If you’re looking for something that isn’t the meta, some of the most fun I’ve had in the game is building a weapon combo/play style that survives by simply…not getting hit!
I know it sounds weird. Most will say get the heaviest armor you can get and you can survive a beating. Spec into a healing build, and you can heal for whatever you get hit for. Face roll your keyboard with a great axe or hatchet while doing your nails and things die (yawn!). Me? I avoid getting hit.
“But War…how do you do this? You’re saying I can stop taking damage that brings my health to critically low levels?” Yes indeed.
First, remember that the build you ultimately decide upon has to be one that you enjoy playing. This isn’t Lord of the Rings with One Build to rule them all, One Build to find them, One Build to bring them all… If it makes you smile and get closer to the screen with some finger cramping on the mouse and kb, then it’s working. You have to find one that makes you look forward to logging in
Second, no combo is going to be great at everything. You specified pve, so let’s stick to that. You won’t be chasing down targets that try to disengage. You’re not going to optimize for big wars and hordes of players humping a cap point. You’re wanting to kill stuff effectively while solo and grouped, while additionally not experiencing the thrills of repeated respawns.
Enemies that can’t hit you won’t hurt you. Main weapon → Spear. Nothing else keeps things on their back or stunned with all the cool down reduction passives to continue doing this. You’ll also be a group’s best friend with the highest rend debuff in the game; effectively giving the entire group a +30% damage bonus that can be applied infinitely.
Secondary → chill out for awhile with Ice Gauntlet. You’ll love ice storm’s dot and slow, combined with ice shower’s wall that stops things that get to the edge of your storm and lets them stand there and think about life choices. Down in your passives you’ll also see your heavy attacks repeatedly freeze targets in their tracks for even more immobilization. Big pull? No worries! Drop an Ice storm where you’re at, eat a little lunch and enjoy a little 'time in ze coolah" with your entomb. Health and mana fills up fast doing that, and then you have a nifty knockback/damage and defense bonus when you break out of it to do what? Yep, repeat ice storm/shower while you skate away.
Try it! You’ll like it! Coolest combo in the game that never let’s you down. Just knocks them down, without breaking a sweat! (See what I’ve done here!? Lol!)
edit – Oh, and for extra thrills and chills (doh! Did it again!), put tons into intelligence and get a lightning or arcane damage gem for your spear.