Red Guardian

Red Guardian ‘Keen Blade’ Build

By Zipfile of Arkenstone – Updated for Blood of Azog, U30.2

Table of Contents


Welcome, here you will find a good build for Red Guardians. While this spec is not particularly used much in endgame, it is still popular and used by some players, not to mention that it’s quite fun to play it.

Red Guardians can dish out decent AoE and Single-target damage if played right and can be used perfectly well for Landscape, 3-mans and some of the lower-tier 6-mans and Raids.

Stat Goals

*This applies to all levels, from 1 to 130.

Red Guardian’s primary role is DPS, their stat goals should be:

Physical Mastery > Critical Rating > Vitality > Finesse

(These stats are acquired from Essences, Virtues, LIs, etc.)

With Endgame gear and correct placement of Essences, Virtues and so on, self buffed stats should be around:

Critical Rating~600,000
Physical Mastery~800,000

* While you are gearing up, first remove all Essences from your current Gear. Then slot the right Virtues (more down on that down below) and then slot Essences as per the Stat goals. This way you can plan your setup better, and utilize Essences perfectly, and can dump the remaining Essences in Vitality or other Stat of your choice after meeting Stat goals mentioned above.


The Armour Set from Remmorchant Raid for Red Line Guardian, called ‘Unmatched Bloodlust’ is Best in Slot. It increases all Guardian’s Bleed damage by 10%, which is a decent boost as majority of their DPS comes from different bleeds. Then this 4-piece set can be paired with the new 3-piece Might DPS set from FoKD Raid, which will give additional -10% Attack Duration and some stats.

As for the Jewels, the Best in Slots are from different content, please refer to the tables below.

*NEW: Builds now include a Starter setup, which contains gear from no raids/instances, a beginner friendly setup which can be acquired just from Landscape/Daily questing, such as from U28 Missions and U26 Wilderland Dailies. This Build can be found below the End-game Builds.

End-game Build

Armour Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
HelmRemmorchant Raid Barter
ChestRemmorchant Raid Barter
Shoulders Remmorchant Raid Barter
GlovesFoKD Raid Barter
LegsRemmorchant Raid Barter
BootsFoKD Raid Barter
CloakFoKD Raid Barter
Off-handN/A – Uses a 2-Hander Weapon
Class ItemEmbers Lootbox Barter

Jewelry Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
Earring 1Shadowed King T4/T5
Earring 2Shadowed King T4/T5
Necklace AD Raid T4/T5
PocketMissions/AD Raid T4/T5
Bracelet 1Remmorchant Raid T5
Bracelet 2Remmorchant Raid T5
Bracelets AlternativeAD Raid. Use 2
of these if no
Remmo Bracelets
Ring 1AD Raid T4/T5
Ring 2 AD Raid T4/T5

Starter Build

This Build is intended for those who just want to play solo and do not wish to participate in Instances, Raids and Lootboxes. The 130 Level Gear from this Build can be acquired just by doing Solo dailies (and some Crafting) from different late-game Zones, such as from Wilderland and Elderslade. As for Essences, you can drag/drop ones you get from Questing or Crafting (whichever Tier is fine), just try to follow the Stat Goals above and Slot the ones which are needed by your Class.

Armour Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
HelmCrafted, requires
Ithiligalad Boxes
ChestWar of the Three
Peaks Missions
Shoulders War of the Three
Peaks Missions
GlovesWar of the Three
Peaks Missions
LegsWar of the Three
Peaks Missions
BootsWar of the Three
Peaks Missions
CloakWilderland Dailies
Off-handN/A – Uses 2-Hander for Solo
Class ItemEmbers Lootbox Barter

Jewelry Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
Earring 1Wilderland Dailies
Earring 2Wilderland Dailies
Necklace Wilderland Dailies
PocketWilderland Dailies
Bracelet 1Wilderland Dailies
Bracelet 2Wilderland Dailies
Ring 1Wilderland Dailies
Ring 2 Wilderland Dailies


Essence NameEssenceNote
Physical MasteryUse these to reach
800-850K Mastery.
Critical RatingUse these to reach
600K+ Crit Rating for groups.
VitalityStart using these when
Mastery and Crit Goals are met.
Physical Mastery TriggerUse 1 of these.
Critical Rating TriggerUse 1 of these.
Frost TriggerUse 1 of these.
Fire TriggerUse 1 of these.

*Note: If you do not have the resources/solvents for Slade-wrought (Tier 6) Essences, then you can use Tier 4 or Tier 5 Essences, and they are still good enough for all content!

Trait Trees

There are two different Trait Trees for Red Guardian, one is for when you are not expected to take damage, so you can build for slightly higher damage output, and the other tree is more Survival based and gives some extra defensive cooldowns.

1st Red Tree, more Damage based:

Red Tree for higher Damage.

This Tree gives everything you need from Red Line, max damage wise and opens up a lot of utility from the Yellow Line as well.

2nd Red Tree for more Survival:

Red Tree for more Survival

Almost similar to the previous tree, but this one opens up Guardian’s Pledge skill and Thrill of Danger skill, both quite good for survival.


These are the virtues I use to reach the Stat Goals. You can play around with these to get the numbers you want, but I would not recommend using any Mits virtues (apart from Fidelity) as you don’t gain much from them. You can swap around, depending on the fight, can swap in more Morale ones in for example, Honour for Determination, it just depends on the fight.

Virtues for Red-Line

By using these Virtues, I reach my Stat Goals, while still maintaining a good Morale pool.

  1. Valour (Best DPS virtue for Physical classes)
  2. Zeal (Best DPS virtue for Might classes)
  3. Confidence (Best Critical Rating virtue for all classes)
  4. Loyalty (Best Morale virtue for all classes)
  5. Fidelity (Great for Tactical Mitigation and some Morale)

If you don’t have these virtues, here are some alternatives:

  • Tolerance
  • Wit
  • Determination

Legendary Items

Red Guardians need 3 LIs for DPS, which are two LI Swords, one for AoE and one for Single-target, and one Belt LI. They can also have an Imbued Sword and Belt swap for some cooldowns reduction.

2-Hander Weapon Single Target

TypePost-Imbued Legacy
MajorBrutal Assault Damage
MajorGuardian’s Pledge Cooldown
and Retaliation Damage
MajorOverwhelm Damage
MinorGuardian Bleed Damage
MinorBleed Critical Damage
MinorStamp Cooldown
and Stamp Damage
MinorTo The King Damage

2-Hander Weapon AoE

TypePost-Imbued Legacy
MajorArea Effect Skill Damage
MajorSweeping Cut Damage
MajorVexing Blow Damage
MajorWhirling Retaliation Damage
MinorGuardian Bleed Damage
MinorBleed Critical Damage
MinorStamp Cooldown
and Stamp Damage


Guardian’s Belt (Class Item)

TypePost-Imbued Legacy
MajorCatch a Breath Cooldown
and Catch a Breath Morale Heal
MajorReactive Parry Damage
MajorShield Damage
*Note: (Shield Damage Legacy increases damage on War-chant)
MajorSting Damage
MinorLight Damage
MinorStagger Damage
MinorStagger Positional Damage


Swap Legendary Items

You need 2 Swap LIs for Red Guardian.

  1. Weapon is used as a swap for the following skills:
    • Guardian’s Pledge.
    • Turn the Tables.
    • Warrior’s Heart.

  2. Belt is used as a swap for:
    • Guardian’s Pledge.
    • Warrior’s Heart.


Here is the rotation of Red Guardian, by Zipfile:

Rotation 1 – Boss/PVE, not expected to take damage:

(Charge swap) – Brutal Charge – (swap to to ST damage sword) – Hammer Down – Stamp – Sting – Brutal Assault – Ignore the pain (doubletap for instant cut if possible) – (swap to AOE sword) Sweeping Cut – Sting (swap to ST sword)
(if parry response gained from first Sting, don’t use Sting after Sweeping Cut, Retaliation/[AOE sword first) Whirling then Sting again)
Thrust – To The King – Stamp – Sting
(if parry response gained from either last two used Stings, use War-chant, then Retaliation again)
Overwhelm – Sting – To The King.

This is the basic opener, after which you repeat Brutal Assault (animation cut with ITP or Stamp) and Sweeping Cut (ITP or Stamp again if possible).
Key notes now is that the Guardian rotation isn’t static at all and its very adaptive. You have to balance out multiple things during it:

  1. Make sure all 4 bleeds are up and prioritize getting the ones that aren’t.
  2. Spam Sting constantly, whenever its off-cooldown. Plan which skill you’ll use next while looking at Sting. Longer skills are sometimes better not to be cut because you can save the cuts for Overwhelm/To The King)
  3. You can swap weapons while playing skills, so whenever you have Brutal Charge ready, play a longer skill, swap weapons and press Charge, remember to swap back afterwards. (If you have To The Rescue traited, you can use Charge and Hammer Down for a massive damage boost on a single target)
  4. Unmentioned skills (Stagger, Vexing Blow, Forced Opening) are your filler skills. Use those when you have all 4 bleeds up to delay the rotation a bit.
  5. ALWAYS INTERWEAVE STING BETWEEN SKILLS, it’s your most crucial skill in the entire rotation and one of the highest damage dealers.

Rotation 2 – Landscape/PVE, expected to take damage:

(Charge Swap) – Brutal Charge – (swap to AOE sword) – use War-chant at the enemy pack out of combat (this gives you the crit on all enemies hit without consuming the Brutal Charge buff, giving you second used skill the 100% crit buff too) – gather mobs – Sweeping Cut – (if you didn’t get a parry response, Forced Opening) – Whirling Retaliation – cut with Stamp/ITP – War-chant – (mobs should get back up by now and you will most likely get a parry response from being hit) Whirling Retaliation – Thrust – To The King.

This is the basic AOE opener, just spam AOE skills and Sting, if you’re getting low on health, use cooldowns as needed (Catch a Breath should be the first one, Thrill of Danger, then Pledge, then Warriors Heart, by the time this is all out and if you spammed War chant, you’ll have Catch a Breath back).

Rotation Video:


There are the consumables I use on Guardian:

Updated as of U30.