Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MHS Warrior Framework (0/0/20/20/15)

Since many of the current Guild Wars 2 movies are featuring glass cannon builds, I'm going to go in the other direction and explore builds that feature defense, utility, control and/or balance.  I am not saying that one style will be better than the other.  This is just purely an effort to see what the game has to offer in terms of variety of builds and to see which of those builds might be viable.  Also, I'm not saying that what I'm going to offer will be the optimal build of its type.  One of the wonderful things about Guild Wars 2 is the customization that is possible.  I fully expect people to come up with tweaks and/or variations on a theme that is better than what I can come up with.  Hopefully those discoveries are shared.

First up will be a Mace-Hammer-Shout framework for the warrior.  I'm calling it a framework because it is not a full build.  It is a starting point for a defensive build from which you can either go even more defensive or more offensive for balance.  I am calling it an MHS build because all of the variations will have three things in common.  They will use at least one mace, either in main hand or off hand.  They will use a hammer.  They will use at least two shouts for utilities.

This framework will offer you the following things:

Health Management - The framework will include Mending, "Shake It Off!", and "For Great Justice!"  With Lung Capacity and Vigorous Shouts, the shouts will heal and be on 20 second cooldowns.  Mending is also on a 20 second cooldown.  Depending on how many points you have invested in Compassion you can expect to see Mending heal for around 5600 and the shouts healing for around 1400.  Going with a third shout is optional since "Fear Me!" and "I Will Avenge You!" are on long cooldowns.

The MHS framework will have some passive healing coming from Adrenal Health.  These periodic heals will range from 0 to around 300 depending on your adrenaline level.  Optionally, you can add healing sigils to your weapons to increase the amount of passive healing you receive.

You will have good condition removal since Mending and "Shake It Off!" remove conditions.  "Shake It Off!" also offers you a stun break.  You will have some group utility since the shouts apply their effects to nearby friendly players.

Adrenaline Management -  You will have multiple sources of adrenaline generation.  Embrace the Pain will give you adrenaline when you are hit.  Versatile Rage will give you adrenaline when you switch weapons.  Inspiring Shout gives you adrenaline when you shout.  Signet of Rage gives you adrenaline generation passively. 

Since you have so many sources for adrenaline management, it makes sense to emphasis weapon swapping.  That is why this framework goes 15 points into Discipline to pick up Fast Hands which reduces the cooldown on weapon swapping.  Also, keep in mind that burst skills do not share a cooldown.  So, if you are generating adrenaline very quickly you can almost chain your burst skills by swapping weapons.

If you want to go with something more offensive, you can go further into Discipline and pick up more adrenaline friendly traits while at the same time increasing your burst and critical damage.

Control -  This is where your weapons come into play.  The reason I stress using hammer with this framework is because of the control it offers.  Earthshaker gives you an AoE stun.  Staggering Blow gives you an AoE knockback with a knockdown.  Backbreaker gives you a single target knockdown.  Hammer Shock gives you a frontal AoE cripple (snare).

For the other weapon set I suggest at least one mace.  The other weapon depends on what kind of style you want to play.  You can go mace and sword or mace and shield if you want to play more defensively via blocks.  You can go mace and mace if control is your thing.  You can go axe and mace to give yourself some more offensive potential.  Again, the reason why I believe mace should be in this framework is because of the control it offers you.

With a mace in main hand you would have Skull Crack which is a stun and you would have Pommel Bash which is a daze.  With a mace in off hand you would have Tremor which is a frontal AoE knockdown.

The reason why I am stressing control is because it will have good synergy with your short cooldown heals.  The control of the hammer and mace buys you time to let your heals come off of cooldown.  I am a big believer in short cooldowns.  That is why I've put Blunt Weapon Master in the framework.  However, someone might want to replace that with something more offensive or defensive in nature depending on their playstyle.

The Plan -  I intend to make some warrior movies using some variations built from this MHS framework.  First, there will be a defensive mace and sword movie which I tested during the last stress test.  For the next weekend event, I plan to test axe and mace for a more balanced offensive build and also mace and mace for an extreme control build.  Stay tuned if these kinds of builds interest you.

1 comment:

  1. I've not had a chance to play yet, but this is just the kind of warrior I plan on playing. I'll be following your blog with interest. Keep up the good work!