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GW2 Dragonhunter Guardian’s Elite Specialization Revealed

GW2 Guardian’s Elite Specialization is revealed to be Dragohunter, a big game hunter that specializes in ranged combat and back line support.


Welcome, friends. I’m Karl McLain, and today we’ll be talking about the guardian’s new elite specialization: the dragonhunter—a ferocious big-game hunter that specializes in ranged combat and back-line support.

When we set out on the search for the guardian’s elite specialization, we looked for areas in which the guardian lacked a solid role. It turns out that wielding light and virtue as power sources is actually somewhat difficult to do, and a guardian’s abilities are fairly short-range or unconventional in their application. We thought about how the guardian might handle long-range combat and supporting allies while fighting on the back lines. To this end, we’ve decided to incorporate a more physical aspect into the guardian, and its powers in light-wielding have deepened to the point that they can better physically manifest objects into the world and send them flying as swift as an arrow.

Virtuous Combat

With all of the changes to Tyria, dragonhunters have learned to better control their abilities in the fight against Mordremoth. Instead of fire-and-forget, we’ll be introducing more focused abilities that allow you to lend a better helping hand around the battlefield; virtues will become corporeal and will require you to aim them to some extent. Here’s the rundown on how your virtues will change.

Spear of Justice—The Virtue of Justice currently grants your allies the ability to burn enemies in addition to trait benefits. With the new specialization, you’ll find that your Virtue of Justice is now a thrown spear that pierces through all unworthy foes, tethering them as long as they remain in range. You’ll send out searing pulses to each enemy tethered, continuously burning them and ensuring an unpleasant experience for those affected.


Wings of Resolve—Your resolve against the enemies of Tyria has grown by leaps and bounds. Dragonhunters will find that their Virtue of Resolve no longer instantly heals in an area, but that they can instead grow wings of light and leap into an area, healing allies. For those more offensively minded, you can also trait your Wings of Resolve to deliver an attack at your landing spot.

Shield of Courage—Instead of simply activating your Virtue of Courage and giving your allies aegis, you’ll now create a shield in front of you that blocks attacks for allies within its radius. With excellent control through positioning, you’ll find that you can block much more efficiently when facing the enemy, though you’ll be exposed from your flanks.

Also please note that we’d like each new virtue to retain properties of the traits that affect them, such as Renewed Justice and Justice is Blind. When not recharging, they’ll still have passive effects so that you can continue to provide Battle Presence and provide your allies with a full health pool as you currently do.

Another Arrow in the Quiver

Along with their newfound powers in light manipulation, dragonhunters will have access to longbows. Instead of shooting arrows, the guardian will focus on firing massive, single projectiles at a ferocious velocity. This weapon set will focus less on engaging enemies at close range but will have lots of potential in assisting allies around the battlefield. An example of this is that your Symbol of Energy can be launched to an area to grant allies vigor. If your enemy is using a projectile attack and is attacking your allies, you can fire your Deflecting Shot in its path and, with the right timing, destroy all of your enemy’s projectiles along the way.


Supremacy through Insight

Favor in battle can often be determined by foresight and preparation, and dragonhunters will be able to manifest light-based magical traps that will activate when an enemy runs over them. These big-game traps will have a variety of effects, but none will be pleasant for an enemy unfortunate enough to be caught within them. Approach carefully, enemies of Tyria…or fall prey to the guardian and their elite Dragon’s Maw.

Since you’re probably already asking, yes, the dragonhunter’s healing ability is also a trap. Guardians will preemptively imbue light into the ground for a smaller heal. When enemies trigger the trap, the guardian will pull the light from the ground, striking and blinding enemies while healing for a large amount.

Advancing Forward

Guardians will find that the new elite specialization gives them access to some conditions and functionality normally reserved for professions of a more physical nature. They’ll gain a bit of innate mobility, while the ability to cripple or bleed enemies will become an option through their elite specialization traits. One of their elite specialization traits is Rending Light, which will enable all varieties of traps to bleed enemies. Whether taking on the masses or a single enemy, the dragonhunter is a predator to be feared.

Sharpen your justice. Dust off your resolve. Brace your courage. Guardians—the dragonhunter approaches. See you on the battlefield.


By Dulfy

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

120 replies on “GW2 Dragonhunter Guardian’s Elite Specialization Revealed”

Lol at those archer skills. What’s the use of a ranger now? :)))) This is much better.

Also awesome name…very fitting.

lol, all the ranger hate. Every ranger is Charlie Sheen, and we’re winning here, winning there, winning everywhere.

Ranger is ranged DPS. Dragonhunter is ranged CC/Support… So

Ranger =/= Dragonhunter

So yes he is basically more useful considering he is mass-cc/support. DPS..any class can do…but mass-cc/support not many classes can do properly.

A game which revolves around dragons and killing them…it’s a fitting name. If you think that’s cheesy, then the whole game is cheesy…which it is…but as far as the integration in the’s the best fit.

Goddammit, every single player is actually a dragonhunter …
Still better than any angel related name though …

They’re really not; they’re soldiers fighting dragons, they’re not hunters stalking dragon (minions) as prey.

The name seems like an afterthought to me, not that the name matters too much, but it just doesn’t synergize well with the guardian. The Chronomancer is much more creative in comparison, not to mention sounds a lot more symmetric with Mesmer.

I disagree with you on the name – I think it’s a really cool name to the point that I’d play the spec just to have the name. However, I do agree here. I have a big concern in that if the virtues all do the same things that they already do now, PLUS these extra bits on top, what would ever be the point of playing a regular Guardian?

You can still melee even with Dragonhunter.

I’m going to try out the new traitline to see how it compares with zeal / virtues for mediguard purposes.

remember to get this you knock your self to using only two core specs instead of 3 so it will have a bigger impact.

hmm… much less interesting than Chronomancer. Awaiting details to finalize my decision to main my mesmer over my age old guardian…..

presentation wise yes….. but i need to see utilities and traits first. good condi options maybe??

ugh… video looks kinda boring. the wings are the only thing appealing. but just for one attack, like the wings a ranger gets with GS. also the name sounds more powerfull then it seems to be. thought they might go a bit into the direction, the Paragon had in GW(1), instead its simply a guarding with a bow. also the attack animations kinda look all the same. no idea whats happening in this video and no idea why that monster’s just standing there. blinded/stunned or just bored by how lame the attacks are

dat moment when ranger KB enemies from 100b, meteor shower, whirling wrath, mesmer shatter, ice bow #4 combo burst..

as I always say to my guldmates – a-net really should give a popup window when using longbow #4 in zerg: “Do you REALLY want to kick out foe from massive dmg?” :-/

Shame, I was really hoping to see the ANet team draw upon the Lore of Tyria a bit more and actually give us Longbow Paragon as an elite spec. Think about it, Paragon’s had wings, Mantras could have been given to Guardians to roughly equal the gw1 Paragon chants, and most important of all in the lore, Logan Thackeray’s great (or great-great) grandfather was Kieran Thackeray, a Paragon who used a bow. It would have felt more appropriate to see the ancestor of the most iconic Guardian NPC as the source of inspiration for the elite specialization, but instead it feels like we have been given an awkward attempt at one-upping longbow rangers.
I certainly don’t hate the design of the dragonhunter by any means, but can’t help feeling a little disappointed at what I perceive to be a greatly missed opportunity. I would say this elite certainly feels a little boring in comparison to the large changes and dynamic aesthetics of the Chronomancer, however.
I’m really not sure how I feel about a Guardian with traps . . . it seems very odd. I don’t picture the class as one that would rely on sly tactics, and I feel that’s something that the concept of traps somewhat suggests. Ah well, just my 2 cents.

You’re absolutely right bringing up Keiran, a PARAGON using a BOW in combat. It makes more sense having Logan discovers his ancestral secret to unlock the bow and the forgotten art of paragon, and then sets out to train a new breed of paragon-guardian.

that a very good question…. story wise the only guardian who has ANY reason to pick up a bow is Braham ( as he is reconnecting with his mom, you know heirloom and all) actually i have a theory that all edge of destiny 2.0 are going to be getting the specs…sooooo yeah kinda fits

Seems more like a literal mating of the Warrior LB and Ranger LB.

Traps suck on Ranger. Hopefully they won’t suck on the Guard.

I don’t like the name(even dragon slayer sounds better(probably other class has slayer elite)) but I am happy that they passed Paragon and Mantras this time around as it highly indicates that exactly that might come with the next expansion, Paragon with Mantras and most importantly SPEARS! 😀 #hypetrain2020 😀

Ranged AOE damage symbols means this will probably be the new choice for Guardian farming builds.

I have the feeling that A-net are deliberately try to avoid peoples expectations. Everyone thought that the Guardian Elite Specialization would be called “Paragon” as it fit with the existing classes and lore of GW1. But NOPE! The specialization is actually called “Dragon Hunter”, as bizarre and specific as it sounds.
It’s not the first time, and I have a feeling it won’t be the last.
Don’t be surprised if dueling arrives in some bizarre way (where the character’s wear buckets in their heads or something), just because normal dueling was “to mainstream”.

Are people really saying this spec sucks because of the name? hasn’t anyone thought that maybe the reason they didn’t name it Paragon is because they might add new professions in the game at some point? or that it might be, oh i don’t know……. the warrior spec? People are just giving crap arguments these days….

Always. Disappointment. Could have done this or that.
Are there not THREE elites to chose from?
Two to go. Impatient….

Only one?
For now, characters will only be able to equip a single elite specialization. Doing so will be as easy as it currently is to swap trait points; simply exit combat and select your new elite specialization, or do it in Heart of the Mists for PvP. We made this system to build upon it, so let the speculation about future specializations begin before we’ve even revealed the first full set!

Yes which means there will be further elite specs released with later expansions, but each class only gets one in HoT

guardian —>dragonhunter? really? cheesily specific and out of theme. The vid is underwhelming. Compared to mesmer’s specialization, i think i’m gona cry.

you people complain to much. Ive mained guardian since the start and this looks very exciting. I look forward to this specialization and it only makes me want to play guardian more. Yea, you arent getting GW1 stuff out of it… and you knew this already so stop looking backwards and enjoy what is here because it is fun.

that and who knows they might bring spear to land fighting and then give the elite spec that way (or new profession).

new virtues sound interesting. traps and longbow not so much. longbow for worldbosses. new virtues for dungeons, fractals and stuff. pvp? i guess so, for all of them (virtues, traps and bow).

depends on what the skills do and how the traits work with it. never been one for “OMG ZERKER ONLY DUNGEON 10 MIN OR LESS OR I LEAVE” nonsense….

Wait, does this mean Guardians will be able to kill dragons all by themselves now ? o.0

Yeah, I love how they always sell skills and abilities. Remember the old preview videos, of classes? Where they show a mesmer pwning multiple ogres within seconds? I realize they just want to show case the powers, but dont let us think they’ll actually be GOOD! lol

Damn you people are so judgemental and ill willed. Instantly criticizing something from a few first impressions while having actual gameplay footage.
It’s sad what a good portion of gw2 community is like.

Yeah, that’s pretty much every MMO fandom…
90% of ’em are whiny and dumb… while the other 10% look forward to new things and can’t wait to try out the new toys.

yeah people tend to look just in extremes….. I am optimistic but i need to see the skills and traits before i say ” looks legit”. (like ground target traps would be nice… for guardians and rangers)

No one was negative about Chronomancer and everyone was excited. That was cause it was a cool idea and most people liked it. Just because an idea is new doesn’t mean it’s going to be a good one.

It would be hilarious if the Dragonhunter turned out to be awesome and Chronomancer to be boring.
It is like film trailers nowadays, one half of the comment section goes BEST FILM EVER, while the other half says WORST FILM EVER.
People always get ahead of themselves and think only in extremes.

I know right?!? could at least wait till they reveal the real meat of what makes a build.

Sure let’s give Ranger skills to everyone. Boy the Ranger better be getting something good….I’m still weary of the staff….but we’ll see.

ive been impressed with each spec so far and ranger skill are accessible to everyone name one skill that is similar in function between guardian(as we know it), warrior, mesmer, necro, or elementalist? (not an insult, honest question, trying to see where you coming from).
and if i had to guess (seeing as all these spec are giving something to professions that the really lack) i think that ranger is getting more AoE dps open to them. barrage is nice as a cripple but the rest of the skill on bow are more or less single target.

As of right now I’m holding the big comments until the rangers “stick” skills come to light. I just feel it took so long to get ranger to a usuable place, and now it seems that the ranger skills are being distributed to the other classes and we’ll spend the next year and a half getting good again. Personally the Ranger should have gotten the rifle a long time ago, but we’ll see what the staff brings.

well i think the ranger is pretty well set with its core traits and skills and has alot of good viable builds. These things dont seem like they are gonna change much. Mainly the changes are just the elite specs. I dont think that classes having access to new skill types will nerf the class.

well with all the elite specs they want to cure a major short coming with each class (like the guardian not having any good condi and ranged options) so im sure the ranger staff is AoE ( every class with it has AoE skills). I wouldn’t worry too much. 🙂

Only people who play guardians a lot can tell is the change good for them or not.
Only when game and all classes are ready we can tell is guardian too op or not.

“Backline support”. “Virtues become more close-ranged and less supportive”. Seems legit. It looks okay, but I’ll have to see more to form a proper opinion. The supportive longbow sounds really cool at least.

i like to think that the Virtues are “oh, crap” buttons as in you pull aggro and they leap toward you pop the spear and root them so you can get distance. sheild looks good long and short range. and wings to gtfo of trouble or use as melee and charge in. i think what they are trying to say is that the skills are useful both long and short range.

and warrior….. and theif bow animations…. oh we didnt seem to get upset at those rehashed animations till now……

Most of them are forgivable as reuse of resources like that are commonplace, but the copied greatsword 3 and longbow 5 are extremely obvious and by extension also draw attention to the rest.

well the trend i see among the skill isnt the character’s animation but the attack itself. yes the AoE skill looks like the skill 5 LB ranger but the area it affects looks completely different. the skill are meant to draw attention to where its headed not where its coming from, but that is how i view ranged attacks.

Only one elite….

“For now, characters will only be able to equip a single elite specialization. Doing so will be as easy as it currently is to swap trait points; simply exit combat and select your new elite specialization, or do it in Heart of the Mists for PvP. We made this system to build upon it, so let the speculation about future specializations begin before we’ve even revealed the first full set!”

Remember that you can put the older elites too…only the fixed trait line is “suited” for the new skills, yet there will probably be traits for other stuff too wich do not use the new skill type…so a mix match with specs and old stuff could still be viable.

Nice spec idea, but need to see more about it. Still the name is meh… Dragoon would have been better/cooler imo xD
Dragon hunter is too aggressive for a spec suited for support in the backlines and CC imo.

Actually Dragoon is a type of mounted infrantry. It’s used in many games xD so they can’t ask a copyright. A mounted unit wouldn’t fit so much with the class theme…yet.
From wikipedia: The word dragoon originally meant mounted infantry, who were trained in horse riding as well as infantry fighting skills. However, usage altered over time and during the 18th century, dragoons evolved into conventional light cavalry units and personnel. Dragoon regiments were established in most European armies during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The name is possibly derived from a type of firearm (called a dragon) carried by dragoons of the French Army.[1][2].

The title has been retained in modern times by a number of armoured or ceremonial mounted regiments.

The word also means to subjugate or persecute by the imposition of troops; and by extension to compel by any violent measures or threats. The verb dates from 1689, at a time when dragoons were being used by the French monarchy to persecute Protestants.[3]

The second definition would be cool since he would be commanding the troops to relentlessly slain dragons and their minion by supporting them etc xD Would be fitting since he became “as relentless as justice”

huh ……. never knew that! but doesnt exactally fit tho…. :/ now if they got a rifle!….

Yeah xD Still after I’ve seen the traits, skill etc…i think that dragon hunter is quite fitting…i mean…even with supportive skills, the trait line, weapon skills and utilities are pretty aggressive and can give lots of damage…
Plus I believe that this spec will be born from Bram…maybe after she finds Eir’s bow ? It would be fitting to mix the playstyle of a guardian plus a ranger to avenge her mother by hunting dragons. 😛

did you see the insane dmg in the live stream?!? 3-4k burn tic and 2.5k bleed tick with 25 vuln. I pretty much wreaks…..

“you can fire your Deflecting Shot in its path and, with the right timing, destroy all of your enemy’s projectiles along the way” – Honestly, is it even practical for an arrow already released and aiming at you ? It probly goes like this : “ok that’s look dangerous” —> “ok, I should block it” –> “gotta reach for that button” —>”oh wait, gotta aim” —> ” observe my deflecting sh…, ah shit”.

Well, for some skill it would be like that for sure, but that apply to walls too…only in pve you can easily predict the behavior of a mob 😛
Still for some skill it can be useful anyway, we need to see the speed of the projectile too…if it’s slow enough it can be good to block multiple shots like a ranger skill 2 o a warrior snipe and so on.

I get what you mean. I’m just saying, for weapon skill, it’s way too situational and causes too much hassles (requires switching target to the offender), if you will, to create the similar effect as shield 5 (even at a lesser extend since it only blocks from one source)

reflect on guardian 1h sword and reflect on engi shield is nice to have so i welcome this arrow. you see a ranger/engi/pistol thief getting in shooting range to you -> be prepared to shoot your arrow. its not so hard.

Yeah, kinda true…but we will see. We do not know how it properly work, so let’s see tonight in the stream 😛 we will get more infos

I disagree. I think it will be similar to the Engineer Flamethrower skill Air Blast, except it will destroy projectiles and not reflect them. Air Blast is really not that hard to time even if you’re not sitting in the kit. You just have to anticipate, even in PvP it works just fine. Engage a Ranger? Get your fingers ready to fire off Air Blast. It will likely be the same with this Guardian skill. It’s not a fire and forget type of projectile defense that Guard is used to, it’s more of a reactive one that’s all.

This is vary underwhelming. If this is worthy, its an insult to rangers. If its unworthy, its a serious black mark against guardian.


This kinda feels like… I wanna be a ranger, but I dont want a pet, and I dont want to suck at it, like the warrior…

Honestly, if there were any warriors that played with the longbow, now there’s no reason to.

running a condition spec is a reason for warr to use a longbow. having a freaking long fire field and a burst skill that definitly will remove 3 conditions from yourself if needed (and traited) is a reason to use a bow on warrior.

so, you are wrong.

Seems to me like you are both wrong since you seem to talk about different game modes. Longbow war isn’t strong in PvE and barely used but very strong in PvP and better then the rifle in almost all builds that use a range weapon. Not sure about WvW, I don’t play that enough to know.

i knew i was talking about pvp. he sounded like talking in general. also: looks like guardian longbow spec will be a pvp thing too, but we will know more about that in the future.

and the logic behind “guardian is cool on bow, so why bother with warrior?” does not compute with my inner circuits.

Yep, sry, I’m a PvE’er. Wasn’t really thinking about PvP, lol. Thats why I was like, “Whaaa?”

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if the guardian had cooler armor it would be different. lol draconic armor makes him look more wimpy than tough.



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