Warhorn/Rifle Build For Warriors

FINALLY.  Creating this build really kicked my butt.  I changed the runes, I changed the build, I changed the gear.  It felt like I changed it all a million times.  I finally found it by accident, really.  I call it the ‘Speed Bleed’ build for the traveling speed of the warhorn, and the focus around bleeds as a damage complement.  Surprisingly, the bleeds worked well in sPvP and WvW as opposed to going full burst.  This build is meant to serve as a highly mobile hit-and-run aggressor, as well as a support build as someone pointed out in the YouTube video comments.  The idea is to stack Vulnerability, then really bring the pain with your Volley or #6 Rune bonus, all the while draining with your bleeds.  I didn’t test in PvE beyond doing my daily, but i’m pretty confident it’ll do just fine.  The rifle serves as your main weapon, while the warhorn gets you to the fight – and out of it if need be.

The Build

Click here for the Speed Bleed Warhorn/Rifle Build for Warriors

I have taken talents focused around bleeds and burst.  You can really burn down a target with this build, exponentially so with focus fire from teammates.  It’s great for WvW, sPvP, and PvE, and is highly adaptable.  Knight gear could also do well, but you’d need a slight adjustment to the build.  Check the customization section for more on this.


As usual, Exotic gear is best.  Being a DPS/support build, Rare gear will be a good enough foundation to build on.  The more Rare gear you have, the more of a support role you will be playing.
  • Armor

Carrion gear works well in this build.  Power, Condition Damage, and Vitality are your stats of choice.  This is going to be gotten from the Trading Post or crafted.  You can also scrounge some from the PvE vendors.

  • Trinkets

Carrion trinkets are easily available.  If you want to trade a little DPS for survivability, the WvW gear vendor does have Invader trinkets with Power, Toughness, and Vitality.   If you want a little more burst, you can use Knight trinkets for the extra base Critical.

  • Weapons

An Invader’s Sword (Power/Toughness/Vitality) is optimal.  When you have your sword equipped, you’re generally running to or from a fight.  While traveling to, you won’t miss the extra DPS loss.  When escaping from, you’ll appreciate the extra Toughness.  A mace or Axe may work well in place of a sword if that’s your preference, but the sword lunge ability is great for a gap closer when chasing someone, or a gap creator when running away.  The warhorn you will want Power/Toughness/Vitality also.  For the rifle, choose something with straight DPS stats like Berserkers, Rampagers, but Carrion and Knight will work also.

  • Sigils

Sword: Superior Sigil of Blood
Warhorn: Superior Sigil of Bloodlust, Superior Sigil of Corruption, Superior Sigil of Perception
Rifle: Superior Sigil of Peril, Superior Sigil of FrailtySuperior Sigil of Earth

The Sigil of Blood on your sword will help you regain some life when you’re finishing off enemies, or trying to escape.  The Bloodlust, Corruption, or Perception on your warhorn will help you build stacks of power, Condition Damage, or Perception.  The rifle is pretty flexible too with adding extra Vulnerability duration, adding stacks of Vulnerability, or adding additional bleed stacks.  I use the first Sigil listed for each.

  • Runes

The Superior Rune of Lyssa set comes in handy again.  The 6 piece bonus clears all conditions off of you, and grants you EVERY boon when you use an elite skill.  The icing on the cake is your Tactics trait Empowered, which increases your damage by about 1.5% for each boon on you.  With 8 boons (Stability is still currently bugged), that’s a total of 12% extra damage!  If you stack that with the 12% Berserker’s Power trait, that’s a lot of bonus damage.  It’s also an emergency cleanse if things get dire.  I tried a lot of other runes, but these really brought the build together.  They are a little expensive, but manageable.

Offensive Capabilities

You can break the burst in this build down to two parts:
  1. Damage burst through boons.
  2. Damage burst through Vulnerability.
Damage from boons comes from several sources.  The Runes of Lyssa and Signet of Fury elite skill combine under the Empowered trait for a full set of boons.  For Great Justice grants you three boons and is on a low cooldown timer.  More boons means more damage.  If you’re in WvW, boons will be a lot easier to come by.
Damage from Vulnerability comes from On My Mark and/or Brutal Shot.  Vulnerability adds an extra 1% damage per stack.  On My Mark adds 10, Brutal Shot adds 5, Rending Strikes has a chance to add 1, and Sigil of Frailty increases Vulnerability duration.
The ideal situation is to line up Signet of Rage with On My Mark, a 1.25 second Volley drops someone’s health quickly enough, but add to that the increased damage from bleeds.  Attack of Opportunity gives a 10% damage increase to any target that is bleeding as well.  You are going to get noticed no matter what you do.

Defensive Capabilities

There really isn’t a focus on defense in this build.  You do have a lot of little small things.
  • Vigorous Shouts is good for small heals to keep you going.
  • Shake it Off is available to cleanse conditions or to get you moving again.
  • Charge from your warhorn will also get you moving again if you get snared.
  • Call to Arms from your warhorn will increase endurance regen, allowing you to dodge more.
  • Healing Surge is of course, your go-to heal.

Crowd Control

Your CC can be useful to either you or your teammates.
  • Aimed Shot cripples your enemies, slowing them down.
  • Rifle Butt knocks enemies away from you, or your allies.

Customization of the ‘Speed Bleed’ Ranged/Warhorn Warrior Build

This build can be customized it according to how your own playstyle preferences.

  • Under Strength trait line, swap Berserker’s Power for Great Fortitude for a little extra survivability.
  • You can swap Berserker’s Power for the Discipline trait Signet Mastery for more frequent burst.
  • Heightened Focus under the Discipline tree is good to add more base Crit.
  • Here is a suggested build for Knight gear.  The big change is adding the Opportunist ability, which grants you Fury whenever you use Aimed Shot.  That’s another boon and 20% more Critical chance.

The ‘Speed Bleed’ Warhorn/Rifle Warrior Build In Action

For video of how I play this build, check out the sPvP video.  Here’s a WvW video with some of the gameplay.  As always, leave any questions, comments, or requests for what you’d like to see in a video.  If you end up using the build, I could really use some feedback.  Otherwise, enjoy!

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