Hail Warriors! It is Centurion, the Guardian columnist of Guild Wars Insider. I was given the enviable task of guesting here on the Warrior column this week. My mission: to pick up and play the Warrior from a beginner’s perspective and report my findings back to the community.
Fortunately, it is a mission I was born for.
If you’ve read my normal column, you may come away thinking I’m a Warrior trapped in a Guardian’s armor and you wouldn’t be far off. I have a very offensive play style. I know what is best in life… I’ve seen Conan the Barbarian more times than I’d care to admit. So for this weekend, I was determined to throw caution to the winds and play the most fierce, bloodthirsty, rage monster imaginable. I took all of this unbridled fury and I crammed it and concentrated it into the smallest player race in Tyria… the Asura.
The results were fantastic!
My little death machine rolled over PvE, WvE and sPvP and it’s been a hell of a lot of fun to play! Drawing upon the fine articles that are normally posted in this column by Fredzw and Washednblood, I was able to build myself a mean little ball of hate.
Here are some tips and suggestions that I found useful:
Take a ranged weapon as well as a melee weapon and if you can also have each of those options balance single target and AoE damage, even better. It may sound like general advice and it is, but until you get familiar with the ins and outs of any profession - adaptability is your greatest ally.
For PvE, I went with the Rifle and dual wielded Swords. Both sets have bleeds and bleeds are one of the Warrior’s greatest weapons. Even if my target ran from me or if I was in a tight spot and needed to roll out to catch my breath, I was still doing damage one tick at a time. Bleeds are the Warrior’s way of letting the enemy know that they’re only prolonging the inevitable. and that death is certain. Both weapon sets also have a cripple which goes with bleeds like a Norn goes with ale. While not a true AoE threat, the Swords hit everything in my swing arc and the gap closing ability of Savage Leap was amazing. It is also a highly versatile ability, allowing for escapes and for leaping gaps in jumping puzzles.
For WvW, I kept the Rifle and a Sword in my main hand but swapped in a Warhorn in my offhand slot. The odds can quickly turn against you in WvW and when they do, mobility is your greatest ally. I’m a huge fan of swiftness and Charge gives you a 1o-seconds of it while removing chill, cripple, and immobilize. The Call to Arms ability of the Warhorn is also invaluable for the Vigor it provides. More Vigor means more dodges which could mean the difference between life and death when the zerg is breathing down your neck.
In Structured PvP, I once again kept the Rifle and dropped the Sword/Warhorn in favor of the Hammer. By Balthazar’s beard! The Hammer is a glorious implement of destruction! Paired with the Rifle, it was the perfect combination, allowing me to soften up targets at range before pummeling them into paste. It was so much fun, in fact, that I spent the majority of the weekend in sPvP crushing bones and popping off disgusting Kill Shots.
I’ve even included a video demonstrating my gleeful, tiny rampages!
For my armor, I chose the appropriately named, Rune of Rage.
- +2% critical damage
- +20% fury duration
- +3% critical damage
- 5% chance to gain fury for 30s when hit. (cooldown: 60s)
- +5% critical damage
- +5% critical while under the effects of fury.
Fury, as you well know, will boost your critical strike chance by 20%. Considering the amount of Precision and Malice I picked up allocating points into the Arms and Discipline trait lines, I had a considerable amount of critical chance and damage already. Speaking of traits, here is a summary of the ones I selected:
I tweaked things a bit from the build I used in the video, but the core ideas remained the same.
The Rifle has bleeds and my crits cause bleeds – even those caused from Burst Skills like Earthshaker. Bleeding targets take 10% additional damage. I’d fire off a few volleys upon closing with an enemy using Brutal Shot, Aimed Shot and Bleeding Shot to soften them up and build adrenaline.
Once they were in range, bleeding and vulnerable, I’d swap to the Hammer and leap at them with Earthshaker. This would stun them in place, giving me an additional 50% critical strike chance against them. I’d use this time to hit Backbreaker, knocking them prone. This is where the Merciless Hammer trait came into play, increasing the Hammer damage by 50% while they were knocked down.
After that, I’d adapt to the situation and respond accordingly and violently.
If they tried to escape, I’d use the cripple abilities on the Hammer and Rifle to keep them engaged. Bull’s Charge would close the gap and knock them down, making for more punishing Hammer strikes. Adrenaline was never an issue so backing away from me usually just meant I’d use my “For Great Justice!” shout for Fury and Might, immobilize them with my Throw Bolas ability, swap to the Rifle and then settle the argument with Kill Shot.
If they stayed up close and personal then I’d continue to mash them to pulp with the world’s messiest juicer. If things got grim, I’d roll out and use the Bolas and cripples to create space to give my heal time to come off cooldown. I’d reapply vulnerability with Brutal Shot and then start the cycle all over again with another Earthshaker.
This worked exceptionally well against most everyone I encountered so long as it remained one one one. If I ended up outnumbered, I was in trouble since I didn’t have a lot of durability. I’d simply try to take as many with me as I could before dying.
Speaking of death, if you’d like a trait that will keep Grenth from claiming you for a bit longer, look no further than Sweet Revenge. In my opinion, it’s the strongest trait in the Warrior’s arsenal. If you’re downed and are able to keep your enemy from killing you long enough to pop Vengeance, then your enemy is in for a fatal surprise. If you can manage to kill him during the 15 seconds you have until you die, then you send him to the grave in your place and you will remain alive! Trust me, NOTHING will enrage your opponent more than knowing he defeated you and yet you stole victory away from him. While he’s pounding his keyboard in frustration waiting to respawn, you can just reload, light a victory cigar and capture the point.
Alas, my time with the Tiny Barbarian was over too quickly and there’s just not enough time in a single weekend to explore the depths of the Warrior completely. What I did experience was an unbridled joy of killing that solidified the Warrior as my second favorite profession. I will definitely roll one at launch.
Thanks again to Fred and Wash for allowing me the opportunity to represent the Warrior column this week.
Until next time…