[Mod 11] RDeviant’s Swordmaster GWF Destroyer DPS/Tank Hybrid PVE Build

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by RDeviant on October 3, 2016
Great Weapon Fighter
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[Mod 11] RDeviant’s Swordmaster GWF Destroyer DPS/Tank Hybrid PVE Build

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RDeviant's Mod 11 Swordmaster GWF Destroyer DPS/Tank Hybrid PVE Build

UPDATES:

  • Updated Character Gear setup for Mod 11.
  • Updated The Cloaked Ascendancy target boons for Mod 11.
  • Obtained Bloodlord’s Visage as BIS for Mod 11.
  • Obtained Bloodstained Shirt as BIS for Mod 11.
  • Obtained and vivified full Headman’s Raid gear as BIS for Mod 11.
  • Obtained and upgraded full Headman’s Weapon / Offhand as BIS for Mod 11.
  • Obtained and upgraded Orcus Set as BIS for Mod 10/10.5/11.
  • Updated Storm King’s Thunder boons, Character Gear, Character Stats, and Mounts.
  • Gameplay video posted.

CHOOSING GREAT WEAPON FIGHTER:

Hey everyone, I am RDeviant and some of you may already know me on Reddit forums at https://www.reddit.com/r/Neverwinter/. I’ve been a long time Neverwinter player ever since the game released starting with Mod 1 and have been a long time fan of the Control Wizard class that I have played as my main class from Mod 1 to Mod 5. When the game initially released, I felt that the Control Wizard was a clear winner to choose given the requirements that I wanted to meet at the time. In any MMO that I have ever played, I have always gone for a class that could:
  • Dish out insane amount of damage over a short period of time
  • Could be self sustained through some sort of healing ability or mechanic like Life Steal
  • Can sustain through damage by either damage mitigation or heal through damage
  • Move through content quickly and efficiently
This is important because it defines the core build of this guide and sets a foundation for any character that I play. During Mod 1, I’ve played both the Great Weapon Fighter (GWF) and Control Wizard (CW), but the damage scaling for GWF’s wasn’t as significant as it is now. The Control Wizard has been the top DPS class for about four mods until a nerf came to Life Steal. The characters would no longer gain a set percentage of damage dealt as health which at the time made CW’s nearly unkillable. With the introduction of the updated Life Steal mechanic, which now gives you 100% of damage done but has a chance to happen, made it much more difficult to keep up with healing due to inconsistency of Life Steal activation. On top of this change, using any AOE ability would result in getting 1/3 as much percent chance to activate Life Steal mechanic. This meant that if you have 9% chance to activate Life Steal, using an AOE attack causes you to have 3% chance to activate Life Steal, but rolling that chance on each target hit.
Given the changes to Life Steal and the fact that both points “Could be self-sustained through some sort of healing ability or mechanic like Life Steal” and “Can sustain through damage by either damage mitigation or heal through damage.” were no longer feasible. I’ve decided to look into other classes and see if I could find another class that can fulfill some or all of the points I mentioned above and this is when I settled on picking Great Weapon Fighter and making it my Main.

 

ABOUT THE BUILD:

It has been a long road building my character up to the point where I could finally write this build and release it to the public for anyone who is interested in a different playstyle to play their GWF. With this build you will be able to play your GWF as a hybrid between DPS/Tank/Healer that also has outstanding utility, control immunity, and party buffs/debuffs. The following is a breakdown of everything that you can achieve with this build given my experience of over 1 year of testing the build.
  • Over 95% Critical Chance (Buffed with Bonding Stones. 65% unbuffed)
  • Over 85% Damage Resistance (Buffed with Bonding Stones. 60% unbuffed)
  • Over 60% Action Point Gain (Buffed with Unstoppable + Battle Fury)
  • Average 65 – 87k Power (Range depends on Brutality Ring activation and boons)
  • Stand in red areas in most dungeons/zones and live through hard hitters that would normally one shot anyone else other than a tank.
  • Be the first to the scene (Getting to a group of mobs first means you are the first person to do damage, get hit, and get agro. You mitigate party damage by taking all of the heat on yourself rather than the party)
  • Passively buff party and debuff any mobs you encounter.
  • No more dependency on Indomitable Battle Strike as you will no longer use or need to prepare everything else just to use this skill. This provides you with more opportunities to do as much damage as you can through other means.
  • Be on top of Paingiver chart nearly 100% of the time and either double or quad-ripple the second highest dps.
  • Be able to solo most 5 man dungeons and bosses. This means that party composition no longer matters to you as you can carry a party of any composition and any iLVL.
    EXCLUSIONS: Only exclusion that applies is Orcus boss in CN and some HE encounters in Lonelywood, Cold Run, and Bryar zones where you can get one shot due to unresistable damage from Everfrost.
  • This build accounts for a possible nerf to some of the GWF powers up to 35% loss in overall class effectiveness. This means that if the future nerf was to reduce total effectiveness of our class by 35%, this build would still be viable as there is no dependency on any one skill or combination.
It is important to note that much of the credit in creating this build goes to Lazalia for being one of the first GWF players to propose both a viable High DPS / High Crit build and also demonstrating GWF potential as a tank option. His guides and analysis of sets, feats, boons, powers, and playstyle provided a foundation for playing GWF as anything other than a pure DPS character by introducing the potential of Battle Fury and Daring Shout.
Before moving on with this build, I would highly recommend reading both Lazalia’s guide before moving forward. What follows is an in-depth analysis of the Great Weapon Fighter class and what makes this build work the way it does.
Lazalia’s Build
Lazalia’s Updated Blog

 

CHOOSING YOUR RACE:

Picking a race in Neverwinter can definitely influence your character’s build and how effective you are in running dungeons so it is important to choose a race that fits your character well. The most popular choices for the GWF is going with either an Orc for +2 STR/DEX and +5% Critical Severity, a Human for +2 to any ability, +3% defense, and 3 heroic feats, or Dragonborn for +2 to any two stats, +5% incoming healing, and + 3% to both Power and Critical Chance stats. For this build I chose to go with the Dragonborn because of the bonuses provided. However, going with any of the above choice would be a good idea with Human being either the first or second choice to go with. The three additional heroic feats provided by the Human can push this build further on the tankier side and provide more defense. Given the state of current content, I haven’t really found the need for more defense than I currently have, but if you feel that you are struggling with staying alive, going with the Human would definitely be the go to choice.

 

ROLLING ABILITY POINTS:

 

 

For this build the recommended rolls are as follows if chosen race is Dragonborn:

  • STR: 18 (+2 Racial Bonus)
  • CON: 13
  • DEX: 17 (+2 Racial bonus)
  • INT:   11
  • WIS:  9
  • CHA: 11

If going with a Human the recommended rolls are as follows:

  • STR: 16
  • CON: ??
  • DEX: 18 (+2 Racial bonus)
  • INT:   ??
  • WIS:  ??
  • CHA: ??

If going with an Orc the recommended rolls are as follows:

  • STR: 18 (+2 Racial Bonus)
  • CON: ??
  • DEX: 18 (+2 Racial bonus)
  • INT:   ??
  • WIS:  ??
  • CHA: ??

 

Regardless of which race you have chosen, you would want to invest 1 Point into STR and 1 Point into DEX every 10 levels all the way to level 70. Doing so will provide you with additional bonuses to your Critical Chance and outgoing Damage, which is what we need.

 

CHOOSING YOUR POWERS:

For this build you will be using the following powers for majority of situations in the game:

  • At Will: Sure Strike (Used majority of the time when fighting single targets)
  • At Will: Weapon Master’s Strike (Used majority of the time when fighting multiple targets)
  • Encounter: Hidden Daggers (The only attack encounter that you will have in this build. Used to attack multiple targets in front of you to cause heavy damage and buff “all” of your attacks for a 6 sec duration. This encounter can be used up to 3 times and essentially expands GWF’s encounter bar to 5 total skills instead of 3)
  • Encounter: Battle Fury (This is your main utility skill that provides 25% more Action Point Gain, bonus damage to your encounters and at-wills, full Stamina refill, and 25% of it’s bonus is also applied to teammates in your party)
  • Encounter: Daring Shout (This is your primary buff and debuff skill that will allow you to gain Determination quickly, mark targets for an increased bonus damage (20% from skill + 15% from feats), and provide you with an additional layer of defense based on how powerful your targets are. This ability is key to maintaining your Damage Resistance as well as doing increased damage. This skills also provides you Combat Advantage against targets that you effect and an additional 8% damage bonus to applies in party)
  • Daily: Slam (This is a very powerful daily that when feated will provide you additional 25% more power for 8 sec based on the power that you currently have without certain buffs. Slam will help you generate threat, slow targets down, skill cancel all surrounding targets, and reduce target damage by about 10%. In addition to the above, Slam does additional damage which is fairly small, but the activation of this skill is extremely short which allows you to use other skills while it’s active. On average you will gain about 25% Action Points before the skill ends)
  • Daily: Savage Advance (You will almost never use this ability unless you encounter a situation where you may need to reduce your cooldowns. If you feel a need to do so, slotting this Daily will reduce all of your cooldowns by 25% for 15 sec)
  • Passive: Destroyer (This is a pinnacle features of the Destroyer GWF and should never leave your passive slot. It provides a heavy bonus to your damage)
  • Passive: Wrathful Determination (This is a secondary passive that should never leave your passive slot unless you don’t have enough Critical Chance or doing PVP. This passive provides you with about 12.5% damage and the effect is doubled when your Determination is full)

 

CHOOSING YOUR FEATS:

For this build you will be using the following Heroic Feats:

  • Unstoppable Action (4/5): This feat provides you with additional Action Point gain whenever you go Unstoppable to help you activate dailies quicker and promote Slam Daily further. The faster you gain AP the more often you can activate dailies and in our case, the more you receive +25% to Power when feated properly. For our purposes +20% extra AP gain when going Unstoppable is more than enough boost for the duration of Unstoppable.
  • Toughness (3/3): This feat provides you with upto 9% more HP to your character. The increase is noticeable and further helps you to take on harder hits. Since with this build the point is to be a hybrid between tanking and DPS as well as the fact that our only encounter damage skill is Hidden Daggers, it makes more sense to gain more HP vs. extra damage to encounters.
  • Disciple of Strength (3/3): The usefulness of this feat is uncertain as it isn’t clear if this feat gives you additional +6% Strength which some people claim that it does, or if it provides 6% of your Strength stat to what you currently have. In any case, this feat increases your damage, but the exact benefit of this feat vs. Armor Specialization is to be determined through more testing.
  • Steely Defense (5/5): This feat provides an additional 20% of your Defense as power to your main stat. At high Defense stat values this is a very worthwhile stat to have.
  • Weapon Mastery (2/3): Depending on how much Critical Chance you currently have you may or may not need all 3 points in this. Since this build is focused around a Dragonborn Race, the extra 3% to Critical Chance more than makes up for a loss of one point that could be better used elsewhere.
  • Devastating Critical (3/3): This is a must have feat no matter to build that you are going with. The extra +15% critical severity is simply too good of a bonus to pass.

 

For this build you will be using the following Paragon Feats:

  • Great Weapon Focus (5/5): Increases your At-Will damage by additional 10%, which is a must for this build.
  • Disciple of War (5/5): Grants you Power equal to 25% of Recovery and Armor Penetration. This is a great bonus that will be responsible for providing you with additional Power especially when your Bonding Stones activate on your Companion.
  • Mighty Blade (5/5): Increases your AOE damage by 12.5%, which is a huge bonus especially when your At-Wills will be the primary sources of doing damage.
  • Executioner’s Style (5/5): This feat provides you with up to 30% more damage to Sure Strike and Indomitable Battle Strike skills, which is a huge bonus especially when combined with the Orcus Set. However, this build does not use Indomitable Battle Strike, but still benefits heavily from this feat due to considerable use of Sure Strike.
  • Focused Destroyer (5/5): This feat provides you with an additional 3.5% bonus damage per stack and has a 25% chance of activating with any number of enemies. This is a must have feat for any build.
  • Battle Awareness (5/5): This feat provides you with 25% more Power whenever you activate Slam Daily and 25% shorter cooldowns for 15 sec whenever you activate Savage Advance. This is a very controversial feat that most builds do not recommend. However, since this build is focused on creating a self-sustained hybrid tank GWF, you will be building AP really fast and as such the 8 sec duration of this buff is more than enough to deal serious damage. Comparatively speaking, this feat is equivalent to wearing 2 – 3 Brutality + 4 rings with about 30 sec cooldown. On average, you will be activating dailies between 20 – 35 sec. In the case of this build, I am gaining about 15k Power whenever I activate Slam.
  • Destroyer’s Purpose (1/1): This is the pinnacle feat in the Destroyer paragon path that provides you a significant boost to your overall damage whenever you go Unstoppable. You get 5% more damage for each stack of this buff that stacks up to 10 and stays on you for 25 sec. Additionally, you gain extra 20% damage to your encounter powers that really only apply to Hidden Daggers in our case. Ideally, you would not want to use Hidden Daggers when you are Unstoppable as your At-Will attacks will be twice as fast and deal much more damage than the Hidden Daggers would even with the 20% damage bonus.
    EXCEPTION: If you are surrounded by mobs and they are unreachable with Weapon Master’s Strike, only in this case should you expand all of your Hidden Daggers while Unstoppable.
  • Scale Agility (5/5): With the release of Mod 10’s new boons, it now makes more sense to have a decent amount of Deflection Chance. This feat provides you with an additional 5% Deflect Chance that when stacked with Boons, DEX, and Orcus Set, you should be around 20% Deflect Chance. This is important because not only will this provide you additional layer of resistance once every five hits that hit you but you will also deal additional 5000 damage to your attacker with each deflect (Frozen Reflection Boon).
  • Powerful Challenge (5/5): This feat is a must have for any build and goes hand in hand with the Daring Shout encounter power. Whenever you mark a target, you get additional 15% damage against marked targets. For the purpose of this build you must use Daring Shout to benefit from this feat.

 

CHOOSING YOUR BOONS:

The following is a list of all of the boons that I have chosen for this build. Please feel free to ask me questions about boons that you have questions about as for the most part these boons are straight forward.

Underdark

Tyranny of Dragons

Sharandar

Maze Engine

Icewind Dale

Elemental Evil

Dread Ring

Stormking Thunder

The Cloaked Ascendancy

Stronghold

OVERDRIVE SURVIVABILITY MODE:

With the release of Stronghold came new boons that unlock a whole new perspective for customizing your character to different situations. The boons offered in Stronghold enable you to change available boons at any time during your play and at no cost when compared to all other boons that are permanent once you have made a selection. This opens a whole new spectrum of character customization that allows you to spec for PVP, PVE, or Hardcore PVE.
In the case of this build, reasoning for building up your base defense as high as possible is so that if you encounter extremely difficult situations where you still need lots of defense but you also need as much healing as possible, you have a sort of fallback option which we can refer to as “Overdrive”.
The three main Stronghold Boons that this guide focuses on are 8k Power (Offensive), 8k Defense (Defensive), and 8k Life Steal (Defensive). It is important to note that you can only have one of each, so one Defensive and one Offensive boon active at any time. For majority of dungeons you will likely not need any extra Life Steal as 12% is what I would recommend to be your base Life Steal. However, starting with Mod 10 the new Heroic Encounters as well as the new Stormbreaker dungeon will be causing quite a few one-shot attacks.
With the extra layer of damage that you will now receive from Everfrost Damage, you will almost certainly need healing much more often than what is currently required for other dungeons. In this case you will want to give up the 8k Defense boon for 8k Life Steal boon in Stronghold. This will place you at around 13.8k Life Steal and 12k Defense. When your companions activate bonding stones, you will still end up with about 20k Defense which is around 65% Damage Resistance. Overall, you will have about 40% Life Steal Chance and 65% Damage Resistance. This is more than enough for you to sustain extreme damage and still be able to do heavy damage. As some have said before, better to be alive and do some damage than to be dead and do none.

CHOOSING YOUR MOUNTS:

MountMain

Mounts

Primary Mount Choice

As the primary mount choice I would highly recommend to go with the Emperor Beetle if you can afford it. That has been the most expensive buy for me in this game so far, but it is hands down one of the best investments you will make. You can also choose to go with a cheaper epic version, but in general for this build to work properly go with a mount that provides Defense bonus as either 2k or 4k version. Do keep in-mind that adding 4000 Defense will also grant you an additional 800 Power to your character due to getting 20% of Defense as Power.

Mount Stable Setup

Through testing different mount configurations it has been determined that the best setup for consistent Damage and Defense boost would be to go with four mounts that have Protector’s Camaraderie as their Insignia Bonus and one mount with Protector’s Friendship.
  • Protector’s Camaraderie: whenever your summoned companions attacks you gain 3% of your Power and Defense that stacks 4 times. The general rule is that the first mount of its kind gives 100% of its bonus and 25% of its stats for each additional mount up to 5 total. In the case of this Insignia Bonus, you gain 3% damage for the first mount and 0.50% damage for each additional mount for a total of 4.5% damage stacking 4 times.
  • Protector’s Friendship: whenever your summoned companions attacks you gain 1% of your Power and Defense that stacks 4 times. In the case of this Insignia Bonus, you gain 1% damage for a total of 1% damage stacking 4 times.
Once everything is said and done, you should get 22% bonus to both Power and Defense, which is a considerable buff. As far as Insignia’s go, you will be using Regal Insignia of Courage and Barbed Insignia of Skill. These two will provide a significant bonus to your Critical Strike and Defense.

 

List of Recommended Mounts:

  • Guard Drake
  • White Tiger
  • Giant Crab
  • Medium Black Horse
  • Bay Zakharan Horse
  • Emperor Beetle

 

 

CHOOSING YOUR COMPANIONS:

Companions

Companions

As far as companions go I’ve chosen to stay with Zhentarim Warlock as my primary active pet. There are multiple reason why I’ve chosen to use this companion over others. For starters, it is very expensive to obtain a companion, level it, and finally upgrade it to Legendary. With every Mod that comes out there is always something new that comes about and becomes the “flavor of the mod” that everyone flocks to like it is happening with the Fire Archon. I personally cannot justify switching companions every time a new Mod comes out and so I am staying with Zhentarim Warlock for now. However, if you do have the funds and willing to switch companions constantly than yes, Fire Archon would be the best choice for a “DPS” oriented GWF, but not very viable if you plan to stick with this build.
Basically, you want a companion that has 2 offensive and 1 defensive slot, so any other companion should work as long as it has fairly short cooldowns on attacks. The second reason why I chose to stay with my companion of choice is the fact that I would be losing about 2400 Defense which comes out to be 6% Damage Resistance and 1% Damage Bonus from Power gained through 20% of Defense. Now, granted that the Active bonus on Zhentarim Warlock sucks, I will be switching it out for something else once I get a chance to test other viable options out.

 

Current Companion Setup:

  • Zhenarim Warlock (Primary Summoned): Provides 165 power and 165 Recovery which is mostly useless, but it is a fast casting companion and has AOE attacks which help activate bonding stones faster.
  • Erinyes of Belial: Provides +10% Critical Severity at Epic grade.
  • Air Archon: Provides  5% damage bonus vs. targets not at full health and additional 0.5% damage for each additional active Archon.
  • Earth Archon: Provides 6% damage bonus when you are at full health and additional 0.5% damage for each additional active Archon
  • Flying Sword: Provides 5% Critical Severity at Epic Grade

Companion Gear Setup:

  • Rank 12 Bonding Runestone x 3
  • Talisman of the Loyal Avenger x 2
  • Ring of the Loyal Avenger x 1
  • Rank 12 Azure Enchantment (Defense Slot) x 3
  • Rank 12 Brutal Enchantment (Offense Slot) x 3

 

CHARACTER GEAR SETUP:

Character

For the most part the gear usage suggested for this build is the same across all builds, with the difference being that you will want to focus more on HP, Defense, and Life Steal stats.The following is a breakdown of my gear.

 

Equipment:

  • Bloodlord’s Visage
    • Major Critical Strike Armor Kit (+200 Critical Strike) x 1
  • Vivified Headman’s Raid Scalemail
    • Transcended Negation Enchantment x 1
    • Rank 12 Savage Enchantment (Defensive Slot) x 1
    • Major Critical Strike Armor Kit (+200 Critical Strike) x 1
  • Vivified Headman’s Raid Vambraces
    • Major Critical Strike Armor Kit (+200 Critical Strike) x 1
  • Vivified Headman’s Raid Greaves
    • Major Critical Strike Armor Kit (+200 Critical Strike) x 1
  • Headman’s Greataxe
    • Transcendent Vorpal Enchantment x 1
    • Rank 12 Brutal Enchantment (Offensive Slot) x 2
  • Headman’s Sword Knot
    • Rank 12 Brutal Enchantment (Offensive Slot) x 1
    • Rank 12 Savage Enchantment (Defensive Slot) x 1
  • Baphomet’s Infernal Talisman 
    • Rank 12 Brutal Enchantment (Offensive Slot) x 1
    • Major Action Point Gain Kit (+100 Action Point Gain) x 1
  • Ring of Rising Life Steal + 4
    • Rank 12 Azure Enchantment (Offensive Slot) x 1
    • Rank 12 Savage Enchantment (Defensive Slot) x 1
    • Major Action Point Gain Kit (+100 Action Point Gain) x 1
  • Ring of Brutality + 5
    • Rank 12 Brutal Enchantment (Offensive Slot) x 1
    • Rank 12 Brutal Enchantment (Offensive Slot) x 1
    • Major Action Point Gain Kit (+100 Action Point Gain) x 1
  • Demogorgon’s Girdle of Might
    • Rank 12 Savage Enchantment (Defensive Slot) x 1
    • Major Action Point Gain Kit (+100 Action Point Gain) x 1
  • Bloodstained Shirt
    • Rank 12 Brutal Enchantment (Offensive Slot) x 1
    • Everfrost Resistance Armor Kit (+5% Everfrost Damage resistance) x 1
  • Berserker’s Gemmed Exquisite Elemental Chausses
    • Rank 12 Savage Enchantment (Defensive Slot) x 1
    • Everfrost Resistance Armor Kit (+5% Everfrost Damage resistance) x 1

Artifacts:

  • Wheel of Elements (Primary): Activate and get Fire buff to gain 30% bonus fire damage for 30 sec
  • Orcus Artifact
  • Lantern of Revelation
  • Sigil of the Controller

 

Set Bonuses:

  • Bloodlord’s Visage: Gain 100 Power for each kill upto 25 stacks for 1 minute
  • Headman’s Armor Bonus: Gain + 10% Damage Resistance to Giants, +4000 Movement under effect of Everfrost, and +10% Outgoing Damage when under effect of Everfrost after drinking Everfrost Potion
  • Headman’s Weapon Bonus: Gain + 10% Damage when using an Encounter power or 10% Movement and 15% of your HP healing over 10 seconds. This buff lasts for 10 seconds and has a 30 seconds cooldown
  • Bloodstained Shirt Bonus: Gain 20 Power for each percent of health missing
  • Orcus Set Bonus: Do upto 20% more damage as targets’ health diminishes (Outgoing damage increases)

 

CHARACTER STATS:

Character

The above image shows a breakdown of my character stats when standing (unbuffed left side) and attacking (buffed with companion gift). Both versions do not include additional buffs from boons to Power and Recovery based on how much stamina I have nor do they include +25% Power from Slam ability. The above example does include the bonus from Rampaging Madness.
The above stats should serve as a guide for determining what stats you need and in which categories. How you hit these numbers is entirely upto you, meaning that what gear you wear, or what enchants you use is really your call as long as you get a good amount of stats in Power, Critical Strike, Defense, and Life Steal. Everything else is manageable and serves as an added bonus, but is not an absolute necessity to get exactly the same.
The other factor I would stress is getting a good amount of HP to your character. I would highly recommend getting VIP as it provides an additional +2k HP and extra bonuses. You should also aim at getting about 120k HP. I’d say that by endgame this is nearly a requirements to get by. With more HP you will have a much easier time in some of the harder dungeons like CN, EDemo, and Fangbreaker Island.

 

ANALYZING GREAT WEAPON FIGHTER CLASS:

Now that the setup of your character is complete, it is only a part of what is required to make this build viable. The following is a closer look at class fundamental features.

Unstoppable:

Unstoppable

This is likely the most powerful class ability in the game that makes GWF high power damage dealers as well as semi-tanks. The way unstoppable works is it requires the character to either take lots of damage or do lots of damage and both cases can happen at the same time. For you to be able to gain Determination from dealing damage you must follow the Destroyer tree and have “Destroyer’s Purpose” as your final capstone feat.
Through heavy testing of this ability it seems that the game keeps track of both the “average” damage you take and “average” damage you deal and based on those numbers it determines the rate at which your Determination builds up. What this means is that regardless if you are a 4k or a 1K iLVL GWF, you will essentially gain Determination at about the same rate for each hit you take or each hit you deal to your enemy. The variable that increases your Determination gains are “spikes” both in damage taken and damage dealt. So whenever you deal or take a higher damage than an “average” number, you gain more determination than you would otherwise.
This is very important to understand, because when you are tanking and attacking enemies you will be taking and dealing “spike” damage very often which would result in more Unstoppable that you can activate without requiring you to do any kind of build up.
The other aspect of Determination to note are the benefits that you gain from activating it. For starters, you become completely immune to “most” control effects, which already places you above all other classes with just that one factor. Immunity to control effects enables you to stand in “most” red areas and continue to do damage while most other classes have to avoid red zones and unavoidably lose out on damage that they would’ve been doing had they been immune as well. Immunity by itself isn’t everything, you also need high resistance, which if activated when Determination is at max, you should also gain upto 30% damage resistance and 16% or more temporary HP. The extra damage resistance and temporary HP adds an extra layer of buffer zones that helps you resist much harder attacks. It is also important to note that the more HP you have the more temporary HP you will get as a result, which could mean the difference between getting one shot or surviving.
Now, the most important part about this ability that really seals the deal is the increased attack speed of your At-Will attacks. This is the bread and butter of this build, which is extremely important to understand. Through testing, it seems that the increase to your attack speed on At-Wills is about 1.8 times the original speed. While Unstoppable, you are doing nearly two attacks per second, which is a huge boost to your overall DPS. The trade to such boost is that you are losing about 20% of your At-Will damage while unstoppable as a result. This is not a big issue as one of the boons in the Destroyer tree counteracts this effect and provides you with additional 12.5% damage to AOE attacks.
In the most ideal situation, you will want to activate Unstoppable as much as possible and to do that often you will want to do both take and deal lots of damage.

 

Destroyer’s Purpose:

Destroyer's Purpose

This capstone feat gives you the capability to gain Unstoppable by doing damage and also substantially increases your overall damage by 50% as long as you keep moving. While most fights don’t last 20 sec, you will likely never run out of Destroyer’s Purpose stacks. Combined with Battle Fury encounter, you will almost certainly have this on 100% of the time. The other aspect of this capstone feat is that it boosts your encounter powers by 20% more damage while Unstoppable is active. You will utilize this bonus through Hidden Daggers.

 

Sprint:

Destroyer's Purpose

Sprint is likely the most overlooked GWF class feature that most people who play the class take for granted without realizing what this feature can do at full potential. Sprint not only allows you to get to places faster and be immune to slowing effects, but it also allows you to cancel ability animations. This may not be such a secret to longtime players who have played the class for a long time, but it is extremely important to the functionality of this build. Sprint enables you to quickly cast your encounters without getting rooted to the ground or waiting for animation to end. This works well with Daring Shout, Battle Fury, and many other skills.

 

Jump:

Jumping in Neverwinter is rarely talked about because for the most part it seems common sense and supposed to be a function of the game that most people understand. Unfortunately this is not the case as you must first understand how the game really works to take full advantage of this function of your character. First, lets look at the following:
  • An object in motion will stay in motion unless another force acts upon it. This means that if you are riding a mount,  moving in one direction and jump while activating your artifact causes your character to continue to move forward even though you are no longer on your mount. The speed of your mount, the jump height, and the momentum you have gained on your character while activating any skill during flight determines if your skill will actually activate and how many skills you can activate during flight. This is especially important when trying to perform multiple actions at the same time. If you are not jumping and decide to activate a skill or an artifact, your character will be pinned to the ground for about 1.5 sec. You can basically consider this as being stunned. Jumping is good, so the more often you do it the more cool things you will be able to accomplish in shorter amount of time.
  • Jump is a prerequisite for some abilities such as Slam, Daring Shout, and Battle Fury. For anyone using this build to fully utilize everything you must be able to add Jump + Anything to your rotations. It does not mean that every cast you do has to have Jump in it, but there are situations that I will talk about later on which will increase your ability to use skills quicker and more efficiently. As mentioned, casting Slam, Daring Shout, and Battle Fury while jumping will remove any disadvantages that these abilities come with.
Mastering Jump functionality and when to jump will be something that will come to you the more you use it. By end game, you should have no problem using your Artifact, Slam, and Encounters within 3 sec.

 

ANALYZING GREAT WEAPON FIGHTER ABILITIES:

The following is a closer look at character powers, and how certain abilities influence this particular build.

Destroyer (Class Feature):

Destroyer

This class feature is already great by default and should never leave your feature slot no matter what. By default you get up to 36% more damage whenever you are at full stacks, but there is a catch. Without the “Focused Destroyer” you would have to hit at least three targets with a single attack to get 1 stack. By having the “Focused Destroyer” feat you can essentially get a stack no matter how many targets you hit or what attacking ability you use. This is important as it doesn’t just lock you in to using AOE based abilities, but you can now use any ability with 25% chance of getting a stack and up to 46.5% more damage.

Wrathful Determination (Class Feature):

Wrathful Determination

This class feature provides you with an additional 12.5% more damage as your Determination bar fills up and doubles when you are at full Determination. The idea behind this class feature is that you aim to activate Unstoppable whenever your Determination is full. Once activated, your Determination and damage bonus will start to diminish from this class feature. Additionally, Wrathful Determination seems to provide you with more damage bonus to all of your abilities. The damage difference can be noticed to be around 20% increase.
It is unknown if this is intended functionality but simply not documented in the tooltip or if this is a bug. For all intentions and purposes, you get a total of 45% damage increase just by slotting this class feature.

 

 

Sure Strike (At-Will):

Sure Strike

Sure Strike is the most powerful attacking At-Will that a GWF has and will be used as our main damage dealing power in majority of cases. Sure Strike by itself is not that powerful, but when you consider all of the buffs that you get from various abilities, you end up doing tons of damage in a very short amount of time. Sure Strike is empowered further with the feat “Executioner’s Style,” which increases your damage by up to 30% based on how much HP your opponent has. In general, you will be allocating about 6 sec of time to this skill whenever you are either Unstoppable or fighting a single target enemy.
Additionally, whenever you go Unstoppable, your Sure Strike and Weapon Master’s Strike At-Will’s will be buffed to attack nearly twice as fast, but less effective in terms of damage. Given all of the buffs, debuffs, and critical severity, you will almost certainly deal much more damage than you would with any other encounters. In our case, Unstoppable basically supercharges our At-Wills to do as much damage per swing as you would with a single Indomitable Battle Strike encounter in a half second!

 

 

Weapon Master’s Strike (At-Will):

Weapon Master's Strike

Weapon Master’s Strike is the secondary At-Will ability that we will be utilizing in order to deal damage to enemies around you in AOE and also debuffing everything to take about 10% more damage from your At-Wills. Weapon Master’s Strike also increases attacking speed of this ability based on how many targets you are attacking. Hitting more than three targets is faster than hitting one or two targets and so it is recommended that you use this At-Will sparingly. Whenever you go Unstoppable, Weapon Master’s Strike also gains increased attacking speed, but the increase is not as high as Sure Strike. Through testing, it seems that the increase is 1.5 attacks per second whenever you go Unstoppable and further increases to 1.8 attacks per second at max whenever you are attacking more than five targets.
You will likely not use Weapon Master’s Strike as your primary attack in a single target setting whenever you go Unstoppable, but do consider using it a few times just to debuff your targets to take 10% more damage from you. Do keep in-mind that this ability has an inverse relationship between increasing attack speed and decreasing damage per hit. As you hit more targets, you attack faster but you also end up doing proportionally less damage. This particular loss is offset by the skill’s bonus which increases the damage affected enemies take. Additionally, the feat “Mighty Blade” provides you with 12.5% more damage when dealing AOE damage. So overall your damage output is still positive even though there is a negative effect attached to this skill.

 

 

Daring Shout (Encounter):

Daring Shout

Daring Shout has an important role to play in this build in that it provides you a number of benefits that really make this encounter ability a must have. Given that this is a hybrid build, this choice benefits you in many ways such as providing you with about 35% more damage, temporary damage resistance, combat advantage, and helps you gain determination based on how many targets you affect. You also reduce target resistance to your attacks which further increases party damage as a result. The range on this ability is far enough to provide a good bonus most of the time. Additionally, using this ability also helps to quickly activate your Destroyer class feature as well as other proc based features that increase your performance.

 

 

Battle Fury (Encounter):

Battle Fury

 

Battle Fury is another ability that I would call a hidden gem in that most people don’t see the potential this ability provides. There is a lot more to the ability than meets the eye. Lets start with the basics:
  • You can activate this ability while moving, which is a huge deal in our case. It’s one less ability to worry about when trying to skill cancel through Sprint or Jump.
  • You refill your Stamina all the way when you use this ability and.your party refills 25% of their Stamina. This means that you can run double the distance with this ability and get ahead of everyone else.
  • At rank 4, you get a bonus of 26% more AP Gain and your party gains 6.5% of this bonus.
  • At rank 4, you get a bonus of 26% more Damage and your party gains 6.5% of this bonus.
  • Very high utility to manipulate the Stamina based bonuses such as “Cold Resolve (0 – 2k Power)” and “Chill Determination (0 – 2k Recovery)”
  • At rank 4, this ability lasts about 8 sec and has an average of 17 sec cooldown.
  • This is the bread and butter for providing you with enough stamina to skill cancel most of your abilities and improve your mobility significantly.
Now that all of the bonuses from this encounter are laid out, it is a difficult encounter to pass by lightly. Having a long cooldown of about 17 sec is actually not a bad thing. You want to have some time in between abilities to deal damage with your At-Wills and Hidden Daggers.
Given that the buff lasts about 8 sec, you are basically only waiting for about 9 sec, which is perfect. With 8 sec of time while this ability is active, you can dish out way more damage than if you were using Indomitable Battle Strike, which requires a specific rotation and perfect timing to really be significant. The extra bonus from AP gain is actually enough for you to get at least 25 / 100 AP Points within the 8 sec duration.
Secondly, if you use Battle Fury right before activating Unstoppable, you will gain about 46% (20% from Capstone + 26% from Battle Fury) damage bonus to your Hidden Daggers. This is a huge buff to Hidden Daggers, which will be covered in the next section.

 

 

Hidden Daggers (Encounter):

Hidden Daggers

Hidden Daggers is an interesting Encounter in that most builds use it mostly for the 40% damage buff that it provides and not the actual damage that it does. This build changes that assumption and turns this ability into a full-blown encounter that does massive damage not only to a single target but to any targets in a cone in front of your character. It is important to understand the difference between a lateral attack type ability like Indomitable Battle Strike and a cone based attack like Hidden Daggers. Hidden Daggers have a long-range attack that allows you to reach far away targets without having to move an inch. Just to put things into perspective:
  • Hidden Daggers have 40′ ft range distance and a 90 degree cone in front of your character.
  • Indomitable Battle Strike has 12′ ft range distance and a 3′ ft diameter cylinder in front of your character
What this ultimately does for you is provide you with an encounter that not only buffs you, but also does damage to targets that are either close to you or far away. In other words you become a GWF with a total of five encounters instead of three since daggers stack up to 3 charges. How you use these charges is entirely up to you, but given that these charges can be used one after the other consecutively without a cooldown opens up your outgoing damage potential to a whole new level. You gain the flexibility to use the encounter at any given time and do more overall damage.
Additionally, Hidden Daggers take about 11 sec to refill a charge. The interesting thing about this is that the refill timer does not reset whenever you cast Hidden Daggers so if you expand all 3 charges at once, you will have about 8 sec cooldown before a new charge becomes ready. Well, this is awesome because Hidden Dagger buff lasts 8 sec as well and so with 8 sec cooldown, you basically cannot run out of the buff. In other words, not only are you constantly doing massive AOE damage, but you are also constantly buffing yourself with nearly 0 downtime between having the buff and not having it.

 

 

Slam (Daily):

Slam

Slam is an interesting Daily in that it has many uses that are easily overseen. In this build, you will be using Slam in 95% of all situations and Savage Advance as your secondary Daily for the 25% cooldown reduction on all abilities while it is active. The reason Slam is a the primary Daily we choose is because there is no delay in casting it other than the initial activation, which we can skill cancel. In comparison to a Daily like Crescendo, which locks you in for the duration of the attack, Slam does not lock you into skill casting duration like Crescendo does. What this means is that while Slam is active, you can continue using Encounters and At-Wills and build up your AP, which is extremely important to this build. Casting Dailies do not build your AP.

In the case of Slam, you get the following benefits:

  • Cancels any skills that an enemy is casting around you in a huge area of about 60′ ft radius (First Pulse)
  • Builds threat while this ability is active for 8 sec, and double the threat on initial activation (Helps to agro enemies to attack you instead of your party. Partially acts as “Come And Get It” Encounter)
  • Debuffs all surrounding targets to deal about 10% less damage to you and your party for a duration of 8 sec
  • Deals basic AOE damage to all surrounding enemies that cannot deal Critical Damage
  • Slows targets down for a duration of 8 sec (You apply Control Effects to targets that provide benefiting effects to party members that benefit from Controlled Effects)
  • Provides you with 25% more Power for the duration of 8 sec (You must have Battle Awareness feat to receive this benefit)
  • Enables you to continue to gain AP from Encounters and At-Will’s while this Daily is active
  • Very cool ground effect while it is active and also zooms out your character to see more of the battlefield (This is more of a cosmetics bonus, but at the end of the day if we are not having fun, what’s the point of playing right?)
On average, you will be gaining about 25% of your AP while Slam is active. This is a huge deal to consider as there is no other Daily that will allow you to continue to gain AP while it is active. You can look at this daily as something that reduces your daily activation point requirement to 75 / 75 vs.100 / 100, which is a huge deal. Coupled with Battle Fury and constant Unstoppable activation, your AP gain is constantly jumping between 10% / 35% / 60% depending on when and how you activate your abilities. Keep in-mind that each cast of Hidden Daggers also gives you AP and even more if you hit more than one target. When all is said and done, Slam will be coming up very often.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPTS OF TIME (ALL CLASSES):

This section is more about theoretical thinking and common sense than anything else. It has nothing to do with how you build your character, but more to do with how you perceive the environment around you, which in our case is either a Dungeon or Open World areas. Many times you see guides that are all about delivering that perfect hit after building it up for a duration of time. In a real gameplay scenario this is not as easily to pull off as it is in a theory where all variables are constant and not moving. In the case of Dungeons, you are no longer the only person on the battlefield, nor are you the only DPS in the party. This means that other variables come into play that may abruptly end whatever it is that you are doing to deliver that perfect hit or rotation.

Consider the following in terms of time:

  • More HP -> Take More Hits -> More Time
  • More Defense -> Take Less Damage -> Take More Hits -> More Time
  • More Time -> Deal More Hits -> Higher % to Life Steal -> More Sustainability -> Deal More Overall Damage
  • More Overall Damage -> Less Available Enemy Time -> Less Damage Left to be Done by Party
What this means is that the more HP or Defense you have the more likely you will have the time to sustain the damage that is dealt to you when compared to other classes. The more damage you can sustain that is dealt to you the more time you have to continue doing damage to everything else around you. Sustainability also means that you can live through controlling effects or hard hitters that would normally either one shot you or cause you to take severe damage, which you normally try to avoid, which results in a time lost. The time lost is an opportunity gained by someone else to deal damage.
This guide is all about taking advantage of time and using any open opportunity of time to your advantage by using utility that enable you to get to your targets faster than anyone else, sustaining more damage than anyone else, healing yourself through damage taken, dealing more overall damage by casting abilities faster than other GWF’s, expanding your abilities as fast as possible, and constantly being on your feet at all times.
This particular playstyle is not for everyone as you take on a leading role in your party, always running into the pack of enemies first and taking on everything all by yourself. You must be able to use all of your abilities quickly to really see the true potential of this build. This guide is more about saving time and using time gained to deal damage very quickly. No matter what class you play, if you grasp the concept of time and the fact that enemies have a certain number of HP than you will come to understand that it’s not about who does the most damage, but more about who can get to the target location first and deal damage the fastest. As been said at the beginning of this guide, with this build you have a different mindset that is focused more on dealing consistent damage very fast vs. doing one big hit that does a lot of damage.
Comparatively speaking, if you master moving quickly and dealing lots of damage quickly, you can essentially screw over anyone who has a build up based playstyle. In other words, by the time others get to the location and only then start building their chain of attacks, you should be able to clear the target enemy group before they even finish. At the heart of this build, this really is it. It’s more about how you adopt this playstyle than getting the exact gear and stats.

 

GAMEPLAY AND ROTATIONS:

This is the final section in this guide that will provide you with case by case scenarios for when to use which abilities and in which order. Keep in-mind that this is not an end be all guide, but more a basic guide to get you started with using this build. It is important to note that the functionality of this build was built-in such a way to make mistakes very forgiving and provide maximum flexibility. This is not a cookie cutter build that has just one rotation that you do over and over. With this guide you should be able to create various number of chains that will keep you up on your feet, and engaged.
Many times on forums and in the game you see claims that a GWF is a faceroll easy to play class. This is true if you play with only one kind of party setup that places all of your damage well above what it is supposed to be and you just blow through the dungeon because other people in your party are protecting you. Honestly, with a supper buffing party any decent DPS character can do very well, no matter if you are a GWF, TR, SW, TR, or really anyone. This is something that causes many people to get a skewed perception of a certain class without realizing that the “only” reason those classes are doing as well as they do is because they are protected by a certain group setup and really do not take the damage that they should be taking.
With this build and playstyle you are completely independent of dependency on others for buffs, protection, healing, or even damage. You are self-sustained and don’t really give a crap if the people in your party are 2k, 3k, or 4k iLVL. At the end of the day it does not matter to you as you are a one man army. With this type of setup and mindset you no longer need to waste time looking for people who are geared all because you need someone else to compensate for your lack of skill and gear.
The following is a breakdown of how to play this class with this build given the situations provided.

 

Entering Battle with Mount (General):

  1. Ride towards target location with enemy group
  2. Jump + Activate Artifact (If Available) + Use Slam (If Available)
  3. Daring Shout + Sprint + Battle Fury + Sprint
  4. Use Hidden Daggers (1) + Unstoppable
  5. Hidden Daggers (2) + Sure Strike or Weapon Master’s Strike

 

Entering Battle with No Mount (General):

  1. Sprint and expand all Stamina running towards target location with enemy group
  2. Jump + Activate Artifact (if Available) + Use Slam (If Available) + Daring Shout
  3. Sprint + Battle Fury + Sprint
  4. Use Hidden Daggers (1) + Unstoppable
  5. Hidden Daggers (2) + Sure Strike or Weapon Master’s Strike

 

When Activating Unstoppable at Full and Multiple Targets Present:

  1. Unstoppable + Hidden Daggers (3) + Weapon Master’s Strike + Battle Fury + Jump/Sprint + Sure Strike

 

When Activating Unstoppable at Full and Single Target Present:

  1. Unstoppable + Hidden Daggers (1) + Sure Strike/Weapon Master’s Strike + Jump + Battle Fury + Sure Strike

 

When Activating Unstoppable at Half and Multiple Targets Present:

  1. Unstoppable + Hidden Daggers (1) + Weapon Master’s Strike + Battle Fury + Jump/Sprint + Sure Strike

 

When Activating Unstoppable at Half and Single Target Present:

  1. Unstoppable + Sure Strike/Weapon Master’s Strike
  2. Unstoppable + Hidden Daggers (1) + Sure Strike

 

When Determination is 0% and Multiple Targets Present:

  1. Hidden Daggers (1) + Sprint + Daring Shout + Sprint + Battle Fury +  Weapon Master’s Strike / Sure Strike
  2. Hidden Daggers (3) + Daring Shout + Sprint + Battle Fury + Weapon Master’s Strike / Sure Strike

 

When Determination is 0% and Single Target Present:

  1. Hidden Daggers (1) + Daring Shout + Sprint + Battle Fury + Sprint +  Weapon Master’s Strike / Sure Strike

 

When Determination is 50% and Multiple Targets Present:

  1. Hidden Daggers (1) + Daring Shout + Sprint  +  Weapon Master’s Strike / Sure Strike

 

When Determination is 50% and Single Target Present:

  1. Jump + Daring Shout + Sprint + Battle Fury +  Weapon Master’s Strike / Sure Strike

 

When Encounters on Cooldown and Multiple Targets Present:

  1. Weapon Master’s Strike (3) + Sure Strike (Target Highest Threat) + Weapon Master’s Strike / Sure Strike

 

When Encounters on Cooldown and Single Target Present:

  1. Sure Strike (3) + Weapon Master’s Strike (1) + Sure Strike (3) + Weapon Master’s Strike (1) + Sure Strike (3) + Weapon Master’s Strike / Sure Strike

 

When Encounters on Cooldown and Daily Available:

  1. Jump + Slam + Sure Strike / Weapon Master’s Strike

 

When Encounters on Cooldown and No Daily Available:

  1. Sure Strike / Weapon Master’s Strike

 

When Encounters and Daily Available (No Unstoppable):

  1. Jump + Slam + Sprint + Daring Shout + Sprint + Hidden Daggers (3)
  2. Jump + Slam + Sprint + Daring Shout + Sprint + Battle Furry + Hidden Daggers (3)

 

When Encounters and Daily Available (Unstoppable):

  1. Jump + Slam + Daring Shout + Unstoppable + Hidden Daggers (3) + Battle Fury + Sure Strike / Weapon Master’s Strike
  2. Jump + Slam + Daring Shout + Unstoppable + Hidden Daggers (1) + Sure Strike / Weapon Master’s Strike

 

The above mentioned use cases should be more than enough to cover majority of scenarios in Neverwinter. I will be updating this section in the future should I feel that I missed a few cases or if people ask for more examples. Please feel free to suggest other cases and I will update this guide accordingly.

 

CLASSIFICATION OF GWF’s:

While using this build, you will come to find that whenever you play with other GWF’s in a party some will try to take advantage of you by using abilities counter to yours to maximize their “DPS”. You will also meet people running a variety of other builds that will certainly interfere with your playstyle. I have identified these particular players into groups with suggestions on how to counter their motives.
  • Leech GWF: Generally, these players are going to try to ask any other GWF in the party what abilities they are using so that they can equip other abilities to do more damage. If they don’t ask you for your rotation, they will assume that you are using the standard IBS/Daring Shout/Daggers model. What they’ll use instead will be Battlefury/IBS/Daggers. This means that if you are running Battlefury/Daring Shout/Daggers, they will take advantage of your Daring Shout as well as Battlefury. This particular setup enables the other GWF to deal much higher damage on IBS strikes as well as have more damage and run further distance. If you notice that the other GWF is exceeding your DPS by a larger than expected margin this is one of the reasons why that is the case.
    Strategy: To beat this type of GWF on DPS charts or mess with them, you must perform all abilities faster and always expand everything at your disposal. Sometimes, depending on situation focus on dealing damage with At-Wills vs. doing damage with encounters. If a GF, OP, DC, or HR present in party, you will certainly do more damage overall.
  • Standard IBS GWF: This is the most common type GWF in Neverwinter that runs IBS/Daring Shout/Daggers setup. This particular GWF is focused primarily on doing very high DPS that revolved around timing IBS when everything is just right. Their weakness is that they do not run Battlefury and as such lack mobility needed to get to mobs faster. However, they shine during boss fights or any fights that take longer to kill stationary targets such as FBI or MSVA. It is normal to see this particular GWF to do more damage overall.
    Strategy: To beat this type of GWF on DPS charts or at least get very close to them, you must utilize Battlefury and Wheel of Elements very well. Keep moving forward, and use attacks that attack as many mobs as you can and as often as you can. Focus on groups rather than single targets.
  • Buff GWF: You will come to find many players in general using a variety of potions. Some of these potions will really give a nice advantage over other players in the party. These particular players tend to rush content especially when a healer is present in the party. Sometimes this doesn’t interfere with your playstyle and other times it tends to make the Dungeon run longer because they rush ahead, die, mobs reset and attack everything else in the back. This eventually results in more than one person dying in the party.
    Strategy: To play with this type of GWF, you have several options. You can either stay back and attack his trail, which will result in your party stopping including the healer to support you while that GWF runs ahead and dies. You can than pickup his trail and keep moving forward with a lead that the other GWF would never be able to catch up to. The other option is to exceed the mobility of that GWF by running ahead of him and taking everything on all by yourself. Since you are following this build, you should not die regardless of healer is present or not.

 

PERFORMANCE EFFICIENCY:

While playing Neverwinter you will come to find that some dungeons may feel like they require more of your energy than others when running with a variety of party compositions. I have identified particular ratings for each class that you party with to determine how much more energy you need to expand to stay at the top of DPS charts. The following is a list of classes and their influence on you and your GWF character.
  • GWF: Adds 50% more effort needed per character in a party
  • CW: Adds 25-45% more effort needed per character in a party
  • HR: Adds 35-75% more effort needed per character in a party
  • TR: Adds 35-45% more effort needed per character in a party
  • OP: Adds 5-25% more effort needed per character in a party
  • GF: Adds 15-40% more effort needed per character in a party
  • DC: Adds 5-25% more effort needed per character in a party
Now you are probably wondering what does this mean? Suppose you are soloing outside content and you are completely laid back, hitting encounters whenever you choose and however you choose with virtually no effort whatsoever. At this point you are doing things at your normal rate which you can either count as 100% or a rating of 1. For every member that you add to your party, you now have to try that much harder to deal the same amount of damage as when you were alone. Basically, the more people you add to your party the less of the pie (Enemy HP Pool) you have leftover to take. In order to take a certain percentage of that pie to be your contribution (DPS) you need to put certain amount of effort more than when you are soloing content.
So let’s say your party composition is DC (5%), GF (25%), CW (35%), TR (35%), and You (100%). Your total effort in this case is 200% or a rating of 2.0. This means that in this particular party you will have to do all actions 2x faster than when you are normally used to when soloing content.
Now things get interesting when you run with a more high powered party such as DC (25%), GWF (50%), HR (65%), GWF (50%), and You (100%). Your total effort in this case is 290% or a rating of 2.9. This means that you will have to be nearly 3x faster than normal content. With this much effort you are more likely to get fatigued or exhausted after a dungeon run. This may seem of little value to some, but at the end of the day, you can control your experience in every dungeon that you run based on the setup introduced in this section.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS AND IMPROVEMENTS:

As has been mentioned before, this guide is not fully complete and still has room for improvement primarily in updating my companions, mounts and character gear.
Given that I still have much work to do, I still manage to do very well in most dungeons. This build is perfectly suitable for all Mod 11 content. However, for min / max there are still things left that need improvement.
If you find any issues with the build or have questions, please feel free to contact me on Reddit at r/RDeviant or post a comment in the comments section. I frequent the Neverwinter subthread often and should be able to answer most of your questions.
Thank you for reading this guide and I hope that you enjoy this build as much as I do!
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  • The great k
    October 11, 2016 at 2:14 am

    Hi I thought earth archon is when you ARE at full health?

  • James
    October 18, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Which is more prevalent now, armpen or power for GWF? Awesome read by the way.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      October 21, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Power is still more prevalent now, but you still need a decent amount of armor pen of about 60%. If you have less than 60% armor pen than you start losing DPS. Basically armor pen is greater than power up to 60% and then anything over this amount not so much. The exception to the rule is likely the dungeon bosses and maybe Fangbreaker Island as I think mobs and bosses possibly have more armor than standard dungeons. The damage difference is very noticeable. For a class like GWF, we get the advantage of making use of armor pen and power more than other classes because of that 25% feat that gives us 25% of recovery and armor pen as power. On another note, I just had a duo run with another GWF duoing ETOS/ELOL and ESOT within 25 min, all 4 runs. I am making a video of this to demonstrate just how powerful this build is without any outside buffing.

  • Carlos Araiza
    October 18, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Hello, I have been working on a tank build gwf but my muscle-head friends keep laughing at the idea. I recently came across your build and it seems i was on the right track except for some encounters. I have two questions.

    1: at the begining I used a feat to improve my deflection chance, and the two passive to improve my deflection chance(it should have added to around 8% deflect. Everytime I checked the stat though It stayed at 2% so i tried to enter combat but it only went up to 6% (because of my ring of rising deflect, not my boons or powers). So my question is, are the powers broken?

    2: im not always fighting 3 enemies, sometimes its less or sometimes my team melts some too or its a single boss, wouldnt it be better to have warriors courage for the extra deflect and resistance? Unless the feat that you mentioned existed makes it so you dont have to hit three (if so whats the name of that feat?). And this comes back to if the power is broken or not and i actually do get the deflect.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      October 21, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      So to start this off, you are playing likely the most powerful class in the game that not only is a complete beast when it comes to DPS but is also an amazing tank. The reason your friends are saying that is because they don’t really know any other build that focuses on tanking as upto this point there was none. Lazalia was likely the first one to start figuring out creative ways to experiment with GWF tank, but it cost him damage loss and significant changes to his playstyle. This build focuses on what I learned during my time that I played this class as well as what Lazalia has tried, and combined several ideas into a build that excels in both tanking and DPS ability.

      The reason this build is so powerful is because you are still using nearly the same feats, boons, and abilities as a full DPS GWF would, but the exception is that you have a totally different play-style that focuses on doing damage as quickly as possible vs. “winding up” to one single hit, which is what Lia Knowle’s build is focused around. The problem with the one single hit like Indomitable Battle Strike is that it has a short and lateral attack. It also roots you in-place for the duration of the attack. Although the damage is awesome, you have only one attack that you can do with likely a cooldown of 12 sec. If you miss for whatever reason, or your indomitable doesn’t crit than your rotation is screwed as 12 sec is about how long a mob group lasts and you just lost DPS. (One argument here may be that yeah you can have 100% critical chance, but the problem is that a companion can die and for that duration of downtime you are out of luck since you have a high chance that you won’t crit. This build works regardless if your companion is dead or alive, there is no true dependency on anything.)

      This build completely ignores the need and use of Indomitable Battle Strike, and takes you out of that dependency allowing you do more attacks overall. Your encounter attacks also expand to 5 instead of three. I did a comparison to a CW in terms of damage per encounter that each attack of Daggers does and it basically doubles any three attacks of a CW. Daggers also don’t have a casting delay other than recharge timer which makes this an amazing ability. Additionally, I did state that this build will defy some of the things that both Lazalia and Lia Knowles preach not to do and many will find a conflict in some recommendations that I have in the build. It is understood that this is a new take on a GWF and will take awhile before people really see the significance.

      Now to answer your questions:

      1.) I’m guessing you are referring to Bravery passive which is great in PVP and does provide the right numbers at least when I run it. I personally, do not recommend using Bravery for PVE, you just don’t need it. You will end up having the maximum amount of defense that this game allows which is around 85% and that should be more than enough to keep you alive. If anything, you may want to run Weapon Master passive and Destroyer together if you don’t have at least 85% Critical Chance after companion activation. Use Wrathful Determination and Destroyer for PVE when you have over 90% Critical Chance with companion activation.

      2.) You are referring to Destroyer’s Purpose, which allows you to have a 25% to get a stack of Destroyer with any number of enemies. This is a must have passive to have.You don’t need any other passives than the ones I’m suggesting. These are fairly standard and tested options suggested by other builds as well.

  • October 19, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Hey dude just wanted to say great mod 10 build this has really helped me balsa through the first 32 levels in just 3 days! I mean I’ve gotten so far so quick it’s unreal. Again great build and thanks 😊

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      October 21, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Glad you are liking it as this build’s full potential really starts to shine once you are 70 and geared. I tried my build on different iLVL’s like 350, 1.2k, 2.6k, and 4.2k. Performance increase is exponential. Between 0.3 and 2.6k iLVL you will still be susceptible to insta deaths and general red areas that you watch out for. Between 2.6k and 4.2k iLVL is when you start to really go towards doing massive DPS and taking heavy hits. You start superseding other geared GWF’s after 3.0k iLVL. Getting your mount, companions, and guild configurations is extremely important. The sooner you can get that goal set the better off you’ll be.

  • MIKE Bacon
    October 25, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Are you using Sword master or Iron Vangaurd? Thank you so much for the build and very detailed guide. Amazing!

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      October 27, 2016 at 12:21 am

      This build is primarily for Swordmaster, but I have yet to try it out myself as Iron Vanguard. In general, Swordmaster has been the path to go for PVE and Iron Vanguard for PVP. Thanks for your feedback, I have updated the title and description.

  • Bregmar
    October 29, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Why wicked strike and not weapon master strike?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      November 1, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      It’s a typo. Weapon Master Strike is correct. Both Weapon Master and Wicked Strike have very similar animation, so I guess I got those two switched. Thanks for catching it.

  • Mrs Tracey Pearson
    October 31, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Was going to ask the same, isn’t weapon master strike more viable???

  • Anderson
    November 7, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Are you sure that WMS count as AOE?

  • Eben
    November 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    More then the build itself i loved the clarfication on the at-wills, encounters etc. very well researched and detailed and very informative. The info on rotation boosted my DPS to an incredible amount. Thank you for taking so much time.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      November 12, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks for the feedback! This type of playstyle I started looking into once the population started to dwindle at least on the PC version. Often times, you would spend quite a bit of time searching for GF/OP/DC and just have no luck finding the classes you would normally need. Nowadays, I just grab whatever is available and run with it. With all the events going on and such it’s even difficult at times to find a full party. I am working on a video as we speak that addresses these issues and how I handle them. Many times, I purposely structure my team to not have GF/OP/DC to see how well others do. I will tell you one thing for sure, if there is any fun left in this game, it would be seeing the rage quits from the party. It’s almost like seeing that person’s reality shattered right in-front of you. If I can’t bring about change and perception of oneself directly, I do it indirectly, which works well.

      Stay tuned for a video that I will put up soon.

  • November 14, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Hello and thanks for putting up this great information. I have yet to see a more clearly researched and explained build. I have read so many of these with crazy ideas and no research and this one should change the paradigm of build posts. But I digress.. I wanted to ask if you had decided yet on your race preference for this build. Would a human build take away from the crazy DPS to increase survivability? Is the increase in defense using the extra feats worth that decrease in DPS?

    Thank you.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      November 15, 2016 at 2:17 am

      Thanks for reading and thanks for your feedback! At the end of the day it all comes down to the limits that the devs have set within the game. From everything that I’ve read so far and what the common consensus is currently, it looks like there is a hard cap on Damage Resistance %, and it is 85%. With my current setup, I am averaging anywhere from 83-87% DR. This means that taking additional defensive Heroic Feats doesn’t really benefit me as much do to sheer amount of defense I already have. Additionally, companions were recently buffed by about 20% on stats and it is very noticeable on the character sheet. I am currently reaching 80k+ Power and 34k+ Defense. I also have 1 more mount to add with Camaraderie bonus which should buff my stats even more. So to answer your question, I don’t think I will be going Human. I think I will stay Dragonborn for now. I was considering going Half-Orc more than going human because of the Critical Severity bonus, but then some people who have done the math said that Damage % > Critical Severity if your Critical Chance is at 100%. I guess at the end of the day both are reasonable good, but my personal preference is with Dragonborn because the stats just keep on growing with each Mod release. The value of the % increases from the race are getting better and better.

      Another thing to think about for the future are the new weapons. Currently most people are wearing Twisted weapons and forgetting the fact that they are receiving a free 2-4k boost to Defense or Power. The defense part is important because it does add a bit of a buffer when taking damage. Currently the gap between my companion and an Archon is 2394 Defense or 2394 Power. This equates to about 6% Defense or 6% Damage. Now consider that people will be switching to new weapons which do not give boost to DR. That’s a 2-4k Defense loss which is same as 5% or 10% Defense / Damage loss. When you put it together, anyone who uses an Archon and switches to new weapons will have about 11% – 16% DR loss total, which is alot. I think damage will be more than made up by the new weapons, but the DR will be a problem considering how much damage FBI and likely the new instance do. There needs to be a balance between DR and Damage, and so you must always watch this balance or you’re gonna start lacking in one or the other.

      • November 15, 2016 at 3:01 pm

        That is excellent information, again. Thank you for the reply.
        I am currently using the half-orc for my GWF and I have always been able to run into the fray and start hacking away at a group of enemies. But this new mod has me pulling back a bit and treading a little more carefully. I am taking tons more damage than earlier mods. I think you have convinced me to switch to dragonborn. Keep up the awesome work!

  • November 17, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Hello im a lvl 54 gf tank. I was wondering if gwf could be a viable tank atleast around my level? If not do you think it will get buffed soon? Cause i really want to tank with it.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      November 25, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      You can tank as a GWF but only for the dungeons ranging between 1600 – 2000 ilvl. A dungeon like CN, you can tank but you need at least a DC in party that can lay down defensive buffs for you. With this build you are essentially a mediocre tank/dps for higher ranking dungeons aka off-tank. Those who play with me know that it can be done, it’s just not very viable or dependable on bosses that do 1 shots. I’ve done all I can do to play by the rules of mitigation that have been consistently the same for dungeons upto 2000 ilvl. Starting with CN and newer dungeons, having a ton of defense seems kind of useless for tanking when every mob basically ignores all of your DR and requires secondary layer of defense to even offer any kind of protection. For this reason a GF / OP / DC are still relevant because they offer that secondary layer of protection that you simply cannot stack or obtain through stats. It is possible to tank bosses with a tank pet, but as I said before, that’s not really tanking. So my recommendation is if you really want to play as a tank, than make yourself either a GF or OP, otherwise GWF is primarily a DPS class, but a tanky build allows you to be in the heat of battle a take on a much heavier beating that most other classes.

  • cheap thrill
    November 21, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    hello sir, may i know how did u get 4k reg n 6k lifesteal? what buff it is? ty

  • Gwen
    November 23, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Hi RDeviant,
    I started playing about one month ago, and I hit level 70 about 3 weeks ago. Now, as this is my first char, and I barely have any AD (BTW, I wasted quite a bit of them doing the wrong things, of course I know a bit better now), I’m slowly building my stats, one piece a time. I just hit 2100 ilev. So far, I have about 30% of the stats shown here, and I’m actively trying to balance them out the same way. Say, I have about 11k power, 4700 crit, 2900 AP, 4300 defence, and so on. But I have a feeling this might not be the best idea.

    So my question: are some stats more important than others at my level? should I focus more on power? AP? are there any stats that may be important at my level, that you ignored in your build because they’re no longer useful at higher levels?

    Just to name one, when I was levelling and now that I’m still working on my campaigns (for boons, mostly, and I have a LONG way to go there), I find regen quite useful. You have to do a lot of running in missions and there’s a lot of time for regen. In epic dungeons, everything is more fast-paced, and you move from one fight to the next, and regen is kinda useless. So now I’m trading it for other stats now (it used to be higher than yours).

    Anyway, I’m really enjoying your build so far… I still die one-shot in epic dungeons, I do PUGs only, so sometimes it’s my fault, sometimes maybe it’s just a bad mixup. I still need to be carried a bit, but I have plenty of room for improvement.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      November 30, 2016 at 4:14 am

      Hey Gwen, thanks for following this build.

      To answer some of your questions, I would say yes, some stats are more important to invest into than others when you are just starting out. The three most influential stats that you have which contribute to damage are Power, Armor Penetration, and Critical Strike Chance. Since you are playing a GWF, and following this guide, you will be getting 25% extra stats to Power from Armor Penetration and Recovery. You will also be getting 20% of Defense as Power. The balancing thought that goes into this is that you want to invest about 50% of Power into Critical Chance and 33% of Power into Armor Penetration directly. The cap for Armor Penetration is 60% or 6,000 Points. Once you hit this cap, as a leveling character you can stop investing into it. So, looking at the stats you mentioned, they are almost perfectly balanced with the exception of AP and Regeneration. For AP, you don’t want to have more than 1000 points as the stats have severe diminishing returns after 1000 points. Regen is mainly a useless stat in GWF because you will be recieving decent heals from Life Steal.

      Additionally, I would recommend getting VIP that gives you keys, which you can use to open lockboxes that give you Trade Bars to buy the Dusk Set. You just need 2 pieces for the bonus. The set can last you for a good while and it helps alot when solo or in group.

      • Gwen
        December 4, 2016 at 11:02 am

        Hi, thanks a lot for your reply. Very useful info. Unfortunately last weekend I bought a White Tiger as my first better-than-green mount, and my Armor Pen just went out of the roof 😛 last time I checked I was over 5000. Well, I guess I’ll have to live with having less then a perfect balance. As for VIP I’m thinking about it… I just quit Eve Online, so I might spend a bit on neverwinter. I get the Dusk set is available only via lockboxes. I have Alliance armor now, thinking of upgrading to Drowcraft with ichors.

  • November 30, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    What about a yeti for a companion? I am a newb and don’t totally understand the mechanics of how pets work. Or is it’s attack speed too slow?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      December 11, 2016 at 4:12 am

      From what I gathered so far Yeti seems to be bugged and doesn’t actually give you the damage boost that it says it does. However, it is still the best tank pet around and also make you grow. I was considering on getting it, but I guess I’ll wait till they fix it or until another pet comes around.

  • Profile photo of Hujaxa
    December 3, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Hello Rdeviant. Thank you for this build! I am fairly new to NW (Started in September on PS4) and my GWF is my first character. I currently have an ilvl of 2712, have my twisted set (Epic), all items are epic, all artifacts are legendary, and i just got an emperor beetle today (12/2/16 but the rest of my mounts are not so good…) based on your recommendations. I have a wheel of time, but have been using my symbol of water as a primary artifact. My guild is only rank 5 atm, and we have a def. Boon of 1600 (nothing else yet) My companions are (all epic) a Fire Archon, Air Archon, Mercenary, and Erinyes of Belial (sp?) Most of my enchantments are rank 8,9, or 10. I have a greater vorpal on weapon. As I have been following your build fairly extensively, I would love to optimize my build but I am not sure what I should focus on first, My goal is to be able to “solo” most 5-man dungeons, as you described. I am 95% focused on PVE. Is there any way you can help me with my optimization priorities? Please let me know what info you need (i.e. Stats, screenshots, etc.) or what I can do to assist you in your efforts to help me.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      December 11, 2016 at 4:52 am

      I would look at your character as a machine that is split into four parts; gear, build, companions and mounts. All parts contribute a certain amount of benefit to your character that make it the final product of your contributions. The two areas that you want to focus more than others are companions and mounts.

      The primary active companion enables you to get upto 285% of its’ stats as well as +15% more as a legendary bonus. So looking at that alone, your active companion is the single highest contributor to your performance in comparison to everything else. So what this means is that you should start there and see if you can get yourself 3 bonding stones between rank 10 – 12. This will likely be your 2nd most expensive buy next to the Beatle mount, and most worthwhile investment in the game. As far as companion gear, ideally you want loyal gear, preferably what I have listed, but likely it will either be too expensive or unobtainable at this point in time. So what you may want to do is focus on going for burst buffs and maybe try out sudden rings. You can also go for adorable bites gear, or the new Svaborg rings once you get into that dungeon. Ideally, static stats would serve you better for companion because of the stat tripling effects. For companions to use, you can use Fire Archon, Siege Master, Erines, Air Archon, and Earth Archon. This setup should give you a decent boost.

      As far as mounts, your goal is to get as much power and defense as you can so if you can get yourself on any 4 mounts with Protectors Camraderie and one mount with Protector’s Friendship, I think that will likely be the best setup you can get for mounts. The bonus damage that you get is an increase to yout base stats before bonding stones activate. So if your resting Power is 29k than you get about 6,380 Power added to your character and with 20k Defense about 4,400 Defense added. From that 4,400 Defense you also get additional 880 Power for a grand total of 7,260 Power or 18.15% Damage increase at all times during battle. This is a significant bonus that only grows as you improve your character.

      As for hitting the soft numbers to start tanking, you want to try to hit following base stats:

      HP: 115k+
      Power: 25k+
      Critical Strike: 10k+
      Defense: 10k+
      Armor penetration: 2.5k+
      Life Steal: 6k+

      Keep inmind that Life Steal amount is proportional to the amount of defense you have. The more defense you are stacking the less Life Steal you need for most cases. Life Steal is relevant in cases where the frequency of attacks taken is higher than the frequency of Life Steal activated. If that is the case than you are going to die. As a GWF, you hit very hard in general, a single attack is enough to likely heal you to full health on Life Steal activation.For this reason you can get away with lower Life Steal rate for general purposes. The other factor to keep inmind is what At-Will you use and when as well as encounters. Your Sure Strike is the fastest attacking At-Will that rolls the dice on Life Steal the fastest. However, when you are surrounded by multiple mobs the frequency if damage taken exceeds the frequency of Life Steal activated, which will lead you to die if you keep using Sure Strike. When surrounded, always use up Daggers followed by Weapon master’s Strike. Adjusting your skill use based on situation will keep you alive for a very long time.

      The above is the general idea, and should help you to get to where you want to be. I’d recommend finding a guild that is around the range 15 – 20 ranking, but ultimately it is your call. The guild stronghold plays a huge role in building your character for current modules with upto 16k stat points at play.

      • Hujaxa
        December 11, 2016 at 6:38 pm

        Awesome! Thanks for the tips and advice! I have really done nothing with Life steal. I am close or over on the rest of the soft numbers (Power is only 19700) but I have the rest of the numbers except life steal. I will start working on that. I have never heard of the adorable bites or Svaborg gear. Is that PC only or is in the Fangbreaker area? I obviously am not there yet. Thanks again!

        • Profile photo of RDeviant
          December 11, 2016 at 8:25 pm

          Ya, definitely start investing into Life Steal, it is a huge boost to your survivability. As for Adorable Bites and Svaborg Rings they are PC only item currently. The Adorable Bites items, I don’t think you can get them anymore. They may have been a gateway only item, so on PC they are very expensive. The svaborg rings come with the new dungeon in Mod 10.5 that just released. The rings aren’t the best, but better than most rings that are obtainable in the world. Most people still prefer to use Sudden or Rising on companions which works too. Rising rings might actually be great too, but I haven’t tested them on a companion yet to see if they give you the tripling effect.

  • Graunarim
    December 11, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Great guide! I was running Lia´s guide before, but it didn´t fit into my playstyle and I died too often. Now my survivability and damage increased a lot. Thanks a lot RDeviant.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      December 11, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Her build is more focused on doing DPS and having other classes covering other stats that she may be missing. She runs with geared players likely very often that basically create a sense of invincibility because of always having a DC, OP, or GF in a party. I don’t run premades not for PVP and not for PVE. The only reason I still run dungeons is for the sense of unpredictability from your party composition. Running with different people on daily basis helps with understanding styles and knowing what works and what doesn’t. In the game I am now considered a Tank as well as High DPS even though I don’t have new gear or new weapons. This build is all about utility and what you can bring to the party. I never ask for GS because I can compensate for other people’s shortcomings and that is fun for me and doesn’t keep other people out if a dungeon just because they are lower GS. These people learn the dungeons, gear up by next event and start running their own parties, etc. There is no needs to push people out and this is what I like the most about the build, the flexibility to run with almost any party composition without dependency on DC or OP or GF.

  • Kalevanji
    December 12, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Just started playing NW and wanting to make a GWF. Great guide BTW! Question a out the starting stats for a human. Why more Dex then str when they have the following
    Def bonus?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      December 15, 2016 at 8:05 am

      Dex gives you more Critical Chance and other beneficial stats that are harder to get through other sources. The more Critical Chance you get the more slots you will have available later on to increase damage through other means.

  • Blue
    December 14, 2016 at 1:37 am

    I like this build but is there a way to alter it abit (first time player) i wanna pick human and make Str (more focused) , con (second focused), and decent dex . what do you recommend

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      December 17, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      I think you can make those changes just keep in-mind that between STR and CON, STR will be a much more beneficial stat for you than CON. I think that if you are focusing on PVP, you could make it work, but you will likely want to switch to Iron Vanguard and change out a few feats. For PVE, any points placed in CON that are placed after base rolls is basically a huge waste. Most of the HP bonuses are gained through boons and a mix and match of gear. Theoretically, I could have more power and damage but I would lose survivability, which would basically make tanking no longer possible. But like I said, a few points probably won’t make a huge difference, but anything more than a couple will be noticeable.

  • Anderson
    December 15, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Which sigil would you recommend other then the controller? I Have the devoted, warlock, paladin and gwf

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      December 16, 2016 at 2:06 am

      I used to have the GWF Sigil, but I later switched it to the CW Sigil because I had too much Armor Penetration and not enough Critical Chance at the time. Depending on your stats, pick the one that would balance out your stats. For primary, I definitely recommend using Waters artifact, but you can also use the DC Sigil as well.

  • Furyfeet
    December 15, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Which companion is viable instead of zhentarim because it seems like you cant get him anymore or am i wrong?

  • Furyfeet
    December 17, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Which companion is viable with your guide instead of the zhentarim warlock? I am a new player and it seems like it isnt possible to get the zhentarim anymore or am i wrong?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      December 17, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      I got my Zhentarim Warlock from the Auction House and leveled him up from green to legendary. I don’t remember where he comes from, but at the current state of the game I would look for a different companion to use as a primary. Ideally, you want a companion with 2 rings and 2 offense / 1 defense type of setup. You could go for the Fire Archon if you wish, but his current passive kicks in only after you attack something that is under 50% HP. Additionally, Fire Archon seems to be bugged hence why it is so rampant. I am going to change out my Dancing Sword for Seige Master to get that flat 4% damage bonus. As an alternative primary companion I am currently looking into others, but until I get my full endgame gear it will be difficult to guess. For now, warlock works for me even at a loss, but I will be changing him at some point.

  • cFROSTYscriv
    December 20, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    Everything I have read has stated than running more than 1 Protector’s Camaraderie gives diminishing returns.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      December 23, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      That’s true, it does have diminishing returns, but when you add everything together including the defense / crit insignia’s into the mix it adds quite a bit. With a single protector’s camaraderie you are getting a full 3% buff that stacks upto 4 times for a total of 12%. With protector’s friendship, you get another 1% for a total of 4%. Together these two would give you 16% Power / Defense. However, you could go further with this and take that number to 22%, which is a significant increase considering that everything else offered is temporary and isn’t up at all times. I am however looking into this and exploring other options like Assassins Covenant and Shepard’s Devotion. Assassin’s Covenant is a decent choice, but it comes at a cost of you losing out some of your other stats. With the new gear released in Mod 10.5, defense is quite a commodity to have. I’m already topping DPS charts without at least extra 15% damage that most people have and losing out on a few thousand of Power doesn’t really make much difference.

  • suari
    December 22, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    I read in Lia’s build that mighty blade ‘ Only works with powers that have the ‘burst’ tag on them,’ so there is no bonus damage when Weapon Master Strike is used. What is your opinion on this?

  • Furyfeet
    December 26, 2016 at 1:05 am

    I have a question i cant Figure out which one are the Best artifact weapons at the Moment because i saw a few people Who used the artifact weapons from the heroic missions and now im Not sure if I should take the twisted ones or the ones from the heroic and if I should the heroic ones which one would you recommend? Thx for the help you are awesome!

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      December 26, 2016 at 9:53 am

      I am currently using the new weapons and the Orcus set, but be warned that the grind is real with the new weapons and armor. The devs made sure to make you waste a ton of time to obtain the new gear.

  • Furyfeet
    December 26, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    And which artifact weapon Set are you using? Fire earth air or water?

  • grease
    December 27, 2016 at 6:43 am

    do you put r12 bonding on all your companions, or just the active? just asking cuz it looks like you only have your active companion stoned.. great build btw

  • December 29, 2016 at 8:26 am

    The rings on your companion where do you get them? If they are unobtainable what should i use instead?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      December 30, 2016 at 2:24 am

      They were only available on the PC since they come from the Sword Coast Adventures that is not currently available. On PC, you can still buy them but they will be very expensive, around 1 mill AD or more. For PS4 / Xbox, you should aim to get the new Svaborg rings from the newest dungeons like FBI and MSVA. If you are looking for something right away than go for the Sudden rings +4 / 5 from EDEMO, which should be available to you.

  • mr.J
    January 1, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Ae you sure about this comaraderie stack thing ? Cause if it gives you 22% dmg then why would ppl go for any other insignias ? Of all the guides out here you’re the only one I saw that uses the same one stacking it on 4 mounts. Cause if this is legit I’ll drop all I have on my wizard and just get 3 of camaraderie, 1 friendship and 1 assassins covenant.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      January 1, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Protector’s Camaraderie (1st is 100%) = 3% x 4 stacks is 12%.
      Protector’s Camaraderie (2nd, 3rd, and 4th is 25%) = 0.50% x 4 stacks is 2% x 3, or 6%.
      Protector’s Friendship (100%) = 1% x 4 stacks is 4%

      Total Sum = 22% Power and 22% Defense.

      I’ve been retesting the 4th Protector’s Camaraderie and it does not seem like it works as it should. One of the reasons I use this setup is because of a nice synergy between Critical Strike and Defense stats that you get from Barbed and Regal Insignia’s. When you add all stats together it’s a good bonus. However, since the new weapons and armors add a good amount of Critical Strike and Defense, I am testing out a few variations. One of my considerations is using Assassin\s Covenant instead of one of the Protector’s Camaraderie’s because the bonus from that is about 3700 Power to my character.

      As for CW, your route is a good choice to go with, but I would consider doing something like this:

      1 Protector’s Camaraderie (12% Power / Defense)
      1 Protector’s Friendship (4% Power / Defense)
      1 Shepard’s Devotion (5% of Power to Defense, Deflect, Movement)
      1 Assassin’s Covenant (Convert 10% of Defense, Life Steal, and Deflect to Power)
      1 Gile or 1 Barbarian’s Revelry (This one is really your choice)

      That is the setup I would use on a CW because of how quickly you can spam dailies. This is about the same setup I am also using on my DC.

      • mr.J
        January 2, 2017 at 4:34 am

        Thats my setup. Except I use gladiator guile. I just cant handle being slow. Also artificer persuasion instead of devotion. I dont want deflect or movement in combat cause its 1 hit kill anyway so its a waste

        • Profile photo of RDeviant
          January 2, 2017 at 5:42 am

          I tried out Guile and I am mostly undecided in it’s effectiveness. The reason Shepard’s Devotion is great is because you can get your movement to around 13k or so which is a huge boost to your mobility. Additionally, Assassin’s Covenant converts 10% of Defense and Deflect back to Power. There is a synergy between the two options.

          • mr.J
            January 2, 2017 at 1:11 pm

            How can u be sure that covenant takes from devotion ? What if its like bondings effect where ur cleric power share does not include power coming from bondings. Its probably this. Just like when negation only increases by 1.5% of ur gear defense not the overall buffs u get. Im inclined to believe that covenant works the same way. Unless u can prove something else.

  • January 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    I enjoyed the build and I am going to test it with the one of the many respec tokens I got from the holiday festival. I am a 2.9K on the 4 and the current AA craze has reached the point where Alliance members are requesting no tanks on High End content just AA/AC/DC. Do you think Cryptic is going to allow this to continue? Because it definitely impacts the usefulness of the build.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      January 21, 2017 at 12:54 am

      This build has been useful way before the the AA craze became a thing. Just see the video I posted and you will see what I’m talking about. I have been working towards pushing the limits of this build as a tank and have so far succeed tanking CN, MSVA, and FBI as the endgame content. MSVA and FBI most certainly require several DC’s to do them right, but as a GWF, you are more than capable of running them as a tank with the right build. This build is extremity viable and will be even more popular in Mod 11 due to certain bonus from weapon sets in Mod 11. I however will likely not be going for those weapons as I just obtained the new weapons, but if I just started over, I would most certainly go for them. I will be updating this guide with some new findings based on new gear and where to go next as far as setup goes.

  • ScorZa
    January 22, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Hi i like your build and it is going really well so far but i wanted to ask about wrathful determination since i have only 7k crit right now should i use weapon master class feature at least for now ? (about to buy t.vorpal) btw does that 45% dmg buff still works ?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      January 29, 2017 at 11:55 am

      If you are sitting at about 85% Critical Chance without Weapon Master than you are set. Anything lower than this and you may want to use Weapon Master / Destroyer combo instead. Wrathful Determination still apply the said bonus.

  • Profile photo of ScorZa
    January 23, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Hi i’m gonna buy t.vorpal in few days i’ve been wondering would it worth with 41.1 chance of critical strike ? (if so should i use weapon master class feature instead of wrathful determination for bit more dps with crits when i get t.vorpal? )

    • Profile photo of ScorZa
      January 23, 2017 at 10:14 am

      made a mistake by commenting similar things in 2 slots sry for it i’m newbie in site so i don’t know how to delete the other comment

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      January 29, 2017 at 11:57 am

      With 41%, you may want to hold off on Wrathful and use Weapon Master / Destroyer passives instead. You will get more out that setup until you get your crit higher.

  • jsinesiobh
    January 29, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Hello, I stopped playing in 2014 and now I will return, I have seen that the game has changed a lot. I would like to know the best compilation for PVP with GWF and the best incantations, so I buy the correct ones. I’m raising my character to level 70. I have a Human GWF. Congratulations for your work

    I’ll be waiting, thanks!

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 4, 2017 at 5:43 am

      This build is not really a PVP build and hasn’t really been tested in the PVP scene. However, given that you have the right amount of Tenacity and proper team setup, you can still do decently well. Don’t expect to ROFL stomp everybody, but you’ll dd OK vs. decently geared players. A Vanguard paragon GWF will still perform better in PVP.

  • January 30, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Switched to the build and I am enjoying it. I am 2.8K on PlayStation 4. I am still using the Fire Archon companion. My question is since we don’t have Loyal Avenger on 4, has anyone tried Will-O-Wisp companion? It has 2 Off and 1 Def for Bondings, and 3 rings. Active bonus is control and control resist and it stuns. It looks like a PVP companion, but has good slots.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 4, 2017 at 5:40 am

      Interesting that you mention Wisp. It’s been on my radar for awhile, but from the sounds of it, it can be a very useful companion. I haven used it yet, so is it a melee or range type companion?

  • Jahdr
    February 2, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Hey im following the guide step by step. Is doing great damage and is amazing, my question is: im currently using the dusk set (chest and feet) dowcraft clothes, and the sellet and arms, and ive got plenty of dragonflight fangs wirh me and in this guide u dont mention which one could be useful, i was trying to go for the dragonflight arms but it would break my set bonus. And the ones u mentioned above are the elemental ones which i cant craft yet. Which one u suggest i should change? Try to get two pieces of normal dragonflight or just keep using mine till i can craft the elemental?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 4, 2017 at 5:36 am

      The reason I have been using the three set Elemental Dragonflight and 1 piece Elemental Drowcraft is primarily because of the total stats that you get for running this particular setup. Many people that go for the Dusk set go for multiple reasons mainly because it is very cheap to get and offers a decent bonus. If you were to compare the setup I have vs. the Dusk set you would find that the Dusk set actually has less HP and less stats overall. One factor that is usually being missed by most is the conversion of Armor Penetration to Power. Never forget that as a GWF you have a unique advantage over other classes in that you receive 25% of Recovery and Armor Penetration as Power. In other words, an armor piece with 1k Armor Penetration gives you an extra 250 Power for free. While the common reasoning for Armor Penetration is that you should not have more than 60%, you should always think ahead and consider the extra free bonus that you get. One of the reason I am able to do what I do is because I take advantage of the bonuses that the class gets from Power, Recovery, and Armor Penetration.

      Given the situation you are in, I would still recommend getting the 3 piece Dragonflight and 1 piece Drowcraft until you can get yourself 3 pieces of Headman’s Vivified armor. and 1 piece of helm as Bloodsage Helm. This is the next meta build for this setup that will do well. Additionally, I’ve recently received the Bloodstained shirt from EGWD that is the new 150 ilvl shirt with an interesting bonus. I haven’t updated the guide with this info yet, but you know now what you will need to get next. Farming for the new armor will take you a month or more to get it and likely just as much to get it all upgraded.

      • Jahdr
        February 4, 2017 at 2:40 pm

        Okay thank you for letting me know. But bfw where do i get the other equipment that u mentioned? I know the headman axe i get then from the relics but are the other new ones? Sorry just wondering

        • Profile photo of RDeviant
          February 4, 2017 at 7:19 pm

          You get the armor from FBI dungeon. May take a good while for the right gear to drop, but you are looking for 3 pieces of Raid armor (Arms, Chest, Legs) and 1 piece Assault armor (Helm).

      • Gwen
        February 6, 2017 at 6:58 pm

        Hello again, I’m kind of in the same spot as Jahdr, thinking on how to upgrade armor, while grinding for ADs, which I need to upgrade companion, stones, enchantments. It’s a very slow process. But thanks to this build features, you almost can’t go wrong with armor. Currently I have 2 pieces of Dusk set and 2 of Drow set.

        For now, I think I’m low on crit (~40% crit chance). So I get all pieces that give me crit first. ArPen I got plenty from the mount bonus, so I tend to avoid it. Guild offense bonus is power (the other being defence). Armors have 2 stats, one primary, one secondary. So I choose the option that gives me crit, possibly primary. DF Assault Scalemail, for example (even if it has ArPen as secondary). Then I choose power. So it’s power + crit possibly. DF Raid Greaves are just perfect (pow primary, crit secondary). These are my first two upgrades. For head and arm gear, I have Drow (both crit primary, ArPen secondary). I’m not hard pressed in upgrading those. When I get another purple mount (possibly +2k defence) to replace the white tiger (-2k ArPen), I’ll switch to DF Assault Sallet (ArPen primary, crit secondary).

        Jahdr, your miliage may vary. But since almost all armor pieces come with bonuses in power, recovery, crit, or ArPen, and this build benefits from any of them, you hardly can go wrong if you upgrade. More stats is always good. Just keep an eye on what you need the most, when choosing among different sets (Assault or Raid). Also, if you’re around my item level (~2450), I think even recovery isn’t bad to have, ap gain and shorter rotations would help too (I chose crit over recovery, but again I don’t think there’s a “bad” choice here).

        BTW thanks again RDeviant for this build. Listening to veterans in my guild going thru combat logs with ACT after I came out first in damage in dgn run just to figure out “how” was just priceless. 🙂 That doesn’t happen often (of course there’s not magical way I can beat guys with 3500+ gear), but still. BTW, I scored 36% damage from sure strike, 36% from weapon master’s strike, 18% from hidden daggers. Not that it means anything, just a fun fact.

        • Jahdr
          February 6, 2017 at 11:22 pm

          Hehe yeah that have happened fo me already, been doing more damage than warlocks on my guild and other players too! I feel very confident with this build and also what i have those arw my stats with 2570 ilv:
          14k power
          9k crit strike (crit chance 44%, severity %100)
          6.6k ArPen
          2.2k recovery
          4.2k defense
          -64% resistance ignored
          +20.2% damage resis
          15% deflect

          Still work in progrss and looking forward to get my lostmauth set in epic (waist + neck)

          • Gwen
            February 14, 2017 at 6:55 pm

            I gave up on that (Lost set). It seems it has been obsoleted by Orcus’. I won’t spend a single AD in upgrading the set, I’d rather upgrade something else. Or buy and upgrade the wheel for example. Or the third bonding stone. Or all enchantments up one rank. 🙂

            2529 ilv

            95k HPs
            23k pow
            6,9k crit (41.3% – 92%sev)
            6.3k ArPen (-61%)
            723 recovery
            11.5k defence (38.3%)
            1717 deflect (20.8%)
            1500 LS

            w no buffs.
            Next on my list: upgrade the DC Sigil, then upgrade and replace def. enchantments from azure rank 7 to radiants rank 8. Offence slots from azure r7 to azure r8.

            BTW thanks RDeviant for the update.

        • Profile photo of RDeviant
          February 8, 2017 at 12:48 am

          I am glad that you are enjoying the build. I’ve finally obtained and vivified my three pieces of Raid Headsman gear and the results are great so far. It has been an expensive upgrade, but I think it is worth it in the long run. I’ve also obtained Bloodstained Shirt, which gives nearly 1k Life Steal and has an interesting equip power. Even though I don’t benefit much from the bonus, I do gain huge benefit from Life Steal, which is very hard to obtain without major loses. The new gear plus Bloodsage helm has given me an additional 10k HP and has rendered Crit at near max. This means that I will need to swift a few gear pieces to add extra power and other stats. I’ve also reached a point where I can do backwards stacking, which will provide me with an additional 3k Power through Assassins Covenant. I have alot of work cut out for me now, but the next big item to get is the Historian Regalia, which is basically the best chest piece in the game for GWF sitting at ilvl 160.

  • February 5, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    why you choosed in maze engine stamina instead of AP?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 12, 2017 at 1:25 am

      The stamina offers 10% faster regen while in battle, while the AP offers 3% overall. The extra 3% won’t make much of an impact to getting AP while the 10% more stamina offers more utility to move from pack to pack. Many forget that a GWF that uses Sprint will be immune to control effects and receive less damage from hard hitters. Fighting bosses or mobs that are fast will require you to move often and use up Sprint. This is one of the reasons Battlefury is so beneficial and extra stamina is always great.

  • February 5, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    Hey RD, Thank you very much for your guide! It has helped me alot but im still a fresh 70 at 1784 IL and wanted to ask where you think I should focus to build up faster. Campaigns? Dungeon Runs? I’m trying to get to 2-2.5k so I can start doing demogorgon and such. Can you help?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 12, 2017 at 1:35 am

      I know that running dungeons for 2-2.5k ilvl is not very pleasant so I’d recommend upgrading artifacts, enchants, and doing campaigns as much as possible. Campaigns are long-term investments that add alot to your character. Definitely get Dread Ring and Sharandar out of the way first as those seem to be the quickest. As for enchants, look for cheap R8’s that you can get a hold off and slot where you can. At the end of the day, a good companion and mounts will provide you with about 50% more stats and performance to your character. Run edemo when you can, but my recommendation is to run 2 dungeons and 2 skirmishes a day at least. For dungeons, run ETOS x2 as it guarantees you will get at least 1 epic at the end of the run worth about 6k AD. For skirmish, timewise run ESOT x2, that will provide you with extra AD as well as salvage and will not consume your keys. With recent changes, ESOT will provide you farm-able AD if you got the time. Forget about running every other dungeon unless you specifically need something from it like running EGWD for a new shirt or VT for Energon, etc.

      • February 17, 2017 at 6:51 pm

        TYVM, yeah I auction housed some stuff but mostly have draconic enchants but im slowly getting the savage and brutal ones. The Boons have helped alot, I just need the boons from Sharandar, finish Maze Engine, Dread Ring, and Underdark then I can take on Icewind Dale without getting roflstomped by the mobs.
        Here’s what I got currently, https://gyazo.com/33fbb60642526a8d59187ffbf1d9fb0a

        • Profile photo of RDeviant
          February 19, 2017 at 2:18 am

          Don’t forget to stack Life Steal where you can. You will notice quickly enough the kind of difference it makes to your survivability. For outside of dungeons look into getting 2 piece Dusk set, it will make your life so much easier. You can buy the pieces on AH or you can get VIP and get it through lockboxes. The set heals you about 3k every sec when you are outside running content. It’s a huge booster.

          • February 22, 2017 at 6:15 am

            Everything except Icewind & Storm Thunder is easy and i’m unkillable. Half the dungeons im unkillable in too. Then it goes to instant dead LOL odd but funny. Yeah now that nDemo is always available ill be runnin that non-stop Maybe some Tiamet too idk. That will help with the set pieces quicker.

          • Gwen
            February 22, 2017 at 11:58 am

            I don’t think you can get Dusk pieces from AH. It’s tarmalune shop only.

            My current setup is:
            Drow Sallet (+10% res. vs Demon type)
            Dragonflight Assault Scalemail (no bonus)
            Dusk Assault Vambraces (regen bonus)
            Dusk Raid Greaves (+5000 HP, +1000 power, +1000 defence bonus)

            I have also a spare Drowcraft Scalemail (I thinking of using it for demogorgon only).

            Since recently I started running ndemo and CN, and plan running edemo, I find I’m not compelled to upgrade. Actually I feel kinda stuck. +10% res is equivalent to more than 4k defence. I’m not sure but looks like many mobs are of the demon type in n/edemo and CN. The 2x dusk bonus is damn good, IMHO. At just short of 100k HP, +5k HP is more than +5%. That alone is a bonus hard to pass on.

            Upgrading everything to DF would give me better stats, but bonus-wise, I’d get -10% res vs. Demons, -500 power, -1000 defence, -3000 HP, which kinda nullifies the stats increase.

            So, getting the gear RDeviant mentioned is the plan in the long run, but on short term I’m not sure.

  • February 9, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    What reinforcements do you use on your armor and jewelry?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 12, 2017 at 1:40 am

      For jewelry I use Major Action point Gain kits. For Armor I use Major Critical Strike on all parts. With new armor, there is no more crit stacking required once Mod 11 drops.

  • Jesuss
    February 11, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Any news on a new companion? I’m struggling to choose which one to use!?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 16, 2017 at 3:59 am

      At this point in time I will say that you should aim for a companion that is ranged and has 2 Offensive and 1 defensive slot. What stats the companion has or what active bonus it has also don’t really matter much. I have Loyal Avenger gear on my Warlock and he has it in Talisman x 2, and 1 Ring setup. There are very few alternatives with that setup that are actually better than what I have and so I will wait till more companions are introduced or new companion gear comes out. I will not settle for anything less than Loyal Avenger gear so for now I’m sticking with my Zhenthim Warlock even though the bonus sucks.

  • Fighter
    February 12, 2017 at 6:11 am

    Which companion should I use? I’m on PS4 and struggling to choose? Please help!

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 16, 2017 at 4:02 am

      Pick any companion that is ranged and has 2 Offensive and 1 Defensive slot. I’ve narrowed down at least that the ranged proc your bonding much better overall especially if you are melee. I’ve tested Con Artist on my DC and lets just say that other than Bosses, the proc rate is horrible.

  • Profile photo of Matt
    February 17, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Hi RDeviant, loving the guide but have 2 small questions regarding Companions and Mounts…
    Out of the mounts you list (the ones easiest for me to get) Guard Drake (Power), White Tiger (Armour) and the Giant Crab (Defense), would I select the Drake if I want to be a bit more offensive and the Tiger or Crab if I wanted to be more tanky?
    As for companions your summary is basically as long as they are ranged with 2 offense and 1 defensive slots whatever other bonuses they have comes down to what I prefer personally?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 19, 2017 at 2:04 am

      Hey Matt,

      The mounts that I have listed are ones that have Protector’s Camaraderie or Protector’s Friendship as their insignia bonus. Which one you choose as your primary mount is completely upto you. If you are seeking to achieve the mount bonuses for getting extra 20+% Power and Defense than you will want to obtain some or all of the mounts that I have in my setup. If you are just starting out and looking for something temporary than any of the mounts will work for you.

      As for companions, a ranged companion with 2 Offense and 1 Defense will do just fine. Keep in-mind that most enemies in Neverwinter have 15% armor penetration. This is partially why stacking defense is so important as a way to counter this debuff.

  • ScorZa
    February 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I have to ask one more thing for mod 11. Which enchant you would prefer with the buffs other than vorpal ? cause i just personally don’t like it and if you can tell me an alternative i would be appreciated.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 18, 2017 at 1:10 am

      I tested out both Trans Flaming and Trans Lighting while I was on a test server. Both do significant damage after update, but I think Flaming might be more overall damage because it does a DOT and critical damage. Lightning on the other hand does not crit but it has a ridiculously far range for hitting targets. I think Lightning enchant is bugged so likely it will do more damage than Flaming. However, my Flaming ticks were about 6-10k DOT ticks per target. I should’ve run ACT to really test things, but I was testing something else at the time. With that said, Feytouched got a buff too, which can actually be much better than it currently is.

      • ScorZa
        February 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

        ok so i do have lightning atm i can look for fey and flame too after mod 11 patch thanks for answering 🙂

  • Graunarim
    February 17, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Hi RDeviant, I am running with my twisted weapon and Orcus set, I was too lazy to farm for the Storm Kings set.
    In mod.11 new weapon sets are comming, Which one do you recommend?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      February 18, 2017 at 1:12 am

      Relic weapons are still BIS, but I would look into the illusionist weapons as those seems very interesting to me. Usually stuff that is the weirdest or unknown is the one that’s most broken, so we’ll see.

  • February 28, 2017 at 5:54 am

    RDeviant, great build, I was working off of Lia Knowles build, but I feel like my character is too spongey and loses health too quickly, I like the sound of your profile, so I was wondering, on one screenshot it says you have Bravery active, but then you mention Wrathful Determination.. what should I go for?

    Cheers for all your help and thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      March 1, 2017 at 5:03 am

      At endgame you want to use Destroyer and Wrathful Determination, but if you have less than 85% Critical Chance after full procs of bondings than you will benefit more from using Weapon Master and Destroyer actives.

  • Profile photo of HesitantComment
    March 3, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Hi, I’m a really new player (couple weeks, just made my first 100K AD,) with a lvl 65 GWF. I was origionally working off a IBS build, but it’s too squishy and too slow (as in, long wind-up time, like you said) for my liking. I’m going to reset and aim more for your build. If you have a moment, I had a few questions.

    On stats as I level:
    I know you’ve already said to emphasize power, crit, and ArmPen in another reply, which fits my current build, but to what extent should I emphasize life steal, defense, and hit points as I level? And good rules of thumb so I can re-balance properly and don’t become unbalanced as I improve?

    On companions:
    I know you said on another post that Zhentarim Warlock isn’t ideal, and that starting now you’d pick another. The criteria you’ve mentioned so far is Ranged, 2 offence 1 defense, short cool down, and ring equipment slots. Problem is, since I’m so new, I’m not sure what companions fit that description. As you said, it’s expensive to level a companion up, so I want to chose right. Any suggestions? Any word on if Willow ‘o Wisp is ranged?

    On mounts:
    To clarify, I can use any mounts in my stable as long as they can gain the insignia bonus? So I can get a beetle for my main and cheaper ones for my stable?

    Finally, any advice I’m not thinking to ask?

    Thanks for your time, and the build; the whole thing as been very informative.

    • Gwen
      March 7, 2017 at 12:37 am

      Beware that on mod 11 underdark rings no longer work on companions.

      On mounts: you can choose the mount you want as your current one, and still activate bonuses from another active one. For example I use a winter wolf w ArP and speed bonus from a white tiger I have in my stables. Of course blue+ ones provide 3 slots instead of 2. BTW, there are quite a few bonuses that are useful. The 2nd Protector’s Camaraderie gives you only +0.5% power, that depends on how much power you have to be useful. At low levels, I’d choose another bonus. E.g. I have 23k power cold. 0.5% is just 115 power. I find Assassin’s Covenant might be better for me.

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      March 9, 2017 at 3:16 am

      For stats balances, I would refer to the images I have in my guide to see the “target” stats you want to get. With that said, I played majority of my time with about 3k Life Steal. That’s basically around 11.2%, which is very little and is on the boundary between life and death. The only reason that amount os viable is because of how much DR and HP I have as well as how quickly I attack. In addition to that, your Incoming Healing Bonus also plays a huge role here as it provides you an increased amount of heal from Life Steal heals. I get around 30% more Life Steal healing added to the damage I deal. So if I hit something for 100k and Life Steal activates, I heal myself for 130k instead of 100k. Majority of the player base in Neverwinter undervalue the importance and benefit of Incoming Healing Bonus. This means that my Life Steal has to activate only once to completely heal me as compared to other classes that need multiple activation to heal to max.

      For companions, I would just go with any ranged companion based on criteria that I listed to Russell’s comment. However, the most common companion right now is Fire Archon. I personally currently use Zhentrim Warlock. I do caution you that Fire Archon may see a nerf coming at some point, but otherwise it is not bad.

      For mounts, you can use any mount you want for visual appearance and choose different powers to use if you got multiple. I’d say get to 3k however you want, but once you get to a point where things start to get more expensive than pay closer attention to this guide. The most important part in this guide is not the gear, but the playstyle and how you utilize your character.

  • ScorZa
    March 5, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    RDeviant i gotta ask something about negation i bought the t.negation few days ago it says 3% res in 1 stack but it give 0.3 which means i get 3% res 10% incoming heal 10% recovery at 10 stack so is it bugged and what would you use if it wasn’t negation cause of that

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      March 8, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      As far as I know, Negation gives 30% DR on a secondary resistance layer. You don’t see the difference in DR on your character sheet, but it does affect it just like Vorpal does. However, the effects to 10% Incoming Healing and 10% to Recovery do apply.

  • March 5, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Hi, this is a great layout and have been following. The only problem is i dont know how to get to the armour you are using. My ILVL is low so i cannot do FBI and get the vivified stuff, and am unsure of what steps i should take to get there. MOD 10 is pretty hard and im finding it hard to play solo, any advice on what i should do to make my life easier in bryn sharander etc and to reach your gear would help so much

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      March 8, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      I would recommend you use 2 piece Dusk Armor and 2 piece Drowcraft Armor in your case. You can get Dusk Armor very easy either through Trade Bar Store or but Dusk parts from AH. As for Drowcraft Armor, you can get them in the Underdark map by farming Edemo. This should be a quick ride for you to get this setup.

  • Profile photo of Russell O'Keefe
    March 8, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I have been following this build since I started my GWF and am now at 2760 ilvl. I am stuck with which summoned companion to use. I have been using Lillend for awhile up until I got some mounts which can have protectors camaraderie. I am not looking for a better companion and was going to use Con Artist but want ranged rather than melee. Would Renegade Illusionist be suitable? It has 2 x offence and 1 x defence and also has 2 ring slots and a neck slot. Its main attack has a cooldown of 1.5 seconds. Should I level this companion up and use it or look for something else?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      March 9, 2017 at 3:00 am

      I would look into a different companion that has an attack speed of 1 sec. At the end of the day, the important factors on a companion that you want to aim for are several things:

      – HP: Make sure that the companion you are getting has 29k+ HP as you will transfer 15% of that amount to yourself when you upgrade it to Legendary. I am not sure if all companions have 29k at Legendary, but it is something I would look into.
      – STATS: You need to pick your battles with this aspect of the companion and see what is valued more to you that your companion has between Stats, Slots, Active Ability, and Companion Attack Ability. Ideally, you want to have Power, Critical Strike, and Armor Penetration as companion stats that increase as you level. You can also go with Power, Critical Strike, and Recovery.
      – ACTIVE ABILITY: This is the most controversial aspect of a companion that is make or break for most people. However, it is not the most important aspect as there is more to the companion than just what it offers as an active. A good chunk of your power depends on how fast your companion activates bondings. So if it is slow, or takes a long time to get to target you are losing more DPS than what most active abilities offer. Consider active ability as a bonus and not the sole deciding factor in choosing your companion. It’s one of the reasons why I still run Zhentrim Warlock and not something else as losing in one areas of the companion does not cripple it’s overall performance.
      – COMPANION ATTACK SPEED: The most important aspect of a companion that determines how quickly you can get your bonding buffs. I would aim for a companion that has attack speed no slower than 1 sec.
      – COMPANION TYPE: Recommended type would be range because you have about 60-80m range that a range companion has on you before you can attack. This means that a range companion can spot an enemy far away and start attacking early on without having the need to get close to enemies and then activate bondings. On average battles lasts 7-10 sec, so every second counts. Melee companion such as Con Artists are great mostly on melee characters or a DC that is not concerned with DPS, but does want the party to gain significant debuffs. Ex: I run Con Artist on my DC as I don’t really care for DPS on DC, but I do provide crazy debuffs.
      – COMPANION RUNE SLOTS: Ideally, you want 2 Offensive and 1 Defensive slot. However, you are free to choose to go with all Offensive if you feel that you don’t need all that defense. I currently get close to 90k Power without any potions or additional buffs and it is definitely enough for me. I generally aim to cover all bases before considering to invest into a single stat even though it looks great on paper.

      • Russell O'Keefe
        March 9, 2017 at 3:08 am

        Thanks for the info. I dont know much about companions so I had better start researching. Any suggestions on what you would pick now if you had to choose another companion?

        • Profile photo of RDeviant
          March 9, 2017 at 3:23 am

          I would say either Air Archon or Fire Archon. Even though Air Archon is melee, I see many GWF’s use as primary. I haven’t tested it out to place a verdict, but it’s on my list to look into. As for Fire Archon, it’s a sure thing that it does well. At that point it’s a matter of preference between Damage or Defense. I’d say that Zhentrim Warlock and Fire Archon are decent options with Air Archon in the “maybe” zone.

          • Russell O'Keefe
            March 9, 2017 at 3:36 am

            Cool I might just go with the Zhentarim Warlock for now as I managed to pull a few out of starlight parcels during the winter festival. With the Fire Archon from what I can see its attack cooldown is 2 seconds. The Zhentarim Warlock seems to have no cooldown at all on one of its attacks.

  • Russell O'Keefe
    March 9, 2017 at 9:25 am

    So aftee having a second look the Renegade Illusionist has a 1 second cooldown on main attack and an 80′ range. It has over 25k HP at green so it should have over 29k at legendary. Active is crappy with life steal and deflect but I like the idea of 2 rings and a neck. Now to level it up and see how it goes.

  • Trent
    March 9, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Back to the mighty blade comment again. As someone above pointed out the fabricant did post that most of the abilities do not count as aoe, the only one in this build that counts would be Slam. Has this changed, or if this is correct would you change those five points?

  • Russell O'Keefe
    March 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    RDeviant, I have one more question. I am currently working towards getting higher level enchants, bondings, and farming lanolin to get my relic boots to begin running FBI for the rest of the relic set. My Armor Pen unbuffed is currently around 3700 and when buffed with bondings etc it is only going up to around 5500. Where is all your ArPen coming from in your buffed stats? I have noticed now that I am regularly running CN that especially on the second boss I am only hitting for 10-20K damage and lucky to crit over 40K with a couple of crits going as high as 200K. On other bosses and mobs its not uncommon for my crits to get up to around 600-900K. Do you think this might be an issue with my resistance ignored?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      March 10, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      I am sitting around 3k Armor Penetration on my GWF as base stat. I am getting the rest through Loyal Avenger companion gear, which gives me about 4k more Armor Penetration. Since you only need 6k, in your case having 5.5k is not an issue, so I think your problem might just be the amount of Power you have as well as what buffs your team is using. In a dungeon like CN or FBI, buffs matter alot to really improve your performance, especially if you have close to 100% Critical Chance.

      • Russell O'Keefe
        March 10, 2017 at 10:23 pm

        Thanks for the reply. My unbuffed power is at around 15K and crit is around 10K. When buffed by my own buffs/bondings power is around 27-30K and crit is around 15-17K. I did notice that the CN runs where I was hitting a lot softer the whole run seemed to take a lot longer than normal also so maybe it was an issue with the DC we had. Going from 2.5K ilvl to 2.8K ilvl I have noticed I am now a lot less squishy (except for when a tank cant hold aggro and Orcus smacks me on the head). Now I think I need to work on leveling another companion and getting rid of Lillend as it is bugged and wont proc either of the protectors mount buffs. I need to keep wanderers fortune as the RP is greatly needed at the moment but I ideally want 3xprotectors camaraderie and 1 protectors friendship. I must say the last week or so in game has been great and allowed me to show alliance members that this build does do well. I am finally getting into CN groups and STK HE farming groups easily. Now to grind out that shard of orcus wand. In the last 10 CN runs I have managed to bag 3 legendary rings including a ring of sudden lifesteal +5 and I also managed to get the bloodlords visage helm. I have seen at least 7 orcus shards drop over those 10 runs but none for me yet.

        • Profile photo of RDeviant
          March 11, 2017 at 12:23 am

          From the information you have provided it seems that the issues you are having is more than just your gear. I am not sure what rank you guild is or how connected you are to the members, but having a guild that is as high as possible is quite a big advantage and a serious boost to your character. Secondly, I think you can get better use of your time by farming a ETOS x 2 and ESOT/KR x 2 as it is more efficient time-wise and provides consistent AD for you. The shard tends to drop when you least expect it. I’ve gotten 2 Shards over all my run in CN and I would’ve bought it had it not been 3.7 Mill at the time. Nowadays, the price tag on it is much smaller, closer to 1 Mill or less. I’d say use your time efficiently and make AD to buy the things you need vs. run dungeons based on luck. The RNG in Neverwinter is the shitiest I’ve ever seen in any game to a point that it is not really worth farming any dungeon for a drop, but instead farm items for speed. If you got the time, I’d recommend making a few more characters and instead of running CN just do the dailies on them for salvage and run Non Epic Dungeons. As for the set, Orcus is endgame, which gives the highest benefit to you when everything else works as it should. If you feel that it is expensive, go for Lostmoth Set first as that is the set I had before. It is comparable to Orcus Set especially if you are no BIS just yet. It’s cheap and effective. Save AD and obtain the gear as you go along without spend much to obtain it.

          • Russell O'Keefe
            March 11, 2017 at 2:22 am

            Cool thanks again for the info. My guild isnt the greatest but my alliance is awesome. We only have one guild boon and it is the level 1 hp boon. Changing guilds is something I have been thinking about quite a bit. As for the shard of orcus, I am on PS4 and it was sitting at around 1.2 million ad for about a month. I farmed the ad in 5 days and the price instantly jumped to 1.6 million ad and hasnt dropped again. I used my ad to buy negation and vorpal enchants and also to upgrade some enchants during 2xRP. I guess I need to spend another week avoiding dailies and farming ad. I am working on SKT, DR and ME campaigns at the moment so I dont have heaps of campaign boons either. Progress has been slow for me with this build but its definitely starting to pay off. Today I was critting for 1.2 million whilst unstoppable and thats a lot better than the 700k I was managing a week ago. Brutal and savage enchants have also been chewing up my ad quickly.

  • March 12, 2017 at 12:57 am

    Hi i have a GWF 2,4k gs and I buy Zhentarim Warlock today actually I use Goat on Epic lvl but Blue lvl Warlock cost 8k of AD you use a Warlock so I buy him Gateway is closed What items I must buy for him I’m not rich so I looking for someting cheap from Gateway items I have only Belt (On Goat)
    I have a Water Archon on Epic lvl I can use him?

  • ScorZa
    March 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    I didn’t see the off-hand artifact bonus which one do we use for this build ?

  • Blob
    March 20, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Hello RDeviant, thank you very much for this guide. I just have a question, I can almost buy the mod 11 weapons, in the meantime I get the SKT one, which set would you recommand? Aboleth or Lifeforge?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      March 21, 2017 at 4:05 am

      I would say Mirage or Aboleth seems interesting, but since I got neither it’s hard to say how good they are in practice. Lifeforged on the other hand is not bad, but hard to utilize it since it was nerfed already from what it was before. In it’s current state, it only makes sense to go for it if you got 30k Defense or more already since that will give you about 7.5% more damage every 20 sec. So someone like me can actually benefit from it, but I honestly have no reason to switch now from the Relic that I got. True that with the gameplay style of this guide you will rarely utilize the Damage bonus, but the added speed and healing that the Relic provides does make up for it somewhat. So, if you don’t have Relic weapons at legendary, or simply want to switch, make sure you got lots of Defense, otherwise go for the others I mentioned.

  • Gwen
    March 20, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Hi RDeviant, what do you think of Makos as summoned companion?

    • Profile photo of RDeviant
      March 21, 2017 at 4:08 am

      I took a look at it and I think it’s an ok companion to use, but not really that efficient. The 300 Defense bonus on it is just as bad as Zhentim Warlock, so I would likely go with either Fire Archon or Air Archon. I’m currently still testing the Air Archon as my concern is the proc rate when I’m moving.

      • Gwen
        March 21, 2017 at 4:10 pm

        Thank you for your answer! I dropped one (account-bound, purple) so i think i will use it instead of the blue warlock is have currently (saving one upgrade – basicly he’s the male version of the warlock). But isn’t proc rate no longer an issue? I thought that companions now proc all stones together no matter what they do as long as they do something in battle. Or is it for Protector’s Comradarie and Friendship?

        How’s the 3-offence slots setup on the archon doing compared to 2-off/1-def you have on the warlock?

        BTW, I believe a lot will change with the availability of loadouts. Expecially if you don’t have a fully developed char yet. By switching gear sets and SH bonuses you’ll have a lot of flexibility, and you can adapt to the content you’re going to face. I have no idea how they’ll implement it, but it looks great (fingers crossed).

        • Profile photo of RDeviant
          March 21, 2017 at 11:59 pm

          As I was saying before, you want a companion that is ranged because you as GWF will be rushing to mobs and attacking them first. Having Ranged companion means that your companion does not have to be in close proximity to attack mobs resulting in faster activation of bonding stones. With melee companions, it’s difference since they have to physically touch or attack enemies to activate your bonding stones. There are some exceptions to melee companions where some tend to teleport or warp closer to enemies. It seems that Air Archon is one of those melee companions that tends to appear at mob location. This particular functionality is rare and doesn’t happen with all melee companions, which is why it is a commonly used companion next to Fire Archon. Since this build is all about speed and movement I’m testing how Air Archon performs with my particular playstyle.

          The extra offense provides about 6.3% more Damage or 6.3% more Defense depending on which option you choose. Keep in-mind that going with defense, you will gain 6.3% DR and 1.26% Damage.

          I wouldn’t have high hopes for loadouts if I were you. I already saw what they planned on doing on the test server and it seems you will have to pay for most of it like everything else. I do like the ability to change preset skills in your bar and also having multiple profiles for Powers and Feats but beyond that, you will still need proper gear and playstyle.

  • Profile photo of RDeviant
    March 22, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Guide has been updated with two additional sections added at the bottom of the guide.

  • ScorZa
    March 25, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Have you heard the news in new mod 11b we will have boons,mounts,insignias (bonus as well),companions and bondings will give ilvl like enchantments do

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