Arms Warrior PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Dragonflight / 10.0.7)
PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. It is a game mode that fully utilizes your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as an Arms Warrior, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.
This page is part of our Arms Warrior PvP Guide.
Playstyle for Arms Warriors
The Arms Warrior has two roles when in an arena: do as much damage as possible and support your team with your broad utility. The most important part is to always have uptime on your enemy. Should your target get away from you, it is better to hit an enemy closer to you until you can regain uptime on your kill target.
In general, PvP comes down to good judgment and decision making. There are not two matches that are identical, and you will have to use your toolkit differently vs some enemies than the general guideline. However, the most important part is to master the fundamentals of playing arms warrior, like dealing damage, before thinking about how to outplay your opponents, and you should therefore focus on the information and rotations listed in this section for starters.
Before Gates Open
Coordinate with your team who your kill target is going to be, and any potential swaps you can do. As the arms warrior, it is often you who determines who your team is focusing.
Though you should save your Intimidating Shout and Storm Bolt for offensive pressure, you should determine and judge for yourself if it is better to save them to aid your team defensively, such as trading it with an enemy Windwalker Monk using Storm, Earth, and Fire.
Use the buttons below to select your talents to see how that changes the rotation. This affects both the single-target and multi-target rotation.
Understanding Arms Warrior Damage
Before going into the rotation, it is best to understand how to maximize your damage as an Arms Warrior. Your primary damaging abilities are Mortal Strike and Overpower. Mortal Wounds must be maintained at all times through Mortal Strike. Mastery: Deep Wounds amplifies your damaging abilities against affected targets, and must be maintained at all times.
Maintaining Hamstring at all times is critical in order to keep up with your target and continue to land damage.
Warbreaker applies Mastery: Deep Wounds and further increases damage done. You should use this for burst damage.
Your filler ability Slam should not be used too much, as the Rage is better spent on Mortal Strike or Execute. Use it when you are near 100 Rage and Mortal Strike is on cooldown and Execute is unusable.
This list serves as your sustained damage rotation priority.
- Maintain Hamstring on your kill target at all times.
- Maintain Mortal Wounds on your kill target at all times.
- Use Avatar and Warbreaker for when you wish to burst.
- Use Mortal Strike when it is off of cooldown
- Use Execute when the enemy drops below threshold or if you get
a Sudden Death proc.
- Hold onto your Sudden Death proc if you are about to burst with Warbreaker.
- Use Overpower to deal damage and empower your next Mortal Strike.
- If talented, maintain Rend on your kill target and spread it with Sweeping Strikes.
- Use Slam when near 100 Rage and you can do none of the above
The opener refers to your team's opening CC 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 or your kill target uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. There is no reason to hold onto your cooldowns at the start of the match, apply your team's CC chain and burst to gain momentum.
This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.
- Use Charge to close the gap between you and the target.
- Use Hamstring on the enemy to slow them.
- Use Storm Bolt on your kill target.
- Use Avatar and Warbreaker for burst.
- Use Spear of Bastion or Thunderous Roar
- Use Mortal Strike to apply Mortal Wounds.
- Use Execute if you get a Sudden Death proc.
- Use Bladestorm.
- Use Mortal Strike empowered by Sharpen Blade if the enemy has sustained damage and your CC chain is about to end.
- Use Overpower to deal damage.
- Use Rend if you are using this talent.
- Use Intimidating Shout as a followup to any CC applied by your team or to start your team's CC chain. This point takes priority anywhere in the rotation if you judge that you can keep up the pressure to potentially land the kill.
When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.
- Use Storm Bolt to stun your kill target.
- Use Avatar and Warbreaker.
- If the enemy team is stacked and it will not slow you down enough for the enemy to stop your burst rotation, use Sweeping Strikes.
- Use Spear of Bastion or Thunderous Roar.
- Use Mortal Strike on cooldown.
- Use Execute if your kill targets drops below the threshold or if Sudden Death procs.
- Use Bladestorm.
- Use Sharpen Blade as soon as the enemy healer leaves CC or uses healing cooldowns.
- Use Overpower.
- Use Slam as a filler.
Die by the Sword is your main defensive cooldown. This is a very powerful defensive against melee teams and offers a decent damage reduction against casters as well. PvP is all about trading cooldowns, and you should primarily aim to use this as a response to either the enemy team landing a CC-chain on your healer/team, or big offensive cooldowns like Avenging Wrath. In doing so, you will be preventing the most amount of damage possible, and you will allow your team to catch up to rescue you.
Defensive Stance is a great talent, despite the nerfs to this ability, which can be the difference between life and death. The general rule of thumb for this ability is to try only to have it active while sustaining more damage than you can deal, or when you anticipate a setup from the enemy team. Avoid sitting in it for excessive amounts of time, as the penalty is greater on you than the enemy team.
It is important to master the ability to preemptively put yourself in Defensive Stance before you get hit by dangerous abilities like Kidney Shot.
Heroic Leap has great pursuit potential but can be equally powerful when trying to survive. Breaking the line of sight of enemies will nullify most of their damage, and is a great way to prevent being killed by unstoppable cooldowns like Combustion.
Rallying Cry is a great defensive for you and your team, especially when in conjunction with Master and Commander and Inspiring Presence. Beware, as the health gained is lost at the end of the duration and can surprise kill you or your teammates.
Shield Block is kind of a niche ability that warriors got back with Shadowlands. It blocks any non-enhanced melee attack and ranged attack (Hunters). It does not work against abilities like Templar's Verdict or Obliterate that is frost enhanced. This ability can serve as a last line of defense if you are hitting into abilities like Evasion and you have nothing to use or cannot swap targets, then you can switch weapons to Shield Block.
Impending Victory is your only on-demand heal, and should be taken advantage of when you can.
Good Bladestorm/Avatar usage
Bladestorm and Avatar are great burst cooldowns, but they are just as valuable for their anti-CC components. Against Mage, Restoration Shaman, Druid and other similar classes with roots, it may be better to use these abilities to break out of these roots instead of for burst damage. We advise learning the cooldowns of enemy roots so you get an idea of when you can use your abilities for burst and when you should use it to cleanse yourself.
Similarly, Bladestorm makes you immune to all CC, and can be very effective at ruining the enemy's attempt to kill you with abilities such as Kidney Shot if timed correctly. You have about a 0.25 sec grace period, where using Bladestorm after being hit with CC will still activate it and break you out of the CC.
Good Intimidating Shout usage
Intimidating Shout is a very powerful ability, that can make or break your game. This ability is as strong offensively as it is defensively. For this reason, this ability can be the hardest to determine how to use best. Good ways to use it offensively is to use it as a followup CC, to an already applied CC on the enemy healer, or to start a CC chain. The enemy team will try to stop your team from applying other forms of CC like Polymorph or Hex. If you can land an Intimidating Shout onto all of the enemy team, your team will be in a prime position to burst and apply CC without having to worry about being stopped. This way, you can turn the tides of a fight by, for an example, using it on a Windwalker Monk with Storm, Earth, and Fire during Fists of Fury, to nullify his/her offensive burst and letting you Storm Bolt your kill target to counter pressure with your team.
Intervene is one of the best tools Arms Warrior has for the team. It allows you to quickly reposition to your chosen teammate, and then redirect all melee and ranged attacks onto you. Keep in mind, that this ability does not do anything against spells. Use it frequently and in respond to enemy attempts to kill your teammate. Do not be afraid to combine it with Die by the Sword, if you suspect the redirected damage is strong enough to kill you.
It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.
- 21 Mar. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.0.7.
- 30 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
- 31 Jul. 2022: Updated for Shadowlands season 4.
- 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 28 Feb. 2022: Page reviewed and approved for Patch 9.2.
- 08 Nov. 2021: Page reviewed for Patch 9.1.5.
- 13 Oct. 2021: Mentioned the importance of maintaining Hamstring.
- 02 Jul. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 27 Dec. 2020: Rewritten by Karanze for Shadowlands season 1
- 05 Dec. 2020: Updated Burst Rotation to include Covenant Ability.
- 29 Nov. 2020: Removed outdated Traits and Essences.
- 22 Oct. 2020: Updated Defensives section.
- 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
- Vicious War Snail Mount in Patch 10.1
- Item Level of Rewards from Mythic+ and the Great Vault in Dragonflight Season 2
- Dragonflight Patch 10.0.7 Hotfixes: March 24th
- Dragonflight 10.0.7 Class Tuning: March 28th + Retribution Nerfs March 24th
- New Aberrus Unique Drops Added in Patch 10.1 Build 48661
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- New Potential Evoker Spells Added in Patch 10.1 Build 48661
- Dragonflight Patch 10.0.7 Hotfixes: March 23rd