Follow TV Tropes


Characters / The Commander

Go To

A character subpage for Guild Wars 2. For the main character page, see here.

A hero carrying a multitude of titles and accomplishments, who rose to prominence first among their own race and then an Order of Tyria. As the Pact is being formed to combat Zhaitan and the Elder Dragons, they are appointed as Pact Commander, second in command. The Commander spearheads the fight against the Elder Dragons, and is often a valued voice amongst the other leaders of Tyria.


They later withdraw their position in the Pact, instead taking the leader position in their new guild, Dragon's Watch.

    open/close all folders 

    In General 
  • Action Hero
  • Action Girl: If your character happens to be a female.
  • Action Survivor: Survived in the world for a very, very long time in a world almost in constant conflict. They actually might be the only living survivor of the initial assault by Zhaitan on Claw Island (most notable people like Trahearne and their mentor have passed on, but many of the others who survived died in the Pact Assault on Mordremoth).
  • All-Loving Hero: The Commander is a kind-hearted and loving hero who disregards any difference they might have to save someone they just met.
  • Anyone Can Die: Despite being the player character, Balthazar injures and then kills the Commander to draw out Aurene.
  • Back from the Dead: Fully experiences dying, and they had been dead for quite some time, for at least a couple hours or more. However, they come back to life.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: If they're a Necromancer, they have some questionable powers and ethics of using undead creatures, but the Commander is definitely a good person.
  • Being Good Sucks: At first, it isn't so bad, but as they progress through their life as a hero, the Commander's life takes a turn for the worst. Progressively worse since the start of Heart of Thorns.
    • If the Commander is a Sylvari during Heart of Thorns, they are constantly tormented by Modremoth for turning against him.
    • In Path of Fire, the Commander gets ambushed by Balthazar and actually dies in the fight.
    • In the Icebrood Saga, they get the pleasure of having Jormag whisper in their head constantly. In the second episode, they get fatally pierced in the heart with a bow and arrow by Bangar and would died if Aurene had not reached out to the Commander's comrades and led them to her sanctuary to allow her to heal her champion.
  • Beneath the Mask: On the surface: a heroic individual who stood up against all odds to save the world. Has a strong sense of justice and a heart of gold. They'll kindhearted and will do anything it takes to get the job done and to save everybody they can. That's what everyone else sees. On the inside, they're riddled with self doubt and guilt. They've become cynical and just tired of everything that's happening, suffering in a world where no matter what they do, something always goes wrong.
  • Broken Ace: Starts slowly developing into one by Living World Season 3 and even more so into Path of Fire and onwards. The Commander is an amazing soldier with many feats to their name: an amazing, almost-undefeated fighter and a defender of all things that are good, but they are also tormented by guilt and shades of self-loathing due to the many tragic events that happen around them. It starts to get even worse in Living World Season 4. They've recovered from it somewhat by the start of the Icebrood Saga.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: Capable of using two weapon sets, and eve quickly switching between the two in the middle of combat.
    • Unless they're an Engineer (who can have between one and five sets of weapons through kits) or an Elementalist (who can't change weapons but can change elements, which is functionally not much different).
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: The Commander has a tendency to help out everyone they can. If the Heart quests or events are anything to go by, then the Commander has probably helped out almost every person in Tyria.
  • Commanding Coolness
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Commander can be a Necromancer or a Thief, and/or dress in dark colors and scary armor, but they're still the hero.
  • Declining Promotion: After the events in Heart of Thorns, they were the first one tapped for becoming the new Marshal of the Pact. However, due to the nature of the new Marshal being closely guarded and out of action, the Commander refuses, feeling that they would be better operating out in the field.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The death of Aurene for the Commander. The Requiem short story published on the main website even mentions Rytlock watching the Commander cry and admitting they have no idea what to do anymore.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Commander has done this to many of the variants: Zhaitan, Mordremoth, Lazarus the legendary Mursaat, and later even whacks Balthazar the god a few times and kills him.
  • Disney Death: After being killed by Balthazar, the Commander manages to claw their way back to life by fighting The Eater of Souls, which gives them enough power to return to life.
    • Believe it or not, the Commander brushes close with death again when Bangar shoots the Commander with a flaming arrow and mortally wounds them. They barely survive, but manage to make a full recovery thanks to Aurene's help.
  • Doom Magnet: Half of the time, you can usually expect some catastrophe or an attack of any nature to happen whenever the Commander arrives at any given destination.
    • Captain Kiel lampshades this in the first chapter of Path of Fire by mentioning the Commander's apparent bad luck in riding crashing airships and mentioning that she should have her airship insured..
  • Determinator: The Commander never gives up, even in death. If it's within their power, they will do everything they can to accomplish it.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Averted, but they had one for a while when after their death they ended up in the Domain of the Lost, where they would risk wandering around a desolate land forever with no memory of who they were. They would have experienced an even more tragic fate if they had been swallowed by the Eater of Souls, since their soul would have been consumed and essentially be erased from existence.
  • Fight Magnet: Anywhere they go, they are most likely going to attract some form of fight. Also true gameplay-wise; while doing something as simple as getting from Point A and Point B, there's a possibility that you're going to get ambushed by a couple dozen mobs.
  • Foreshadowing: The Commander is offered a promotion to Pact Marshal in Living World Season 3, where they would be safely guarded and out of action, to avoid another tragedy like what happened Trahearne, who was captured and later died for being on the front lines commanding. They politely decline, feeling much better suited for being out where the action is. Later, in Path of Fire, the Commander ends up being killed by Balthazar while working on the front lines (though they do manage to avert this).
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Human, Charr, Asura, and Norn protagonists start off as wide-eyed nobodies that proceed to make connections with some of the most powerful political figures around, and go on to slay the most dangerous monstrosities in the world. This is especially true with Human protagonists who chose the Street Rat origin, having started out as a poor lower class individual. Not quite the case for the Sylvari protagonist, who was instead chosen to battle the Elder Dragons at birth by the Pale Tree.
  • Frontline General: Most definitely a General in every sense of the word. They do all the major strategic planning, but they are also on the field doing the fighting amongst the soldiers.
  • Ghost Amnesia: After becoming a ghost, the Commander has completely forgotten who they were and how they died, due to how traumatic their death by Balthazar was.
  • Hero Protagonist: Most definitely.
  • Heroic Fatigue: The Commander starts getting thoroughly worn out as the state of the world gets worse and worse. However, they seem to have managed to overcome this feeling and are doing marginally better, returning to their normal selves by the start of the Icebrood Saga.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: In the Knight of the Thorn side story (which happens between Heart of Thorns and Living World Season 3), a short story about the Commander is told during the fight against the Remnant of a Hero. The story states that there was a hero (the Commander) who had wanted to save the world and thought they could if they tried hard enough, but as the world just kept getting worse and worse as they fought, they couldn't even save themselves from the doubt that plagued them. This was solidified in Living World Season 3 where all the insecurities and guilt manifested itself and revealed how lowly the Commander thought themselves as.
    The hero sought to save the world.
    "If I keep trying, I'll be able to win," the hero thought.
    But the harder the hero fought, the further the world seemed to tumble away.
    Drowning in doubt, the hero could not even save themselves.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: In Heart of Thorns, a Sylvari Commander is not exempt from the mounting distrust towards Sylvari as more and more of them join Mordremoth.
  • Hey, You!: Never is the Commander referred to by their name (the name the player gives them upon character creation). Instead they are always referred to by their current title. Most commonly, 'Commander' or sometimes the 'Hero of Tyria'.
  • Hurting Hero: Despite their heroism and the many good things they've done, they suffer from a lot of tragedy, guilt, and backlash from the things they've done. It gets taken Up to Eleven during the mission, One Path Ends, during the Commander's trials to get into the Shining Blade. It is revealed that they are constantly bombarded by inner demons and insecurities about past decisions they made and inwardly berate themselves for it, which just enhances the fact that they're a Broken Ace.
    <Character Name>: Inner demons? Believe me, I'm bombarded by them every day.
    • Reprised in the Icebrood Saga where they're tormented by the malicious whispers of their friends (conjured by Jormag). They seem irritated enough by this that they shout at the voices to stop.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Sometimes, the Commander has to make increasingly hard decisions which might seem bad at the time, and people may even bash them for this but will probably work out for the better in the long run. Most notably, defending the Elder Dragons from Balthazar to save the world from imploding from unbound magic despite the Elder Dragons still being a force to be reckoned with.
  • Invincible Hero: Rarely loses a fight, and is capable of turning the tide of battles single-handedly.
    • This is averted to Not So Invincible After All after they were repeatedly defeated and later killed by Balthazar, but it still says a lot that the only real fight where the Commander decisively lost was against the God of War himself.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: The Commander, regardless of what race and where they began their journey, starts out as a rather enthusiastic adventurer who eventually starts fighting the forces of evil of the Elder Dragons. They crack a lot more jokes and seem to be having a good time at whatever they're doing, especially when they first joined the Order of their choice and bonded with their mentor. However, as the story progresses, the Commander starts getting more and more mellowed out by some of the tragic events around them. By Path of Fire, they appear more tired and seems less enthusiastic as they once were. They don't respond to attempts at humor as often, are very serious, and they are considerably more irritable, even scornfully sarcastic at times. It's clear that the deaths of their friends, (their mentor, Trahearne, Eir, and various others) and the weight of saving the world are starting to have a heavy stressful toll on them. Not to mention they rarely talk about their feelings or have anyone to talk to about this, they don't even have time to feel sorry for themselves.
    <Character Name>: Listen carefully, friend. I'm here to kill the god of war. Don't think I won't swat any flies that get in my way.
  • Kill the God: The Commander is the one to land the killing blow on Balthazar, the God of War and Fire.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: According to the story revealed in Living World Season 3, the Commander has a myriad of cats and kittens alike back home, which are now taken care of by M.O.X. once he has been invited to come home with the Commander. The Commander has adopted and fed every single hungry cat they had met across Tyria, filling their homes with the felines, meaning that they are probably very fond of cats. It's already a given that the Commander is one of the kindest people to ever exist at this time, but they also like cats quite a lot.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: While not unkind to the people they work with, the Commander has obviously become very tired Post-Heart of Thorns. They always seem expecting something to go wrong and rarely seem surprised when things do. It wouldn't be a far of a stretch to say that they might have already given up, but they just can't because they know they're the only ones who can solve the issues, even if they may get worse.
  • Like a Son to Me: If the Commander joins the Vigil, Forgal tells them that they were the kid they never had.
  • Master Actor: On multiple occasions, being able to completely act in whatever infiltration mission they gone on. Whether it is disguising themselves as just your average pirate or pretending to be a highly respected member of Joko's Awakened Army, the Commander seems to be able to act their way into anything. Sometimes they get a little too into it.
  • Mama Bear / Papa Wolf: The Commander was aggressively protective of Glint's Egg and almost refused to part ways with it once they were reunited with it until they knew it was absolutely safe. They also had a hard time forgiving Caithe who had stolen the egg from them. By that extent, the Commander is also highly protective of Aurene, who hatched from the egg, whom they also bonded to become a sort of parent to.
    • The Commander is the epitome of this when Taimi gets kidnapped by Palawa Joko in Living World Season 4, the Commander drops everything they're doing to hurry and rescue her. It says a lot that up until she is saved, they are unusually terse with their words, sparing the few said words to try press on and find her.
  • Mind Rape: If the Commander is a Sylvari in the Heart of Thorns arc, Mordremoth has a constant hold on their minds whether they like it or not; his whispers try to persuade them to join him and 'find peace'. They keep resisting it, but they are constantly bombarded by his influence at any given moment. The Commander gets stunned or even collapses from the strength of the influence. The scary thing is that if Canach/Caithe hadn't been with the Commander during the final fight against Mordremoth, the Commander was overwhelmed by Mordremoth's presence would have given and their mind would finally be in Mordremoth's grasp.
    • Commander experiences this (again, if Sylvari) in the Icebrood Saga, but in a different way. Instead of an oppressive voice like Modremoth, Jormag is patiently manipulating and warping the Commander's perspective, changing their will and point of view so then, the Commander would turn and join it's side.
  • Mirror Match: In the first chapter of the final act in Path of Fire (The Departing), the Commander has to fight ghosts who have stolen their appearance and name.
    • They also fight themselves during the Knight of the Thorn sidestory, the aptly named Remnant of a Hero.
    • There's many chances to fight yourself in the Elonian Riverlands. There's a small chance that a Legendary Crazed Doppelganger will appear to hunt you down, but also the boss Branded Josso Essher in the Elonian Riverlands, who spawns a bunch of player doppelgangers of anyone whose fighting it, meaning there's a chance a doppelganger of your character will also appear to fight you.
    • During the fight against the Whisper of Jormag the Commander gets dragged into a fight against a corrupted version of themselves, after falling to them, with Jormag trying to reason with them.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Has stated multiple times that they're not afraid to die,even after their death. In fact they seem willing to die again if it was for the greater good, even if it meant getting flung back in the horrible afterlife they experienced and staying there permanently.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Commander has done everything they could to try make the world a little bit more livable. However, due to unforeseen consequences, the world has undoubtedly gotten way worse since the Commander started "fixing" things.
  • One-Man Army: The Commander is a very proficient soldier, being able to live as long as they have. They are able to take on hordes of enemies and survive without breaking a sweat. Best seen in the final battle against Balthazar, where they climb and traverse through hordes of both Branded and Forge enemies before reaching Balthazar.
  • Parental Substitute: To Aurene. It has been said that the Commander sees Aurene like their daughter.
  • Player Character: In case it wasn't clear, this all-around hero is you.
  • Playing with Fire: If the Commander happens to be an Elementalist, fire is one of their elemental attunements. Also, if the Commander is a Warrior with a Berserker build, where they light themselves ablaze in combat with the torch.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Almost every conflict the Commander gets involved with comes with a high price and ends up having terrible consequences in the long run. Kill Zhaitan? Many of your friends and your own mentor died. The other dragons absorb his magic and become even more powerful. Kill Scarlet Briar and end the assault on Lion's Arch? Too bad, she managed to awaken Mordremoth anyway. Kill Mordremoth? Trahearne dies with him, and the world is thrown so off-balance that killing another Elder Dragon would destroy everything. Kill Balthazar before he can kill Kralkatorrik? Kralkatorrik absorbs Balthazar's magic and grows in power even further. Suddenly Aurene, the world's only hope to solve the magic crisis, flies off and no one knows where she is. When finally Aurene is safe, killing Balthazar has also allowed the horrifying lich Palawa Joko to break free from his prison, and launch a full-on invasion on Tyria to get revenge at the Commander. Joko is dead? Poor Aurene is getting hunted by Krakkatoik who had somehow went into the mists and Aurene has run away due to visions of different futures of her dying. Now the good friend Taimi is dying of an illness and there's nothing you can do it. Also, how's that survivor's guilt over losing Blish? Fun part is that even though it's really not your fault because you didn't know...but it kinda is.
  • Prestigious Player Title: The very fact that they're most popularly known as 'The Commander'. Even Nenah in the Domain of the Lost says that if more than one spirit had stolen their name that it must've been a prestigious one. They are also known by other prestigious titles such as the 'Hero of Tyria' or the 'Dragon Killer/Slayer'.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: As the second-in-command of the Pact, the Commander is a fair and even-handed leader who cares very much for the lives of the people under their command.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: After Destiny's Edge and Trahearne are taken by Mordremoth, the Commander leads their own party to rescue them and restore the Pact, all the way through the Maguuma Jungle.
    • Happens again in the final act of Path of Fire where the Commander rushes to save Aurene from Balthazar's clutches before he uses her to kill Kralkatorrik.
    • Happens yet again in Living World Season 4 to rescue Taimi who has been kidnapped and held hostage by Palawa Joko.
  • Sadistic Choice: Often has to make choices between these and having to choose the one that hurts the least.
    • The most noteworthy sadistic choice is the choice between killing an Elder Dragon and risking the world's destruction, or saving the Elder Dragon despite the fact they are still a force to be reckoned with. Not only are these both undesirable choices, the Commander had to make this decision, where the whole entire world rests on their shoulders, on the spot. They chose the latter of course, to preserve the world and a chance to find some other way to 'defeat' the Elder Dragons, but it still doesn't come without consequences..
    • A particularly sadistic choice the Commander had to make was in the aptly named side story, Burden of Choice, between giving the Shadowstone to the Consortium for a shady liquid, or using a bloodstone artifact on themselves to cure the troubling hallucinations/visions they are bothered by. None of the actions are really favorable; it's either give a shady organization a potentially dangerous artifact, or use the same artifact on yourself. Not an easy decision. There isn't really a third option to just let the visions persist because their severity will undoubtedly get worse.
  • Samaritan Syndrome: Starts out very eager to help fight the fight against the Elder Dragons and to help people along the way, but eventually gets worn out by their constant attempts to try help everybody and to keep the world safe, which have become much more complex than it was at first. The Commander practically has no time to take a breather as the world is always in constant crisis since so much rests on their shoulders
  • Supporting Protagonist: The Commander starts out as this. By the start of Path of Fire however, they're effectively promoted to the main protagonist.
  • Survivor Guilt: Experiences this when Vlast sacrifices himself to save them from Balthazar's attack, audibly being torn up about it.
    • Happens again with Blish's death. They were vocally torn up about it and it's very likely they blame themselves for it.
    • Jormag's manipulative whispers in the Icebrood Saga seem to imply that the Commander yet again blame themselves for more deaths, particularly Almorra's.
  • Team Dad/Team Mom: Occasionally acts like this for Dragon's Watch. Justified as they've been on many adventures before them and have a lot of experience under their belt. They keep their guildmates in line and do their best to solve inner conflict, even to seasoned warriors like Rytlock.
    Kasmeer: This place...its incredible! The scrolls, the books- there's so much!
    Rytlock: Eh. It's no Black Citadel.
    <Character Name>: Rytlock.
    Rytlock: Yeah, yeah, I know. Respect. Show it.
  • The Corruption: The Sylvari Commander goes through this during Heart of Thorns. They manage to overcome it in the end, but they had shown signs of giving in to Modremoth's influence.
    • A slow, different version of this. The Icebrood Saga has Jormag subtly manipulating and warping the Commander's perspective in hopes that they would eventually change sides and serve Jormag.
  • Talking to Themself: Ever since the Commander had the ability to talk in the open world they often talked to themselves as a way for the player to know what they're thinking.
    • If the Commander is a Revenant, they are constantly hearing the voices of the legends they are channeling. Sometimes, they have idle conversations with them, some friendly and some malicious, but from an outside point of view, it probably looks like they're just talking to themselves.
    • In the Icebrood Saga, the Commander started irritably telling off Jormag's whispers whenever it pushed them to frustration, though to others, it looked like the Commander was talking to themself.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Although not as obvious as Canach is, the Commander's personality took a slight shift to this starting in Living World Season 3 and started progressively getting worse from then onwards. Fairly apparent in Path of Fire and even more so in Living World Season 4. In addition to being more irritable and hurried, they've also become a little more sarcastic in a negative way. They seem to become less sarcastic by the time the Icebrood Saga comes around, however.
  • True Companions: Ends up this way with Braham, Rox, Kasmeer, Marjory, Taimi, and Canach. By some extent, they are this with Aurene.
    • If the Commander is a Ranger, they are this with their pets, who will always follow their every step and command.
    • The Commander seems to have done this with their mounts as well. The mounts also obediently follow their owner with no repercussions, even into certain death. With the new Mastery in Living World Season 4 Episode 2, the Commander can even share their own life with their mounts.
    • Even if they're not a Ranger, if the Commander is a Sylvari, they are able to call upon a Sylvan Hound as an Elite Skill to help them in combat, due to their strong bonds with these creatures.
  • The Champion: They are the one chosen to become Aurene's Champion.
  • The Charmer: Potentially this, if you happen to chose 'Charm' as your personality type or just choosing one of the 'Charm' dialogue options when given an opportunity.
  • The Comically Serious: Has some shades of this at certain times. Especially if the Commander is an Asura, who is this by nature.
  • The Dragonslayer: Has personally slain dragons, including Elder Dragons.
  • The Hero: Most definitely. Even if they aren't thought of that by some.
  • The Leader: Averted, since they were only the second-in-command (Commander) for the Pact, but they do end up making a lot of crucial decisions and leading. They are promoted to one after they become the leader of their own guild, Dragon's Watch.
  • The Scapegoat: Even though they have always done the best they could to make things right, it doesn't exclude them from being blamed for things they had no control over. They are one to Ceera, who blames them for the death of their husband, Tonn, and most recently, they are one to Braham, who holds a grudge towards the Commander for many reasons, mostly the defending of Elder Dragons, even though the Commander had no real choice. In both instances, the Commander makes no effort to try make excuses and just quietly accepts the blame. Thankfully, Braham finally apologizes to the Commander, easing their burden, if just a little.
  • The Stoic: Despite having plenty of personality, the Commander ever rarely shows strong emotions. Even on the very rare occasion they do, it's fairly muted. This is probably let the player decide how the Commander feels, but it often feels like the Commander doesn't want to show any strong emotion.
    • Not So Stoic: Starts to show shades of this in Living World Season 4, A Star to Guide Us. This marks the first time the Commander actually grows close to crying over Blish's death and their inability to have prevented it. Hearing the Commander beg Blish not to die was heartbreaking. Not the mention what's happening to Taimi. The Commander was said to have been seen crying by Rytlock after Aurene was killed.
  • Thinking Out Loud: Ever since Hearts of Thorns came out and introduced a new method of dialogue being delivered and allowed the player character to speak in the open world, the Commander now does a lot of this.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Takes this one step further if the Commander is a Sylvari by killing their creator, Mordremoth.
  • Younger Than They Look: If the Commander is a Sylvari, they are this. Due to the nature of Sylvari being born an adult and gaining knowledge about the world through previous Sylvari who had existed, they look and act to be in their mid-twenties or higher, however, in reality, they are only about eight years old (by The Icebrood Saga).
  • World's Best Warrior: One of Tyria's finest and definitely one of the strongest, if not the strongest people to exist at this time. No one else has the incredible amount of achievements under their belt: Defeating two Elder Dragons, a Mursaat, the former God of War, etc.

Elementalists harness the power of the four elements—water, earth, fire, and air—to cast powerful spells. Their ability to change their elemental attunement midcombat is versatile but difficult to master.

In Heart of Thorns max level elementalists can begin training to become Tempests allowing them to use Warhorns and shout skills and giving them more AOE capabilities and very strong support capabilities.

In Path of Fire max level elementalists can begin training to become Weavers, a high damage Magic Knight that weaves elements together to create new elemental abilities and uses swords and stances.


  • An Ice Person: Water Attunement has a mix of water and ice based attacks.
  • Blow You Away: Air attunement features a mix of both this and electricity base attacks.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: It's even in the profession's official in game description. While Elementalists can only run one weapon set compared to other classes running two sets, Elementalist can swap elemental attunements to change all of the weapon skills on the fly, effectively giving them 20 weapon skills to keep track of rather than 10. In addition it has the lowest health and armor in game.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Earth Attunement.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: Elementalists can swap between casting Fire, Water, Air and Earth spells on a whim.
  • Glass Cannon: An elementalist built to do damage is the single squishiest thing in the game.
  • Infinity +1 Element: Arcane is a type of utility skills Elementalists have access to. They always critically strike but they can't select it as a dedicated attunement.
  • Healing Hands: Water attunement spells tend to either chill enemies, or heal the Elementalist and their allies.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Elementalist. They can build to do top tier damage at the expense of all survivability, and top tier healing at the expense of all damage, and anywhere in between.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Rebound is the Tempest elite skill. It's a shout buff they apply to themselves and allies. If anyone with the buff falls below 0 hit points they stay alive and receive a massive heal.
  • Limit Break: Tempest Overloads. If tempests stay attuned to an element for an extended period of time they can overload the attunement for a powerful AOE effect at the cost of a heavy cooldown that can potentially lock them out of the attunement. Weaver Duel Skills require combining specific elemental combos for powerful attacks but you need to combine the proper elements to get the skills you want to use.
  • Magic Knight: Weavers can use swords in the main hand and get close and personal with enemies, striking them with both elementally enhanced sword strokes and other magic spells with their offhand.
  • Making a Splash: While in Water Attunement.
  • Playing with Fire: While in Fire Attunement.
  • Red Mage: Elementalists can swap from primarily dealing damage to primarily healing with a push of a button. But they can primarily dedicate themselves to damage or support, leaving them almost completely ineffectual in the other categories or build into a Jack-of-All-Trades role.
  • Stance System: Elemental Attunements functionally work like this.
  • Summon Magic: Elementalists can conjure powerful elemental weapons for themselves and allies to use, as well as minions. Though compared to Necromancers they are short in duration and will ultimately expire.
  • Super Empowering: Conjure Weapons are an elementalist exclusive utility class that allows elementalists to create temporary weapons that give them a completely new set of skills and creates one for their allies to use as well. While there are a lot of ways to enhance ally capabilities in combat, this is the only class ability that gives them completely new skills they would otherwise not have access to.
  • Super Mode: Weaver Self, the weaver elite skill. Once activated they imbue their very bodies to obtain the qualities of the elements they cycle through. If they cycle through all the elements the skills says they can become The Ultimate Being and they gain all of the empowerment for an extended period of time.
  • Weather Manipulation: Elementalist has a lot of this in it's core abilities but tempest really goes all in on this.

Masters of mechanical mayhem, engineers love to tinker with explosives, elixirs, and all manner of hazardous gadgets. They can take control of an area by placing turrets, support their allies with alchemic weaponry, or lay waste to foes with a wide array of mines, bombs, and grenades. Engineers are jacks-of-all-trades and, with enough time, masters of many. Able to bring dozens of abilities and toolbelt skills to a fight, their art is in choosing the right one to utilize at the perfect time.

In Heart of Thorns max level engineers gain access to the Scrapper, a bruiser specialization that uses Gyro drones and hammer. They can gain Fuction Gyro, which allows them to multitask abilities like reviving allies and finishing off weakened opponents.

In Path of Fire max level engineers gain access to Holosmith, a high risk high reward specialization that uses hard light projections to deal very high damage. They gain access to Photon Forge mode, which allows them to use unique skills. Photon Forge builds up heat, and if they spend too long in this mode the Holosmith will explode dealing massive damage to themselves. They gain access to Swords and Exceed skills that become stronger the more heat they've built up.


  • Alchemy Is Magic: Averted. Engineers do not use proper magic the way other classes do and instead run on the power of science. Engineers have access to Elixir skills and the Elixir's traitline that do provide a variety of real benefits to themselves and allies.
  • Attack Drone: Scrappers have access to Gyros, which are attack drones that can do a variety of things such as heal, deflect damage, explode, shred, and stealth.
  • Blown Across the Room: Engineers have access to more abilities that blow enemeis away than any other class, from rifle skills to Big Ol' Bomb to Prime Light Beam.
  • Badass Normal: No magical fire balls, no zombies, no shadow stepping, no holy powers. Just guns, bombs, turrets, and whatever else they can create with technology.
  • Drop the Hammer: Scrapper gain this as their unique specialization weapon.
  • The Engineer: Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Engineers using Flamethrower Kit.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Create bombs, turrets, grenades, elixirs, drones, and even a hard light emitter.
  • Guns Akimbo: Engineers can dual wield pistols. It's a heavy condition damage set up.
  • The Gunslinger: Core engineers can only use rifles and pistols (Along with shields) which is unique among the classes. If they want to use anything else they have to Elite Specialize to use it.
  • Hard Light: Holosmith is built entirely around this. They can summon giant swords, hammers, even guns.
  • Hollywood Acid: Elixir Gun shoots highly corrosive acid that can do massive damage.
  • Laser Blade: Holosmiths get one of these as a unique skill they can unlock and use.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Engineers have a healing skill called A.E.D. (automated external defibrillator). Using it provides minor healing but if they are reduced to 0 hit points while the effect is active they receive a HUGE amount of health that restores them pretty must straight to full health.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Core engineers can opt to run shields along side pistols. It gives them weird magnetic effects that reflect projectiles and can stun foes with static electricity.
  • Mad Bomber: Grenades and bombs are specific kits they can equip.
  • Magical Defibrillator: A.E.D. If the Engineer is reduced to 0 hit points while it's active it cures sword wounds, bullet wounds, magical wounds, being on fire.
  • The Medic: Engineers using the Med Kit skill can leave out med kits that heal allies that run over them. Scrappers can also revive allies very easily with Fuction Gyro.
  • Overheating: Holosmith's Photon Forge gives you tremendous damage capabilities but poses a danger of overheating and exploding.
  • Rocket Boots: The utility skill rocket boots gives engineers a literally explosive boost of speed.
  • Rocket-Powered Weapon: Scrappers with their hammers.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: While it can be used at farther range, several skills demand that you are in your enemy's face to get the most out of them.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: While Warriors have a more standard infantry take when wielding rifles, deadeyes have a sniper take with them, Engineer Rifle is far more shot gun focused with several abilities having increased effectiveness at close range such as blowing enemies even further away and doing more damage at point blank range.
  • Stone Wall: Scrappers in particular can become incredibly difficult to take down at the expense of doing almost no damage. Hammmer in particular for scrappers is almost entirely defensive. Aside from the Auto Attack chain the other skills a projectile reflect, an evade, a block, and a lightning field that stuns. During Path of Fire Scrappers got a rework that allowed them to stack tons of barrier on top of their inherent ability to face tank, on top of hammer's active defensive skills making them the single hardest build in the game to kill.
  • Stun Lock: With their top tier burst damage and access to easy to use blow out skills Holosmiths are one of the few classes that can truly do this to an unprepared opponent.
  • The Turret Master: Turrets are a type of utility skill they can deploy. Pretty self explanatory.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Prime Light Beam, the Holosmith's unique elite skill creates a huge hard light gun that produces a truly massive laser.


Guardians are devoted fighters who protect their allies and smite their enemies by drawing from the power of their virtues. Guardians gain powerful personal enhancements from their virtues, which they can briefly expend to aid friends or damage foes. Formidable on their own, guardians shine brightest in the company of allies.

In Heart of Thorns max level guardians can train to become Dragon Hunter. Dragonhunter gains the ability to use a longbow and trap skills. Virtues also become more physical when activated, manifesting as a spear of immobilizing light, wings that convey the Dragonhunter to a target destination, or a wall-shield to block enemy attacks.

In Path of Fire max level guardians can train to become Firebrands. Firebrands trade their virtues for Tomes, which allow them to summon ancient books allowing them to wield powerful offensive, healing, and defensive capabilities. They also learn Mantras, which each have 3 charges, with the last being more powerful than the previous two. They wield an axe in their main hand.


  • Achilles' Heel: Great damage, great healing, sturdy, lots of ways to completely cancel out incoming damage and support capabilities. What's not to love? It's their speed. Guardians are the slowest moving class in the game.
  • Badass Bookworm: Firebrands use ancient tomes to unlock unique damaging and support skills.
  • Barrier Warrior: Guardian, Dragon Hunter and Firebrand all have a variety of skills that create safe bubbles that protect their enemies from harm.
  • Burn Baby Burn: Guardians don't have access to a wide variety of conditions. But when they want to go condition they can stack lots and lots of burning. Firebrands if geared correctly and built correctly are the kings of guardian burn damage in particular.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Guardian spells are a crisp clean looking light blue in color.
  • Cool Sword: Sword of Justice is a guardian utility skill that summons a magical holy sword to attack enemies. Procession of Blades is a Dragon Hunter trap that summons three of these blades that spin on the ground like blender doing massive damage. This is also obtainable as usable weapon in game called Foefire's Essence for a fairly expensive crafting cost.
  • Drop the Hammer: Guardians can use hammers as a CC+area control weapon set. Mighty Blow is a guardian attack that has a big wind up and massive damage. Guardians frequently combo this by precasting Mighty Blow and right as the skill is about to finish use Judges Intervention to teleport onto an unspecting enemy for massive damage.
  • Healing Hands: Guardians are able to heal and revive downed allies. The Firebrand elite specialization is the pinnacle of guardian support in PvE and PvP.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Save Yourselfs is a Guardian shout that pulls conditions from allies onto the guardian.
  • Light 'em Up: They summon pure light to chain their enemies and smite them.
  • Light Is Good: Averted. Guardians do not need to be good people to wield guardian magic and evil villainous guardians, even guardian bandits and Risen Guardians, do exist.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Dragon Hunters can use Longbows which is a long range siege type weapon for them. They also have traps for when enemies manage to close the gap on them. Of course nothing prevents Dragon Hunters from getting right into the thick of melee combat either.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Guardians can use shields which creates a giant protective bubble. They can even summon magical shields to protect themselves and their allies.
  • Magic Knight: Gameplay wise they are the typical high fantasy paladin, blending strong armor, heavy weapon strikes, and healing magic.
  • Mage Marksman: Dragon Hunters shoot White Magic out of their longbows.
  • Mighty Glacier: Guardians of all sorts are one of if not the lowest mobility classes in the game. In PvP while they have a couple of ways to get in range of a target it's far less than other melee orientated classes like Warrior, Mesmer, Revenant, Holosmith, and especially thief. And their gap close abilities only work when they have an enemy they can blink onto meaning they're useless as out of combat mobility skills unlike Mesmer's Blink and Thieve's Shadowstep. Nonetheless when they do reach their target that can bring down immense smiting pressure.
  • Opposites Attract: In PvP this is the Firebrand and Scourge combo in a nutshell. Firebrands are all about healing, protecting allies, giving them tons of boons which block attacks and ignore C Cs but deals almost no damage. Flavorwise, it's one of the most holy feeling specs in the game. Scourges are a necromancer specialization all about dealing condition damage, corrupting boons and huge swaths of land, but it is vulnerable lacking blocks, evades, stability and is vunerable to being focused fired down. Flavor wise it's one of the most unholy builds in the game. Together they become the best team fighting combination in the game and defined Path of Fire PvP.
  • The Paladin: While lacking any traditional religious following, guardians are Guild Wars 2's paladin archetype, heavy armor and weapons capable of diving into the thick of things with tons of defensive magic, healing and support capabilities as well as the ability to smite evil.
  • Pillar of Light: Ray of Judgement is a guardian focus skill that summons a beam of light from above to attack and enemy, sticking to them doing prolonged damage over time.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Wings of Resolve is a Dragon Hunter skill that summons wings that allow the Dragon Hunter to leap towards a targeted location, healing themselves and their allies in said location.
  • Status Buff: All guardians are good at that, but Firebrand support is especially good at this. In terms of uniqueness guardians are the kings of Ao E stability, a buff that absorbs crowd control effects.
  • Stone Wall: Support Firebrands in PvP. With all the blocks, protection, reflects and a wealth of condition cleanses and resistance, a boon that let' players completely ignore the impact of all conditions on them, support Firebrand is a very sturdy build in PvP. Not only this, they effectively share their defensiveness with their allies.
  • Trap Master: Dragon Hunters. While thieves and rangers both have traps, Dragon Hunter traps are extremely potent magical effects and outshine both Thief and Ranger traps in PvE and PvP.
  • White Magic: Guild Wars 2 never goes into the specifics of where guardian magic comes from. It's not from the human gods as all classes can use it. Even undead in Orr can use guardian spells as well as unscrupulous bandits and White Mantle. But nontheless it still functions as this.

Masters of magical misdirection, mesmers create and shatter clones and illusions of themselves in battle. Mesmers rely on evasion and subterfuge requiring finesse and practice to perfect.

In Heart of Thorns max level mesmers can train to become Chronomancers which control time. They can equip shields for increased defensive and supportive capability, and gain abilities to alter their allies' skill cooldowns with an effect called "alacrity" and slow down their enemies actions and increase their cooldowns.

In Path of Fire max level mesmers can train to become Mirages. They wield an axe in their mainhand, and give up their ability to dodge for the Mirage Cloak, which allows them to avoid hits without interrupting their actions or requiring a dedicated dodge roll. They specialize in Deception magic.


  • Achilles' Heel: Mesmers have a complicated relationships with their clones. On one hand your clones being attacked is better than you being attacked. On the other hand if all your clones get destroyed that leaves mesmers out of fuel for their most powerful skills. Compared to other 1v1 builds in PvP, Condition Mirage is the lowest when it comes to self healing compared to Soul Beast, Spellbreaker, Weaver and Holosmith, so if a fight starts going poorly they have no choice but to abandon point and flee if they hope to reheal.
  • An Axe to Grind: Mirages get this as their unique weapon. It involves a lot of twirling and can send out homing phantasmal axes at enemies.
  • Animal Motifs: Many mesmer skills have purple ethereal butterflies emanate off of them.
  • Attack Reflector: Mesmers stand out as having the highest access to projectile reflection in the entire game.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Signet of Humility is an elite skill that when used turn the target into an extremely vulnerable Moa Bird for 6 seconds. Back in Heart of Thorns Chronomancers would frequently use continuum Split to double cast Signet of Humility for 12 seconds of polymorph.
  • BFS: Mesmers can use greatswords. However rather than slashing opponents they use them as foci to shoot purple laser beams at enemies.
  • Blade Spam: Or Magic Missile Storm, or More Dakka, or Rain of Arrows, not just for the mesmer but anyone boosted by Chronomancer's Quickness and Alacrity.
  • Burn Baby Burn: Mesmers have access to limited but potent bursts of burn damage with their Torch Skills. Staff has access to burning but it's randomized.
  • Colour Codedfor Your Convenience: Their spells are purple because Supernatural Is Purple.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Mesmers don't fight fair, and use their illusion magic to sabotage foes rather than fight them head on.
  • Confusion Fu: They create clones to disrupt enemy attempts to attack them, they teleport spam, they can turn invisible. On top of that their primary damage dealing ability, shatters, have comparatively little visual tells compared to other high impact skills making them harder to read and predict. They even have more access to literal confusion, a damaging condition that does damage when opponents use skills, than all the other classes combined.
  • Cool Mask: Mesmers get a choice of three when they create their character though it's optional what kind of head gear they'll chose to use in terms of appearance, if any.
  • Counter-Attack: Mesmers have a few of this. Most hilarious is Phantasmal Defender, which before being nerfed in PvP could one shot players if it absorbed enough hits.
  • Decoy Getaway: Masters of this. They even have a skill called Decoy that turns the mesmer invisible and creates a clone in their place.
  • Dual Wielding: Mesmers can duel wield swords.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Mesmer clones will attack enemies, though they do almost zero damage. Mesmer can shatter their clones to do a variety of unique skills including high damage, destroying the clones in the process. Phantasms do unique high powered special attacks but look like purple spectral versions of the mesmer. Mirage however, can give their clones access to extremely potent ambush attacks getting far more value from them damage wise.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Mesmers confusion enemies with clones and phantasmal copies of themselves.
  • Energy Weapon: A few mesmer skills but Greatswords do this on Autoattack. Mirage's Greatsword Abush Skill allows the greatsword beam to hit 3 targets at once, and with clones can have twelve separate laser beams blasting across the battleground.
  • Glass Cannon: While mesmers can build to be super defensive or combine a balanced mix of the two, power greatsword mesmers are unique in having an extremely potent and reliable combo that can kill other players in the span of a single global cooldown.
  • Gravity Is Purple: Gravity well, the chronomancer's elite skill is purple like all mesmer skills.
  • Guile Hero: The win fights with a mix of their own skill and using their illusion magic to sabotage enemies.
  • Intangibility: Mirage no longer physically dodge roll to evade attacks but becoming intangible for a moment allowing attacks to pass through them while the mirage continue attacking. Mirage cloak also allows for unique ambush attacks that make special use of the mirage's intanibility.
  • Invisibility: Mesmers are only behind Thieves in terms of their access to stealth. Veil and Mass Invisibility are especially notable for their party wide application of stealth.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Phantasmal Defender does this after it was reworked. It taunts enemies and enters a blocking stance. After a few seconds it leaves the blocking stance and explodes. It does exponentially more damage based on how many times it blocks skills. After the rework this skill was hilariously over tuned and could OHKO players.
  • Last Stand: Not for themselves, but mesmers can cast a skill called Illusion of Life on their allies that are in the downstate. This puts them back on their feet and out of downstate, able to use skills like normal. If Illusion of Life runs out they go back into downstate. If they score a kill while the have Illusion of Life they fully revive.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Chronomancers get shields which they can use to block and summon phantasms that provide protection and slow enemy skill actions. They can also freeze enemies in time with them.
  • Magic Knight: Despite all their skills channeling illusion magic of some sort, mesmers are perfectly capable of wading into the fray and using their spells, blurs and swordsmanship skills to defeat opponents.
  • Mage Marksman: Pistol skills operate on magic, shooting magic bullets that bounce between targets and phantasms that wield Guns Akimbo.
  • Magic Staff: Generally disliked in PvE due to it's low damage, it's instead been a staple of PvP due to it's unique mobility allowing skilled and knowedgable players to perform all sorts of unique blinks in hard to reach areas on low cooldowns as well as it's debuffing potential.
  • Magikarp Power: While mesmers aren't as brutal to level as they used to be (And they really used to be), they're still behind the curve compared to other classes. But once they hit 80, learn Chronomancer, and go through perhaps the hardest gearing processes, they become godly supports welcome in any group with their boons capable of doubling a party's damage which is leagues more useful than just throwing another damage dealer onto the party.
  • Master of Disguise: Lore wise Mesmers are capable of using illusions to do this, though player characters can't.
  • Master of Illusion: The Mesmer's unique niche. They create clones and phantasmal copies of themselves to disrupt enemy attempts to target them, they can turn invisible, they can deal confusion damage inside enemy minds.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Clones to deceive enemies, that they can self destruct for a variety of effects, phantasms that attack then become clones, stealth and teleports to make those clones more convincing, some of the most powerful skills having little to do with direct damage, confusion to make enemies hurt themselves. Mesmers are like nothing else in Guild Wars 2.
  • Mind Rape: A variety of mesmer skills make it clear this is what they're doing, like Mind Wrack as well as various conditions they apply like Confusion and Torment. Phantasms lore wise only exist in the mind of the victim.
  • The Minion Master: Despite not having typical "minions", rather illusions, mesmers ultimately play like this in terms of their actual gameplay. Summoning illusions to swarm enemies and overwhelm them. Sacrificing them for various effects. Summoning more powerful minions with special attacks on heavier cooldowns.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: While Mesmer has access to various blurs and distortions to avoid attacks special mention has to be given to Mirages with Mirage Cloak which is Intangibility on demand and standing still or even sleeping while attacks pass through you is about as nonchalant as it gets. Mirage is unique in that it is the only class in the game that can dodge while stunned. Can't move? Literally flying through the air from an enemy attack and can't do anything? Mirage can still dodge. They can trait to break stuns when they dodge instead of just evading attacks while still in the stun animation.
  • One-Hit Kill: After the Phantasm rework in early 2018 several mesmer skills were capable of doing this, most notably Phantasmal Defender and Phantasmal Disenchanter. They were heavily nerfed in PvP since then.
  • Power Copying: Several phantasms use spells and abilities from other classes with the mesmer's own unique spin on them.
  • Random Effect Spell: While Guild Wars 2 generally avoids this, mesmer is unique in having more of this than any other class. Staff has Winds of Chaos, Chaos Armor and Chaos Storm all of which give random boons to the mesmer and random conditions to enemies. Illusionary Ambush and Axes of Symmetry are Mirage skills which put you somewhere randomly around your target.
  • Sneak Attack: The Prestige is a torch skill where the mesmer disappears for three seconds before reappearing in poof of purple fire. Mirage have access to Ambush Attacks, which become available when they Dodge which are all very powerful special attacks.
  • Spin Attack: Mirage in particular has lots of these on its axe kit.
  • Squishy Wizard: They have medium health but lowest armor. While Mesmers are a lot more flexible in terms of how offensively or defensively they build their characters, this is still a valid way to play the class and it has lots of active evades, blinds, stealths, and invulnerabilities to blow enemies up in safety.
  • Stage Magician: Mesmers in lore frequently evoke this as their aesthetic. Several traits and skills make references to stage magicians.
  • Status Buff: Mesmers have tons of stuff, They can give might, protection, quickness, alacrity, projectile reflection and destruction.
    • Signet of Inspiration made Chronomancers the gods of this, able to pump out near permanent levels of almost every boon in the game. After years of having a stranglehold on the PvE meta Signet of Inspiration was nerfed from copying the mesmer's boons onto allies to only prolonging boons that are already on allies.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: Mesmers also have tons of this. Sword Auto Attack removes boons on it's final hit. They have Null Field which removes conditions from allies and boons from enemies. Arcane Thievery steals three boons from an enemy and throws three conditions from the mesmer onto that enemy. And they have Phantasmal Disenchanter a phantasm that removes 5 boons from an enemy in one attack.
  • Standard Status Effects: Condition Mesmers have access to some of the highest variety of both damage dealing conditions and impairing conditions outside of Necromancers who can edge out Mesmers by corrupting boons into conditions. Of particular note is their access to Confusion which deals damage when enemies cast skills and can be stacked to extremely lethal levels and are the only class in the game with so much confusion damage and permanent confusion uptime. Also of note is torment which does damage to enemies and does double damage if they're actively moving, slow which slows down enemy skill actions, blind which causes the next attack to miss and weakness which causes attacks to glance doing far less damage and reduces endurance regeneration.
  • Stealth Expert: Behind thief, but by no means a slouch in anyway in this regard.
  • Stone Wall: Chronomancers are historically the go to tanks for raiding. This is for a number of reasons. Generally Chronomancers who build their characters to share boons are already sacrificing their damage, so might as well have the Status Buff guy build to just be the tank. Second is Chronomancer with sword and shield gives a wealth of active combat options making them ideal for tanking.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: All mesmer skills are a purple in color.
  • Sword and Gun: A viable option.
  • Teleport Spam: Mesmer has a lot of this, but Mirage takes this to an entirely new level. Mesmers are unique in that their utility skill Portal can be used by allies which allows mesmers to help players skill difficult challenges like Jumping Puzzles and defined Mesmers in PvP until Portal was eventually nerfed.
    • To add to this, Mirages can theoretically run Staff which gives Phase Retreat, Axe which gives Axes of Symmetry, Blink, Illusionary Ambush, Mirage Advance and Jaunt. Mirage Advance gives two teleports. Jaunt gives three teleports and runs on ammo. That's potentially 9 teleports a mesmer can use in a short span of time.
  • Time Master: While core mesmer played a bit with this with the Time Warp elite skill, the Chronomancer elite specialization goes all in on this. It can provide permanent sped up attack speed bonuses and faster cooldown recharges to their allies, slow enemies and lengthen their cooldowns, freeze enemies in time and can use Continuum Split to go back in time allowing them to double cast skills.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Averted. Mesmers don't throw their greatsword when they used Mirror blade. They throw an illusion to make the enemy think they threw their sword.

Necromancers of Tyria are monsters on the battlefield, draining life force from their enemies and entering a death shroud that temporarily grants them powerful abilities and protects them from harm.

In Heart of Thorns necromancers can train to become Reapers. Becoming a reaper grants access to the greatswords, shout skills and an alternative "Reaper's Shroud". Their skills offer slow but powerful damage and crowd control, invoking the style of classic movie monsters and classic Death Knights from other games.

In Path of Fire maximum level necromancers can train to become Scourges. Scourge essentially give up their shroud ability to summon sand wraithes that they can channel abilities through that can either heavily corrupt their enemies or protect their allies with barriers of sand. They use a torch to help them with this. They use Punishments to defeat their enemies.


  • Achilles' Heel: While necromancers have tons of health, especially with death shroud, they don't have a lot of active mitigations that can completely cancel out damage like blocks, reflects, evades, or invulnerabilities to discourage them being focus fired. They are also very susceptible to crowd control effects.
  • Area of Effect: Necromancers, Reapers and Scourges tend to stick to team fights due to their cleave and Area of Effect condition damage. Scourge in particular is the AOE king, with Scourges seeing use in raids on tons of encounters were there are lots of mooks, with their ability to spread conditions on enemies as well as their ability to pulse their Sand Shade abilities around themselves and wherever they've placed their shade.
  • Black Magic: Corruption, spiting, blood magic, soulstealing. Necromancer is pure black magic.
  • Blood Magic: Necromancers have a variety of blood magic, usually coming from the Blood Trait and can even use wells of blood to revive downed allies feeding their spilled block back into them.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Corruption spells inflict negative conditions on the necromancer to inflict even more debilitating conditions on their targets.
  • Chill of Undeath: Reapers gain access to a lot of chill application which gives them increased damage and helps them keep enemies from escaping. The reaper unique elite skill is a huge AOE shout that freezes opponents in blocks of ice.
  • Crutch Character: Minion Master necromancers. Leveling up with them feels like god mode, with minions to provide effortless damage and enemy disruption, the highest possible health, and the ability to switch to a second expendable health bar at a whim. But in higher levels of PvE and PvP minion masters taper out with more active skills giving better results in skilled hands.
  • The Dark Arts: Necromancy.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Despite necromancer having some pretty dark capabilities Necromancer player characters are still heroes.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Scourges use sand to create sand shades, and can use sand to cover enemies in sand providing barrier.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: While not evil, Reaper deliberately evokes this.
  • Feed It with Fire: Necromancers play with conditions in a variety of interesting ways. The can consume conditions on them for additional healing with Consume Conditions. They can convert conditions into beneficial boons with Well of Power. And they can throw them right back in enemy's faces with Plague Signet, Putrid Mark and Deathly Swarm.
  • Horrifying Hero: If the Commander is a Necromancer with the Reaper elite specialization, they're this trope. Hero or not, in the eyes of a Reaper Commander's enemies, they might as well be a horror movie serial killer.
  • An Ice Person: Reapers gain access to a lot of chill application which gives them increased damage and helps them keep enemies from escaping.
  • Implacable Man: Reapers are designed to deliberately evoke unstoppable slasher movie monsters.
  • Life Drain: Necromancers have a variety of vampiric traits in the Blood specialization that siphon life directly. Parasitic contagion is a Curses trait that lets them absorb 10% of their outgoing condition damage as healing. Life Force, the class mechanic, can be thought of as a round about version of this.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Scourge in particular, wants to drop shades on it's enemies at a distance and corrupt them while it safe far away from danger.
  • Mighty Glacier: Reapers. Slow moving, slow striking juggernauts of high damage massive and massive power cleave. Necromancers of all varieties tend to stick to team fights where they can expect support rather than 1v1 in PvP because when things go south such as an enemy jumping into their established 1v1 they don't have the ability to disengage the way warriors, mesmers, and rangers can.
  • The Minion Master: Necromancers with their minions make them a very popular choice to new players and open world PvE. However minions do taper off in effectiveness in higher ends of PvE and PvP as the developers want to incentive's more active skills over passive minions.
  • The Necromancer: Obviously. Though for gameplay purposes player character necromancers don't actively need to kill enemies to create minions.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Necromancers can use minions for all their utility skills running around with a small army of shambling undead horrors.
  • Opposites Attract: In PvP this is the Firebrand and Scourge combo in a nutshell. Firebrands are all about healing, protecting allies, giving them tons of boons which block attacks and ignore C Cs but deals almost no damage. Flavorwise, it's one of the most holy feeling specs in the game. Scourges are a necromancer specialization all about dealing condition damage, corrupting boons and huge swaths of land, but it is vulnerable lacking blocks, evades, stability and is vunerable to being focused fired down. Flavor wise it's one of the most unholy builds in the game. Together they become the best team fighting combination in the game and defined Path of Fire PvP.
  • Pest Controller: Necromancers running Warhorn can summon swarms of locusts to harass nearby enemies.
  • Plaguemaster: Necromancers in general. Scourges in particular push this even further. Epidemic is a skill that copies conditions impacting one enemy onto 5 adjacent enemies for massive cleave.
  • Shoot the Mage First: More than any class, necromancers struggle with this in PvP. Due to being the most high impact, high damage, Area of Effect team fighter in the game whether they're Reaper or Scourge necromancers are frequently the highest priority target.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Necromancer and reaper spells all have this. Scourge on the other hand is more sickly yellow.
  • Sinister Scythe: Reapers gain a massive spectral scythe that they use to cleave enemies when they enter Reaper Shroud.
  • Squishy Wizard: DPS Scourge in particular. While it can cover itself with barrier, basically an overheal mechanic, it's less extra hit points than either Death Shroud or Reaper Shroud. Combine this Necromancer's general struggle with CC and lack of evades, blocks, mobility or invulnerabilities to deal with being focused fired leaves the Scourge feeling very fragile. But when it gets proper support that helps cover it's weaknesses it is a world destroying monster of a team fighter.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: While a variety of classes that can rip or steal boons, Necromancers are the kings of this both in terms of the sheer amount of boon corruption they have, and their unique ability to convert enemy boons into their corresponding condition for additional negative effects.
  • Standard Status Effects: Necromancers of all varieties have access to perhaps more of them than any other class.
  • The Turret Master: While Engineers use actual turrets, Scourges with their Sand Shades also qualify as this, with shades being immobile minions that the scourge can command to pulse various spells through. The Flesh Wurm minion also qualifies as a turret.
  • Your Soul is Mine!: Life force, the class mechanic, is this. They gain life force when using certain attacks and skills and gain large amounts of life force when enemies die. They can use this to fuel their various Shroud abilities and sand shades. The reaper unique heal is literally called Your Soul Is Mine and absorbs a lot of life force directly from enemies.

Rangers tame a variety of pet companions to complement their fighting style. Rounding out their arsenal with traps, nature spirits, and survival skills, they have the tools to take on any type of foe.

In Heart of Thorns rangers can train to become Druids. The Druid as a specialization is Guild Wars 2's first real classic healer. They can wield staffs and temporarily transform themselves into Celestial Avatars capable of healing and sustaining small squads of allies. They learn glyphs that change function whether or not the druid is in Celestial form.

In Path of Fire rangers max level rangers can train to become Soulbeasts. Soulbeasts learn to merge with their pets, not only learning new Stances but some of their pets' skills. They wield a dagger in their main hand.


  • An Axe to Grind: Rangers can Dual Wield axes, though they opt to primarily throw them at enemies.
  • Animal Motifs: Tons of ranger skills specifically evoke animal traits with spell effects showing visible hints of this on various skills like bears with Maul and snakes with Serpents Strike. Soulbeast stances all evoke and provide traits from various animals for a limited period of time.
  • Archer Archetype: Rangers are the only core class in the game that has access to both Longbow and Shortbow as available weapons. And as of Path of Fire none of the elite specializations provide any class with both Longbow and Shortbow either.
  • The Beastmaster: They are able to quickly bond with any juvenile animal they meet and are able to utilize their abilities to aid them in battle. Soulbeasts can merge with their beasts to obtain their attributes and skills.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Rangers don't ever have to worry about ammo. Quivers exist in the game as purely cosmetic back items.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: A valid option as rangers can be deadly in melee combat with one handed and two handed swords.
  • Druid: The Druid specialization. While there are a few options for healers in raids you can pair with a druid such as Support Tempest, Support Firebrand and Support Scourge, that first healer slot is almost always going to go to a druid.
  • Forest Ranger: Several traits and specializations such as Wilderness Survival evoke this.
  • Green Thumb: Several ranger skill and druid skills summon roots from the ground to immobilize their foes.
  • Healing Hands: Druids are a staple of PvE raiding due to their healing and ability to buff allies damage with might while healing.
  • Multi Shot: Shortbow more so than Longbow.
  • Nature Hero: Not just animal companions but calling upon nature magic as well.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted. Ranger bows actually have a slight but noticeable arc to them, and with high ground can hit targets even further beyond their stated range.
  • One-Hit Kill: Soulbeast has the potential to do the most damage with a single skill in game. While in Beastmode any ability that buffs the pet buffs the ranger instead. By using a combo of spells which buff pet damage while in beast mode Soulbeasts can land Worldy Impacts for upwards of 40,000 damage in PvP. Literally nothing can survive being hit by this.
  • Rain of Arrows: Longbow can do this.
  • Spirit Advisor: Rangers have a unique utility type called Spirits that they can summon to offer passive benefits on their skills like more damage or burning. The elite can Ao E resurrect allies.
  • Stealth Expert: Very limited in comparison to Thieves and Mesmers. Even Engineers arguably have more. They still have some, however.
  • Trap Master: Rangers have a variety of traps, Flame Trap, Frost Trap, Spike Trap and Viper Trap.

Revenants invoke the power of legendary heroes from Tyria's past, spending their own energy to channel the abilities used by those figures. They are reliable allies and dangerous enemies.

In Heart of Thorns max level revenants can train to become Heralds, which allows them to channel Glint, the benevolent dragon that rebelled against her masters and sought to protect Tyria instead. Heralds can equip shields to protect and heal allies. Invoking Glint provides access to "facet" skills which provide auras and buffs when first activated, and can be consumed/re-activated to unleash powerful area-of-effect blasts.

In Path of Fire max level revenants can train to become Renegades which allows them to channel Kalla Scorchrazor, the female charr who helped fight the shaman caste and allowed females to fight in warbands once more. They wield a shortbow, summon Kalla's warband members to buff allies, and can tear a fabric in reality to do various attacks.


  • Black Knight: Compared to rugged warriors and shining guardians, stereotypical revenants evoke this. They don't have to though.
  • Blindfolded Vision: Revenants start out with a choice of blindfold to use. Fashion wise they can switch to whatever headgear the player prefers however.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: They can channel Shiro Tagachi and Malyx, two of the most dark and evil characters to ever live, but they aren't evil and can channel more benevolent characters as well.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Revenants are notably the hardest heavy armor class to play, having to juggle energy and cooldowns rather than only being concerned with cooldowns. Juggling legends is also a tricky and difficult part of their class they need to master. Revenants in PvP can do immense team pressure and obliterate foes but are this due to fragility, unusual mechanics, and comparative lack of emergency abilities.
  • Dual Wielding: Revenats can run around with two swords, maces in their mainhand and axes in their offhand.
  • Feed It with Fire: Revenants have several healing skills tat do this. The Glint heal when activated turns all incoming damage into healing. All of it. The Malyx heal heals for more for each condition on the revenant.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Heralds have the option to run shields alongside swords.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Canonically revenants first appeared in lore when Rytlock returned from The Mists in Heart of Thorns. However player characters who role revenant play through the story like normal from the beginning making it kind of jarring when Rytlock comes back and everyone starts talking about his strange never before magic that you've been using along side these characters all game long.
  • Status Buff: Herald provides access to the Glint legend, a benevolent dragon that pulses out tons of buffs to their allies. Renegades are the only class in other than Chronomancer than can reliably give Alacirty to their allies.
  • The Strategist: Revenants that become Renegades can recharge theirs and allies cooldowns faster with tactical prowess.
  • Teleport Spam: Sword revenants can use Unrelenting Assault to blitz enemies with a rush of teleporting sword strikes.
  • The Turret Master: Renegades can summon members of Khalla's warband to provide helpful bonuses to themselves and allies, they function similar to stationary turrets.
  • Willing Channeler: Revenants can radically change their abilities by invoking different powerful historical figures from beyond the grave.


Experts at stealth and surprise, thieves can move through the shadows, vanish into thin air, or steal items from their opponents and use them as weapons. Thieves practice an agile, acrobatic fighting style, which can make them very hard to hit. Thieves manage their initiative during combat, expending it to unleash carefully timed attacks. What they lack in defense, they make up for with skills to debilitate, teleport, or vanish from sight.

In Heart of Thorns max level thieves can train to become Daredevils. Daredevil takes the concept of the speed and agility further, granting a third endurance bar for more dodges and an array of physical utility skills that interrupt and disable enemies. Their trademark weapon is a staff, but used as a melee striking weapon rather than a magical implement.

In Path of Fire max level thieves can train to become Deadeyes. Deadeye is a sniper class, using a rifle to shoot enemies from afar. They use Cantrips to increase their accuracies, and have a new mechanic of Malice that does extra damage to their marked target.


  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Thieves have access to shortbow, which is undoubtedly the most mobile weapon in the entire game allowing thieves to quickly travel across maps. Most thieves frequently run bow alongside their main weapon kit just because of how convenient it is and it's AOE potential is solid too. Almost all thief builds in PvP and Wv W use bow as their off weapon.
  • Casting a Shadow: Canonically, thieves use shadow magic to do what they do.
  • Cold Sniper: Deadeye. Only surpassed by rangers in terms of range and only if rangers abuse high ground to get the most out of their arcing longbow attacks. Deadeyes are extremely deadly high damage long range snipers. The flavor dialog for deadeye skills also reinforces this.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Thieves are mostly about sneaky underhanded tactics and finishing off opponents that are softened up before they have the option to escape or resustain. They rely on stealth, poisons and backstabbing and stealing items from enemies to cripple or assassinate their targets. In PvP thief are less about 1v1 fighting or team fighting and more about using their speed to jump into other people's 1v1s and slamming down kills and then quickly rotating away to do the same elsewhere. This is called Roaming or +1ing.
  • Dual Wield: Thieves can run daggers and pistols in either hand, and swords in their main hand.
  • Flash Step: Thieves are undisputed the kings of this.
  • Finishing Move: Daredevil's Impact Strike. It's a multihit combo that CC's enemies. If the final strike of the combo would put the enemy in downstate or hits a downstate enemy it instantly kills them.
  • Fragile Speedster: They hit hard and they move faster than anything. But they have the lowest health along side elementalists, mediocre armor and don't synergize well with more defenive oriented stat combos and builds like Mesmers and even Elementalists can.
  • The Gunslinger: Thieves can run dual pistols and unload rapid fire gun shots on enemies.
  • Knife Nut: They can dual wield daggers, multiple utility skills involve throwing daggers, and daggerstorm just sprays daggers all over the place.
  • Life Drain: Invigorating precision is a trait that allows thieves to absorb 10% of their critical strike damage as healing, giving them solid sustain when they can keep the damage flowing.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Deadeye is alongside ranger as the longest range fighter, which makes sense given it's status as a sniper. It's extremely vulnerable when enemies can close the gap.
  • Ninja: With their throwing knives, flash steps, and high agility thieves are basically this. There's also no shortage of armor options in the game to enforce this.
  • One-Hit Kill: With enough malice, Deadeyes can One-Hit Kill other players with their Death Judgement snipe skill.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Condition thieves revolve around poisoning their weapons, which also somehow poisons their allies weapons too.
  • Smoke Out: Thieves have access to several abilities that do this such as blinding powder and black powder.
  • Spin Attack: Daggerstorm. The thief spins dealing damage to everything around them for four seconds, evades all incoming attacks, and throws out daggers around them.
  • Stealth Expert: Thieves are the kings of stealth, only potentially rivaled by Mesmer. Deadeyes can pick a trait that lets them stealth when they dodge making them the kings of kings of stealth and the only build in the game that can actually be permanently stealthed if it chooses to be.
  • Sword and Gun: Dagger+Pistol has often been a go to combo for PvP Thieves with easy access to blinds, interrupts, stealth and of course back stab.
  • Teleport Spam: Thiefs have access to a variety of shadow step skills as well as skills that will teleport them directly in range to an enemy and attack them.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Part of what makes thieves so potent as a +1 class in PvP is how many ways they can blink back onto a target that might try to run away. They also have scorpion wire which pulls enemies to them.

Warriors are masters of weaponry who rely on speed, strength, toughness, and heavy armor to survive in battle. Adrenaline fuels their offensive power—the longer warriors stay in a fight, the more dangerous they become. Warriors build their adrenaline by successfully striking an enemy, then expend it to unleash devastating burst attacks. Warriors are versatile and resilient fighters.

In Heart of Thorns max level warriors can train to become Berserkers. This elite-specialization gives the warrior a Super Mode that greatly enhances their adrenaline-based attacks. They can equip a torch and deal powerful fire-based condition damage and become significantly more focused on offensive capabilities, to the point where even their unique heal skill requires doing damage to get the most out of it.

In Path of Fire max level warriors can train to become Spellbreakers. Spellbreaker is a boon-denial Mage Killer dueling class, capable of wielding daggers in both hands and specialize in Mediation skills. They give up one rank of Adrenaline in order to be able to Full Counter enemies.


  • Anti-Magic: Spellbreakers as a specialization focuses on this. They can remove buffs from enemies. They can see through stealth, and ignore conditions effecting them. Their unique healing skill removes tons of boons and conditions from themselves. Their unique elite skill is called Winds of Disenchantment which creates a dome of calm that prevents boons from applying, strips boons already on the target, and destroys projectiles that enter it.
  • Arrows on Fire: Warriors using bow utilize this and focus on burning enemies and igniting the ground on fire.
  • Badass Normal: Warriors are martial artists without peer. But that's about it. Warriors do not rely on fancy spells or shiny gimmicks to drop the hammer on the enemy, just raw martial prowess. Even the spellbreaker is just the warrior training to become so skilled and precise they can strike the fabric of magic rather than using it themselves
  • Battle Rifles: Warriors can run rifles. It's more infantry rifle compared to Engineer's Shotgun or Deadeye's Sniper.
  • The Berserker: The Berserker specializations. As a specialization all it's extremely offensively focused and built around throwing as many burst skills while in Berserk mode as possible. Even their unique healing skills lets them spam more burst skills and they need to actively do damage to get the most out of it.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Possible with all flavor of warriors, but the Berserker in particular really excels with this.
  • Burn Baby Burn: Berserkers have to option to run heavy heavy burn damage. Especially those running Sword+Torch and Longbow as their weapon set.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: They can stomp the ground so hard they send opponents flying, they can literally smash boulders as Berserkers, if they use the Rampage elite skill they can even throw boulders at enemies.
  • Counter-Attack: Full Counter. The Spellbreaker enters a defensive stance. If an attack impacts the Spellbreaker in this stance they take zero damage from it, begin evading and retaliate with a quick AOE spinning attack that does high damage, dazes, and is unblockable.
  • Determinator: Spellbreakers for a long time were perhaps the single best 1v1 specialization in PvP. With their ability to regenerate health with Adrenal Health, their top tier defensive rotations, and solid killing potential with all that defensive capabilities allowed them to sustain and win most 1v1s and sustain being 1v2'd for so long their team can outnumber and beat the enemy everywhere else on the map.
  • Drop the Hammer: Warrior hammer is a specailized kit focused on slow heavy hits and tons of crowd control. Maces are a slightly faster version of this with a bit less crowd control and damage.
  • Dual Wield: Warrior is unique in that every weapon they can use with one hand, they can also use in their off hand. The Spellbreaker is unique in that it is the only elite specialization that grants the ability to use both a new main hand and a new off hand, to emphasize warriors as weapon masters.
  • Healing Hands: Warriors can trait to heal allies when they shout. This can involve literally telling them to Shake It Off.
  • Heroic Second Wind: The defensive specialization tree is all about this with multiple traits focused around keeping the warrior going against all odds.
  • Hollywood Torches: Berserkers gain access to Torches as weapon they can wield in their offhand. Sword+Torch is an extremely effective combo in PvE.
  • In a Single Bound: Warriors have four skills that do this! Savage Leap is a sword skill that leaps forward. Stomp is a utility skill that blows enenemies away. Sundering Leap is a Berserker skill that inficts cripple and vulnerability onto foes hit. And Seismic leap is a skill that becomes available when warriors use Rampage which knocks foes down.
  • I Shall Taunt You: The Bloody Roar trait in the Berserker tree taunts foes when they enter Berserk Mode. Spellbreakers have a skill called Immanent Threat that taunts foes around them.
  • Last Stand: In Guild Wars 2 when your health pool reaches 0, all characters enter the down state where they have a chance to recover and become fully alive. If warriors can stay alive in downstate for 8 seconds they can use Vengeance, which allows them to get back on their feet and keep fighting for 15 seconds. If Vengence runs out or their health falls to 0 again they fully die. But if they score a kill they have a 25% chance to fully return to life again.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Warriors are one of the most mobile classes. Greatsword and sword have some of the most powerful movement abilities in the game on fairly low cooldowns as well as access to things like Bull's Charge a utility skill that gives them even more movement. They also have access to plenty of swiftness which makes them run fasters and a trait that gives them 25% faster run speed.
  • Limit Break: Burst skills. Berserker's Berserk mode is a limit break that empowers your limit breaks and makes them cost less. Spell Breaker's Full Counter is also a limit break.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Warriors can run shield and enter a blocking stance, naturally. This stance actually blocks damage from all directions against all logic.
  • Made of Iron: Warriors have the highest health and highest armor. Special mention needs to go to the Endure Pain utility skill, which allows warriors to completely ignore all direct damage though condition damage will still impact that.
  • Mage Killer: Spellbreakers rose out of the order of the Sunspears. When the Lich King of Elona banned spears, the former sunspears took the heads of their spears and converted them into daggers and dedicated themselves to hunting evil magic users.
  • Master Swordsman: Not just limited to swords but warriors are the masters of martial weapons having access to more nonmagical weapon types than any other class in the game. This can be pushed further by taking the Discipline specialization which halves the recharge time on weapon swapping allowing them to swap weapons faster than any other class in the game.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Warriors have access to a number of Shout abilities to inspire allies or disrupt foes.
  • Power Nullifier: Spellbreakers, striping boons and capable of destroying projectiles.
  • Screaming Warrior: Shouts again. Warriors also have all sorts of flavor dialog which varies based on race which is all pretty ferocious.
  • Shield Bash: Shield Bash is a shield skill that stuns enemies.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Stomp, Sundering Leap, and Seismic Leap again.
  • Spin Attack: Several - Whirlwind Attack, a Greatsword skill where the warrior whirls extremely quickly in one direction evading attacks and dealing high damage. Whirling Axes is an offhand axe ability where the warrior will spin around for several seconds dealing very high damage to multiple targets. And finally the attack portion of Full Counter is a single elegant spin attack.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: This alongside Full Counter is Spellbreaker's bread and butter.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Both greatsword and axe have skills that involve throwing the weapon.
  • True Sight: The Spellbreaker utility skill, Sight Beyond Sight, reveals nearby stealthed foes and makes their next attack an automatic critical strike.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The rampage elite skill. It buffs your health by almost 2x, you become highly resistant to crowd control effects and almost all your attacks do high damage and apply some form of stun.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: In general warriors are fast, with multiple fast rushing abilities and leap skills on low cooldowns. Of special mention is a spellbreaker trait called Magebane Tether which wraps an opponent with a chain when they land a burst skill. It pulses revealed onto the victim and might onto the warrior. If the enemy moves too far away from the spellbreaker they're violently pulled back to the spellbreaker.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: