Guardian Fighter Class Description
The Guardian in the Neverwinter MMORPG is a character class focused on confronting and holding ground against enemies. Guardian Fighters do not focus on damage, but on keeping the enemy’s attention to make them easier to defeat. They can withstand brutal punishment and make an ideal character for someone who wants to be at the center of the action.
Class Role Specifics
The Dungeons and Dragons 4e role that Guardian Fighter fit into is the Defender. Defenders get the attention of enemies and are able to withstand the punishment this attention gets them. They favor defense over offense, using powers that taunt foes to attack them, deal damage to one enemy at a time (usually the toughest enemy), as well as subtler powers that stun and slow their foes.
This means that your primary means to deal with enemies is through getting their attention and defeating the toughest ones first, then moving on to the easier and less deadly minions. Each of these also has a damage component, but Guardian Fighters primarily stop foes from attacking the less durable allies around them while damaging them.
Creating a Guardian Fighter
- Constitution – I consider Constitution a must for a Guardian Fighter. Your Hit Points determine how much punishment you can take and that is a Guardian Fighter’s main purpose.
- Strength – I consider Strength to be the best second option for a Guardian Fighter. The amount of damage you do also determines if a monster will stay focused on you.
Picking a Race for your Guardian Fighter
Next, you will need to select the race of the character you want to play. A couple of good choices for Guardian Fighter in Neverwinter are Dwarves and Half-Orcs. These races may give you a slight advantage just starting out with their stat boosts. However, as you level, you can easily mitigate any advantage you may have had through assigning leveling points, feat points, and magic items. So don’t worry too much about what stats the race gives you.
Instead, choose a race that makes you happy, then look at the racial abilities they may offer as secondary, and lastly look to the ability bonuses the race may offer.
Rolling Dice for Ability Scores
You will roll virtual dice to determine starting ability scores. When you roll up your character you can roll all you want. So make sure you keep rolling until you get the best stats possible for your Guardian Fighter. Constitution should be maxed out, and Strength should also be very high. If you can, try to get your character’s Dexterity at an ok score. Your other ability points will affect your character some, but not much, and not as importantly as your two primary abilities.
When you level up these abilities throughout your career as a Guardian Fighter, you should put 1 point in Constitution and 1 in Strength every time.
Items and Gear for a Guardian Fighter
The items and gear in the game definitely help fine tune your Guardian Fighter in Neverwinter. As a Guardian Fighter you can wear the heaviest and most defensive armor and protective gear you can equip, so make sure to stay on top of your armor gear. Also try to focus on items that grant Regeneration and Life Steal. Regeneration will give you slow but constant hit point regeneration. Life Steal will grant you the chance to steal the hit points of your enemies when you attack them. With careful planning you can effectively heal yourself in basic solo content. This will also be a huge help to healers in group content. Unlike other MMO’s, Neverwinter’s healing is smaller and meant to heal you over time instead of big heals at once. Just a little bit of gear planning will help you become a well-known and requested group Guardian Tank.
As a Guardian Fighter your purpose is to stay alive and help to control the combat, so make sure you are always stocked up on healing potions. As a guardian fighter you can easily “turtle up”, or go into shield block modem using the Shift key and heal yourself. They are relatively cheap and easy to use in the heat of combat so use them liberally. As the focus of attention, you will take a beating, but having these potions will save your life. Don’t wait too long to take a healing potion. When you get to half your hit points, make sure to take a healing potion.
You can also get short term buffs through collectibles you will gather in each of the public areas. Make sure to use these collectibles and turn them into the Bounty Boards to get items to use for short term bonuses. These will always relate to the area you are in so use them while you are in the area.
Also try to stockpile any potions you run across for the boss fights. Taking a few potions for a fight can mean the difference between a miserable drawn out failure and a quick resounding success!
Playing a Guardian Fighter
When you are playing a Guardian Fighter in Neverwinter, you will want to lead the charge. The quickest and easiest way to get agro and keep it is to be the first one your enemies see, whether you are with your companion or with multiple party members. Be careful as you move through dangerous areas and do not take any erroneous damage that can be avoided such as traps and burning areas. However, you do want to be the one that ambles into a group of enemies before anyone else.
The best strategy I found when playing a Guardian Fighter was to rush the toughest member of an enemy group. This way you are the first to get their attention and your immediate focus in on the most dangerous enemy. Let their minions bash on you while you use powers to keep the attention of the toughest enemy. Once they are defeated, you can clean up whatever enemies remain.
This strategy takes out the meanest enemy that can do real damage to you while leaving the minions to peck away at your Guardian Fighter. This way you take out the threat that can really hurt your Guardian Fighter while leaving those weaker enemies to do their thing. Once the mean enemy is defeated, you can easily heal if you need to or just move on to finishing the group.
It is quite effective to start a challenging encounter by using the most damaging Encounter or Daily power that you have. This softens up your enemies and may even kill some. Once the combat is going, don’t use you’re your Daily Powers as soon as they are charged unless you need them. It is more important for Guardian Fighters to use their Daily Powers at the right time versus as often as possible.
As a Guardian Fighter in Neverwinter, you definitely need healing potions. Make sure to have a good supply of these as you head into dungeons. Also be sure to pick up the newest, most powerful healing potions as soon as they are available to you. You want to have the best healing available, and plenty of it!
Companions of your Guardian Fighter
As you learn to play your Guardian Fighter in Neverwinter you will learn what you like and what you don’t. You will get a feel for your character and what may be a good complement to your style. This is where your companion choices will come into play in Neverwinter.
Companions are the last thing these basic or Heroic guides will talk about. Heroic is level 1-20 and somewhere in your mid to late teens you will be able to afford a companion. There are many different ones to choose from but only a few real roles that they will serve.
I found that the best companion for my Guardian Fighter in Neverwinter was a Healer. They worked well to save on potion costs and could heal through the abuse a Guardian Fighter takes when fighting bosses. Plus, this should give a Guardian Fighter good practice for grouping. Whenever your healer companion gets the attention, or agro, of enemies you should taunt the enemies off them. This will be a good habit to get into as a Guardian Fighter. The speed of encounters is a little slow at times with a healer companion but adventuring as a whole is a lot safer.
The other choice would be a dps (Damage Per Second) or Striker companion. The extra damage this type of companion can offer will really speed things along. When you can afford two, this should be your second choice. Run around with your Striker companion until you get to a boss or tough area then switch to your healing companion. This technique worked really well for me.
Grouping as a Guardian Fighter
When you are playing a Guardian Fighter in Neverwinter, you will want to group with others for a lot of different reasons. Play your Guardian Fighter well and you’ll be vital to the group’s success. All classes can be played poorly but a well-played Guardian Fighter will really help to make a group dominate the quest they are in.
When a Guardian Fighter is in a group they will want to lead the group and engage the enemies first, for a few reasons:
- The party’s enemies will initially agro on you, making it easier for you to keep them there.
- It’s a Guardian Fighter’s job to take damage. This includes traps, fire, acid, and any other nasty things that might be there. Take it so your other group members don’t have to.
It’s important to know that a well-played Guardian Fighter in Neverwinter should always keep the attention of the party’s enemies, at least the most powerful ones. This is called getting agro. If the Guardian Fighter has trouble, ask your party to handle things a little differently. A Guardian Fighter is the battle manager so be sure to manage it if the group is confused about their roles or tactics. A Guardian Fighter is not really doing their job unless all the enemies are attacking them.
Remember to keep an eye out on your other party members, especially the healers. They still may be attacked and if you are able to try to pull these enemies off them with your abilities. This way they can get back to helping to keep you the Guardian Fighter healed.
Player Versus Player as a Guardian Fighter
Disclaimer of Bias: First off let me say that Dungeons and Dragons has never been, nor ever should be, a game based on single player versus player battles. The whole point of Dungeons and Dragons is to bring players together in a group, not have them fight each other. To this end, each role in Dungeons and Dragons is meant to be part of a whole cohesive unit. Each piece cannot be balanced on its own, due to the unique role each fills. Being able to kill something is a very narrow view of what makes a character. That is just one thing in a long list of things that makes any Dungeons and Dragons game and group successful. Player versus player is a bit blasphemous, in my opinion, and goes against the true spirit of Dungeons and Dragons. However, group versus group battles are more reasonable and have a better chance of succeeding in balance. I will talk a little about both below.
Guardian Fighters in player versus player combat are very frustrating. Having low damage makes it very important to time your powers and their uses perfectly. Being able to take a beating may seem like a good thing at first until you realize that all of the other classes’ mobility will just taunt you as they dart around, blasting the tar out of you, staying just out of your range. If you happen across another melee character, you may stand a chance, just be sure to block their more powerful attacks. Then sneak in your powerful stunning and damaging powers at just the right time.
However, in group based player versus player combat, a Guardian Fighter can be absolutely effective as long as the party is working together. Otherwise, Guardian Fighters tend to just be the bait for the trap. But if your party is working well together and attacking the targets you pick out while bolstering your defenses, a Guardian Fighter can play a decent role. Unfortunately, a Guardian Fighter’s taunting and agro management abilities are largely lost in player versus player combat so you will have to use your guile and wits to lure your opponents into striking distance. Having offense and healing bolstered by your party, the durability of a Guardian Fighter can be utilized to dominate in PVP.
Overview of a Guardian Fighter
All in all, a Guardian Fighter in Neverwinter can be a lot of fun to play. They stand up well solo and are a definite boon to a group. If you like to charge in like Leroy Jenkins right into the middle of the fray, a Guardian Fighter may be just what you want to play.
They don’t have the biggest damage in the game nor do they heal, but they charge their enemies head on. They are the center of battle and often lead groups and dictate how battles are won and lost. Through the use of feats and Paragon abilities, you will be able to tune your Guardian Fighter into the specific kind of character you want for Neverwinter.