The Warchief was my solution. It is designed to provide the excellent emergency healing provided by a shout build while 1) dishing out respectable damage at all ranges, 2) providing excellent gap-closing and skirmishing abilities, and 3) being able to support anti-siege operations alongside staff elementalists, etc. It has the same excellent healing and adrenaline production many shout builds enjoy, as well as the wonderful combo field, Combustive Shot. It is designed to disrupt the enemy frontline while supporting your own, using its superior condition removal and AoE healing to keep both you and your team on your feet. The Warchief is designed to run with a group of at least 5 players, as its focus is AoE healing and damage is its main offensive strength, while it of course has the excellent group defensive support a shout build provides. Consider trying this out if you enjoy supply tipping or running with the zerg, although decent results while roaming may be achieved due to the variety of ranges this build can engage the enemy at effectively.
I recommend running with full Cleric’s gear, as this build is intended to utilize shouts to their maximum potential, and its damage output comes from power much more than condition damage or precision. The exception to this is the Longbow, can use either the Cleric’s or Shaman’s stat distribution.
This build has excellent skirmishing abilities with its improved longbow range and gap-closing abilities provided by the greatsword. The immobilize on the longbow combined with the greatsword's ranged cripple can give you decent lockdown in both 1v1 and group fights. With quicker weapon swapping, the greatsword’s movement skills, and the availability of both cripple (GS4) and immobilize (LB5), you have good lockdown and excellent chasing capabilities. Signet of Rage provides a pretty high swiftness uptime when you need it, which affords you even more mobility. There is a serious dearth of control skills compared to when using the hammer, however – you’ve got no reliable way to prevent stomps or stop rezzers outside of Fear Me.
While not as sturdy as a build that delves into the Defense line, the condition removal available to this build is much better, and can make up for shortcomings in the hardiness department through being so hard to pin down with conditions like chilled, crippled, and immobilize. Utilizing the greatsword’s mobility and excellent burst damage potential allows you to jump in and out of melee, picking off weak targets of opportunity. Penetrating attacking siege lines, camp capturing, and frontlining keep captures are all roles where this build shines. Use of Fear Me for disruption is excellent in highly-clustered environments like the enemy’s frontline.
This part of the build’s strength comes from its use of shouts and the longbow. In siege attack, sometimes the most practical way to reduce a trebuchet or catapult to debris is to hit is with 1,200 range AoE. Enter Stronger Bowstrings. This allows you to utilize your own combo field on walls, protect your group with a decent ranged blind, and pin down any defender standing on the crenellations.
The other half of this build’s support comes from the typical shout build many have come to know and love. Each shout removes one (or two) conditions, heals in an AoE, and provides whatever other utility the shouts you’ve chosen to use provide. Each shout also provides you with a sizeable chunk of adrenaline, which synergizes well with Heightened Focus. That plus a Sigil of Accuracy and relatively high Fury uptime (100% if you actually use the GS burst attack), allows you to achieve a respectable crit percentage of 38% at full adrenaline, which synergizes well with the greatsword’s attack frequency. This trait can, however, be exchanged for Mobile Strikes if you feel you need more mobility. All in all, the shout side of this build is pretty cut-and-dry, although your strength at range forces you to give up Empower or Empowered Allies. These can be rapidly switched out, however, if you’re able to force the enemy to come to you.
This build has very little to offer in the way of crowd control. With no stuns or disables, you’ll be using Hundred Blades or Fear Me to deal with enemy rezzers or stompers. In the same note, you’ve only got one snare on each of your weapons, so you may have to stick with your longbow on some of your more slippery targets.The build also naturally does less damage than a non-support build generally would.
Some of the more interchangeable traits are Stronger Bowstrings and Heightened Focus. I use Signet of Rage most of the time for its synergy with the mobility of the build, but the Battle Standard is definitely useful when protecting siege equipment. With the trait layout linked above, and a little creativity, you could also turn the Warchief into a respectable long bowman or axe/warhorn roamer.
Any criticism or other input is welcome, thanks for reading!
Edited by ablebodie, 17 November 2012 - 11:54 PM.