Every profession possesses up to five attributes. Attributes are specific to the professions you choose, and your hero's pool of attribute points derives from the combination of your primary and secondary professions. The first attribute listed is available only to a character that chooses that profession as a primary. For example, a Warrior/Monk would have access to the primary Warrior attribute, Strength. A Monk/Warrior would get Divine Favor as a primary attribute. Either combination would possess the three normal Monk attributes and the four normal Warrior attributes, but the primary attribute will make each one play differently and serve a different function in the adventuring party.
Most skills are tied to a specific attribute; improving an attribute automatically improves those related skills. Each profession's attributes make for distinctive battle strategy, and the specific attributes you choose to improve help you to create a fighting style all your own.
Each profession has a powerful primary attribute available only to characters that have chosen that profession as their primary profession. For example, when chosen as a primary profession, the Ranger possesses Expertise, which reduces Energy cost for using certain skills; while the Mesmer can put points into Fast Casting, which increases spell casting speed. The secondary profession you choose will not have access to this primary attribute, so it's important to note each profession's primary attribute when considering which profession will be your first choice.
For each level you gain, you receive attribute points to improve the effectiveness of your skills. Allocating points to an attribute increases the power of skills and weapons tied to that attribute. Increase the attributes tied to the skills and weapons you think you'll use most often. You can adjust your attributes at any time as long as you are in a town location. This flexibility allows you to adjust your gameplay to adapt to new situations and effectively harness new weapons and spells. For instance, if your Warrior finds a rare sword but you have trained the Warrior in axes by pumping up the Axe Mastery attribute, you can simply go to town, reallocate the attribute points you have in Axe Mastery and put them into Swordsmanship instead.