I’ll be using Stars to rate skills, from one to ten. (Originally I wanted to use severed heads, but I think that might just confuse people)
1 Star: “Anyone have a spare Water? ”
2-3 Stars: “Filler”
4-5 Stars: “Situational”
6-7 Stars: “Mandatory”
8-9 Stars: “Makes Other Classes Cry In PVP ”
10 Stars: “In Before The Nerf! ”
Powerful Bow: 7 Stars – This is a Warrior’s Bread and Butter attack. You will be using it a LOT, so much so that I recommend using your first rubies to cap the nearest 2 Blade Mastery rubies.
Charge: 2 Stars – While the skill itself is very important for Warriors because it’s our only method of getting to a target quickly, you shouldn’t really be putting additional points into it. The Cooldown (CD) reduction is too low for the talent point investment. Add to it the terrain pathing issues of Charge and the tendency to overshoot targets when using this ability while running make this Talent not worth the extra Talent points.
Slash: 1 Star – This ability is bad-bad. Since it overwrites any of your existing Bleeds, you gain less Damage Per Second (DPS) than the tooltip from Slash would indicate, as you must factor in forgone Bleed ticks. It’s also got a high Combat Advantage (CA) cost, making it a no-go for 2H specs. Also, by shortening the Bleed duration to 6s, you are unlikely to have Bleeds up all the time, which also means less chance of using Agonizing Blow (AB) effectively.
I haven’t tested it out thoroughly, but the Damage over Time (DoT) component of Slash does not appear to scale with weapon damage, which means that at higher damage ranges (i.e. slower weapons) Slash is even worse DPS than comparable Direct Damage (DD) finishers like AB. Frankly, Slash should do more overall DPS than AB considering that it’s a DoT and not a DD.
While I like the concept of “Bleed Tanking” – especially given the long pauses for pooling Energy – you aren’t going to do it with this ability.
The gimpiness of Slash also diminishes the use of the Bloodshed Ruby talent and thus diminishes the attractiveness of the two trees they are on.
Hasty Blow: 1 Star – High Energy cost, Poor CA generation, conditional requirement and no synergy or utility makes this skill arguably the worst in the entire tree. DW specs can just spam PB. For every other spec, Energy is just too precious to waste on a low damage DD. Pass on this stinker.
Agonizing Blow: 6 Stars – This is a solid ability and one you will be using quite often. As a DD finisher it’s very straightforward, though the damage range is very wide. For best results, generously apply PB until the target bleeds before applying AB. Get this skill, if only so that you don’t have to use Slash anymore. Useful in PVE situations where bosses can’t be stunned and you need a CA dump.
Sweeping Kick: 6 Stars – Your first front-loaded knockdown (KD) ability, though the proc rate is low. Its fairly static Energy cost makes it the darling of 2H specs, who use it to set up a PB/Roundhouse (RH). The 10s CD and relatively high Energy cost makes it of less use to DW. As a rule, the slower the weapon, the better SK works with PB.
Malicious Blow: 3 Stars – Pretty straightforward AoE DD, useful for AoE tanking. Energy return is good. Some use in PVP for scrubbing off Mage Mirrors.
Note that for all AoEs, the visual effect is NOT an indicator of the actual area affected by the ability!
(Update: Malicious Blow appears to add the mitigation buff listed under Shield Swipe’s tooltip. I haven’t been able to test it out myself.)
Giant Swing (now Shield Swipe): 5 Stars – This ability not only is an AoE but adds a stackable 10s buff that allows you to increase your Block Rate by 50% AND overall mitigation by 5% per stack, to a maximum of 5. Under ideal conditions, a tank can be running around with 50% more block and 25% more mitigation.
However, this skill has a shield dependency, high Energy and very high CA cost (65%) and the 10s buff duration means that a single miss or being KD means losing the buff stack.
For all the drawbacks of GS, there are no other basic skill that increases damage mitigation, which is why I rate it so highly.
Bulldozer: 6 Stars – Pretty much the same comments to SK apply here, except that this skill is a finisher and has a 100% KD on damage. The 3s CD on BD makes it useful as a CA dump if you can’t get the target bleeding by 100% CA, as it does respectable damage and the KD means you won’t be smacked by the target for a few seconds.
The low (40%) CA requirement and relatively low Energy cost makes this very desirable for 2H. The low CD makes it useful for DW builds too, pretty much guaranteeing them a KD every 3 seconds.
Roundhouse: 5 Stars – This ability’s long CD favors slower weapons – pretty much required for 2H, but a waste of Talent Points for DW. For best results, wait for a KD, then apply.
Bonk: 6 Stars – Bonk has more overall usefulness than RH, but it does favor faster weapons, as they can cram the most DPS into the stun duration than slower weapons. 2H Warriors won’t be gimped if they put points in Bonk, but for DW this skill is pretty much mandatory. The Bleed duration buff is also a surprisingly nice perk.
Wrist Breaker: 4 Stars – Unlike Bonk, the Disarm only neutralizes weapon attacks and does not synergize with other skills. Long CD makes it very situational. Obviously, this ability won’t work on Bosses.
Arcing Blow: 2 Stars – This skill is not an all-aspect AoE like the other AoE skills. Instead, it uses a cone template.
The signature combat animation, slow rate at which it builds damage and the frontal cone targeting make it useless for PVP. However, the 5x stacking Rampage proc that increases DPS and reduces Armour also makes it a liability for AoE Tanking.
The only role left is PVE AoE DPS. In this role, the gradual increase in DPS works to keep from pulling threat off the Tank. A skill that you only use for PVE AoE DPS is definitely situational.
Viscious Spin: 3 Stars – The AoE Bleed that this ability delivers to targets makes it required to get the most out of Arcing Blow. It also deals quite a bit of damage for an AoE. The combat animation locks you down for a few seconds. Like Arcing Blow, AoE PVE DPS is very situational.
Gut Punch: 5 Stars – same deal as WB, but it applies to casters. Since casters generally are a bigger headache due to their ranged tendencies, I rate it higher than WB.
Slaughterhouse: 3 Stars – High Energy and CA requirement, but no synergy and underwhelming damage. Its straightforward mechanics make it pretty easy to figure out if you like it or not – I didn’t.
Summary: Overall, a lot of solid abilities but nothing OP