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Supportive Warrior Builds [Think tank]

warrior support supportive shouts banners team support vigorous shouts inspiring battle standard healing

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#1 Sithicus Dias

Sithicus Dias

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 03:58 PM

Preface:

This is a post written specifically for players who want to approach the Warrior class with both Team Support and Defense in mind. The following is a collective of different ways in which this can be done effectively, based on my own experiences, and those of guild-mates, and also several users in the Guru forums, of whom I have had many interesting discussions.

If Defensive Support isn’t your thing, and you want something with a lot more bite to it, please refer to the Sonic Boon build written by a friend and fellow Guru poster, Brand. Brand and I discussed Shout Warriors extensively, and together we devised a base for a Greatsword build that optimizes damage with moderate healing capacity. Brand has worked very hard testing and developing it, ironing out inconsistencies and making it what it is. Sonic Boon is a great build, and it deserves all of the attention it’s getting. I however have decided to devote my focus on the Defensive side of things.

It should be noted first of all that this post is tailored for Dungeon Runners, as such it is likely that most of what is written does not necessarily apply to WvW or sPvP, as such the explanations and justifications are tailored around PvE content, both solo and within a team.

A final note here is that while several builds are detailed here, including my own favoured setup, this post aims to highlight a specific Player Attitude, rather than rigid builds per se. My aim is to get players to experience the Supporting Paradigm, rather than the best builds. I strongly encourage discussion, and the generation of ideas here.

~Sith

Supportive Warrior Builds [Think tank]

I began experimenting with the Defensive side of the Warrior Class based on my own (and seemingly many other Guru users) experiences that attempting to maximize damage through Gear and Traits is a recipe for disaster. In many ways the furore over the “Glass Cannon” approach for Warriors is difficult to appreciate unless you’ve actually experienced it yourself, you can take virtually no punishment before going down. In addition to poor survivability, another main failing of Glass Cannon builds is that there tends to be very little Team Utility, (Deep Strike Warriors, I’m looking at you...). With the simplest of Trait swaps you can instantly become a Supportive Entity by allowing some of your own skills to affect your whole team.

I’m sure we’ve all heard that ancient MMO saying “A dead DPS does zero DPS”. If you are such a Warrior, frustrated with the failings of a Glass Cannon build, I implore you to read on.

Before we get into the main body of the post, I have written another thread in parallel to this one, which takes a look into the underlying mechanics of Warriors as a Supportive Entity. In that thread, Healing capabilities are modelled mathematically, and several interesting conclusions are drawn about the ways in which you can be most effective for your team. See it here Supportive Warrior Builds Part II - Numerical Analysis.

Methods of Support:

After thinking about this extensively, I think it can be reasonably argued that Support can break down into FOUR main categories and they are Healing, Party-wide Buffs, Condition Removal and Control. These FOUR categories fall into Trait Related Support, and Gear Related Support indicating the origin of the underlying supportive mechanisms. Now to elaborate on the FOUR supporting categories:

1 – Healing

First and foremost, Healing is one of two methods of Trait Related Support. Guild Wars 2 has revolutionized MMORPGs to the effect that there technically is no Healer role like in Guild Wars 1. The Healing you are able to do is purely on a supplementary basis to your team, it cannot and will not hold your whole team up, because the whole paradigm of GW2 is not built for this. Instead your Healing should be viewed as a measure of resilience for your team in allowing each member to better mitigate enemy pressure (especially in AoE heavy areas).

There are two approaches to Healing for a Warrior, both are Grandmaster Tactics Traits. The first is Vigorous Shouts, this trait allows your Shouts to heal allies within the area of effect of your Shouts. The second method is Inspiring Battle Standard, which grants the Regeneration Boon to allies under the effects of your Banners. Since both traits occupy the Grandmaster slot, the Dichotomy of Healing reduces to Banners vs. Shouts.

2 – Party-wide Buffs

I changed the heading above from Boon Application to Party-wide Buffs. This is the second method of Trait Related Support. Warriors are somewhat limited in the boons they can supply allies (this is where Guardians become more effective for example). The previous heading (Boon Application) was somewhat misleading, since the bonuses from Banners technically are not Boons, so any bonuses you get based on the number of boons applied to not count from Banners (Empowered, for example) but that does not in any way diminish the great bonuses available, they simply are not specifically Boons.

3 – Condition Removal

Condition Removal is the first method of Gear Related Support, specifically 6 Superior Runes of the Soldier. These Runes allow your shouts to remove conditions; as such this ties in very nicely with a Vigorous Shouts Build. Condition removal is a somewhat less appreciated area, since you do not specifically spec into a condition removing build per se. In much the same way as described with Healing, your condition removal capabilities are supplementary, and when used correctly can prevent a lot of damage to allies (i.e. being able to remove large bleed stacks instantly, or high duration Poison/Burns).

4 – Control

Control is the second method of Gear Related Support, and if anything it is a slightly unconventional method of Support, compared to the previous three. The idea behind control is to dish out as many Stuns, Knockdowns, Knockbacks etc as you can to multiple enemies. To this effect, you reduce the damage that your allies take by disabling enemies. Your ability to control is derived from using a Hammer, several utility skills (especially “Fear Me!”) as well as the Mace and Shield.

I’m fairly convinced that Control is generally understated, if stated at all. Through rotating between a Hammer and a Mace/Shield combo, you can eliminate a full 5 stacks of Defiant from a Champion mob, allowing frequent opportunities to interrupt dangerous skills. If the mob is less than a Champion, then all 5 control skills severely inhibit that mob. Removing 5 stacks of defiant does not even include Utility skills.

The builds described later in the post incorporate 3 of the 4 methods of support. The builds are centred around Party-wide Buffs and/or Healing. Control and Condition Removal can be added in as well, depending on Gear Choice.

Why take on a Supportive Role?

Warriors are in a fairly unique position when it comes to Health and Armour, since they sit in the highest class for both. Warriors have base Health of 18,372 at level 80, and are members of the Soldier Armour Class (i.e. Heavy Armour users). This effectively means the Warrior is the most resilient class in the game based on latent attributes. To this effect, you are already more defensive than anyone else, and if by nothing else other than logic, that is a solid foundation for enhancing your defensive capabilities.

Support can act as a means to generate better team synergy. When you perform a role that actively affects your allies, this leads to enhanced situational awareness, and your ability to perceive the battlefield. As an example, traiting as Vigorous Shouts has gotten me into the habit of positioning myself within Shout Range of allies likely to take heavy damage, thus enabling me to pop my heals when this occurs.

In the sister thread to this one, there is significant statistical evidence confirming how burst healing through Vigorous Shouts is more effective than the Regeneration Boon (by a 27% margin as Healing Power converges to a theoretical maximum).

In some cases, choosing a Support build can allow certain skills/traits to affect the whole team. A classic example is in the Tactics Adept line, you can choose Empowered for a personal damage buff, or Empower Allies as a means to provide Power to the rest of the team. With Shout Healing, you not only heal yourself, but possibly the other 4 party members, and considering you can heal with three shouts, the total healing you could put out across three shouts is 15 times the amount that a shout heals for on a single target. It is situations like this where your skills transcend into a whole new league of effectiveness.

Tactics is an incredibly versatile trait line as it contains traits that augment your Shouts and Banners, the Grandmaster traits are the Crux of Warrior Healing. Also in Tactics is the trait “Quick Breathing” which allows Warhorn skills to convert conditions into boons (to the tune of cripple becoming swiftness, etc).

Dungeons present players with the most difficult content in the game and with the advent of Fractals of the Mists, this presents the most challenging combat out there. Agony in particular is very lethal. Evidence suggests Agony ticks for 1/8 of your maximum health per second. If you consider an ally with 15k health, that is a deficit of 1875 health per second. With Cleric’s Gear (not including accessories or Weapons), Shouts can heal for approximately 2k. This means you can help your allies effectively soak the effects of a short Agony spike, by using all 3 shouts in succession as Agony ticks.

The Supportive Paradigm:

Below are several builds that I've tested extensively. Generally they cover 3 out of 4 of the support mechanisms. Support can be played more defensively or offensively depending on your trait and gear choices, but in general the constant across these builds should be 30 points in Tactics.

A Hierarchy of Survivability:

One of the most important considerations in building yourself in an effective way is choosing the stats that will enable you to perform at your best. For example if you want to run bleeds, naturally your gear should encompass Condition Damage. For the purpose of a Defensive Support mindset, you should at least have some kind of Toughness based Armour (e.g. Knights or Cleric’s).

Anyhow, this small section aims to clarify something I have been thinking about in terms of survivability, and the ways in which you can enhance your own survivability. In theory, I believe that there is a prioritized list of ways to avoid damage successfully, in descending order of desirability these are:
  • Interrupts
  • Blocks
  • Dodges
  • Condition Removal
  • Damage Reduction
  • Healing
  • Health Pool
These 7 categories represent the ways in which the damage enemies do is received by you. The explanation of these factors and their order aims to definitively explain exactly why stacking Vitality as a defensive attribute pales in comparison to stacking Toughness.

First and foremost, the first 3 on the list are mechanisms of complete avoidance. To this effect, if you can interrupt a dangerous attack, then that is the end of it, the damage never comes into existence, and if this was going to be a powerful AoE attack, your allies are also spared from its effects. Beyond interrupting, the only possibly way to reduce damage to your party is through Healing them after an attack lands.

Blocks and Dodges are similar in nature, since both effectively avoid damage to you when done right. The reason Blocks are above Dodges in terms of desirability comes down to a couple of factors. Firstly, if you are running a Mace/Shield, you already have 2 ways to block attacks. Shield Stance allows 3 seconds of blocking, which is enough to soak an entire Hundred Blades. Dodges however require precise timing, so in effect it is easier to time a Shield Stance successfully than it is to dodge. While the end result is largely the same, Blocks should be prioritized, since you can preserve your Endurance for later attacks. One of the most fun Warrior traits is Missile Deflection (Defense, Adept), since you return projectiles while blocking. The kind of things you can get hit with throughout the whole of the game is pretty varied, but being able to send back attacks that cause bleed or vulnerability for example, is absolutely priceless.

Providing an enemy has not been interrupted, and you have not avoided the attack, then the damage has been done. Condition Removal features higher than damage reduction on this list because there IS no damage reduction when it comes to conditions. As such, being able to wipe off a whole stack of bleeds acts as significant damage prevention.

It follows that if you have a decent measure of damage reduction perhaps from high Toughness (or an ally who has Protection), then that damage comes in at a reduced value. I think that reducing the damage you take from an attack eclipses both Healing and a High Health Pool. I believe this is true based on the premise that the less damage you take, the less you have to heal, and the less damage you take, the smaller the demand on your Health Pool.

Finally, between Damage Reduction and High Health Pool is Healing. Renewable healing mechanisms are an important facet in this post, since being able to recover some of the damage you take on a frequent basis keeps you in certain fights a lot longer. Having a high health pool simply means you can take perhaps 1 or 2 more hits before going down, but by taking less damage and using Blocks/Dodges effectively, the need for High Health is somewhat gratuitous. Also, with higher damage reduction, your Heals will effectively be “worth more” per se, in that the Health regained proportional to damage taken, is higher when you have more Toughness.

As such, I regard Vitality as a poor attribute to gear towards, simply because High Health does not guarantee survivability. If Healing in this game was built to keep entire teams alive, then High Health would probably jump higher up the hierarchy, but since this is not the case, it is not widely considered here.

Supportive Concept #1 – Inspiring Battle Standard:

Support Mechanisms: Healing, Party-wide Buffs, Condition Removal, Control.

Build: http://www.guildhead...X70M7ofD70z8ofv

Required Traits:  30 in Tactics for Inspiring Banners (V) and Inspiring Battle Standard (XI).

The trait spec shown above is merely a recommended action for a build such as this. Banner Regeneration (while effective) is not powerful enough to be worth gearing towards (the Healing done over time from Banners is statistically shown as less effective than that from Vigorous Shouts in the sister thread).
However, this build is fairly liberal, since the only requirement is 30 in Tactics, the rest is completely negotiable. The Greatsword build shown is a viable concept to ensure your presence as a DPS entity in your team, as well as a Supportive one.

This build encompasses Healing and Party-wide Buffs as primary support mechanisms, but also Control if you choose it. Recall that the former two are Trait related support, but you can still Gear towards Control if you feel it is worthwhile.

There nature of this build revolves around your Banner(s) providing constant regeneration to your allies, as well as your own choice of Party-wide Buffs. If you merely want constant regeneration, you still only need a single banner to do so.

Advantages:
  • Each Banner provides a 90 Point bonus to two attributes (or 10% effectiveness for Critical Damage and Boon Duration). In simple terms the Banner of Strength (Power, Condition Damage), is almost 3 Might Stacks worth of attributes. The 10% Crit Damage from Discipline is the equivalent amount from a Berserker’s Chest, Legs and one other piece.
  • The Effective radius of Banners is very large (double that for Shouts), which means you never have to concern yourself with where your banners are, almost by default your allies will be under the effects.
  • Banners do not have to dominate your Utility Skill Bar like Vigorous Shouts do. You can use a single Banner if you choose, but ultimately the amount of buffs you decide to provide is negotiable.
  • There are no gear constraints for using an IBS Build, your Banner buffs are constant, and it is not worthwhile to use Cleric’s Gear with a Banner Regeneration build.
  • The Banner Skill #5 is a Combo Finisher for Blast.
Disadvantages:
  • While IBS allows you to Heal, it is not the most effective method to do so.
  • There is no Condition Removal above what you already have, so at least relative to the Supporting Paradigm as a whole, this is a lacking area.
  • Mobility from short encounter to short encounter can be tricky if nobody thinks to carry your Banner(s) along.
  • Since Banners provide Regeneration, which stacks duration, multiple Banners do not enhance your ability to heal.
Equipment:

Weapon & Sigil Choices: Negotiable (Knight’s) + Build Appropriate Sigil.#

The concept build above uses a Greatsword, which is just as viable as anything else, depending on how you want to tailor your build to be. Greatsword is a typical offensive spec that should Flourish relatively well (it’s not too dissimilar to Sonic Boon). Viable Greatsword Sigils include Frailty (for extra Vulnerability) and Strength (for extra Might).

If you choose an offensive build, you should generally choose a Rifle as a secondary, with a Sigil of Earth for extra Bleeds.

Mace/Shield and a Hammer make two great weapon sets if you want to add Control to your capabilities. As for Sigils, since frequent weapon swapping is a key factor in controlling with these two sets, the “on-weapon-swap” Sigils become useful here. Sigil of Energy in particular is particularly useful, since you can regain 50% of your endurance back each time you swap. This bonus to mobility is ideal for improving your survivability.

Armour & Runes: Toughness Based Armour + Negotiable Runes.

For armour, I’d suggest at least something with Toughness on it. Berserker Gear is pretty untenable, since you won’t be able to survive enough to be useful. For the sake of example, I’d suggest Knights Gear to be used in conjunction with a Banner build.

As for Runes, there are just too many combinations to suggest. If you run a Greatsword Build (like the spec shown above), 2 sets of (2) Runes with +20% Might Duration, and a set of (2) runes with +15% Boon Duration are a good bet here. Boon Duration is something that is valuable across the board, but with Forceful Greatsword granting you a short duration Might stack every time you Crit, enhancing this duration leads to a higher overall DPS output. As such, if offense is your game, these runes will go a long way to enhance your damage.

Alternately if you’re running a more Control oriented build, you could choose Runes of the Earth. These are Toughness oriented runes, and provide you with the Protection Boon occasionally. The (6) bonus is quite nice too, since the Magnetic Aura proc reflects projectiles.

Accessories: Emeralds (Knights) with Berserker Gems.

This is another opportunity to tailor this build how you like. I added up the attributes you get from all your equipment, it turns out you get 42% of your Gear related attributes just from your accessories. As a result, they’re instrumental in building towards a particular role. One notable thing about accessories I tend to note though, is that the Exquisite Ruby Orb gives 3% critical damage per gem. If you were to place 6 of these in your Accessory and Back slots, then you would get 18% critical damage. This is more than a whole set of Berserker Draconic Armour would give you. Given how the gem slot of accessories offer less attributes than those built in to the accessory itself, so 3% is disproportionately high, so you can gain some decent damage without sacrificing defensive attributes too much.

Nourishment:

The array of “food buffs” available in GW2 is staggering, there are all sorts of buffs that can for example provide you a stat bonus based on a percentage of another stat (Maintenance oil provides Power based on Toughness and Vitality). Generally the two sources of Nourishment I’d recommend here are both defensive in nature.

Firstly for your Food Buff, Omnomberry Pie. This gives you a 66% chance to steal 325 Health (at level 80) on a critical. Consider an example with Hundred Blades, if you’re hitting several enemies with it, you’re bound to be proccing this very regularly. However I tend to find using anything that can make you complacent should be avoided. Omnomberry Pie can make you think "If I just finish this Hundred Blades i'll have loads of health..." and that kind of thinking gets you downed.

Alternately, Bowl of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew. This grants you 40% Endurance regeneration, and a Might Stack every time you dodge. The Endurance regeneration alone is enough to allow you to dodge more often, and prevent instances of being caught “flat footed”. Mobility is more favourable for survival than Lifestealing. I've tried lifestealing builds and they just aren't enough, so given how Warriors lack any ability to improve Endurance, this buff caters nicely to that.

For your "other" buff (i.e. tuning crystals etc) you could go for Master Maintenance Oil here. MMO gives you a total Precision of 6% of your Toughness + 4% of your Vitality. With Knights Gear your toughness is fairly high, high enough to benefit (at least to the tune of a bonus 10% crit) from this.

Concluding Remarks:

This concept is incredibly flexible. Throughout the explanation I’ve attempted to detail offensive and defensive ways to approach it, but the core of it merely revolves around the Tactics trait line. The option of using Control Weapons is a further useful option for this.

The toughness gained from Knight’s Gear (or rough equivalent) is enough to give you a significant grounding in survivability, whether you tailor this to offense or defense.

As for the choice of Signet of Rage as the elite, it is generally more worthwhile than Battle Standard, since the frequency of BS makes it largely worthless over longer periods. Although it must be said that the instant resurrect is fantastic for some encounters (particularly Giganticus Lupicus).

Supportive Concept #2 – Vigorous Shouts:

Before proceeding, the discussion of Vigorous Shouts here will be about defensive support only. If you desire Vigorous Shouts offensively, refer to Sonic Boon.

Support Mechanisms: Healing, Party-wide Buffs, Condition Removal, Control.

Build: http://www.guildhead...F70M7ofD70z8of2

Required Traits:  30 in Tactics for Lung Capacity (VIII) and Vigorous Shouts (XII).
Recommended Traits: 30 in Defense for Missile Deflection (V), Shield Master (IX) and Sundering Mace (VII) /Merciless Hammer (X).

In general, this concept encompasses Healing, Condition Removal and Control very well, but aside from FGJ, there are no consistent party-wide buffs that even compare to the IBS concept.

This trait setup is centred on making you very defensive. The stat bonuses from Tactics and Defense ensure you receive the maximum bonuses for Toughness, Healing and Vitality. Boon Duration is a useful addition too. One of the main ideas behind this build is to be able to survive extremely well, and use your Shouts to heal allies at opportune moments.

Lung Capacity is chosen over “Shrug it Off”, because generally speaking you require very condition heavy areas to make it effective. The additional SIO proc’d from it does also heal, but the requirements to make it effective are too rare.

This is the build I have been running for around 2 months now, and I’ve been fine tuning it along the way.

Advantages:
  • Statistical evidence in the sister thread  show that the amount healed by Shouts is always more than Banners. As Healing Power converges to a theoretical maximum, Shouts are ~27% more effective.
  • Using 6 Runes of the Soldier evolve your Shouts into “Cleansing Shouts” as they remove conditions (SIO now removes 2 conditions). This allows you to wipe the slate clean of bleeds, poison and burning for your more vulnerable cohorts.
  • Running a defensive build allows you to withstand overwhelming pressure. When bosses target you, you can elongate the time that they do so, by mitigating powerful attacks with blocks.
  • Liberally swapping between Mace/Shield and a Hammer is great way to provide multiple interrupts to enemies. Given how Interrupts top the Hierarchy of Survivability, this is a significant advantage.
Disadvantages:
  • For maximum effectiveness, your utility slots must be filled (ideally) with your three quickest cooldown shouts, FGJ, SIO and OMM.
  • Your damage capabilities do suffer.
  • You have to learn to be very conservative with your shouts, as such this build demands knowledge of your surroundings, and of the mob you are facing, so that you can be prepared to help your allies.
Equipment:

Weapon & Sigil Choices: Mace/Shield (Knight’s) with Sigil of Energy Sigil of Life, and Hammer with Sigil of Energy.

Mace/Shield and Hammer is the most effective pair of weapons for maximizing the Control aspect of this build. The Sigils of Energy on each the Mace and Hammer allow you to dodge a lot more frequently.
Mace/Shield is also the most defensive weapon set available, since you have a Daze, a Stun, 2 Blocks and your #1 applies Weakness to enemies, which in itself functions as a damage reduction factor.

Choosing the weapons to be Knight’s is a decision based on the desperate need of this build to garner some Crit %.

Armour & Runes: Cleric’s Armour + 6 Runes of the Soldier.

Both of these choices are fairly integral to the core of this build. While the IBS concept was not rigidly gear dependent  Vigorous Shouts is.

Cleric’s Armour provides you with a lot of Healing Power, which is the fuel to your Shouts’ fire. The Toughness is relatively self-explanatory.

Runes of the Soldier ensure your capacity to remove conditions. Across your 3 shouts, you can remove 4 conditions (SIO now removes 2). As such, your ability to heal AND cleanse your allies of a condition is a precious commodity, learning when best to use them is a valuable skill in difficult PvE content.

Accessories: Sapphire (Cleric’s) with Berserker Gems.

The Sapphire accessories further add to your ability to heal. The main point here is the reason for Berserker gems. Since the extra Precision is nice for a lacking critical chance. In addition to this though, the critical damage gained from 6 Berserker Gems (5 Accessories and Backslot) is 18%, which is a disproportionately high amount of a single gem. This serves as a simple method to improve your damage by an equivalent amount more than the survivability that you just lost.

Nourishment:

Bowl of Orrian Truffle and Meat Stew is a good choice here, the dodging is incredibly worthwhile. However it remains to be seen if the extra endurance regeneration from this is a bit gratuitous in the face of 2x Superior Sigils of Energy.

Superior Sharpening Stones serves as a good damage boost, as it provides 6% and 4% of your Toughness and Vitality respectively, as Power. Personally I get something in the region of 190 bonus power from this, which is over 5 Might Stacks worth, totalling over 2000 Power without any Might, combined with over 2200 Toughness that is pretty nice. SSS allows you to still hit like a truck, even though you don't crit very often.

Concluding Remarks:

This build plays out very defensively and survives overwhelming pressure from Bosses very well. Timing your blocks and your dodges, not to mention interrupts are all key facets to surviving with this build. I tend to notice that I get a lot of enemy attention as well, whether that is a result of high Toughness remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the more time an enemy focuses on me, the better for my team. This is because when you run this build, you have numerous options to avoid and recover damage.

If you are a player who is looking to support teammates through defensive capabilities, then this is the build for you. I think that defensive Vigorous Shouts is probably at the height of Warrior support, there isn’t much else you can add onto this. This leads me to my next point. While IBS and VS have their merits, and the dichotomy of Healing falls to Banners vs. Shouts, the optimum situation is to have two Warriors run them both side by side. Two Banner Warriors healing capabilities would mesh poorly, as would those of VS Warriors, since you would have to coordinate shouts, and that would be far too difficult, leading surely to either over-healing, or none at all.

It should be noted however that while this concept would not be viable with Knight’s Armour (like IBS), the reverse actually does apply. You could run IBS if you wanted to (admittedly with less damage), but the Healing from your Banners would be a lot more significant. So if you ever came across another Vigorous Shouts Warrior geared similar to you, you can effectively swap to Banners.

It should be noted that with a heavily defensive Vigorous Shouts build, you lose DPS. Lately i've noticed that sometimes it's necessary to switch out of Vigorous Shouts and switch in a DPS build. The reason for this is that the greatest enemy to your success as a team is whether you can defeat enemies quick enough. You can support as much as you like, but if the DPS from the rest of your team is low (and considering yours is pretty average with this build) supporting doesn't tend to matter, since hard hitting encounters will make you struggle anyway. So to summarize, make sure you know when to support, and when you might need to DPS. I find when i'm teamed with more than one Necro running condition builds, I usually switch to damage.

Summary:

This whole post has largely been re-written in order to remove repetition and gratuitous information. Originally there were 4 builds described. The omitted builds were an Offensive inclined Vigorous Shouts build, which was incredibly similar to the IBS Warrior (but with VS instead), and has since been pursued by Brand. The other omitted build was a solely Control based build. However since the shortest cooldown control abilities are Weapon Skills, it made sense to run a Hammer with Vigorous Shouts or IBS, making each build go even further with its capabilities.

I have also tried to breakdown each section better, in order to provide build information in concise passages, rather than unorganized drivel like before. The initial sections describe Support as a mindset, you can be tactically aware of your surroundings and dodge attacks without supporting, but the Build Concepts allow you to extend this a lot further than you ever could with a solo-oriented build.

It is difficult to effectively compare the main build concepts, since each excels in different areas, and at different levels. For example, a Banner build simply adds a lot more damage than the defensive Vigorous Shouts approach. Likewise, a defensive Vigorous Shouts build incorporates Weapons, Utility Skills and specialist Runes to allow effective healing and cleansing right across the team, while withstanding significant enemy pressure. Also, each concept is built around one gear set. It tends to be far too costly to invest in multiple sets of gear, especially when you can tailor a build to work across every situation, without requiring Gear to enable you to survive a situation (i.e. I have never once though I wish I had more Vitality for this particular dungeon).

So overall, a lot more justification has been added to getting players to “think” support, as well as tailoring a build to your own playstyle in order to actually play support. As always, I’d keen to hear comments and suggestions from the player base on ways to make the post better, especially in build discussions. One final note, if the numerical side is of interest to you, please refer to the sister thread I have written in parallel to this.

Thing to Add:
  • More build ideas?
  • Methodology for Shouts/Banners
  • Dungeon Experiences

Edited by Sithicus Dias, 05 January 2013 - 10:50 AM.


#2 Mutou

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 04:08 PM

Love the build. Before I even read any guides it seems I already found the IBS build and love using it for hammer/longbow dungeon runs. Been wanting to try out a shout build but without any (any at all) healing power I think I will wait until I can get the gear with the stats for it. Great guide overall, if you're into dungeons as a warrior then I would recommend either of these builds.

#3 Snapalope

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 08:51 PM

Great builds!  I run both in dungeons and they work out really well.  To be honest I think this is the role warriors are going to be stuck in unless a major overhaul for dungeons or warriors is made.  Full damage warriors just die too fast.

Edited by Snapalope, 14 October 2012 - 08:54 PM.


#4 Venereus

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 08:57 PM

Awesome write-up, good work. My 2 cents: you should follow the Tactics+Arms/Strength approach you mentioned, even if you go full defense, Guardians are better at tanking. Warriors are better suited to a middle-ground, dealing decent DPS alongside the tanky support.

#5 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:45 PM

Thanks for the responses guys. A user on here recently challenged some of my assumptions about the relationship between Healing Power and Banner Regen/ Shout Healing, so i'm going to add a section detailing some of the maths-y stuff as well.


View PostVenereus, on 14 October 2012 - 08:57 PM, said:

Awesome write-up, good work. My 2 cents: you should follow the Tactics+Arms/Strength approach you mentioned, even if you go full defense, Guardians are better at tanking. Warriors are better suited to a middle-ground, dealing decent DPS alongside the tanky support.

I've been running a defensive Shout build long enough now for me to feel very fluent with it, so like you say i'm going to try a more offensive build and see if it feels a lot more fragile or not. I think i'm in a position where i've experienced enough defensive play to know if the offensive build is a lot more dangerous. Thanks for the idea.


View PostSnapalope, on 14 October 2012 - 08:51 PM, said:

Great builds!  I run both in dungeons and they work out really well.  To be honest I think this is the role warriors are going to be stuck in unless a major overhaul for dungeons or warriors is made.  Full damage warriors just die too fast.

Yes you're certainly not wrong, it's difficult to justify a full damage build, especially since the Nature of warriors (i.e. highest health pool, highest armour pool) could be used in a synergistic way. It's almost counter-intuitive to NOT at least TRY to be a bit more defensive.


View PostMutou, on 14 October 2012 - 04:08 PM, said:

Love the build. Before I even read any guides it seems I already found the IBS build and love using it for hammer/longbow dungeon runs. Been wanting to try out a shout build but without any (any at all) healing power I think I will wait until I can get the gear with the stats for it. Great guide overall, if you're into dungeons as a warrior then I would recommend either of these builds.

Yeah that's what I like about IBS, you can just sort of "stumble" into it without really having to build around it (gear-wise). As for shouts, it has become apparent I have probably over generalized the effect of Healing Power on shouts and regen, so i'm going to play around with some numbers tonight and see if I can make some more rigid conclusions about them.

Another thing though now that I think about it is when I run dungeons I seem to get an unnatural amount of aggro from enemies. Insomuch as some fights a mob will relentlessly focus me until death. I found this with Giganticus Lupicus in Arah Explorable too, large portions of the fight he relentlessly Shadow-walks me and won't target others. I think there could be some interesting theorycrafting to consider if there is a trend between say Toughness and getting aggro. I know you're not really meant to "Tank" in this game, and largely there isn't a mechanic in place to forcibly do so, which I suppose is why the prospect of it is all the more interesting.

#6 The Mountain

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:47 PM

I noticed that the Banner build is all shouts and signets.

You might want to fix that.

#7 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:23 PM

View PostThe Mountain, on 15 October 2012 - 03:47 PM, said:

I noticed that the Banner build is all shouts and signets.

You might want to fix that.

Thanks for pointing that out.

#8 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 08:34 PM

Hey guys, i just put a post up detailing the Maths behind the builds, check it here: http://www.guildwars...rical-analysis/

#9 Anam Itheoir

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:46 PM

You might want to break it up a bit.  Formatting with bold, underlining, italics, numerical lists, and Size differences go along way to making such a wall of text an easier read on the eyes.  

I think warriors are only underestimated on support because there are so many that run either sword/shield tank mode or they run GS, Axe/Axe, or Rifle that it's almost foreign to see banners drop, no signets, and healing from a warrior.  Guardians are almost our reverse as almost every guardian I know runs some form of support build even if they are running GS.

I am really the only Double Mace warrior I have ever ran into, and the only S/S healer I have ran into.

#10 Anam Itheoir

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:43 PM

I think it would be fascinating and interesting to find out what weapon to utility skill upgrades your damage without too big a loss on utility skills.  Plus I think you are missing the most important factor in Support.  Control is also support.  Physical utility skills provide a great support tool, now weather or not their defensive support is better than the healing/offensive support of shouts and banners is a great topic.

Since we all know that Signets and stances are non-support utilities. I think the key to this should be to identify really good support utility plus builds.

1.  What weapons work best with Shout/Cleric Healing to maximize damage?
2.  How far behind in terms of healing numbers is Shout/Shaman gear from Shout/Cleric?
3.  What weapons work best when running banner regen to maximize support if you don't run Cleric gear?
4.  When running Maces and Banners is there any reason to not wear Berzerker gear?
5.  Are banners better suited for a ranged damage build or a support healing build?  
6.  Is it even worth going banner regen if you are running with a support ele and a shout guardian?
7.  In what bracket, do Physical Utility skills fall?

#11 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:20 AM

View PostAnam Itheoir, on 18 October 2012 - 10:46 PM, said:

You might want to break it up a bit.  Formatting with bold, underlining, italics, numerical lists, and Size differences go along way to making such a wall of text an easier read on the eyes.  

You're absolutely right, which is why I wrote it in Microsoft Word first, and subsequently lost all formatting copying it over, will change this tonight, thanks.


View PostAnam Itheoir, on 18 October 2012 - 11:43 PM, said:

Plus I think you are missing the most important factor in Support.  Control is also support.  Physical utility skills provide a great support tool, now weather or not their defensive support is better than the healing/offensive support of shouts and banners is a great topic.

Since we all know that Signets and stances are non-support utilities. I think the key to this should be to identify really good support utility plus builds.

1.  What weapons work best with Shout/Cleric Healing to maximize damage?
2.  How far behind in terms of healing numbers is Shout/Shaman gear from Shout/Cleric?
3.  What weapons work best when running banner regen to maximize support if you don't run Cleric gear?
4.  When running Maces and Banners is there any reason to not wear Berzerker gear?
5.  Are banners better suited for a ranged damage build or a support healing build?  
6.  Is it even worth going banner regen if you are running with a support ele and a shout guardian?
7.  In what bracket, do Physical Utility skills fall?

Thank you, I appreciate the suggestions. Reading only the first line of your post made me remember how originally i ran a Hammer with this build. As you all know, Hammer is fantastic for control, and with "Inspirational Shouts" from Disc, you can pop Earthshaker, then immediately pop it again when it cools down because of the shouts giving Adrenaline. I'll add a Hammer build very soon, and some speculation for the other parts. Thanks again!

#12 Moondrop

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 11:22 AM

A shout healer can still be extremely effective without going full min-max. For example, I use Fear Me! instead of On My Mark! for the AoE CC, and I can still keep it in my pocket for burst healing.

#13 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 11:35 AM

View PostMoondrop, on 19 October 2012 - 11:22 AM, said:

A shout healer can still be extremely effective without going full min-max. For example, I use Fear Me! instead of On My Mark! for the AoE CC, and I can still keep it in my pocket for burst healing.

Yeah i'm going to add data sets to my numerical analysis thread showing FGJ, SIO and Fear Me, as opposed to OMM. Like either of these builds you can be a bit flexible. If the situation calls for it, Fear Me is great.

#14 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:06 PM

Hey guys, I updated the main thread to incorporate a few changes, mainly improved the readability of it, because the headings weren't clear etc etc.

#15 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:18 PM

View PostAnam Itheoir, on 18 October 2012 - 11:43 PM, said:


1.  What weapons work best with Shout/Cleric Healing to maximize damage?
2.  How far behind in terms of healing numbers is Shout/Shaman gear from Shout/Cleric?
3.  What weapons work best when running banner regen to maximize support if you don't run Cleric gear?
4.  When running Maces and Banners is there any reason to not wear Berzerker gear?
5.  Are banners better suited for a ranged damage build or a support healing build?  
6.  Is it even worth going banner regen if you are running with a support ele and a shout guardian?
7.  In what bracket, do Physical Utility skills fall?

I thought i'd write down a couple of answers to your suggestions before I forget (I'll incorporate them into the main post as well if needed).

1/ This falls to your own preferences really, you don't have to go as tanky as I do, some of your damage is lost on Cleric's Armour. Whether or not you spec into Strength and/or Arms decides what weapon you might like to use. I tend to throw an Axe in the main-hand for a damage boost when i don't need the Mace. There's nothing stopping you from NOT going into defense, so you could pick what you like.

2/ I'll add that in to my Numerical Analysis post. In general this would validate the use of a Sword in your main-hand as well, instead of an axe. You would lose a bit of healing sure, but you can make it up easily if you used Shaman's weapons as well.

3/ If you want to add some support to a Banner build, you could go Hammer to add to Control. Control and Healing are mutually exclusive, hence you can run one, or the other, or a glorious combination of the two.

4/ None at all, Banners allow you the greatest flexibility in terms of gear. The reason the Banner build is so popular is you can push more damage than either of the other builds.

5/ I don't rate Ranged Weapons as a primary weapon, I mean i'm not an expert on damage calculation, but using a rifle (which is single target) isn't overly viable. You could spec a longbow talent and use it though, you'd have to tell me how good you found it as a damaging build.

6/ Excellent point, that's the downside to Regen, if somebody is already providing it then just forget about it, your trait choices for damage are a bit limited. Do Guardian shouts burst heal like Warrior shouts? If so, then Banner regen is definately worth it. I made some data sets for Burst Healing vs Banner Regen in my Numerical Methods post, and combining the two provides an exponential amount of healing.

7/ I'm not sure what you mean here.

#16 Leviathan_85

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:16 AM

I got some questions after reading all of this:

- First and most important throughout Rpg,Mmo ect. history (22 years exp) I always played the hard hitting warrior type of class wich usually went hand in hand with heavy armor with exceptions in Final Fantasy and some other rpg's. In wow I played Warrior and later on Death Knight. In this game however I need to bring more to the table than just raw DPS.

Knowing this Wich build do you advice to me? (gold aint the issue) I would say the first one "Inspiring Battle Standard" after reading trough your guide.

- As for my second question, with gold not beeing the issue what armor, Sigils and Runes should I go for. I read your friend plays IBS with  Knights Gear, Emerald Accessories and Berserker Gems. (what are gems again I can't recall it atm)

I understand it comes down to playstyle for some part but i'm sure you got an idea what you find optimal. You mentiont berserker is out of the question for example so that only leaves so much possibilities.

The main reason why I ask you this is because you talk about using full cleric gear allows you to switch between the three builds witouth problems depending on the dungeon and situation. So whats the point of knight's gear than for example?

- Last but not least putting my personal preference asside I can't deny that i'm intrigued about your Vigorous Shouts build, cause it seems to bring the most to the table because of the high gear requirements. I believe you use Hammer for control with Mace/Axe Shield  as your second set so your kind of a tank?

So all in all I narrowed it down to IBS and Vigorous Shouts but i'm stuck on what to do since its allot of gold that I need to spend.

Edit:

Quote

You can put yourself in this position to allow yourself to Heal with Regeneration, or Heal with bursts, or even Control. But the true glory of this situation is being able to fill all 3 of these roles, all it requires is a Weapon Swap.


What do you mean with this we need 3 armor sets or just one like the cleric set you got and just switch a weap.

Edited by Leviathan_85, 31 October 2012 - 11:45 AM.


#17 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:36 PM

Thanks for the questions, i'll try and keep my answer as concise as possible (but i'll be answering your questions in a different order).

To begin with, if you're interested in Vigorous Shouts, and you're prepared to get the Cleric's Gear, that means you're OK with losing some damage. However if you want to run Banner Support, you don't need the Healing Power that Cleric's provides, and you can instead get Knights Gear. Knights will give you more Toughness than Cleric's does, plus it has Power and Precision to allow you to focus your build as a DPS.

The crux behind the idea of getting Knights Gear is to allow yourself still deal good damage. With Cleric's Gear for example, it has no Precision. Think of the amount of Prec you'd get from Knights instead. I have something abysmal like a 17% crit chance (37% since Fury is up constantly) which is terrible, i'm all but conceding my ability to compete damage-wise. The warrior i mentioned who runs Banners runs at almost 90% crit chance (this isn't JUST from Knights gear mind you).

The reason I mention that Cleric's allows me to switch between all three is that as you know, Vigorous Shouts demands a good HP stat, Banner regen does not necessarily. However, HP still improves Banner regen significantly, so with Cleric's Gear I can perform both builds exceptionally well. Control is somewhat generic, in the sense that anyone with a Hammer can do it properly if you know what I mean? Knights gear would mean you would not be in a good position to play the Vigorous Shouts Build (since you have no healing power).

As for Sigils and Runes, I like to have a Sigil of Life on my shield (does not necessarily matter which slot) because at 25 stacks that's a bonus +250 HP which is fantastic. As for the other sigil slot I tend to just use Sigil of Fire/Air for some damage.

Runes though, that's a tough one. For Vigorous Shouts build I use Soldier Runes, because at (6) your shouts remove conditions. Effectively allowing you to remove 4 conditions across your 3 shouts. If you don't want to run Vigorous Shouts then it's a little more ambiguous. I tend to assume that if you want to run the Banner build with Knights Gear, you're generally focussing Offense, as such you could choose runes that augment that as well.

That didn't really come out as concisely as I wanted, but it sounds like you prefer to deal damage, which is why IBS might be for you. I would worry that you might find Vigorous Shouts a little dull!

P.S ("Gems" refer to the socketed item within your Ring/Earring/Amulet, so you can have a Sapphire Earring with a Ruby Gem in it, my friend has Emerald Accessories with Rubies in them, for the crit damage).

#18 Leviathan_85

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:55 PM

IBS it is than I might have some questions about how your mate is geared but ill get to that another time. First I need to collect the data in this thread about IBS gearing to see if there are any holes that I don't know about already. thanks for your time cheers!

#19 Leviathan_85

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:20 PM

I came up with this :

Armor:

Knight's Draconic

Runes:

Rune of Divinity (+10 to all stats, +2% Crit Damage for a total of 12% extra crit Damage)

Sigil:

Superior Sigil of Accuracy (+5% Crit Chance)

or

Superior Sigil of Force (+5% Damage)

Accessories:

Emerald Necklace,Ring and Trinkets.

Gems:

Exquisite Ruby Jewel (X11, 33% Crit Damage you should be able to get 36% but i'm not sure how the guy in the berserker thread did this)

I'm curious how your friend nearly has 90% crit chance though all this stuff is just for crit damage. I got no clue how much you get from Preciscion and traits though, neather do I have the brains and Knowlegde to figure this out myself.

Maby he can have a look at this list and tell me if he uses anything else and weather he made any changes to the build in this post.

This is more expansive than I first tought this would cost around 45 gold specially because of the runes (18g Total). i'm pretty sure your build costs allot cheaper but that asside. And I didnt even take a weapon into account yet. I'm curious wich he uses a Knight weap most likely.

Edit: If I do gear up this way I can try the banner build and the Infinite Berserker guy his build since they use the same gear so thats a plus. the runes are 4 gold a piece btw not 2 so that will be 24 gold.

Edited by Leviathan_85, 31 October 2012 - 02:34 PM.


#20 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:59 PM

Divinity Runes are a solid choice, given how expensive they are I suppose it's clear that everybody likes them, to be honest there is almost always some kind of cheaper alternative that is fairly good. Perhaps save up for Divinity and use something else in the meantime.

As for Sigil, how about Superior Sigil of Earth (i know i know, expensive), but if you run a Greatsword build, that gives you the bleeds you need to push out an extra 10% damage. Also, if you dual wield, one good choice would be the Sigil that gives you up to 25 stacks of 10 precision, I forget exactly what it's called.

How come you have 11 Exquisite ruby jewels? You can use 6 of them for Necklace/2x Earring/ 2x Ring, then also your back piece. You can however use Ruby Orbs (NOT Exquisite) in Armour slots last I checked, so you could use those as a cheap alternative to get yourself some crit damage. As for my friend, I'll ask him about his build, i'm fairly certain he said something like 90%, maybe it was 82-90 or something (this includes fury too).

As for buying everything, you don't need to buy everything, get running around Malchor's Leap and Cursed Shore and find those Ori Nodes. Also it can't hurt to throw on some Magic Find stuff while you're out farming so you will get Ruby Orbs eventually (if not, Jewelcrafting can transmute 2x ___ Crystals + 5 Dust into 1x ___ Orb).

As for how Precision relates to Crit damage, I believe 21 Precision = 1% Crit chance, so if you had say... 630 extra precision from Traits/Gear, that's automatically 30% extra, Fury makes 20% more etc. You can see how it starts to build up! All that Precision you get from Knights Gear compared to all of it that I don't get with Clerics is how the damage dealing capabilities start to divide these two builds, quite significantly in fact. Also, let's say you ave 25 stacks of the Sigil I forgot the name of, 250 Precision is over 10% extra crit!

P.S. I'll ask my friend about his build, since what I've written about is more like a gentle guideline, because you can essentially do what you want outside of the 30 Tactics, whereas Vigorous Shouts is more designed than it is just a half-measure!

Edited by Sithicus Dias, 31 October 2012 - 04:01 PM.


#21 Leviathan_85

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:23 PM

Thanks for all the input I just got back since 3 weeks after release so i'm still looking at all the sigils and such.

I planned on a cheap alternative till I can buy the Runes, did not know about the weap sigil ill look it up good suggestion.

I forgot about the back piece thats the missing 3% thanks!

I dont need Magic find last week I made a level 80 alt with 100% mf for farming gold and future karma farming for my legend. Range classes got an edge on a warrior when it comes to tagging and farming.

I might craft some stuff myself like you said it would still cost me the same though so I probally just farm the gold its not that hard.

And yeah let me know about his build ill be farming for another week or so anyway!

#22 Fimconte

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:18 AM

I'd note that utiltiy banners last for ~90 seconds, so you really only need one banner.
A second can be useful for the buffs but I feel that Shake It Off+FGJ are by far superior to alternatives

Also in my mind, 2 Water / Monk runes go into every armor set.

Combined with Tactics 30 it equals a permanent +3 might stacks from FGJ alone (105 power/210 total).
+ extra stacks from SoR, Strength Sigil and Forceful Greatsword. Keeping 20-25 stacks up is very easy.
+ perma-Fury.
80 Power, 56 Precision and  8% critdmg doesn't compete with that in my mind.

Edited by Fimconte, 02 November 2012 - 05:20 AM.


#23 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:22 AM

View PostFimconte, on 02 November 2012 - 05:18 AM, said:

I'd note that utiltiy banners last for ~90 seconds, so you really only need one banner.
A second can be useful for the buffs but I feel that Shake It Off+FGJ are by far superior to alternatives

Yes I did cover this point that you only require a single banner. The flexibility of IBS lies in the way you can effectively choose what you want in your other 2 slots.

View PostSithicus Dias, on 13 October 2012 - 03:58 PM, said:

  • Almost constant upkeep of Banners. Your Banners last for 90 seconds and the cooldown is ~96 so you only need one.


View PostFimconte, on 02 November 2012 - 05:18 AM, said:


Also in my mind, 2 Water / Monk runes go into every armor set.


That's a good point, I did think of that but decided to go for the Soldier Runes instead. Pretty insane boon duration if you go that way. You could even add 2 Sup Dwayna Runes too for the bonus regen duration, but then since Regeneration lasts so long anyway it's a little gratuitous.

Edited by Sithicus Dias, 02 November 2012 - 09:24 AM.


#24 Fimconte

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:01 AM

If you stand within banner range for the entire duration you have ~40seconds remaining on the Regeneration boon after the banner disappears.
There seems to be a cap at 40-42sec as it keeps stacking +4.75seconds every 2 seconds until the boon has ~40 seconds of duration and then stop until refreshing until ~36, then again refreshes to 40-42 (I guess the extra seconds add up due to fractions), etc.


I am considering either +20% Might Duration or +20% Swiftness instead of the last two Ruby Orbs.
Although since with SoR and Banner #3 you already get perma-Swiftness,
I think I'll try extra Might Duration, Can never have enough Might stacks (Untill you maintain a perma-25 stacks).

#25 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:29 AM

View PostFimconte, on 02 November 2012 - 10:01 AM, said:

If you stand within banner range for the entire duration you have ~40seconds remaining on the Regeneration boon after the banner disappears.
There seems to be a cap at 40-42sec as it keeps stacking +4.75seconds every 2 seconds until the boon has ~40 seconds of duration and then stop until refreshing until ~36, then again refreshes to 40-42 (I guess the extra seconds add up due to fractions), etc.


I am considering either +20% Might Duration or +20% Swiftness instead of the last two Ruby Orbs.
Although since with SoR and Banner #3 you already get perma-Swiftness,
I think I'll try extra Might Duration, Can never have enough Might stacks (Untill you maintain a perma-25 stacks).

You're absolutely right about Might Duration, especially since even if you do reach 25, it never lasts long (since you have all those micro-timers tied to multiple stacks within). I just had a look at Runes, there are multiple runes which provide 20% Might at (2) slots, since Might is the main thing that seems to be difficult to maintain (due to stacking intensity) it could be really interesting to see what a 60% Might duration would do for a GS+IBS warrior (assuming of course that it stacks?).

#26 Brand

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:08 PM

Hello Sith, you seem to be a very helpful guy so I made an account here to ask you for some advice. I want to use a GS, with a good amount of survivability and DPS, with a higher focus on Support. It says in there that a GS is good for IBS, which is well and good except that I abhor more than one banner >.< Is there any way that I could only use one banner? (With IB the downtime is only about 4 seconds of no regen) Or is it possible for me to use the shouts (Which I much prefer) with a GS? Obviously for the shouts I'm going to need Cleric's, and Soldier's. Any other runes/sigils or equipment you would suggest? I basically want to put the minimum into support in order to make it worthwhile (Ergo adding survivability as well) and then put everything else into DPS. I'm currently using a 10/20/0/30/10 build, taking advantage of my full adrenaline with V Traits in Disc and Strength, grabbing might crits and 33% chance for Vuln in Arms, and the rest in the obvious Tactics traits (Currently the shouts config). The Adrenal Health trait looks very attractive in the Defense line, but I'm not sure what I would sacrifice, I am also using the adrenaline heal, because it heals significantly more than Mending at full adrenaline and I don't really need more condition removal. For this DPS/Support build, would I want SoR or BS? BS seems to help out A LOT sometimes but is very inconvenient in others, whereas SoR gives that wonderful swiftness and might, and is fairly spammable (Especially if I grab 20% CD, but then I can't have that nice 9% crit). So I'd love to hear your thoughts about this, in summary I just want a build that sacrifices as little dps as possible while still being an effective support. I want to be able to call myself a Damage/Support rather than just a Support (I'm imagining a holy paladin in wow who does 1k dps and 15k heals, I DON'T want that, I want like 6k dps and 10k heals) I want to be respected as someone who still assists in killing the boss, and not just someone who assists other people so they can kill the boss. THank you for your time if you choose to answer my plight :D

Edit: Also what weapon do you think I should use in my swap, Rifle or Bow? Something else?
Also, if I was to go FULL support/tank, could I do something like 10/0/20/30/10, grabbing the V traits in Strength and Disc again, and shout traits in tactics, but grabbing sure-footed and last stand in defense, which gives me Adrenal health as well. And then I would swap out OOM or FGJ for Endure pain/Balanced stance? How would that work? Would the 25% from surefooted work with last stand's proc?

Edited by Brand, 02 November 2012 - 12:31 PM.


#27 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:41 PM

View PostBrand, on 02 November 2012 - 12:08 PM, said:

Is there any way that I could only use one banner? (With IB the downtime is only about 4 seconds of no regen)

Absolutely! What with the downtime only being what, 6 seconds, you won't lose the Regen you've been applying (since I believe regen applies every few seconds up until you have something like 30 or 40 seconds regen, which it tops up), so one banner is perfectly viable really.

I recently proved mathematically that even at Healing Power of zero, shouts heal more than Banners, but then you would have to use all utility slots on Shouts, and could miss out on some handy utilities. In terms of putting the "minimum" in to support, that would pretty much entail using IBS with zero healing power, and you'd still be fairly effective.

As for Adrenal Health, i wouldn't worry about it too much, since it gives you a regen every 3 seconds, and you wouldn't want to lose a heap of damage just to get it. Good job using Healing Surge too, i've been running Arah a lot lately, and after previously swearing by Heal Sig as the best for the regen, I get healed over 9.5k from Adrenaline Surge, it's a really nice heal because of that.

For your Elite, BS is of course the better support elite, but I don't think you need it all the time, SoR is nice for a regular boost to personal DPS, and it flourishes the most in mobile fights where you might move away from your banners.

Talking about Runes, unless you properly want to go into Vigorous Shouts, i wouldn't worry about Soldier Runes. Fimconte (who posted just above you) put forth an interesting suggestion of using multiple types of Superior Rune to just stack Boon duration, so you'd be able to maintain Might longer, and just as importantly your regeneration buff too. However if you don't feel it's necessary i'm sure there are plenty of good DPS options. There aren't any runes that directly augment banners you see (Dwayna offers bonus Regen duration though), so your gear won't necessarily have an impact on IBS support.

The same idea applies to Sigils too, since you don't need to go and augment your support build, you can get some damage. I quite like Sup Sigil of Earth for the extra bleeds to ensure you always benefit from that bonus damage to Bleeding targets.

As for your Weapon Swap, a ranged weapon is always fairly nice, because you never know when you might need to back off and kite while you get your health back.

Does that cover most things? Sorry if it's not quite as much in detail, let me know what you want me to elaborate on!

#28 Brand

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

First off let me say thank you for being so prompt and willing to help, the detail was great but some of the things you said brought about new questions!

View PostSithicus Dias, on 02 November 2012 - 06:41 PM, said:

I recently proved mathematically that even at Healing Power of zero, shouts heal more than Banners, but then you would have to use all utility slots on Shouts, and could miss out on some handy utilities. In terms of putting the "minimum" in to support, that would pretty much entail using IBS with zero healing power, and you'd still be fairly effective.

Well, I want my heals to be good, just not so good that I am sacrificing everything else to get them in working condition. If what you say here is true, then I think shouts would be my better option. Not only do they support the team significantly more than the Banner, but as I noticed (After clicking the IBS Build in your OP and messing with it some) I am probably going to use those other two utility spaces for shouts, and grab Lung Capacity regardless if I'm using IBS or VS (Similar to what Fimconte said, FGJ and SIO seem superior). The Physicals are not appealing to me at all, nor are any other banners, stances (Endure pain would be great if it didn't have a CD longer than my elite haha), or signets (I considered using a 4 signet build with IBS and Deep Strikes, but then I would lose Healing Surge, and since I never use my adrenaline it seems like a waste to not further the benefits of that max adrenaline).

1.) What is your opinion on this?

View PostSithicus Dias, on 02 November 2012 - 06:41 PM, said:

Good job using Healing Surge too, I've been running Arah a lot lately, and after previously swearing by Heal Sig as the best for the regen, I get healed over 9.5k from Adrenaline Surge, it's a really nice heal because of that.

I'm glad we agree here, I was also a Heal Sig fan boy until I realized the massive healing ability of a max adrenaline Healing Surge. There is also the fact that Heal Sig shines when you have a condition such as poison, that lasts forever and ticks steadily for a lot of health. Countless times our Thief has died due to this, especially in TA, I never had this issue due to Heal Sig regenerating slightly more than the poison ticked for. However, for the VS and IBS builds, you either have the steady regen already, or tons of condition removal, so Heal Sig's value is cut significantly in that regard. Many builds offer Mending as the best healing skill, unless you are running Deep Strikes, but I disagree. 60% (Rough estimate) of damage builds do not use their burst skill in order to maintain that +12% Dmg and +9% Crit, so why is it that I have not seen a single one using Healing Surge? Not only does Surge heal for almost 3000 more, but if you get hit by something hard at the start  of a fight and need to use it, you get 10 strikes of adrenaline for free, which with the Str/Disc V Traits is literally a free damage boost (For ease I'll say 4% damage and 3% crit, a third of both trait totals) for using your heal (Meaning you don't lose much of anything if you aren't at full adrenaline). Mending, however, heals for much less and if you are forced to use it while you DO NOT have conditions, half of the spell is wasted. Surge heals more and never wastes resources/CDs (Minus the rare "I have to use it when I'm at 90% adrenaline." Meaning you do waste a good amount of that and only get the stage 2 healing, and lets face it, the time it takes to hit the enemy once or twice to build that last 10% is definitely worth it for almost +1600 healing from the stage 3 heal), while Mending is only AS USEFUL maybe 60% of the time (When you have a damaging condition), or even less if you have someone removing conditions (Which you probably should).

2.) Why do people take Mending over Healing Surge?

I may have mislead you in my original post, when I said I wanted to put the minimum into support I meant that I want equilibrium, when my damage isn't suffering from my healing and my healing isn't suffering from my damage. So basically I want to take a 100% maxed out healing build, and slowly turn that healing into DPS until my DPS and healing are both WORTHWHILE.

In keeping the a fore mentioned ideal, I have a question considering FM and OOM. I cannot remember exactly where I read it, but in one of these support build threads a person mentioned that since FM and OOM affect enemies and not allies, they do not give the heal to allies around you. Has this been proven false?

In that same thread, people were talking down OOM as being the most useless of the four. FGJ and SIO are obviously the best, there is no disputing that, but I fail to see how it is worse than FM. FM provides three seconds (Best case) of CC every ~70 seconds (Traited) to enemies around you (Very short range). In WoW or D3 this would be nice, but in GW2 I rarely find myself surrounded by more than three enemies, and most often there is only one (Not to mention 100% of the time there is more than one enemy I do NOT want them running all over in fear, escaping AoE zones and pulling other mobs). Now OOM on the other hand, has a 24 second CD (Traited) and lasts for 11 seconds (10 points in Strength) that is nearly 50% up time (Used whenever possible, slightly unrealistic but not much since you activate it and it cannot really be wasted like SIO -looks at "Shrug it off"-). Ten stacks of Vulnerability = 10% damage from all incoming sources, 50% up time makes that a (Probably not entirely accurate but no doubt close estimate) 5% constant damage bonus from all sources. How many other utility skills on your bar can increase all allied teammates damage by 5% constantly? I'm very sure there is few if not none (Not counting elites or FGJ). In addition to this I have decided to use a Rifle in my swap, reason being that the Bow burst skill is too attractive not to use, while the rifle's is hardly useful, meaning I won't be tempted to use my burst. On top of that, the bleeds from the rifle auto attack will synergize nicely with the bleeds in Arms, and the Rifle 4 skill can be used in conjunction with OOM for 15 stacks of vulnerability, synergizing well with the GS auto attack and the 33% Vuln on crit Arms trait. This also makes use for the 5 point Disc trait, giving me 5 strikes of adrenaline as I run in to fight the boss/mob (Cripple, auto attack, OOM, Brutal Shot, swap, Hundred Blades) and gives me a reason to switch often (Every 20seconds) in combat.

3.) Counter argument? Agree? What is your take on this?

If I do not run IBS, and instead go with VS, I have two options for the first trait. Empower Allies (70 Power to all allies while in combat) or Embowered (+1.5% damage for each boon). I can only guarantee that I will have 3 boons at any given time (Might, Fury, Swiftness) for 4.5% damage. Keep in mind that 70 power is 30 more stat than you get for Deep Strikes, which gives you 40 precision for each of your UNUSED signets. If I have four allies around me that is 350 power total using only one trait, Deep Strikes on the other hand can only get a max of 200 precision by using all 5 utility skills (Four of which you should almost never use and one of which should realistically almost always be on CD) AND a trait. So it would seem that the power of Empowered Allies is greatly underestimated.

4.) Which do you think is better, any other thoughts?

In light of all that, here is my final question of this post:

5.) If I were to use the build 10/20/0/30/10 in both scenarios, simply switching around VS/IBS and IB/EA which do you think would give me that equilibrium? The most bang for my buck?

It would appear the trade off would be as follows:

IBS

Pros: Slightly more damage, no gear requirements, regen, good support.
Cons: Nearly the same utility skills (Except with less utility), support less (No condition removal, or weakened condition removal depending on runes), less proactive, more selfish, carry banner around, no burst heal.

VS

Pros: No wasted utility skill potential (With IBS you only have one skill massively benefiting from the build, whereas in VS all three are), great support and condition removal, very proactive and fun (Watching health bars and conditions, not just throwing down a banner and punching), true team player, no overlapping regen, no banner to carry around, burst heal.
Cons: Semi-strict gear choices, slightly less damage, no regen.

In closing of this post I'd like to ask you, if at all possible, to create both builds for me in a generator. Putting in the most effective runes/sigils/gems, and let me know what armor and weapons I should be shooting for in both builds to maximize the damage output and healing output.

If you found anything in this post to be "eye-opening" or otherwise relevant to your topic and a good addition to the original post and analysis of the builds you supplied, feel free to incorporate my ideas into your post or have sections discussing what I have said here. I'm not looking for gratification (Though I would like my ideas and thoughts to be worthwhile and helpful to others), you can take 100% of the credit, but for those people who don't read comments the info here could be of use to them, and it would be easiest for them to find it in the OP.

I think that's all for now haha, though I think this post needs a few more paragraphs :P Just kidding. I look forward to your response!

P.S. These types of Warrior builds often talk about Guardians supplying regen and making IBS ineffective. Could you please show me a few builds, or a really good build for a regen/control based Guardian? My brother plays a Guardian and I think the Control/Regen would synergize great with my Burst heal/Buffs and condition removal. Am I wrong? What would be the best type of Support guardian to complement a warrior build like the one I have been talking of?

Edited by Brand, 02 November 2012 - 11:45 PM.


#29 Sithicus Dias

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:58 PM

View PostBrand, on 02 November 2012 - 09:43 PM, said:

I may have mislead you in my original post, when I said I wanted to put the minimum into support I meant that I want equilibrium, when my damage isn't suffering from my healing and my healing isn't suffering from my damage. So basically I want to take a 100% maxed out healing build, and slowly turn that healing into DPS until my DPS and healing are both WORTHWHILE.


That's a really hefty transition, and i'd advise against it. Achieving such balance is near impossible, since the Healing you can do won't really match up to the damage you could do. Insomuch that your ability to Heal is an auxiliary ability you can apply, but you will never BE a "Healer" you know? Remember that you can spec into whatever traits you like, you use your GEAR to determine your stats, so if you wanted to go Max Healing ---> Balanced Healing and DPS, you'd go from Full Clerics, to slowly but surely eclipsing it with other armour. I think doing it that way is fairly unsustainable. You can refer to my numerical analysis thread to get an idea of the numbers behind the healing, and how your HP stat affects this. Also, the thing about going full Healing and then transitioning to DPS is that with Clerics gear, you essentially have 2 "Defensive" stats on it, in Healing Power (Major) and Toughness (Minor), hence you lose a lot of damage due to no Precision. However if you have Knights Armour, you have the Precision and the Power, as well as Major Toughness.

What I mean here is that you cannot go to both extremes with Defensive AND Offensive stats, or else you might end up with an unpleasant compromise in the middle. The way I've tried to lay out my theory is this: IBS is a build for people looking to provide some support, but still be able to primarily damage. VS is built for people who want to commit (gear-wise) into providing much more support (my numbers show that at Max HP, Shouts heal ~27% more than Banners over a 100 second period).


View PostBrand, on 02 November 2012 - 09:43 PM, said:

In that same thread, people were talking down OOM as being the most useless of the four.

Yeah i don't really get what that's all about, guess they haven't been reading my theorycrafting! Like you say, it's a no-brainer, you take the Shouts to Heal (even if OMM wasn't any good i'd still take it), the massive cooldown of FM makes it not amazing.


View PostBrand, on 02 November 2012 - 09:43 PM, said:

If I do not run IBS, and instead go with VS, I have two options for the first trait. Empower Allies (70 Power to all allies while in combat) or Embowered (+1.5% damage for each boon).

Tricky argument, and it solely depends on what build you run. if you're running an Offensive GS build with IBS, you should really go with Empowered, since you can probably hit upwards of 18k on Hundred Blades, the personal DPS boost is probably more important for you. That 4.5-7.5% (for example) damage boost is quite significant for a Hundred Blades smack (did you consider Rune of Lyssa by the way, getting ALL boons for 5 seconds, followed by Hundred Blades... oh boy!).

Also remember in groups you're bound to get other boons applied to you. If you run VS though, (and I mean VS with Clerics Gear) and you don't do much damage, then proportionately speaking, Empower Allies is superior (it doesn't apply to you though).


View PostBrand, on 02 November 2012 - 09:43 PM, said:

P.S. These types of Warrior builds often talk about Guardians supplying regen and making IBS ineffective. Could you please show me a few builds, or a really good build for a regen/control based Guardian? My brother plays a Guardian and I think the Control/Regen would synergize great with my Burst heal/Buffs and condition removal. Am I wrong? What would be the best type of Support guardian to complement a warrior build like the one I have been talking of?

Can't really help you there buddy, I haven't played much Guardian at all, i've dedicated 99% of my GW2 time to Warrior!

What I would like to see is an Offensive leaning VS Warrior. I should refer you to my other post though, since all the numerical proof is there, and you can probably better judge what build would suit you, much better than I could. Here it is:

http://www.guildwars...rical-analysis/

Edited by Sithicus Dias, 02 November 2012 - 11:58 PM.


#30 Bonja

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 03:56 AM

im a guardian player helping my warrior friend with his build and being a shout survivor build ur shout build caught my eye
im just worried about damage viability with crits being a major dps spec for me
i just dont see a nice dps option here uve stack alot into toughness and healing with a nice power aspect which most armours have
i just think a more spread look is needed but i have no clue and im running off my guard here just wondering how this system works and the available hybrid options you could have




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