Note: This article is intended to provide guidance for experienced characters playing new warrior PvE characters or inexperienced warriors looking for additional options. If this is your first time playing guild wars, please see one of the getting started guides.
A Warrior's Place
A warrior's place is in battle knee deep in foes and first to the fight. Warriors have the highest natural Armor rating of any class, as well as defensive and endurance skills such as Dolyak Signet, "Watch Yourself!" and Defensive Stance.
Being a Warrior
As a general rule, warriors should be among the first into a battle and among the last out. In PvE, the primary responsibility is to mitigate damage to the rest of the group by absorbing as much as possible, attempt to block or hinder foes attacking casters, and engage other warriors attempting to attack the rest of the party. Once the serious threats to the casters have been dealt with, move on to the opposing casters. In PvP, many effective warrior builds revolve around spiking, pressuring, linebacking or a combination of the preceding tactics. In PvP, engaging opposing casters is typically more important and more useful than fighting other warriors.
Warriors can make use of adrenaline skills that take no energy. These skills have to be charged by successfully attacking, either with a melee weapon, a bow, a spear, or a wand. Warriors can also use shouts, which have no activation time, and often aid the entire party.
Always carry a resurrect skill of some kind, as a higher armor rating and survival skills means the warrior will be most likely to survive a near-wipe situation. Monk and Ritualist secondaries should carry reusable resurrection spells like Rebirth or Flesh of My Flesh.
It is also advisable for warriors to carry self-healing skills, such as Healing Signet. Skills like these can keep the warrior effective longer, and allow primary monks to concentrate healing on more vulnerable allies.
Weapon of Choice
It is important to choose a single weapon to use with your warrior. Attribute points are in short supply, and focusing on a single weapon is the only way to use them effectively. See Runes and Armor for options on creating a weapon-flexible warrior. Be sure to read the associated page for details on your chosen weapon.
|Advantages of Swords||Disadvantages of Swords|
|Advantages of Axes||Disadvantages of Axes|
|Advantages of Hammers||Disadvantages of Hammers|
Strength grants 1% armor penetration per attribute level when using attack skills, and controls the effectiveness of strength skills. Strength-based armor penetration stacks with sundering weapon upgrades, but is replaced by skill based armor penetration.
- Interesting Strength Skills:
- Power Attack, Griffon's Sweep, Counterattack and Leviathan's Sweep are direct damage attack skills that may be used with any melee weapon.
- Protector's Strike and Bull's Strike are skills that may be used with any weapon to deal extra damage to moving foes.
- Endure Pain and Defy Pain grant extra health to survive when health is low near the end of battle.
- Sprint and Rush allow the player to move faster into or out of battle.
- Signet of Strength, Warrior's Cunning and Berserker Stance can make attacks more effective or faster.
- Warrior's Endurance is an excellent way to gain energy in combat.
- Dolyak Signet is a great way to gain large amounts of armor and immunity to being knocked down for no energy cost.
Tactics skills have party-wide effects or are useful for personal countering. Most Tactics skills are defensive in nature.
- Interesting Tactics Skills:
- Protector's Defense, "Shields Up!", and "Watch Yourself!" grant additional armor or additional chance to block attacks to other party members.
- Gladiator's Defense, Riposte and Deadly Riposte block incoming attacks and cause damage to the attacking foe.
- Defensive Stance, Wary Stance, Bonetti's Defense, Deflect Arrows, Shield Stance, and Disciplined Stance grant blocking or armor bonuses against incoming attacks.
- "Charge!" and "Retreat!" grant speed bonuses to allies or party members.
- Desperation Blow and Drunken Blow are melee attacks that cause a self-inflicted knockdown when used. Steady Stance, Balanced Stance and Dolyak Signet let them be used safely.
Warriors have a great selection of stances, both offensive and defensive, generic and specific. The most popular are IAS stances which increase the damage output and help build adrenaline for other skills. Examples are Flail, Flurry, Frenzy, Tiger Stance, and Berserker Stance. All these stances come with a penalty and there is no single, best skill in all situations. Due to the warrior's role in combat and the perfect situational awareness of monsters, Frenzy should be used only in specially planned PvE situations.
Self-healing is especially important for a warrior because of their position on the frontline, often out of range of the monk, taking the brunt of the damage.
The 3 staple warrior heals are:
- "Victory is Mine!" - When a team is based around conditions, this skill can easily heal for over 200 HP instantly.
- Lion's Comfort - A Nightfall skill good for warriors using strength. It can be used more often than Healing Signet and doesn't carry the sometimes-dangerous armor penalty; however, it is an adrenaline skill which puts a limit to its flexibility even if it provides adrenaline when used.
- Healing Signet - The original and most powerful, for a character that specs into Tactics. It subtracts 40 armor from the current armor while casting, so an emergency stance or a solid tanking skill are often used to "cover" while activating the signet.
Other skills used by warriors for self-healing are:
- Vigorous Spirit - The "Paladin" skill. This monk skill provides excellent healing over time, preventing the need for emergency healing. It can also be shared with allied warrior, ranger, and assassin. Consider using this skill with AoE skills, such as Cyclone Axe or Triple Chop.
- Mending - (Not recommended) This skill is extremely popular due to its ease of use among newer players, however Warriors will learn after playing that it is neither cost efficient (with the least Healing/Energy), nor the most reliable (As an enchantment it can be removed). This skill is the butt of many infamous jokes about how Mending is such a good skill, when in reality it is terribly inefficient.
Here is an example armor set for a flexible warrior that allows the warrior to change weapons, skills and attribute bonuses at will.
- One helm for each preferred weapon, for example:
- Swordsmanship helm with a Rune of Swordsmanship for when wielding a sword.
- Hammer Mastery helm with a Rune of Hammer Mastery for when wielding a hammer.
- Two sets of armor with different insignia, infused with a Rune of Vigor in the chest piece.
- The remaining gauntlets and boots of an armor set can be infused with a rune of minor tactics, minor strength, rune of clarity or rune of purity, depending on personal preference for strength and tactics skills.
Types of Warriors
The sword warrior uses his weapon to duel a single enemy at a time, causing conditions like bleeding and doing heavy armor ignoring damage with his attack skills. Dragon Slash can be used to quickly charge up all equipped adrenaline attacks simultaneously. Energy can be used for skills to increase adrenaline gain even further, like "For Great Justice!" and "To the Limit!", or for energy-based attacks like Pure Strike.
The axe warrior has 3 important PvE skills which can hit multiple opponents at once: Cyclone Axe, Triple Chop, and Whirlwind Attack. These attacks give adrenaline for each foe hit and allow easy use of adrenaline attacks.
Axes have the added benefit of easily applied deep wound, a powerful condition for taking an enemy down.
The hammer warrior disrupts foes by knocking them down, over and over and over. A common attack chain is Devastating Hammer, Crushing Blow, autoattack, Hammer Bash. Other skills can be added or substituted for these ones as they become available. A stance that increases attack speed is important with a hammer, because of the weapon's slower speed.
This character uses Strength and Tactics skills to reduce the damage done by monsters so that the party needs less overall healing to survive a battle. S/he attracts the attention of melee enemies, as well as protecting his/her party members from ranged attacks. Some popular tanking skills are Dolyak Signet, Flail, Shield Bash, "Shields Up!", "Watch Yourself!", Bonetti's Defense, and Gladiator's Defense.
Choosing a Secondary
For further information on choosing a secondary profession, including information about PvP Warrior builds, see Secondary professions for a Warrior.
- Watch Yourself provides a moderate armor bonus with enough points in Tactics. Due to its low adrenaline cost, it is easily maintainable with few or no points in Tactics.
- Skull Crack and Berserker Stance: at 12 Strength, both Dazed and Berserker Stance last 10 seconds, allowing tactics that interrupt a target caster once a second for 10 seconds.
Warriors in PvP
Warriors are arguably the most versatile class in PvP, being the main force of the offense, and being able to switch between different play-styles mid-battle. For the sake of the article, the somewhat dated Cripslash build will be used as an example.
There are several tactics that warriors employ in PvP, but the most common are pressuring, spiking, and linebacking. Each of these tactics, using the example build, will be discussed here in relation to the PvP Warrior.
The point of pressure is to stretch the enemy monks' energy pools thin by attacking many enemies at once. This is more effective at draining energy than simply attacking one target mostly because of the Protection Prayers tree of skills. If a warrior were to attack a single character, then the damage could be cut in half by skills such as Aegis or Guardian. Good pressure is often a precursor to spikes, reducing the likelihood that a spike will be countered. Mini-spikes may also be used in pressure to bait antispike measures. Mini-spikes are performed by either part of the frontline using their entire skill set, or all of the frontline using varying parts of their skill set.
This combo is effective because Frenzy allows for the entire chain to be delivered in two thirds the time, Crippling Slash offers minor degeneration pressure, Gash reduces the maximum health by a fifth through Deep Wound, and Sun and Moon Slash provides a potent finishing move. Rush is then used to cancel Frenzy, so that the player doesn't take double damage. It will always be ready at the end of a spike chain.
The mini-spike combo in this build is often Crippling Slash and Sun and Moon Slash, without a Frenzy active.
This tactic is deployed defensively when the battle is not going favorably, often in response to heavy pressure or to stave off spikes. Linebacking essentially revolves around not allowing any enemies beyond your frontline.
Players using the example build would make heavy use of the skills Crippling Slash, Bull's Strike and Rush. By maintaining Rush, the player can be near-guaranteed to be able to keep up with the enemy forces that may try to pass, and force a slow advance with Crippling Slash. Should the opposing players continue their offensive advance, Bull's Strike can be employed for constant knockdowns. This tactic allows monks to regain energy through the luxury of predictable targets and relaxed spot-healing.
Quarter knocking is when you keep another character on the ground (by various KD skills) and only allowing minimal time not KD'ed. A successful quarter knock will keep a character on his feet for less than a 1/4 of a second, and therefore cannot use any skill. This gives quarter knocking its name. Quarter knocking is most advantageously used on monks. Keeping a monk on the ground allows a warrior and his team to pressure/spike the monk without allowing him to throw up many 1/4 second prots, such as Spirit Bond, Protective Spirit, or Reversal of Fortune. Quarter knocking is mostly done by hammer warriors, but warriors with Shock and Bull's Strike can successfully quarter knock a target as well.
|Effective profession guides|
| Warrior • Ranger • Monk • Necromancer • Mesmer • Elementalist|