Virtue is a game mechanic that is unique to the Guardian profession in Guild wars 2. The guardian gets three virtues, located above their weapon skills, that provide passive benefits until activated for a greater effect.
Much like a signet, once activated, the passive benefit goes on cool down and won’t be available until the cool down expires.
Every time you activate a virtue your nearby allies also benefit from its active ability so a guardian has to decide between maintaining their passive (and strong) benefit, or giving it up to help their nearby allies.
Being the guardian makes you take the uncomfortable decision of whether to help your allies or be selfish and keep the passive for yourself alone.
The three benefits are passive regeneration (Virtue of Resolve), Aegis every 40 seconds (Virtue of Courage), and burning every fifth attack (Virtue of Justice).
Remember that the benefits of the same virtues do not stack. Two guardians using the same virtue at the same time will not increase the effects of the virtue. Different virtues do not have this limitation.
For more help on Guild Wars 2 Guardian, read our Guardian Builds Guide.
Virtue of Resolve
Virtue of Resolve is a bit easier to understand when to and when not to activate. It should only be activated to save yourself or an ally from being downed. Passively, this virtue grants’ regeneration, not the boon but just healing over time.
It is affected by healing power and scales with your level. For this virtue, save its activation until you or an ally is about to be downed otherwise just enjoy its passive ability of rejuvenation. It has a sixty second cool down.
Virtue of Courage
Virtue of Courage grants Aegis(for further information on Aegis check our boons guide) every 40 seconds this is the passive ability of this virtue. Once activated this virtue grants aegis to you and your nearby allies and has a 90 second cool down.
It is a bit tricky. You should only activate this virtue whenever you’re about to take a massive hit or you, and your allies are about to get a large AoE attack incoming. Remember this Virtue can be activated while knocked down or stunned.
It gains a very powerful ability through traits – it can apply three seconds of stability on use, which can block a large AoE knockdown. Save this virtue activation until you or your allies are about to take a heavy hit.
Virtue of Justice
Virtue of Justice passively grants burning for 1 second every fifth hit (skills that hit multiple times grant multiple charges). The effect has no passive cool down and burning stacks on an enemy, so you can deal some serious damage quickly.
The activation effect grants five seconds of burning to you and your nearby allies on their next attack, going on cool down for 30 seconds.
As the Guardian attacks, the left half of the skill bar will show a blue flame of increasing intensity, until the effect of Justice is available and the next hit causes’ burning. The blue flame effect is visible on the skill bars of other professions, if they are under the effect of Justice.
Activating this virtue when you are about to be downed can be a real life saver as activating this virtue will grant a massive spike in damage, worth well more than what you can do by yourself. For this virtue, save its activation until you or an ally is about to be downed.
Keep in mind a few things when you play as a guardian:
- Virtues can be instantly recharged with the elite skill Renewed Focus.
- Virtues do not stack, so you do not get double burning if two guardians activate Virtue of Justice.
- Virtue trait line also provides many benefits, including lowering virtue cooldown times and increased boon duration.
- Guardian profession requires you to play in a smart and organized way so avoid a large waste of resources nonetheless it is fun and engaging.
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