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First off, welcome! I am Sajakain and my main class has always been a warrior with the very first one being a Night Elf on the EU realms. I started toward the end of Vanilla and the start of Burning Crusade. Primarily I fancy the DPS side of the Warrior and it's what I feel I do best. From time to time I have dabbled in tanking but we'll leave that aspect to Estarriol.
This guide is written by me, obviously. It really is a single collection of multiple sources that include, but are not limited to, Blizzard patch notes, other guides, forum discussions, in-game theorycrafting and testing, using SimulationCraft, reviewing logs. . . a whole slew of resources. Hopefully this guide will be able to present relevant information to you, separated by self-titled sections, in an easy-to-understand fashion. It is worth noting that, as you progress with your Warrior or conduct your own research you may find something in this guide that doesn't make sense or... may actually be wrong. That's completely acceptable by me and, with such questioning, I'd be glad to sit down with you and discuss your findings and questions over a mug of whatever the Brew of the Month is at the time while we figure out what's right.
With all this being said, let's get to the guide! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed composing it.
Before we get knee deep into things, I'd like to make you aware of some other resources at your disposal. It is only fitting that I provide these up front as these resources are what I use to improve my performance in game and, ultimately, compose this very guide. If you should have any questions about these resources, don't hesitate to ask!
Icy Veins: Arms Warrior Guide SimulationCraft MMO Champion Warrior Forum Board
1. Which does more damage: Arms or Fury? This information will contain simulation results once they are available. 2. What kind of weapon should I use? The bottom line is use the 2H weapon that has the most damage. This means the 2H weapon that has the highest item level. It does not make a difference as to whether or not it's a 2H Axe, Sword, or Mace or whether it is a Polearm. Under no circumstance should an Arms Warrior use a 1H weapon of any kind.
Draenei: Heroic Presence Dwarf: Might of the Mountain, Stoneform Gnome: Expansive Mind, Nimble Fingers Human: Every Man for Himself, The Human Spirit Night Elf: Quickness, Touch of Elune Worgen: Viciousness Horde:
Blood Elf: Arcane Torrent, Arcane Acuity Goblin: Time is Money Orc: Blood Fury Tauren: Brawn, Endurance, War Stomp Troll: Berserking Undead: Touch of the Grave, Will of the Forsaken Neutral:
The objective of Blizzard making these changes was to (hopefully) level the playing field between the races. As you can tell there are some that may seem more beneficial than others (such as the guaranteed bonus damage that comes from the Dwarf and Tauren Racials). The end result is simply to pick whichever race you really enjoy whether it be a dwarf of the Alliance or an orc of the Horde. It's really up to you!
Talents, in 7.0.3, have moved closer to Blizzard's goal of personal choice. Each choice you make can be beneficial in respective situations. Use your best judgement of your needs (or your raid's needs) and select the appropriate talent. Listed here are my observations of each tier.
Tier 1 / Level 15:
Dauntless: Your abilities cost 20% less Rage. Overpower: Overpowers the enemy, causing 375% Physical damage. Cannot be blocked, dodged or parried, and has a 60% increased chance to critically strike. All your melee attacks have a chance to activate Overpower. Sweeping Strikes: Mortal Strike and Execute hit a second nearby target. After recent updated information, Dauntless is seems to be the go-to option here. Sweeping Strikes, if the adds are able to be stacked and you're dealing with 2 targets, specifically.
Tier 2 / Level 30:
Shockwave: Sends a wave of force in a frontal cone, causing [(125% of Attack Power) * 1.25] damage and stunning all enemies within 10 yards for 4 sec. Cooldown reduced by 20 sec if it strikes at least 3 targets. Storm Bolt: Hurls your weapon at an emey, causing 60% Physical damage and stunning for 4 sec. Deals quadruple damage to targets permanently immune to stuns. Double Time: You can use Charge twice in a row, but it can only grant Rage once every 12 sec. Each use has a 20 sec recharge time. Double Time is the go-to here as Storm Bolt appears to no longer quadruple the damage done to permanently immune mobs. If a mob needs to be stunned then Storm Bolt may be viable while Shockwave is generally used for massive AoE control situations.
Tier 3 / Level 45:
Fervor of Battle: Whirlwind deals 30% increased damage to your primary target. Rend: Wounds the target, causing (540% of Attack power) Bleed damage over 15 sec. Avatar: Transform into a colossus for 20 sec, causing you to deal 20% increased damage and removing all roots and snares. This tier is interesting. It seems to be a choice of playing style for your Arms Warrior. It would be safe to say, just gauging off current numbers, that Fervor of Battle will come up short to Rend and Avatar. My personal choice as of now is Rend for both single and multi-target fights.
Tier 4 / Level 60:
Second Wind: Restores 6% health every 1 sec when you have not taken damage for 5 sec. Bounding Stride: Reduces the cooldown on Heroic Leap by 15 sec, and Heroic Leap now also increases your run speed by 70% for 3 sec. Defensive Stance: A defensive combat state that reduces all damage you take by 20%, and all damage you deal by 10%. Lasts until cancelled. Bounding Stride should be your default choice here. Second Wind is great for leveling, maybe, and Defensive Stance (aside from being really weird as a talent) is only to be used if you seem to have a problem surviving heavy-hitting mechanics that are unavoidable otherwise.
Tier 5 / Level 75:
In For The Kill: Mortal Strike generates 20 Rage when used against targets that are below 20% health. Mortal Combo: Mortal Strike now has a maximum of 2 charges. Focused Rage: Focus your rage on your next Mortal Strike, increasing its damage by 50%, stacking up to 3 times. Unaffected by the global cooldown. Ah... the Mortal Strike tier. While Focused Rage may sound nice (especially considering it's off the GCD), it's tricky because it takes 3 casts to up the damage of Mortal Strike. (Casting Mortal Strike consumes any stacks you have obtained.) In current testing, In For The Kill is the one putting out the most damage.
Tier 6 / Level 90:
Deadly Calm: Battle Cry also reduces the Rage cost of your abilities by 100% for the duration. Trauma: Slam and Whirlwind now cause the target to bleed for 20% additional damage over 6 sec. Multiple uses accumulate increased damage. Titanic Might: Increases the duration of Colossus Smash by 16 sec, but reduces its effectiveness by 20%. With recent tests done, Trauma is coming out ahead. This could potentially change as we level to 110 and obtain appropriate loot. If anything else, this looks to be a play-style choosing tier so, for the time being, pick whatever suits your preference.
Tier 7 / Level 100:
Anger Management: Every 10 Rage you spend reduces the remaining cooldown on Battle Cry by 1 sec.
Opportunity Strikes: Your melee abilities have up to a 60% chance, based on the target's missing health, to trigger an extra attack that deals 160% Physical damage.
Ravager: Throws a whirling weapon at the target location that inflicts [7 * (250% of Attack power)] damage to all enemies with in yards over 7 sec.
Of the three here, Opportunity Strikes is the coming out ahead of Anger Management. Ravager can be taken for AoE situations. It's worth noting that the over time effect of Ravager is affected by your haste. (My current tooltip on the PTR actually reads 6.6 sec instead of 7).
This is one of the most discussed topics I come across. I considered putting this in the "F.A.Q." section but, in my opinion, it is so important that I gave it it's own section. Stat weights are pretty straight forward for an Arms Warrior. Before I get to that, however, let's look at the stats and how they directly affect our warrior, shall we?
Strength: This is our main stat. All your pieces, save trinkets, will have this stat on it. Critical Strike: This stat increases our chance to make our attacks critically hit which means more damage. We love doing more damage! Haste: This stat directly affects attack speed. Mastery: Our mastery buff is Mastery: Colossal Might. It increases the damage of your Colossus Smash by %, and causes it to increase damage you deal to the target by an additional % (% is based on the amount of mastery you have.) Versatility: Versatility increases damage done and decreases all damage taken. Now that we know what our stats are - what are their weights? As stated, it's pretty straight forward. Initially it is Strength -> Mastery > Haste -> Versatility -> Critical Strike. Pretty simple, right?
Single Target Rotation
The single target rotation is influenced based on your talent choices. In the Arms specialization you can have two types of builds - one that is leaned toward passive play (Dauntless, Fervor, In For The Kill, etc) or you can have an active one (such as the recommended talents above). The below priority is assuming you have the selected talents.
Colossus Smash Execute (Sub 20% HP / Proc off Ayala's Stone Heart) Mortal Strike Slam You have one cooldown to consider as well, as an Arms Warrior. That cooldown is Battle Cry. For the Arms specialziation, it allows the use of abilities for free (No Rage cost) for 5 seconds. Ideally you want to use this while your Colossus Smash debuff is applied and during your Execute phase. You can use it on CD but save it if you're within a minute of approaching 20% HP.
This guide will be updated upon the release of Legion to include the Artifact Weapon, Strom'kar, the Warbreaker, and it's spell Warbreaker.
Multiple Target Rotation
It's important to note that if you are doing a multiple target rotation you should have changed talents from the ones recommend above if the targets are able to be stacked together. You will change the Tier 1 / Level 15 talent from Overpower to Sweeping Strikes. If the targets are spread out or cannot be stacked for a duration of time then Overpower will still be your talent of choice.
Depending on the amount of time the multiple targets live depends on how much you deviate from the single target rotation as well as if they're stacked or not. Assuming that you have 2 - 3 mobs that are stacked you would use the following AoE abilities:
Bladestorm Cleave Whirlwind Take note of the improved Cleave. For each add you hit with it, up to 5 maximum, it'll increase your damage of your next Whirlwind by 20%. (5 adds hit = 100% increased Whirlwind Damage).
Lastly, while your abilities are on CD in the AoE situation you can prioritize your single target rotation. Use a little forethought - if an add is not going to last for 15 seconds or more do not use Rend; use other priorities. Additionally, I would not take the GCDs to apply rend to more than 3 targets - prioritizing those of most importance.
To be completed at a later time.
To be completed at a later time.
7/17/2016: Original Post
7/19/2016: Updated Post to reflect similarities in IV's Guide on Talents and Stat weights where needed.