Home Guest Article Guild Wars 2 Starter’s Guide: The Warrior

Want to get started in Guild Wars 2 but aren’t sure where to begin? Harsh from the Xen of Onslaught [XoO] is here to help. Today, he kicks off his Guild Wars 2 Starter Guide with the versatile Warrior profession.

Like the ranger and the necromancer, the warrior is a beloved, returning profession from Guild Wars.

In the original series, he served as the mainstay of melee combat, and continues to fill that role in Arenanet’s latest MMORPG Guild Wars 2.

War never changes

The warrior has changed the least of all the returning classes, so if you are a veteran warrior player you should feel right at home with a few minor adjustments:

Adrenaline: e-Warriors no longer require adrenaline for all of their attacks. Now he uses it for a single attack that changes according to the weapon in his main hand. Its power increases the more adrenaline you have, allowing for a strategic burst when needed.

Stances: Stance canceling is no longer required. For those of you unfamiliar, stance canceling was a tactic in the original Guild Wars used to overwrite a stance by going into another stance, allowing the user to negate any negative effects of the first stance at will.

Auto Follow: In the original game you didn’t have to worry about being out of position causing your attacks to miss. Due to the removal of auto follow, you need to be aware of (among other things) you location relative to your enemy, and adjust yourself accordingly to maximize outgoing damage and minimize incoming blows.


One man army

The warrior boasts one of the largest base hitpoint pools, access to heavy armor, and the most weapon combinations of any class Tyria has ever seen. He also has a few battlefield tricks up his sleeve:

  • Shouts: With simply the power of his words, a warrior can encourage his teammates to fight harder, instill fear in the hearts of his foes,  or heal conditions inflicted upon him by his enemies. Shouts are very useful when involved in any team-based combat.
  • Banners: These are flags which are stuck into the ground, granting buffs to allies within its area of influence. These differ from shouts in that banners typically have a longer duration, and a longer cooldown. Banners also differ from shouts in that they can be picked up by any member of the party and placed in a new location.


Armed to the teeth

With 19 different weapon combinations (omitting aquatic weaponry), and the ability to alternate between two weapon load outs, the warrior has a setup for just about any scenario that could possibly arise. The following is a quick overview of each of these weapons.

Greatsword (two handed) – A favorite of many, this weapon has a multitude of ways to bring the pain. With a cripple, a hard hitting multi attack, and two moves to help mobility, the greatsword is a day ruiner of those on the receiving end.

Hammer (two handed) – A staple of warriors in the original game, the hammer remains devastating to those caught in its wake. Stuns, knock back, knock down, and cripple are the key players this weapon brings. Definitely  not a weapon to trifle with.

Longbow (two handed) – Though this weapon is called a longbow, it serves its purpose better at mid to close range due to slow arrow speed and a high trajectory. The conditions it inflicts are powerful, however if you are looking for a weapon to use for long range combat, try the rifle. The longbow is more at home with PvE/stationary targets.

Rifle (two handed) – The rifle is the weapon of choice for mobile targets. Good speed of fire, no arc, and a skill that inflicts cripple to slow kiting foes are the defining traits of this dependable firearm. Happy hunting.

Axe (main hand) – Veteran Guild Wars players will remember the axe as being great at burst damage, a tradition it continues in Guild Wars 2. The main hand axe is a hard multi-hitting powerhouse with a very powerful burst skill. Those who say that axes are for trees are quickly silenced when seeing this weapons effectiveness in combat.

Axe (off hand) – The offhand axe is a decent supplementary weapon, granting its wielder a multi-hitting attack that grants fury, and a multi-hitting spin attack. Though these are by no means bad tools, the warrior has access to better secondary options.

Mace (main hand) – Though the effects aren’t as obvious as this weapon’s big brother (the hammer), the main hand mace shines in its own way. Sporting enough stuns to turn whatever is in your way into a hapless victim, the mace will probably have you carrying aspirin for your foes out of sheer pity.

Mace (off hand) – The mace offhand is the only means a warrior has to cause vulnerability with a one handed weapon, and on top of that it can inflict knockdown. Sadly, the mace offhand suffers the same issues as the offhand axe, in that there are just better options. However, if you absolutely must have one of these weapons in your offhand, the mace would be my recommendation.

Sword (main hand) – The axe may have the power, but the sword has the mobility. This weapon provides a gap closer, immobilization, a cripple, and the ability to stack bleeds. When fighting a sword, there is nowhere to run.

Sword (off hand) – When in comparison to the offerings of the main hand sword, the off hand feels nothing short of a disappointment. The only benefits this weapon provides is a weak bleed skill, and a half hearted block skill. Don’t waste your time unless this weapon gets some attention (read: buffs).

Shield (off hand) – A mainstay of the warrior archetype. For just being a piece of wood, the shield is a very powerful tool in any soldier’s repertoire. Not only does this protective offhand provide a block, but also the ability to swap from offence to defense with a quick stun.  Not bad at all for a board.

War horn (off hand) – Last but not least we have the war horn, which allows its user to travel through space and time when the correct notes are played.*  Regardless, it will remove conditions that would normally impede your movement, while simultaneously granting you a speed buff. Use the war horn to either assist with a retreat, or to catch a fleeing foe. And make sure you never have to hear another “HEY, LISTEN!”



With his high base HP, high armor, and a multitude of options on the battlefield, the warrior is a very scary opponent for any profession. However, it is important to remember that while the warrior can do many things, he cannot do all of them at once. Decide what you want your primary weapon set to be, then decide if you want your second set to augment the capabilities of the first, or make up for its shortcomings. Now go forth and dispense combat. Hope to see you in game.


* Never mind…that’s the ocarina from Legend of Zelda.

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