This is a guide that I made for the purpose of explaining basic information to those that wish to learn general utility/trait use in PvE on a warrior for primarily solo situations. In this guide I will explain the uses behind our skills, weapons and traits with the intention of maximizing our damage potential when in a solo setting.
A little background information on me:
I am a member of Retaliate [rT], a European speedclearing guild which has been well known for having some of the most skilled PvE players in the game. Some of the very best players of GW2 have been and are a part of Retaliate. I’m proud to be in it and am currently an overseer for recruitment.
I have been soloing dungeons and fractals for over a year now and have also streamed plenty of them. A lot of people ask me on a regular basis for my build while I’m streaming, which gave me the idea of making this thread.
Post 1: Full build link (traits, runes, stat type), healing abilities & elite ability
Post 2: Utilities
Post 3: Foods/nourishment, sigils for weapons, what weapons to use and when to use them
Post 4: Useful consumables worth mentioning
First of all, here is the full build.
The three specializations you will be taking in solo scenarios are Strength, Arms and Discipline. The specific details for each specialization can be found in the hyperlink above.
The traits Furious in Arms and Burst Mastery in Discipline are your two primary grandmaster traits for ensuring that you’re able to use your burst skill off cooldown, as you will need very fast adrenaline gain.
The trait Heightened Focus in Discipline is technically optimal with Furious but the problem with this trait is that because it’s fairly unpredictable when the quickness will trigger, it can be very disorienting and disruptive to the general flow of a combat situation and can be your downfall.
An example of this would be if you’re trying to time your whirlwind to properly evade a hard hitting attack. If you’re under the effects of quickness, it will shorten the channel of all skills by 50% and this will in turn shorten the evade frame of whirlwind. This also happens with riposte (sword offhand block). Use this trait at your own risk, but just know that it’s definitely the best DPS.
Some of our traits in general aren’t very relevant to what we’re doing which is a consequence of this new specialization system. The fact of the matter is the other options aren’t really all that great either.
However, sometimes you’ll fight enemies like dredge, for example, who will apply boons to themselves. In this circumstance you could swap to Destruction of the Empowered for a 3% damage bonus for any boons your enemies have.
Additionally, you can use Vengeful Return for when you’re fighting hordes of trash mobs to almost guarantee your survival even if you happen to down during a fight! Swap traits accordingly depending on the encounter – it’s free to do so anyways!
Comparisons between our heals to show how much hp/min you heal with them:
Healing Signet – 362 hp every 1 sec * 60 = 21,720 hp/min
Mending – 5240 hp every 20 sec * 3 = 15,720 hp/min
“To The Limit” – 6540 hp every 30 sec * 2 = 13,080 hp/min
Defiant Stance – varies too much
If you don’t need a healing skill during a fight (easy encounter), take “To The Limit” as it will be great to cast at the start of a fight to start at full adrenaline. This way you’ll be able to open with a burst skill for full adrenaline.
If you do need to worry about your health, I suggest taking Healing Signet. It has the most reliable and consistent heal over time and will help you stay alive much more than “To The Limit” will. The active on it has resistance, but for the most part you will be wanting to utilize the passive heal of this skill rather than the active.
Sometimes Defiant Stance is the best option for healing ability. In FotM in particular it can be very helpful, especially in situations when you don’t have the defensive support of aegis from a guardian and/or are low-manning. Defiant Stance can help you go from low to full HP in the blink of an eye, but it can also be risky to use because of the possibility of taking tons of damage while it’s on cooldown.
–Signet of Rage almost always. This is a source of swiftness, might and fury that lasts for a long time. At least never in solos would you ever want to use warbanner if you are striving for efficiency.
These will vary majorly depending on what you are doing.
The primary utilities for DPS in a solo setting:
–Signet of Might
–Signet of Fury
–Banner of Discipline
“For Great Justice” is no longer a mandatory utility as of 6/23/2015, as we will be able to maintain our fury from readily using Arcing Slice off cooldown when maintaining our Berserker’s Power modifier. It is still a useful shout that provides power and fury, but due to the recent changes Signet of Might is the overall better option as it provides more power.
Banner of Discipline is almost always a must for optimizing DPS. It gives extra ferocity and nearly the same precision as signet of fury but to allies as well, which makes it crucial for both solos and groups. The other banners are irrelevant in a solo setting, but do remember that Banner of Strength is important to bring to groups as well as both combined increase the team’s DPS by 20-25%.
If banners are already settled, then you are free to use the extra utility to whatever you want; it’s probably better to use On My Mark or “For Great Justice” at this point depending on whether or not vulnerability is covered. Note that “On My Mark” is most of the time obsolete due to mace offhand receiving a buff towards the end of 2014 to give an equivalent amount of vulnerability with a cleave instead of single-target.
Sometimes, you will find yourselves in positions where utility is needed over straight up DPS. In these circumstances you have an array of tools to make use of depending on what you’re faced against.
Shake it Off is a stunbreaker that has an instant cast time and a short cooldown along with removing a condition from allies as well. Definitely the first-choice condition removal/stun-breaker if it’s needed.
If you are in dire need of stability, always use Balanced Stance over Dolyak Signet because it has a slightly reduced cooldown so you’ll be able to make more use of it. A good example of when it’s best to take it is for example when low-manning Simin, the second last boss in Arah P4.
Signet of stamina is sometimes very helpful during situations in which you are soloing and occasionally need to remove more than a few conditions. If you are in an encounter that you’re certain an energy sigil isn’t enough for, this might be of some use.
Endure Pain is definitely useful and you’ll find yourself needing to swap for it on occasions for things. It is however not an invulnerability skill and you will still engage in combat when struck. It does not prevent damage from conditions and only temporarily converts all incoming physical damage to 0 damage.
Berserker’s Stance can be useful as it provides temporary immunity to conditions, but rarely will you ever find yourself in the position where it will be practical to use due to its long cooldown. This utility in combination with both endure pain and defiant stance chaining results in invincibility.
Bull’s Charge is a situationally useful skill that I frequently swap to for the purpose of mobility when I know that I’m not going to engage in combat for a while.
Bolas has its rare uses like for keeping tar boss in Arah P1 immobilized, but it’s rarely ever needed for anything. However it’s worth memorizing that you have it at your disposal provided you ever need to stack immobilize.
Fear Me is an unblockable interrupt that’s very helpful for situations in which you need to interrupt a boss, for example the Subject 6 ooze boss in the Thaumanova Fractal during its block stance. I also tend to use it in pug groups for Arah P1 at the Legendary Shoggroth boss (tar).
Some videos of me making use of some of our many utilities in solos!
Assuming you’re using the traits suggested on the first post, you’ll want more power and precision more so than ferocity. The following foods will provide you the best DPS potential (the difference is super small, all are great!) :
-Plate of Truffle Steak
-Bowl of Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
-Bowl of Curry Butternut Squash Soup
Alternatively, it is very cost-efficient and beneficial to make use of these as well for situations that you struggle to survive in:
-Slice of Candied Dragon Roll (lifesteal on crit food)
If you aren’t looking to spend quite as much but would still like to have a nice DPS boost, try buying food of the same type but lower tiered (i.e. Minotaur Steaks, Plate of Steak and Asparagus).
-Potions of slaying (i.e. Powerful potion of undead slaying for Arah)
Alternatively, you can use any of these if slaying potions don’t work in a certain situation:
-Hardened/Superior/Toxic sharpening stones
-Quality/Master maintenance oils
For all mainhand weapons, use either:
-Superior sigil of Force
-Superior sigil of the Night
-Superior sigil of x slaying (i.e. Superior sigil of undead slaying)
For all offhand weapons, use either:
-Superior sigil of Force
-Superior sigil of the Night
-Superior sigil of Energy
-Use all berserker. Warriors have very strong self-buffing capabilities due to the Signet Mastery trait, permanent fury uptime, Banner of Discipline and Signet of Fury’s passive boost. Because of this, it is almost always better to opt for berserker over assassins unlessit is a downscaled map, though I do not recommend changing gear for lower level maps.
What weapons to use and when to use them
-Almost always use Greatsword as your primary weapon, in conjunction with axe mainhand on swap. Offhand will vary depending on what you are doing:
-Mace is generally the best offhand for maximizing DPS in your rotations (off-wall, that is) and in groups it’s ideal to take against bosses when you don’t need an extra block, as it’s great for applying vulnerability. Make sure that if your team is making use of cc that you aren’t mindlessly spamming tremor, as bosses will gain defiance stacks when stunned!
-Warhorn is one of the most useful overall offhands that a warrior has! It is capable of providing close to permanent swiftness combined with the signet of rage elite, can cure movement impairing conditions (chill, cripple, immobilize), has a blast finisher, gives you and your allies vigour for more endurance and applies weakness to nearby enemies, which reduces their damage efficacy.
-Sword is used for blocks. It has half the cooldown as shield’s block and will also block all projectiles provided you aren’t within melee distance of the attacker(s). You should be using this in combination with shield (see below) to skip trash, and in fights that you need more than simply dodge rolls to effectively stay alive. For example, Giganticus Lupicus.
-Used in combination with sword OH’s riposte block, shield’s block will help you stay out of combat while skipping trash with ease! Since swapping weapons while out of combat doesn’t disrupt a channel, you can begin with riposte, swap to shield while it’s channeling and begin channeling shield stance before riposte ends. Then while shield stance is channeling, you can swap to warhorn or whatever other offhand of your choice without disrupting the block. If done correctly, you end up with 5-6 seconds of blocks and don’t engage in combat. Because of this, shield is a super useful item to carry for experienced warriors and I strongly recommend one. Aside from skipping trash, they are overall a weak offhand to use in PvE.
-Axe mainhand is the absolute best autoattack weapon for a warrior. Always.
-Mace mainhand is helpful for situations when you need an extra block, but overall a generally poor option and very infrequently useful.
-Use sword mainhand for mobility and skipping mobs to avoid combat. As a power weapon in PvE, it’s very bad.
-Longbow is always the superior choice. Generally speaking, you’ll always do better damage with hand-to-hand combat than you will with ranged. If you must range, it’s in 99% of all circumstances a better choice to use longbow as it deals superior damage to that of a rifle and provides excellent utility.
-Generally speaking rifle is crap in PvE. Not only is it single target, but it is awful DPS by comparison with GS and axe mainhand autoattack. If you are forced to range in the first place, longbow is in almost all circumstances better.
– A utility nourishment that gives a 10 minute duration of a chance to apply vulnerability and weakness on a target when struck. They are situationally useful in FotM against trash mobs, especially when there are no slayer specific potions to use.
Order of whispers spykits
– 3 seconds of stealth, 60 second cooldown.
Ash Legion spy kits
– 10 seconds of stealth provided you aren’t moving, 60 second cooldown.
– 3 seconds of stealth, 6 second cooldown.
Fire elemental powder
– summon an ember for aoe damage, distracting mobs to lose aggro, take the grub on Lupicus’s phase transition, etc. (30 min cooldown)
Ogre pet whistle
– summon an ogre pet for essentially the same purpose as an ember, but it’s slightly less useful. (30 minute cooldown)
-they also can be used as a stun-breaker when cc’d, though because of the 30 minute cooldown it’s not practical to use them for this purpose.
– place a mortar turret that attacks mobs. It has its uses and has at least superior AI to that of a dungeon NPC, lol. (30 minute cooldown)
Golem in a box
– very long attack range. Send out a floating golem on a suicide mission to explode on a target specified. Great for pulling mobs so that you can LOS them behind objects.
Pot of hylek poison
– I personally use these for swiftness very often when soloing Lupicus on phase 3. They’re very handy for when signet of rage is off cooldown, but for this particular circumstance you could easily remove the need for these by using Arms II. However, it is often times nice to be able to save your signet and still gain swiftness. It also can deal negligible AoE poison in the surrounding area. Oooooh.
-Use them for swiftness/a few seconds of fury, or to heal for a small amount. Very useful!
-Use them to apply immobilize on legendary shoggroth (tar boss) on Arah P1. They are quite useful when dealing with inept pugs that fail to make use of skills to keep him from burrowing in the hole.
-A few seconds of AoE daze; useful for trash mobs, however impractical to use at times due to the long cast time. I suggest buying some and testing them, as you’ll need to get used to timing them properly.
-Each toss will deal a small amount of damage along with a 1 second knockdown— super useful for removing stacks of defiance!
-These are actually overpowered. You can spam knockbacks, launches, and knockdowns with them, which makes it great for removing defiance and gaining distance on trash mobs!
For more information about these consumables, please visit this page:
If you wish to read a guide co-authored by me with very specific detail and dungeon path breakdowns and loads of useful information about warriors, check out Element and Purple Miku’s Warrior Guide on dulfy here!
If you feel that I left out any important details, have any questions, or want to discuss anything in my posts please do so. I’m open to discuss my tactics and choices/usage of items and abilities.
Anywho, hope this helps at least some of you that aspire to start soloing dungeons on a warrior or just seek some general guidance.
If you want to, take a look at my ‘highlights’ page for a variety of solos, boss fights, funny and/or ridiculous clips and more. I love to stream so it’s pretty frequent that I’ll highlight some of the most interesting things that go on.http://www.twitch.tv/purpleishawt/profile
If that wasn’t enough, you may follow me on youtube as well.