Dragonhunter - Symbolic

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Focused on: Direct damage and Bunkering

Designed for: PvP Conquest



A formidable Dragonhunter bunker/skirmisher build for PvP with a bit of team support.

Archival note: fell out of use after symbol nerfs.

Skill Bar


Skill Variants


  • Sword over Scepter: this trades ranged damage and better symbol uptime for more mobility and cleave.

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  • can help a lot with reviving allies.
  • adds another symbol to the build but the mace symbol will no longer have ~100% uptime.

F2P Variant

Free-to-play users can replicate this build with moderate success by replacing Dragonhunter with Virtues:

Additional changes

  • In this case take as your healing skill and in place of the trap.





  • and/or can be added to either set if more cleansing is needed.



  • Playstyle: look for smaller fights, preferably 1v1 and 2v2s and focus on survival first. Stay in your symbols as much as possible and use them on CD.
  • Blocking attacks removes conditions via , making one of the build's strongest condition cleanses.
  • , and provide a stead stream of healing during combat, both for you and nearby allies.
  • Spam symbols and autoattacks for damage, most of your pressure's going to come from these two sources.


  • Use on cooldown.
  • If you're fighting with an ally always try to use near them for extra support. Protector's Strike is also one of the hardest hitting skills in the build and in most cases should be used immediately after weapon swapping to make sure it goes off while is active.


  • is both an excellent defensive and offensive tool: as it's instant cast it can be used to block incoming burst even while you're CC'd. If the stacks aren't depleted after 4 seconds, the exploding shield can hit rather hard (while the shield will barely explode in a combat scenario, with proper timing it can be used to deliver an opening burst on unsuspecting foes).
    • The blast finisher that comes with activating the skill AoE cleanses 1 condition when used in a symbol. Aside from that it may help with stacking Swiftness or Stealth in combo fields provided by other party members.


  • Despite having midrange attack skills, it's more useful in melee range where the autoattack is easier to land and you can stand in for some extra Might Might stacks. In ranged combat it's mostly a filler weapon to have something to do while you're waiting for bigger CDs.
  • With a little luck it's possible to decap a point by knocking the target off with and rooting them in place with .
  • has a weird aftercast which delays the recharge of this skill by up to ~20%. To cancel that just simply cast any other skill, an autoattack should suffice.


  • is one of the few skill that grant Protection in this build, try to apply it to as many allies as possible to get the most out of it.

Sword (if taken)

  • Symbols, traps, and the sword autoattack chain will be the main sources of cleave damage in the build.
  • Maintain as much as possible. Keep in mind that it's not just a symbol, this skill can also be used as a near-instant AoE blind which can be used to prevent key skills (such as a Reaper's ) from landing a hit, or as a gapcloser/mobility tool.
  • is one of the hardest hitting skills in the build and a good way to deal with projectiles.


  • Power-based spikes when blocks are down.
  • Chain CC


This build has a rating of 5 stars based on 23 votes.
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5 stars
DeDoctor gave this build 5 stars • January 2020
If used properly, this build is super fun and very strong. It's not as strong as FB bunker, but it does pretty good heal and decent damage. This build is definitely viable. EDIT: I think this build has extremely great potential rn, if ANet doesn't do anything drastic to DH in the upcoming balance patch, this build could be in the "Great" category.
3 stars
Nathanel gave this build 3 stars • November 2019
I second Hanz’ statement and add that the devs plan on lowering the game’s powerlevel even more, I’d argue that this build now is more then viable.
4 stars
Hanz gave this build 4 stars • October 2019
Back from the archives after 2 years. Now that the power level of the game went down a bit it's seeping back into ranked. Really decent sidenoder but ultimately there are better options out there.
5 stars
Talpaleggenda gave this build 5 stars • December 2017
Great build possibly better than the meditrapper if used properly.
5 stars
ThePlayMaker gave this build 5 stars • October 2017
A great build for bunkers wishing to survive versus the endless conditions in this current meta. It can be modified to do more damage, or more supporting as needed, and is well suited for maps with smaller capture zones. I regularly end up with 250-500k healing per game and it is incredibly strong at hold points for a long time as long as you play it well.
5 stars
Erladion gave this build 5 stars • May 2017
Both variants(DH and Virtues) are spectacular.After 16 May patch this is the most sustain bunker build in my opinion.I ran this at 6 season(Plat) and will continue at next one.Always got top healing(even with Tempest in one team) - around 500k and about 300k damage in average, even in bad matches.With this you have ability to carry game pretty hard(just go far and hold against several foes).I'm using Mender amulet and Dolyak signet.With Stalwart Defender it provides you ~400 touchness that really perfect.
5 stars
Utrex gave this build 5 stars • May 2017
I tried core bunker and it's phenomenal. Tried Dragonhunter but feel Virtues is simply better for bunkering. For the optional slot I sometimes take Hallowed Ground along with Master of Consecrations trait for much-needed stability. The build's weaknesses are lots of CC (Revenant), power bursts and sometimes condi warrior (due to the CC). They're workable though. Edit: the build will have a tougher time surviving 1v1s since Invigorating Bulwark got nerfed. Slightly worse but another nerf of that scale will push it down for me.
5 stars
FormerBearbowUser gave this build 5 stars • March 2017
I tried the f2p variant of this, with as listed moderate success, if you play your strengths, you should have an alright time
5 stars
Obran gave this build 5 stars • September 2016
Guardian Medi used to be a very high end build, then guardians went away. Now, they're back, and I feel with a much better skill set. This build has just been downgraded outside of meta, but I can't understand how the LB variant of DPS Guards remains on top. This build provides better synergy with teammates, and has better 1v1 capabilities. To each their own, I suppose, but Smybolic is the best guardian build as of now.
5 stars
Necropolisrising9 gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
This is a wonderful time to be a guardian. Last couple of pvp seasons I have been using necromancers, while my guardian has been on the sidelines, but not this time. Between the more offensive build and a more bunkerish build, I am a happy camper (pun intended)! Concerning the more bunker of the builds, would you still use the same sigils or something different? Also was curious whether force of will would be better for that kind of build.
5 stars
Bioalchemist gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
Been using a modified version of this with a lot of success. People underestimate the usefulness of the scepter in my opinion. You can adjust this as the team needs so it has pretty good flex. Just feels more versatile than the meditrapper build to me. If you go more bunker with it you could compare it to the bunker guard of days past with more damage. This will likely be my main rank up build this season.
5 stars
Dont Be A Hater gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
One of the Best builds for DH out there. Good for Point capping / decapping. Great in smaller fights and it's a great counter to plenty of over used classes (1 being druid). Just overall great build and it deserves a place in meta.
5 stars
Blacktoothgrimm gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
I have to agree way more versatile then Meditrapper. Played in several matches of the last few days and smoked the meditrappers. Not only that but with this build I out damage and survive my friend that plays meditrapper. Take judges intervention and apply pressure to your foe. Dont wait for them to come to you. Best Guarding build ever. I am so glad I didnt have to play bunker this season.
5 stars
Kreck gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
Really fun to play and a really good build. I have never really been convinced by the classic trapper DH but I think this build offer more possibilities. Anyway I think Runes of Speed is way more better than Rune of the pack because it's offer more mobility to rotate and in fight, it's really help to get close to your opponents with sword.
5 stars
Carlosmenem gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
Great build. Traveller runes are a better choice in lower elos.
5 stars
Legiion gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
I Love this build. I played it before the big condi Patch. And now its back :) i love it I can easyly 1vs2 1vs3 and 1vs4 in wvw with this build.
5 stars
ObnoxiousProxy gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
Using traveller runes with this build gives decent mobility without giving up much else. Great skirmisher from my experience 1v1 up to 2v2. Average in large team fights. Hard to tell whether this or meditrapper is more effective in large team battles but have been winning 1v1s and 2v2s against meditrappers ~70% of the time with this build. Most importantly: Very easy to learn and play. More so than meditrapper. Don't know if build has place for very top competitive level as I am not there but certainly extremely viable all the way up to at least higher ruby and lower diamond.
5 stars
Mysteries gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
Very strong build, Mender version is a solid solo point tank. Has the same balanced skirmisher feel as Power Hammer Scrapper. Damage sources are very difficult to avoid, and survival options are abundant against all damage types.
1 star
Froggy11235 gave this build 1 star • August 2016
Very overrated build with a lack of mobility and a symbol gimmick that will not supply enough healing or damage. This build is not strong enough to be an actual bunker and lacks the killing potential required. This build is just proof that ANET tried hard with symbols but ruined the chance when they put symbolic avenger and writ of persistence on different trait lines. In the end, the best bunker is still a scrapper engi. 3/5 stuff.
5 stars
Zyke gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
One of the best duelist builds right now. Very good damage, amazing sustain. okay mobility.
5 stars
Thempo gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
this build is fucking amazing i love play guardian and finaly i have found a rly good build ( i think using Contemplation of Purity is better then Judge's Intervention)
5 stars
Wizland gave this build 5 stars • August 2016
With the symbols added to Sword and Scepter, I'd say this build is actually worthwhile. This build can decently chase and engage, helping allies when necessary. It can give decent boons at that. It can also handle conditions very well, with four skills that can remove conditions. I think this is a quite versatile build and deserving of a Great ranking.
5 stars
Zuko gave this build 5 stars • July 2016
Pretty good dps, insane survivability, decent team support great rez potential with trap daze, shield, f3, and an absolute beast if u take protective reviver over mace cooldowns which i reccomend. great at holding a point, i expect it to become meta


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