Recently, I went to Southsun Cove with a fellow guildmate to test out my new 0/5/25/25/5 staff/hammer guardian build. Since there are no living story events going on in Southsun Cove at the moment, we had the entire map to ourselves. I tried soloing veteran young karkas while my guildmate (a very experienced thief by the way) watched in case I needed saving. The results were promising. I managed to hold my own against the karka with my health never dropping below 80% due to all the healing I received from Altruistic Healing, which healed me whenever I placed boons on me or my allies. My utiity skills were all shouts that provided boons, my virtues provided boons thanks to the Inspired Virtues trait and most of my staff and hammer skills provided boons as well. Furthermore, my Empowering Might trait granted might to me and my allies whenever I dealt a critical hit, which was reasonably common with my 50% critical chance.
Afterward, we did some exploring around the island and ran into a Champion Karka Hive Defender. My guildmate said to run while he distracted the karka but I stood my ground and started my skill rotation. With so much self healing and boon stacking, we managed to survive pretty well. In my new build, I opted for the elite skill Renewed Focus which instantly recharged my virtues and gave me 3 seconds of invulnerability, which proved to be a lifesaver.
We finally defeated the champion karka after a grueling ten minute fight. I got downed a few times during the fight when all my of skills and virtues were on cooldown and I was low on endurance, but my guildmate revived me. Overall, the fight was not that bad compared to some other champions I faced on my other characters. My extremely high 3200~ armor kept the karka’s attacks at around 1600~ damage a hit, compared to my previous spirit weapon build where my guardian had 2100~ armor and was taking 4000+ damage per hit from karkas.
This build has my official seal of approval. If I can tank a champion karka with it, it must be good. 😛 Hammers seem to have very slow attack speed compared to greatswords, but they make up for it by placing a free protection granting symbol on the ground every third auto attack hit. This lets me upkeep a permanent protection (reduces incoming damage by 33%) boon on me and my allies with my shouts. Hammers also have more crowd control skills than greatswords, though that isn’t much help against champions who have Defiant. The supportive effects of using a hammer are definitely worth the lower damage output from greatswords.
Switching my elite skill from Tome of Courage to Renewed Focus also had a major impact on the success of my build. Renewed Focus has the shortest cooldown of all the guardian elite skills at 90 seconds, and it’s use is applicable to all situations unlike Tome of Courage or Wrath which requires a large number of enemy targets and allies to be truly worth using.
I look forward to testing my new guardian in fractals and dungeons. Until then, I’m saving up for a Magical Infusion and waiting for my next pick of a Zenith hammer skin because I am definitely using my guardian more again.
Oh, did I mention? Now my guardian also has three ways to apply swiftness. 😀 No more slow running across maps! This is handy because I use my guardian for most living story content since she has opened up most of the world map among all my characters.