Mohawk

Arms: Execute Window Rotation

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I have noticed in the Raidbots sample sequence that they will use Execute over and over (as many as 6 times in a row I saw) wasting all those Executioner Precision stacks which max out at 2. Only once a CS procs do they then use MS to consume them. Is this really the best way? I cannot help but think you maybe allow 3 executes in a row at most and if still no CS/Warbreaker proc, then you go ahead and use MS if it is on cool down and then back to Executes again to build up the stacks again to 2. It seems missing out on those buffed MS casts (even without the SD buff) would hurt your dps. Am I wrong? What do you guys do? Thanks!

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Yeah; Mortal Strike is only the priority when you have your 2 stacks of EP and the buff from Shattered Defenses. Otherwise, Execute is the priority.

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Thanks, has anyone done "the math" on that? It just seems wrong to me number wise, but I do not know the details of how all the numbers play out well enough to be sure. Is there a way to change how this is simulated and see if the result is better one way over another? If the SD is critical then if I get a CS proc after my first execute in a sequence, should I just ignore it and take the second execute and then use that CS and then the MS with the now 2 stacks of EP? The sims seems to always use a CS proc and then consume it on another execute but the rng may be such that you dont get another for like 5-6 executes in a row. Seems like skipping that CS and saving it just one execute later for a fully buffed MS would be better. I would like to know if it is possible to sim these scenarios and see which is best.

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On 2/15/2018 at 12:42 PM, Mohawk said:

Thanks, has anyone done "the math" on that? It just seems wrong to me number wise, but I do not know the details of how all the numbers play out well enough to be sure. Is there a way to change how this is simulated and see if the result is better one way over another?

If you're familiar with SimulationCraft enough you could write your own custom APL (Action Priority List). It would be my presumption that those who do know it well enough to write out the APL for each class and spec, already do so; it's maintained by those that enjoy number crunching. Have they ran your theoretical rotation? I have no clue.

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That aside, however, we can do some napkin math with what we do know. The numbers you see here are just based off my personal Arms Warrior. (Numbers may vary for you in some regard based on gear).

Executioner's Precision increases the next Mortal Strike damage by 75% per stack. Ideally, at 2 stacks, that's a 150% increase.
Shattered Defenses increases the next Mortal Strike or Execute by 50%.

Gear alone, here are the tooltips for my abilities:

  • Mortal Strike: 522,552
  • Execute: 209,369 (10 rage) up to 837,476 (40 Rage)

Assuming you have 2 stacks of EP and your SD buff, you can multiply the MS damage by 3 (200% increase from both buffs when you hit your next MS).

522,552 x 3 = 1,567,656

SD only buffs your next Mortal Strike or Execute by 50%. We can determine this by multiplying by 1.5 and check Execute. For maximum potential, let's assume you cast a 40 rage Execute.

837,476 x 1.5 = 1,256,214

To compare the differences you would have to look at the GCD opportunities. In general terms, to get a fully buffed MS you would have to use 4 GCDS: Execute -> Execute -> Colossus Smash -> Mortal Strike. In that same 4 GCD window, you're asking to compare a buffed MS without the SD buff, so the GCDs would be one of two potentials: Execute -> Execute -> MS -> Execute or, in your specific example, Execute -> Execute -> Execute -> MS. (It doesn't really matter as EP has a cap of 2 and both scenarios would result in the same number below).

Looking at the two potentials (also worth noting we're ignoring the common % increase between the two provided by CS; we're looking at strictly these abilities and the buffs that EP / SD gives exclusively and we're not considering critical strike potentials):

  1. 837,476 + 837,476 + 512,269 (CS) + 1,567,656 = 3,754,877 damage in 4 GCDs
  2. 837,476 + 837,476 + 1,306,380 (x2 EP buffed MS) + 837,476 = 3,818,808 damage in 4 GCDs

Looking at these numbers, strictly, you're only seeing a difference of 63,931 damage in the 4 GCD window. Going back to your OP, you noted that sequence 2 could have went up to 6 GCDs. If you continue each rotation two more GCDs you can find the potential numbers as well but alter the #2 so that we just spam Execute until the very end.

  1. 3,754,877 + 837,476 + 837,476 = 5,429,820 damage in 6 GCDs
  2. 837,476 x 6 = 5,024,856 damage in 6 GCDs (Execute spam)

The difference here is much more noticeable. We're now talking about a difference of 404,964 between the two potential scenarios.

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So. . . . what does this mean? Well, here's my take on it:

On paper it seems that you should cast MS with two stacks of EP and preferably with a SD buff attached as well. The longer you go without an SD buff (spamming Execute) the more damage you are going to lose out on. Coincidentally enough, if you read the Icy Veins guide on Execute phase it says the following:

The math up above supports this claim as well.

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I took this to another step, however. I wanted to see what it looked like in game so I tested on Garothi Worldbreaker, in LFR. The only thing we're concerning ourselves with is the Execute window. On both pulls I was fully buffed (Food, Flask, Rune, and Potion). Neither pull had Heroism in the 20% phase. (Yes, I realize LFR isn't the perfect testing ground but it's my alternative to SimC APLs lol). Each of these images are only the respective Execute phases.

In the first kill, I prioritized the Execute phase as presumed - x2 EP stacks, SD buff, Mortal Strike priority. If I didn't have SD up I kept casting Execute. The execute phase lasted 63 seconds.

Fight_1.jpg


In the second kill, I didn't prioritize the SD buff, I didn't let the CS debuff drop, and I cast MS with 2 stacks of EP. (Due to not dropping the CS debuff, some MS casts were buffed with x2 EP and SD). This Execute phase lasted 60 seconds.

Fight_2.jpg


With all variables in play (buffs, crits, etc) you can see the following differences in damage:

  • Mortal Strike: (Favored in Fight 2): 1.5M damage difference
  • Execute (Favored in Fight 1): 1.52M damage difference
  • Both abilities totaled: (Favored in Fight 1): 0.02M (or, in other words, a mere 20,000 damage difference)

So it seems, even in game (outside of a "perfect" situation) the reality supports the math on paper. The difference between the two can potentially be minor but either method is better than simply spamming Execute over an extended period of time.

Side note: (Courtesy of Blainie): In scenario 2, any APM proc trinket, potion, etc. with a low ICD could potentially end up giving more damage overall, since you have more ability casts within that window, meaning potentially more chances to proc. It's unlikely, but the ICD might line up perfectly to proc on those extra few casts, meaning it would make up that damage difference.

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On 2/15/2018 at 12:42 PM, Mohawk said:

If I get a CS proc after my first execute in a sequence, should I just ignore it and take the second execute and then use that CS and then the MS with the now 2 stacks of EP? The sims seems to always use a CS proc and then consume it on another execute but the rng may be such that you dont get another for like 5-6 executes in a row. Seems like skipping that CS and saving it just one execute later for a fully buffed MS would be better. I would like to know if it is possible to sim these scenarios and see which is best.

I would say the best bet is to save it for the extra GCD to get the 2nd EP stack. As you noted, using it could be another 4 - 6 GCDs before it comes up again.

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Sweet, thanks for all that extra effort! Much appreciated! I have one more question. In the Arms Rotation guide, under the Execute Window part of the Guide, it shows as highest priority communing with a WW (or Slam if not talented) the 3 stacks of Weighted Blade. Is this a typo? I would think you ignore Slam and WW for single target encounters during the Execute Phase. Burning 18 (slam) or 27 (WW) rage on a mere WW/Slam damage cast even with +36% damage seems counterproductive to using that GCD with an Execute cast which gives much better DPS per Rage and refunds some also. Am I misreading this?

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On a single target encounter, no, you don't cast WW / Slam in the Execute phase (even if it is to consume the three stacks of Weighted Blade).

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OK thanks. I posted this on the Class Guide Comments part of the Forums so it can be updated:)

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