GW2 Candidate Trials Cutthroat Politics guide

A guide to the Candidate Trials activity introduced as part of the Cutthroat Politics patch.

How to access

  • Candidate Trials can be accessed not far from the stage where Kookoochoo performs.
  • You can choose which Candidate to support by entering the Candidate Trials marked with Gnashblade’s or Kiel’s image.Note that you do not need to have the buffs from either Kiel or Evon.


The Basics

  • Basic objective is to survive against multiple waves of Aetherblade pirates who are trying to plunder the treasure from the crashed Aetherblade ship.
  • There are four tiers to this Candidate Trials, with difficulty increasing each tier
    • You can only proceed to the next tier once if you have successfully completed the current tier.
    • Tier 1-2 are soloable while tier 3-4 are designed for groups (some people may find tier 3/4 easier solo/duo)
    • Each tier can be replayed at your leisure.
  • The event tracker on your screen will tell you how much treasure there is left, how much time is remaining and how many Aetherblade pirates have being killed.
  • Rewards includes coins, karma, support tokens, and chance at Aetherblade weapons (higher chance at higher tiers)
  • Pirates with a treasure pile icon above their head are dedicated to run straight for the treasure and need to be killed ASAP.
  • You will lose the trials if all of the treasures have being depleted or if you or your party is defeated.
  • Use the weapon scattered on the ground to help your fight against the pirates.


  • You have two goals in Candidate Trials 1) Survive and 2) Don’t let the treasure pile deplete to 0. This means that you should  just focus on the Plunder pirates. What you can do is stay away from the treasure piles and instead camp on the beach where plunders spawn and run to after they have stolen the treasure.


  • Plunders without any stolen treasures (i.e. running towards the treasure piles) have a grey sack icon while plunders with treasures have a golden sack icon.


  • Each Plunderer that gets away reduces your treasure pile amount by 500. So you can let 9, 7, 5, 4 Plunderers get away in Tier 1, 2, 3, 4 respectively.
  • Starting at Tier 2, there are enemies using Mortars in the back. These guys need to be killed ASAP as they deal a lot of AoE damage and can quickly wipe out your group. Reflects etc do work on them and can finish them off quick if timed properly. If you are standing next to the mortars, they won’t attack you.


Tier Info

Tier 1: 5 minutes, 5000 treasure

Tier 2: 6 minutes, 4000 treasure (1 Mortar enemy)

Tier 3: 7 minutes, 3000 treasure (2 Mortar enemies)

Tier 4: 8 minutes, 2500 treasure (Various Mortar enemies, lots of veterans)


There are a total of four achievements associated with this activity, two on Kiel and two on Evon side but they are essentially identical. You have to do the tiers in order (i.e. tier 1, 2, 3, 4) in order to complete the achievements. (It is possible to do the tiers out of order if you join a group doing for example tier 2 when you have never done tier 1 before. You won’t get the achievement in this case).

Kiel: Direct Support (5 pt)

  • Complete Tier 1 and Tier 2 in Kiel’s instance.

Kiel: Advanced Support (15 pts)

  • Complete Tier 3 and Tier 4 in Kiel’s instance.

Gnasblade: Direct Support (5 pt)

  • Complete Tier 1 and Tier 2 in Gnashblade’s instance.

Gnashblade: Advanced Support (15 pts)

  • Complete Tier 3 and Tier 4 in Gnashblade’s instance.

Beware that the tier unlocks here affect both the Kiel and Gnashblade candidate trials (i.e. if you unlock tier 3 on Kiel, tier 3 is also unlocked for Gnashblade). Therefore, you must make sure that you start from the very bottom tier and go up stepwise if you want the achievements.


Unlike other activities, there isn’t a completion reward. Instead, you get loot from the loot bags that the pirates drop. These bags can contain

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

51 replies on “GW2 Candidate Trials Cutthroat Politics guide”

On this one it says you need the buff, but on your other guide it says u dont. I entered without the buff and got the achievements o.o

anyone having the issue of doing t1 and then you say ramp it up and you get t4? I think this is because that toon has personal best of t3 so next tier would be t4, but the way the interface words it from doing t1 then you would get t2. Anyone else having similar issues?

Can someone explain the candidate trails some more please?
As I read it now you have to complete tier 1 for Kiel, then tier 1 for Gnasblade (or vice versa), then tier 2 for Kiel, tier 2 Gnasblade, tier 3 for Kiel, tier 3 Gnasblade, tier 4 for Kiel, tier 4 Gnasblade. Or do I miss something?

You can go 1K, 2K, 3K, 4K, 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, or even you can go 1K, 2K, 3K, 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 4K. whatever you like. Just go in order for Kiel and separetly in order for Gnasblade

When reaching the main stage of this event (when a fight starts) You will have event name and at the end there is (Tier II) (or other tier depending which you are rrunning right now)

I submitted a request to modify the tier system to allow lower level tiers to be completed for the achievement. The current system penalizes players who mistakenly select a higher level tier when first starting a trial for a candidate.

Update: I went back in and restarted the Kiel instance at tier 1, completed tier 1 and proceeded to tier 2. I completed tier 2 and got the achievement. So that’s the trick folks, in case anyone is following this thread. If you somehow do a candidate trial starting at tier 2, get out of the instance. Restart a new instance and back it down to the lowest tier. Complete tier 1, stay in instance, complete tier 2 and you should be good to go.

We just did both factions for the achievements. Running with 2 thieves using scorpion wire. I found pistol whip with its stun and damage was nice. A guard with septer for root is handy too. Use Shadow Refuge to reset agro if you pull some trash by mistake. Tier 4 is not easy but it is a fun challenge.

(First post so have to say huuuuuge thank you to Dulfy and crew for this website, you guys are legends!)

I’ve completed Gnashblade Tier 1 & 2. I’ve completed Kiel Tier 1. I can’t seem to progress to Kiel Tier 2? Each time I go in I’m prompted to witness the exchange, which I do, then I exit. Keeps doing the same thing! (Candidate Trials)

Well I witness them talking, then it seems to finish so I exit, try to do the next one but it just goes back to the first one again. Sorry this was meant to be a reply below

No, same issue. Just to clarify, I’m doing the Kiel one, so you have both her and Gnashblade talking along with Master of Peace. After they’re finished talking I am able to speak to all 3 of them but it doesn’t initiate anything further. When I then walk up to the instance again from Labyrinth Cliffs, it says ‘would you like to continue with Audience with the Master?’

You are in the wrong instance if you ask me. You need to be in the candidate trials, in the one of kiel, only kiel and one of her assistants will be there. In the instance of evon, only he and one of his assistants will be there.

You say you see kiel, gnasblade and the master of peace, this is another instance with just a storyline, the canditate trials are elsewhere, look on your map and you will find them. The one of kiel is just next to her, and the one of evon is next to evon.

Ok, I went in the instance near where you put the thing in the basket slot to represent one or the other. I’ll try back towards the other side, where Gnashblade’s was. :S Thank you.

Just how Zerker is that Mesmer build? The only CC I saw you use as the pistol 5 skill, and you were able to practically insta-kill most of the spawns.

You can bring all the CC you want, it does you no good unless you can insta-kill the mobs in the span of a 1-3 second stun.

Looks like Anet’s way of rewarding and putting their stamp of approval on the whole dump every other build, Zerker all the way meta.

I have just about had it with these, find the glitch and win gimmicks.

yeah gw2 in pve is one word: berserk ^^ its totally anoying and brainless to have a game with lots of possibilities to skill and everything just is made for , tatatta berserkers ^^ anet totally fails in my opionion and the “recycling” updates start to annoy much more ^^ really bad

For people trying to farm the loot bags to get aetherblade weapons, it seems like the number of enemies you kill determines the number of bags you get. I’ve been soloing tier 4 and have noticed that the first bag always drops after 5 kills and the second after 15. I’m not sure about beyond that because I only typically get 20-22 kills while soloing.

Any mechanic/tricks that focuses on plunderer and avoiding the large group of vets that spawn on tier 4 “diminishing the value of the achievement and the difficulty of the challenge” and is now considered an exploit by Arenanet. Please do not post any comment/video that involves them as they will be removed.

Also, if you let the first plunderer steal something, you have much fewer enemy spawns througout the trials, making tier 4 doable for 3-4 people parties.

I understand your position. Arenanet’s position, on the other hand, is ridiculous. They presented a problem, apparently didn’t think of an obvious solution to the problem, and now they are treating people as criminal if they use the obvious solution.
If focusing on plunderers is a problem, Arenanet, then redesign the mobs in your stupid trial to defend the plunderers. Grrr.

Shouldn’t have said anything, right? So one time through the grenades have apparently no effect, the next time they throw mobs all over and create huge fire damage. Some times all members of the party must die to fail, other times a single party member dying causes failure, yet another time anybody can die but the party leader before it insta-fails. It seems to me the mobs aggro toward the spawn spots now? Randomly CCs on the plunderer didn’t seem to work, yet it seems every mob is using CC on the party: freezing? check. knockdowns? check. stuns? check. stacks of confusion? check. All this, for a half-dozen lockpicks? Why would I do this, instead of say cleaning the commode, or scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush, or a thousand other things that promise to be less pointless and more entertaining? Chopping down a single tree in the game is worth more!

Meanwhile, you can run the aspects or southsun survival minigames and get a guaranteed couple silver, a little karma, and a blue/green, with a chance for a rare and a backpack skin. And actually have a little fun, perchance. And not be accused of using an exploit when trying to solve the problem with honest effort.

so they punish the only fucking possible way to do the achievement? because they cannot tell me that kiel lvl 4 is possible. you just don’t have the dmg and survive ability to deal with such masses of veterans with this amount of life.

dont wonder that they see this as an exploit, obviously its the next ini they released without anybody trying it before, absolutely ridiculous, and its the same which each update, they only want to create things that poeple keep in the game but bugs dont interest the anet bastards

Okay, I know some folks are probably going to hate me for this, but if you have a thief in full zerker gear, all 4 waves are literally a cake walk. Combine that with +crit damage and +prec, you can easily 2HK and on the rare occassions 3HK the plunderers as soon as they spawn.

This is only applicable while doing it solo, since the event of course dynamically scales their health with the number of people that are in the instance with you.

But in regards to people using a specific strategy and ANET punishing people for using their heads to complete their content, that’s just BS.

T4 is like the Kobiyashi Maru, and ANET is Spock throwing a hissy fit because people figured out to beat their impossible to beat content.

I’m wondering if how I beat it would be an exploit by AN standards. Last night I had a thief help me get through tier 4. Basically he scorpion wired them back to us and broke aggro by mass stealthing the 2 of us. I did little but shoot at the plunderers after he pulled them. Would that be considered “diminishing the value of the achievement and the difficulty of the challenge?

Yes it would since you are basically avoiding the large group of vets that spawn. Don’t worry about it though, they won’t ban you over it, just I can’t distribute any info that relates to that trick.

Thanks for the heads up. It seems so backwards though on their part. I can understand glitching or getting somewhere where they can’t reach you or even using items with unintended uses i.e. using food against Belcer’s Bluff opponents. Those were all exploits. But come on, using actual skills and builds as intended to win against impossible odds? I’m glad it’s not banable anyway.

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