The Scrying Pool: The Dragonhunter

The Scrying Pool continues its look at revealed Specializations with the Dragonhunter.


The Scrying Pool is a Guild Wars 2 column where I simply ask what if? Nothing is off the table as I dive into possible features and future content, looking at what currently exists in Guild Wars 2 before I answer my own what if question with how I think the feature and content could be implemented.

Normally that intro holds true, but while we are in the midst of the speculation reveals I will be flipping the tables. Instead of looking forward, the Scrying Pool will be looking back as we continue the Specialization series from a different viewpoint. Instead of speculation, I will focus on my impressions of each of the Elite Specializations after they get revealed while throwing in some of my previous articles and speculation for flavor.

Yesterday, ArenaNet revealed the Reaper, the Elite Specialization for the Necromancer. As we continue this series however, the Scrying Pool will remain a week behind to give time for the dust to settle and the spec to soak in. It is also a week behind because the Scrying Pool is written before the weekly livestream that shows off more of what the Elite Specialization is bringing to the profession. As such, this week we will talk about the Dragonhunter, the Elite Specialization for the Guardian that was revealed last week.

The Dragonhunter is bringing Longbow and Traps to the Guardian. The longbow is what I have long since expected the Guardian’s Elite Specialization would add to the profession, but both the name and Traps were a bit of a surprise.

Starting off with traps, I will freely admit that I love traps and that they are what my current Ranger is built upon. Something I was surprised to find with the reveal that the Dragonhunter will use traps is the widespread misconceptions related to traps.

First off, there are two different kinds of traps in Guild Wars 2: circle traps used by Rangers and line traps used by Thieves. The short version is that the traps used by Thieves suck mechanically, but that is because they function as lines, and lines in Guild Wars 2 are all a bit quirky and at times broken. Dragonhunter traps, however, are the good circle traps that Rangers have.

Next is that Traps are not anything weird or alien. They are an AoE that only work if an enemy is inside the radius. If there isn’t an enemy inside the radius it sits there waiting until there is an enemy to activate upon. Outside of this they basically function like any normal AoE skill.

Moving on to the specifics of the Dragonhunter traps, these all look amazing! All of these also fit thematically with the Guardian profession, many using the Spirit Greatsword as part of the visual of the trap. Test of Faith circles the trapped enemy in a ring of Spirit Greatswords, not preventing them from leaving the area but punishing them if they do. On the other hand, Procession of Blades summons a handful of greatswords that spin around in a fan of death. I would be remiss to not mention Light’s Judgement which summons GIANT LASERS OF HOLY LIGHT FROM THE SKY!! Ahem, pew pew.

Both the longbow and the traps are surprisingly attack oriented. When I had speculated about the Guardian’s Elite Specialization, I had called it the Cleric as I envisioned the spec adding more range to the profession’s more melee focused support role. There are very few support centered aspects of the Dragonhunter, and those that are support are more about locking down and trapping the enemy in place rather than directly supporting allies.

I like this more attack oriented Guardian. While I still think the profession could still use some more ranged support options, having more ranged offensive options was needed as well in my opinion and the Longbow is definitely good at that with all of its bouncing, piercing and AoE attacks.

I even like the name of the Elite Specialization, something that vocal members of the community have lashed out about. The first thing I want to mention is all of the suggestions to make the name better match the Guardian with names such as the Warden. First off, the Warden is even more generic than Dragonhunter and the argument that Dragonhunter is too generic is a bit ridiculous. Warden is basically a synonym for Guardian. This brings us back to the second point that I mentioned earlier, which is that the Dragonhunter is not a support oriented spec. The Dragonhunter is not guarding or warding against anything; it is going out into the battlefields and killing the enemies, not staying at home protecting the innocent.

Jon Peters earlier this week took to the forum explaining a bit about the name. The explanation is that the Dragonhunter are based off of Witch Hunters of the past that would find justice by going out and destroying these evils where they are found. The way I like to think of the name is that Offense is the best Defense. I could stay here and put up bubbles to protect people once the enemy is at the gates, or I could go kill the enemy before they get anywhere near my gates. Both of these ideas match this offensive oriented spec that is all about dishing it out to the enemy instead of buffing allies.

Which is where I think a lot of the community is looking at the name in the wrong way. Those who are suggesting things like Warden are looking at the Guardian and what names should be tacked onto it. The name of these specializations should match what the spec is doing. What the spec is doing can then match thematically to the base profession. The Dragonhunter spawns spirit weapons and beams of heavenly light to wreck any who enter their domain/trap. The longbow shoots compressed light arrows. This spec fits really well with the Guardian and the name fits the spec.

But at the end of the day, the name of the specialization really doesn’t matter. This is a game and the gameplay that the spec has to offer far outweighs whatever they decide to name the things. The Holy Poop Slinger is a name that wouldn’t have been far off from what the spec is doing, but Dragonhunter sounds way more epic.

Matt "Mattsta" Adams is ready to reap the souls of his enemies with the Reaper!

Continuing from last week, I crafted Jormag's Breath and Jormag's Needle to finish the Jormag's Defense Guide collection! A little, but not much, work was put toward the dungeons. The big accomplishment this week was going and buying all the Whispers, Vigil and Priory skins I was missing. I also solidified that my Revenant come HoT will be a Female Charr which is one of the few Race/Gender combos I was missing. What are you working on while we wait for Heart of Thorns?

If you have a question for me or a topic you would like to see talked about here, leave a comment below. You can also tweet your question and topics to me on twitter @MattstaNinja. Also, check out my site Mattsta.Ninja that focuses on guides and more for Guild Wars 2.


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