Updated for Warlords of Draenor
Yes, it’s true, Arms Warriors aren’t just for PvP. They can actually do well in the PvE area. Now, on to the face smashing!
|This Arms Warrior guide is primarily intended for use at level 100, for generating the best possible DPS in a raiding/PvE environment. Many of these principals will still apply in PvP or during the leveling process. If you’re looking for advice on leveling your Warrior, you should check out our Warrior Leveling Guide.
Other Warrior Guides:
Check out the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to level 100 as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite in-game leveling guide.
Arms Warrior Talents
The best talents are checked: . Certain talents might fit better in certain situations, fortunately they are easy to change. Keep a stack of Tomes handy and switch as necessary.
Tier 1, level 15:
- Juggernaut is best used for when you need more charges per minute.
- Double Time is more useful when you might need a double charge for emergencies, such as a rapid target switch. If you charge the same target twice you only get rage for the first charge. If you charge different targets, back to back, then you get Rage for both.
- Warbringer is for stunning adds/trash and otherwise unlikely to be a better option than the other two, since it does not lower the charge cooldown in any way. If you need to stun an add though, it’s a solid pick.
Tier 2, level 30:
Healing and Survival
- Enraged Regeneration is a great on demand survivability mechanic.
- Second Wind is best used when you anticipated being low on health quite often during an encounter. Hopefully you’re spending very little time at or below 35% health.
- Impending Victory is perhaps the most useful of the three as it can be used on demand and more frequently than Enraged Regeneration for lower rage cost. It’s a decent, low cost, heal as well as a cheap strike.
Tier 3, level 45:
Slam or Sudden Death? Up to you, really, as their DPS value is very close.
- Taste for Blood just doesn’t do much at this time.
- Sudden Death is random, which may be a point in favor of Slam, and passive in that it does not add an extra key. Pick this or Slam.
- Slam whacks the opponent and the next two slams, after which it resets, do increasing damage at increasing cost. More strategic value than Sudden Death, since you get to pick when you use it
Tier 4, level 60:
- Storm bolt adds a ranged shot to your arsenal, along with a stun. This is the best talent for single target damage, since it does decent damage, at no cost, to any target that it can’t stun. Such as the Boss.
- Shockwave has decent damage and a more limited target area than Roar. Very nice if you need the stun, such as for groups of adds.
- Dragon Roar does damage and knocks enemies back a short distance. This instant damage is a solid hit and a pretty useful talent. Better than Storm Bolt for group fights.
Tier 5, level 75:
Helping Out the Group
- Mass Spell Reflection is somewhat useful at times, but lacking due to the fact that the majority of Raid Boss abilities cannot be reflected. Useful for the the trash mobs are lobbing spells at the group.
- Safeguard is useful as damage reduction, but you have to be wary of the damage you might take when using this ability. Probably more useful in PvP.
- Vigilance protects the target from a good amount of damage and that damage is no longer taken by you. This is a solid pick if you have someone you want/need to keep an eye on.
Tier 6, level 90:
Avatar and Bloodbath are roughly equal for single target DPS, Bladestorm is better for 3+ targets.
- Avatar provides a very nice damage buff every three min. It’s very solid for single target fights (eg: Bosses.)
- Bloodbath helps to spread the blood around. Solid damage. Everything you do will cause the opponent to bleed and slow him (won’t slow the boss.)
- Bladestorm is beneficial during situations where you wish to avoid losing control of your character. It’s more fun, too, which makes it a decent pick. This is the easily the best pick for fighting 3 mobs or more.
Tier 7, level 100:
Anger Management and Siegebreaker are about about equal in DPS terms, Ravager is easily the best for groups.
- Anger Management reduces the cooldown of certain abilities as you spend rage. The reduction will be small, but noticeable, and will result in a few more abilities used in a fight of any length. Its the pick because it’s a passive and the extra use of a couple of abilities might come in handy.
- Ravager throws your spinning weapon at a location of choice, doing damage to all enemies in its area. This is the best pick for groups that will stay put for a few seconds.
- Siegebreaker changes your Intimidating Shout into a single-target attack, doing good damage and knocking the opponent back and down, if it isn’t a boss. If you want an extra attack (on a 45 second cooldown,) rather than reduced cooldowns, then this is a good pick.
Arms Warrior Glyphs
The Major Glyphs
- Glyph of Unending Rage – Increases your max rage.
- Glyph of Resonating Power increases and damage, and the cooldown, of your Thunder Clap.
- Glyph of Bull Rush for more Rage when charging.
- Glyph of Mortal Strike – Recommended if you’re taking a lot of damage, as the heals coming your way will be buffed.
- Glyph of Death From Above – Reduces your Heroic Leap cooldown, for more leaps over time, but it reduces your range by a lot.
- Glyph of Recklessness – 18% Crit increase ( down from 30%) and 18 second duration (up from 12 seconds.)
- Glyph of Rude Interruption – More damage after successful using Pummel to interrupt spells. If you wanted an excuse to interrupt more, here it is. Obviously it’s useless when not fighting casters.
- Glyph of Sweeping Strikes – gain Rage when hitting targets with Sweeping Strikes.
Most of the minor glyphs are just cosmetic. This one should have some nice utility when fighting trash (or leveling.)
- Glyph of Intimidating Shout – Helps to keep some order in the enemies that you’re scaring.
- Glyph of the Subtle Defender – Your Defensive Stance no longer generates threat. Very nice if a lot of damage is coming your way and you shift to Defensive Stance for the damage reduction.
Arms Stat Priorities
Your new stats in Warlords are Multistrike and Versatility. Hit and Expertise are both dead. At level 90 you get a 5% Mastery bonus.
The ‘>’ symbol means “better than” or “greater than.”
Your stats: Strength > Critical > Multistrike > Mastery > Versatility > Haste
Crit is the best of the rest of your Stats. Your Recklessness ability adds up to 30% to your Crit rating while active. Nothing special procs off your crits, except that your auto attack crits generate 2x the Rage as regular auto-attack hits.
Mastery increases the damage of some important strikes: Mortal Strike, Colossus Smash, and Execute. You gain an addition 5% Mastery, from all sources, due to your level 90 Weapon Mastery ability.
Multistrike gives you a chance at one or maybe two extra strikes at 30% effectiveness. Any attack can Multistrike and MS hit can both crit and proc anything that a regular strike might proc.
Versatility is a straight up add to all of your damage and healing and also adds half its value to your damage reduction. 5% Versatility will be +5% damage and +2.5% damage reduction.
Haste speeds up your attack speed, but it’s a poor value compared to the others. Traditionally the Arms Warrior’s least valuable stat, it maintains that position in Warlords, even with your Headlong Rush ability.
Arms Warrior In-Depth Rotation
See below this section for gems, enchants, etc.
- Battle Stance is optimal at all times, with the only exception being when you’re taking enough damage to be interesting. Rage is generated from your auto-attacks, not damage taken.
- Defensive Stance, if glyphed with this, can be used when there is a lot of damage coming your way. The glyph makes sure that you won’t make your tank’s job harder and your life shorter.
- Battle Shout will be your “go to” shout at all times, except under special circumstances. It buffs the entire group’s attack power.
- Commanding Shout might be useful in times of heavy raid-wide damage, as it increases everyone’s Stamina.
- Intimidating Shout is not recommended as sending mobs running all over the place is generally a poor idea. If you use the glyph (Glyph of Intimidating Shout) they will stay put, and it becomes more useful, though it still won’t affect the boss.
Useful Notes and Cooldowns:
- Berserker Rage should be used when a fear or incapacitating effect is happening or about to happen. .
- Recklessness should be used as it becomes available. Ideally use it with other procs/effects, such as trinket procs, Heroism type buffs, and you want it available when you’re in execute range, which means there will be times when you want to delay using it for a bit.
- Colossus Smash should be used whenever available. It strips away your opponent’s armor for 6 seconds, greatly increasing your damage. Try to have enough Rage saved up to take good advantage of those next six seconds.
- Bloodbath (if you took it) should be aligned with Colossus Smash.
- Bladestorm should also be used with those buffs/procs and should generally only be used with 3+ enemies in range.
- Ravager (if you have it) should be saved for group fights, or burst Area Effect damage. As with the others, line it up with your buffs, if possible.
- Execute should, if possible, be used after Colossus smash. Spam it during those 6 seconds.
- Quaff your Str potion right before the fight starts (“prepotting”) and again at some point during the fight. In line with the Heroism buff would be a good time.
- Sudden Death procs take priority over everything else. Use them as they pop up.
- Your Primary attack is Mortal Strike which you should use it on cooldown.
These are the tier 17 set bonuses:
- Colossus Smash has a 40% chance to reduce the cooldown of Mortal Strike by 50% for 10 sec (6 seconds to 3.)
- Colossus Smash now generates 20 Rage (instead of costing 10)
Your Opening “Rotation”
More of a priority or “what should I do now” list. With random procs and buffs an exact “rotation” isn’t possible. Practice on your target dummy until it becomes at least somewhat automatic.
- Place your targeting circle for Ravager (if you took it)
- Dragon Roar, if you have it
- Use Colossus Smash and take advantage of the 6 second time on the debuff which allows 100% of your damage to bypass the targets armor.
Continuing Vs a Single Target
- Execute procs (via Sudden Death) have the #1 priority. Use them as they pop up.
- Maintain Rend
- Colossus Smash (6 seconds of armor free goodness)
- Execute (if target is 20% or less.)
- Mortal Strike
- Siegebreaker, if you have it.
- Storm Bolt or Dragon’s Roar, if you have it.
- Thunder Clap (and you’re using Glyph of Resonating Power, right?)
- Whirlwind as a filler.
If the Boss is 20% or less (Execute range:) Use Execute at 60 or higher Rage.
Don’t worry too much about the “Use ABC on X or fewer opponents” remarks. Exact numbers depend on a lot of things.
- Execute procs on primary target
- Maintain Sweeping Strikes
- Bladestorm, try to have at least 6 seconds of Sweeping Strikes remaining. You’re then be able to refresh SS right after Bladestorm without losing anything.
- Rend on 4-5 targets
- Dragon’s Roar
- Colossus Smash on main target (only for smaller groups, 4 or fewer.)
- Execute on 5 or fewer enemies.
- Mortal Strike on 4 or fewer enemies.
- Thunder Clap
This video briefly covers talents and glyphs and goes a bit more into rotations for Arms.
Gems for the Arms Warrior
Gem sockets are actually few and far between, but they dohave a (small) random chance to appear on Raid gear. Also, there are no meta gems or sockets, there are no socket bonuses, and all sockets are “prismatic,” which means that they will take any available gem.
The gems themselves are actually available. They are all prismatic, meaning they fit into any socket. None have Int, they all have secondary stats (Mastery, etc.)
Older (Mists of Pandaria) gems work until item level 600, but the item squish cut them down a bit. What used to be 160 Int is now 10, for example. Older gems (Mists of Pandaria and lower) that used to code for Hit now do Crit, gems that had Expertise are now Haste.
Prices: Note that the “perfect” gems have the same stats as the other gems, but the two might have very different prices. Go with the cheaper of the two and save some gold. Or earn more.
Gemming Arms for earlier gear:
- Meta: Reverberating Primal Diamond until you can do the legendary quest and get Capacitive Primal Diamond
- Red sockets: Inscribed Vermilion Onyx (orange gem, Str & Crit)
- Yellow sockets: Smooth Sun’s Radiance (Crit)
- Blue sockets: Piercing Wild Jade (Hit & Crit, Keep your 7.5% Hit Cap in mind.)
- Belt Buckle and Blacksmithing sockets: Smooth Sun’s Radiance (Crit)
In Warlords gem for Crit.
|Mists of Pandaria Gems, for gear under ilevel 600.|
|Meta||Reverberating Primal Diamond: +14 Str & Increased Crit Effect
Capacitive Primal Diamond: +20 Critical Strike, and chance on melee or ranged hit to gain Capacitance
|Red||Bold Primordial Ruby: +10 Str|
|Yellow||Smooth Sun’s Radiance: +20 Crit|
|Orange||Inscribed Vermilion Onyx: +5 Str and +10 Crit|
|Blue||Rigid River’s Heart: +20 Crit|
|Green||Sensei’s Wild Jade: +10 Crit and +10 Mastery|
|Purple||Etched Imperial Amethyst: +5 Str and +10 Crit|
|Cogwheel||Requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: +38 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: +38 Crit
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: +38 Mastery
Enchantments for Arms
Basically you should get your enchants based on the priorities above, Str and Crit above all else. 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 cash flow.
As with gems, your Plate Specialization adds 5% to Str from all sources.
Warlords Notes: There are no head enchants, all shoulder enchants come from the Inscription profession and are only for items under item level 600. There are new enchants for Neck, Cloak, Weapons, and your Rings. Not for any other pieces. (Not yet, anyway.)
Enchant Cloak – Accuracy: +12 Crit rating
|Other enchants, for gear under item level 600.|
|Shoulders||Greater Tiger Fang Inscription: +15 Str and +5 Crit|
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +9 to all Stats|
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Exceptional Strength: +15 Str|
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Super Strength: +25 Str|
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Sockets your belt, pop in the best gem.|
|Leggings||Angerhide Leg Armor: +19 Str & 11 Crit rating|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +10 Mastery and Slight run speed increase.|
Macros and Keybinding
Cancel Bladestorm: At times you might want to turn off Bladestorm. Perhaps the adds all died and you’re just spinning, or you need to do something else right now.
Blow All Cooldowns: Blood Fury is the Orc Racial. The Badge is an “on use” trinket. Use whichever trinket you have, just replace the name. You can also do ‘/use 14′ if that trinket is in the 2nd trinket slot, ‘/use 13′ if it’s in the first, then you don’t have to change names whenever you update the trinket. What this will do is blow your cooldowns. Test it first.
/cast Blood Fury
/cast Malevolent Gladiator’s Badge of Victory
You Pandarens get twice the value of the food buff. All food buffs last one hour and provide only one stat.
Warlords note: There are no new DPS Elixirs, but there are for Potions and Flasks. There are no Str foods, either.
- Pickled Eel: +125 Crit
- Blackrock Barbecue: 100 Crit
- Blackrock Ham or Grilled Gulper: 75 Crit
- Savage Feast: feeds 30, 100 in Highest secondary stat, this is produced by your barn’s work orders, not Cooking.
- Feast of Blood: 75 in highest secondary stat, feeds up to 30
- Feast of the Waters: 75 in highest secondary stat, feeds up to 10
- Black Pepper Ribs and Shrimp: 34 Str
- Draenic Strength Potion: +1,000 Str for 25 seconds
- Mighty Rage Potion: Instantly get 45-75 Rage and 54 Str for 20 seconds
- Pure Rage Potion: 75 Rage instantly
- Oralius’ Whispering Crystal: +200 to all stats for 1 hour
- Potion of Mogu Power: 456 Str for 25 Seconds
- Draenic Rejuvenation Potion: Heals ~68k HP
- Draenic Swiftness Potion: +70% movement or +200% swim speed for 8 seconds.
- Greater Draenic Strength Flask: +250 Str for one hour
- Draenic Strength Flask: +200 Str for one hour
- Flask of Winter’s Bite: 114 Str for 1 hour
Elixirs – None are interesting
- Stout Augment Rune: +50 Str for one hour. Occasionally drops from WoD bosses (in Raid Finder mode) and is also rarely found as mission rewards from your Garrison. Stacks with flasks and other buffs.
- Runescroll of Fortitude III: 8% increased Stamina to your entire group.
- Oralius’ Whispering Crystal: +200 to all stats.
Professions for the Arms Warrior
In Warlords there are no professions bonuses. No special stat boosts that characters without the profession cannot get. The only profession that provides a stat buff, to yourself or anyone else, is cooking (feasts will feed the raid for +75 to their best secondary stat.)
Professions now are for the gear and/or the gold. Most have something that can be used as starting raid/pvp gear or sold, such as ilevel 640 gear pieces. Leveling a profession can be done quickly and relatively easily once you get the Draenor version.
Some of the professions, eg: Engineering, have really useful items for leveling and world events. They’re not usable in raids, however (sigh.. no firing rockets at the boss…)
|Blacksmithing||Mail and Plate armor and weapons.|
|Engineering||will let you create a number of useful items, such as rockets, shields, a stealth device, etc. These cannot be used in rated PvP, but that can be used elsewhere, such as World PvP or in Highmaul Coliseum.|
|Jewelcrafting||Useful (ilevel 640) rings and neck items, pretty gems, gemmed mounts.|
|Inscription||Glyphs, some trinkets, caster weapons, fortune & Darkmoon cards, and more.|
|Alchemy||Chemistry is fun, unfortunately you can’t make acids or bombs. You can make flasks and potions to boost stats and cause other interesting effects. You can also make a very nice DPS trinket: Draenic Philosopher’s Stone, requires Alchemy 500. This item is upgradable in 6.1.|
|Enchanting||Enchant all those items and cast illusionary enchants.|
|Tailoring||Cloth armor, flying carpet, murlock chew toy and allows you to make nets (Embersilk Net) and battle standards (such as: Fearsome Battle Standard)|
|Leatherworking||You can make Drums of Fury for a Heroism type buff (25% Haste for 40 sec.) Through the Leatherworking hut in your Garrison you can make single use tents that will increase your Str by 10% for an hour.|
|Archeology||will let you pick up ilevel 620 items, usable at 91, which are bind on account. One useful item, for you, is Warmaul of the Warmaul Chieftain.|
|Skinning||For gold gathering and for leatherworking|
|Herbalism||For Inscription, Alchemy, and gold gathering|
|Mining||Making gold and powering Blacksmithing and some engineering.|
Arms Warrior Races
With Cataclysm it came to be that any race could become a Warrior. Even Goblins. With Mists of Pandaria the Pandarens joined the club of face-smashing goodness.
Warlords didn’t add any new races, but it did away with Hit and Expertise. Any raciels with either of those stats are now gone.
For most of the races only the abilities that would have any use in a raid are shown.
Pandaren – They get to choose whether they will join the Horde or the Alliance, once they leave the starting area.
- Increased duration of Rest XP should make for faster leveling.
- Being bouncy they take less falling damage, which is more useful in PvP than PvE.
- With a quick strike of the hand they can stun an opponent for 4 seconds, which is a pretty nice ability.
- Pandarens get better buffs from food, 600 points of Str from the raid meal instead of 300.
- Naturally they’re good with cooking.
In order of DPS:
Draenei – Winners of the interstellar bodybuilding contest. All of the contests.
- The Draenei heal is a worthwhile ability, even though it doesn’t add to your DPS. Some disagree. I think the any Warrior heal is a good thing. Save it for those moments when you are the target.
- Bonus to Strength.
Worgen – Grandma, what big teeth you have…
- Worgen can periodically move more quickly, much like the Rogue’s Sprint, which is a generally useful ability.
- They have an increased crit chance which is an overall DPS gain, regardless of weapon equipped.
Humans – Minor DPS increase with their Expertise
- Escape – Very nice in PvP as it allows using two DPS trinkets. Occasionally useful otherwise. Can break free of certain raid mechanics.
- Bonus to Versatility.
Dwarves – Shortness is a virtue? Is a digging tool your favorite weapon?
- Stoneform removes bleeds, poisons, and diseases and will sometimes be useful. It also reduces damage by 10% which might also be occasionally useful.
- +2% critical damage.
Night Elves – Next, Night Elves gain both Shadowmeld and Quickness as far as effective abilities go.
- Quickness is a 2% increase to dodge and will only rarely be useful, unless your tank has issues with holding threat.
- Shadowmeld can be used in some PvE situations to drop aggro (either to save your skin or so the tank can reacquire aggro) or possibly hide from patrols. It’s an occasionally useful ability.
- +1% Crit by day which changes to +1% Haste at night.
Gnomes – Short, the butt of too many jokes, and punted by everyone except Goblins.
- A nice escape ability is great for PvP and is useful every now and then otherwise
- A bit of extra Rage.
Orcs – Orcs are the race most consider to be the deadliest warrior race.
- Orcs possess an interesting racial ability called Bloodfury, which increases their attack power by a significant amount and is a cooldown. Add this to a macro, along with certain trinkets, and use it to really smash face when you need to.
- The Orc hardiness (stun resistance) will only rarely be useful in PvE.
Trolls For PvE their Berserking puts them ahead of the Undead as DPS.
- Berserking increases attack speed by a decent amount.
- Increased damage Vs beasts is useful for leveling and some PvE content.
- Do Voodoo Shuffle reduces movement altering effects, such as from Slow spells.
- Touch of the Grave is a life draining ability (which also heals you,) and it’s passive. It will actually add a bit to your DPS without you doing anything special.
- Will of the Forsaken is a solid racial, PvP wise, granting a free break from fear, sleep, and charm effects every 2 minutes, yet in PvE wise it’s much less useful, aside from specific boss fights.
- Cannibalize grants undead great post-fight regeneration ability. It frees up a bag slot for normal foods, but probably will find little use in raiding situations.
- Rocket Jump is usable once per 2 minutes and can be a nice gap closer or escape.
- Haste is increased for the Goblins, but it’s not a great Warrior stat.
- A 5% increase to base health seems useful at high levels for any prospective tank, especially in raiding. It’s worth about three Stam gems at level 90.
- Also useful is war stomp, usually a PvP ability, but also useful for leveling, that gives Tauren Warriors a crucial short range AoE stun. This can also interrupt trash mobs when dungeoning/raiding.
- +2% critical damage.
- Arcane Torrent restores some rage and silences nearby opponents for 2 seconds. Also interrupts non-player opponents for 3 seconds. This makes it a pretty useful ability every 2 min.
- +1% Crit rating
The Fast Arms Warrior Leveling Guide
Ok, you’re not yet at the level cap. Maybe you’re only level 1. Do you have a plan to hit that Warlords cap ASAP and get into that end-game content and smash some of the opposition? Or will you just aimlessly wander about the world, looking for the next quest?
To make your job a lot easier you should snag an in-game leveling guide for your leveling blast. With a guide you will never again wonder about where to go or what to do or what to skip and your leveling will be faster, much faster.
Zygor’s Guide practically automates the whole leveling path, from start to finish, for your Warrior. Carve your way through the world and both old and new 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 eliminating all doubt as to what to do next.
Take a break to do some PvP leveling or instances and when you come back to the guide it will figure out what level you are and pick up from there. Automatically. Heck, Zygor’s will even clean up your obsolete quests for you.