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Guardians need a buff

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I've tried repeatedly tried playing with a Guardian, my favorite class through the original Geneforge series, and it is hard. A solo Guardian gets nuked into oblivion by enemy casters and bosses. Meanwhile, If you play as the tip of the spear for creations, you have to tank all the stuns, acid, and poison, yourself. A lot of the time, the melee Guardian is just trying to stay alive instead of hitting back, even with Lifedrain. In contrast, a ranged Guardian doesn't have the spells to buff and support melee creations, leaving him reliant on spores. Plus, if you make a field of creations, you don't have much essence to use Weapon Shaping, and you have to return to town constantly to recharge.


Serviles characters in the future Geneforge 4 remake will be pretty strong, due to having Weapon Shaping and better spells, but the Guardian is in an awkward spot right now.

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Solo (98% of the time) guardians are how I've been rolling through both G1 Mutagen and G2 Infestation on Normal difficulty, and I've been having a blast. They're definitely more challenging to play than the vanilla "Shaper with OP minions" (pretty much anything else is, IMO), though I prefer their role-playing and lack of creation micromanagement. Through points and skill-boosting items, I've invested into Melee, some in Endurance and Essence Mastery (for survivability and plenty of healing/blessing spells, especially on boss fights), a couple points each in Strength and Quick Action, and a few points in Blessing Magic/Healing Craft/Leadership/Mechanics; my equipment focuses on boosting Strength/Endurance/Melee/Quick Action, as well as any other temporary gaps in the above few skills on an as-needed basis. Tip I've found extremely useful: once you get Chain Lightning in the Weapon Shaping tree, spam the heck out of it. It's basically my default attack for anything that would survive one melee hit.

But yep, looking forward to G4 and G5 - I always played no-creation serviles in those two (as they feature my preferred combat > magic >>> shaping stat spread not available in G1-G3 with those earlier games' three classes), and adding Weapon Shaping to that mix is going to be fun.

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I've played a solo guardian through a complete game 5 times on torment difficulty and it's better than original games because of weapon shaping. 


One key thing to do is buff your character before a fight if you can or use rod of battle and the first two weapon shaping skills to buff your character in combat. With heavy armor they can survive more damage than the other classes.  It cost a lot of skill points to get most of the blessing magic spells, but they are still worth it even though they don't last as long as for an agent using spellcradt.

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FWIW - and again with the caveat I'm only playing on Normal - there's not much anywhere in Taker lands that can last more than one round against my level 18 (just now 19) solo Guardian. Some of the earlier levels were a bit challenging, but toward the mid-/late-game, you should really see the power ramp up if you follow the general tips above.

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Solo melee Guardian with healing and blessing magic (healing/curing/Regenerate from Healing Craft, and Speed with occasional War Blessing/Protection/Essence Shield/Mindshield from Blessing Magic).

EDIT: Just now realized (as is in fact clear from the tooltip) that Mindshield doesn't affect the PC, but only creations - so scratch that. Not that I was using it much.

Edited by mikeprichard
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For reference, my level 17 solo Guardian has: 8 Strength, 7 Agility, 4 Intellect, 5 Essence Mastery, 7 Endurance, 8 Melee, 5 Missile Weapons, 7 Evasion, 8 Quick Action, 4. Healing Craft, and 8 in Leadership and Mechanics. He can handle most mobs with a hit or two, but spellcasters and bosses nuke him. They stun, slow, and acid him to death, even with equipment that is supposed him to help resist that. It sounds like a fixable problem is that I don't have enough Blessing Magic to buff my character before battles.


I got the Intellect and Essence Mastery for boss battles, so that he could cast more. That didn't help as much as I hoped it would.


Would a point or two in Mental Magic be useful? Daze was a powerhouse in my Shaper's early game, but I'm wondering how good of an investment it would be in the long term.


Also, should I specialize my Guardian's weapon skills more? I added a few levels of Missile Weapons, but it sounds like I could've put those points to better use.


I don't use many canisters either, so that avenue of power is limited for my Guardian.



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I wouldn't bother putting any points into Intellect - the Energy boost is almost useless given how quickly Energy regenerates, and the raw spell power upgrade isn't important. Personally, I'd also completely skip Missile Weapons (and Evasion) to focus on Melee with a little in Quick Action. You are correct that a few enemies (glaahks somewhat early and later gazers come to mind) can potentially be extremely annoying to any solo player (Guardian or Agent) given their potential to stunlock/terrify while they or others acid/poison/burn your health down, but with some blessing and strategic positioning, it's all about prioritizing those enemies and killing them very quickly. Regenerate is also your friend. As to canisters, yep, using fewer is always going to make things relatively more difficult.

I do have 3 total points each in Battle and Mental magic (from 1-2 invested skill points and canisters/charms/other boosts), but in the event I've barely used either spell tree. However, if you're having trouble, maybe Daze will help out in a pinch. Not sure how effective it is when it counts at low skill levels/generally, though.

If you're too far in your playthrough to restart but still want to respec (and if you don't care about achievements, though I'm not 100% sure all cheat codes disable them), you can use the Shift-D code "retrain" and mess around the same encounters with different builds.
GF2 Infestation - Cheat Codes (complete list) - Geneforge Series - Remasters - Spiderweb Software Forums (ipbhost.com)

Edited by mikeprichard
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Thanks for the advice!


I was wondering if I had made a mistake in not getting Blessing and Mental Magic. It sounds like I did. I made it a point to get Blessing Magic, at the very least, in previous installments, but I was hoping that Weapon Shaping would replace it. It seems like Weapon Shaping is meant more to keep the Guardian going once he is in the battle, but you need Blessing Magic to make the Guardian strong before the battle begins.


I was hoping that Evasion would stack and give me a 28% chance of dodging all incoming attacks and therefore I'd drastically increase my survivability. It doesn't seem to work that way though.


I didn't know about the Retrain cheat. That'll be handy. 



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I never used Mental Magic really, and skill points are scarce, but maybe 2 points (boosted to 3 eventually with a canister, if you're into that kind of thing; there are also items you can use for temporary spellcasting ability) through the course of the playthrough might not hurt. But yeah, I suggest you fool around with "retrain" if you're stuck on a particular battle and see what works for you.

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Edit - No canisters and Loyalist not joining a faction. Can do all but in Gaza-Uss the Drakon Master, Dyx, and hasn't checked on the Many Eye Beams.


Mental magic above 1 for daze isn't worth it as much as in other games. Dominate stops being useful too early in the game unless you can use it enough to make them fight amongst themselves.  In the later areas almost everything will resist both.


For torment difficulty where you need that little extra health for some boss fights. Evasion only helps for single target attacks and lots of things automatically use area attacks.


My level 15 solo guardian was without items:

Strength 5, Intellect 2, Agility and Essence Mastey 3, and Endurance 7

Missile and Melee Weapons 9, Quick Action 3, and Evasion 5 

Blessing Magic 4

Healing Craft 2

Leadership 6, Mechanics 6


Then from equipment:

Crystaline Plate - Healing Craft 1

Guardian Cloak - Missile and Melee Weapons and Quick Action +1

Gloves of Spell Mastery - Intellect and Spellcraft 1

Gazerskin Boots - +1 Blessing Magic and Spellcraft


At level 20:

Strength 6, Endurance 10

Melee Weapons 11, Missile Weapons 10

Blessing Magic 5

Healing Craft 4


Puresteel Plate replaced Crystalline Plate

Fyoraskin Cloak replaced Guardian Cloak since I now face more fire damaging creations in the Taker Lands

All Protector shield for +2 Evasion

Purestel Charm - +1 Strength

Spellstone - +2 Spellcraft

Skein of Wisdom - +1 Intellect

Blade token - +1 Melee Weapons


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