Arms Warrior DPS Spell Summary — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
On this page, we present you with all spells and procs that you need to understand as an Arms Warrior in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1.
If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Warrior spells.
Spell Summary of Arms Warrior
If you are new to Arms, this is a great place to start to get an understanding of how the spec works. In this section, we will discuss what abilities you have, what they are used for, and how they interact with each other. If you have prior experience with Arms or are already comfortable with the spec in Battle for Azeroth, it is recommended you skip this section and move on to the rest of the guide.
Note that this page simply lists all the different abilities, assuming you are at max level. If you are leveling, check out our dedicated Warrior Leveling page, which has detailed information on when you unlock all of these abilities.
Main Resource for Arms Warrior
Warriors use a unique resource called Rage, which works very similar to Hunter Focus and Rogue Energy, except Rage does not regenerate on its own. It always starts at zero and is built up during combat through auto attacks and certain abilty casts, with important damaging abilities consuming the resource. Outside of combat, Rage slowly depreciatates back down to zero.
Warrior Rage has a default maximum capacity of 100, although this can be modified by unique talents. While the resource is only generated in combat, there are certain abilities such as Charge which will help jumpstart that flow of incoming Rage, while other talents and abilities can increase your Rage generation further.
As a general rule, you should want to both avoid Rage starving or overcapping the resource, so that you do not find yourself in situations where you are either unable to cast important abilities on cooldown, or waste resource generation due to maximum capacity.
Rage is the Warrior resource, generated through autoattacks and a select few abilities. It is used to fuel nearly all of your special attacks, including Mortal Strike and Execute, so managing it effectively is vital to maintaining a stable rotation.
For more information on how to use these abilities together in your rotation, please read our rotation page.
Basic Abilities of an Arms Warrior
These are the innate skills that are available regardless of talents, which form the foundation of the specialization's gameplay.
Overpower's main purpose is in buffing Mortal Strike and Cleave, but it also serves an important purpose in filling global cooldowns with a free attack, delaying Rage expenditure and giving time for autoattacks to generate more. The cooldown is reset by Tactician, adding a dynamic flow to the rotation.
Execute serves as the most powerful Rage spender, normally only usable on targets under 20% health. It is the main ability used once the enemy enters a weakened state, with the Rage refund mechanic helping maintain the high Rage cost until the target is defeated.
Slam is your main filler, typically used only when nothing else is available, giving it an important role in Rage management. Recognizing when to use it and when to save that Rage for more important abilities is a crucial part of playing Arms effectively.
Whirlwind primarily fills the multitarget role, dealing low damage, but to all nearby targets instead of only one or two, although with Fervor of Battle talented, it also replaces Slam as the main filler. Like Slam, knowing when and when not to use this is paramount to managing Rage and maintaining a smooth rotation.
Important Procs for an Arms Warrior
Tactician grants a 1.40% chance per Rage spent to reset the cooldown of Overpower. This can trigger from any Rage spending ability, allowing you to both fill more global cooldowns with a free attack and buff Mortal Strike more often.
Offensive Cooldowns of an Arms Warrior
Bladestorm deals massive damage and inflicts Deep Wounds on single and against multiple targets. Paired with Colossus Smash it can be a devastating ability, which is both free and allows you to continue autoattacking, banking Rage for follow-up attacks.
Colossus Smash is a high damage offensive cooldown which causes the target to take increased damage, creating a burst window that serves as the linchpin of Arms' damage. Anticipating its cooldown and saving Rage can greatly improve your ability to fill global cooldowns and overall output during the debuff.
Sweeping Strikes is a secondary cooldown which enables two target damage. Most importantly, it also causes your attacks to inflict any debuffs on both targets, making it easier to maintain bleeds and create burst windows.
Defensive Cooldowns of an Arms Warrior
Die by the Sword is the primary defensive ability, reducing damage taken and parrying all frontal melee abilities for a short time. Although it does not make you immune to all damage, it can be a very powerful tool when taking aggro and tanking powerful enemies.
Ignore Pain absorbs damage taken, albeit with a notable Rage cost which prohibits using it too frequently. Still, it serves an important purpose in high damage situations, as when used correctly in combination with other defensive abilities, it can allow the Warrior to survive great bursts of incoming damage.
Spell Reflection is a very powerful defensive ability which either reduces spell damage taken, or reflects a spell outright, effectively immuning the effect and dealing damage back to the target. Due to having no cost and a low cooldown, it is incredibly effective and should be used as frequently as possible.
Mobility Abilities of Arms Warrior
Charge is a combat initiator and mobility tool, which generates Rage to help enable the rotation and roots the target to prevent escape. Use it to start combat, stay on target, and close gaps whenever necessary.
Intervene fills a similar role as Charge, except targeting allies, and intercepting attacks against them rather than generating Rage.
Heroic Leap is a targeted movement ability which sends the Warrior through the air, landing in the selected space. A very useful ability for getting into or out of trouble, it does not require a target, making it much more flexible than Charge or Intervene. Keep in mind, however, that it is not a teleport or blink spell, which means you can still take damage from passing through enemy spell effects.
Additional Utility Spells of Arms Warrior
Hamstring is the primary snare, reducing the targets movement speed. Because it has a Rage cost, it does come at the cost of damage, although the benefits of keeping a target within reach typically outweigh the drawbacks.
Piercing Howl is the AoE version of Hamstring, trading out the rage cost in favor of a cooldown.
Shattering Throw is mainly used to break immunities in PvP, but has some niche PvE applications as well, particularly due to the bonus damage against absorption shields, which are fairly common. The cast time does pause the rotation though, so care should be taken to use it at the right time.
Talented DPS Abilities of Arms Warrior
Skullsplitter is one of the few Rage generating abilities, making it very useful for gaining resources on-demand when you actually need them.
Impending Victory replaces Victory Rush with a more reliable heal that does not require killing a target first. As Arms has very few self-healing abilities, it can be very useful in high damage situations, although it does compete with the very strong talent Double Time.
Storm Bolt is a ranged stun, very useful for PvP or Mythic+, although it does not see a whole lot of use outside of those situations.
Rend is a maintenance DoT which also increases the targets critical strike damage taken. Useful in high crit builds or for adding damage pressure in PvP, but the Rage cost makes it prohibitive to keep up on more than a couple targets at a time.
Cleave is the opposite of Warbreaker, adding a multitarget filler which essentially takes the place of Mortal Strike in maintaining Deep Wounds and benefitting from Overpower. It is the most reliable way of maintaining the mastery debuff against multiple targets, making it the best choice in those situations.
Avatar adds another cooldown to the rotation, which also generates some extra Rage when used. Good for layering burst AoE or removing roots and snares in PvP.
Deadly Calm is another cooldown which allows the Warrior to use four Rage spending abilities for free, while also passively increasing the maximum amount of Rage to 130.
Ravager replaces Bladestorm with a ground targeted version. While typically less useful than Bladestorm itself, it deals damage while also allowing you to use other abilities at the same time, which can be useful in burst situations.
For more information on the best combination of talents and how to use them, please read our talent page.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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