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Note: This article is intended to provide guidance for experienced characters playing new warrior PvE characters or inexperienced warriors looking for additional options. If this is your first time playing guild wars, please see one of the getting started guides.


A Warrior's Place

A warrior's place is in battle knee deep in foes and first to the fight. Warriors have the highest natural Armor rating of any class, as well as defensive and endurance skills such as Dolyak Signet, "Watch Yourself!" and Defensive Stance.

Being a Warrior

As a general rule, warriors should be among the first into a battle and among the last out. In PvE, the primary responsibility is to mitigate damage to the rest of the group by absorbing as much as possible, attempt to block or hinder foes attacking casters, and engage other warriors attempting to attack the rest of the party. Once the serious threats to the casters have been dealt with, move on to the opposing casters. In PvP, many effective warrior builds revolve around spiking, pressuring, linebacking or a combination of the preceding tactics. In PvP, engaging opposing casters is typically more important and more useful than fighting other warriors.

Warriors can make use of adrenaline skills that take no energy. These skills have to be charged by successfully attacking, either with a melee weapon, a bow, a spear, or a wand. Warriors can also use shouts, which have no activation time, and often aid the entire party.

Always carry a resurrect skill of some kind, as a higher armor rating and survival skills means the warrior will be most likely to survive a near-wipe situation. Monk and Ritualist secondaries should carry reusable resurrection spells like Rebirth or Flesh of My Flesh.

It is also advisable for warriors to carry self-healing skills, such as Healing Signet. Skills like these can keep the warrior effective longer, and allow primary monks to concentrate healing on more vulnerable allies.


Weapon of Choice

It is important to choose a single weapon to use with your warrior. Attribute points are in short supply, and focusing on a single weapon is the only way to use them effectively. See Runes and Armor for options on creating a weapon-flexible warrior. Be sure to read the associated page for details on your chosen weapon.


Advantages of Swords Disadvantages of Swords
  • Swords attack once every 1.33 seconds, and deal a maximum of 15-22 base damage per hit, giving them a reasonably predictable damage value per second.
  • Sever Artery causes Bleeding for additional damage over time, and Gash can inflict a Deep Wound, hampering the target's healing efforts.
  • The skill Final Thrust deals more damage in a single hit than any other non-elite attack skill in the game, so warriors who need to bring another elite skill will often use swords to keep a strong finishing attack.
  • Critical hits with swords are far less powerful than critical hits with hammers or axes.
  • Swords are comparatively popular, making it harder to find the appropriate upgrades through trade.


Advantages of Axes Disadvantages of Axes
  • The low side of the 6-28 base damage of axes is the lowest minimum damage of all the weapons resulting in highly variable damage per hit.
  • Critical strike chances take level difference between you and the foe in account, resulting in less critical strikes against high level foes, reducing the benefit of having high maximum damage.


Advantages of Hammers Disadvantages of Hammers
  • Hammers have the potential to deal more damage than other weapons, a maximum of 19-35 base damage per hit.
  • Several Hammer Mastery skills cause knockdown.
  • Several general purpose "green" Hammers are available in both Tyria and Cantha.
  • Hammers are the cheapest melee weapons in the game, making them easily affordable for players that don't have much money.
  • Hammers are extremely defensive; most hammers in PvP are for "linebacking" or keeping melee off your backline.
  • Skills like Earthshaker can easily negate the penalty of no shield by knocking down enemies.
  • Hammers attack slower than other weapons, once every 1.75 seconds. This can be mitigated with skills such as Berserker Stance or Tiger Stance.
  • Hammers are two-handed and prevent the use of a shield or focus item.
  • Many high-end PvE areas contain monsters which cannot be knocked down, negating a primary benefit of hammers.

Other Attributes


Strength grants 1% armor penetration per attribute level when using attack skills, and controls the effectiveness of strength skills. Strength-based armor penetration stacks with sundering weapon upgrades, but is replaced by skill based armor penetration.


Tactics skills have party-wide effects or are useful for personal countering. Most Tactics skills are defensive in nature.


Warriors have a great selection of stances, both offensive and defensive, generic and specific. The most popular are IAS stances which increase the damage output and help build adrenaline for other skills. Examples are Flail, Flurry, Frenzy, Tiger Stance, and Berserker Stance. All these stances come with a penalty and there is no single, best skill in all situations. Due to the warrior's role in combat and the perfect situational awareness of monsters, Frenzy should be used only in specially planned PvE situations.


Self-healing is especially important for a warrior because of their position on the frontline, often out of range of the monk, taking the brunt of the damage.

The 3 staple warrior heals are:

  • "Victory is Mine!" - When a team is based around conditions, this skill can easily heal for over 200 HP instantly.
  • Lion's Comfort - A Nightfall skill good for warriors using strength. It can be used more often than Healing Signet and doesn't carry the sometimes-dangerous armor penalty; however, it is an adrenaline skill which puts a limit to its flexibility even if it provides adrenaline when used.
  • Healing Signet - The original and most powerful, for a character that specs into Tactics. It subtracts 40 armor from the current armor while casting, so an emergency stance or a solid tanking skill are often used to "cover" while activating the signet.

Other skills used by warriors for self-healing are:

  • Vigorous Spirit - The "Paladin" skill. This monk skill provides excellent healing over time, preventing the need for emergency healing. It can also be shared with allied warrior, ranger, and assassin. Consider using this skill with AoE skills, such as Cyclone Axe or Triple Chop.
  • Mending - (Not recommended) This skill is extremely popular due to its ease of use among newer players, however Warriors will learn after playing that it is neither cost efficient (with the least Healing/Energy), nor the most reliable (As an enchantment it can be removed). This skill is the butt of many infamous jokes about how Mending is such a good skill, when in reality it is terribly inefficient.

Runes and Armor

Here is an example armor set for a flexible warrior that allows the warrior to change weapons, skills and attribute bonuses at will.

  • One helm for each preferred weapon, for example:
    1. Swordsmanship helm with a Rune of Swordsmanship for when wielding a sword.
    2. Hammer Mastery helm with a Rune of Hammer Mastery for when wielding a hammer.
  • Two sets of armor with different insignia, infused with a Rune of Vigor in the chest piece.
    1. Radiant insignia for 8 extra energy with high-energy builds such as Warrior's Endurance or Flourish.
    2. Dreadnought's insignia for extra armor with adrenal or tactical builds
    3. A single Stonefist insignia when using skills that knock down foes, especially with a hammer.
  • The remaining gauntlets and boots of an armor set can be infused with a rune of minor tactics, minor strength, rune of clarity or rune of purity, depending on personal preference for strength and tactics skills.

Types of Warriors

Sword Warrior

The sword warrior uses his weapon to duel a single enemy at a time, causing conditions like bleeding and doing heavy armor ignoring damage with his attack skills. Dragon Slash can be used to quickly charge up all equipped adrenaline attacks simultaneously. Energy can be used for skills to increase adrenaline gain even further, like "For Great Justice!" and "To the Limit!", or for energy-based attacks like Pure Strike.

Axe Warrior

The axe warrior has 3 important PvE skills which can hit multiple opponents at once: Cyclone Axe, Triple Chop, and Whirlwind Attack. These attacks give adrenaline for each foe hit and allow easy use of adrenaline attacks.

Axes have the added benefit of easily applied deep wound, a powerful condition for taking an enemy down.

Hammer Warrior

The hammer warrior disrupts foes by knocking them down, over and over and over. A common attack chain is Devastating Hammer, Crushing Blow, autoattack, Hammer Bash. Other skills can be added or substituted for these ones as they become available. A stance that increases attack speed is important with a hammer, because of the weapon's slower speed.


This character uses Strength and Tactics skills to reduce the damage done by monsters so that the party needs less overall healing to survive a battle. S/he attracts the attention of melee enemies, as well as protecting his/her party members from ranged attacks. Some popular tanking skills are Dolyak Signet, Flail, Shield Bash, "Shields Up!", "Watch Yourself!", Bonetti's Defense, and Gladiator's Defense.

Choosing a Secondary

For further information on choosing a secondary profession, including information about PvP Warrior builds, see Secondary professions for a Warrior.

Suggested Skills

  • Watch Yourself provides a moderate armor bonus with enough points in Tactics. Due to its low adrenaline cost, it is easily maintainable with few or no points in Tactics.
  • Skull Crack and Berserker Stance: at 12 Strength, both Dazed and Berserker Stance last 10 seconds, allowing tactics that interrupt a target caster once a second for 10 seconds.

Warriors in PvP

Warriors are arguably the most versatile class in PvP, being the main force of the offense, and being able to switch between different play-styles mid-battle. For the sake of the article, the somewhat dated Cripslash build will be used as an example.

This build includes a very powerful and somewhat spamable snare, and a speed buff. The build allows for constant pressuring through conditions, damage, and the natural resiliency of warrior armor.

There are several tactics that warriors employ in PvP, but the most common are pressuring, spiking, and linebacking. Each of these tactics, using the example build, will be discussed here in relation to the PvP Warrior.


The point of pressure is to stretch the enemy monks' energy pools thin by attacking many enemies at once. This is more effective at draining energy than simply attacking one target mostly because of the Protection Prayers tree of skills. If a warrior were to attack a single character, then the damage could be cut in half by skills such as Aegis or Guardian. Good pressure is often a precursor to spikes, reducing the likelihood that a spike will be countered. Mini-spikes may also be used in pressure to bait antispike measures. Mini-spikes are performed by either part of the frontline using their entire skill set, or all of the frontline using varying parts of their skill set.


The spike chain in the example build is Frenzy -> Crippling Slash -> Gash -> Sun and Moon Slash -> Rush.

This combo is effective because Frenzy allows for the entire chain to be delivered in two thirds the time, Crippling Slash offers minor degeneration pressure, Gash reduces the maximum health by a fifth through Deep Wound, and Sun and Moon Slash provides a potent finishing move. Rush is then used to cancel Frenzy, so that the player doesn't take double damage. It will always be ready at the end of a spike chain.

The mini-spike combo in this build is often Crippling Slash and Sun and Moon Slash, without a Frenzy active.

Line Backing

This tactic is deployed defensively when the battle is not going favorably, often in response to heavy pressure or to stave off spikes. Linebacking essentially revolves around not allowing any enemies beyond your frontline.

Players using the example build would make heavy use of the skills Crippling Slash, Bull's Strike and Rush. By maintaining Rush, the player can be near-guaranteed to be able to keep up with the enemy forces that may try to pass, and force a slow advance with Crippling Slash. Should the opposing players continue their offensive advance, Bull's Strike can be employed for constant knockdowns. This tactic allows monks to regain energy through the luxury of predictable targets and relaxed spot-healing.

Quarter knocking

Quarter knocking is when you keep another character on the ground (by various KD skills) and only allowing minimal time not KD'ed. A successful quarter knock will keep a character on his feet for less than a 1/4 of a second, and therefore cannot use any skill. This gives quarter knocking its name. Quarter knocking is most advantageously used on monks. Keeping a monk on the ground allows a warrior and his team to pressure/spike the monk without allowing him to throw up many 1/4 second prots, such as Spirit Bond, Protective Spirit, or Reversal of Fortune. Quarter knocking is mostly done by hammer warriors, but warriors with Shock and Bull's Strike can successfully quarter knock a target as well.


PvP Primer