Guide to Guild Wars 2 Warrior “Run and Gun” Build for WvW


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 8 or 5 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.

Build Calculator and Key Design Decisions

http://www.intothemists.com/calc/?build=-s70F-0-VKkN0Z47L-60;9;49T;0T4;026A;439AL-k06W

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

Tips

  • 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

FAQs

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 Warhorn provides better support.

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

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Posted in Guide, Guild Wars 2, PVP, Video, Warrior
27 comments on “Guide to Guild Wars 2 Warrior “Run and Gun” Build for WvW
  1. Attic Lion says:

    Thanks for the overview Taugrim. I’ve been meaning to build a Kill Shot gear set for my warrior and this saves me a little mucking around.

    Just one thing, I assume the 2700 Toughness bit is a typo (can’t watch the vid atm). ‘Cause if it isn’t then… bloody hell. 2200 was the most I could comfortably get in my pure melee build.

    • taugrim says:

      Attic Lion :

      Just one thing, I assume the 2700 Toughness bit is a typo (can’t watch the vid atm). ‘Cause if it isn’t then… bloody hell. 2200 was the most I could comfortably get in my pure melee build.

      Woops, I did mean Armor. Thanks for the catch.

  2. Zederok says:

    having only the heal skill as a means to remove CC and Conditions is not that good IMO. I still run 30 points in Tactics for shouts healing and shouts cooldown and along with Runes of the Soldier I can live through 5-6 guys beating on me for a while. Its not at all uncommon for me to jump off the top of a keep and disperse a large group with Death from Above trait and massive AOE from Longbow then finish them off with a hundred blades. Yes I run LB and GS as weapons, both are superior IMO to any other weapon set. Rifle IMO is horrible as a stand off weapon, A LB with its amazing AOE is su much better. If your runing with a guild group (as you should be) the other classes have much more better weapons for Switness.

    I run a 10/30/0/30/0 build and ive tried about everything.

    • taugrim says:

      Zederok :

      having only the heal skill as a means to remove CC and Conditions is not that good IMO.

      Actually, my build has excellent sustained condition removal, from multiple sources:
      - each of the 3 shouts is an AOE condition removal
      - Warhorn 4 is an AOE movement-impairing condition removal
      - the heal removes 2 conditions
      - Sword 2 removes immobilize

      Zederok :

      I still run 30 points in Tactics for shouts healing and shouts cooldown and along with Runes of the Soldier I can live through 5-6 guys beating on me for a while. Its not at all uncommon for me to jump off the top of a keep and disperse a large group with Death from Above trait and massive AOE from Longbow then finish them off with a hundred blades. Yes I run LB and GS as weapons, both are superior IMO to any other weapon set. Rifle IMO is horrible as a stand off weapon

      Greatsword with Shouts doesn’t synergize well. GS needs Physical skills and / or Frenzy for maximum effectiveness. Without a knockdown (Bull’s Charge) or root (Bolas), opponents can waltz out of your 100 Blades easily.

      LB is useful in AOE situations, but it lacks the control and burst that the Rifle has. My build is about killing people, not wearing them down eventually.

      Zederok :

      I still run 30 points in Tactics for shouts healing and shouts cooldown and along with Runes of the Soldier

      I run a 10/30/0/30/0 build and ive tried about everything.

      I’m going to guess you either:
      a. wearing Cleric’s gear, in which case having higher crit chance via 30 points in Arms isn’t going to meaningfully matter, since you have a weak multiplier for crit damage
      b. not wearing Cleric’s gear, in which case your shout healing is going to be tepid at best (e.g. ~1400)

      Neither approach makes mechanics sense.

      One of the most common misconceptions in the Warrior community is that shout-healing with no +healing makes sense. It doesn’t. I really wanted shout-healing to work well with no +healing, but it was disappointing in my experience.

      • Zederok says:

        Yea I noticed you used soldiers runes, my bad I read the 6 jewles and I assumed it was in your armor and not in your jewelry.

        As for shout healing, and my armor, I too wear full Knights, with 6 soldier runes and full Exquisite Emerald Jewels (Prec/tough/pow) so I do not run with any +healing gear. but using the 3 shouts for condition renewal and healing which ever is needed. Even if its mediocre healing, its healing none the less. Often times that 3k healing from my shouts is the difference between me winning and losing a 1v1 or 1v2. I dont put much stock in crit damage, my crits are mainly used to fuel the “furious” trait for “combustive shot” on cooldown. Combustive shot + Arcing Arrow is deadly even in 1v1 situations.

        As for using Greatsword without physical utility skills, its not as hard to land a 100b if you use it once your opponent is out of stamina to dodge, or right after laying down a Combustive shot into a Pin Down.

        Is my build perfect? nope but I can run FOTM (level 11 currently) PvE any dungeon, WvW or solo farm Karma in Orr without ever having to switch specs. Which is what I went for in my build. Besides in group standoffs Longbow is vastly superior aoe damage and area denial. Which in IMO is the best CC in WvW.

        heres my build: I usually run “On my Mark” but “Fear me” sometimes get used, mainly only with Death From Above Trait during sieges.

        http://www.intothemists.com/calc/index.php?build=-so-g;1VKkN0X4JL-60;9;49T-T-4;029A;137Bl

        • taugrim says:

          Zederok :

          As for shout healing, and my armor, I too wear full Knights, with 6 soldier runes and full Exquisite Emerald Jewels (Prec/tough/pow) so I do not run with any +healing gear. but using the 3 shouts for condition renewal and healing which ever is needed. Even if its mediocre healing, its healing none the less. Often times that 3k healing from my shouts is the difference between me winning and losing a 1v1 or 1v2. I dont put much stock in crit damage, my crits are mainly used to fuel the “furious” trait for “combustive shot” on cooldown. Combustive shot + Arcing Arrow is deadly even in 1v1 situations.

          The big question is, with the 3k healing offset the lack of meaningful damage you deliver on a crit? As you don’t have any points in Discipline and no Crit Dam % gear, you have the base multiplier of 1.5x.

          It might make more sense to go with Pow/Tou/Vit gear or Pow/Tou/Heal gear, and to move points into Defense trait line, so that you get Adrenaline when hit and have higher heal.

          Shout healing scales really well, IIRC the shout-healing coefficient is 80%.

          Zederok :

          As for using Greatsword without physical utility skills, its not as hard to land a 100b if you use it once your opponent is out of stamina to dodge.

          An opponent can move out of your 100b, and you’ll lose some of the damage. The only time non-rooted / disabled players stand motionless is when they are “captive” due to another action, e.g. rezzing/finishing.

          Zederok :

          Is my build perfect? nope but I can run FOTM (level 11 currently) PvE any dungeon, WvW or solo farm Karma in Orr without ever having to switch specs. Which is what I went for in my build.

          It’s not about whether or not a build is “perfect” – it’s whether it’s effective given a context. Your spec seems more suited for PVE than WvW, given the lack of control-CC for GS. 100b works great in PVE when mobs just stand there.

      • neovatar says:

        I noticed that you use “On my mark!” instead of “Shake it off!”. How do you handle stuns with this build?

  3. Younha says:

    Hey Taugrim/Ed Park,

    Just wanted to say I really do appreciate all your work. Your videos are insightful, informative, and a game changer compared to most other channels. I also enjoy your analytical views beyond the game on Taugvlogs.

    You’re a pretty busy man, but I was wondering if you could offer some quick advice on theory crafting builds. I don’t really have too much trouble thinking of builds in games like SWTOR, but when I got down to it in GW2, it was pretty difficult. I was mindblown with the different avenues and options to build around your character. I’ve tried the Hundred Blade/Bull’s Charge/Frenzy warrior, while that was fun, it sacrifices everything for that burst. When I tried out your Captain Hammer and Hammer Gun, I felt so much synergy in the build. I tried building other ways around the Warrior Greatsword, but they just don’t really cut it. If you have any tips on theory/build crafting for me, I’d appreciate it.

  4. [...] Gun” DPS/CC spec, as those specs bring more CC to the table. For WvW, check out the WvW “Run and Gun” [...]

  5. Chad Jacquay says:

    Great guide as always Ed. Question: Wouldn’t Adrenal Reserves in the 30 Disc spot be a better choice than Quick Bursts? Both take exactly 30 shots to go from 0 to 3 full bars, where as when you use your Burst skill with 3 bars Reserves allows you to only use 2 of them. Also, what do you think about using Heightened Focus in the 10 Disc spot over Inspiring Shouts? Might allow you to switch some Crit gear for Toughness.

    • taugrim says:

      Chad Jacquay :

      Great guide as always Ed. Question: Wouldn’t Adrenal Reserves in the 30 Disc spot be a better choice than Quick Bursts? Both take exactly 30 shots to go from 0 to 3 full bars, where as when you use your Burst skill with 3 bars Reserves allows you to only use 2 of them. Also, what do you think about using Heightened Focus in the 10 Disc spot over Inspiring Shouts? Might allow you to switch some Crit gear for Toughness.

      1. I chose Quick Bursts for those times when KS doesn’t land, or I have Shouts to re-fill the Adrenaline bar quickly after landing KS.

      2. I really like the Heightened Focus trait and have used it in some builds.

      With Fury, my Crit Chance is 71%, so HF would boost that to 80% at full Adrenaline. I have found though that I prefer the control provided by the IS in that I can start casting Kill Shot when the time is ripe, and fill the Adrenaline bar while casting.

  6. Lala Calamari says:

    Did you choose Knight’s gear for the toughness? Rampagers gear has more precision.

  7. scarybadlady says:

    i feel for ya tuagrim ur one of my favorite blogs and have awesome perpectives on mmos. Since you left wow and rift thou the games u went to swtor and gw2 have seen a huge decline while wow is again over 10 millions subs and rift has seen a huge playerbase increase with no fansites for players to go too.

    Not telling u what to do u play what u want as u have very limited time being a business man as of late. However as a business man u know ur sites valueincreases with its views. Maybe its time to go back to ur bread and butter and comment on wow and rift again.

    • Elle says:

      I play both SWTOR and GW2 and have played Rift in the recent past. I would agree with you that SWTOR has seen a huge decline. Rift, however has also seen a massive decline and GW2 hasn’t seen much of one at all. The world I am on has remained at full or very high ever since release. With Rift and SWTOR the world I started on both closed, and the list of servers/shards got much shorter.

  8. Guild Wars Missions Guide…

    [...] points in Tactics for shouts healing and shouts cooldown and along with Runes o [...]…

  9. Kharr Ironclaw says:

    Just hit 80 and running this spec. I am holding out on the rune of the soldier until exotics and can notice a lack of condition cleansing when Mending is on cooldown. Other then that I am really pleased. The 10k criticals are nice since I am stacking more power/prec in my armor. If only I can find a way to counter Binding Roots.

  10. taugrim says:

    Kharr Ironclaw :

    If only I can find a way to counter Binding Roots.

    Sword 2 breaks roots when Mobile Strikes is slotted :)

  11. Casey M. says:

    Hey Taugrim I’m a fan, and I’ve been following your blog for several months now, but this is my first post. I apologize in advance for this *really* long entry, as I know you’re busy.

    I know you’ll surely hate me for saying this, but I totally run with a full Berserker/Ruby glass cannon Warrior in WvW and I love it. Being able to pick off anyone in a crowd that has less than ~20k with my Rifle (I use Superior Sigil of Air for the DD proc) is hilarious. They think they’re safe and then I down them in a single burst of Rifle 4 > Rifle 2 > Rifle 3. And if I’m lucky, the person standing behind them eats a load of damage, too. Having a crit chance anywhere from 69-88% (depending on if I’ve used Signet of Rage or not) is probably overkill, but it basically means I crit all the time which IMO is good for maximizing all the crit-proccing Sigils I use.

    Ironically my trait point allocation is the exact same as your build, but with different Major traits to synergize with my Dual Axes/Rifle Signet build while maximizing my Adrenaline at all times.

    Admittedly I do melt under focus fire, but the way I stay alive is to not overextend in group fights and to know when or when not to engage the enemy. In other words, I use my head rather than rely on my stats to save me. I pick off squishies (which I swear is everyone; in my experience hardly anyone builds for tanking in WvW, minus a few Guardians and Warriors I’ve run across) while staying just on the periphery of targeting range to avoid that unwanted focus fire. As soon as I see more than two people attacking me at the same time I bail out. My main (and only) concession to defense is Superior Runes of Lyssa where I use my Elite Skill as my “oh shit” button, where it clears all conditions and grants all boons.

    Your build is definitely something I’m going to try out, though. It looks fun, and certainly has superior overall mobility and survivability in situations like ones where you might get pulled off a wall by a Mesmer into the midst of the horde zerging your tower/garrison.

    My main concern is the capability of the sword to deal meaningful damage in close quarters, especially considering that you essentially lose your off-hand weapon DPS. With Dual Axes the amount of damage you can put out in about 3 button presses is obscene (Axe 2 > Axe 4 > Axe Burst), but all the main-hand sword has going for it is the leap for gap control and the bleeds. Is the sword just there for utility (leaping + stacking Sigils and finishing), or can you burn people down with it? Or are you fully relying on the Rifle for damage dealing?

    And let me just tell you that I love your builds, especially for GW2. I’m new to the series (never played GW1), but this is the game for me. It’s not without its flaws, but I still enjoy its variety and insane amount of world content (been playing for 3 months and I still only have 58% World Completion, lol). I know, I sound like a fanboy, don’t I?

    I’m hoping to see you do builds for other classes too, such as Engineer or Necromancer. My Necro is a minion build, but despite stacking all Cleric/Sapphire with Superior Dolyak Runes, I still feel squishier than I should be sometimes, especially in dungeons. I’ve looked at some other builds online but I haven’t been interested in any.

    Surprisingly, I think I’ve actually figured out my Guardian, Mesmer (possibly my favorite class), and Thief builds on my own, lol.

    Keep up the great work, dude.

    • taugrim says:

      Casey M. :

      Hey Taugrim I’m a fan, and I’ve been following your blog for several months now, but this is my first post. I apologize in advance for this *really* long entry, as I know you’re busy.

      You posted the day I went for my long trip, so I missed your post!

      Casey M. :

      I know you’ll surely hate me for saying this, but I totally run with a full Berserker/Ruby glass cannon Warrior in WvW and I love it. Being able to pick off anyone in a crowd that has less than ~20k with my Rifle (I use Superior Sigil of Air for the DD proc) is hilarious.

      For bursting targets, Berserker’s armor/weapons + Ruby trinket is incredible :)

      Casey M. :

      Admittedly I do melt under focus fire, but the way I stay alive is to not overextend in group fights and to know when or when not to engage the enemy. In other words, I use my head rather than rely on my stats to save me. I pick off squishies (which I swear is everyone; in my experience hardly anyone builds for tanking in WvW, minus a few Guardians and Warriors I’ve run across) while staying just on the periphery of targeting range to avoid that unwanted focus fire. As soon as I see more than two people attacking me at the same time I bail out. My main (and only) concession to defense is Superior Runes of Lyssa where I use my Elite Skill as my “oh shit” button, where it clears all conditions and grants all boons.

      Yes, with a squisher build the main thing is the play smart and not get too greedy.

      Casey M. :

      My main concern is the capability of the sword to deal meaningful damage in close quarters, especially considering that you essentially lose your off-hand weapon DPS. With Dual Axes the amount of damage you can put out in about 3 button presses is obscene (Axe 2 > Axe 4 > Axe Burst), but all the main-hand sword has going for it is the leap for gap control and the bleeds. Is the sword just there for utility (leaping + stacking Sigils and finishing), or can you burn people down with it? Or are you fully relying on the Rifle for damage dealing?

      The Sword / Warhorn is mainly there for group and solo mobility. You are correct that the damage output is not great, especially compared to Axe / Axe.

      At least the Fast Hands trait is now working correctly, so swapping between weapon sets is easy.

  12. MadSpin says:

    Sup Taugrim,

    Love the blog dood!… looking forward to more posts & runs!

    Peace,

    - Spinz (Melanin)

  13. Hope you had a good Christmas Ed. I’m currently trying to “reverse engineer” the build for general PVE. In terms of dungeons I think I will keep things mostly the same, maybe lose the horn. I wondered If you had any ideas on how to proceed, as I do not want to have to re-spec every time I go back to PVE.

    • taugrim says:

      richard mcdonald (@WHM_Sagebirt) :

      Hope you had a good Christmas Ed. I’m currently trying to “reverse engineer” the build for general PVE. In terms of dungeons I think I will keep things mostly the same, maybe lose the horn. I wondered If you had any ideas on how to proceed, as I do not want to have to re-spec every time I go back to PVE.

      For PVE, I’d swap out the Sword / Warhorn for a Hammer for trash mobs. You can run with the same 10/0/30/0/30 for point allocation.

      Another options: go with 10/25/20/0/15 for Run and Gun in WvW, replace Mending healing with Healing Signet, eat Omnomberry Pie, so you have three sources of healing.

  14. Yulo says:

    Hey Taugrim, I’ve been following your posts and videos for some time now and noticed you’ve gotten into WvW. I’d like to invite you to check out our server site and forum http://www.stormbluffisle.com. Hope to one day fight alongside you. – Yulo Champions of Stormbluff [SBI]

  15. Elle says:

    I enjoy the mobility of sword/warhorn and although greatsword is mobile too, I find it clunky. I also like to carry one ranged option for WvW, so this build has all the elements I enjoy in WvW. I don’t currently have the gold for a full set of soldier runes though. Any suggestions for a good, cheaper alternative until I can get them?

    • taugrim says:

      Elle :

      I enjoy the mobility of sword/warhorn and although greatsword is mobile too, I find it clunky. I also like to carry one ranged option for WvW, so this build has all the elements I enjoy in WvW. I don’t currently have the gold for a full set of soldier runes though. Any suggestions for a good, cheaper alternative until I can get them?

      For WvW setup without soldier runes and shouts, use these:
      1. Runes of Hoelbrak (~50 each), and
      2. Bowl of Lemongrass Poultry Soup

      These together provide -60% to condition duration.

      You can then slot physical utilities to control your opponents.

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