Impressions of the Dragonhunter


Recently announced is the second official elite specialization, the Dragonhunter (not Dragon Hunter) for Guardians. I’m pretty excited about it, as someone whose main character (well, tied with Elementalist) is a guardian. Let me tell you why.

Virtues! Actually, I’m a little lukewarm about the changes to the virtues. Sure, being able to leap with Wings of Resolve or throw a Spear of Justice is pretty cool and more powerful than the current virtue activations. But they seem less versatile, especially Wings of Resolve. What if I want to heal my party but they aren’t bunched together? What if I want to heal one other person but I’d rather stay where I am? So I’ll have to try the new virtues out before I’m totally sold on them.

Longbow! Not something I would have personally picked as the new weapon, but I like it now that I’ve seen it in action. The autoattack bounces to enemies behind the target and applies cripple to all targets – as long as there’s more than one. The second skill is a shot that charges briefly and pierces through enemies dealing damage. The third skill is interesting: it’s a shot that goes out and destroys all incoming projectiles. Pretty handy defensive burst, I gotta say, plus it blinds foes that it hits. The fourth skill is a ground-targeted Symbol of Energy that applies vigor to allies and damages and burns foes. The fifth skill is pretty cool – it hits an area with a barrage of light arrows, then surrounds the enemies hit with a fence that keeps them from leaving, like the hammer 5 skill Ring of Warding. All in all, that makes the longbow a weapon that excels at dealing damage and controlling enemies.

Traps! These traps take a short time to arm and cannot be ground-targeted, unfortunately. But they provide a variety of effects, including a set of whirling blades that pop up and damage foes. There’s also a trap that brings up a ring of blades that inflict damage on foes who cross the boundaries of the circle. Another trap, particularly handy for PvP or WvW, reveals stealthed enemies, pulses damage, and applies a full 25 stacks of vulnerability on enemies. Thieves beware! Finally, the elite skill Dragon’s Maw is a trap that pulls enemies in to the center and traps them there briefly then applies the Slow condition. More damage and control, essentially, much like the longbow.

I’m glad of these new abilities for the guardian. Ranged damage and control were rather lacking before, and they had no weapon with 1200 range. The Dragonhunter sounds like a dangerous knight who can survive from afar or in melee, killing foes far and near with longbow and traps. I look forward to making my Guardian a Dragonhunter, and I hope to see a lot of fellow Dragonhunters out there.

3 thoughts on “Impressions of the Dragonhunter

  1. Nice sum up!

    I’ve watched the vid and studied (!) the traits with the aid of that_shaman’s tool. Conclusion: I’m not unhappy (any more) about what they introduced 🙂

    Although I’m not sold on the longbow skills -but I’ll definitely try them before I completely look the other way- I am very excited about the new skills (healing and utility) and the new traits! I was hoping for increased healing capability but what they’re giving us isn’t bad at all. All in all, I can see the Elite specialization to be a permanent trait line of my future builds. Isn’t that what it should all be about?

    1. That’s right.

      It should be about additional potential, new ways of playing and evolving the professions.

  2. Your epilogue sums things up exactly as it should be.

    That’s the whole point of the Elite Specs. Expanding the professions to uncharted territory. The Guardians for example like you say lacked terribly at dealing damage from a very long distance.

    All in all, I’m happy with what we got. I know that not everyone can be pleased but I expect the Dragonhunters to be viable in various situations in game.

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