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Mini-guide to the meatshield Guardian v1.1

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Disclaimer: The following does not constitute a thorough guide,in the sense of providing in-depth tips,boss tactics,mechanics and whatnot.The purpose of this mini-guide is to outline the standard tanker build of Guardians,and to touch on a few (mainly gear-related) issues that are often brought up in Guardian discussions.

-A particularly useful guide to tanking the often popular end-game bosses Natan and Glutton can be found here: Tanking Natan/Glutton,kind courtesy of NecroVatis.

What's a meatshield character,and where's the use for one?

Guardians may very likely be the only class that can reach the cap of 95% damage absorption,or at the very least the only class whose gear and skills assist so much in that front.They are the traditional tankers,the ones who will soak up the damage for others and keep the party safe in crammed encounters.

Admittedly there are boss fights which will not require a Guardian,such as Moloch,Oculis,the Dessicator,and perhaps even the Land of Rest with an otherwise proper party setup.
However,it is only fitting that Guardians are essential for other major boss encounters,most notably Berial and Kaibutsnatan.Such parties will often be started by a Guardian,or will not proceed to the boss untill one is present.

Leveling and stat allocation

As with all classes,the best area for exp grinding is Stonehenge.The main reasons being mob density and the fact that mobs there will always scale to the player's level.Guardians may have further need to make use of the "clear 1st room of caves,reset,repeat" process,as they are a class that is more party-reliant than not.
For more information on gear,be it grinder or endgame gear,kindly refer to the Gear section below and the honorable mention to Surgecasters as the optimal solo leveling weapons.

As with all classes in Global,leveling Guardians have a dire need for stats due to the endgame gear/mod feeds.Therefore,the approach most often followed is to only invest stats when sorely needed,in cases where a specific piece of gear will be worn for a while and at least requires a stat that will later be covered (ie Strength,Stamina).
The aim of careful stat planning is to avoid having to use an Attribute Retrainer,or at the very least before lv55.While more free stat allocation doesn't seem to show its drawbacks while leveling,most classes that have done so find themselves unable to equip their lv50 grinder weapons/gear as early.A prime example of this would be any gear pieces with +armor,+TAV and +1-3 in X Skill,which tend to come with tremendous STR feeds.
It is equally noteworthy that +hpb,+hp and +Stats/+AA similarly have high Stamina feeds.While Stamina is the most welcome stat for Guardians,a sudden need for a respectable amount of any stat may disable the unprepared player from wearing their new gear for a few levels/ranks.


The following is more or less the standard build for a tanker.,55,50,11,v1.0000170000000040aa05175000000007a0

For those who may use incompatible browsers,or in case the link malfunctions in the future,here are the skills with some elaboration and notes.

Spiritual Strength 7/7
84 fewer points invested in Strength,absolutely essential.If those 84 points are invested in Stamina instead,they equal 420 hit points,before any % hp bonuses from gear.

Aura of Renewal 10/10
Amazing hp regeneration,actually scales with the player's hp pool size so it's usefulness can never be reduced as one progresses.

Aura of Defense 10/10
A flat 12% armor increase per enemy within the player's aura,it even caps at 8 enemies and thus a 96% armor increase.It's essentially a 12%-96% (depending on the encounter) "Total Armor Value increased" property,without the horrendous Strength feeds that come with it on gear.

Aura of Deflection 4/4
Provides a 54% chance to destroy incoming projectiles.The main Aura used against Kaibutsnatan,Imhotep and possibly other cases as well.

Aura of Power 1/10 (minimum)
Another valuable Aura for Kaibutsnatan,a single point is supposed to suffice but players may invest more points depending on their needs,tastes and available gear/skillpoints.

Grand Aura 5/5, Aura Stability 7/7
The passive Aura buff skills that will increase the Auras' radius and allow up to 3 Auras to be used at once,respectively.The former is also essential for greater taunt radius,and the latter for enabling multiple Auras to be used.
-An interesting use of Stability is to only use one Aura when the encounter permits it.Said Aura will then function at a 130% of it's normal effect,so for instance Deflection will be boosted from a 54% chance to a 70% one.

Prayer of Healing 5/10 (minimum)
"Area of Effect" heal,restores 25% of all players within it's radius.More points may be considered for a reduced cooldown timer.

Challenge 7/7, Denounce 10/10
The 2 taunt skills,the former being an AoE one and the latter a single-target one.Essentially,Challenge is used to taunt a boss's minions,whereas Denounce is used on the boss itself.

This leaves the much used,and most useful,Stampede skill.

Stampede 1/10 (optional,through gear)
Going down the Shield tree to get a single point in Stampede requires that one invests 9 points,hence why it was excluded from the planner.Tankers have very little use for the other Shield skills,so it's generally a choice that is avoided.
If one wishes to get Stampede,the more viable options are to get it from a weapon or the set leggings,discussed below.

The above skill setup uses 10 additional skillpoints.Apart from extra Event skillpoints,those are most often easily accounted for through gear/weapon bonuses,further discussed below.


The desirable properties on gear for tankers are mainly %hp bonuses,% TAV (total armor value increased),+hp bonuses and +All Attributes/Strength/Will for reduced feeds and thus more points invested in Stamina.Out of those:

-%hp bonus properties have Stamina feeds,based on property grade (common/rare/legendary) and item level.Since it's the stat Guards will invest all leftover points in,it's a welcome feed.

-TAV properties have Strength feeds,also based on property grade and item level.Since Strength is needless for tankers,massive Strength feeds are to be avoided.

-+hp properties will have Stamina feeds,based on property grade and item level.
-+Stat properties have Stamina feeds,being half of the number they provide to a stat.So +10 Strength will add 5 Stamina feed,and so forth.
-+AA properties have Stamina feeds,being double of their own number.So a +10AA will add 20 Stamina feed and so forth.

Leveling gear and Surgecasters extraordinaire

Any armor pieces that loosely follow the above guidelines should suffice for leveling as a Guardian,even more so if the area of choice is Stonehenge.However,the weapons that seem to need their own subsection as they are often overlooked are Surgecasters.

Specifically (and especially in Stonehenge),a simple tanking/kiting process in conjuction with one or two Surgecasters can arguably become the easiest way for a solo Guardian to grind for exp.
This process is showcased in the following video:

Endgame: Full set,3-5 pieces or no set

The Guardian set armor can be found here:

The full set is often seen as an affordable choice for a decent tanker,and the +1 to all Guardian skills is an appealing part of the full set bonus.This property by itself on a legendary helmet would yield massive Strength feeds,whereas in this case it is a free bonus.
However,it is noteworthy that the currently best Guardians either use a well-augmented set (that is,with properties discussed above) or legendaries and specific augmented uniques.In a condensed form:

Set pros: Relatively bearable feeds on individual pieces, decent properties on individual pieces, useful free set bonuses such as +120hp & +80 pp,+1 to all skills and so forth.

Set cons: Many pieces lack multiple desired properties or have them in low amounts. Availability and price of the torso (and possibly other pieces) may make the set acquisition a difficult task, even more so if one wishes to augment pieces for more desired properties.

Legendaries/uniques pros: More availability and high chance that pieces will have most/all the desired properties for much better results. Uniques may have some properties twice (such as TAV) and thus augmenting for perfect results may be much easier.Some uniques also provide points in skills.

Legendaries/uniques cons: Hunting for specific properties in specific grades may be very time-consuming,and needless properties such as Thorns may carry equally needless Strength feeds.+1 to all skills through a legendary helmet will likewise have tremendous feeds,as mentioned earlier.

Noteworthy set/unique armor pieces include:
-Set torso
An amazing 245 base armor,TAV,+hp and decent feeds.May need a %hp bonus augment,but still a choice to consider.

-Set leggings
Good base armor,TAV,+hp bonus,+AA and 1 point in a random skill.Lacks a hp%,but it can save 1 skill point and possibly provide Stampede.

-Signo Vinces
Good base armor,+hp bonus,one or two TAVs and +AA to lower feeds.Also lacks a %hp bonus.

-Sol's Invictus
Good base armor,one or two TAVs.Lacks a %hp bonus,but saves 2 points in Aura of Defense.

-Warrior Belt
One or two TAVs,+hp bonus.Lacks %hp bonus,but saves 2 points in Aura of Renewal.

So to return to the initial question,there can be no definite answer as augments on any pieces,feeds on legendaries and available skillpoints can vastly vary.The only solid conclusion that one can draw is,
the clean set may be a decent choice,but a well-augmented set or a set/legendaries/uniques combo can yield vastly superior results due to the total number of desired properties available.

To provide a point of reference,here is a demonstrational video in Hell Shadow Pass.

Weapons and shields

Weapons and shields get their own section,as the weapon sets usually used and some specific choices are noteworthy.
The tanker will not be inflicting damage,therefore the weapon should provide armor,skills and in the case of the "runner set",movement speed.Of course,massive feeds are ever to be avoided.

Shields: The desired properties discussed earlier still apply to shields,but with the noteworthy remark that "+1-3 to X skill" properties yield massive Strength feeds and are thus to be avoided.Usual choices for shields include:

-Keeper of the North Star
Lower base armor than later shields but still decent,provides a +1 to all Guard skills.

-Hyeonmoo's Iron Shield
Good base armor,7-11% hp bonus,provides 2-5 points to essential skills.

Main set weapons: The idea of main set weapons is to provide useful properties for tankers.In accord with this,weapon choices include:

-Wart's Peg Leg
Minimal feeds,it is among the very few weapons in the entire game that provides armor (in this case,55).The amount of armor increases with the number of enchants on it (ie,188 at +7),which in turn are very cheap due to the item being a very low level common weapon.

-Yahtel's Fist
Provides 175 armor,which is not improved with enchants but it rivals the armor provided by a +7 Wart's Peg Leg.Not often preferred due to higher feeds.

Runner set: The runner set is one that players switch to for increased speed,which may be very useful in a number of situations.The set consists of:
-Alt's Hack
-Shinn's Guard
If one's Accuracy feeds allow it,one may use 2 Alt's Hacks instead for more points in Sprint.

Cast set: Many classes use cast sets for skills in which they don't wish to invest points.For Guardians,such skills may include:
-Prayer of Healing
-Great Defender
-Challenge/Denounce/Auras (in which case the cast set needs to be the active set throughout a whole boss encounter)

Expertises,pets and closing notes

The usual expertises for tanker Guardians include:
-Toughness: +150 base armor at 4/4
-Tranquility: +480 power regeneration at 4/4
-Improve Willpower: +180 max power at 4/4
-Increase Health: +240 max health at 4/4
-Vigor: +20% Sprint skill use rate at 4/4

Others may be Arcane Resolve (+1652 elemental defenses) and Renegeration (+480 hp regeneration/minute),but they are not often preferred as their benefits seem to be of secondary importance.Of course,expertise selection may not be based only on efficiency but also on personal preference.

Pets: At the time this mini-guide is written,the only two available pets in the cash shop are Sekworm and Shulgoth.Therefore,and since other pets have been out of circulation for months,the comparison is only betwen the two.

Sekworm: It provides 400 base hp,which is not subject to %hp bonuses but increases the regeneration of Aura of Renewal,as it directly increases the player's hp pool.It also provides 200 power,which Guardians otherwise lack.Generally considered the better choice of the two.

Shulgoth: It provides 200 base armor,which is not subject to TAVs.It also provides 400 shields,which most Guardians consider inconsequential.Generally considered the worse choice of the two.

In conclusion
Guardians are,naturally,the best tanker class in the game,capable of becoming practically immortal when built appropriately.While tankers may not be essential for all boss encounters,the ones that do are significant enough to make the Guardian a class still worth the effort of leveling and gear-hunting.

i'd always max prayer of healing for weak hunters in natan runs, and always take manaregen expertise over +mana expertise.

other than that, nice writing :)

Well thought to leave it up to choice,I'm not knowledgeable enough on the subject to make such suggestions myself.
Thanks though,if you notice anything's too wrong do point it out :)


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