Soulbeast - Dual Axe Roamer



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The community gave this build a rating, making it top-tier: Great.

Focused on: Direct damageMobility.

Designed for:

Overview

A Soulbeast WvW roamer focusing on boon stacking, mobility, and damage. While it's primarily made for 1v1s, the build has several tools for buffing allies as well when roaming in a group.

Skill Bar

Juvenile Owl.png
Juvenile Smokescale.png
Sword/WarhornHealingUtilityElite
Axe/Axe

Slot Changes

Utility

  • Lightning Reflexes.png Lightning Reflexes - purely a defensive option, breaks stun, adds Vigor Vigor to the build, evades attacks and even cleanses conditions beyond just the Wilderness Knowledge.png Wilderness Knowledge trait synergy. Note that the evade frame's cancelled by weapon swapping in which case the trait won't go off.
  • Quickening Zephyr.png Quickening Zephyr - a more offensive choice which helps you burst better with auto attacks among other things, but also has a defensive side to it (breaks stun, cleanses conditions via WK, and the Superspeed Superspeed is great for disengaging).


Pets

  • Juvenile Siamoth Juvenile Siamoth over Smokescale - equally viable alternative, only thing you lose is the chase potential of Smokescale.

Specializations

Wilderness Survival:


Soften the Fall.png Soften the Fall



Refined Toxins.png Refined Toxins



Wilderness Knowledge.png Wilderness Knowledge



Nature Magic:


Instinctive Reaction.png Instinctive Reaction



Windborne Notes.png Windborne Notes



Protective Ward.png Protective Ward


Variants


Soulbeast:


Fresh Reinforcement.png Fresh Reinforcement



Second Skin.png Second Skin



Leader of the Pack.png Leader of the Pack


Variants

Equipment

Ascended Head (Medium).png
Marauder stat icon.png
Ascended Shoulders (Medium).png
Marauder stat icon.png
Ascended Chest (Medium).png
Marauder stat icon.png
Ascended Hands (Medium).png
Marauder stat icon.png
Ascended Legs (Medium).png
Celestial stat icon.png
Ascended Feet (Medium).png
Marauder stat icon.png
Ascended Back.png
Zealot stat icon.png
Ascended Accessory1.png
Zealot stat icon.png
Ascended Accessory2.png
Zealot stat icon.png
Ascended Amulet.png
Celestial stat icon.png
Ascended Ring1.png
Celestial stat icon.png
Ascended Ring2.png
Celestial stat icon.png
Ascended Sword.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Ascended Warhorn.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Superior Sigil of Hydromancy.png
Superior Sigil of Energy.png
PvE weapon swap.png
Ascended Axe.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Ascended Axe.png
Marauder stat icon.png
Superior Sigil of Intelligence.png
Superior Sigil of Energy.png
Superior Rune of Durability.png6x
Superior Rune of Durability
Mighty WvW Infusion.png18x
Mighty WvW Infusion

Consumables

Food

There are several viable options:

  • - significant boost to sustain through evasion.
    • Cheaper version:
  • - crit chance boost plus armor ignoring damage procs which also heal you.
  • - boon duration and Might Might stacking.
  • - this and other similar damage reducing consumables also work.


Utility

Usage

Elite specialization basics

  • Soulbeast allows Rangers to meld with their pet, becoming one. This is done through 24px Beastmode which has a 10s CD.
    • Try to strike a balance between staying in and out of 24px Beastmode. While melding with your pet has certain benefits such as higher stats, keep in mind that you have 2 pets - each with situational skills that could save your life. The 10 second CD of Beastmode starts after you've quit the form which means you will have no access to the Beastmode of the other pet for that time period.
  • Pet related traits and skills such as Pet's Prowess.png Pet's Prowess and Pack Alpha.png Pack Alpha will continue to function even while merged, but this time you'll be the one who benefits from them, not the pet (although sometimes the effects are lessened).
  • Skills that affect your pet like the unblockable attacks from Call of the Wild.png Call of the Wild have to be used after merging if you wish to benefit from them, already active skill effects will be lost just like when swapping pets.
  • In Beastmode you can stack Might Might for yourself through Ricochet.png Ricochet.
  • Fresh Reinforcement.png Fresh Reinforcement gives you all your pet's boons upon melding.
  • You can meld with dead pets and then exit the form to instantly revive them.


General

  • 24px Swoop and Hornet Sting.png Hornet Sting are your two main mobility skills. Make sure you do not have anyone targeted while using them. Make sure you do not have an enemy targeted when using these skills for general mobility or disengaging.
    • Hornet Sting.png Hornet Sting makes you leap backwards, while its chain skill will take you forward. To make better use of these, when you need to go in just one direction turn around before using Hornet Sting.png Hornet Sting, then turn back before using Monarch's Leap.png Monarch's Leap. Setting up a keybind for "about face" (Options Control Options Movement) makes turning around much smoother.
  • Refined Toxins.png Refined Toxins passively maintains a high uptime of healing reduction in duels via Poison Poison, which is very important when fighting other bunker specs.
  • Dodging applies Protection Protection, which also heals thanks to the trait 24px Rugged Growth. Second Skin.png Second Skin also reduces the condition damage you take by 33% while affected by this boon.
  • Survival skills each cure 2 conditions and grant Fury. Troll Unguent.png Troll Unguent can cleanse 4, because it triggers another Survival skill from Soften the Fall.png Soften the Fall. Troll Unguent also provides 2 seconds of Resistance Resistance thanks to the rune.
  • Both weapon sets have skills that evade attacks (which is especially useful if you're Immobilize Immobilized). Hornet Sting.png Hornet Sting and Serpent's Strike.png Serpent's Strike on Sword/Warhorn, Stalker's Strike.png Stalker's Strike on Axe/Dagger (if taken).
  • Each pet provides a different kind of immunity. Juvenile Smokescale Juvenile Smokescale has Smoke Assault Smoke Assault against direct damage, while Juvenile Owl Juvenile Owl offers Resistance Resistance against conditions via 24px Spiritual Reprieve. The latter also heals for a huge amount and it's AoE, so try to share it with your team whenever possible!


Weapon sets and damage

  • Most of the damage will come from spamming auto attacks.
  • Every axe skill hits hard.
    • Ricochet.png Ricochet is an excellent filler which stacks Might Might (double in 24px Beastmode) and bounces off to other targets. This skill allows you to keep some distance from the target while constantly pressuring them. The bouncing axes can also clean up mesmer clones nicely.
    • Splitblade.png Splitblade is best used in melee range to make all attacks land on the target. The axes also pierce, hitting enemies behind your target as well.
    • Winter's Bite.png Winter's Bite is a powerful ranged attack which should be used in 24px Beastmode for more damage and to deliver all of the conditions in 1 hit instead of having to rely on the pet, while the Weakness Weakness on it can keep Power based specs in check.
    • Whirling Defense.png Whirling Defense is the best AoE / burst skill of the build, but needs some setup (CC).
  • Sword/Warhorn is the defensive/utility weapon set. It provides access to 2 skills with evasion, and auto attack with proper AoE cleave which you can use on downed targets or if an enemy uses projectile denial skills. Furthermore, Vulnerability Vulnerability stacking from Hunter's Call.png Hunter's Call can be used to set up burst.


Stances

  • Leader of the Pack.png Leader of the Pack allows you to share your stances with allies, including your pet. Try to do this whenever possible.
  • Moa Stance.png Moa Stance is a high uptime stance which increases boon duration by 66%. Aim to sync it with your most important sources of boons such as 24px Spiritual Reprieve or Dolyak Stance.png Dolyak Stance.
  • Dolyak Stance.png Dolyak Stance is very straightforward, just use it against any kind of CC whenever necessary. Consider using it before Troll Unguent.png Troll Unguent while under heavy condition pressure. Dolyak Stance can remove 3 conditions and make you immune to those for its duration, which means there's a higher chance for your heal to remove 4 damaging conditions.
Build rating - 5 stars
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2 Ratings
5 stars
Hanz gave this build 5 stars December 2018

For the most part I agree with what gattopaldo said below, and while this does indeed fit conquest better, I think it's for a mention because people do use it for roaming and the majority of matchups are winnable. Even range's not that big of a deal because of the mobility of Owl.

EDIT: bumping my rating up for now, it can 1v1 just about anything and takes camps with ease.

5 stars
Black117 gave this build 5 stars December 2018

It is a complete copy of Boon Beast from PvP just optimized for WvW, great in duels, teamfights, and keeping boons up. And after playing with this specific build for awhile roaming from place to place, joining in on zergs along my way, and leaving to roam again after taking keeps, it has great sustain and support for your teammates if you share your boons correctly. If you play VERY well with it while roaming no one can kill you except a very good mesmer or necromancer even then you should be able to kite away with owl to avoid the condi bombs and evade forever their attacks to set up yours. When outnumbered this build does struggle though if you play defensively and kite hard enough you can avoid dying in those situations. The way you play it determines your success in every fight, and you can win any 1v1 fight. That said because of its great sustain and decent damage and excellent boon uptime I give this a five, though I do admit its range when fighting kiting opponents is lacking it doesn't lose any advantage if you know what you are doing with your pets.

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