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Arms Warrior in Battle for Azeroth (BfA)

Last updated on Jun 10, 2018 at 18:10 by Archimtiros 266 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find information on how to play your Arms Warrior in Battle for Azeroth. Because the new expansion is still in beta, this guide is simply here to help you perform better in the beta or to give you a sneak peek into what the new expansion has in store for your class.

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

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Archimtiros, the Warrior class theorycrafter, and one of the best DPS Warriors in the world, who raids in Infinity. You can follow him on Twitter and you can watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Foreword

This page is an introduction to Arms Warriors in Battle for Azeroth. It will cover major changes to abilities, mechanics, talents, and rotation to give you a preview of what the spec will look like. Bear in mind that more changes are likely before release, so this guide is subject to change.

In Battle for Azeroth, Arms has gone through a number of talent changes, as well as a few ability replacements, although the core mechanics and rotation remain similar to those in Legion.

2. Basic Mechanical Changes for Arms Warrior in BfA

  • Avatar Icon Avatar and Rallying Cry Icon Rallying Cry (formerly Commanding Shout Icon Commanding Shout) are now on the global cooldown. Charge Icon Charge incurs a shorter 0.5 second global cooldown.
  • Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash replaces Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry as Arms' major cooldown, and Overpower Icon Overpower takes Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash's place in the Legion rotation.
  • Arms has a new Mastery, Deep Wounds Icon Deep Wounds, which inflicts a short duration bleed after using Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike, Execute Icon Execute, Cleave Icon Cleave, and Bladestorm Icon Bladestorm, effectively increasing the damage of those abilities, spread out over a few seconds. Unlike Trauma Icon Trauma, the damage can critically strike and benefits from damage-increasing buffs and debuffs.
  • Most abilities have had their Rage cost increased, slowing the rotation's pace down from Legion. This is somewhat compensated by the addition of Rage-increasing talents, though the spec plays slower as a whole.
  • Taking melee damage now generates 3 Rage per incoming attack, once per second.
  • Ability damage uses a new formula including both Attack Power and weapon damage, whereas previously each ability used only one or the other.

3. Baseline Abilities & Changes for Arms Warrior in BfA

Nearly every other ability has had its coefficient changed, but otherwise function as their Legion counterparts.

4. The BfA Arms Warrior Talent Tree

BFA Arms Talent Tree

Arms has an even number of new and returning talents.

4.1. Level 15

  • War Machine Icon War Machine is new to Arms, increasing Rage generation and movement speed on kill. Every enemy that dies will generate 10 Rage, making it suitable whether it procs repeatedly or intermittently.
  • Sudden Death Icon Sudden Death is identical to the legendary ring, Ayala's Stone Heart Icon Ayala's Stone Heart in Legion, and synergizes very well with the Azerite trait Executioner's Precision Icon Executioner's Precision.
  • Skullsplitter Icon Skullsplitter provides on-demand Rage generation and allows a more active play style by filling more global cooldowns.

4.2. Level 30

  • Double Time Icon Double Time is unchanged, and remains the primary DPS talent.
  • Impending Victory Icon Impending Victory allows more combat healing without reliance on killing blows. The damage is actually more Rage efficient than most of Arms' abilities, though not as much as generating more Rage with Double Time Icon Double Time.
  • Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt is unchanged, but due to the removal of Shockwave Icon Shockwave, remains Arms's only stun, making it more competitive by default.

4.3. Level 45

4.4. Level 60

4.5. Level 75

  • Collateral Damage Icon Collateral Damage is a two-target option, granting slight Rage refunds, although it has no synergy with Fervor of Battle Icon Fervor of Battle.
  • Warbreaker Icon Warbreaker is the burst option, similar to that of Legion, although it now replaces Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash.
  • Cleave Icon Cleave is a sustained 3+ target option. Although the base damage is low, it inflicts Deep Wounds Icon Deep Wounds, allowing higher debuff uptime on multiple targets.

4.6. Level 90

  • In For The Kill Icon In For The Kill is nearly identical to Legion, although with lower uptime, due to Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash being used less frequently.
  • Avatar Icon Avatar is on the global cooldown, but generates 20 Rage.
  • Deadly Calm Icon Deadly Calm greatly increases ability use for an otherwise slow spec. Abilities can be spammed throughout its duration for free, and Rage banked to spend afterword. It is on the global cooldown, and should be used as close to 0 Rage as possible for maximum benefit.

4.7. Level 100

5. Azerite Traits for Arms Warrior

Legion Artifact traits have been replaced in Battle for Azeroth by the Azerite system. These bonuses are tiered, with the first tier containing spec-specific choices, the second adding defensive/utility options, the third including specialization-independent throughput options, and the fourth increasing the item's level (and strength of its bonuses) by 5; although not every piece currently has a third tier. The full list of traits has yet to be revealed, but many of the current traits affect gameplay by generating Rage.

6. The Base Rotation for Arms Warrior in BfA

Arms' rotation is nearly identical to that of Legion, using Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash where Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry was used before, and Overpower Icon Overpower where Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash was used in Legion. Talents affect the pacing, as the spec will have a lot of free global cooldowns due to lack of Rage.

The rotational goal is to buff Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike, using it on cooldown to keep Deep Wounds Icon Deep Wounds on the target, supplemented by Execute Icon Execute when the target is below 20% health.

  1. Maintain Rend Icon Rend, if talented. Refresh with <3.5 seconds remaining.
  2. Cast Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash on cooldown.
  3. Cast Execute Icon Execute when the target is below 20% Health.
  4. Cast Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike to keep Deep Wounds Icon Deep Wounds on the target.
  5. Cast Overpower Icon Overpower to buff Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike's damage.
  6. Cast Slam Icon Slam if you have more than 30 Rage, replacing with Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind if Fervor of Battle Icon Fervor of Battle is talented.

7. Multi-Target Rotation for Arms Warrior in BfA

The rotation is largely distinguished by the number of targets present and talent choice.

8. Cooldown Usage

Since Arms has more gaps in its rotation than in Legion, Rage pooling before the use of cooldowns is more important to maximizing damage potential.

  1. Cast Avatar Icon Avatar.
  2. Cast Overpower Icon Overpower to preemptively buff Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike.
  3. Cast Rend Icon Rend.
  4. Cast Deadly Calm Icon Deadly Calm.
  5. Cast Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash.
  6. Cast Ravager Icon Ravager.
  7. Follow the single target priority.

9. ChangeLog

  • 10 Jun. 2018: Talent image updated.
  • 08 Jun. 2018: Talents updated for build 26788.
  • 05 Jun. 2018: Page added.
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