Comprehensive GW2 endgame gearing guide for new and returning L80 players. Updated for Feburary patch.
- Updated Dec 20 to include the new items from Halloween, Lost Shores and Wintersday update
- Updated Feb 10 to include the new items from the Flame and Frost Prelude January update
- Updated Feb 27 to include new items from the Flame and Frost: Gathering Storm February update
Basic info here but if you didn’t know how item tiers in GW2 work, this could be a useful primer. Items are tiered by color.
White (trash) < Blue (fine) < Green (masterwork) < Yellow (rare) < Orange (exotic) < Ascended (red-pink) < Purple (legendary)
Yes, unlike other MMOs, green is actually better than blue, shocking I know!
Our goal here is to get you from wherever you are to L80 full exotics with ascended backpieces and rings. Don’t even bother with legendary unless you have a lot of time and gold to waste!
Prefixes and Suffixes
When viewing items, you will see a bunch of names. A lot of it may not make sense but they are actually prefixes and suffixes determining the item’s stats.
Dominant stat = the stats out of the three that there tends to be more of.
Something to note: Berserker and Explorer are really popular affixes and will cost you a lot of money. People like glass cannon builds and finding rare items so they value crit damage and magic find highly. Ruby and Opal are also popular trinket affixes.
Raw materials and salvage
Top tier crafting mats are expensive, you can either salvage L68+ items for them or buy them from the trading post.
Gossamer and Orichalcum are some of the expensive top tier common crafting mats.
What salvage kit should you use?
Players have had various theories and studies on these salvage kits. Some have reported no difference on getting gossamer/orichalcums from using Master/Mystic vs Crude salvage kits (10% chance regardless of the salvage kit used). If you have mystic forge stones to spare (the recent gold to gem ratio make them very expensive to purchase), you can make a mystic kit to save on inventory spaces since it has 250 uses.
To make a mystic salvage kit, you will need
Put these into the Mystic forge in Lion’s Arch or WvW maps should yield you a Mystic Salvage Kit with 250 uses.
Now, for L68+ rares and exotic, salvaging them have a chance to yield Globs of Ectoplasm.
Globs of Ectoplasm are used for crafting exotic armor pieces, you need 5 globs per piece or 30 globs per set.
Map Complete your 60-70 and 70-80 zones!
Completing these zones will grant you 2x L70+ exotics per map completed as well as a nice sum of silver. Well there is a good chance that the exotics you get are not for your class or have bad stats, you can sell them on the TP for coins or exchange them with others. These exotics have pretty good stats and can hold you over until you get L80 exotics.
Prefixes and Suffixes
Trinkets are your 2x Accessory (Earrings), 2x Rings and 1x Amulet. Prefixes like Beryl, Opal etc refers to the actual trinket while suffixes like Explorer, Cleric etc refers to the gem socketed in them (it is switched around from armor/weapons). Certain item prefixes and gem suffixes always go together.
*Candy Corn prefix is only available for amulet, not for earrings/rings
You will want to start off with L80 Masterwork. Put these fields onto the search box in Trading Post. You will find crafted jewelry and random named backpieces that drop from mobs. Keep in mind that crafted jewelry will always have gems etc socketed into them while some of the named backpieces have empty sockets (and thus less stats).
Note that this list does not include the crafted jewelery
Items with Berserker, Explorer, Ruby and Opal affixes are a lot more expensive than others because a lot of people go for either glass cannon builds or magic find.
These Masterworks are quite cheap, most under <10 silver each and some only 2-3 silvers.
With the lost shore update, lots of rare trinkets started dropping and they are relatively cheap. They are good to have while you get the exotic trinkets and the ascended rings. Here is a list of named jewelry you can find on the trading post. This list does not include the crafted ones.
Crafting: Exotics use orichalcum and rare gems in addition to Globs of Ectoplasm. The margin for profit isn’t too big on the trading post so you can just buy them directly if you don’t want to go through the hassle of collecting raw mats and getting a jewelcrafter to make them for you (they are around 2-3 gold each so a full set of exotic jewelery would cost you around 10-12 gold).
Amulet (Candy Corn version)
Direct Purchase: In addition to crafting them, you can also buy named exotic trinkets on the trading post. They tend to be much more expensive than the crafted jewelry and doesn’t come socketed so buying them may not be a good idea. Here is a list regardless. Note that a lot of the craftable jewelery listed below requires recipes that are a rare drop off certain dungeons.
Karma: Finally, if you have lots of karma, the January update provided a method to acquire exotic trinkets via karma. They costs 42k karma each and can be brought at the 5 temples in Orr. They have the Cavalier, Rabid, Magi, Wayfarer, and Soldier stats.
Please see this page for a list of all the trinkets available from the temples.
At this time of this writing, only trinkets with Ascended versions are rings, amulets, and accessories. Ascended items do not have a upgrade component slot (its stats already include the stats you would gain from an upgrade component) but instead have an infusion slot that allow you to insert infusions that grant +5 agony resistance (some specially crafted infusions also comes with +5 vitality, precision etc) or utility stats such as Magic Find or Gold gain.
Ascended items can also come in the (infused) version, in which it already have +5 agony resistance as part of the item in addition to the infusion slot. This allow you to have a maximum of +10 agony resistance per ascended item. Currently only rings can be infused.
The only source of Ascended items at the moment is from Fractal of the Mists (FOTM) dungeon, laurel vendors, or Guild Commendation vendors. .
FOTM: Even number FOTM (Fractal of the Mists) fractals, starting with scale 10, have a chance to give you Ascended rings via its daily chest. Additionally, each daily chest will also give you a Pristine Fractal Relic. Once you acquire 10 of these fractal relics, you can purchase an Ascended ring from the vendor if you are not so lucky on the daily chest drops.
Infused Ascended ring will start to drop starting at FOTM scale 20. At FOTM scale 26+, you will be guaranteed an infused ring if a ring drops from the daily chest. You can also make a ring to the infused version by using this simple formula: Infused ring = 1 Shard of Crystallized Mists Essence + 3 Glob of Coagulated Mists Essence + 5 Vial of Condensed Mists Essence+ Non infused ring (Shards, Globs, and Vials of Mist Essence are acquired from Fractal of the Mists fractals).
Laurel Vendor: Laurels are earned from daily and monthly achievements currently (1 per daily achievement, 10 per monthly achievement). These vendors can be found in major cities (i.e. there is one outside the WvW gates in Lion’s Arch) and sell Ascended rings, amulets and accessories in exchange for laurels.
Guild Commendation Vendor: This vendor is located near the bank in Lion’s Arch and sells Ascended accessories in exchange for gold and Guild Commendations earned from doing Guild Missions. Each Ascended accessory costs 5 gold and 12 Guild Commendations.
Here is a chart of all the ascended ring, amulet and accessory stat combinations.
It used to be that the only way to acquire rare backpieces was to buying them from the Guild Armorer for 5 gold. This is no longer the case with the Lost Shores update. You can now acquire rare backpieces on the trading post extra cheap, since they cannot be salvaged for ectoplasms. Search for spineguard on the trading post.
Exotics backpieces are a rare drop from certain end bosses on explorable mode dungeons. They are not tradeable so you won’t see them on the trading post. Luckily, Ascended backpieces are not too hard to make so there is no worry if you can’t get the exotic version.
There are two methods to make Ascended backpieces – grind Fractal of the Mists dungeon or make them with gold. Both methods are covered fairly extensively in this guide so I suggest you take a read!
If you don’t have a lot of gold or a lot of time to grind dungeons/WvW/karma, it can be a long time before you are in full exotics. A set of rare can tide you over as you acquire exotics at your own pace.
The rare crafted set is called
How does it look?
A full set of rare isn’t too expensive fortunately, you just need about 6×15 = 90 fine crafting materials (except for Apothecary and Giver affixes that takes 20 and 8 respectively per piece) , some silk and leather/mithril ingots.With crafted items, you can choose your own stats, as long you know the affixes you want (if you want a reminder, look at the tooltip in the table below).
Most of the fine crafting materials are under a silver or less so you can easily get all the fine crafting materials you need for less than a gold (exceptions are the Karka shells for the Apothecary set)
Find a friendly crafter, hand them the mats and have the full set crafted! The full set prolly cost you less than 1 gold and 50 silver.
WvW Karma vendors
Got lots of karma? The Borderlands Karma vendor also sell rare gear for karma.
Exotic armor has a lot of variety and a lot of ways to obtain. There are no sub tiers within the exotics – one set of exotics is no more powerful than the other. What you will be choosing instead is 1) three stats you like on your armor 2) method to obtain it and 3) the looks.
There are four main methods to obtain L80 exotics
Before we get into the details on all the armor sets, here is a handy chart that allow you to see the distribution of stats on all of them. Use this chart to pick a armor set with the three stats that you like the best. Note that despite having three stats, one of them is dominant (i.e. more of), and is marked in red.
To help you picking stats, here is a little table I made.
There are eight dungeons in GW2 and they all give out unique tokens when you run them on Explorable mode. Most dungeons have three explorable paths and you can get 60 tokens per path the first time you run that path per day. Subsequent runs of the same path before the daily reset (8pm EST) will give less tokens. This means that if you can knock out two different paths of an explorable dungeon per day, for example, you will get 120 tokens daily. Dungeon armors have an advantage over the crafted armor in that it already comes with Runes (see below).
How does it look?
The vendors to exchange your tokens for gear are located in Fort Marriner in Lion’s Arch
The cheapest piece starts at 180 tokens while the most expensive piece (chest) will cost you 330 tokens.
Here are the stats distributions on those dungeon armors. You can clearly see what I meant about dominant stat earlier. One of the stats totals at 315 while other two stats total at only 224. Note that both crit damage and magic find are %.
In addition to the stats, it is important to take a look at the runes that come with each armor. All armor sets from the same dungeon have the same rune. Rune basically apply a set bonus to your armor and the set bonus generally get stronger the more pieces you have w/ the rune.
If you don’t buy the dungeon armor, these runes are sold separately on the vendor for 120 tokens.
Crafting is the more expensive route. Gossamer scraps and Orichalcum Ore are not cheap. Crafted armor also don’t come with runes. If you have a bit of gold though, you can get a full set of exotics the day you dinged 80!
How does it look?
For crafting exotics, you only need 5 fine crafting materials per insignia (exceptions are the Apothecary insignia which needs 30 karka shells and Giver insignia which needs 10 Flawless Snowflakes) but each insignia also needs 5 Globs of Ectoplasm I mentioned earlier. So that is 5×6 = 30 Fine Crafting Materials and 30 Globs of Ectoplasm for the full set.
You will also need Gossamer, Hardened Leather and Orichalcum for the crafting components to combine with the insignias.
Expect to spend ~10-12 gold or more to get everything crafted if you are buying everything from the trading post. Find a friendly crafter and you are done!
WvW armor sadly doesn’t have a lot of variety. You get one stat distribution and that is it (Power, Toughness, Vitality)
You will need to use Badges of Honor, a token earned by killing players and NPCs in WvW. You can also earn quite a few of Badges of Honor if you do the jumping puzzle in Eternal Battlegrounds (Obsidian Sanctum) and Borderlands daily. The EB jumping puzzle takes 10-15 minutes once you get used to it and give you 2x Siege Blueprints as well.
The fastest way to get to the vendor is to teleport to your server’s Borderlands map. The merchant is located right here (look for the armorsmith)
How does it look?
How much does it cost?
Like crafted armor, WvW armor does not come with runes.
You can purchase exotic armor with karma but the prices are not cheap at 42k a piece. You will need to open up temples on the Island of Orr to gain access to these vendors. There is a whole guide devoted to it so I suggest you take a read here.
Like armor, you can buy fine/masterwork weapons at the Trading Post/Cursed Shore Karma vendors or WvW Borderlands vendors for karma. There isn’t much to say about that except you should get Rare/Exotic level weapons ASAP to boost your damage.
All the WvW weapons have Power, Toughness and Vitality as the three stats, with Power being the dominant stat.
WvW Borderlands Karma vendor has them for sale for a sizeable amount of karma. They have Power, Toughness, Vitality for stats.
It might be worth checking out the T3 cultural weapons if you have 63k Karma to spare. There is a guide for that here.
Rare weapons can be crafted. Keep in mind which crafting professions craft which weapons. The weapons are also quite cheap on the trading post, you can spend 20 silver and get a rare if you don’t want go through the hassle of collecting raw mats.
If you want to know which Fine Crafting Mat provide which stats, please go to the Rare section of armor, there is a table there providing you with all the info.
Like armor, there is a few ways to obtain exotics weapons
Here is a chart with the stats distributions, it is very similar to the armor stats distribution. Note that it does not include the Mystic weapons, which all have different stats.
The L80 exotic weapons have a pearl prefix and the actual stats depends on the fine crafting material used (there is a table in the exotic armor section if you are unsure)
Mystic Forge Crafting
The Mystic Forge can produce exotic weapons as well but the stats are fixed and you can’t choose the stats.This section will only cover the regular Mystic Forge weapons and none of the named ones (those ones are expensive and considered luxury items). Mystic weapons are good if you like the stats on the weapon and have skill points/mystic coins to spare as they don’t require fine crafting mats and globs of ectoplasm.
Each of the mystic weapons will need
If you don’t like crafting or WvW, dungeons also provide a source of exotic weapons but does take a bit of grind.
These weapons can be purchased at the same location in Lion’s Arch where you purchase the exotic armor so check that section of the guide if you are not sure where to go.
The sigils attached to these dungeon weapons are not that great as they mostly increase your damage against specific mob types inside that dungeon and are fairly useless outside.
This page has a collection of images of these weapons or you can just preview it yourself at the vendors.
Sold at the Borderlands vendor. If you are not sure where to go, check the armor exotic section under WvW for a screenshot of the merchant location.
Runes are typically “set bonuses” attached to the upgrade component slot of your armor. You can swap runes at will but you will lose that rune you replaced. You can also recover runes from unwanted armor by using the Black Lion Salvage Kit which has a 100% chance to recover the rune. We will only bother with the exotic runes here (Superior Prefix with 6 set bonus).
Condition Damage Runes
Critical Damage Runes
Healing Power Runes
Sigils are attached to upgrade component slots on weapons.Much like Runes, we will only discuss the exotic version here.
Some stuff to keep in mind about sigils
- Two Sigils that give you different stats bonus per kill (i.e. +10 power and +10 precision) do not stack. Only one sigil will stick.
- If you are applying an on kill stat bonus sigil to a mainhand or offhand, you need to apply to both weapons or the sigil only functions at half effectiveness.
- Sigils that trigger on critical hits can trigger on any critical, even if they are not from the weapon w/ the sigil
- If you use two identical sigils that trigger on critical hits (i.e. 20% to trigger on critical hit, they will stack multiplicatively 34% chance to trigger than additively –40% to trigger).
List of sigils
On kill bonuses
On Critical Hit
On weapon swap
There are also a bunch of sigils that deals increased damage to certain types of enemies that I didn’t list. They are not very useful for general usage except maybe the Undead one if you are in Orr a lot. (Superior Sigil of Undead Slaying)
Peach Tart & Raspberry
Peach Tart is what a lot of people use because it gives magic find, power, and it is very very cheap (19 copper each on the Trading Post at moment of writing). It is also very easy to make.
if you want 30% more gold from monsters, consider Raspberry Peach Bar. It is about 3-4 times more expensive than the peach tart though.
Omnomberrys & Lotus Fries
Peach Tart only provides 26% Magic Find. If you are looking for the max 30% Magic Find, consider Omnomberrys or Lotus Fries.
Omnomberrys stuff are pretty expensive, they are almost 2 silver each. If you just want 30% magic find, consider the Lotus Fries as they are almost 1/3 the price on the trading post.