If you've visited the Guardian forums at all, you may have seen my thread which explains the guardian build I use for all my dungeon runs:
and now my mesmer build as well:
I have been asked quite a bit what the primary warrior in my group runs though, so today I bring you the warrior build that we currently use for dungeons. This build provides huge dps for both the group and as a primary dps class. Due to the recent patch making Axe 5 much less effective for burst healing and constantly proccing for life steal damage, GS + Axe/Mace gives you higher damage potential and the same survivability as my old Axe/Mace + Axe/Axe build. This allows me to utilize the best burst and rotation for various bosses and mobs depending on if I can get 100B + WW off or I need the auto attack + interrupt on Axe/Mace, or a combination of both.
The video guide can be found as follows:
Also you can find this build in action on my youtube page with various dungeons from guardian, mesmer, and/or warrior perspective:
This build has been tweaked quite a few times to get to something that my group feels is the best DPS build for dungeons, based on patch and balance changes. This is a build specific for dungeons, not for WvW or PvP, so I would not refer to this for those instances. It provides huge amounts of sustained damage over the course of boss fights, provides damage benefits to your entire group, and gives you very good micro-level mobility and a way to interrupt and remove defiant stacks. While I do prefer the Axe/Mace playstyle a bit more, I do realize that a combination of both weapons gives you the flexibility and overall dps benefit by using optimal rotations. This allows you to get the superior skill damage rotation from GS with 100B+WW, and the superior auto attack dps and added utility from vuln stacking and a knockdown with A/M.
Build and Equipment:
If you are running a longbow with Axe/Mace for some fights, you also have the ability to switch Slashing Power to Dual Wielding.
This build is focused on dps, and rightly so, warrior has some of the highest sustained damage in the game while not being made of "glass". While this game has been designed to allow a mix of various classes capable of completing dungeons, it is quite clear that a pseudo-trinity still exists and certain group comps make dungeon runs quick and painless (as proved by my various dungeon videos). One of these parts is a dps class that not only provides good direct damage by themselves, but also contributes to overall group damage while not constantly being downed and taking away total dps, by both losing your own dps, and causing someone else to res you. This is the part that this warrior build provides.
As far as gear goes, a balanced build between knights and berserker is based on the below stat comparison on what you lose per 1% of crit damage.
The tradeoff for 1% of crit damage is equal to:
- 5 stat points - upgrade slot of trinkets and backpack
- 7 points - Ascended Back Piece
- 8.5 stat points - Ascended Rings
- 8.7 stat points - Ascended Earrings
- 9.4 stat points - Ascended Amulet
- 10 stat points- traits (not an equipment, but listed for comparison)
- 12 stat points - glove, shoulder and boots
- 12.8 stat points - 1H weapons and amulet
- 13.33 stat points - Earring
- 14 stat points - Backpack (rare version from guild armorsmith)
- 14.22 stat points - 2H weapons
- 14.4 stat points - Coat (Chest)
- 16 stat points - Ring, helm and legging
For armor sockets, I now use 6 scholar runes, you need about 25% uptime on 90%+ health to make them better then ruby orbs. The cheaper alternative of course is 6 ruby orbs. Yes I used to use 2x Monk runes just for some extra boon duration, but for maximizing your dungeon speed clears for some of the videos I make it's better to go pure dps since you don't really need the boon duration in groups, it's more beneficial for soloing.
For weapons, I use Sigil of Force on Axe and Greatsword (or specific dungeon sigil if you prefer), Sigil of Bloodlust for power stacks on mace, and then a backup mace with Sigil of Battle and Sigil of Night when I have 25 bloodlust stacks or I'm doing a dungeon like CoF1 where I won't really have the chance to build bloodlust. It seems that Accuracy and Force now stack together, so Accuracy on mace for when you already have 25 bloodlust stacks and aren't in a nighttime dungeon is probably better then battle when you can already reach 25 might with a 1guard/3war/1mes group.
As far as other weapons go, they all pretty much have Force on them since I don't use them much and Force is a pretty cheap, generic, all around good sigil. You do want a shield with Sigil of Energy though, for both the extra dodges when running through trash when you would equip a shield for Invuln time, and also for any instances you find where you need more dodges. Your go-to ranged weapon is going to be Longbow, which offers higher direct damage then Rifle at the cost of 300 range untraited.
As far as crit chance goes:
Your base crit chance (full ascended/scholar) is going to be 51%
20% from Fury bumps that to 71%
9% from heightened focus goes to 80%
170 precision from banner pushes it to 87%
70 precision from Omnomberry Pies/Ghosts pushes it to 90% (or more from butternut squash soup).
So as far as food goes, Omnom Pies/Ghosts are still the best regen/life steal food in a high crit build. It does have a 1s internal cooldown now, but offers more life gain then any regen food assuming you are actually doing damage and critting. If you do not need the lifesteal, then something like Curry Butternut Squash Soup will offer more dps overall now that there is a cooldown on proccing lifesteal which also does damage. So food is more situational on what you are doing now.
Skills which you will be using a majority of the time:
- Healing Surge is much better then Healing Signet in this build, since you usually have 3 bars of adrenaline and you no longer have signet cooldown like in my older builds
- For Great Justice is one of the best skills for dungeons, increasing the damage of your entire party with 100% uptime on at least 3 stacks of might with 0 cast time to take away from your direct damage
- Every class should always have at least 1 stun break and a way to remove conditions, Shake it Off provides that for warrior for heavy condition fights, or Frenzy for fights where you don't need condition removal. Further condition removal comes from teammates (i.e. Guardian), because dungeons are a teamwork based activity.
- Banners are huge benefits to the group, it has near 100% uptime with the trait, provides swiftness for running through trash mobs, and provides overall damage and survivability to your group.
- Signet of Rage should be obvious. Along with For Great Justice, you always have Fury up which is one of the most important boons for a dps role.
For a few bosses where you need stability, as well as the Harpy Fractal, I will take Balanced Stance instead of a banner or Shake it Off.
If you know you won't really need condition removal, you can also take Frenzy instead of Shake it Off to really maximize your dps. Also to maximize dps, we usually run OMM instead of Banner of Tactics now.
Finally in a few of the fractals at 30+, you will probably want to take Endure Pain instead of a Banner so you are able to burst down some of the harder groups without getting downed.
Switching to the appropriate skills for a given situation will just come with experience, knowing what you can get away with, and what will provide the overall best dps in consideration with being interrupted or downed.
This is where I get into the usefulness of GS and Axe/Mace and the proper rotations you should be using.
GS has superior dps with the 100B and Whirlwind rotation. The downside is obviously that you are rooted for 3.5s while using 100B, and the auto attack dps of GS outside of this combo is inferior to Axe. When running in an organized group with an anchor, alot of the downside to the root is mitigated, while you still may need to "break" the animation of 100B to dodge sometimes, you can still get the full rotation off most of the time outside of some instances in high level fractals. If a mob is against a wall, WW offers by far the highest dps out of all your skills while evading at the same time.
Now the benefit of Axe/Mace is that it has superior auto attack dps with Axe, especially when you don't need the vulnerability that comes with the GS auto attack, the ability to front load 8 stacks of vulnerability with Axe 2/Mace 4, and the knockdown which is especially useful for bursting down packs of silver mobs.
With fast hands, you get the benefit of both the GS and Axe/Mace strengths, while mitigating their weaknesses. Fast hands will allow you to get the 100B+WW combo off which takes ~5s which has the highest dps potential out of all your skills, then instantly swap to Axe/Mace to get the superior auto attack dps and utility while 100B+WW is on cooldown. Once your 5s weapon swap is off cooldown again, you can switch back to GS and repeat the rotation all over again.
If you are in a PuG and find yourself needing more range, you can still take Longbow for your swap. First it has more direct damage then Rifle which benefits from a crit/damage build and it has some nice AoE burst with the 3rd skill. The tradeoff is that you have 300 less range which I don't really find a problem most of the time and you do have the option to trait it if needed. I will also use A/M + Longbow in a few instances at high level fractals, specifically for bosses like Mossman, the last Shaman Fractal boss, and the last boss of Dredge Fractal. In these instances, I find that Axe/Mace will allow me to burst in and melee better then GS, because alot of the times you won't have the opportunity to be rooted for the entire 3.5s to get the full benefit of GS. As mentioned earlier, this is where you would swap Slashing Power for Dual Wielding in the Strength line.
Hopefully this guide helps to show what a Warrior can bring to a dungeon group. Their sustained damage, high damage traits, and offensive boons is a huge benefit for the ability of a group to quickly and efficiently clear dungeons. They are basically the direct counterpart to what a Guardian can bring for group survivability. Don't let the lack of a pure trinity and uneducated dungeon runners let you think that classes and roles don't exist. If you want to run dungeons easily and efficiently there are still optimal classes and roles just like any MMO. The pseudo trinity is still tank/dps/support as it currently stands, and this warrior build is the prime example of the dps role in a group. It provides both excellent direct damage and damage for your entire group without sacrificing cast-times to give this group support. This trinity is much looser then most other MMOs, but it still exists in GW2 if you want to be optimal. If you think otherwise, you probably haven't run dungeons in an efficient, team-work based group before.
Thanks for reading, and good luck out there.