Arms Warrior Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jul 19, 2024 at 08:00 by Archimtiros 59 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Arms Warrior changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Arms Warrior in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Arms Warrior. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Arms Warrior or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."


Arms Warrior: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to our War Within expansion guide for Arms Warrior. Ahead of launch, this page will contain everything you need to know about the Arms Warrior spec in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, including changes, Hero Talent Trees, and some light predictions on the state of the spec going into the expansion.

This page is a constantly evolving work in progress, with regular changes expected as updates hit the War Within Beta. This is not meant to be a launch guide for Arms Warrior, but instead serves as a resource for you to keep up to date with how the spec is evolving on Beta, and what you can expect from its playstyle and feel on launch.


Arms Warrior Changes for The War Within

Arms Warrior Rage economy has been significantly altered in The War Within, reducing the amount generated per swing and reducing the Rage cost of Slam, Whirlwind, Rend, Thunder Clap, and Ignore Pain to a consistent 20 Rage. As a result, Rage is generated and spent in smaller chunks, leading to smoother pacing and less time bouncing between a full or empty resource bar.

The Warrior Class Tree has received a moderate rework, rearranging the pathing of several talents and removing some of the less desirable ones outright. Overall, the tree has become smaller and more streamlined, with focus on improving access to important crowd control and early leveling abilities, most notably relocating Shockwave to the middle of the tree. Below, you can see some of the most important changes that will affect your gameplay, decision-making, and power in The War Within.


Warrior Class Changes

  • Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage is no longer a talent and now automatically learned at level 12.
  • Titanic Throw Icon Titanic Throw, Sonic Boom Icon Sonic Boom, and Furious Blows Icon Furious Blows have been removed. Furious Blows is one less required damage talent, while the other two were never used.
  • Second Wind Icon Second Wind now restores 1-2% health per second while below 35% health, in addition to its previous effects. This gives it a guaranteed benefit in high damage/low life situations, without changing the previous functionality.
  • Impending Victory Icon Impending Victory now restores 20% health, down from 30%.
  • Honed Reflexes Icon Honed Reflexes now reduces the cooldown of most defensive and utility cooldowns by 5%. However minor, this removes another damage talent, while offering an interesting if equally minor defensive benefit.
  • Blood and Thunder Icon Blood and Thunder no longer increases the damage or rage cost of Thunder Clap, and is no longer available to Fury.
  • Frothing Berserker Icon Frothing Berserker now refunds 20% Rage for Arms, down from 20%.
  • Barbaric Training Icon Barbaric Training no longer increases the Rage cost of abilities. Alongside several other adjustments, this is intended to smooth out the rate at which Arms generates and spends its Rage.
  • Champion's Spear Icon Champion's Spear now generates 10 rage, down from 20.
  • Champion's Might Icon Champion's Might now affects targets hit by Spear, instead of the player standing inside it.
  • Shockwave Icon Shockwave and Thunderous Roar Icon Thunderous Roar no longer generate Rage.
  • Thunderous Words Icon Thunderous Words has been buffed from 15 to 30%, but only increases the damage targets take from bleeds during its effect, rather than passively increasing it all the time. This makes Thunderous Roar more active and condenses some of its damage into burstier cooldowns.
  • Crushing Force Icon Crushing Force now affects Mortal Strike instead of Slam.
  • Endurance Training Icon Endurance Training has gained a second point, allowing players to increase their stamina even further. While nice, the new pathing makes the talent very hard to take.
  • Warlord's Torment Icon Warlord's Torment no longer affects Colossus Smash, and the bonus Rage generated during Recklessness is reduced to +25% from +100%. More so than any other change, this dramatically slows down Arms' Rage generation, though the overall speed of its gameplay is unchanged.
  • Blademaster's Torment Icon Blademaster's Torment has been redesigned to now trigger Sweeping Strikes whenever Avatar is used, and reduce the cooldown of Cleave by 1.5 seconds for the duration of Avatar. This gives the talent value no matter what combination of other talents are used, though it also removes any single target value.

Arms Talent Changes

The Arms Warrior Spec Tree has undergone only minor changes, condensing and reworking a few of its talents, though retaining the same general pathing.

  • Cleave Icon Cleave now replaces Whirlwind, reducing the number of keybinds in multitarget content. Reaping Swings Icon Reaping Swings has been removed, with Cleave's default cooldown reduced to 4.5 seconds instead.
  • Fervor of Battle Icon Fervor of Battle and Collateral Damage Icon Collateral Damage now apply to Cleave, as do Seismic Reverberation Icon Seismic Reverberation and Barbaric Training Icon Barbaric Training in the class tree. With Cleave replacing Whirlwind in the rotation, this retains all of the same functionality between the two abilities.
  • Tide of Blood Icon Tide of Blood has been removed and its effects baked into Skullsplitter Icon Skullsplitter.
  • Storm of Swords Icon Storm of Swords now grants Whirlwind a 30% chance to make your next Whirlwind cost 100% less Rage. Intended to help smooth out the Rage economy, this talent is largely unneeded.
  • Sudden Death Icon Sudden Death can now stack twice to avoid wasting procs.
  • Improved Overpower Icon Improved Overpower now grants a second charge of Overpower, instead of coming from Dreadnaught.
  • Strength of Arms Icon Strength of Arms has been split into two talents, and now shares a choice node with Dreadnaught. This gives players a clear choice between a single target or multitarget damage boost.
  • Finishing Blows Icon Finishing Blows now generates Rage when Overpower is used against low health targets, previously found within Strength of Arms. Although seemingly a dramatic nerf, the Rage accounts for much greater part of the overall reduced Arms Rage economy.
  • Tactician Icon Tactician has been reduced to 1% per Rage spent, while Deft Experience Icon Deft Experience has been reduced to an additional 0.5% per point. A total of 2% per point of Rage, this reduces the overall number of Tactician procs, creating a little more room in the rotation for other abilities.
  • In For The Kill Icon In For The Kill now lasts the duration of Colossus Smash instead of a strict 10 seconds. This creates additional synergy with Spiteful Serenity and Blunt Instruments, and greatly increases its value compared to Test of Might.
  • Valor in Victory Icon Valor in Victory now increases Versatility by 2%, instead of 1%.
  • Battlelord Icon Battlelord no longer increases Overpower damage. This makes the talent less universal, creating more room to take other talents in multitarget content.
  • Ravager Icon Ravager is now a choice alongside Bladestorm, giving players the option between AoE abilities.
  • Bladestorm Icon Bladestorm no longer generates Rage, but its damage has been buffed by ~70%, making it much more directly impactful.
  • Hurricane Icon Hurricane has been removed, thereby reducing the number of layered damage buffs.
  • Unhinged Icon Unhinged now prioritizes the primary target and triggers every other time Bladestorm or Ravager deals damage, allowing it to scale with effects that increase the number of hits.
  • Dance of Death Icon Dance of Death has been completely redesigned with separate effects for Bladestorm and Ravager. When an enemy dies during Bladestorm, it increases damage dealt by 5% for the remainder of its duration plus 2 seconds, stacking up to three times. When an enemy dies during Ravager, it instead extends the duration by 2 seconds, also stacking up to three times. A somewhat complicated change, the intent is to reward players when an enemy dies during their large AoE cooldown; used creatively, it can allow funneling damage from a short-lived group of adds into a stronger priority/boss target.
  • Critical Thinking Icon Critical Thinking has been increased to 10% of Execute Rage refunded per point, greatly helping the Execute Rage economy.

Systems Changes

Aside from the changes to Arms Warrior's core features, The War Within also introduces Hero Talent Trees, new tier sets, and the natural reduction in secondary stats when entering a new expansion.

Arms Warrior's get to choose between the Colossus and Slayer Hero Talent Trees. In sections below, we will talk more deeply about the implications of these Hero Talent Trees for the spec, and some thoughts on what looks strong and weak ahead of launch.


Arms Warrior Hero Talents in The War Within

Colossus Slayer

Colossus Hero Talents for Arms Warrior's in The War Within

The Colossus Hero Tree revolves almost entirely around a new ability called Demolish Icon Demolish, which is a short but powerful channeled attack similar to Fyr'alath the Dreamrender Icon Fyr'alath the Dreamrender in Dragonflight.

Gameplay-wise, Demolish creates new complexity for Arms Warriors. Like Fyr'alath before it, Demolish is a channeled ability that roots the player, so they cannot move but also cannot be crowd-controlled out of the effect. Unlike the legendary axe, however, Demolish is a shorter 2-second (hasted) channel, has a much shorter cooldown, and all defensive/mobility abilities can be used during its effect. This means a skillful Arms Warrior can Spell Reflect an incoming spell or use Heroic Leap to quickly reposition out of a deadly effect without interrupting their major cooldown.

Power-wise, Demolish is strong in both single and multitarget content, but also provides several ancillary effects. The damage of all critical strikes are amplified, players are given a choice between increasing the power of AoE abilities or Bleeds, and Dominance of the Colossus Icon Dominance of the Colossus leaves a lingering debuff on enemies that increases their damage taken and reduces the damage they deal to you for 10 seconds after being hit by Demolish.

Defensively, No Stranger to Pain Icon No Stranger to Pain is very strong for players who make good use of Ignore Pain, while Veteran Vitality Icon Veteran Vitality provides a passive option for players who are not interested in the extra keybind. Additionally, Mountain of Muscle and Scars Icon Mountain of Muscle and Scars provides a flat 2.5% damage reduction.

In terms of utility benefits, Colossus provides two choices benefitting Shockwave: Boneshaker Icon Boneshaker increases its duration and causes the AoE stun to slow enemies for a brief time, while Earthquaker Icon Earthquaker knocks them up and reduces its cooldown. Of these, the knockup is better for players worried about diminishing returns, though Boneshaker is the more performative option.


Slayer Hero Talents for Arms Warrior in The War Within

The Slayer Hero Tree is split between Execute and Bladestorm, providing both single and multitarget benefits through a series of synergistic debuffs. Slayer's Dominance Icon Slayer's Dominance marks enemies, which in turn triggers Imminent Demise Icon Imminent Demise, which allows players to consume those marks to reduce the cooldown of Bladestorm through Unrelenting Onslaught Icon Unrelenting Onslaught.

Gameplay-wise, players will benefit from far more frequent Sudden Death Icon Sudden Death casts, creating additional value for talents like Juggernaut Icon Juggernaut and Executioner's Precision Icon Executioner's Precision outside of the normal execute range. This also leads to much more frequent use of Bladestorm, the result of which is a fast-paced, proc-heavy storm of steel, though it may be less appealing to players who are overly sensitive about channeled abilities.

Power-wise, Reap the Storm Icon Reap the Storm and the increased frequency of Bladestorm are both very powerful multitarget benefits, while Slayer gains most of its single target power from sustaining the Overwhelmed Icon Overwhelmed debuff and more frequent use of Execute instead of weaker fillers like Slam. While Bladestorm is much more powerful in The War Within than in Dragonflight, Unhinged Icon Unhinged is also a strong damage contributor, as the extra Mortal Strike casts can also trigger Reap the Storm Icon Reap the Storm.

Defensively, however, Slayer is a much weaker choice. Its sole defensive benefit is Death Drive Icon Death Drive, which can add up to a moderate amount of healing over time, but is not always effective healing, making it a much less practical choice.

In terms of utility, Unrelenting Onslaught Icon Unrelenting Onslaught grants the long requested ability to interrupt and stun during Bladestorm, while the increased amount of Bladestorm casts also provide their own crowd control immunity. The Slayer's other benefit is in enhanced mobility: Relentless Pursuit Icon Relentless Pursuit provides a huge quality of life improvement for keeping up with moving targets, while Vicious Agility Icon Vicious Agility allows more frequent use of Heroic Leap and Charge in general.


Arms Warrior Tier Set in The War Within

Below are the Tier Set Bonuses for Arms Warrior in The War Within. After the wording of the bonus, you will find a brief note/commentary that is italicized.

  • Warrior Arms 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Warrior Arms 11.0 Class Set 2pcMortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike and Cleave Icon Cleave increase the damage of your next Overpower Icon Overpower by 10%. This is a very simple, but effective bonus, as these are the three most used abilities in both single and multitarget.
  • Warrior Arms 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Warrior Arms 11.0 Class Set 4pc — When Overpower Icon Overpower has its cooldown reset by Tactician Icon Tactician, your next Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike or Cleave Icon Cleave has its damage increased by 10% and critical strike chance increased by 10%, stacking up to 2 times. Another simple and straightforward benefit that will apply passively through normal gameplay.

Both set bonuses are completely passive and are not expected to have any gameplay impact, which makes them somewhat boring, but reliable.


How Good is the Arms Warrior Tier Bonus in The War Within?

The 2pc bonus is a very minor and basic bonus, which suffers slightly from an inability to stack, which means getting back-to-back casts of Mortal Strike through Exhilarating Blows Icon Exhilarating Blows do not further increase the power of Overpower.

The 4pc bonus is a little stronger, since Mortal Strike and Cleave already have several damage modifiers which can be multiplied, though currently held back by a multiplication bug reducing its power. While not particularly exciting compared to bonuses of the past, it is functionally sound.

Based on general dummy testing, the two bonuses together should be worth around +4-7% in single target, which is generally much weaker than set bonuses of the past, though it is not yet clear what Blizzard's target point is for The War Within.


Arms Warrior Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Significantly improved multitarget options by way of newfound Cleave interactions with Fervor of Battle, the potential for extended two-target through Blademaster's Torment, and more interesting choices like the reworked Dance of Death.
  • +Ravager introduces a new single target choice for content or encounters with less emphasis on Execute.
  • +Reduced rage economy retains the same gameplay, but with better pacing, instead of being resource capped or starved at all times.
  • +Several strong burst damage options for both hero specializations.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -More emphasis on priority target or multitarget builds that focus on one at the expense of the other.
  • -Awkward class tree talent pathing requires taking Shockwave in single target content that it has no use in.
  • -Slayer has less build flexibility due to requiring Bladestorm in all of its builds, including single target.
  • -Slayer is still defensively weaker than Fury, although Colossus narrows the gap.
  • -Numbers TBD as several bugs prohibit many builds from proper testing.


  • 19 Jul. 2024: Updated for The War Within Pre-Patch
  • 19 Jun. 2024: Page created.
Show more
Show less