Guide to Professions

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Info-Logo.png Note: This article is geared towards new players.
Please keep its contents to those which new players can reasonably understand and use.


Much of the information in this area is geared toward playing with other players, particularly strangers. If playing with friends or solo, you can experiment with various options that others in a group would have not immediately accept. For many players, the enjoyment of creating unique and effective builds is one of the great joys of the game.

Primary profession[edit]

A character's primary profession (or primary for short) determines that character's appearance, the armor and runes they can use, and their available skills and attributes. For example, a Necromancer cannot wear the same armor that a Warrior can, and vice versa. Also, unique to each profession is a primary attribute, which is only available to characters who choose that primary. A character's primary profession is the only choice that cannot be changed once that character has been created.

List of Primary Profession Guides[edit]

This is just a very short overview of what parties expect from certain professions. For more information, read the articles and guides about the respective profession.

Primarily seen as frontline melee attackers[edit]

Warrior Warriors are commonly considered as tanks, usually able to stay alive under fire. Warriors focus mostly on damage and conditions, with swords and axes being usually used for damage, sword focusing more on Bleeding and Crippled and axes focusing more on Deep Wound. Alternatively a hammer warrior sacrifices some damage and armor for the ability to knockdown foes. See Guide to playing as a warrior for details

Dervish Dervishes are similarly more suited for melee range. They have less base armor than warrior and usually no shield but compensate with more health and an armor increased by a multitude of enchantments that boost defensive and offensives capabilities. In PvP, you are expected to have a self-heal. Dervishes rarely use high single damage, but rather a combination of several sources of small damage triggering at the same time, usually on several enemies. Dervishes are experts at inflicting conditions. See Guide to playing as a dervish for details

Assassin Assassins are more vulnerable than warriors and dervishes, therefore rely more on hit-and-run tactics, only going in and out of melee range with shadow steps or speed boosts to quickly gank an enemy healer or get an early kill. Shadow Arts provide exceptionally strong defensive skills and self heals should they want to stay in melee longer. These skills also makes Assassins especially effective as tanks and runners in high-end areas. Assassin wield primarily daggers but can wield other weapons to great success thanks to Critical Strikes, including ranged weapons to stay out of melee range. See Guide to playing as an assassin for details

Primarily seen as midline ranged attackers[edit]

Paragon Paragons provide minor damage but shine in a support role, mostly contributing to the team by a strong damage reduction via "There's Nothing to Fear!", "They're on Fire!" and very often the warrior skill "Save Yourselves!" (this famous style of paragon is usually refer to as Imbagon). Paragons can further support spellcasters with Arias and physical attackers with Anthems. Paragons have decent options for resurrection skills in Signet of Return or "We Shall Return!". Paragons can also provide party-wide movement speed boosting with Incoming and Fall Back. See Guide to playing as a paragon for details

Ranger Rangers are often expected to deal damage via Barrage (or similar skills) and/or to shutdown spellcasting via Broad Head Arrow or incapacitate foes with skills such as Crippling Shot (in PvP). Rangers are able to tank fairly well courtesy of their high armor against elemental damage and efficient blocking stances such as Whirling Defense or Lightning Reflexes. In virtue of this resilience and the cost reduction of expertise, rangers can work decently as frontliners with various melee weapons. Rangers also boast access to pets, and ability to make use of touch skills (see touch ranger) and binding rituals (possible spirit spammers). Rangers can also set traps in specific situations. If playing a non-bow ranger, tell your party before starting. See Guide to playing as a ranger for details

Primarily seen as midline spellcasters[edit]

Elementalist Elementalists are usually expected to do heavy damage, although in some high-end PvE areas the very high armor rating and level of foes they tend to fall out of favor against armor-ignoring damage dealers. Fire Magic is the most frequently desired for its high damage AoE spells and burning. Other builds such as Air Magic or Earth Magic dish out less damage but compensates with more conditions, damage mitigation on the party or Cracked Armor on enemies. Water Magic spells are sometimes wanted for their ability to snare enemies, usually to prevent them from chasing allies or escaping from AoE damage. See Guide to playing as an elementalist for details

Mesmer Mesmers are expert at punishing, incapaciting and shutting down foes, especially should they know the enemies beforehand in order to plan their build accordingly. This makes them a bit more difficult to play effectively, which explains why they are also a rarer profession. Domination Magic targets mostly spellcasters, while Illusion Magic handles more physical attackers. Inform your group of your role in the upcoming fights. See Guide to playing as a mesmer for details

Primarily seen as midline or backline spellcasters[edit]

Necromancer Necromancers are usually expected to play a damage dealer role with Curses (Spiteful Spirit in particular) or to furnish the frontline with minions to tank for midline and backline. Necromancers also have a good amount of support skills, from Blood is Power to supply energy to Order of Pain to boost damage, including Mark of Fury to provide adrenaline and Blood Bond to provide healing. Tell your party what you are planning to do, especially if there is another necro around. See Guide to playing as a necromancer for details

Ritualist Ritualists can support the team, deal damage or healing, so make sure the party knows what it needs. The most popular type of ritualist are Spirit spammers using Signet of Spirits (SoS) and Summon Spirits. Soul Twisting ritualists with Shelter and Union are also greatly appreciated for the damage mitigation they provide. If a party has more than one ritualist, the ritualists should avoid duplicate binding ritual as two spirits of the same name cannot coexist on the same team on the battlefield. On rare occasions, a decent option in Destructive was Glaive ritualist can be considered. See Guide to playing as a ritualist for details

Monk Monks are expected to heal and keep the party alive before anything else. If you are not the only monk, coordinate with the other monk(s) whether you use healing or protection. It is best to have one of each. You are also expected to resurrect fallen team members, so bring a hard resurrection skill, such as Unyielding Aura. Smiting Prayers monks can also deal decent amounts of damage with skills such as Ray of Judgement, especially against undeads, but definitely tell your party if you plan to be a non-healing monk. See Guide to playing as a monk for details

Professions comparison[edit]

Profession Damage abilities Pressure abilities Support abilities Control abilities Utility abilities
party members
Warrior Warrior Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No
Ranger Ranger Yes2 Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
Monk Monk No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Necromancer Necromancer Yes3 Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
Mesmer Mesmer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No
Elementalist Elementalist No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Assassin Assassin Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No
Ritualist Ritualist No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Paragon Paragon No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dervish Dervish Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Yes — lots of skills support this ability
Yes — ability is somehow limited or only a few skills support it
No — ability is not available


  1. That do not require a Morale Boost, i.e. not Resurrection Signet or Sunspear Rebirth Signet.
  2. Only with a pet
  3. Only with minions and a few touch skills

Guides for all Professions (edit)
Core: Warrior WarriorRanger RangerMonk MonkNecromancer NecromancerMesmer MesmerElementalist Elementalist
Factions: Assassin AssassinRitualist Ritualist        Nightfall: Paragon ParagonDervish Dervish