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Guardian-ultimate guide (warning very long)

Erik_Killmonger1001Erik_Killmonger1001 Posts: 427 ★★★
edited August 2021 in Strategy and Tips
A bit of background to this, I recently took up my guardian to 5/65 sig 200 and played with him a lot in my recent variant 3 exploration push which I think puts me in prime place to do a full ability breakdown. I am aware to is very long but while researching and testing I kept finding innovative uses and interesting interactions that I wanted to include so just enjoy. I have tried my hardest to keep it reasonable good grammar and cover everything and whilst I think I have hit most of the uses for his abilities feel free to correct or add anything you see fit in the comments, I want this discussion to function as an informative archive and discussion for all things guardian . Towards the end their may be errors as my brain is cooked after writing this for several pages but again I tried my best, just wanted to do a good guide. Enjoy :smile:



Guardian ultimate guide:

Passive:
Guardian cannot land crits naturally however deals a burst of shock damage whenever he would crit scaling with critical damage rating. This has a number of uses the two most notable being countering mr sinister and the spiked armour node, the situations where critting is detrimental is rare but it is a nice if niche piece of utility to have (only crossbones and gilly 2099 share this ability unless I am mistaken.) This also interacts nicely with nodes such as backblast since the shock burst will be enhanced by the node but he will never take incinerate damage. Their are some obvious drawbacks such as crit me with your best shot and shock immune opponents but often critting is punished more readily than being unable to crit.

Guardian can trigger parry against non contact attacks. This again is not integral but nice, it has good applications vs champions that have projectile hits in their basic 5 hit combo such as havok or yondu and makes him an enticing option for those otherwise quite frustrating fights. Whilst most opponents with this ability can be successfully managed with reparry it is always nice to be able to just manage them as you would a normal opponent. This is also helpful if they are on a node that makes it less advisable to block such as soft guard or gauss warp.

While all of guardians abilities are below 100% ability accuracy for 3+ seconds inflict a shock until ability accuracy is returned to 100%, this ability scales with base attack and is unaffected by ability accuracy. This largely functions defensively as a way to punish the AAR from champions like arkangel. On offense though this has a nice use against domino, it isn’t the biggest shock damage especially compared to his sp2 shock but combined with his ability to parry projectiles he is a very good counter to her.

Energy damage on basics:
IMPORTANT:I have not found it explicitly mentioned that his basic attacks are energy in either his champion spotlight, in game abilities or auntm.ai however it seems generally accepted to be true across the community so I am including it.

Basic attacks being energy has numerous applications, probably most useful against korg preventing the annoying thorns damage (although korgs shock immunity does hamper guardians damage significantly) this has good applications on many fights such as preventing morningstar's bleed when struck and numerous other defensive abilities.

Armour up:
Start each fight with an indefinite armour up buff, if this buff is removed for any reason it will return after 14 seconds. This is one of your other major utility points: armour ups have lots of good interactions with mutants as well as just increasing tankiness, most famous of which being havok. Since guardian inflicts shock burst on his attacks havoks charge build up can stack very quickly however they will harmlessly detonate and can even provide some nice willpower healing. The armour up does also prevent other mutants abilities such as preventing gambit from having guaranteed stuns on his specials but honestly this works best as a havoc counter.There are situations such as crumbling armour or fisticuffs where the armour will be removed but you can usually tread water for a bit until it returns if it is required for the associated energy or bleed resistance.

While guardian has an armour up well timed blocks (parries) against special attacks have 100% perfect block chance over 0.5s and grant 10% of a bar of power. This is guardians other major chip damage reducer. By parrieng the first few hits and dexing out the end of a long special you can significantly reduce the damage taken through block as well as granting you a nice chunk of power. This ability does not grant power anywhere near the rate hyperion's power gain, rather it functions similar to ghosts sig, rewarding skilled players with an extra boost and making the champion more fluid to play. Recoding your muscle memory to tap block instead of swipe back during a special can take a little while to get used to but the 100% perfect block makes it very safe to do so and the chunk of power is much better than the measly precision from dexterity.

Force field charges:
Force field charges last indefinitely up to 3, any additional charges last 22 seconds. Gain 1 charge every 22 seconds. This is guardian’s other major mechanic, managing his force field charges is key to access his other utility as well as his big sp2 burst damage.

While guardian has an armour up buff gain +15% chance per force field charge to auto block the opponent's special attack (+15% against mutants) this maxes at 75% and is considered a well timed block. This ability is largely a safety net, with the cap at 75% there's a chance that this will not trigger but in most scenarios this can save you, given the blocks are guaranteed to be perfect this is really nice if your playing against an inconsistent AI. This does have some defensive applications as with most autoblock mechanics if you are using it excessively you probably need to skill up.

He also has the ability to consume 1 charge to block unblockable specials against mutants, now I love the ability to block unblockable attack because whilst unblockability is rare it can really screw you up, in practice though having it just against mutants specials makes it a lot more impractical than champions like red guardian.

On fourth light attack consume 2 force field charges to drain 20% of opponents current power. Now power drain is always a nice utility to have but if you need power control their are certainly much better options in the tech class. This like guardians autoblock is more of a safety net ability than anything and since it consumes 2 force field charges it can really start to cut into your sp2 damage if you use it excessively. I have found most use in scenarios where you misjudge the opponents cpr, if you push them to 3 bars it doesn’t matter just finish your combo and as long you remember to use a light as supposed to medium combo ender you can then safely bait sp2. Their is an argument for a use against opponents with ramp up cpr such as aspect of evolution since you would have the time to use a few sp3s to set up enough charges for consistent power drain however I haven’t tested this and it seems to niche and weak for mainstream use

Heavy attack-consume 1 force field charge to gain an armour up buff for 15 seconds. This unlike the light four has significant utility in a lot of match ups, without his armour he loses the ability to havok counter and his massive signature ability energy and bleed resistance so you will want to have an armour for much of the fight to access his utility. Whilst the initial armour break is permanent their are many nodes such as fisticuffs or buffet which can lead to it being removed, whilst it will eventually re-apply naturally, 14 seconds is a long time to wait if you need immediate access energy resistance to stop a limbo or plasma detonate from wrecking you. However you can use the heavy to gain an armour instantly and at the low cost of 1 charge it is much easier to trigger repeatedly than the power drain. Also since this one lasts 15 seconds it is guaranteed to last until the permanent armour up returns.

The other use for this is to trigger it to prevent your permanent armour being consumed during the sp2 such as against a havok where the barrage of energy hits and shock will lead to you taking a plasma detonate during the special unless you have an armour active but more on that when we talk about the special attacks.

Special 1:
After activation gain 3 force field charges-now unless these are the first 3 you trigger due to some odd node interaction these will be subject to the usual 22 second caveat. This is nice and a good way to pick up some good extra charges to enhance the sp2 burst damage and is good for variant content level hitpools, any larger and it is worth mixing in more sp3s for the permanent charges.

Inflict a taunt reducing opponents' attack by 40% and increasing the chance for them to throw a special by 70%, this last 6 seconds. This is double the duration of starkies taunt so it is easier to bait specials, this is nice for all or nothing nodes since his power control mechanic is significantly difficult to access repeatedly. However whilst it is double the duration guardian has no natural way to refresh it so this can still be problematic against passive AI since you need to build to another sp1 to re-apply it. This is a nice mechanic to have but just repeatedly using sp2 massively cuts down on guardians damage rotation so I wouldn’t say it is worth using unless you specifically need it. Guardians energy resistance and BP is already high enough that the reduced attack is already a somewhat void point anyway

Special 2:
The first hit consumes all force field charges increasing attack per force field charge for the duration of this attack. This is the main way that guardian ramps up the burst damage. The more charges he has the harder this attack hits and remember when it would crit he can do some very large ticks of burst shock damage which is unaffected by cdr and damage caps. In most scenarios you want to use of a few sp1 before using this attack to make sure you can get the strong burst damage and end the fight with an sp2.

If guardian has over 3 force field charges consume an armour up buff to inflict a shock dealing energy damage over 3 seconds. This shock is itself quite meaty though being short in duration and the key here is this scales with the boosted attack based on charges consumed making it add some very significant damage. This is the other reason that even against small hitpool you want to make sure you have at least 3 force field charges as without this your shock will not trigger. The other thing to be aware of is this will consume an armour up buff so if you want to maintain you access to the signature ability bleed and shock resistance you should use a heavy attack just before the sp2. You will have to spend 1 charge to do so and this may cut into your damage somewhat but it is better than losing access to one of your strongest utility points.
This attack cannot be evaded by mutant champions-again this one of those nice to have abilities, not many mutants have annoying evade mechanics aside from nightcrawler but since this is just on sp2 guardian isn’t really feasible as an evade counter and it just being against mutants means it is effective against only ⅙ of the champions in game. However I do believe this is specifically geared to counter domino since with his parry projectiles a lot of his abilities seem to be designed with countering her in mind. It is nice as if this attack misses building to another sp2 before your force field charges expire can be quite stressful and prolong the fights duration increasing the chip damage you end up taking.

Special 3:
On activation gain 6 indefinite force field charges- This is the main way to ramp up in long fights, it takes a while to build up 3 bars of power but since the 6 charges never expire it is often good to use once just to ensure that the sp2 has enough damage potential for a lot of variant boss level hitpools. Overall he doesn’t perform great against anything higher than 400k hitpools since he is reliant on a big burst damage on the sp2 similar to red guardian but the sp3 is useful to gain charges which then can be used use on heavy and lights to access his armour and power control.

Inflict a shock debuff dealing energy damage over 20 seconds-the shock debuff itself is not massively strong especially when compared to the sp2 shock however it has very significant duration so is more of a utility debuff. It enables him to really well counter nodes like shock vulnerability and also making him an option for the final variant 3 kang boss.

Signature ability: (graph from https://auntm.ai/champions/)

While guardian has an armour up buff gain the following:

Up to +8591.92 energy resistance-this is the other reason aside from his armour that he is super tanky, this energy resistance is currently the highest in game mitigating 84% of energy damage and making him a great option for a lot of the act 6 full shock and incinerate paths, with willpower it is possible to get a small net health gain from a lot of energy dot debuffs as well. However a lot of passive fun and interactive damage are also energy based such as limbo, EMP mod, power sting and mephisto aura of incineration. This is by no means and exhaustive list but you get the point, high energy resist is great to have and helps mitigate a lot of mechanics.

Up to +79.98% bleed resistance-this is similar to omega red and gambit where resistance is so high it is tantamount to an immunity, I would argue though resistance is a double edged sword you can heal with willpower which is nice but some champions like void and elektra punish you for having debuffs active even if the damage is being heavily reduced. Overall this is a super nice ability it isn’t as potent as omega red and gambit but unless the base bleed damage is massively enhanced by a node willpower should easily cover the 20% damage you are taking.

+2624.49 block proficiency-not sure what to say about this one, extra block proficiency is really nice, maths is not my strong point but with total 6447 block proficiency at max sig
which equals roughly 75% block proficiency, at 10% boost on his BP isn’t the greatest but given you want him at max sig anyway because of the scaling of his energy resist it is a great bonus.

+321.49 critical damage resistance-now quick explanation because CDR is not a common mechanic, this lowers the bonus you take from a crit, this is similar to man thing, the opponents chance to land a crit is identical but the bonus damage you take is mitigated whereas crit resistance lowers the chance for you to crit. Overall this is ok, compared to the energy and bleed resistance it is not why your using sig stones on the champion but it adds some extra tankiness is always appreciated. I have found it most notable against the crit into your block champions since this can combine with his high BP to really reduce the chip damage your taking. Also their are far fewer mechanics that mitigate CDR compared to basic physical resistance so unless base attack is super high a max sig guardian can take quite a few hits to the face and survive relatively well.

I have referenced it quite a few times but the reason you want to have him as higher sig as possible is the gradient of his sig graph. At sig 140 he has just less than 4,000 energy resist so 140 sigs get him less than half way to max value but ¾ of the way to sig 200 the last 30-40 sigs do more than the first 100 sigs.

synergies:

True northern defense-all champions except guardian gain +500-1250 block proficiency, this scales with star rating.

This is a super nice synergy to always have active, due to to how diminishing returns interacts when values are calculated converting flat values into percentages this synergy is very effective for champions that have low base BP like cull and modok and not very noticeable when using champions like CAIW and red skull. It is a good bonus to have if you want to bring guardian in and can really help out champions that would usually struggle taking multiple hits into the block.

Alpha flight (with sasquatch)-well timed blocks inflict a shock dealing 50% of attack rating over 2 seconds. This synergy isn’t the strongest it’s some nice bonus damage given you will be parrying a lot anyway. Compared to the sp2 it is a much smaller shock but extra damage is always good to have and 50% of attack can be an alright chunk of damage.

Excavators (with mole man)-each time guardian gains his first charge (from zero) gain an additional charge, this can be ok-ish for lower hitpoint opponents where you are just pushing for an sp2 to ended the fight without any sp3s to ramp up but is honestly not the best, mole man is a good champion and gains the nice bonus of not consuming monster mass to go unstoppable but the extra single force field charge is fairly irrelevant.

On guard for thee (with squirrel girl,deadpool,wolverine and sabretooth)
All champions except guardian- the first 3 block in a fight have a 100% chance to be perfect)
This can be nice in some fights such as invade and does allow all champions to have a long enough parry for a 7 hit combo the first 3 times but is not the greatest for larger hitpool opponents since once you have taken 3 strikes on the block this synergy is useless, it would be nice to have a these are not consumed on parries or some such caveat to give this synergy the similar long form safety net value that the fury triple evade has, also some specials such as flacons sp1 can burn through them really quickly so be careful about what special you bait.


Comments

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    winterthurwinterthur Posts: 7,947 ★★★★★
    My new 5-Star and seems like going to bypass HB (I have two class awakening gem).

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    RockypantherxRockypantherx Posts: 3,901 ★★★★★
    Excellent write up! I love my R3, looking forward to getting him to sig 200 after SoP
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    DjmagsDjmags Posts: 115
    I’m still unsure why no one ever mentions Guardians synergy with White mags, as it’s crazy op
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    Djmags said:

    I’m still unsure why no one ever mentions Guardians synergy with White mags, as it’s crazy op

    I didnt know this existed. Thanks! That does look nice tbh.
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    The_beast123The_beast123 Posts: 2,071 ★★★★
    Djmags said:

    I’m still unsure why no one ever mentions Guardians synergy with White mags, as it’s crazy op

    IKR? I expected it to be mentioned, because it seems to me like the best synergy he has. I won't call it crazy OP though, but it is really nice compared to the rest.
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    DjmagsDjmags Posts: 115
    White mags/Sasquatch/ Guardian makes Guardian op
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    willrun4adonutwillrun4adonut Posts: 3,432 ★★★★★
    edited August 2021
    Thanks for the write-up. It was extremely enjoyable and informative. I was looking for a reason to use my awakening gem and my sig stones and this convinced me.
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    Real_Madrid_76_2Real_Madrid_76_2 Posts: 3,401 ★★★★★
    In short

    Sp3 for long fights Repetitively and then boom massive sp2
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    odishika123odishika123 Posts: 5,385 ★★★★★
    Guardian FTW
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    Sw0rdMasterSw0rdMaster Posts: 1,746 ★★★★
    Took him against SOP Ghost just for fun.

    https://youtu.be/X6JtizBZgcY
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