Note: this article is intended to provide guidance for experienced characters playing a new Paragon or experienced Paragons looking for additional options. If this is your first time playing Guild Wars, please see Getting started (Nightfall).
The Paragon profession is only available in the Guild Wars: Nightfall campaign. Users of other Guild Wars campaigns will not be able to use this profession unless they add a Nightfall key to their account.
What is a Paragon?
Paragons are a hybrid support class. They sport the second highest armor in the game, ranged attacks, and shouts that give a variety of bonuses to teammates (or a variety of penalties to enemies).
A Paragon's Place
Most Paragons stand around between the midline and the frontline. When no warriors are available for a team then a paragon takes the frontline role to help absorb more damage from the enemy. When enemies get through the front line, the Paragon is called on to body block, preventing the enemies from attacking the squishy characters. A Paragon's key strength is the fact that many of its skills, be them shouts or chants, affect the entire party rather than individuals and they cannot be removed by enemies, making them reliable in most, if not all areas of the game.
In PvE, the Paragon's job is to support other classes and fill out holes in your group's roster. If a group only has one Monk, the Paragon would bring healing skills. If a group is short on damage, the Paragon would take on the role of a damage dealer and bring Spear Attack skills. Paragons also look at their group's composition when choosing which build to play for that Mission or Quest. If the group has 4 Warriors, energy-replenishing skills like Aria of Zeal might be wasted. If the group has 4 Elementalists, Aria of Zeal would be more effective. Also because paragon shouts can affect the entire party, paragons focused on healing and party support can mitigate a significant amount of pressure on the team much more so than monks and are on par with spirit spamming ritualists. Though do take note that many of the Paragon's healing skills have long recharge times and are often conditional, this makes Paragons inferior when healing fewer allies.
In PvP, Paragons are versatile as they can deal damage and support the party at the same time. Party wide healing chants, and supportive shouts are also used frequently to hold off against enemy pressure.
- Leadership: With only two pips of energy regen (2/3rds of an energy point per second), Paragons have to use Energy extremely carefully. Leadership returns energy to the caster after each shout or chant cast. Note: the energy gain is capped at the number of allies within earshot, or the rank in leadership, divided by two (round down!). This means that Paragons almost always opt to have an even number of ranks in leadership (10, 12, and 14 are extremely common selections).
- Spear Mastery: This, obviously, increases damage dealt with spears. After the rank required to use the optimal weapon (usually 9), the benefit of additional ranks is negligible next to increased ranks in Motivation, Leadership, Command, or the secondary.
- Motivation: This tree has energy management and healing skills that help your entire party. Few Paragons invest heavily into this tree, for its healing capabilities are not too great.
- Command: This tree sports an odd assortment of abilities. For a variety of reasons, Command is the most used tree. Skills like "Stand Your Ground!", "Fall Back!" and "Go for the Eyes!" are easy to use as quick buffs to the party, unlike the more cumbersome chants of Motivation.
Example Paragon Builds
- Healing Support: Their first responsibility is their party's health. Spike healing from Paragons is not very effective compared to Monks. However, they can keep the party alive from AoE damage as well as any other profession, and with Finale of Restoration up on the melee classes, they can significantly reduce the healing burden on the Monks. Like the Battery Paragon, they sport Aria of Zeal to help with energy and a few spear skills to help with damage, but have a heavy emphasis on healing.
- Angelic Bonder: This build utilizes a similar theory to Monk Bonders, but, instead of Life Bond and Life Barrier, the P/any Angelic Bonder utilizes the Leadership skills, "They're on Fire!" for initial damage reduction, and then further covers with Angelic Bond. Allies are then further enhanced by Command skills. When used correctly, this build is capable of providing as much (or more) damage reduction than a bonder and unlike monk bonders, Angelic Bond cannot be removed which makes for more consistent reduction. This build is primarily intended for PvE but a variant can be used for HA.
- Imbagon:This type of build utilizes paragon IAS skills (Usually Soldier's Fury or Aggressive Refrain), combined with skills that increase the rate of Adrenaline increase, such as For Great Justice! and/or Focused Anger to quickly power the warrior factions shout "Save Yourselves!". If used well, this can pretty much keep SY up constantly giving an almost permanent +100 armor boost to the rest of the party.
Types of Paragons
- "Buff" Paragon: A paragon that brings many shouts and chants. An example would be one bringing skills such as "Go for the Eyes!", Hexbreaker Aria, Song of Restoration, "Fall Back!", Aria of Zeal, or others. A good example would be the party support. This paragon stays at the backline or midline depending on their skills. If they have more skills that affect physical damagers, they should tend to be closer to the battle, whereas if they have skills such as Song of Power and Aria of Zeal or other caster helping chants, they should stay towards the backline. In PvE, Paragons also have access to some powerful PvE-only shout skills like "There's Nothing To Fear!" and "Save Yourselves!".
- DPS/Damage Paragon: A paragon that brings many spear attacks coupled with skills such as "Go for the Eyes!", Anthem of Flame, Anthem of Envy, and other skills that increase damage. IAS skills such as Aggressive Refrain tend to dramatically increase the damage dealt by the paragon. Attack skills are a requirement of damage paragons. Damage/DPS paragons tend to stay towards the front / middle line of the battle. They are best accompanied by physical damage dealers such as Dervishes, Rangers, Warriors, or other Paragons. By dishing out high amounts of damage, they sacrifice the ability to heal which means that monks or ritualists are usually required in their groups.
- Large-Scale Paragon: Made for more massive battles such as Alliance Battles or Competitive Missions. These paragons bring some 2-3 attack skills paired with deadly chants and powerful shouts. Attack skills should require very little (max 7) adrenaline as well as their chants. Skills like Barbed Spear and Cruel Spear are extremely effective. Useful chants would include Crippling Anthem, Anthem of Fury (if accompanied by numerous warriors), and other offensive chants. These paragons tend to carry 1 or 2 defensive chants such as Song of Restoration. Typical shouts include "Fall Back!", "Make Haste!", and other increased running speed skills as well as skills like "Shields Up!" and "Watch Yourself!" for secondary Warriors.
- Focused Paragons: A paragon focused on aspect of a battle.
- Spiker: A paragon that brings 2-3 powerful spear attacks with little to no adrenaline cost and powerful chants and echoes.
- Multi-Purpose: Usually for GvG, these paragons bring skills suited for their role. Most of the GvG paragons bring one or two chants, a shout or two, echoes, and attack skills. Signet of Return is sometimes a nice choice.
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