Greetings everyone, I hope your day is rocking well thus far!
I’ve decided to share my current Sentinel build of my GWF – LEEROY JENKINS, along with my general opinion of the class and how it plays. Now this build is simply how I do things, it fits my play style, and I greatly enjoy it. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, nor necessarily right, for you, but it is hella fun!
So, let’s begin with my general premise, then the powers/feats and so on… I’m going to type out as much as possible, with the 4 image limit, so you’ll have to suffer through using your literacy skills to follow what I am throwing down for you.
So my general premise for GWF was to go with the Sentinel Build. I’ve been running this since before the June mega patch, but I have changed it up a bit w/respec’s since then. So it is ever evolving. I wanted to play a toon that brought good things to a party, could stand laughing in the face of a Red Dragon’s Breathe, and still be viable in PvP (as I find it fine to play a few matches a day). Thus this silly build began…
I’m going to list the Powers that I have maxed out that are always in rotation on my character, as that leaves room for people to work around as they see fit.
Sure Strike: 3/3 *
Not So Fast: 3/3
Mighty Leap: 3/3
Restoring Strike: 3/3 *
Slam: 3/3 *
Bravery: 3/3 *
Weapon Master Strike: 3/3 *
Weapon Master: 3/3 *
Daring Shout: 3/3
Indomitable Battle Strike: 3/3 *
Spinning Strike: 3/3 *
Punishing Charge: 3/3 * The New Hawtness!!!
Note: I have put a * next to the powers I use as my standard setup in PvE.
Now in the order I took the Feats as I leveled are as follows…
Unstoppable Action: 5/5
Armor Specialization: 3/3
Steely Defense: 2/5
Constitution Focus: 3/3
Devastating Critical: 3/3
Weapon Master: 1/3
Sentinel Tree Feats:
Student of the Sword: 5/5
Powerful Challenge: 5/5
Grudge Style: 5/5
Master at Arms: 5/5
Sentinel’s Aegis: 1/1
Destroyer Tree Feats:
Great Weapon Focus: 5/5
Disciple of War: 5/5
As for items/weapons/enchantments, currently I am wearing/using the following:
Now some insight to the stats, with varying enchantments that I use. Keep in mind I do use an Ioun Stone of Allure, which obviously affects my PvE stats. What follows isn’t all, but it gives more insight into the build and where I went with it…
Damage Resistance: 43.4%
Deflection (Not counting Weapon Mastery Passive) Chance: 23.2%
Damage Gained As Hit Points: 9.9%
Hit Point Regeneration: 4.8%
For weapon enchantments I use Perfect Bronzewood Enchantment and Greater Plague Fire. Yes that means I am rocking 2x Ancient Castle Champion’s Greatswords. I use two because it allows me a bit of utility in PvE (and sometimes PvP). Since Plague Fire is a very common weapon enchantment, I saw it being doubled up a lot in my PvE dungeon runs. Thus limiting it’s effectiveness. Therefore about a month or so ago I began collecting/trading for Shards of Lightning Enchantment and eventually worked my way up to a Perfect Lightning Enchantment. So for most dungeons I run Perfect Lightning (more damage on normal hits + threat/aggro generation), unless we don’t have a Plague Fire on someone else or if the dungeon is (for example) Spellplague where the Perfect Lightning’s Chaining ability is more of a liability.
For Armor Enchantment I use Greater Briartwine. I know everyone loves Soulforge, but with the survivability this build brings I almost always (like has only happened a few times) have time to pop a Potion/Health Stone when I need to in PvE. Thus a few months ago I was looking around, and figured with my goal of getting oodles of lifesteal and desire to generate aggro whenever I can, that Greater Briartwine’s 3.2% damage return to any attack on you would be cool. I’ve enjoyed it ever since! Yes, yes… I know it’s not “optimal”, but it’s my choice and I’ve liked it.
The build will not lead the DPS charts in a dungeon, and will usually get 2nd (mostly) with sometimes a 3rd place depending on party composition. Then again it’s not designed to lead in DPS. The build is designed for survivability, while not being completely pillowfisted. You are also a great insurance policy if someone makes a mistake like if your DC messes up Astral Shield, the TR doesn’t joust the boss and dies, or the CW doesn’t Arcane Singularity correctly. Your ability to run in giant circles (no effing joke!) fast enough to stay alive and long enough for your party (who died) to make it back from the campfire (on the bosses this matters on) is invaluable. You can also Sprint to rez anyone, even within red circles, and make it back w/o detriment to the team.
So there it is in a nutshell… Hope you enjoyed reading, and I look forward to quality discussion as it’s never a bad thing for a build to evolve with intelligent discourse!
Here is a bit of insight into my race selection and starting stats as some have requested.
I chose Dwarf for a number of reasons…
1. They had the stat bonus increase I wanted for my characer: +2 STR and +2 CON
2. As a Great Weapon Fighter I knew I’d be in the mix of things right from the get go, and wanted to stay there so the Stand Your Ground (You have increased resistance to Knock and Repel effects: 20% Increase) seemed like a great ability to keep me next to the baddies I wanted to smash. However there may be a bug with this in that it only works in PvP and not in PvE. If so, I’d love to see this fixed! They also have Cast Iron Stomach which is less damage to DoT effects, so less damage is never a bad thing(!), though this may also be bugged…
3. Aesthetically I just like the Dwarf race with Epic Dwarf Beards being paramount.
My Base Stats (Bonus in Parentheses) were as follows:
16 (18) STR
15 (17) CON
13 (13) DEX
11 (11) INT
9 (9) WIS
11 (11) CHA
Final Stat Line (Camp Fire Bonus in Parentheses) are as follows:
24 (25) STR
23 (24) CON
15 (16) DEX
13 (14) INT
11 (12) WIS
13 (14) CHA
The reason I went with STR and CON bonus is specifically because I wanted to not be pillow fisted, and wanted to take hits well (along with have high ArmPen). DEX could be higher of course, if you want more Crit % and that is your decision to make.
I chose 11/9/11 for the ‘Off Stats’ because I figured I would want them all in the positives at the end of my run of stat increases and with Camp Fire Bonus it would be 14/12/14 end line, which I liked.
Not saying these are optimal, but I’ve enjoyed it thus far so take it as you well!
The Tao of Disengaging – PvP Theorycrafting for GWF
Greetings my friends and fellow GWF enthusiasts! Below you will find my, updated, theorycrafting on PvP for the Sentinel spec GWFs (w/o using Tenebrous) and it is more on the actually techniques you can use, etc.
I took time to truly look at the goals of PvPing and theorycraft the GWF strengths/weaknesses in relation to the other classes. Some of this may be redundant for what you have read/known before hand, but I believe it is important to clarify.
TR – Use Stealth to attack from unexpected angles, can hit extremely hard.
GF – Hard as hell to kill in their front 180 degree arc, can chain Prone you.
CW – Lords of CC, extreme distance and have some powers (IceKnife) that can hit for high DPS.
DC – Hard to kill with heals, and fairly dangerous if DPS spec’d, with enough CC to also be annoying.
GWF Sentinel Build – Amazing longevity if spec’d with HPs/Con/Regen/Lifesteal/Defense/Deflection. Gap closers w/Sprint and Mighty Leap, immune to most CC because of Unstoppable.
So, the commonality I see for the GWF is that we can be immune/annoying to CC, and we can close distances fast, while being tanky enough to be extremely dangerous. If we flip the closing distance fast to being able to extract oneself from a dangerous situation in time of need, we get to the heart of the Tao of Disengaging.
What I do is quite simply really… At the beginning of the queue I suggest that I (if the only GWF in the group) go to Flag 1 while the other four members of the team go to the mid Flag 2. Once I cap the first flag, I run towards the 2nd flag and scout out anyone low on health. If I think I can get in a quick hit w/Flourish/Takedown/etc. I go for it, and do as much damage as necessary to secure mid for the team. If things look in hand I continue on to the opponents Flag 3, and camp it until one or two members of the opposing team come to interfere. When they do come, I am looking to make the fight last as long as possible while having my opponents use as many of their abilities as I can.
Once I am down to 25% or lower hitpoints, I start paying close attention to their level of hitpoints/what they have used/if reinforcements are coming/etc. Once the determination is made that I believe my defeat is inevitable and imminent, I disengage w/Sprinting-Charging and/or Mighty Leaping away. Immediately going to the nearest Health Pot, or my teams DC (if we have one). I will then go back to mid, if help is needed, run all the way back to our 1 if it is being capped, or loop around right back to the 3 flag and reengage the player(s) there.
Once that is done, I begin to roam around again. Constantly trying to engage someone 1v1 or even 1v2 (if they are cumulatively low on HPs) thereby tying them up as the rest of my team controls the mid Flag and/or engages in battle at another flag.
The ability of the GWF to be able to ignore CC with Unstoppable, Spring/Might Leap away from any fight we want to, and be able to take a healthy amount of damage, is something we must strive (particularly in PvP) to use to our advantage. The goal is to cost the opponent more then it is worth to kill you. If you 1v1 a TR or a CW that is one less TR/CW that is engaging the rest of your team. You CAN survive them, and also put a healthy amount of damage to them, and kite them away from more ‘valuable’ targets. We are insanely mobile when you look at Unstoppable/Sprint/Mighty Leap. To be a true asset to the team, we must utilize this to our utmost advantage.
Since I focused on the Tao of Disengaging, I have found (in well over 100 PvP matches) it to be quite an effective tactic. My Kill/Death ratio is superb… Frequently being 8+ kills with 0-4 deaths, and always better then even. While my points, between capping/assists, putting me in the Top 2 of my team the norm, and 1st place fairly often.
How to fight individual classes, brief description:
TRs – Firstly, any TR who stealth’s up to you and then goes toe to toe with you, and let’s you wail on them is not very good. It is a dream come true for you, and surprisingly happens fairly often. You regen/lifesteal/defense/deflection will mitigate their crits, while you will be depleting their HPs fairly effectively with Sure Strike/Encounters. Now, the good TRs, those who drop out of stealth and then disengage to restealth (and/or stay at range) are the tricky ones. You need to make a determination if where you are is ground to your advantage… If you are on a flag, I suggest staying there and running to the opposite side of the circle from where the TR disappeared. Make them come to you. Use Sure Strike constantly hoping to nick them, and once you see them I highly suggest using Takedown asap. As once you prone them, IBS/Flourish follow up quickly enough to take them down… Also, don’t be afraid to run around a bit randomly, sometimes you can luck out and get close to see them w/short random bursts of Sprint.
DCs – 1v1 this is a long fight, but with your Takedown followed by IBS/Flourish, if you can time it so they don’t slide away should put you ahead of their healing. If facing 2v1 I would advise trying to out kill the DC as much as possible. Sometimes you may need to refocus the other if they come in at low HPs, but this is a winnable fight.
CWs – I love CWs. It’s a fun fight, because it’s all about how good they are at avoiding you versus you being able to close the gap. They will CC you from afar, just wait to pop Unstoppable and immediately Sprint towards them. They will teleport away, the instant you see them start that animation stop Sprinting. You should still be Unstoppable and keep running towards where they teleported. You should be fairly close, so once they are out of teleport hit the Sprint button briefly again to make them teleport a 2nd time. Stop Sprinting and run towards them, now you should be out of Unstoppable but very close to having them in reach. Keep running towards them for a second, letting their bar fill for their 3rd, and final, teleport. Teleport uses up 35% of their stamina bar, thus they can do 2, and wait a second or so to refill for the 3rd, after that they are empty and they are gonna be your pinata. Close the distance and do the Takedown/IBS/Flourish lovefest and watch them melt. Now it’s not always that easy in sequence, but that is the general concept!
GFs – This comes down to you being able to make them miss on one of their prone Encounters/Daily’s versus them not missing. It all comes down to short, 45 degree angle, bursts of Sprint. GFs are 180 degree tanks, you break that plane and use Takedown and they are in deep trouble. Never use an Encounter power versus GFs if their shield is facing you, it’s a waste of time. Short Sprint, follow up with an Encounter, as they shouldn’t be able to turn fast enough to block it, particularly with Takedown.
Other GWFs: All things being equal, skill/GS matter here. However some basic advice, do NOT waste Takedown when the opposing GWF is in Unstoppable, that should be obvious. Try and save your other Encounters for when they are ‘vulnerable’, and be cognizant of what has been used, generic cool down times, etc.
For those fighting a Sentinel GWFs: You now know my strategy, so stop me… If you can!
Please feel free to use this tactic, the Tao of Disengaging, as you see fit. Thus far I have been pleasantly surprised, and I feel it is a valid topic of discussion!
Ok mi amigos, I bring you some knowledge that may be met with much ridicule, but after a week of testing I am happy to face it with a smile on my face and experience to back my opinion…
I am here to sing the praises of the, oft laughed at, Encounter Power: Punishing Charge
So let me begin with the obvious, I am always tinkering with my build and seeking to improve it constantly within the parameters that are given to us by the Developers. Like many GWFs within the past few weeks I have also faced the Action point nerf to our beloved Encounter Power: Roar, along with general AP reduction across the board for all classes. Thus I began for looking for ways to generate AP like the days of old… I took the Elven Boon for 2% Action Point Generation and even started rocking my full Vigilant Warlord armor set for the insane Recovery that it provides me (over 3800 w/Ioun Stone buffs) and other experiments (those updates come in a later post). Even with this I was still bemoaning the loss of the glory field days of our past when we could fill our Daily Meter on a regular basis… Thus I began a grand experiment.
Punishing Charge generates AP for each target hit (5x Limit), with 3 Charges at Rank 3. That’s what I read, and I was all like… Hmmmm, why the H-E double toothpicks not?!? I got nothing better to do, outside of grinding my Dailies in Sharandar. So eff it let’s do this baby!
I had never, ever, used this Encounter Power before, not even for fun. So I began charing my way through Powries, Cyclops, and Fomorians on my first day, just for the L to the O to the L. I made many errors in angles, commonly missing baddies completely. As the day wore on though, I began to more consistently hit the max of 5 baddies.. Low and behold the AP generation wasn’t merely decent, it was actually good! At the point of the game I am, in my Vigilant Warlord set, running around with 27.3% Action Point gain and Punishing Charge definitely takes advantage of that. So for those of you looking for a replacement for Roar, you have it right here!
In fact, I enjoy it a great deal more the Roar, and I don’t even gain Determination from it’s use like a Destroyer spec would with their capstone. Why do I like it more? It makes a mobile class even more so a headache of position for an opponent (baddie). Punishing Charge is a 30ft Burst with a 4ft wide area of effect, per the tool tip. You may as well consider it a teleport, for all intents and purposes, as it goes through baddies. Yes, even bosses like the Dracolich or Valindra. You slide right through them dealing some damage. So when that baddie throws a cone at you and you want to be on the outside of it, you can bamf away from it to the baddies backside and continue to punish him/her. Very rarely if the timing is off, an AoE can hit you at the beginning of the Punishing Charge animation but that is more about you knowing the animation/timing of the baddies… So pay attention homies!
Now a bit more tech here: You get 3 charges at 8 second cooldown each. As soon as you use 1 Charge it begins counting down, whether you use the 2nd/3rd charges or not. You can bamf forward, turn, bamf back to the exact same spot, and then bamf anywhere else within range (that’s 3 charges used) and only have had 2 seconds come off the cool down, leaving 6 seconds left for the 1st charge to be available again. Now that is pretty **** fast, and about the same animation timeframe as Daring Shout. While Daring Shout builds Determination and Marks targets, this power allows you to hit 5 baddies with each charge, so within 2 seconds you can hit 15 baddies. Generating, at my low level of power (4300) in my Sentinel spec an average of about 1000 damage per hit. So that’s 15k damage for 2 seconds worth of work… Not too shabby! While also filling up your AP meter much faster then we are currently used too. This allows you to spam Slam a great deal more, still my chosen Daily Power of use.
How fast you say? Well let me tell you!
Three times in the past week, I have started a Slam and had enough AP within the timeframe of the current Slam (10 seconds) to start another Slam. This happens by leading with Punishing Charge, 2 seconds of use, then Restoring Strike, then IBS, then a few normal attacks and 1 last Punishing through remaining baddies and abraca-effing-dabra! lam is back for another round of sweet AoE loving!
This has occurred in Temple of the Spider, Pirate King, and Malabog’s Castle. I have witnesses for each instance within/outside my Guild. Now this is not going to happen every run, but with practice it can become a possibility, and an effing fine one at that! I have also started a Master of the Hunt skirmish with a full Daily, popped Slam and by the end I had completed the run I had popped off 16 other Slams. I was keyed in and trying to maximize the Daily just to see how many I could do, but if you’re a GWF who has run the Skirmish in the last few weeks do me a favor mentally calculate/remember how many Dailies you got off in that instance with your current rotation… Was it even double digits? If not, and even if it was 10 or 11, do yourself the favor and start practicing with Punishing Charge!
What is also awesome about Punishing Charge is that it is challenging to use correctly, requires practice and attention to detail. Thus battles become less of the same old grind. Now you are constantly looking for angles to optimize Punishing Charge, either solely to get your Daily up, or waiting for the baddies big bad red circle/cone so you can bamf around/through it, and/or set up perfect flanking attacks for you and your BFFs!
As a Sentinel spec I am loving Punishing Charge, and I think a Destroyer spec will love it even more!
So be a cool kid and try the new hotness for GWFs of all shapes and sizes… PUNISHING CHARGE BAY-BAY!!!
Last Update (12/17/2013):
For my DPS PvE spec, I have the Fomorian Mainhand/Offhand, a Perfect Vorpal, Perfect Briartwine, a combination of 7s/8s/9s in my Offensive/Defensive/Utility spots. For armor set I use a full Avatar of War because more power is good for hitting baddies in the face, and for proc’ing higher bleed from Deep Gash! My stats are as shown here:
My PvE Power Rotation is the same for both:
Come and Get It
Not So Fast
Indomitable Battle Strike
Trample the Fallen
For PvP I run Titan Mainhand/Offhand, a Perfect Feywild, a Perfect Soulforged, 2x Titan and 2x Imposing Scrapper (Yay HPs!). 2x Greater Ring of Health, and 1x Thickgristle’s Belt. My stats are as shown here:
(Note: I may have taken these pics with my Ioun Stone on by mistake, however the Regen stat is all from base items/boons/artifacts, and the Lifesteal should be abour 9-10% for PvP itself. I will double check though!)
My powers for PvP are as follows:
As before I use an Ioun Stone of Allure, and my other companions are: Rust Monster (I enjoy the debuff to baddies damage), Vicious Direwolf (Really love his interrupt ability!), Sylph (Yay resisting Control effects!), and the new Blacksmith (Baddies take damage when they hit me? Yes please!).
Now comes my feat selection:
Above you will see that I have selected this strictly for PvE in mind, but it obvisouly does well in PvP also as Sentinel IV is good in the scenario.
3/3: Disciple of Strength
3/3: Endless Assault
3/3: Armor Specialization
5/5/: Steely Defense
3/3: Devastating Critical
5/5: Student of the Sword
5/5: Deep Gash
5/5: Scale Agility
5/5: Powerful Challenge
5/5: Battle Trample
5/5: Master at Arms
1/1: Sentinel’s Aegis
In PvE my rotation revolves around using Threatening Rush to mark a target and then following up with a Wicked Strike rotation or an Encounter Power. This is, obviously, designated to maintain the 30% cumulative damage bonus from having a target Marked w/Powerful Challenge. This can get to 45% more damage if they are CC’d in some way via Trample the Fallen and your encounter abilities or someone on your teams.
It requires a bit of practice to get used too, but the benefits are amazing. You hold aggro so much better then before, thanks to Battle Trample and the Deep Gash bleed effect, particularly in the DPS spec I’ve been testing. (Special thanks to Grimah here as our joint testing and his suggestions have led directly to this!)
PvPing is also something to note, where you can use Threatening Rush to close the gap on anyone. Sentinel IV is a trainwreck for PUGs that face it. Though a solid premade team can kite/focus fire a Sentinel IV down in a short timeframe with planning/strategy. How do I know this? Because it’s happened to me! Just ask FaceControl!
Either way, I am surpremlely happy with where GWFs are currently… Strong in PvE and strong in PvP.
Well done devs!