Hello, I’m Chris (chrissssssssssssss) and I’ve been playing Guardian and Paladin since 40 cap NA. I’ve one-tricked this class in PDN for quite a while and hope this guide will help impart some of the knowledge I’ve collected on this class.

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Class Breakdown

Guardian is THE tank class. It is the original class designed to take boss aggro and give teammates a supportive buff in the form of a bubble. Since then there have been two other classes that have also taken this mantle and various changes happened in the way tanks function in Dragon Nest. However, Guardian has maintained its identity entirely in utilizing its shield to defend itself and propel its own damage. Its current identity resides in being a class focused on parrying boss attacks in order to refund its huge burst damage window in the form of [Awakened Heart of Glory].


This is the main mechanic that the class revolves around. Vanguard is a property that will enhance certain skills to allow them to parry attacks, deal additional damage, and give brief invulnerability. A Vanguard skill, when parried with, reduces the damage of the incoming attacks to at most 10% of your max health, preform a strong counterattack, and give you brief invulnerability. Vanguard skill counterattacks can be manually activated for the cost of 10 Guardians Graces using the [Regular Attack Button] and give you brief invulnerability. It is incredibly important to prioritize these skills as parries and spenders of graces in order to get the most usage out of the incredible burst that the [Awakened Heart of Glory] buff gives.

There are 5 skills that have this effect. [Shield Charge], [Thrust Force], [Overwhelm] are vanguards that are usable outside of the [Awakened Heart of Glory] buff.  You can parry or spend 10 Guardians Grace with [Regular Attack Button] to perform the counterattacks. Successfully parrying or spending graces with each skill will reduce the cooldown of [Awakened Heart of Glory] by 5 seconds while not under the effects of the [Awakened Heart of Glory] buff.

These skills can have their counterattacks used while under the effects of the [Awakened Heart of Glory] buff without consuming graces. They can still be parried with for the duration of the [Awakened Heart of Glory] buff and this will generate 2 additional graces. [Armor Break EX], and [Divine Punishment EX] are only considered Vanguards while under the effects of the [Awakened Heart of Glory] buff. While the buff is active each skill can be parried with or have their counterattacks used manually for the cost of 10 Guardian Graces. Successful parries with these will also generate 2 additional graces.

Remember parrying with any Vanguards will reduce the damage of the hit parried to at most 10% of your max health. This means that you can take up to 10% of your max health as chip damage for each vanguard successfully parried with. You will need to heal back this chip damage by parrying attacks with [Stance of Faith EX] which will heal for 5% max health when preforming a normal block or 10% max health when preforming a perfect block. You can also use [Awakened Heart of Glory] as the cast of this will heal you for 20% of your max health. This mechanic completely changes the way you prioritize your skills and deal damage with the class. Be prepared to learn to center your gameplay around it.



  • [Roundhouse Kick] / [Holy Kick] My filler skills of choice. They do about the same damage as [Sacred Hammering] if you run action speed kick plates and have the benefit of being good pushing skills for mechanics that require that. They do light damage and are great style points if you get used to using them properly. PvP player memento.
  • [Sacred Hammering] A filler skill that requires less investment in the skill crest side and allows you to spec into more experimental crests. Whichever filler skill you choose really is just a preference.
  • [Paralyze Bolt] Useful crowd control skill for tanking certain mechanics such as the first stage of Black Dragon. Not a necessity but good to have since Guardian has a lot of leftover SP.
  • [Block] This skill is disabled when you take your CM1, do not level it
  • [Shin Breaker] Can be chained after a [Sliding Step] or a [Dash] by pressing [Regular Attack Button]. Extremely useful to extend the invulnerability of your tumble or to gap close. This is a purely defensive option most of the time as mobility comes mostly from other skills.
  • [Elemental Aura] A constant buff giving you 10% light DMG. You want to always have this on so make sure you rebuff this after portals.
  • [Conviction Aura] This Aura is not necessary but can be neat for giving you extra movement and action speed when you're running away from breath mechanics. A decent option but Elemental Aura should always be prioritized.
  • [Dispel] This skill is your purge skill, certain bosses have an enrage mechanic that needs to be cleansed. It's damage is piss poor so only use it when a boss needs it's enrage wiped
  • [Armor Break EX] This skill is sectioned off into 4 parts. All hits apply a 20% defense down debuff. You can press [Regular Attack Button] to continue the chain from the initial cast. Under [Awakened Heart of Glory] this skill becomes a Vanguard and can use 10 graces or be blocked with to gain the Vanguard effect. . The [Regular Attack Button] chain will allow you to spend 10 graces for the Vanguard version. If you do not have 10 Guardians Graces you will still be able to parry with this chain for the Vanguard version. This skill is important to land fully in solo or nest content as you cannot guarantee that the classes you are running with will be damage debuffing the enemies consistently. The passive of this skill also makes it so that any block or parry grants you Guardian Graces (your bubble system). These Guardian Graces can be consumed when you have 10 or more to gain the counterattack on any of your applicable Vanguard abilities
  • [Stance of Faith EX] This is your main parry skill. It has a low CD of 5 seconds so you can almost always block incoming attacks with it. The skill has 2 potential timings: Perfect Parry if you block during the first 30 frames of the skill you get extra damage, heal for 10% max health, and gain 2 Guardian’s Graces and the Regular Parry which occurs during the last 40 frames of the skill and it will grant 1 Guardian Grace, heal for 5% max health, and do some damage. You always want to land your Perfect Parries as the extra grace and extra damage is essential for optimal DPS. During the skill you can also press space bar [Jump] to go into an aerial version. In multi-hit mechanics you will continue blocking until you land which will grant you multiple Guardian Graces. If you hold a directional key you can also position your aerial movement which will let you surf certain mechanics like Rune Dragon first stage lasers. Be careful with this, however, since the game can desync you into the floor at which point you won't be blocking anymore. Use your surfing wisely! It is also important to note that after you perform an aerial parry you can press [Special Attack Button] to cast [Dive Kick] and land faster.
  • [Divine Ascension EX] This is a low CD skill that is very spammable and does decent damage. It is also fully invulnerable and perfect for dodging as it has a long window of invulnerability. Pressing [Regular Attack Button] will do a second downwards attack which is just extra damage or you can delay the input slightly to extend your invulnerability duration. This ability generates 1 Guardians Grace on hit. After any block or parry the EXi version of this skill will cast. This is a weaker, faster, version of the skill that has no CD and will not grant a Guardians Grace.
  • [Class Mastery] When you successfully parry with stance of faith you will deal double the damage of the perfect block and heal the perfect block damage once every 15 seconds
  • [Shield Blow] / [Divine Vengeance] This is the Class Mastery 3 combo. You press [Shield Blow] and [Special Attack Button] 3 times or hold [Special Attack Button] to do a full combo. [Shield Blow] and  [Divine Vengeance] generate 1 Guardian’s Grace and will also Provoke the enemy. This aggro is on a lower priority than the skill [Provoke] so if there are two tanks in the party there will be no conflicts as long as the main tank is consistently applying [Provoke].
  • [Divine Punishment EX] Probably the single highest damaging skill in the kit in its Vanguard form. This skill generates 2 Guardian’s Graces on hit. Under [Awakened Heart of Glory] this skill becomes a Vanguard. Parrying with the ability will use the counterattack. Pressing the [Regular Attack Button] to use 10 Guardians Graces will also use the counterattack. The counterattack of this attack will do an additional explosion for extra damage.
  • [Air Block] This is just a secondary evasion for the class. Press [Regular Attack Button] any time while knocked up in the air to perform a block and land. It produces 1 Guardian’s Grace.
  • [Awakened Shield Charge] This is a Vanguard and one of your highest damage skill on the spread. You almost never want to use this skill without going for a counterattack since you would lose out on a lot of damage. The counterattack will leap you into the air and land dealing extra damage. The regular gameplay loop basically makes you save 10 Guardian's Grace to use it without parrying or save this skill for parrying except during long periods of time where the boss won’t attack you. In order to parry effectively with this skill it is better to wait till right before the hit happens to use it similar to [Stance of Faith]. This is because the fast forward movement could accidentally move you out of the boss's attack. Otherwise precise turning and aiming yourself towards the bosses attacks should do the trick.
  • [Thrust Force] This is another Vanguard and is also one of the strongest skill on the spread. Depending on your gameplay or the boss it could also be your strongest. This skill is split into 3 parts. The first is a wind up to shoot a chain that will drag you forward. The second part is the movement forward. Pressing the [Regular Attack Button] will spend 10 graces to use the counterattack of this ability. If you do not have 10 Guardian's graces the attack can still be parried with for the vanguard effect. The [Regular Attack Button] will start the third part of the attack which is also a decent point to parry with as it’ll do extra explosion damage. Learning to position and move around with this skill can be tough due to its speed but mastering it is extremely satisfying. Your parry timing with this skill is always casting it before the hit happens and making sure you stay within the boss' range. The reason it is often lower in your spread is because often you will just want to use it as a filler instead of a counterattack while prioritizing [Shield Charge] exclusively for that.
  • [Overwhelm] Another one of your Vanguard skills. You can parry with this skill on its initial wind up. You can press the [Regular Attack Button] to spend 10 Guardians Graces to grant the Vanguard version. If you do not have 10 Graces you will still be able to parry with the ability on the initial wind-up for the Vanguard version. The [Regular Attack Button] chain will do an upward thrust if you do not have 10 Graces or do not parry on the wind-up. The counterattack will launch you into the air all while invulnerable and crash back down to the ground dealing quite large additional damage.
  • [Awakened Heart of Glory] This is the buff that this class lives and dies by. You receive 50% movement speed. During it you will instantly gain 10 Guardian’s Graces. The buff also turns your [Armor Break EX] and [Divine Punishment EX] into Vanguard skills while making [Shield Charge], [Thrust Force], and [Overwhelm] counterattacks cost no Guardians Graces. The cast of the skill is invulnerable and does big damage. You cannot reduce the cooldown of this buff while the buff is active. It is extremely important to learn to manage this buff as it is your biggest source of damage.
  • [Provoke] This is the skill that allows you to take the enemies aggro. The area of effect is a large cone in front of you so it allows you to either be extremely selective with who’s aggro you’re taking or use it as a large area of effect. Some enemies might resist this and you’ll be able to tell by the words resist appearing above their heads and the lack of the [!] on their head. For enemies where this does work you want to apply it nearly off CD or alternating with your Armor Break damage debuff. This skill tends to be more reliable on taking aggro and reapplying it is especially important after big mechanics where the boss aggro resets. You want to direct the boss away from your team for the most part and instruct its positioning according to mechanics. You can use this skill even when bosses are i-framed to apply aggro early. Learning how to use this skill properly is the key to being a good tank.
  • [Awakened Divine Barrier] This is your standard team bubble skill. It gives your teammates 30% extra HP as a buff. Also while you have this buff on yourself it will heal you by 2% HP every 2 seconds for some nice passive healing. With this plus [Stance of Faith] perfect parries you can self-sustain incredibly well. This skill should be saved to help reduce the damage that you and the party will take.
  • [Justice Crash EX] A very standard filler skill. If you press the skill you ascend and then smash down on the floor. The ascension has invulnerability and also counts as airborne (if you want to know if a skill is airborne to dodge stomps just know that when the camera moves with the skill that's the indicator). You can also press the spacebar while in the air to use an instant version of the skill. This is never recommended since it is essentially cutting the skills damage in half. You can disable the space input in the custom settings menu.
  • [Endure] You can make yourself invulnerable for around 3.5 seconds as you cast. This skill isn’t instantaneous like Saint’s [Immortality] so make sure you time it accordingly.

Pushing Skills

The best skills for pushing objects during mechanics are [Roundhouse Kick], [Holy Kick], [Armor Break], and [Shield Charge]. The first 3 are your best bet for the most part as they are extremely controlled. This is also why I prefer taking the action speed crests on the kicks over [Sacred Hammering]. [Shield Charge] can be awkward to drag objects with but mastering it can lead to an insane instant push. All of your skills pretty much have a decent push except for the first part of [Overwhelm] which brings objects towards you (the second part will push them back out to the same spot so it's useless in this case). As a Guardian you should almost never struggle to push as a result.

Skill Build

This skill build is the skeleton. You can take additional skills with the leftover points as you wish.

Skill Crests

[Heart of Glory Duration], [Armor Break DMG] / [Shield Charge DMG] / [Divine Vengeance DMG] / [Divine Ascension DMG]

Optional crests: [Roundhouse Kick Action Speed] / [Holy Kick Action Speed] / [Justice Crash CDR] / [Stance of Faith CD Reset]

Skill Up: +1 [Shield Charge] or [Armor Break] or [Heart of Glory]

Dragon Gems

3 Destructive + 1 Elemental

General Priority

[Heart of Glory] → [Armor Break] → [Divine Punishment] → [Overwhelm] → [Shield Charge] → [Thrust Force]→ [Class Mastery] → [Stance of Faith] → [Shield Blow CM3] → [Divine Ascension] → [Justice Crash] → [Roundhouse Kick/Holy Kick] / [Sacred Hammering]

Guardian doesn’t really have a predetermined rotation but it does follow some strict priorities when optimizing DPS. These vary depending on whether you are under [Awakened Heart of Glory] or not. Within these parameters you also want to always be generating graces and have a Vanguard skill saved to parry a boss attack with. Always being prepared to Vanguard as it will let you use [Awakened Heart of Glory] more often and do a lot more damage.

During Awakened Heart of Glory

You will always be using [Overwhelm], [Shield Charge], and [Thrust Force] off CD (Make sure you can land them on the boss) You want to always counterattack with [Divine Punishment] by either parrying or spending 10 Graces since it is your single highest damage skill. [Armor Break EX] can be used off CD but make sure to seek opportunities to spend 10 graces or parry to counterattack with it. You only want to parry with [Stance of Faith] if your Vanguard skills are on CD. For filler I spam [Divine Ascension] and [Justice Crash] off CD when there is nothing else to cast and the rest can be filled by your kicks or hammers.

Outside of Awakened Heart of Glory

The idea is the same except you want to save [Shield Charge] and [Overwhelm] now exclusively to spend 10 Graces or parry with for the counterattacks. [Thrust Force] can be used off CD but do keep in mind situations to parry with it. Every other skill can be used off CD following the priority list. The reason we’re doing this is because we want to reduce the CD of [Heart of Glory] as much as possible.