Guild Wars 2 PVP Video: “Run and Gun” Rifle Warrior, Part 1


In this video, I discuss my “Run and Gun” Warrior build with PVP gameplay footage.

It significantly impairs the movement of your target while providing high sustained ranged damage. It features gap control via cripples, roots, and knockbacks while providing excellent mobility. Basically I’m trying to retain as much of the “cannon” while ditching the “glass”. This build provides group utility with the movement buffs from the warhorn and stacking vulnerability debuffs on the target.

The spec is fun to play and has been everything I had hoped / theorycrafted it would be :) For more information on the spec’s mechanics / traits / gear, please see the Guide to the “Run and Gun” Build.

Let me know your questions and feedback.

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Posted in Guild Wars 2, PVP, Video, Warrior
39 comments on “Guild Wars 2 PVP Video: “Run and Gun” Rifle Warrior, Part 1
  1. Brytag says:

    looks decent

    question. if ur mainly playing it as a ranged dps, why not just go ranger?

    • taugrim says:

      Brytag :

      looks decent

      question. if ur mainly playing it as a ranged dps, why not just go ranger?

      Every class has a ranged spec, but the way they work is different.

      Ranger is a good choice if you want to play a pet-based RDPS.

    • Rifle warrior is quite good actually. Long range and you don’t have to bother with a pet, which typically fail when it comes to AI anyway.

    • Mike says:

      Played both rifle warrior and longbow and axe/horn ranger, and while the war can’t even come close to competing with the ranger on burst, it’s control and increased survivability makes it a very different creature and different play experience. Far more tactical, and better at imposing it’s will on opponents.

      • taugrim says:

        Mike :

        Played both rifle warrior and longbow and axe/horn ranger, and while the war can’t even come close to competing with the ranger on burst, it’s control and increased survivability makes it a very different creature and different play experience. Far more tactical, and better at imposing it’s will on opponents.

        Thanks for the insight, I was wondering how Warrior stacked up against Ranger.

        I made some significant changes to my Run and Gun spec tonight. It should provide better burst and higher base damage than previously, along with another group buff.

  2. Sam says:

    I love you Taugrim. Always hoped you would come over from swtor.
    Saw your Run & Gun build before the BWE and to be honest wasn’t really sure about it, so I started playing as I did before (BWE#1 stresstest).
    But on Saturday I decided to give it a chance.
    This build is so much fun and got me even more excited to play my asuran warrior on launch.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your insights.

    • taugrim says:

      Sam :

      Saw your Run & Gun build before the BWE and to be honest wasn’t really sure about it, so I started playing as I did before (BWE#1 stresstest).
      But on Saturday I decided to give it a chance.
      This build is so much fun and got me even more excited to play my asuran warrior on launch.

      My theorycrafting for the build was pretty accurate, but you really never know until you try it live.

      I wasn’t sure whether there would be any meaningful impact to the planned spec due to the trait tiering. Thankfully, the trait tiering did not prevent me from selecting the traits I had planned on taking.

      Sam :

      Thanks a lot for sharing your insights.

      And thank you for sharing your feedback on the build, it’s good to get validation and perspective from other players.

  3. Chad Jacquay says:

    Did you try a more melee focused Warrior? If so how comparable are the two styles? Was there a reason you went for a Ranged-Warrior?

    • taugrim says:

      Chad Jacquay :

      Did you try a more melee focused Warrior? If so how comparable are the two styles? Was there a reason you went for a Ranged-Warrior?

      In BWE1 and the subsequent Stress Test, I tried various melee Warrior builds, ranging from glass-cannon Eviscerate Ax builds to more tanky 1h + shield builds.

      This time around I wanted to test whether my hypothesis for Rifle Warrior was accurate. What was a pleasant surprise was the damage provided by Volley. Volley was higher than I expected, and Kill Shot was a lower.

      IMO, a Rifle spec’d Warrior has better ranged capability (duh!) and sustained control over the movement of the target. This is not to say Rifle-spec’d Warriors are superior to melee Warriors. It’s just a different focus and playstyle.

      Some of the melee specs can really bring the pain in a short window, such as the Hundred Blades ability of Greatsword or the Eviscerate burst ability for mainhand axe.

      Thankfully with GW2 you can customize your Warrior to provide the capabilities you want.

  4. Chad Jacquay says:

    On a similar note: I really loved RvR Keep storming in WAR and I’m hoping WvWvW will bring some of that back. Did you try any WvWvW, if so do you think specing Rifle will get more ‘bang for the buck’ since a Melee spec is going to be waiting around not doing much? (gawd I miss my Bright Wizard)

    • taugrim says:

      Chad Jacquay :

      On a similar note: I really loved RvR Keep storming in WAR and I’m hoping WvWvW will bring some of that back. Did you try any WvWvW, if so do you think specing Rifle will get more ‘bang for the buck’ since a Melee spec is going to be waiting around not doing much? (gawd I miss my Bright Wizard)

      In WvW, every player will need a weapon set that provides at least 900 range, or during keep fights they won’t be able to participate in fighting to the extent everyone else is.

  5. ZeeKer says:

    Great content as always :) I also was able to try your spec as well as the 3 axe spec (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZnJG7a0Nfw&feature=plcp) and I agree, sustaining dps at range while trying to close the gap is a must.

    At the end I chose a mix of both specs and some of my own theory-crafting, I mainly changed the horn for a nice sword/axe duo plus the riffle for the range,(besides the great synergy in animation, the Whirling Axe crits were great after weapon switching from the riffle, additionally I ended up using the Rune of Divinity across the six pieces and got a nice 52% crit and 23K+ health balance. So many choices, so little beta time, can’t wait release.

    Please keep up the great work, is always a pleasure to read your knowledgeable insights.

    Zee ya around :)

  6. Channeled abilities are showing their cumulative damage. For example, if you have a channeled ability hit 5 times for 1K each hit it will show as:

    1000
    2000
    3000
    4000
    5000

    Threw me off the first day of BWE2 as well. :)

    • EucridEucrow says:

      Yeah I noticed that with the main lightning attack on elementalist. I was looking at it and was thinking “Holy shit!, look at that damage!” and then realized that the mob’s health wasn’t going down as fast as it should and then put two and two together. So yeah, that volley chain, if channeled, isn’t 15k like you said in your video.

    • taugrim says:

      a.k.a. Oozo (@Raggok) :

      Channeled abilities are showing their cumulative damage. For example, if you have a channeled ability hit 5 times for 1K each hit it will show as:

      1000
      2000
      3000
      4000
      5000

      Threw me off the first day of BWE2 as well. :)

      Ah, thanks for pointing that out. Makes so much more sense now.

      Was thinking the damage from Volley seemed almost too good to be true. Turns out I was reading it wrong.

  7. Brad says:

    Build was good in WvW (at least a similar build). I used Axe/Warhorn for a little more spike ability and basically ran just an “kill the straggler” warrior for 72 hours. Start with rifle and your great CC, get in close, switch to Axe/Warhorn, by now the target should have vulnerability and you should have 3 strikes of addrenaline, pop whirling ax for extra vunlerability, finish with eviscerate.

    It was simply stunning. I did dabble with shield offhand. Especially in prolonged fights were the mobility of warhorn didn’t matter as much. The extra stun/gap closer on shield bash is invaluable. And in those big group fights, shield stance -> endure pain gives you incredible uptime, even in the middle of the enemy squad.

    I really have been enjoying my rifle warrior, just a great playstyle.

    • taugrim says:

      Brad :

      Build was good in WvW (at least a similar build). I used Axe/Warhorn for a little more spike ability and basically ran just an “kill the straggler” warrior for 72 hours. Start with rifle and your great CC, get in close, switch to Axe/Warhorn, by now the target should have vulnerability and you should have 3 strikes of addrenaline, pop whirling ax for extra vunlerability, finish with eviscerate.

      It was simply stunning.

      I moved some trait points around in the Run and Gun spec tonight.

      Also switched from Sword to Axe for mainhand weapon, since Flurry was very underwhelming and if I am going for an adrenaline dump I’d prefer to use Eviscerate over Flurry and in some cases Kill Shot.

  8. Narenek says:

    So you went ranged in the end with warrior. I thought you might after your last warrior vid and your old Riftblade from Rift. Been playing a rifle based warrior since BWE and loving it. Whilst it doesn’t have the burst of the gimmick specs (although they are much reduced now) it does have good damage and good survivability. I’ve gone a different route to yourself dropping 10 into Strength and 20 into tactics rather than 20 of those points being in defense. Maybe i’m too stuck in the old WoW stack stamina days for effective health but i prefer the extra HP to the extra toughness. 20 in tactics gives empowered but i’ve yet to play the spec this way and test how empowered works, so it could be great or gimp i don’t know yet.

    • Narenek says:

      Bah it didn’t include my spec
      http://www.gw2codex.com/build/482/show

    • The nice thing about ranged is that you can still kill people while trying to control a point. Full melee forces you out of the control zones which can allow control points to be neutralized or taken.

      • taugrim says:

        a.k.a. Oozo (@Raggok) :

        The nice thing about ranged is that you can still kill people while trying to control a point. Full melee forces you out of the control zones which can allow control points to be neutralized or taken.

        Speaking of control points, I found having 2 knockbacks really helpful for capping points.

        Area denial plays a big role in this game.

        • Yes, huge. Knocking people out and neutralizing a point is more important than killing people in sPvP. That really effects what weapon sets and utilities that you want. Wait til you see what Guardians can do. :)

    • taugrim says:

      Narenek :

      So you went ranged in the end with warrior. I thought you might after your last warrior vid and your old Riftblade from Rift.

      I tried a Rifle-spec’d Warrior to see how viable / effective it would be. Aside from having ranged capability, this GW2 Warrior has a very different playstyle compared to Riftblade Warrior. RB Warrior was a melee with some ranged capability. Rifle-based GW2 Warrior is a ranged DPS with much better crowd control and snares.

  9. Arasis says:

    The mobility buffs from war-horn almost seem like a must have for organized matches, kind of similar to the marauder/sent buffs in SWTOR.

    • Absolutely. If you are building to win matches in sPvP you should have something in your build for mobility to get from point to point.

    • taugrim says:

      Arasis :

      The mobility buffs from war-horn almost seem like a must have for organized matches, kind of similar to the marauder/sent buffs in SWTOR.

      Yep.

      We did a couple hours of the 5v5 tourneys, and the winning teams tended to stack multiple Swiftness buffs for covering the map. The analogy to Marauder/Sent buffs is a good one.

  10. Nice build Taugrim, I have a few question on it and some pvp question.
    1) Why frenzy over Endure pain? having 10 of a fight taking 0 dmg over the quickness.(doesn’t effect the trait u have for it, so u can pop it in the start of combat and it will still go off ones u hit 25% again)

    2) Sigil of Superior Strength only gives point for point in dmg, To catch up to the dmg of Air or even earth having a rifle (stacking bleeds) takes too many stacks.I do like that u used Frailty for pvp, What is your opinion on the other sigils?

    3)How did u feel about other profession’s and the not locked on a role? I played this event as a Guardian and refused to play the support only roll, so did http://www.gw2builds.org/create/bwe_1/guardian#0.0.5.2-2.7.19.3.2-25.15.25.0.0-3.5.2.10.5 and build for dmg, changed smite for retreat in 5v5, but had way less dmg and hp then a warr. Felt i was force to play support or at least expected too, btw that spec did really good crits and getting mvp in a lot of spvp i did. Also ended up taking support utilitys, I am a team player always.

    4) Tournament play how did your build do and what roll did u take? Point guard , ncp kill / killsteal or runner from points to points?

    • taugrim says:

      Emmanuel Gonzalez :

      Nice build Taugrim, I have a few question on it and some pvp question.
      1) Why frenzy over Endure pain? having 10 of a fight taking 0 dmg over the quickness.(doesn’t effect the trait u have for it, so u can pop it in the start of combat and it will still go off ones u hit 25% again)

      Actually swapped Frenzy to “For Great Justice!” in the spec.

      I already have Endure Pain auto-activate with the Shrug it Off trait.

      Emmanuel Gonzalez :

      2) Sigil of Superior Strength only gives point for point in dmg, To catch up to the dmg of Air or even earth having a rifle (stacking bleeds) takes too many stacks.I do like that u used Frailty for pvp, What is your opinion on the other sigils?

      You could make a valid argument for any of the crit-proc sigils IMO.

      Emmanuel Gonzalez :

      3)How did u feel about other profession’s and the not locked on a role? I played this event as a Guardian and refused to play the support only roll, so did http://www.gw2builds.org/create/bwe_1/guardian#0.0.5.2-2.7.19.3.2-25.15.25.0.0-3.5.2.10.5 and build for dmg, changed smite for retreat in 5v5, but had way less dmg and hp then a warr. Felt i was force to play support or at least expected too, btw that spec did really good crits and getting mvp in a lot of spvp i did. Also ended up taking support utilitys, I am a team player always.

      I really enjoyed Guardian, it was so much more effective offensively compared to BWE1.

      4) Tournament play how did your build do and what roll did u take? Point guard , ncp kill / killsteal or runner from points to points?

      Main assist.

  11. EucridEucrow says:

    Here is a nice overall look at cross-profession combos:

    http://www.shadowrefuge.com/2012/06/cross-profession-combos-closer-look.html

  12. Illrian says:

    Great vid….what guild are you in?

  13. Mitch says:

    Hi Taug, the build mechanics look great but what are your thoughts on the damage output as the volley ticks were cumulative? Obviously you originally thought the dmg was much more than it really was so do you think the spec is still viable but needs to weapon swap more to use the other sets abilities like Flurry?
    Also, there is a weapon sigil that cleanses a condition on crit did you consider using that one so you could use other runes in your armor?

    • taugrim says:

      Mitch :

      Hi Taug, the build mechanics look great but what are your thoughts on the damage output as the volley ticks were cumulative? Obviously you originally thought the dmg was much more than it really was so do you think the spec is still viable but needs to weapon swap more to use the other sets abilities like Flurry?
      Also, there is a weapon sigil that cleanses a condition on crit did you consider using that one so you could use other runes in your armor?

      I posted changes on Sunday for the spec to improve the weapon swap capability, increase Power by 133, and I swapped Sword for Axe and Frenzy for “For Great Justice!”. Check out the Guide on the spec:
      https://taugrim.com/2012/05/30/gw2-run-and-gun-warrior-spec/

      The weapon sigil that removes condition has a 10s internal cooldown, so I think the throughput for it is too limited.

  14. Haseetha says:

    Ed, I can’t help but watch your run and gun video and think it reminds me of Powertech. Do you think that’s a fair comparison. Next to the DoK in Warhammer, the Powertech was my favorite PVP class. Do you get a similar feel from the Warrior? I have yet to play GW2.

    • 4powells says:

      Haseetha :
      Ed, I can’t help but watch your run and gun video and think it reminds me of Powertech. Do you think that’s a fair comparison. Next to the DoK in Warhammer, the Powertech was my favorite PVP class. Do you get a similar feel from the Warrior? I have yet to play GW2.

      To clarifty, I meant more in terms of movement and play style. Not so much the abilities.

      • taugrim says:

        4powells :

        Haseetha :
        Ed, I can’t help but watch your run and gun video and think it reminds me of Powertech. Do you think that’s a fair comparison. Next to the DoK in Warhammer, the Powertech was my favorite PVP class. Do you get a similar feel from the Warrior? I have yet to play GW2.

        To clarifty, I meant more in terms of movement and play style. Not so much the abilities.

        Ah OK.

        Well, both are highly mobile DPS classes, so that part of it feels similar.

    • taugrim says:

      Haseetha :

      Ed, I can’t help but watch your run and gun video and think it reminds me of Powertech. Do you think that’s a fair comparison. Next to the DoK in Warhammer, the Powertech was my favorite PVP class. Do you get a similar feel from the Warrior? I have yet to play GW2.

      With the exception of wearing heavy armor, I don’t think the mechanics are that similar.

      PT is a melee with short-range capability. RnG is a long-range DPS.

      RnG has knockback / knockdown capability, whereas PT has a pull.

  15. cryblood says:

    I must say props too the build, I felt extremely dangerous, the first 3 games I did as the build were a tournament game that we won, was hitting low armor targets for 7-11k back too back with volley + kill shot, some mesmer tried too get me off our trebuchet, I practically 3 shot him.

    However I was pretty mad after playing a Pistol Thief for two days.

    Felt like the major traits for Rifle Warrior are similar too the pistol thief’s except for one thing… their better, sure their not the same class, I honestly think they should operate differently, but the same Major Trait but worse just made me want to play the class with the stronger traits.

    The Critical Vulnerability Trait on Thief has a 1 sec internal cd and only lasts 5 seconds, the warrior one had much better uptime. The bounce trait for thiefs only has a 5% proc rate, while the warriors pierce trait has 100% uptime AND reduces CD’s by 20%

    Your 5 ability, rifle butt is a extremely usefull interupt and can hit for over 2k, the thiefs is a 2 second aoe point blank blind that costs half your resource bar, you practically never use it due too the super high cost.

    Also one the thiefs venoms is a 2 second immobilize, it has a 45 second CD, the Rifle 2 ability does the same thing, except its a 8 second cd, the only difference being the warriors has a cast time.

    Althou I guess its not too bad, as the Pistol Thief was very good at kiting and running away, and had higher mobility/sustain, but the fact that it did less burst damage, had 300 less range, had less hp/armor, and less group utility (<3 Warhorn) just felt wrong.

  16. Prophet says:

    Hey Taug,

    Why did you switch over to the other warrior build instead of staying with this? I played a Bh in swtor and loved the type of gameplay it provided. Insta-attacks, good cc, good control and high burst. It was a bit on the squishy side, but I guess this gun and run isnt very squishy. Would you recommend this to me?

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