The concept for the build itself has been floating around for a while, so I cannot take credit for it all. I will just try to explain my particular flavor of the "Shout Warrior" and how it works in a group environment. When you combine the Immortal Guardian with the Immortal Warrior, you can pretty much expect to faceroll any dungeon.
What is an Immortal Warrior?
The Immortal Warrior focuses on the support and survival of both himself and his group. People really seem to underestimate the healing capabilities of Warriors when comparing them to Guardians and such - those people would be wrong. Guardians excel in certain support areas (AoE Protection and AoE Regen), but in others (Direct AoE Healing and Tanking) the Warrior can put them to shame. That's not to say one is better than the other, although those debates are quite fun to have, but there is certainly no reason for Guardians being the only "must haves" in a group.
Let's start with the build itself and then I will go through the various gear options.
Strength Tree: 10 Points
This tree provides a nice bit of versatility for only a 10 points investment. There are three main traits you can rotate through based on the situation.
Berzerker's Power (V): This is my default Trait choice.
Because you don't have any condition damage via gear, the F1 Adrenaline ability for sword isn't all that great. However, if you maintain FULL adrenaline, you will gain 12% more damage AND a 50% boost to your default in-combat regen. Not bad at all.
Death from Above (I): This is my choice when defending keeps in WvW.
When attackers are beating on your gate, you just hop down on them from above and bounce them in the air, then run back inside and repeat the process over and over. Since nothing can kill you anyway, there is no danger hopping down into the fray repeatedly. If there are multiple warriors with this ability you can completely shut down the enemies ability to build Flame Rams at your gate by chaining the jumps. Plus, being able to jump from high up and make a friggin crater when you land is just awesome. If you've ever seen Hancock....it's kinda like that.
Defense Tree: 20 Points
This tree provides both Toughness and Healing, which is a nice combo for anyone to be honest. The 30 point trait that procs Endure Pain is nice, but Signet Mastery from the Discipline tree is better, which is why I only put 20 points here.
Turtle's Defense (II): +200 Toughness when you are crippled, chilled, stunned, or immobilized.
Frak me that is good. It is almost worth it to just stay crippled during a boss fight for the extra toughness. In WvW you will typically be removing these conditions, but if you cant for some reason, this just makes it that much harder to kill you.
Missile Deflection (V): Reflects ALL missile (arrow carts,etc.) attacks while blocking.
This is very powerful in WvW. Warriors wielding a shield get a 3 second block (Shield 5 skill). This means you can hop down from the top of a gate, interrupt the melee attackers (Death from Above), hit your Shield 5 and sit there for 3 seconds completely immune to damage and kill a couple ranged enemies bombarding your gate, then run back inside to do it all over again. This is a crazy good WvW combo.
The next trait isn't a choice, but I wanted to clarify how it works from my own experimentation.
Adrenal Health: Regen health based on Adrenaline level. (Max Adrenaline = 360 HP per tick in combat regen).
This skill is a bit wonky, but it does give a nice boost for those that leave their adrenaline bar full (me). You baseline in combat regen is 200. This is increased by the amount of +Healing you have equipped. When I wear Vit/Tough gear it is 220 HP per tick. When I wear Tough/Healing gear it is 240 HP per tick. The wonky thing about this ability is it will give 360 HP per tick with FULL adrenaline no matter what your +Healing is. +Healing (Cleric's) is simply unnecessary if you have this trait and are relying on regen (this doesn't take into account shouts though, as I will explain later).
Shield Master (IX): +90 Toughness and 20% cooldown reduction on shield skills.
Shield skills on a Warrior are even better than they are on a Guardian. Shield 4 gives you a "teleport" and stun (good for interrupting breeders in AC). Shield 5 gives you 5 seconds of immunity and Missile Deflection if you trait for it. I just can't imagine wanting to use anything else on my Warrior. Shield rocks so much.
Tactics Tree: 30 Points
This tree give you Vitality and Boon Duration. As you saw from my Immortal Guardian Guide, Boon duration can be very powerful and the Warrior gets it in his primary tree.
Leg Specialist (I): Upgrades your your Cripple to a 1 second Immobilize.
The Sword 3 ability is a cripple. Instead of just slowing down your enemy, you freeze them in place for a second. Not game breaking, but a nice little boost.
Empower Allies (II): Give a permanent +70 Power to nearby Allies.
If freezing opponents in place isn't important, this is a great alternative trait to take instead. Everyone always wants more Power.
Lung Capacity (VIII): Reduces cooldown on all shouts by 20%.
This build is based on shouts, even more so than my Immortal Guardian. Shouts provide huge AoE heals (1500 HP to 2200 HP EACH depending how much +Healing you have) and AoE condition removal. Being able to use them every 20-24 seconds is a huge boost to the build.
Vigorous Shouts (XII): Shouts heal.
Gotta take this. This adds a direct heal to every Shout you do. You have three shouts with this build. With no +Healing (vit/Tough gear), the shouts will heal about 1,500 HP each to ANYONE around you. The heal is not capped on number of people it can be applied to. With full Cleric's gear my Shouts heal for around 2,200 HP each. No other class can pump out 6,600 HP in direct AOE heals every 20 seconds or so.
Discipline Tree: 10 points
The only reason I come down this tree is Signet Mastery. You use two Signets with this build, and you will use them quite frequently.
Signet Mastery (VI): Reduced cooldown on signets by 20%.
This reduces my Healing signet from a 20 second to a 16 second cooldown. With Vit/Tough gear, this heals for 3,913 HP. With Cleric's, this heals for 4,523 HP. That's OVER 9,000 HP every 32 seconds. There are few classes that can come close to that much self healing. This also reduces the cooldown on Signet of Rage from 60 seconds to 46 seconds, so every 46 seconds you can cast a 39 second long Might (5 stacks)/Fury(+20%crit)/Sprint buff on yourself (the extra 9 seconds come from the 30% boon duration in Tactics Tree above). There is no other Elite needed once you get access to this. It's perfect.
Heightened Focus (V): Gives 9% crit with full Adrenaline.
If you felt like having a little more burst you could use this, since you are running around with full adrenaline anyway. You would be adding 14 seconds to the cooldown of your Signet of Rage though. That is a hefty tradeoff, and one I wouldn't choose myself.
Utility Skills (6,7,8,9,0)
6. Healing Signet (16 sec cooldown with trait)
Heals for 4,000 to 4,500 HP and provides a regen of 200 to 240 HP per tick depending on how much +Healing you have. The Regen tick from this is in ADDITION to the Regen Boon you will get from Guardians. This is part of why they synergize so well together - the Guardian keeps the Warrior up with regen, and the Warrior keeps the Guardian up with Shout heals when regen isn't enough.
NOTE: The Regen Boon you gain from Guardians uses the casters +Healing. It does not matter if you have +Healing gear or not. This is why it is such a good idea for Guardians to go full Cleric's (Tough/Healing), since they have so many AoE Regen boons that apply to others.
7. "Shake It Off!" (20 second cooldown with trait)
AoE cures two conditions with the Soldier runeset and breaks stun. Also AoE heals for 1,500 HP to 2,200 HP depending on how much +Healing you have.
8. "For Great Justice!" (20 second cooldown with trait)
AoE Might (3 stacks) and Fury (20% crit) buff. Basically when you combine this with Signet of Rage, you should have 100% uptime on 8 stacks of Might and +20% crit rate. Plus the AoE Heal and condition removal of course.
9. "On My Mark!" (24 second cooldown with trait)
This is really good. 10 Vulnerability = 10% more damage being dealt by everyone. It is not uncommon to cap Vulnerability on a mob for a full 25% damage dealt increase through the liberal use of this shout (with help from others). Again, this also gives the AoE Heal and condition removal.
0. Signet of Rage (46 second cooldown with trait)
I've already touted the awesomeness of this Elite skill, but let's go over it again. Every 46 seconds you can cast a 39 second long Might (5 stacks)/Fury(+20%crit)/Sprint (33% run speed) buff on yourself (the extra 9 seconds come from the 30% boon duration in Tactics Tree above). Personally, I cannot fathom using anything aside from this.
Sword/shield or Axe/Shield. Anything else is up to you. You wanna roll with a rifle? Go for it. How about a big hammer? Sure. This build does not limit your playstyle (which is why I use it for everything).
I do have a couple recommendations on Sigil though, as there are two in particular that work very nicely with this build.
Superior Sigil of Force: I put this in my sword for an always on 5% damage increase. Some prefer the Superior Sigil of Bloodlust, but I am not a fan of having to charge up my weapon for the damage boost and then losing all the charges on downstate. Also, the Sigil of Force costs about 15 silver whereas the Sigil of Bloodlust was near two gold last time I looked.
Superior Sigil of Energy: Restores 50% of Endurance on weapon swap a lot (I dodge and swap weapons a lot, so getting a free dodge from playing the way I already do is really nice). This Sigil wasn't known to me until recently. I would highly recommend putting this on both the Immortal Warrior's and the Immortal Guardian's shield and swap weapon. Guardians heal through dodges, so that is an incredible rune for them. This sigil runs about 75 silver on the TP right now.
NOTE: Lately, I have been running with Sword/Shield and Axe/Shield with a Superior Sigil of Energy in both shields. Makes it so I'm able to dodge a whole heck of a lot. The Axe is better at killing graveling mounds and doing straight damage. The Sword is nice for mobility.
There are two schools of thought on this and they are hotly debated. I will present the primary benefits of using Vit/Tough and Cleric's (Tough/Healing) gear, as well as my opinion on when they work best. You may completely disagree with me, and that's fine, but the choices should be pretty clear when you look at the stats.
|Tough/Heal Gearset||Vit/Tough Gearset|
|Signet Regen:||240 HP/tick||220 HP/tick|
|Shout Heal:||2,154 HP||1,466 HP|
Essentially you trade 4,360 HP and 109 Power in return for an extra 610 HP on your Signet Heal and 688 HP on your AoE Heal. That means, in a solo environment, it would take a full minute (taking into account a 20 sec cooldown for shouts) before the benefits of increased healing outweigh the benefits of a higher health pool. In a group environment though, the +Healing gearset is almost immediately better because your heals affect everyone and not just yourself.
So what does this mean to me?
When playing solo and farming Orr, I will most definitely go with Vit/Tough gear. The majority of fights I get into will not last more than 60 seconds, so I will be able to rely on out of combat regen to fill my HP pool back up when my attacker is dead.
When playing WvW, it is a toss up. If I am playing with a specific group and we are doing 5-man guerrilla tactics or even a Zerg ball, I would go for Tough/Heal gear. If I am on my own though, Vit/Tough all the way.
For dungeons, Tough/Healing is the clear winner - you group is depending on you to keep them alive. Cutting your primary heal by ~25% just isn't a good tactic for group play.
There is a subset of players that like to mix and match their gearsets. They tend to be going for more of a DPS focus and less support however, which is not what this build is for. You are welcome to experiment on your own; I just want to provide a baseline for you to make your own decisions from.
As far as runes are concerned, you pretty much have to use Superior Rune of the Soldier. It adds condition removal to every shout. Since you will be using the Healing Signet for the regen, you won't be able to remove conditions via the Mending skill. Not much else can be said. It gives a bunch of Vit/Toughness too, but whether you are going for +Healing gear or not, this is the runeset for you.
Cleric's is the only jewellery set I would use with this build (there is no easy to get Vit/Tough jewellery, but there are some tweaks you can make if you want to go Vit/Tough. For my Vit/Tough gearset, I purchased 6x Crest of the Soldier and put them into my backslot and jewelry. It's not a perfect solution, but it isn't half bad either.
My future goal is to attain first the Emerald Pendant (Power/Vit/Tough Exotic Necklace) and eventually the Triforge Pendant (+40 to everything Exotic Necklace). These two items are incredibly expensive though, so it will be a long while.
Ouch my brains...
Man these guides do take a while to write - I hope you have been able to glean some useful info from me and try out this build. I'm feeling kind of tapped on ideas right now, so it may be a little bit before I write anything else. Let me know if there is something you would like me to explore in Guild Wars 2 and I'll see what I can do.