Arms warrior help. I am underperforming heavily.

12 posts in this topic

So, as the title suggests, I am looking for help concerning my DPS output. I am starting to raid Emerald Nightmare HC and I would not like to be a dead weight for my guild.

I have already read through the whole Arms Warrior section of this website, I am using the suggested build as well as the suggested rotation.

Unfortunately it appears I am unable to find my own character in the armory, possibly because I have recently changed name and the armory is not being updated properly. If you guys want you can try and look for me - Valkenhayn, Worgen Warrior, Mazrigos EU. I was previously called Franziskaner, Dwarf, still on Mazrigos EU. There is indeed someone called like that in the Armory, and I believe that's my ghost (who was still fury) - in fact, that Armory link cannot be accessed.


All I can say is that I am ilvl 851, with one Legendary, "Naj'Entus's Vertebrae".


I hope for the Armory link to be available soon.


Now, here is one of my latest logs (this was normal mode, but is still embarassing):

Rotation, as mentioned, is the one suggested by the website. Opening is Charge, BC + Avatar, CS, FR spam, Mortal Strike spam, CS when procced, Warbreaker if needed, Slam when nothing else is available, rinse and repeat. 


I can pull around 220k on a dummy, numbers vary depending on RNG. On boss fights..I fail. Maybe is because of uptime, as maybe I am moving around too much for mechanics. Point is, I am on the very low end almost every fight, from 130k to 150k if I am lucky. 


Now, a couple of things:

I currently miss a good trinket. I have a blue ilvl 830 one.

I am not using consumables - mainly because I am poor. I am looking into it, but I wonder if potions and flasks would really make a difference (I mean, I know they DO make a difference, but I don't think that's the only problem I have)

Enchantements are on the cheap side (mastery enchants and gems) - because, again, I am rather poor.


Any advice would be awesome. Thanks a lot for your kind help.



Edited by Valkenhayn

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Hi there,


I took a look at your logs and a few things drew red flags in my eyes.


It seems like you're not getting enough damage out of your Mortal Strike. You need to do a better job of managing your focused rage and using it when you can off global cool down. It seems like you're hitting the majority of your auto-swings, but you're not using Mortal Strike enough due to the lack of your rage usage. If you can up your rage usage, you will get more tactician procs, which will result in more mortal strikes. 


The mechanics can be tough, but as a melee class...up-time is very important. As you become more comfortable with your rotation, you will find that up-time will become less of an issue. 


The arms PVE rotation is very demanding. High DPS can be achieved with decent gearing. Also, consumables play a LARGE role in your dps output. I was getting very close to 300k dps at 852 ilvl with NO a single legendary. Gear mastery and then haste. 


Moreover, practice your rotation more and more. As you become more comfortable, you will see your DPS output increase. I am very happy with the state that arms warriors are in. They offer one of the most challenging, yet rewards dps rotations that are out there. 




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Hey, thanks a lot for your reply. 

I am not sure why I fail with MS - maybe I make the mistake of using Slam instead of FR sometime when things get hectic. Also sometimes RNG is just bad and CS does not proc anyway, leaving me rage starved waiting for autoattacks.


I am stacking mastery, I am at around 62%. Haste is low tho, around 9.5%.

Question - is a macro with MS and FR a bad idea?

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Hi there, I'm struggling with arms as well, probably doing many more mistakes in the rotation than you are, but I'd just chip in regarding the macro you've thought about. I've read it around here (or, well, mmo-champion could be a possibility too) and to spare you the time, the macro is not a good idea. Summarizing what's been mentioned, the macro won't help you as it will practically "bottleneck" your FR stacks, MS will hit right with your first FR stack since it's off global cd most of the times, impeding your possibility of getting 3 stacks by a significant margin. Not sure if my explanation is 100% accurate, but I'm quite convinced the more experienced warriors around the community did not recommend creating such a macro. As for the  stats, the best way (which has also been suggested on these forums) to figure out your stat weights is to use SimCraft and gain some statistics for your current equipment.

Edited by kaligon

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Thank you.


I see your reasoning, but doesn't the optimal rotation state that MS should he prioritised over FR regardless of the amount of FR stack? If that's the case, the macro would basically just try to use MS every time FR is also used, but in many cases MS will be on cd, so FR will get additional stacks.

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Yes, that's correct, we should be using MS whenever its CD is down (you only wait for 3 stacks <20% + cs buff afaik).

Didn't want to make any claim actually, again, maybe someone chips in with some points regarding that macro. I don't have much experience with arms since I've mostly played fury. I've looked for that thread about the macros and haven't managed to find it sadly. Another noteworthy thing is that macro-ing FR with MS isn't recommended in the guide either. I wish I could remember the explanation I'd read. There were mentions of another macro, though- using FR with slam. Not sure whether this one helps in the long run either, since imo I rarely have the luxury of being over 30-40 rage.

Arms still seems like an APM-heavy spec to me atm, the way I'd started practising it was by removing slam first because I'd gotten rage starved so often, so that was clearly impeding my dps. Best I could pull off a raider dummy was slightly under 200k. It really fluctuates a lot, especially at boss encounters, but there is also a lot of rng involved.

Edited by kaligon

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I hope someone can clarify this - from the Arms, guide, I can see this:


  1. Cast Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike (regardless of Focused Rage Icon Focused Rage stacks) above 20%.

And also:


Note that with Focused Rage Icon Focused Rage, in some cases due to Rage starvation you can have situations where you will be unable to fill your Global Cooldown due to spending the rage off the Global Cooldown with that. This is fine, but make sure during Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry to spend aggressively as you should have Deadly Calm Icon Deadly Calm making all uses free.


So there is really no downside in spamming MS everytime it's available (above 20% that is), AND also spam FR everytime even if that means going rage starved.

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Hi there,


With the amount of tactician procs you will get, your main priority is to make sure colossus smash remains up the entire fight. It is not the best idea to bind focused rage to MS. I personally have experimented with focused rage macros and it can be tricky tying it to other abilities. As you practice the rotation more and more, you will begin to know when to use focused rage. You cast MS regardless of FR stacks, but sometimes if you can squeeze in that second focused rage and it definitely is worth it. Focused rage is the main ability that you use to fish for tactician procs. I spam it as long as I have enough rage for my next MS (assuming that there is 3+ seconds for my swing timer. If your auto attack is about to swing, waiting a second or so for that rage would not hurt. 


My example opening would be -

Charge + FR 

Macro for trinkets, avatar, colossus smash, battle cry, and focused rage (can also hamstring when GCD is applicable). 

Focused rage (this will be 3rd stack)


Rage management is huge. It is very easy to add 4th and 5th stacks of focused rage and not even realize. It is of importance to be aware of how many stacks you are at as there will be indeed times that you are waiting on your MS cool-down.  You WILL slam a good amount throughout your rotation, but it is up to your best judgement to decide when it is applicable. 

I will do my best to summarize priorities. 


Maintain CS

FR on GCD as long as you have enough rage for next MS.

FR when rage is available, slam between auto attacks (primary sources for tactician procs)

USE AS MUCH RAGE AS YOU CAN!! This will result in keeping battle cry up as often as you can. 

Execute phase - Remember to use colossus smash each time it procs before using execute. This will SIGNIFICANTLY increase the damage output.


You have a good amount of mastery, but you can always have more. Many of the top ranked warriors have around 80% mastery. I am under the impression that you will stack haste until you hit 20% (this lowers your auto-swings and GCD). After haste, you will then go for crit. 


My iLVL is only 852 and have only 42% mastery (very unlucky with gear) yet I am able to do 250-300k some fights (pre pot and flask).


I hope I covered most of your concerns. I have been playing WoW since vanilla and this is only my second post ever in a forum.



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i am also underperforming heavly in dungen boss fights and in raid finder.  i can get really nice burst, up to almost 400K, but if the fight goes on, i can never get my colossus smash to line up with battle cry, i just cant ever seem to get tacticon to proc, and im always rage starved.  in the end i am stuck at around 150K dps.  is arms really supposed to be this hard to preform right?  i always wait to MS untill i have 3 FR, but without a CS or artifact ablility, my MS damage is only at about 450K per hit.  and im waiting at least 15-20 seconds for my CS to get off of cooldown.  

ive put in so much i hate to switch to fury, but i tried it and was pulling 200K easliy almost without trying.  and 250-300k in dungeons.  

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Thank you very much for your insight.


I see your points, and they indeed slighly contradict what's in the guide (or, better put - the guide is a bit simplified on that regard).


Going by what you say, it is not ALWAYS a priority to cast MS regardless of everything else. Sometimes it's better to wait to add an additional FR stack.


This is indeed a bit confusing - you either prioritise MS over FR, or you don't. Sorry, maybe I am just not getting it :/

Edited by Valkenhayn

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I think the point is if the second FR is really close to capping the GCD, then go for it as the 2 stack MS will hit harder and may just benefit your damage. Obviously, we're talking millisecond differences here. And imo that's a pretty good idea, arms involves crazy APM anyway. 


@Thundermain you should use MS all the time >20% for sure, not just at 3 fr stacks. CS/MS on cd.

Edited by kaligon

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