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My Firebrand build and how to improve it maybe?

Xelara.9132Xelara.9132 Member ✭✭
edited May 15, 2020 in Guardian

Hello guys,

I have recently tried again Firebrand after over a year playing Dragonhunter only (at least when it come to Guardian; I did play other classes as well).

Here is my current build:

http://gw2skills.net/editor/?PWABs6d3lRweYTMMGJO6P7PVA-zRhYBRLtSMEFzICgD+UKQEEoQICFQ6SAFPL9JuB-e

The stats seem a bit wrong though, my crit chance is higher even without food. Here is my stats without any food or buff effect one time with scepter and one time with axe:

The idea behind this build is basically as dps and buffer. I do not own legendary gear so I have to compromise with sets and make something that works for most circumstances. I do however have extra set of accessories with berserk stats for my dragonhunter setup and I made a healing armour set as well (Power, healing, concentration) but found out that healing doesn't suit me very well. The concentration seems to be about right for my purposes. Main focus is Quickness but also Might, Fury, Retaliation, Protection and Stability. So I figured that is about the best compromise when it comes to sacrificing dmg vs boon duration. Therefore armour and weapon with dps stats.

There is some meta-builds out there which I studied. However here is why I didnt chose the Firebrand meta-build: I would lose either shield or focus skills if I used the Greatsword. And I really like the axe skills with its pull and the symbol number 2 skill. Also the attacks are so much faster than the slow greatsword. I can move much more the way I want and still deal decent damage. And when it comes to the directional buffs it is easier to manage than with the greatsword whirling around in every direction. Therefore I opted for the axe instead and make use of as well focus and shield as well.
Axe seems to be direct damage as well as condition dmg. As I do not own condition set I opted for berserk. The meta-axe builds focus mostly on condition dmg. However I know how condition dmg works from my scourge and I really enjoy the direct damage from the axe, everything dies so fast. My feeling is it works great, recently I ran T4 dailys with it and also some strike missions. What do you think about Berserk build with axe? Am I doing it wrong?
My biggest concern is the viper stats on my axe. I made this one long time ago and I am not sure if I should maybe change. However I tried to make use of the condition damage of the axe skills at least a little bit by the use of the trait Kindled Zeal and add food with power and condition dmg. The Might-buff helps here as well, therefore I achieve quite some condition damage with this setup of gears, traits and buffs. The expertise however is probably useless with only the one piece of gear with that stat.. .
Also I didn't opt for Radiance as in the Meta-Build for Quickness-Firebrand. Instead I chose Valor. The reason for me was, that it seemed to me the only reason why the meta-build requires you to use Radiance is the sharing of the Power signet and I felt the other traits rather negligible or useless in that build. Even that the Power signet shares with allies only when activated "even then adds "only" 180 Power which is in a berserk build just over 5% of overall power. And I would sacrifice alot of other traits. In particular the cd reduction on focus skills and the "Strength in Numbers" trait and some buffs. That is why I chose Valor.

So in particular I am thinking to change my weapons, maybe the viper from the axe and also the sigils, maybe add another boon duration. or something but I am unsure about those. Or maybe try to achieve more expertise/condition duration? What do you think on my weapons, what should I do about those?

Also about the build in general and direct damage build on axe instead of condition? Any thoughts on that? It seems to be working quite good from my experience so far... .

Comments

  • Xelara.9132Xelara.9132 Member ✭✭
    edited May 15, 2020

    So I made a little calculation in search for the best build and I compared Viper vs Berserker stats for the full set (armour, weapon and trinkets) and compared what the build editor gave me as skill-dmg. The build editor gives me weird numbers for my crit chance, they are much lower than they should be in reality as I noticed on my own setup earlier. So I assumed 80% crit chance for Berserker (with food and fury for most of the fights) and 60% for Viper Set, which should be about right. The difference in Crit Chance was more or less 20% on the editor so that should be correct. Here is what came out:

                            Berserker                   Viper
    

    Skill 1 : 165708 |><| 136481
    Skill 2 : 912920 |><| 821652
    Skill 3 : 384560 |><| 297771

    100 hits assuming crit chance is 80% on Berserker and Crit Damage 215%. On Viper Crit Chance is 60% and Crit Damage 154%.
    Rune on Berserker is Superior Rune of Fireworks (Power, (Boon Duration, Buff in Battle)) and on Viper it is Superior Rune of the Berserker (Condition Damage and Power and even 5% Condition Damage/5% Damage). The numbers are total damage (conditions + direct)
    Sigils are Condition Damage/Condition Duration vs. Damage/Crit Chance.

    If we can believe those numbers, Berserk should be the way to go for Axe, of course there is other factors to consider for example the passive of Justice that causes burning which I am not sure how to calculate that in. However also the off-hand weapon plays a role. If it is focus it requires pure dmg same as shield, the only condition damage off-hand weapon would be the torch. Torch seems to profit more from condition damage that is clear, however if we consider the axe alone it seems it profits more from berserker stat..

    Am I seeing this correctly? If we consider this I should go for berserk (diviner) completely and neglect the condition damage..?

  • Buran.3796Buran.3796 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Some fast tips (had to read it entirely later):

    1) Axe + shield/scepter + focus synergize better that scepter + shield/axe + focus (but don't believe me, that's based in my experience against players, and tot the A.I.).
    2) In Zeal, Furious Focus is massively stronger than Kindled Zeal. You're running mostly a power build, Kindled ads a pitty 248 condition damage to your build, Furious makes that, under fury, your attacks stack vulnerability. You get 48 seconds Fury in a row if you rotate your sources, which means that in PvE you effectively have perma fury; each symbol under perma fury procs vuln, you will stack 25 vuln over any foe in matter of seconds (assuming they don't melt before). That's a 25% increased damage, compared against 248 condi damage... Ditch KZ.
    3) Not sure if I would chose Agony sigil over Battle, check with a cheap weapon which one stacks more might and salvage it after to recover the sigil to put the one which performs the best in good use.

    Congrats, seems a sick build for PvE.

  • Buran.3796Buran.3796 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Ok, saw it entirely. First of: there's nothing wrong with having the axe with viper stats (griever can also work fine), but Firebrand's axe is one of the few weapons in the game which works as good having berserker stats as having hybrid ones (Rev's trident & spear and Renegade's short bow being others). Personally I use marauder in all of my Guardian/DH/Firebrand weapons (they wield Valkyrie in the past but swapped the stats when the radiant trait was nerfed) because I hate running around with 11-12K HP. Except torch, wich never crafted as ascended because always felt like a very glassy weapon to run (so I tested in exotics). I like marauder in weapons instead of in armor because weapons are easier to swap, and a zerk armor works for every heavy class in the game.

    Anyway, your build is purely power with burns and bleeds as extra damage, not one built around condi damage; and due your attack speed + AoE procs those pulses of burning damage will happen oftenly: is a wellcomed buff in dps but I don't think you should punish your power stacks to get that extra damage. Is the same with the signet: why to swap to Wrath to get extra condition damage? You run power, Bane makes perfect sense.

    Valor is a very interesting choice in your build: you will proc a lot of aegis which will grant you protection (probably uneeded) and might; I think I like Honor more (3,3,2) because provides also some might but mostly due the increase in both symbol radius and symbol duration. The larger area is phenomenal vs mobs, because you fill the entire view before your character, and the pulses will proc crits and burns like crazy (the more enemies, the better), but even agaist single bosses, the +50% (2 seconds) extended duration is really great to stack those procs. I like your build, much more interesting than the ones in the meta-pages. I'll farm some trinkets and try in one of my guardians.

  • Xelara.9132Xelara.9132 Member ✭✭
    edited May 16, 2020

    Thanks for your comments and inputs. The Honor trait seems a good alternative as well. Works very well with the symbol traits of Zeal and adds more buffs to the group with might and protection. I lose however the focus recharge reduction and the Strength in Numbers, which I really liked in group play. I am trying it right now, it seems like a very good variant.

    And I also changed my axe to berserk, following my calculations and went therefore full berserk. No more boon duration sigils, all weapons are full dmg now. I still have 54% boon duration without the food and 62% with the utility food, the other was changed to power/ferocity. I think the boon duration is ok certainly to keep up quickness and it also makes quite a difference for the other buffs. For Fractals I might even change some of my trinkets or change the utility-food because of the Fractal Potions where I do not need so much concentration. The condition damage trait was changed to the weakness as you suggested (I guess if people wanna run axe condi build then this will stay in, but for berserk I will go with the weakness for now). Quite satisfied so far.

    "Stand your ground" is also not fixed. I replace it with something else depending on what is good for the situation.

    Edit: After quick testing of Honor my first impression is I feel slightly squishier (less protection self-buff probably) and the slower focus recharge skills is noticable. The change to symbols is great and i wish I could have those traits in Valor to replace the 3rd one there as that is most times not doing much ( I believe it needs to be unnerved by Anet, Tenacious Defense that is, the effect is barely noticable). Back to Honor there is alot of traits related to healing, which are - without healing equipment - not helping very much.. . That is just the first impression. I still feel it is a very good variant for more dmg output with the symbols.

  • Infusion.7149Infusion.7149 Member ✭✭✭✭

    You have too much boon duration, only need ~15% if running Stalwart speed and 55-60% with Legendary Lore.
    Also would probably pair axe + shield instead of axe+focus. Axe and shield are typically used in melee while scepter+focus are flexible.

  • Xelara.9132Xelara.9132 Member ✭✭
    edited May 16, 2020

    @Infusion.7149 said:
    You have too much boon duration, only need ~15% if running Stalwart speed and 55-60% with Legendary Lore.
    Also would probably pair axe + shield instead of axe+focus. Axe and shield are typically used in melee while scepter+focus are flexible.

    For only Quickness it might be too much, but if you consider other buffs as well then more cannot hurt. Especially when you run open world boss farming or something like that, you might get knocked down get skill CD or something. One slight mistake somewhere and even quickness runs out. Then add Fury, Protection, Might, stabilty, reflection, to the list and more boon duration makes sense, in my opinion. Plus I can always swap the food out for something else or change one of my trinkets for my berserk ones.

    About weapon combinations my decision to pair axe + focus was based on having the focus skill number 5 (Shield of Wrath) for either more protection and/or more dmg on close range battle (the explosion radius is only 240 and thereby close range). The shield skill number 5 is kinda counterproductive as it pushes the mobs away and out of your axe range. I would rather push them further away when I have the range to hit them afterwards. Of course you could say in emergency push your enemies away in close range and therefore shield and I consider that as a valid variant. However I liked the focus on axe and shield on scepter more, but that might just be me.

    I also consider axe my main weapon (with the reduced skill recharge on focus I wanted to put them where I use them more often) and only switch to scepter sometimes when my skills run on cd. If you want to play axe + shield it might be a good idea to swap Strength in Numbers for Stalwart Defender, then you have more deffense on close range and the skills shorter recharge as well. But that I would personally use more in solo-play. For groups the Strength in Numbers is more usefull I believe.

  • Infusion.7149Infusion.7149 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Shield 5 usually is used for added CC on things with breakbars.

  • Buran.3796Buran.3796 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Infusion.7149 said:
    Shield 5 usually is used for added CC on things with breakbars.

    Yep. The sequence is usually shield #5 > axe #2 > axe #3, then either shield #4 or just swap to scepter #3 > scepter #2 > focus#4 > focus #5. With the PvP version of Firebrand (oftenly traited 1,1,1) each one of the cc add immobilize, slow and burning, and the axe #2 has a haze, so doesn't only works well in player vs player covering the burnings and containing the foe, but in PvE is very effective breaking defiance bars. Obviously He's running a 2,2,2 totally commited to permaquickness so won't be nearly as strong at disabling bosses, but still once you get used to push with the shield, land the symbol and pull the enemy towards it to then swap, root and stack the other symbol is hard to go back, because works really well.

  • Xelara.9132Xelara.9132 Member ✭✭

    @Infusion.7149 said:
    Shield 5 usually is used for added CC on things with breakbars.

    That is nice input, I did not know that. Just tested it in the daily Chaos fractals where quick cc is needed on the boss. Thanks for the info ;-)

    My build is as said primarily not oriented towards the greatest damage output nor cc. It is more a balance between support class (without actually healing) AND dps. With my build I think I sacrifice almost no dps and still can play a good supportive role. But can't have everything. If i build towards damage, support and add cc to the list then at some point my dmg or my support will suffer, don't you think?

  • Xelara.9132Xelara.9132 Member ✭✭
    edited May 18, 2020

    @Xelara.9132 said:
    So I made a little calculation in search for the best build and I compared Viper vs Berserker stats for the full set (armour, weapon and trinkets) and compared what the build editor gave me as skill-dmg. The build editor gives me weird numbers for my crit chance, they are much lower than they should be in reality as I noticed on my own setup earlier. So I assumed 80% crit chance for Berserker (with food and fury for most of the fights) and 60% for Viper Set, which should be about right. The difference in Crit Chance was more or less 20% on the editor so that should be correct. Here is what came out:

                            Berserker                 Viper
    

    Skill 1 : 165708 |><| 136481
    Skill 2 : 912920 |><| 821652
    Skill 3 : 384560 |><| 297771

    100 hits assuming crit chance is 80% on Berserker and Crit Damage 215%. On Viper Crit Chance is 60% and Crit Damage 154%.
    Rune on Berserker is Superior Rune of Fireworks (Power, (Boon Duration, Buff in Battle)) and on Viper it is Superior Rune of the Berserker (Condition Damage and Power and even 5% Condition Damage/5% Damage). The numbers are total damage (conditions + direct)
    Sigils are Condition Damage/Condition Duration vs. Damage/Crit Chance.

    If we can believe those numbers, Berserk should be the way to go for Axe, of course there is other factors to consider for example the passive of Justice that causes burning which I am not sure how to calculate that in. However also the off-hand weapon plays a role. If it is focus it requires pure dmg same as shield, the only condition damage off-hand weapon would be the torch. Torch seems to profit more from condition damage that is clear, however if we consider the axe alone it seems it profits more from berserker stat..

    Am I seeing this correctly? If we consider this I should go for berserk (diviner) completely and neglect the condition damage..?

    Actually I made a mistake in this calculation. I neglected skill 1-2's five times and two times damage (and i also neglected that skill 1 has 3 versions). Only skill 3 seems to be correct therefore. However that would make the picture even clearer towards berserk stats, because the physical damage would have to be increased therefore.

    However that depends on how the damage in the game actually works and how it scales to one's deffense. The damage incoming to a player will be reduced by its armour stats. Does anybody know if there is a differenciation of incoming damage depending on if it is condition damage or physical damage? Is condition damage same as physical damage influenced by the armour or does it maybe neglect the opponents armour stats?