Guide to Guild Wars 2 Warrior “Hammer Gun” Build

As I’ve said before, GW2 builds are all about tradeoffs.

I’ve been considering the main thing that is lacking for each of my current Warrior builds in PVP:

  • Run and Gun” (RnG) lacks sustained CC to control situations (Axe/Warhorn has no CC capability)
  • Captain Hammer” (CH) lacks sufficient DPS to apply meaningful pressure

Hammer has continued to grow on me, and Rifle is an excellent ranged weapon, so I decided to pair those weapons together. After experimenting with various builds I landed on the “Hammer Gun” (HG) build. HG works well in sPvP and in WvW, just make sure for WvW to take the falling damage trait (Death From Above) instead of Bersker’s Power.

Build Calculator and Gear;0VKkN0_47L-60;9;49OJ-E4;026-09;23;0I-k3;2ZF18ZF185Ba

The spec lacks the sustained healing, mitigation, and boon uptime of CH, but the burst and sustained DPS are significantly higher and I can apply meaningful pressure to targets, and the ranged capability of HG is vastly superior.

HG lacks the AOE mobility and endurance effects that the Warhorn provides with RnG, but HG provides far better control, and the dropoff in overall damage from Hammer to Axe hasn’t been that significant. Although to be fair I do not take the Axe traits with RnG.

HG has excellent synergy with Adrenaline, specifically the 3 Adrenaline-based buffs (up to 12% damage, 9% crit, and healing ticks for 360 every 3s) and enabling use of the Hammer burst ability Earthshaker, which is awesome in AOE situations.

While HG lacks stability and doesn’t have particularly high mitigation, the ability to interrupt and lockdown opponents provides high value in group situations and in 1v1s.

Build Pros and Cons


  1. Very good sustained CC capability: 2 knockbacks (one is AOE), a knockdown, an AOE stun, and an AOE fear
  2. Good sustained damage
  3. Ability to skirmish up to 1200 range and handle close-quarters combat
  4. High crit rate (47-56%) triggers crit-based effects: Sigil of Superior Air procs, vulnerability, and bleeds
  5. Sustained condition removal via shouts and Mending


  1. Lacks high-end burst damage
  2. Lacks stability boon and oh-crap buttons

Narrated PVP Videos

“Hammer Gun” Build Overview

Conclusions From Build Testing

I theorycrafted and tried various Hammer / Rifle specs, and here are my conclusions:

  • Berserker’s Amulet outperformed Knight’s Amulet. While the latter provided more HP, fights took longer to resolve because of the lower Power (-229) and lower Crit multipler (1.85 vs 1.7). This reinforces a theme that has become increasingly apparent to me in GW2: it’s better to end fights quickly than try to try to wear down your opponent. DPS seems to beat damage reduction, and by reduction I mean mitigation and condition removal. I have witnessed this dynamic in tournaments, as multiple guildees have run tank builds that perform well in sPvP but simply don’t work in tournaments because they can’t apply meaningful DPS or boons or debuffs or sustained CC or area denial.
  • 30-pt Tactics healing trait Vigorous Shouts does not provide meaningful healing unless you stack +healing. If you invest 30 points into Tactics but don’t stack +healing, what you end up with is healing that is not significant, even factoring in the AOE aspect of it. Shout healing without +healing is merely a speed bump for opposing DPS.
  • 30-pt Defense retaliation trait Spiked Armor wasn’t worth the investment, even for a Power build. The main issue is that the boon only lasts 5s, and even with 30% duration from 30 points in Tactics, the 6.5s uptime wasn’t enough to justify the opportunity cost. Other classes (e.g. Guardian) have better retaliation mechanics.

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Revision History

  • 2012/12/09: replaced Sigil of Superior Air with Fire, replaced Rending Strikes with Deep Cuts for Attack of Opportunity uptime, and replaced Heightened Focus with Inspiring Shouts
  • 2012/10/15: switched from Sigil of Superior Blood to Superior Air for more burst damage
  • 2012/10/01: updated build links to use’s calculator
Posted in Guide, Guild Wars 2, PVP, Video, Warrior
116 comments on “Guide to Guild Wars 2 Warrior “Hammer Gun” Build
  1. > says:

    OMG this has to be the stupidest shit on the web. . well concerning guild wars 2

  2. Adlaav says:

    Hello Taugrim and Thanks for this build.

    I found myself leveling a Warrior in the minutes following the discovering of this and…
    So far so… good. I kinda get the HowTo and my Teammates are fallin’ for the control the spec is offering (And i directed some of our Warriors to your build but they prefer the Flashy GS. Whatever , they have fun :) )

    The only difficulty i found at 80 was the equipment choice.
    Too much Accuracy, not enough.
    Not enough Critical Damage, toughness, etc…

    Still trying to get things right and i’m quite happy with how he is right now but… I’d love your point on “The Numbers” a Warrior HammerGun should have in WvWvW.

    Thanks in advance :)

  3. Norntorious Be I Ge says:

    Hi Taugrim,

    I’ve followed you through WOW, Star Wars, and now GW2. I think your a genious! You see things that I don’t all the time. Since you understand these things so well, how about you throw out a PVE spec!? Please! I love PVP a lot but I also like to do PVE. If you could do that I’m sure a lot of us who follow you would be very greatful!!

    Thank you for your time and Happy New Year!!

    • taugrim says:

      Norntorious Be I Ge :

      Hi Taugrim,

      Since you understand these things so well, how about you throw out a PVE spec!? Please! I love PVP a lot but I also like to do PVE. If you could do that I’m sure a lot of us who follow you would be very greatful!!

      Thank you for your time and Happy New Year!!

      Happy New Year to you too!

      You can run Hammer Gun in PVE, but you might want to stack Toughness (e.g. with Knight’s armor and weapons) to give you more durability.

      Captain Hammer also works well in PVE, but I would recommend swapping out the Mace/Mace set for a Rifle.

  4. Angelica says:

    I started to use the “Hammer Gun” Build for PVE with very nice success. What Exotic armor would you suggest for that build?

    • taugrim says:

      Angelica :

      I started to use the “Hammer Gun” Build for PVE with very nice success. What Exotic armor would you suggest for that build?

      Knight’s gear for armor and weapons is a good place to start. Or take PVT gear if you want to be conservative.

      Use Ruby Orbs in trinkets for the crit damage %.

      • Angelica says:

        I was leaning towards Knights armor already, but your suggestion for Ruby Orbs in trinkets was especially helpful. I am loving this build for PVE

  5. JRH says:

    If this build was used for PVE, what sort of gear would you reccomend?

  6. Hey Taug, just wanted to say thimbs up for the continued efforts you give us. As usual, insightful and helpful. First followed you back in the prot pally days, your guides there gave me the step I needed to learn to play:)
    I must admit, I tried captain hammer build-but failed quite hard with it. I just could not survive well enough, dps sadly in GW2 seems to be king:( But tried hammer/gun today and found a MUCH higher success rate with it:) Even had a nice 1 v 1 with another warrior that follows you:) .Hammer/gun produces a nice fight when you BOTH run it:) We got each other down to the “downed” state and had a right laugh over it:P
    Keep up the good work and best wishes for all your endeavours.

  7. […] Hammer/Gun (originally by Taugrim) […]

  8. lyzergik says:

    Hi taug , Is the build up to date for PvP ?

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