wvw Firebrand Guide

by Yevvie.2590
Last Updated: 18th July 2022

Yevvie

Xinluang [BP], Nevaelei [ebay]

Hello! I'm Yevvie and I'm a dedicated Firebrand main for a couple of well-known fight guilds and a driver for Fabled Mythos [Fabl]. I've been working on a variety of tools and guides, introducing people to the NA fight scene and its culture. Together with my husband and friends we're leading a guild with learning as its goal, so if you enjoyed this guide and ever swing by BP, pop in to say hi!

Although I am fairly new to fight scene, having played my Firebrand since October 2021 I have made a lot of progress and as such friends and guildies alike asked me for advice on learning and getting better with WvW FB. I am in no way perfect at this spec, but I am doing good enough not to get booted from the fights, as well as to carry a bunch of pugs when it's needed. This is why I am aiming this mainly at beginners.

This guide is the reflection of over 700h put into the comped fights from a perspective of someone who went from a complete noob to a position of teacher in just about 6 months. It is aimed at new and amateur Firebrands, as well as people genuinely curious about my take on this spec. If this is not what you're looking for, I'd recommend asking your own guild for a suitable guide, as some of my takes here are quite out-of-line with what people say should be done with FBs. Proceed at own risk, use your own brain for processing the information and agree to disagree where suited. 

This guide heavily focuses on my gameplay as Celebrand, but I do cover Minstrel's and their role as well. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

The information provided never will be comprehensive and will require edits over time. If you're curious about what changed from your last visit, click the date above to open up recent changes list. If you have any questions or found missing information, please send them my way via game, discord or even the contact form on this website.

Having trouble understanding? Check out my WvW beginners guide and my WvW glossary.


You can hover over most images in this guide for additional information. Purple links will link you to other guides of mine or the Official Guild Wars 2 Wiki. 

Table of Contents

Numbers

Yevvie's FB Jail Setup

Why celebrand?

I enjoy support specializations and will take my Firebrand over any dedicated DPS, as I enjoy the pacing and versatility of this spec. I am aware though of how little return Firebrand has for most players and they loathe having to swap to it when asked. This is especially true for people new to FB - they tend to lose out on bags and weekly kills, and would prefer working towards the UD or other achievements over helping their groups. Thing is, those two are not mutually exclusive if you play the right way.

Celebrand has everything that is needed for an effective all-round play on a support. With some practice you can become nearly as annoying as Minstrel's at running away, but can also deal damage, destroy siege, cap camps and sentries and generally do a little bit of roaming if needed. You can add extra pressure to enemies by stacking condis, and the stats from Cele will make them actually annoying and push scrappers to cleanse. 

Neither of these choices is a bad one and a lot of it will depend on the playstyle of your group. Celebrand is better at preventing the damage through the long upkeep of defensive boons, while Minstrel tops healing. Sadly, FB healing was significantly nerfed in the past, and most group will have you as a boon bot over dedicated healer in WvW. Consult with your group and the scrapper to understand what they expect of you, and manage your builds accordingly.

Celebrand is also the easiest support to start with for new players, as Level 80 Boost that comes with expansions will spit you out with exotic Cele gear, meaning it would be enough to just replace runes (covered below) and get proper weapons and sigils, driving the cost of full set down. Minstrel requires you to purchase gear, run Ascalonian Catacombs for runes, then get both weapons and sigils.

Minstrel is for learning

If you're absolutely new to Firebrand, I highly recommend starting with Minstrel's, then you can easily skip Resilient Infusions in this build, as you have extra toughness from your stats to deal with the incoming damage. This will allow you to learn positioning and get used to the movements before you swap to Celestial.

I've made the swap after about 5 months of playing, and had a transition period where I run half&half Cele/Minstrel setup. Running Celestial requires a lot of positioning practice and a good hang of your OSBs, as lower toughness will get you killed if you stray too far from the tag or get stuck in an awkward position. This is especially true in threeways and situations where fights get especially chaotic.

Other than that, stay with Minstrel if you're running small scale comped (at or below 10 people) and planning to fight outnumbered or against the cloud. Lack of players for damage spread, as well as the tactic of sniping supports makes you extra vulnerable when you're the most needed for the group. This also goes for groups that lack other sources of healing, as your setup will allow for stronger heals than Celestial.

I personally found Minstrel annoying, as dying as the last of the sub often means you sit there in downed state as enemy pokes you with their autoattacks, while your commander and others are already moving halfway across the map. This creates a loop where they consistently have to wait for you to rejoin or they're forced to engage without full support. Not ideal, and I do not enjoy having my raids spent on running back and forth hoping I get to play before group gets wiped again.

Exotics are enough

This is a bit of a controversial opinion, but you don't have to full on jump into Ascended or Legendary setup to be good. I have played with fight guilds in both Minstrel and Cele with exotic gear and weapons, and just Ascended trinkets for most of my playtime. Full Ascended is great for minmaxing your stats due to extra space for Concentration Infusions. 

In my opinion, if that small difference of numbers makes Exotics unplayable for you, you need to get good. If a total noob can do it, everyone else should too.

FB Jail

Mentality

your choice in Numbers

minstrel [ex] 

Celestial [ex] 

Power

Toughness

Vitality

Precision

Ferocity

Condi DMG

Expertise

Concentration

1000

2092

1593

1000

0

207

0

903

...

Armor

Health

Crit Chance

Crit DMG

Healing

Condi Dura

Boon Dura

...

3303

17575

5%

150%

1367

0%

75.2%

Power

Toughness

Vitality

Precision

Ferocity

Condi DMG

Expertise

Concentration

1605

1780

1605

1605

605

814

533

945

...

Armor

Health

Crit Chance

Crit DMG

Healing

Condi Dura

Boon Dura

...

2991

19465

33.81%

190.33%

705

35.53%

78%

"Stand Your Ground" - 10½  seconds x5

"Holy Strike" -  314 HP x4

"Stand Your Ground" - 10¾  seconds x5

"Holy Strike" -  248 HP x4

minstrel [asc] 

Celestial [asc] 

Power

Toughness

Vitality

Precision

Ferocity

Condi DMG

Expertise

Concentration

1000

2172

1633

1000

0

212

0

943

...

Armor

Health

Crit Chance

Crit DMG

Healing

Condi Dura

Boon Dura

...

3443

17975

5%

150%

1512

0%

77.87%

Power

Toughness

Vitality

Precision

Ferocity

Condi DMG

Expertise

Concentration

1639

1849

1639

1639

639

852

639

1084

...

Armor

Health

Crit Chance

Crit DMG

Healing

Condi Dura

Boon Dura

...

3120

19839

35.43%

192.6%

739

42.6%

97.27%

"Stand Your Ground" - 10¾  seconds x5

"Holy Strike" -  328 HP x4

"Stand Your Ground" - 11¾  seconds x5

"Holy Strike" -  251 HP x4

As shown above, making ascended Minstrel just to gain a little more personal survivability (which goes back to being too tanky comparing to the rest of the group) from extra Health and Armor, and whole 14HP per heal felt like a waste of my materials. On the other hand, gaining all stat increase and an extra second on each boon I provide felt more worth the investment. Higher health helps you with ticking conditions, while the armor difference is small enough that with good positioning you shouldn't notice any difference from that. On top of that you gain all sorts of the offensive stats, allowing for more pressure and AoE for sweeping downs.

Numbers

Priorities

Mentality

People often ask me what do I like so much about being a Firebrand that I don't want to play DPS. My usual answer is a joke on how it's up to me if people I don't like live or not, so people have to be nice to me if they want to survive. More serious answer though would require us to dive into mentality of the "ideal support".

Real-time strategy

Learning support spec is not about a stiff rotation, but about learning how to respond to a variety of situations in a quick and effective way. You need to learn to understand the tools you have at hand and remember to use them wisely, each time taking into consideration the way your opponents play.

This makes it much harder to master than a DPS class. Although you can get by with just basic knowledge of your skills and a vague idea how to chain them for a better effect, the true fun of the spec begins when you're forced to make quick decisions that will support your group and ensure their survival.

I'll talk about some of my experiences with that later on, but if you expect me to give you a stiff rotation to follow, this guide will have you disappointed.

Micromanagement

You ever played those simulation games where you had to micromanage a couple of things to ensure your characters will succeed at the given task? Being a support is being the manager of your subgroup. You will need to monitor and tend to their needs - boon stack, cleanse, stunbreak, heal up; without these things they will fail. You are absolutely crucial to their victory and they will rely on you for their survival while you need to rely on them to swipe the win for your squad. 

That leads us to the idea of perfect support being virtually invisible. If your group can forget about you and focus 100% on what they need to be doing it means you've reached the point of being good. No interruptions mean perfect stab and aegis upkeep, not dropping below "oh shit" health threshold means good defensive tactics and heal top up. This is of course means good synergy with scrapper and other supports, and does not indicate you being perfect. There's many things that can always be improved, but being invisible is one of the goals you should be working towards as FB.

Eyes on the world

You need to pay attention.

Over the months, this proven to be one of my greatest shortcomings, as I have attention span of a golden retriever. Keeping an undivided focus on what is happening on the battlefield is extremely difficult if your mind tends to wander, or even if you're just particularly tired that night. 

With time, your intuition and muscle memory will take over the simplistic tasks. You will be able to respond to the basic changes without much of a mental load, but until that becomes habitual, you may have to grow more understanding that not every day you will play the same, and not every day your choices will be the smart ones. Reaction time plays into your efficiency and if you're tired and distracted, that will prevent you from doing your best. Sometimes it's just better to call it a night a little early - just be patient and try again another time.

It takes two

Playing any support class requires you to pay attention to your subgroup first, and then to your entire squad, while relentlessly following the tag and making sure everyone else is able to do the same.

But you cannot do this alone. As a firebrand, your best friends are scrappers. They provide you with cleanses, extra heals and some stab, as well as are able to get you in and out the enemy zerg with use of superspeed and stealth. But to do so, they need your help.

This synergy is often underappreciated, yet proves that each squad is like its own machine, where each part has to work with another for the smoothest possible run.

Let them know

Communication is a crucial skill in any social setting, but it plays especially important role in cooperative projects such as fight guilds. This requires everyone in the group to be able to communicate in some way to let everyone know what challenges they face and what can be done to improve the overall situation.

This means that a commander may ask you to call timers, or let them know when you're on high cooldowns. You may need to tell your group what utility you're running and ask how to adjust better to what they expect, as each groups fighting style will be represented in what they need of you.

It also creates an environment where everyone can voice their issues - not always as complaint, but as a hint on how to improve next time. As such, you need to understand that someone saying they had no stab is not always the fault of yours, but sometimes you will need to use it as a direction for further decisions. 

Likewise, you should tell your scrapper about issues with cleanses, DPS about them straying too far from the tag or walking out of range when in need of heals etc. Just remember to be respectful and explain the reason why you need them to do a certain thing, so it's easier to understand the need of cooperation and comply.

Talking in voice is hard. I get this, I was there too. For many years I wouldn't even be able to speak into the microphone.

There's plenty of other options that can be used to communicate - try chatting in whispers, party chat, then squad chat, slowly building up friendships and easing the anxiety.
My guild had me buy a kazoo for "I'm in trouble calls". Start small, say hi, ask a friend to stay with you in voice for a while. 

It gets easier with time.

Mentality

Boons

Priorities

As a DPS, most often your decision making falls on the commander - you're supposed to stick to them, wait for callouts and use your skills when told to bomb etc. As a support, you have to learn how to respond to the situation on your own. Most commanders will only call out your big stab and the empowers, although some will call for symbols, aegis and resistance, or even use of CCs. 

This section is supposed to give you a vague understanding of the ways I prioritize my decision. It doesn't teach you full response but gives the idea of the questions I ask myself while guessing my next move. Remember that you won't always make the right decision, and sometimes it's better to take more risk and sometimes less. Read the mood of your group - hardcore groups will allow for less mistakes than shenanigans squads.

Staying alive

Although your job is supporting others, this cannot be done if you drop dead. It can be a challenging mentality game to learn that you are the most important person after the commander, and keeping yourself alive is your main priority. This often means you have to sacrifice other players if they're off the tag, or they drop down and your signet cannot be used, or the area they're staying in is too hot for supporting them. 

Keeping others alive

The way you support your group's survivability will be dependent on your build, the commander and other supports you're running with, but it will be a mix of providing defensive boons, keeping your group mobile by negating conditions and breaking stun, topping off their health and - if all else fails - reviving them.

Synergizing with your scrapper is very important here, as cleanse-heavy scrapper builds will provide lower healing, and you may need to actively add to it in order to keep the group alive; while heal-heavy scrapper builds often lose out on some cleanse, thus your job will be to help with that if they're struggling. Ask your scrapper in /p what they prefer you to focus on and whether they want you to run HG or cleanse mantra. I promise, Scrappers will love you if you show the will to cooperate.

Although keeping Stability up is your main priority, there will be no one to provide it to if everyone dies. You will have to make decisions and prioritize different players around you depending on the situation. Here's a list of basic questions you may have to answer very quickly in order to make your decision:

How important is this person to the success of the group?

Commander Firebrands and Scrappers Other Supports Comped DPS Other DPS Pugs

Commander is absolutely necessary to issue commands. Firebrands and Scrappers can keep other people alive. Other supports have roles necessary for the success. Comped DPS are usually your highest hitters and players who are willing to put effort and cooperate with the rest of the group. Other DPS may be amazing friends, but their survival not always means gains. Pugs and green names should be ignored unless you're in a safe position or have support skills to spare.

Would supporting this person put you at risk?

Depending on the priority of the person, you may have to take different types of risks. When commander is in danger, your life doesn't matter - it's usually over when they die, so your survival wouldn't lead to any profit - although this is dependent on your group. With other supports you can take a risk if you're sure that you can save them and not kill yourself in the process. 

Boon distribution

Providing the boons to your squad is the core of this profession. You're a walking buff bot, morale keeper, medic and priest of this game. This is a lot of roles to juggle but if you're taking it one system at a time and learn it step by step, you will eventually figure out a proper flow that allows you to do it all smoothly.

Priorities

Runes

Boons

Hover over the skills for details. Duration listed as shown on Cele Ascended build, will be shorter for Minstrel's.

Stability

Stability is the essence of firebrand's job. It is the most important defensive boon, as it prevents application of hard CCs, although it does not remove them if already present. Due to that most of your learning experience as FB will be figuring out how to apply and upkeep stab, as well as how to manage the downtime and cooldowns in a way that doesn't put your party at risk.

Stability can stack, and each effect will block one CC attack from being applied. This is countered by boon removal skills (strips, corrupts) which remove all stacks at once. Due to that overstacking Stability is not a common practice.

Works against:

Maximum Stacks: 25


Aegis

Aegis is your secondary protection tool. It will block a singular attack of any kind and disappear. This is the most important in preventing long-range pull and disable skills, and allows you to put it in place of stab in certain situation, alleviating the cooldown pressure a little bit.

When triggered by enemy's attack, Aegis will trigger any traits and enhancements that rely on Block effect. This, in certain cases, triggers more Aegis or other defensive boons.

Maximum Duration: ???

There's a lot of different ways people pronounce this name, and as such it may be hard to pick up from one driver to another. The original Greek word "αἰγίς" has went through 5 major pronunciation changes, it was usually read as "AY-gis" or "EY-gis". The modern English pronunciation is the closest to "EE-jis", but people will read it as "EE-gis", "AH-gis", "AY-jis", "EY-jis" and even "EGG-is". Pay attention and figure out which one of these is your driver's choice, or plain out ask before starting the raid so you don't get confused later on.


Swiftness

Swiftness allows you to keep the group mobile by increasing their movement speed by 33%. This is pretty self explanatory, but often overlooked by new firebrands. Movement speed does significantly affect the flow of the fight and keeping it up can change the pacing a lot, so you want to upkeep it throughout the movement phases and even through the fight where possible.

The duration stacks to maximum of 60s, and with the presented builds you should provide about 30-40s of swiftness when using your symbol, meaning you have plenty of time to reapply it.

Maximum Duration: 60 seconds


Resistance

Resistance allows you to ignore the effects of non-damaging conditions while it lasts. It doesn't cleanse them, but gives scrappers more time to react, preventing their effects from impairing the movements of the squad, keeping them free to fulfill their roles.

Works against: Maybe:

Maximum Duration: 30 seconds


Protection

Protection reduces incoming damage by 33%, although it works only with power damage. It won't protect you against falling damage or other types of health loss either.

Maximum Duration: 30 seconds


Resolution

Resolution reduces incoming condition damage by 33%, but it doesn't work against power damage. 

Maximum Duration: 30 seconds


Regeneration

Regeneration is a form of passive healing that is applied to your allies and scales with your healing power, ticking each second throughout it's duration. It will prioritize the highest healing source though, and as such it doesn't make sense to run two sources of regen for heal itself if they run different builds, only for boon stacking.

Maximum Duration: ??


Vigor

Vigor affects the endurance regeneration by 50%, providing a quicker recharge of dodges. It is common to treat it as a cover boon but it can be useful in certain situations.

Maximum Duration: 30 seconds


Might

Might is The Damage Boon, increasing both Power and Condi Damage. It stacks up to 25, each stack providing +30 Power and Condi Damage (level dependent). Throughout the duration of the boon, all your outgoing damage is increased, as well as the active conditions you've previously placed on the target.

Maximum Stacks: 25
Maximum Buff: +750 Power&CondiDMG


Quickness

Quickness is your second offensive boon which works by increasing the speed of combat animations by 50%. That allows your subgroup to pump out more damage in shorter time, making it harder for the enemy support to keep up.

Maximum Duration: 30 seconds

cover boons

Cover boons are boons of lesser importance, such as Vigor or Resolution (as of power meta), which should be applied right after using Stability, especially from SYG. Using them will provide a cover for your stability against strips and corrupts, making the chances of survival higher.

Boons

Traits

Runes

Main stat of importance is Boon Duration. For beginners, I highly recommend starting with Minstrel's and Monk runes for increased healing. When running Celebrand, your secondary goal behind runes is increasing survivability, as you lose most of the Toughness of Minstrel's. 

Celebrand BiS: Superior Rune of Durability

Superior Rune of Durability adds extra 175 Toughness to provide extra damage reduction, and provides total of 15% Boon Duration increase. Its 6-effect serves +10% Maximum Health, and provides a set of short boons to your allies, in form of Protection, Regeneration and Resistance which trigger on taking damage, with a cooldown on 20s. It's a very strong set of runes, perfectly crafted to support you and your squad.

Exalted Mastery Vendor (Requires Exalted Acceptance Mastery)
Heroics Notary (Requires at least one character with Provisions Master)


Celebrand Alt: Superior Rune of the Herald

Having the same Toughness and Boon Duration as Durability runes, Superior Rune of the Herald can serve as temporary replacement until you're able to get proper amount of masteries and testimonies for Durability. 
It's 6-set is significantly weaker, providing extra Protection to allies every time you use a heal skill, with a cooldown on 10s. It can help as you will be using your Heal Mantra for boon application, but the lack of extra health will show in your performance for a bit.

Craftable, Leatherworker/Armorsmith/Tailor 400
Trading Post, about 30g per set


Minstrel BiS: Superior Rune of the Monk

For Minstrel's, my choice was always boosting Healing and Boon Duration, as the armor itself gives you enough Toughness to survive most encounters. Runes of the Monk do this just fine, by providing both Healing and Boon Duration, as well as increasing your healing effectiveness by +10%, and up to 10% more if you grant boons right before healing. 

Ascalonian Catacombs Currency/Gear


Minstrel Alt: Superior Rune of the Water

As a more accessible Minstrel's alternative, the Rune of Water provides equal Healing and +25% Boon Duration. Its 6-set introduces a passive condition clear, which happens every time you use your healing skill, with the cooldown on 20 seconds. This makes is alright alternative for the time being, allowing for healbrand gameplay without the annoying dungeon grind.

Craftable, Tailor 400
Trading Post, about 18g per set

Runes

Protection Skills

Traits


Pug Open Field

[&DQExFS4qPjtLFwAANgEAADIBAABTFwAAGBYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA=]

My base build includes Honor, Virtues and Firebrand skill trees, as [1-1-1 / 2-2-2 / 3-2-3] setup.

It's the most suited to open field fights where I cannot rely on others to cleanse efficiently either because they're already dealing with a ton or they're not used to their class, and as such I am running [Mantra of Lore] over [Hallowed Ground]. This is most often used for pug commanders and casual groups for small fights and PPT.

Use of [Mantra of Lore] for immob cleanse requires a fast reaction time though, as it's never guaranteed that immob will be the first thing to be cleansed, and you may need to use other OSB to save yourself.

This means I am not making use of consecrations, and choose to set up [Resolute Subconscious] over [Master of Consecrations]. This trait will make it a little bit easier to get out of bad situations as it triggers when you get disabled (with 30s cooldown), granting you Resolution and Aegis. This can be enough to help you to reapply stab and heal yourself, or to get back to the group instead of instantly dropping dead.


Trusted open field

[&DQExFS4rPjtLFwAANgEAADIBAABLAQAAGBYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA=]

If your Scrapper has no issues cleansing or immobs aren't effectively used by the enemy, your choice of skill should be always [Hallowed Ground] over [Mantra of Lore].

While running Hallowed, you want to take [Master of Consecrations] trait to increase duration and reduce recharge of HG - this turns it from 60 to 48s cooldown and makes it easier to upkeep stab.


GVG

[&DQExFS4rPjpLFwAANgEAADIBAABLAQAAGBYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA=]

For GvGs and other fast-paced encounters, you want to swap to 5-page by choosing [Liberator's Vow] over the [Archivist of Whispers]. This will provide extra quickness every time you use [Mantra of Solace]. 


Roaming
[Cele exclusive]

[&DQEQGS4XPjtLFwAANgEAADIBAABLAQAAGBYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA=]

For light roaming and cloud fighting I modify the build a little and swap to Greatsword and Scepter/Torch. If support is still needed, I may keep Staff on for swiftness, healblasting and lines, and chose other weapon set for damage. 

This is an alternative to running a whole separate set of gear and focuses on running with runes you already have in the set. If you choose to get a separate set of gear, there's plenty of good roaming builds for guardian and FBs, this is just a money and space saving build I run for chill game, not for competitive 1v1.

Traits

Tome of Courage

Protection SKills

Protecting your allies from the damage and negative effects is the first line of defense you have to offer as a firebrand. Through reapplying defensive boons and upkeeping them as long as possible, you're creating a wall between your group and the enemy.

Aegis Application

[Shield of Judgement] will instantly provide Aegis and Protection to you and up to five allies.

[Protector's Strike] creates a blocking ring around you, and after you block an attack it will provide Aegis and Protection.

This combo can be used when you get into the 1200 range. This will defend your group from the enemy's pulls and some of the long-ranged damage if it were to drop.


Small stab

0

[Mantra of Liberation] is your quick party stunbreak and a small Stability and Quickness skill. It will allow you to speed up Empowers if used right before, help up stuck allies and help with stability upkeep.

Max Targets: 5
Radius: 180
Range: 450
Charge: 25 seconds
Personal & Ally Stunbreak


more stab

9

[Hallowed Ground] is ground target pulsing Stability and Resolution skill, which shows as a fire field under your feet. It will grant boons each pulse, providing coverage to up to 5 allies, and will also provide Quickness. 

Max targets: 5
Pulses: 8
Combo Field: Fire


Big stab

7

["Stand Your Ground!"] is the biggest firebrand skill. Providing whole 5 stacks of Stability with long duration and moderate cooldown. Thanks to your traits, it will also provide Quickness and Resolution.

You will use it before melee engage, and support it with Tome of Courage. You will also want to follow it by use of cover boons.

Max Targets: 5
Personal Stunbreak

Protection Skills

Sustain Skills

[F3]
Tome of Courage

[Tome of Courage] is your biggest defense. It provides a variety of essential boons keeping your party alive through the toughest moments of the fights and allowing them to stay mobile and ease the incoming damage.

Being crucial to the success of the group, this tome comes with long cooldown and a specific way you use it to maximize its potential in the fight. 

Courage skills

F3.1

[Chapter 1: Unflinching Charge] is a small stab skill hidden within tome. It can be used to wait out for cooldowns outside the tome such as stab mantra and SYG, or an useful skill to use when you want to drop the tome.

Range: 600
Max Targets: 5


F3.2

[Chapter 2: Daring Challenge] is the only offensive skill in the Tome of Courage. It's short duration Taunt is rarely used and it is preferred to use other skills instead of this one, unless you have a perfect spot to lure enemy into your group's bomb and have the charges to spare without sacrificing the overall survivability.

Radius: 240
Max Targets: 5


F3.3

[Chapter 3: Valiant Bulwark] creates a dome which will reflect projectile attacks to their source. 

Although not useful in a direct clash it can be useful in certain situations, including placing it in chokes, on top of downed allies, or at the tail if they're getting sniped.

Radius: 240
Range: 900
Duration: 5 seconds
Reflects Missiles


F3.4

[Chapter 4: Stalwart Stand] provides 4 pulses of Resistance, breaks stun and provides a combo field that will be converted into cleanses as your team attacks. It will allow your team to stay mobile within enemy ranks.

This is your highest priority skill within melee clash or if you stand in enemy bomb.

You should also use it on any big movement done by your group to limit the creation of the tail and allow for smooth transition. Drop it on dodgethroughs and risky kitebacks, as well when standing inside enemy zerg and under heavy pressure.

You will use it most often at the same time as F3.5, either right before or right after.

Radius: 360
Combo Field: Light
Ally & Personal Stunbreak


F3.5

[Epilogue: Unbroken Lines] primary effect increases Toughness of your allies by 200. This reduces damage taken as Toughness affects the Armor stat. On top of that, Protection reduces incoming damage by 33%, and Aegis and Stability provide defense against attacks and CCs.

This will be your first or second skill used when going into the tome on a regular push. It will be preceded by F3.4 if ground is hot, which depends on encounter.

Radius: 600

Tome of Courage

Tome of Resolve

Sustain skills

After the defensive wall is broken, you can offer damage mitigation, healing, and supporting the scrapper's cleanses in order to withstand the incoming damage. This is usually done after the initial push in order to wait out the timer on Courage.

Cleanse + healblast

[Symbol of Swiftness] creates a Light Field at the ground target.

[Holy Strike] allows you to blast within a symbol to cleanse allies and provide area of healing.

This is my basic sustain combo, as well as a great way to tag the enemies for bags. Every rotation of weapon swap I drop these two skills in the middle of ally and enemy clashing. This is your #1 bagmaker right there, it is also great for killing downs if you have cds to spare on disengage.


Cleanse chance + heal

[Shield of Absorption] creates a dome protecting you and the allies within from the projectiles.

Detonating the shield before it ends will heal the allies around you

This skill can be used in different ways depending on the encounter. 
While the shield is active, it follows you, creating a moving light field, allowing the allies within to create condition cleanses as they attack. It will show a duration bar - detonating it right before expiration provides healing.
In other cases, you want to doubletap it for quick heal before swapping weapons or going into the tome.
You can also use it over a downed ally to knockback enemies away from them, as well as interrupt stomping.


STUNBREAK

[Mantra of Liberation] is your primary stunbreak. You can use it on allies when they're affected by a hard CC to allow their movements to be restored. This will not help them with conditions such as immobilized, crippled or slow, as those are affected by cleanse, not a stunbreak.

Max Targets: 5
Radius: 180
Range: 450
Charge: 25 seconds
Personal & Ally Stunbreak


Cleanse

[Mantra of Lore] is your primary out-of-tome cleanse. It will remove 2 conditions from up to 5 targets, including yourself and apply Regen, which can be used as cover boon as well.

Cleanses are usually scrapper/tempest job, but you can take this skill if they're new or struggling, and when you're running without a dedicated cleanse bot.

Max Targets: 5
Radius: 180
Range: 450
Charge: 12 seconds


Regeneration

When regrouping or standing relatively still with need of a health top-up, I tend to toss [Symbol of Faith] down so people can passively heal while I wait for cooldowns.

Max Targets: 5
Radius: 180
Combo Field: Light

Sustain Skills

Utility Skills

[F2]
Tome of Resolve

[Tome of Resolve] is your sustain kit. It provides heals, cleanses and some cover boons. Its most important skills increases all incoming healing, synergizing with other support classes and increasing their effectiveness.

Resolve skills

F2.1

[Chapter 1: Desert Bloom] is a quick but not too strong direct heal affecting up to a 5 targets. It can be used to top off sub when dropping tome or when you're hurting with cooldowns, but generally there are better options.

Max targets: 5


F2.2

[Chapter 2: Radiant Recovery] heals based of conditions removed, and it works great in pug groups where you have no dedicated cleanse. It can be also used to break immob when already in a tome.

Max targets: 5
Conditions removed: 1


F2.3

[Chapter 3: Azure Sun] is a small boon bomb hidden within the tome. It can be useful when dumping the tome to provide more cover boons.

Max targets: 5


F2.4

[Chapter 4: Shining River] is your water field. It provides swiftness and moderate healing over 5 pulses and provides opportunity for blasts to increase healing.

Combo Field: Water


F2.5

[Epilogue: Eternal Oasis] is your priority skill within the tome as it increases all incoming healing by 20% and converts 2 conditions into boons. It should be used as soon as entering tome, before using any healing skill.

+20% Heal Effectiveness
Condis Converted: 2


Tome of Resolve

Tome of Justice

Utility skills

After the defensive wall is broken, you can offer damage mitigation, healing, and supporting scrapper's cleanses in order to withstand the incoming damage. This is usually done after the initial push in order to wait out the timer on Courage.

CC

Staff 5

[Line of Warding] is a long-range interrupt, which spawns as a line on the ground that prevents enemies from crossing through. It can be used to catch enemies that are running away, disrupt the enemy zerg by splitting them or creating tail, as a way to prevent enemies from chasing you and to disrupt movement through any choke. 

It is highly effective when used with your allies' strips, as Stability will prevent this skill from affecting them otherwise. It still will take away a stack of stab, so it can be useful, especially if multiple FBs are using it.


Staff 3

[Symbol of Swiftness] is your Swiftness stacking skill, as well as a Light Field which can be used for cleanses. You will be using it whenever standing still, stacking or even when moving on foot.

There's a caveat though. Due to creation of Light Field, do not use it when commander is planning to stealth soon (stealth, gyros, smokes). It will prevent blasting the proper field and prevent extending the stealth duration.


8

[Signet of Mercy] is your revival tool. You can place it on downed ally to revive them over time. Although the range of 900 can be punishing, you can walk out of the range, turn around etc as long as you started cast. If you need to cancel the cast, weapon stow, escape button or dodge roll. 


Staff 4

[Empower] stacks might over 3 pulses. Your commander will usually call for it, as it's the biggest offensive buff you can provide and the damage from it contributes significantly to the damage output by your DPS.

This skill does also pulse healing, and if you're able to finish the cast, the healing provided can be quite significant.

When using Empower, you will turn immobile during the cast time. Due to that, I like to provide Quickness with one charge of [Mantra of Liberation] to speed up the animation by 50%.

Utility Skills

Mantras

[F1]
Tome of Justice

[Tome of Justice] is the offensive option that firebrand has to offer. As the spec name suggests, a lot of these skills have to do with the fire. You won't use it that often when playing support but it's great for taking care of the downs and tagging, as well as fighting off roamers when rejoining the group.

Justice Skills

F3.1

[Chapter 1: Searing Spell] is a very small damage and burning skill. It has medium range of 600 but is not very useful unless spinning in circles and tagging downs while other skills are on cooldown.

Max targets: 5


F3.2

[Chapter 2: Igniting Burst] has little power damage but provides longer Burning, paired with some Weakness. It can improve the speed at which you're killing downs as they'll have less chance to dodge away and escape.

Max targets: 5


F3.3

[Chapter 3: Heated Rebuke] is your pull. It is useful for gathering up escaping enemies, pulling on the walls (especially when following up on mesmer pulls), interrupting stomps and disrupting the overall order.

Max targets: 5


F3.4

[Chapter 4: Scorched Aftermath] is a very strong pulsing damage skill which applies bleeding and burning in 360 radius around you. It also places Fire Field at your feet, allowing enemies to blast it for might and send away burning projectiles.

Mag targets: 5


F3.5

[Epilogue: Ashes of the Just] applies burning to your allies' next attack. Great to use when cleaving to increase DoT on downed enemies, especially when moving away from the scene. 

Max targets: 5


Tome of Justice

Range Learning

Mantras

Mantras are instant cast skills that consist of three charges. It is common to use up the first charge as it comes, and keeping other charges for specific usage. This is the most often case with stab mantra, which is used for helping with stab upkeep with the first charge, and kept for stunbreaking with the leftover 2.

Mantras have a very specific way of target picking though, so it takes a moment to get used to it. They target people around you within a certain radius, but also have a rounded cone-shaped ranged reach in front of you. This makes the range slightly bigger than stated in the description.

Mantras

Game Settings

Range learning

To effectively learn range, you can load up BlishHUD with a Range Module, and you can modify circles around you like on the picture below to better visualize range around you. One issue with that is that the effect can be distracting, as well as cause some eye issues due to flickering (I get headaches from running with overlays for too long).

I found one spot suited for range training and it's the top floor of Stonemist. The vent and carpet runner within the room can vaguely show you the ranges important to you, that is 180, 600, 900 and 1200. If you can learn that, you will more intuitively use your aegis and small stab, and have easier time figuring out what can hit you and your team, as well as what CCs you can expect at a given range.

Your skills

pULLS

ccs

Strips

180


600


900


1200


1500


Range Learning

Field Guide

Game Settings

Although it is normally not recommended, I am enjoying the game exclusively on Action Cam. As such, some of these settings will have to be adjusted according to your own playstyle and usage. 

If you use Action Cam, you don't have to ever About Face, as S-keying will move you at full speed. With regular camera, you will need to learn About Facing. Since I don't use it, I cannot help you with this one.

There are obvious downsides to it though, you have to deal with harder targetting as your entire camera has to move when placing ground target.

Keybind setup

Within the guide you'll find that I use default keybinds for skills. This is not true to the game, due to the fact that I'm using Razer's Naga Trinity, with 12 button side panel. This allows me for very quick skill chaining and you will have to take time and figure out what works for you. 

General Options - USEr Interface

Show Skill Recharge

Thick Party Health Bars

Thick Squad Health Bars

Always Show Party Health Bars

Always Show Squad Health Bars

General Options - Camera

Maximum Field of View

Use Free Camera

Enable First-Person Camera

Adjust Camera to Character Height

General Options - Combat/Movement

Ground Targeting: Fast with Range Indicator

Double-Tap to Evade

Lock Ground Target at Maximum Skill Range

Allow Skill Retargeting

Settings

Notes & FAQ

Field Guide

Having went though the theoretical knowledge of your skills and idea of their usage, it's time to try to explain practical approach to the movement and combat. I will provide describe my "ideal" behavior the best I can, but feel free to hit me up for explanation if more info is needed.

Getting there

Although Warclaws are widely used for moving across long distances, most groups like to be ready to defend in case of a portal bomb or stealth push. This means most of the movement is done on food, and while Superspeed is available, it's absolutely a waste to use it on a regular movements. Hence, Swiftness is our friend.

When standing still, place [Symbol of Swiftness] at your feet, allowing it to stack duration of Swiftness. It has to be done by all FBs in the group to prevent creation of the tail on move out.

Whenever moving on feet, place [Symbol of Swiftness] in front of the group, so we can walk through it for a refreshed speed boost.

This is also the time when you need to pay attention to the tail. If the group spreads out or has runbacks, roamers and gankers tend to take advantage of that and prevent them from efficiently rejoining the group. You should vocalize the need to defend them if you notice such situation, and provide swiftness, heals and small defenses when helping them to get to the rest of the group. When you or anyone else is doing so, do not excessively speed the head or the tail won't be able to catch up.

Pre-engage

Before the groups clash, your job is to make sure everyone is ready and in position. They should have Swiftness already stacked, if not it's good to toss [Symbol of Swiftness] on the ground. 

This is where you need to pay attention to the range. If you're getting into the range of enemy pulls, you need to roll Aegis or small stab. If you're getting into the range of enemy strips, you may need to start using cover boons.

Your commander most likely will call to stack. Remember to reapply Swiftness and use [Mantra of Liberation] -> [Empower].

Ranged spike

This is where first line of defense happens. You will have to pay closer attention to stab, use cover boons and react to the enemy 

Melee push

When entering melee range and before the zergs clash use ["Stand Your Ground!"]. Immediately cover up stab by using cover boons.

If you're playing even or outnumbered, shift into [Tome of Courage]. Use [Epilogue: Unbroken Lines] for added Toughness, follow by [Chapter 4: Stalwart Stand].

If you're already under the enemy bomb, lead with [Chapter 4: Stalwart Stand], and place it towards the front or right in front of your zerg as they move. This creates a safe pathway and zone for them to clash on. Afterwards use [Epilogue: Unbroken Lines].

Reapply Stab with [Chapter 1: Unflinching Charge] when needed.

Repeat 5 + 4 -> 1 until you're out of pages.

Out of Tome, use your weapon skills, weapon swap, use another set.

Staff 3 -> 2 in the middle of your zerg if sustain is needed, in the middle of the enemy zerg to tag them and remove their Aegis before next push. Toss a [Line of Warding] in the middle of their group if they're moving to cause more diversion and chaos. 

Shield 4 -> Mace 3 to apply Aegis and Protection. [Symbol of Faith] for passive regen / cover boon. Shield 5 if under projectile attacks or doubletap if needing heals.

If standing still or staying within a certain area, toss [Hallowed Ground] at groups feet.

Another push can be lead with ["Stand Your Ground!"] if off cooldown, supply with [Mantra of Liberation] if not.

If sustain is still needed, shift into F2, use [Epilogue: Eternal Oasis] -> [Chapter 4: Shining River].

If reapplying SYG, toss [Chapter 3: Azure Sun] for cover boons.

If cleanse is needed, use [Chapter 2: Radiant Recovery].

If you need to drop the tome and got cds on big skills, [Chapter 1: Desert Bloom].

Use another rotation weapon skills with Hallowed and SYG, supply with Mantra if necessary.

If the fight is still going and you're not w-keying the enemy, you can reenter F3 once off cooldown.

If the fight is close to over, use [Line of Warding], then shift into F1.

Use [Chapter 3: Heated Rebuke] to pull runaway enemies, follow with [Epilogue: Ashes of the Just] to let your allies stack some burning on downs, tag them yourself with [Chapter 4: Scorched Aftermath] and rest of the skills.

Oh shit buttons

Soft CC'd

[Mantra of Lore]

Cleanse + Healblast (Staff 3 [Symbol of Swiftness] -> Staff 2 [Holy Strike])

"I'm caught" / "Immob" / "CC'd" - specify your relative location if off stack

Pray

Hard CC'd

[Mantra of Liberation]

["Stand Your Ground!"]

If in F3, [Chapter 4: Stalwart Stand]

"Need stunbreak"

Low on health

[Mantra of Solace], followed by [Holy Strike] at your feet.

[Mantra of Solace], followed by doubletap [Shield of Absorption], [Shield of Judgement] and [Protector's Strike]. [Symbol of Faith] at your feet for regen.

[Mantra of Solace], followed by [F2] -> [Epilogue: Eternal Oasis], [Chapter 4: Shining River].

"I'm low" / "Gonna die" / "Going down"

Reacting to Callouts

"Stack!"

Get on top of commander tag. If occurs right before a fight, you want to place [Symbol of Swiftness], followed by [Mantra of Liberation] and [Empower].

"Symbols"

Place [Symbol of Swiftness] on top of the ally stack.

"Empowers"

Use [Mantra of Liberation] followed by [Empower]. If it's in the middle of the fight and you're in the tome and have many pages left expecting close enemy contact, do not exit, skip.

"Signet" / "Res"

"Signeting", "My Signet"

Place [Signet of Mercy] on top of allied downed player. If possible, do say you're using it - "signeting" or "my signet" are the usual callbacks.

"Dodgethrough"

If within F3, use [4] right before or right after the dodge. If outside, make sure Stab is covered, use Aegis if needed and watch whether there is a need for Stunbreak.

"Kiteback"

About Face while moving back with your group, watch the tail and use Stunbreak, cleanses or Resistance if needed. 

"Lines"

Place [Line of Warding] to prevent enemy movement.

"Full push" / "Commit" 

Prepare for full melee support.

"Small stab"

Use Aegis skills or one charge of [Mantra of Liberation].

"Big stab"

"Courage" / "F3s"

Prepare to use [Tome of Courage] rotation.

"F2s" / "Big heals" / "Waters"

Prepare to use [Tome of Resolve] rotation.

"Smokes" / "Gyros" / "Stealth"

Prepare to use [Holy Strike]. Do not use anything that places combo fields at your feet.

"W-key"

If defensive boons are covered, swap to [Tome of Justice] rotation / cleave.

"Blast!"

Use [Holy Strike] on fields at your feet. Careful to not hit any enemies if stealthing.

Field Guide

Notes

Stab Timers

To be added.

FAQ

How do you deal with constant immobs?

The only real way to "deal" with the immobs is to cleanse them, but you can temporarily disable them with the resistance in F3 [Chapter 4: Stalwart Stand]. This gives scrappers extra time to get through the all the other conditions to cleanse it.

I am extremely slow and it makes it hard to follow the tag. Any advice on staying with the group?

Well, you are definitely slow. Firebrand feels like waddling through sludge if you're stuck in combat. 

One way to help yourself is to upkeep swiftness throughout the fight, and the other is to dodge more. The default traits from Honor provide you with additional Vigor on crit, and your Virtue 2 will add 15% Endurance regeneration. Two energy sigils add to the pool making you a literal dodge machine.

While it can set you to learn bad habits and put them on other classes later on, it is useful to know that you can dodge in and out of the group to compensate for your lack of speed. Just remember to swap weapon right after and then do it again as soon as you can to top of your dodge bar, so you don't get stuck far away on dodgethroughs that may come.

Most of images in this guide are property of ArenaNet or NCSoft and used in order to provide clarity. Some of the images are courtesy of Guild Wars 2 Wiki, some have been created by me based off already existing designs. 

Big thanks to Maglocke, JaiJaiBinkx, Demon Puppet, King and StrikerM for guidance and mentorship. 
Thank you Kara & Volmie for continuous support, proofreading and all the other help you did 

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