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Introduction to the Warrior

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Warrior is thematically one of the simpler professions in the game: you hit the enemy, then you hit them more, and finally you hit them in different ways. Your expert combat maneuvers, precisely delivered blows, and tactical banner placements transform this profession from a generic heavy-hitter to a desired addition to any group.

As a Warrior, you have access to more weapons than any of the other core classes. These include Greatsword, Hammer, Longbow, Rifle, Axe (Main and Off-Hand), Mace (Main and Off-Hand), Sword (Main and Off-Hand), Warhorn, and Shield.

Sword and Longbow are the go-to weapons for any condition damage build, while Axe and Greatsword are favored by power-based builds.

Mace, Shield, and Hammer don’t inflict any damaging conditions and have lower strike damage than other power weapons. However, these weapons’ Crowd Control capabilities make them popular picks for PvE encounters (Maces) and PvP game modes (Hammer, Shield).

Warhorn is your only support-type weapon and is used across game modes by some support builds.

If you don’t know anything about Guild Wars 2 professions, and you are looking for a short comparison, check out our introductory guides:

Profession mechanics

Warrior has two main profession mechanics: Adrenaline Gauge and Burst Skills. Every time you hit an enemy with your weapon you’ll gain a strike of adrenaline. It takes 10 strikes of adrenaline to reach one bar of adrenaline, and 30 strikes to get maximum adrenaline.

Once you have a bar of adrenaline you can spend it to cast a Burst Skill. These powerful attacks are tied to your current main-hand weapon and increase in power according to the bars of adrenaline spent. Make sure to note what burst skills are tied to which weapons and use them appropriately.

Using a burst skill will spend all adrenaline, so you’ll need to build up adrenaline again before you can use another one. Adrenaline will also slowly decay after you exit combat.

Some traits will allow you to earn adrenaline through other means. For example Versatile Rage grants adrenaline whenever you swap your weapons in combat and Signet of Fury grants you maximum adrenaline for using a burst skill.

Skills

Banners

Banners are a skill type that is unique to Warriors. When placed down they provide offensive and defensive boons to everyone in the area around them.

Banners can be modified by Doubled Standards to grant Quickness, an essential boon for end-game PvE, to nearby allies upon activation.

   

In addition to pulsing boons, each banner also has a unique skill that triggers when the banner is placed.

For example, Banner of Strength dazes enemies when placed and the elite banner, Battle Standard can be used to revive or finish downstate allies and enemies respectively.

Physical

Physical skills focus on controlling enemies through immobilization, knockdowns, knockbacks, or launching them.

Warriors can gain a 10% damage modifier after activating them if they have Peak Performance selected.

     

While physical skills aren’t pivotal for end-game PvE content due to the availability of crowd-control, they are great utility skills in the open world and occasionally see use in end-game PvP.

Stances

Stances offer the warrior a temporary bonuses in combat such as constantly gaining adrenaline with Berserker Stance or converting any damage directly into healing with Defiant Stance.

    

Due to their selfish nature, these skills rarely see any play in end-game PvE content but are a staple of most PvP and WvW builds.

Balanced Stance offers a stun break and grants Stability, both of which are useful in large-scale WvW. Endure Pain grants you temporary invulnerability from strike damage, which can be very useful when trying to out-sustain an enemy in PvP.

Shouts

Shouts apply boons or conditions in a nearby area. All warrior shouts (with the exception of "To the Limit!") have no cast time which means you can use them at any point, even while stunned!

     

Shouts can even apply healing through Vigorous Shouts, allowing you to support your allies beyond buffing them.

Shouts are excellent picks for open world exploration. "Shake It Off!" offers easy access to defensive condition cleanses and stun breaks while "For Great Justice!" offers offensive Might and Fury. "On My Mark!" greatly increases damage against a single target.

All mentioned shouts are ammunition skills, meaning you can cast them multiple times before they go on cooldown.

Signets

Signets are skills that have both a passive effect and an active component.

The passive effect will impact you until you use the signet to trigger the active component. The passive effect will come back up when the signet comes off cooldown.

     

Historically, Signet of Fury has been a mainstay of power PvE builds for its passive effect, which helps Warriors reach 100% critical chance. Its active component is useful in the open world to charge your adrenaline gauge, allowing you to instantly wreak havoc with your burst skills.

Signet of Might has also been popular historically for its passive boost to power damage.

Traits

Strength

The Strength trait line helps increase the warrior’s direct damage output by giving you more power for each stack of might and various damage modifiers.

To maximize power damage you’ll typically want to run 111. This works in both end-game and open-world PvE. Peak Performance and Berserker's Power add a massive 25% damage modifier that can be maintained permanently by actively using burst skills. The second trait depends on what weapon you’re using. While greatsword users benefit from taking Forceful Greatsword, Great Fortitude is superior for other weapons.

Arms

The Arms trait line grants the Warrior better ways to apply Bleeding to enemies, increases critical chance, and increases access to Fury.

To maximize condition damage you’ll typically want to run 132Wounding Precision and Blademaster both boost expertise. The latter also boosts condition damage and decreases cooldowns on sword skills, the most important source of BleedingFurious gives bonus condition damage for critically hitting in rapid succession.

Defense

The Defense trait line focuses around staying alive and offers various forms of additional sustain.

Defense doesn’t see any play in any of the game modes.

Tactics

The Tactics trait line revolves around Soldier’s Focus. This effect is applied every 10 seconds and can be consumed by using the burst skill, which applies Might to nearby players. Different traits in this line augment this effect, applying boons on allies or conditions on enemies on activation.

Leg Specialist is a straightforward augmentation, increasing damage to enemies suffering from movement impairing conditions such as Immobilize, Crippled, and Chilled.

Martial Cadence is one of the most important augmentation options, allowing the Warrior to grant Quickness to nearby allies when consuming Soldier’s Focus.

Discipline

The Discipline trait line reduces the cooldown between weapon swaps and offers more ways to gain adrenaline.

Doubled Standards is a fantastic trait that allows Warriors to grant boons to nearby allies when you place any banner.

Axe Mastery increases the critical damage from axes as well as boosts adrenaline generation from critical strikes. This trait is one of the best options for builds to quickly generate adrenaline, and why Warrior builds often rely heavily on reaching 100% critical chance. Alternatively, Burst Mastery increases the damage of burst skills and causes them to restore some adrenaline upon use.

Gameplay tips

Warriors can heavily buff nearby allies by utilizing their banners. Don’t blindly spam these off cooldown; your allies need to be in their area of effect to actually receive these boons!

Be sure your burst skill will actually hit – many of the burst skill bonuses are only applied if you actually hit your target.

Look to top the crowd control charts in all game modes. Warriors can dish out a ton of crowd control through hammer, shield, and dual-wielded mace skills.


If you are ready to start playing Warrior we recommend a starter build created to help with the traditional leveling experience of the core profession.

If you are looking for more builds for all game modes, make sure to check your build guides.

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