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[Build] Sword & Axe (or Sword or Mace)

warrior bleed condition damage

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#1 Cowmonaut

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:00 PM

Introduction

This build focuses entirely on dealing damage, primarily via conditions.  Some effort was taken to make sure you can survive more than one direct hit in a Dungeon, but the primary goal of this build is to just dish out as much damage as possible.

This guide will walk you through the construction and reasoning behind my Sword & Axe build.  It can readily be used with an Off Hand Sword or Mace if you prefer, but I'll get into why I chose the Axe as my primary pick later.  Be sure to read it all the way through before asking questions.



Build Calculator

GW2DB
GW2Skills.net
GuildHead

All Skill Calculators are flawed if you are making a PvE build.  They only factor in PvP Amulets for gear, which does not tally up the same as PvE gear.  For example, the PvP Amulet shows you get +798 for a Major stat.   In PvE or WvW, using Exotic Level 80 gear, your Major stat tallies up to +651.  More if you count from the Weapons.

Factor in the fact you can't mix/match and the build calculators are not that helpful for PvE outside of your Traits and Skills.


Skill Build

Weapon Skills
Burst Skill: Flurry
Chain Skills: Sever Artery, Gash, Final Thrust
Savage Leap
Hamstring
Dual Strike
Whirling Axe

This build relies on condition damage to help bring down foes.  As such, the Sword for a main-hand weapon is a no-brainer.


The Axe as an off hand is not very popular, but I feel it is important for this build.  Being able to rapidly hit 15 times gives us many chances to apply our 'on crit' effects, and it also gives us another source of Fury, which is even more important for all our 'on crit' effects.

You can use this build with a different off hand.  I just don't feel they are as useful for your damage output as the Axe will be.  Later, I'll show you the numbers to back that up.

Healing Skill
Healing Surge

In my opinion, Healing Surge is the better healing skill for this build.  It allows you to quickly build up Adrenaline between bouts of Flurry, and if you already have Adrenaline Level 3 it heals for a superior amount than the alternatives.


You may however, find that the additional Condition removal with Mending to be more useful.  As always, adapt to your surroundings.

Utility Skills
"For Great Justice!"
"Shake_It_Off!"
Endure Pain

"For Great Justice!" is an awesome skill for a few reasons.  First, it gives you a perpetual bonus, for yourself and all your Allies, to Power and Condition Damage.  Then it also gives you a large boost to your Critical Chance for a short time.  It also stacks with other instances of itself.

Condition removal can be very important.  I personally prefer to bring "Shake_It_Off!" as it affects all nearby Allies as well.  Seeing as it also cancels the effects of Knockdown I just find it too useful to leave at home, personally.

Finally, damage mitigation is key to surviving fights against powerful enemies like you will find in Dungeons.  Endure Pain is useful in that it gives you a short duration of invulnerability.  Between it and Shield Stance you can outright nullify quite a lot of damage before you even have to worry about your Armor rating.

Elite Skill
Signet of Rage
or Battle Standard

Signet of Rage is a core skill for most damage builds, and this one is no exception.  Fury is an important Boon, and Might is never something you want to pass up.  Keep in mind your team however.  If players keep going Down, it may help to bring the Battle Standard instead to keep the group moving.


Item Build

For accessibility, I used the generic versions for these items wherever possible.  If you are so inclined, you can pick up some of these items (such as the Armor) as Dungeon Rewards.  The important thing is the stats on the item, as well as the Runes and Sigils.

Also, it is important to note that you gain the benefit of the set bonus with Runes from your Aquatic Helm even when on launch.  I do not know if this is a bug or working as intended, but its been the case since launch and has never been changed so I assume its the latter.  

This guide assumes you will have 7 Runes (2 from 1 set, and 5 from another).

Arms
Rampager's Sword of Blood
Rampager's Axe of Earth
Warhorn of Doom or Hydromancy

Armor
Berserker's Armor The Precision, Toughness, Condition Damage version linked here
Gavbeorn Breather

Runes
Superior Rune of the Nightmare x5
Superior Rune of the Afflicted x2; I prefer putting them in my Helmets

Trinkets
Rampager’s Spineguard of the Rampager
Coral Orichalcum Amulet with Exquisite Coral Jewel
Coral Orichalcum Earring with Exquisite Coral Jewel x2
Coral Orichalcum Ring with Exquisite Coral Jewel x2

Total Attribute Bonus from Items
Defense: 1211
Power: 471
Precision: 908
Toughness: 224
Vitality: 0
Condition Damage: 997
Condition Duration: +10% (+15% additional for Bleeding)


Trait Build

Strength (20 Points)
Attributes:
+200 Power
+20% Condition Duration
Minor Traits:
Reckless Dodge
Building Momentum
Major Traits:
Berserker's Power
Dual Wielding

Strength increases your Power and Condition Duration.  The latter in particular is of great importance, as your sources of Bleeding are relatively short in duration on their own (typically only 2 seconds base).

Of course, with Bleeding only being a portion of your damage output it pays to increase your Power as well so your direct damage is high enough.  For Traits, we focus on increasing this direct damage.

Arms (30 Points)
Attributes:
+300 Precision
+30% Condition Damage
Minor Traits:
Precise Strikes
Critical Burst
Attack of Opportunity
Major Traits:
Deep Cuts
Rending Strikes
Blademaster

Arms increases your Precision and Condition Damage.  The latter is important for obvious reasons, but the former is possibly just as important.  Critical Hits are essential to most Warrior builds, and this one is no different.

Discipline (20 Points)
Attributes:
+20% Critical Damage
+2% Burst Damage
Minor Traits:
Versatile Rage
Fast Hands
Versatile Power
Major Traits:
Heightened Focus
Signet Mastery or Inspiring Shouts

Probably an unexpected turn, going down the Discipline Trait Line.  There are reasons however.  For one it gives us a 48 second Recharge on our Signet of Rage, which means perpetual Fury (more on that later) and more Might more often.

It also lets us increase our Critical Hit chance and effectiveness, and most importantly allows us to really take advantage of spamming Flurry.

I should note that if you opt for the Battle Standard over the Signet you will want to take Inspiring Shouts instead.  Being able to instantly go to Level 3 Adrenaline by using "For Great Justice!" and other Shouts.  With Heightened Focus and Berserker's Power, it can make a huge difference in DPS by keeping your Adrenaline full even after using your Burst skill.

Total Attribute Bonus from Traits
Power: 200
Precision: 300
Vitality: 0
Critical Chance: +10% MH (+10% additional for Burst skills; +2%/5%/9% depending on Adrenaline)
Critical Damage: +20%
Condition Damage: +30%
Condition Duration: +20% (+50% additional for Bleed)
Damage: +5% (+10% additional if target is Bleeding, +2% additional for Burst skills, +12% additional if Adrenaline is full)


Attributes

Base Attributes
Power: 916
Precision: 916
Toughness: 916
Vitality: 916
Crit Chance: 4%
Armor: 2127
Health: 18372

Final Attributes
Note: Includes 3 stacks of Might from "For Great Justice!" and static bonuses from Trait Lines, Traits, Weapons, Armor, Sigils, and Runes.

Defense: 1211
Power: 1587 base, 1692 w/ FGJ
Precision: 2124
Toughness: 1140
Vitality: 916
Condition Damage: 1296 base, 1433 w/ FGJ
Condition Duration: +30% (additional +65% for Bleeding)
Crit Chance: 62% (additional +9% if Adrenaline is full, +10% with main hand Skills, +10% with Burst)
Critical Damage: +20%
Damage: +5% (+10% additional if target is Bleeding, +2% additional for Burst skills, +12% additional if Adrenaline is full)
Armor: 2351
Health: 18372


Mechanics

Be sure to check out my guide on calculating damage found here.

Fury
Perpetual Fury is an option here.  Let's look at our sources:

Dual Strike: 2 stacks of 2 seconds each

"For Great Justice!": 1 stack for 8 seconds

Signet of Rage: 1 stack for 30 seconds


Fury stacks in duration, so by opening up with our Signet and FGJ we start off with 8 stacks of Might (or 280 extra Power and Condition Damage) and 38 seconds of Fury.

The first attack skill you want to use is Dual Strike.  It has a 12 second Recharge and gives us another 4 seconds of Fury.  So we should be sitting at 41-42 seconds of Fury at this point.

In another 12 seconds, use Dual Strike again.  We should have 33 seconds left on the clock.  12 seconds later, FGJ and Dual Strike should both be coming off cooldown, so pop both to bump the time back up to 33 seconds remaining.

12 seconds later Dual Strike is recharged and we hit it again.  25 seconds are left on Fury once we use it.  12 seconds later, FGJ and Dual Strike are both once again off cooldown.  Pop both to give us 25 seconds back onto the clock.

At this point, when Dual Strike comes off cooldown, the Signet of Rage is off cooldown as well.

Decision time.  You can just pop Dual Strike, and make the time remaining 17 seconds. In 12 seconds you can pop FGJ and Dual Strike yet again to make the time go back up to 17 seconds, then in 12 you can give us 9 seconds remaining.  Which means you have 33 seconds after your Signet of Rage comes off cool down before you run out of Fury.

Its up to you if you want to spread out the Might bonuses and keep Fury rolling forever (I would) or if you want to wait to start the cycle over again.

Bleed Damage & Duration
Before taking  Might into consideration, your Bleed stacks are already ticking over for ~107 damage.  With a massive +95% duration for Bleeding (and remember, duration rounds to the nearest quarter second!) your shortest Bleed stacks are ticking over 4 times, and your longest are ticking over 15.

So Gash and Sever Artery are causing 1605 damage from Bleeding before taking things like Might, critical hits (which can give additional bleeding stacks) into consideration.  Not bad at all!

Flurry
Your Burst skill of choice.  Just how effective is it with this build?  I'll show you, both with and without your guaranteed Might bonuses.  I'll assume you have a full Adrenaline bar:

Without Might:
Base damage is 442 per hit, 570 after Traits are factored in.  But wait, we have a 91% chance to Critical, 111% with Fury (which we'll have from Dual Strike at the very least).  That means each hit from Flurry is hitting for 969 12 times against a target with 2600 armor!

With a full Adrenal bar, that's 12 Critical Hits.  Several things are going to happen then:
  • 4 hits are going to pop Precise Strikes and Rending Strikes.
  • 7 hits are going to pop your Superior Sigil of Earth
  • 3-4 hits (3.6 hits, lets be conservative and round to 3 instead of to 4) are going to pop your Superior Sigil of Blood.
So we are going to get 16 4-second stacks and 7 9.75-second stacks of Bleeding, with each stack ticking for 107 damage a second.  That's 6848 + 6741 = 13589 damage from Bleeding.

The Sigil of Blood is giving you 1300 Health, and presumably doing 1300 damage (via Life Steal).  Its got an internal Recharge of 2 seconds though so at most its going to go off twice during Flurry.  

So total damage, and granted this is spread out over 10 seconds from various sources, the total damage done by Flurry is 26517.

With Might: (FGJ, SoR)
If you popped FGJ and your Signet, things are even better.  You are looking at 520 damage base, 670 with traits.  Factor in your over 100% critical hit chance and you are looking at 1139 damage per hit.

Your Bleeding stacks hit even harder as well, with a whopping 2049 Condition Damage if you have 8 stacks of Might on.  Each stack of Bleeding is ticking over for 145 damage each!

Doing the math as previously done, we're looking at 9280 + 9135 = 18415 damage from Bleeding.

Putting it all together you get a whopping total of 33383 damage from Flurry.


Note that I left out any modifiers from your Rending Strikes in both cases because I'm lazy, so you are likely doing even more damage against heavily armored targets.  And you can reliably do this every 10 seconds (especially if running Inspiring Shouts instead of Heightened Focus, which still leaves you at 102% Critical Chance with Flurry).


Secondary Weapon
I prefer a Warhorn for a secondary weapon with this build, though sometimes you will need to bring a ranged weapon (I suggest Longbow as per usual for condition builds).  Because of when you would be using the Warhorn, a Sigil of Doom or Hydromancy would work best.

Hydromancy Freezes enemies, reducing their attack speed and movement speed and so on. Given you'll generally switch to the Warhorn when you need to run or cause Weakness, it is a good pick I feel.

Doom causes Poison for 5 seconds.  With our Duration bonus that ends up being ~6.5 seconds and a base tic of 213.6 damage (more with Might).  Since it ticks every second, you are looking at about 1300 damage caused to each enemy near you just for switching to the Warhorn.  Not too shabby.


Notes

This build is still a work in progress.  I want to lower the Precision by about 130-140 (137 to be exact).  This will give us a 51% base critical hit chance, which lets us take full advantage of ever Trait taken in this build to increase the Critical Hit chance.

The alternative is to drop Heightened Focus for Inspiring Shouts, so that we can keep the Adrenal level high for Berserker's Power essentially all the time

I haven't decided where to go with that yet..

Edited by Cowmonaut, 25 October 2012 - 09:46 PM.


#2 stefanplc

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:23 PM

This isn't anything personal however I feel that all these huge threads discussing some way to play a profession or guides would be much more successful if they started with a 2 minutes or more clip showing the build in action. Many people, including myself, see the huge wall of text and think what a waste of time, not reading this. I don't even know if you're any decent at this game so why would I bother spending all this time reading, trying to understand and afterwards experimenting your theories. A video showing whatever you're saying working would be a really good incentive to get more people to pay attention. Hope this helps.

#3 Cowmonaut

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 10:34 PM

That is very useful criticism.  I'll see what I can whip up.

I haven't seen many build threads that actually have video of it in action mind you, but I can see where you are coming from.  That said, I hope you at least gave it a gander.  If not, well I guess it doesn't really need to be said does it?

#4 Dank Rafft

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 08:28 PM

Thanks for this guide. I've read the whole post and hope I haven't missed something. There are three questions:

1. I love swords and i'm looking for a condition gear setup but I'm unsure which is the best way to obtain the rabid armor (condition damage, precision, toughness). I have ~150.000 Karma and 2,5 gold left. I think I'll need some gold to craft the rampager's trinkets and weapons, so imo only the Karma is an option. But the exotic temple set lacks a rabid shoulder piece. :/
So, what do you recommend?

2. Are you sure 1140 toughness is enough for the more difficult explorable dungeons? Isn't the Superior Rune of the Undead the better choice?

3. What do you think is the best way to provide some team support without sacrificing to much damage? Put those 20 points from Discipline into Tactics for Quick Breathing and Inspiring Banners?

Thanks in advance.

#5 Cowmonaut

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 09:37 PM

Excellent questions Dank Rafft.  Let's see if we can get you some solid answers:

View PostDank Rafft, on 24 October 2012 - 08:28 PM, said:

1. I love swords and i'm looking for a condition gear setup but I'm unsure which is the best way to obtain the rabid armor (condition damage, precision, toughness). I have ~150.000 Karma and 2,5 gold left. I think I'll need some gold to craft the rampager's trinkets and weapons, so imo only the Karma is an option. But the exotic temple set lacks a rabid shoulder piece. :/
So, what do you recommend?
Personally I prefer the look of the Dungeon Armors.  Doesn't really help you though unless you have a different character to farm the tokens up on or a different build you can roll around in.  The Karma armor from Keeper Jonez Deadrun is the only alternative I'm aware of.  Pricey at 252,000 Karma however.

You might be able to change up the item combination.  The important thing is the final stat line, not where the bonuses are coming from.  Either way though, its going to cost you something to get.

Personally I'd just farm the gold up and look for those Berserker's Pit Fighter items on the Trading Post.  Typically runs 2.1-2.4 Gold a piece.

View PostDank Rafft, on 24 October 2012 - 08:28 PM, said:

2. Are you sure 1140 toughness is enough for the more difficult explorable dungeons? Isn't the Superior Rune of the Undead the better choice?
Switching to Superior Runes of the Undead loses you 25% duration on your Bleed stacks, 10% on all other Conditions (mainly affects Vulnerability and Burning but potentially could affect Poison/Chill depending on what Sigils you bring).

The important part is that 25% duration bonus.  Many Bleed stacks have a base of 2 seconds, such as the ones from Flurry.  These would all actually lose a full tic of damage by dropping these runes.  You gaining 50 Toughness and 32 Condition Damage (60 gained from the 5% of Toughness, losing 28 if you ditch all the Afflicted Runes) doesn't offset that cost to your damage output.

So really the imporant question is thus: Is 2400 Armor enough for the toughest dungeons.  And that answer is a yes in my opinion.

As you'll see with other builds around the 'Net, Knight's Armor and Berserker's Trinkets/Jewels tends to get recommended for your items.  It gives you a wonderful balance of durability and damage.  How much armor does that give you?  Generally around 2442 (315 Toughness from Armor, 916 base, 1211 Defense).  With this build, the armor I recommend has Toughness as a Minor attribute instead of a Major.  The difference is only 91 Toughness.

I don't know about others, but I haven't been needing to stack Toughness on every item to survive in Dungeons.  A moderate ~2400 Armor has been enough for me.  I will state that I haven't been doing a whole lot of Arah or TA runs, but CoE/CoF/CM/AC have all been going just fine.

If you are really concerned about the 2400 Armor, I'd consider dumping the points from Discipline down the Defense tree.  I don't think this is necessary and I would personally rather have the bonuses to Crit Damage and Crit Chance (since we aren't getting it from jewels), ability to maintain high Adrenaline levels, and even the small damage bonus to Flurry .

View PostDank Rafft, on 24 October 2012 - 08:28 PM, said:

3. What do you think is the best way to provide some team support without sacrificing to much damage? Put those 20 points from Discipline into Tactics for Quick Breathing and Inspiring Banners?
If you feel "For Great Justice!" and "Shake It Off!" are not enough, you may want to consider playing a full on support build (either Shout Heal or one of the various Banner builds).  Without dramatically changing the build, your suggestion is the only option I'm seeing to aim that way.  I feel you'll miss the extra Critical Hit damage when using Flurry however.

#6 Dank Rafft

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 10:12 PM

Thanks for clarification.

There is one last question:
What do you think are the pros and cons as contrasted with the most warmly recommended greatsword counterpart?

#7 Cowmonaut

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:40 PM

Aside from being entirely different but still fun to play?  Two things mainly:

1.  It doesn't require as much of a build up.  
2.  Its damage output is less dependent on the target's Armor value.

This build allows you to open with Flurry in every fight.  Just start with your Secondary, and at the start of the fight switch to your Primary (5 Strikes from Traits) and pop FGJ! (27 Strikes from Traits) to put you at full Adrenaline (30 Strikes).  Flurry alone can give you 21-25 stacks of Bleeding, so the 'build up' time is about 2 seconds.

Contrast that with the Greatsword build.  The key to its power is the Might you gain from Forceful Greatsword.  The Might only lasts 5 seconds (base), but you get one for every crit.  This means that against large groups of mobs, you are an unstoppable power house and easily able to get a full 25 stacks.  Against single targets (boss fights) it takes longer to ramp up however.

Then there is the damage output.  A little more than half the damage from this build is from Conditions.  That means less than half the damage output is affected by the target's armor.  So you are hitting more heavily armored targets for more damage (without taking Vulnerability into consideration, for both builds).  With the Greatsword build its entirely direct damage, which is heavily affected by the target's Armor.


So let's side by side with one Greatsword variant from these forums: Red_Falcon's 'Invincible Berserker':

Greatsword
Defense: 1211
Power: 1819 (1894 with Toughness Bonus)
Precision: 1693
Toughness: 1506
Vitality: 986
Critical Chance: 41% (+10% Burst)
Critical Damage: +60%
Burst Damage: +1%
Condition Damage: 37
Healing Power: 300
Boon Duration: +10%
Armor: 2717
Health: 19072

Sword & Axe
Defense: 1211
Power: 1587 base, 1692 w/ FGJ
Precision: 2124
Toughness: 1140
Vitality: 916
Condition Damage: 1296 base, 1433 w/ FGJ
Condition Duration: +30% (additional +65% for Bleeding)
Crit Chance: 62% (additional +9% if Adrenaline is full, +10% with main hand Skills, +10% with Burst)
Critical Damage: +20%
Damage: +5% (+10% additional if target is Bleeding, +2% additional for Burst skills, +12% additional if Adrenaline is full)
Armor: 2351
Health: 18372

Looks dire at first glance.  Less raw Power means the direct damage will be less, less Armor means it can't take as big of a direct hit.  The Power difference doesn't particularly worry me given the difference in Condition Damage and how much of the build's damage is from Conditions.  The 300 Armor is potentially worry some, but both builds rely on Endure Pain to escape the most dire of circumstances.

Now we already know what Flurry is doing on average without outside influences.  That takes 6 seconds to use to full effect.  Hundred Blades only takes 3.5 seconds, so we'll utilize the next best thing to fill the gap: the auto attack Chain.  We can run one full Chain and the first two of the three skills of a second Chain in the time allotted.  As before, I'm ignoring Vulnerability

Without Might
1894 Power, 1048 average weapon damage, against a target with 2600 Armor we're looking at a base of 420 damage for each of the first 8 hits of Hundred Blades and 840 for the last hit.  Notice that this is less than my Sword & Axe build because of the lack of damage increasing Traits.

We also have less chance to crit.  3-4 of our 9 hits are going to crit.  We'll be generous again and say the last hit crit.  Best case scenario, we're looking 882 damage for each regular hit that crit, and 1764 damage for the last hit.  So our normal hit crits aren't even higher than the critical hits we are landing with the Sword & Axe build, despite the increased Critical Damage, though the last hit is impressive.

Of course, since we crit normally we'd get a stack of Vulnerability on the target and Might.  I'm ignoring the Might for now, since I'm about to go over max Might, and Vulnerability since I ignored it for my own build.  We also get a single stack of Bleeding though.  It's going to tick over for a paltry 44 damage a second, for 2 seconds.

So, without Might, this Greatsword variant is going to do 7648 damage with Hundred Blades.

The Chain?  'Slice and 'Swing are doing 534 damage each.  Brutal Strike is hitting for 687 damage.  We're getting two hits from Greatsword Slice and two from Greatsword Swing and one from Brutal Strike.  Chances are 2 skills are going to crit from these 5 swings.  Again, being generous I'll say one of those is Brutal Strike.  So a crit for 1121 and one for 1442.

Tallying it all up we have 10763 damage done without Might.

With Might
Now the good (read: important) part.  If we have 25 stacks of Might, things really change for the better.  We get 875 more Power and Condition Damage. Let's use the same chain of attacks.  We'll have a wonderful 2769 Power, 912 Condition Damage, and since we'll be able to benefit from FGJ or a Signet of Rage, we'll have Fury increasing our Critical Hit Chance to 61%.

Hundred Blades: 614 damage per hit for the first 8, and 1228 damage for the last hit.  With our addtional Crit Chance we are looking at 5-6 critical hits.  For regular hits, that will be 1289 damage, and for the last hit we're looking at 2579 damage.  The additional crits mean we will get two stacks of Bleeding that tick over for 88 damage per second for 2 seconds

Hundred Blades is doing 11042 damage.

Greatsword Swing and Greatsword Slice are going to hit for 781 damage.  Brutal Strike will hit for 1005.  We're probably getting 3 critical hits out of the 1 and 2/3 chains we run through.   So two crits for 1640 and one for 2111 and a single stack of Bleeding.

Our grand total with 25 stacks of Might?  14455 damage


But that's not an entirely fair comparision, since a lot of damage in my example is happening outside the 6 seconds it takes to use Flurry.  So how much damage is the Sword & Axe build doing in the 6 seconds after you pressed F1?  Well the direct damage inflicted is 13668.  The tricky part is the Bleeding damage.

We have 12 stacks from Flurry guaranteed.  The last two hits don't tick over in the 6 second period, they start doing damage after the fact.  Since they tick every second we're only getting 28 ticks total from Flurry's Bleeds.  The crit's are a bit harder to factor in.  We had 4 from Precise Strikes and 7 from the Sigil of Earth thanks to our over 100% critical hit chance.  So where do they land?

I'm not going to be generous here.  I'm going to evenly spread them out.  So we'll end up with 8 ticks from Precise Strikes and 15 ticks from the Sigil in the 6 second period.  With each tick going for 145 damage with Might, we're looking at another 3335 damage in 6 seconds from Bleeding.

Flurry deals 17003 damage in 6 seconds with 8 stacks of Might

--- OLD NUMBERS ---

Look at those numbers.

Both are against a target with 2600 Armor, a tough target.

Both builds are going off for just 6 seconds.

Looking at just that 6 second snap shot, we're talking a difference of 493 damage.  Even worse, I gave the Greatsword every advantage (making sure the most damaging Skills crit, assumed a max 25 stacks of Might instead of a more realistic number, etc) while for Sword & Axe I went for an average (spreading out criticals so that I lost a lot of ticks of Bleeding that ended up cutting 10k damage from my final numbers).


The Greatsword builds are favored because they can do a lot of direct damage very quickly and they flash bigger numbers on the screen.  That doesn't mean you can't do a lot of damage with another build, or even more damage over a longer time frame.  

Ultimately, I'd say both builds are powerful.  Its just a question of what you want.  How do you want to play?  How do you want to do your damage?  What do you want to bring to support your Party?  These builds play differently, they do things differently.

But if you are worried about my Sword & Axe build not being able to put out damage even in the ballpark of a Greatsword build, you are off base.  If you took a more aggressive Greatsword build, rocking Berserker's Power and the like, the gap increases.  But then you need to compare the builds on a larger time frame, say 30 seconds in a Boss fight.  You'll find the additional time helps the Sword & Axe build keep the gap tight however.


In the end its ~3586 damage per second vs ~3503 damage per second.  Pick the one you have more fun playing.

--- NEW NUMBERS ---

EDIT: I was incorrectly calculating the damage increase from the Critical Hits.  The base Critical Hit damage bonus is 150%, not 200%.  I've re-done the math in the posts to account for this.  As expected, this had less of an effect on the Condition oriented build.

How did this affect the totals?  Before the Greatsword build was doing 463 damage more in the 6 second period than the Condition build.  After correcting the math the Condition build is doing 2548 damage more than the Greatsword build against targets with 2600 armor.

Factoring in Vulnerability (of which you can only get 14-15 stacks typically by going through your Chain 6 times, depending on if you have Fury or not) the Greatsword ends up doing 16623 damage under ideal circumstances.

The Condition build can only get 4-5 stacks of Vulnerability, and this only affects the Direct Damage side of the equation.  The Condition build ends up doing 17550 damage on average.

So even factoring in Vulnerability, you will do more damage against heavily armored targets than this Greatsword variant.  There are other Greatsword builds however, and I would be far from surprised if some of them are capable of doing more damage in 6 seconds than this build.

Edited by Cowmonaut, 25 October 2012 - 10:12 PM.


#8 Dank Rafft

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 06:32 PM

Wow, this is more than I have expected. Now I'm totally on fire. I need a new condition equipment to try it for myself. Thank you very much! :)

#9 Cowmonaut

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:23 PM

Just realized I've been overstating the damage from Critical Hits.  Base its only +150% damage, not +200%.  Luckily the mistake was made equally.  Editing posts to correct the numbers.

Edit: Also just realized you could use the trait layout (different Major traits of course) for a fun Greatsword build on its own, though you would have to change out all your Items.

Edit Edit:  And wowzer!  If you do that you can put out potentially far better numbers and still have 2700+ armor. Mind you, it takes 9 seconds still to build up Vulnerability, but you are looking at 28485 to 29977 damage against targets with 2600 armor, depending on where the Critical Hits land in the same 6 second period given for the Invincible Berserker build.  That's over a 10k difference!

That gives me pause.

Edited by Cowmonaut, 25 October 2012 - 10:42 PM.


#10 chuckles79

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 03:19 PM

I don't like the low toughness and vitality; where is I feel I can pump out good damage with greater balance with the GS.
Plus it requires speccing everything towards condition dmg, which would be a sizable investment for most people.

However, it's good enough that the next two exotic weapons I craft for myself will be a sword and axe.  I've taken to using a sword and warhorn as my running build in PvE and as my WvW scouting/siegebreaker (breaking through siege lines) weapon set.

Edited by chuckles79, 26 October 2012 - 03:20 PM.


#11 Cowmonaut

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:22 PM

View Postchuckles79, on 26 October 2012 - 03:19 PM, said:

I don't like the low toughness and vitality; where is I feel I can pump out good damage with greater balance with the GS.
Plus it requires speccing everything towards condition dmg, which would be a sizable investment for most people.

If you aren't increasing your Condition Damage with a main hand Sword in PvE you are doing it wrong.  For Direct Damage, the Sword Skills are no where near as good as just using an Axe would be.  In PvE, the strength of the Sword is in being able to apply stacks of Bleeding quickly.

The only other sources of Toughness would be from Trinkets/Jewelry and Traits.  I don't consider 2400 Armor weak for Dungeons and its only ~200 less than most GS builds.  You are talking a difference of less than a hundred damage per hit unless the Skill Coefficient is something obscene like 1.3 or more.

View Postchuckles79, on 26 October 2012 - 03:19 PM, said:

However, it's good enough that the next two exotic weapons I craft for myself will be a sword and axe.  I've taken to using a sword and warhorn as my running build in PvE and as my WvW scouting/siegebreaker (breaking through siege lines) weapon set.

In PvP the Sword is useful for being able to apply Cripple and giving you a gap closer (Leap).  The Bleeding is secondary to that.  Things change for PvP compared to PvE, which is why you can have separate Trait layouts for them for free (at least with sPvP).


So I'd disagree with not going for Condition Damage in PvE if you are planning on using a Sword.

#12 chuckles79

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 11:01 PM

View PostCowmonaut, on 26 October 2012 - 10:22 PM, said:

In PvP the Sword is useful for being able to apply Cripple and giving you a gap closer (Leap).  The Bleeding is secondary to that.  Things change for PvP compared to PvE, which is why you can have separate Trait layouts for them for free (at least with sPvP).


So I'd disagree with not going for Condition Damage in PvE if you are planning on using a Sword.

As I said, I use it in WvW.  When you are in a moving fight, slight bleeding damage might be enough to make someone stop to use a heal; or make them use defensive skills.


I see the sense in your build, but unless someone is building up to a warrior it would be no small thing to convert over to that build.

#13 Diggy

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:23 PM

Hey

Having played falcon's build for a while this felt fresh and diffrent.
It's very interesting I tried it with some cheap green gear from the TP in cursed shore.
I could see the potential of this build, with propper gear especially when Anet changes the way bleeds work (some official post some place can't find it)

The only thing I disliked was the sigil of blood, i've found the proc rate awefull.
It could be related to the 2 sec recharge. I removed the sigil of blood and went for air since I had that lying around but I guess fire or even the might on crit works.

Seeing I like staying alive against multiple mobs, I use the life steel omnom food. It procs alot more than the sigil.

#14 laming_moe

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:41 AM

um im not that good at theory crafting so i want to make a suggestion:
i totally agree with 30 points in weapons.
i dont know how important the 10% condition duration is, but dual wielding is not an incredible good trait.
heightened focus seems not neccessary since we have already ALOT crit and most of the time we will spend our adrenaline for flurry if its full. so i feel like that trait doesnt fit too good into this build.
so i was thinking about spending those potentially 20 points in another way. if the condition duration is realy that important 30/30/0/0/10 would be more effective, wouldnt it?

what about using sword/horn with 10/30/0/20/10 ? with empowered and quick breathing in tactics. through the increased boon duration you will be able to keep up fury without dualstrike. and with the horn and and elite signet you will have swiftness all the time. plus you can get rid of 2 conditions with that horn every 16 sec, wich is far more useful than "shake it off"(except breaking stun). so we can take another utility skill. if you feel like loosing too much damage through skipping strengh, you can take sigil of might to have some power back, plus you can activate it right before flurry for even more damage. or as norn you can take the owl, making also a great amount of bleeding damage.or just some other stuff you like. and that build also offers 200 vit to make it a lil bit less squishy.

what do you think about this?

#15 Krispykid

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:32 PM

I absolutely love this build. I find the bleed amazing and really helpful! My only problem is I feel incredibly vulnerable and squishy using this build, often getting downed very quickly. I do not yet have max stat gear (or trinkets but I'm sure this isn't too big a deal.) My health is often down to half way by the type I can use Flurry. I have tried sacrificing Endure Pain for Dolyak Signet but it still doesn't seam to make a difference. Any advice on why this might be? Thanks

Edited by Krispykid, 12 December 2012 - 07:56 PM.






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