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HerrDave

A Question About Arms Survivability / Damage

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Some backstory - I started as a protection warrior so I could pull a load of mobs and AoE them into a puddle over time without being liquefied myself.
I went like this from 1-100 without a hitch. Switched to Arms because of my fascination with Blademasters and Blackhand and I was promptly curb-stomped into oblivion.

From what I've experienced, Arms has incredibly bursty unpredictable damage which can either annihilate a target or grant you no procs whatsoever making for long gaps in the fight during which you will do negligible damage.

The only self-healing abilities you have are:
Second Wind - Restores 6% of your maximum health ever 1 second after 5 seconds without taking damage.
Victory Rush - Heals you for 30% of your maximum health, only useable after killing an enemy.
Touch of Zakajz - 3%-6%-9% of mortal strike's damage is returned to you as health.

If during a fight a monster starts out DPSing you, the fight is already over and you are graced with the choice of fleeing or dying because your defensive cooldowns aren't the best thing in the world.
This becomes very evident when attempting to solo rares or even packs of mobs larger than three at 110.

There are two builds for Arms circling the web.
In short these are their gimmicks.
______________________________________________________
Focused Rage
Pros
-Excellent burst damage
-Great for sniping stragglers in PvP
Cons
-Very clunky use of Focused Rage
-Only shines in Colossus Smash windows
-Very Poor AoE, cooldown based
______________________________________________________
Mortal Combo
Pros
-More rage to use without FR
-Consistent damage
-Some freedom with talents
Cons
-Stale rotation (You don't build towards something)
-Sub-par AoE
-Poor burst damage
______________________________________________________

TL:DR
I had an astonishingly hard time as an Arms warrior, even fighting two enemies at a time I would come very close to dying.
My damage was GREAT but only during the windows provided by battle cry/avatar combo.
My survivability sucked, my damage sucked, my AoE sucked, and I ended going back to Protection to progress.

I REALLY want to like Arms, but it just falls on its face every time I try to use it.

I call to you Arms warriors, you brave few - what is the trick to the specialization?
What is the purpose / focus of the spec?

Edited by HerrDave
Clarity

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Shockwave/Stormbolt and Second Wind will save your life. Add intimidating shout(mostly single target),  Hamstring, Heroic leap for distance or a break and you can fill that empty combat with healing. 6% per second doesn't sound like much, but it is a game changer on casters when you interrupt. If you get the AP for it, Soul of the Slaughter has made a large difference for me.

I am curious to see what others say about this though, I usually to swap to Prot on rares/elites to solo them.   

 

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Another option when in those situations, try and find a mob close by to quickly execute for a victory rush proc.  That has saved my butt more than a few times.  With a ton of mobs (10+), do your full buff cd's, warbreaker, and Bladestorm.  Then just focus down low health mobs till all dead, using victory rush to heal up.  TBH I swap to prot for hard fights, and use Arms when I just want to burst stuff down quick.  For AOE, cleave and WW seems to hold steady damage.

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