Arms Warrior DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1

Last updated on Oct 12, 2020 at 12:43 by Archimtiros 2 comments
General Information

This page details the strongest choices for Arms Warrior when deciding which Azerite traits to use in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Patch Pre-9.0.1. These traits are activated by equipping the Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth. If you are unsure of how to obtain it or would like to read more about it, you can do so on our Heart of Azeroth guide.

For more information about how the new Essence system introduced in Patch 8.2 affects you, please refer to our Arms Warrior essence page.


Choosing Azerite Gear as a Arms Warrior

Your choice of Azerite Gear pieces will almost always come down to the item level first, and the traits that it has second. The most important traits to consider when choosing gear are those in the Outer Rings, as they are the strongest and have the most impact on your gameplay. In Season 2, all Azerite over item level 385 will contain an extra, fifth ring containing two traits for each specialization, allowing for a total of six active Azerite traits.

The general rule is that if an item is a 25+ item level upgrade over another item, you should use it. If the difference between the two items is less than 25 item levels, then you should choose the one with the better Outer Ring trait. As we said, though, this is a general rule and there are exceptions; for example, if you are comparing a much weaker trait (Seismic Wave Icon Seismic Wave) to a strong one (Crushing Assault Icon Crushing Assault). It is nearly impossible to take every single variable into account without using a tool like Raidbots to simulate the difference for yourself.

Although you can have multiples of the same trait active across your three pieces of Azerite gear, the in-game interface does a poor job explaining which traits effects stack, and which do not. Unless otherwise specified, bonus damage and statistical buff values increase when multiples of the same trait are active, while proc rate, duration, cooldown reduction, and resource generation do not. For example, Lord of War Icon Lord of War will gain bonus damage for each active trait, but will never generate more than 10 Rage.


Choosing Azerite Traits as a Arms Warrior

In the sections that follow, we will look at the best traits to choose from, with guidelines ranked in groups based on relative power. The traits are grouped as follows:

  1. S Tier: the strongest and most generally useful traits; these are always good choices.
  2. A Tier: these traits are either slightly weaker than the S Tier traits, or only as strong in specific situations, but still good all-round choices.
  3. B Tier: average or otherwise moderate value traits, which should only be prioritized on higher pieces of gear where better Tier traits are not available.
  4. C Tier and below: mediocre traits which provide little or niche value, and should generally be avoided.

Outer Ring Traits

The first ring of Azerite Traits are the most powerful traits and the first to unlock. There are always four options, one for each specialization and a universal trait, themed by the location the piece of gear is obtained from. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.


S Tier

  • Test of Might Icon Test of Might effectively lengthens the Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash burst phase. It synergizes extremely well with the Essence Memory of Lucid Dreams Icon Memory of Lucid Dreams and is very good for extended damage phases, though it can be tricky to time and makes it harder to optimize Bladestorm Icon Bladestorm burst.
  • Blightborne Infusion Icon Blightborne Infusion provides a large, if random, Critical Strike buff, which greatly increases Rage generation and damage done.
  • Heart of Darkness Icon Heart of Darkness is a new trait on Ny'alotha, the Waking City raid gear. Because Arms values all stats fairly well, it provides a very nice benefit and is worth stacking.
  • Gathering Storm Icon Gathering Storm is both competitive on single-target and shockingly powerful against multiple targets. It is very comparable to Lord of War Icon Lord of War, trading frequency for higher burst potential.
  • Meticulous Scheming Icon Meticulous Scheming grants a large amount of Haste after using three different abilities while its buff is active. While it needs to be gamed, it is very easy to proc, due to activating from non-damaging and off-global cooldown abilities, such as Pummel Icon Pummel, and has special synergy with Fervor of Battle Icon Fervor of Battle due to Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind counting as two different abilities.

A Tier

  • Crushing Assault Icon Crushing Assault is a very strong, primarily single-target trait. Though it has a low 1.5 proc rate per minute, it helps to save rage and fill more global cooldowns throughout the rotation. It also affects Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind when Fervor of Battle Icon Fervor of Battle is talented.
  • Lord of War Icon Lord of War adds burst damage, extra Rage, and works on multiple targets with Warbreaker Icon Warbreaker talented, making it one of the most versatile traits, particularly in Mythic dungeons. It does not generate extra rage with multiple ranks.
  • Striking the Anvil Icon Striking the Anvil is one of the stronger traits due to the Overpower Icon Overpower damage bonus, however the cooldown reduction of Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike will not always have value, if Tactician Icon Tactician happens to proc on the global cooldown before Mortal Strike would come off cooldown anyway. The cooldown reduction does not increase with multiple traits.
  • Champion of Azeroth Icon Champion of Azeroth buffs all secondary stats by a small amount for a long time. While it can be difficult to maintain between raid encounters, it is much easier to reliably chain 4 stacks in Mythic+ Dungeons. It is not easily obtainable and is primarily found on reputation gear.
  • Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands is another Critical Strike buff, which synergizes well with other Critical Strike effects.
  • Rezan's Fury Icon Rezan's Fury deals moderate initial damage, but relies on the DoT to do most of its damage. Unlike statistical bonuses, or traits that benefit multi-target abilities, it is single-target only.
  • Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back requires the target to be hit from behind for the best value. Because that is not always practical in many boss encounters, the trait will lose some value, making it slightly weaker than simulations would imply. Unlike statistical bonuses, or traits that benefit multi-target abilities, it is single-target only.

B Tier

  • Barrage Of Many Bombs Icon Barrage Of Many Bombs is an Engineering-only trait, notable for being strong against multiple targets; however, the bombs have a travel time, making it difficult to ensure they hit their targets.
  • Tidal Surge Icon Tidal Surge randomly deals direct damage and slows an enemy. The slowing effect is a nice secondary benefit, though the proc rate is not reliable enough to keep full uptime on a target.

C Tier and below

  • Filthy Transfusion Icon Filthy Transfusion is a debuff on a single-target, despite the tooltip sounding like it creates an area of effect. It adds a minor amount of healing, but not enough to make the trait worthwhile.
  • Seismic Wave Icon Seismic Wave is only mediocre on single-target, but adds consistent multiple target damage. When Overpower Icon Overpower is cleaved onto a second target with Sweeping Strikes Icon Sweeping Strikes, a second wave will also trigger, hitting every target a second time.

Traits that are not listed are considered poor and generally better avoided if possible. Refer to the simulations at the bottom of the page for more information.


Middle Ring Traits

This ring is only found on Epic 340 item level gear and above. For Warriors, it always contains two DPS and one Tank options, but for simplicities sake, only the DPS options will be listed here. Their bonuses are generally smaller than those of the first ring, and rarely affect your choice of Azerite Gear.


S Tier

  • Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power is the strongest middle ring trait, although it will lose some value when taking constant damage, as there is an internal cooldown on the effect to keep you from losing stacks too quickly.

A Tier

  • Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call is not only a strong single-target option, but also one of the few traits which hits multiple targets, or deals consistent damage, without any sort of gimmick.
  • Gutripper Icon Gutripper does not actually synergize with Execute Icon Execute in any way, but does make the execute phase quite bursty, which can be beneficial in a lot of encounters.

B Tier

  • Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames stacks Critical Strike at a reliable rate, increasing Rage generation and damage.

C Tier and below

  • Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl picks a random secondary stat to increase, which can be strong or weak depending on the stat chosen.
  • Earthlink Icon Earthlink continually cycles a Strength buff up to 6 stacks, and then down to 1. It is not strong enough to delay or impact the rotation, making the bonus completely random.
  • Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules has theoretical multi-target potential, but the stacking nature delays the damage to the point where most secondary targets are dead before it ever amounts to any real damage.
  • Lifespeed Icon Lifespeed is a minor, if consistent, Haste and Avoidance buff.
  • Blood Siphon Icon Blood Siphon is a minor, if consistent, Mastery and Leech buff.

Inner Ring Traits

This ring provides a variety of survival and movement tools, including defensive benefits, healing effects, and absorption shields. There are also two Warrior specific and two engineering helmet only options.


S Tier

  • Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection is by far the strongest and most consistent defensive trait available.
  • Moment of Glory Icon Moment of Glory benefits the entire group or raid, making it a good bonus for organized content.

A Tier

  • Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage is somewhat niche, but can provide a moderate to high amount of healing when taking constant damage, such as from long-duration DoT effects.
  • Gemhide Icon Gemhide will not stop you from getting one shot, but can help save you from follow-up damage after taking a large spike.

B Tier


C Tier

  • Longstrider Icon Longstrider provides a constant, minor movement speed bonus, which can be useful for reacting to mechanics, or keeping up with moving targets.

Traits that are not listed are considered poor and generally better avoided if possible. Refer to the simulations at the bottom of the page for more information.


Azerite Traits Rotation Changes and Details for Arms Warrior

Some of your Azerite Traits in Battle For Azeroth can have a small effect on your rotation. They generally do not change the fundamentals, but they allow you to use their effects to squeeze just a little bit more damage out than your competition.


Relative Strength of Azerite Traits for Arms Warrior

Below we have listed the relative strength of the most relevant Azerite Traits, as far as they are implemented in our simulation tools at the moment.

Because you can have the same trait multiple times, and because some traits can change the rotation if you stack it multiple times, we have listed the relative strength of the traits depending on how many of them you have.

We are not including different item levels of Azerite pieces, because in most situations you are going to want the highest item level piece regardless. As with any rule, there are exceptions and you should always sim your own character's traits with Raidbots to be sure.


DPS Azerite Trait Ranking for Arms Warrior

Both of these simulations are based on the Best in Slot Mythic gear. As always, treat these results as a guideline, not a rule.


Outer Rings Single-Target

Multiple traits stack damage and statistical bonuses, while duration, resource generation, buff stacks, and proc rates do not. Keep in mind that not all traits are equally available or suited to every situation.

For the complete simulation results, check out

Outer Ring Multi-Target (Mythic+, etc)

For the complete simulation results, check out

Middle Ring Single-Target

For the complete simulation results, check out

Middle Ring Multi-Target (Mythic+, etc)

For the complete simulation results, check out

Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power

In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Arms Warrior. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).

If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.

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Head Items Shoulders Items Chest Items