The VQ Blues: Creating a Hero Team

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Over the past few months I’ve been very casually working towards my Vanquisher titles, focusing on Cantha first since I know the continent quite well. With the recent update allowing for seven hero teams and mercenaries, I revived my efforts and have been doing one or two clears a night on the weekend (well, until minecraft stole my soul). I’ve been streaming the VQs over on more often than not. While in chat, I’ve been asked to share my team build. I promised a video but since time and my lack of editing skills haven’t allowed it, we’ll start with ye ol’ text.

Now, I do run a personalized discordway, but not a full 7 hero team of it. I inquired on twitter as I’m ought to do and Hunter suggested that more than 3 discord heroes was a bit of a waste. After a few runs with 5 discords I was apt to agree. After thinking on skills and synergy, I came up with a build that worked nicely for me.

As a disclaimer, though, this is deviation from the usual builds you’ll find online (I’m not a fan of just copy pasta without thought, so 90% of the time I tweak builds that are suggested by friends or on pvx wiki). So it may not entirely work for you. I’ve had gleaming success with it, though, so here goes.


I run as an SoS ranger. If you’re a rit, even better. Most professions can run a decent SoS easy if you’ve got good energy management: necros, mesmers, eles, and rangers are your best bet. Dervs and Monks can pull it off with some major tweaking. You’ll struggle as a warrior, sin, or paragon, however.

If you’re not an SoS, no worries. The team build I use allots for one.

So the core damage comes from the 3 discord necros; one curses, one prot, one mm. My forth necro runs SS and has extra hexes / conditions for Discord. I bring a support rit for heals and blood ritual (for me, mostly) and an interrupt mesmer with condition spreading. The final slot is wild-card. If I’m alone I’ll throw in a 3rd healer or 4th discord. Sometimes I’ll bring a friend.
Otherwise, take a hero to fill a void based on your area. A dervish makes a great AoE tank for VQs. A hammer warrior works here just as well. If you’re in an area with lots of AoE damage, a wards ele or prot monk can also be a good choice.

If you wanna see the team build in action, check out GW2Live’s on-demand video of my Unwaking Waters VQ.

The Custom Builds:

• Player: Ranger SoS | OggicxiMdN5D2JWOBNVNRDexA

This is what I run 99% of the time as a ranger SoS. The spirit choices are pretty typical: vampirism heals, agony does some serious degen, bloodsong has a nice life span. Painful bond is great for extra damage / hex req for discord. Armor of Unfeeling is typical for later in campaigns, but in certain early and easier areas can be replaced with a damage skill (I like spirit boon strike, or lamentation).
If you’re Rit primary, it’s business as usual. The issue of being a ranger is the energy management. Spirits will cost next to nothing, but PB will drain you fast in longer fights. I counter this by bringing a Blood Ritual hero. Ele SoS stock up on the energy storage, mesmers can trade in PB or Agony for their energy regen of choice. Necros should be ok with soul reaping, but you can bring Signet of Lost Souls / Necrosis if you feel it will be an issue.
Fill resto with whatever leftover points you have.

• Spiteful Spirit | OABTQSTe4JPYH2DshPRnwSUVB

As an alternative to a 4th Discord, I opted for Spiteful Spirit instead. At 16 curses, it does 37 AoE damage and lucky for us, the AI for mobs isn’t smart enough to stop attacking. This is particularly useful when you have big groups of melee (raptors, anybody?) who like to huddle when trying to rip you apart. Enfeebling Blood and Weaken Armor provide conditions for Discord as well as great passive debuffs on enemies. Insidious Parasite gives you degen and self heal, suffering is AoE degen, and Mark of Pain is another great AoE friendly-fire skill that works well with minions. Blood Ritual is utility to keep allies energies topped off and SoLS is a staple for any necro hero. It’s a great build, mixing utility and damage.


• Interrupt Mesmer | OQBTAyQOYa0pHIDwAkD6DonqmC

A variant of a PvP build I use, this mesmer set-up is specifically tailored to extend the condition/hex requirement for discord, as well as double duty for interruption. Because of how hopped up caster bosses can be, I like having an interrupter around to keep them curbed. Nothing sucks more than getting caught in a level 30 meteor shower (seriously, one bad ele boss pull can wipe a party flat).
This works great against those pesky RoJ monks when dealing with afflicted, too. Power Return is a staple interrupt. Leech Signet and Power Drain, combined with the support hero’s Blood Ritual will keep her energy up. Frustration slows down spell casting time and causes damage upon interrupt, and Conjure Phantasm works great for general damage and hex requirements. Shrinking Armor and Accumulated Pain help stack conditions. The key to this build is Extend Conditions; cheap and spammable it spreads conditions in enemy groups, setting them up to be spiked by the Discords.


• Support / SoS Rit | OASjQghMpSpTDTciVPjTdCOTXMA

This is the one build that’s still a WiP and changes often as I explore resto more on my own rit. As far why I chose Rt/N instead of N/Rt; spawning power. The build uses three spirits and SP boosts their lifespan and durability, which is pretty important when you’re taking massive AoE damage (which is often) in hardmode. Also for rejuvenation, more health = longer life. Anyway, spirit choices are fairly typical. Life does great AoE healing upon death, so it’s a good counter if your team is taking heavy AoE and also is on a decent recharge timer. Recup and Rejuv offer passive health regen to the party. Protective was Kaolai is a second great party heal for rough patches. Boon of Creation helps with energy.
I include a 2nd blood ritual here, which is optional. If energy is not a problem in your team, swap BR with either a direct heal (Ghostmirror Light, Mend Body and Soul, or Spirit Light all work well), a 4th spirit (taking points from blood to communing for shelter or union) or energy management (taking points from blood to channeling for Spirit Siphon)
Choosing an elite for resto was tough. I went with Spirit Light for the passive regen, since the caster-heavy party should almost always be within earshot of her spirits. Weapon of Remedy would be my second resto choice. Preservation is ok, although the random heal in an 8 party team is questionable to me. If you go the Resto/SP/Channeling route, Offering of Spirit is great for energy regen.

If you aren’t an SoS and you want to have one, this build does a decent job of filling that space. The double energy regen power of Boon of Creation + SoS and Spirit Siphon should be plenty to counter the high cost of Recup.

The Discord Builds

I run with the classic 3 discord team, unless I filling the 8th spot with another necro (or if the player is running discord themselves). Discordway is popular because of Discord’s armor-ignoring properties and the fact that hero AI uses this skill along with Signet of Lost souls on a level beyond human comprehension (they are extreme efficient at it). The catch is that a) You have to call targets to make sure all your heroes spike the same mob and B) that the hex/condition or enchant/condition are met.

I go with curses for damage, prot for party health management, and mm / party heal for both.
You can choose any of the other builds for your 4th discord if you go for it.

Note: many of the builds call for Death Pact Signet for a res. I’m a huge non-fan of the skill. I think it’s way too risky in sticky situations; the fast res isn’t worth losing two heroes.
I opt for Flesh of my Flesh over Death Pact.


• Discord Curses | OAhkUwG4hGKUMTVlCodwnQZAiQyF


• Discord MM/ Party Heal | OANTUYD20JmVVPqUB0gR7jETA


• Discord Prot | OANTUYD+UKmpqSBsKoe4uKg4lA

If you’ve got any comments or suggestions, or your own awesome VQ teams, let me know :).

Further reading:

  • Great article. This has been an interest area of mine for a while and I’ve been experimenting with it for a while as well. I got my Leg Vanq title last month, so I’m doing less Vanq and more Missions (working on Shiro Books for Faction/Money/Survivor title).

    I run a similar build to what you posted. I favor 3-4 man Discordway and I run a similar PvE version of the SS build above to add hexes/conditions. I often bring a second MM, though usually of the Rt/N bomber variety. I like to bring a mesmer for interrupts and a paragon for additional healing/energy management. The last spot or two are wildcards. I’ve been doing Vizunah Square (foreign) with my SS, Sabway, Rt/N minion bomber, and 3x SF eles with little trouble. I start on Nahpui Quarter next and I plan on spending more time with Discordway and maybe SoS.

    I pull from PvX a lot because I’m really only competent as a Necro or Derv. Rarely do I ever copy/paste and go out hunting though. I tweak a lot and really enjoy building a team that works for whatever I’m doing.

    • bargamer

      When I read that you bring a Minion Bomber, it brought a tear to my eye. I like the builds above, though as a Ritualist-main, I can bring Boon of Creation for Energy, Spiritleech Aura instead of Armor of Unfeeling, and Spirit Burn for conditions. With Spirit Burn, it was a no-brainer to bring Discordway and 3 SF Eles, and lastly, a Heal Monk for Dwayna’s Sorrow and Heal Party.

      Man, I really have to check out this Extend Conditions Elite, it sounds perfect!

      • bargamer

        I just double-checked, and I don’t bring Boon of Creation, I brought Pain Inverter. I don’t have any E-management at all?? How is that possible?

      • Necro bobmers are fine and dandy, but I really like what a Rt/N bomber can do. Since enemies bunch together anyway, it makes sense to make things go all splodey while raising minions from corpses next to the group of bad guys. That was also the main build I ran with my Rit primary back in the day before SoS was the meta.

      • Yeah, originally my elite for the mes was lyssa’s aura and i brought hypochondria. funny story, when I was looking up the skill to figure out how to properly spell it, I saw Extend Conditions on the “similar skills” list and imediately unlocked it, haha.
        It’s pretty perfect for a discord team.

        As a Rt primary, I don’t run out of energy much, either, so I can def see dropping Boon being ok.
        I’ve yet to bring Spiritleech on any adventures quite yet. I feel like I haven’t run into enough situations where my spirits are dying too much to warrant the damage drop (actually, echovald forest might be a good contender for this over Armor… good points).

  • I half expected tool tips when i hovered over the skill icons, I still remember using those on forums years ago.

    It’s a good team build, with a few similarities to what myself and guild tend to run. though due to the number of real people we bring, we tend to dispense with discord

    • Yeah, when you include more than a few humans, the efficiency of discord starts to drop dramatically. My next post on this stuff is going to be about hero builds that work really well when you only need to fill a few spots.

      I really wish I knew how to do that actual code, those are just screens from PvX wiki 🙁

  • Conjure Phantasm! Wewt!

    • Mesmers for life <3

  • I used to run a lot of discord back when I was vanquishing Cantha/Tyria, but when I got about halfway through Elona I realised that there were other, more efficient builds out there. That said, whatever works for you, you should use!

    I really enjoy experimenting with new hero builds, and will be rocking some truly crazy ones once I get my survivor title.

    • I’m sure there are some better ones. I’m not under the impression that there’s only one way (I hear an SF spam team does really well, too). It’s whatever works. Discord is a good starting point, I think, but it lends itself to some more studying and discovery.
      It’s worked well enough for me that I feel I don’t really need to change it. It would be fun to switch things up, though.

      Do you have any suggestions?

      • if you’re primary paragon, paragon hero’s… it’s deadly. Can clear pretty much anything even DoA in nm with some setups. I prefer a Rit bomber over a necro bomber mainly because there is a skill that when a rit creates something it makes party lose conditions, so most can continue to attack without blindness/cripple conditions. On my own builds I’ve made it where Necro’s will use mesmer elites just for the extra fast emanagment to spam some of the elites ‘crowd control’. With all the paragon buffs can continously have casters healing as well as the shouters throw in some splinter weapon and an orders hero and all is well with the world.

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  • Nate Boylan

    Nice article! (and super helpful)

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  • Patymac

    I only have 3 necros 1 rit me and razah. ho should i fill the second rits or the SS necro’s place?

  • Patymac

    Never mind my last comment i didnt realize the 2 rits right next to each other were mutually elusive.