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Arms Warrior PvP Guide (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on May 09, 2018 at 06:19 by Mysticall 3 comments

Table of Contents


This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play an Arms Warrior in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, artifacts, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2500 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta for Arms Warriors

Arms Warriors are one of the most feared classes in the game. What Warriors lack in crowd control, they make up for with damage. With short burst cooldowns and strong single target damage, Arms Warriors are best known for random bursts of heavy damage and being able to deal massive amounts of damage in a short time. A Warrior can easily swap from target to target and have the ability to start crushing them.

1.1. Strengths of Arms Warriors

  • Strong single target damage
  • Decent mobility
  • Strong consistent damage

1.2. Weaknesses of Arms Warriors

  • Easily crowd controlled
  • Predictable burst damage
  • Very few defensive cooldowns

2. Talent Choices for Arms Warriors

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, Honor talents are inactive outside of a PvP environment.

2.1. Regular Talents

2.1.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

If you are playing against a team with casters and want to do strong single-target damage, Overpower Icon Overpower is the best choice in this tier. Overpower deals a good amount of damage and deals damage when enemies use defensives that make them Dodge or Parry attacks.

If you are playing against a team with two melee, Sweeping Strikes Icon Sweeping Strikes is the best choice in this tier. This is a great passive that does spread damage to nearby enemies without actually having to target them.

If you want to have overall strong single-target damage, Dauntless Icon Dauntless is the best choice in this tier.

2.1.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

When you are playing against a team with casters, Stormbolt is the best choice in this tier. This is a great way for you or your teammates to catch up to a ranged DPS that is running away.

When you are playing against a team with two melee, Shockwave Icon Shockwave is the best choice in this tier. This is a very strong stun when enemy teams are grouped up. Having a stun that hits multiple targets can help peel for your teammates or apply pressure to teams that are grouped together.

2.1.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Rend Icon Rend is the best choice in this tier. This DoT deals a significant amount of damage and is a large increase to your single target pressure. It is important to maintain Rend on your kill target.

2.1.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Defensive Stance Icon Defensive Stance is the best choice in this tier. This is a great defensive talent and will increase survivability greatly.

2.1.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Titanic Might Icon Titanic Might is the best choice in this tier. By increasing the duration and reducing the cooldown of Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash you have a longer kill window, and this increases the consistent damage Warriors can do.

2.1.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

In For The Kill Icon In For The Kill is the best choice in this tier. Because Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash will be used often during a match, this talent is a large increase to your overall damage.

2.1.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Opportunity Strikes Icon Opportunity Strikes is the best choice in this tier. This passive helps when securing a kill, dealing damage the lower the health an enemy has. It also increases the consistent damage Arms Warriors have.

2.2. Honor Talents for Arms Warriors

2.2.1. Tier 1 Talents

If you are an Orc, Relentless Icon Relentless is the best choice in this tier. If you are any other race, Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier, which provides a standard PvP trinket effect.

2.2.2. Tier 2 Talents

If you are playing against a team with a caster on it, we recommend Reinforced Armor Icon Reinforced Armor in this tier.

If you are playing against a team with two melee on it, we recommend Sparring Icon Sparring. Both of these talents improve survivability, you just have to switch them based on the team you are playing against.

2.2.3. Tier 3 Talents

If you are playing against a team with melee, Disarm Icon Disarm is the best choice in this tier. This ability has a short cooldown and can negate an enemy player's burst cooldowns.

If you are playing against a team with a casters on it,Death Sentence Icon Death Sentence is the best choice in this tier. This ability helps with securing a kill on a caster that would otherwise be out of range of Execute Icon Execute.

2.2.4. Tier 4 Talents

If you are playing against a team with a lot of crowd control that needs to be stopped, Spell Reflection Icon Spell Reflection is the best choice in this tier. An example of reflecting abilities are Cyclone Icon Cyclone or Polymorph Icon Polymorph.

If you are playing against a team with very little crowd control, Master and Commander Icon Master and Commander is the best choice in this tier.

2.2.5. Tier 5 Talents

Duel Icon Duel is the best choice in this tier. This is another great defensive talent to take. The target you use it on will deal significantly less damage if they are attacking anyone else besides you. However, if you are playing against a team that will focus or swap to you, Pain Train Icon Pain Train is the best choice in this tier.

2.2.6. Tier 6 Talents

Sharpen Blade Icon Sharpen Blade is the best choice in this tier. This is a powerful offensive ability with a very short cooldown.

3. Racial Bonuses for Arms Warriors

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

3.1. Horde

Orc is the best race for Arms Warriors, thanks to the passive Orcs have(Hardiness Icon Hardiness), reducing all stuns greatly improves survivability.

3.2. Alliance

The Human bonus (Every Man for Himself Icon Every Man for Himself) is a great way to escape stuns.

4. Playstyle for Arms Warriors

The Arms Warrior has one role when in an arena: do damage. Arms Warriors lack crowd control and the ability to peel for teammates. Players should focus on maximizing their damage as much as they can. Warriors lack mobility, that is why when you get to the enemy you should deal as much damage as you can to them. Warriors have the ability to singlehandedly force cooldowns (trinkets and defensive spells) from enemy players. They have great sustained damage and very short burst cooldowns.

4.1. Before Gates Open

Have a plan for who you will be mainly using your crowd control on. Although Arms Warriors do lack crowd control, they still have Intimidating Shout Icon Intimidating Shout.

4.2. Offensive Rotation

4.2.1. The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns.

If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. In the opener, Arms Warriors should focus on sticking to an enemy and dealing large amounts of damage to the target.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Use Charge Icon Charge to close the gap between you and the target.
  2. Use Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash.
  3. Use Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike.
  4. Use Rend Icon Rend.
  5. Use Overpower Icon Overpower.
  6. Get crowd control on the enemy healer (you can use Intimidating Shout Icon Intimidating Shout or have a teammate do this).
  7. Use your burst rotation.

4.2.2. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

  1. Use Charge Icon Charge to close the gap between you and the enemy.
  2. Use Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash.
  3. Use Battle Cry Icon Battle Cry.
  4. Use Avatar Icon Avatar if you are talented into it.
  5. Use Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike.
  6. Use Overpower Icon Overpower.
  7. Use Bladestorm Icon Bladestorm.
  8. Use Slam Icon Slam as a filler.
  9. Use Sharpen Blade Icon Sharpen Blade as soon as the enemy healer leaves crowd control or uses healing cooldowns .
  10. Use Execute Icon Execute if your target is low on health.

4.2.3. Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Maintain Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash debuff on the target.
  2. Use Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike.
  3. Maintain Rend Icon Rend on your primary target.
    • If multiple enemies are in range and you have the Rage for it you can apply Rend Icon Rend to as many enemies as you can.
  4. Use Overpower Icon Overpower.
  5. Use  Icon Warbreaker if your Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash is about to expire and needs to be applied.
  6. Use Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind if the enemy team is grouped up.
  7. Use Slam Icon Slam for single-target damage.
  8. Use Execute Icon Execute on targets that are low on health.

4.3. Defensive Techniques

Die by the Sword Icon Die by the Sword is your main defensive cooldown. This is a very powerful defensive against melee teams. Use this when you are being focused and your healer is having trouble healing you or is stuck in crowd control.

Defensive Stance Icon Defensive Stance is another great defensive that Warriors have. This gives Warriors a flat 20% damage reduction and is a great ability when being focused by an enemy team.

Heroic Leap Icon Heroic Leap will mostly be used to run down enemies. However, there will be times where having to survive is more important than getting a kill. If you are being focused and have the artifact trait  Icon Tactical Advance, you will gain armor when using Heroic Leap. Although it is a very minimal gain of armor, this can help in surviving when being focused.

Duel Icon Duel, if talented, is a great defensive ability. When you see an enemy use strong single-target burst cooldowns, you can use this and it will greatly reduce any damage they deal to players other than you.

Intimidating Shout Icon Intimidating Shout is one of the strongest Warrior cooldowns that is not damage. This ability should be usually used on a healer to try to get a kill on an enemy. The other use for this is to peel for yourself or your teammates. This is a strong AoE fear that can easily help your team stabilize when under pressure.

Victory Rush Icon Victory Rush is not used often in 3 vs 3 arena, but it can still be valuable. You can gain this ability after killing an enemy or an enemy pet. So if you need a heal, you can quickly try to kill a pet and hit an enemy for a heal.

5. Best Team Compositions for Arms Warriors

Now that you have the correct talents and understand your damage rotation, it is time to step into the Arena with your team. Arms Warriors want to stay aggressive with their relentless damage. Although you lack mobility, you will easily chunk enemies down with your strong damaging abilities when you connect to them.

5.1. 2v2 Arena

In 2v2 Arena you will be focusing on single target damage. Arms Warriors excel in 2v2 Arena due to the damage reduction applied from Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike. This debuff reduces the amount of healing done to that target for 10 seconds. If the enemy healer is one that you can connect to (Restoration Shaman, Discipline Priest, Holy Paladin, or Holy Priest) you will want to focus them. If they are a mobile healer, but you still want to swap to them, you should be playing Stormbolt.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 2v2:

  • Arms Warrior + Discipline Priest
  • Arms Warrior + Restoration Druid
  • Arms Warrior + Mistweaver Monk
  • Arms Warrior + Holy Paladin

5.2. 3v3 Arena

Your role in 3v3 is similar to 2v2 Arena. You will likely be focusing on maximizing your single target damage. When your team has damage, you will want to use Shockwave Icon Shockwave if the enemy team is stacked and use your burst rotation. If you are not using Shockwave Icon Shockwave, use Stormbolt on the enemy healer. Be careful when you are not in Defensive Stance Icon Defensive Stance. Teams can easily kill you in one stun if you are playing too aggressively.

Here is a list of the best team compositions for 3v3:

  • TSG (Arms Warrior + Frost Death Knight + Holy Paladin/Restoration Druid)
  • Arms Warrior + Havoc Demon Hunter + Holy Paladin/Restoration Druid
  • Turbo(Arms Warrior + Enhancement Shaman + Mistweaver Monk/Restoration Druid)
  • Arms Warrior + Destruction Warlock + Holy Paladin

6. Useful Macros for Arms Warriors

Macros are crucial to be successful in PvP. They allow players to use abilities on enemies without having to target them. This helps increase overall damage/healing and general awareness in the arena. Here are a few macros that all Arms Warriors can benefit from.

6.1. Stormbolt 123 Macro

  • #showtooltip Stormbolt
  • /cast [target=arena1] Stormbolt

Using this macro will use Stormbolt on arena enemy 1. This makes it easier to crowd control an enemy while staying focused on your target. If you want macros for the second and third enemies, simply change the arena1 to arena2 or arena3.

6.2. Disarm Focus Macro

  • #showtooltip Disarm
  • /cast [target=focus] Disarm

Put an enemy on focus and this macro will use Disarm Icon Disarm on that player while you are still focused on your target.

6.3. Execute Macro

  • #showtooltip Execute
  • /cancelaura Bladestorm
  • /cast Execute

If you are ever using Bladestorm Icon Bladestorm and an enemy drops into Execute Icon Execute range this macro cancels the Bladestorm Icon Bladestorm and uses Execute Icon Execute.

7. Gear for Arms Warriors

With regards to gear, the biggest change in Legion is that there is no more PvP gear. Your strength in PvP will be determined based on the average item level of your gear (as displayed on your character sheet). For example, the base item level at level 110 is 800, so your stats in PvP will be adjusted accordingly. For every 10 item levels you gain, your stats are increased by 1%.

The implication is that it does not matter where your gear comes from, and all that matters is its item level. Gear from quests or PvE content is just as good as gear you get as a reward from PvP (which, in fact, will be very similar to PvE gear; there are no more PvP stats on gear).

Practically, you will simply look to collect gear with the highest item levels possible, and the stat distribution on the gear will not matter.

8. Artifact Traits for Arms Warriors

Below, we will explain what the recommended order for artifact traits is, if you wish to maximise your PvP potential. It is quite possible that your artifact path (at the time of reading this guide) differs from our suggestions. If this is the case, do not worry, and use the information below to help you understand your traits and guide your future choices.

If you have suddenly decided that you want to turn to PvP, the best thing to do in your artifact progression is continue to your closest Golden trait, and then follow the recommendations below. Picking up the most useful traits ( Icon Exploit the Weakness,  Icon Precise Strikes,  Icon Focus in Battle, and  Icon Unending Rage) along the way is a great way to boost your potential.

8.1. First Golden Trait

The first Golden trait you should go for is  Icon Shattered Defenses.

  1. Take  Icon Thoradin's Might.
  2. Take  Icon Crushing Blows.
  3. Take  Icon Will of the First King.
  4. Take  Icon Exploit the Weakness.
  5. Take  Icon Shattered Defenses.

8.2. Second Golden Trait

The second Golden trait to take is  Icon Corrupted Blood of Zakajz.

  1. Take  Icon Tactical Advance.
  2. Take  Icon Precise Strikes.
  3. Take  Icon Corrupted Blood of Zakajz.

8.3. Remaining Traits

After this, you should head for your last Golden Trait,  Icon Void Cleave, picking up any remaining traits after that. There is no particular order you need for the rest of the traits.

9. Relics for Arms Warriors

Relics are disabled in PvP, so they are not a concern to you.

10. ChangeLog

  • 09 May 2018: Added an Arena Compositions section.
  • 28 Mar. 2018: Made several updates to the guide and its structure.
    • Added sections for Macros, Strengths, and Weaknesses.
    • Moved Gear, Artifact Traits, and Relics sections to the end, since they are not that important.
    • Updated recommended Tier 1 regular talent.
  • 24 Jan. 2018: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.5.
  • 16 Dec. 2017: No major changes needed for patch 7.3.2.
  • 09 Sep. 2017: Removed Artifact Trait descriptions.
  • 21 Jun. 2017: Updated the guide for Patch 7.2.5.
    • Changed recommended talent for Tier 3 Regular Talents.
    • Changed recommended talent for Tier 5 Regular Talents.
    • Changed recommended talent for Tier 6 Regular Talents.
    • Added a talent option for Tier 5 Honor Talents.
    • Updated Offensive Rotation.
    • Updated Burst Rotation.
    • Updated Sustained Damage Rotation.
  • 24 Apr. 2017: Edited description for Tier 1 talent recommended choices.
  • 18 Mar. 2017: Arms Warrior PvP Guide was created.
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