Are you new to dungeons and want to know the gist of doing dungeons with a party, especially in organized runs? Or have you been running dungeons and feel like the runs weren’t as effective as it should be? Here are the things you need to learn if you want organized dungeon runs to go smoothly! Most of the information here is based on my experience doing organized dungeon runs with Garuda members in Guild Wars 2 and a bit of web-researching here and there.

Note: this is not a mandatory way to play the game, but if you want to learn how to play efficiently then by all means, read on!


1. In party-based instances, it’s more effective to equip armor, weapon and trinket with berserker stats (Power, Precision, Ferocity). Mesmers can opt for equipments with assassin stats (which affects the outgoing feedback reflection damage). Popular choice of equipment upgrade for dungeons is Superior Rune of Scholar and Sigil of Bloodlust and Force. The higher the overall party’s DPS, the faster the run will be.

2. Potion and food for increased damage output. You can consume one type of nourishment and one type of utility consumable at one time. To be optimal in a dungeon team, it never hurts to bring a slaying potion which corresponds to the dungeon you’re running. Eg: If you’re going to tackle Twilight Arbor, bring Nightmare Slaying Potion with you. These sell for  cheap at the Trading Post. Garuda dungeon team’s popular choice of food for dungeons are the ones that give extra power and precision.

3. Stacking in Dungeons: Unlike PvP or WvW where you have to rely on yourself to survive deadly encounters against unpredictable enemies, dungeons are pretty much easy as long as players know what skills to use against which types of enemies, how to stack and DPS the bosses and mobs pronto. In Guild Wars 2, boss fights tend to get more dangerous if prolonged and therefore you need to kill them ASAP. Stacking means staying at the same spot and not moving around, so that the enemy stays in the same place and receives constant damage.

4. Know thy enemies. Each dungeon in Guild Wars 2 has its own specific enemy type.

  • Ascalonian Catacombs (AC) has gravelings which knock you down, so equip stability skills.
  • Caudecus’ Manor (CM) is swarmed with bandits and a lot of them are ranged and hit harder if you move, so bring reflection.
  • Twilight Arbor (TA) has deadly poison mines and enemies that knock you down, and therefore Guardians need to sweep the mines with their staff auto-attack and equip stability skills.
  • Sorrow’s Embrace (SE) is full of dredges. They can’t be blinded and most are ranged. Reflect projectiles are life savers here.
  • Citadel of Flame (CoF) is the headquarter of the Flame Legions. There are lots of flame turrets (priority kill) but the mobs are relatively fast to take down.
  • Honor of the Waves (HotW) is full of icebrood minions, so expect a lot of chill condition. Mobs here have relatively high HP so don’t aggro too many at once.
  • Crucible of Eternity (CoE) has the most varied enemy types because it’s an experimental laboratory for dragon minions. Subject Alpha can be especially tricky. Remember to stack and evade at the right time.
  • Ruined City of Arah is crawling with risen minions and oozes. Mobs here poison, trap you in a knockback dome and have very high damage. This is the only dungeon where clear-everything-omg-loots is not suggested. There’s a lot of running past mobs involved here so swiftness, condition removal and stability. Guardians, don’t forget to pop aegis.

5. How can I be efficient in a dungeon party? Here are some tips from dungeon regulars in Garuda:

  • Guardian: Guardian is the number one source of boons in a dungeon party, and arguably the most important member of the party. Wall of reflection for ranged enemies, Swiftness and Aegis when running past mobs, Hallowed Grounds for tunneling or knock-back enemies when stacking, and heal and remove condition on allies if your party’s under heavy damage. My weapons of choice as a Guardian are Staff for Might boons, Hammer for its perma Protection boon and Sword + Focus for damage and survival at the same time. Skills that are life savers: Wall of Reflection, Hallowed Grounds, Save Yourselves, Hold the Line and Tome of Courage. Another important thing: Try not to use symbols when stacking, especially if your party is trying to bring Might up to 25 with Field of Fire + Blast combo.
  • Warrior: The highest DPS profession in the game, warriors are superior in both damage and party buff. Banner of Discipline and/or Strength brings extra damage and precision to the entire party. Recently, “Phalanx Strength” has been the choice of warriors in Garuda, which is especially useful when there’s no elementalist to stack might in the party. My warrior, however, is still the bruiser of the bunch, opting for high damage output with a combination of Greatsword and Axe+Mace.  Tremor mace skill can interrupt enemies which are channeling deadly skills (Petrified in TA, Tunneling in AC, etc.). I personally always equip the Shake it Off skills to help remove party’s condition and Battle Standard elite skill to revive downed allies.
  • Elementalist: In organized dungeon runs, elementalists are valuable addition to the party in that they give constant might boons to the party when stacking. Elementalists can stack might up to 18 with sceptre/dagger weapon skills, conjure ice bows to destroy structural enemies (burrows in AC, dredge transporter in SE, etc.) or swarms of enemies with low hp pool, conjure Lightning Hammer for extra damage and constant Blast Finisher as well as conjure Fiery Greatsword. Tips: When stacking at boss, turn off targeting and use Fiery Rush (skill no. 4) against the wall for a quick, extreme damage output (this method is also effective on AC burrows!). Additionally,  elementalists can use Glyph of Storms when attuning to Earth to blind enemies constantly.
  • Thief: If you’re a thief in a dungeon, perma blinding enemies will save your party a lot of trouble (except for dredges in SE, which cannot be blinded). My thief’s weapons of choice are Sword/Pistol, Shortbow and Dual Dagger. Pistol skill number 5 Black Powder blinds enemies in a small radius. Smoke Screen blocks projectiles and can be blasted with Shortbow skill number 2 (Cluster Bomb) repeatedly to stealth your party past mobs. Thieves are so awesome with their chained stealth to run past mobs in dungeons: Smoke Screen with Blast Finishers  followed by Shadow Refuge and, if necessary, Black Powder with Blast Finishers.
  • Mesmer: Suggested weapons for Mesmers in dungeons are Sword with either Focus, Sword or Pistol off-hand. Mesmers can pull widespread enemies to a stacking point using Temporal Curtain, reflect enemy projectiles with Feedback and give quickness when stacking at a boss using Time Warp (used at a proper time so as not to overwrite useful combo fields). Other useful party-support utility skills for dungeons include Mantra of Resolve to remove party conditions, Signet of Inspiration to copy boons. It’s not advisable to use null field as it overwrites other useful combo fields.
  • Ranger: Ranger is my main character and as an underdog class, I always thrive to play it right in dungeons, much more than my other characters. My suggested weapon set for dungeons is Sword with Warhorn or Axe offhand and Longbow. Remember, just because rangers have awesome ranged skills, stacking is a must in dungeons. Don’t use Longbow autoattack when stacking and definitely don’t attack from a range when everybody else is stacking. Always keep your pet in check. Set them to defend when running past mobs and set them back to aggresive when encountering enemies. Healing Spring is a long duration Water Combo Field and is very useful in dungeons. Signet of Renewal transfers all conditions from allies to your pet when triggered and Nature Spirit removes conditions and revives downed allies when triggered. Sword can be tricky to master and can make you leap out of stack if you don’t control it well. Offhand axe is especially useful for reflecting projectiles, even from above. Jungle Stalker Pet gives 5 stacks of might so make sure to use F2 with this pet at the start of stacking.
  • Necromancer: It’s not recommended to use minions in dungeons as they die too quickly. Choice of weapons for Necromancer in dungeons includes Dagger with Warhorn or Focus offhand. Use Well of Suffering when stacking and Plague Form Elite to blind enemies.Useful utility skill is Locust Swarm, and therefore it’s advisable to maintain it on recharge and make sure it’s available at the start of every boss fight.
  • Engineer: Engineer has a lot of support kills to contribute boons to the party. Swapping kits and using elixirs can ensure 25 stacks of might on the Engineer and at least 10 stacks on the party at all times. Elixirs can remove party conditions and, if necessary, revive downed allies. Weapon of choice includes pistol, although Engineer kits are much more useful.

6. Improving Teamplay with Combo Mechanics. If you want an optimal damage output, stack might to 25 whenever possible when entering combat against a boss in dungeon. Area healing and blindness are also life savers when encountering swarms of mobs. You can learn more about how to do combos by reading this article: Combo Mechanics in Guild Wars 2.

7. Pay Attention to Your Party’s Situation. Always take a glance at how the entire party is doing and take actions immediately: Heal and remove conditions whenever necessary. Try to revive 2 or more downed allies at the same time with aoe revival skill in dangerous situations (If only 1 person is downed, help revive him/her manually). If it’s hard to get to your downed party ally, you can help him/her rally by killing a target. Fire and water combo fields can be blasted for area might and healing. If someone’s trying to revive an ally and the aggro is on you, you should kite it away until both of them can re-enter the fray. The entire run’s success depends on all party members so make sure everybody’s intact!

In regards with the recommended Berserker stats, it is not a mandatory way to play the game, it’s simply a suggestion to make your dungeon runs more efficient. If you’ve reached a consensus with your team mates that non-berserker is acceptable, by all means, play and have fun! None of Garuda officials nor I have ever turned down a player from doing dungeon with us because they don’t have berserker stats, not lvl 80 or because they play a certain underdog class. Nobody should force someone else to play a certain way or go home. We have healing build warrior, knight mesmers, celestial elementalist and condition damage necromancer tagging along in our dungeon runs. We want everybody to have our share of fun! Speed runs are not worth losing potential new friends and loyal members of the guild.

Garuda guild members do dungeons everyday, and you can contact our official to help you with dungeon stories or learn explorable paths, just ask on guild chat! Just for laugh, we also do:

– Stupid Danjen: When everyone hops on their alts and do dungeons together. They may not be level 80 and might not equip berserker armor.

– Naked Danjen: No, it’s not doing dungeons while sitting naked in front of your PC! It means everybody in the party strips down to nothing except their weapons. Try it out, it’s super hilarious XD

– Paranoid Danjen: It’s simply clearing all enemies in a dungeon, no time window constraints! We don’t do this in Arah, though, it’s too exhausting!

Last but not least, take a deep breath, relax and don’t forget to have fun! Cheers!