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I Might Have Been Wrong About Bladesworn [PvP]


CalmTheStorm.2364
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Bladesworn fell off HARD after the nerfs to shoutsworn and has disappeared from the meta completely and nearly entirely from casual play as well.  I tried various things to make a viable BS build and was unsuccessful.  Until now.   I've got two builds that I think are winners that I wanted to share with you for your enjoyment.

 

1) Defense/Arms/Bladesworn

Yep, that's right, ARMS. While it doesn't provide as much value as it should, guaranteed crits on your Dragonslash attacks help tremendously.  Stacking ferocity and vuln, gaining unblockable attacks, and a source of fury helps too.

 

The main appeal of this build is its pairing of solid damage and really high sustain.  Between signet of stamina and the vigor from WH 5, you have dodges for days...meaning really high resistance up time thanks to Resilient Roll.  You are also very resistant to condi between SoS, WH5, and Cleansing Ire, and you can take Shake It Off instead of stomp for condi-heavy engagements. You're even fairly tanky thanks to high protection up time (2 charges of combat stimulant to proc Thick skin). And of course you have loads of healing and barrier application.

 

The damage is surprisingly good, even though you don't have much might. You have tons of ferocity, tho, and inflict a lot of vulnerability so your follow up attacks to a successful DS really slaps. You also benefit from fairly good Fury uptime which improves your DPS significantly as well.

 

Only real weakness is lack of blocks and no on-demand stability. You can take Dolyak signet instead of SoS; you can also take shield or OH sword over WH, although your mobility suffers if you do that.

 

The build is both an excellent duelist and teamfighter, although  it does struggle a bit with high CC situations.  It even matches up fairly well into hammer spellbreaker because it has so many dodges and can wear the SpB down with ranged attacks while staying out of range of the hammer/dagger.  It also fairs a lot better against ranged classes than spellbreaker does, owing to BS's wealth of ranged attacks and projectile blocks.  Hammer spellbreaker is an absolute beast in close quarters, but BS is more versatile and well-rounded.

 

2.) Strength/Arms/Bladesworn

Same idea, but trading the sustain from Defense for more damage (probably about +15-20% more).  You do have (even) more dodges thanks to MMR and Building Momentum, though, so that helps a bit, although the Defense variant is far tankier overall.  I would always run Shake It Off instead of Stomp in this case since you are missing out on Cleansing Ire and the resistance from Resilient Roll and immobilize remains a problem.  

 

For a glass cannon option, you could even go Berserker's Power--that REALLY slaps.  Probably not recommended, though.  Not if you like living to tell the tale, anyway.

 

CAVEAT:

Nothing in the above demonstrates or implies that "Bladesworn is fine" or "Arms is fine".  Both have some significant design flaws that can and should be addressed---and preferably soon.  However, I do believe there are enough workable ingredients to make a viable "secret sauce" for Bladesworn in PvP.  Is it S tier?  Probably not, but it's very, very good, and it's definitely worth checking out if you want a change of pace.

 

Enjoy!  I hope you'll share your experiences and build variants, too.

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I’ll try it out. Thanks for the builds. What really irks me about arms is having two absolutely useless minor traits for power. If they added ferocity or power while having fury along with condi damage and changed the bleed to a lifesteal, I wouldn’t hate running arms so much.

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1 hour ago, Zuko.7132 said:

I’ll try it out. Thanks for the builds. What really irks me about arms is having two absolutely useless minor traits for power. If they added ferocity or power while having fury along with condi damage and changed the bleed to a lifesteal, I wouldn’t hate running arms so much.

I totally agree. If/when they rework arms, I hope they take our feedback and make the minor traits beneficial to both power and condi classes.

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29 minutes ago, Greyrat.2378 said:

Thanks for the build, gonna try it out once I have free time (I've been mostly jumping between GS and Hammer SPB).

You're welcome! I hope you enjoy it.

 

To be clear, I don't think BS is top tier; it's probably more like B+/A- range. Very viable in casual play but probably not good enough to hold its own against meta picks at very high levels of play.

 

One change that would help push it closer to viability would be to put stability on triggerguard. Reducing the CD of triggerguard to 40s would help immensely, too.

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Burst Precision is great. It is generally the only reason I run Arms when I do so on Power builds. I made heavy use of that with my Sentinel Builds post Feb2020. Arms/Def I can see working well with Resilient Roll to secure Burst Crits on any spec.

Arms still needs a rework, but there are some solid choices in it now, just not a whole lot of them.

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BS is strangely strong, he punishes a lot who gets close to him, but his pve and pvp versions are exaggeratedly distant, has some weird bugs, can't sheath the gunsaber, the combination of weapons gets boring, his builds are objectively the same and possibly other things.


It just kills me that you can't customize the gameplay of the Gunblade, although it kills me more that you can't sheath it, although objectively it's not bad, like most things, they are overshadowed by the amount of unbalanced things in the game and from Its design looks awful to me.


Arms is the only thing that really requires a near complete overhaul, partly because it's one of the 3 core dps specs and has pretty much always been inconsistent, even if they just put Burst Precision as a minor trait instead of a major would be a significant improvement, it's absurd that the core warrior is not a competitive dps.


That's a problem that anet had before, that if a trait could work on something, it doesn't matter, then they didn't touch it, except with their preferred professions, now to hope that this balance team doesn't do the same.
I looked at the builds and thought it would be great if Restorative Strength would remove conditions again or give something else, after all we have a damage trait on the side, which also buffs the only heal that removes conditions.

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On 12/26/2022 at 1:08 AM, CalmTheStorm.2364 said:

Bladesworn fell off HARD after the nerfs to shoutsworn and has disappeared from the meta completely and nearly entirely from casual play as well.  I tried various things to make a viable BS build and was unsuccessful.  Until now.   I've got two builds that I think are winners that I wanted to share with you for your enjoyment.

 

1) Defense/Arms/Bladesworn

Yep, that's right, ARMS. While it doesn't provide as much value as it should, guaranteed crits on your Dragonslash attacks help tremendously.  Stacking ferocity and vuln, gaining unblockable attacks, and a source of fury helps too.

 

The main appeal of this build is its pairing of solid damage and really high sustain.  Between signet of stamina and the vigor from WH 5, you have dodges for days...meaning really high resistance up time thanks to Resilient Roll.  You are also very resistant to condi between SoS, WH5, and Cleansing Ire, and you can take Shake It Off instead of stomp for condi-heavy engagements. You're even fairly tanky thanks to high protection up time (2 charges of combat stimulant to proc Thick skin). And of course you have loads of healing and barrier application.

 

The damage is surprisingly good, even though you don't have much might. You have tons of ferocity, tho, and inflict a lot of vulnerability so your follow up attacks to a successful DS really slaps. You also benefit from fairly good Fury uptime which improves your DPS significantly as well.

 

Only real weakness is lack of blocks and no on-demand stability. You can take Dolyak signet instead of SoS; you can also take shield or OH sword over WH, although your mobility suffers if you do that.

 

The build is both an excellent duelist and teamfighter, although  it does struggle a bit with high CC situations.  It even matches up fairly well into hammer spellbreaker because it has so many dodges and can wear the SpB down with ranged attacks while staying out of range of the hammer/dagger.  It also fairs a lot better against ranged classes than spellbreaker does, owing to BS's wealth of ranged attacks and projectile blocks.  Hammer spellbreaker is an absolute beast in close quarters, but BS is more versatile and well-rounded.

 

2.) Strength/Arms/Bladesworn

Same idea, but trading the sustain from Defense for more damage (probably about +15-20% more).  You do have (even) more dodges thanks to MMR and Building Momentum, though, so that helps a bit, although the Defense variant is far tankier overall.  I would always run Shake It Off instead of Stomp in this case since you are missing out on Cleansing Ire and the resistance from Resilient Roll and immobilize remains a problem.  

 

For a glass cannon option, you could even go Berserker's Power--that REALLY slaps.  Probably not recommended, though.  Not if you like living to tell the tale, anyway.

 

CAVEAT:

Nothing in the above demonstrates or implies that "Bladesworn is fine" or "Arms is fine".  Both have some significant design flaws that can and should be addressed---and preferably soon.  However, I do believe there are enough workable ingredients to make a viable "secret sauce" for Bladesworn in PvP.  Is it S tier?  Probably not, but it's very, very good, and it's definitely worth checking out if you want a change of pace.

 

Enjoy!  I hope you'll share your experiences and build variants, too.

Didn't we call this even before the Balance Patch which did that landed? Bladesworn was going to fall off pretty hard due to not being able to be hard carried by its overtuned self-sustain and its design flaws were really going to come to the forefront?

Pretty sure thats what happened.

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2 hours ago, KryTiKaL.3125 said:

Didn't we call this even before the Balance Patch which did that landed? Bladesworn was going to fall off pretty hard due to not being able to be hard carried by its overtuned self-sustain and its design flaws were really going to come to the forefront?

Pretty sure thats what happened.

Yeah, that's exactly what happened.

 

Thing is, BS is actually pretty close to being good/viable. If they put stab back on Dragonscale Defense (1 stack every 8s) and/or added stab to triggerguard, I think it would be there...or at least pretty close.

 

That's not to say that BS doesn't need anything else; it totally does. Blooming fire still hits like a wet noodle, you can still jump over dragon slash, DS-reach rarely hits anything not on level ground, there's usually only one (rarely 2) good traits on any level of the trait line, etc.... But you could put together at least one good BS build in competitive modes if it could just get some stability back.

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So far I had mild success with it (gold sPvP so nothing crazy), but as you mentioned above, lack of stab hurts alot.

Combined with the need of good positioning, it's tough to justify it over spellbreaker.

That being said, it feels good when the DS connects and some of these crits slaps hard.

Overall fun build, might not be meta pick but viable for sure, and it's a nice change of pace in comparison with spellbreaker.

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11 hours ago, Greyrat.2378 said:

So far I had mild success with it (gold sPvP so nothing crazy), but as you mentioned above, lack of stab hurts alot.

Combined with the need of good positioning, it's tough to justify it over spellbreaker.

That being said, it feels good when the DS connects and some of these crits slaps hard.

Overall fun build, might not be meta pick but viable for sure, and it's a nice change of pace in comparison with spellbreaker.

Glad you've been enjoying it! I've had a good bit of fun, too.

 

http://gw2skills.net/editor/?PKgAc6llyCZVMMmLW0O7RTA-zZILjGTgMLAbHAA

 

I made a few tweaks to the original build and have found this to be pretty optimal. Swap stalwart strength for cleansing ire for condi-heavy engagements.

 

The damage combos can be really nuts on this, as you landing a DS inflicts weakness (+7%), vulnerability (+10%), and grants stability (+10%), in addition to procing guns and glory (+250 ferocity), so your follow up artillery slashes and cyclone triggers often hit for 4-5k. Immediately swapping for an axe2 +axe3 combo is also excellent.

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On 1/1/2023 at 11:27 PM, CalmTheStorm.2364 said:

Yeah, that's exactly what happened.

 

Thing is, BS is actually pretty close to being good/viable. If they put stab back on Dragonscale Defense (1 stack every 8s) and/or added stab to triggerguard, I think it would be there...or at least pretty close.

 

That's not to say that BS doesn't need anything else; it totally does. Blooming fire still hits like a wet noodle, you can still jump over dragon slash, DS-reach rarely hits anything not on level ground, there's usually only one (rarely 2) good traits on any level of the trait line, etc.... But you could put together at least one good BS build in competitive modes if it could just get some stability back.

If Anet ever reworks arms, it's probably gonna be thinking about bladesworn and ranged builds

So i had this idea, Unyielding Dragon is just carrying a ded horse right now, but this build makes it kinda optional

http://en.gw2skills.net/editor/?PKgEcEWmAbiFywYl44toFrB-zZILjMTgeLAZHAA

Bladesworn could get:

-Polish on gunsaber.

-Burn tics on Ammo bladesworn skills use, it actually makes sense, it had a trait for that but they changed it.

-A burn line like Ele's fire dash, on DS2 and DS3, a horizontal line for DS1.

-Speed up gunsaber 2 and MAYBE make it a leap.

Edited by Zizekent.2398
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Three things that I want to see:

  • A Core F2 introduced. This could be OH bursts, an adrenaline gaining skill rather than burst, or just a boon button, doesn't matter, just something to key some extra traits off of F2 specifically rather than just bursts.
  • Distracting Strikes brought back into the game, updated to function when hitting with a CC rather than on interrupt. Put this in place of Opportunist.
  • Dual Wielding replaced with a new trait called "Antagonize" which taunts nearby foes when using F2 (8s CD).
    • Reduce the daze on FC in PvP/WvW 1/4s and increase its coefficient to 0.4.

Doing this would set up a Taunt on entering Dragon Trigger making stability less of a requirement and would probably be healthier since Taunts are conditions and can be cleansed instead of having to use a stunbreak. There would of course be a buff to core, spell, and berserker in that change a well.

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14 hours ago, CalmTheStorm.2364 said:

Glad you've been enjoying it! I've had a good bit of fun, too.

 

http://gw2skills.net/editor/?PKgAc6llyCZVMMmLW0O7RTA-zZILjGTgMLAbHAA

 

I made a few tweaks to the original build and have found this to be pretty optimal. Swap stalwart strength for cleansing ire for condi-heavy engagements.

 

The damage combos can be really nuts on this, as you landing a DS inflicts weakness (+7%), vulnerability (+10%), and grants stability (+10%), in addition to procing guns and glory (+250 ferocity), so your follow up artillery slashes and cyclone triggers often hit for 4-5k. Immediately swapping for an axe2 +axe3 combo is also excellent.

 

Is the Scholar rune overall better then Eagle? Just curious, since I would think that the Eagle rune would be better option.

Edited by Greyrat.2378
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25 minutes ago, Greyrat.2378 said:

 

Is the Scholar rune overall better then Eagle? Just curious, since I would think that the Eagle rune would be better option.

It's a good question.

 

In my testing (including in real combat when I've taken dmg and therefore am no longer getting the 5% dmg mods from scholar), scholar provides significantly better dmg.

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14 minutes ago, CalmTheStorm.2364 said:

It's a good question.

 

In my testing (including in real combat when I've taken dmg and therefore am no longer getting the 5% dmg mods from scholar), scholar provides significantly better dmg.

Scholar is overall more stats not including the +5% damage modifier. Eagle is the budget version in PvE.

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What Bladesworn needs is for Arenanet to do what they promised they might do, and thats buff Gunsaber. Right now Gunsaber is the worst weaponset available, and you are unfortunately forced to pick it, which really sucks.

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2 hours ago, UNOwen.7132 said:

What Bladesworn needs is for Arenanet to do what they promised they might do, and thats buff Gunsaber. Right now Gunsaber is the worst weaponset available, and you are unfortunately forced to pick it, which really sucks.

It needs more (+20% on all skills) damage in PvE, 900 range on breakstep, and the evade on Blooming Fire that it has underwater to be on the land version. That's all they need to do to it.

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3 hours ago, Lan Deathrider.5910 said:

It needs more (+20% on all skills) damage in PvE, 900 range on breakstep, and the evade on Blooming Fire that it has underwater to be on the land version. That's all they need to do to it.

There's no way they'd give break step 900 range and 2 charges. I'd be ecstatic for 600 range+ cleanse immobilize, though.

 

Adding the evade on blooming fire would be very good. Alternatively, they could increase the dmg by 20% and decrease the cast to 1/2s.

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6 hours ago, CalmTheStorm.2364 said:

There's no way they'd give break step 900 range and 2 charges. I'd be ecstatic for 600 range+ cleanse immobilize, though.

There is already plenty of condition cleansing though, and it can cleanse immob with Warrior's Sprint. I doubt they will add condition cleansing to it. It definitely needs more range though.

6 hours ago, CalmTheStorm.2364 said:

Adding the evade on blooming fire would be very good. Alternatively, they could increase the dmg by 20% and decrease the cast to 1/2s.

This is what gets me. It has an evade already, it's just only on the UW version of the skill.

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