[Mod 10.5] Lia Knowles’ GWF Destroyer DPS for PVE build – Uncensored.
While it’s no longer up to date, I decided to put the guide back in place. Please bear in mind – I no longer play the game and will not come back playing, most likely ever – hence, I will not be answering any questions related to recent content/changes/current meta. The guide should still be useful for theorycrafting and the basic understanding of the class. Avoid bad information out there!
I apologize for the inconvinience. Happy hunting and thank you for all the support throughout the years!
My most recent videos:
Now fully updated for Module 10.5 (Sea of Moving Ice) – Vivified relic gear, Relic weapons, more details about companion gear, changes in group meta (marks not stacking anymore) and more. New entries to the guide will be marked in blue. Enjoy!
Updated – February 1st, 2017.
Mod 6 kindly granted the GWF’s with new tools, allowing the class to regain the long lost former glory ever since. I will say upfront, the build is not cheap. Might get very expensive to an extent, but will most definitely do the job DPS wise. Please keep in mind that gear isn’t everything! You don’t need to be best in slot or geared as I am to do well with the build, all you need to do is follow the routine instructions, feats and boons and invest some time in learning your character. Feel free to take my gear suggestions and tweak them according to what you can or cannot afford – the build, by all means, is friendly to all types of players even if you’re not keen on investing too much time, energy or resources into your GWF. If you do it correctly, lead paingiver will be no stranger to you, and yet, there’s no magic to make it all happen other than hard work and understanding of the class and its core. So with no further ado:
On what we’re going to achieve
• Swift trash clearing/single target abilities.
• Up to 100% crit chance.
• Plenty of mobility/off-tanking if needed.
On what we’re not going to achieve (aka; what NOT to expect)
• Turtle tanking abilities.
• PVP viability.
• Utility/buff machines (the buff export to others will be minor).
A few more words about the build
The Great Weapon Fighter is one of the highest (or the highest) single target DPS’rs there are as for now among with SW’s. Thanks to our abilities and powers, we’re able to assist the party with AOE’s to clear the critters and trash mobs extremely fast, and of course, we excel at single target due to heavy hitting encounters and self-buffs. Elite mobs? Bosses? All of those are our primary duty and contribution. Our burst damage allows the GWF to do the job of multiple utility classes in a quicker, more efficient way. The two core ingredients for high single target DPS + AOE are high crit rate (chance and severity) and bonus damage. Buff/Debuff are also a core ingredient, on which I’ll elaborate later on. Of course none of these will be achieved without proper mechanics and decent understanding of the class and its feats.
Since a GWF’s core abilities are both DEX and STR, the best choice for a race would be an Half Orc for +2 DEX/STR, and 5% more crit severity (which will play a big role later on).
Another good choice (and mine, personally) is human. +2 to any ability (a loss of 2 if compared to an Orc), but +3 heroic feats and +3% defense.
I believe both race bonuses balance each other out eventually, (like the extra feats are mostly equivalent to the +2 ability an Orc gets), but it’s a matter of choice. Orc is by all means superior due to the additional Crit Severity.
It’s important to balance our crit chance with our bonus power as to not lose eventual damage. So, if human, roll 16 STR and 18 DEX (+2 to DEX to it becomes 18). This will easily balance out since we’re earing a 2/2 CON/STR belt.
If Orc, then basically 18 STR/DEX for max results.
We’re going to add +1/+1 to DEX/STR every 10 levels.
Swordmaster is hands-down the best path if you want both strong single target and AOE’s (given we’re using WMS, which is the most efficient way to take down multiple enemies at a time). Iron Vanguard is mainly designed for PVP at this point, and can be utilized for decent single target only damage (by double marking with Threatening Rush and Daring Shout), yet it counters the ultimate DPS “god” figure this build suggests, therefore why we’re going to be Swordmaster.
[Power chart for leveling]
The routine pretty much fits everywhere, either for clearing trash mobs and single target bosses. There’s hardly need to change it, but if you need a little bit of CC or healing, the options are vast (however not listed, you can swap to Restoring Strike if you feel squishy or Flourish if CC is needed along with extra damage).
Routine consists of:
At wills: Sure Strike/Weapon Master Strike
Encounters: Hidden Daggers/Daring Shout or Battle Fury/Indomitable Battle Strike
Dailies – Crescendo and Slam/Spinning Strike/Avalanche of Steel
Class Feats (that’ll rarely leave your tray): – Destroyer and Wrathful Determination (Or Weapon Master instead of WD if you don’t have 100% crit or near that.)
*An ideal routine would consist of – Hidden Daggers, Daring Shout, IBS.
*Since we have 3 options of an AOE daily, you can easily swap them out according to the situation. Avalanche is great if you’re interested in going ahead and pulling mobs without dying/waiting for your support classes to heal/tank for you. I personally mostly use Slam at this point since most dailies are a waste of time and DPS as far as trash mobs go (since they die so fast), and Slam will pull the aggro to me and allow me to do a litle bit of damage without having to completely stop my routine.
[Note] – Do NOT slot Wrathful Determination if you’re still low on crit, Weapon Master will be a better option for you until you reach 100% or close to.
A little bit about my choice of encounters
Hidden Daggers – Great AOE. The charges are flexible and the damage is also decent. The 40% melee damage buff is very useful, try to use it before you use IBS or Crescendo. Must never leave your tray!
Daring Shout – Is our greeting to mobs. Great buff/debuff encounter for the party and for yourself. Generates Combat Advantage. (For more info, check the Numbers & Explanations section).
Indomitable Battle Strike – Our best friend and strongest encounter. Should be used wisely (elaboration further down the guide). or
Battle Fury – Can be used for quality of life purposes (near to endless sprint if our Recovery is high enough), a nice buff to your party + self damage boosting. Can be used on single target bosses (Demogorgon, dragons, etc.) if someone else is already marking the enemy (instead of Daring Shout, check the Numbers & Explanations section for more information) and overall great for solo content/trash phases in dungeons.
Important mechanics for that routine
[For a gamplay video demonstrations, please visit my Youtube playlist/channel]
Although all we want is to rush into battle and smack everything with IBS, our feats and encounters allow us to do more damage over time. Keys for correct entrance to battle and mechanics throughout:
• Before you rush in, since we’re using the Relic weapons, a GWF can easily control the procs of the set bonus before the battle starts. Instead of sprinting head first into the first pack of mobs you see, make sure to jump and use hidden daggers in the air, that’ll proc the offensive set bonus immediately (since it procs on encounter use, hidden daggers is perfect due to it having charges we can spare right off the bat) and give you a nice headstart of 10% extra outgoing damage. Afterwards you can also feel free to use your Wheel of Elements as the set bonus is already used up (given how one needs to sprint in order to cancel the Wheel animation and catch the fire buff quickly).
• As soon as you rush into a pack of mobs, use Daring Shout. If more than 3 mobs around (and even if not, we still have a 25% chance since it’s feated) our Destroyer class feat will proc and start stacking, plus all the damage benefits DS gives us in addition to the combat advantage buff for ourselves and our party.
• After Daring Shout, when we finally use IBS we want it to be 100% effective and possibly high critted. For this to happen, we’d want to provide our companion sufficient time frame to get its bonding proc up (and Camaraderie stacks), thus getting us over 100% crit chance by spamming Weapon Master Strike, debuffing the mobs for our next Sure Strike spam.
• Since feated to build determination by both getting hit by mobs AND hitting mobs back (and of course Daring Shout), by this stage our Determination bar will be full, and then we can go unstoppable.
• While finally unstoppable, we’re going to cater for a properly buffed IBS for max damage thanks to Destroyer’s Purpose that’ll grant damage bonus for each stack and 20% more damage for our encounters. To make this effective, and due to our WMS feat, the following order is crucial to buff yourself properly – Mark, WMS, Hidden Daggers, and only then IBS. Only use IBS while you have stacks ready and full (10 Destro Purpose, at least 1 Destroyer). Make sure you build up to that by using just your at wills for a few seconds during Unstoppable. Please note, using IBS outside of unstoppable is negative DPS for the most part, and while it’ll get your determination up, there are better ways to get the same result. IBS, for the most part, is meant for use only during unstoppable.
*Since we’re using Wrathful Determination, very precise mechanics are required to utilize this class feat. Since we get the most amount of bonus damage when our Determination is just starting to drain (up to 12.5% extra damage), we’ll try to use the pre-IBS buff routine BEFORE we go unstoppable. That means that once we go Unstoppable we’re already fully buffed and can use IBS right away, while the Determination bar is still almost full and gives us the most damage. This routine only works after a first regular routine while in combat that’ll grant you all the buffs beforehand.
• From then on, rinse and repeat. Try not to waste time on marking/using dailies while unstoppable, they can be used after. Every second counts!
• As far as dailies go, as the current content of the game is extremely easy and mobs die fast, I’d refrain from using anything but Slam (unless like I explained above, you’re interested in pulling mobs by yourself, in which Avalanche of Steel will be better suited) just before going into combat, any unnecessary casting/channeling time will contribute to negative DPS. Even though Slam pulls quite a bit of aggro, it’ll decrease incoming damage by a little bit, with correct footwork you should be able to maneuver between the mobs and stay alive.
• Crescendo is also best when all the above is activated (aka; buffs). Try to use Hidden Daggers before every major strike, such as Crescendo and IBS. Crescendo is best used when your Determination bar is either half-full or empty, so that by the final strike the Determination bar will be full and you’ll get 25% off of Wrathful Determination, doing massive damage as you go. Always eye your buff bar to see if Destroyer’s Purpose, Destroyer and Staying Power are all fully stacked while the boss is marked before pulling Crescendo in order to maximize your damage.
A few important things that’ll help you along the road –
- At-wills are your main source of damage and the core of the build. Use them wisely! (much more effective during Unstoppable as they are faster.)
- Your encounters come secondary and two of them actually serve to cater and buff your at-wills and IBS.
- Dailies can sometimes be a waste of time. For example (and this is very situational), sometimes it’s better not to use Spinning Strike and WMS all the mobs down instead as it’ll do more damage overall and be quicker. Spinning Strike is a must-use during Unstoppable, most mobs will try and CC you, hence interrupting your daily if you’re not already CC immune.
- Foot work is important! Learn how to use your Stamina wisely, prevent from sprinting between a batch of mobs to another to maintain your stamina high enough to maneuver between mobs and avoid one-shot type attacks. Remember, no point in focusing on DPS if you’re dead, a dead GWF will do no damage!
Best in slot – The current best in slot set is the t3 empowered Vivified Relic Headsman’s Raid pieces, they all have the exact same stat distribution (Power/Crit/Defense) which will easily benefit us for the long run. This will also drop our Armpen to the bare minimum, as such it’s important to make sure you compensate for the armpen loss via your companion or other sources. The set is obtainable from completing Fangbreaker Island.You can later vivify it via weekly Master Svardborg runs, which will improve the armor set further. If you don’t feel like empowering your gear every now and then and farming voninblood, Adamant (Masterwork) gear is once choice, with the new key changes there are multiple different pieces of gear dropping from different dungeons, be careful not to equip the utility focused ones. If you must, go with the more stat focused pieces such as Jarl’s Gaze, Historian Regalia, Survivor’s Wraps, etc. They are not best in slot for a GWF but can be a temporary upgrade if you’re currently wearing older pieces of gear. Keep in mind most of those pieces come without crit, that might be a problem later on, so try to keep those pieces temporary until you can get better ones.
[Please note that stat alternation is important, and while once piece can be a direct upgrade for you from an old piece of gear, the very same piece will be extremely bad for another GWF who chose to to build up their stats differently, yet is following the same build. How is this possible? While the final result will often be similar, playing with your stats to get a beautifully organized result is not easy. You will find yourself alternating between pieces of gear often, and it’s enough to follow my suggestions but do one or two pieces wrong to completely fail altogether and lack important stats such as armpen. My way of using my gear to complement the rest of my build is unique to my views as a player – as long as you, as your own person, get to a similar results in your own way and your own puzzle pieces – you’re doing it right! The build and gear suggestions are meant to give a general outline to help the GWF playerbase out.]
Alternatives – These sets take quite some time to achieve, so in the meantime, if leveling between 60 – 70, you can use the pieces of armor you get while doing the Elemental Evil campaign. Delving into 70 dungeoneering, you can mix between the Raid and Assault t1 and t1.5 sets, try to pick relevant pieces for your need (if you lack armpen, then armpen comes above all. Remember, you’re doing absolutely nothing compared to your potential without the sufficient amount of Resistance Ignored, which should be 60%), and of course, critical strike. For tier 2 equipment you can go for the Elven Ward set. (You obtain it by doing T2 dungeons, gaining Protector Seals and buying the pieces from the vendor in Seven Suns Coster Market.)
As far as Underdark goes – Dusk and Drowcraft are valid alternatives for Dragonflight (the next best if you don’t have Adamant or Relic gear) if you can’t obtain it, pieces with crit and power are a priority.
Best in slot – shall be the artifact set, in this case Headman’s Greataxe (+the sure strike/WMS bonus, I change mine frequently) and it’s matching offhand Headman’s Swordknot. As far as the offhand stat increase and class feat of choice go, choose Wrathful Determination (or Weapon Master if you’re not using WD as of yet) and Combat Advantage for stat increase. The set can be obtained via Sea of Moving Ice (you initially get them in their relic fashion, after which you need to restore them) and upgraded via marks from Svardborg/Master Svardborg.
Alternatives – While leveling, you can use either Dragon Bone weapons or Ensorcelled Mulhorand weapons. If you don’t have the funds to get either, just normal weapons are fine. After finishing the Spinward Rise area you’ll obtain the Elemental Fire weapons. It’s recommended to use them in the meantime (since getting the Twisted set takes time), however – refining them to max is not beneficial and they can stay at epic level at most.
Best in slot – Demogorgon’s Girdle of Might to complete our Orcus set.
Alternatives – You can simply wear whatever, the Lostmauth set is fairly cheap these days and should serve you well until you can get your hands on the Orcus set.
Best in slot – +4/+5 Ring of Brutality / +4/+5 Ring of Rising Precision / +4/+5 Ring of Rising Power / +5 Greater Ostorian Ring of Dod
*Note (about the Underdark rings) – Ideally, a combination of Ring of Brutality +5 and a Ring of Sudden/Rising Precision would benifit most GWF’s, but If you reach over 100% crit chance without the crit rings, feel free to change the ring for a Rising Power +5 or +5 Greater Ostorian Ring of Dod.
Alternatives – 2x Elemental Alliance Assault rings, or any of the 2x slotted rings from Jewelcrafting (either armpen or recovery, whichever one that complements your stats).
Best in slot – We’ll go for Baphomet’s Infernal Talisman, again to complete our Orcus set.
Alternatives – You can go for Elemental Alliance Assault Necklace in the meantime, recovery is never bad in addition to power. Or again, the Lostmauth’s Hoard Necklace to complete the set until you get your hands on the Orcus one.
For weapon a Vorpal is the best choice for us by far up to 100% of our hits in will crit, severity is important for increased DPS. For armor you can easily go with a simple Soulforged, or if you can afford a well ranked Negation (+ confident you’re not dying easy).
Ugh, why switch to the Orcus set? – So here’s the thing, those who know me or followed me and my guide for a long while, know I was against the lostmauth set as I believed it was overpowered and did not work as intended, resulting in me even refusing to use it for 3 months until I had no choice but to switch in order to remain competitive. I welcomed the fix to the set as it allows everyone and me in particular to have more flexibility. We don’t need the 100% crit chance anymore, it’s nice to have but not necessary as we don’t depend on one artifact set to be 30% of our damage, hence why I switched out Weapon Master for Wrathful Determination. As far as numbers go, the Orcus set is around 10 – 15% (all variables considered) more damage then the post-nerf Lostmauth set, despite the loss of valuable stats. If you’re unable to afford the switch, the Lostmauth set is still a decent choice, however not BIS.
I heard the Mod 11 wepaon sets are better than Relic, should I really farm Svardborg right now or just drop it and wait for M11? – Yes, you should farm the Relic weapons! As stated by the devs, the new weapon sets are supposed to be flavor, weaker versions of the Relic weapons, while the weapon damage increase from Twisted is exactly the same for both Relic and Mod 11 weapons (and this is where all the damage increase actually comes from), the Firesoul weapons (the one set everyone looked at, as the bonus was overpowered when introduced to preview) actually got a serious tonedown, and for now won’t be better than the Relic set given all variables.
TL;DR – Relic weapon set is still BIS.
I went with –
- Lantern of Revelation/Heart of the Blue Dragon – Crit/Armpen/CA or Crit/Recovery/CA
- Shard of Orcus’ Wand – Power/Movement/AOE resist
- Wheel of Elements (Primary!) – HP/Power/Stamina gain + 30% more damage over 28 seconds (Fire buff).
- Sigil of the Controller – Power/Crit/Control Resist
*You may switch out to the Lantern as primary when the scenario justfies it (wise to use it in Tiamat, DragonFlight, etc. since it it’s a shared damage buff and not just personal.)
Augment – I believe every Ioun with 3x offense slots shall be best for a GWF. Radiance, Might, Black dragon, etc. This is a valid option if you can’t afford bonding runestones or you have no intention of getting your character geared too much.
Bonding Companion –
The Fire Archon is the perfect wife! Why? There are multiple reasons the Fire Archon is best in slot for a Great Weapon Fighter at this point. Some of them are:
- It has a very low cooldown (given Protector’s Camaraderie, it still needs to stack and you want something fast to proc it).
- It is ranged, therefore a faster bonding proccer given we’re a melee class and it’s going to attack once we get to the mobs immediately.
- The Archon has a good bonus.
- It has 3x offense slots.
- Does not die often since you’re the one taking all of the aggro for the most part.
Other noteable choices – Sellsword / Con Artist (Please keep in mind – while the 10% debuff both the Sellsword and Con artist provide is extremely powerful, that’ll come on the expense of your own personal damage as these companion are slow to proc your companion bonuses, aka Prot. Camaraderie + Friendship. Both close ranged companions also die very often due to their melee position, so keep that in mind. Same goes for the FIre Archon, it’ll provide excellent personal damage boost, but no debuff to the party. Up to you to consider what you prefer as a player.)
The key in using these companions is basically equipping normal (or above) bondings in their Runestone slots. Those (r12’s) provide 95%x3 of the companion stats to you in combat. This requires a slightly different playstyle, you have got to be aware of your companion, make sure it’s not left behind, not too far off or dead for too long (you can always use Liira’s Bell to res them).
My current companion gear:
- 1x Ring of the Loyal Avenger. 1x Offense, 1x Defense. +652 Power/+652 Crit/+435 Armor Penetration. 1x Brutality Enchantment, rank 12 (offense) / Azure Enchantment, rank 12 (defense).
- 2x Ring of Adorable Bites. 2x Offense. +521 Power/+348 Crit. 4x Brutality Enchantment, rank 12.
Epic Erinyes of Belial – For 10% extra crit severity.
Epic Cambion Magus/Blink Dog– 10% crit severity or 5% CA damage.
Epic Air Archon – or +5% to any target not at full health (0.5% more because we have the fire archon).
Epic Siege Master – for +4% increased damage.
Current Enchantments on the companion gear – 4x Brutals (Offense) / 2x Azure (Defense).
*Note (about the companion gear) – A nerf to the Loyal companion gear is subject to happen soon once they come back to the game (since the Gateway got shut down). Depending on the scale of the nerf, I’ll make additional changes to my companion gear. There’s new companion gear coming with Mod 11 that should benifit all those who never got a change to get their hands on Loyal companion gear and the Adorable Bites. The new companion gear will have the same stats as Adorable Bites at +4 level with 2x offense slots.
For Xbox/PS4 players – Your best choice at the moment is Fangbreaker Island rings! Especially rings of Dod (Power/Crit) of either +4/+5 variety, they should suffice until Mod 11 drops and you can have decent companion gear via the new content. If you don’t have access to FBI as of yet, any rings with 2 slots (via Jewelcrafting for example, power/armpen or power/recovery) should do.
Why not Underdark Rings? – I’ve been testing for a couple of months and while the combat time might not be long these days (since we’re dealing insane amounts of damage), Underdark rings are providing high burst damage for a period of time, but low sustained damage. I find sustained damage more suitable for my playstyle and my GWF, and while I can’t argue the sudden rings work better for other classes, I did not like a Brutality ring in my setup. If you’d like to experiment with the Underdark rings, my recommendation is to slot just 1 Sudden ring of either power or crit according to what you’re lacking, anymore than that with the FIre Archon is a waste and will gimp your damage (Rising rings are not an option, the Fire Archon does not excel at proccing them and by the time it gets full stacks everything will be dead).
Starting Mod 9, mounts got added value and can now provide quite the DPS boost if you utilize them correctly.
For the Insignia bonuses, I went for Protector’s Camaraderie, Friendship and Assassin’s Covenant.
The Protector’s Camaraderie/Friendship bonus stacks very quickly (since my companion in particular attacks very fast), is not dependant on anything I do (since I’m very busy perfecting my own routine) and is quite passive. It grants an additional amount of around 10k power overall and a very nice amount of Defense with it. Going with 3x Camaraderie and 1x Friendship will grant you a little bit more stats due to the nature of the stacking mechanic of these bonuses.
Assassin’s Covenant can be extremely benefitial depending on how much Defense you have. With maxed out guild boons and R12’s, it’s an addition of ~2k power and works in synergy with the Camaraderie/Friendship bonus.
List of mounts I’m using – Guard Drake, White Tiger, Giant Crab, Medium Black Horse, Bay Zakharan Horse.
Combat Power – The current BIS Combat Power is the Tenser’s Transformation. If you don’t have a Tenser’s just lying around then don’t sweat it, it’s not much of a significant boost mainly because the channeling time is quite long already and you might have a hard time to combine it within your rotation without having to stop it mid-combat, thus resulting in loss of DPS. The best way to utilize this Combat Power is to use instantly after entering combat, just before engaging in actual combat.
Equip Power – This varies according to what you have. My personal recommendation is either 4k Recovery from the Tenser’s or 4k Power from the Blackice Warhose. As opposing to popular belief, the 4k from the Imperial Rage Drake isn’t needed and you can easily skip it as reaching 100% crit is not much of a problem once you have r12 bondings and proper enchantments on your companion. You can always take lesser versions of recommended bonuses, however I don’t believe 2k Recovery is anywhere as good as 2k power, so you can easily just take the power instead in the form of Guard Drake, Heavy Giant Spider or Heavy Twilight Nightmare.
If you’re undergeared and still lacking mass amounts of Crit, feel free to take a Crit mount such as Heavy Howler or Rage Drake.
Offense slot – Azure Enchantments/Brutal Enchantments
Defense slot – Azure Enchantments
Utility Slot – Dark enchantment/Hoards/Fey blessing.
[Note #1] – At first you’re going to have to balance your stats a lot, will lack a good amount of armor penetration and will need to have dark enchants in your offense slots. As your gear improves you’ll gain more arpen and can begin swapping the darks for azures. Keep in mind the game changes often and you’ll find the need to periodically re-balance.
[Note #2] – If you’re undergeared, I still recommend stacking HP rather than Defense. Since Defense stacking goes along very well with having a Trans Negation (which, let’s be honest, most people don’t have), your survivability might be in jeopardy, therefore unless you’re very confident of your skills and you don’t die often at all, feel free to ditch the Radiants for Azures as they provide extra power in addition to maxed out damage resistance in combat.
Power – While we don’t invest in this stat heavily in a direct way (except for Brutals, pieces of gear and artifacts), it’s still important and a healthy amount is needed. Endgame goal should be around 2 times your crit pre-buffs. For lower geared players (under 3k), try to not stack crit to a point you have no power or crit severity to support it, a ratio of 1:1 or slightly higher power is healthy in that point.
Critical Strike – Our best buddy in the build. We will work to stack as much crit as we can from gear, enchantments and companions to eventually reach 100% chance in combat to make the build viable.
Armor Penetration – Post change to the Orcus set, you may be a little bit short with your resistance ignored. At this point I choose to rely on my companion to complete the missing margin of Resistance Ignored for me, if you want to play it safe then you can always have around 50% on your character itself and let the companion complete the rest up to 60%. Entirely up to you!
Recovery – Since I run Battle Fury quite often, I found Recovery being great at a decent rate since it shortens the very long cooldown of the encounter. +4k from the Tenser’s Disk bonus it should be around 6 – 7k, yet these amounts are optional and fit my personal playstyle and will be switched often according to what I’m doing.
Combat Advantage – Since Daring Shout will generate flank for us, this is an important stat for increased damage. Around 1k should be enough for 8 – 9% bonus damage.
Defense – We’ll have a very high amount of defense that should result in around 60% damage resistance pre-buff (that would be around 20k Defense at BIS including guild boons).
Regen – Not really something you need for PVE. If you have jewelry on your augment and have some extra AD, +100 regen kits will contribute for some incoming healing, not more than 1 – 2% though.
Deflect – Not needed for PVE whatsoever.
Life Steal – Depending on the situation, lifesteal can be great for a GWF. As a fast attacking class, we can regain health very quickly using a high amount of LS or stacking it. I often switch around between the defense and lifesteal guild boons depending on the party, if there’s no healer or the heals are insufficient this will help the GWF protect themselves and be less dependent on the support classes.
*Powerful Challenge is a major key in this build to build up our dps. Both of the options to get to this feat (Scale Agility and Unstoppable recovery) are decent. I personally like my deflect chance higher, but if you’re feeling squishy, 5/5 in Unstoppable Recovery can also do.
[Note] – For non-humans –
[Note] – The missing point could easily transfer to Weapon Mastery instead.
[Note] – Unless you have reached the armpen cap of 60%, refrain from choosing both the deflect boon from Dread Ring and defense from Tyranny of Dragons. Once you have though, choose the defensive boons.
[Stronghold] – As for guild boons, since I’m the GM of my guild our choice of boons was convenient for the guildies and for me as well, yet the good boons are quite popular in most guilds, hence why I don’t believe anyone would have a hard time finding a guild with the best ones. BIS boons for this build would be +8k power (according to my testing, it’s similar and slightly inferior to +15% crit severity at high rates of already existing crit sev) and +8k defense.
Numbers & Explanations
In this section I’ll elaborate on how certain powers and feats work to provide more insight for players who are interested in knowing how the class works in-depth.
Daring Shout (Encounter) – The mark caster gets 20% damage automatically on the marked target + 15% more from Powerful Challenge + 2% debuff on the initial DS effect + 15% base CA damage + the amount of % bonus damage you have + 8% to allies + CA + bonus CA damage to allies.
Total (personal) – ~62% extra damage.
Total (allies) – ~33% (in both calculations the assumption is that all party members have around the 10% bonus CA damage from the stat alone, not including companions).
Hidden Daggers (Encounter) – the 40% damage buff applies once, using Hidden Daggers more than once in a row is unnecessary.
Destroyer (Class Feat) – 36% base + 6% from the feat = 42% increased damage total.
Wrathful Determination (Class Feat) – 25% damage at full bar, once it starts draining it drains from 12.5% damage down to 0 when the bar is fully drained.
Weapon Master Strike (At-Will) – 30% debuff for Sure Strike, 10% debuff to encounters (Staying Power).
Student of the Sword (Feat): Dispelling a popular belief – debuffs in Neverwinter do NOT count towards your Armpen. Debuffs are a different layer. So, in this scenario, assuming you have 60% resistance ignored and you’re attacking a Polar Bear, you will shred their armor down to 0 (the Polar bear for example does not have 60% resistance, it has less, but even if you have more armpen than its resistance, you will never shred more than the minimum). Now that the monster’s DR is down to 0, your Student of the Sword debuff get into effect and will take the monster’s DR into negatives, in which case it’ll be -5% and act as a damage multiplier instead.
Mighty Blade (Feat) – Only works with powers that have the ‘burst’ tag on them, does not count for any of the other AOE’s we actually use.
Why don’t you spec into Battle Awareness? – with my amount of base power the feat gives me ~9k power, which in reality is around 10% actual damage increase, the uptime of the daily does not jutify 5 points in it especially since Student of the Sword is a 5% damage multiplier with no conditions other than crit which is A. passive B. you get all the time as you have 100% chance in theory. Even if Battle Awareness was better than what it is, you need some sort of solid AP gain to ensure it’s worthy, in which case you’ll be losing offensive stats no matter how you do it (either by investing in Recovery, replacing your active mount for a Snail or your primary artifact back to a DC sigil).
When should I switch Daring Shout to Battle Fury? – When somebody else marks for you! Due to recent findings (full credit to @michela123 and everyone involved in the PVE effectiveness spreadsheet), it appears marks from different sources (i.e. GF’s and GWF’s) no longer stack. As a result, it changes the group meta, and if you have a GF that reliably marks for you in the dungeon/trial, you can drop DS and slot Battlefury instead. I still recommend using DS in trash phases if the GF won’t slot Enforced Threat or if there’s another GWF marking (DS only marks up to 5 enemies), in boss phases make sure only one person marks to increase effectiveness.
(With a summoned companion/not in combat)
(With a summoned companion/In combat + a stack of Companion’s Gift + Protector’s Camaraderie)
(Lifesteal and Regen increase are a boon proc, feel free to disregard)
And there we go! Hope you enjoyed the build. I would appreciate feedback of any kind. I apologise for any mistakes done (mainly language wise. English is not my primary language) and would like to thank my super supportive guild – ?The Holy Crusaders?. Special thanks to my dearest officers and best friends in-game and out for making elite life possible – @jeffslider (the most awesome DC, go check out his guide!) @archangelzorak01 (the most amazing TR ever, I’m not worthy of the talentz).
Feel free to contact me in-game (Queen Lia Knowles@rinat114) for any questions or ask in comments, I’ll make sure to answer them all.