Arms Warrior DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoD 6.0.3)

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Arms Warrior Art Image
General Information

On this page, we list your Arms Warrior core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft WoD 6.0.3. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing an Arms Warrior.

The other pages of our Arms Warrior guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Jalopy, one of the best Arms Warriors in the world, who raids in Duality. You can watch his stream on Twitch.

6.0.2 Transition Guide

If you want to read all about the Patch 6.0.2 changes and learn how they affect your character, make sure to read our Warrior Transition Guide!

1. Single Target Rotation↑top

The Arms Warrior rotation is made up of multiple phases, mostly having to do with whether or not the debuff applied by your Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash is up on the target or not.

When the target is below 20% health, you have to employ a different Execute rotation, but we cover this in a subsequent section.

Note that it is important to understand several key concepts of the rotation in order to be able to execute it comfortably. We advise you to read our section on key concepts.

1.1. Outside Colossus Smash

When Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash is not active on the target, your rotation is based on the following priority. You should always save up about 60 Rage before using Colossus Smash.

  1. Maintain Rend Icon Rend on the target. You can refresh Rend when it has less than 5 seconds remaining.
  2. Use Ravager Icon Ravager, if you have chosen this talent.
  3. Use Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash.
  4. Use Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike.
  5. Use Siegebreaker Icon Siegebreaker, if you have chosen this talent.
  6. Use Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt or Dragon Roar Icon Dragon Roar (depending on your choice) if you have less than 90 Rage.
  7. Use Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind when you have more than 40 Rage.

If you have taken the Slam Icon Slam talent, use it in place of Whirlwind. Note that Slam is a DPS loss versus the other two talents.

If you have taken the Sudden Death Icon Sudden Death talent, then Execute Icon Execute procs are your highest priority at all times.

1.2. During Colossus Smash

When Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash is active on the target, your rotation is based on the following priority:

  1. Apply Rend Icon Rend if it is not up, or if there are less than 5 seconds left on the existing Rend.
    • In case you are refreshing a Rend with less than 5 seconds remaining, you can use Mortal Strike first, as long as Rend does not have time to actually expire from the target.
  2. Use Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike.
  3. Use Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt when you have less than 70 Rage.
  4. Use Siegebreaker Icon Siegebreaker, if you have chosen this talent.
  5. Use Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind.

If you have taken the Slam Icon Slam talent, use it in place of Whirlwind. Note that Slam is a DPS loss versus the other two talents.

If you have taken the Sudden Death Icon Sudden Death talent, then Execute Icon Execute procs are your highest priority at all times.

1.3. Execute Rotation

When the boss is below 20% health, your rotation is based on the following priority. You should always save up about 60 Rage before using Colossus Smash.

  1. Maintain Rend Icon Rend on the target. You can refresh Rend when it has less than 5 seconds remaining.
  2. Use Ravager Icon Ravager.
  3. Use Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash.
  4. Use Execute Icon Execute when you have 40 or more Rage.
  5. Use Siegebreaker Icon Siegebreaker, if you have chosen this talent.
  6. Use Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt or Dragon Roar Icon Dragon Roar (depending on your choice).

If you have taken the Sudden Death Icon Sudden Death talent, then Execute Icon Execute procs are your highest priority at all times.

1.3.1. During Colossus Smash

While Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash is active, use the following priority for your rotation:

  1. Use Execute Icon Execute when you have 40 or more Rage.
  2. Apply Rend Icon Rend if it is not up, or if there are less than 5 seconds left on the existing Rend.
  3. Use Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt if you less than 70 Rage.
  4. Use Siegebreaker Icon Siegebreaker if you have less than 70 Rage, and if you have chosen this talent.

If you have taken the Sudden Death Icon Sudden Death talent, then Execute Icon Execute procs are your highest priority at all times.

1.4. Opening Rotation

At the start of the fight, the ideal opening rotation is as follows:

  1. Prepot.
  2. Charge Icon Charge in and place your Ravager Icon Ravager (you can click the ability to obtain the placement circle even before combat begins).
  3. Apply Rend Icon Rend.
  4. Use Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash and Recklessness Icon Recklessness.
  5. Continue with your single target Colossus Smash rotation.

If you are only facing two targets, and one of them can be Execute Icon Executed, you should dump Rage with Execute.

2. Multiple Target Rotation↑top

When facing multiple targets, you should make use of the following rotation:

3. Cooldown Usage↑top

As an Arms Warrior, you have one DPS cooldown, as well as a few cooldowns from talents, most of which are already incorporated in the rotations above.

Recklessness Icon Recklessness should be used as many times as possible throughout the encounter. It is ideal to stack it with any periods of increased damage, trinkets, or other important mechanics (especially with Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp), and it is important to make sure it is available in Execute range.

Bloodbath Icon Bloodbath should be used as often as possible, but you should make sure to align with Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash (unless it is used for AoE damage), and you should save up around 70 Rage before using it.

Bladestorm Icon Bladestorm, if chosen instead of Bloodbath, should also be used as often as possible, but only against 3 or more targets. You should stack it with any cooldowns or buffs that you can.

Ravager Icon Ravager should be saved for moments of burst AoE damage. If such moments do not exist in the fight, or are far off into the future, you should simply use it as part of your single target rotation as indicated above. It is always ideal to stack Ravager with Bloodbath.

4. Stance↑top

Battle Stance Icon Battle Stance grants you a lot of Rage with each autoattack you make, but grants you no Rage from damage taken. This is the stance you should be in whenever you are concerned about maximising your DPS.

Defensive Stance Icon Defensive Stance grants less Rage from autoattacks, but reduces the damage you take from all sources by 20%. While Defensive Stance is active, you passively gain 1 Rage every 3 seconds while you are in combat. You should use this stance during moments of high raid damage, to increase your survivability, but be aware of the Rage loss that you will have to suffer.

5. Mastering Your Arms Warrior↑top

The guidelines given above will enable you to play your Arms Warrior with good results. If you want to push things further and master your character, then we advise you to continue reading.

5.1. Rage Generation

By default, your Rage is generated from two sources:

  • Dealing damage with autoattacks (with critical strikes generating twice as much Rage).
  • Using Charge Icon Charge.

Your Rage is mostly used by abilities in your rotation, although some utility spells also cost Rage.

5.2. Key Concepts

5.2.1. Colossus Smash

Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash should be used, primarily, for the debuff which it applies, and not for its damage. In the 6 seconds after using Colossus Smash, all of your abilities deal significantly more damage.

6. Changelog↑top

  • 01 Nov. 2014: Made various tweaks to the rotations.
  • 24 Oct. 2014: Improved the Rage section, and also fixed a rather consequential typo.