The Monk can speak directly to the gods to open a conduit for divine magic that can heal and protect allies in battle or unleash holy power upon the Monk's enemies. The Monk's connection to the gods is illustrated in the primary Monk attribute, Divine Favor, which grants extra healing ability and makes Monk skills more effective. Monks often choose to focus on one of the other attributes. Healing Monks build up the Healing Prayers attribute to revive allies and mend their wounds. Smiting Monks put points into Smiting Prayers, which inflict damage on foes and work especially well against undead enemies. Protection Monks pump up the Protection Prayers attribute and use magic that prevents allies and themselves from taking damage. The Monk is the definitive Guild Wars "support profession," and will probably never have to wait for a group invitation. Combined with a secondary like Warrior or Ranger, Monks can also be quite effective when it comes to hurting the enemy.
The Mesmer is not content with living in reality—Mesmers prefer to create their own realities. Mesmers are the mental masters of illusion, control, and domination, subverting an enemy's Energy for their own purposes and supporting the entire party in battle with powerful, mind-bending magic. Domination skills put Mesmers in command of a foe's Health and Energy, while Illusion can inflict damage, slow an enemy, and drain away the powers of those that oppose them. The Mesmer can call on Inspiration to steal Energy directly from the opposition, and the primary Memser attribute Fast Casting works just like it sounds—you can sling your spells at a much higher rate than any other profession. The Mesmer is powerful as a damage-dealing spellcaster, a support player, or both. They should usually avoid the front lines, but can turn the tide of most any fight in seconds.
The Elementalist commands the four elemental forces: earth, air, fire, and water. With magic derived from the very foundations of nature itself, Elementalists can inflict more damage in a single strike than any other profession. There are as many types of Elementalists as there are elements and ways to combine them. Some Elementalists choose to study two or more elements to maintain broad discipline, though many prefer to focus on one unique element. Earth magic triggers quakes and volcanoes, envelops foes in solid rock, and can add to the strength and stamina of allies. Air magic is driven by the power of storms and lightning, granting allies greater speed or targeting specific foes with a focused, high-damage attack. Fire magic is often considered the most purely destructive form, inflicting searing pain and damage on multiple enemies. The magic of Water is highly manipulative. Water magic summons ice and mist to slow enemies down and blur their vision, inflicts freezing cold damage, and even protects allies from other forms of magical attack. The primary Elementalist attribute, Energy Storage, gives the Elementalist the highest maximum Energy in the game. This makes other professions that use a lot of Energy, like the Monk or the Mesmer, natural choices for an Elementalist's secondary class. Elementalists should never be at the fore of melee combat, but when surrounded they can tap into a full staple of handy area-of-effect skills just in case.
The Necromancer wields the power of death itself, a power no enemy can stand against forever. The dark arts of the Necromancer—Curses, Death Magic, and Blood Magic—usually take a toll on the caster by forcing a sacrifice of Health, but the harm that befalls a Necromancer's foes in return makes this a small, if painful, price to pay. Necromancers can command the corpses of their enemies (or even allies) as deadly foot soldiers using Death Magic, while Blood Magic drains Health from foes and transfers it to the Necromancer. Curses hurt the Necromancer, but hurt the Necromancer's opponents even more by sapping enemy Enchantments and healing abilities. Necromancers keep their Energy bars full with Soul Reaping, the primary Necromancer attribute, which feeds upon the deaths of others. The Necromancer requires patience and discipline to master.
The Ranger is more in touch with living nature than any other profession. Where the Elementalist harnesses and tames the power of the elements, the Ranger lives as one with life in all its abundance, and utilizes unique survival skills that come from this connection. Rangers can perform Nature Rituals that manipulate the environment to hinder enemies, or draw on the power of the wilderness to heal and assist allies in battle. The Ranger can also tame the beasts of the wild and command them to fight at the Ranger's side. The Ranger is the master of the targeted distance attack and Rangers get the most out of ranged weapons like bows. The Ranger's primary attribute, Expertise, demonstrates the benefits of communing with nature. Attack skills and Preparations (like Apply Poison) will use less energy with the more points you pour into Expertise. In a party, the Ranger is often called upon to pull foes toward the group with a well-aimed arrow. Rangers combine effectively with any secondary profession that performs well at a distance.
Those who choose to follow the path of the Warrior have chosen a profession dedicated to up close and personal violence (and they love every minute of it). The Warrior is the quintessential hack-and-slash fantasy hero: tough, strong, and an expert at wielding melee weapons on the battlefield (in other words, what many MMO gamers call "the tank"). Warriors are masters of the axe, the sword, and the hammer; though most choose to focus on one weapon over the others. With their heavier armor and damage absorbing runes and shields, Warriors can soak up the abuse that other characters in the group can't handle, and give other professions in the party such as Rangers or Elementalists the distance needed to make use of ranged abilities. Many Warrior skills are powered by adrenaline, a special power pool generated as the Warrior fights, instead of Energy. This means the Warrior, already a profession with low Energy regeneration, will still have plenty of skills to use even when Energy runs out. A Warrior's tactical skills are often defensive in nature and help you both protect and lead your troops. Strength is the Warrior's primary attribute; greater Strength lets the Warrior improve all Strength-based skills and more readily pierce an opponent's armor.