Primary Weapons: Sword, Shield, Rifle, Longbow
Style: Condition Damage / Survivability / 1v1 / Control
Updated: August 10th Stress Test
Detailed Quick Information
Mending, Balanced Stance, Bull’s Charge,
25 Strength: Restorative Strength, Distracting Strikes
30 Arms: Deep Cuts, Blademaster, Furious
15 Defense: Missile Deflection
Amulet - Rabid (Condition Damage+++, Toughness++, Precision++)
Jewels - Berserker (Power+++, Precision++, Vitality+, CritDmg+)
Runes - Runes of Undead (Condition Damage, Toughness, 5% Toughness as Condition Damage)
#1 Sigils - Superior Earth (60% oC Bleed) / Superior Blood (30% oC Life Steal)
#2 Sigils - Superior Earth (60% oC Bleed)
“There Will Be Blood” - Summary
The "There Will Be Blood" build focuses primarily on condition damage. It also supports a healthy amount of direct damage from various sources that increase Power such as Might, the Strength Tree, and the Berserker’s Jewel. The primary strength of it is the high strength bleeds with all the condition damage at +75% bleed duration. The second strength is its sheer durability with high Toughness and high amounts of defensive actives. The third strength is its ability to counter the majority of builds out there in the current environment through control and mobility. You have a lot of extra tools to kite the melee builds, and the tools to melee the kiting builds. This means you always fight on your terms, and those terms are rather bloody. That damage output of a fully adrenaline charged Flurry is something that seems to shock everyone, especially in this build.
Why Sword/Shield, Rifle, and Longbow? - Weapon Selection
Naturally, the best condition damage weapon on the Warrior is the Main Hand Sword. This traditionally pairs nicely with the Offhand Sword. The Offhand Sword however, just has some problems. The durations on the bleeds are so long especially coupled with this bleed duration increase that it's nearly guaranteed they will either be dead or have it cleansed before it is removed. Then the application isn't guaranteed either, Impale is rather easy to dodge and Riposte does not guarantee the target is applied with bleeds. Most of your bleed damage comes from the Main Hand Sword anyway, and what do you want while your target is bleeding? Time. The Shield gives you that with both of its abilities.
The Rifle is ideally, in my opinion, a direct damage weapon. However, that does not make it a bad condition damage weapon. The damage output is only a little below in a condition damage build then a direct damage build. The reason we pick the Rifle, is because it pairs with the Sword so well. A ranged weapon switch is highly useful. The ability to kite and deal damage while you close in, chase, and overall improve your play is extremely valuable. Heck it even gives you an extra knockdown to couple with Kick. That's a total of 3 stuns or knockdowns, which is fairly impressive for a build that traditionally wouldn't have it. Oh, and never use Kill Shot in this build unless you are bored. Why? It's meant for direct damage builds with some swap Sigils.
The Longbow, is flat out better for team fights then the Rifle. You should always be willing to swap out the Rifle if you desire a more team fight oriented role. The ability to give yourself and allies a Fire Field is excellent support in itself combined with the AoE Damage you can unleash given high condition damage and decent direct damage. Follow up every Combustive Shot with an Arcing Arrow for a free 105 Condition Damage and Power, to your entire group. Beyond that the abilities are extremely good providing Blind, Immobilize, and in general more attacks to Burn with. The only thing it’s not good at comparably is to the Rifle in single target combat. It’s actually pretty capable when you have to use it in single target combat though, so don’t completely despair.
The Bleed Choices - Condi-Dmg Trait Selection
Naturally, a Precision Condition Damage build needs the Arms tree. You may as well get all of it. It’s possible to sacrifice it for specific builds, but for our purposes we will adore it. Arms gives you both the stats you need, and all the major and minor traits you desire. The extra bleed duration on Deep Cuts is mandatory for any condition damage Sword build on the Warrior, no exceptions. It turns Flurry into a destructive behemoth capable of inflicting more damage than any other Burst Skill we have. Blademaster gives us the extra crit for even more proc effects, and even more damage. The last trait choice is Furious. Frankly, we lack much for adrenaline generation in this build. However, Furious lets you gain adrenaline from Flurry crits allow you to charge adrenaline rather quickly. Coupled with the high crit rate as well, it gives you anywhere from 50% to 90% more adrenaline generation. This trait solves our general adrenaline issues and gives us a comfortable amount at all times. The minor traits focus on giving us extra bleeds, critical chance, and just more damage against anything we fight. Arms is a natural choice to this build.
In the Defensive category, you have some straight forward picks. I love Reflection, maybe a little too much. The ability to subtract damage (and possible control) done to yourself and add it to the enemy is a major advantage. Giving your Shield the ability to reflect missiles is just game changing. The Sword's weakness is excessive kiting beyond the leaps of a Sword/Shield build. If they do that, you simply pop reflection and it’s possible you could steal the advantage away. Keep in mind good players will stop attacking you, but remember you can always catch mid-air projectiles with it. Adrenal Health is fantastic when you have enough adrenaline generation, especially when using the Rifle since you don’t want to use Kill Shot.
Strength to me for the longest time has been a bad choice in condition builds. I think I was wrong. The free condition duration is obviously, pretty good. The extra Power is invaluable, since the Sword, Longbow, and Rifle all have great direct damage values. The traits it offers are absolutely fantastic as well. Restorative Strength turns Mending into a damage condition stripping machine. Remember that it cleanses the last two conditions placed and refreshed on you, but only after it removes Weakness, Chill, Cripple, and Immobilize. This is very much likely to be the bleeds and other damage conditions on you, often turning into a huge damage prevention skill. Distracting Strikes is something I initially thought was horrible, but now realize the potential of it. It’s supplementary damage, and in some cases can turn into a primary source of damage. It adds a little bit of condition overload and can create opportunities for 1000 to 4000 damage depending on their attack speed. The reason I stop at Stick and Move, is also the desire for Adrenal Health. Stick and Move is 10% more damage when you aren’t full on endurance. Coupled with the additional 10% more damage to bleeding targets, 1300 Power, and extremely high crit rate you are doing a healthy amount of direct damage. The extra endurance and dodge bonuses are just gravy at this point. The condition duration in particular in Strength adds to your Immobilize and Fear durations, which again are extremely powerful. I love having Strength in a condition build.
Sheer Damage - 1300 Power, 1200 Condi-Dmg, +75% Bleed Duration, 90% Flurry Crit Rate
I'd just like to emphasize the damage output of this spec. A fully charged Flurry averages over 11,000 damage. That is mostly from conditions, since that is how Flurry is designed. However, your auto attacks from the Rifle, Longbow, and Sword both put out a decent amount of direct damage as well. 1300 Power is actually quite a lot considering what else this build offers in damage multiplication (+10%, +10%), coupled with the extremely high crit rate. You do over two-thirds the direct damage of someone who is specialized in dealing that direct damage combined with an absurd amount of strength from bleeds. Even when someone is immune to conditions in some form, you still do plenty of damage. Not to mention, with all of this... you still have a lot of bonus Toughness as well. This mathematically appears to be the highest amount of mitigation value factored in with damage output you can do, period.
Charging, Screaming, Juggernaut - Utilities
What you are looking for here, are counters to other skills and enhancing what you bring to the table. Control and Anti-Control are the goals here. The first choice of Mending comes quickly, as it offers condition removal and the quickest cooldown on our heals. By using condition removal in our healing slot, we don’t need to take it in our utility slots. Do try to use Mending early in the fight, as the cooldown is short enough to often come back up by the end of it. However, if you know what you are fighting you better not blow it early if you are going to need the condition removal later.
The Utility Skills to me are what win you fights. They are how you differentiate yourself. If you can eek out the extra control and prevent your opponent from controlling you, they are not only at a disadvantage mechanically but likely in terms of morale as well. It sucks to not have control over your character, and almost just as much when your control isn’t working on your opponent. Thus I wanted Stability and a Stun Break, and Balanced Stance gives you that. Not only does it give you anti-control in general, it’s essential in dealing with the downed state. Nothing but Fear can stop you. Bull’s Charge was one I didn’t have for a long time. However, it’s a fantastic multi-purpose skill. It’s an extra interrupt (awesome for Distracting Strikes) and an additional gap closer. Those shadowstepping Thieves can still get slammed with Bull’s Charge, for example. Last but most certainly not least, is Fear Me!. This skill is very deserving of its long cooldown. It’s AoE Ranged Control that can be used while incapacitated or channeling your own skills. It can be extremely offensive and extremely defensive as well as providing you excellent ability to deal with the downed state. With this build, it also approaches a 4s fear duration which is devastating. If you use it right after a Flurry and Cripple, it’s almost like a 4s stun in which they have to eat all of the bleeds.
For the Elite choice, it’s actually fairly situational. Rampage contrary to popular belief, is actually pretty good in a duel situation. I personally don’t like it very much though. The Banner is a fantastic revival tool, but at the moment it doesn’t pulse anything beyond the initial plant of it. I’m not sure what to make of it because of that. The Signet of Rage gives you Swiftness, of which you dearly lack, and in general is a fantastic power up, especially for duels. Don’t be afraid to use it. Sure the adrenaline generation is okay, but the active effects can change the fight drastically. You can utilize Might and Fury extremely well, and Swiftness is essential in terms of countering other builds.
Amulet, Runes, Sigils - The Meat of the Blood
The Rabid Amulet is ideal for many reasons. Effective condition damage only requires two stats, Condition Damage and Precision with proc effects. This has that, and comes with a boatload of Toughness to skyrocket your mitigation. Why Toughness and not Vitality? Because it's better in longer fights of which you are always a part of once you factor in self-healing and other healing sources. Not to mention, the better you are with actively mitigating your damage (read, the better you are at this game) with dodges, interrupts, and other active defenses the better Toughness is for you as a stat. The Berserker Jewel gives you that little extra oomph of direct damage to make sure that it’s competitive. The Rune choice here is fairly straight forward, as it boosts you similar to how the Amulet does. More condition damage and toughness, but feel free to experiment here. The Sigils are obvious, with Earth being the primary choice. Rather than getting only an extra 24% chance out of doubling up on the Sigils as well, picking up the Blood Sigil lets you outlast your opponent and deal a decent amount of direct damage as well. About 450 health stolen per proc is quite a lot, especially when you attack so often.
Tips and Tricks of the Bloodied
Ideally you start a fight with the Rifle. If it's a target you want to engage with the Sword, you apply Vulnerability and Cripple while you close in. If it's a target you want to engage with the Rifle, well hey you already have it out and you should whack em’ with Volley. Remember to always apply Vulnerability before you use Volley in this situation. Save Rifle Butt for when you need to interrupt your target. Fighting at a distance is rather straight forward, just keep moving and disallow them as much time to damage you as you can. Never use Kill Shot, save your Adrenaline for either your regeneration trait or for a Flurry when you decide to close in. Unless your target is surrounded by a metric ton of hostiles, it's always a good idea to close in for the kill. Generally you want to fight the ranged targets in melee, and the melee targets at a range. Unless they can outkite you or outchase you, of course.
In an ideal fight that you want to fight with the Sword, you have just engaged your target with the Rifle for a short bit and applied Vulnerability and Cripple. As you close in, with whatever adrenaline you have you will want to Flurry as quick as you can even at low levels. If it's not high enough, build it up with the auto-attacks as they swing rather fast. If you are just about to clip into another adrenaline bubble, wait for that. The tooltip for Flurry lies, it does more damage with more adrenaline. Literally linearly as well, it strikes 8 times / 10 times/ 12 times depending on your adrenaline level. Yeah you read that right, it strikes 12 times applying 12 separate 3s duration bleeds and proc'ing a whole metric ton of on-crit effects while keeping your opponent Immobilized. After a Flurry, you need to interrupt the heal and/or condition removal, which typically comes right after your Flurry. So use one of your interrupts if you have them still. At that point, defend yourself with the blocking, as they will have to use other skills while their emergency skills cooldown. Ideally you can tell what they are doing, and react that to that, but a basic rule of thumb is to interrupt immediately after Flurry and then defend yourself. After that, interrupt them again. Now you've done more than 11,000 damage to your target while they have been nearly helpless the entire time, literally unable to recover their lost health at all. Given appropriate judgment with how much damage your Flurry will do, you can kill people before they ever use their Healing Skill.
To catch a target, the Sword Leap combined with the Shield Leap Stun covers an incredible amount of distance. If that fails, then switch to the Rifle. You really can't be kited in this build as you have so many options. Bull’s Charge can get you close even more than just your standard charges. Don't forget the reflecting projectiles tactic with the Shield. You also have Swiftness from your Elite, and anti-kiting tools in Mending. You should be able to out chase kiters, and out kite chasers. This is the easiest way to get an advantage over your opponents.
It should be noted, that the Downed State is an important concept to deal with. It seems obvious, but keeping your allies alive and your targets dead is essential. This build has a lot of tools to deal with the downed state. Stability and Fear Me! can guarantee many stomps and revives. The Sword's leap can get you in range of a target quickly to stomp as well. If an enemy is reviving or stomping, you have Shield Bash, Rifle Butt, Bull's Charge, and Fear Me! to interrupt it. If you lack any of those options, just Flurry right on top of them. Whack them both with as much damage as you can, since not only do you delay the revive any bleeds on the downed target will still be on them while they get up. You can actually in a way, use the downed state as bait in a 1v2 to cause both of them to position themselves perfectly for a double Flurry. At this point, you can probably deal with two downed targets instead of one downed and one alive. Be aware and revive your allies as you have the durability to often withstand the process.
Variants of the Bloodied Gladiator
To begin with, every build has things some people won’t like. It’s not raw effectiveness, it’s actually personal taste. You may or may not like everything in the build. Guild Wars 2 is designed so that you can actually have a lot of personal input even on a popular style of build. I’m also not always right in regards to total effectiveness, but that’s subjective and situational too. If your role changes, it’s likely your traits need to change. Even more so than just swapping out the Rifle for the Longbow, you may want to make deeper changes in the traits, runes, and sigils.
Tactics and Rune of the Soldier – As Sabre has pointed out in other discussions, this build is really good. Getting the healing shouts and additional condition removal can make you a lot more resilient to condition damage. If condition builds become more popular, then this will be a very strong choice for a variant. It would be recommended that you pick up the reduced shout cooldown and either Leg Specialist for the control or Empower Allies for the extra Power. You should probably go all out with the Shout build at this point, and focus on that.
Orrian and Doom – Replacing the Sigil of Blood with Doom, and getting Orrian runes instead of Undead is something I’m looking at a lot lately. The concept of overloading your target with conditions is a viable thing, and in general Poison is an extremely powerful condition to lay on your target. This gives you two long lasting ways to land it on your target, and even emergency Quickness at low health. You lose a little survivability though, and burst damage.
More Defense – This is always an option if you feel the need to simply be able to take more damage. I’d pick up Shield Master most likely for the second trait. It’s a tossup between Spiked Armor, Embrace the Pain, and Defy Pain (which I think is still good) for the third choice though. Keep in mind, if you go into Defense ay further at all, get the 25 point minor trait for its extra Power.
Fast Hands – This is an option if you desire the extra weapon swap capability. Sometimes you just feel like you have to have it. I personally have learned to live without it. As for the choice of major trait, I would likely pick up Mighty Defenses. After a Shield Block, I’d probably have a whole lot of Might to fight back with.
Hybridized with Power – I honestly hate the Vitality on the Carrion Amulet, but it’s perfectly reasonable to run a lower crit variant and get a good chunk more out of Power. Personally though, I really like Toughness especially in longer fights. There are very viable ways to run this build.
Musketeer and Embrace the Pain – This is an alternative route if you want to keep the adrenaline generation in general while making the Rifle all that much more powerful. Piercing shots are absolutely incredible, but I tend not to take it anymore because I don’t’ rely on it for a team fight. Ideally I’d have the Longbow to use, but honestly I’d probably rather charge in and rack up the bleeds on everyone while using my superior mitigation to take some of the damage.
+100% Bleed Duration – This would give you the extra tick on Flurry bleeds, bumping up the damage by over a thousand. You could do this by picking up the Lyssa 2 piece rune bonus for +10% Condition Duration, and any +15% Bleed Duration bonus. This could devastate targets that lack condition removal, and gives you the most potential damage possible. Just be careful for that aforementioned condition removal. It's the most efficient stat, and the most efficient place to leave the stat in terms of added damage. As Zerikin Loukbel has mentioned, it'd be easy to add in +15% Burning Duration as well to fit in a nice +100% Bleed Duration, +50% Burn Duration, on top of +35% Other Condition Duration.
Much, much more! – Remember there are tons of variants that are viable. Especially when it comes to utilities, you aren't restricted to any due to traits. Use what you need, not what your build's traits demand.
Being Kited - Chasing Opponents with Sword/Shield
Weapon Swap to Rifle (Bang, Bang), Savage Leap (Leap 600), Hamstring (Cripple 8.75s), Shield Bash (Leap 300, Stun 1s), Shield Stance (Block & Reflection 3s), Mending (Condition Removal), Bulls Charge (Knockdown 2s), Balanced Stance (Stun Break), Signet of Rage (30s Swiftness), Fear Me! (Fear up to 3.75s, ideally while Crippled or into a wall)
Kiting Target - Kiting Opponents with Rifle
Aimed Shot (Cripple 7.5s), Rifle Butt (Knockdown 2s, Knockback 450), Mending (Condition Removal), Fear Me! (Fear up to 3.75s), Balanced Stance (Stun Break), Signet of Rage (Swiftness 30s), Bulls Charge (Knockdown 2s, Reverse Kiting Direction)
Combo Breakers - Anti-CC, CC, and Active Defenses
Shield Bash (Stun 1s), Rifle Butt (Knockdown 2s), Mending (Condition Removal), Bull’s Charge (Knockdown 2s), Balanced Stance (Stun Break, Stability 8s), Shield Stance (Block & Reflection 3s), Fear Me! (Fear up to 3.75s), Dodge (Never Forget)
This video footage was taken with this Rampager Amulet Variation slowly changing over to this Longbow Style Variant over the August 2nd Stress Test. It was mostly me testing things out, since it's important to remember this build has lots of viable variants. Beware though, this footage's frame rate may make your eyes bleed as much as my opponents did. Too bad it's before I found out how awesome Distracting Strikes is though.
The footage below was taken with the full "There Will Be Blood" build, with a little bit of the Orrian variant. However, since the Doom Sigil wasn't working as I had intended (internal cooldowns preventing other Sigils from working), I didn't stick with that for very long. This features some good use of Distracting Strikes, and also has a good few places of me just being awful at the game.
Edited by Ayestes, 20 August 2012 - 08:45 PM.