In Guild Wars 2, there are many activities to do for those who’ve reached max level and finished the story. Gearheads can participate in challenging, open-world events for rewards and resources. Raid junkies can jump into ten-player raids. Dungeon crawlers can try Fractals, which are dungeons with scaling difficulties and modifiers to keep you on your toes. That’s not even mentioning the best endgame content — fashion!
Whatever you choose to play at max level, you’ll need to know the best classes to make it a breeze. Read on for our picks of the best classes for endgame PVE in Guild Wars 2!
Choosing Your Role
In Guild Wars 2, having the holy trinity (tank, damage, healer) isn’t as important compared to other MMOs. With the way encounters are designed, difficulty relies more on player movement and completing special mechanics rather than maintaining aggro. Which means tank gets the shortest end of the stick.
Unfortunately, there’s just no need for one of the players to take damage for the rest of the team. Often times, what would be a tank class is more of a DPS with high sustain or a support that provides buffs for the team. Despite this, there are two unique tank classes worth mentioning
Best PVE Tank Classes
It’s hard to imagine that a light armor class could be a tank, but here we are. The Chronomancer is normally a decent DPS and solo class, but oddly enough, it can tank with the right build.
With the Chronomancer elite specialization, Mesmers gain access to an offhand shield, which is partly the reason behind their tankiness. With the shield equipped, Mesmers have a high chance to block attacks and, with the shield’s abilities, grant boons and additional blocking ability to themselves and allies.
Along with their blocking capabilities, Chronomancers have the ability to grant quickness, aegis, and alacrity boons to themselves and allies. These boons grant faster attacks, block the next attack, and increase ability recharge, respectively. This is great for speeding up dungeon runs while keeping your team protected, which is what a lot of groups look for.
With block, boons, and other Mesmer abilities, it will be pretty hard to die. By the time you are in any danger, your teammates should quickly burn through enemies with the boons you provide. If you do want to give tank Chronomancer a try, take a look at this build. It should cover everything you need from gear to when to use abilities.
Similar to the Chronomancer, Scrapper is primarily a DPS class. However, much like any class in Guild Wars 2, they can be so much more.
On the surface, Scrapper looks like your typical warrior/bruiser class. These engineers switch from ranged combat and pick up a two-handed hammer to bash their foes. With the hammer, the Scrapper gains decent AOE cleave damage and a stacking damage increase with every hit. This means you’re already doing decent damage without even trying, but how are they a tank?
What makes Scrapper great as a tank is the synergy contained within the specialization’s passives. The best passive, Impact Savant, converts physical damage you deal into temporary health. As long as you’re doing damage, you’ll be gaining a big pool of temporary health for enemies to damage instead of your regular health.
In similar fashion, Applied Force grants stability every time you gain might, which the Scrapper gains through auto attacks alone. Additionally, Object in Motion gives 5% more damage for every stack of stability, quickness, and superspeed the Scrapper has. More boons means more damage and more damage means more temporary health.
Unfortunately, Scrapper falls a bit short from the other DPS powerhouses on this list. However, it is still one of the best classes to choose if you want a tank/DPS hybrid for PVE in Guild Wars 2. Here is the typical Scrapper build for those wanting to give it a try. For those who want a pure DPS, continue on to the Damage classes.
Best PVE Damage Classes
Out of all the classes on this list, Mechanist is one of the best PVE classes in Guild Wars 2 and possibly the easiest to play. What makes Mechanist so player-friendly is their brand-new invention — the mech. It would be an understatement saying that the mech is good. It’s really good.
The mech can almost do everything. It tanks boss monsters for you so you don’t take any damage. It deals decent DPS just on its own. It also grants boons to itself, you, and your party members. The mech is basically your own raid party in one.
What should you be doing while the mech does its thing? Well, anything you want, really. The more popular builds switch between pistols and the flamethrower gadget to apply conditions to enemies. Other builds choose to use the rifle or grenade kit and take advantage of boons to deal large amounts of damage with every attack.
With the power of the mech, you’ll have a nice time burning through enemies’ health without a care in the world. Really, the most complicated part of playing Mechanist is remembering to heal your mech and activate its abilities. If you want to give Mechanist a try, consider checking out this video guide for a more in-depth look.
In my opinion, Bladesworn is the coolest class on this list. Partly because they have a gunsaber and party because of the sheer amount of damage they can do.
Most of the Bladesworn’s damage comes from their new class mechanic called Dragon Trigger. Sounds pretty cool so far, right? As you fight, “flow” can be used to charge up Dragon Trigger for maximum damage. At max charge, the Bladesworn can unsheathe their gunsaber and use Dragon Slash to deal upwards of 100k damage in a single swing.
While limited to one Dragon Slash per Dragon Trigger, 100k is a crazy amount of damage to deal in a short period of time. Because of Dragon Trigger, Bladesworns top the damage charts in just about every endgame activity, making them a great addition to any group.
Additionally, Bladesworn has tons of self-healing and defensive perks, making them great for soloing open world events while keeping their insane damage. Take a look at this build for a more advanced explanation of their damage.
Renegade, the elite specialization of Revenant, is another class that has great damage along with plenty of survivability. Instead of being in melee range like the Bladesworn, the Renegade opts for range with the shortbow.
With the shortbow, the Renegade builds up stacks on stacks of conditions to deal loads of damage from afar. To add onto their high base damage, Renegades also have the passive “Kalla’s Fervor.” As you attack, you gain stacks that increase physical damage, condition damage, and life steal by a max of 10%. Many builds take advantage of this passive to not only deal huge damage but stay above 50% health through life steal alone.
In addition to that insane passive, Renegade has the ability to grant themselves and others boons with a push of a button. Might, alacrity, and other boons work to further increase the already great DPS of the Renegade and their allies. There are even builds that change Renegade from a DPS to a pure support role.
I recommend anyone to try out a Renegade. Not only because they deal loads of damage, but because they look cool as well. Take a look at the many Renegade builds here and see if there is a playstyle you might like.
Last but not least for DPS is the Thief. In general, Thief is a very versatile class and one of the best for those looking to dabble in everything that GW2 has to offer. At its core, Thief deals high single-target damage in both ranged and melee combat. They can also choose between burst damage or damage over time — whichever fits your playstyle more.
In addition to high damage, Thief has access to many utility spells, such as group stealth and AOE blinds. These are primarily used for speeding up certain group content, but are also useful for surviving in solo play.
As you move into their elite specializations, Thieves become even better. Each specialization focuses on empowering a certain playstyle. Daredevil grants more AOE damage and has crazy mobility. Deadeye empowers their high single-target damage at range with a rifle. Finally, Specter deals crazy condition damage with the option to provide support to your teammates.
Whether it’s core Thief or one of its specializations, you’ll be doing tons of damage while avoiding any at the same time. If you want to see all the builds the Thief can make, take a look at this page of player-made builds.
Best PVE Support Classes
Druid is the class closest to a pure healer in Guild Wars 2 and, as such, is one of the best PVE classes in the game. With this elite specialization, the Ranger gains a staff whose every ability heals their teammates. Even the staff’s auto attack heals allies while it damages enemies. With the Druid, you can sit back, send your pet in, and apply boons and heals wherever needed.
To make your job easier, Druids also can transform into a Celestial Avatar. In the Avatar form, Druids have new AOE abilities that heal, cleanse, and give boons to allies. Teammates will have to try very hard to die with a Druid on their team.
Even if they do go down, Druids can revive multiple people at once with just a push of a button. If you want to have a Druid in your back pocket, give a look at this build to get a feel for what you need to be effective.
We briefly covered Firebrand in our Best Solo Classes Guide for Guild Wars 2. Rather than purely healing like the Druid, Firebrand opts to be a more active support and, in some cases, a tank for the team.
What makes the Firebrand so good is their access to the Guardian’s tanky attributes (i.e. stats and weapons) while also being able to provide support to their team. Many Firebrand supports choose to equip a mace/shield with a staff secondary, which not only has heals and defense, but deals damage at the same time.
In addition to powerful support weapons, Firebrands have Tomes — three books the Firebrand can equip, each with their own abilities and purpose. As a support, you’ll be using the Tome of Resolve and Courage most of the time. Both contain multiple boons and defensive buffs that can be applied to the team.
With Tomes and weapons combined, Firebrands can give out boons with almost 100% uptime, which your team will surely appreciate. While Druid will be the easier of the two, Firebrand is for those that want a frontline playstyle. This build should get you started.
Scourge provides a unique playstyle for not only support, but for Necromancer. Instead of using their class mechanic as a second health bar, Scourges use Shroud as another way to support their allies. Using life force, the Scourge can summon shades to extend their abilities range and support your allies from afar.
Rather than healing, the Scourge takes a different approach to support gameplay. Through your shades, you can provide your allies with “barrier,” which is basically temporary health. With barrier, damage will be taken from the temporary health before your own.
Along with other Necromancer abilities, Scourges also have a variety of ways to dispel enemy boons and cleanse debuffs. This makes them a great choice for bosses that like to stack boons or cripple your team with debuffs.
The only downside, besides not having a second health bar, is having to balance your damaging abilities with your supportive ones. Summoning shades cost life force and the only way to gain life force is through damage. Luckily, Scourge has great condition damage. So much in fact, that there are multiple builds out there turning this support into a DPS.
If you want to give Scourge a shot, this build is a good start for supporting with an option for DPS.
Join the High Ground
And that wraps up the best PVE classes in Guild Wars 2 — thanks for reading! Leave your favorite build for PVE down below (the less meta the better) and subscribe to our newsletter for more Guild Wars 2 content.