A Guide to Bleeding in Guild Wars 2


Bleeding is a condition that is not well understood. It stacks intensity, but does that mean if I apply a 10 second bleed and a 5 second bleed that I get 2 stacks of bleed for 10 seconds? Do I get 2 for 5 seconds? Do I get 2 for 5 seconds and then 1 for 5 seconds? Halp!

Bleeding is unique in that it stacks in intensity and tracks each application of bleed individually. This means that the number of bleeds you see on the boons and condition tracker is telling you how many applications are currently in effect and also how long before all of the bleeds have run their course.

Does that make bleeding a viable option to doing damage in PvP? To the Math-Fu!

Lets get some constants figured out.

First you are going to need to know how much bleeding does per “pulse” or tick.

Bleeding Condition Damage Formula:
0.5 * Level + 0.05 * Condition Damage per stack per second

Formula as it relates to sPvP:
40 + (Condition Damage / 20)
Ref: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Bleeding

This is the amount of damage that someone will take every second per stack of bleeding.

Assuming you do want to focus on condition damage in PvP, here are your friends:

Rabid/Carrion Amulet: +798 Condition
Talents: +300 Condition
Rabid/Carrion Gem: +125 Condition
Malice Runes: +183 Condition
Total = 1406 or +70.3 Condition damage
Max Damage = 110.3

That is the upper cap of damage. It is more realistic if we go with a condition damage number that is a bit more reasonable—like 1200.

Assume ~1200 condition damage or 100 damage per bleed pulse.

Bleeding damage ignores damage reduction such as defense, toughness, and the protection boon. It also ignores damage enhancing conditions such as vulnerability.

The damage for bleeding does not change. Only its duration does.

You need to consider that condition damage does not live in a vacuum. People are going to want to remove conditions that kill them quickly. The skill of a player will ultimately affect these numbers, but for the sake of good timing, availability of actions that remove skills, and general insanity, lets say that your stack goes poof every 10 seconds.

Assume every 10 seconds you lose all stacks of your bleed.

We now have the basics required to do some number Crunching.

Case Examples

If Joe Warrior breaks out a Rifle and starts spamming auto attack, this is what you could expect if you don’t factor in Sigils, Runes, or Traits (don’t worry, we will get to those).

Case A: 135 ticks, 13500 damage from bleed 

Wow. That’s a lot of damage! Actually, it isn’t. Thirty seconds is a long fight for someone focusing on damage. Even when you add in the base damage of the rifle, weighing in at about 350, the 30 shots come out to 10.5k. 24k damage over 30 seconds is enough to kill ‘most’ things when you factor in the entire health pool and one heal.

Case B: 175 ticks, 17500 damage from bleed

Fortunately that is our starting point. From here lets figure in Sigils, because the Sigil of Superior Earth makes a condition build a possibility. The Sigil of Superior Earth gives you a 60 percent chance of applying a stack of bleed (duration of 5s) on a crit.

Because crit is currently pretty easy to come by with a Rifle-based warrior and Fury, and I like the number, lets assume a 50/50 chance of crit. Together that means a 30% chance of a bleed per attack.

Assume a 30% chance of adding a 5s bleed each shot; every third attack bleeds.

Ok, well now we are getting somewhere. 17.5k damage from bleeding. 13.1k damage from just the rifle (half shots crit and do +50% damage). 30.6k damage in the end. Not bad. Can we do better?

Case C: 213 ticks, 21300 damage from bleed

For the polish we can add in traits. Since we are still on the Warrior, lets keep in mind the natural 33% chance to bleed on crit from the Arms tree.

Now I know some of you are going to immediately scream ‘Wait, there is also a +50% bleed duration!’ True. It does exist. However if you check the case studies so far—duration really isn’t your friend.

The big argument against condition builds is the very valid argument that ‘any skilled player is going to get rid of them’. They can. They will. What you can do is factor that in during build planning and that means you only need the +10% from 10 points in strength. Fractions in Damage Over Time conditions round up—meaning you get an extra second on every bleed. This is, effectively, all you need.

Assume a 16% chance of adding a 5s bleed each shot; every sixth attack bleeds.

Assume every bleed lasts 1s longer.

Now we are sitting at 21.3k damage in bleed and 13.1k from the rifle. 34.4k is the result now. In the end it is still a lot more than the 24k on the first example.

What about…

The real reason to capitalize on condition builds is not something as simple as spamming Rifle-1 all day. There are warrior sword abilities that give you multiple stacks at once, such as impale. There is a sword burst (Flurry) on a low cooldown(5) that can fill up the bleeding condition bar on a good run.

A player can have a maximum of 25 stacks of bleed on them at one time.

Consider Flurry. Your crit rate is significantly higher while bursting with a sword, but lets keep the constant of 50% from before.

At a level 3 burst you are striking 12 times. You apply 12 bleeds automatically. You crit 6 times (at 50%) and each crit has two 60% chances of applying a bleed (two Sigils of Superior Earth). This balances out to 7 extra bleeds at 5(6)s on top of 12 2(3)s bleeds.

You get ~3000 base damage from hitting 200 each with 6 basic crits.
You get 3600 from the 12 3s bleeds.
You get 4200 (potentially) from the 7 extra bleeds.
10.8k damage, 6.6k of it is up front in a few seconds.

A smart player will wait for this and wipe the condition at the end of the flurry. A smart condition player will also utilize some CC and make doing that a lot harder– isn’t their next move a given?

See you on the battlefield!
[TMG] Ragnaruss


*Source. Large thanks to Ragnaruss of TMG for writing this guide. If you would like to see more from Rag, let’s hear it in the comments section!

  • Qstrike

    Weird I ran all your same numbers and came up with 27…guess that’s why I run a power Necro build and not a condition one! TMG Rag turning into BnC Rag I think that has a nicer ring to it if I do say so myself.

  • Ragnaruss

    Bleed will cap out at 25. To get to that point you either need someone else stacking bleeds (not recommended) or land a Flurry (recommended) with a warrior. The ranger and elementalist also have great options– the ele actually has better potential to bleed with an earth attuned scepter. Rifle has range on it, though.

    With the video Telf put up, check out the stacks of bleed that pop on Chieftan when I initiate it with the rifle. Before TMG-Volatyle jumps in to add in some bleed there are ~10 stacks on him. A lot of the fights hover around that point, which is a free 1k dps that cuts through defenses. It compliments control functionality very well such as shield bash, bulls rush, and bolas.

    • Qstrike

      Oh man now I feel bad I was totally trolling you like if you have X bleeds at X damage per bleed with X fight time and X variables (heals, dodged attacks, ect) damage comes out to 27!!! Old Simpsons reference (the number not the equation) Then you came back with a real thought out reply so umm… yeah thanx for making me feel like an a**.

      Love you though, would love to see more of your teams theory builds with how you came up with em in the future good read and apologize for the sarcastic other post!! :)

      • Ragnaruss

         Ha! You didn’t have a memeface in it so its all good. :D

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  • Sause

    Is each Bleeding a seperate Condition. So condition removal would need like x*stack to remove the entire stack?
    Or is Bleeding never Counting the stacks and removed when a e.p. Skill removes 1 Condition all Stacks removed?

    Greetings Sause

    • Erik Shafer

      If you have a condition removal skill, it WILL remove the entire bleed stack. Doesn’t matter if there’s 1x or 25x stacks. ^Faelor

  • Snarfy

     ”Fractions in Damage Over Time conditions round up—meaning you get an extra second on every bleed.”

    Is this true?  I was under the impression that durations rounded down, meaning you’d need +100% bleed duration to get an extra second from a 1s bleed.  Conversely, at +10% bleed you wouldn’t get an extra second of bleeding per application unless it was at least a 10s bleed to start with. 

  • WaNgErDoHg

    Yay for math! I tried out a bleed build for the last BWE, but instead of running sword/sword I tried out sword/axe to take advantage of whirling axe crits to stack bleeds. It felt like I was able to stack bleeds more easily this way and just have overall better damage output

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  • http://www.facebook.com/nezix Levi Star

     ”Fractions in Damage Over Time conditions round up—meaning you get an extra second on every bleed.”
    Does this mean that a 2.3 second bleed rounds down to 2, and a 2.5 second bleed rounds to 3? Or would a any fraction round up an extra second?

  • blackice

    i can remove every conditions every 25 seconds as necromancer. and i see many other classes heal a lot and remove conditions easily.

  • Puk

    This is an ok article, however in your closing paragraph you are overlooking the internal cooldown of 2 secs for the sigil, so at most you *might* get the extra bleed twice. Not 7 times. Its impossible.