Spirit guardians are entities which protect and guard the user of the spirit world. A spirit guardian is a pure spirit form emanating from the spirit world. They are often called angels or archangels as they work closely with the archangel Michael. There are many different types of spirit guardians and they serve different purposes in different settings.
Spirit guardians 5e deals primarily with damage when an entity first enters it or begins its turn there. It doesn’t deal with damage while it’s cast but when it comes from the turn into it or originates in it. In this way it differs from other forms of 5e DPS dealing with DOT or area effects. It’s important to note that it will not prevent damage taken. However, it will reduce the amount.
The first thing to note about spirit guardians 5e is that it uses a cast time spell. It has a casting time of zero and it doesn’t grow in duration like most other forms of 5e DPS do. It will begin to tick up after a few seconds but will remain at a zero casting time for the entire duration of the spell. This makes it great for leveling as you can use it whenever you need it for a little bit of extra damage. It also is useful for when you engage multiple enemies as the additional ticks of damage from the fifth minute onwards will do quite a bit.
When casting this form of spirit DPS, make sure you have both front line taunt abilities and the back line debuffs on your pet. The ability score improvement you get from the fifth minute onwards is going to add a lot to the overall DPS you are doing. You will also want to consider getting additional AOE damage spells such as Encase and Fireball for the bosses. That way you can clear large amounts of space in one turn and still get decent burst damage from your pet.
The main thing to keep in mind about Spirit guardians 5e is that it doesn’t require any type of HoT or HoI generation. You must make sure that you have enough mana before you begin a casting. The first thing you will want to do is use a Swiftcast on your first point blank cast on the second. This will allow you to start the timer on your spirit shield so you have time to get back to full force and do the other stuff. If the opponent is far away or if they don’t have a lot of attack power, you won’t need to waste any additional HoT on them.
The best way to use your abilities is to get them on a long duration. This means that you won’t be required to cast another ability during the duration of the guardian’s shield. For example, if you have a HoT/holy symbol with a duration of 4 seconds and you get an attack that does half of your health bar damage you should use a Swiftcast on the second point right after the holy symbol comes out to maintain the casting time. Keep in mind that this is one of the most important things to remember for Spirit guardians. Having the longest duration possible will allow you to regenerate to full speed as fast as possible after being hit.
When you are using your pet for tanking, keep in mind that you must make good use of your Spirit guardians 5e wisdom saving throw. In fact, this one aspect of this build is absolutely vital for surviving. The only way to survive is to never let the enemy get close to you at all. If you get hit by a damaging attack and you do not have the discipline to go down for the count you are going to die. As soon as you come down from the mount to make sure that you have the swiftest or counterattack ready to save your character and your pet in case the enemy makes a move to kill you.
The flit around is an essential part of the Spirit guardian’s damage rotation. If you find yourself with multiple enemy targets this can lead to some pretty awesome damage. You can even chain cast this ability so that you can go down an entire area and have the flit around for an incredible amount of time. When you find yourself with an enemy who is dazed make sure that you have a quick attack ready to interrupt the enemy’s turn and kill them before they have a chance to get back on their feet. Remember, if you want to survive then you need to make smart choices with your Spirit guardian’s abilities.