts often rely on defensive gear, sigils, and runes and these setups are often both expensive and niche. When you invest in a Juggernaut build, you are not going to be able to use that investment in content such as raids, fractals, and sometimes even open world farming.
Strikers are builds that deal very high damage while maintaining some of their solo capabilities. These builds often take the minimum amount of defense required to complete content, and will typically slot pure damage or some mobility. Builds like Build:Firebrand_-_Condi_Firebrand and Build:Chronomancer_-_Phantasmal_Duelist can be considered Strikers.
The Striker playstyle revolves around the central Guild Wars 2 tenant of Be Quick or Be Killed. They rely heavily on dodges, blocks, and other sources of i-frames to mitigate damage, and focus on killing enemies quickly before their cooldowns start to catch up with them. Strikers excel at speedrunning, especially fractals and dungeons, though they typically have a very high skill floor to pull off.
The primary advantages of playing Strikers includes faster clears (and thus more gold per hour for some farms) and gear sets that are typically synonymous with their raid or fractal counterparts. This makes gearing a Striker much easier and more efficient than Juggernauts. Their primary disadvantage is that they are generally much harder to play and will require significant time investment to learn when compared to a Juggernaut.
This section will offer guides and advice for both styles of play; it is up to you to decide which you will prefer.
Solo gameplay is heavily reliant on consumables, doubly so if playing Strikers. This doesn't just mean food, but includes things like Sentinel Rifles and Waystations in order to quickly and easily break bars to reduce incoming damage and benefit from Exposed. In some encounters, these are so important that the encounter may not be doable without them.
A full guide to open world consumables is in the works. For now, a short list of extremely useful solo consumables includes:
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