Guild Wars 2: Digital Salad’s Conundrum

I have a conundrum that I thought I would open up to everyone to give me advice on. I’ve almost saved enough money to buy the commander tag that I’ve always considered, but has always been at the bottom of the pile when it came to importance. I’ve managed to achieve a lot of aims recently, so the commander tag is near the top of the pile. BUT! My problem is who to have this commander tag on.

Not mine - yet!
Not mine – yet!

So I’ve narrowed down my choice to two of my characters. One of them is my Guardian, Digital Saladette. That’s part of the reason why I decided to ask my awesome followers on this blog – whenever you ask somebody in game on GW2 or on the game forums what character you should be a commander as they will always say Guardian. They usually won’t even give you a reason, so I want to have a bit of a chat about the ins and outs of the pros and cons of certain classes for commandership.

With a commandership what I’m looking for is a class thats good at both PvE and WvW.

With PvE what I want is to be able to get involved with the Living Story content that requires a zerg, maybe even lead one if there’s no commander. I’d like to be able to lead the Frostgorge champion train if no-one else is, so for PvE its about leading a group if there’s no-one else stepping up to the plate, usually in a group situation. So, speed boost is important, as is group synergy.

With WvW I’m looking for a class that can lead effectively. That doesn’t require a speed boost so much, as usually others will boost you, but it would help. Mainly what that needs is survivability, to stay alive through thick and thin to keep those following me going. I’d also like to be able to do consistent damage, both at range and close up – so I don’t want to be a full on tank.

That’s the Digital Salad shopping list for traits in a class, but of course there’s not one class that meets all of them or else everyone would just play that class. So whats the pros and cons? Well, I’m deciding between my Guardian, Digital Saladette, and my Mesmer, Sprinkley Salad (I don’t think you’ve been introduced to him before, but you will meet him in a minute!).

Digital Saladette
Digital Saladette

So, Digital Saladette has fantastic DPS close up as a Guardian, but is really lacking in range damage. Survivability is good, and so is her ability to speed boost. When it comes to group synergy though she falls down a bit, the most I can do when I’m playing as her is give my allies some fairly useful, but all too short lived, boons.

Sprinkley Salad
Sprinkley Salad

Sprinkley Salad. Well, his ranged DPS is much better than Digital Saladette, and his close DPS matches up pretty much the same. His survivability is ok, with a combination of clones, illusions, blinds, stealths and evades helping him out a lot, but its not quite as good as the beefy guardian. His speed boost isn’t quite as good either, but is reasonable.

Where he really excels is with group synergy and utility. Most of all portals, which would be especially handy in WvW. About to lose a keep? I could hide, pop my commander tag up once the enemy leaves and then my allies know where my portal will be. There’s also Null Field and Time Warp which are great in a group situation.

So, overall, I find my Mesmer and Guardian to be very similar when it comes to the traits I’m looking for in a commander. I know that Guardians are the traditional first choice, but sitting down and looking at it the Mesmer has matched up pretty well for everything you’d want.

I want to hear people’s opinions on this. Why are Guardians so popular as commanders over others? Which should I pick given what I’m looking for? Let me know, I’d really like some advice!


Digital Salad –


4 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2: Digital Salad’s Conundrum

  1. Jeromai December 6, 2013 / 5:40 pm

    Guardian commanders are often used in zerg-fighting, along with the odd warrior. The rationale behind this is primarily survivability, as well as leading the melee train. Melee stacks on the tag, ranged use the tag as an AoE bombing location and rally point. Thus, the popularity and preponderance of guardian commanders thereof.

    If you have an interest in doing this style of fighting, then the tag is best on the guardian. If not, then go with whatever you want as the dorito as rally point works on any profession.

    Bear in mind that it doesn’t mean people will automatically follow the moment a dorito is popped. One’s zerg will tend to grow or shrink depending on one’s tactics, success and morale-boosting ability.

    Personally, I’ve attempted to follow one or two erratic thieves and mesmer commanders before and their movement was just too evasive for zerg-fighting. Then again, I’ve followed suicidal guardians into a charge and wiped a few times before giving them up as a bad idea too.

    And I would’ve followed my old WvW guild leader’s thief commander tag to the ends of the world because he had a knack for which battles could be won or not, plus was super good-natured and good at drumming up enthusiasm and morale. He was actually advised to swap to a sturdier class for zerg-fighting and he did try switching to an elementalist, but it seemed to burn him out very quickly. He was just a -thief-. A spectacular thief.

    Class matters less than being classy where commanders are concerned, imo. (Except in above caveat of being a zerg-busting anchorhead type of commander.)

    • Digital Salad December 7, 2013 / 12:39 pm

      Thanks for the reply! That’s some awesome feedback, just what I needed.

      I think I’ve decided to go with my Guardian instead of the Mesmer, mainly because I’m a little more comfortable in playing my Guardian – I’ve spent more time as her. As you say, its more being classy than class, so I have to be totally comfortable with the class I pick!

      I know I’ll have to work hard to get people to follow me, and I certainly plan on it. I’ll keep you updated how my commandering adventures go once I do get the tag.

    • j3w3l December 7, 2013 / 1:27 pm

      great advice Mr J
      here’s a build if you’re interested as well, not a guardian player and I believe I’m 2 weeks behind with this one.. anyway|2.5c.h17.d19.0.0|6.1c.hz.0.0.0|1c.7x.1p.7x.1c.7x.1p.7x.1c.7x.1p.7x|2v.d14.2t.d14.21k.d19.2t.d19.2u.d14.3u.d17|0.0.u46b.u28b.a2|54.7|v.16.19.1b.1j|e

  2. knivesmith December 6, 2013 / 9:30 pm

    Jeromai pretty much said all that there is to say. In your position, I’d go with the Guardian. You also don’t need a commander tag to let people know you’ve got a portal ready to sneak into a keep.

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