by: M.S. Smith
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Warriors have always been the class in MMOs that are most skilled at getting up close and personal with their opponents and laying the smack down. This is no exception in Rift - but with so many soul combinations available, picking the best can become confusing.
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An Overview of Warrior Souls
The Warrior class in Rift is, as with the warrior class in most games, an up-close-and-personal fighter. Warriors can be tanks, but they can also be massive damage dealers capable of laying waste to multiple foes at a time. They can even land somewhere in-between, using support abilities to help the group gain the upper hand in combat.
In this guide we'll take a look at all of the souls available to the Rift warrior class. At the end, I'll recommend a few popular soul combinations that new players can easily pick up and start using effectively.
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The only pet soul available to the Warrior class, the Beastmaster is an offensive support specialist. Part of the reason to invite a Beastmaster a group is for his ability to deal damage, but Beastmasters are also valuable because of the buffs they bring to the party.
For example, the 32-point base ability Diversion Strike does a modest amount of damage, but the real excitement comes from the 10% higher critical hit chance against the target that is given to all allys attacking it. Beastmasters also can talent the ability to share Bonds - powerful stat buffs - with their allies.
In PvP, the Beastmaster is currently one of the weaker souls, but does have a unique role. With the proper talents selected, the Beastmaster has a very high chance to detect any stealthed opponents in an area. This makes them great for hunting down rogues.
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A pure DPS warrior soul, the Champion seeks to smite opponents with the might of a two-handed weapon. The Champion can deal a lot of damage to any single target, but excels are dealing damage to multiple targets in close-quarters combat. Many of this soul's most powerful attack abilities, such as the 31-point talented attack Titan's Strike, have the ability to hit multiple targets for significant amounts of damage.
Champions are well regarded in PvE for their AOE damage capability. This is also a strength in PvP, but Champions are made even stronger by their wide range of attacks that disable, stun or debuff opponents. For example, the Champion has a fourth-teir talent called Lingering Wounds that debuffs an opponent for 15 seconds, reducing any healing they take by up to 50%.
Overall, Champions are one of the strongest souls currently available to warriors who want to do a lot of damage in a short period of time. This is also a soul that gains a lot of benefit from a strong point investment, as many of the best abilities are deep in the talent tree.
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If you're looking for a traditional sword-and-board tank, look no further. The Paladin is it.
Players coming from World of Warcraft may make the mistake of assuming the Paladin will be something of a caster-warrior hybrid. That's not really the case. The Paladin in Rift is basically a pure tank that focuses on using a shield to reduce incoming damage. The Paladin does have some abilities that buff the entire group or protect group members, but that's the limit of their magic-like abilities.
There is still much debate about the souls that offer the best tanking ability, but most players agree that you're hard pressed to go wrong with Paladin if you want a traditional tank. This soul can take a lot of damage and can generate a lot of threat.
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Another DPS-heavy warrior soul, the Paragon focuses on duel-wielding as means of striking against foes and defending themselves. Although not a tanking tree, the Paragon does have a fair number of defensive abilities and can parry many attacks. In fact, many of the Paragon's abilities focus on deflecting or reducing incoming melee damage and using parry as a trigger for retaliation attacks.
In this sense, the Paragon could be thought of as an anti-warrior warrior, at least in PvP. As you might expect, this focus also makes the Paragon extremely deadly against melee rogues, who are often out-gunned and out-armored when facing up against a paragon. But while the Paragon is capable of doing a lot of damage to any single combat in a one-on-one situation, the Paragon also has a few AOE abilities.
Paragon is a soul that's great for hybrid builds because it offers some nice defensive buffs for just a handful of talent points. The first-teir talent Duality of Mind, for example, provides a parry bonus after you use an ability that generates an attack point (and warriors use such abilities constantly).
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The Reaver is another tanking soul, but instead of following the traditional sword-and-board route of the Paladin, the Reaver uses a number of abilities that can regenerate the Reaver's life and improve his durability. In this sense, the Reaver is something akin to World of Warcraft's Death Knight class.
In fact, the Reaver even uses diseases, much as World of Warcraft's DK does. These disease abilities apply damage-over-time effects, but also weaken enemies, increasing the relative strength of the Reaver and improving the Reaver's ability to survive combat. The Reaver also has a number of talents that act to provide passive buffs to the Reaver's damage mitigation.
Although considered a tanking soul, the Reaver can be used as part of a hybrid support build. Its debuffs are useful even if the Reaver himself is not tanking, so players looking to augment a DPS build with some utility should see what Reaver has to offer.
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An unusual warrior soul, the Riftblade is a bit of a warrior-mage. Although still clad in plate armor and carrying a melee weapon, the Riftblade is unique in that it has access to a large number of abilities that deal damage at range. Called "Spears" these attacks have a 20 yard range. They do damage and also usually have some other side effect. WIndspear, for example, silences the targeted foe for 5 seconds.
In PvE, Riftblades are excellent single-target damage dealers, but I think they shine even brighter in PvP. The ability to do significant damage at both range and melee, while wearing plate armor, makes Riftblades are mobile force to be reckoned with. And as if that weren't enough, they have great PvP talents like Riftwalk, which teleports the Riftblade to the enemy instantly and also breaks any crowd control effects.
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Vindicator is the Warrior PvP soul. Like all of the PvP souls, it can only be purchased using favor earned in Warfronts, and once earned it can only be developed by earning PvP ranks after level 50.
The two branches of Vindicator are clearly separated into DPS and tanking trees. If you prefer to bring the fight to your opponents you will love talents such as Forced Recon, which offers a chance to snare an opponent any time you hit them from behind. Those who prefer to protect allies, however, will enjoy abilities like Guard. This ability lets a warrior absorb part of the damage taken by a targeted ally. It starts at a base of 25% but can be talented up to 50%.
Players who don't enjoy PvP combat will have no reason to take this soul, as it doesn't offer much fo them. Those who do enjoy PvP combat, however, should grab this soul as soon as possible. Although you may not want to use it in every build, it does offer advantages that are at least worth consideration.
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Another defensive warrior, the Void Knight specializes in dealing with magic-using opponents. This means that the Void Knight has the ability to absorb incoming magical damage and turn it into Pacts, which are used to boost the Void Knight's abilities. The Void Knight also can gain pacts by striking opponents with mana, or even striking opponents without mana, depending on the talents taken by the Void Knight.
Although considered a defensive warrior, the Void Knight can be deadly in an offensive role, particularly in PvP combat. The Void Knight's ability to drain mana from opponents, as well as reduce the effectiveness of spells cast again them, makes the Void Knight a great class for hunting down and killing enemy healers and mages.
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The Warlord is a defensive support specialist - in other words, he's the less aggressive brother to the Beastmaster.
Potentially a sword-and-board tank, the Warlord has access to abilities and talents that improve his armor rating, block chance and health. However, the Warlord also offers a number of attacks that increase the effectiveness of all group members. For example, the Assault Command ability offers a substantial buff to the attack power of all allies in a raid with the Warlord.
The large number of defensive and support abilities make Warlord a good tanking soul if you'd like to invest in it heavily, but it's also a great soul for players who are looking to add durability to a build. The Warlord soul offers a first-tier talent that improves armor rating and two second tier talents that improve block and dodge.
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Now that we've summarized the souls available to the warrior, it's time to consider a few soul combinations that can help you get started in Rift.
Champion/Paragon/Riftblade - Want to DPS? Consider this combination. Going deep into the Champion soul provides you with all sorts of ways to do nasty damage to opponents. Paragon and Riftblade can also provide support talents that will increase your overall damage, but this build is mostly about the Champion.
Paladin/Warlord/Paragon - A classic sword-and-board tank, this build mains in Paladin but also picks up the low-tier passive defensive bonuses found in the Warlord tree. Paragon main seem like a strange addition, but the five-point tier one talent that increases parry chance can be a good choice.
Beastmaster/Warlord/Riftblade - A support DPS build, this combination provides you with a wide variety of abilities that improve your entire party or raid. This includes stat buffs for allies and debuffs that can be used against opponents. Riftblade is essentially a 0-point choice in this combination, so feel free to select a different soul if you think it would be more beneficial.