Red Guardian

Red Guardian ‘Keen Blade’ Build

By Zipfile of Arkenstone – Updated for Blood of Azog, U31.1

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

These goals are kept with Essence & Gear planning in mind, as to which Essences are to be prioritized over others. These goals can also be used when picking Virtues.

Critical Rating > Physical Mastery > Tactical Mitigation

After Critical Rating and Physical Mastery are capped or near capped, save some room for Trigger essences, and then Tactical Mitigation essences can be used. At the beginning of expansion, Essence slots are really limited, this gets easier as better items become available later down the line.

* Before planning Essences, slot the right Virtues (more on that down below). This way you can plan your setup better, and utilize Essences perfectly, and you can dump the remaining Essence slots in Old Triggers, Finesse, or other Stat of your choice after meeting Stat goals mentioned above.


With new Gundabad expansion released, new gear for Red Guardians is published in the tables down below. There are 2 published Builds, one for Endgame and one for Starters.

End-game Build

Armour Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
HelmGundabad 3-Man Instance
ChestGundabad 6-Man Instance
Shoulders Gundabad 6-Man Instance
GlovesGundabad 3-Man Instance
LegsGundabad 3-Man Instance
BootsGundabad 3-Man Instance
CloakGundabad 6-Man Instance
Off-handN/A – Uses a 2-Hander Weapon
Class ItemEmbers Box

Jewelry Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
Earring 1Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Earring 2Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Necklace Gundabad 6-Man Instance
PocketGundabad 6-Man Instance
Bracelet 1Storvagun Winter Festival
Bracelet 2Storvagun Winter Festival
Bracelets AlternativeMountain-hold Barter.
Use these if no
Storvagun Bracelets
Ring 1Gundabad 6-Man Instance
Ring 2 Gundabad 6-Man Instance

Starter Build

The 130 Level Gear from this Build can be acquired by bartering for Ember Armor/Jewelery boxes of the respective weight from the Adventurer’s Quartermaster NPC. As for Essences, you can use the ones you get from Questing or Crafting (whichever Tier is fine), and try to follow the Stat Goals above and Slot the ones which are needed by your Class.

Armour Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
HelmEmbers Box
ChestEmbers Box
Shoulders Embers Box
GlovesEmbers Box
LegsEmbers Box
BootsEmbers Box
CloakEmbers Box
Off-handN/A – Uses a 2-Hander Weapon
Class ItemEmbers Box

Jewelry Pieces

Gear SlotSet PieceLocation
Earring 1Embers Box
Earring 2Embers Box
Necklace Embers Box
PocketEmbers Box
Bracelet 1Embers Box
Bracelet 2Embers Box
Ring 1Embers Box
Ring 2 Embers Box


Essence NameEssenceNote
Critical RatingUse these to reach
near Critical Rating cap.
Physical MasteryUse these to reach
near Physical Mastery cap.
Critical Rating TriggerUse 1 of these.
Physical Mastery
Use 1 of these.
Tactical MitigationUse these to fill
slots after above
Essences are met.

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.

35 Trait Points Build for Legendary Servers

35 Points Build

60 Trait Points Build for Beginners

60 Points Build


These are the virtues I use to reach the Stat Goals. I use mostly Offensive options, but if need be, some of them can be switched to more Defensive options as well, depending on the type of fight. More explained down below.

Virtues for Red-Line

Here are the Virtues which go along with the Stat Goals:

  1. Zeal (Great for Mastery and Critical Rating)
  2. Valour (Great for Mastery, Finesse and Critical Rating)
  3. Confidence (Great for Critical Rating and Finesse)
  4. Wit (Great for Finesse, Mastery and Critical Rating)
  5. Loyalty (Great for Vitality and survival)
    • If you need extra Survivability, swap Wit with Fidelity

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

  • Fidelity (Great for Vitality + Tactical Mit)
  • Tolerance (Gives great amount of Tactical Mit, decent Physical Mit and Resistance)
  • Innocence (Gives great amount of Physical Mit, decent Tactical Mit Mit and Resistance)

Legendary Items

Red Guardians need 3 LIs for DPS, which are two LI Two-Hander Weapons, one for AoE and one for Single-target, and one Belt LI.

*Note 1: Red Guard’s Class item is built in a way that it can be easily shared between Single-target or AoE Weapon.

*Note 2: Please use Word of Craft Traceries as per Stat Goals. Generally Critical Rating is better to take from Word of Crafts, as you get more passive Mastery from Primary Stats. So Critical Rating from WoC will be better in the long-term.

2-Hander Weapon Single Target

Heraldic TraceryHeraldry of the Ox
Word of PowerDamage Over Time
Word of PowerDamage Over Time Criticals
Word of MasteryBrutal Assault Damage
Word of MasteryOverwhelm Damage
& Critical Chance
Word of MasteryStagger Critical Chance
& Duration
Word of MasteryStamp Cooldown
& Damage
Word of MasterySting Damage
& Critical Chance
Word of MasteryTo The King Damage
Word of CraftAscendent Lightning
Word of CraftAscendent Lightning
Word of CraftEmpowered Destruction
(To be unlocked with Gundabad)

2-Hander Weapon AoE

Heraldic TraceryHeraldry of the Ox
Word of PowerArea Effect Attack Criticals
Word of PowerArea Effect Attack Damage
Word of MasteryShield Damage
(Increases War-Chant’s damage)
Word of MasteryStamp Cooldown
& Damage
Word of MasterySting Damage
& Critical Chance
Word of MasterySweeping Cut Damage
& Critical Chance
Word of MasteryVexing Blow Damage
Word of MasteryWhirling Retaliation Damage
Word of CraftAscendent Lightning
Word of CraftAscendent Lightning
Word of CraftEmpowered Destruction
(To be unlocked with Gundabad)

Guardian’s Belt (Class Item)

Heraldic TraceryHeraldry of the Ox
Word of PowerArea Effect Target Count
Word of PowerSingle Target Attack Criticals
Word of PowerSingle Target Attack Damage
Word of MasteryCatch a Breath Cooldown
& Heal
Word of MasteryGuardian’s Pledge Cooldown
& Magnitude
Word of MasteryGuardian’s Ward Damage
& Parry Chance
Word of MasteryParry Response Damage
Word of MasteryWarrior’s Heart Duration
Word of MasteryWarrior’s Heart Morale Heal
& Maximum
Word of CraftAscendent Lightning
Word of CraftAscendent Lightning
Word of CraftEmpowered Destruction
(To be unlocked with Gundabad)


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:

Click here for the video.


There are the consumables I use on Guardian:

Updated as of U31.1.