Neverwinter Great Weapon Fighter DPS Initiator Guide

Neverwinter Great Weapon Fighter DPS Initiator Guide by extinction777

I am ExtinctioN on the Dragon server. I play a different style of GWF dps and have been slaughtering the epic dungeons as an initiator. I’d like to present an alternative way to play the GWF.

I will be editing and reorganizing this post when time permits. The core of the build is currently presented but I plan to add feat selection as well in the future.


After really getting into dungeons and putting this build to test I’d like to add some critical thoughts.

Stat priority – Power, Crit, Recovery, Armour Pen – (at end game purple gear level)

I want to express how important recovery is to maximum dps and effectiveness. When you get geared up with recovery from your purple gear your action point gain gets pretty crazy. In longer battles against elites with trash you can have slam up 2 or 3 times its that fast of gains.

To really drive your action point gain, you want to hitting your encounters when unstoppable as much as possible. If you are going in first on most pulls you will have unstoppable every fight right at the start.

On a final note this build continues to crush, it’s even more powerful in tier 2 then it was in tier 1 as the mobs are stronger with more hps.


Thank you to everyone I’ve spoken to in game. It’s awesome hearing the success of the build. Thanks everyone that has tried the build out and provided feedback.

I’d also like to say, this build shouldn’t be able to do single target damage of the destroyer, but the destroyer should not be able to touch the aoe output of this feat tree if played correctly. This is my opinion after many dungeon runs with destroyer GWF’s.

I haven’t experimented with running sure strike during more single target areas as I mostly pug and its not worth switching during the run. But a team could easily stop for a few seconds and let the initiator switch to single target sure strike for any important single target fights, which I have found to be few. In this scenario you won’t build determination as quickly as the destroyer but you should have way more power then it would be possible for him to get.

At wills:
Weapon Master Strike – amazing debuff for buffed Wicked Strike hits from Initiator tree
Wicked Strike – buffed from Initiator tree to do stacking increased damage for each foe hit, wrecks enemies during Unstoppable

Using these 2 at-wills has a timing to maximize dps. When not on unstoppable you want to be tapping weapon master strike and then immediately hitting wicked strike. Your second AOE cleave of weapon master strike goes off while your wicked striking stacking both attacks debuffing your enemies and boosting dps significantly. Once your second WMS swing is complete you want to finish the swing your on with wicked strike and tap WMS again to reque up the free attack while you get back to wicked strike.

During unstoppable these two at-wills become retarded with this build as you will see further down into the build how this all synergies with group play. Anyway, how you hit unstoppable with this set up is as follows. You want to tap your WMS, after tapping WMS hit your unstoppable and start going to town with your wicked strikes. With the unstoppable buff, your WMS debuff and your Initiator WS buff paired up with your other feats the screen will become a spray of damage numbers and is a thing of beauty.

Not So Fast – many uses for this ability use it at the correct time! What its used for: used as a boost to dps during downtime of unstoppable in aoe fights and to draw some agro to build your meter if required, used as a dps boost to gain combat advantage in single target fights increasing your entire parties damage output on bursting bosses when add waves aren’t up, used for its proc to set up combat advantage for you to unload your encounters or unstoppable for max damage.

This is your utility knife encounter power and you have to decide when is the best time to pop it. With the initiator spec this ability gives combat advantage for the entire party for 3 seconds. With your initiator feats combat advantage gives you increased damage and crit chance. You can tap WMS then this encounter giving you the buff of crit and damage and the debuff of WMS to your at-wills then pop unstoppable and start wicked striking. Again the screen will be an explosion of damage numbers. When not clearing waves and focusing a tougher monster, pop this encounter before you unload your single target burst skills we will talk about next.

Indomitable Battle Strike – use it, love it. This encounter is insane. Feel free to blast this into a group of debuffed mobs for max damage or during combat advantage from Not So Fast against single target. This ability is amazing. Nothing else to say use it.

3rd encounter you can play with and there are lots of options. If you like pounding on bosses use flourish if you like aoeing all over the place use ground stomp as it also gives combat advantage and crit buff from your feats, you like building determination use roar, you like running all over the place use battle fury. The choice is yours on this one to complement your play style and interests. Many options all are good to make sure it synergies with your play style.

Slam – use with caution! You are an aggro magnet when you hit this but it’s beast for damage. Use in trash waves and watch the numbers fly.

Second daily again optional to your play style. Slam will be used most of the time but having something like crescendo slotted if you need the single target burst doesn’t hurt. Always buff yourself with not so fast before using crescendo to maximize the damage on it.

Class feature:
Weapon master – lll get into why below but crit is very important for this build and synergies with the spec.

Steel blitz – extra dps and with your aoe nature is a great class feature



5/5 – unstoppable action
3/3 – disciple of strength
3/3 – endless assault
4/5 – steely defence
2/3 – weapon mastery
3/3 – devastating critical

I’m a half Orc, but you can see where the human feats would go.


5/5 – unstoppable recovery
5/5 – vicious advantage
5/5 – allied opportunity
5/5 – group assault
1/1 – instigators vengeance
Capstone feat – stacking 10% power up to 5 times for 50%. Sick feat. Don’t worry about this buff in aoe waves just enjoy the stacks when you have them. During boss fights and less enemies on screen it’s easier to keep this up. Use your single target skills when this is maxed and you are buffed with Not So Fast.

5/5 bleed from destroyer – your capstone increases your power 50% at full stacks. This bleeds enemies you crit based of your power. Nothing else to say. As a crit focused build this feat is awesome. When you’re wicked striking through guys with the debuff from WMS rolling and unstoppable up while shredding their defences and bleeding them with every crit you are putting out major damage.

5/5 defence shred from sentinel – this makes your entire party stronger including you. The single target numbers flourish and indomitable will put up on a 45% defence shredded enemy with 50% increased power and buffed crit/damage from not so fast is pretty impressive for an aoe focused class. This skill is awesome. When levelling this was the first feat I took and then moved to initiator it’s that good.

Let me know your thoughts, I have a blast with this build!!

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10 Responses

  1. Zaragon says:

    Going to try it at 60. and in regards to the few comments at the top this is all about preference. So people, don’t put down each other and be respectful to the person who was kind enough to submit it.

  2. Luna Thuul says:

    TY. I’m still leveling but I do follow your guide. About third encounter I think I’ll use the Mighty Leap stomp or Flourish according to situation and maybe Roar as soon as I can gain and test it.
    Two questions, please.
    1. Which abilities have you increased.
    2. Which stats are more effective for Initiator build: power (I suppose :) and what other?
    enricaas from Dragon

  3. Yonlop says:

    I use this build now and it wrecks stuff in dungeons.. been to a few and always coming out first in dps against TR and CWs. Very damaging in clearing groups of mobs, although the single target dps leaves much to be desired.

    This is how GWF is meant to be played, an aoe monster killer.

  4. vash says:

    tried your build and sorry its weak and one of the lower dps builds, please try again

  5. GWF on Beholder says:

    @Agrivane Ground stomp is supposed to be mighty leap it’s the only ability in your powers list that gives the buffs he mentions. and it’s part of the initiator feats buffs

  6. GWF from Mindflayer.. says:

    I’d like you to do better,
    What are you running huh?
    The “amazing” stunlock build? <-So fucking shit dps, a squirrel doing auto attacks can trump it.
    Destroyer? Prob destroyer. All the new gwf's go destroyer. Simply because they have no fucking clue what they're doing :) And yes, you're right up in the alley with them.

    I like the build mate, but I made a few changes.
    Not much, but I can say that nobody have so far beaten me in terms of damage, kills in a dungeon. And not even in CN.

  7. ItsMe says:

    Hi there, I wonder what “ground stomp” may be as I can’t find it in my powers or I’m blind?
    Btw….thanks for this excellent guide.

  8. Agrivane says:

    Ignore the above poster, awesome build i smash shit in T2’s now.

  9. Dragon says:

    Awful build. Looks like someone just wanted to throw together random crap to try and be unique.

  10. PulSate says:

    Thanks for the guide to playing GWF a little differently. Could you also add to it the final stats you placed and what would be the optimum in your opinion.


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