GW2 Tournament Roles, Builds & Comps

This is to give some of the newer players and teams a decent starting point for a 5′s comp and the roles needed. As GW2 sPvP grows, we’re bound to have new players that may not know where to start with a 5′s comp. I’m going to keep this a simple template to build around. Obviously you can switch out classes and builds, but having them fill similar roles is a good idea.

Basic Strategy and Roles
The Bunker stays at mid point having the ability to really control the downed state wars at mid through CC, revives and their tankiness. Bunkers often have skills that can knock enemies out of cap points, to make recapping easier. The Backpoint Defender is your close cap point holder that will often switch to running treb on Battle of Kyhlo. Mesmer or Ranger are often picks for Treb User. Mesmer through correctly using portal before leaving to grab the repair kit can have almost 80% up time on the treb. The Spirit Ranger is annoying to deal will in the small treb area. Roamers and Team Fighters a constantly moving to where they will have the most impact. A Team Fighter Necromancer and Tanky Roaming Elementalist serve a drastically different role in team fights, but their choice of where to go might be very similar. The Team Fight Thief has solid damage and great mobility with shortbow making him ideal to go for NPC steals on Forest of Niflhel as well as backing up the Backpoint Defender and other teammates when needed. Your Farpoint Assaulter is a mix of damage and survivability, they specialize in killing Backpoint Defenders, neutralizing cap points, and stalling a recap. Farpoint Assaulter can also end up roaming to other points quite often. Support is very similar to a Team Fighter but is more one the utility and defensive end, concentrating on giving Boons and extra healing to allies as well as many other utility tasks like removing conditions and providing cc and peels. Make sure you consider what type of damage your comp does. Finding a balance of condi and burst is probably best, not that you couldn’t run a well timed spike comp that’s more burst heavy or a condi heavy comp, it just might have harder counters. A healthy meta will allow for a decent combination of team comps and counterplay, so again this is just an introduction to current roles.

Some notes about builds
Sigils don’t share cooldowns anymore and you can use two sigils on two-handed weapons now. While in sPvP you also can only choose from full 6/6 rune sets. Amulets also give you your full stats and you can no longer place jewels inside them.
Runes and Sigils are sometimes up to player preference but other runes are very build defining. For example lets take a look at all the meta Guardian Bunker builds. Soldier Runes and Sigils of Energy are typically considered necessary for the build to work the way does. Soldier Runes stack upon Pure of Voice and provide area condition removal for you and your team. While Sigils of Energy give more evasion to a build that typically lack access to vigor or other endurance recharge mechanics. These define the survivability of the build and how the build interacts with other players. Once you change these you start to have a fundamentally different build. But on other builds the runes aren’t as integral to the build. And for many builds the secondary Sigil can often be changed. In power builds Strength/Ogre/Scholar/Divinity are good choices. Condition builds typically use Nightmare/Undead/Balthazar. Defensive builds use Melandru/Mercy/Forge/Earth. Try to figure out why a specific Rune/Sigil was chosen for X build and adapt that knowledge for X build and other builds.

Elementalist
Fresh Air | Variant In previous metagames this was considered the only viable build. Now it is still an incredibly strong build and gives an incredible amount of area might to your party with a large amount of spike damage. But is very punishing if you have poor positioning and requires learning how the manage the constant procs of Air Attunement with your cooldowns.
Traditional D/D | Variant An older build that always wants to come back. The newly buffed Runes of Strength benefited a lot of builds but none more so that the old D/D build. Many other parts of this build where newly buffed and makes it a very strong brawler. This build rewards attunement dancing but if you spam them without thought (especially your water attunment spells) you will be very ineffective.

Bunker/Support Staff Ele | Glass Cannon Staff Ele The strongest AoE damage in the game belongs to the Elementalist. With a glass cannon staff build, an Ele can fully wipe an entire team that doesn’t spread out. Especially powerful on maps where an Ele can rain down damage from a safe distance. Though build dies very quickly to any kind of focus damage but can single handed turn team fights around.

Mesmer
Standard Shatter | Double Ranged | Selfish Shatter A very old build that defines the Mesmer. This build is very strong in team fights with its Burst AoE and Control while still being strong in 1v1s. Portal is one of the strongest utility skills in the game and opens up a large amount of advance tactics. It can be used to defend points without having to sit on them and safely attack points by giving a safe way to retreat.

4/4/6/0/0 Lockdown | 4/4/6/0/0 Variant | 6/2/6/0/0 Lockdown A newer build with some of flavor of the GW1 Mesmer. It plays similar to a phantasm Mesmer but you constantly snare the opponent. And use well timed interrupts to stop or slow down key skills while staking might to increase your offensive power.

PU Mesmer Incredibly strong 1v1 potential and great at pressuring the side points. Though you have to be careful with your stealth skills so you don’t get decapped by the enemy player. Signet of Ether gives you a large amount of sustain when you keep your clones alive and the build punishes your enemy for killing your clones by applying random conditions to them.

Necromancer
Traditional Conditionmancer | Variant A condition build for Necromancer with inspiration from a much older metagame. Gives very strong condition pressure and with the large amount of might flying everywhere. Corrupt boon can help cripple that and bring the enemy offensive power down. It can also help intterupt stomps by corrupting the stability on the stomper.

Dhuumfire Conditionmancer Even after the nerf to Dhuumfire, Balthazar runes help bring your offensive pressure back giving extra burning duration and an extra burn on your heal skill. But the pressure dealt by a Dhuumfire Necro isn’t the same as it used to be.

Minion Master | Varient MM is often looked down upon by other players. But it is very strong with a large amount of sustain and damage from minions. Careful in team fights though you lose a large portion of your build if your minions get bursted down in AoE. But this build has a large amount of off point potential.

Power Well Necro The amount of damage a power Necro can deal with Lich, Death Shroud, and Well of Suffering is insane. It also always surprises players when class they assume to be purely conditions is bursting them down with power. Strength runes help further increase that damage increasing the duration of might gained from Life Blast.

Engineer
Grenade/Tool Kit | Tool Kit/Bomb | Grenade/Bomb The standard nodefighter trait distribution 6/2/0/4/2 and it’s variants (ex. 6/1/0/4/3) are incredibly versatile. Most Engineers take the Dual kit or Triple kit of their choice and modify the explosive traits around them.

Bomb/Grenade/Tool Kit | Bomb/Tool Kit/Elixir The newer trait distribution attempts to grab the powerful trait Protection Injection to reduce the need for a stunbreaker. This allows you to have a safer triple kit build but much trait choices in the above and this build are interchangeable.

Decap Engi A very difficult build for the enemy team to handle because it can force some awkward rotations. You rush the enemy point and use your CC skills to fully cap the enemy point without killing them. And spread out your survivability skills in order fight comfortably in a 1v1 and possibly 1v2. But you can be shut down by enemy Thieves who blind all your CC skills and can easily teleport back on to the point.

Berserker Rifle/Nades/Tool Kit Engineers are typically considered condition classes but still can deal a large amount of power pressure with grenades. And have a large amount of burst with Rifle and Prybar. And if you are focused down you can use the utility conditions on your kits to survive like the chill/blinds/cripples.

Ranger
Spirit Ranger Incredibly strong team fighter because it gives your team a decent amount of uptime of protection and a large amount of burn pressure. The base of the build is X/X/30/30/X so you can place 10 points where you prefer. Pets in most Ranger builds are optional, with Wolf, River Drake, Jaguar, Raven, Jungle Spider, and pets in their respective families all being good choices.

Power Ranger | Sword Varient The spike damage from Longbow is incredible and Greatsword/Sword gives you a lot of defensive options when you are pressured. The two new grandmasters masters (Read the Wind and Survival of the Fittest) make this build exceptionally strong. Position yourself well and unload you strong single target damage.

Trap Ranger Has fallen out of the meta but has never really left it. Trap rangers are very strong at zoning and bring large amounts of AoE damage. Traditionally Rangers are the owners of the side points due to their survivability and 1v1 potential, but Rangers are still strong in mid fights.

Thief
Dagger/Pistol This build gives an amazing amount of spike damage and is very strong at shutting down opponents with interrupts and blinds. Most steal skills are actually counters to their respective classes. Warrior is trying to longbow burst you, reflect it back at him with Whirling Axe. Ranger is trying to burst conditions on you, clear them all off with Healing seed.
Sword/Dagger Evade | Trickery Variant S/D is a very hard to pin down due to the large amount of evades and Infiltrator’s Strike allows you to engage and disengage safely. Sword hit deceptively hard due to it’s slower speed compared to Dagger. They nerf to Lyssa affected most Thief builds but if you position/blind/evade carefully you can overcome this.

Sword/Pistol S/P received some aftercast tweaks, so people can’t just walk out of your Pistol Whip anymore. S/P brings much of what D/P and S/D have. Blinds and fast interrupts like D/P and large amount of cleave damage and evades like S/P. Though it doesn’t have an easy access to stealth like D/P and S/D to fall back on when needed.

2/0/0/6/6 S/D Thief Used by Sizer in the EU Tournament of Legends, more defensive than the standard S/D while taking advantage of runes of strength and the power of inertia trait.

Guardian
Standard Bunker This build brings a large amount of team support, sustain, and control which makes it an easy pick for most teams. You actually have quite a bit of choice with the weapons in with Bunker Guard. Mace/Focus, Hammer, and even Greatsword can all be valid weapon choices. You can also change Sanctuary for a different consecration or swap it for an additional shout.

Altruistic Healing Bunker | Variant Altruistic Healing can gives a ridiculous amount of sustain but gets weaker the less allies around you. And doesn’t have as much team support as standard bunk but allows you contest a point longer when you are being focused in a team fight.

Meditation DPS Guard | Variant The basic build is X/30/30/X/X with 10 points to spend where you prefer. DPS Guard is actually a strong counter to most traditional power users like Thief. The standard build is weaker in longer sustain fights and can be forced to use all your condition removal quickly. The Variant keeps the same ideas but has lower DPS but grabs traits like Absolute Resolution which help with the problems in the standard build.

Warrior
Hambow | Variant Hambow has gone under quite a few changes but the basics of the build are the same. It’s still a build that is a very strong counter to traditional condition heavy builds with few stun breakers or stability. But has gained a strong damage increase with Runes of Strength and Might stacking with Longbow.

Axe/Shield | Axe/Sword Very strong spike damage with Eviscerate and strong cleave damage with Axe auto. But still strong defensively with Shield and Stances. The buff to Sigil of Intelligence also makes the old Shield Bash -> Eviscerate combo easier. For Power builds on Warrior, a Soldier Amulet vs a Berserker Amulet are mostly up to preference. But if using a Soldier Amulet on crit sigils must be used on the same set as Sigil of Intelligence.

Condition Warrior | Variant Very strong 1v1 potential and still gives a decent amount of team fight potential due to longbow skills being very strong even with no power investment. Doom sigils help cover your lack of poison and can be constantly applied due to fast hands.