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


Build Overview

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

sPvP Build: http://www.intothemists.com/calc/?build=-s707-0-VKkN0_47L-60;9;5OT-E;116-07A;14;0L-V44;1ZF18ZF185Bx

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

Pros

  1. Excellent range (1200)
  2. Good gap control CC (cripples, 1 knockback, 1 fear bomb) complemented by high Swiftness uptime
  3. High crit rate (47-56%) triggers crit-based effects (bleeds, vulnerability, lifesteal)
  4. Good sustained direct damage
  5. Sustained condition removal via shouts and Mending
  6. On-demand group movement and fury/might buffs

Cons

  1. 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)
  2. Lacks sustained disabling CC

Build Mechanics

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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):

Revision History

  • 2012/10/15: switched from Sigil of Superior Blood to Superior Air Fire 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:
    1. 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)
    2. 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
    3. 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

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Posted in Guide, Guild Wars 2, PVP, Video, Warrior
160 comments on “Guide to Guild Wars 2 Warrior “Run and Gun” Build
  1. […] For detailed information on the spec’s mechanics / traits / gear, please see the Guide to “Run and Gun” Warrior Build. […]

  2. Iolus says:

    Hey Taugrim,

    First off I wanted to say thank you for the great guides. They’ve enhanced my gaming experience immensely.

    I know you’ve mentioned a few times on this thread that the “Run and Gun” build is nothing like a Vanguard from SWTOR. Looking at the videos its quite clear that it isn’t.

    I just wanted to know if there was a build that somewhat emulated the Vanguard play-style?

    Lastly, great build!

    • taugrim says:

      Iolus :

      I just wanted to know if there was a build that somewhat emulated the Vanguard play-style?

      I guess this would be the closest thing. But “Run and Gun” lacks a pull capability.

  3. Oliver says:

    Hey Taugrim, just out of curiosity, do you think this build could be used for pvp if alterations were made, and if so what would those alterations be?

  4. maximillian79 says:

    Hey Taugrim, I been using this build so far, And still love it in WVW, But I just feel its not fit for me or my team set-ups in sPVP, I do love the Axe melee play style thou, Any chance you could help with a more Axe focused pure melee spec without the Rifle?
    Cant really find any not outdated spec´s and my own imagination/experience seems to suck :) all help appreciated, Thx

  5. tomcrowley says:

    Why Axe and Horn for your off set? I currently use Greatsword for my off set even though I am usually favoring the rifle. I use GS charge and whirlwind to get around the map and if a melee is really sitting on me I give them the 100 blades. Although I think GS is easy to avoid when it is all you use. I typically surprise people when It comes out instead of the Rifle.

    • taugrim says:

      tomcrowley :

      Why Axe and Horn for your off set? I currently use Greatsword for my off set even though I am usually favoring the rifle. I use GS charge and whirlwind to get around the map and if a melee is really sitting on me I give them the 100 blades. Although I think GS is easy to avoid when it is all you use. I typically surprise people when It comes out instead of the Rifle.

      Warhorn 4 provides group swiftness boon, and warhorn 5 provides AOE weakness.

  6. Any suggestions in combining the durability and stuns of the hammer and the range and damage of the rifle? I like both these weapons and in PvE I tend to open with rifle and finish with hammer.

    • taugrim says:

      Michael Mifsud :

      Any suggestions in combining the durability and stuns of the hammer and the range and damage of the rifle? I like both these weapons and in PvE I tend to open with rifle and finish with hammer.

      Hammer is a control weapon. If it suits your playstyle, then go for it.

  7. Noctis says:

    ANYONE USING RIFLE BUILD WARRIOR CHECK THE TRAIT “CRACK SHOT” IT DOESN’T WORK WITH VOLLEY.. on the icon it shows cooldown as 8 seconds but when you use it it’s still “10 seconds” you need the turn on the option to see your cooldowns so that you can see it.

    • taugrim says:

      Noctis :

      ANYONE USING RIFLE BUILD WARRIOR CHECK THE TRAIT “CRACK SHOT” IT DOESN’T WORK WITH VOLLEY.. on the icon it shows cooldown as 8 seconds but when you use it it’s still “10 seconds” you need the turn on the option to see your cooldowns so that you can see it.

      Correct. The reduction to the cooldowns of the other abilities is working though.

      Hopefully Volley gets fixed.

      • Noctis says:

        already sent a ticket but yah hopefully they fix it. that 2 second thing is big specially volley is the bread and butter of rifle builds. have you tried if Last Stand and Endure Pain works too??

      • taugrim says:

        Noctis :

        already sent a ticket but yah hopefully they fix it. that 2 second thing is big specially volley is the bread and butter of rifle builds. have you tried if Last Stand and Endure Pain works too??

        Thanks for submitting the ticket.

        And yes Last Stand and Endure Pain work.

      • Noctis says:

        what i meant was defy pain my bad lol. so regarding last stand and defy pain do you need to equip endure pain and balance stance for it to work? or will it just activate automatically even tho it’s not in your utility slots? thanks for replying btw.

      • taugrim says:

        Noctis :

        what i meant was defy pain my bad lol. so regarding last stand and defy pain do you need to equip endure pain and balance stance for it to work? or will it just activate automatically even tho it’s not in your utility slots? thanks for replying btw.

        Those traits work even if you do not have the corresponding utilities slotted.

  8. Proxeum says:

    Going to try this build out tonight, can’t wait looks fun :)

  9. Nesh says:

    I usually don’t play range classes/specs but man this build is alot of fun and defiantly my new favorite.
    Thanks for this guide taugrim :)

    • taugrim says:

      Nesh :

      I usually don’t play range classes/specs but man this build is alot of fun and defiantly my new favorite.
      Thanks for this guide taugrim :)

      Glad you’re enjoying it.

      Don’t forget to use that Axe in AOE situations, especially in tightly-packed node fighting. The damage is really good.

  10. Traigar says:

    Hey Taugrim,

    Continuing Oliver’s query – can you suggest any tweaks for PVE (especially dungeons). From my experience it works well in dungeons (which are a it melee unfriedly at times) but would be great to have any thoughts on PVE improvements / alterations?

    Regards

    • Noctis says:

      what i can suggest which iam using right now for pve is activate deep strike on the arms tree it gives you 40 precision per signet and then on the utility slots i have 4 signets and for great justice skill. all of your attacks will be critical you’ll rarely see a white number on your attacks.

      • Traigar says:

        Thanks again mate,

        Please remember for every post here there are 50 more people taking your advice and getting real help from it. Great build, great to play, and cannot thank you enough for the knowledge and willingness to share / help. Poer to you…or should that be precision!

  11. txcgm says:

    Really enjoying this build for PvE and PvP! Thanks very much for developing and sharing it :)

  12. David Fedor says:

    Hi Ed, i was wondering about your decision to use the Sigils of Blood on both your weapons. Was this decision made before or after Anet introduced the internal CD on procs? I ask this because im currently using the Sigil of Blood on my GS build which sports a 76% crit chance unbuffed and i find the life steal sorely lacking. Even with my extreme crit chance i hardly ever see it proc (i believe all procs now have a 5 second CD before they can proc again). Is there any other sigil you could recommend for this build of yours? I am currently trying it out not just for PvP but general PvE as well and am loving it!

    • taugrim says:

      David Fedor :

      Hi Ed, i was wondering about your decision to use the Sigils of Blood on both your weapons. Was this decision made before or after Anet introduced the internal CD on procs? I ask this because im currently using the Sigil of Blood on my GS build which sports a 76% crit chance unbuffed and i find the life steal sorely lacking. Even with my extreme crit chance i hardly ever see it proc (i believe all procs now have a 5 second CD before they can proc again). Is there any other sigil you could recommend for this build of yours? I am currently trying it out not just for PvP but general PvE as well and am loving it!

      TLDR: I’m not sure.

      You may have seen my recent tweet asking a similar question:

  13. Anywhere says:

    How does the warhorns weapon strength affect you? It doesnt do any damage by itself?

  14. […] “Run and Gun” (RnG) lacks sustained CC to control situations (Axe/Warhorn has no CC capability) […]

  15. CWM says:

    I tried to make a ranger build in tribute to the warrior run and gun. It definitely is not as refined as R&G, but I was wondering if you could critique it or give me a few pointers: http://www.gw2build.com/builds/simulator.php#1.6.10.4.0.21.24.24.0.32.133.145.301.144.151.2.3.6.376.383.0.39

  16. jushwa says:

    Hi there i cant seem to open the link to see the traits build on this guide. can anyone give me a link? thanks.

  17. Raskir says:

    None of your build planer links is working anymore…. May you fix this Issue

  18. Trill says:

    Would you recommend using a berserker set for WvW or a knight set?

    • taugrim says:

      Trill :

      Would you recommend using a berserker set for WvW or a knight set?

      Do those sets exist for WvW?

      Your underlying question I think is would it be better to stack HP or DPS stats. I would go for the latter. You have high mobility with “Run and Gun” and can fight from range.

      • Anywhere says:

        I was actually going to post my thoughts after having spent a week in wvw. I´m fully geared and I mix Knights/Berserker. The Knights gives you less power but more crit than berserker and ofc toughness which is really really good. It means you can stay and fight for supplys long enough to get backup while still doing very good damage. I would recommend going for a minimum of 1500 toughness. I have the Berserker Rifle (for higher power) and I got the axe which has toughness for more survivability in sticky situations. If you are gearing up and getting Karma gear you probably want to go for the chest piece first. I also replaced the might buff with the invulnerability (stand the pain?). Its great for when you want to enter a castle thats besieged and have to run through a group of enemies.

      • taugrim says:

        Anywhere :

        I was actually going to post my thoughts after having spent a week in wvw. I´m fully geared and I mix Knights/Berserker. The Knights gives you less power but more crit than berserker and ofc toughness which is really really good. It means you can stay and fight for supplys long enough to get backup while still doing very good damage. I would recommend going for a minimum of 1500 toughness. I have the Berserker Rifle (for higher power) and I got the axe which has toughness for more survivability in sticky situations. If you are gearing up and getting Karma gear you probably want to go for the chest piece first. I also replaced the might buff with the invulnerability (stand the pain?). Its great for when you want to enter a castle thats besieged and have to run through a group of enemies.

        Did you check out the new WvW link posted above?

        It’s a huge burst Kill Shot spec, designed to blow opponents up from range.

        You can get into melee range with “Run and Gun”, but I think for WvW I’d play as a mobile single-target burster.

      • Anywhere says:

        Ah no I hadn´t seen it. I am still very mobile with your regular spvp spec and I´m running around 1600 toughness. I also have very good damage. I just dont think you can avoid melee range altogether. For example running into a besieged fortification or simply helping out your team with fearbomb or denying a res with the pushback. My mate is running something very similar to your wvw spec in full berserker though and he can crit 25k+ with kill shot. I just think a bit more survivability is helpful. Ofc my group tends to do a lot behind the lines gank supply lines fighting. If you are just following a commander zerg or defending stonemist yours is probably better overall.

      • Anywhere says:

        Ps. Another nice trick with Endure Pain and the rest of the tricks if you are the last guy and being chased by a zerg, just run away from the direction your friends are going. This will give them more time and possibly help save them repair costs and downtime.

      • Anywhere says:

        So I have this gear: [Berserker’s Draconic Helm of the Knight][Berserker’s Draconic Pauldrons of the Knight][Knight’s Draconic Coat of the Berserker][Knight’s Draconic Gauntlets of the Berserker][Invaders Chainmail Chausses of the Berserker][Knight’s Draconic Boots of the Berserker][Berserker’s Pearl Blunderbuss of Blood][Mystic Battleaxe][Knight’s Pearl Siren of the Hydromancer]
        Which makes: ~1900 power, ~1900 precision, 1455toughness, 900 vitality. We have 2 orbs now so it should be in that vicinity though. Running http://www.intothemists.com/calc/?build=-s707-0-VKkN0_47L-60;9;5JJ-T;11;017;243AJ;044;1ZF18ZF185BR. Seems to be working fine but I only tried it for 1 hour now or so. I chose to take out points

      • taugrim says:

        Anywhere :

        Ps. Another nice trick with Endure Pain and the rest of the tricks if you are the last guy and being chased by a zerg, just run away from the direction your friends are going. This will give them more time and possibly help save them repair costs and downtime.

        Yep.

        Sometimes by being the sacrificial lamb you can save the rest of your group.

      • Anywhere says:

        I prefer of it being the soldier who throws himself on the grenade, but I guess its almost the same thing. Any thoughs on the spec?

      • Anywhere says:

        Btw I swapped the axe out for the sword. The added mobility is great and the single target damage seems to be equal or higher than axe. Also its great fun to root someone who is trying to run away :)

      • taugrim says:

        Anywhere :

        Btw I swapped the axe out for the sword. The added mobility is great and the single target damage seems to be equal or higher than axe. Also its great fun to root someone who is trying to run away :)

        Sword provides mobility, Axe provides burst. Depends which you want.

  19. Tarsis says:

    The link to your build is not working right. I was looking at it and it looks good, but I want to know what the whole of the build is.

  20. Anywhere says:

    Since the new urls are bugged again heres the old url. I dont know if this is correctly updated though. http://en.gw2skills.net/editor/?fIAQNBkODbE0J5t5x6hJOggeUFZxWcZMeBo+QbA;T0Ag0CnoyyklILbWuskZtwYgxBjNIPMA

  21. Reptilen says:

    Hey again man ;) I just got my warrior to lvl 80 and im going for your Run’N’Gun build … Why did you go Runes of the Soldier instead of running Divinity again like your mesmer?

    I know you remove a condition on shouts(though you have shake it off and heal allready), but you do get those 12% crit damage which are epic for the damage on gun …

    • taugrim says:

      Reptilen :

      Hey again man ;) I just got my warrior to lvl 80 and im going for your Run’N’Gun build … Why did you go Runes of the Soldier instead of running Divinity again like your mesmer?

      I know you remove a condition on shouts(though you have shake it off and heal allready), but you do get those 12% crit damage which are epic for the damage on gun …

      I don’t like dying or getting run over, so to me condition removal (especially roots and snares) is pretty important.

  22. First thing first, I’ve been happily using your builds since your original vanguard builds in SWTOR beta so I am a huge fan. My question is, isn’t “Shake it Off” redundant considering your six soldier runes that turn every shout into a condition remover? If you swapped out Shake It Off for say “On My Mark” wouldn’t that also buy you additional DPS?

    • taugrim says:

      Ethan Scott Baird :

      My question is, isn’t “Shake it Off” redundant considering your six soldier runes that turn every shout into a condition remover? If you swapped out Shake It Off for say “On My Mark” wouldn’t that also buy you additional DPS?

      SIO with Soldier Runes = AOE removal of 2 conditions, which is very powerful against condition-based opponents

  23. Victor Draken says:

    Can you post a WwW gear setup.
    I was going with berserk gear plus soldier runes, BUT i was thinking about Runes of scholar or runes of the pack.
    I know that if you get caught with this kind of runes it’s over, but with the big mobility of axe horn I tought of running a Kill or GTFO build.

    What do you think?

    • Victor Draken says:

      And what about a valkyrie set as a jewels with berry (not sure about the name, green orb). It gives you power/crit dmg/vitality.
      and get rid of the soldier runes and maybe go divinity OR Ogre OR red orbs?
      Can you please have a look at WWW type of armor combination and give us your idea? :)

      Would be really appreciated.

    • taugrim says:

      Victor Draken :

      Can you post a WwW gear setup.
      I was going with berserk gear plus soldier runes, BUT i was thinking about Runes of scholar or runes of the pack.
      I know that if you get caught with this kind of runes it’s over, but with the big mobility of axe horn I tought of running a Kill or GTFO build.

      What do you think?

      Berserker’s for my WvW version of this build, because you’ll be fighting from range mostly and Power/Pre/Crit Dam are great for DD build.

      • Victor Draken says:

        so i should disregard soldier runes and go for full berserk even for the runes?

      • taugrim says:

        Victor Draken :

        so i should disregard soldier runes and go for full berserk even for the runes?

        I’m not sure, as I haven’t hit 80 to test yet.

        The good thing is that aside from SIO, this build can remove roots and snares via Warhorn 4, so you have options for maintaining separation from opponents while you blow them away.

        My 10/30/0/0/30 WvW build delivers Kill Shot crits over 10k. It’s nasty :)

  24. Victor Draken says:

    I find WvW very easy to duel 1vs1 due to the big map, and how it’s easy to mantain range. Instead using the WvW build in SPvP I find it’s fucking hard to do anything. The dmg are high, but I can’t 2vs1 with warhorn axe and 1vs1 i find it very hard vs thief and ranger. The other are not a big deal even if i’m a noob i can still mostly win all the 1vs1 but thief…. they just go stealth backstab me and i find myself at 2-4k hp.

    I can then bring them almost to 0 HP and that’s impressive, the axe burst is unbelievable high, still I end up usually losing the duel. Ranger on the other hand… they just kite me like a bitch and they have very sustained dmg!

    Maybe is just me… being a noob.

    I’ll try the full berserk w/o soldier runs and let you know how it works.
    I’ll try the hammer gun build, i think for SPvP is better then run and gun.

  25. […] have a separate guide for sPvP “Run and Gun”. I wrote this Guide because the differences between WvW and sPvP and therefore the builds are so […]

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