Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Warrior WvW Build (Run & Gun)

This guide covers my Warrior “Run and Gun” build for WvW (World versus World) in Guild Wars 2. If you prefer video content, check out the Narrated Videos section below.

I have a separate guide for sPvP “Run and Gun”. I wrote this Guide because the differences between WvW and sPvP and therefore the builds are so significant that it would be confusing to cover both in the same article.

WvW Considerations

To understand my build choices, here are critical considerations for World PVP:
  • Speed kills. More specifically, in-combat speed is king. Some players make the assumption that Swiftness is sufficient, but in my experience, you need the ability to leap or charge and to remove roots (Immobilize) and snares (Cripple and Chill)
  • Toughness matters. Going glass cannon for Warrior (and most of the other classes) will cause you to implode under any meaningful focus fire. This isn’t sPvP (structured Player versus Player) or tournaments, where the maximum number of opponents is capped at 5 or 8 respectively. In WvW, players are exposed to situations where they take massive amounts of direct damage. You also want an HP pool that provides you with a sufficient window to react and recover in most situations – in my opinion 20k is the lowest you should run with, given that Warrior has neither stealth nor teleports.
  • To contribute in a majority of situations, it’s helpful to have a ranged weapon. Any time there are sizable forces facing off or a fight at a tower or keep, there will be heavy ranged exchanges. In addition, the world is much more open compared to sPvP, so ranged weapons tend to work well
With that framing, we can move on to the spec.

Key Design Decisions

There are several decisions worthy of note:
  • Rifle is the primary offensive weapon. Sword / Warhorn is used for mobility, defense, and melee AOE. I recommend the Knight’s versions for Sword / Warhorn to provide Toughness
  • For gear, the primary stats are Power and Precision, secondarily Toughness, and Critical Damage last. In terms of stacking Critical Damage, the most efficient way of doing it is by slotting 6 x Exquisite Ruby Jewel. As a rule of thumb, for Crit builds for Warrior I aim for at least 50 Critical Damage, so that crits deal twice as much damage
  • I use Superior Sigil of Bloodlust on both weapons in the Sword / Warhorn set, so that I can speed-stack Bloodlust to 25. Each kill when I have this weapon set equipped provides 2 stacks of Bloodlust
  • The Berserker’s Power and Attack of Opportunity traits stack multiplicatively, i.e. at full Adrenaline and with a Bleed applied on the target, your damage increases by a multiplier of 1.232. With my gear set as of December 1st 2012, I have Critical Damage of 63, which means:
    • My crits deals 2.13 x normal damage (1.50 + 0.63)
    • At full Adrenaline and with a Bleed on the target, my crits deals 2.62 x normal damage (2.13 x 1.232). The multiplier is even higher for Kill Shot
  • I take the Deep Cuts trait to extend the duration of Bleeds, to increase uptime for Attack of Opportunity
  • The Inspiring Shouts trait enables you to fill up your Adrenaline bar while you are casting Kill Shot
  • The Mobile Strikes trait in the Discipline line enables Sword 2 (Savage Leap) to break Immobilize


  • Remember to swap to Sword / Warhorn when finishing a downed opponent, to gain the 2 stacks of Bloodlust, to be able to close the gap via Sword 2 if your opponent teleports, and for the additional Toughness
  • You have awesome in-combat mobility and you have 1200 range, so play accordingly. You ever watch a surfer? The wave never catches then, because they’re always just in front of it. You can “surf the zerg” by making good use of Sword 2, Warhorn 4, and Warhorn 5. I have kited zergs by myself for incredible distances just by staying in front of their forerunners
  • Whenever possible, make sure you have a Bleed on your target (e.g. with Rifle 1) before using Rifle 3 or Kill Shot, so that you benefit from Attack of Opportunity
  • Remember that you can stack 15 Vulnerability in 1 GCD, with Rifle 4 and “On My Mark!” which is incredible for friendly focus fire
  • If you want to be really anal about balancing Toughness and Critical Damage, consider the ratios of Toughness per Critical Damage for each slot. E.g. shoulders / gloves / boots have the lowest ratio at 17:1 followed by Amulet at 18:1, so if you want to increase Critical Damage at the expense of Toughness, consider those slots. I would personally not go below 2700 Armor with Rifle equipped


1. Did you consider using Greatsword instead of Sword / Warhorn?

Short answer: yes. From a practical standpoint, for WvW a Warrior gains substantial mobility with either set of weapons.
The reason I did not go with Greatsword is because it performs most effectively when you slot Physical (e.g. Bull’s Charge, Bolas) utilities and / or Frenzy, and the opportunity cost in terms of utility slots is too high for me.
I tried playing variants of Rifle / Hammer, and while those specs were fun, the bottom-line is that my escapability without a blade was pitifully low. Swiftness alone does not cut it. Even though I swapped to Warhorn out-of-combat for Warhorn 4′s Swiftness boon, I was still lacking the secret sauce of “Run and Gun”: high in-combat mobility.

2. What are the weaknesses of this build?

  1. It lacks sustained disabling CC
  2. Rifle is not a good sustained close-quarters weapon against a melee, as Rifle 3 will stop casting if an opponent breaks your frontal LoS. You can switch to Sword / Warhorn, but that set provides no disabling CC

3. What gear are you using?

Full set of crafted Exotic weapons and armor, 5 crafted Exotic trinkets, and a Rare backpiece. You can see the specific gear in the WvW Build Overview video below.

Narrated PVP Videos


WvW Build Overview

Revision History

  • 2012/12/03: initial version, edits for typos
By Taugrim


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