When you think of supports in MMOs, what do you think of? Most people probably think of the classic Priest, Paladin, or a Jedi Sage for those KOTOR fans. The role for each of these classes is to heal their allies, primarily the tank. However, in Guild Wars 2, tanks aren’t exactly needed and every class has some sort of healing or survivability available to them. So, what do support classes look like in Guild Wars 2?
Types of Support Classes in Guild Wars 2
Supports can be primarily divided into two types: those that provide boons and those that provide healing. Boon supports focus around providing buffs to their allies and trying to keep those buffs up for the duration of the fight. These buffs usually include damage boosts, damage or cooldown reduction, and more.
Heal supports, on the other hand, are exactly what they sound like — they heal their teammates. Some directly heal their team, while others use boons like Regeneration and Barrier to provide support. What’s more, healers in Guild Wars 2 have a more active playstyle compared to their counterparts in other MMOs.
Surprisingly, many classes can specialize as a support. To cut it down, here’s a list of the top support classes and builds in Guild Wars 2. Let’s get started!
Best Boon Support Classes and Builds in GW2
First, we have the Firebrand, the Path of Fire elite specialization for the Guardian. If you want to be wanted at all times for any content, Firebrand is the best choice. This powerful Paladin offers boons and healing with a DPS build option.
Much of the Firebrand’s power comes from their Mantras. These Mantras are AOE utility skills that mainly provide healing and boons to the entire party. The great thing about Mantras is that Firebrands can store up to three charges, so they always have a Mantra at the ready.
For 100% Quickness (bonus attack speed) uptime, Mantras and skill traits work together to constantly apply Quickness to your allies. For instance, the Liberator’s Vow trait gives Quickness to allies when Mantra of Solace is used, which also gives heals and damage reduction.
Along with their Mantras, Firebrands also have access to Tomes that grant them more abilities. Firebrands have three Tomes, each giving them powerful abilities like cleanses and more damage reduction. Experienced Firebrands know which Tomes to use to make an encounter ten times easier.
If you are new to the game and love playing the support role, give the Firebrand a try. Quickness Firebrand is one of the best support classes in Guild Wars 2, and definitely the most beginner friendly. To get you started, here’s a quick run over of what you need and how to play.
Once you’ve hit Level 80 and unlocked Firebrand, you should start looking for armor, weapons, and jewelry with stats that will increase your boon duration. The best gear prefix for this is Ritualists, which gives Vitality, Concentration, Condition Damage, and Expertise. This will give you plenty of health and boon duration with a little bit of a damage boost.
Another good option is Celestial gear. A Celestial prefix will give gear a balanced mix of all the stats while you grind for Ritualist gear.
For a Quickness Firebrand, we will use the Virtues, Radiance, and of course the Firebrand specializations. Since our biggest job is to apply Quickness and other boons, we can get away with running Radiance for extra damage. We also have a little bit a flexibility with Virtues and can mix and match traits that fits our playstyle.
The must-have trait to fulfill our 100% Quickness uptime is located in the Firebrand tree. The first major trait, Liberator’s Vow, will give allies Quickness whenever you use a healing skill. Everything else can be covered through our weapons and skills.
Weapons and Skills
For a Quickness Firebrand, our weapons will consist of Axe/Torch and Scepter/Torch. Once we apply Quickness to the team, our job will be to deal damage until we can apply Quickness again. These two weapon choices provide plenty of condition damage, which is amplified by our choice of the Radiance tree. If you need more support, feel free to switch Scepter/Torch with a Staff.
As for our utility skills, there are three must-haves: Mantra of Solace (6), Mantra of Potence (7), and Feel My Wrath (0). We want to use Mantra of Solace every 7 seconds to trigger Liberator’s Vow and apply Quickness. Mantra of Potence and Feel My Wrath can be used off cooldown to have 100% Quickness uptime. The other two open utility slots are up to you, though I recommend Signet of Wrath and Purging Flames.
As I said, Firebrand is great for beginners. You only have to press a couple of buttons and you have plenty of flexibility to make this class your own. For a not-so-easy boon support, let’s go over to Catalyst.
For another Quickness boon support, look no further than the Catalyst. The Catalyst is the End of Dragons elite specialization for the Elementalist class. With this specialization, the Elementalist can use a hammer and summon four elemental spheres that give boons and augment their weapons.
To start applying Quickness, Catalyst only has to summon one sphere, Air Sphere. This ability will summon a dragon that gives allies within its radius Quickness. And there you go — you have successfully done your job. Let’s move on to Mirage…
In all seriousness, Catalyst is more complex than that. While your focus as Catalyst is Quickness, you can also provide the team with damage boosts and damage reduction while dealing some damage yourself. To achieve this, you have to switch between each elemental sphere and their unique weapon augments. Which is a lot of memorization and button pressing.
With practice and perfection, the Catalyst can deal high DPS while also providing the team with some of the best boons in the game. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this class to beginners since you have to remember twice as many abilities. But if you find yourself gravitating towards Catalyst, let’s look at how to build this class.
Despite being a support, Quickness Catalyst is all about going full damage. The best stat prefix to look for on gear is Berserkers. With Berserker, you’ll get Power, Precision, and Ferocity, which will greatly increase your damage. It does nothing for your boons, but we won’t have to worry about that with the traits we choose.
The best specializations to choose are Arcane, Air, and Catalyst. Arcane will be a great source of boons and all we have to do is choose the traits Arcane Prowess and Elemental Attunement. With these two traits, you’ll send out boons every time you switch elements.
Catalyst traits go hand in hand with Arcane traits. Along with switching elements, we have the option of deploying an elemental sphere. The second major trait, Spectacular Sphere, will give our Air Sphere the Quickness we need. Choose the third major trait, Sphere Specialist, and our boons will have 100% increased uptime. This will eliminate the need for Concentration in our gear and let us be the DPS we always knew we were.
Last but not least, Air is a pretty simple choice. With Air, we will gain plenty of strike damage and crit damage which will go great with our weapon.
Weapon and Skills
We only need one weapon with the Catalyst. Oh yeah, it’s hammer time. Hammer is a great weapon to have. It brings plenty of damage, utility, and crowd control. It’s a good thing, too, since we won’t have any time to switch weapons.
Here’s where it gets complicated. To simplify, let’s just cover how we set up Quickness for the team. I’ll put the corresponding key next each ability. First, switch to the Air Attunement (F3) to apply boons to your team. Then use Glyph of Storms (7) to inflict vulnerability. Next, send out your Air Sphere (F5) to give Quickness to the whole team. Last, use Cresent Wind (3) for weakness, Shock Blast (5) to stun, and Hurricane of Pain (2) for more vulnerability.
It’s a lot to remember, and you’re only a quarter of the way done. You still have three other Attunements to cycle through before starting over with Air Attunement. We won’t cover the rest of the ability rotation so we don’t melt your brain. Here’s video showcasing the whole rotation with a written guide in the description to follow along.
Elementalists have some of the hardest builds to master in Guild Wars 2, especially for support. However, if you can stick it out, Catalyst is a satisfying support to master.
The next boon support we have is the Mirage, the Path of Fire specialization for the Mesmer. Much like Catalyst, the Mirage is a support that can easily deal plenty of damage. Instead of Quickness, the Mirage prefers to grant the team Alacrity (cooldown reduction) and full stacks of Might (damage increase).
The Mirage is a support with extremely high survivability thanks to the unique ability Mirage Cloak. This ability allows the Mirage to dodge attacks without having to roll. While in the Cloak, you also gain access to Ambush skills, empowered abilities that change depending on your weapon.
The Staff’s Ambush skill, Chaos Vortex, is your source of both damage and Alacrity/Might boons. To achieve 100% boon uptime, a Mirage’s goal is to create three clones, then cast Chaos Vortex. Each clone will also cast Chaos Vortex, increasing the number of boons given. After the first cast, the Mirage’s goal is to deal damage to the boss while pausing to cast Chaos Vortex whenever possible.
Compared to Catalyst, Mirage is fairly easy. With Mirage Cloak, you rarely have to worry about taking damage, so you can focus pressing buttons and learning. Though you’ll still need some decent gear.
Much like the Catalyst, the Mirage doesn’t have the need for stats to increase their Alacrity and Might uptime. Our source of boons, Chaos Vortex, can be cast with every dodge, letting us easily keep our allies mighty. As such, we have to grab stats that increase our damage, mainly our condition damage.
The best stat prefix for this would be Viper. Viper will give tons of strike and condition damage with a side of crit chance. Having Viper gear will let us be more than just a boon bot and have more active role. For some more extra damage, let’s switch over to traits.
Our first two trait specializations are chosen to give us more damage. Dueling gives us additional condition types to add to our attacks. Chaos, on the other hand, increases our survivability while also increasing our condition damage further. With these two traits, we will be just behind regular DPS classes.
Mirage, our elite specialization, will give us access to the Mirage Cloak, the foundation of this support build. With Mirage Cloak, we gain Ambush skills, which are unique skills determined by what weapons we are using. The Ambush skill we want is Chaos Vortex, which is the unique Ambush skill for the Staff.
Weapons and Skills
Since the Staff has Chaos Vortex, it will be a must-have weapon for this build. Your secondary weapon can be whatever you want, even another Staff. Chaos Vortex is so important because it will be our only ability that gives Alacrity and Might to the team. To get the most out of Chaos Vortex, we first need to summon some clones.
With clones summoned, each clone will cast Chaos Vortex, tripling the effect. The second and third Staff skills, Phantasmal Warlock and Phase Retreat, are great for summoning three clones instantly. After that, all you have to do is dodge to be put into Mirage Cloak and cast Chaos Vortex. Then your only goal is to DPS while dodging whenever you can to cast Chaos Vortex.
Alacrity Mirage is a pretty simple and effective build to play. Playing support Mirage will ensure you’ll always be wanted in any party.
Finally, we have the Renegade, or what some may call the Alacrigade. The Renegade is one of the Revenant’s elite specializations, unlocked through the Path of Fire expansion. At first glance, the Renegade looks like a DPS class, and we mention how great it is in our Best PVE Classes. However, the popular build as of late is changing the Renegade into a DPS/Support Hybrid class.
The Renegade mainly focuses on two things: granting Alacrity to the team and using abilities to stun and interrupt bosses. With the right gear, the Renegade can permanently keep Alacrity on their teammates with just one ability, Orders from Above. Most of the Alacrigade’s gameplay revolves around weaving attacks in while making sure to have enough energy to cast Orders from Above off cooldown.
In addition to 100% uptime of Alacrity, Renegade’s other role is to stun and interrupt bosses. Not all content requires it, but when it does, Renegade can save their team. Surge of the Mists, Darkrazor’s Daring, and Jade Winds are some of the best crowd control abilities in the game when used correctly. However, it takes some knowledge of the encounter, otherwise you lose out on DPS and boon uptime.
While it’s not the best boon support class compared to the others, Renegade is still great for any group in Guild Wars 2 who needs Alacrity. If you want to give Alacrigade a try, here’s some tips to build it right.
Since Renegade is a DPS class first and a support class second, we are going to need a little help keeping our boons up. For this, we will grab some gear with Diviner stats. Diviner gives us Power, Precision, and Ferocity to keep our damage high and our crit chance higher. Most importantly, it also has Concentration to increase our boon uptime.
With this setup, we can deal some damage while Alacrity is on our teammates at all times. Now there’s some specializations and traits we need to round it out.
For our first specialization, we will grab Devastation. These traits will work to increase all sources of strike damage. If our team doesn’t have any source of Fury, we can replace the second major trait in Devastation with Assassin’s Presence instead.
The second specialization, Invocation, does the same thing, increasing our damage further and giving ourselves Fury whenever we switch stances. The most important trait here is the second major trait, Spirit Boon. Spirit Boon will give our allies a specific boon depending on what stance we are in. Since we are using Assassin and Renegade stances, allies will gain Might and Resolution (damage reduction), respectively.
The last specialization is the elite spec, Renegade. Renegade will power up our support playstyle with the traits All for One and Righteous Rebel. All for One will give allies Protection with every utility skill we use. Righteous Rebel will increase the duration of Order from Above, increasing the amount of time allies have Alacrity.
Now let’s see what weapons and skills we need.
Weapons and Skills
Our best weapon combo will be dual-wielded Swords. With Swords, we can deal plenty of damage while also applying Vulnerability to enemies, increasing their damage taken. Combined with the Renegade Stance (F1), we can take advantage of All for One and Spirit Boon and provide additional boons to our party members.
However, the only ability you really need to worry about it Orders from Above (F4). Orders will be our source of Alacrity, and with Righteous Rebel and the right gear, we will have 100% uptime. All we need to do is activate Order from Above whenever it’s available and we will have done our job.
Now let’s look at the healers of Guild Wars 2.
Best Heal Support Classes and Builds in GW2
Our first heal support class we have is the Tempest. This class is the Heart of Thorns expansion elite specialization for the Elementalist. Just like the Catalyst, Tempest switches between four elements, focusing on the soothing water element to heal allies.
Healing as the Tempest is actually pretty simple. While attuned to the water element, you’ll project a healing aura that heals nearby teammates over time. Additionally, the water element will augment your weapon and change its skills. The average heal Tempest build uses Dagger/Warhorn, which provides multiple AOE heal skills that you can use off cooldown to heal your allies.
Outside of the water element, you’ll focus on providing boons to your party. The Tempests unique ability is to overload their element, each with different effects. After healing your allies, your job will be to overload elements to provide allies with boons like Might, Alacrity, Regeneration, and Protection. With the right gear, Tempests can have 100% boon uptime, increasing your party’s damage and suvivability.
If you’re looking for an elementalist support build that’s a bit easier than Catalyst, Tempest is the best choice. It takes considerably less effort to do well on Tempest than Catalyst, with the added benefit of solid healing. To see how Tempest does their job, let’s look at what you need to round out this build.
Like some of the boon support classes in Guild Wars 2, Tempest needs some Concentration for their multiple boons to last long. However, we also need plenty of healing to fulfill our heal Tempest build. So, we will take gear with Harrier stats. Harrier gives three important stats: Power, Healing, and Concentration. With this gear, we can properly heal our teammates while our boons last forever.
But that’s not all. We need some key traits to help us out.
The first specialization we have is Water, and it’s our most important. The first trait, Soothing Mists, will heal allies every 3 seconds just for being attuned to Water. This will be our first layer of healing. Next, Healing Ripple and Cleansing Wave will heal and cleanse allies every time we attune to Water. The last two traits will increase our healing even further, making Soothing Mists a big source of healing.
The next specialization, Arcane, will be a decent source of our boons. The Arcane Prowess and Elemental Attunement traits will give boons every time we attune to a different element.
Tempest, the last specialization, will give us our class and add a couple more boons to the list. Most importantly, Lucid Singularity, will give Alacrity to the party, letting their abilities come off cooldown faster.
A good portion of our healing will come from our weapons.
Weapons and Skills
The only weapons the Tempest will need are Dagger/Warhorn. With this weapon combo, we have all we need to heal our allies. Our best healing skills will be Cone of Cold (2), Tidal Surge (4), and Water Globe (5). However, just like Catalyst, we have more skills to use.
After these skills are on cooldown, we need to cycle through Overloading our elements to grant boons to allies. The most common rotation is Fire for Might, then Earth for Protection, Air for Protection and Swiftness, and finally going back to Water and repeating the process.
As for utility skills, it’s really up to you. Conjure Frost Bow is great for more healing. Glyph of Renewal and Signet of Water are great for reviving allies. Feel free to slot in whatever skill fits your playstyle.
Despite having to cycle through the elements, Heal Tempest is pretty simple when it comes to healing. Once you get used to it, it’s a pretty fun build to play. Plus, you have two support builds in one with Catalyst or try your hand at Weaver, one of the most complex classes in Guild Wars 2.
The next build we have is somewhat unique.
Now we have the Specter, the Thief elite specialization from End of Dragons. Never thought a rogue-archetype would be a healing support class (even in Guild Wars 2), but here we are. This support build offers a lot of mobility, AOE healing, and plenty of boons.
Your AOE healing and boons will primarily come through abilities called Wells. The most important are Well of Gloom and Well of Bounty. These Wells will provide healing, multiple boons like Might, and teleport you to a target area. Along with the trait Traversing Dusk, Wells will give bonus healing and grant allies Alacrity.
For more targeted healing, the Specter can use its unique ability, Shadow Shroud. Shadow Shroud lets you tether to an ally and any ability you use will heal both you and the tethered ally. Many Specters use Shadow Shroud as an “Oh Crap” button to save allies from dying.
Here’s what you need to get started.
Much like the Tempest, the Specter excels with Harrier stats. Harrier will give plenty of healing power and boon uptime so we can properly support our allies. Additionally, the Power will increase the effectiveness of our weapon and Shadow Shroud skills.
The first specialization we should take is Shadow Arts. We will be taking every top major trait. With this setup every time we enter or exit stealth our allies will be healed. The Shielding Restoration trait will also add temporary health to allies whenever we use a healing skill. This way we have some extra healing to constantly top off our allies.
Likewise, the Trickery spec tree modifies our Steal ability with some extra benefits. The two must have traits here are Thrill of the Crime and Bountiful Theft. Thrill of the Crime will give allies Fury, Might, and Swiftness every time we steal, while Bountiful Theft steals boons from enemies and gives them to our allies.
Last, the Specter gives us Shadow Shroud, which lets us tether to an ally and heal them. It also gives the ability to use the Scepter, which will be our best weapon to use.
Weapons and Skills
The best weapon combo for Heal Specter is Scepter/Dagger. With Scepter, we can target our allies with our skills, granting them plenty of temporary health and Might.
Most our own single target healing will come from Shadow Shroud. Once we’ve tethered ourselves to an ally with F1 or go directly into Shadow Shroud with F2, we can start healing and buffing our buddy. Any Shroud skill we use will heal our tethered target per enemy hit. Tether yourself to an ally you know is going to take a lot of damage so you can always keep them topped off.
On the other hand, our AOE healing and buffs for the party will come from our utility skills, mainly Wells. Wells of Gloom, Bounty, Silence, and Sorrow will all heal allies around you and give them plenty of boons. Typically, you should use these whenever they are up for maximum boon uptime.
Specter is an interesting class to play. It might take a bit to get used to targeting allies then targeting enemies, but it’s definitely worth learning for its great heals. But if you want a more straightforward healer, let’s go over the Druid.
Next, we have the Druid, the Heart of Thorns expansion elite specialization for the Ranger. Druid is the closest thing to a pure healer class in Guild Wars 2 and is a great provider of boons like Alacrity and Might.
While just about every skill of the Druid’s Staff heals, most of your healing will come from the Druid’s unique ability, Celestial Avatar. The Druid will have to store Astral Force to transform into the Celestial Avatar by healing teammates and damaging enemies. Once transformed, the Druid’s skills will be swapped to powerful abilities.
The first four are powerful healing skills that heal for a lot and have low cooldowns. You can basically spam these abilities all you want. The fifth ability, Natural Convergence, is a great crowd control ability to deal with multiple enemies by slowing and immobilizing them. Your team will find it incredibly hard to die while in Celestial form.
Much like Firebrand, Druid is one of the most beginner-friendly support classes in Guild Wars 2. It doesn’t ask much of the player while dishing out plenty of heals and boons. To get started, you’ll need some decent gear.
Stats for the Druid are pretty simple. Like the other heal support classes in Guild Wars 2, we will take Harrier. Heal power and Concentration are just too good to pass up in order to provide plenty of healing and long-lasting boons. For more healing, feel free to switch out some Harrier gear for Magi gear. Magi will have tons more healing and it doesn’t hurt to have extra health.
Our first specialization choice is Skirmishing. The only reason we want Skirmishing is for its second major trait, Spotter. Spotter will periodically give allies Fury every 10 seconds.
Next, Nature Magic will provide a little bit of survivability when we need it. However, the best trait in this tree is Nature’s Vengeance. In addition to their original boons, spirits we summon will give Alacrity to the team.
Last, we have the Druid spec. Druid will unlock our Celestial Avatar and crazy amounts of healing. The best trait on this tree is Grace of the Land. It is super important to take this trait, as it will give max stacks of Might for our allies while we are in Celestial Avatar. With max stacks of Might, allies will do giga damage, finish the encounter faster, and everyone will love you for it.
Weapons and Skills
Our choice of weapon should be the Staff. While we aren’t in the Avatar state, our Staff will be the primary source of our healing. The two best Staff skills are Solar Beam (1) and Astra Wisp (2). These are great for quick and easy heals, but it’s always better to be in Celestial form for better healing and Might stacks. Once in Celestial Avatar, your only job is to spam your skills until you can’t anymore. It’s that simple.
As for our utility skills, we want at least three spirits to summon to take advantage of Nature’s Vengeance. Water Spirit, Frost Spirit, and Earth Spirit are great choices that will provide healing and boons for the team. Spirit of Nature is also a great choice for healing and reviving multiple teammates. Any other utility skill is up to you.
Lastly, as a Ranger, you also have some pets to choose from. Fanged Iboga is the highest DPS pet in the game and has a great skill for crowd control. Red Moa and Fern Hound are great choices for boons and healing. Or, if you need a tank, the Brown Bear has your back.
As a Druid, teams will love having you around. With such an easy playstyle, you can sit back and relax while your team does their thing. However, if the Druid is too much nature and goodness for you, look no further than the Necromancer Scourge.
Lastly, we have Scourge, the elite specialization for Necromancer from Path of Fire. The Scourge support build has a fairly unique approach to healing. Rather than replenish health, most of your healing will come in the form of temporary health called Barrier. Any damage taken will damage temporary health instead of regular health.
Barrier can be applied multiple ways. Most often, you will be using the Scourge’s unique ability, Sand Shades. With Sand Shades, you can summon shades made out of sand to give surrounding allies Barrier. Much of Scourge gameplay revolves around placing shades and using Sand Cascade off cooldown to keep Barrier up.
As for regular healing, Scourges find most of it though their Blood Magic Specialization tree. With Vampiric Presence, allies gain life steal and it’ll be their fault for not getting enough healing. However, the most powerful trait, Transfusion, turns the fourth Sand Shade ability into an AOE heal and revive.
Yup, you read that right. Garish Pillar turns into an AOE revive, heals, teleports any revived ally to you, and it’s all on a 15 second cooldown. It will be virtually impossible for anyone to die on your team. To make sure you don’t die, let’s pick the right stats for this build.
Unlike most of the other support classes in Guild Wars 2, the Scourge will be taking full Magi gear. Not only will we have maxed out healing but we will have as much health as we possibly can with this setup. Why do we need healt,h you ask?
Well, every time we summon a Sand Shade, we use Life Force, Necromancer’s resource for some skills. The only way to increase our maximum Life Force amount is by increasing our health. So, with Magi gear, we will never run out of Life Force and will be incredibly tough to kill.
We’ve already mentioned some of the best traits, but let’s go over them again. First, we have Blood Magic, our strongest trait tree. As we already mentioned, Vampiric Presence will give all allies personal life steal, meaning they better be doing damage or they won’t be getting healed.
There are other great traits in this tree, but the best is Transfusion, which turns your F4 skill into an AOE heal and revive. In Scourge’s case, Garish Pillar becomes one of your strongest skills in your arsenal.
As for the other two specs, Soul Reaping will further increase the amount of Life Force gained, while Scourge will power up our Sand Shades. The two must-have traits from these trees are Abrasive Grit and Sand Savant. Let’s find out why.
Weapons and Skills
The best weapons we can have are Scepter/Torch and Staff. Scepter/Torch will be our source of damage. We won’t be doing too much, but with the number of conditions we can apply, it will be more than enough. Our Staff, on the other hand, will be used for a quick gain of Life Force. Just about every attack grants bonus Life Force, so be sure to switch over when low.
As for utility, our best healing skill is Sand Flare. Sand Flare takes advantage of the Abrasive Grit trait and gives our allies Barrier. Other utility skills are mainly up to you, but I recommend Blood is Power (7) and Desiccate (8) for plenty of Might boons for the team.
Now, how do we support our team? Whenever we get into a fight, summon a Sand Shade (F1). With the Sand Savant trait, this shade will be powered up, so be sure to place it where allies will be. Now all you need to is use Sand Cascade (F3) and Sand Flare (6) off cooldown to top off their Barrier. Don’t forget Garish Pillar (F4) and the Staff skill Mark of Blood (2) for healing.
And that’s all you really need to do. Due to their high health and simple skill rotation, Scourges are right up there with Druid and Firebrand for beginner-friendly support classes in Guild Wars 2. I recommend any new player to try out Scourge or Necromancer in general for a great time.
Join the High Ground!
That wraps up the top support classes and builds in Guild Wars 2. Which class do you love playing as a support? Leave a comment down below and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on guides for your favorite games.