Boons in Guild Wars 2 are temporary effects that buff your character (or an allied character) for a short duration. There are eight boons available, and they stack in duration but not affect (with one exception).
For example, two Swiftness Boons will not give twice the effect but will give twice the duration of the effect. Boons are not affected by attributes; you get the full bonus from the get-go (with two exceptions).
Remember not to become dependent on Boons, as they can be removed by skills such as the Mesmer ‘Mind Stab’ and ‘Null Field’.
Aegis is a defensive boon that can really help out in a clutch situation. It makes it so that the Boon user blocks the next attack, making it a powerful defensive option.
Although the Mesmer can get it via random chance through Chaos Storm, the Guardian class can obtain it much more reliably through ‘Virtue of Courage’ and the skill ‘Retreat!’.
It assists in mitigating a considerable amount of damage.
Fury is an offensive boon that increases your critical strike chance by 20%, it stacks in duration but not effect. This is especially useful if you’re making a character that relies on critting, as if you can reliably get this Boon it potentially increases your damage output significantly.
It pretty much has no negative aspects and will help your character no matter what race or class they are. There’s no such thing as dealing too much damage. Fury is granted by skills such as ‘Arcing Strike’ for the Warrior and ‘Elixer B’ for the Engineer.
Might is a Boon that allows you to deal additional attack and condition damage. Might’s effects stack, though the bonuses are so minute it really is more trouble than it’s worth. The formula used for calculating the damage is as follows:
0.375 * Level + 5 Power/Condition Damage per stack
Therefore, at a level of 50 you’ll be granted 24 additional power and be dealing 24 additional condition damage per stack.
This isn’t much in the grand scheme of things unless you have a large amount of stacks of might, especially since it can be removed quite easily. The Guardian skills ‘Empower’ and ‘Wrathful Strike’ grant Might reliably.
Protection is one of the most important boons in the game. The guardian is the master of this Boon, with many skills and some traits that apply the Boon.
This Boon grants the user 33% damage reduction and stacks in duration. It’s really useful in all situations, especially in PvP.
Even if your race or class does not grant you protection easily the Guardians have several skills that project boons to nearby allies such as ‘Protector’s Strike’ and ‘Shield of Judgment’.
Regeneration stacks with duration and is the only boon that scales in effectiveness with an attribute; Regeneration increases your health regen per second by this formula:
((26/16) * Level) + (0.125 *Healing Power) per second
Investing in Healing Power can make this boon rather powerful, but your damage will suffer as a result.
It’s best to just have it as an added-bonus but not something to rely on. Regeneration can be applied to others with the guardian skill ‘Ray of Judgment’ and ‘Symbol of Faith’ and the Elementalist skill ‘Healing Rain’.
Retaliation is the second boon that scales with an attribute, in this case Power. Retaliation allows you to reflect a small amount of damage back to your aggressors.
There are only three skills, which grant retaliation reliably (Not counting the Mesmer ‘Chaos Storm’ which grants random Boons).
There are also several traits that cause it, though most of them are linked to the Mesmer and Guardian Classes. The skills that grant you retaliations are symbol of Wrath for Guardians, Phantasmal Mage for Mesmer and Unholy Feast for Necromancers.
Swiftness does pretty much what the name suggests. The Boon is a duration stacking effect that gives you +33% movement speed. Several of the classes have at least one skill that causes swiftness and the Ranger has quite a few.
The importance of movement speed in PvP cannot be overstated as a 33% movement bonus is nothing to sneeze at It can help you chase down your quarry or escape from a fight going badly. Some skills that grant Swiftness are ‘Call of the Wild’ for Rangers and ‘Windborne Speed’ for Elementalists.
Vigor is another very important boon as it grants you double endurance regeneration for a short duration. Why this is vital is because without Endurance, you cannot dodge attacks. While many people might believe that dodge mechanics are just a gimmick in Guild Wars 2, learning how and when to dodge separates the average players from the truly skilled.
It stacks in duration. Though Vigor can be removed, its removal isn’t as crippling as some of the other Boons, as taking it away isn’t going to completely stop your endurance regen. Though there are some skills that grant vigor, you’ll most likely get it more from your traits.
For the Engineer, the ‘Invigorating Speed’ trait will automatically give you Vigor when you get Swiftness and the ‘Vigorous Precision’ trait for the Guardian will give you the boon upon a critical hit.
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