New PvP season means a new PvP build! For people who remember, there was a time when Warriors sucked in PvP. They were bursty at times, but had no defensive power, meaning they were literally the first thing you killed in a fight. Well bad war no more! Some defensive buffs occurred I think a few months ago, and now they're really quite tough, and have a couple of options available. There's a bit of condi war out there, but today I'm gonna talk about the build I'm using, a pretty bursty straight up DPS melee build.
Starting on Page 1 is the weapons and utilities. We're going full melee, so GS and Mace/Shield are your weapons. GS is a solid dps choice, giving you great damage with skill 2, and great mobility with 3 and 5. 4 is your only ranged skill, which sucks, but can be used to lessen the gap between yourself and your prey. Both your burst and your rage burst are great skills, giving you fury or doing amazing aoe damage, especially when the target is below 50%. For your alt set, you got lots of defensive skills. Mace main hand gives you ok dps and a weakness on the third auto chain, a block with skill 2, and a nice daze for 3. Shield gives you another stun, and your skill 5 for vital defensive needs. Your regular burst is a brutal 3 second stun, but you're usually raging, which gives some decent condis and a small daze. You want to be weapon swapping as much as you can, especially in the current meta. This will be more clear when we go over traits, but for now you got some nice sigils which proc on your weapon swaps, so you want to be gaining those benefits as much as possible.
Utilities we got healing signet (this is not necessarily the best one, but I like it.) Berserker stance is your lifeline for condi. This is for when you're entering those team fights against necros, condi thieves, condi spam mesmers, and the oddball condi war. Endure Pain is an obvious choice, giving you flat invulnerability to regular damage - save this for your bursty enemies, rather than the condi ones. Of course, there's times when you gotta double up on the stances, but you're pretty well protected with the both of them. Third utility is my favorite, the unexpected Wild Blow. This is a great launch skill, useful for butting a downed enemy off the point so you can watch them bleed out while you cap (or decap). It's also helpful when you're in a team fight, and someone's rezzing a downed enemy. Just slam that helpful soul into another dimension, and continue dps'ing! Elite is Headbutt, which for the most part is your entrance into a battle. On a hit, it immediately fills up your rage bar, letting you primal rage at the start of a fight. Try to get rid of stacks of stability first, as the extra stun time will not take effect. Most importantly, do not headbutt if they have aegis! You will not get the adrenaline bar boost, and the enemy will not be stunned, meaning a lose-lose. This is also another method of interrupting pesky rezzers.
Before we get into traits, I'll go over some more basic strategies to playing this. Like I said, start off fights with your Headbutt. It's got a pretty good cd time, so you can usually have it up by the next skirmish. Although it leaves you stunned for a second or so, it'll leave your opponent stunned longer, and you can stun break yourself with your f2 (rage). Be careful, as raging will be traited so you taunt your foe, meaning their stun will also be removed. You'll want to be using your primal bursts as much as possible, so weapon swap when you can, and f1 when you can. Your mace set will be amazing at interrupting the enemy, while your gs set will be good at dealing with multiple baddies. GS is your mobility set, allowing you to fly to wherever you need to get. If you're getting pelted by dumb sniper rangers, pull out your shield and watch as they get pelted right back. This will give you about a 3 second reprieve from most damage, although some Necros and some Guardians have unblockable skills. Your 2 on mace will also be a limited reflecter. In melee, it'll be more of a parry, allowing you to block an attack and then countering. In range, however, it will function as a limited reflecter, useful if your shield 5 is on cd. Use stances as necessary, and Wild Blow when you need a good interrupt.
Checking out Traits now, we're in the Defense, Discipline, and Berserker lines. Defense is what gives the Warrior some play time in PvP. Starting in Defense, your minors are pretty self-explanatory. First one gives you more defense while above 75%, and third one will give you retribution and some more defense. Your 2nd minor is a small heal when you burst, which is one of the many reasons why you wanna be using F1 as much as possible. Shield Master gives you the blocking reflects, but also gives you might when you block a hit. This can proc multiple times, so even if you're not facing a ranged enemy you can get some mileage from this skill. Defy Pain is another free Endure Pain, activating on its own. Last Stand is a useful trait when trying to stomp a downed enemy. Most have an interrupt on their skill 2, which will be nullified by Last Stand if you time it right. It also increases the effectiveness of your stances, meaning your 2 utilities AND your Defy Pain trait will be improved.
In Discipline we're getting a lot of weapon swapping utility from the minors. Faster weapon swap cd, adrenaline on weapon swap, AND might on weapon swap. Just as you should be using your F1 ASAP, so should you be Weapon Swapping. The middle trait will also effect your weapon swap, clearing a condition each time you do so. Apart from Berserker Stance and not being hit by condis in the first place, weapon swapping is your best bet against fighting condition heavy foes. Your first major trait here means you run faster ALWAYS, as both sets are melee. However, it will also save you from immobilize, as your GS has two movement skills which will break you from immob. Your Mace Primal Burst will also free you from immob, but this is less reliable. The Grandmaster trait is my preferred, refunding some adrenaline, and increasing your burst damage (which you should be doing like crazy anyway). However, it might be viable and worth trying out Heightened Focus, as this will really make you deadly when the opponent is below 50%. 4s of quickness means even faster GS skill 2, which can deal insane amounts of damage on a still opponent. 15s cooldown on that proc isn't too bad either.
Lastly Berserker line. Your minors are pretty boring, but helpful, giving you more base damage and a couple boons. Smash Brawler means you can enter rage sooner, AND your bursts are faster recharging, so you can do what I keep telling you to! Blood Reaction is a pretty basic dps trait, giving you more crit damage (Wild Blow is a guaranteed crit). Some people use Dead or Alive, but I find it too unreliable to take. Only 5k health, AND you have to be raging, AND it has a 30 second cooldown. If you're in a situation where it procs, you're likely to die anyway, so I'd rather have more dps to see if I can just outkill whatever I'm fighting. Bloody Roar is the taunt I was talking about earlier. It's a bit of a double edged sword, as you'll basically be increasing the damage on yourself, as you're breaking their stun to have them fight you. However, if they're someone with lots of Stability, you'll have another way to remove a stack of it, AND your damage is increased while raging. The other two grandmasters are worth experimenting with, if you're not feeling the taunt. King of Fires is more fit for a condi build, but it will have effects with the build you're running, as you have 2 Berserker skills to proc the fire aura, and free fire auras for critting isn't bad. Eternal Champion is ok, giving you stability while raging, but tbh not too many builds will have a lot of control skills anyway. The might and stability on stun break will function minimally with the build, as you have a stun break with F2 and a traited stun break. Again, it's up to you, but my favorite is Bloody Roar.
Last little things, you got Dolyak runes for more toughness and vitality, and more passive healing. You will have massive amounts of damage going out, so every little place you can make room for defensive stuff is good. Hence the Marauder Amulet over something like Berserkers or Assassins. Since we're weapon swapping so much, I figure why not have weapon swap sigils? More Might, more healing, more crits, and more energy (for when you just have no defense left).
But that's pretty much it! Let me know if you try it, and let me know if you need help with it! I've been using this a few weeks before Season 5, and currently during season 5, and not to toot my own horn, I am a Plat rank with a win ratio of about 75%. So it's verified to be at least passable for a build, but in the end, every build must be customized to the person playing, so I encourage you to check it out and make adjustments as needed! See you all in-game, and happy hunting :D