Arms Warrior PvP Talents and Builds (Shadowlands / 9.1)
Choosing the right PvP and PvE talents is a prerequisite to proper performance in PvP. This guide goes through the various talent choices available to you as an Arms Warrior and gives you the best combinations you can take.
This page is part of our Arms Warrior PvP Guide.
Changes to the build in Patch 9.1
Overall, the talent choices are the same as they were in Patch 9.0 and you need not make any changes.
Regular Talents for Arms Warriors
|15||✘ War Machine||✔ Sudden Death||✘ Skullsplitter|
|25||✘ Double Time||✘ Impending Victory||✔ Storm Bolt|
|30||✔ Massacre||✘ Fervor of Battle||? Rend|
|35||✘ Second Wind||✘ Bounding Stride||✔ Defensive Stance|
|40||✘ Collateral Damage||✔ Warbreaker||✘ Cleave|
|45||✘ In For The Kill||✔ Avatar||✘ Deadly Calm|
|50||? Anger Management||✔ Dreadnaught||✘ Ravager|
While the above table provides a generally accurate overview of the viability of talents, some finer points are discussed in the sections that follow, and we recommend you read those for a deeper understanding.
Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents
Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents
Storm Bolt gives warrior a much-needed on-demand ranged stun, which is incredibly powerful both offensively and defensively. Storm Bolt is a big win condition for the Warrior's team offensively, and is ideal for stopping enemy attempts to kill you or your teammates. This talent is mandatory for competitive PvP.
Double Time is a very niche talent, which should only be used vs casters that are very difficult to catch up to in 2v2. A good example is Marksmanship Hunter where it can be more beneficial to play with extra mobility, should you lack spells like Blessing of Freedom on your team.
Impending Victory help to cover up Arms' lack of self healing, but cannot compare to the power of having an on-demand stun. When used well, Storm Bolt can prevent more damage than Impending Victory can heal back, and also has its offensive value.
Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents
Massacre amplifies your already-incredible finishing power by letting you Execute on a higher threshold. This is a very strong talent, especially since Execute can sometimes do more damage than 35% of a player's health.
Rend is another good choice in this tier. This DoT deals a decent amount of damage and amplifies your critical damage against affected targets. This bonus critical damage is additive and not multiplicative, meaning if you have 200% critical damage, it will add up to 210% critical damage. It is recommended to only consider playing Rend vs high-Armor targets in a pressure composition such as TSG.
Fervor of Battle is not viable, as you generally do not want to spend too much Rage on fillers in PvP, and this talent encourages that.
Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents
Defensive Stance is what defines the Arms Warrior durability. An on-demand 20% permanent wall is incredibly powerful, and more than what any other spec can offer. Despite the 20% reduction to damage dealt it applies to you in PvP, this talent is still the best for its defensive applications. This talent is mandatory for competitive PvP.
Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents
Warbreaker is the best choice in this tier, replacing Colossus Smash to apply the same effect in an AoE around you. This is incredibly strong in conjunction with Bladestorm, Spear of Bastion and Ancient Aftershock for strong burst AoE.
Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents
Avatar is the strongest because of the root and snare break, as well as the increased burst damage it provides. As the current meta favors burst and strong one shots, this talent has more value than the sustained DPS of In For The Kill
Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents
Dreadnaught is a major increase to your damage output and filler rotation. This is in general your main talent on this row, and should be used nearly always.
Anger Management provides less consistent damage than Dreadnaught, and its only application is to be able to reduce Warbreaker's cooldown below that of enemy Disarm effects. Alternatively, you can combine this talent with Storm of Destruction and Unhinged for high pressure Bladestorm builds, but this does not beat out Dreadnaught competitively.
PvP Talents for Arms Warriors
You can choose 3 of the following PvP talents. Each of them has their uses, but some are better for certain matchups than others.
Mandatory PvP Talents
Sharpen Blade is the only mandatory talent. This ability is essential for landing killing blows and is a great way to quickly drain Mana from the enemy healer.
Be sure to not use this ability when the enemy is at full health, but rather as a followup to a CC chain, or when you suspect the enemy healer is going to spend expensive heals such as Shadow Mend or Flash of Light in a clutch
Death Sentence is incredibly powerful for Venthyr Arms Warriors, but remains really strong for non-Venthyr. The ability received a massive buff coming into Shadowlands by allowing it to once again work with Massacre and Sudden Death. This ability allows you a great deal of mobility, and allows you to hold on to Charge and Heroic Leap in many cases.
Situational PvP Talents
Storm of Destruction reduces the cooldown of your Bladestorm to 1 minute, which is great to make it line up with Spear of Bastion and makes the Legendary effect Unhinged even deadlier. Use this talent vs compositions where you do not need to play overly defensive or want the shorter cooldown for root breaks. Alternatively, you can switch out Death Sentence for this talent against melee cleaves that have no means of running away from you, such as Warrior + Enhancement Shaman or Warrior + Retribution Paladin.
War Banner is incredibly powerful vs teams with a lot of crowd control, like RMP (Rogue/Mage/Priest) or Jungle Cleave (Feral Druid/Hunter/Priest). Timed correctly, this ability alone can completely ruin the enemy team's setup and cooldowns.
Master and Commander received nerfs in the last season, and is at present not worth considering in an arena environment as it offers less defensive power than the other PvP talents. This PvP talent really shines in the Rated Battleground bracket, and you should consider bringing it with you there. Master and Commander also benefits from Inspiring Presence.
Disarm has a short cooldown and can completely ruin the damage of weapon-based classes like Frost Death Knight or Subtlety Rogue. This ability can even be used offensively vs specializations that require weapons for their defensives, such as stopping another Arms Warrior from using Die by the Sword or a Death Knight from using Death Strike
Demolition was buffed in Patch 9.1 to do even further damage to shields. Big shields have made a return this season through Fleshcraft. This talent is recommended to pick up against Warlocks for their Dark Pact and Mistweaver Monks for their Life Cocoon.
- 13 Oct. 2021: Adjusted recommended talents.
- 02 Jul. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 16 May 2021: Updated Mandatory PvP Talents.
- 27 Dec. 2020: Rewritten by Karanze for Shadowlands Season 1
- 29 Nov. 2020: Removed outdated Traits and Essences.
- 26 Oct. 2020: Updated Talent Table.
- 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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