When new players ask what build they should run, veterans often answer with “any build is viable in open world.” While this might be true for veteran players, it doesn't help players who are still learning the game. For someone coming into level 80 maps for the first time, or trying to do story instances alone, running with a random unoptimized build can be immensely frustrating.
These builds are meant for players who need help with level 80 open world and story content. They can easily defeat normal enemies and story bosses without support from other players. Many of these builds are also capable of soloing group events, champions, and even fractals and raid bosses if played well.
Where possible, a build has two equipment variants: a "Standard" variant which shares gear with common fractal/raid builds, as well as an "Optimal" variant for players who have spare gold or aren’t interested in group content. They also list variant traits and skills that are worth swapping to in specific situations.
To all new and returning Guild Wars 2 players, we hope you find these builds useful!
Note: These builds are for roaming by yourself or doing regular group events. For bounties, world bosses, or boss-focused meta events like Triple Trouble and Dragon's Stand, you should play a Fractal or Raid build for best results.
Important Links and Resources
Updated for the 13 November 2018 balance patch
Q: Can I play these builds in dungeons, fractals, and/or raids?
A: No, these builds are for open world. When joining a dungeon, fractal, or raid group, you should play a Fractal or Raid build. Many of these builds have a Standard gear variant that allows you to easily swap to a similar fractal/raid build, which is linked in the same section that the gear variant is listed.
Q: I don't have the right stats/runes/sigils/unlocked traits for this build. Can I still play it?
A: Yes, but your effectiveness will be limited. Having the right gear and traits is important for maximizing a build's potential. You can still run a build that's close to the recommended build, but you should work your way up to the right gear/traits as soon as possible.
Q: I haven't reached level 80 and don't have these skills/traits unlocked. What should I do?
A: Under level 80, most content is trivially easy, so you shouldn't worry about running the absolute best build. Instead, you should try out different weapons, skills, and traits to learn how they work. If you start finding story missions/normal enemies difficult, make sure you're wearing gear appropriate to your level.
Q: I find it really hard to survive with glass cannon stats. Are there any other options I can use?
A: If you want, you can swap out some of your offensive stats for defensive stats. Just be aware that the more toughness and vitality you add, the longer it will take you to kill things. Avoiding damage and dodging attacks will always be better than any amount of defensive gear.
- Power builds: Add Marauder's or Soldier's gear
- Condition builds: Add Trailblazer's or Dire gear
Q: The build suggests (X weapon/skill/trait) but I find (Y weapon/skill/trait) more fun to use. Can I use that instead?
A: Sure. These builds are suggestions about what combinations of weapons, skills, and traits will be most effective, and some combinations will naturally be more effective than others. However, if you have no trouble getting things done in open world, you can play whatever you like.
Q: I would like to contribute suggestions/gameplay tips/new builds. Where do I start?
Other Links and Resources
Ways to Earn Gold (WIP)