Reaper - Power Greatsword

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Part of the current metagame.

Our curator decided this build is in the current metagame regardless of rating. The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great.

Focused on: Direct damageArea damageRanged damageMelee damageDpsSurvivalGroup playRoaming.

Designed for:


Expansions required:

GW2 Heart of Thorns logo.png


Power Reaper is an easy and moderately survivable open world build which features extremely high burst damage and innate defense through . It is strong in low-pressure open world scenarios such as solo farming or farming trains and is even capable of soloing some harder content, such as Heart of Throns Hero Points.

Reaper's primary weaknesses include a lack of sustain and an aversion to high DPS pressure, where being forced out of shroud can result in a massive loss of DPS.

The build has two variants: Chill Reaper (Standard) and Minion Master (Alternate).

Chill Reaper is a very straightforward, bursty build which uses various methods of applying Chill Chill to enemies in order to maintain extremely high damage bonuses through Vulnerability Vulnerability from and high crit chance from .

Minion Master is a very simple, but often ineffective build which provides a very easy, laid back playstyle at the cost of a large portion of your damage and versatility. It focuses on summoning minions, which grant the necromancer increased defense through condition transfer and toughness.

Skill Bar


Weapon Variants

  • Offhand Dagger: For extra condition cleanse
  • Offhand Focus: Boonstrip
  • Staff: Use when Zerging (see equipment section notes)

Skill Variants

Healing Skills
  • - strong heal option if condition cleanse isn't needed
Utility Skills
  • In the event you need to swap utilities, trade out first.
  • - more condition cleanse.
  • - destroys projectiles.
  • - pulls in mobs
  • - higher might uptime and stunbreak
Elite Skills
  • - Strong alternative to flesh golem for maintaining chill uptime.


Build Code


Zerging Variant: Blood Magic

When zerging, it may be beneficial to replace Soul Reaping with Blood Magic. This variant has down-state support and grants those around you significant sustain. If paired with , can make you practically immortal.

  • if running or if you have healers nearby.


Ascended gear and stat infusions are not required; you can use exotic gear with the same stats.

Standard Equipment

Berserker stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Valkyrie stat icon.png
Valkyrie stat icon.png
Valkyrie stat icon.png
Valkyrie stat icon.png
Valkyrie stat icon.png
Valkyrie stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
PvE weapon swap.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Berserker stat icon.png
Superior Rune of the Pack
Mighty Infusion

Variant Equipment

Your goal as a power reaper is to provide yourself with considerable Power and Ferocity while crit capping thanks to Decimate Defenses. Careful not to overcap too much.


When zerging, your DPS matters very little. Use a Staff with and for the most effective tagging.


For gear, you want to focus on approaching between 50 and 70% crit chance outside of shroud with Decimate Defenses. To do this, you will usually mix in pieces of gear rather than having full sets.

  • Berserker stat icon.png Berserker's , Assassin stat icon.png Assassin's - use to crit cap with high power/ferocity
  • Valkyrie stat icon.png Valkyrie - use this when you've capped out crit chance
  • Soldier stat icon.png Soldier - actually a decent option for once due to reaper's health scaling and insanely high innate crit chance


There are a number of viable options for Reaper to pick from when it comes to runes. There are others not listed here, but these are the most effective in general.

  • - can provide exterme sustain when zerging, especially if coupled with
  • / - Exceptionally strong defensive option when running Death Magic's


This build can work with a wide variety of sigils, but some of the most popular options include:

  • - can replace Hydromancy on ranged weapons
  • - use on a staff when tagging in zergs
  • - use on a staff when tagging in zergs

Minion Master Variant

A lazy variant which does much less DPS but offers easy survivability at the cost of versatility.

Skill Bar

  • | , , |
    • If you need to trade out a utility, it should be
    • is situationally stronger than any of the skills listed above. If you can consistently hit several targets with it, replace .


Change Soul Reaping to Death Magic:

  • can be taken instead for massive damage reduction, which can be taken even further with runes that boost your
    Protection Protection
    Apply protection to yourself.
    Protection.pngProtection (10s): -33% Incoming Damage
    Range.pngRange: 1,200
    duration like



This food assists with more difficult content, such as bosses or bounties.
  • , - Defense/Damage
  • , - Damage
  • - Damage

Event Farming

  • Any ascended food is superior to any other food you could use. Steak for power, flatbread for conditions.
  • - Use for general farming.
  • - Use for when you need to max out magic find.
  • - more sustain (requires crit chance)
  • Anything - Any food is better than none, but you should prioritize the food above before using any other food.
  • , , - general farming
  • - good damage option with +karma



  • is an insane damage boost. Go into it any time you have life force for extremely high AoE damage.
    • Never interrupt your shroud autoattack chain.
  • , , and are your highest damage skills.
  • Once your burst damage skills are exhausted, you should fall back on , your bread and butter damage skill. Use it as often as possible, and look for opportunities to reset it by hitting enemies under 50% health.
  • When , and are all unavailable, just camp in greatsword and press all your buttons.
  • Axe/warhorn deals poor sustained damage but provides and , two high-damage skills. You can open with these skills before swapping to greatsword. You can also swap to axe/warhorn and use these skills before and after .


  • Remember that you can always sidestep and walk or dodge out of enemy attacks. Not taking damage is always the better option because it lets you conserve life force.
  • You can stack blind, chill, and weakness on enemies to mitigate most of their damage.
  • If you're taking a lot of damage you can use as a second health bar. in shroud helps with damage mitigation.
  • Use to cleanse conditions. If you need more condition cleanse run or bring a dagger offhand for .
  • If you go down just use to get back up.

Crowd Control


  • When zerging with this build, use STAFF while mobile. Do not be afraid to switch to GREATSWORD against bosses.
  • Avoid using Minions while zerging.
  • You can combine with for insane sustain while zerging, providing you are getting consistent tags / kills.

Minion Variant

  • Your minions typically draw threat from most enemies and do a good job of tanking for you.
  • is a strong defensive skill.
  • provides significant sustained healing.
  • offers condition cleanse.
Build rating - 5 stars
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16 Ratings
5 stars
AllenZoomfig gave this build 5 stars January 2021

This is an amazing guide, not just with how its built but with how its written. Its clean and simple. Too many of these builds tend to go hard into the game maths which can be good for seasoned vets and very dedicated players but for filthy casuals like myself its sort of a nightmare because I have trouble absorbing all of the information. With this guide however I only needed to read through it once and reference it a few times before I got the movement cycle down.

Best part is just the simple "These are your DPS skills, these are your healing skills, and this is your spam skill for when you're waiting on cooldown". Often times I'll see people write out a long attack chain which, as I have said, is good for more seasoned players whom are very well versed with the class. However with the simplicity of this explanation it was a lot easier for me to grasp the basics of the Reaper and as such I have had a TON of fun playing it.

5 stars
MasterZi gave this build 5 stars September 2020

This is actually such a disgustingly good build. You can facetank anything enemies try to hit you with while topping damage charts against groups of enemies or single targets. I like to run this build with minions, but that's just for aesthetic purposes. The raw survivability and AOE damage of this build allow you to mindlessly clear anything in the game, sometimes even solo-ing group content without worry. Unfortunately, you lack in-battle mobility, but it's a very small price to pay when you have mounts.

4 stars
Onlywrin gave this build 4 stars July 2020

The build is good at what it does - high area burst damage. It can perform well in most areas of open world, but falls short when trying to complete content such as bounties or obtaining large tag numbers. It also gets outshined in chain-farming scenarios, like the Kourna Inquest farm, due to its lack of mobility. Overall a good pick that's relatively easy to play.

13 More Ratings
5 stars
Yonguy gave this build 5 stars June 2020

It's a great build, as it doesn't allow the possibility of some of your enemies dying, and you end up losing the DPS. Offers more features for your Reaper's Shroud, causing more damage. It has a little less survival, but nothing very impressive. great construction for those who don't like using minions very much and want to quickly execute the goals of the open world.

5 stars
Photoscore77 gave this build 5 stars April 2020

Really easy build with an extremely high damage and survivability in almost all pve content.

5 stars
MuffinGuru gave this build 5 stars November 2019

Undoubtedly S-tier in Open World, or any difficult solo content for that matter. It is the only true "afk build", whilst still dishing out respectable DPS. The only build that comes to mind capable of holding a candle to Minion Master in terms of solo-ability is a toughness- geared, defense- traited, veteran Spellbreaker.

5 stars
Painbow gave this build 5 stars September 2019

Fantastic build for open-world. Great burst and sustained damage, great self-boon coverage, and good survivability.

5 stars
Kaihan gave this build 5 stars May 2019

The Undisputed Champion of the Open World. Let's face it, we all have bad days on GW2 and whenever I'm down and out, I always come back to this build and proceed to wreck whatever was giving me trouble. You melt mobs and solo champions for breakfast. For an easy combo, I run into a mob, -->cast Grasping Darkness to make sure the enemies are grouped-->drop Nightfall-->go into Reaper's Shroud-->Infusing Terror for stability--> Soul Spiral and by then, most things are dead. --> Life Rend will finish whatever else is standing.

If I need to fight at range, I switch to Axe/Focus. But the beauty of this build is that sustain mostly passive and you'll automatically generate so much healing you simply have to avoid enemy fields.

Just remember, use Reaper's Shroud whenever Lifeforce is maxed out and off cooldown. When you're out of Reaper's Shroud, you should be focused on generating Lifeforce through Axe 2, Focus 4, Greatsword 5 & 3.

Instead of "Rise", I use Signet of the Locust for 25% speed increase, purely for utility.

Post-patch I also use Axe/Focus instead of Axe/Warhorn. Focus 4, Soul Grasp, generates plenty of lifeforce. Also Focus 4 & 5 have 1200 range.

5 stars
Shrouded Weaver gave this build 5 stars March 2019

A great build for just about any content in the open world. Consider removing one of the minions for "You Are All Weaklings" shout for instant 10stacks of might since it got buffed in recent patch.

5 stars
Darkrayne gave this build 5 stars December 2018

This build is probably the single best Open World build in the game right now.

If you struggle with it for some reason, maybe you're learning the play style or something, use Marauder gear instead of Berserker so you have more health and use the Blood Magic trait line instead of Death Magic so you have more self healing. You'll kill things a little slower but you'll be able to survive anything in open world a lot easier. Once you've got used to playing it, use Berserker gear and the Death Magic trait line.

This build, and all Necro builds, become a lot better once you have the 5th downed skill from Living World Season 3. Once you have that skill, left on passive, getting back up when downed is extremely easy because you drain tons of health when using the 1st downed skill. If you are using it before then, it is less effective but still a cut above the rest.

5 stars
Nacho Replay gave this build 5 stars September 2018

Amazing open world build for reaper, really good sustained DPS, and some good burst. Vulnerability can be gained very quickly and easily maintained to 20+. Survivability is good but not best, using "Infusing Terror" during shroud helps a bit. Condition cleansing is very nice with this build and "locust swarm" is very useful for speed when kiting is needed to avoid damage. Although at times i do prefer using offhand dagger for "Deathly Swarm" when additional condition cleansing is needed.

5 stars
Chinkeeyong gave this build 5 stars September 2018

Hail to the king. Open world is where Reaper shines and this is the best open world Reaper build: it trivializes the vast majority of open world content and can solo dungeon paths and low fractals with barely any effort.

5 stars
Chinkeeyong gave this build 5 stars September 2018

The undisputed champion of open world, Reaper's amazing self-buffing provides it with ludicrous amounts of damage and survivability.

5 stars
Magicmoopeeps gave this build 5 stars August 2018

With the recent change to both Death Perception and Reaper's Onslaught this is by far one of the most powerful open world builds. You are able to get 100% crit chance extremely quickly and can maintain 20+ stacks of vulnerability and a good amount of might by yourself while also having permanent quickness in shroud giving it extremely high burst in open world when compared to other classes (who cannot provide these boons to themselves and maintain such high damage). This is due to the fact that in open world you can not count on getting these boons from others and reaper is in a unique position where it can give itself these amazing boons by itself on top of getting a 100% crit chance very easily. It also helps that the boons/vulnerability stated above are granted simply as part of your damage rotation and you do not need to worry about self buffing during fights as the they just roll in naturally.

5 stars
Screaming gave this build 5 stars July 2018

This build is capable of dealing decent sustained damage and good burst, though the burst isn't anything to write home about and it should be noted its survivability is a tad bit overstated due to its lack of active defence and that every time you get damaged in shroud decreasing your effectiveness.

Still though, it's not bad. It's capable of sustaining around 20 or even 25 vulnerability depending on variant used as well as a decent amount of might.

It should be said that for open world, the Soul Reaping variant is in my opinion better and more useful, as Soul Reaping has much more synergy (Vulnerability, crit chance in shroud, longer and more frequent access to shroud) with the rest of the build, as Curses doesn't really bring you anything useful for open world.

5 stars
Antherios gave this build 5 stars July 2018

I created an account just to praise this build. I've always played a Warrior with Power build and I'm used to kill Veterans with 30% of my health left, and having a hard time against Elites, and not being able to handle some Champions at all.

With my new necro alt I tried this build and oh boy ... "Striking fear into the hearts of trash mobs" indeed.

If you play it decently it steams rolls any Open World content, and if you are great at it, no PVE mob can stand in your way. Its amazing how my necro with exotics is doing more damage than my full ascended, double legendary wielding GS/Dagger Warrior.

TL;DR: This build played properly renders almost all PvE content to a walk in the park.