Guide to Legendary Defender of Ascalon

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This guide describes the optimal walkthrough to get the title "Legendary Defender of Ascalon".

Useful prerequisites[edit]

Below level 10[edit]

There are only two ways to get experience in Pre-Searing: foes' deaths and quest rewards.

Killing high level foes gives more experience, while killing lower level foes gives less. If the player is at least five levels higher than the foe, the experience gain becomes 0.

Experience from quest rewards, however, is fixed. As such, quests should be saved for later to help closing a level where experience from foes is low.

Quests give between 9,650 and 10,400 XP (source). Due to the presence of charr bosses and the mechanics of vanguard quests, the most difficult level to get experience from foes is 16 to 17.

Solo: Oakhearts and Charr[edit]

Oakheart Route, Red for Charr that must be avoided

The highest level of foes outside of the Northlands is 5, and foes of that level are few and isolated. There is a fair amount of level 3 foes though, so leveling up to level 7 without going to the explorable area beyond the gate is possible.

The Northlands, however, offer a much higher density of level 5 foes, with a total of 12 different spawn locations of 1-2 Oakhearts around the map (see route on the picture to the right), in addition to grawls and potentially charr (which are high level but more difficult to kill), making it a far superior area for experience.

While it used to be impossible to open the gate without a second player or the use of a speed boost, the June 6, 2018 update made it possible to access the Northlands without any help. Before going through the gate, picking up the quest from Gate Guard Torin will trigger the spawn of three additional grawls and the ally Ben Wolfson.

Despite being level 5, Oakhearts have low damage output and are weak to both slashing and especially fire damage, making them easy to take down quickly with fire wand, axe, sword, bow with Ignite Arrows, Fire Magic skills and/or any pet aside from warthog. Fiery components do exist in pre-Searing, but are hard to find. Regardless of the choice of weapon or skills, the Fire Imp helps tremendously here.

At low level, it is near impossible to kill Charr, but sometimes a group of charr can be almost in the way, and the only solution to avoid aggroing the group is to go around it, usually after waiting for the Charr to gather, then "hugging" the wall. Be especially careful of the second patrol near the ruins. If aggroing a group by mistake, you can try to run away far enough as they will break aggro eventually.

At the end of the run, map travel back to Ascalon City or suicide on a Charr group to get resurrected at the entrance, depending whether you are going for survivor title or want to be faster. Another account can be used to rezone as well. Not using map travel will keep any morale boost acquired.

At level 2 onwards, the quest Charr at the Gate becomes available and can be used to get additional experience. However, it requires being abandoned in Ascalon City and picked up again every time. To avoid this, traveling to Ashford Abbey after picking up the quest will not progress the quest, resulting in respawning the Charr group if you do not trigger the dialogue with Prince Rurik in Lakeside County. After killing the Charr, simply travel back to Ashford Abbey and repeat. You do lose the support of the level 10 Prince Rurik and the Ascalon Army members though.

At level 7 killing Charr becomes feasible for some professions, notably elementalist and mesmer, providing the player takes cover behind walls to obstruct a part of the charr's attacks.

At level 9 killing Charr is feasible by all professions with the Fire Imp and Ben Wolfson, although it can still fail.


If a high level player is helping you, you can tackle the Charr and their bosses directly for vast amounts of experience. This method is known as Power leveling.

Charr in the Northlands have the highest level available at this point and therefore provide the highest amount of experience, making this faster to reach level 10 despite the fact that the experience is divided between the two players.

To earn experience, you need to aggro the group. This can be done by having one foe of a group in detection range at some point, landing an attack or using a spell on a foe. Alternatively, experience gain is also given if using a skill on an ally (e.g. Orison of Healing) if that ally is fighting at the moment the skill is cast. So usually when powerleveling you will want to use Orison of Healing on the high level player right after they take aggro.

Details of the available options[edit]

Level of foes Targets Location Pros Cons
1-3, one 5 Raging Cadavers, Crypt Fiend and Skullreaver The Catacombs from Green Hills County or Ashford Abbey Weak to Holy Damage level 8 = 16xp/kill, level 9 = 0 xp/kill
1-3 Hulking Stone Elementals Green Hills County from The Barradin Estate Weak to blunt damage (hammer and warthog pet) level 8 = 16xp/kill, level 9 = 0 xp/kill
1-3 Ice Elementals, Hulking Stone Elementals and Large Aloe Seeds Wizard's Folly from Foible's Fair Weak to Fire Damage, quite fast (5 min = 600 xp at level 7) level 8 = 16xp/kill, level 9 = 0 xp/kill
4-5 Charr at the Gate Lakeside County from Ascalon City Easy as Rurik makes most of the kills, can kill the Raging Bull (lvl 5) on the way, can be chained with Oakhearts or Charr farming Need to abandon the quest every time, not available anymore once the quest is completed
5 Oakhearts The Northlands Works at level 9, easy, weak to Fire damage, combines well with other methods Not as fast as charr and less interesting loot, need to walk a lot
7-10 Charr Bosses [Powerleveling] The Northlands Fastest, good loot May die often, need a high level partner
7-10 Charr [Solo] The Northlands Fast, best loot, can kill Oakhearts, can recruit Ben Wolfson for help Mostly mesmer or elementalist (other professions have troubles), much harder without imp, needs prior knowledge

Above level 10[edit]

Level 10: Lieutenant Langmar and Halbrik[edit]

At level 10, you gain access to Lieutenant Langmar's quests, which have various properties:

  • The quests are repeatable, time-gated with a 1000xp reward. The quests follow a rotating cycle, with the current one being replaced by the next at 16:01 UTC the following day.
  • The quests will spawn several high level foes. The level of the foes is increased when the player reaches level 14 and 17.
  • You can only have one vanguard quest in your quest log.
  • Having any of the quests in the quest log will grant the effect Vanguard Initiate. This effect will overall increase your armor rating.

The amount of experience a player can get from a vanguard foe is between 16xp and 200xp (halved with a partner), so it is possible to quickly exceed the 1,000 XP/day limit by killing vanguard foes alone. Since the quests are time-gated, a good practice is to keep the quest until the next one becomes available, to profit from Vanguard Initiate's armor bonus and be able to farm the foes of the quest. Once the new quest is available, you can either hold onto the old quest (if it provides a good farming opportunity), or turn in the completed quest for a straight 1000xp reward and take the next one.

At level 10 you also get access to Halbrik to buy any remaining skill(s) from your secondary profession (if you have one):

  • Power Shot if you chose Ranger,
  • Banish and Healing Breeze if you chose Monk,
  • Vampiric Gaze if you chose Necromancer,
  • Empathy if you chose Mesmer,
  • Flare if you chose Elementalist.

Level 10 to 14: Charr bosses and other foes in the way[edit]

Between level 10 and 13, vanguard foes are about the same level as regular Charr foes, the main difference is that regular Charr foes can drop substantial loot. The four Charr bosses, in addition, are high level and are worth double the xp due to their boss status. Since they can be killed together for a significant experience gain (and loot unique to them), Charr bosses are the preferred method for leveling up below level 14. Optimized runs typically focus on the bosses, dealing with regular Charr only when necessary and pulling the bosses away from the altar one by one with a longbow.

It is possible to combine Charr bosses with Vanguard Quests such as Footman Tate rescue, Blazefiend bounty or Charr Champions annihilation to increase the number of foes and therefore experience gain, however focusing on bosses may be actually more effective in terms of ratio experience/time.

After killing the bosses, the simplest way to repeat the run is to map travel to Ascalon City. However it may be a bit faster to alternatively rezone using the gate between the Northlands and Lakeside County. This also allows to keep the acquired Morale Boost. The fastest way as a solo player is to suicide at any of the remaining charr groups, so that you get resurrected near the exit after a 10s timer. If you have a second account or a friend willing to help, you can simply keep another player character next to the exit of the area and have them rezone as soon as the bosses have been killed and any loot claimed.

Level 14 to 16: vanguard foes[edit]

Regular Charr do not yield experience anymore. Charr bosses still yield experience, but the amount is negligible now compared to the xp from the upgraded Vanguard foes.

At level 14 or 15, farming specific vanguard foes is usually the best method. The most interesting quests are:

  • The Farmer Hamnet rescue
    • It takes between 30s and 3mins depending on profession and access to the Fire Imp to kill the two Vanguard foe bandits who spawn just outside of Foible's Fair.
    • The nearby monk at the resurrection shrine will help by healing you and/or tanking.
    • The first time you exit Foible's fair, re-enter and re-exit the outpost once. This makes the farm faster as using the command /resign will now make your character re-appear next to the portal in the future (as opposed to map travel or resign without any prerequisite, which will cause to spawn at a random location in the outpost).
  • The Footman Tate rescue: Video here
    • Not as well-known as Hamnet, rose in popularity following the recent updates allowing to cross the gates to the Northlands without the help of another player.
    • It takes between 8min and 15min to defeat 26 enemies in total by groups of two along a quite linear route.
    • Similar to the charr bosses, you can suicide on a Charr group to be teleported back to the resurrection shrine, allowing for quicker runs and keeping any Morale Boost. A second account works too.
    • Cupcakes can be used to speed up the run.
    • If you find yourself dying too often, Farmer Hamnet rescue is better.

Other tips:

  • Quests featuring the undead are a bit more interesting for monks, since holy damage is doubled against them; Duke Gaban rescue in particular.
    • Note however, that undead illusionists can slow your character down significantly with Imaginary Burden. To avoid that, either pull them toward your imp and/or command a pet to attack so that they take the hex and you can safely get closer for Symbol of Wrath.
  • If playing with a partner, having the two players hold two different quests happening in the same area (possible in The Catacombs, Regent Valley and The Northlands), results in foes from both quests appearing (in addition to regular foes like Charr in the Northlands), allowing for a very high density of foes.

Level 16 to 20: quests rewards and vanguard foes[edit]

Any quest reward remaining should be ideally claimed at level 16. The rest is the same as the previous step.


Goal Additional XP Key method Notes
Before L10 varies Power leveling Find a partner to power level your character in the Northlands.
Level 1→5 11,600 Anywhere
Ice Elementals
Opportunity to do the quests to prepare the rewards while still getting a bit of experience while doing so. Kill level 3 to 5 foes as often as possible.
Levels 5→7 9,400 Charr at the Gate + Oakhearts During Charr at the Gate you can let Prince Rurik do all the fighting. Then you can go kill the Rogue Bull and/or go to the Northlands (without the help of another player) and kill the Oakhearts there.
Level 7→10 26,000 Charr at the Gate + Oakhearts + Charrs Confident players can try to kill Charrs solo. Use walls to protect yourself.
Level 10→14 33,200 Charr + Charr bosses
Vanguard quest rewards (and foes)
From L10 to 14, you gain more XP per kill from Charr bosses (and drops). Vanguard quests can be done for their reward at level 12 or 13 (charr bosses are faster at level 10 and 11)
Level 14→16 33,200 Vanguard foes (and quest rewards) At level 14, charr bosses still yield experience with 64xp/kill, but regular charr do not and vanguard foes yield at least 48xp/kill.
Level 16→17 11,000 Continue with Langmar's quests and/or Vanguard foes
Claim quest rewards
Save the quest rewards for this step if you have any left.
Level 17-20 36,600 Vanguard foes (and quest rewards) Same as above