|Guild versus Guild positions|
|Basics • Frontline • Midline • Backline • Flag Runner • GvG Splits and Ganks|
Often considered the highest form of PvP, a Guild versus Guild (GvG) is a battle between two guild parties. This guide outlines the basics, as well as common strategies and builds used.
Types of GvGs
Guild matches take place as one of the following:
- a rated ladder match
- an unrated match
- a scrimmage match
- a tournament match
A GvG is set on the Guild Islands. Each island features two bases and a flag stand roughly in the center. The lower rated guild is designated as the defender, gaining the advantage of fighting on their island. Each team consists of 8 players, one of which must be an officer or leader, the team may consist of the henchmen or heroes but the team must contain at least 2 players from the home teams guild.
Different maps have different strategic elements, such as NPC positioning, catapults, or environmental effects.
On each map, several NPCs guard their team's base at strategic locations. The number and type of NPCs vary with a guild's island. The types of NPCs are as follows:
There are two ways to win a GvG.
The most common way is to kill the opposing team's Guild Lord, a powerful NPC guarded by Archers and Knights. Alternatively, if the entire enemy team has 60%DP, that team loses.
Each team has a flag that spawns in or near their base. The flag can be brought to the flagstand which gives your team a 10% morale boost every 2 minutes. Control of the flagstand is often vital in winning a GvG match.
"Victory or Death!"
If a guild battle reaches 18 minutes, all the NPCs (with the exception of the Guild Thief) begin to abandon the Guild Lord and move to the flagstand, where they will remain for the rest of the match. Any locked doors on the map are opened. This leaves the Guild Lord vulnerable to attack.
Each NPC carries a skill called "Victory or Death!", which reduces everyone's health by 25% while increasing the damage they deal by 25%. This is designed to quickly end the match without tilting the scales in either team's favor.
After 20 minutes, the Guild Lords will start moving to the center of the map. There are points on the map that a Guild Lord will not go past until the enemy Guild Lord has reached the mirror image of that location on the opposite side of the map.
Due to the nature of "Victory or Death", degeneration hex based builds are rendered less effective. A common strategy is to focus all fire on the Guild Lord, but this makes it easy to repair the damage with skills like Healing Seed and Shield of Absorption. Many teams will try to force the enemy team into a retreat before having a stab at the enemy Guild Lord.
There are many strategies used to force a team into defeat in a GvG.
One common strategy is to out pressure the enemy at the flag stand. Through frequent spikes, heavy degeneration or constant disruption, the enemy team can be forced into a retreat, while accumulating Death Penalty, weakening them until they are pushed back into their base.
Other teams may rely on party members splitting to take out ("gank") NPCs in the enemy base. This strategy weakens the enemy Guild Lord's defenses, often leading to an opportunity to take a stab at the Lord himself, or otherwise weakening the Guild Lord's surrounding NPCs, giving your team a clear advantage at VoD.
Setting up a Team
To effectively fight, a team must be able to do several things.
- Spike targets
- Defend yourselves
- Stand defense
- Run a flag
- Protect against split teams
- Ability to split(however, this is the least important and can be forgotten)
The goal of pressure is to force monks or whatever backline healers the enemy employs to use more energy than they can gain. This is possible through energy denial, shutdown, or just powerful damage over time. This serves a dual purpose - to soften a target before a spike and to eventually break the interlocking defenses of the opposing team, forcing them back to their guild lord.
Almost every single team build can call a spike in addition to placing pressure. A spike is quite simply a massive burst of damage over a short period of time designed to knock a target out and apply a chunk of death penalty, making him or her less effective and overall weakening the opposing team as well as making them use up a Resurrection Signet. Midline and Backline casters are most often the targets of these spikes, a particularly good target would be the "hard rezzer" (the person with a reusable resurrection skill), as Frontliners have large amounts of armor.
Passive defenses are generally defenses that don’t take much thought to put up and affect numerous people at once. Passive defenses are usually any of the following:
Active defenses are usually directed toward one person and aren’t quite so “fire and forget.” Many monks carry active defenses. Compared to passive defenses, active defenses are far more difficult to implement properly, aren’t as efficient with energy, but provide a vastly more powerful effect compared to passive defenses. The line between passive and active defense is not always clear. For example, Blinding Surge as it is used in high-level GvG(to stop melee spikes) is an active defense. However, Blinding Surge spammed on recharge is passive defense. Commonly employed active defenses are usually the following:
The flag stand, or stand for short, is where the bulk of the fighting tends to occur. It is the central area of most maps and one of the key positions to control.
Protect from splits
When teams can't win at the flagstand, many split in hoping in getting a vod NPC advantage. Occasionally you have split builds that focus on splitting from the beginning of the match. While when a normal balanced team is a lot less strong at splitting then deticated, they still shouldn't be underestimated. Against deticated, it depends on the build what you will do back. If nothing works, turtleing might be a solution to prevent npc's in getting killed, however many teams see this as a weak tactic, as you do nothing for about 16 minutes. Generally teams will send either ranger to split, or ranger + warrior. A ranger is easily countered by skirmishing your own ranger back; however you can also just let your flagger protect it. Note that this will delay your flag running and they would eventually boost. A ranger + warrior split is a more offensive split; oftenly a gank(going quick into a base for about 2 mins max, get 3 npc's, get out of the base, usually continueing this over the whole match). Unless they're ganking, they will usually send their flagger with them, so they can stay in the base longer. This is a generic 5/3 split tactic, oftenly just countered by all going into the base and killing them(while keeping their main team monks away by either knockdowns or snares), or just doing a 5/3 split back and killing them. Deticated splits are alot harder to counter, as generally every characther in their build has either blocks or a self heal, so they can go out and gank npc's on their own, making you confused about what to do. Depending on their build; there are a few things you might do:
- Going 8v8, having some sort of speed boost("Fall Back!" is a perfect example) with snares, killing their dudes all by groups.
- Going very aggressive, by having your 2 wars killing their base. This way; they would have to retreat some stuff so you can defend easier.
- Winning the match by movement control and superior split tactics, basicly outsplitting their split.
- Turteling(=staying in your base, while letting them moral and you don't let them get any npc at all).
Tips with splitting:
- Always watch your radar, if you see them running into your base, react.
- Use your movement control properly. Snare them when they're trying to split off.
- Against deticated split builds, try keeping it 8v8. When it's 8v8, you're having a major advantage over them as they generally have a weak shutdown and defense.
One common element in most GvG teams is the multiple layers of defense. Purely offensive characters are rarely used, and active defenses such as Blinding Surge and anti-melee hexes are combined with passive defenses such as Wards and Aegis to keep the enemy team at bay.
The frontline usually consist of high melee damage dealers such as Warriors and Dervishes, though Assassins are sometimes used. Making up most of the team's offense, the frontline is a common target for shutdown such as Blind or Anti-melee hexes, which must be removed by support characters. Protective enchantments and shouts are also common defensive measures used to compromise their efficiency, which usually also requires a support character to directly counter.
Midliners will oftentimes form the meat of a build and have tremendous versatility. Mid-line characters will usually have some defensive measures such as Wards or the aforementioned Anti-Melee hexes and tend to provide heavy spike damage through skills such as Shatter Enchantment on Mesmers or Lightning Orb on Elementalists. Although builds that are pressure orientated have cropped up from time to time, they are by no means the metagame.
The Backline of a team is primarily the Monks or sometimes Restoration Ritualists and very rarely the flagger, depending on his or her build. Backliners are the first and fore most important characters of a team. They provide the healing for the entire team, make sure the rest of the team is not dead, protect against spikes, and other such functions. A team without backliners is a doomed gimmick and a team with dead backliners is dead.
Split characters take a back-route through the playing field to take a stab at NPCs or the Guild Lord himself. These characters often utilize self heals and condition removal to resist enemy attempts to foil their gank, or otherwise defensive skills such as Aura of Displacement or Recall. Proper positioning and survival is of utmost importance for split characters, who often rely on no one but themselves to stay alive. Many split characters will also carry an interrupt to dispatch NPCs quicker.
A team may also split with more than a single person (often 2-4) if they are losing the battle at the stand. This pressures the enemy to split as well to defend their NPCs and Guild Lord, or risk the Guild Lord being taken out. Such splits often consist of a defensive support character such as the flag runner, or otherwise usually one of the monks. Some strategies are specifically to split and try to gain an advantage by killing NPCs.
A flagrunner, or flagger is use in most teams to help deliver their flag to the stand, securing morale boosts. These characters almost always have a speed boost, and will often have a self heal, condition removal, and a support skill to resist enemy attacks.
Commonly Used Terminology
- Build:W/any Crippling Slash Warrior
- Build:W/any Devastating Hammer Warrior
- Build:W/any Magehunter's Smash Warrior
- Build:W/E Whirling Axe
- Build:W/E Shock Axe
- Build:E/any Blinding Surge
- Build:E/any Mind Blast Elementalist
- Build:E/any MoI Elementalist
- Build:Me/D VoR Mesmer
- Build:Me/N Fast Cast Blood Spam
- Build:Mo/Rt Empathic Smiter
- Build:P/any Cruel Spear Paragon
- Build:P/any Utility Paragon