Guide to making a build
 How to make a build
The basic principles of making a good, functioning build remain the same whether you play PvE or PvP. They are drastically different environments, however, so you will need to tailor your builds accordingly.
Bear in mind that you will almost always be functioning as part of a group, unless you are farming for instance. This means that you should not attempt to fulfill too many different roles in your personal build alone; this will severely reduce your effectiveness at performing necessary tasks. For example, there is largely no need for party members whose role is to deal damage to include self-healing skills in their skill bar.
The following series of questions will help you streamline your build-making process:
1. What kind of role do you want to play?
As your knowledge of the game deepens, you will be able to recognize methods and opportunities for fulfilling multiple roles efficiently. However, it is best to focus only on 1 or 2 team roles to become accustomed to the way various skills operate. An ineffectual build tries to achieve too many different objectives. For instance, a Monk who wants to focus on healing generally should not also try to deal damage.
2. What skills, under what attributes, will help you perform your role?
A typical skill bar created by a fresh beginner may contain skills spread out across too many attributes. This may mean that each utilized attribute is low, reducing the effectiveness of the skills involved. In most cases this jack-of-all-trades approach is ineffectual. Instead, try to narrow down your character's attribute spread and have between 1-3 attributes boosted high. Advanced build theory takes advantage of the fact that certain skills work very adequately even at low attribute ranks, e.g. Protective Spirit does not require high Protection Prayers to be effective. A general example of a build could have 12 in one attribute, 12 in another, and enough attribute points left over to pull a tertiary attribute up to 3.
3. What skills or methods can you use to manage your energy levels?
Typically, each character will have to find some way to avoid running low on energy. This can range from simply using your skills judiciously, to using specific skills that return energy upon skill use (such as Ether Renewal), lower the cost of skills temporarily (such as Divine Spirit), or increase the rate of your energy replenishment (such as Blood is Power). Mesmer skills such as Power Drain, Energy Tap and others can also be employed by any profession to regain energy at the expense of an enemy. Any build you make, whether for yourself or for your heroes, should be able to address this issue, or you may find yourself running out of energy at a critical juncture. An alternative used by advanced players is to designate one member of the party, either a hero or a player, as a battery.
When you have learned more about the game and the various enemies you will encounter, you may come to an understanding that certain skills are more effective in some situations than others. You may then wish to make modifications to your build according to the challenge you are about to face. For instance, if you know you will face many spellcasters, then bringing skills that inflict Daze or that can negate some of what you will face (for instance, bringing Ward Against Harm against elemental damage users, or Ward of Stability against enemies that cause knock down) can be a smart thing to do.
5. What skills are least useful for the mission/explorable you are about to enter?
With experience you will realize that in certain areas of the game, a build that has served you well up to that point can be rendered ineffective at best, and downright detrimental at worst. For example, if you rely heavily on enchantments, you should consider modifying your build in an area where the enemies use many enchantment removal skills.
 Exclusionary skills
Take note, as you build your skill bars, that certain types of skills do not stack, or combine, with other skills of the same type. A character may only have one glyph, stance, item spell, weapon spell, or preparation active at any one time (a character may have one of each active at the same time with no restriction). For example: if you have Glyph of Lesser Energy active, and you use Glyph of Elemental Power, the second glyph will remove the first. Similarly, if you have Bonetti's Defense active, and you attempt to use Enraging Charge, Bonetti's Defense will be removed.
Note that there are some caps in Guild Wars, which makes some skill combinations less beneficial.
- Armor cap
- Armor rating (AR) bonuses from skills are capped at +25 AR, although a single skill can raise the armor over the cap (this makes it mostly useless to have more than one skill giving +AR).
- Increased skill activation cap
- A skill cannot activate more than 150% of its activation time. This means that it is somewhat redundant, for instance, to cast Arcane Conundrum on an enemy that is already Dazed, since the effect will not combine. The enemy will still take twice as long to cast spells, and no longer than that.
- Health degeneration/regeneration cap
- A character cannot have more than -10 health degeneration or +10 regeneration at any one time. This means that it isn't that useful to have many skills that cause health degeneration (e.g. skills that inflict degeneration conditions or hex spells), or too many skills giving health regeneration.
 Advanced concepts
 Skill and build synergies
Advanced players take advantage of the way various skills combine and interact for compounded effect.
There is more to the concept than simply the notion of skill chaining; however, in an ideal party, there should be some coherence in what the builds consist of.
Example 1: If you rely on Restoration Magic healing from the Ritualist skill set, such as the spells Mend Body and Soul and Spirit Light, it is a good idea to make sure that there are a good number of spirits summoned by your party at all times. Otherwise, those skills are much less effective.
Example 3: If you are dependent upon physical attacks from melee heroes or minions, then any Ritualist you bring along can consider various skills to take advantage of tactical situations: Ancestors' Rage on combatants directly engaged in combat with foes, Spirit Rift on similar groups of enemies bunched around the frontline combatants, Splinter Weapon to achieve more damage.
 AI vs players
Another concept to guide you in creating builds, especially pertinent to PvE players, is understanding what player characters and the hero AI excel at, or do poorly.
In general, players are able to perform predictive actions; a player can execute complex tactical maneuvers based on impending situations. The AI cannot do this, unless the hero skills are manually toggled, which can time-consuming and inefficient. For instance, right before a tank runs forward to engage a mob of enemies, a Monk can cast various Protection Prayers enchantments on the tank in advance. A hero will not do this until the enemies have actually been engaged.
On the other hand, the AI can perform functions requiring hair-trigger reflexes, which few players can achieve. For example, in the case of Mesmers employing interrupt skills, the role can reliably be served by the hero AI. A player can run such a build with great efficiency, being able to predict and interrupt the more deadly enemy skills in a way the AI cannot; however, the player will need both excellent hand-eye coordination, and a connection to the ArenaNet servers with extremely low lag.
This concept is vital to understanding why certain builds, run well by players, cannot be employed as usefully by heroes, and vice versa. This accounts for many differences between builds meant for players, and builds meant for heroes.
Understanding the various limitations of yourself and your heroes alike will enable you to make your builds much more effective.