- Set A and D to strafe. Q and E are important buttons to have available for abilities.
- Rotate the camera with the mouse, and have camera rotation speed on max. When I PvP, I literally always have right click pressed down.
- Set comfortable keybinds. In order from left to right, I use Ctrl+W, Q, E, R, F, V, Alt+Q, Alt+E, C, Z, for my class abilities I use 1-4, for weapon swapping I click in my mouse wheel, and for stomping/reviving I use G. Remember, though, that you need to find keybinds that work for you and your setup. For example, if I had more buttons on my mouse, I would use those!
- Consider the fast cast ground targeting, it can really make a difference. I use this myself, too. It’s tough at first to know your ranges, but once you learn them, it effectively halves the delay from casting to using an AoE move.
- Learn to tab target/assist target! I use Tab for tab targeting (select next enemy) and T for assist targeting. I should probably set a keybind for calling assists too, but I haven't yet.
- Don't backpedal (walk straight backwards with S) unless you absolutely need to. It is better to strafe away from your opponent.
- Figure out the fastest and most comfortable way for you to dodge. Dodge rolling is extremely important in every possible PvP situation. Personally I double tap a direction, but many people would recommend using a separate dodge keybind.
- Dodge roll a lot! It's practically free and negates an entire ability (or more).
- Always be moving! You can cast while moving for almost every ability, and you are almost never in the ideal spot for more than half of a second. It’s also helpful because you might move just out of range of an enemy’s melee attack. This could mean dodging 500~1000 damage from an auto attack, or dodging an entire CC spell. It can win fights that would otherwise be impossible.
- Only one person has to be on a node to capture/neutralize it. More people do not affect the speed at which a point is captured.
- Bring stunbreakers! They can get you out of a lot of situations.
- Learn which moves can be used while stunned. There are some really strong moves that can be used while stunned. As an example, off the top of my head the Elementalist’s Shocking Aura (main hand dagger, skill 3 I believe) stuns people that hit you. So you can get bull rushed by a warrior -> use Shocking Aura -> he hits Hundred Blades and stuns himself after the first hit. Another example is Necromancers, they can both switch to Death Shroud (their profession mechanic) AND cast Fear while stunned, allowing them to get out of almost any 1v1 CC chain in the game.
- Condition damage is not reduced by armor. This means that condition damage is most effective (relative to normal damage) against high armor, low health targets (hi there guardians ;D)
- Switch weapons a lot, and make sure to use all of your weapon abilities. If most of your moves are on cooldown, chances are switching is a good thing.
- You can blink on the underside of platforms to teleport on top of them (lightning flash, shadowstep, blink, etc). There are thousands of specific spots on maps that you should try to learn if you run one of these abilities. I’ve seen an Elementalist that was able to get on top of all different kinds of pillars and such and was untouchable while dropping lots of AoEs in the big group fights.
- When playing a ranged class, learn which abilities are projectiles and be extremely vigilant about projectile reflects. They are a very very powerful mechanic in PvP that gets overlooked a lot, and you can often end up killing yourself if you don’t pay attention to them.
- Certain skills have a leap forward/backward on them. You can easily use these to go in the other direction, however. What you do is, spin your camera around with LEFT click (this doesn't actually affect your character's movement/facing), then tap RIGHT click (this moves you forwards one step so you're facing the other direction), then hit your ability. Most noticeable with elementalist, either to use Ride the Lightning to run away or to use Updraft to chase.
- Bring interrupts wherever possible. If you absolutely cannot fit at least one on your utility skills, bring a weapon set that has one. Learn the important moves to interrupt (Elementalists have a lot of long casts, but Pistol Whip on Thieves and Hundred Blades on Warriors are both good examples too). And always be on the lookout for heals. This is pretty easy because…
- Every single heal in the game makes you glow blue. Watch out for this glow at all times and interrupt it if you can. Always. Even if it doesn’t directly lead to a kill, delaying heals in this way basically adds 5s or more to the cooldown, which is absolutely huge in long fights.
- Go for secondary map objectives when possible. But remember, some are more important than others. In general, you always want to kill the bosses on Niflhel (and steal the opponents' boss if you can), you almost always want to kill the enemy trebuchet on Khylo, you always want to cap the water point on Capricorn (even though underwater combat sucks, it's by far the most important point to have), and you can kind of ignore the lords on the last map. Only go for the lords if it will give you a win, or if you can't get any points and want to pull enemies away from their points.
- Heal early. As soon as the heal will get its full or near full amount, use it, because most people will CC you when they try to finish you off.
- Use all your abilities, especially your long CD ones and elites. If you die with abilities available, you probably made a mistake somewhere!
- Some abilities don’t have a cast animation, meaning they can be casted during spells. Every class has some I believe, e.g. Mantras for Mesmers, pet abilities, and most if not all signets. Elementalists are the prime example though. In Scepter/Dagger, Elementalists get a move in Earth called “Churning Earth.” This is a very long cast time (5s I believe) for a massive burst of damage that cripples and bleeds in an AoE. Normally, it is practically impossible to get this move off without dying or being interrupted (or having people dodge out). However, because you can cast instant spells while channeling it, you can use certain abilities while waiting for the cast: in Air, you can cast skill 2, Lightning Strike, for extra single target damage, and skill 3, Blinding Flash, to blind a single target. Then, you can use the utility Lightning Flash to teleport on top of an enemy right before the cast finishes, giving them almost no chance to escape it. A situational strategy, but a very fun and cool one that shows off a really complicated mechanic.
Reviving and Stomping
- People respawn when the timer says XX:18, XX:38, and XX:58. So to get the maximum respawn timer for your opponents when you stomp them, start your stomp at xx:18 and they'll get a 19 second timer. Also, if you're downed and getting stomped at like :20 or :21 (remember it counts down), just let it happen, don't try to delay it or you'll be dead longer.
- Always revive/stomp someone if you have the chance. It can make a huge difference in the outcome of a fight.
- Don't revive someone though, if you can kill an enemy and get your teammate to rally.
- Learn to stomp/revive people properly. If your class has a stealth, stability, or invuln move, you can use those to guarantee your stomp/revive will go off. Some examples are the thief's heal, the mesmer's distortion shatter, the warrior's stability shout, and the engineer's elixir S.
- Every class has different downed abilities. You should learn all of them, but as a general rule of thumb:
- Elementalists cannot interrupt you if you stomp them immediately
- Engineers, Warriors, and Necromancers can interrupt a single person
- Rangers and Guardians can interrupt in an AoE
- Thieves and Mesmers can teleport/stealth
- Specifically against Mesmers, force them to teleport, then attack the mesmer with an icon over its head. This one will NOT be the clone. It should also be the mesmer that appears second, after the clone.
Choosing a Build
- If you're not much of a theorycrafter, copy a pro's build. You can find lots of people from teams like Paradigm, SuperSquad, and AlphaCollective streaming on twitch.tv, and they should all link to their builds.
- If you want to make your own build, make sure you choose a focus. Either focus on DPS or support/point holding. Then, if you're DPS, choose to go for crit/power or conditions, and if you're a support, choose to go for tankiness/healing or AoE buffs/debuffs. Try not to spread yourself thin or you won't do anything well enough.
- Passive tankiness does not work by itself in this game. If you want to be a tank, bring lots of invulns and/or lots of heals.
- Remember that some tooltips are wrong. For example, the stacking buff runes (that stack to 25) give you 5 per stack on kill or assist, making them extremely potent.
- Don't get angry at any specific individual, ability, class, or map (unless it's Raid on the Capricorn of course). Figure out what you did wrong, and fix it.
- Always be as helpful as you can. Everyone starts out being new and knowing nothing, so help them out if possible! Contribute to a kind, flourishing community so that Guild Wars 2 can grow into a huge, competitive eSports title.
- Find a group of friends or a guild that is interested in PvP. Having people to bounce ideas off of and try things out with is never a bad idea, and tournaments can be really fun.
- Most importantly, have fun with PvP. If you aren't, try new classes or builds until you are. If you don't have fun, playing it will be miserable after a while.