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PvP Primer: Using a Default PvP-only Character


For a long time after the original launch of Guild Wars, the PvP-only character creation process has offered premade templates as a choice. These templates had eight skills from primary and secondary professions, preset attributes, and elite skills. New players could pick one of these templates and begin PvP play immediately, with no unlocks.

After the recent update, this template system has changed as part of an overall effort to streamline the character creation process. Now, when you make a PvP-only character, you decide the primary profession during the creation. Each primary profession has six default skills and a pre-set attribute-point spread. For example, if you make a Warrior, you'll have six Warrior skills to use, even if you haven't unlocked anything.

This article lists each of the primary profession's starting skills, tips for playing those professions, and suggested skills to unlock. Each of these default Skill Bars includes a self-heal and Resurrection Signet. After you've made your character, you can change the secondary profession, add skills, craft armor and equipment, and save it all to a template.


Warrior

Sever Artery
Sever Artery
Sever ArterySever Artery
Warrior - Swordsmanship - Attack
Adrenaline: 4
Activation: 0
Recharge: 0
Attack. If this attack hits, the opponent begins Bleeding for 5..25 seconds, losing Health over time.

Skills
Sever Artery, Gash, Final Thrust, Charge, Healing Signet, Resurrection Signet

Tactics
Shout "Charge!" to close quickly on your enemies, or to give an ally in trouble a little extra quickness to his feet. Alternatively, if you need to get out of trouble yourself, "Charge!" out of the fray and activate your Healing Signet. Note that Healing Signet reduces your armor as you activate it, so moving out of harm's way helps prevent taking extra damage. When attacking an enemy, you should wait for your adrenaline to completely build up, then do Sever Artery > Gash > Final Thrust. You can also hit Sever Artery as soon as it recharges to begin the Health degeneration so that when you spike with your skill combo, you don't have to do as much damage to get the kill. You can even consider running around and using Sever Artery on multiple opponents to begin a process of damage over time.

Suggested Skill Unlocks
Frenzy, Rush, and/or Sprint. Frenzy increases your damage and adrenaline gain, while Rush or Sprint lets you cancel Frenzy if you take too much damage.


Ranger

Apply Poison
Apply Poison
Apply PoisonApply Poison
Ranger - Wilderness Survival - Preparation
Energy: 15
Activation: 2
Duration: 24
Recharge: 12
Preparation. For 24 seconds, foes struck by your physical attacks become Poisoned for 3..15 seconds.

Skills
Distracting Shot, Apply Poison, Barbed Trap, Troll Unguent, Escape, Resurrection Signet

Tactics
You exist to spread Poison around to as many enemies as possible. To this end, make sure and put Apply Poison up as soon as it wears off. Use Escape not just to escape damage, but also while placing Barbed Trap. Your Trap spreads additional Health degeneration and slows enemy melee characters. As you spread Poison from target to target, watch for slow casting, tasty skills to interrupt. Keep Troll Unguent going as much as possible when under attack or if you're suffering from Health degeneration.

Suggested Skill Unlocks Savage Shot and Whirling Defense. Savage grants you an additional interrupt, which is especially important if Distracting Shot misses. Use Whirling Defense when Escape is recharging so you can avoid damage and reduce the chance of getting interrupted while you Trap.


Monk

Word of Healing
Word of Healing
Word of HealingWord of Healing [Elite]
Monk - Healing Prayers - Spell
Energy: 5
Activation: 0.75
Recharge: 4
Spell. Heal target other ally for 15..100 Health. Heal for an additional 15..100 Health if that ally is below 50% Health.

Skills
Orison of Healing, Word of Healing, Healing Touch, Mend Ailment, Remove Hex, Resurrection Signet

Tactics
Use Word of Healing on allies with low health, while healing others with Orison. Hit yourself with Healing Touch for a quick, fast-recharging self-heal. Mend Ailment is there to prevent Health degeneration or for keeping your melee allies free of Blindness. Remove Hex takes a while to cast, so be careful you don't get interrupted.

Suggested Skill Unlocks
Reversal of Fortune, Signet of Devotion, and Healing Breeze. Reversal adds flexibility to your damage prevention options, and lets you quickly heal yourself. Signet of Devotion saves you Energy, and Healing Breeze helps counter Health Degeneration. Replace Resurrection Signet, as Monks often don't PvP with a resurrect ability.


Necromancer

Life Siphon
Life Siphon
Life SiphonLife Siphon
Necromancer - Blood Magic - Hex Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 2
Duration: 12..24
Recharge: 2
Hex Spell. For 12..24 seconds, target suffers -1..3 Health degeneration, and you gain +1..3 Health regeneration.

Skills
Parasitic Bond, Life Siphon, Plague Signet, Vampiric Gaze, Faintheartedness, Resurrection Signet

Tactics
Slowly wear down the other team while keeping yourself alive. Your Hexes drain the Health of enemies while pumping you up at the same time. If you see a melee character, hit him with Faintheartedness and cover it up with Parasitic Bond. And if someone inflicts some Conditions on you, return the favor with Plague Signet.

Suggested Skill Unlocks
Barbed Signet and Mark of Subversion. The Signet gives you another way to do damage without using any Energy, while Mark of Subversion lets you interrupt healers and other characters who cast spells on their allies.


Mesmer

Energy Surge
Energy Surge
Energy SurgeEnergy Surge [Elite]
Mesmer - Domination Magic - Spell
Energy: 10
Activation: 2
Recharge: 20
Spell. Target foe loses 3..8 Energy. For each point of Energy lost, that foe and all nearby foes take 10 damage.

Skills
Power Spike, Energy Burn, Energy Surge, Drain Enchantment, Ether Feast, Resurrection Signet

Tactics
With this character, you have a multifaceted approach to hurting your opponents. Hit a target with Energy Surge to unleash widespread area damage and reduce Energy at the same time. For example, a Monk in the center of a group of enemies is an effective target for a satisfying Surge attack. Follow it up with an Energy Burn and Ether Feast to reduce even more Energy. And, of course, cycle through targets looking for yummy interrupt possibilities. Monks often pack fast-casting spells, so you might be better off using Energy denial skills on Monks and saving your interrupt for other targets, such as Elementalists or Necromancers.

Suggested Skill Unlocks
Power Drain and Diversion. For another interrupt, choose Power Drain. It gives you Energy, letting you fuel constant use of Diversion and other skills.


Elementalist

Lightning Surge
Lightning Surge
Lightning SurgeLightning Surge [Elite]
Elementalist - Air Magic - Hex Spell
Energy: 15
Activation: 2
Duration: 3
Recharge: 10
Hex Spell. After 3 seconds, target foe is knocked down and struck for 14..100 lightning damage.

Skills
Lightning Strike, Lightning Orb, Lightning Surge, Aura of Restoration, Glyph of Lesser Energy, Resurrection Signet

Tactics
Start with Aura of Restoration for a steady source of self-healing. Activate your Glyph and put Lightning Surge on a target, and start casting Lightning Orb. Thus when the target falls over and takes damage, the Lightning Orb flies through the air and connects at the same time, making for a nasty mini-spike combo. Follow up with a Lightning Strike, and your target should have lost about half of its Health.

Suggested Skill Unlocks
Blinding Flash and Air Attunement. Blind those annoying Warriors or Dervishes that like to follow you around, and save Aura of Restoration for a cover Enchantment so Air Attunement doesn't get stripped from you.


Assassin

Twisting Fangs
Twisting Fangs
Twisting FangsTwisting Fangs
Assassin - Critical Strike - Attack
Energy: 10
Activation: 0
Recharge: 15
Attack. Must follow an off-hand attack. If it hits, Twisting Fangs strikes for +10..20 damage and struck foe suffers from Bleeding and Deep Wound for 5..20 seconds.

Skills
Leaping Mantis Sting, Jungle Strike, Twisting Fangs, Shadow Refuge, Aura of Displacement, Resurrection Signet

Tactics
Shadow Step with Aura of Displacement to an unsuspecting foe. That person may try to move away, which sets up the perfect situation for your opening Leaping Mantis Sting attack. Even if your chosen victim decides to stop and doesn't get Crippled, be sure to follow up with Jungle Strike. It still does more damage than a standard attack, and lets you strike with Twisting Fangs. Wait for these to recharge, and repeat.

Suggested Skill Unlocks
Way of the Fox and Dark Escape. If you have a target you can't hit, try Way of the Fox to outfox their defensive ability. And Dark Escape comes in handy if you need to retreat and heal.


Ritualist

Shadowsong
Shadowsong
ShadowsongShadowsong
Ritualist - Communing Magic - Binding Ritual
Energy: 15
Activation: 5
Duration: 30
Recharge: 45
Binding Ritual. Create a level 1..6 Spirit. The Spirit's attacks cause Blindness for 1..6 seconds. This Spirit dies after 30 seconds.

Skills
Spirit Light, Mend Body and Soul, Pain, Wanderlust, Shadowsong, Resurrection Signet

Tactics
Wanderlust and Pain attack your enemies, while Shadowsong defends your Spirits and team. Place it behind your other Spirits so if anyone approaches they descend into Blindness. A Blind Warrior has a difficult time taking out your Spirits, or anyone else for that matter. When needed, use your healing skills. Try to clean up your own melee characters and remove Conditions with Mend Body and Soul.

Suggested Skill Unlocks
Boon of Creation and Weapon of Warding. The Boon of Creation Enchantment helps you manage Energy and stay alive when you perform Binding Rituals, while Weapon of Warding slows down pesky melee attacks and counters Health degeneration.


Paragon

Barbed Spear
Barbed Spear
Barbed SpearBarbed Spear
paragon/Spear Mastery - Attack
Adrenaline: 3
Activation: 0
Recharge: 0
Attack. If this attack hits, your target begins Bleeding for 5..15 seconds.

Skills
Barbed Spear, Blazing Spear, Anthem of Fury, Anthem of Flame, Leader's Comfort, Resurrection Signet

Tactics
Begin attacking, and use Anthem of Fury right before Barbed Spear. This'll charge up your adrenaline for Blazing Spear, and you'll get your chosen target Burning and Bleeding in no time. Follow up with Anthem of Flame and then switch to another target. While this Anthem is up, throw Barbed Spear and you suddenly have Burning/Bleeding caused from the same attack. Rinse and repeat this pattern across differing targets and you'll be the bane of your opponents.

Suggested Skill Unlocks
Disrupting Throw and Remedy Signet. Everybody needs a good interrupt, and the Paragon is no exception. Disrupting Throw works well with your skills that cause Conditions. And, in case somebody decides to unkindly Blind you, simply remedy it with Remedy Signet.


Dervish

Wounding Strike
Wounding Strike
Wounding StrikeWounding Strike [Elite]
dervish/Scythe Mastery - Attack
Energy: 5
Activation: 0
Recharge: 3
Attack. If this attack hits while you are under the effects of an Enchantment, target foe suffers from a Deep Wound for 5..20 seconds. If you do not have an Enchantment on you, this attack causes Bleeding for 5..20 seconds.

Skills
Twin Moon Sweep, Vital Boon, Wounding Strike, Pious Haste, Zealous Renewal, Resurrection Signet

Tactics
Combo your skills and alternate your Enchantment casting for best effect. Note that Wounding Strike has a different effect depending on whether you are Enchanted or not. One effective combo works like this: Vital Boon > Twin Moon Sweep > Wounding Strike > Zealous Renewal > Wounding Strike > Twin Moon Sweep. By the time you execute this combo, you've got your target Bleeding and Deeply Wounded. Besides doing a bunch of damage, if you're lucky, you've also hit foes adjacent to your target.

Suggested Skill Unlocks
Crippling Sweep and Irresistible Sweep. These two attacks help you catch running targets or opponents with a lot of defensive skills.


Customizing your Characters

After you've played with the default setup for each profession, you'll want to experiment with different builds (a build means a combination of skills). These default skills offer a starting place for new PvP players, and should give you the chance to learn the basics behind how each profession works. Keep in mind that when you play with a team, your role may change dramatically, and things that work well in the Training Arenas, the Zaishen Challenge, and Random Arenas may not necessarily work elsewhere. The following PvP Primer articles will help ease you into PvP, starting with basic information about how combat works in the Isle of the Nameless.