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Patch 5.4 Warrior Changes - List and Analysis

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As I did for 5.3, I'll use this topic to list and provide a short analysis of the changes incoming for warriors in 5.4. I'll try to keep the list updated as much as possible, but if ever I miss something just let me know and I'll add it. Also, I won't list any set bonuses or stuff like that as they already have their own thread.

Alright, here we go!

General

  • Enrage now also triggers on critical hits from Devastate and Shield Slam.
  • This is a welcome change to Protection Warriors, but I doubt it'll make much of a difference. Maybe a more experienced prot warrior can confirm for me, but I don't think those 2 spells crit that often anyway. Yet it is a small and free buff to prot.
  • Shattering Throw no longer costs rage.
  • This is a nice buff, both for PvP and PvE. It might change the opener a bit for PvE since we'll now be able to cast ST pre-pull instead of having to build up rage to do it. I maybe foresee something like Pre-Pot -> Shout -> ST -> Charge -> BT -> Fillers -> BT -> Fillers (Bloodbath, Banner & DR) -> BT -> CS (Recklessness) -> etc.
  • Blood and Thunder now also increases the damage of Thunder Clap by 50%.
  • Looks like a nice buff to Prot (mainly) and Arms AoE, but it shouldn't change anything rotationally. I'll never say no to a warrior buff though!
  • Hamstring is no longer on a global cooldown.
  • Nice PvP buff. Considering Hamstring is melee range only, this is more than welcome since you won't have to waste a GCD anymore to slow someone on top of having to use one to get close enough.
  • Riposte is a new passive ability learned at level 76. When the Warrior dodges or parries any attack, they gain 50% of their Parry and Dodge as an additional bonus to Critical Strike for 20 seconds.
  • This is mainly a buff to Prot warriors damage (and a needed one...). Also, it should go pretty well with the shield slam change (see Prot section). It should also calm down anyone who says warriors should gear for crit. Warriors will still use tanking gear.
  • Shield Wall no longer requires a shield. If the Warrior does not have a shield equipped, it will show a visual of an equipped shield.
  • I cannot stress just how much this is a welcome change for dps (and pvp) warriors. Farewell /equipset macros. This was a change that has been asked for so long that I can only say it was about time Blizzard added ths to the game. Now DPS warriors will have a proper defensive cooldown that won't lower their DPS. About. Damn. Time.
  • Spell Reflection no longer requires a shield. If the Warrior does not have a shield equipped, it will show a visual of an equipped shield.
  • See previous comment. Especially the last 3 words.
Talents
  • Enraged Regeneration now instantly heals the warrior for 10% of their total health (up from 5%), and an additional 10% over 5 seconds (up from 5%).
  • This is a huge buff to our T3 Talents. Enraged Regen is now a 20% heal, and becomes a 40% one if enraged, on a 1 minute CD. Considering in ToT gear fury warriors can easily reach 85%+ enrage uptime, this might be the new default choice for Fury warriors. I don't know if Arms or Prot's enrage uptime is high enough to make this talent a good choice.
  • Vigilance no longer transfers damage to the Warrior. The talent now reduces amount of damage the target takes by 30% for 12 seconds.
  • We'll finally be able to use vigilance without having to fear of dying. This is a huge buff to this talent, and will probably make it default choice for PvE if you don't need the shorter CD of Safeguard. In addition with the free taunts it becomes an especially good talent for tanking.
  • Impending Victory now heals the Warrior for 20% of their maximum health at all times (up from 15% on attack and 20% on kills that yield experience or honor).
  • Small impending victory buff. Nothing major enough to make this talent worthwhile compared to the massive buffs of enraged regen.
  • Storm Bolt now also has an off-hand attack for Fury Warriors.
  • Storm Bolt might just become viable for TG, especially coupled with CS. We'll have to wait better theorycrafting to confirm. I still feel that SMF will be left out considering Storm Bolt hits for a % of weapon damage.
  • Warbringer now roots the target for 4 seconds instead of stunning them for 3 seconds. The 50% reduction to movement speed snare effect for 8 seconds remains unchanged. Glyph of Blitz will now cause Warbringer to root an additional 2 nearby targets.
  • PvP nerf. Blizzard did they they tought stuns were too OP in PvP. No impact whatsoever in PvE.
Arms
  • Slam now does an additional 10% damage to targets affected by the warrior’s Colossus Smash.
  • I'll need a better Arms Warrior's opinion on this one but it looks like an incentive to use more Slams instead of HS. I don't know if 10% if a big enough buff to affect anything in the rotation, but it's free damage nonetheless.
  • Seasoned Soldier now also reduces the cost of Thunder Clap by 10 Rage.
  • Coupled with the Thunder Clap damage buff from above, it's a nice buff to Arms AoE. See next comment.
  • Sweeping Strikes now causes melee attacks to strike an additional nearby target for 75% of the initial damage (up from 50%).
  • Once again, a buff to arms multiple target DPS. Blizz is really attempting to buff Arms so that they're not so far behind fury, but that might create a HUGE disparity between Arms and Fury at lower ilvls (even bugger than what it is now). EVERYONE GO ARMS TO DPS CHALLENGE MODES!
Fury
  • Titan’s Grip now works with polearms.
  • Do I really need to comment on this one? It's a dream come true for many, many, many warriors.
Protection
  • Ultimatum now activates from critical hits with Shield Slam instead of a flat 20% chance, and the ability will make the next Heroic Strike or Cleave be a critical hit in addition to costing no Rage.
  • I feel that this changes compliments the Crit on Parry/Dodge change pretty well. And, it's a good (and welcome) DPS buff. I'm still curious as to whereas Shield Small will crit enough (even with the free crit) to make it proc more often than it does now. WTB pro Prot warrior opinion.
Closing notes: I know there have been other changes that have been datamined (Impending vicotry buff, bladestorm CD, Storm Bolt buff, etc.), but I'll wait until they are added to the official patch notes to add them here and comment. Feel free to discuss about them in this thread though.

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For Prot Warrior this is huge in my opinion. Enrage gives 10 rage meaning that crit will become mitigation stat. Problem with Prot war in 10man was it was dealing way too low damage. Now you can stack crit which leads to higher enrage (10% damage buff) and more rage (10 free rage from each proc) meaning that you can either spend it on shield barrier/block or use it for heroic strikes.

This change should have been implemented in 5.2 or even earlier. Finally prot warriors will have their way in 10mans.

If you add enraged regeneration, this is huge buff. 20% heal + 20% hot each 1min is gonna be a very powerful cooldown.

You can see that 5.4 is slight arms adjustment and big boost for prot.

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Whereas I agree that crit will become much better for prot wars, I'm wondering where will it fit in the actualy stat priority?

If you're right, maybe something like Mastery>Crit>Parry=Dodge would be the way to go? If so, it would make blood DK's the only tanks who still need dodge/parry gear.

Unless I am mistaken, however, it would take quite a lot of crit to make this worthwhile. That and the fact that Crit and Mastery gems are both yellow, I'm having doubts about the possibility of actually gearing up that way.

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Arms

  • Slam now does an additional 10% damage to targets affected by the warrior’s Colossus Smash.
  • I'll need a better Arms Warrior's opinion on this one but it looks like an incentive to use more Slams instead of HS. I don't know if 10% if a big enough buff to affect anything in the rotation, but it's free damage nonetheless.

As I mentioned in a previous quote, Slam is pretty active not only as a rage dump but a higher damage output ability than Overpower / Heroic Strike alternatives. Depending on the stack(s) of Overpower I have and the amount of rage I'm sitting at I will go to Slam pretty steadily; especially if I'm in the window of my banner / wrecklessness (Overpower already has a 60% base crit chance).

Giving 10% more to slam, in my opinion, only solidifies my concept of using slam. In the Colossus Smash window you want to be using your highest damage abilities anyhow and, with a 10% damage increase, the development is just saying "Hey - Use this ability more please".

I'll probably keep a tighter eye on my rotation during the Colossus Smash window but, honestly, it won't change that much as I already prioritize Slam as it is.

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I'm not sure yet how I'll be gearing. Being able to stack crit would be huge for us and the free 10 rage would pair very well with the twopiece, but will that make it better than dodge and parry? I'm not convinced. Clearly dodge and parry are not being as emphasized for tanks as a whole anymore, but I'd be concerned about valuing crit above avoidance because of the hit that Revenge will take. 15>10, so every parry/dodge is better, rage-wise than crit. Damage-wise, not so much. A single Shield Slam crit would be worth maybe 5 Revenge hits. It will definitely be something that I'm going to have to try. Ultimately, I'm expecting crit to be a 10m stat more than 25m and 25m prot warriors desperately need a boost to damage as well.

Another remark: with the extremely high percentage of crit block that current mastery gives, having another course for enrages is not really necessary. As long as I'm SBlking, I maintain a very high uptime of enrage. Perhaps crit will be a more important stat for magic-heavy fights? I already tend to keep a second gearset with stam gems for magicky fights, maybe now it will become more of a crit offset?

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I agree in gneraly that SS and Dev crits generating Rage are nice, but not awesome, and I can see it being arguably a higher priority stat than avoidance stats for several reason; there's no DRs on crit rating but with all the strength we have on gear we are quite far into parries DR and dodge's DR is started off pretty harsh so even a t15 LFr geared prot warrior is going to more crit % that avoidance % from the same amount secondary stat rating. And as we get higher and higher avoidance % we start munching more Revenge procs and on top of that you've also got to take into consideration that for most encounters, Sblock is our go to mitigation and that we tend to have fairly high crit block chances, maybe 70%, and that every time we parry or dodge with Sblock up is one less chance (outside of the ICD) to generate 10 rage via crit blocking, and every GCD spent on revenge is also a gcd that can't proc Sword and Board. So it's not quite so clear cut as 15>10. I doubt its really going to make much difference at all as both revenge procs and crits are RNG and we're going to have to put signifcant stat investments in to see much of an inprovement in either's proc chance, stats we'd rather put elswhere.

One advantage with this change is that in a pinch DPS warriors can just slap a shield and 1 hand and not have an entirely terrible gear setup for tanking, sure its not gonna be heroic viable, but for Flexi raiding and peeps just wanting to try out tanking for a bit means they don't need collect an entirely new gear set, which should make it easier for people to get into tanking, and make pugging for tanks easier.

Edited by Tengenstein

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Protection

  • Riposte (New) When you dodge or parry any attack, you gain 50% of your Parry and Dodge as additional Critical Strike for 20 sec. Warrior - Protection Spec.

Won't add it to the main thread until it is confirmed, but I thought I'd post it here to see what you guys think of it :)

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Added the latest (June 20th) changes in green. Feel free to comment and discuss!

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I like how they're all numbered 1. =p

  • Blood and Thunder now also increases the damage of Thunder Clap by 50%.
  • Looks like a nice buff to Prot (mainly) and Arms AoE, but it shouldn't change anything rotationally. I'll never say no to a warrior buff though!

About. Damn. Time.

  • Riposte is a new passive ability learned at level 76. When the Warrior dodges or parries any attack, they gain 50% of their Parry and Dodge as an additional bonus to Critical Strike for 20 seconds.
  • This is mainly a buff to Prot warriors damage (and a needed one...). Also, it should go pretty well with the shield slam change (see Prot section). It should also calm down anyone who says warriors should gear for crit. Warriors will still use tanking gear.

  • Ultimatum now activates from critical hits with Shield Slam instead of a flat 20% chance, and the ability will make the next Heroic Strike or Cleave be a critical hit in addition to costing no Rage.
  • I feel that this changes compliments the Crit on Parry/Dodge change pretty well. And, it's a good (and welcome) DPS buff. I'm still curious as to whereas Shield Small will crit enough (even with the free crit) to make it proc more often than it does now. WTB pro Prot warrior opinion.

Prot's getting buffed? This shit won't last. I SHALL BASK IN ITS GLORY UNTIL THEY TAKE IT AWAY.

Seriously, though. This sounds almost too good to be true. These changes have been desperately needed for way too damned long. In current gear, I have about 37% combined dodge and parry. This will give me roughly 18% extra crit chance every time I dodge/parry. Getting half of a Reck every few seconds? Love it. I think it is an excellent compromise. I was really hoping to see Devastate and HS get a flat buff, but this is better than I could ever have hoped for. This is a strong incentive for tanks to stack real tank gear while also outputting solid damage. It will be very nice indeed to finally pull good numbers in comparison to other tanks. I'm not entirely certain that the change to HS is entirely necessary with the Riposte ability, but I enjoy the slightly less RNG aspect of it. One thing I'll be curious to know is if Riposte will take into account the 30% dodge from the symbiosis ability or trinket-increased dodge. I can't really see why not.

Still, this is a massive, massive buff. I am expecting it to be nerfed before making it live and then be nerfed a week after it goes live. Blizz will at one point realize they've made prot warriors very, very happy and they'll be sure to change it.

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Great changes to get crit all into the stat priorities without creating a hassle about actually gearing for it.

This is an indirect buff to dodge/parry(and with it strength)

Also this will in some way flat out differences between the gearing strategies of hit/exp caps>mastery>rest and the "old" avoidance strategy. While the hit/exp strat provides more successfull hits, the avoidance strat gains more crit through the extra dodge and parry. Therefore less successfull hits but these will crit more often and provide with more enrage uptime and rage to spend on active mitigation.

But all this is napkin math in my head Posted Image

And one thing: it´s a little bit offtopic, but it came to my mind with the changes to vigilance:

Would it be possible to use Vigilance, Taunt and a paladin´s Hand of protection to get 10sec of almost godlike tanking(aggro and invulnerability to all physical effects)?

It would require some macros and coordination, but would nevertheless be useful for hard hitting encounters and any other oh-shit moments

In the best situation, this could offer a really strong mitigation for 2 people

Edit: added part with more enrage uptime for avoidance gearing strat

Edited by check0790

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I like how they're all numbered 1. =p

Stop laughing at my inability to format the posts correctly. >.<

Would it be possible to use Vigilance, Taunt and a paladin´s Hand of protection to get 10sec of almost godlike tanking(aggro and invulnerability to all physical effects)?

I don't know if a boss would even come on you for a split-second when you taunt with HoP, but if you do then it *might* be possible, considering with vigilance up and macro spamming you can get around 100 taunts per second. (enough to make BigBrother lag a bit, I tried it last night). However, I highly doubt the usefulness of such a thing.

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Great changes to get crit all into the stat priorities without creating a hassle about actually gearing for it.

This is an indirect buff to dodge/parry(and with it strength)

Also this will in some way flat out differences between the gearing strategies of hit/exp caps>mastery>rest and the "old" avoidance strategy. While the hit/exp strat provides more successfull hits, the avoidance strat gains more crit through the extra dodge and parry. Therefore less successfull hits but these will crit more often and provide with more enrage uptime and rage to spend on active mitigation.

But all this is napkin math in my head Posted Image

And one thing: it´s a little bit offtopic, but it came to my mind with the changes to vigilance:

Would it be possible to use Vigilance, Taunt and a paladin´s Hand of protection to get 10sec of almost godlike tanking(aggro and invulnerability to all physical effects)?

It would require some macros and coordination, but would nevertheless be useful for hard hitting encounters and any other oh-shit moments

In the best situation, this could offer a really strong mitigation for 2 people

Edit: added part with more enrage uptime for avoidance gearing strat

To be completely honest, the only part of this that I don't disagree with is the first line.

Riposte is aimed for tanks. It is a damage buff not a survivability buff. It does damn-near nothing to up your survivability. The primary job of a tank to hold aggro, but the tank must be alive in order to hold aggro. Survivability is key. The 10 rage from each enrage is nice, but not as nice as hitting in the first place. A Devastate cannot enrage you if it gets parried. The emphasis on dodge and parry will come over mastery, not over hit/exp. Currently, in 540 gear with no nifty cloak, I'm sitting around 77% mastery. It is my expectation that I will be able to easily reach 100% mastery come 5.4 gearing. Sure, there's technically a benefit of going over 100%, but really not much. After I hit mastery cap, I'll definitely start digging into dodge and parry. This will give a gearing strat something like: hit to 7.5%>exp to 15%>mastery to 100%>parry*2=dodge. It is, of course, not exactly 2*parry=dodge. I have a macro I use to find my optimal dodge:parry ratio, but I'm obsessive.

As for Vig=>Taunt=>HoP the short answer is no. The long answer is also no. Yes, it technically works because you can taunt while HoPed, although I don't know if it will work with 9 to 24 of your closest friends wailing on a boss. You can Vig and taunt your heart out, but doing so is overly complicated in a raid setting and absolutely, utterly pointless. Throwing away Vigilance ANd HoP for 10s of invulnerability is nothing short of an atrocious waste. There IS no fight in this tier, last tier, or any tier I've participated in that 10s of physical only invulnerability is that good. Saving Vigilance for use on another player in dire straights would be massively more benefit to your raid team as a whole. Saving HoP to clear stacks or save someone is much more benefit to your raid as a whole. As a warrior, pure physical damage is just about the least threatening thing in the game. You're already fantastically well-equipped to deal with it, why throw away CDs in a gimicky attempt to take no damage that may very well get someone in your raid team killed? If you're going down that hard, you should be calling for Ironbark, Pain Suppression, Guardian Spirit, Hand of Sacrifice, or otherwise. In reality, if you're going down that hard with pure physical damage, some one, some where is screwing up. You're either tanking with a debuff, not utilizing your active mitigation properly, or not getting heals.

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I agree with you about the common usage of hand of protection, but this idea came to my mind, when I PUG´ed ToT 10-man a week ago as dps and we had an offtank who failed/died too often by the kick(fusion slash) of lei shen, resulting in 2 really harsh low percent wipes because the remaining tank would get overwhelmed in p3 by the dot lei shen applied to him. Since it would take 8 sec for the dot to run out, the combo of Vigilance, Taunt and HoP plus another personal cd would allow one switch, therefore buying the time for us to dps him down. HoP is not able to clear the dot. This is a very very specific usage and I see it was my fault to not clearly mark it as special.

It was just an idea, when we otherwise had an awesome group and just one player brings the whole raid down, to force through the encounter.

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Even then you wouldn't need such a trick. Estarriol can confirm it for me, but if I recall correctly if the tank runs away as Lei Shen casts Lightning Whip, the dot will fall off by the time the boss runs back to him. So even in such a specific situation there's something else you could do instead of using HoP in a weird way like that.

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Yep. My bear died in one of our early kills of Lei Shen. I used Heroic Leap, of course, but during the cast of Lightning Whip, there's plenty of time to get to the other side of the platform before Lei Shen can run back. The boss does need to be kept on one side in this case, though.

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