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Power Bladesworn
August 2022

Instanced PvE
Dps

Armor

Illustrious Visor icon Superior Rune of the Thief icon
Berserker's HelmSuperior Rune of the Thief
Illustrious Pauldrons icon Superior Rune of the Thief icon
Berserker's ShouldersSuperior Rune of the Thief
Illustrious Breastplate icon Superior Rune of the Thief icon
Berserker's ChestSuperior Rune of the Thief
Illustrious Warfists icon Superior Rune of the Thief icon
Berserker's GlovesSuperior Rune of the Thief
Illustrious Tassets icon Superior Rune of the Thief icon
Berserker's LegsSuperior Rune of the Thief
Illustrious Greaves icon Superior Rune of the Thief icon
Berserker's BootsSuperior Rune of the Thief

Weapons & Sigils

Axe icon Superior Sigil of Accuracy icon
Berserker's AxeSuperior Sigil of Accuracy
Pistol icon Superior Sigil of Force icon
Berserker's PistolSuperior Sigil of Force

Trinkets

Quiver of a Thousand Arrows icon
Berserker's Backpiece
Black Ice Earring icon
Berserker's Accessory
Asgeir's Talisman icon
Berserker's Accessory
Asgeir's Amulet icon
Berserker's Amulet
Black Ice Band icon
Berserker's Ring
Mistborn Band icon
Berserker's Ring

Food

Cilantro Lime Sous-Vide Steak icon Furious Sharpening Stone icon
Cilantro Lime Sous-Vide Steak Furious Sharpening Stone

Infusions

Mighty WvW Infusion icon
18xMighty Infusion

Utility Skills

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Bladesworn not only competes in the game for the highest possible damage output but is also famous for having the hardest hitting skill in the game, Dragon Slash - Force.

This doesn’t come without certain disadvantages though. Bladesworn’s unique playstyle requires the player to stand still for longer than any other popular build. This can be played around but requires experience of the class and encounter.

Build Fundamentals

Most of your damage comes from Dragon Slash - Force. Use it mostly off cooldown with 10 charges.

Make sure to not cancel Dragon Trigger. It can be interrupted rather easily by moving or using any skill during its animation.

The needed Flow for Dragon Trigger is gained by being in combat via Gun X Sword, activating Unseen Sword, "To the Limit!" and Flow Stabilizer.

There are some conditional damage modifiers you want to keep up like Guns and Glory and more notably Fierce as Fire. This goal will be easily met following the rotation though.

Due to Superior Rune of the Thief bonus, you want to flank enemies at all times, in some encounters (Harvest Temple for example) it may look like the boss is facing toward you while standing on the edge of the platform without the possibility to flank, but most will be facing sides in reality, check your logs to see the direction they are facing.

Rotation Tips

After seeing the rotation you might feel lost and confused, however, don’t worry, it can be broken down into smaller chunks.

The rotation tries to use Dragon Trigger off cooldown. To fill the time in between Dragon Trigger with weapon skills from Gunsaber and Axe/Pistol there are 3 loops you can follow:

  1. Dragonspike Mine to reset Dragon Trigger immediately
  2. A loop consisting of your Axe/Pistol set
  3. A loop consisting of your Gunsaber.

Fortunately, you will always choose the right loop due to weapon swap cooldowns.

Before a fight, you can precast all charges of Break Step, Blooming Fire, and Artillery Slash on your Gunsaber (don’t do this if it delays your opener).

Then precast "To the Limit!", Flow Stabilizer x 2, Tactical Reload, a third Flow Stabilizer and Overcharged Cartridges. Doing this will ensure that you have 10 Fierce as Fire stacks, 10 Positive Flow, and a buffed Dragon Trigger.

After the opener, use Flow Stabilizer off cooldown.

Use Dragonspike Mine off cooldown after a Dragon Slash - Force.

Triggerguard and Flicker Step in Dragon Trigger are used to deal with mechanics or to reposition yourself after a Dragonspike Mine.

Move forward when casting Dragon's Roar to ensure you don’t have to gap close when using Gunstinger, as it is a small dps loss.

Utility skills

Dragonspike Mine: Make sure to not roll off edges, into holes, or other unpleasant positions. It also serves as an evade and stunbreak if it will save you from dying. It is mostly used to reset your Dragon Trigger cooldown though.

Overcharged Cartridges: This skill serves as a 15% damage modifier for your explosions. Most notably Dragon Slash - Force , Dragon's Roar and Gunsaber skills. Use any remaining charges on Gunsaber after Dragon Slash - Force then reapply it before Sheathe Gunsaber and Dragon's Roar. Make sure to not use it twice as it will make you consume the buff to explode your cartridges. This is never worth it however as it does very little damage and the cc it provides is usually not worth the dps loss.

Flow Stabilizer: This is a very simple skill to use. If you just press it off cd you should be fine. Make sure to precast 3 charges before entering combat to have enough Flow for your first Dragon Trigger. You require a minimum amount of 53 Flow to be able to get a 10 charge Dragon Slash - Force which is what we are aiming for every time.

Tactical Reload: This does not only recharge one ammunition stack but also lets us gain our 10 charges for Dragon Slash - Force twice as fast. Try to use this off cd. It may desync but is usually used at the end of your Gunsaber loop before entering Dragon Trigger.

Crowd Control

There isn’t much to mention here. Your only CC to consider are your 3 Dragon Slash skills with the trait Unyielding Dragon.

You will have to judge if slashing a breakbar is worth it as it might heavily decrease your damage. That said its still the best option if you get a Dragon Slash off for free and it’s always worth CC’ing to avoid one of your friends being jumped on and sacrificed to Samarog for example.

If your squad lacks CC it might be better to swap to Berserker.

Further things to consider

Due to its unique playstyle, there are quite a few encounters rather unfriendly to Bladesworn. Making it much harder to play and at least a bit less effective even if you manage the challenge.

Don’t forget the surprising amount of mobility options in your kit. Dragon Slash - Boost, Break Step, Gunstinger and Flicker Step

You have access to one very welcome 3-second stack of Stability when entering Dragon Trigger and Aegis on your Triggerguard skill.

To start with 10 Fierce as Fire stacks you may see people precast Gunsaber skills. This is not really needed though as you will keep them up naturally in your rotation and you will have 10 stacks of Fierce as Fire for your first Dragon Slash - Force even with just the pre-casting listed in the rotation.

Be aware of the encounter. If the boss is about to go into a breakbar, don’t waste time going into a Dragon Trigger you won’t get off. If you are already in it, unleash early. If the boss is unreachable with your Dragon Slash - Force, feel free to use Dragon Slash - Boost, or even Dragon Slash - Reach. Those deal significantly less dmg but are still better than missing your target.

The gear setup in this guide can be used for Power Berserker, with a very small DPS loss. The only thing you will need to change is swapping your Off-hand Pistol to an Off-hand Axe with the same stats and sigil. And add a Berserker’s Greatsword in your other weapon set, also with the same sigils.

Alternatives

Skills

You can exchange your heal skill to Mending for more burst or to Defiant Stance to negate some mechanics like the Sabir shockwave.

Traits

If your subgroup is lacking might you can change Martial Cadence for Phalanx Strength. This comes without any dps loss. Martial Cadence is the default option though as quickness is usually the rarer boon.

Gear

There are some variations in builds you can use to optimize for different scenarios. The gear listed here is the standard build for most encounters. Another version has 0.7% less damage output on the golem and most raid bosses but has the option to bring a Superior Sigil of Impact or Superior Sigil of the Night for encounters in which these sigils increase your dps by ~7%. (EoD strikes, Keep Construct, Fractals).

In order to swap out Superior Sigil of Accuracy for one of those sigils you need to swap a few pieces of gear to Assassin’s: Shoulders, Leggings, one Ring, and Backpiece.)

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