Guide to Riftblade Warrior PVP Mechanics


1.4.1 update (2011/09/07): I haven’t had time to update this Guide as we re-rolled to another server and faction, so I leveled a new class (Cleric), but here is the 32 Riftblade / 18 Champion / 16 Paladin spec I recommend if you want an all-around good DPS, good mobility, good survivability spec. For the macros for this spec, see Section 8C. If you have strong pocket healing, replace Pally with another tree and go 2H.

This guide discusses the Riftblade-spec’d Warrior class for PVP in the new MMORPG Rift, Patch 1.2. This guide provides comprehensive written material and narrated PVP videos.

Please post your feedback, tips, and questions!

Revision History

The first version of this Guide was posted on March 20, 2011. Here is the change log for recent revisions:

  • 2011 September 7: added update note at top of Guide
  • 2011 June 8: minor updates to Section 8
  • 2011 May 18: minor updates to 8C macros, runes
  • 2011 May 15: Added new RB/Champ/Pally section 8C
  • 2011 May 13: updated for 1.2. Added new RB/VK/Pally section 8B

Table of Contents

  1. Mechanics Overview
  2. Resource Mechanics
  3. Damage Mechanics
  4. Crowd Control Mechanics
  5. Mitigation, Avoidance, CC-Counter Mechanics
  6. Blade and Avatar Mechanics
  7. Riftblade Tree Recommendations
  8. Spec Combinations
  9. Stats / Runes Recommendations
  10. Myths / Misconceptions
  11. Tips and Tactics
  12. Macro Mechanics
  13. Strafing / Movement / Keybindings
  14. Narrated PVP Videos
  15. Recent / Upcoming Patch Changes
  16. About the Author

1. Mechanics Overview

Riftblade is 1 of the 9 talent trees (“Souls”) for the Warrior class (“Calling”). For this Guide, I am assuming that Riftblade is your primary tree for investing your talent points. Telarapedia has a great writeup on the lore of Riftblade.

Strengths of Riftblade talent tree:

  • Deals non-Physical damage for many abilities, so the Armor of your target isn’t a factor. This helps all targets regardless of Armor class to feel equally squishy – only their Resistances come into play (in particular Fire and Air damage Resistance)
  • Delivers good ranged DPS capability, thanks primarily to the 3 Spear abilities, Fiery Burst, and Rift Surge
  • Provides solid damage mitigation from Avatar of Water (10% reduction, talented)
  • Has excellent mobility and counters to some CC – Riftwalk provides a gap closer and removes mobility-impairing effects and some CC effects (stun, mez, incapacitates)
  • Possesses multiple CC abilities (chain ranged snare, melee AOE snare, ranged root, ranged silence) – it is important to note that this particular strength is less important in 1.2 given the CC immunities

Weaknesses of the Riftblade talent tree:

  • Lacks debuff for healing received or healing output
  • Lacks purge (offensive dispel) capability
  • Doesn’t provide oh-crap emergency buttons for meaningfully boosting survivability
  • For damage abilities that do not have a weapon contribution component, does not scale effectively with weapon or gear

Many Riftblades play their Warrior primarily as a RDPS (Ranged DPS). While there are situations (e.g. mass PVP, outnumbered heavily, etc) that encourage fighting from ranged, if you only engage from range you will

  • Miss out on key Riftblade abilities (e.g. Rift Strike, Frost Strike, Thunder Strike, etc) that are only usable from melee range and whatever melee-oriented abilities/procs/buffs/debuffs you get from your 2nd and 3rd talent trees
  • Be unable to circle-strafe your target to take advantage of LoS

More on that in the Myths / Misconceptions section.

2. Resource Mechanics

We have two resources to manage:

  1. Power
  2. Attack Points (AtPts)

All Warriors use a “Power” mechanic, which is functionally equivalent to a WoW Rogue’s/Feral’s energy bar or WAR’s Action Points. Power starts at full @ 100, depletes as you use abilities, and regenerates at a (mostly) constant rate.

You can instantly regenerate 10 Power via crits with the Planar Blade ability.

All Warriors also share an AtPts mechanic. Some abilities generate 1 AtPt per use, up to 3 AtPts max. You can spend AtPts on various special abilities which consume all AtPts and scale based on the number of AtPts consumed.

Typically you want to build up to 3 AtPts, consume then with a special, then build back up to 3 AtPts again. In some cases, if you know you are close to finishing an opponent or need an effect proc’d (e.g. Earth Burst for the AOE snare) it’s fine to cast a special with 1-2 AtPts.

3. Damage Mechanics

As noted in the Mechanics Overview, a plus for Riftblade is the elemental-based damage for the Riftblade abilities.

Elemental Burst Abilities

All Riftblade AtPts-consuming Burst abilities can be used from range – after being cast they trigger on the next ability use. Here are the key AtPts-consuming Burst abilities

  • Fiery Burst: our bread-and-butter DoT, applyable from range
  • Earth Burst: AOE snare and interrupt for 3 targets. Sometimes worth using at 1 AtPts for the CC effects. Note that the AOE is centered around your target, so the implication is you can snare multiple targets from range
  • Storm Burst: AOE damage for up to 7 targets. The AOE is centered around your target

I find that I use Fiery Burst much more than the other two Burst abilities, primarily because it does good damage and is effective for burning single targets down. Also, when talented Freeze Armor applies a debuff that increases Fire damage taken by 20%, so Fiery Burst ticks for 20% more when the target has Freeze Armor on them.

The Enhanced Burst talent increases Elemental damage by up to 30% for 6 seconds after using a Burst ability, which is very helpful when applying pressure on a target.

Procs

Riftblade delivers a significant portion of its sustained damage from the Elemental Touch proc, which adds a flat amount of damage per ability use. For Fiery Burst, Elemental Touch applies on the 1st tick.

Single-Target Damage

Rift Surge is currently one of the spec-defining burst-damage abilities. It applies a debuff on the target that procs for damage whenever the target uses an ability. The duration of the debuff is fairly long, 15 seconds, so what you can do versus Healers and Mages is apply a 3-AtPts Rift Surge, silence the target with Windspear (or vice versa), continue to DPS to create a heal deficit, then when the target tries to cast spells after the silence wears off they self-inflict damage. Rift Surge has been nerfed in 1.1 – notably the cooldown has been increased to 30 seconds, it’s Cleansable, and it doesn’t scale as well – but it’s still worth a single talent point investment.

In many situations, you will want to apply Rift Surge first, then apply Fiery Burst while Rift Surge is on cooldown. Rift Surge has a “faster” tick rate if you cast it on classes that use instant-cast abilities.

Here’s the priority for Riftblade AtPts generating abilities:

  1. Rift Strike: hits hard, buffs Crit % by 5%, and scales with weapon damage
  2. Frost Strike: hits fairly hard, scales with weapon damage, and applies a debuff that increases the next Thunder Strike or Searing Strike to hit the target
  3. Flamespear or Searing Strike: Flamespear tends to outdamage Searing Strike during the leveling process, except right after a Frost Strike. With the introduction of a 4-sec cooldown to Flamespear in 1.1, you will likely want to put Searing Strike as part of your rotation or in macros ahead of Flamespear. Searing Strike benefits from the Frost Strike debuff as well, so those melee abilities synergize with each other

AOE Capabilities

As discussed above, both Storm Burst and Earth Burst provide AOE capability. Riftblade also has a spammable 3-hitter in Thunder Strike, but it has a high Power cost (25).

The 31-point Riftblade talent Rift Storm is a PBAOE (Point Blank AOE) that damages on up to 10 targets every second for 10 seconds. The ability has a 3-min cooldown and is useful for preventing opposing players who lack a bubble from capping a node or picking up a flag.

4. Crowd Control Mechanics

Riftblade has a lot of excellent CC tools to work with, including:

  • Freeze Armor: ranged snare
  • Stonespear: ranged 3-sec root
  • Windspear: ranged 5-sec silence
  • Earth Burst: AOE snare and interrupt
  • Riftwalk: 2-sec root

Both Spear abilities have a base 30-sec cooldown that can be reduced to 15 seconds with talents. Spears have a travel time, so they will not CC the target until they land.

Fork can be used to increase the number of targets affected by your Spears. The main issue with using Fork is simply the Power cost, as Riftblade is a Power-intensive spec.

I find that I use Earth Burst mainly for the snare effect at 1 AtPts and not for the silence, especially as you can’t see the cast bar for opponents other than your target.

Note for 1.2: with the introduction of the two categories (movement and control) for CC immunity, if you need to limit the movement of your target you should try to apply Freeze Armor first before Riftwalk’ing or Stonespear’ing.

5. Mitigation, Avoidance, CC-Counter Mechanics

With talents, Avatar of Water provides a flat 10% damage mitigation, and I use it 99% of the time in PVP over Avatar of Wind, which mainly provides a 10% speed benefit.

In terms of avoidance (i.e. not getting hit), there are only 2 Riftblade abilities:

  • Stoneshield: causes next opponent attack to miss, 30-sec cooldown. Useful for capping flags
  • Elemental Deflection: increases Parry up to 6%

The most important CC counter and gap closer that Riftblade has is Riftwalk. This awesome ability has multiple functions:

  • Closes gaps to opponents
  • Breaks the following CC effects: roots, stuns, snares, mez’s, and incapacitates. If you get CC’d and the only button which is still lit up for use is Riftwalk, hit it :). Note that you will only be able to Riftwalk to targets that you have LoS on
  • Breaks LoS temporarily (similar to WoW Rogue Shadowstep) by moving us to our target’s back

6. Blade and Avatar Mechanics

TLDR: use Storm Blade until you get Planar Blade, and use Avatar of Wind until you get Avatar of Water. From that point on, stick with Planar Blade and Avatar of Water.

All Riftblades get Storm Blade, which is a very underwhelming blade buff that adds weapon damage as a DoT on Crit.

With 26 points in Riftblade tree, you can obtain the talent ability Planar Blade, which provides 10 Power on Crit and refreshes the cooldown of Riftwalk (and VK Rift Summon). As we are often Power-starved, Planar Blade provides much-needed Power when we are bursting.

With 44 points in Riftblade tree, you get the base ability Blade of Elemental Affinity, which generates 35% of Crit damage as healing. The extent to which it is valuable has to do with how much Crit you have. My main concern with taking this ability is the addition 6-point tree investment needed over the 38 points required to get Rift Strike – those 38 are well-spent but the next 6 seem very lackluster. I’d probably take Improved Fork and Elemental Flux, which would provide a 15% chance for normal non-Crit attacks to proc the 35% heal, but remember that 35% of a non-Crit won’t be a large number. Based on my experience in warfronts, Blade of Elemental Affinity is not worth taking.

With 10 points in Riftblade tree, you get Avatar of Wind, which provides a 10% speed increase and 3% Dodge increase.

With 20 points in Riftblade tree, you get Avatar of Water, which provides 5% damage mitigation (10% talented). This is an excellent all-around mitigation ability in PVP.

With 51 points in Riftblade tree, you get Avatar of the Rift, which provides a 65% increase to the Burst abilities, swaps the overall mitigation of Avatar of Water for Physical-only mitigation, provides a static damage reflect when hit by melee, and provides limited AP scaling. To get Avatar of the Rift, you have to max every talent in the tree, forcing you to take a 2-point PVE thread reduction talent (Elemental Caress) and the underwhelming 5-pointer Static Shock.

7. Riftblade Tree Recommendations

For PVP, if Riftblade is your main tree your minimum points investment is 32, to get the ranged silence Windspear. Here is what a sample 32-point Riftblade looks like:

http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0cL__.ehs0bsMMtz

Notice that the 32-point tree:

  • Does not include Surging Energy, because if you do not have Rift Strike, your Crit rate against Clerics/Mages/Warriors with the PVP tree talent Resilient will likely be low single digit % so the proc rate for Surging Energy would be negligible. For the same reason, it’s the a good idea to put some points in Elemental Flux to proc Planar Blade
  • Skips the talent ability Elemental Burst, as it may not be wise to trigger an AOE snare due to the CC immunity mechanic introduced in 1.2

Depending on your other trees, it may be worthwhile to spend 6 more points to get the 38-point ability Rift Strike. For 1.2, is the base 38-point investment I recommend:

http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0cL__.gGs0bsMGtd

What’s excellent about the 38-point spec is that there are no craptastic talents that you are forced to take to get there – every talent provides value. There are several optional talents in this spec:

  • Burning Blood: do not take this if you have spec’d 5/5 into Resilient in Vindicator
  • Elemental Burst: provides some nice burst AOE damage and an AOE snare, although in 1.2 this will also trigger CC DR
  • Improved Fork: I personally do not take this talent, because Fork has a high Power cost. But some folks swear by it
  • Improved Riftwalk: while Crits with Planar Blade will refresh the cooldown of Riftwalk, I’ve found having the cooldown reduction to be useful, in case you end combat with Riftwalk on cooldown
  • Rift Storm: I used to spec for this but I find its usage limited by the overly-long 3-min cooldown. Useful for preventing flag pickups by the opposing team

Whatever you do, do not take Elemental Caress (PVE threat reduction) or Static Shock for a PVP spec, they’re a waste of talent points.

There is some debate about going to a 44-point investment in Riftblade to get Blade of Elemental Affinity, which provides self-healing for 35% of the damage when you Crit. The main tradeoffs for getting Blade of Elemental Affinity:

  • You give up Planar Blade, which restores 10 Power on Crit and also refreshes the cooldown on Riftwalk
  • The 6 additional points over the 38-point spec limit your options in going deeper in secondary and tertiary trees

Here’s is the 44-point investment spec I would recommend:

http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0cL__.EGszdsMGtdz

There is a lot of debate regarding whether Avatar of the Rift, the 51-point talent, is worth spending 51 points to get for PVP. To get to it, you have to waste 2 talent points in the threat reduction talent Elemental Caress and on the underwhelming 5-point talent Static Shock. In addition, you lose the Spell mitigation from Avatar of Water. Avatar of the Rift does certainly provide excellent burst for Burst abilities (see what I did there?).

Tips

  1. Do not put any points in Elemental Flux until you have Planar Blade or Blade of Elemental Affinity. Elemental Flux is a horrid talent at lower levels, because the damage from Storm Blade is very low, and buffing the proc rate for a low-damage ability doesn’t make sense

8. Spec Combinations

I will build out this section of the Guide over time, as I am able to try different specs.

As of Patch 1.2 and later, please see Section 8C for my current spec.

A. 1H Riftblade / Paladin

As noted in the Mechanics Overview section, Riftblade damage does not really scale much with weapon or gear. Given that, there isn’t much DPS lost when running a 1H, but there is a lot of upside when using a shield as a Pally.

In a nutshell, the Pally tree offsets some of the deficiencies with the Riftblade tree, in particular by boosting survivability and by providing an emergency oh-crap button in Touch of Life. The Riftblade/Pally combo possesses excellent CC capabilities, good damage, and good survivability.

Please note that this is also a very solid spec for PVE questing and rifting (but not instance runs). This is a very solid spec to run from levels 10-49 in warfronts. At level 50, I recommend the Riftblade / Champ / Pally spec documented below in Section 8C.

Consider what you get for your first 17 points in Pally:

  • +10% passive Block (not dispellable)
  • +5% Hit and +5% Block buff
  • +10% passive damage increase (not dispellable)
  • Ranged 3-sec stun (1-min CD)
  • 9% passive spell damage mitigation (not dispellable)
  • 25% passive chance on block to generate an AtPt (not dispellable)
  • A CC breaker, Paladin’s Devotion
  • Aggressive Block, which boosts Block by 10% for 15-sec, so you can chain the buff to keep it up
  • Block reactive ability Retaliation, which is a low-Power cost melee ability that is off the GCD and therefore provides burst
  • Castable HP buff on any friendly player
  • Passive HP self-buff
  • Melee interrupt Face Slam (6-sec CD) which is off the GCD
  • Full self-heal Touch of Life (10-min CD)
  • Ranged ability Shield Throw
  • Melee AOE ability Sweeping Strike which packs very good single-target damage

That is an excellent return on investment, and unlike some trees, many of the Pally abilities (e.g. Retaliation, Face Slam) complement not compete with the Riftblade base abilities for your GCD.

Up through level 40, here is the build I recommend: 38 Riftblade / 15 Pally / 0 VK:

http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0cLhg.eGo0dsMGtdz.xrozo

You can move 3 points from Elemental Flux to Boiling Blood, depending on whether you want Power regen or the on-Melee-Crit reflect. VK is an excellent 0-pt 3rd tree, because it offers a 5% spell mitigation self-buff.

At level 41, once you are able to get the Paladin talent Paladin’s Devotion, you can re-invest the points in Steely Resolve in Small Arms Specialization.

There are many 1H different specs that are viable at 50, including the following specs. Please note that there are some minor differences in how the 38 points are allocated – either I recommend 3/5 Elemental Flux or 3/3 Boiling Blood:

  1. 38 Riftblade / 17 Pally / 11 VK: the VK tree provides an 11-pt talent called Spell Sunder, which removes 3 buffs from an opponent. This purge ability has a range of 35m and its cooldown is 15 seconds. In extended fighting against groups, Spell Sunder and Devouring Blow provide tools for debuffing and draining mana-based classes
  2. 38 Riftblade / 21 Pally / 7 Vind: the Vindicator tree provides reduction in chance to be Crit by players by 15%, 2% raid Crit increase when you block a player, a CC breaker, and the Guard ability to redirect damage from friendlies to you. The 21-pt Pally talent ability Reverent Protection is an excellent tool for capping flags and nodes under fire
  3. 38 Riftblade / 20 Pally / 8 Para: the Paragon tree offers Strike Like Iron for the controlled burst, an inexpensive but effective “follow up” attack in Rising Waterfall, 3% Crit self buff, 40 Str self buff, a block/parry reactive, and Predictable Movements to reflect melee attacks
Spammable Single-Target Attack Macro (builds AtPts)
#show Flamespear
suppressmacrofailures
cast Retaliation
cast Disarming Counterblow (remove this line for < 20 points in Pally cast Rift Strike)
cast Aggressive Block
cast Sweeping Strike
cast Frost Strike
cast Searing Strike
cast Discharge (remove this line for < 4 points in VK)
cast Flamespear
cast Shield Throw

I have Sweeping Strike (a Pally melee AOE ability) and Frost Strike ahead of Flamespear, as both abilities deal higher damage. Flamespear is listed after the melee abilities, for situations where I am either at range or none of the previous reactive or cooldown abilities are usable. Note that at range this macro would cast Flamespear, then Shield Throw, then Flamespear. I put Shield Throw at the end as a filler for when Flamespear is on cooldown.

The macro shows Flamespear, so that I can tell when my target is at <= 20m range (contributed by: haimeiw).

Melee AOE Macro (builds AtPts)
#show Sweeping Strike
suppressmacrofailures
cast Sweeping Strike
cast Thunder Strike

Note that I do not include Rift Storm or Earth Burst in this macro, as this is the macro I spam for AOE to build AtPts.

Gap Closer
#show Riftwalk
suppressmacrofailures
cast Riftwalk
cast Shield Charge

Note that I have Riftwalk ahead of Shield Charge, because I have found that Riftwalk is more reliable for closing gaps to opponents on a different vertical level (e.g. up on a rock). Sometimes Shield Charge won’t bring you all the way to your target because you will hit an intervening terrain.

CC Breaker
#show Break Free
suppressmacrofailures
cast Paladin's Devotion
cast Break Free

Note that Paladin’s Devotion is intentionally placed above Break Free. Break Free removes any CC, but it’s also on a 2-min cooldown, so if you have a CC effect that Paladin’s Devotion can remove, you’re better off using Paladint’s Devotion to remove it and save Break Free for when you really need it.

B. 1H Riftblade / Void Knight / Paladin

This is a variation of the 1H Riftblade / Paladin spec, with Void Knight replacing the Paladin tree as the secondary tree. VK has become a much more attractive tree in 1.2 with the changes to VK.

Consider what you get for your first 18 points in Void Knight:

  • A stacking buff that can provide up to +50% Strength
  • Spell Sunder, a powerful purge (offensive dispel) that removes 3 buffs from your target and has a 15-second cooldown
  • A stacking buff that can provide up to +50% Armor
  • +5% spell damage mitigation buff
  • An AtPts-consuming ability (Devouring Blow) that deals damage and drains mana
  • Hard-hitting Air-damage ranged ability Discharge
  • Passive HP buff
  • Air-damage ranged ability Spark
  • PBAOE ability Ragestorm that can hit very hard
  • A ranged mana drain Soul Pillage

Please note that all Warrior interrupts have a shared cooldown, so you can not use Face Slam and then Furious Rage. Same goes with taunts such as Shield Throw and Spark.

In 1.2 here are the specs I recommend:

  1. 32 Riftblade / 18 VK / 16 Pally: you get most of the key Pally abilities and talents including the key CC breaker Paladin’s Devotion and the passive (non-dispellable) 9% Spell damage mitigation. The physical damage mitigation provided by this build is stellar with Ravenous Defense; at 10 Pacts you will easily crack 10k armor. Melee abilities scale well with the stacking Str buff. Ragestorm hits like a truck at 10 Pacts. The main issue with this spec is Power starvation; without Rift Strike’s Crit buff, you will find that Planar Blade does not proc as often

I have experimented with going up to 25-28 points (or more) in VK, here are my comments:

  • Catalyze is an excellent 20-point root ability which provides ranged mana drain capability, and its Power cost is one-third of Soul Pillage (granted Catalyze is an AtPts-consuming ability so there is that resource cost)
  • You can increase Void’s Spell mitigation by an additional 15%. However, if Pally is your 3rd tree you may have to give up the passive 9% Spell mitigation talent Hardened Will, so you are netting a gain of +6% Spell mitigation, and keep in mind Void buff is dispellable
  • Replenish is not worth the investment in PVP – even fully talented, at 6k HP each Pact heals for a meager 18 HP
  • I was excited to try Rift Summon, but given the CC immunity sometimes this ability provides no effect
Spammable Single-Target Attack Macro (builds AtPts)
#show Flamespear
suppressmacrofailures
cast Retaliation
cast Aggressive Block
cast Sweeping Strike
cast Frost Strike
cast Searing Strike
cast Discharge
cast Flamespear
cast Spark

Note that Discharge is listed above Flamespear, as Discharge has a longer cooldown and more importantly hits harder. Spark is used instead of Shield Throw because Spark’s elemental damage type synergizes better with Riftblade.

The macro shows Flamespear, so that I can tell when my target is at <= 20m range (contributed by: haimeiw).

Melee AOE Macro (builds AtPts)
#show Ragestorm
suppressmacrofailures
cast Ragestorm
cast Airburst
cast Judgment
cast Sweeping Strike
cast Thunder Strike
Purge / Drain
#show Spell Sunder
suppressmacrofailures
cast Spell Sunder
cast Devouring Blow

C. 1H Riftblade / Champion / Paladin

Thanks to Vexxen on the Rift Warrior forum for proposing the 38 Riftblade / 17 Champion spec.

As of Patch 1.2, 38 Riftblade / 17 Champion / 11 Paladin spec has proven to be the most effective Riftblade-based spec (1H or 2H) for me in warfronts and in 1v1s against specs with self-healing, based on testing with various specs. Why? Lingering Wounds is the #1 asset that a Warriors brings to PVP at level 50.

While I was skeptical of pairing Champ with any spec that uses 1H or deals non-Physical damage, in actual gameplay 17-point Champion is a solid complement to Riftblade, because it addresses one of the key weaknesses: the lack of a healable debuff.

Given that this is a 1H spec, the point allocation in Champion looks different compared to typical 2H Physical damage builds, but you get a solid return on investment for your first 17 points:

  • +10% damage for AtPt-consuming abilities (“finishers”)
  • +10% Strength – a modest benefit that increases damage from melee attacks (and as a side benefit block % and block amount)
  • Increased Power regen on Crit
  • PBAOE fear bomb ability Battlefield Intimidation
  • In-combat charge ability
  • -50% healing received debuff (Lingering Wounds)
  • A reactive to counter your target’s Dodge/Parry
  • +15% increase to Crit damage (i.e. Crits deal 165% instead of 150% damage)
Spammable Single-Target Attack Macro (builds AtPts)
#show Flamespear
suppressmacrofailures
cast Inescapable Fury
cast Retaliation
cast Rift Strike
cast Aggressive Block
cast Frost Strike
cast Searing Strike
cast Flamespear
cast Shield Throw

I have Frost Strike ahead of Flamespear as it deals higher damage and buffs the next Searing Strike. Flamespear is listed after the melee abilities, for situations where I am either at range or none of the previous reactive or cooldown abilities are usable. Note that at range this macro would cast Flamespear, then Shield Throw, then Flamespear. I put Shield Throw at the end as a filler for when Flamespear is on cooldown.

The macro shows Flamespear, so that I can tell when my target is at <= 20m range (contributed by: haimeiw).

Gap Closer
#show Riftwalk
suppressmacrofailures
cast [ctrl] Riftwalk
cast Bull Rush
cast Riftwalk

Note that I have Bull Rush ahead of Riftwalk, because Riftwalk is the only CC breaker that this spec has. For situations where Bull Rush may not work (e.g. enemy is on a cliff at Codex and I am on the ground, I press Ctrl when hitting this macro to trigger Riftwalk).

9. Stats / Runes Recommendations

Dexterity = Physical Crit = Endurance > Strength > Attack Power

As stated in the Mechanics Overview, relative to other trees, many Riftblade abilities do not scale much with stats (e.g. Str, Attack Power). That is, even if you stack stats, you will see only a very modest increase to the damage of abilities such as Flamespear, Fiery Burst, and Rift Surge. Therefore you should consider stats aside from the pure damage-scaling stats Strength and Attack Power.

Keep in mind that Riftblade has nice mechanics synergy with Dexterity / Physical Crit, because Planar Blade generates 10 Power per Crit and refreshes the cooldown of Riftwalk.

If you are pairing Riftblade with a tank tree, keep in mind that your Endurance will be buffed by the tank tree’s HP passive.

You may have heard that some Riftblades are using Leather armor instead of Plate for the higher Dexterity, which provides Crit. I do not think that makes sense, given that many specs of the 3 non-Mage classes deal Physical damage. YMMV.

Recommended Runes

  • Helm: Strength +10 (Radiant Potent)
  • Shoulders: Dexterity +7/Crit +5 (Radiant Vengeful), Dexterity +10 (Radiant Deft)
  • Chest: Valor +50 (Blazing Valorous), Valor +25 (Radiant Valorous), Dexterity +10 (Radiant Deft), or Endurance +8 (Radiant Resolute)
  • Gloves: Physical Crit +11 (Radiant Steadfast)
  • Legs: Strength +10 (Radiant Potent)
  • Boots: Endurance +8 (Radiant Resolute)
  • 1H Weapon: Physical Crit +16 (Radiant Destructive) or Dexterity +10 (Blazing Dexterity)
  • 2H Weapon: Physical Crit +30 (Radiant Devastating) or Dexterity +19 (Blazing Dexterity)
  • Shield: Endurance +11 (Brilliant Enduring)
  • Ranged: Physical Crit +16 (Radiant Destructive) or Dexterity +10 (Blazing Dexterity)

Recommended Greater Planar Essences

10. Myths / Misconceptions

Riftblade is an RDPS Spec so you should avoid engaging in melee combat

This oft-used argument is very short-sighted. While Riftblade has very good ranged capability, there are many good reasons for engaging in melee combat:

  • You can LoS your target (e.g. circle strafe or run through them), which prevents your target from being able to use abilities on you / finish casting spells
  • You can use melee abilities that offer: high damage, CC, buffs, debuffs, procs, or some combination of the above
  • It prevents your target from using terrain to LoS you
  • You can interrupt multiple people trying to pick up a flag with our spammable melee AOE
  • You can pressure people in their face, which often makes them panic or unable to focus
  • You deal additional damage from auto-attacks (yes I know this is a minor benefit for Riftblade, but every little bit counts)

I don’t play my Riftblade as a RDPS with melee capability; I play my Riftblade as a MDPS with ranged capability. I have found that as I have leveled up and gained potent melee abilities (e.g. Rift Strike), I am further encouraged to engage in melee combat.

11. Tips and Tactics

  1. Make sure when traveling through Contested zones to have 2-3 AtPts at all times. This will give you options in case you engage in World PVP
  2. Because Spear abilities have a travel time, you can cast a Spear and while it is in-flight you can cast Fiery Blast, and when the Spear lands it will proc the Fiery Burst DoT
  3. You want to use Windspear (WS) against Casters/Healers aggressively, because the cooldown with talents is relatively short
  4. Stonespear (SS) is an excellent tool for rooting kiters, gapping melees, stopping flag carriers, etc. Use it to your positional advantage
  5. Even if you can’t close to melee range on a target, stay busy and use Flamespear to build up AtPts – remember AtPts is your fuel for your key DPS abilities
  6. To break a Rogue out of stealth, you can use the 1 Riftblade AOE that does not require a target: Rift Storm
  7. Not specific to Riftblade: buffs are dispelled in the order that you put them up, so apply your weaker buffs first, save the best ones for last (e.g. Planar Blade)

12. Macro Mechanics

Macros in Rift work very differently from what you may be used to from WoW. Here are the key differences:

  • There is no WoW castsequence equivalent in Rift
  • In Rift, you can put as many cast statements in a macro as you want, and Rift will cast the 1st ability that is usable (i.e. not on cooldown, conditions met, etc)

That second point has huge implications and allows you to write a “spam” macro like this:

Reactive Ability A
Reactive Ability B
Cooldown Ability C
Cooldown Ability D
Spammable Ability E

Some people have criticized Rift as being “too easy to macro” but in my opinion that is a simplistic and inaccurate point-of-view. Why? Each spec combination has a plethora of abilities to work with, combining special abilities that consume AtPts would limit control, and you generally want to carefully macro your CC and CC-counter abilities. I personally do not macro CC abilities as I believe they should be on separate keybinds for control. So while you can macro multiple abilities into one macro, you will still need to set up many macros to support all the abilities and still retain control of key cooldown and situational abilities.

Please note that if there are abilities in a macro that you do not yet have, you will see an error message when using the macro. Some folks have simply cut-and-pasted my macros without looking at what they actually do, but in my opinion you should try to understand how they work, then tweak according to your needs.

13. Strafing / Movement / Keybindings

Please see the article that provides a video Guide, screenshots, and descriptive text on how my character control is setup. That is a very complex topic unto itself.

14. Narrated PVP Videos

Below are my narrated PVP videos, in reverse chronological order (most recent first). There are points I make in each video which are timeless.

Taugrim’s Rift Warrior PVP: Volume 11: Riftblade / Paladin / Vindicator @ 50, Rank 3

Taugrim’s Rift Warrior PVP: Volume 10: Riftblade / Paladin / Vindicator @ 50, Rank 1

Taugrim’s Rift PVP: Warrior Volume 8: Riftblade / Paladin @ 42, Patch 1.1. Update

Taugrim’s Rift PVP: Warrior Volume 7: Riftblade / Paladin @ 38, Nice Try Gankers

Taugrim’s Rift PVP: Warrior Volume 6: Riftblade / Paladin @ 35

Taugrim’s Rift PVP: Warrior Volume 5: World PVP @ 29

Taugrim’s Rift PVP: Warrior Volume 4: Riftblade / Paladin @ 27

Taugrim’s Rift PVP: Warrior Volume 3: Riftblade / Paladin @ 24

Taugrim’s Rift PVP: Warrior Volume 2: Riftblade / Paladin @ 21

Taugrim’s Rift PVP: Warrior Volume 1: Riftblade / Paladin @ 15

15. Recent / Upcoming Patch Changes

Trion continues to adjust classes / trees for game balance reasons. Below is a summary of changes (documented and undocumented) for recent patches and their impacts.

Current Live Version: 1.2

My comments for changes are in italics.

Patch 1.1/1.11 Changes (1.11 Notes 4/1Official 1.1 Notes 3/29, Update 3/25 , Alpha Notes 3/23 ):

  • Earth Burst: Now properly interrupts elites and other high level mobs. Bug fix for PVE, no impact to PVP.
  • Avatar of Wind: Fixed a bug causing the tooltip of this ability to report improper values. No impact to PVP.
  • Rift Surge: Can now be removed with abilities that remove Curses. Now has a 30 second cooldown instead of 10 seconds and is adjusted by Attack Power at a slightly lower rate. This is a significant nerf for PVP. I can understand nerfing Rift Surge by either making it a 30-sec cooldown *or* making it Cleanse-able, but making it both have a 30-sec cooldown and Cleanse-able will make Rift Surge largely irrelevant if there is a skilled enemy Healer. Update #1: OK, that being said, I have found that my DPS in PVP has not dropped off as much as I was expecting. After thinking about it, I think the loss in DPS from the pre-1.1 Rift Surge is partially offset by the fact that I am using Fiery Burst instead, and as a Burst ability this procs the Enhanced Burst 30% Elemental damage increase for 6 seconds on our target.
  • Flamespear: Now has a cooldown of 6 seconds and has its damage slightly increased to reflect the longer cooldown. There was an update: Flamespear, Path of the Wind and Path of the Raptor are having their cooldown times reduced from the 6 seconds that they are on Test right now to 4 seconds. We’re satisfied for now that these changes still give Warriors ranged attack options across a few different specs. While this is a nerf, I think the introduction of a 4-sec cooldown to Flamespear seems like a reasonable change. What it means for Riftblades when fighting from range is that we’ll have to work in other ranged abilities (e.g. Spears, etc) while waiting for FS to come off cooldown. Update #1: the Trion employee Sweet acknowledged my thread that Flamespear went live with 6-sec cooldown. Update #2: per 1.11, the cooldown has been fixed to be 4 seconds, and I confirmed it’s working
  • Burning Blood: Now deals damage based on 10-30% of the character’s Strength. Moderate nerf. Having it based on the amount of damage inflicted probably created scaling issues.
  • Improved Freeze Armor: Now only affects Riftblade attacks. Bug fix, it sounds like Improved Freeze Armor was buffing non-Riftblade Fire attacks?

16. About the Author

I’ve written Guides across multiple MMORPGs, including:

  • The stickied Protection Paladin Cataclysm PVP Guide on the WoW Pally forum. During my time in Cataclysm, I was the only Prot Pally rated 2k+ in the 2v2 and 3v3 Arena brackets in my battlegroup
  • Warhammer Swordmaster and Bright Wizard Guides and videos
  • LOTRO Captain and Orc Reaver Guides and videos

I enjoying dialoguing with and helping other players – my hope is that this Guide provides value to you and enables you to improve your gameplay :)

Posted in Guide, PVP, RIFT, Video, Warrior
334 comments on “Guide to Riftblade Warrior PVP Mechanics
  1. Grrbrr says:

    Hi,

    i like this guide. :) Just watched your latest pvp (Vol. 8) and i wonder why you are not using face slam that often. i mean … its off GCD and does good dmg.

    Why not on your spam macro? Having energy issues?

    Greetings

    • taugrim says:

      Face Slam is an interrupt, and therefore it should be saved (against Casters/Healers/Bards at least) to interrupt casting.

      On top of that, it has a relatively high Power cost, and we are a Power-starved spec.

  2. Flash says:

    Thanks for the guide. You somewhat inspired me to also test some new builds. Currently going to try a Paragon/Void Knight build for more heavy mana user teams.

  3. Dargo says:

    Couple of questions about the beginning Pally skills, Righteous Blow(RTB) and Pacifying Strike(PS). First, is there any value in PS’s debuff to warrant it being in the rotation? PvE or PvP.

    Second, I notice that RTB can deliver some decent damage (I’m all of level 18). While I’m sure FB ends up being higher, it is Fire vs physical, can be ranged, and can be AOE, it is done via 2 skills and a DOT, where RTB is Right Now™. Sometimes I use this instead of FB as a finisher in PvE multi-mob situations. Do you use RTB at all?

    • taugrim says:

      First, is there any value in PS’s debuff to warrant it being in the rotation? PvE or PvP.

      Yes in PVE, no in PVP. There are too many abilities competing for the GCD that offer better value in PVP.

      Second, I notice that RTB can deliver some decent damage (I’m all of level 18).

      Righteous Blow damage is Physical, and Riftblade has no armor debuff/penetration mechanic. Moreover the damage from Fiery Burst should be overall higher than Righteous Blow. And later when you get Enhanced Burst the differential in damage is much greater.

  4. Razorex says:

    first I want to thank you for tips It really improved my gameplay. I tried to setup macros like yours here and from what I’ve learned I cant put two skills in one macro like this
    show Fiery Burst
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Fiery Burst
    cast Flamespear
    what want to learn is how did you solve it or what did you change?

    • taugrim says:

      That macro is intended to be used *after* you have the amount of AtPts built up that you want to spend for Fiery Burst. Then you hit it once to activate FB and consume all AtPts, then you can hit it again to fire FS to proc the FB DoT.

      I think for simplicity, just remove the line for FS, and after hitting the macro, use a different macro/hotkey for an attack ability to proc the FB DoT.

      • Razorex says:

        Im sorry my bad. pratice dummy was high for me so I wasnt getting AtPts. I should’ve try it more.Thanks for the help.

  5. Dargo says:

    Taugrim,

    In section 8A where you list links to your spec, both the level 40 and what you say is your level 44 spec link to a level 38 spec. Copy-paste error?

  6. Good work, mate. Your forum entry got me interested in keeping Warlord as my third Soul given the Sergeant’s Order ability… but that’s not why I’m commenting.

    I was testing Paragon’s SLI on one of my Riftblade/Paladin PvP test specs and found some intereting results with the lvl 40 38/13/2 spec (http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0cLhu.xGs0dsMGtdz.xxozo.b). Although the average damage increased across the board when beginning w/ SLI, the overall DPS suffered. The numbers shown here are average damage as processed by Rift Junkies’ parser.

    Item w/ SLI w/o SLI
    ===============================
    DPS 334 399
    ——————————-
    Rift Strike 327 323
    Aggr Block 219 142
    Burning Blood 109 88
    Fiery Burst 191 143
    Sweeping Strike 247 251
    Shield Throw 249 157
    Frost Strike 291 250
    Searing Strike 294 232
    Flamespear 289 261
    Retaliation 353 218

    I’m guessing the overall DPS loss is due to the fact that Fiery Burst isn’t kept up each time I get 3 AtPts because SLI has to be refreshed… and because the fight begins w/ SLI, not the Fiery Burst DoT. I suppose I should test this against a boss… a prolonged fight.

    Have you tested this at 50?.. I am really wanting to weigh the value of Paragon vs Warlord here…

    • taugrim says:

      I’m guessing the overall DPS loss is due to the fact that Fiery Burst isn’t kept up each time I get 3 AtPts because SLI has to be refreshed… and because the fight begins w/ SLI, not the Fiery Burst DoT. I suppose I should test this against a boss… a prolonged fight.

      It’s not only that. Using any Burst ability including Fiery Burst procs the Enhanced Burst debuff on the target, which increases Elemental damage by 30% for 6 seconds @ 3 AtPts.

      As such, there is a double-hit opportunity cost for using SLI over Fiery Burst:
      1. the loss of damage from Fiery Burst
      2. the loss of the Enhanced Burst debuff on the target

      My impression is a lot of people who are advocating SLI in the rotation are missing those 2 points above.

      The damage results back that up.

    • Paravian says:

      Are these results from pve grinding or from warfronts? I ask because the returns from BB look to be quite substantial.

      My opinion of BB is that it is useful post nerf even with the negative synergy of resilient. My main reason for this is it will deal damage to casters and ranged players passively, especially casters who crit a fair bit. I honestly can’t see how the 6% parry can be better than this as this would only apply to melée strikes which is the minority.

      I may be wrong tho, testing it will tell. I also have a theory that I higher parry percentage reduces the chance you will block an attack due to parrying, which again reduces your damage output by not triggering your reactive from a successful block. I could be way off there but it seems to add up in my head.

  7. Derezzed says:

    I noticed that you are using the FB / FS as your spam. Wouldn’t it make sense to fb / stone spear or windspear then FS. It makes your next FS hit harder, and allows you to close the gap to hit with a flame strike. I’ve been practicing doing this and I am hitting harder, more often because of the flame procs. Thoughts?

    • Dargo says:

      Derezzed, I think the Firey Blast macro only has FS in it is he is just wanting to proc FB from range, if he had SS or WS in there, then he burns the cooldown on those just to proc FB. The utility of the silence and root could/would be lost. If at the beginning of the fight, will be fine, if at the end, you probably don’t even want to close on the villian.

      • taugrim says:

        Correct.

        One should not clump different CC abilities into the same macro or you lose control of your cooldowns.

      • Derezzed says:

        thanks for the help! I’ve been using your blog as the model for my char and its awesome. I hope you get paid for this stuff!!

  8. Balanced says:

    Hey, just saw your vid, it was really informative for new players like myself. I have a question though: While leveling should I fill out the pally tree first or keep the skill progression balanced between the two?

    • taugrim says:

      Basically keep the number of points in Riftblade close to or equal to your level, dump the rest into Pally.

      For a few abilities it may be worth putting more into Pally while leveling, e.g. to get the 11-pt Pally stun (Light’s Hammer) earlier.

      • Balanced says:

        Awesome thanks. It is surprising that its the simple things that gives away that a player really knows what he is doing (like giving leveling advice 8D )

  9. Harumph says:

    Love your page, it has helped me plenty with my character. Question though, with the recent patch and changes to Riftblade especially the 6 second cooldown on the spears, wouldn’t that change your tactics a fair bit?

  10. Crixis says:

    Hey taugrim,

    I’m relatively new to MMO’s and would like it if you could explain what a macro will do for me in any situation or even more in PVP? I normally just have my skills bound to the number keys on my keyboard – I also noticed that you have a few of the letters on the keyboard bound to skills how do I do that? I also just use skills wherever I need normally – Can you explain the above for me please? Thnx

    • taugrim says:

      What a macro in Rift allows you to do is specify multiple abilities in a macro which you can then map to a keybind, by dragging and dropping the macro onto your hotkey bars.

      Ask someone in-game to help you define a basic macro. Once you figure out how to do that, you can cut-n-paste my macros into your game.

  11. Jagababa says:

    why not put Stoneshield into the spamable macro?
    I mean if it was a good defensive ability I would have it on a separate button to use at just the right moment, but as it is now its not that good so I rarely use it.
    At least if you would put it in the spamable macro it would go off every 30 secs and mitigate some damage.

  12. Jagababa says:

    nvm, its so bad its not worth the 30 power…

    • taugrim says:

      Correct, Stoneshield is very expensive and has a long cooldown. So you should have it on a separate keybind to control when you use it.

  13. Xandoras says:

    Hey Taugrim I was wandering, is there any specific class that is more difficult for you to deal with 1v1 than others?

    • taugrim says:

      Currently 3 specs can give me problems.

      1. Pyro Mage: obviously because of the asymmetrical buff Ground of Strength. It’s noteworthy that Trion already knows GoS is an issue and will be looked at, as I wrote in a recent blog post:
      https://taugrim.com/2011/04/12/rift-podcast-38-worth-the-time/

      2. Justicar or Shaman-spec’d Clerics: they can burn my health bar when outlasting my damage

      3. Warlock Mage: the Shadow Life 3-min cooldown is a large self-heal. I have still beaten good players who use SL. But SL is nasty

  14. […] PvP build. No, this is not a comprehensive Riftblade guide. Go read Taugrim’s excellent Guide to Riftblade Warrior PvP Mechanics if you want thorough information. I’m simply stating that I’ve had a lot of success and […]

  15. […] are simply ignorant with no grounding in actual game mechanics) and have posted videos and my Riftblade PVP Guide to educate players on adjusting to the changes in 1.1. That said, there was one thread that caught […]

  16. fantasyGen says:

    Hi Taugrim,
    You may have seen the 51 RB/15 Para spec around the forums lately. Since you primarily use RB, would you be able to give an analysis to this build?
    Thank you.

    • taugrim says:

      As I wrote in the Riftblade Tree Rec’s section:
      I am not clear whether Avatar of the Rift, the 51-pt talent, is worth spending 51 points to get for PVP. To get to it, you have to waste 2 talent points in the threat reduction talent Elemental Caress and on the underwhelming 5-pt talent Static Shock. In addition, you lose the Spell mitigation from Avatar of Water. Avatar of the Rift would certainly provide excellent burst for Burst abilities (see what I did there?) but I doubt it’s worth the investment.

      So you basically waste 7 talent points from a PVP perspective. Not good.

      I personally would consider not investing more than 12 points in Paragon. You don’t get much for 3 more points IMO.

      It’s a good offensive spec but you will be squishy, especially against any kind of Spell damage.

      • fantasyGen says:

        Thank you! I did read that part of the guide (I know it’s been there for a while) but I noticed it was being mentioned more often on the forums in these past few days. Thought your opinion may have changed! Thanks again.

      • taugrim says:

        The 51-pt Riftblade spec is (obviously) the best burst spec. I just find that the last 13 points are very lackluster compared to what you get from the first 38 points in the tree.

        The great thing about Rift is there are so many options for spending those 13 points.

  17. Wammy says:

    Taugrim,

    Thank you for the guide, it is very helpful and informative.

    I was curious as to your gear set up. I am sure a commentary about that topic is on your to-do list once you are more established at 50, however, I am having some issues picking Greater Planar Essences. I am currently using heal on block and +physical crit on physical dmg. I did some testing and never saw the +crit proc off a strike, are Riftblade strikes not counted as physical?

    Additionally, what are you using and why?

    • taugrim says:

      I was curious as to your gear set up. I am sure a commentary about that topic is on your to-do list

      Actually not planning on writing about that information. There are databases that are out there for that kind of material, and I’m sure someone will eventually write an article on gear that I can simply link to.

      however, I am having some issues picking Greater Planar Essences. I am currently using heal on block and +physical crit on physical dmg. I did some testing and never saw the +crit proc off a strike, are Riftblade strikes not counted as physical?

      Funny you should ask. Last night I picked up the heal-on-block GPE (the level 30-something one) for 40g, and based on some testing the proc rate seems about 10-15%, which is solid.

      I haven’t tried the +Phys Crit one on Phys damage, because I wasn’t sure that it would work. It sounds like it may not proc off RB abilities.

      If you PVE heavily, there is a GPE for tokens that boosts Elemental Touch damage by +25. If I did enough PVE that is what I would get.

      • Wammy says:

        Ya… The extent of my PVEing is questing till the WF queue pops… Guess I’ll do some more testing on the +crit GPE and hope that the mechanics magically changed since last night.

  18. EZK33L says:

    So whats up with the vids Taugrimn you’re slack’n.. I needzz to see some more 1337 skillz bro. I’m starving for more food for thought.

    Your guide is awesome and I need more!! FEED ME!! =P

    (this is not a joke in all seriousness you should post more videos)

    • taugrim says:

      I have the footage for my first 50 video @ Rank 1. I just have been too busy with rl to make a video. I hope to have it up by end of the weekend.

  19. Crixis says:

    Hey Taugrim,

    I entered my first Warfront yesterday (Black Garden) and enjoyed it but I was only using 5 spells (Spike Throw, Frozen Armour, Fiery Burst, Earth Burst and the very first spell you get as RB) I just would like to know if you can give a detailed list of spells that you use in PVP please? So I can remove the unnecessary spells so I don’t get confused. If needed im also lvl 15.

    Thnx

  20. Garion says:

    Just wondering what you think about a 23-38-5 build with 1 point in the pally bubble and 2 in the self healing Karmic Resolution talent

    • taugrim says:

      Assuming you mean 23 Pally – 38 RB…

      The Karmic Resolution talent provides a very marginal amount of healing in PVP. I had it for several levels but ditched it @ 50 as there are better places to spend your talent points, in particular in the Vindicator tree.

      21 points is my recommended investment in Pally @ 50 for PVP. Anything beyond 21 points you start to get “diminishing returns”

  21. […] have updated my Riftblade PVP Guide based on my experience over the past week in 50 PVP. Here is the 1H Riftblade/Paladin / Vindicator […]

  22. Creubain says:

    Your videos have really helped me understand pvp and tactics, trying to get use to macros and the keybinding setup, but anyway just wanted to say your doing an awesome job and thanks!

    PS: helped me defeat some people 9 lvls higher then me in warfronts >:)

  23. Nocturnis says:

    Taugrim, thank you very much for this guide. I was having hard times with my warrior, getting pwned in pvp and not having a clue of which soul spec to choose. I tried some, but ending in failure. Now things have changed, I can take down two enemies before getting killed (if it happens :D) and I’m much more motivated to go into Warfronts.

    tyvm!!

  24. Azu says:

    Taugrim rly thx for the guide!
    Now i love Warfronts!!!

    thx

  25. […] N'ayant pas le temps pour le moment de traduire l'article original, je laisse aux intéressés le soin d'aller lire l'article en question sur Taugrim's PvP Blog. […]

  26. genocide says:

    Have you ever thought of a 51pt riftblade spec , avatar of the void is very nice. thoughts?

    and if u were to go 51 rb would u still go 15 in paladin??

    looking for a good pvpve spec , so i can do good in pve but also do well in pvp

    • taugrim says:

      Excerpt from the Guide that answers your question:
      I am not clear whether Avatar of the Rift, the 51-pt talent, is worth spending 51 points to get for PVP. To get to it, you have to waste 2 talent points in the threat reduction talent Elemental Caress and on the underwhelming 5-pt talent Static Shock. In addition, you lose the Spell mitigation from Avatar of Water. Avatar of the Rift would certainly provide excellent burst for Burst abilities (see what I did there?) but I doubt it’s worth the investment.

      If the talents were better, I’d be more interesting in getting AotR.

  27. John says:

    Just wanted to thank you for posting those macros. Have made a huge difference for me in playing PvE.

    John

  28. Taugrim, I’m running a Riftblade/Champion/Paladin w/ 50-target of 38/16/12… what I’m wondering about is the 15% Crit reduction on the Vindicator Souls… no, not for me… but against me. Archmage, Templar and Vindicator all have a cheap 15% Crit-Against reduction for 5 points. So it sounds like our Crit-regenerated-Power mechanic may suffer a bit against non-Rogues as soon as we face off against those Souls.

    What is your experience w/ this?

  29. taugrim says:

    The -15% Crit reduction in Vindicator is for your opponents critting you and has nothing to do with your chance of critting opponents.

    Therefore, there is no downside to having it.

    • I’m sorry… what I mean is that our mechanic may suffer against the Archmages, Templars and Vindicators who spend 5 points to get 15% Crit reduction against them. 15% less chance of a Crit against them by us = less effective power regeneration for us…

  30. Skillzdatkill says:

    Hey, I just wanted to know your thoughts on putting 5 points into insatiable hunger for void knight. How well do you think it would do instead of the 15% crit resist in pvp. 5% spell dmg reduct, 2 mana drains (insatiable hunger, devouring blow), and lastly a small 2.3% hp increase. I’ve been using your specs but a couple of points a changed 40rift/21pal/5vind and they have done VERY well but the only problem I seem to have is taking down good healers. Do you think this exchange may be worth it?

  31. Hagmilk says:

    I’ve decided to make the RB/Pally/Vind my main spec even when running with premades. It by far has the best all around ability and supports the melee assist train. Nothing like having 2 champ and 1 rb beating on a target. Thanks for all of your work Taugrim. Has made my time playing a rb/pally very enjoyable even post nerf. There are hardly any classes I can’t take out 1v1. Thanks again.

  32. Paravian says:

    Is rift strike all that good? I put 35 in RB and a few more in pally for more defensive conservative play cause as a brand new 50 I was getting smoked. I’m thinking with better stats and gear I will change it to get RS but seems to be going ok for the moment.

    Also, don’t you think you will get better dmg returns and a faster kill time hence more survivability by putting 3 points in burning blood instead of the 6% parry? I know BB sucks after the changes but 6% parry seems weak to me when you have a passive damage dealer with no ICD that can crit by itself everytime someone crits you even tho STR isn’t a stat RB’s stack priority wise buts it’s on all the pvp gear anyway and will boost your Reactives and aggressive block.

    Food for thought IMO. Other than that, your build is solid except I don’t see why go more than 5 points in Vind. The 2% crit from a block is nice, but until I get more rank I will keep only 5 in there for defensive play and at rank 5 or so, flesh it right out (vind).

    • taugrim says:

      Is rift strike all that good?

      It’s a 5% chainable Crit buff. That’s your answer right there.

      Also, don’t you think you will get better dmg returns and a faster kill time hence more survivability by putting 3 points in burning blood instead of the 6% parry?

      Putting points in Parry is for the survivability. Also, Burning Blood and Resilient have negative synergy – Resilient makes it less likely you’ll get BB procs.

      I avoid negative synergy whenever possible.

      Other than that, your build is solid except I don’t see why go more than 5 points in Vind. The 2% crit from a block is nice

      Keep in mind that’s a raid-wide 2% crit buff not single player.

      Also, there is no other unfilled talent that would give that much return IMO.

  33. Sithuanis says:

    Hi,
    what do You think about current state of Pyromancer Mages ?
    Dont You fill they just own You ?
    Regards
    GregG

    • taugrim says:

      GoS is overpowered in my objective opinion. I have never seen a buff that can be kept up indefinitely that provides full CC immunity. On top of that, GoS also provides a stun proc for damaging spells.

      It is what it is. Some/most Pyros will say that it is balanced in 1.2 Alpha, but I don’t believe that’s an objective assessment.

  34. Rushed says:

    Enjoy watching all of your videos, you give a very nice narrative on your abilities. After 1.1 I have been rolling a rift blade paladin spec which I will share later. Unfortunately I feel very pigeonholed holed in this role as I need these two skills for both survivability, and CC’s.

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0cLhu.xGs0dsMGtdz.xxozo.tct

    utilizies both martial law and weapon mastery for massive atp gen then using non gcd spam abilities. you have flinching strike, face slam, stone spear, pally stun, and wind spear for cc.

  35. Kat says:

    Taugrim, excellent page here. I have been using your recommended spec and am a flat out force to be reckoned with in WFs and open. In fact, last night, a poorly geared and unskilled 50 Rogue jumped me as a 28 Warrior (25TRB/12Pal/0VK) and after 15 seconds he had stealthed and high-tailed it at 15% health. Quite frankly, I have supreme confidence that I walk away the victor from any 1-v-1 situation. Rift Surge and Fiery Burst are amazing. I had planned this Warrior to be a VK at 50, similar to what a Black Guard was supposed to be in Warhammer, but I may stick with this RB spec all the way. Thanks!

  36. Reesh says:

    Hi Taugrim,
    Just wanted to say that I hated PVP in WoW and decided to try some pvp using your riftblade guide. I am having a BLAST! I was a keyboard turner for many years and have now moved over to mapping all of my movement buttons to my mouse. I’ve even added the strafe keys to the thumb buttons, but I will still need more practice. The keyboard is used only for spells now. Having a smart keyboard layout has really improved my game as I no longer need to search for the appropriate snare/silence/root with my mouse pointer. Wanted to thank you again for a wonderful guide.

    • taugrim says:

      Having a smart keyboard layout has really improved my game as I no longer need to search for the appropriate snare/silence/root with my mouse pointer. Wanted to thank you again for a wonderful guide.

      Thanks for that positive feedback.

      The video I put together for strafing/keybinding was a lot of work, so I’m glad to hear that it has helped you revise your setup and improve your game.

      • Kat says:

        I found your keybindings very intuitive and frankly, I have always used a similar layout and I find that they translate to virtually any MMO and any character type, just have to figure out what is used most often or in critical situations and set it up on all toons. Muscle memory is a huge part of being successful. One thing to consider which I think one can infer from your video is that some keys are easily accessible when you’re just running around the environment, but when you’re actively strafing sometimes some keys become difficult to reach. For example, shift + q while you’re trying to strafe is hard, so make sure you place the keys you will need in emergencies are able to be reached while in the thick of a hard fight.

  37. Mike says:

    Hey taugrim, thanks for putting all the work into guide, it has really helped me in pvp.

    I just had a quick question about what roll you try to play in pvp. I used to play a pro warrior in WoW and in large team fights I would try to just shut down healers and keep them stunlocked.

    I was wondering how you play in team fights in rift. Like is it better to go for a healer, as this spec, or put pressure on DPS.

    I am looking to play this spec that is most effective in helping the team win.

    Thanks for the guide,
    Mike

    • taugrim says:

      I was wondering how you play in team fights in rift. Like is it better to go for a healer, as this spec, or put pressure on DPS.

      Depends on the situation. In general I try to CC and harass a Healer or Caster so they can’t freecast. If there is a MDPS beating on your Healer you can root/snare/stun them and put Guard on your Healer.

      The 38/21/7 spec I play is not necessarily the best for some situations, but it is solid all-around.

      Take care Mike!

  38. solarbear says:

    Great Guide. I learned a lot from it and its totally changed my playstyle.

    One thing I have changed and could help a lot of people is to use the spears more. Some of the RB hardly use them and they do awesome damage. I set up a macro cast… earth, fiery, windspear, stonespear, flamespear, shield throw…. by time you get to shield throw anyone not crosshealed is pretty much toast when you shield charge him and lay down some serious mele smack.

    The great thing about this build is the block. Can take on multiple melers and hold them up in games like the Codex, totally changing outcomes, due to the shield.

    Do you see your basic spec changing in 1.2 at all?

    Again some great work and look forward to more videos.

    • taugrim says:

      Do you see your basic spec changing in 1.2 at all?

      When running as RB/Pally/Vind, my spec will remain as-is.

      I will try some other specs when 1.2 comes out, including Champ/VK/Vind.

  39. apierce says:

    Hey taugrim, I really appreciate the work you have done and am enjoying the 38/31/7 build a lot. Yesterday a topic arose in game and nobody was sure. Do you know if the 2% raid crit from vin will stack with others or will the best one available just overwrite? Thanks.

  40. burner says:

    just want to know if there is any synergy between a void knight/riftblade build?
    and if there is can u show me a build

    • taugrim says:

      That’s a pretty broad question. In 1.2, VK may become a legit primary or secondary tree because of the self-healing and bubble capabilities.

      We shall see.

  41. […] first article suggested Riftblade with a Pally:  https://taugrim.com/2011/03/20/guide-riftblade-warrior-mechanics-and-pvp/.  It was too much of a tank for me.  And too much shield usage that I didn't like […]

  42. Droptop says:

    Just wanted to know on your volume 5 lvl 29 warrior can you show me your talent spects and the macros you are using I am lvl 31 and would like some help. thanks

  43. Sqyre says:

    Just wanted to post and thank you for the amazing guide before I read your blog my warrior was 24 and I was only playing my cleric now after reading it and changing up my entire play style I dont wanna play anything else. Thank you sir for your time

  44. Ricon says:

    Hey there Taugrim

    I really enjoy watching another Riftblade in action, but I have a few pointers for you, that I think you really should take into consideration in your build & playstyle.

    1. I have wondered for a long time, why you do not have Improved Fork. Hitting 3 casters with Windspear is by far the best ability you can bring to any WF. And not to forget 3 times Stonespear on runners, 3 times Flamespear in a cluster of players. With Planar Blade, you shouldn’t really be noticing the energy used on Fork. Take it out of Rift Surge, which does so insanely crappy damage now, that it was a DPS downgrade for me, when trying to utilize it in WF’s after 1.1. And just to repeat myself here. 3 x Windspear is seriously one of the most gamebreaking tools you can bring to any WF.

    2. The 7 points in Vindicator ain’t really worth it. The 15% reduction to be crit, is 15% reduction of your attackers crit-rate, making it very minimal, as most people have 16-23% chance to crit.

    3. Break Free doesn’t really cut it to lock up a whole soul for me, so I have Paragon as my third soul with 15 points in it, so I get Strike Like Iron, which is awesome and helps me take down even the most bugged Cleric, Path of the Wind, which gives me another ranged ability, 3% more crit buff, 40 strength buff, Rising Waterfall, Flinching Strike and Weapon Master. All of these for only 15 points used in the soul.

    4. Why aren’t you using Windspear more often? Many melee and physical damage classes, if not maybe all classes have abilities you can silence to.

    I ran a almost a identical build as you are using atm, and I saw a very big dps increase with no real downgrade in survivability, when I made this build instead. I would never go back to my old build, as the new one seems far superior in my eyes and gives me so much more. Atleast try it out. I bet you wont regret it.

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=1cLhu.EMozzcMGtz.xxohos.icx

    – Ricon @ Imperium EU

    • taugrim says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. My responses below.

      1. I have wondered for a long time, why you do not have Improved Fork. Hitting 3 casters with Windspear is by far the best ability you can bring to any WF. And not to forget 3 times Stonespear on runners, 3 times Flamespear in a cluster of players. With Planar Blade, you shouldn’t really be noticing the energy used on Fork.

      A few things to think about:
      – how does Fork choose its targets? If there are 4 opponents clumped around your target, and 2 are non-casters and 2 are casters, when you cast Imp Fork then WS, how does it chose which 2 of the 4 to also silence?
      – we have to be careful with the current CC DR system (and which is getting even more stringent in 1.2) not to make targets CC immune unless we mean to

      Your point re: Planar Blade is well-made. While leveling I avoided using Fork because I was Power-starved, but with Planar Blade that rarely happens.

      Take it out of Rift Surge, which does so insanely crappy damage now, that it was a DPS downgrade for me, when trying to utilize it in WF’s after 1.1. And just to repeat myself here. 3 x Windspear is seriously one of the most gamebreaking tools you can bring to any WF.

      RS is excellent for stacking burst damage on an opponent. It’s still a key ability. If I wanted to take IF the point I would change would be from Elemental Flux.

      2. The 7 points in Vindicator ain’t really worth it. The 15% reduction to be crit, is 15% reduction of your attackers crit-rate, making it very minimal, as most people have 16-23% chance to crit.

      I have run with and without Resilient, and the bottom line is I was much squishier without it.

      Think about the math you mentioned (not including specials which guarantee a crit):
      – without Resilient, you are getting crit 16-23% of the time
      – with Resilient, you are getting crit 1-8% of the time

      That’s a massive difference.

      3. Break Free doesn’t really cut it to lock up a whole soul for me, so I have Paragon as my third soul with 15 points in it, so I get Strike Like Iron

      BF is invaluable in PVP IMO, but this is probably something you and I will simply disagree on.

      SLI typically replaces a Burst ability use in the rotation, but as a Burst ability with Enhanced Burst not only deals damage but also has its own damage buff component, the net damage output is not that much different. Others have tested this and posted as such. See some of the comments here:
      https://taugrim.com/2011/03/20/guide-riftblade-warrior-mechanics-and-pvp/#comment-3849

      Also if you get CC’d or buff-cleared the buff from SLI is not helpful.

      4. Why aren’t you using Windspear more often? Many melee and physical damage classes, if not maybe all classes have abilities you can silence to.

      The last time I tested against a Bard Rogue spamming Cadence, all Windspear did was act like an interrupt but the Bard could immediately begin casting again.

      That led me to believe that the Silence portion does not work against non-Mage/non-Cleric and that it acts as an interrupt only.

      • Ricon says:

        1. Fork targets the two that are closest to your target. As casters and healers tend to cluster together, I find it rather easy to get the full out of Improved Fork. Sometimes you only get 2 “mana” users, but that is still better than 1 imo. There are several abilities you can’t use when silenced as a Riftblade, you must have been silenced yourself many times, to have witnessed this? I haven’t played any other Callings, but I would be supprised if none else could be silenced than casters and us. I’ll take Fork into consideration after 1.2 hits though. But I think it would still be worth it, even with the diminishing returns on cc.

        I guess RS is a choice from person to person. I’ve tested it alot in WF’s and in duels and it bumbs down my effectiveness when trying to kill someone.

        2. Again a prefference here I guess. I didn’t notice any big difference in not having Resilient. Actually my survivability went up, because I could put a bigger pressure on players and kill them faster.

        Let’s say the average player has 20% crit chance. With resilient you will get 3% less crit chance on you from that player. Those 3% you get in your favor instead with Way of the River. Just an examble. Are you sure it aint just a placebo effect your experiencing with Resilient? I’ve even tried parsing it with a mage buddie of mine and we could barely see any different in his crit % on me.

        3. I do agree that Break Free is a very nice ability to have. But with Resilient out of the way for me, I can’t see the Vindicator soul being better with 0 points, than what I get out of my 15 points in Paragon.

        SLI has really helped me alot. I usually make sure I have 3 AP ready before every fight, so I pop it right before I attack, so I can focus on damaging abilities in combat. It has raised my damage with roughly 10% on a single target, which I think is alot. Maybe you just have to utilize it properly, to get the full out of it? And besides that, with Weapon Master, I got 2, sometimes even 3 Fiery Bursts in between SLI, making FB have a very high uptime. As far as I remember, without Weapon Master you can only dish out 1½ FB in between SLI.

        4. I haven’t tested it on a Bard, but another Riftblade tested it on me and it worked. It could be a bug though, but then I would find it odd that only I have experienced this bug. I’ll try testing it later on and give some feedback.

        I have properly missed something, but it is early here, so have me excused. Keep up the good work mate :)

  45. Xyero says:

    Hey Taugrim nice guide!

    Couple of questions:

    What is your single target finisher macro?

    What is the 3rd AoE macro that you did not list?

    Thanks

    • taugrim says:

      What is your single target finisher macro?

      Which button are you referring to?

      What is the 3rd AoE macro that you did not list?

      If you mean what is on the “Y” key, that is Storm Burst + Thunder Strike.

  46. Tar6 says:

    What you can explain about pve builds for warrior? would be great hear you!
    Something to get in t1/t2/raids :)

  47. Tar6 says:

    Sorry for double post, i forget to say that im lf DPS builds
    And, btw, your guides are pretty cool ;)

  48. solarbear says:

    Love the new 38RB/17P/11VK build. I have seen a really nice increase in KB vs casters of all types thanks to Spell Sunder. And no noticeable drop in my survivability over the Vindi build. This might be the build I use for a long time as it does everything I want. Thanks for the vids and guide.

  49. taugrim says:

    Updated for 1.2 and added a section for 1H RB/VK/Pally spec, which has worked well for me at Rank 4.

  50. Lerin says:

    The VK build looks really interesting now. I would love to see some vid’s

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