Test Results

How Guard Works

June 24, 2010
Release 1.104

Guard is one of the most powerful abilities in the game, but it’s not quite as simple as it seems. The tank, mob, and guarded toon must be positioned in a certain way. Otherwise the tank won’t block and the guarded toon will get hit.

Many people position their toons incorrectly. This is especially likely to happen if you stick a blocker to a pbaoe and expect it to automatically end up in the right place without effort on your part.

People have been telling me for years that Mythic has changed the geometry of guard, so I just retested. I find that everything in this article is the same as when I last tested in 2004.

The two things that matter

There are two factors that determine whether the toons are properly positioned.

  1. The guard must be pretty close to the guarded toon.

  2. The guard must face the mob.

Nothing else matters. Let’s look at those two things in more detail.

  1. “Close” means that the distance between the tank and guarded toon cannot be more than 256 units (see picture below).

  2. “Face” means that the mob must be within the tank’s “frontal arc” of 182 degrees inclusive.

I’ll try to explain the second point in plain English. Imagine that the tank holds his arms straight out to the sides, as if he is crucified, and lines shoot from his finger tips all the way to the horizon. The mob must be in front of those lines, not behind them.

The toons are 255 units apart. That’s close enough to block but only barely.

Things that don’t matter

The distance between the tank and mob doesn’t matter.

The distance between the guarded toon and mob doesn’t matter.

The angle between the tank and guarded toon doesn’t matter. In other words, the tank can be in front of the guarded toon or behind it, and the tank can face the guarded toon or face away. These things make no difference.

Why /stick isn’t enough

Many people move their pbaoe around while a tank sticks to it. Then they get aggro on the pbaoe by body pulling, casting, or both.

This works pretty well with small mobs, but larger mobs, if they happen to approach from behind the tank, usually position themselves behind the tank’s frontal arc. Any melee mob that’s behind the arc will interrupt the pbaoe.

Related Reading

Other tests

This page was last revised on September 25, 2019.