First it has passive AC along with stats (as I recall). If that’s the case it offers a small amount of mitigation that the other weapons do not. Even if overall a 5-10% increase that’s something. It might even be more at “end game” as I didn’t get to play with it in Structured PVP with proper stats.
Traited you get +90 toughness just by having a shield so again, not bad.
Second are the abilities (all taken from the wiki at: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Shield):
Shield of Judgement: “Create a shielding wave in front of you that damages foes and gives protection to yourself and up to 5 allies”
Protection is a boon that gives a 33% reduction to incoming damage. 5 seconds of it is a big deal and the recast is decent at 30 seconds. If you break it down per second it’s not too impressive if spammed coming it at a bonus of less than 1% (.55) increase of overall mitigation.
As this game seems to be done in bursts though so 5 seconds can be an eternity on a tough mob encounter. If traited the recast drops to 24 seconds which isn’t shabby considering it’s a cone AoE you can blast almost every fight for a nice opening shot. With 5 friends it’s a huge advantage in neck-saving.
Shield of Absorption: “Create a dome around you that knocks back foes and then absorbs projectiles.” (Push 100, 4 second duration)
Pretty straight-forward. A dome that knocks back and prevents mobs from entering for 4 seconds. Also blocks direct projectile attacks minus mortars from what I hear. The recast is 40 seconds (traited to 32) so if you break this down per second of active us it’s not very brag worthy.
The main problem with this is it’s very situational and the timing is paramount. That or you have to be facing a hailing of arrows akin to medieval battlefield where the Guardian can pick a spot and shield a couple friends while they blast back.
I like the ability and don’t think it needs more duration because skilled players could exploit it heavily in WvWvW. If the push was changed to a proper knockback it would be lovely or even if it had a small damage component added for touching it physically. Maybe even make it a non-channeled ability like Sanctuary but less duration and faster cast…that way you could pop it while you were running away.