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Guardians are defensively focused soldiers that can also do a bit of damage, self-healing, self-buffing, crowd control and debuffing. Their primary choice is whether to focus on one handed weapons mixed with a shield or a polearm for increased damage, range and the ability to make area attacks. They wear heavy armor and typically wield a shield unless they are focused on using a polearm.
In most PvE encounters, the guardian will be expected to soak up damage for the less armored and defended classes, even if they aren't specialized into a defensive feat path.
The Guardian is a purely front-line fighter, with almost all of their abilities involving melee attacks and combos. They benefit greatly from well-timed use of active blocks when they use a one handed weapon and shield, but focusing on polearms will require the quick use of melee combos to rack up high damage.
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Guardian Skills and Feats
When a Guardian uses their defensive stance, they are one of the most difficult classes in the game to bring down with any kind of attack. They can also switch to a frenzy stance which will increase their damage, but make them easier to bring down. They also have many group buffs like Battle Cry or Morale Boost that provide bonuses to their entire party.
The two primary feat paths that Guardians can choose between are Juggernaut and Tempest. Juggernaut contains an array of skills that boost their defensive abilities, while Tempest focuses on increasing the damage of their attacks, primarily with polearms.
Guardians who want to do more damage will likely favor the more reckless Tempest tree, but even those who want to improve their tanking skill as much as possible will probably dabble in the tree as well. Every Guardian gains access to a varied array of self-buffs that they can use to fit the combat situation they find themselves faced with. They can use an ability like the Bolster the Line buff when they face a strong, slow enemy, as it increases their maximum health at the expense of movement speed. Wall of Steel increases melee avoidance, but every time that they take a hit, their stamina will be reduced.