Oct 092012

Note: this guide was updated 27th January 2013 to clarify the section on Trinkets.

This guide came about because, after hitting level 80, I wanted to know what set of armor I should be aiming to get and was thoroughly confused by all the options and terminology. After finding out a few interesting bits and bobs, I was asked to make a guide for others in my guild and have decided to go one further and share it with everyone. While this won’t tell you what gear is optimal for your character, it will help you make good enough choices without resorting to spreadsheets and complex maths. While I’ve included the numbers for those of you who like that kind of thing, they can be largely ignored.

Most of the armors and trinkets in this article are related to the Exotic tier, and I’m in the process of addressing the Ascended items better!

Understanding your attributes

Let’s start with the basic terminology and numbers. Every character at level 80 has a base of 916 in Power, Precision, Toughness and Vitality, and 4% Critical Chance. These and other statistics can be increased through traits, equipment and skills. You can see a summary of all these attributes in the top right portion of the Hero Panel. Here’s a breakdown of what all the different numbers mean:

Primary Attributes

Power – Every point in Power increases the attack statistic by one, which increases damage for all attacks.
Precision – Points put into precision increase the chance of a critical hit for the character. Many of the conditional effects of a skill or trait trigger on a critical hit. The amount of additional precision required to increase the chance of a critical hit by 1% is determined by the following formula: (0.0024 × Level^2) + (0.06 × Level) + 1
At level 80, the required precision to increase the chance of a critical hit by 1% is 21.16.
Vitality – Every point in vitality above the base raises the health of the character by 10, improving the character’s ability to withstand a single large attack and degenerative damage
Toughness – Every point in Toughness increases the armor of the character by 1, improving the character’s ability to withstand direct damage. It has no effect on falling damage

Secondary Attributes

Attack – You get 1 point of this for every point in power. Used in damage calculations.
Weapon Damage – Comes from your weapons. Static for your profession at level 80. Used in damage calculations for some skills.
Condition Damage – Affects Bleeding, Burning, Poison and Confusion only. The calculations for working out the impact of raising the condition damage is different for each of these conditions (see separate section).
Critical Chance – This is derived from a base level of 4% plus an additional percentage determined by Precision. At level 80 21.16 precision is required to raise Critical Chance 1%. This number is always rounded up. Used in damage calculations.
Critical Damage – Comes from gear. Determines how much damage your critical attacks do. The base is 1.5x normal attack damage and additional percentages are added to the base. So +50% Critical Damage results in 2.0x normal attack damage. Used in damage calculations.
Armor – Sum of Toughness and Defense. Used in damage calculations.
Defense – Comes from your armor. Static for your profession at level 80.
Health – This is derived from a base level of health determined by your profession (see separate section), plus 10 health for every 1 point in vitality.
Healing Power – Comes from gear. Each point of healing power adds 0.125 healing for Regeneration and 0.06 healing for rejuvenation. It also affects active healing skills, but it is not know by how much at this time.
Magic Find – Not listed on the hero panel, but this attribute raises the player’s chance to receive rare loot from drops.

Condition damage

Just to make it even more complicated, the amount that raising the condition damage affects the damage done by Bleeding, Burning, Poison and Confusion depends on the condition in question.

Condition Condition Damage Used Base Damage at Level 80 Equation
Bleeding 5% 42.5 per stack per second Condition Damage * 0.05 + 42.5
Burning 25% 328 per second Condition Damage * 0.25 + 328
Poison 10% 84 per second Condition Damage * 0.10 + 84
Confusion* 15% 130 per stack per attack Condition Damage * 0.15 + 130

*Note that damage done by confusion is halved in sPvP.

You can learn more about condition damage in this post.


The basic health of your character depends on its profession and the standard 916 Vitality.

Professions Base health at level 80 Base health + Vitality at level 80
Warrior, Necromancer 9,212 18,372
Engineer, Ranger, Mesmer 5,922 15,082
Guardian, Thief, Elementalist 1,645 10,805

How to improve your statistics

There are 3 main ways you can affect your attributes: traits, equipment and skills. As the traits and skills very much depend on your play style and profession I’m going to concentrate on equipment here and how to make good choices about which statistics to prioritise.


Around half of the improvements you can make in PvE come from the choices you make about the type of armor you have. At level 80, all types of armor reach a plateau for defense  depending on profession. Here are the maximum defense values:

Armor Piece Scholar Adventurer Soldier
Helm 73 97 121
Mantle 73 97 121
Coat 314 338 363
Gloves 133 157 182
Pants 194 218 242
Shoes 133 157 182
Total 920 1064 1211


Each armor piece also comes in 14 variations (though they may not be available for every skin without transmuting). Every variation has a main attribute and 2 minor attributes.






Beserker’s Power Precision Critical Damage
Soldier’s Power Toughness Vitality
Valkyrie Power Vitality Critical Damage
Rampager’s Precision Power Condition Damage
Knight’s Toughness Power Precision
Giver’s Toughness Boon Duration Healing Power
Shaman’s Vitality Condition Damage Healing Power
Carrion Condition Damage Power Vitality
Rabid Condition Damage Precision Toughness
Cleric’s Healing Power Power Toughness
Magi Healing Power Precision Vitality
Apothecary’s Healing Power Toughness Condition Damage
Explorer’s Magic Find Power Precision
Traveler’s Magic Find Power Condition Damage


The numbers used depend on the armor piece that the type is applies to.

Attribute Level Hat Mantle Coat Gloves Pants Shoes Total
Power Main 45 34 101 34 67 34 315
Minor 32 24 72 24 48 24 224
Precision Main 45 34 101 34 67 34 315 *
Minor 32 24 72 24 48 24 224 *
Toughness Main 45 34 101 34 67 34 315
Minor 32 24 72 24 48 24 224
Vitality Main 45 34 101 34 67 34 315
Minor 32 24 72 24 48 24 224
Condition Damage Main 45 34 101 34 67 34 315
Minor 32 24 72 24 48 24 224
Healing Power Main 45 34 101 34 67 34 315
Minor 32 24 72 24 48 24 224
Boon Duration Main
Minor 1 1 1 1 1 1 6
Magic Find Main 3 3 3 3 3 3 18
Critical Damage Main
Minor 2 2 5 2 3 2 16

*Main: +14.88% Critical Chance. Minor: +10.44% Critical Chance.

So for example, Valkyrie armor will give you +315 Power, +224 Vitality and +16% Critical Damage and Knight’s armor will give you +315 Toughness, +224 Power and +224 Precision. You don’t need to take an entire set of armor if you don’t want to, but that’s going down the optimal route!

We’ll come back to additional ways to modify your armor later but let’s move on to accessories.


This is a term that wraps up Amulets, Earrings and Rings in PvE. There are no inherent bonuses with trinkets (ie akin to defence for armor), it’s all about boosting attributes.  Unlike armor, there are Exotic and Ascended levels of Accessories, with rings added in November 2012 and amulets in January 2013.


Exotic trinkets come from a variety of sources, mainly through crafting. Here are the varieties and their armor equivalents:

Gemstone Armor Equivalent Trinket Main Minor Minor
Ruby Beserker’s Amulet 90 Power 64 Precision 5% Critical Damage
Ring 67 Power 48 Precision 3% Critical Damage
Earring 56 Power 40 Precision 3% Critical Damage
Beryl Valkyrie Amulet 90 Power 64 Vitality 5% Critical Damage
Ring 67 Power 48 Vitality 3% Critical Damage
Earring 56 Power 40 Vitality 3% Critical Damage
Emerald Knight’s Amulet 90 Toughness 64 Power 64 Precision
Ring 67 Toughness 48 Power 48 Precision
Earring 56 Toughness 40 Power 40 Precision
Coral Rampager’s Amulet 90 Precision 64 Power 64 Condition Damage
Ring 67 Precision 48 Power 48 Condition Damage
Earring 56 Precision 40 Power 40 Condition Damage
Snowflake Amulet 3% Magic Find 64 Healing Power 1% Boon Duration
Ring 3% Magic Find 48 Healing Power 1% Boon Duration
Earring 3% Magic Find 40 Healing Power 1% Boon Duration
Chrysocola Carrion Amulet 90 Condition Damage 64 Vitality 64 Power
Ring 67 Condition Damage 48 Vitality 48 Power
Earring 56 Condition Damage 40 Vitality 40 Power
Sapphire Cleric’s Amulet 90 Healing Power 64 Toughness 64 Power
Ring 67 Healing Power 48 Toughness 48 Power
Earring 56 Healing Power 40 Toughness 40 Power
Passiflora Apothecary’s Amulet 90 Healing Power 64 Toughness 64 Condition Damage
Ring 67 Healing Power 48 Toughness 48 Condition Damage
Earring 56 Healing Power 40 Toughness 40 Condition Damage
Opal Explorer’s Amulet 3% Magic Find 64 Power 64 Precision
Ring 3% Magic Find 48 Power 48 Precision
Earring 3% Magic Find 40 Power 40 Precision
Candy Corn Traveller’s Amulet 3% Magic Find 64 Power 64 Condition Damage
– * Soldier’s Amulet 90 Power 64 Toughness 64 Vitality
– * Shaman’s Amulet 90 Vitality 64 Healing Power 64 Condition Damage

*These two equivalents only exist for amulets and are the Emerald Pendant and Sapphire Pendant for Soldier’s and Shaman’s respectively

Each exotic trinket comes with a slot for a jewel  upgrade, which come in the following varieties

Gemstone Major Minor Minor
Exquisite Ruby Jewel 25 Power 15 Precision 3% Critical Damage
Exquisite Beryl Jewel 25 Power 15 Vitality 3% Critical Damage
Exquisite Emerald Jewel 25 Precision 15 Toughness 15 Power
Exquisite Coral Jewel 25 Precision 15 Condition Damage 15 Power
Exquisite Snowflake Jewel 3% Magic Find 15 Healing Power 1% Boon Duration
Exquisite Chrysocola Jewel 25 Condition Damage 15 Power 15 Vitality
Exquisite Sapphire Jewel 25 Healing Power 15 Power 15 Toughness
Exquisite Passiflora Jewel 25 Healing Power 15 Condition Damage 15 Toughness
Exquisite Opal Jewel 4% Magic Find 15 Precision 15 Power


Note that if crafted, Trinkets are created with the similarly named jewel in the upgrade slots (ie the Emerald Orichalcum Amulet is made with an Emerald Jewel in the upgrade slot). The exception are Candy Corn items which are made slotted with Opal jewels. You can change the jewels if you wish.

Overall, your character can wear 1 amulet, 2 rings and 2 earrings at a time, each with an upgrade slot. So for a full set of Ruby gear you’d get the following bonuses

Calculation Total
90 + 67 + 67 + 56 + 56 + (5 * 25) 461 Power
64 + 48 + 48 + 40 +40 + (5 * 15) 315 Precision
5% + 3% + 3% + 3% + 3% + (5 * 3%) 32% Critical Damage



The ascended tier of items was added in November 2012 and will be extended in January 2013. Currently they can only be obtained from  BUY-4373 in Fractals of the Mists, but will soon be available in exchange for the new currency laurels. While Ascended items follow similar statistics patterns as Exotics, the bonuses that would come from runes or gems are included in the items themselves.

Instead there is an offensive or defensive slot for an Infusion which can be added to items at the Mystic Forge. Offensive and defensive refer to the small bonus that comes with infusion (ie Power is offensive, Toughness is defensive). Versatile infusions can be placed in either an offensive or defensive slot.

Because ascended items are currently being expanded and for the sake of keeping this post manageable, I will be starting a new post on them in the coming days.

Choosing what’s right for you

NB: this guide assumes that characters are not wanting to go for full support as it isn’t really useful in open world PvE.

  1. Work out what weapons you like using and look at the skills. Note which ones generate conditions that are altered by condition damage and which have effects that are triggered on a critical hit. If you have few skills that inflict Burning, Bleeding, Poison or Confusion, strike items that increase condition damage off the list because you’ll do more damage by increasing Power, Precision and Critical Damage. If you have a lot of skills that have effects triggered on a critical hit, you should try prioritise Precision because that will make those effects happen more often. If you use roughly the same utility skills, include them in this process.
  2. Think about your survivability. Do you survive well at the moment? How do you stand up against conditions and direct hits? Are you wanting to be a well rounded character, be a tank or a glass cannon? If you struggle against conditions, are a Guardian, Thief or Elementalist you should look to increase your Vitality. If you get bashed around a lot, are a Necromancer, Mesmer or Elementalist, you should look to increase your Toughness to better survive hits. If you want to increase both, work out what’s more important and prioritise that for jewellery.
  3. Where else are you lacking? Do you want to be able to heal more? What about having a small chance of getting rarer drops? Are these more important that having a better damage output or survivability?
  4. Hopefully by now you’ve got some priorities. Look at the jewellery options and choose what best suits, remembering Power is useful to all professions. If there’s no clear good option, move on to step 5 and come back to this step.
  5. Choose your armor choices to round off the remainder of your priorities.
  6. Still confused? Try reading my posts on Power vs Precision, Vitality vs Toughness and Conditions to see if that clears anything up. If not, get in touch and I’ll see if I can help out.
  7. Look at other items below and tweak the result!

Other ways to improve your attributes

Back Item

During your personal story you will be given 2 Back Items as a reward which fits into one of the slots near the accessories. There are 3 sources of statistics – the personal story, the guild armorer and from dungeons. They have an upgrade slot (the level 33 version is currently bugged). This is only a selection of the backpacks in the game (but most of the level 80 ones) – you can see the rest here.

Name From


Main Minor Minor
Ghost Eater’s Hide Ascalonian Catacombs +3% Magic Find +16 Power +16 Condition Damage
Beserker’s Spineguard of the Beserker Personal Story +18 Power +13 Precision +1% Critical Damage
Cleric’s Spineguard of the Cleric Personal Story +18 Healing Power +13 Power +13 Toughness
Rampager’s Spineguard of the Rampager Personal  Story +18 Precision +13 Power +13 Condition Damage
Guild Assassin’s Backpack Guild Armorer +20 Power +14 Precision +1% Critical Damage
Guild Caretaker’s Backpack Guild Armorer +20 Healing Power +14 Precision +14 Vitality
Magi’s Spineguard Fractals of the Mists +20 Healing Power +14 Precision +14 Vitality
Guild Defender’s Backpack Guild Armorer +20 Power +14 Toughness +14 Vitality
Soldier’s Spineguard Fractals of the Mists +20 Power +14 Toughness +14 Vitality
Risen Spineguard Arah or Fractals of the Mists +20 Vitality +14 Healing Power +14 Condition Damage
Rabid Spineguard Fractals of the Mists +20 Condition Damage +14 Precision +14 Toughness
Prototype Fractal Capacitor Fractals of the Mists Various
Quiver of Swift Flight Mystic Forge 32 + 24 Power 18 + 17 Precision 4% + 1% Critical Damage
Book of Secrets Mystic Forge 32 + 24 Power 18 + 17 Precision 4% + 1% Critical Damage
Bowyer’s delight Mystic Forge 32 + 24 Power 18 + 17 Toughness 18 + 17 Vitality
Koss on Koss Mystic Forge 32 + 24 Power 18 + 17 Toughness 18 + 17 Vitality
Sights Be True Mystic Forge 32 + 24 Toughness 18 + 17 Power 4% + 1% Critical Damage
Symon’s History of Ascalon Mystic Forge 32 + 24 Toughness 18 + 17 Power 4% + 1% Critical Damage
Endless Quiver Mystic Forge 32 + 24 Condition Damage 18 + 17 Precision 18 + 17 Toughness
Tome of the Rubicon Mystic Forge 32 + 24 Condition Damage 18 + 17 Precision 18 + 17 Toughness
Quiver of a Thousand Arrows Mystic Forge 32 Power + 5% Magic find 18 + 17 Vitality 18 + 17 Toughness
There with Yakkington: A Traveler’s Tale Mystic Forge 32 Power + 5% Magic find 18 + 17 Vitality 18 + 17 Toughness


Crests can be applied to any piece of equipment. There are 5 variants.

Crest Type


Main Minor Minor
Magi +20 Healing Power +14 Precision +14 Vitality
Rabid +20 Condition Damage +14 Precision +14 Toughness
Shaman +20 Vitality +14 Healing Power +14 Power
Soldier +20 Power +14 Toughness +14 Vitality
Traveler +3% Magic Find +14% Power +14% Precision


Runes are added to armor and provide additional bonuses which stack depending on how many are applied to armor. You can look at all the options here. Mixing and matching may be useful. Every rune has a primary cumulative attribute which is given with 1,3 or 5 armor pieces with the rune. For example, slotting 5 Superior Rune of the Baelfires will give an additional +165 Power.

Runes and armor bonuses combined roughly equate to jewellery bonuses.


In addition to providing damage or defense, weapons have attributes similar in style to armor. When working out type what you want, look closely at the skills that weapon (or weapons if they’re both one handed) give and make the choices based on maximising those skills.


These are added to weapons and provide additional bonuses. The wiki article explains these pretty well so take a look.

Aqua Breather

Don’t forget to improve this. It won’t be used when you’re on land but the bonuses come into affect as soon as you go into the water – don’t be caught out using the aqua breather you started with!

And finally, a note about sPvP…

In sPvP the inherent bonuses in armor and jewellery is moved into a single PvP amulet which provides all of the bonuses to statistics. Runes and Sigils can be applied as normal.


This guide was compiled from information found in game, on Guild Wars 2 Wiki and Guild Wars 2 Database.

Was this useful? Let me know…

Just like the community surveys before release, I do this stuff because I hope people find it useful. If you did, let me know. Not only does it give me a warm fuzzy feeling, but it also makes me more likely to do it again! There are comments below, or if you’re shy you can contact me through the about page!

  23 Responses to “Attributes and Equipment in Guild Wars 2”

  1. Mind.. blown.

    That is a staggering amount of information, and as usual it’s clear and easy to read. This is a brilliant guide Tash.

  2. In truth, none of that really matters in the end.

  3. @Will: Thanks for the praise and for sharing the link with your followers.

    @Zeldain: Care to expand on that?

  4. Well written and easy to understand, love theory crafting and this is a great reference!

  5. Very informative — thanks for posting this!

  6. Great article Tasha. It would be interesting to see statistically which is more beneficial to survival: toughness or vitality.

  7. @Giao @Illyria MxO: Thanks for the comments, glad it was useful1

    @Asya: Short answer – it depends on the damage type.

    Longer answer – It’s useful to have both. Toughness will make your health go further if you are subject to direct damage, but does nothing to protect against damage from any conditions. What this eventually boils down to is how many times your character can be hit before you’re defeated, and you can do a rough calculation (the damage calculation equation is on the Wiki) on that by taking an estimated average Power (say 1250), multiplying it by weapon damage (estimate that at 1000) and a skill specific multiplier (lets say that’s 2) and dividing the result by your Armor. So if you’re an Elementalist and have done nothing to change your Toughness rating, your Armor is 1836 and that attack will hit for 1361. An Ele would take 8 of those hits before being downed. A Mesmer, with 15082 health would take 12 hits. Raising Toughness by 428 (the equivalent vitality difference between ele and mes) reduces the damage from the same attack by around 250 (damage is now 1105) and the Ele can take 10 hits before death.

    So which is better? In my opinion, vitality because it protects against conditions which I’m sure you’ve found by now to be a bitch in the right circumstances, and provides more time. An extra 4280 health might make the difference between your condition removal recharging, someone saving you, or you getting yourself to a better location to rally from downed. However don’t ignore the benefits of toughness – they’ll make your health go further against direct damage.

  8. Very nicely presented summary and most useful thanks!

    Did I imagine it or did I read there are deminishing returns somewhere in the mix? Specifically harsher DRs on Vitality making it less useful than Toughness maybe?

    Does someone have any data on DRs for all the stats, or confirm if there are any?

  9. @Miguelese: Thanks for commenting. As far as I was aware diminishing returns related to rewards from events, in a similar manner to the anti-farm code in GW1. The only reference I found in my travels was to a cap in Power for a given level. I didn’t find any data as to what that level was though.

    I’d definately be interested to hear what caps there are, if any

  10. Thank you for the detailed guide! I’ve caught myself donning equipment haphazardly, since I had no basis with wich to truely evaluate what would suit my playstyle best. With this guide, those days might be over 🙂

  11. […] Attached to Keyboard — Attributes and Equipment in Guild Wars 2. “This guide came about because, after hitting level 80, I wanted to know what set of armor I should be aiming to get and was thoroughly confused by all the options and terminology. After finding out a few interesting bits and bobs, I was asked to make a guide for others in my guild and have decided to go one further and share it with everyone.” […]

  12. […] take things further, I’m gonna point you guys to Tasha’s fabulous and well-written guide on equipment and attributes here; there’d be no point in me reiterating what she’s already done 100x better than I could ever […]

  13. Great guide! I’m sure I will come back here every now and then, it is all so well presented. Keep it up 🙂

  14. nice overview.
    typo with coral jewels: they’ve condition damage instead of crit damage

  15. Whoops! Thanks, I’ll get that amended.

  16. and with the attributes on juwels: magic find bonuses are major bonuses

    it’s insane how different the costs for magic find are (numbers for exotic weapons):
    on the gems you lose 6.25 points of another attribute for 1%, crest for cloak is also close at 6.66, so they’re the best option for 23% magic find in total (then I’ll take 50% or 30% from runes).

    More MF is much more expensive:
    head, hand, foot: 11.33
    head: 15
    sigil (stacking): 16.66
    earring: 18.66
    ring = legs 22.33
    amulet 30
    chest 33.66
    can’t find the numbers for weapons, but I think it’s somewhere above 30 so not really worth it.

    similar situation with +critical damage, it’s not balanced right now.
    I hope they correct that soon, though obviously they won’t give +6.4% crit damage on an item.

  17. regarding critical damage, it is quite balanced, with one exception: jewels are great (1% cost only 5 attribute points, gets you 15% in total), the rest averages out pretty well to 14+-2 points per % for armor (potentially 16%), accessoires (17% max), cape (1%), weapons (9-10%) and runes of divinity (12%), the extremes being hands with 12 and rings with 16.

  18. I think that realistically people shouldn’t expect to get Magic Find gear without making a serious trade off in other attributes. Like so many things, you’re making a choice. Prudent players will undoubtedly have 2 sets of armor – one specced for magic find, the other for when the going gets tough.

  19. This is an incredible resource. Thank you very much for putting it together.

    If you don’t mind some slight constructive criticism, defenSe is spelled with an ‘S’.

  20. @Dogger: As a Brit I disagree – the British spelling is defence rather than the American defense. As my spell checker is set to British English it didn’t flag it up (like it did just then, and does on your comment too!!). But as the game uses American spelling I’ll relent this once and change it 😉

    Thanks for the compliment

  21. I want to thank you for great guides, not sure if this will help, but I have already arranged all armor (except wvw – too expensive IMO) and accessories into spreadsheets, so maybe you can use it, I also made my own calculator using your formulas 🙂 although I’m still confused with healing power. Don’t really know my way around google docs so hopefully I set this to downloadable file https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B9O2V9SXv5N4NXh6RFdLTHlza3M

  22. I don’t think that the effects of healing power has been totally investigated yet. At least, that’s how it was when I did the gear and equipment post initially.

    Thank you for sharing the spreadsheet, I’ve been working on something similar but you’re coming at it from a different angle. I’ll share both when I’m ready to post.

  23. I have forgot to credit http://dulfy.net/2012/10/03/gw2-endgame-gearing-guide/ for armor stats, which is really great gear guide.
    Basically I made that spreadsheet for my elementalist, in order to stop trial & error method of acquiring armor.
    Yesterday I tested healing power in Frostgorge with mobs, going from 638 healing power to 350 by switching accessories, and I got results that are not very impressive in practice (note that wvw bonus was applied, so this numbers are more about gain/difference than real result): regeneration 121/103, cone of cold 300/245, AOE heal 2095/1700, self heal 5800/5300.
    Even before the testing, I had the feeling that I didn’t get much with investing points in healing power, at 300 it felt really better than without any healing power, but investing more didn’t seem too improving.

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