GW1 Skill Review Profession Highlight: Warrior

This is a profession overview post that's part of my Guild Wars 1 skill review. For a general overview, you can check out this post.

All of the currently reviewed Warrior skills can be found under the GW1SRP Warrior tag.

About the Warrior

  • Armor Stats:
    • Base 80 armor.
    • Inbuilt +20 additional armor against physical damage.
    • No bonuses to maximum energy or energy regeneration!
    • Armor mods can grant additional armor against elemental damage, increase knockdown duration by 1 second, and reduce physical damage taken by subtract amounts (rather than multiplicative).
  • Weapons associated with attributes:
    • Swords (one-handed)
    • Axes (one-handed)
    • Hammers (two-handed)
    • Shield (off-hand, grants up to 16 additional armor)
Warriors are highly durable, especially when using a one-handed weapon and a shield. They are also fairly versatile. However, they have overall poor access to energy given a reduced pool, low energy regeneration rate (only the standard 2 pips), and no inbuilt energy management. This means that they have to be careful about how much energy their build requires of them. That said, many Warrior skills use Adrenaline instead of energy, which is a big part of why their energy access is so poor.

As a martial weapon user, Warriors are able to generate a lot of damage both from auto-attacks and attack skills, making them a serious threat. They can also be highly disruptive. Finally, they do have some powerful support skills that are worth considering.

Attributes

Strength (Primary)

As the primary attribute, Strength provides a bonus for each level (or rank) you have of it. Specifically, it grants 1% armor penetration to attack skills per rank. This armor penetration is regardless of what type of attack it is, though note that it only applies to damage that respects armor.

Strength skills are highly varied. In general, though, they serve to either enhance the Warrior's capabilities (such as by increasing move or attack speed or providing the Warrior buffs) or they're powerful melee attack skills (attack skills that can be used with any melee weapon).

Additionally, shields can have Strength as a required attribute.

Axe Mastery

As you might guess, Axe Mastery is the attribute required by axes. Axe Mastery skills are all Axe attacks, which are attack skills that require an axe to use. Overall, these skills tend to focus on the Deep Wound condition. Partially due to this, the axe tends to be a spikier weapon.

Hammer Mastery

Despite its relatively high damage range, the slow attack speed of the hammer limits its actual damaging aspect. Instead, the hammer is more of a controlling weapon, as it focuses heavily on knockdowns and weakness. Both of these can be quite disabling, with knockdowns being especially dangerous. All of this isn't to say that it can't do the occasional spike—it definitely can—but it isn't as good at raw pressure application as either the axe or sword are.

Swordsmanship

The sword is definitely the pressure oriented weapon of the trio. This is largely due to its focus on the Bleed condition. It also has a minor focus on the Crippled condition. However, it suffers somewhat due to not having a standard AoE skill, something that both hammers and axes have. Further, the emphasis on bleed is a bit dubious in PvE, especially in areas with higher quantities of non-fleshy enemies. So while swords can be powerful, on average, I'd say axes and hammers are better.

Tactics

Tactics is really all over the place in terms of what it does. It has a wide variety of defensive stances, a decent number of party-wide support skills, and several different melee attacks. It also contains a Shouts sub-theme. It can definitely be useful for secondary Warriors to make use of some of these skills.

Additionally, shields can have Tactics as a required attribute.

Common Build Concepts

As Guild Wars 1 doesn't have aggro control, "tanking" isn't a concept. However, the high durability of a Warrior still provides an advantage when it comes to diving into the enemy forces, where their ability to pressure through auto-attacking and inflict high damage and disruption with attack skills makes ignoring their presence deadly.

Warriors tend to focus on three major goals:
  • Applying pressure to soft enemy targets, primarily casters, through auto-attacks and disruptive abilities.
  • Spiking specific targets down with powerful attack skills.
  • Disrupting enemy Warriors that are harassing your casters—this gets referred to as "linebacking."
Warrior builds are often able to accommodate all three of these roles, as many skills can be useful in multiple scenarios depending upon which role is most needed at the time. For example, knockdown skills can be useful in all three scenarios—they disrupt enemy actions, enable spiking, and stop an enemy that is chasing one of your casters.

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