Warriors are an incredibly versatile profession
Don’t let the use of heavy armor fool you; the warrior can also be one of the most highly mobile professions, pairing particularly well with their ability to hinder the movement capabilities of foes. This combination greatly reduces the all too common issue for melee classes in MMOs where you can dish out a lot of damage, but tend to get kited by ranged attackers to the point of uselessness.
Another thing to note about the warrior is that most of their weapon sets focus on a very specific theme or damage type, perhaps more so than any other profession in the game. This is partly due to the fact that the warrior in GW2 draws heavy inspiration from many of the strongest primary / secondary skill synergies in the original Guild Wars. As you’ll learn below, these concepts aren’t necessarily limited to GW1 warrior skills. For example, the longbow skills draw heavy inspiration from ranger skills that focus on inflicting the Burning condition.
The warrior is a solid option for solo gamers thanks to a combination of being able to equip heavy armor, remain highly mobile both in and out of combat, and deal heavy damage through normal attacks and their unique Adrenaline mechanic. The learning curve does tend to be a bit steeper than other professions, however, because you will have a lot more weapons to learn and eventually master.
In group settings you can approach the warrior in a number of different ways. While you could certainly fulfill a more traditional tanking role, you will also be equally capable of providing strong melee or ranged DPS. This versatility also tends to make the warrior a strong choice for any game type, be it general PvE, dungeons, structured PvP, or World vs. World.
Warrior Weapon Sets
Starting at level 7, the warrior is able to equip two unique weapon sets. These can be actively swapped by pressing the [`] key at any time out-of-combat, though there will be a short cooldown after swapping weapon sets during combat before you will be able to swap back again. For more information on how this system works, please refer to our Intro Guide to Builds.
The weapons that warriors can equip along with their associated skills can be seen in-game by opening the Hero window [H] and selecting the Skills and Traits tab on the left. We’ve also added a list of available weapons for the warriors below:
As you can see, the warrior has a sizable list of options for weapon sets, so you will want to acquire plenty of weapons early on to begin the process of unlocking all available weapon skills. While doing so, be sure to pay particular attention to any weapon sets you naturally gravitate towards, and don’t be afraid to “think outside the box” when it comes to your overall build concept.
For example, just because you notice that many warriors are using sword / sword and greatsword for their weapon sets in sPvP, don’t feel as though you need to follow suit. Remember, the warrior can be just as viable when played as a ranged character, and it can always be a good thing to keep your enemies guessing as to your personal combat style.
Given the overall depth to the weapon set options (the warrior has a total of 19 possible combinations – more than any other profession in GW2) and the thematic nature of many sets, there is simply too much to cover for a basic guide. But be on the lookout for a separate guide to warrior weapon sets, themes, and combat styles in the near future.
The unique profession mechanic for warriors is called Adrenaline. As you attack foes with your weapon skills, you will begin building up adrenaline which can then be used to unleash a more powerful attack based on your current weapon set by pressing the [F1] key. You should consider this skill an extension of your normal weapon skills, and will want to get into the habit of utilizing it in combat early on.
You will start out with 1 level of adrenaline, which will be displayed directly above your weapon skills as shown below:
Within the first few levels you will unlock a total of three levels of adrenaline. You must fill at least one of these to use your [F1] skill, but the more levels you fill, the more poweful your [F1] skill will be. The results for having 1, 2, or 3 levels of adrenaline will be shown in the tooltip for each of these skills.