Warrior PVP Specs in Patch 1.2


Mechanics Changes in 1.2

I have tried many different Warrior specs in this patch, but before I list them, let’s review some of the key changes that impact Warriors in PVP:

  • Two categories of CC immunities were implemented: one for movement-related CC, and one for control-related CC. For a given CC category, the 1st application will last its normal duration, but the 2nd application within 24 seconds will have half the duration, and any further applications will have no effect until 24 seconds have passed from the initial application. This sounds confusing, but what it basically means is it is much more difficult to apply movement CC’s and control CCs
  • Notably for Warriors, Snare effects were added to the movement-related CC category. This has made it very difficult for Warriors to stay within melee range of a target, especially considering that all gap-closing abilities for Warriors (e.g. Riftwalk, talented Bull Rush, Shield Charge, Rift Summon) trigger a root effect. So if you pop a gap-closing ability and then try to Snare, the Snare only lasts 50% of its normal duration, and then you can’t movement-CC the target until 24 seconds after the initial root
  • The Void Knight (VK) tree for Warrior got a significant overhaul. Notably Pact-consuming abilities now only consume up to a fixed number of Pacts, and the Pact-related Ravenous Strength and Ravenous Defense buffs now last as long as Pacts (i.e. 30 seconds), and it’s easy to refresh the duration on a stack of Pacts. These changes have made VK stronger in PVP

My Pre-1.2 Specs

Prior to Patch 1.2, I had played two Riftblade specs while ranking up:

You can read more about those specs in Section 8B of my Riftblade PVP Guide. Keep in mind that through most of Patch 1.11 and 1.12, I was not particularly well-geared and was using a blue 1H sword (21.7 DPS).

The first spec lacked purge (offensive dispel) capability. Both specs lacks a healing received debuff.

I did try putting 15 points in Vindicator to get Improved Trauma, but that didn’t turn out to be the silver bullet for providing healing received debuff, because you can only keep it up 50% of the time.

Some of the 1.2 Specs I Tried

In my PVP experience across many games, I’ve generally found that it isn’t worth running a high DPS but squishier spec until you are geared sufficiently. In 1.2, with the changes to Favor and rep requirements, I finally felt ready from a gear perspective to try running 2H specs. I purchased the Port Scion 2H axe (33.4 DPS) for 17k Favor and was able to get a Valor piece for each Armor slot.

Here are some of the specs I tried in order and my comments on their pros and cons. Please note that I tried variations of the specs below as well, moving a few talents points around for various tests in warfronts.

1H 38 RB / 17 PD / 11 VK

Pros:

  • High mobility and counters to CC
  • Has the 11-pt VK 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
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Lacks high burst / sustained DPS
  • No capability to drain mana from range. Therefore draining can take a nontrivial amount of time, especially if your target is kiting
  • Lacks healing received debuff

2H 36 RB / 30 VK / 0 VI

Pros:

  • High mobility and counters to CC
  • Purge (Spell Sunder)
  • Excellent mana drain capability, including 2 drains from range

Cons:

  • Lacks healing received debuff
  • Power management – no Rift Strike means fewer Crits which means fewer procs for Planar Blade
  • Self-healing from VK Replenish is very underwhelming: 18 HP per Pact gained

DPS from this spec pales in comparison to 2H CH and isn’t that much higher than 1H RB. More on this later.

2H 33 RB / 28 VK / 5 VI

This is basically the same spec as the previous one, but with the -15% crittable from VI to make it more durable. I preferred this spec to the previous one. That being said, I think for 2H specs that use VK as the secondary tree that 26 points (to get Rift Shield) is probably a good stopping point. So for example a 2H 38 RB / 26 VK / 2 PA spec would make more sense.

1H 32 RB / 18 VK / 16 PD

Pros:

  • High mobility and counters to CC
  • Purge (Spell Sunder)
  • Solid mana drain capability, including 1 drain from range
  • Durable, especially with Ravenous Defense

Cons:

  • Lacks high burst / sustained DPS
  • Lacks healing received debuff
  • Power management was a huge issue, especially with no Rift Strike

The latter bullet point above was a significant issue in combat, e.g. at times I was too Power-starved to use an interrupt.

2H 32 CH / 18 VK / 16 PA

After trying the above RB specs, I wanted to give Champion a go.

Pros:

  • Excellent burst and sustained DPS: can melee chain-Crit for 1k+ per Crit
  • Lingering Wounds provides a powerful healing received debuff
  • Very Power efficient, especially with Rising Waterfall interleaved between AtPt-generating abilities and Grim Satisfaction

Cons:

  • Very susceptible to being kited, and DPS drops steeply when not able to stay in melee contact
  • Limited CC breakers
  • Very squishy: low mitigation combined with lower HP pool

The main thing I noticed about this spec is that it typically wasn’t worth using GCDs to mana-drain a target (unless they were close to going dry). It was simply better to use GCDs for damaging abilities to “hulk smash” the target into oblivion.

The 1.2 Spec I Settled On

So I spent a lot of gold training abilities, experimenting with various specs, and thinking through the mechanics. The conclusion I reached for the 1.2 mechanics (and this will seem fairly obvious) is that the most important capability that Warriors brings to PVP is the healing received debuff, not being able to purge or mana drain. CC abilities are still important but they are no longer critical as they were pre-1.2.

Even with a decent set of Valor gear (21% mitigation), I found 2H CH to be squishy and susceptible to kiting.

Vexxen on the Rift Warrior forum shared an interesting idea of using RB as the primary tree and 17 points in CH to get Lingering Wounds. I tweaked his idea and this what I landed on:

1H 38 RB / 17 CH / 11 PD

The main concern I had with this spec was that I might not Crit often enough to proc Lingering Wounds. However, I noticed that with an unbuffed 18% Crit rate, which goes up to 23% with Rift Strike, I was getting plenty of procs of Lingering Wounds in actual combat to keep a target chain debuffed.

I have been able to solo competent, geared Clerics of various specs simply by limiting their healing received. And in group contexts, Lingering Wounds is terrific for bringing down a focus-fire target.

This is the highest-utility, most well-rounded spec I have tried so far in 1.2.

You can find more information about this spec in Section 8C of my Riftblade PVP Guide.

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Posted in Guide, PVP, RIFT, Warrior
37 comments on “Warrior PVP Specs in Patch 1.2
  1. Comer says:

    Hey Taugrim big fan.
    I was wondering about your RB/Champ/PD build. Arnt you hurt by missing the extra 50% str and armor? Usualy i run Codex with similar gear to yours (Rank 3) and go for Vault witch i can defend against most classes 90% of the time i can even take on 1 vs 2 given ofc as you said that none of them can heal or isnt a very good healer atleast. Would this still be possible with that build? I just see myself loosing to those dot rogues that we have all come to love so much. Thx in advance.

    • taugrim says:

      Lingering Wounds provides more utility than any other single buff or debuff available for the Warrior class in 1.2.

  2. Excelsior says:

    I ran this spec for a short time in 1.1, but dropped it due to the lack of a CC break. Obviously it that is not as much of an issue now with the 1.2 mechanics. I tried it for awhile today and found that my damage, even with the 50% debuff wasnt enough to down clerics quickly enough. At higher ranks their healing si so strong they can just heal through it long enough to get help. As a World PvP i think its an excellent spec. Im beginning to some to the sad realization that to have a viable 1h spec, you need to get Paragon for the combination of SLI and + Crit percentage. Your spec is good, but its so damn hard to stay on target these days and do the neccessary damage your build provides even with Bull Rush and Riftwalk.

    • taugrim says:

      I ran this spec for a short time in 1.1, but dropped it due to the lack of a CC break. Obviously it that is not as much of an issue now with the 1.2 mechanics.

      Exactly. I find having Riftwalk is helpful. It would be great to have a 2nd CC breaker, but that would require tradeoffs to get.

      I tried it for awhile today and found that my damage, even with the 50% debuff wasnt enough to down clerics quickly enough.

      The thing to keep in mind is that warfront PVP often involves multiple people. Having the healing received debuff is a great tool.

      At higher ranks their healing si so strong they can just heal through it long enough to get help

      I have solo’d geared (R4+ players) Clerics and Mages with healing ability. Granted, it takes time, on the order of 30 seconds, but I couldn’t take them consistently like I can now.

      Im beginning to some to the sad realization that to have a viable 1h spec, you need to get Paragon for the combination of SLI and + Crit percentage

      Well, you get a purgeable 3% Crit buff from Paragon, which is solid. You can’t get Flowing Strikes without investing more than 15 points into Paragon.

      Once I swap out a few pieces of Valor gear I should be sitting at roughly 19% Crit unbuffed.

  3. Excelsior says:

    I’ve been using Avatar of Wind to increase my footspeed to keep in melee with kiting casters. Pyros are beginning to discard the Ground powers in favor of flame bolts and procing cinderbursts. I have been using a 38RB/12Pal/14Par to give me more burst damage, still retaining the defensive ablities of Paladin and get to keep sweeping strike to boot. Way of the Wind and Weapon master greatly increase my burst allowing me to mix a earth or Storm burst within Fiery Bursts uptime and Sweeping Strike with SLI and the synergy from Rift Fury crits for 1.2-1.5k. Also I expieremented with using the Reaver Dots as a anti-kiter build. Rift Fury increases the dot damage and you can stack up to 3 with as little of a 10 point investment. Also you get a 10% damage increase to Fiery Burst with a 15 point investment. You wont lead the WF in KBs, but your ablity to pressure rogues will make up for it.

    • taugrim says:

      Also I expieremented with using the Reaver Dots as a anti-kiter build. Rift Fury increases the dot damage and you can stack up to 3 with as little of a 10 point investment. Also you get a 10% damage increase to Fiery Burst with a 15 point investment

      Very interesting!

      I didn’t realize Rift Fury worked on non-Riftblade abilities. That creates some synergy with Reaver builds.

  4. Daniel says:

    From my experience kiting isnt an issue in 1.2. I play Marksmen and Sabo in PvP and Warriors kill me all the time because the CC changes in 1.2 make it almost impossible to keep the Warrior at distance. I have 2 options, I run away and avoid the fight or I fight him and die because of the CC immunity…

    • taugrim says:

      From my experience kiting isnt an issue in 1.2. I play Marksmen and Sabo in PvP and Warriors kill me all the time because the CC changes in 1.2 make it almost impossible to keep the Warrior at distance

      I play a MM in the 20-29 bracket and haven’t had any problems against Warriors in 1.2. If a Warrior closes the gap I pop On the Double with Getaway talented, and I can also use Hasted Shot when needed for another movement buff.

      As long as you keep a Warrior in the 21-35m range, you can kite them to death.

      • Daniel says:

        40+ the 20m range abilities of Warriors are enough to kill a Marksmen and with cap closers a competent Warrior has no problems to use those abilites.

        • Potent says:

          A MM should never be in the 20m range of warrior gap-closers/spears. There are zero advantages to being at that range (unless maybe you have a sub-spec in NB and are using Twilight Force for some reason). If you do get closed on, OTD + Getaway and you are clean away, epsecially as the warrior can’t apply a snare to you. 5 second 70% speed buff + static shot gets you back out of the 20m danger zone and then the warrior is as good as dead.

          • Daniel says:

            In theory but try to keep max distance at a Warfront like Black Garden

            • Sowl says:

              Mainly why I go 51MM-15NB-0 inf. The constant 15% dmg + the 20m snare makes you survive. He closed the gap? Break free, 20m snare + otd and you are good. You also have retreat and static. By the time you retreated close to your spawn, the warrior did get aggro and you are fine.

              MM is all about chaining cooldowns.

  5. Travis says:

    Kudos on the new build. I’ll admit I miss the control of your pre-1.2 build, but I tried the new build out for the first time last night and I must say I’m really liking it. The survivability is still there and the heal debuff is crux. I felt like I rarely had a chance vs clerics before and now I can actually beat them mono y mono (albeit not very quickly).

    Question though – do you ever, under any circumstances, use the champ abilities such as deathblow?

    • taugrim says:

      Question though – do you ever, under any circumstances, use the champ abilities such as deathblow?

      If the target is at low health, sure. Only crits for about 650 or so for me. But it is immediate damage.

  6. Excelsior says:

    I used your spec a bit more last night and found you’re correct in group settings its incredibly good at downing clerics and chloros in short order. Unfortunely I find that many times I am the only one pressuring healers and I like the burst that paragon provides. Even if I dont kill them, the burst I provide is enough to turn their attention away from their teamaates and on to themselves, in itself is a victory of sorts.

    My biggest issue with kiting casters is not I cant land blows in melee, I can. its that I cannot consitently land combos of attacks. All it takes is a cleric to bunny hop off a ledge, jump past a rock and I lost target for a couple seconds. The good ones really know how to make your life miserable and cleanse or break movement effects when they happen, really putting you into a bind. That’s why i suppose I like the paragon because Path of the wind give me another ap bulder at range, combined with extra attack point generation.

    As for Rift Fury, as the tooltip says increases all non-phyiscal damage of the Riftblade. it increases the Life damage of Sweeping Strike and Light’s Hammer, as well as the Death damage of the Reaver, and the Air damage of the Void Knight. That’s why you see Discharge critting for such high numbers now. I’ve been toying around with soem build, and thinking of building a range based Rift Blade using Reaver and either Paragon or Void Knight.

    • taugrim says:

      Unfortunely I find that many times I am the only one pressuring healers and I like the burst that paragon provides. Even if I dont kill them, the burst I provide is enough to turn their attention away from their teamaates and on to themselves, in itself is a victory of sorts.

      SLI is awesome for non-RB specs. The issue with SLI and RB is that RB is incented to use Burst abilities as 5-point finishers due to the Enhanced Burst mechanic.

      Cutting down healing received by 50% is far more net-damage than just raw damage in my experience.

      • Excelsior says:

        I would agree with

        taugrim :.
        SLI is awesome for non-RB specs. The issue with SLI and RB is that RB is incented to use Burst abilities as 5-point finishers due to the Enhanced Burst mechanic.
        Cutting down healing received by 50% is far more net-damage than just raw damage in my experience.

        I would agree with you in the respect that SLI is less effective than LW, unless you factor in Weapon Master. At rank 5 you gain 50% chance to proc an extra attack point. This means on averge you generate 3 AP every 2 attacks. I have been able to chain A Fiery Burst, and a Earth Burst in the duration of one SLI. The 48% damage increase, combined with the increase to damage to your AP builders really allows some nice burst from the Rift Blade.

  7. Corey says:

    What are your thoughts on using the Vindicator talents Trauma and Improved Trauma instead of the Lingering Wounds? You can have it up 50% of the time for -50% healing. I was thinking something like RB 38/ Vind 20 / Paladin 8…would go with the Improved Trauma as well as adding in Resilient. I have some time before I get to 50, but was wondering about this build after you thoughts on Lingering Wounds…I just didn’t want to have to depend on a crit to get it.

    • taugrim says:

      I tried Imp Trauma. Is it effective? Yes. It requires a GCD though.

      So long as you have a solid crit rate, you should see plenty of LW procs. In practice, with an 18% unbuffed crit rate, I got a lot more LW procs than I was expecting. LW procs off auto-attacks too, which is nice.

  8. RunGalaad says:

    Erm, I read some comments about the bearings from Champ tree saying that Slayer was useless under 30 to 38% crit, so have you parsed Soldier and Slayer to make a choice?
    And why taking Boiling blood instead of maxing Elemental Flux(more proc to refresh Riftwalk and energy regen is not more interesting than an anecdotic damage on being critically hit?)
    Oh and yeah, with the new 8 sec FA I find myself in hard position to really exploit the debuff that is linked with the snare( mean if ur snare land 4 sec, the fire debuff stay 4 sec :'() and since for me the champ charge make FA dissapear, I find myself using charge to gap close after the snare is on immune.
    So here a build I made, I drop paladin to 8 and RB to 32 to gain more utility and punch from Champion tree here is the build:
    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=1cLkh.EGo00sMRtz.E0cdoR0G0z.xbo
    You lose the 3 sec stun on 1 min cd, to gain it on the 15 sec CD charge from champion, you gain a 30 sec CD remove all movement impairing effect a third off-GCD reactive, improved bearing (soldier over slayer) and finally a Proper Timing + Bladefury who give you a 100% chance to apply your debuff on 6 people (or 8 if you drop the charge stun)
    I would love to have your opinion on that build.
    Besides of that always glad to see your proposition of effective alternative builds :)
    PS: Sorry for my poor english, I am a french fan :)

    • taugrim says:

      Erm, I read some comments about the bearings from Champ tree saying that Slayer was useless under 30 to 38% crit, so have you parsed Soldier and Slayer to make a choice?

      Soldier’s Bearing buffs Physical damage, but most of Riftblade damage is Elemental.

      And why taking Boiling blood instead of maxing Elemental Flux

      BB is a nice reflect, esp given that I don’t spec Resilient anymore.

      Oh and yeah, with the new 8 sec FA I find myself in hard position to really exploit the debuff that is linked with the snare

      Imp FA is not as good as it was, but I think it’s a better choice than Elemental Flux.

      So here a build I made, I drop paladin to 8 and RB to 32 to gain more utility and punch from Champion tree here is the build:
      http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=1cLkh.EGo00sMRtz.E0cdoR0G0z.xbo

      Proper Timing would be nice-to-have, but I don’t want to give up the 5% Crit buff from Rift Strike. I have tried multiple specs with 32 in RB and the bottom line is that the loss of Rift Strike was noticeable.

      PS: Sorry for my poor english, I am a french fan

      Your English is excellent, where in France do you live? We have visited France: Provence, Loire Valley, Normandy, Paris. Beautiful country and awesome food/wine.

  9. hulkster says:

    Hey Taugrim found your guide from a link on the Rift forums and I cannot believe it is you man. I remember watching your BW and SM vids from WAR years ago. I wanted to play riftblade since I enjoy a mix of melee and magic and I am lucky you decided to go that way as well and have made such a great guide. But I wander if you pve any. I know pvp is what you’re about but during your lvling and even now at lvl 50 you must do some pve like dungeons and such. So I am wondering if you have any builds or some advice for pve since you say to not use this build in instances. Do you still riftblade for pve or go a completely different route? Thx in advance and I hope you keep having fun with Rift since I know WAR sorta…died.

    • taugrim says:

      So I am wondering if you have any builds or some advice for pve since you say to not use this build in instances. Do you still riftblade for pve or go a completely different route?

      In PVE I use a tanking spec (PD / VK / WL), since tanks are rarer than DPS.

  10. tarshana says:

    I love this spec, I just swapped over to it and you are totally right about Rift Strike working with Lingering Wounds. I’ve only been able to get into a few Black Gardens and one Codex with the spec, but I really enjoyed it. Now I just need to bug our VK in guild to run around with me so we can shut down the casters ;)

  11. Darker Muse says:

    taugrim :

    Also I expieremented with using the Reaver Dots as a anti-kiter build. Rift Fury increases the dot damage and you can stack up to 3 with as little of a 10 point investment. Also you get a 10% damage increase to Fiery Burst with a 15 point investment
    Very interesting!

    I can confirm this works to great effect. You can apply some quite, deceptive-yet nasty pressure.
    I didn’t realize Rift Fury worked on non-Riftblade abilities. That creates some synergy with Reaver builds.

  12. dave says:

    have you considered a 2h 38rb/17ch/11vk build that would give you both the heal debuff as well as the buff purge ability from vk

    • taugrim says:

      No, I haven’t.

      2H RB is a significant drop in damage compared to 2H CH. 2H CH hits and crits hard!

      Although that might be partially offset but the higher mobility / ranged capability of RB as compared to CH.

  13. Mike says:

    Taug looking forward to your next vid to see how youre running this spec. ive not played VK much so have trouble with knowing how to use it. Also what are you running for valor and how important is it on your stats

    • taugrim says:

      Valor is crucial for PVP. I’m running over 500 now, ~22% mitigation.

      I’ve been collecting footage of 1H 38 RB / 17 CH / 11 PD, not a VK build.

      • mike says:

        I see I have been testing your 8c VK build and found it effective for me in team situations but have trouble with VK timing abilities. Maybe ill give the CH build a try since my team is unsatisfied with my current damage output.

  14. Marc says:

    Taugrim, what would you reccomend for PVP from level 42 thru 50? The original pre 1.2 spec 38 RB/28 Pal/0 VK build or should i run an incomplete version of your 1.2 spec 38 RB/ 17 CH/ 0? Pal (adding point to pal tree last?) Or reverse that and add points to Champ tree last, for example 38 RB/ 6 CH/ 11 Pal (at level 42)?

  15. Hozzira says:

    Taugrim, I wonder if you ever tried to macro a weapon swap for one of your builds.
    Im still testing it atm cos weapon switching in a spam macro makes an extremely annoying sound (tho music could be a solution) and Im just learning a bit about macro’s in Rift, but currently I do macro all my weapon damaged based finishers to a 2-hander. I do this and macro in my shield n board in my spam macro to quickly switch back. This causes abilities like Devouring Blow to drain a lot more mana aside from the damage increase ofcourse.

    Also note, a weapon swap does not trigger any form of cooldown:

    #show Devouring Blow
    equipslot weapon_main
    cast Devouring Blow

    for your spam macro (main attack builders)
    #show Flamespear
    equipslot weapon_off
    equipslot weapon_main

    • Hozzira says:

      what I forgot is probable obvious, but after the weapon_main in the first macro put the name of your 2-hander and for the other macro put in the names of your shield and 1-hander

    • taugrim says:

      I haven’t tried this. Do you have to hit your macro twice, i.e. once to swap weapons and a second time to fire a skill?

      • Hozzira says:

        Nope, that’s the beaty of it, altho atm Im not really seeing much difference in dmg (using it for melee finishers only atm). Then again, Im only R2 so gear is pretty piss poor atm

  16. […] 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 […]

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