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Member Since 26 Apr 2012
Offline Last Active Jun 25 2015 10:47 AM

#2168445 Warrior Builds: Success and Failure

Posted backwards25 on 22 February 2013 - 07:00 AM

Success or failure isn't the right way to judge a build, the most inefficient build/s can be successful in completing content. Just as a runner placing last in a race has successful ran the distance - the difference is in completion time. Having experience/training is how you win that race and in GW2 you gain that experience through using the more defensive setups, learning your class, and graduating into the glass cannon. However there are still avenues for improvement, there are significant gains in specializing your equipment and in utilizing the various consumables.

I've main'd a warrior since release, I didn't know the ins-and-outs of GW2 for quite a while, after I reached level 50 something I decided to try AC for the first time. It was quite the shock to find myself dying so easily, I felt like tissue paper. Obviously I was not ready for dungeons, but the experience made me re-evaluate my profession choice, I became a guardian.

I leveled this guardian to 80, I avoided dungeons and open world PvE was effortless. During this time I became quite familiar with the combat of GW2, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I had with my warrior. Returning to my warrior, I leveled to 80 and began my hunt for exotics, settling on knights armor and berserker weapons/trinkets.

It was a while before I reconsidered dungeons again, I knew that I'd need a more defensive setup, after searching the forums I ended up using the then current version of Red_Falcons Invincible Berserker. This is where I really began to learn the warrior as a profession. To elaborate a little, IMO, open world pve and leveling to 80 requires little to no real skill (as a warrior), it isn't until you start dungeons that a warrior must focus on developing their skills.

The various builds with "boon" in their names (e.g. Sonic Boon), I would qualify as defensive setups, designed for really learning the warrior/content with. The authors of these builds themselves seem to advocate substituting in berserker pieces as your competence increases.

Strife's Axe/Mace Dungeon build is the sort of build you might also graduate to, you no longer focus on defensive traits. Instead, you look for survivability in your newly gained skills, particularly with dodging, some CC (mace 5), and perhaps a touch of toughness from gear. It resembles a glass cannon build and rewards you with a reasonable boost in damage. This is where I see the OP being at as well, having recognized that a build is only for hitting key/desired traits and that offensive traits are the most worthwhile. The OP also mentions specialization in a broad sense of dps, support or control, not true specialization.

Specialization is the final step in reaching the full damage potential of the warrior. GW2 has many ways to do this, the most notable is through sigils and potions yet, oddly, no one seems to promote the idea. The sigils/potions I refer to are the slayer variety and the sigil of night. Obviously they can't be used everywhere, but where they can, you can get up to a +33.1% damage boost coupled with -10% damage taken - that is huge. The damage boost is more than any support others could possibly provide (for a GC) and the damage reduction is roughly equal to +250 toughness.

Then there are plenty of utility consumables to consider as well. Skale Venom (consumable) is universally useful, it provides weakness and vulnerability for ~4 seconds on ~10% of all your hits and lasts for 10 minutes, two people using this could permanently weaken the target. Grawl Ritual Totems are also good, on demand fear without any CD, a perfect solution to CC without sacrificing anything in your build. Most build creators have caught on to the Omnomberry Pie/Ghost lifesteal, few have noticed that it deals 314 damage on proc, so it really is the ideal nourishment for glass cannons and their high critical rate.


On this issue of support, provided it does not sacrifice damage or go to waste, it is fine. I take concern when I see healing shout builds, builds focused on self stacking might, or these superman builds the OP speaks of.

How to define the usefulness of shout heal builds? How do they use their shouts? Do you use them for their offensive support or save them for a minor heal? Is it worth the additional 20 points in tactics for the shout to be able to heal? Are you likely to swap utilities when the need arises or are you set on those minor heals?

I've personally concluded that it is not worthwhile save for learning purposes, yes, you might be providing greater support for other players, but at what cost? Brand sets the cost at ~12% personal damage and argues that this is outweighed by his team support, particularly through party-wide fury and might.

However, I suspect this doesn't factor in the utilities the GC may bring or the true strength of a GC. Banner of Discipline is a standard skill to find on a GC warrior, it provides +4-5% critical chance and +10% critical damage, it also comes with its own skill set. Banner skill 2 provides 8 seconds of aoe fury that anyone can use, skill 3 is aoe swiftness, if there is a fire field, it's 3 aoe might stacks for 20 seconds with skill 5. Skill 5 isn't limited to only fire fields, warriors have access to a water field through a Healing Seed Pod consumable, and while its not practical, a blast in it will heal for as much as a healing shout.

Self stacking 25 might through boon duration runes/traits for example, reduces the worth of other peoples might support. Forceful Greatsword against 3 foes with sufficient critical chance will achieve it, sure, it also reduces CD by 20%. With +80% boon duration, you'll nearly always achieve it, even against a single target.

How much might (or other boons) should you stack yourself? There wont be any clear-cut answer, but you should not stack it to the point that other sources of it go to waste. Take for example Strife's Dungeon build, it has 99% critical chance, which is great, it will however waste most of a rangers Spotter trait.


Where does that leave me? I've been running a GC build for quite a while now, I feel comfortable with its survivability, impressed with its dps and down half my inventory space with situational items.

Is it for everyone? Certainly not, some may never feel comfortable as a GC, some GC users may never invest into specialization. After an extended break, some may drop down a level or to substitute in more defense to suit a particular group.

That said, damage is the warriors greatest strength, our best support is killing faster - there is no threat from the defeated. Aim for as much dps as you can provide while staying within your skill limits, going below this will only hinder your group through lost potential.


I've also built up a spreadsheet to compare various warrior builds, some may dismiss it instantly saying it will never adequately describe real-world, in-game conditions. They are right, but its representative damage numbers are good enough to compare builds.

It is done in Google docs, if you are signed in to any Google service I believe, your email is partially visible, so if that's a concern for you, sign out or use another browser.

Spreadsheet Link

Hopefully all the assumptions are acceptable, not all are listed. While I don't have much evidence to support the spreadsheet, I do have this video showing how high you can push damage, and a screenshot of the combat log taken inside the Volcanic Fractal (partially supported). Comparing the appropriate Hundred Blades value should be a good way to confirm its accuracy.

A few notable things I discovered include;

-There is very little damage difference between GS and axe/x builds using either a 25/25/0/10/10 or 20/25/0/10/15 build in an unsupported environment.

-That axes will benefit from might support significantly more than GS builds will.

-That full GC builds using their ranged options still deal respectable damage, almost rivaling support orientated builds in melee.



Posted builds don't "succeed" or "fail", they develop your experience as you edge closer to full GC. A warriors greatest potential is in his dps, aim as high as your skill level allows.

Strong focus on support significantly limits that potential, defensive traits do not match the potential of the offensive ones. Don't waste the support of others by self stacking.

Don't neglect situational sigils and potions, they are very strong.