Thrifty Threads: The Arena Guardian

Hello, and welcome, fellow fashionistas of Tyria! Thrifty Threads has been on a bit of a break over the holidays, and we here at GuildMag decided the time was right for it to make its return. On the menu for today is a bit of an interesting concept: the Arena Guardian.

In most cases, when one thinks of a gladiator or pit-fighter, Guild Wars 2’s guardian profession is not what springs to mind. Most minds will jump straight to the warrior or thief, and perhaps even to the elementalist or mesmer. However, the concept was introduced with Logan Thackeray in the novel Edge of Destiny, and actually produces some fabulous fashion results! Of course, heavy armor can be worn by a warrior or a revenant as well, but this particular outfit was specifically designed with the guardian in mind.

The Outfit

Final Show

It should be stated right away that this is a human outfit. That aside, the Arena Guardian carries himself with the stoicism and dependability possessed by every guardian, but also displays an affinity for flair and sport. His armor is uniform enough to give the appearance of order and discipline, but also packs enough style to thrill the crowd. Think this might be the look for your human guardian? Well, you’re in luck, because every outfit we come up with on Thrifty Threads can be done on the cheap!


Head: Vigil’s Honor Helmet – In a game full of less than stellar heavy armor helmet options, the Vigil’s Honor Helm is a bit of a godsend for players on a budget. This Greco-Roman inspired helmet can be picked up for 1 gold 52 silver from Crusader Eira at the Vigil Keep, and is undoubtedly mandatory for any player wishing to achieve a gladiatorial aesthetic. While you will need a character who is a member of the Vigil to purchase this helm, it is applicable to any character’s equipment via the transmutation system.

Shoulders: Commander’s Shoulderplates (Cultural) – For shoulder armor, we’ll be using the Commander’s Shoulderplates, which are from the human cultural tier 1 heavy armor set. These are pretty cheap at 40 silver, and can be purchased from Glory in Divinity’s Reach.

Chest: Ascalonian Protector Breastplate – The chest piece for this armor set was a tough choice. There are numerous armor pieces in Guild Wars 2 that are themed around the Roman gladiator aesthetic, but they all felt too open and bare for the guardian. The guardian would bring a more solid, heavily armored presence to the sands, and thus, after much deliberation, I settled on the Ascalonian Protector Breastplate for this outfit.

As a piece of dungeon reward armor, this chest piece can be purchased from the Dungeon Armor and Weapons merchant in Lion’s Arch, and will cost you 330 Ascalonian Tears, which can be earned from completing dungeon paths or participating in PvP. I would recommend earning them via dungeon paths, as PvP reward tracks can take anywhere from 30 to 59 matches to complete, and will net you 240 dungeon currency and one piece of dungeon armor.

Hands: Commander’s Gauntlets (Cultural) – For the protection of our hands, we find ourselves once more in the human cultural tier 1 heavy armor set. I chose the Commander’s Gauntlets because of their practical design: a broad, thick steel plate backed with mail and bound with leather; perfect for blocking blows that might make it past your sword or shield. These sturdy mitts will run you just 34 silver from Glory in Divinity’s Reach, and will make your opponent think twice about their attack strategy!

Legs: Barbaric Legplates – The Barbaric Legplates are sort of the centerpiece of the entire outfit. They are the core of the “pit-fighter” vibe, their hanging chains and tattered mail proof of many hard-earned victories. However, they also offer a subtle hint of class and refinement with their gold trim and engraved waistline, which was just the type of duality I wanted out of the Arena Guardian. This armor piece lets players know that stoicism and chivalry can give way to ferocity and aggression at the slightest provocation, and can be either crafted or purchased on the Trading Post for about 50 – 80 silver.

Feet: Council Guard Greaves – Our final piece of the puzzle is the Council Guard Greaves, purchasable from the Dungeon Armor and Weapons merchant in Lion’s Arch for 180 Seals of Beetletun, which are the dungeon reward currency for the Caudecus’s Manor dungeon. These provide the guardian with a solid base, as they widen near the ankle, creating an immovable, tree-trunk like presence. Additionally, the various flanges and intricacies covering these thick metal boots contribute to our style factor that much more!


As always, feel free to dye at your own discretion. However, if you like the dye scheme I’ve selected, simply follow the dye key below!

Dye Scheme


D – Dust Dye (5 silver)

G – Gold Dye (86 silver)

I – Icing Dye (4 gold 33 silver)

C – Calfskin Dye (45 silver)

Partially inspired by Logan Thackeray’s foray into pit-fighting with Destiny’s Edge in Edge of Destiny, the point of the Arena Guardian outfit is to personify how guardians engaging in the gladiatorial arts would style themselves. Juxtaposition is a major part of this: poise with violence, elegance with destruction, and valiance with slaughter. The Arena Guardian is a complex individual, and thus merits a complex regalia to properly convey his status as both a deadly killing machine and a bastion of defense.

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