|Warrior • Ranger • Monk • Necromancer • Mesmer • Elementalist • Assassin • Ritualist • Paragon • Dervish|
The Ritualist is an eclectic class. Rather than having a specific goal that the class is geared towards (such as a Warrior being expected to deal damage, a Monk being expected to heal, etc.), the Ritualist is able to assume several completely different roles based solely on the strength of their primary profession. To this end, the Ritualist is a very powerful class, although one that can often be challenging to begin to play, due to the sheer variety and unfocused nature of the Ritualist. The one thing almost every aspect of the Ritualist has, however, is a dependence on the summoning and use of spirits.
- "For each rank of Spawning Power you have, creatures you create (or animate) will have 4% more Health and weapon spells you cast last 4% longer. Some Ritualist skills, especially those related to Spirit creatures, become more effective with higher Spawning Power."
Spawning Power is generally considered the worst primary attribute, as spirits don't see a lot of play in current day Guild Wars, and the bonus on Weapon Spells is negligible.
- "No inherent effect. Many Ritualist skills, especially those related to lightning damage and energy, become more effective with higher Channeling Magic."
Channeling Magic is often considered to be the "damage" line for Ritualists, as it consists of most of the Ritualist's offensive abilities. There are also several energy management options for Ritualists contained within Channeling Magic, such as Offering of Spirit.
- "No inherent effect. Many Ritualist skills, especially those related to summoning spirits, become more effective with higher Communing."
Communing is a popular and powerful choice for Ritualists; indeed, much of what the Ritualist is known for is contained within this line. Communing primarily deals with the summon of spirits, both beneficial (such as Shelter) and harmful (such as Anguish).
- "No inherent effect. Many Ritualist skills, especially those related to healing, life stealing and defense, become more effective with higher Restoration Magic."
Restoration Magic is the Ritualist's healing line. Contained within are many powerful healing spells and defensive spirits, as well as several potent weapon spells, such as Weapon of Warding.
Types of Ritualists
Generic Backline Ritualist
Backline Supporters fall under two categories.
Support Ritualists focus on healing, buffing, and removing hexes/conditions from their team through the use of Restoration Magic spells, Channeling Magic spells, and usually some Monk skills. Restoration Magic spells, such as Mend Body and Soul,Weapon of Remedy, or Protective was Kaolai heal party members and can relieve some pressure off the monk. In most teams, Support Ritualist generally carry a few utility skills and often bring skills from the Channeling line (Splinter Weapon, Warmonger's Weapon, and Ancestors' Rage are common choices) for extra pressure. Additionally, Offering of Spirit is a Channeling Magic elite skill commonly used for energy management. Monk skills like Aura of Stability or Holy Veil can add great support, especially in 4-man teams. In PvE, utility slots are usually filled with powerful PvE-only skills, such as Great Dwarf Weapon.
Channeling Ritualists often use high-damage Channeling Magic spells, such as Spirit Rift to quickly spike down targets through the use of lightning, similar to the operation of an Air Magic Elementalist. This type of Ritualist is a very common choice for beginners due to the simplicity of the raw damage or the advantage of coupling Restoration line skills with Channeling skills.
Spirit Lord Ritualist
Spirit Lords fall under two categories.
Spirit Supporters use the Ritualist's ability to create a multitude of spirits (usually with the aid of a skill that lowers recharge times such as Ritual Lord) to quickly lay down many defensive or offensive spirits that will aid their party or disorient and/or kill enemies. The disadvantage of the immobility of spirits is made up for by the incredible benefits they give to your party while in range of them or the major chaos they will cause for enemies who come too close.
Spirit Wranglers focused on managing offensive spirits. This is probably what you want to focus on if you like doing damage, but don't want to tank. Some good spirits to take are Pain and Bloodsong, along with Dissonance, Shadowsong, and Anguish. Painful Bond can easily increase the damage of your spirits, and Spirit Boon Strike will do damage to your enemies while boosting your spirits' HP. Soul Twisting and Anguished Was Lingwah can also be used in spirit wrangling builds as many battles occur quickly and getting spirits up early in battle can prevent problems such as interruption while giving the Ritualist a means to use important spells. A few healing skills can be taken as a complement.
Other traditional ritualists types fall under four categories.
These far more unusual Ritualists use the elite skill Spirit's Strength, combined with a weapon spell, to deal great damage through physical attacks rather than spells. The Ritualist must second a profession that can use a physical weapon, such as Assassin or Ranger, to properly use the skill. A second, outdated skill would be Brutal Weapon. Unfortunately, this skill cannot be combined with Spirits's Strength for added damage, and this was probably done on purpose.
These Ritualists, common among GvG teams, use skills like Dash and Weapon of Warding to run the flag and provide moderate support and utility when needed. Typically, these Ritualists use several Restoration Magic skills like Protective was Kaolai and Life with other Channeling Magic spells to help with both offense and defense in a pinch. It is crucial that their skills can be used to help themselves when running, and others when called for as they are more often than not alone on the battlefield.
For a ritualist energy management is provided by Boon of Creation and/or Reclaim Essence, instead of the Necro's Soul Reaping. At 14 Spawning Power, Animate Bone Minions provides very cheap and hardy minions, and can be used as often as the spell is ready. When combined with Boon of Creation, Explosive Growth, or Spirit's Gift the accelerated minion creation takes full advantage of the minion creation enchantments available to a ritualist. When used with Jagged Bones these skills can lead to cascade effects of several concurrent area of effect explosions combined with area of effect degeneration and even allied healing.
- See the general minion mastery guide for more notes on running minion builds.
Assassin Spike Ritualist
Assassin Spikers have a number of PBAoE spells and Weapon Spells to strengthen attacks. Item skills such as Grasping Was Kuurong, Cruel Was Daoshen, and Destructive Was Glaive as well as spells such as Ancestors' Rage, Essence Strike, Channeled Strike, Doom and Spirit Rift deal a decent amount of area damage/energy gain. An experienced Assassin Spiker can deploy a well timed/placed Destruction, use Shadow Fang against a foe followed by using both Swap and Rupture Soul on the spirit to create a deadly PBAoE-spike with minimal chance of retaliation due to Blindness.
- Common tactics
- The jack-of-all-trades generality of the Ritualist gives them the ability to serve multiple roles in a PvE environment.
- The Ritualist can heal through the Restoration line, deal damage casting Channeling magic spells, complete a support role through use of the Communing line, or serve a variety of roles through a combination of these.
- Likewise, a Ritualist in Pvp has just as much versatility as one in Pve.
- The difference is that a Ritualist in Pvp would want to focus on one or two particular things to do, such as dealing damage, healing, providing weapons, spirit spamming, or being a MM.
- Some Ritualists have builds with weapon spells. These Ritualists are generally 'devoted' to giving Weapon Spells to Party Members.
A Ritualist in GvG usually runs the flag and fills in the support role of the team. The ritualist also has skills that contribute to spike, such as Channeled Strike.