Guide to Guild Wars 2 Warrior “Captain Hammer” Build


Build Overview

This guide discusses my “Captain Hammer” build for GW2 Warrior. When I visualize a captain on the battlefield, I picture a leader bellowing orders, boosting the morale of those under his command, and serving as a rallying point. The name is also a tribute to Whedon’s hilarious Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

Stand back everyone, nothing here to see
Just imminent danger, in the middle of it, me
Yes, Captain Hammer’s here, hair blowing in the breeze
And the day needs my saving expertise

This build provides good AOE healing and AOE buffs via shouts, excellent sustained CC capability, high direct damage mitigation with 1810 toughness, damage that steadily increases over time (via stacking of might boons), and high uptime on Weakness debuffs. Therefore, this spec excels at supporting friendlies and “tanking” enemies in sPvP.

I came up with this build after reading an awesome thread by Vorsakan discussing Warrior healing on the GW2Guru Warrior forum. That got me theorycrafting about the possibilities for a shout-based Warrior.

For a more offensive and less support-oriented build that still provides good sustained CC, see my “Hammer Gun” build.

As people have often asked me how I come up with builds, I’ll walk you through my thinking process from start to finish.

Build Calculator and Gear

sPvP Build: http://www.intothemists.com/calc/?build=-ss-BC0-VKkN0_47L-60;9;6JTJ;409-57B39-S-F66;1ZF18ZF183Nx

Amulet + Jewel: Cleric’s + Cleric’s: 923 healing | 644 power | 644 toughness

Runes: 6 x Rune of the Soldier: 165 vitality| 50 toughness | shouts remove conditions

Sigils

  • Hammer and Mace mainhand: Superior Sigil of Battle You gain 3 stacks of might for 20s when you swap to this weapon while in combat. This is a good choice, given that the boons last 26s with this build and synergize with Empowered
  • Mace offhand: Superior Sigil of Bloodlust Power each time you kill a foe. (max 25 stacks and ends on down)

PVE Build: http://www.intothemists.com/calc/?build=-ss-70;0VKkN0_47L-60;9;49-TT-4;309A17B;1S-F6;2ZF18ZF183NP

For PVE, I replace Mace/Mace with Rifle, as some boss fights are much safer to manage from range, and the trait mix is 10/0/30/30/0 instead of 0/0/20/30/20. The reason I moved the 20 points out of Discipline is that weapon swaps in PVE do not matter to the same extent as in PVP. You can replace “Shake It Off!” with “On My Mark!” to support focus fire on bosses.

Thinking Through the Traits

When designing a build, I almost always start with a fundamental capability I want to feature in the build. In this case, it was shout-based healing.

The healing trait Vigorous Shouts is a 3rd tier trait in the Tactics lines, so to heal via shouts requires 30 points in Tactics. The 2nd tier trait is a no-brainer: Lung Capacity for the decreased shout cooldowns. For the 1st tier trait, I chose Empowered over Empowered Allies, as Empowered synergizes well with the multiple boons from shouts.

The Defense trait line provides toughness and compassion. Compassion is the heal-boosting stat, and toughness makes your self-healing last longer (more on this later). Therefore, the stats provided by Defense synergize well with the spec. The question is whether to go with 20, 25, or 30 points in Defense. In the 2nd tier of Defense, you can pick up the excellent trait Merciless Hammer, as the hammer is one of the best weapons in terms of CC in the game. I decided to use hammer for one weapon set and mace/mace for the other. These weapons provide 2 stuns, 2 knockdowns, a knockback, and sustained weakness condition application. This CC capability sounds like a great complement for a support build – you can control your target and debuff their damage while you and allies beat on them. I personally prefer Merciless Hammer over Sundering Mace, because the hammer provides 3 CCs to the mace’s 2.

Let’s look at the 3rd tier traits for Defense:

  • Defy Pain: activates Endure Pain at 25% health. This won’t be needed given the amount of healing and CC provided with this build
  • Spiked Armor: provides 5s of Retaliation when crit, with an internal cooldown of 15 seconds. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
  • Therefore, I decided not to invest in the 3rd tier traits for this spec and stop at 20 points

The two stuns are triggered from the burst abilities Earthshaker and Skull Crack, so it’s vital to build adrenaline as quickly as possible to maximize the stun duration when using those abilities. Therefore in the 1st tier of Defense I take Embrace the Pain, which builds adrenaline when you are hit.

That leaves 20 trait points left to invest, and I invested them in the Discipline tree to pick up the following traits

  • Warrior’s Sprint, which provides a movement increase when wielding melee weapons. This is an important selection, as the ranged capability of this spec is limited, so WS will help to close the gap to targets to melee them
  • Inspiring Shouts, which causes shouts to build adrenaline – about three-quarters of a bar
  • Fast Hands, which allows weapon swap every 5s instead of 10s

Thinking Through the Utility and Elite Skills

For the healing skill, Mending is a no-brainer. Ditto for Signet of Rage for the elite skill.

For the utilities, given that this is a shout-based spec, I slot 3 shouts:

  • “For Great Justice!” (FGJ) provides AOE boons for Fury and Might, and these buffs last 10s for Fury and 26s for Might given the 30 points in Tactics
  • “Shake It Off!” (SIO) provides AOE condition removal and a stun break
  • FGJ and SIO have a net 20-sec cooldown
  • For the 3rd trait, given the buff in BWE3 to “Fear Me!” it’s a great choice. Because the shout is instant cast with no weapon animation, you can use the fear bomb while using another ability or channel, such as reviving or finishing a target

Thinking Through the Gear Selection

In terms of gear, I want to focus on 3 primary stats – compassion (healing), toughness (mitigation), and power (direct damage) – and vitality (HP) as a secondary stat:

  • Compassion and toughness synergize well: you take less direct damage, so self-healing is more meaningful. To put it another way, high healing coupled with low toughness does not synergize well, since even though you heal for a lot you quickly lose that HP when taking damage
  • I don’t want this spec to be impotent in terms of damage, so while this is not a DPS spec, with some power stacked it can provide functional damage.

Given these 2 bullet points, the Cleric’s Amulet and Jewel fit well.

The 6-pc set bonus from the Runes of the Soldier provide awesome synergy with a shout-based spec, because each shout removes conditions.

With respect to Sigils, the crit-based ones are out of the question since this spec has the baseline low crit chance of 4%. Therefore, the stat bonus, weapon swap, and miscellaneous sigils are the only ones worth considering. This spec has a +30% duration to boons, so the Superior Sigil of Battle seemed like an attractive choice – in practice the build can sustain 10+ stacks of might via frequent weapon swaps. The Superior Sigil of Bloodlust enables you to build up to 250 Power from killing opponents.

Build Stats

  • HP: 23,022
  • Attack (Power): 2671 (1,560)
  • Crit Chance (Precision) | Crit Multiplier: 4% (916) | 1.7x
  • Armor (Toughness): 3,021 (1,810)
  • Healing: 1,123

Build Mechanics

The Vigorous Shouts trait heals for 1192 base + 80% compassion, so each shout AOE heals for 2090 HP. Keep in mind 2 of the shouts have a 20s cooldown. So we’re talking about good AOE sustained healing throughput.

Also, consider the incredible “GCD efficiency” for shouts with this spec (and yes I know there is no GCD in GW2, read on), i.e. look all what happens when you activate a shout:

  1. You AOE heal for 2090 HP
  2. You remove a condition (SIO also provides an AOE condition removal)
  3. You gain adrenaline – about three-quarters of a bar
  4. Obviously, you get the shout’s effects
  5. If the shout provides boons, you get bonus damage from Empowered

The shout-based mechanics for this build are a terrific example of what I call “synergistic mechanics”, i.e. there are a lot of mechanics that complement each other to provide a greater sum effect.

The crit % for the spec is a paltry 4%, which increases to 24% when the fury boon is up. Still, that’s a low crit chance. However, the damage with the spec increases over time with the Sigils of Superior Battle. Every time you swap weapons you stack 3 might (105 power) for 26 seconds, so in prolonged fighting it can sustain 10+ stacks of might just from SoSB and FGJ.

Narrated PVP Videos

Videos listed in reverse chronological order.

My first PVP video after launch, with this build in a 5v5 tourney finals match:


I describe the traits, gear selection, and mechanics of the spec and I provide illustrative gameplay footage from Structured PVP.

Revision History

  • 2013/02/18: updated to use Superior Sigil of Bloodlust on offhand Mace
  • 2012/12/03: added PVE build
  • 2012/10/01: updated build links to use intothemists.com’s calculator
  • 2012/09/24: minor edits throughout, in preparation of posting on official Warrior forum
  • 2012/09/01: added first post-launch video of a 5v5 tourney finals match
  • 2012/07/26: updated per BWE3. The two changes are 1. selecting Merciless Hammer, since the traits for hammer and mace were changed, and 2. selecting “Fear Me!” over “I Will Avenge You!”, as the fear bomb was buffed and provides significant control value
  • 2012/06/27: added 1st narrated video
  • 2012/06/21: based on feedback, I now know that the mace burst ability’s stun is capped at 2s not 4s. This was a nerf for BWE2. Given that, I decided to drop Unsuspecting Foe and transfer the 10 points in Arms to Discipline, to pick up Inspiring Shouts and Fast Hands. Given the shift in emphasis from stuns for the build, I also changed the offhand from Shield for Mace, for the additional knockdown and the vulnerability debuff.

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Posted in Guide, Guild Wars 2, PVP, Video, Warrior
101 comments on “Guide to Guild Wars 2 Warrior “Captain Hammer” Build
  1. EucridEucrow says:

    There is no “gcd” but isn’t the firing of an ability still subject to animation “follow through”? I mean I don’t think that I could hit buttons 1-4 and expect them all to fire at the same time(granted that they don’t have a cast time of course), with the possible exception of auto attack ability. It just sounds like a hidden “gcd” to me.

    • taugrim says:

      EucridEucrow :

      There is no “gcd” but isn’t the firing of an ability still subject to animation “follow through”? I mean I don’t think that I could hit buttons 1-4 and expect them all to fire at the same time(granted that they don’t have a cast time of course), with the possible exception of auto attack ability. It just sounds like a hidden “gcd” to me.

      Yes, you can functionally think of the animation as a hidden GCD.

      Maybe I should revise what I wrote and not use the term “GCD efficiency” even though I framed exactly what I meant and caveated that there is no GCD in GW2. Too many people will react to the words GCD without actually reading what I wrote.

      • EucridEucrow says:

        Yeah, when I saw that you said “and yes I know there is no GCD in GW2, read on” I got the impression that you were going to give a “general” explanation of “no gcd” to help “frame” your assertions. For someone that didn’t realize that there isn’t a traditional “gcd” in the game I got a bit confused till I looked it up. I assume the same might happen to someone else who reads that line and isn’t aware of there being no traditional “gcd” in Guild Wars 2.

        • taugrim says:

          EucridEucrow :

          Yeah, when I saw that you said “and yes I know there is no GCD in GW2, read on” I got the impression that you were going to give a “general” explanation of “no gcd” to help “frame” your assertions. For someone that didn’t realize that there isn’t a traditional “gcd” in the game I got a bit confused till I looked it up. I assume the same might happen to someone else who reads that line and isn’t aware of there being no traditional “gcd” in Guild Wars 2.

          Explaining what the lack of a GCD means would require its own post, really.

          Having animations determine the time between ability activations, along with ability cooldowns to throttle the usage, does work really well for helping to balance a game.

          In most games, since instant-cast abilities are instant, it’s difficult to counter them per se.

          Some of the more potent abilities, e.g. the Axe mainhand burst ability Eviscerate, have a windup before they land, which makes it possible to dodge or counter them.

          Note that I said that having animations does work well for helping to balance a game. That said, when animations are overly-coupled with self-rooting, which IMO is the case with TERA, then combat becomes herky-jerky.

          Whereas in GW2 some animations are usable on the run, while others self-root.

  2. EucridEucrow says:

    Did a bit of reading and it seems that auto attack has animation “follow through” as well and it might be advantageous in some ways to take spam attack “off” auto to avoid possible interference with “twitch” use of certain situational abilities or strategic applications of abilities at crucial times.

  3. CrzyAzn says:

    Real nice read on this build. You are making it more and more easier for me wanting to go Warrior as my first toon when GW releases. I did try your other build last BWE and loved it. I might have to try this one next just to see how it flows in game.

    • taugrim says:

      CrzyAzn :

      Real nice read on this build. You are making it more and more easier for me wanting to go Warrior as my first toon when GW releases. I did try your other build last BWE and loved it. I might have to try this one next just to see how it flows in game.

      Assuming the Captain Hammer build works, one of the things I enjoy most about playing a Warrior is the diversity of builds and playstyles that can be accomodated by 1 class.

  4. Richie "Bog Otter" Procopio says:

    Really interesting build. I like the potential I see in this a lot. It’s interesting in that opponents will see a warrior coming at them with a huge hammer and not necessarily expect them to be having such a big impact on the boon/condition and healing fronts. Do you intend on playing a warrior as your first character? I’ve been torn between warrior and elementalist myself.

    • taugrim says:

      Richie “Bog Otter” Procopio :

      Really interesting build. I like the potential I see in this a lot. It’s interesting in that opponents will see a warrior coming at them with a huge hammer and not necessarily expect them to be having such a big impact on the boon/condition and healing fronts. Do you intend on playing a warrior as your first character? I’ve been torn between warrior and elementalist myself.

      Hello Mr. Bog Otter,

      I thinking Warrior and Guardian as my first two classes. Guardian was underwhelming in BWE1 but in BWE2 they showed much better IMO. Both classes can be spec’d to be pretty durable, which appeals to me. And with Warrior you can pick a spec anywhere from glass cannon to tank.

      Elementalist was originally up there, but the trait tiering put a damper on some of my build ideas.

  5. Picpoc says:

    You might be interested in these two blog posts (not mine). They cover a similar idea in spec and might have some other ideas for you to consider.

    http://ad-gw2.blogspot.com/2012_05_01_archive.html

    It is from before Trait Tiers, but some of the ideas are the same.

    • taugrim says:

      Picpoc :

      You might be interested in these two blog posts (not mine). They cover a similar idea in spec and might have some other ideas for you to consider.

      http://ad-gw2.blogspot.com/2012_05_01_archive.html

      It is from before Trait Tiers, but some of the ideas are the same.

      I know Raggok (Oozo) all the way back in WAR. We both played Goblin Shamans on Black Rock for the RVR. He’s a very sharp player.

      It’s interesting to read how he came up with the MHS (Mace Hammer Shout) framework. I arrived at the same conclusion by starting with the healing aspect and working backwards to the weapons.

      • It’s not surprising that we will independently come up with similar core builds or have preferences towards similar classes since we both look for the same things.

        The cool thing about GW2 is that you can take a core idea and go in several different directions with it cusomizing it for your style of gameplay. I (personally) see the hammer/shout builds as bringing some group utility (shouts) but also causing disruption to enemy groups via the AoE knockbacks and knockdowns. I’d probably go even more in that direction and use the offhand mace. IIRC there is a trait that reduces cooldowns for both hammer and mace, but I haven’t checked its teir status recently.

        From playing against some hammer warriors this last BWE they have a bit of a weakness in that their moves are kind of “big” and therefore (relatively) easier to dodge or blind. That could make 1v1s a little frustrating, but it will still have great survivability. I think the hammer/shout build is going to do best in the middle of melee scrums where people won’t be able to easily see what is going on.

        That’s why I also prioritized weapon swapping and adrenaline gain. That way you can get off more knockdowns.

        • Ah yes, there it is. Blunt Weapon Master. If you really want to be a PITA you might want to try out mace/mace/hammer for the number 5 mace ability. :)

        • taugrim says:

          a.k.a. Oozo (@Raggok) :

          The cool thing about GW2 is that you can take a core idea and go in several different directions with it cusomizing it for your style of gameplay.

          Exactly. The degree of flexibility has taken a bit of a hit with the trait tiering, but there are still multiple options for a shout-healing build.

        • taugrim says:

          a.k.a. Oozo (@Raggok) :

          I (personally) see the hammer/shout builds as bringing some group utility (shouts) but also causing disruption to enemy groups via the AoE knockbacks and knockdowns. I’d probably go even more in that direction and use the offhand mace.

          Mace offhand is a good call, it synergizes with the mechanics and playstyle well.

          Given that people have clarified for me that Skull Crack has a max 2s duration, I made the decision to not emphasize stuns as much in the spec, so I switched from shield to mace for the offhand.

  6. d0mzilla says:

    Maybe a dumb question, but i played through both bwe but couldn`t figure out how to get other equipment/weapons beside the startequipment?!

    I want to give this spec a try cause i like tanky specs and (self)healing a lot…

    Big thanks for ur work Tau, from “good old Germany!” =)

    • easlingc says:

      When you arrive in the Mist, there are vendors that have to other starting weaps, equipment on them at 0 cost. I also noticed that in the PvP vault they were in there also (not sure if will still be the same at release, for the vault that is).

  7. Genkides says:

    Ed, I wanted to say I enjoy seeing you on GBTv. I appreciate your passion, knowledge and willingness to want to help and improve players in the pvp area.(its the same when I played volleyball. Games were more enjoyable when playing against equal or slightly better players. It was not fun against a team that could not keep up)
    I am not a huge pvp’er, but I did find WvW to fun , and want to actually do more sPvP in GW2 when it launches. I enjoy how you had your thinking process here. I look at the trait lines, the stats it affects, the skills, what they do……..then it becomes a clusterfudge in front of my eyes lol. I do not really theorycraft, or min/max for fear it will stop being “fun” or immersive and just become a numbers game to me. But I do appreciate how you can still be a good player and still have the Utility skills, and runes complement each other with out going to ‘deep’ into it. Does that make sense?
    I would ask how do you start with a build? I know you start with the profession. From there do you ask, or say, ” I want to lean more towards damage?” or ” I want to be strong from the front line or back line?” “more support?” Then do you look at what weapons complement that? Sorry for the questions.. I will stop there. :)
    Rich

    • taugrim says:

      Genkides :

      Ed, I wanted to say I enjoy seeing you on GBTv. I appreciate your passion, knowledge and willingness to want to help and improve players in the pvp area.(its the same when I played volleyball. Games were more enjoyable when playing against equal or slightly better players. It was not fun against a team that could not keep up)

      Thanks. I enjoy sharing information with others, it’s part of what makes me tick as a person. I dislike / detest unhelpful arrogance in real life and in games.

      Genkides :

      I do not really theorycraft, or min/max for fear it will stop being “fun” or immersive and just become a numbers game to me. But I do appreciate how you can still be a good player and still have the Utility skills, and runes complement each other with out going to ‘deep’ into it. Does that make sense?
      I would ask how do you start with a build? I know you start with the profession. From there do you ask, or say, ” I want to lean more towards damage?” or ” I want to be strong from the front line or back line?” “more support?” Then do you look at what weapons complement that? Sorry for the questions.. I will stop there. :)
      Rich

      The #1 thing about starting a build: find a mechanic that’s attractive to you. It might be a weapon set, or traits, whatever. Then build around it.

      E.g. for my Run and Gun build, I started with the premise of playing RDPS. Then I looked at traits that buffed Rifle performance. Then I decided to favor direct damage over condition damage. Etc.

      • Nick says:

        Love your view on helping people as I share a similar outlook especially when it comes to video games. I played a Guardian in Age of Conan named Lubu on Hyperborea and whenever anyone would ask me for build advice I’d gladly give it to them.

        Helping educate the community so they play at a higher level benefits everyone including yourself. Love the build by the way, I never thought of the self healing aspect but was falling in love with the hammer abilities alone. This is very reminiscent of a Warrior Priest in Warhammer Online IMO.

  8. The stun on Skull Crack was a 2 second max during the stress test (it got nerfed). Did they change it back to 4 seconds in BWE2?

    • taugrim says:

      a.k.a. Oozo (@Raggok) :

      The stun on Skull Crack was a 2 second max during the stress test (it got nerfed). Did they change it back to 4 seconds in BWE2?

      Others have said it’s 2s. So the tooltip on the calculator is out-of-date.

      The nerf seems reasonable. A 4s stun in this game is an eternity.

      At any rate, the decreased stun duration has caused me to re-evaluate the selection of Unsuspecting Foe as a trait. The other option I’ve been mulling over is moving the 10 points in Arms over to Discipline.

  9. Cinid says:

    “And these are not the hammer….The hammer is my penis”

  10. Trey says:

    I think there will be a number of builds that will do the healing shout warrior route.

    Lung Capacity + Vigorous shouts + the 3 shouts + Soldier Runes + Cleric Amulet is the part of the build that almost builds itself.

    What you do with the rest of the build is the more difficult question. You’ve steered away from a more pure support build with the choices of empowered, unsuspecting foe, blunt weapon master, and your choice of sigils. That’s fine but here are my quibbles / friendly criticisms:

    Taking an “on swap” sigil when you don’t have 15 points in Discipline for the -5 sec weapon swap is a bit questionable. Especially when the bonus it provides is a small bonus to power. You are already gaining might from “For Great Justice!” for empowered purposes.

    Unsuspecting foe seems good but its not like you have much of a bonus to crit damage (+10) and its not like you are setting up an eviscerate with a stun + adrenal combo- both your adrenals are heavy utility / low damage (relatively). You mostly stun by using your burst skills so you are setting up +crit on the normal weapon skills that follow.

    I’m not crazy about empowered because this warrior is sub-par damage wise (but not terrible) and will spend a smaller percentage of its time using damage abilities than your average warrior. So you are buffing slightly something you wont do as much and are below average at. A shout healer is all about group utility so if empowered allies doesn’t make sense in this build, it will in very few, if not none.

    I would think inspired shouts would need to make it into this build- especially since you get such high “utility” returns on the adrenaline you build. I like Warriors sprint as well so I think your build should ultimately be 20D/30T/20D (you can also get your fast weapon swap that way)

    Sigil suggestion to take advantage of your high compassion:

    http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Sigil_of_Superior_Water

    30% chance to Heal nearby allies. (This effect cannot trigger more than once every 10s)

    I get it that you are making a hybrid support character rather than a pure support character, I just think that is probably a mistake. You committed to a group dependent toon when you decided to make a shout healer. Spending your remaining trait points on survivability/utility so you can keep pumping out the healing and condition removal is probably a better use of your points in my opinion.

    • taugrim says:

      Trey :

      Taking an “on swap” sigil when you don’t have 15 points in Discipline for the -5 sec weapon swap is a bit questionable. Especially when the bonus it provides is a small bonus to power. You are already gaining might from “For Great Justice!” for empowered purposes.

      Getting 105 power for 26 seconds on weapon swap is a very good mechanic IMO. Certainly you’ll get more mileage out of it to the extent you’re able to swap weapons.

      Trey :

      Unsuspecting foe seems good but its not like you have much of a bonus to crit damage (+10) and its not like you are setting up an eviscerate with a stun + adrenal combo- both your adrenals are heavy utility / low damage (relatively). You mostly stun by using your burst skills so you are setting up +crit on the normal weapon skills that follow.

      Understood.

      I considered dropping the 10 points in Arms to go 20 into Discipline, to pick up the adrenaline on shout trait (Inspiring Shouts) and Fast Hands along the way.

      EDIT: with the other feedback that the mace burst ability stun is capped at 2s not 4s, there’s even less reason to take Unsuspecting Foe. So I moved the points in Arms to Discipline.

      Trey :

      I’m not crazy about empowered because this warrior is sub-par damage wise (but not terrible)

      None of the traits in the 1st tier of Tactics, aside from Empowered Allies, really jumps out at me.

      This spec has multiple different rolling boons, and I’ll be curious to see what the return is from Empowered. I’ll have to test next BWE.

      Trey :

      will spend a smaller percentage of its time using damage abilities than your average warrior.

      That is somewhat debatable.

      The shouts not only buff, they heal and clear conditions, and the spec has very good mitigation and high CC. So compared to other specs it may have greater uptime on attack abilities without having to use the healing skill or condition-removing abilities. Maybe.

      Trey :

      I would think inspired shouts would need to make it into this build- especially since you get such high “utility” returns on the adrenaline you build. I like Warriors sprint as well so I think your build should ultimately be 20D/30T/20D (you can also get your fast weapon swap that way)

      Understood and agreed.

      Trey :

      Sigil suggestion to take advantage of your high compassion:
      http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Sigil_of_Superior_Water
      30% chance to Heal nearby allies. (This effect cannot trigger more than once every 10s)

      From what I’ve read, the SoSW heal amount is pretty low, e.g. it’s a few hundred, but it is another AOE heal. I’m not clear what the Compassion contribution is for the heal. Another option is the Sigil of Superior Leeching, which can provide a 1k self-heal for the next attack after weapon swap.

      Trey :

      I get it that you are making a hybrid support character rather than a pure support character, I just think that is probably a mistake. You committed to a group dependent toon when you decided to make a shout healer. Spending your remaining trait points on survivability/utility so you can keep pumping out the healing and condition removal is probably a better use of your points in my opinion.

      You can choose to be a pure buffbot/healbot with Vigorous shouts if you want to, but I don’t know that that’s the *only* viable route.

      Keep in mind that there is such a thing as being too supporty – e.g. if you lack the offensive capability to outdamage an opponent’s self-healing and survivability, especially if the two of you are the last opponents standing or at a node.

      I also am very curious to see how Sigil of Superior Battle works with frequent weapon swaps and the 30% boon durations. If there is no cooldown for SoSB, it may be possible to stack up hundreds of power sustainably (e.g. mightx6 or even mightx9).

      I’m going to test in the next BWE.

      • The adrenaline gain from switching weapons was quite significant during the Stress Test. The adrenaline gain from the shouts was “meh.” HOWEVER, I’m fairly certain they buffed the shout adrenaline gain in BWE2 to be definitely worthwhile. The passive adrenaline gain from the signet was pretty good as well.

        Emphasizing adrenaline gain and weapon swapping is really strong IMO with the hammer/mace control and the healing from shouts. I think you will be happy with it. :)

      • I had the passive healing sigils on my one hand weapons and a sigil that gave me a heal on the next hit after a weapon swap on my hammer. That healed for 975. That’s pretty good especially if you have a build that allows for a lot of weapon swapping.

        You can get a pretty good idea of the adrenaline gain from weapon swap, shouts (not so hot), and the signet passive from the last part of my movie. You’ll also see the passive healing from adrenaline and weapon sigils.

        I was messing around with reflected block damage but I’d really like to see how this does with mace/mace/hammer.

        • Ah crap, the time stamp didn’t work. Just to about 7:38 in the movie. It’s a fight against a necro and you can see pretty much everything that’s been discussed above.

  11. Genkides says:

    The #1 thing about starting a build: find a mechanic that’s attractive to you. It might be a weapon set, or traits, whatever. Then build around it.
    E.g. for my Run and Gun build, I started with the premise of playing RDPS. Then I looked at traits that buffed Rifle performance. Then I decided to favor direct damage over condition damage. Etc.

    Thanks so much for your reply. Its a very simple way to look at it. Compared to trying to look at everything at once.

    • taugrim says:

      Genkides :

      Thanks so much for your reply. Its a very simple way to look at it. Compared to trying to look at everything at once.

      Exactly. The latter approach is overwhelming. We’ve all experienced that feeling as new players to GW2 when stepping into the Mists and having everything unlocked.

      K.I.S.S. FTW

  12. Hanshotfirst says:

    It’s like you read my mind. As much as I thoroughly enjoyed your “run & gun” spec (and thanks again for turning me on to how fun the warrior class is), I still missed my good ‘ole hammer. Wish I could sort out a solid build of both hammer and rifle, but they don’t seem to synergize well. I’ll have to try this in the next stress test.

    Off topic: any idea what server you’ll choose for launch? I definitely want you on my side! :)

    • taugrim says:

      Hanshotfirst :

      It’s like you read my mind. As much as I thoroughly enjoyed your “run & gun” spec (and thanks again for turning me on to how fun the warrior class is), I still missed my good ‘ole hammer. Wish I could sort out a solid build of both hammer and rifle, but they don’t seem to synergize well. I’ll have to try this in the next stress test.

      I don’t see why you couldn’t run 0/30/25/0/15, or something with 0/30/20/0/0 base, so that you get the two key traits for Rifle and the cooldown reduction for Hammer.

      Hanshotfirst :

      Off topic: any idea what server you’ll choose for launch? I definitely want you on my side! :)

      We’ll announce right before or on the launch day where we end up rolling. There isn’t a concern of 2-faction population imbalance like there was with SWTOR.

  13. Picpoc says:

    Some interesting warrior trait testing in this video. Not all apply to this spec, but I think good info to have regardless.

    • taugrim says:

      Picpoc :

      Some interesting warrior trait testing in this video. Not all apply to this spec, but I think good info to have regardless.

      I agree with Moldran that Warrior’s Sprint, the 10% run speed buff, is important to consider for a melee spec. Some people argue that it’s only 10%, but sometimes that’s all you need to stay in frequent melee range of a target.

      The trait I’m not sure of is Inspiring Shouts. If it’s underwhelming, I may drop 5 points in Discipline and add 5 to Defense, to pick up the 25-pointer and additional toughness and healing. That way I still have Fast Hands for the weapon swappage.

  14. Arasis says:

    I love how this build can function in both sPvP and WvW too some degree, the fact shouts remove conditions is Insanely strong against several builds, also the spec would be quite an annoyance too kill without some focus fire on your side.

    Also found a VERY detailed build calculator
    @ http://www.gw2build.com/builds/simulator.php

    Lets you pick traits/weapons and equipment runes and such.

    • taugrim says:

      Arasis :

      I love how this build can function in both sPvP and WvW too some degree, the fact shouts remove conditions is Insanely strong against several builds, also the spec would be quite an annoyance too kill without some focus fire on your side.

      This build should work well for sPvP.

      The build will only work in WvW if there’s the opportunity to melee. If not, I’d have to swap a weapon set out for a Rifle or Longbow.

      The synergy for the build for shouts is really strong. 1 shout = 4-5 positive effects. I’m a big fan of condition removal. This build provides counters to both condition damage and direct damage builds.

      The main weakness for the build is the lack of ranged capability / ability to close gaps, but you can’t have everything, and at least this build can face-tank while trying to close the gap.

      Arasis :

      Also found a VERY detailed build calculator
      @ http://www.gw2build.com/builds/simulator.php

      Lets you pick traits/weapons and equipment runes and such.

      Yea the real-time stats calculation is a great feature. This is probably the best of the many calculators that are out there.

      One limitation is that if you share a build, there seems to be no way to modify it.

  15. Sasha says:

    Why not Dwayna rune for better healing , Tau ?

    • taugrim says:

      Sasha :

      Why not Dwayna rune for better healing , Tau ?

      Classic tradeoff decision.

      Dwayna = more healing
      Soldier = more condition removal

      I try to limit weaknesses with a spec, so I favor Soldier for that reason.

  16. treyalsup says:

    Like the changes!

  17. Chandalen says:

    As a build I have to say its very fun from what I’ve played, but I wanted to address a few things in this build that seem to go against the current theorycrafting ideas regarding stats (e.g. that toughness and might stacking are very ineffective).

    In many builds toughness is not effective, but 39% mitigation from toughness of non-condition damage (damage reduction from toughness is calculated as damage * (1853 / (Toughness + Armor)) according to http://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/v3bxg/math_might_vulnerability_and_toughness_isnt_good/, meaning this build takes 61% of the incoming damage) and such high health and focus on removing conditions, it actually seems to becoming very strong here.

    As far as the might stacking goes, it seems effective in this case, but math to back it up would be nice. Every stack of might gives 35 power, but every ability has a power coefficient, meaning most abilities only gain a small fraction of your characters power (usually <1/2). I haven't tested the coefficients for warriors, and would love to see the math behind it or test it myself to see if this could be further optimized. A pro might-stacking argument for this build would be that you aren't actually losing much to build for might stacking and you still have plenty of tankiness and support, and another good argument would be that changing out to more crit/damage oriented sigils such as the sigil of air (which are usually a stronger choice) would take away more from the tankiness and healing capabilities of this build than might stacking. From what I've played with it and from what I've seen of it in the video it is a very effective and fun build, but it never hurts to optimize further.

    Also, I think we need an engineer build for dr. horrible, and maybe a water-focused elementalist build for moist.

    • taugrim says:

      Chandalen :

      As a build I have to say its very fun from what I’ve played, but I wanted to address a few things in this build that seem to go against the current theorycrafting ideas regarding stats (e.g. that toughness and might stacking are very ineffective).

      In many builds toughness is not effective, but 39% mitigation from toughness of non-condition damage (damage reduction from toughness is calculated as damage * (1853 / (Toughness + Armor)) according to http://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/v3bxg/math_might_vulnerability_and_toughness_isnt_good/, meaning this build takes 61% of the incoming damage) and such high health and focus on removing conditions, it actually seems to becoming very strong here.

      It’s interesting you mention that. Some players believe that stats such as toughness and might do not matter much, nor do debuffs such as vulnerability. In my testing against target dummies and against the Profession NPCs, they do all seem to matter.

      Chandalen :

      As far as the might stacking goes, it seems effective in this case, but math to back it up would be nice. Every stack of might gives 35 power, but every ability has a power coefficient, meaning most abilities only gain a small fraction of your characters power (usually <1/2). I haven’t tested the coefficients for warriors, and would love to see the math behind it or test it myself to see if this could be further optimized. A pro might-stacking argument for this build would be that you aren’t actually losing much to build for might stacking and you still have plenty of tankiness and support, and another good argument would be that changing out to more crit/damage oriented sigils such as the sigil of air (which are usually a stronger choice) would take away more from the tankiness and healing capabilities of this build than might stacking. From what I’ve played with it and from what I’ve seen of it in the video it is a very effective and fun build, but it never hurts to optimize further.

      Power seems to scale damage for abilities fairly linearly from some charts I’ve seen online, so I think Might stacking via weapon swaps with the 30% boon duration is a great mechanic for this spec. At some points in my 1st CH video, I was getting up to 17 stacks of Might, which is almost 600 power.

      Chandalen :

      Also, I think we need an engineer build for dr. horrible, and maybe a water-focused elementalist build for moist.

      ROFL.

  18. Kokorae says:

    First off, I want to say that I fell in love with this build the moment I saw it, kind of reminds me of the Shouting Barbarian from Diablo 2 (though more support based). My biggest question is would this build function well in PvE situations as well as PvP? The amount of healing going out from shouts seems very beneficial for dungeons especially, where there is a lot of damage going out on everyone at once. While this build certainly won’t be doing top damage, it seems to have the crowd control and survivability to be able to ‘tank’ mobs just fine, at least at higher levels.

    • taugrim says:

      Kokorae :

      My biggest question is would this build function well in PvE situations as well as PvP? The amount of healing going out from shouts seems very beneficial for dungeons especially, where there is a lot of damage going out on everyone at once. While this build certainly won’t be doing top damage, it seems to have the crowd control and survivability to be able to ‘tank’ mobs just fine, at least at higher levels.

      My short answer is yes, I believe this spec would fare fine in PVE.

      What I do wonder is whether banner-based healing might give better overall throughput, since fights against mobs don’t tend to involve as much movement.

      The CC would certainly help to limit damage to you and friendlies.

  19. Kunji says:

    Thanks so much for the pro advice, I find that a lot of these elite players never seem to share their ‘Secrets’ with anyone unless it’s one of those buy ‘blah blah super guide books for $999 and get some crap free…” garbage. I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge, and for someone like me that isn’t too smart nor has too much patience this is a fantastic, quick concise way of educating players how to understand class builds and general introduction into theory crafting. (your video and blog). Now I can just dive right in and do some testing, fun stuff!

    please keep it up! i enjoy your content!

    quick q, ‘Vigorous shouts’ – “shouts heal” …description is a little vague, does it heal allies only or both you and allies?

    ty

    • taugrim says:

      Kunji :

      Thanks so much for the pro advice, I find that a lot of these elite players never seem to share their ‘Secrets’ with anyone unless it’s one of those buy ‘blah blah super guide books for $999 and get some crap free…” garbage. I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge, and for someone like me that isn’t too smart nor has too much patience this is a fantastic, quick concise way of educating players how to understand class builds and general introduction into theory crafting. (your video and blog). Now I can just dive right in and do some testing, fun stuff!

      You are very welcome, and thanks for taking the time to write.

      It’s funny you mention this. I saw a video on YouTube the other day by an Elementalist player, and in the description of the video he wrote:

      “My build can be easily found by paying close attention to the video. Don’t be lazy! :p”

      What an ass.

      This is a new game, and people are either trying to share information with other players, or they are not.

      I fall squarely in the first camp, with this and every game I play, because I see the value in sharing information, and I don’t feel threatened if other people know how I am playing.

      Kunji :

      quick q, ‘Vigorous shouts’ – “shouts heal” …description is a little vague, does it heal allies only or both you and allies?

      It heals both you and your allies.

      This is partly what makes this build work in both a group and solo setting.

      • Kunji says:

        It heals both you and your allies.
        This is partly what makes this build work in both a group and solo setting.

        As much as that makes me giddy, i must say comparing him to your guardian build it makes the warrior seem alot more powerful, as well as being more approachable in terms of customizing viable builds. I have a bad feeling arena net will de-power the warrior to some extent in the next beta :( (especially since it seems all other class players are moaning about i) It Will be interesting to see how they change things. I do worry about class balance throughout especially for the long term i hate when devs suddenly release a new patch making current/previous builds/tactics gameplay style completely useless. I hope they’ll able to think things through properly and provide great longevity when it comes to class v class and keep consistency high. This also seems to be one of the major reasons why mmo’s can’t keep players active..they just get despondent, pack up and leave. (fingers crossed doesn’t happen)

        Anyway I’m gonna be pushy and say this (lol)..once guild wars 2 releases i hope you keep making tonnes of videos, I showed my guild (casual players) and some friends and they also learned enjoyed alot from you content!

        20th july..more importanly 25th of august…can’t come soon enough.

        • taugrim says:

          Kunji :

          As much as that makes me giddy, i must say comparing him to your guardian build it makes the warrior seem alot more powerful, as well as being more approachable in terms of customizing viable builds. I have a bad feeling arena net will de-power the warrior to some extent in the next beta :( (especially since it seems all other class players are moaning about i)

          Keep in mind that I am more experienced with Warrior mechanics than Guardian. I have a list of changes to make to my Guardian spec, and another spec I want to test.

          Also, I do not make use of the mechanics for my Warrior builds that are causing the complaining. I don’t run an Eviscerate burst spec nor a Greatsword Hundred Blades spec.

          I’m not worried. Even if those things are nerfed, it won’t meaningfully impact builds I’m already looking at.

  20. Kunji says:

    taugrim :

    Kunji :

    Keep in mind that I am more experienced with Warrior mechanics than Guardian. I have a list of changes to make to my Guardian spec, and another spec I want to test.
    Also, I do not make use of the mechanics for my Warrior builds that are causing the complaining. I don’t run an Eviscerate burst spec nor a Greatsword Hundred Blades spec.
    I’m not worried. Even if those things are nerfed, it won’t meaningfully impact builds I’m already looking at.

    If i was a betting man, i also expect the no brainer Eviscerate combo to be slightly nerfed, (its bloody boring and actually quite risky)i but i do hope the rest of the other warrior mechanics stay intact they seem perfectly balanced.

    The more i read on forums and more pvp vids i see, players seem to take one side of the spectrum i.e total def or total damage it’s as if they really want to focus in one area and serve a purpose. But as Arena net has stated time and again the ‘holy trinity’ is over with, each class can do many things at once, and this further encourages and supports Theory crafting of more Balanced builds like the ones you’ve showed. I used to run a cc tank with some avg damage and avg defense in Rift, it weren’t as strong as other tanks but had far greater flexibility in different situations when in pvp. Because of this i always found in warfronts id place quite high on the scoreboards not the best but definitely never below half at a very consistent rate. And in solo roaming well..it was never about the one who kills the quickest but more about attrition and longevity.

    Point being i think imo GW2 will be like the quake 3 arena of mmo’s, old school brawls no instant head shots like cod. The player that can keep up concentration and and be on their toes at all times will come out on top. Super focused builds just leaves way too much vulnerability in other areas. Alot of mmo players are not used to that but i Certainly favour it.

  21. Niddi says:

    Hi Ed. Will you update this build or didn’t you have a chance to test it in BEW3?

  22. taugrim says:

    Updated the Guide per BWE3.

    The two changes:
    1. selecting Merciless Hammer, since the traits for hammer and mace were changed, and
    2. selecting “Fear Me!” over “I Will Avenge You!”, as the fear bomb was buffed and provides significant control value

  23. Gant says:

    You all still seeing this as a viable Warrior build?

  24. 4powells says:

    Gant :
    You all still seeing this as a viable Warrior build?

    Disregard, for some reason I didn’t see Taugrim’s response to Niddi when I posted.

  25. Akha says:

    I guess now the question is to either use new Healing Signet or stick to Mending…

    The regen provided by HS is really nice now, but then when you use it, you do not regen any HPs for 16-20 seconds. Having ‘Restorative Strength’ and ‘Signet Mastery’ would further improve the HS, but who has the trait points to spare :)

    • taugrim says:

      Akha :

      I guess now the question is to either use new Healing Signet or stick to Mending…

      The regen provided by HS is really nice now, but then when you use it, you do not regen any HPs for 16-20 seconds. Having ‘Restorative Strength’ and ‘Signet Mastery’ would further improve the HS, but who has the trait points to spare :)

      I’m sticking with Mending. The condition removal is really important.

  26. [...] For more information on the “Captain Hammer” Warrior build, please see the Guide. [...]

  27. Alex Quigley says:

    So now that theres a capt hammer build, we need a Dr Horrible Engineer build too!

  28. Jacob Wilson says:

    With weapon switch dropped down to 5 seconds, is there necessarily a reason to have hammer or mace traited for 20% quicker recharge rate?

    My thoughts are this. Why not fluidly switch weapons while skills are recharging? Instead of traiting hammer/mace, you could add last stand or turtle’s defense for more survavibility without losing much damage potential.

    Any thoughts?

    • taugrim says:

      Jacob Wilson :

      With weapon switch dropped down to 5 seconds, is there necessarily a reason to have hammer or mace traited for 20% quicker recharge rate?

      It’s 5 seconds with Fast Hands on live. FH is still must-have IMO.

  29. Geist says:

    Hey Taug, love the videos. Through swtor and gw2 your I’ve found your commentary very valuable. So, I just wanted to share with you what I developed based on this. I tried the cpt hammer build and found that I LOVED the extra survivability in pug pvp where you cannot depend on your teammates. BUt, i found myself missing my gsword and moved the 20 pt from def to arms for 20%cd on gsword abilities and 50% to crit on stun for shield stun eviscerate combo as my other set. It still has great survivability but with an offensive bite given by the gsword’s gap closing/escape capabilities and the awesome burst eviscerate of the axe. Thx, btw love the cpt hammer build it is very fun and effective.

  30. Leonim13 says:

    If the “Captain Hammer” Warrior Build valid for the release?

    • taugrim says:

      Leonim13 :

      If the “Captain Hammer” Warrior Build valid for the release?

      Oh, absolutely.

      I’m putting the finishing touches on my first post-launch PVP video featuring the CH spec from a tourney finals win.

  31. [...] For detailed information on the spec’s mechanics / traits / gear, please see the Guide to “Captain Hammer” Warrior Build. [...]

  32. taugrim says:

    Added 5v5 tourney video. Enjoy.

  33. Daniel Rubin says:

    Taugrim for the record I just tried the captain hammer build, and destroyed everything. I was a one man point holding machine. The heals never stop. Shouts are the way to go. Great build keep doing what your doing!

    • taugrim says:

      Daniel Rubin :

      Taugrim for the record I just tried the captain hammer build, and destroyed everything. I was a one man point holding machine. The heals never stop. Shouts are the way to go. Great build keep doing what your doing!

      Glad to hear Captain Hammer worked for you!

  34. Thanks a lot for the guide, it is really well done! Also, perhaps it might be handy to have a short section about how you engage a fight. For example with what weapon you start out with depending on what situation and what abilities are prioritized. I often find this the most important as the first seconds of a fight are the most important ones and as this spec focuses on taking control of the fight it’d be nice to have your perspective on how you prioritize certain abilities and skills depending on certain situations. It would make the written guide a bit more complete :)

    • taugrim says:

      Ruud Koorevaar :

      Also, perhaps it might be handy to have a short section about how you engage a fight. For example with what weapon you start out with depending on what situation and what abilities are prioritized. I often find this the most important as the first seconds of a fight are the most important ones and as this spec focuses on taking control of the fight it’d be nice to have your perspective on how you prioritize certain abilities and skills depending on certain situations. It would make the written guide a bit more complete :)

      I’ve added this to my To Do list.

      I’m buried between my corporate job and RL work, and I have another Guide to write, so please be bear with me until I have the time to update this one.

  35. Frakko says:

    Mr T, I love you man, this build is so awesome. who cares about big crits its standing in the heat and you are the last one standing that counts. very nice guide.

  36. J Mo says:

    Curious why you use the maces over the axes? With an axe you have the throw axe capability which does -50% speed to an enemy allowing another way to catch those blasted kiters.

    • taugrim says:

      J Mo :

      Curious why you use the maces over the axes? With an axe you have the throw axe capability which does -50% speed to an enemy allowing another way to catch those blasted kiters.

      Maces provide a stun, a knockdown in a straight line, and a daze. Axes have zero CC.

  37. Captain_Hammer_Copycat says:

    Thanks Taugrim for a great warrior build, Your play style is much like my own, shut down opposition and heal others, I loved this build as I started reading through it and once I used it i noticed instantly that it was really great. Hopefully they won’t nerf it.

    • taugrim says:

      Captain_Hammer_Copycat :

      Thanks Taugrim for a great warrior build, Your play style is much like my own, shut down opposition and heal others, I loved this build as I started reading through it and once I used it i noticed instantly that it was really great. Hopefully they won’t nerf it.

      I don’t think “Captain Hammer” is problematic from a balance perspective.

      There are limitations for the spec, including:
      1. almost no ranged capability
      2. low crit rate
      3. no stability

      It’s a very strong spec but not imbalanced IMO.

      • Captain_Hammer_Copycat says:

        I don’t think it is imbalanced either, but the amount of CC, might draw attention from QQers, my comment comes from experience with other games where CC has been nerfed and nerfed.

  38. Captain_Hammer_Copycat says:

    would you make changes to use this build in structured pvp outside tournament setting?

  39. Captain_Hammer_Copycat says:

    I’m thinking maybe this will work real good in dungeons too, I will try it out once I’m higher level

  40. Leda says:

    Nice build.

    I just want to ask you about earrings and rings. What do you preconize to play that build everytime?
    I enjoy to play that build in team, it allows a lot of things, thank you.

    I’m sorry for my bad english.

    • taugrim says:

      Leda :

      Nice build.

      I just want to ask you about earrings and rings. What do you preconize to play that build everytime?
      I enjoy to play that build in team, it allows a lot of things, thank you.

      I’m sorry for my bad english.

      I’d stick with items that have similar stats to the Cleric set. So Healing, Power, and Toughness.

  41. Captain_Hammer_Copycat says:

    Played this in WvW yesterday. At lvl 66 I could only go 30 points in tactics 10 in discipline and 16 in defense. However, despite not having all the traits I could still heal for 1,8k with the shouts and had about 26k hp and 1,8k toughness. Even though I thought my shouts and heals had some part in helping the team, only having that amount of toughness turns you into a moving brickwall. a moving brickwall that stuns and knocks back, and that just helped us get so many kills. Thanks again!

    • taugrim says:

      Captain_Hammer_Copycat :

      Played this in WvW yesterday. At lvl 66 I could only go 30 points in tactics 10 in discipline and 16 in defense. However, despite not having all the traits I could still heal for 1,8k with the shouts and had about 26k hp and 1,8k toughness. Even though I thought my shouts and heals had some part in helping the team, only having that amount of toughness turns you into a moving brickwall. a moving brickwall that stuns and knocks back, and that just helped us get so many kills. Thanks again!

      Glad to hear the spec worked well for you!

      For open field WvW, you may want to check out Hammer Gun, the spec I posted today:

      http://taugrim.com/2012/09/15/guild-wars-2-hammer-gun-warrior-build/

  42. [...] CC capability. For this reason when I’m on my Warrior, I’ve often played my “Captain Hammer” spec, because it provides sustained CC capability and it provides meaningful group [...]

  43. [...] and it works effectively in WvW and is solid in sPvP. For tournaments, I recommend either my “Captain Hammer” support/CC spec or the “Hammer Gun” DPS/CC spec, as those specs bring more CC to [...]

  44. [...] “Captain Hammer” (CH) lacks sufficient DPS to apply meaningful pressure [...]

  45. Matthen says:

    I watched the vids and read the guide. This is a very entertaining spec, and it matches the way I like to try to play. I have a question regarding the use of mace/mace.

    Ever thought of using axe/mace as your secondary?… It has a leap burst (for closing), a ranged cripple, short CD’s on the 2-3 so you know that skills are up when you swap weapons, and some potential synergies with weaken. Mainhand mace has always seemed uncomfortably slow to me. Watching your vids, it seems like you mostly switch from hammer to land offhand mace 5. The latest version of the spec doesn’t enhance mace damage… so there appears to be some room to mess around with weapon choice.

    Anyway, I am messing around with a captain hammer concept mixing in axe/mace, but I am pretty inexperienced with the game mechanics. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    • taugrim says:

      Matthen :

      Ever thought of using axe/mace as your secondary?… It has a leap burst (for closing), a ranged cripple, short CD’s on the 2-3 so you know that skills are up when you swap weapons, and some potential synergies with weaken. Mainhand mace has always seemed uncomfortably slow to me. Watching your vids, it seems like you mostly switch from hammer to land offhand mace 5. The latest version of the spec doesn’t enhance mace damage… so there appears to be some room to mess around with weapon choice.

      Mainhand Mace burst ability, Mace 3, and Mace 2 are all good tools. You are right, when I swap weapons I usually hit Mace 5 first.

      Going with Axe instead of Mace really depends on what you’re trying to do. As you noted, Axe gets the ranged snare.

      Captain Hammer is really about high control and support. If you want to trade control for more damage, then Axe/Mace is a reasonable way to go.

  46. Sean says:

    Hey the spec is working well in sPvP for the most part. Hunters w/ stability and thieves with their vanish give me some trouble at times. I was wondering if Trading Mace/Mace for Axe/Warhorn would be good. It would add eviscerate burst, speed buff, an extra slow, vigor, and weakness.

    • taugrim says:

      Sean :

      Hey the spec is working well in sPvP for the most part. Hunters w/ stability and thieves with their vanish give me some trouble at times. I was wondering if Trading Mace/Mace for Axe/Warhorn would be good. It would add eviscerate burst, speed buff, an extra slow, vigor, and weakness.

      Mace/Mace to Axe/Warhorn would be a pretty steep loss of CC. I’d just go with Rifle instead as the 2nd weapon set. Or Axe/Shield or Axe/Mace.

  47. Great videos. Your captain hammer inspired my own general purpose sPvP/ WvW build http://gw2skills.net/editor/en/?fIEQJASUncOk8YzDSBxEZAA9QLu2SVAu0jyQLNA;TwAgzCmoyyklILbWuskZtKYUwpgXBA

    thoughts?

    • Matt says:

      I am not an expert, but in case my feedback helps… I am working toward a very similar build in PvE. The difference is that I am leaning towards 25 in defense and 15 in tactics.

      With the caveat that I don’t have much PvP experience, I think you are losing a bit of control by not having fast weapon swap (15 pts in discipline). This lets you swap from hammer to rifle and back, and still consistently use the hammer burst right on it’s 10sec CD. I find that, without fast weapon swap, I am frequently waiting to switch back to hammer for the big stun (or blast combo finisher in PvE).

      Hopefully T will weigh in on this, as I am also interested in his opinion.

  48. Psychrome says:

    hey taugrim this is Psychrome from Swtor and i have also moved to GW2 and i recently tried out this build and my only question is:

    since you are almost always at full adreniline why not go with healing surge as opposed to mending?

    with all the condition removal built in to shouts and such why not go for a burstier heal, since there are some extremely bursty thieves out there its nice to have a heal for 9k which is almost half your hp. can really save a point if you get jumped by multiple targets as well. and since i havent spent alot of times in tourneys my experience is mostly in hot join matches. perhaps in tourneys mending will be better and during pug groups you end up with more glass cannon builds that can really take you out of a fight quick if anything is on cool down.

    anyhow as always i love your commentary and i think this is an awesome build so far thanks for your commentary and advice!!

    • taugrim says:

      Psychrome :

      since you are almost always at full adreniline why not go with healing surge as opposed to mending?

      with all the condition removal built in to shouts and such why not go for a burstier heal, since there are some extremely bursty thieves out there its nice to have a heal for 9k which is almost half your hp. can really save a point if you get jumped by multiple targets as well. and since i havent spent alot of times in tourneys my experience is mostly in hot join matches. perhaps in tourneys mending will be better and during pug groups you end up with more glass cannon builds that can really take you out of a fight quick if anything is on cool down.

      Sustained condition removal is valuable IMO. 2 of the 3 shouts that I slot have a relatively low cooldown, but the 3rd one is quite long.

  49. Matthen says:

    I used Captain Hammer as the basis of my PvE leveling build (from about 15 to 80). There may be faster ways to level, but I have a hard time imagining one that is more fun. Overall Taug has done a very good job thinking this through.

    Two PvE playing tips:

    1. Fill your pack alternative secondary weapons to swap in for mace/mace. This will allow you to adapt to most situations. In addition to mace/mace, my favorite secondaries are rifle, axe/mace, axe/shield, and mace/shield. These all mesh well with the build.

    2. Hammer/rifle works well against bosses. If your opponents are not stunnable, use hammer primarily to weaken, cripple, and finish blast/whirl combos. Good combo finishing can be as effective as the interrupts.

    Two potential tweaks to the build:

    1. Try swapping in Signet Mastery for Warrior’s Sprint. With +30% boon duration you can practically spam Signet of Rage for ~9sec downtime on the swiftness and might buffs. With frequent use of FGJ, you’ll have fury up all the time (as it stacks in duration). After trying this, I never went back to Warrior Sprint.

    2. The sigil choices in the blog entry may need to be updated. It seems ike the dual wield “on swaps” don’t proc together. I’m still testing this (and alternative) combos. If you are playing this build in PvE, I would suggest buying the major sigils and experimenting with them before dropping the gold on superior ones.

    Great work, Taug. Happy Hunting.

    • taugrim says:

      Matthen :

      2. Hammer/rifle works well against bosses. If your opponents are not stunnable, use hammer primarily to weaken, cripple, and finish blast/whirl combos. Good combo finishing can be as effective as the interrupts.

      Excellent tip. As you wrote before that, sometimes swapping mace/mace for another weapon set makes sense.

      Matthen :

      1. Try swapping in Signet Mastery for Warrior’s Sprint. With +30% boon duration you can practically spam Signet of Rage for ~9sec downtime on the swiftness and might buffs. With frequent use of FGJ, you’ll have fury up all the time (as it stacks in duration). After trying this, I never went back to Warrior Sprint.

      For PVE, I agree.

      Matthen :

      2. The sigil choices in the blog entry may need to be updated. It seems ike the dual wield “on swaps” don’t proc together. I’m still testing this (and alternative) combos. If you are playing this build in PvE, I would suggest buying the major sigils and experimenting with them before dropping the gold on superior ones.

      Great work, Taug. Happy Hunting.

      They do work together. What you need to keep in mind that is when the Sigil of Superior Battle procs, you can’t re-proc it for another 9 seconds.

      It was a fair balance change. It was too easy to stack to 15+ might before.

  50. wing says:

    This build still viable?

    • Matthen says:

      I dislike the term “viable”… as it means different things to different people. It’s not optimal, but it’s still fun. There have been a few changes to traits and skills that you’d want to mess around with.

  51. Martin says:

    Shout based warriors are the backbone of GvG and called “workers” due to their condition cleansing, CC and warbanner in the EU.
    In NA, I’ve seen the evolution of the shout based build to use S/S + LB + Settlers (conditions) as a tremendous team carrier in Solo arenas. It is a support build that can actually wear people down.

    So Taugrim, after 2 years, your theory crafting is solid and still remains a viable corner of the GW2 build spectrum (though the spectrum could have been much wider).

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