This guide discusses my “Run and Gun” build for GW2 Warrior.
The build leverages Rifle and Axe/Warhorn as the weapon sets. For tournaments, I recommend either my “Captain Hammer” support/CC spec or the “Hammer Gun” DPS/CC spec, as those specs bring more CC to the table. For WvW, check out the WvW “Run and Gun” build.
Build Calculator and Gear
Amulet + Jewel: Berserker’s + Berserker’s: 923 power | 644 precision | 329 vitality | 20% crit damage
Runes: 6 x Runes of the Soldier: 165 vitality | 50 toughness | shouts remove a condition
Build Pros and Cons
- Excellent range (1200)
- Good gap control CC (cripples, 1 knockback, 1 fear bomb) complemented by high Swiftness uptime
- High crit rate (47-56%) triggers crit-based effects (bleeds, vulnerability, lifesteal)
- Good sustained direct damage
- Sustained condition removal via shouts and Mending
- On-demand group movement and fury/might buffs
- Limited multi-target capability (mitigants: Rifle shots pierce, so any targets in the line of fire will be hit. In melee range, Axe provides functional short-range AOE)
- Lacks sustained disabling CC
I made a conscious choice to favor direct damage over bleed (condition) damage for the following reasons:
- The Rifle is better suited to direct damage than bleed damage, due to there only being 1 attack that applies a bleed effect, and it’s a single-hitting ability and as such does not synergize with Sigil of Superior Earth. Therefore, I chose not to buff bleed duration nor condition damage
- There are many condition removal abilities in the game, and some classes have strong counters to condition-based specs. This is not to say that condition damage isn’t viable – it just doesn’t fit the playstyle and mechanics I’m shooting for (no pun intended)
The excellent Crack Shot trait enables use of Aimed Shot (5s cripple) and Volley every 8 seconds, Brutal Shot (debuffer) and Rifle Butt (knockback) every 12 seconds. In addition, Crack Shot ensures that your Rifle attacks hit the intended target(s).
The Rifle burst ability Kill Shot can crit for 8k+, but keep in mind that it has a self-rooting cast time with a very visible animation (your character crouches). To increase the probability of landing the Axe burst ability Eviscerate, you can use Rifle Butt then follow with Eviscerate.
The more I play the spec, the more I have come to value the Axe mainhand. It’s fantastic for killing low-HP pets (e.g. Mesmer illusions, etc) and for dealing sustained damage on targets on objectives. I also use Axe to circle-strafe targets that can’t handle a moving target.
This high crit rate supports the following synergies:
- Lifesteal procs from Sigil of Blood: SoB provides a 30% chance on crit to heal for 453. The opponent is damaged by 453 but the damage seems to be mitigated by Armor
- Precise Strikes + Attack of Opportunity: these synergize to provide a 33% chance on crit to proc a bleed effect, and bleeds buff your direct damage on the target by 10%. Keep in mind the auto-attack for Rifle provides 1 bleed effect, and the crit-based procs will help ensure good bleed uptime regardless which attack abilities you use
- Furious Speed: excellent uptime on Swiftness, which allows the use of Rifle for running down or maintaining distance on opponents
Narrated PVP Videos
Videos listed in reverse chronological order.
5v5 tournament video on live :)
5v5 tournament video with lots of 1v1s:
Two 1v1 fights, the first against a Mesmer, the second against a Necromancer:
Some fun 2v2 action featuring my Warrior paired up with a Guardian, facing an Elementalist and Warrior:
The traits, gear selection, and mechanics of the spec, with illustrative gameplay (note that the spec in this video is slightly outdated due to changes after BWE2):
- 2012/10/15: switched from Sigil of Superior Blood to Superior
AirFire for more burst damage
- 2012/10/01: updated build links to use intothemists.com’s calculator. Added WvW build (thanks Rocket for the suggestion)
- 2012/09/16: added links to other specs for tournament play
- 2012/09/02: replaced Rending Strikes for Furious Speed. More run, more gun!
- 2012/09/02: added 5v5 tourney video
- 2012/07/29: added 5v5 tourney video
- 2012/07/23: updated spec for BWE3. Changed from 0/30/25/0/15 to 0/25/30/0/15 to account for changes to traits. With the addition of Embrace the Pain, the spec now generates adrenaline much faster. Rune of Melandru was nerfed severely and replaced with Rune of the Soldier. Fear Me shout replaced Stomp for clearing opponents, and Shake It Off replaced Bolas, as the spec needed more condition removal
- 2012/07/14: added 3rd video, which contains two 1v1 fights (vs Mesmer, vs Necro)
- 2012/07/06: added 2nd video, which contains chain 2v2 fighting. Changed soloing Sigil from Strength to Blood
- 2012/06/17: After reviewing the BWE2 footage, I’ve decided to swap Opportunity (fury proc on root) for Sniper (shots pierce), to make sure that my Rifle attacks hit my intended target. Without the pierce, sometimes my attack(s) would hit intervening opponents. Pierce also provides limited multi-target capability. Given that, the Leg Specialist trait was no longer as valuable. Here are the changes:
- Switched from 0/30/20/10/10 to 0/30/25/0/15: picked up Fast Hands (-5s on weapon swap cooldown) and Armored Attack (10% of toughness is converted to power)
- Switched from Sword to Axe. Given the low damage from Flurry in BWE2, I’d rather have Eviscerate for adrenaline dumps, and with the 5s cooldown on weapon swap, I’ll be able to switch weapon sets more fluidly mid-combat to use Eviscerate, Throw Axe, and the excellent warhorn buffs
- Swapped out Frenzy for the “For Great Justice!” shout buff. The critical damage component was removed from Frenzy. FGJ provides an AOE fury and might buff on a relatively short (25s) cooldown
For more Guild Wars 2 content, subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter.