Build:Team - 7 Hero Beginner Team/Basics

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Beginner Team
Beginner Team – Build Page Beginner Basics
Player builds: WarriorWarrior RangerRanger MonkMonk NecromancerNecromancer MesmerMesmer ElementalistElementalist AssassinAssassin Ritualist Ritualist Paragon Paragon DervishDervish

  Koss.png This page is directed towards players with limited access to skills, heroes and equipment.  
Intended for transitional use only.           

This page covers some basics for beginners. If you've played the game before you can skip it and return to the Beginner Team.

Before starting

Profession choice

The choice of your primary profession will have a great impact on your experience in Guild Wars. Although all professions can be used for all mid- and endgame content they come with significant differences in the variety of viable playing styles. Doing endgame content with certain professions may be possible, but not enjoyable. First of all you should know the difference between your primary and secondary profession:

Access to... Primary Profession Secondary Profession
Profession change Red thumbs down.png Green thumbs up.png
Primary attribute Green thumbs up.png Red thumbs down.png
Secondary attributes Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png
Skills Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png
Armour (skin and stat) Green thumbs up.png Red thumbs down.png
Runes and insignias
(including attribute runes)
Green thumbs up.png Red thumbs down.png

The following table lists common roles and meta information of each profession, helping you to determine which primary profession you want to pick.

Overview of abilities and accessibility of the ten professions
Native and cross-profession roles Easy to play effectively Good endgame options Good options in AI teams Recommended for beginners Notes


  • Single target damage dealer
  • Area damage dealer
  • Tank
Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png Green thumbs up.png Red thumbs down.png Warriors are a simple and sufficiently effective melee option, but the other native melee professions are better at it. There is an equally simple yet more effective assassin build. For area damage dervishes are superior. Because of the effectivity of modern hero setups the higher base armour rating of the warrior doesn't give it a sufficient advantage to recommend it over a dervish or assassin.
  • Beast Master
  • Archer
  • WarriorAssassinDervishMelee damage dealer
  • RitualistSummoner
Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png All primary profession options for rangers are lackluster. Bows deal few damage, pets are clunky to control and only deal single target damage. The primary attribute expertise allows plenty of secondary profession options, but in none of them you're going to be as effective as the primary profession would be. This leaves ranger as one of the weakest professions, not at all recommendable.
  • Healer
  • Protector
Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png Monks are the best healers and good at protecting single targets. But due to how the AI works it is ineffective and frustrating to control an AI team when playing a build that doesn't interact with foes. A good damage dealing build would fill the gap, but monks don't have a good option for doing that. Due to the low activity you're going to play with AI teams most of the time, so monk is the least recommendable profession.
  • Minion master
  • Direct damage dealer
  • AnySome builds which require energy but no high attribute investment, such as
  • Monk Protector
  • RitualistHealer
Green thumbs up.png Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png Necromancers have effective build options, but they aren't worth much in the current meta. The best damage dealing abilities require foes to perform actions, but modern teams are designed to prevent exactly that. Other somewhat good options involve damage dealing, at which a mesmer will be better while also providing shutdown. This leaves only one quite good option to necromancers that's somewhat unique to them: A minion master. However, such a build is dull to play and can't be used in all areas. If you want to supply your team with additional allies, go for a ritualist instead. For damage dealing, prefer the mesmer.
  • Direct damage dealer
  • Caster shutdown
  • Martial shutdown
Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Mesmers are the best damage dealing casters and additionally improve the team stability by preventing foes from successfully attacking and using skills. Although some of the best skills require to be used on the correct targets to have an effect and one of the main features of mesmers is to interrupt actions there are plenty of effective easy to use options even for inexperienced players and people with slow reactions. If you want an active, damage dealing spellcaster, mesmer is the best choice.
  • Ranged damage dealer
  • Monk Protector and healer
Green thumbs up.png Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png Red thumbs down.png Elementalists are designed as damage dealers. They have some options that improve the team stability, but for everything they can do there are better options on mesmer. It's not just that elementalists are somewhat less effective in general, they are much less effective in specific situations. Their damage can drop a lot against certain foes, whereas that of a mesmer is always the same. They also have to use skill slots for their own energy management with skills that are easy to disturb by many foes. If you want a damage dealing spellcaster, prefer the mesmer.


  • Single target damage dealer
  • Tank
Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png By its design the assassin is a more complicated profession built on long combos combining different attributes. Its best and only popular build, however, is simple to play and soon available. It makes assassin one of the best options for dealing single target damage with the possibility to expand your area damage with support from the team. Despite melees being less easy to play well in general this assassin build is effective even with few experience. Another consideration for going melee is to play a dervish: They are similarly effective with a focus rather on area than single target damage and have a larger build variety.
  • Summoner
  • Point-blank damage dealer
  • Ranged damage dealer
  • Healer
  • Protector
  • Supporter
  • WarriorAssassinParagonDervishWeapon based damage dealer
Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Ritualists can do about everything, but they're only really good at few things. They have one of two best party-wide protection builds that is also easy to play and as a spirit summoner they excel at both distracting and killing foes. The caveat is that these most effective options involve being mainly passive, as your summoned creatures will do the work for you. If you want an effective and easy to play passive caster, ritualist is your profession. Note that all these especially good passive roles only become available late in the Factions campaign, so you won't be able to make use of them soon.
  • Protector
  • AssassinDervishMelee damage dealer
Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Red thumbs down.png Paragons are, alongside ritualists, the best party-wide protectors. But they can't do anything else. They are very powerful for stabilizing especially aggressive hero setups, but due to the low build variety, such aggressive hero setups not being available any soon and the profession being not very exciting to play it can't be recommended for beginners.
  • Melee area damage dealer
Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Green thumbs up.png Dervishes are next to assassins the most powerful melee profession, especially as they excel in lategame teams when using consumables and playing in areas with many foes, as their damage scales quadratically with the amount of hit foes using vow of strength. Without these conditions they still have an effective build to resort to. Melee players will find that dervish is a great choice.

Campaign choice

You can create a character in any of the three campaigns Prophecies, Factions and Nightfall. Most content can be played no matter your starting campaign, only the tutorial areas of the other campaigns will be devoid of quests. You can therefore choose quite freely where you'd prefer to start. There are two gameplay factors that might help determining where you'd prefer to begin:

Profession availability

The core professions WarriorWarrior, RangerRanger, Monk Monk, NecromancerNecromancer, MesmerMesmer and ElementalistElementalist are available in all campaigns. The remaining four professions are restricted to the campaign they were introduced in: AssassinAssassin and RitualistRitualist to Factions, ParagonParagon and DervishDervish to Nightfall. If you want to play one of the campaign restricted professions you are bound to the respective campaign.

Beginning area characteristics
Nightfall – recommended for beginners
  • A start of medium length.
    • You have to do plenty of (side) quests to advance your primary questline, giving you the opportunity to get used to the gameplay.
  • You receive some experience points and gold.
  • The 30 additional attribute points from attribute quests are gained without additional effort in the tutorial area.
  • The difficulty level increases at a medium pace.
  • You are introduced to heroes early on.
Factions – recommended for players experienced with Guild Wars or similar games
  • A quick start without any side quest requirement.
    • You can nonetheless do plenty of them if you like to, but you still won't have as much opportunity to get used to the gameplay as in Nightfall.
  • You receive plenty of experience points and gold.
  • The 30 additional attribute points from attribute quests are gained by doing quests in the tutorial area.
  • The difficulty level increases at a high pace.
  • No heroes, but the available henchmen are acceptable.
Propheciesdon't start in this campaign!
  • A very slow start with dull content.
    • Barely any guidance, many players can't find or follow the primary questline and get lost.
  • You receive barely any experience points or gold.
  • The 30 additional attribute points from attribute quests are gained by doing a series of quests which are hidden late in the game and prove quite time-consuming.
  • The difficulty level increases at a slow pace.
  • No heroes and the available henchmen are terrible.

Progress: Gold, Experience, Titles

Guild Wars has a player level cap of 20. You level up by earning experience points, which are gained by defeating opponents and finishing quests and missions. Explorable areas are dotted with resurrection shrines; at each of them you'll find an ally who's giving you a bounty for certain types of foes in this area. When defeating a foe you currently have a bounty for you'll gain twice as many experience points and therefore level faster. But you will also gain reputation with factions in the game, advancing in their ranks. Faction titles are important:

  1. If your starting campaign is Nightfall you will have to advance to certain title ranks three times throughout the primary questline. To avoid a progress blocking situation it's best to accumulate title points early on.
  2. Certain especially powerful skills are tied to your title ranks instead of regular attributes. They will only become more powerful if you are promoted to a higher title rank.
  3. In the nightfall lategame a faction title, Lightbringer, will provide you with an enormeously powerful passive bonus improving your combat performance. Similar titles exist in the Eye of the North expansion.

Bounties aren't the only source for title points. You will also get them for completing quests and the bonus tasks in missions. Because quests are an excellent source for gold, experience and title points you should accept and do as many side quests as possible to make things easier for you later on and to avoid having to grind certain foes over and over to get title points required for the main quest progression via bounties. There is no limit to how many quests you can accept at once, and occasionally you can even do multiple quests in the same area. There also are storybooks for all campaigns which provide you with additional rewards for playing through the missions.

Effective though questing proves to be for accumulating gold another important source of income is loot. You should always pick up all drops from defeated enemies so you can equip useful weaponry, convert materials into armoury and weaponry and sell everything else to merchants. You should increase your inventory space with additional bags, which you can get soon by turning in battle commendations or monastery credits, depending on which your starting campaign is. Additionally you can buy Xunlai vault box storage space to save items for later use. There are different kinds and rarities of drops to keep track of:

  • Materials should be stored in the material depository of your vault box. You will need them for crafting yourself a better armour and better weapons.
  • Standard loot has white text colour. It's usually not of any use other than selling it to the merchant NPC for gold.
  • Common loot has blue text colour. Common weapons usually aren't particularly good and should be sold to the merchant. Common armour pieces, however, may contain valuable insignias and runes.
    • You can't equip any looted armour remnants; instead you'll have to visit an armourer NPC who'll craft it for you.
    • Use an expert salvage kit to salvage useful insignias and runes for yourself and your heroes.
    • If you found an insignia or rune which you don't currently need check its current price by consulting the rune trader NPC. Some of these items are worth a fortune, helping you to finance better equipment and purchasing more skills sooner.
  • Uncommon loot has purple text colour. Such weapons usually are a good pick transitional use as they already have useful bonus effects.
  • Rare loot has golden text colour. Such weapons may contain maximum effect upgrades, so even if you don't need a weapon it may be wise to salvage its weapon mods with an expert kit and keep them for later use or player to player trade.
  • Unique weapons have green text colour. These are fully modded weapons, usually dropped from a boss foe, which have good upgrades and are a great equipment for yourself and heroes.

An easy way of acquiring some platinum and rare equipment is to loot hidden treasures which can be found in different areas in Nightfall. Other than regular chests they don't require a key to be opened and contain better loot. However, they can only be looted once a month.

Equipment System

You have seven equipment slots:

  • Weapon
  • Offhand item
  • 5 pieces of armour

Armour can be upgraded with one insignia and one rune per piece. Weapons that are wielded with two hands will cover both the weapon and offhand item slot, which means that you won't be able to benefit from a shield while wielding a bow. Weapons and offhand items can be upgraded with modifications of three types, but only one modification of the same type per item:

A) Prefix, Inscription, Suffix: Axe, Bow, Hammer, Spear, Staff, Sword
B) Inscription, Suffix: Wand, Focus, Shield

Similar to the easy to reach maximum level of 20 equipment with best effects is soon and cheap to come by. The first armour smiths which craft armour with a maximum armour rating are:

  • Jolvor Stoneforge in boreal station. This is the first outpost reached in the Eye of the North expansion and the fastest to reach crafter with maximum armour rating for characters created in the campaign Nightfall.
  • Kakumei, Ryoko and Suki in Kaineng Center. They are faster to reach than Jolvor for characters created in Factions.

Ideally upgraded weapons are less easy to come by. For some comparatively cheap sources of these items and a thorough guide to equipping yourself and your heroes ideally for endgame purposes, refer to Guide:PvE Equipment.


In Guild Wars you're not a solo fighter. You can (and should!) play in a team. Players are not always available to join you, so you will have to resort to filling your team with NPCs. There are two kinds of allies you can choose:

Available in every outpost.
Fixed set of skills.
Unmodified equipment.
No micro management of skills possible.
Unlocked through quests.
Entirely customizable skill bar.
Upgradeable equipment
Advanced micro management options available.

Heroes are better than henchmen

Although henchmen are a good help initially as you don't have much gold to buy new skills they will soon prove worse than heroes: Because of their fixed skill sets you can neither improve their individual performance nor create synergies between multiple team members. In endgame areas equipment modifications will become more important, giving heroes an additional advantage. Lastly micro management of single skills or flagging heroes individually is extremely helpful in certain situations, especially boss fights, but only possible with heroes, not henchmen.

Hero build customization

Heroes have access to all skills of their primary and secondary profession which are already unlocked in your account. You can distribute their attribute points, choose their skills and change their secondary profession. To do so you add them to your party and then click on their portrait at the top of the skills and attribute window (standard hotkey: K). Title based PvE-only skills are unavailable to heroes.

Hero equipment

Their base armour rating grows with their level, reaching the maximum armour rating at level 20. There are hero armor pieces but they only change its visual appearance, not the statistics. For power upgrades you have to improve their armour with insignias and runes like that of a player. Heroes can be equipped with weapons just like a player to benefit from weapon modifiers and better base statistics.

Micro management

You can manipulate the performance of your heroes in various ways. Except for flag usage they require you to open the hero control panel. To do so, invite the hero into your team and click on the number next to its name.
1. Modes: In the top right corner of the hero control panel you can determine the general behaviour of the hero. Your options are:

  • Fight: Heroes will act more aggressively, usually rather use a skill than run away from a foe and pursue foes over a short distance if nessecary. This is the ideal mode for all offensive heroes which mainly use skills on foes.
  • Guard: Heroes will fight reluctantly, trying to stay close to you or their flag and barely pursue foes. They will nonetheless attack your targets and fight back if attacked. This is the ideal mode for support heroes which don't interact with foes directly and for all backline heroes.
  • Avoid Combat: The hero won't attack and won't use skills against foes at all, including Signet of Lost Souls, a skill commonly used on necromancer healers. In combat this hero will run away from foes in wide circles. This usually causes more problems than it solves by increasing the risk to accidentally lure additional foes.

2. Target lock: Target a foe and then click on the crosshair in the left bottom of the hero control panel to lock your hero unto it until the target gets killed.
3. Skills: There are two options to manipulate a hero's skill usage:

  • Force: By clicking on a skill in the hero control panel you force the hero to use it. In case you currently haven't selected a target the hero will chose one on its own. The same applies if you have selected a target which, due to its affiliation, that skill can't be used against; i.e. when you target yourself and force the hero to use a skill which can only be used against foes, such as Flare. If you have locked your hero on a target but were targeting a different foe yourself when forcing the skill usage, the target locking will be bypassed for this one skill usage. There are some issues with forcing skills to be aware of:
a) When forcing a hero to use a skill against a target which can't be targeted by certain skill types it will stop using skills and wand this foe until it dies. This can be the case when using a hex spell like Lightning Strike or an enchantment like Ice Spear or Patient Spirit against spirits. Another somewhat common cause for this to happen is forcing any spell against a foe enchanted with Spell Breaker, Shadow Form or Obsidian Flesh.
b) The wanding issue will also appear when you force a hero to use a skill which is currently on recharge or the skill gets interrupted upon its forced usage. The hero will wait until the skill has recharged and then reattempt to use the skill.
c) When forcing a hero to use a skill the hero is currently using your commanded usage will be treated as executed.
d) Heroes don't maintain most bonds – enchantments which will stay on the target until removed by the bonder. If you want a hero to maintain a bond such as Strength of Honor on you, you'll first have to suppress this skill.
  • Suppress: Hold down your suppress key (standard: left shift) and left-click on the hero's skill in the hero control panel to suppress it. It'll be marked with a stroke-through red circle. Do this if you don't want your hero to use a certain skill in one fight, if you want to use a skill only manually or if it is a bond you want the hero to maintain.

4. Flags: You can flag your first three heroes individually using buttons below your compass and the remaining up to four heroes collectively. If you want to individually flag the remaining heroes aswell, you have to assign keybinds. Open the control options (standard hotkey: F11) and select Action: Command Hero 4/5/6/7. Assign keybinds to these so you can use individual flags for all heroes instead of only the first three. This is most useful when you want to lure foes into your prepared and spread-out team. You are introduced to flag usage in the quests Command Training and Hero Tutorial.

See also