Warrior Tips: Achieving High Critical Rate Without the Signet Build

I tested out my endgame warrior build in Guild Wars 2 today in WvW. I had 97% critical rate with 110% critical damage the entire time and managed to pull off an 11,000 damage Eviscerate critical hit on a champion keep lord.

Most people will tell you that using the adept Arms trait Deep Strikes which gives bonus precision per unused signet equipped and five signets, altogether known as the signet build,  is the best way to get high precision  (which translates to high critical rate) in PVE. However, the signet build starts losing its effectiveness as your warrior increases in level because more precision is needed to gain 1% critical rate the higher your level. So while you may rely on the signet build to get 80%+ critical rate at levels below 20, maintaining this build at level 80 will get you 50% critical rate at most. Furthermore, having five signets does not benefit your party or allies, therefore you become more less useful in dungeons, group events and WvW.

Here are some ways to get a near perfect critical rate while making yourself a better team asset.

  • Keep the boon Fury (+20% critical rate) up as much of the time as possible. There are many ways to do this, including:
  1. Dual Strike (fourth skill if using axe as offhand weapon). This skill has a short cooldown and grants 3 seconds of Fury if it hits a target. The master Discipline trait Sharpened Axes reduces axe skill cooldowns by 20%, effectively letting you gain Fury for 3 seconds every 9.5 seconds.
  2. For Great Justice. This shout grants three stacks of Might for 25 seconds and Fury for 8 seconds to you and your allies! Not only are you boosting your own critical rate, but your allies as well, thus increasing your party’s overall damage output. For Great Justice has a relatively short cooldown (25 seconds) for such a great skill and should be the first utility skill warriors unlock. Note, you can effectively upkeep Might at all times since the boon duration is the same as the skill cooldown.
  3. Signet of Rage, an elite skill. Yes, this is a signet but we’re interested in the active ability here. Activating Signet of Rage grants you Might, Swiftness and Fury for THIRTY SECONDS. With a cooldown of one minute, you can have Fury up half the time just by using this elite skill alone. You can further reduce this cooldown with the adept Discipline trait Signet Mastery (20% lower signet cooldowns).
  4. Banner of Discipline. This banner grants 170 precision and 15% extra critical damage to a wide area. Perfect for use in situations where you have many allies like WvW. The banner is an interactable object and cannot be destroyed. When picked up and used as a weapon, its third skill lets you grant 10 seconds of Fury to a wide area!

Of course, having at least rare Berserker gear is recommended to achieve at least base 55% critical rate without the above methods. Using several of these methods at the same time, it is not difficult to maintain Fury almost all the time. Plus, you will be a huge team asset since everyone likes boons.

To further improve your damage, try increasing power and critical damage. Rune sets like Superior Sigil of the Eagle increase your precision as well as critical damage. Use sigils like Superior Sigil of Accuracy (+5% critical rate) and Superior Sigil of Force (+5% damage). An alterantive sigil to improve critical rate is Superior Sigil of Perception, which gives you 10 precision every time you kill a foe up to 25 stacks for a maximum precision bonus of 250 (which translates to 11.8% critical rate). However, the downside to this sigil is that you lose all the stacks whenever you are downed, which happens a lot in WvW and dungeons. Also you have to rebuild the stacks every time you switch zones, which can be a bit tedious for some people. Nevertheless, it is a cheaper alternative to Superior Sigil of Accuracy.

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