Arms Warrior PvP Guide
Updated for Mists of Pandaria 5.4.7, and to remove some… junk. 5.4.7 mainly brings 77% base Resilience (80% with the trinket bonus) and season 15.
These days Arms is the PvP tree of choice, with Fury being for DPS and Protection being the tanking build (which might be great for flag carrying and defense.) Arms does pretty solid damage and has several very useful talents.
Also see our Warrior PvP page for some general notes on keybinds and fighting tips.
For Arms in instances and raids see: Arms PvE
The Arms Warrior
Other Warrior Guides
The PvP Arms Warrior, Briefly
A brief overview of the Arms Warrior for PvP
- see below for abilities, a build, and glyphs
- First, get: Hit to 3%, Expertise to 3-6%
- Then Strength
- Then Reforge everything else into Crit
- More stat info
- Gem for Str (Red “bold” gems) or Str/Crit, whereever possible.
- Resilience in 5.4.7 is 77% base, plus the trinket bonus (80% total.) You don’t need to gem or enchant for it, you need to punch through the other guy’s 80%.
- More gems
- Look for Str & Crit.
- More enchants
- Any will do, but…
- Alliance: Human (escape, wpn expertise) or Worgen (Spint, Crit.)
- Horde: Orc (burst, Stun resistance) might be “best.”
- Undead can escape effects and have a small passive heal and DPS add.
- More Race info
Step by Step to Level 90
Get Leveled Faster, even in Mists of Pandaria
Arms PvP Build
Changing talents is easy and works just like changing glyphs. Bring up your talent page in-game, click the row you want to change, spend the indicated dust/powder/tome, and pick the new talent. Your trainer can also reset all of your talents at once.
Depending on what you’re doing at the moment you might be swapping talents regularly.
Tier 1, level 15
How do you like to Charge? More often or more effectively?
- Juggernaut – Charge every 12 seconds
- Double Time – Charge twice, bang bang, but then has a 20 second recharge. That double charge can be really useful, for example: you charge the mage, he blinks, you charge again. (Only one of the charges builds Rage.)
- Warbringer – Stun and knock down the opponent at the end of your charge. Slows them for awhile after, so no need to use Hamstring.
Tier 2, level 30
- Enraged Regeneration – An active heal that’s probably not big enough for emergencies, unless you’re Enraged, but it IS usable while stunned.
- Second Wind makes it harder to finish you off and is a passive – one less button to think about. Solid healing and one less button makes it a favorite with many people.
- Impending Victory – A cheap attack with a decent heal right now, which is why it’s the pick. Shorter cooldown than Enraged Regen, but not usable while stunned or against people out of range.
Tier 3, level 45
- Staggering Shout – Requires opponents to be snared first.
- Piercing Howl basically hamstrings all enemies withing 15 yrds.
- Disrupting Shout – Area spell interrupt and silence, just the thing when fighting groups with casters. Interrupt & silence all of them.
Tier 4, level 60
Area Effects – Stuns or Damage?
- Bladestorm for lots of damage. What’s better than a Spinning Warrior of Doom?
- Shockwave – not as sexy as Bladestorm, but it damages and stuns all enemies in front of you.
- Dragon Roar – Knock all nearby enemies back a bit and damage them.
Tier 5, level 75
- Mass Spell Reflection – Everyone in your group gets Spell Reflection. This could be annoying to the opposition when fighting multiple enemies.
- Safeguard – Intervene towards a party member, saving his butt.
- Vigilance protects a party member for 12 seconds, reducing their damage taken. The Warrior does not take that damage (though he used to.)
Tier 6, level 90
- Bloodbath since it goes so well with Bladestorm, spreading bleeds all over the place.
- Avatar – You transform into an unstoppable colossus for 20 sec, increasing your damage dealt and causing your attacks to generate extra Rage. While transformed you are immune to movement impairing effects.
- Stormbolt is a ranged stun and does lots of damage to targets immune to stuns.
Useful Glyphs for Arms Warriors
- Glyph of Bull Rush (highly recommended) provides more Rage from your Charge
- Glyph of Colossus Smash – use if you’re Sundering
- Glyph of Death From Above – Reduces Heroic Leap CD by 15 sec.
- Glyph of Blitz – Briefly stuns additional opponents when you charge. Nice for BGs, not so hot for duels.
- Glyph of Enraged Speed – for the extra speed when enraged.
- Glyph of Rude Interruption – More damage after a successful Pummel interrupt.
- Glyph of Unending Rage – 20 more Rage to play with
- Glyph of Overpower – If you’re cleaving then this will give Overpower a damage boost.
These are all pretty much cosmetic, but there are one or two with some value.
- Glyph of Intimidating Shout – If you don’t want your feared targets to run, then this glyph is required.
- Glyph of Crow Feast because we all want to summon carrion birds when we kill someone, right?
- Glyph of Burning Anger lets your enemies know when you’re really mad.
- Glyph of the Blazing Trail – Charge with style. Or, at least, leave a burning trail.
Arms Warrior Stats for PvP
Stats are really pretty easy: Str & Crit, do not gem/enchant for Resilience or PvP Power.
- Stat Priority: Hit to 3% > Expertise to 3-5% > Crit >> Mastery >> Haste
In order of priority:
- Strength – improves everything you need to do. By far your best stat.
- For your secondary stats:
- 3% hit (7.5% for raid bosses)
- 3% Expertise to start, try to get 6% to better deal with those pesky dodging types, eg: Rogues.
- Crit, the more the better. There is a soft cap of 40% (good luck reaching it) due to Overpower already having +60% crit chance. Your Crit plays very well with Colossus Smash and Mortal Strike (Enraged.) and your recently buffed Deep Wounds
- Mastery – adds extra swings, but is weak. You don’t want it.
- Haste changed in patch 5.2 in that Warriors not get 50% added benefit from the stuff. Crit and Mastery are still better, but Haste is no longer really bad. Adds to white damage, due to more swings over time, and indirectly to your bleed damage (potentially more ticks over time,) plus your rage regenration.
- Excess Hit is useless
- Excess Expertise is not useless, but those stat points are better spent elsewhere.
- PvP power replaces Spell Penetration and it adds to your PvP damage, much the same way that attack power adds to your general damage. It does not interact directly with resilience. It was nerfed in 5.3 and the value of the gems (and those for Resilience) was cut in half. See this page for comments on Resilience and PvP power. The PvP Power on your Gear will be enough.
- Resilience, now called PVP Resilience is essential, but you start at 77% in patch 5.4.7. Plus the trinket set bonus brings it to 80%. Gemming for it isn’t important.
- Get your 3% Hit and 3-6% Expertise.
- Reforge everything else, including excess Hit and Exp. into Crit.
- If you have the Hit and the gear already has crit then reforge to Mastery.
Gems for Arms Warrior PvP
Gems with secondary stats (Crit, Hit, etc.) have twice the value of Str gems, 320 Vs 160. PvP Power and Resilience used to have the doubled stats, but that was cut in patch 5.3. It’s worthwhile to match socket bonuses.
With the patch 5.3 and 5.4 changes (gem vaues, PvP power nerf, 72% base resilience) it’s not worth it to gem for either PvP stat.
Crit is good enough that a 320 Crit gem is better than a 160 Str gem. Match for sockets with Str bonuses, you call if you want to do that for PvP Power bonuses or just gem Crit. You probably won’t notice a difference either way.
A good gem strategy to match sockets is this:
- Meta: Reverberating Primal Diamond untiol you can get the Tyrannical Primal Diamond
- Red: Inscribed Vermilion Onyx (str/crit)
- Yellow: Smooth Sun’s Radiance (pure crit)
- Blue:Radiant Wild Jade (Crit & PvP Power)
- Belt buckle and Blacksmithing slots: Bold Primordial Ruby (or the perfect version.)
Note that the “perfect” gem cuts have the same stats as the regular gem. One of the other is likely to be cheaper, by far. Save your gold and grab the cheap one (they’re shown in the table, below.) If your cash flow is bad, such that you can’t buy the gems, then you should check out these gold secrets.
|Meta||Reverberating Primal Diamond: +216 Str & Increased Crit Effect
Tyrannical Primal Diamond: +665 PVP Power and +775 Resilience. This should be the last thing you pick up.
|Red||Bold Primordial Ruby: +160 Str
Perfect Bold Pandarian Garnet: +160 Str
|Yellow||Mystic Sun’s Radiance: +160 Resilience
Quick Sun’s Radiance: +320 Haste
Fractured Sun’s Radiance: +320 Mastery
Smooth Sun’s Radiance: +320 Crit
|Orange||Inscribed Vermilion Onyx: +80 Str and +160 Crit
Perfect Inscribed Tiger Opal: +80 Str and +160 Crit
|Blue||Stormy River’s Heart: +160 PvP power
Solid River’s Heart: +240 Stam
|Green||Vivid Wild Jade: +80 Res, +80 PvP Power
Radiant Wild Jade: +160 Crit and +80 PvP Power
Piercing Wild Jade: +160 Crit and +160 Hit (just in case you still need the Hit.)
|Purple||Tense Imperial Amethyst: +80 Str, +80 PvP Power
Perfect Tense Roguestone: +80 Str, +80 PvP Power
Etched Imperial Amethyst: +80 Str and +160 Hit
Perfect Etched Roguestone: +80 Str and +160 Hit
|Prismatic||Bold Primordial Ruby: +160 Str|
|Cogwheel||Sparkling Tinker’s Gear: +600 Spirit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: +600 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: +600 Crit
Arms Warrior Enchants
Strength and Crit are the primary things that you want to enchant for. The only resilience enchant is for the chest and their are no higher level PvP power enchants. Head enchants are gone and shoulder enchants all come from the Inscription profession.
Short on gold? Most of the enchants below have similar enchants available, of lesser value, for less cash. We’ve linked to a couple of these. Check with the rep vendor or the Auction House for others. If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Dancing Steel: Sometimes increases Str by 1,650.
Living Steel Weapon Chain: +200 Expertise and reduces disarm duration by 60%. Redundant (and does not stack with) your 2 piece set bonus (which is disarm reduction.)
|Shoulders||Secret Tiger Fang Inscription: +520 Str and +100 Crit, requires Inscription
Greater Tiger Fang Inscription: +200 Str and +100 Crit
|Cloak||Enchant Cloak – Superior Critical Strike: +180 Crit rating|
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +80 to all Stats – with the 5.4.7 Resilience changes this is a perfectly good choice.
Enchant Chest – Super Resilience: +200 Resilience
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Exceptional Strength: +180 Str
Socket Bracer: Requires Blacksmithing, self-only, pop in a nice gem.
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Super Strength: +170 Str
Socket Gloves: requires Blacksmithing, self-only, drop in a nice gem
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Sockets your belt, pop in the best gem.|
|Leggings||Angerhide Leg Armor: +285 Str & 185 Crit rating|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +140 Mastery and Slight run speed increase.|
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Strength: +160 Str, Requires Enchanting 550|
Arms Spec Abilities
- All abilities can be used in any stance, though they may work better in a particular stance. You will likely be using Battle Stance most of the time, for the Rage generation value. Patch 5.4 reduced the cooldowns on youir stances, so changing them is easier.
- Bladestorm was buffed in 5.4, so might be worth using.
- Your Thunderclap ability also applies Deep Wounds and both Thunder Clap and Deep Wounds were buffed in 5.4.
- Slam was buffed in 5.4 and now also strikes additional enemies.
- In 5.4 you no longer need a shield to use Shield Wall and Spell Reflection
- More 5.4 notes here
Warriors (all Warriors) have three Banners in the Mists of Pandaira. You throw one of these down and your nearby group (within 30 yards) receives a buff for 30 seconds. You can Intervene to your banner. All are level 87.
- Skull Banner - Crit buff. This is likely the one that will be most used.
- Mocking Banner - all enemies within 15 yards focus their attacks on the Warrior.
- Demoralizing Banner - Deceases enemy damage by a small amount
And then there is:
- Symbiosis - A Druid in your group lets you copy one of his abilities and he copies one of yours.
- The ability you gain is Stampeding Shout
- The Guardian Druid gets Spell reflection, Feral gets Shatttering Blow, Balance gets Intervene, Resto gets Intimidating Roar.
|Abilities for Arms:|
|1||Unbridled Wrath – You generate Rage when stunned or immobilized.|
|10||Mortal Strike – Your basic strike, causes Mortal Wounds on the target, as well as Deep Wounds.|
|10||Seasoned Soldier (Passive) – More damage with 2 handers, reduces the Rage cost of Thunderclap and Whirlwind.|
|18||Slam – Instant whack. Buffed in 5.4|
|26||Whirlwind – Attack everything within 8 yards. The glyph extends that range.|
|30||Overpower – Instantly overpower the enemy causing damage, with greatly increased chance to be a critical strike. Only usable after the target dodges. Also slightly reduces Mortal Strike’s cooldown.|
|30||Taste for Blood – More Overpowers.|
|46||Blood and Thunder – Your Thunderclap now applies Deep Wounds.|
|50||Plate Specialization (Passive) – More Str is your reward for weaing all plate.|
|56||Die by the Sword – For a few seconds you have a massively increased Parry chance and reduced damage.|
|60||Sweeping Strikes – Your melee strike hit an addition opponent.|
|80||Mastery: Strikes of Opportunity (Passive) – Chance for your melee attack to trigger an additional attack.|
|81||Colossus Smash smashes the opponent, weakens their armor, and increases their damage taken by a bit for a few seconds.|
|81||Sudden Death (Passive) – Melee hits have a chance to refresh the CD on Colossus Smash. Also, Execute hits give you a free Overpower.|
Stuns and Control
- Charge – stuns for 1 second, your Tier 1 talents all modify Charge. .
- Mortal strike, lev 10 – adds a bleed and a healing debuff.
- Disarm, lev 28 – not a stun, obviously, but still valuable.
- Hamstring, lev 36 – the old reliable. 15 seconds of reduced movement.
- Initimidating Shout, lev 52 – Fear. Target cowers, up to 5 others run away.
- Shattering Throw, level 74 – not a control or stun, but it breaks invulnerabilities, such as those Pally bubbles.
- Demoralizing Banner, lev 87 – reduces damage done by enemies in the area.
- Lev 45 Talents: All control in some way. Disrupting Shout silences casters.
- Lev 60 Talents:
- Shockwave stuns in a cone shaped area,
- Dragon Roar knocks back all enemies in area.
- Lev 90 Talents:
- Avatar makes you unstoppable
- Bloodbath slows the target
- Storm Bolt is your ranged attack and stuns the opponent for 3 seconds.
Gearing Up for Arms PvP
PvE or PvP Gear? In World ganking, er… PvP the high level PvE gear will be better than all but the Season 15 Conquest PvP gear (iLevel 550.) In instanced PvP (arenas, BGs) the PvE gear is downscaled to item level 512. The Season 15 honor gear (which is the same as the Season 14 conquest gear) ) is 522, so is better (plus it has the added PvP power.)
All level 90 players will have 77% Resilience, regardless of gear. If you have a pair of the PvP trinkets then it goes to 80%. Compared to ilevel 550 raid gear, people in 550 PvP gear will hit harder and be tougher. In BGs and Arena it’s 550 PvP Vs 512 PvE…
The Crafted gear set was not updated for Season 15. If you’re freshly 90 then it’s a good start.
See above for gems and enchants.
The section below will briefly cover gearing up. (See our Warrior PvP Gear page for more detail. )
Basic Gearing up
- Your questing greens. Get rid of them.
- Buy the crafted malevolent gladiator gear from the Auction House or a friendly Blacksmith. Why? Even at ilevel 476 it’s a big step up from the questing gear, plus comes with PvP Power, so is better than comparable PvE gear. (See our gold guide if you can’t afford this gear.) There are no weapons (or jewelry, though there is one trinket) in this set, so grab the best PvE two hander you can find.
- Or work the Timeless Isle for the 496 PvE set.
- Grind up the honor gear in the BGs. Why? It’ll be easier going into arena with a 522 set than a 496 set, don’t you think?
- Grind up the Conquest gear.
- Kill players who think their PvE gear is good.
The Order in Which to Grab Your Gear
If you get your stuff in this order you will have all the important stuff early and you can fill the rest as you go. This will give you an edge on those who follow some other (random) scheme.
- Reforging: Make sure you have your 3% Hit and the expertise in the 3-5% range. After that, Crit is #1. ReforgeLite is a very useful addon for tweaking your stats.
- Gem & Enchant as shown above.
- Start by upgrading any really weak pieces (eg: Greens.)
- Escape trinket is #1, if you do not already have one. If you DO then the upgrade is last.
- Prideful Gladiator’s Plate Legguards – For the stats and the gem sockets
- Prideful Gladiator’s Badge of Victory for the “On Use” Str cooldown. Prideful Gladiator’s Insignia of Victory has a bigger Str bonus, but it’s random.
- Prideful Gladiator’s Greatsword – requires 7,250 conquest points earned to be able to purchase. You should be able to do this after purchasing the first two items.
- Prideful Gladiator’s Plate Chestpiece - For the stats and the two piece set bonus (PvP Power and Disarm reduction.)
- Prideful Gladiator’s Plate Helm
- Prideful Gladiator’s Plate Shoulders – For the 4 piece set bonus
- Prideful Gladiator’s Warboots of Cruelty
- Prideful Gladiator’s Girdle of Prowess
- Prideful Gladiator’s Signet of Cruelty
- Prideful Gladiator’s Cloak of Alacrity
- Prideful Gladiator’s Armplates of Proficiency
- Prideful Gladiator’s Choker of Proficiency
- Prideful Gladiator’s Signet of Accuracy
- Prideful Gladiator’s Medallion of Tenacity – Two piece set bonus for added Resilience
Go with what you like, even if it’s Draenei. None of the racials are that awesome, though the Humans being able to use two DPS trinkets is rather nice. Orcs are a solid Horde choice. Pandarens can be either Horde or Alliance.
- “Bouncy” for less falling damage. Might be just the thing when you jump or get tossed off a cliff.
- Better buffs from food.
- Better rest XP, for faster leveling.
- Melee range “stun” lasts 4 seconds. It takes you out of combat and breaks on damage. Definitely useful.
- Choose either Horde or Alliance when leaving the starting area.
- Good with cooking.
Short version: Go with Human or Worgen.
- Their racial is a PvP trinket, meaning that you don’t need to actually buy one for that escape. This allows using two DPS trinkets instead.
- Humans also get 1% expertise with Axe and Sword, which is nice Vs those dodgy types.
- An escape is always nice and their small size really is an advantage due to being a it harder to see and a bit harder to click on (if you’re fighting poeple who click targets. )
- Expertise with small weapons is useless to you.
- Gnomes are good with engineering and there are some useful engie gadgets.
- Stone Form washes away bleeds and other effects and provides some damage reduction.
- Dwarven Ranged Weapon Expertise is useless to you.
- Good with Archeology.
- Night Elf:
- 2% dodge is nice, and Shadowmeld has some definite situational use, such as lurking in wait for unsuspecting targets. S”meld will also break incoming spells if your timing is excellent.
- Draenei: Tentacles???
- Other than the tentacles you get a +1% Hit, which makes optimizing stats a bit easier,
- and you get a small heal, which is always nice.
- Good with Jewelcrafting.
- 1% crit isn’t bad and neither is the Sprint ability.
- Good with Skinning, which adds some crit rating.
Short version: Orc or Undead.
- Blood Fury is a DPS boost and their stun reduction helps.
- Expertise with Axes helps to crush the opposition.
- War Stomp is a nice stun, great for getting nearby casters to stop casting.
- The Tauren health bonus is about equal to three Stam gems at 90.
- Tauren are good with Herbalism and that skill’s Lifeblood is a small heal with a Haste effect.
- Berserking is a nice attack speed increase and
- Da Voodoo Shuffle is nice when your trinket is on CD
- Their Ranged Weapon Expertise is useless for you.
- 1% haste is not of much interest to you.
- Rocket Jump is a nice escape to set up for another charge.
- Good with alchemy.
- Blood Elf:
- Arcane Torrent is a useful silence and restores a bit of Rage.
- Good with Enchanting.
- Will of the Forsaken breaks fear, etc.
- Touch of the Grave (a life drain and heal) replaces Underwater Breathing. It is a passive ability and will add a bit to your overall damage and healing.
- Cannibalism let’s you eat players you just killed.
Arms Warrior Professions
All of the professions provide some buff or self-only ability, in addition to any nifty items that can be created by that profession. If you really want to do the min-max thing then you can level a profession just for the buff, but that’s a lot of gold to spend for a little gain.
Most of the professions add an average of about 320 Str or so. Since gems with secondary stats are twice the value of those with primary stats (320 Crit Vs 160 Str, for example) Blacksmithing might be the most valuable profession if you’re just looking for the buffs.
Engineering has a lot of useful toys and the very useful Synapse Springs wrist gadget.
With you get a gain of +160 Str or +120 Crit with each JC gem, over the standard gems.
|Blacksmithing||gives two extra gems slots. Since gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats Blacksmithing might be a very valuable profession. For example, you’ll be able to socket he two gems for 640 Crit instead of 320 Str, for examlpe. You can create keys, sharpening stones, useful gear (such as your stater PvP gear,) and cool looking gear for Transmogrification.|
|Engineering||has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Str by 1940 for a short time. If you take this use a macro to activate it along with other short term buffs.|
|Jewelcrafting||Make nicer gems for your own use.|
|Inscription||Shoulder enchant adds 520 Str and 100 crit. Make all your own glyphs and make staves for your caster alts/buddies.|
|Alchemy||More effect from your own potions. Adds 320 Str and an extra hour to your main flask, also about 30% more stats and an extra hour from any other flask/elixir. Put a few potions of healing, Strength, Rage, Crit, etc. on your bars. You get better effect from your own potions than the other guy does.|
|Enchanting||Enchant both rings, for a total +320 Str gain.|
|Tailoring||Cloak enchant sometimes adds 4k AP for 15 seconds.|
|Leatherworking||Bracer enchant adds 500 Str.|
|Skinning||provides 480 crit rating|
|Herbalism||Small heal and 2880 Haste for 20 seconds|
Leveling Your Arms Warrior Even Faster
Ok, you’re not yet high enough level to raid or do the Arenas. Maybe you’re even level 1. Have a plan to hit the level cap ASAP and get into that yummy end-game content? Or will you just aimlesslay wander about the world, trying to decide where to go next? To make your job a lot easier you should consider an expert leveling guide for your 1-85 blast. You will never again wonder about where to go or what to do and your leveling will be faster, much faster.
Dugi’s nearly automates the whole leveling path, from start to finish, for your Warrior. Carve your way through the world and the content at a surprisingly crisp pace. Pick your starting point and the guide automatically updates and advances as you complete quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically, and includes the important quest info.
Take a break to do some PvP leveling, instances, or whatever and when you come back to the guide it will figure out what level you are and pick up from there. Automatically. It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to WoW or you’re decked out in Heirlooms and using Recruit a Friend, Dugi will get you to the level cap faster.
Grab your copy here and get leveled!