Neverwinter Heart of Fire Great Weapon Fighter Balancing Changes


The upcoming Neverwinter Heart of Fire update comes with a full balancing pass that affects all classes to some extent. We’ll be going over all relevant aspects and tackle the most important points related to the current meta and builds within our extensive preview series. Today we analyze Great Weapon Fighters, which mainly see their Instigator tree reworked.

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Destroyer Still Destroys Things

The best news for the class lovers might be that their current best DPS path remains completely untouched. Destroyers will still destroy things as they have been ever since Module 10 or so. Since at the same time TRs get a nerf and should slide down the meta charts for now, the sword wielders could ascend as top DPS choice again (watch out for HRs and GFs, though). The best current build remains viable in any case and even gets another toy to play with in “Steel Blitz”. The class feature received a major rework and buff that makes it worth looking into it. Some are reporting back from preview with promising results.

Instigator Gets a Buff

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Another thing that’s getting a buff is the Instigator feat tree. You can look up all changes in the feedback thread, but Instigators basically turn into an interesting mobile DPS spec. Especially “Nimble Runner” could make for interesting synergies in groups. The feat now grants up to 40% bonus damage based on the GWFs movement speed. It’s a fresh approach that certainly sounds promising. Despite all the buffs, players have a hard time seeing Instigator taking over the DPS reign from Destroyers. The latter just features too many and too good self-buffs that fit the current meta perfectly. So it might be something to toy around with in PVP, but players won’t likely switch over to Instigator for PVE.

One major hindrance still is the capstone feat. It got slightly buffed, but is still too hard to maintain as you need to get hit six times for the full bonus. Compared to Destroyer’s Purpose, which can be actively stacked by attacking, it feels inferior.

We were made aware that some key Instigator feats are not yet working and not providing their full damage bonus. So make sure to monitor those patch notes before hopping onto a new build.

What’s with Sentinels?

Those that hoped to see a resurgence of Sentinels and tanking builds will be disappointed. The feat path is getting no love for now, which means you’ll at least have to wait until Mod 16 for further changes. This also means that the GWF remains a one-trick pony. Other than DPS (albeit very potent), the class doesn’t offer much diversity. It’s certainly an issue other classes would gladly have, but given that it’s been the case for the longest time now, a few more options wouldn’t have hurt. And while Instigator could make for fun encounters, it does not challenge the current meta and builds.


The official thread only featuring four pages of feedback already indicates that there’s not much happening for GWFs in Module 15. For all you DPS lovers that’s great as you will surely not lose your current position in the Paingiver and meta. Those that hoped for more viable play styles however don’t get anything out of the update. Going forward finding a place and purpose for the Sentinel feat tree, and to a lesser extent still Instigator, will remain the challenge for the devs. It’s not like the class is in a bad place however. It still performs very well in the one thing it’s good at. So you can safely save your re-spec tokens for later use!

What’s your opinion on the Heart of Fire Great Weapon Fighter changes? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit our message board!

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j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

4 thoughts on “Neverwinter Heart of Fire Great Weapon Fighter Balancing Changes

  • October 23, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    “The official thread only featuring four pages of feedback already indicates that there’s not much happening for GWFs in Module 15.”
    But how many pages were “removed from view” or consigned to the lower depths?


  • October 24, 2018 at 8:20 am

    It seems this is a very shallow article. GWF Will get a big buff from AOC procs. TR:s will lose 50% dps and die as class. GF extensive buff from clumsy multi Griffon implementation, CW is buffed, SW is buffed etc etc.

    More intetestingly, the dumbass behind these idiot unbalances left Cryptic. Hundreds of player’s logical advice in Forum threads are 100% neglected.

    Moreover, new comp. equipment will supply about 14k more stats, how about that for a sick buff. Paired with weapon buffs etc. everything will be one-phased now, even by subpar pts.

  • October 24, 2018 at 8:51 am

    “The best current build remains viable in any case and even gets another toy to play with in “Steel Blitz””

    Gee, have a link for that current build? I’m not asking for that 2-strikes dragon-dead in WOD build…but a legit one?

  • October 27, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Considerig Gwfs has the loudest QQ choir a lot…

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