Guild Wars 2 Structured PvP Guide – sPvP Builds, Map Strategy and Tips

By   /   Aug 30, 2012


Structured PvP is a Player versus Player mode, which allows competition on an even footing. There are two primary modes of play; tournament and hot join play.

Any character used to enter structured PvP will retain race and profession. The character will be given a fixed maximum level, and all skills and items will be available without the need to unlock them first. Scores are tracked on the scoreboard. Player statistics will be tracked and used to generate a player ranking.

Contrary to World PvP, structured PvP doesn’t grant rewards usable in PvE. On the other hand, players can earn glory and use it to buy better looking equipment from glory vendors. They also earn rank, which gives random pvp awards.

Note: If you can’t decide which profession to play, click on anyone of them from the list and read our in depth guide on them:

Guild Wars 2 Structured PvP

Now after that bit of introduction let’s dive into the sPvP system of the game. Here is a brief and comprehensive rundown of all things sPvP in Gild Wars 2:

What is sPvP?
It’s a 5v5 game of capture the points

Goal
To Get 500 points

How To Do That?

  • Control more points than the enemy (1 point every 2 secs per point captured)
  • Kill the neutrals (25 to 100 points)
  • Kill the enemy (5 points)

Roles

  • Defender– Defend Points from enemies assaults
  • Roamer– Move quickly around the map to help as needed
  • Attacker– Sneak behind enemy lines to capture the far point

In-Depth Roles

Defender  (2 of them) divided into two roles:

First Point Defender (aka Base Defender, Close Defender)

  • Strong in 1v1 to defend against Attackers
  • Good survivability to hold point till roamers arrive

Second Point Defender (aka Advanced Defender)

  • Rushes to capture and hold mid point
  • Typically support oriented with survivability or straight defensive
  • Runs with Roamers or Attackers as needed

Roamers  (2 of them)

  • Move around map to assault or defend locations.
  • Must have swiftness on each (or group swiftness with 1 of them)
  • Spread your damage around with something like 1 conditions based and 1 power based

Far Point Attacker (aka Striker) (1)

  • Captures enemies base point
  • Generally Bursty and strong at harassing targets
  • Best 1v1 on the team
  • Will move with Roamers as needed

Support

  • Not a major role this job is generally intergrated into a roamer or defenders build
  • AoE abilities
  • Condition Removals (team wide)
  • 1 member should be spec’d into support

Now lets get into the details starting with the first steps of:

Entering The Mist

The mists works as a PvP lobby much in recognition to the lobby in FPS games where you are able to join specific servers and have an overview of things.

The mists is not just an interface but rather a full environment where you are able to hang out with other like-minded people, setup your character, look at rewards and sign up for the different PvP types.

To enter the Mists you must navigate to your in-game interface and find the Hero Panel (H), select the PvP tab and click the ‘Go to the Heart of the Mists’-button

To access Structured PvP, you first need to go to the Mists by opening your Hero panel and select the PvP tab. Then you need to click on Go to the Heart of the Mists button to be teleported instantly to the PvP lobby. Furthermore, note that this button does not appear until you have completed the starting quest line.

Once inside the Mists you will be able to find a lot different NPCs. These include NPC’s Dummies for damage testing, NPC’s vendors with free PvP gear and NPCs with PvP reward bags.

These items are not better than the regular items you receive by simply joining the mists but allow for players to customize and change weapons and thus acquire a different array of skills.

Most importantly you will be able to find two NPCs to sign up for two different pvp modes, the ‘Hot Join’ and ‘Tournaments.

Hot Join
Hot Join games is the casual side of Structured PvP; this allows casual players to enter an unorganized battle containing anything from 1v1 to 10v10. You are able to enter these by speaking to the NPC acting as a PvP Browser. Players will be matched based on a similar amount of total glory earned.

Tournaments
Tournaments are the more organized side of structured PvP. Talk to the tournament master to join. It’s always 5v5, and matches take place on the same maps that are used for hot join play.

Tournaments run with varying frequency, and different reward levels allow some players to get their feet wet in the smaller tournaments while more-organized teams battle it out in the larger tournaments.

Each tournament pits eight teams of five players against each other. Teams that excel during the three-round, single-elimination tournament are rewarded with tournament chests full of valuable loot.

Tournaments come in the following flavors:

  • Pickup: single-elimination tournaments wait for 8 teams to join before starting. This tournament has 3 rounds of eliminations, with winners receiving qualifier points.
  • Monthly: Require an amount of qualifier points from the pickup tournaments to join.
  • Yearly: These grand tournaments feature the winners from the monthly tournaments slugging it out for the right to call themselves the best PvP players of the year.
  • Player-Run: customized by players, these tournaments allow for great flexibility and unique bragging rights.

The Interface

  • Button 1-5: Weapon Skills: These spells differ depending on the currently equipped weapon.
  • Button 6: Healing Skills: This slot contains your healing ability.
  • Button 7-9: Utility Skills: These slots contains your characters utility skills.
  • Button 0: Elite Skills: This slot contains your elite skill.

The Endurance Bar
Indicated above the health globe with a beige semi-circle this bar shows the amount of endurance a character has. Endurance is used for one of the new interesting mechanics that Guild Wars 2 introduces: Dodge.

The functionality of Dodge can be used by double tapping into a direction or binding a dodge key (original: V) and clicking in a direction to effectively make your character take a leap in the given direction and dodging incoming spells and attacks.

One dodge consumes 50% of the available endurance thus allowing you to dodge twice before having to wait for it to regain at a slow rate.

Guild Wars 2 Structured PvP Map Strategy Tips

Here is the list of maps where sPVP takes place:

  • Battle of Kyhlo
  • Forest of Niflhel
  • Legacy of the Foefire
  • Raid on the Capricorn

All the maps consist of the same format: Conquest. In Conquest, every team is fighting to be the first team to reach 500 points and claim victory. This can be done through a number of resources, in all the maps, there are three objectives.

Each team is meant to seek out these objectives and capture them before the enemy and defend these objectives throughout the fight. Each of these objectives provides 1 point every two second so keeping them and trying to take them from the enemy is preeminent.

On-top of the objectives each map also has it very own mechanics that is unique to that particular map. These mechanics consist of Guild Lords (NPC), Trebuchets (Siege) and Beasts (NPC).

Battle of Kyhlo
This map consists of three primary objective points that each team must seek out to capture, the Mansion, the Clocktower and the Windmill. As the secondary mechanic this map contains two Trebuchets, each positioned close to the relevant teams spawning location.

A thing to note is that the map is symmetric and contains a lot of choke points. Choke points is recognized by being a narrow path in which a player must go through to get to another area thus making it more likely for teams to encounter each other at those locations.

A trebuchet allows the players to control a catapult like construction that a player can use to barrage an area with trebuchet shots. The shot has multiple purposes; it can be used to damage and as a knock back effect to put enemies in a vulnerable position, or it can be used to destroy the environment.

When the trebuchet is mastered it can become an effective tool that provides players additional paths and positional advantage by tearing down walls or remove barrel that was otherwise used as jumping pads, providing shortcuts, to certain areas.

The trebuchet can be destroyed but has a noticeable amount of health so sending a player to destroy it might give you a strategic disadvantage as that player will be forced away from the battlefield for a fair amount of time.

The trebuchets can also shoot at each other and destroy one and another without much effort. Once a trebuchet has been destroyed a repair kit will be summoned in the base and spawning location of the respective team.

This will force the team, if aspiring to use the trebuchet, to bring this repair kit and repair it using valuable time and man power.

Brief Guide to this map:

  • NPC- Trebuchet
  • Causes High Damage and knockbacks to enemies (no friendly fire)
  • Can Destroy buildings to make new routes available
  • When destoryed a Repair Kit spawns and can be used to fix it
  • Repair Kit replaces all of your skills while carring it.

Popular Strategies:

  • 1man to friendly trebuchet and attacks far point with trebuchet
  • 1man to close point, 2 men to Clock Tower, and 1 man to take out enemy trebuchet
  • Having the only trebuchet gives you a lot of control on the map and allows you to basically insta-down the enemy team.

Forest of Niflhel
Much like the previously mentioned map, this map consists of three primary objective points that each team must seek out to capture, the Henge, the Keep and the Mine.

Secondary mechanic of this map is two potentially highly influential NPC creatures. Each of these two creatures are positioned in the far top corners of the map.

This map contains far fewer choke points it also provides larger fighting grounds, forcing fights to spread a lot more. It means positioning is even more vital as fights can often be dragged out into these big open fields, leaving the objective points vulnerable for enemy team to ninja cap.

Unlike the Trebuchet, the beasts provide a direct advantage by providing 40 points to the team killing them.

This allows players to strategically direct forces and man power to kill these creatures as an effective way of gaining points. However, the creatures have a rather long spawning time, so merely killing these will not be sufficient for winning a match so it should only be considered an additional benefit.

Neither is it risk free killing these creatures as they are rather powerful they might delay the person killing them causing the team to be outnumbered at the other objectives.

However, delay is not the only risk, currently the points rewarded for killing the creature is rewarded to the team of the player who gets the killing blow.

This gives situations where if a team has been spotted going to the beasts, the other team could take advantage of this and only send out their player momentarily before the beast is dead, to attempt to snatch the killing blow and thus gaining the points to his team instead, with minimal effort.

Brief Guide to this map:

  • NPCs-Chieftain Utahein, Svanir
  • Spawn time- after 0:30
  • Respawn Time-3 minutes
  • Grants- 25 points and Buff(+50 to all stats)

Popular Strategies:

  • 2 man rush keep. 3 man rush close point with quick transition to respective NPC.
  • Keep track of time when NPC dies and try for steal.

Legacy of the Foefire
This, like previously maps, consists of three primary objective points that each team must seek out to capture, Waterfall, Sanctum and Quarry. The secondary mechanic of this map is The Guild Lord, consisting of two melee, two casters and one guild lord NPC.

These are positioned with one in north east and one in the south-eastern corner, for respectively blue and red team.

This map is by far less symmetric map then any of the previous maps. Points and objectives are still symmetric but the accessories vary from different high grounds, different position and shape of these.

Choke points are as consistent here as on other maps but due to the oval shape of the map, it is considerably easier to take another router and without much delay get around an enemy packed choke point.

Like the beasts, the Guild Lord provides a direct advantage by providing 100 points to the team who seeks out to kill him. However, in comparison to the beasts the Guild Lord is much harder to solo and is accompanied by 4 NPC’s to assist him in battle.

This makes the Guild Lord very hard to kill for a single player but as players get more experienced a well-balanced build can assassinate him alone.

The guild lord is inside a keep so going for him requires a moderate bit of effort and time as it is required to take down a wall with a noticeable amount of health to gain access to his keep.

Going for the Guild lord has no risk in itself, unlike the beasts the guild lord kill cannot be “snatched” as each team has its own guild lord. However, as the other guild is informed once their keep has been breached it does provide a high risk as the enemy team could easily intervene, and even just one enemy can make the killing of the guild lord nearly impossible.

The guild lord does provide an emergency strategy if a team is being overwhelmed or lost their objectives to go for the kill and possibly secure the last 100 points needed to victory through the guild lord.

Brief Guide to the map:

  • NPC Red/Blue Lord, Two Caster, Two Soldier
  • Take down the wall first (only direct damage hurts walls) Kill the Lord to get 100 points.

Popular Strategies

  • Guild Lord Rush* – 3 Man Rush to Far Point transitioning into a quick Guild Lord Capture
  • Main defender goes to close and tries for early cap (if other team 3 rushes returns to base to stop guild kill (if they turn mid then goes mid to help)
  • Attacker goes mid to get fast capture and take out the enemy
  • Balanced* – 2 man rush to Sanctum and Close Point, 1 man to far point
  • Does a great job at countering the Guild Lord Rush and offers a bit more mobility with the 2 at sanctum but at the cost of a quicker offensive.

Raid on the Capricorn
This is a conquest map with three capture points and powerful NPC creatures as the secondary mechanic. Two teams are matched up against each other. The objective is to be the first team to reach 500 points. Points are awarded through holding capture points and kills.

There are three capture points on the map, and when captured, each location grants one point every two seconds. Each player kill grants five points. If neither team reaches 500 points, the team with the most points will be declared the winner after the 15-minute time limit.

Hostile sharks roam the waters of the map, but when a team captures the Ruins point they turn friendly toward them and will attack the opposing team.

There are cannon balls on the ship that can be picked up as bundles. These cannon balls can be thrown at enemies to knock them down or be used to fire the cannon located at the very south of the map.

Brief Guide to the map:

  • NPCs- a lot of sharks
  • If you control the ruins you control the sharks. You control the Sharks you control the water.

Popular Strategies:

  • 1 man rush on Ruin (works best if you keep a set of Krait Runed armor) Approach from behind to pull the least amount of sharks
  • Due to the size of the map this person can easily defend both Ruins and Close point by sitting off the corner of the ship.
  • Rest of team 4 man assault on Far point

General Map Tips and Strategy

  • Have at least 1 condition removal per champ (support has team wide condition removals)
  • Stability is more useful than Stun-breaker
  • Stun-breaker does not stop break immobilization

Keep the following in mind for combat:

  • Getting someone to downed
  • Getting the stomp/protecting against the stomp
  • Try to time stomp so they die right after 00, 20, 40 (abuse the spawn timer!)

Don’t forget to share your own strategies with us in the comments below!