Group Builds

Also referred to as: How Not to Suck when playing in a PuG

Playing in groups is very different from playing solo. I see many Pick up Groups (PuGs) being formed, and the compositions that they end up with render them near-useless most of the time if there are actual other players to fight. While there are niche and fun tank or troll builds, there is no place for them in a (large) group that actually wants to win fights against other players when everyone follows basic group build guidelines.

Basic Group Build Guidelines:

  1. Run one defensive set that can mitigate damage.
  2. If you are a damage dealer, run one offensive set that can increase your damage.
  3. If you are a healer or support, run one heal proc or aura set that can increase healing output, mitigation, or provide other value to the group.
  4. Run a monster set that brings value to your damage, healing, or the group.
  5. If you run a mythic (such as Snow Treaders or Ring of the Wild Hunt), break a set that is not critical, or can be run on only one bar.
  6. If you break one of the guidelines above, you should have a reasonable justification that brings value to the group. I’d also appreciate you reaching out with your suggestions, and I’ll be happy to update this guide with that info.
  7. If you identify as a tank, don’t join groups.

Keep in mind that these recommendations are not intended for min/max groups, or guilds that build their own compositions. They are intended to help the masses of solo players who want to join groups and bring value to the group.

Some examples of healing builds that follow these guidelines are below along with my explanation of why the build in question has value, along with what can easily change in it to maintain value. The commonly valued sets in this slot are below, so please check who is already running one of these sets when you join a group, and fill in a set that is missing to bring a better composition to the group.

  • Transmutation – to help the group mitigate critical strike damage (you only need one per group)
  • Worm Cult – to help the group’s magicka regeneration (you only need one per group)
  • Hollowfang – to help the group’s magicka management and give them added healing (I’ve found that two per group is a great number)
  • Spellpower Cure – to give the group more weapon/spell damage (you only need one per group)
  • Combat Physician – to give the group shields (max two in group, as the cool down is per player)
  • Imperium – to give the group shields (this is very powerful, the more the merrier)
  • Winter’s Respite – a standard healing set that can help keep people alive on rams or flags. This is a lower priority than the above, so shouldn’t be used if one of the above is missing from a group.

I don’t play many damage dealer roles these days, so won’t post screen shots of builds unless someone submits some! For damage dealers, you should be running either Vicious Death or Plaguebreak paired with a defensive set. If you’re confident in your survival – or in your healers, pair those with another damage set such as Dagon’s Dominion, War Maiden, Burning Spellweave, Dark Convergence, Mechanical Acuity, or others like those.

 

Build Title: Standard Master PuG Healer

As with most healer/support builds, I advise running 5 light, 1 medium, and 1 heavy. This will give you full Undaunted passives, and the benefits of better magicka resource management.

If you’re not coordinating monster sets with the other members of your group, Earthgore is a solid choice. The heal from Earthgore is not fantastic, though the proc will remove ground effects that could otherwise kill your group (such as Negate). The challenge with Earthgore is that multiple players’ sets can proc at the same time, wasting the proc for all but the first. If you are coordinating sets, two or three Earthgore and the rest Bogdan will likely be best.

The defensive set in this build is Spectre’s Eye. This will proc (while in combat) on any cast to give you Major Evasion, which will mitigate 20% of incoming area damage. When your group dies, it will usually be to a coordinated bomb that is mostly area damage. You only need this set active on one bar, so that lets you use The Master’s (Perfected) Restoration Staff on the other bar to help your group with resources.

The healing proc/value set in this example is Transmutation. The commonly valued sets in this slot are earlier in this guide, so please check who is already running one of these sets when you join a group, and fill in a set that is missing to bring a better composition to the group.

Build Title: Speedy Master PuG Healer

As with most healer/support builds, I advise running 5 light, 1 medium, and 1 heavy. This will give you full Undaunted passives, and the benefits of better magicka resource management.

This build breaks the monster set in favour of running one piece of Magma Incarnate for added magicka and stamina regeneration, and a Ring of the Wild Hunt for movement speed.

The defensive set in this build is Spectre’s Eye. This will proc (while in combat) on any cast to give you Major Evasion, which will mitigate 20% of incoming area damage. When your group dies, it will usually be to a coordinated bomb that is mostly area damage. You only need this set active on one bar, so that lets you use The Master’s (Perfected) Restoration Staff on the other bar to help your group with resources.

The healing proc/value set in this example is Transmutation. The commonly valued sets in this slot are earlier in this guide, so please check who is already running one of these sets when you join a group, and fill in a set that is missing to bring a better composition to the group.

Build Title: Unsnarable Master PuG Healer

As with most healer/support builds, I advise running 5 light, 1 medium, and 1 heavy. This will give you full Undaunted passives, and the benefits of better magicka resource management.

This build breaks the monster set in favour of running one piece of Magma Incarnate for added magicka and stamina regeneration, and Snow Treaders to prevent snares. Note that most min/max or organized groups with good compositions will run Snow Treaders.

The defensive set in this build is Spectre’s Eye. This will proc (while in combat) on any cast to give you Major Evasion, which will mitigate 20% of incoming area damage. When your group dies, it will usually be to a coordinated bomb that is mostly area damage. You only need this set active on one bar, so that lets you use The Master’s (Perfected) Restoration Staff on the other bar to help your group with resources.

The healing proc/value set in this example is Transmutation. The commonly valued sets in this slot are earlier in this guide, so please check who is already running one of these sets when you join a group, and fill in a set that is missing to bring a better composition to the group.

Build Title: Front/Back Speedy PuG Healer

As with most healer/support builds, I advise running 5 light, 1 medium, and 1 heavy. This will give you full Undaunted passives, and the benefits of better magicka resource management.

If you’re not coordinating monster sets with the other members of your group, Earthgore is a solid choice. The heal from Earthgore is not fantastic, though the proc will remove ground effects that could otherwise kill your group (such as Negate). The challenge with Earthgore is that multiple players’ sets can proc at the same time, wasting the proc for all but the first. If you are coordinating sets, two or three Earthgore and the rest Bogdan will likely be best.

The defensive set in this build is Spectre’s Eye. This will proc (while in combat) on any cast to give you Major Evasion, which will mitigate 20% of incoming area damage. When your group dies, it will usually be to a coordinated bomb that is mostly area damage. You only need this set active on one bar, so in this case another set can be active on your other bar.

One piece of Trainee is used in this build to provide more health.

The healing proc/value set in this example is Winter’s Respite, and is only on one bar – as you will want to place the proc using your restoration staff rather than risk placing it using a Channeled Focus or some other skill (I’m using a Templar for these examples, and the builds can apply to any class).

The healing proc/value set in this example is Winter’s Respite. The commonly valued sets in this slot are earlier in this guide, so please check who is already running one of these sets when you join a group, and fill in a set that is missing to bring a better composition to the group.

Build Title: Front/Back Unsnarable PuG Healer

As with most healer/support builds, I advise running 5 light, 1 medium, and 1 heavy. This will give you full Undaunted passives, and the benefits of better magicka resource management.

If you’re not coordinating monster sets with the other members of your group, Earthgore is a solid choice. The heal from Earthgore is not fantastic, though the proc will remove ground effects that could otherwise kill your group (such as Negate). The challenge with Earthgore is that multiple players’ sets can proc at the same time, wasting the proc for all but the first. If you are coordinating sets, two or three Earthgore and the rest Bogdan will likely be best.

One piece of Trainee is used in this build to provide more health, and Snow Treaders are used to prevent snares. Note that most min/max or organized groups with good compositions will run Snow Treaders.

The defensive set in this build is Spectre’s Eye. This will proc (while in combat) on any cast to give you Major Evasion, which will mitigate 20% of incoming area damage. When your group dies, it will usually be to a coordinated bomb that is mostly area damage. You only need this set active on one bar, so in this case another set can be active on your other bar.

The healing proc/value set in this example is Winter’s Respite, also needing to be active on both bars. The commonly valued sets in this slot are earlier in this guide, so please check who is already running one of these sets when you join a group, and fill in a set that is missing to bring a better composition to the group.

Build Title: Medium Unsnarable PuG Healer

This build uses 5 medium and two light, as there is no simple method to get full undaunted passives. The 5 medium are used to enable running Elude (the other morph of Shuffle – since Snow Treaders prevents snares) so that the player can maintain their own consistent Major Evasion buff (without needing Spectre’s Eye) which will mitigate 20% of incoming area damage. When your group dies, it will usually be to a coordinated bomb that is mostly area damage. Medium armour passives are also helpful in reducing incoming area damage after a roll dodge.

If you’re not coordinating monster sets with the other members of your group, Earthgore is a solid choice. The heal from Earthgore is not fantastic, though the proc will remove ground effects that could otherwise kill your group (such as Negate). The challenge with Earthgore is that multiple players’ sets can proc at the same time, wasting the proc for all but the first. If you are coordinating sets, two or three Earthgore and the rest Bogdan will likely be best.

Two pieces of Trainee are used in this build to provide more health and magicka, and Snow Treaders are used to prevent snares. Note that most min/max or organized groups with good compositions will run Snow Treaders.

The Master’s (Perfected) Restoration Staff helps your group with resource regeneration, and your back bar could be another arena weapon, or a 2-piece Willpower. The current standard for back bar is a Maelstrom (Perfected) Restoration Staff, though I haven’t ever done vMA so don’t have one for the screen shot!

The healing proc/value set in this example is Transmutation, also needing to be active on both bars. The commonly valued sets in this slot are earlier in this guide, so please check who is already running one of these sets when you join a group, and fill in a set that is missing to bring a better composition to the group.

Build Title: Standard 2-Set PuG Healer

This is one of the more standard and simpler builds to run, with full time active two sets and a monster set.

As with most healer/support builds, I advise running 5 light, 1 medium, and 1 heavy. This will give you full Undaunted passives, and the benefits of better magicka resource management.

If you’re not coordinating monster sets with the other members of your group, Earthgore is a solid choice. The heal from Earthgore is not fantastic, though the proc will remove ground effects that could otherwise kill your group (such as Negate). The challenge with Earthgore is that multiple players’ sets can proc at the same time, wasting the proc for all but the first. If you are coordinating sets, two or three Earthgore and the rest Bogdan will likely be best.

The defensive set in this build is Buffer of the Swift. This will provide 10% damage mitigation, and needs to be active on both bars.

The healing proc/value set in this example is Combat Physician, also needing to be active on both bars. The commonly valued sets in this slot are earlier in this guide, so please check who is already running one of these sets when you join a group, and fill in a set that is missing to bring a better composition to the group.

 

Managing all these builds can be a challenge, especially with multiple players (healers/supports) coming in and out of groups. I suggest using an addon such as Bandit’s Gear Manager to enable quick swapping of your sets. You can see in the below example, I have Spectre’s Eye and Kagrenac’s Hope sets on top with the same three body pieces and back bar sword & shield, and front bar Master’s Perfected Resto. Then there are three sets that fit into other slots so changing my active sets is as simple as clicking a button.