Updated for Mists of Pandaria, patch 5.4
You charge, main, rend, mutilate, crush, kill, and destroy the opposition. Warriors don’t run, dodge, heal much, or otherwise avoid any situation where they can smash things. At higher levels you become a whirlwind of death, what’s not to like? PvP, raiding, you can do it all and you’ll be doing it with one or two 2-handed weapons. You’re not a healer or sneaky Rogue. Your job is to crash into the enemy and destroy them.
Warrior Leveling Contents:
Other Warrior Guides
Warriors are one of my favorite classes to level and they provide the fun gaming style of non-stop death-dealing and fast leveling. Warrior leveling is pretty easy, but Warriors do need to be geared well at all times, perhaps more than most classes. Auction House gear will serve you well. Keep your weapons updated and you will level quickly enough and have fun at the same time.
Buffs and Nerfs: As the world of Azeroth moves through the Cataclysm all of the various classes will suffer from the buffs and cheer at the nerfs… wait a minute… reverse that. The point is that if at any point Warriors are the Gods of SMASH! or doormats probably isn’t something we’ll comment on here. Why? Because it will likely change in a couple of days due to a hotfix.
Looks for the same buff/nerf stuff in Mists of Pandaria and the patches and expansions that come after that. By the way, here are the Warrior patch notes through patch 5.4.
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Warrior Leveling – Quick Notes
This section covers the Warrior basics, much more detail is available below this section.
Pick the one you like. They all have something that will benefit a Warrior, either in PvE, PvP, or both.
Which is “the best” for damage? Orc. For PvP? Orc or Human. Tanking dungeons? Night Elf (for the dodge.)
Skip the crafting professions. Get Mining or Herbalism and Skinning. Max out your First Aid. If you have to craft, then get Alchemy. The potions will be very useful while leveling and afterwards plus it’s fairly cheap and you get better results from your potions plus longer duration from flasks and elixirs.
Should you pick Fury or Arms for most leveling? If you PvP then go Arms, otherwise it’s a matter of taste.
- Go Fury: If you like the dual-wielding style of combat. Dual-wielding two handed weapons might be a big point in favor of Fury.
- Go Arms: If you like crushing the enemy with a big two-handed weapon and/or PvP.
- Go Protection: only if you’re tanking dungeons. It’s fun tanking large groups of mobs while questing, but both Fury or Arms can handle small groups and will blow them away a lot faster.
- Here’s our recommended leveling build.
- Click here to get to the level cap, fast
- Stats: Lots of strength and Stam , regardless of spec. You also love Hit and Crit, regardless of spec.
- Plate specialization at 50 means you won’t want to wear any other form of armor past that point. Plate is it.
- Slow, high DPS hard hitting weapons in both hands (if you’re Fury.)
- Big honking slow two-hander if you’re Arms.
- Slow, high DPS weapon and a Shield if you’re Protection.
- Go here for more about Gear & Stats
Gems and Enchants:
- Just get cheap Strength (or Stam) gems to put in any sockets in any gear you come across.
- Enchants: Sometimes enchant scrolls can be found for cheap on the AH. Get those that add Str, Stam, or Attack power. Don’t worry about it if you don’t have the gold, you’ll level out of that gear soon enough.
- In the end-game (raids, dailies, PvP) you can use the high end gems and enchants.
Food, Potions, Etc.
- Always carry the best food you can afford.
- Consider keeping a stack of healing potions on your action bar.
- Scrolls of Strength can usually be had for cheap.
Really basic rotation:
- Charge > Rend > strike > strike > chop off head (Execute)
- Charge, Smash, Victory Rush next opponent, smash, next, Charge, Victory Rush…
- Click here to level even faster
Warrior Leveling Build
Any spec of Warrior can pick any talent from any row. The talent choices will change depending on exactly what you’re doing (questing, PvP, etc.) Changing them is easy, for example: if you feel that Warbringer is of more use in a particular situation than Juggernaut then just click the row and follow the instructions in the window that pops up. You will need one dose of the appropriate reagent (eg: Vanishing powder.)
The leveling build in the image is for Arms or Fury, but Warriors have a lot of flexibility with talents and all specs can use this (or several other) builds. Your abilities are all centered around damage and these talents give Arms a bit more utility.
Descriptions are below the image.
Our picks are checked: Need to get to 90, fast? Click here
Tier 1 at Level 15 – So how do you like your charging? Each has it’s points depending on your game.
- Juggernaut – For the mobility, Charge every 12 seconds instead of 20. You will be killing things quickly enough that the shorter cooldown becomes really interesting. Double time, below, has very similar utility, just with a different flavor.
- Double TIme – Charge and have the flexibility to immediately charge again, such as if you’re switching targets. Back to back charges still face that 20 second cooldown, which is why Juggernaut is the pick.
- Wabringer - Redundant with your Hamstring (Charge to Hamstring,) though a longer stun is nice. Still, it has the original 20 second cooldown, so pick one of the other two. In patch 5.4 it roots them, instead of stunning, The snare effect is unchanged.
Tier 2 at level 30 – Emergency regeneration
- Impending Victory is our pick, for all specs. It’s a cheap attack (10 Rage) with a decent heal and a shorter cooldown than Second Wind. In 5.4 the heal gets a small buff.
- Enraged Regeneration – Does not require Rage. It can be used while stunned, which will happen a lot in PvP, not so often elsewhere. The healing is buffed in patch 5.4 to twice the 5.3 level.
- Second Wind – Regenerate heath when at low HP. Happens automatically, which is nice, but can’t be used to top you off. Which isn’t so nice.
Tier 3 at Level 45
- Disrupting Shout – Area interrupt, just the thing when fighting groups with casters. Interrupt & silence all of them. It doesn’t happen often, while leveling, but it will often enough that you will zap a lot of spells.
- Staggering Shout – First you have to Snare them (slow them, such as an ice patch or Hamstring.) Best used with a team and not so useful when leveling.
- Piercing Howl - Nice if you’re fighting group of mobs that run about (such as players,) but usually they’ll be stuck on you anyway.
Tier 4 at Level 60
- Shockwave - Area stun in a cone in front of you. More stunage is always a good thing and they stay out of it longer than they do with Dragon Roar. This is a good pick for anything, especially tanking. Shorter cooldown than the others.
- Bladestorm – Shorter cooldown in patch 5.4 (1 min instead of 1.5 min) and a bit more damage for Arms, but less for Prot. You become a whirling storm of destructive force, striking all targets within 8 yards every 1 sec for 6 sec. During a Bladestorm you are immune to movement impairing and loss of control effects, however, you can be disarmed and you can only perform shout abilities. Nice ability, but Dragon Roar is probably better for most situations.
- Dragon Roar - Instant, damages everything close by and knocks it down (effectively a short stun.) Has the same cooldown (in 5.4) as Bladestorm. Doesn’t lock you out of abilities for 6 seconds. This is a good pick if you’re fighting groups.
Tier 5 at level 75 – Group abilities.
- Mass Spell Reflection – Everyone in your group gets Spell Reflection. This could be annoying to the opposition in BGs.Useful if you face casters and team occasionally. Less use if solo.
- Safeguard – This has no use if you’re solo leveling. Definite PvP use (if you’re not soloing) and definite dungeon use if you’re keeping an eye on your team.
- Vigilance – Mainly for tanks and has no use if soloing. Take some of the damage that your teammate is taking and taunt the heck out of his attacker. In 5.4 it instead reduces your ally’s damage taken, you no longer take that damage.
Tier 6 at Level 90 – Congratulations!
- Avatar – Become bigger and badder. Free yourself from snares and roots and do more damage. Very nice.
- Bloodbath – Blood, blood, and more blood. Adds a portion of your damage as a short term bleed and slows the opponent. You’re probably Hamstringing him anyway, but bleeds are nice. Especially in PvP. Helps to ensure threat if you’re tanking.
- Stormbolt – A short, ranged stun on a decent cooldown. It’s range is only a bit longer than Charge (and the same if you use Glyph of Long Charge,) but it’s pretty nice if Charge is on Cooldown, and another ranged stun is always nice. For example, if you have to stun that caster over there.
Warrior Leveling Glyphs
Major Glyphs change abilities in significant ways, minors are mostly just cosmetic. You will get one of each glyph at levels 25, 50, and 75, for 6 glyphs total. As with talents they can be easily changed using the same reagents as for talents. At level 90 (once you get there) you will again switch glyphs depending on what you decide to do (dailies, raiding, pvp, etc.)
- Bull Rush - More rage from your Charge. Especially nice if you’re making full use of Juggernaut and it’s 12 sec. Charge cooldown.
- Unending Rage - 20 more Rage to burn.
- Enraged Speed - Move faster while enraged.
- (Fury) Glyph of Bloodthirst - More healing from Bloodthirst.
- (Fury, Arms) Die by the Sword – Using Overpower and Wild Strike slightly increase the duration of Die by the Sword.
- (Prot) Heavy Repercussions - Harder hitting Shield Slams while Shield Block is up.
- (Prot) Hold the Line - Parries boost revenge damage.
- (Like to Leap?) Glyph of Death from Above decreases your Heroic Leap cooldown by 15 sec.
- Victory Rush – Improves the healing of your Victory Rush (or Impending Victory talent.)
- Crow Feast - Execute crits summon a flock of carrion birds, what better reason to get your crit rating as high as possible?
- Intimidating Shout - Keeps mobs from running all over the place to collect friends. They stay in place so you can kill them in their turn. You don’t actually get the ability till 52, so you won’t be able to use this glyph right at 50.
- Thunder Strike - More lightning bolts is a good thing, even if they don’t do any damage.
- Burning Anger - You’re on fire while enraged (and Critical blocks will enrage you.)
- Thunder Strike - More lightning bolts are always a good thing, even if they do no damage.
Warrior Stats, Rotations, Gear
Primary Stats for Leveling:
- Strength is #1, but any Hit and/or Crit you find on your gear is great.
All the other (secondary) Stats:
You don’t really have to worry about these until high level. Hit’s nice because missing isn’t. If you’re tanking you might want to pay a bit more attention to those secondary stats. You can get stats from all your gear pieces, of course, plus buffs, portions, scrolls, gems, and enchants.
- Hit rating is nice, because missing isn’t.
- 3% Hit is all you need for same level mobs
- 7.5% is for +3 level mobs, such as raid bosses.
- For Arms and Protection any excess Hit is completely useless. Fury will get some value out of it, all the way to 27% (due to the dual wield penalty,) but after that first few percent the other secondary stats are better.
- Attack Power is great when you can find it.
- Crit is always good for Arms or Fury, but it’s not for Protection.
- Expertise (ignores opponent’s dodge) is nice and follows the same rules as Hit. Don’t worry about it too much until the end-game, at that point you will want to cap it along with your Hit rating.
- Haste is not something to be concerned about. Ever.
- Mastery starts at level 80 and doesn’t appear on any gear that earlier than Cataclysm gear, but don’t worry about it until the end-game.
- Dodge & Parry is great if you’re tanking (as Protection,) bad if you’re not.
- Forget Agility, Int, and Spirit forever. Warriors need power, not brains, and dodging is for rogues.
- Resilience: This is a PvP only stat that reduces enemy player damage done to you (and you to him.) In patch 5.4 everyone start with a base of 72% Resilience, so you will have zero need to get more. It does appear on lower level PvP gear, not on the high level stuff.
- PvP Power is like Attack Power, but for PvP only. Nerfed hard in patch 5.3 it’s nice when you find it on gear, but don’t gem or enchant for it.
Really basic Warrior rotations:
Keep in mind that, while questing, your opposition will frequently expire before you finish any kind of rotation. Too bad that doesn’t happen in PvP, hmmm?
- Charge, Smash, Victory Rush next opponent, smash, Charge, Victory Rush…
- Charge > strike > strike > chop off head (Execute)
- Start with charge to generate initial Rage.
- Use Hamstring whenever you’re fighting opponents that live long enough to run
- Use Victory Rush whenever you can
- Warriors can fight several opponents effectively with the use of their cooldowns. Use them, do not save them “for later,” unless you have a specific fight coming up. When they activate and it’s appropriate use them.
Start attack macro – this will initiate your attack even if you don’t have the rage to use your opening attack. This way you can switch targets or attack new ones and start whacking them before the rage builds.
You can use this with Bloodthirst, Mortal Strike, Shield Slam, or any other attack you might use to initiate combat.
If you’re an Orc you can use this macro. If you’re a Troll use the Berserking ability instead of Bloody Fury. See our Macros page for help in making macros.
/cast Blood Fury
- Ranged: In Mists of Pandaria you cannot use ranged weapons, but you have a Throw ability, Heroic Throw at 22, and you get Shattering Throw at 74.
- Weapons: You’re fairly gear dependent, but you don’t need to be in top gear all the time. At the very least keep your weapons as up to date as possible, it will make a big difference. Other gear can slide a bit if you’re broke (and go read our gold guide if you are.)
- Get Mounts at 20 and 40 and 60. Get them, don’t ask questions. If you can’t afford them then get mining or herbalism and work those skills until you can afford your mounts. They’re not that expensive. Epic Flying, at 70, is nice if you can afford the price (at least 4k gold.)
- There are some points where you can massively upgrade your gear, even if you’re in heirlooms.
- If you can accumulate almost 2k honor by level 70 you can buy the epic PvP set from the legacy arena vendors on Gadgetzan or the Dalaran sewers.
- At 77 buy the green Cataclysm gear off the Auction House. It’s drastically better than the other gear available, even your heirlooms. Send your non-guild heirlooms to your alts. How do you tell which is the right gear? Look at the “item level.” The “normal gear” at 77 is about ilevel 170, Cata gear starts at 270. Far better.
- At 81 put your guild heirlooms back on. Mist of Pandaria blue gear will start appearing on the Auction House. Grab it if you can.
- At 85 buy/make the crafted PvP set (vicious plate) as it’s much better than the regular questing gear. Or you can buy the M of P gear appearing on the Auction House. There are various gear vendors scattered throughout the Pandaren zones and they will sell you decent gear for a great price. Ghost Forged Plate (on the Auction House) is Item Level 415 and is a pretty good set to get. With some luck you can also find better gear.
- at 90 buy the Crafted Malevolent PvP gear set, even if you don’t PvP. It’s a nice boost to your gear. You can also hop over to the Timeless Isle to gear up.
Al low level: stack Stamina. The one or two points of Strength that you can pick up aren’t worth nearly as much as Stam, though they frequently come with the Stam anyway. Of the Bear is good gear to look for. You can often find cheap Stam enchants on the Auction House.
Mid levels – gear with decent Strength starts to appear. Strength at this point is your first priority, it increases attack power, and in doing so, your base damage values. It also increases your Parry.
- For Arms and Fury, stacking massive amounts of strength is effective at mid levels and slowly improves up until 80, after which Strength starts to scale up more quickly. Keep the Stam and get more if you’re constantly getting smashed (as in hit, not drunk.) (Mining increases Stam by a bit.)
- For Protection, if you’re questing just gear up like Arms/Fury, if you’re tanking then look for gear with the defensive stats.
At level 40: you get to use plate mail gear, but you may find that a chain item has better stats, depending on what drops off mobs of the Auction House. One practice that has been followed occasionally at higher levels is the usage of mail and/or leather armor that possesses the greater damage stats.
At level 50 you will want to be all Plate. Cataclysm introduced an ability to award wearing the “correct” armor, Plate Specialization, which you get at level 50 and which adds 5% to your Strength (or your Stam if you’re Protection.)
Offense Vs. Defense? Unless you are doing a lot of PvP and/or tanking you will find the offensive stats to be much more valuable than the defensive ones. While leveling stick to the massive offense and carry enough food (unless you’re Undead) and bandages with you to minimize downtime. However, you should stack enough stam that this doesn’t become painful.
Warrior Leveling and Abilities
Just a note on leveling builds – the idea is to kill mobs ASAP, with as little downtime as possible. This means that your leveling build might not be the same as your level 90 PvP or Raid builds.
In a Raid setting you will, as Fury or Arms, focus far more on damage and much less on survivability talents, since some healer will be keeping you healthy. Tanking, of course, requires major damage mitigation skills and the ability to keep the Boss’s attentions away from everyone else. PvP requires more survivability and control and is more for Arms than Fury or Prot.
For leveling (questing) you want some survivability and as much damage as you can get.
When you hit level 10 you pick from one of the three specializations: Arms, Fury, and Protection. (You can reset everything, and change specs, at your trainer, anytime, for a small charge.)
Picking up the dual build ability at 30 (10 gold) gives you the choice of picking two builds. Tank a dungeon as Protection, or DPS as Fury, then switch to Arms and smash some face in PvP. (You do have 10 gold at 30+, right? If not, check out our gold guide or our tycoon addon review. )
Picking a spec at level 10 also gives you some bonuses. Each spec of each class will have its own bonuses and each one will have a Mastery ability. That ability increases some aspect of your other abilities. For example, for a Fury Warrior, Mastery buffs the benefits you get from being Enraged.
Mists of Pandaria completely changed the talent system, again.
- The talent system is completely different from before Mists hit.
- You get a bunch of general Warrior abilities, as you always have.
- You get ten or so abilities unique to your spec (Arms, etc.) These are what define you.
- All Warriors will be able to pick talents from a common pool. There are six tiers (at level 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90) with three choices each. Any warrior can pick any of the three. At level 90 you will have six talents.
- There are no points to spend in any abilities or talents. When you pick one up you pick up the whole thing.
- You will have six total glyphs, down from Cataclysm’s nine.
Here are your abilities, for each spec.
Arms Warrior Abilities
You’re the two-handed weapon expert, smashing down your opponents with the best of them. Arms is great for leveling, does fine damage in dungeons and raids, and has traditionally been the spec of choice for PvP. Once you pick Arms as your specialization you will get Mortal Strike as your “bread and butter” attack.
You will get the following abilities as Arms:
|Arms Spec Abilities|
|10||Mortal Strike – Your basic Bread and Butter strike, causes Mortal Wounds on the target|
|10||Seasoned Soldier (P) – More damage with 2-handers.|
|18||Slam – Instant whack.|
|26||Whirlwind – Attack everything within 8 yards.|
|30||Overpower – Instantly overpower the enemy causing damage, with greatly increased chance to be a critical strike. Only usable after the target dodges.|
|30||Taste for Blood (P) – Your Mortal Strike also enables the use of Overpower and those Overpower hits have a chance to enable the use of an additional Overpower and increase the damage of your next Heroic Strike or Cleave.|
|46||Blood and Thunder (P) – Your Thunderclap also applies Deep Wounds|
|50||Plate Specialization (P) – More Str is your reward for wearing all plate.|
|56||Die by the Sword – Big survivability boost for a few seconds.|
|60||Sweeping Strikes – Your melee strike an addition opponent.|
|80||Mastery: Strikes of Opportunity (P) – Chance for your melee attack to trigger an additional attack.|
|81||Colossus Smash – Smash the target and your following attacks ignore its armor for a brief time. Causes your opponent to also take a bit more damage for 30 seconds.|
|81||Sudden Death (P) – Melee hits have a 20% chance to refresh the CD on Colossus Smash.|
Protection Warrior Abilities
Protection Warriors aren’t so hot in the questing department, though with decent gear you’ll be ok. It’s a damage thing. However, with a slight change to your routine you will do quite well. The secret to questing as Protection is to round up groups of mobs and kill them as a group. You will find that this works quite well and you should just about be able to keep up with Arms or Fury. This is also decent practice for tanking.
Where you’ll blow the doors off of everyone else is in the dungeons. Master the tankage and you’ll have very short waits for dungeon queues and you’ll level quickly. You’ll be able to level all the way to 90 without even leaving the city.
Recruit a friend and get 3x XP when you and your buddy are together. You’re the tank, she’s DPS or Heals, you’re both getting 3x XP, how soon do you think you’ll hit 80 (the RAF limit?) Pretty darn fast. Take a look at our protection warrior page for tanking info.
As a Protection Warrior your specific abilities are:
These are in addition to all of your basic Warrior abilities and the talents (below) just add versatility to these. In 5.4 your Defensive Stance generates more threat than before. This keeps the opposition paying attention to you while in dungeons.
|10||Shield Slam – whack him with your shield, generates rage if you’re in Def. Stance (which you will be if tanking.)|
|10||Unwavering Sentinel (P) – increases Stam and Armor, reduces opponent crit chance, zeroes out Thunderclap rage cost.|
|10||Vengeance (P) – Damage taken = Attack Power, but only in Defensive Stance. Stamina does not factor into this. Nerfed a bit and changed a bit in 5.4, the mechanics are still mainly the same. You get hit and that builds attack power.|
|18||Shield Block – block everything for a few seconds.|
|26||Devastate – Replaces Sunder Armor – whack the opponent and causes Weakened Armor.|
|30||Revenge – Instantly whack up to three enemies, generates some rage if you’re in Def. Stance, cooldown is reset when opponent parries/dodges.|
|38||Last Stand – Increase current and max health for a short time.|
|46||Blood and Thunder (P) – Your Thunderclap now applies the Deep Wounds effect.|
|50||Plate Specialization (P) – Your get more Stamina by wearing Plate in all the right places.|
|50||Sword and Board (P) – Your Devastate has a chance to reset the cooldown of Shield Slam and increase the Rage it delivers. .|
|56||Demoralizing Shout – Reduces the damage done by all enemies within a few yards by 20%.|
|58||Ultimatum (P) – Shield Slam has a good chance to make your next Heroic Strike or Cleave cost no rage. In 5.4 it procs off critical hits and causes your next H. Stroke or Cleave to be a Crit.|
|60||Bastion of Defense (P) – Increases black and dodge chance, reduces CD of Shield Wall.|
|80||Mastery: Critical Block (P) – increases your chance to block and to critically block.|
|81||Shield Barrier – Raise your shield to absorb damage for a few seconds. Uses Rage to increase absorption. Your attack Power (such as from your Vengeance) increases the amount absorbed.|
Fury Warrior Abilities
As you can see from the abilities below, Fury is, well, furious. It’s a dual-wielding death machine.
|Fury Spec Abilities|
|10||Bloodthirst – Basic attack, small heal, high chance to crit, generates rage|
|10||Crazed Berserker (P) – Dual wielding and more damage from it.|
|18||Wild Strike – Quick strike that causes Mortal Wounds on the target.|
|26||Whirlwind – Attack all nearby enemies.|
|30||Raging Blow – mighty blow usable after becoming enraged.|
|38||Single-Minded Fury (P) – more damage from dual wielding one-handed weapons.|
|38||Titan’s Grip (P) – dual wield two-handers.|
|50||Bloodsurge (P) – more Wild Strikes|
|50||Plate Specialization (P) – Wear only plate, gain 5% strength.|
|56||Die by the Sword – Reduce damage and massively increase Parry chance for a few seconds.|
|58||Meat Cleaver (P) – Whirlwind damage lets Raging Blow hit more targets.|
|60||Flurry (P) – chance to increase attack speed for next three swings.|
|80||Mastery: Unshackled Fury (P) – More damage while enraged|
|81||Colossus Smash – smashes the target and allows strikes to bypass their armor for a few seconds. Causes Physical Vulnerability to the target.|
Warrior Stances and Stuns and Buffs
As Fury or Arms you will be in Berserker stance most of the time. For Protection info see our Protection Warrior Tanking page.
- Battle Stance - Generates rage from your attacks, not from getting hit. This is what you want to use if you’re in the dungeons as “damage.”
- Berserker Stance - This is your usual stance for questing or general PvP. You will generate rage from your attacks and from getting hit.
- Defensive Stance - Use only if you’re tanking dungeons, and then use it all the time. Reduces damage taken and increases threat. Also useful for times when you really need the extra toughness, whether questing or in PvP.
Stunning Moves and Debuffs
Cause the opposition to stand there, open mouthed, staring at your awesomeness, or just be less effective than otherwise. These abilities are available to all Warriors:
- Charge (level 3) stuns the opponent for a moment. This also makes it a great interrupt if you Charge someone (or something) that is casting a spell.
- Sunder Armor (level 16) weakens the enemy’s armor, allowing you to do more damage. More useful for dungeons (and tanking) than questing.
- Thunder Clap (20) reduces the strength of the enemy’s attacks for few seconds.
- Pummel (24) interrupts spell casting and briefly silences the opponent.
- Disarm (28) knocks away the weapon and shield of the enemy for a few seconds, greatly reducing their damage done to you.
- Deep Wounds (32) – Your main attacks (Mortal Strike, Bloodthirst) cause the opponent to bleed.
- Hamstring (36) keep the opposition from running away.
- Spell Reflection (66) reflects one enemy spell back at the caster. A shield is not required.
- Shattering Throw (74) greatly reduces the armor on the target for a short time.
- Demoralizing Banner (87) weakens the attacks of all enemies within 30 years for a few seconds.
|Arms Special Debuff Abilities||Fury Special Debuff Abilities|
Heirloom Items for Warriors
There are a variety of heirloom items available. Some or bought through your high level guild, others with honor points, and so on. They level with you and are as nice as,or better than, same level blue items. They will take the same enchants that you can put on any level 1 item. Some of them also provide bonus XP. Generally you will want to wear the Heirloom instead of any other gear you find during your leveling, until you hit the level cap for that particular item.
Important note: Some of the heirloom cap at 80, others 85 (such as the helm and cloak you buy from your guild vendor.) A very few, such as those dropped in the Siege of Orgrimmar Raid, will cap at a higher level.
More on Gear:
- Do enough PvP so that at level 70 you can get decked out in level 70 purple (epic) PvP gear from the Legacy Arena Vendors. The gear is cheap enough, you can get the full set for well under 2k honor.
- At 77 buy your green Cataclysm gear. The stats on these pieces are far better than any non-Cataclysm gear else you’ll get, short of the best raid/pvp stuff. When you buy your Cataclysm cloak and Helm you will send your Level 80 Heirlooms to your next alts, or bank them.
- At 81 put your level 85 Heirlooms back on. At 85 you can put them away when you start doing dungeons and PvP.
Questing over Grinding: Do the quests, grind a bit when you find the right areas. grab all the interesting quests (the ones you want to do) and group them so that you can knock of several at the same time in the same place. Save the city quests until you have a few, then knock them off all at once when you train. Grinding (endless mob mashing) is generally only worthwhile if you’re farming something.
Grinding: There are times when the grinding is good, however. Some camps of mobs have a fast respawn rate and you can spend some time there just mob-mashing and practicing your skills. This is especially effective if you have rest XP from your stay at the Inn.
Dungeons: If you have the time and interest and are Ok with groups, then dungeon leveling can add some fast XP. Just Queue up for the dungeon finder and go for it. You also will get some nice items out of it.
- Learn to tank. Your wait times will be near zero and you will be able to level all the way to 85 without leaving the city. You might have to go back and get your fly points and such later.
- Damage/DPS: Your wait times will be longer, so mix it up with watching YouTube videos or questing/grinding/farming/gathering.
PVP: If you like PvP then you should know that the battlegrounds have their special weekends where double honor and double XP are awarded. (Just look at the calendar by your mini-map.) If your team wins you can get some insanely fast XP.
Even when it’s not the Holiday weekend, winning the Battlegrounds is still very fast XP. Losing is maybe faster than questing, but more frustrating (for us, anyway.) See our Warrior PvP page for tips.
Bags: big bags are good, bigger bags are better.
Banker: make an alt to live at the Auction House. That way you can mail white or better stuff to the alt instead of having to travel to the city to unload it, or dumping it at the vendor. This is a big hassle saver. Here are a few more gold tips.
More XP: Always log out at an Inn. You get the 2x “rest XP” when you come back. A longer rest = longer duration for the rest XP.
The Titan Panel Addon has an “XP per hour” function. This lets you know how efficient you are at picking up the XP.
Recruit a friend: 3x XP, ’nuff said. Here’s Blizz’s FAQ page for RAF. Note that the RAF benefits now stop at level 85.
Now, if you have full heirlooms and if you are a tank and you are dungeon leveling and you have a buddy doing the RAF thing with you… You’ll be 80 before you know it, and 85 not much later.
Race Choice for Warriors
Since Cataclysm, all of the WoW races can be warriors. Of course, only Humans, Night Elves, Undead, and Orcs can be real Warriors, but there you go. Yes, even Pandarens can be Warriors.
Most of the racial abilities will make very little difference while leveling, and not even that much in the end-game. 1% Hit or Crit or some escape ability just doesn’t count for much while questing. If a Gnome or Goblin works for you, then go for it. If you want some extra burst then go Orc, if you want that escape ability for PvP then go Human. Want to just look gnarly? Undead or Worgen.
Blood Elf: You have the best hair, does that count?
- Arcane Torrent restores some rage and interrupts & silences casters, so is actually a pretty decent Warrior ability for leveling, PvP, and PvE.
- Blood Elves are good with Enchanting.
Goblin: Two goblins were shipwrecked and stranded on a small island. When rescued they had both become rich by trading their boots back and forth.
- Increased Haste is actually a so-so ability for Warriors.
- Rocket Jump is a nice escape which might set you up for a Charge/Intercept.
- Your size is actually a virtue in PvP. Some people click their targets and being short makes their job a bit more difficult.
- As a tank your size makes you a bit hard to find in a crowd.
- Vendor discounts will make things a bit easier on the good supply, especially if you’re poor (and why would you be poor?)
Orc: Big, gnarly, and just the right attitude for war.
- Blood Fury actually is a nice ability while leveling, since you can pop it when you need it. Add it to a macro to use when you charge and/or with your opening strike.
- Resistance to stuns is good if you’re PvP leveling, and is pretty situational if not.
- Increased expertise with axes (and fist weapons) is nice if axes are the best weapons available.
Tauren: Besides being cute, cuddly, and well horned, they can do a…
- War Stomp stuns nearby opponents. This is a generally useful ability.
- The increased health is nice at mid-levels and is equal to about three Stam gems at max level.
- The herbalism skill has a small heal and a haste effect and Tauren get an herbalism bonus.
Troll: Best tusks, laid back, but make pretty good warriors.
- Berserking is a good leveling ability. Add it to a macro with your opening attack(s.)
- Increased damage Vs Beasts, while it doesn’t apply to Worgen, may be the best of all leveling racials given the vast number of beasts you’ll be killing on the way to 90.
- Resistance to movement imparing effects, like the Orc ability, has its uses in PvP, but less so elsewhere.
Undead: You’re one of the prototypical Warriors and you can um, well, er… Well, Ok, you have nothing that increases leveling speed, or DPS, or anything, but you look right and that’s what really counts.
- Cannibalism can reduce downtime and means that you don’t have to carry food along while leveling. If you do PvP you can eat your opponents after you kill them.
- Will of the Forsaken is a very nice PvP ability, allowing you to escape from fear, sleep, and charm, but you’ll find little use for it elsewhere.
- Drain life.sucks away some of your opponent’s life and heals you for the same amount.
- +1 to Hit racial is a good one for all Warriors, especially Fury.
- The self-heal is nice while leveling and in other situations. It’s not a big heal, but every little bit helps.
Dwarf: So Runt, Ya wanna be a Warrior?
- Your Stoneform washes away bleeds and reduces damage, making life just that much tougher for that Rogue who just popped up. Also helps elsewhere, when too many mobs appear.
- Expertise with Axes is nice if an axe is the best weapon available.
- Dwarves have expertise with Ranged weapons in Mists of Pandaria, but this isn’t of much interest to Warriors.
- Good with Archeology.
Human: You look good in the right armor. Now go kill a blood elf, because she looks better than you. It should be easy since your sword arm (and those 36″ biceps) is bigger around than his/her entire body.
- Your escape ability is nice for PvP and it allows you to use two DPS trinkets, but the ability is pretty situational when leveling.
- Diplomacy if great is you have any interest in building Rep with any of the bazillion WoW factions.
- Expertise with Sword/Mace is nice if you’re using either of those weapons.
Gnome: Besides being the butt of “short jokes” your size does have PvP value in that some people click on their targets. As a tank your size makes you a bit hard to find in a crowd.
- Expertise with daggers and small swords is good for Fury and Protection, if a sword is the best weapon available.
- Escaping from Speed Altering Effects (slows) has its uses in PvE and PvP, but only rarely while leveling.
- Good with Engineering, a pretty useful skill.
Night Elf: You look good in armor and you know it.
- Shadowmeld will let you drop out of combat or lurk in wait for a Charge out of the shadows. It’s not Vanish, but it definitely has its uses. It also drops aggro, so is handy for those times when things get tight. If you are the Warrior Tank in some dungeon and you’re tired of your group you can ‘meld, dropping aggro, and let the boss kill them.
- 2% increased dodge is nice while tanking and isn’t bad elsewhere.
Worgen: One word: Snuffling. Other than that…
- Increased crit chance is nice for any Warrior.
- moving quickly is definitely a useful ability.
- Worgen are good with skinning (which also adds to your Crit rating.)
If you have to level a skill then go for Blacksmithing and Mining. Blacksmithing will get you into some good gear, but it gets expensive. At high level you’ll be able to make some nice stuff. Alchemy is another nice skill, you’ll be able to make lots of useful potions. Mining is a great money maker that also provides raw materials for Blacksmithing, as well as Jewelcrafting and Engineering.
First Aid used to be an essential skill (for when you smash your hand with your Blacksmithing hammer.) It still has use, even with the easier healing these days and your tier 2 (level 30) talents. Still, it has it’s place and we recommend keeping it maxed.
Generally, skip the crafting professions while leveling (even Inscription,) unless you have, or can generate, plenty of gold.
- Skinning gives you extra crit rating
- Mining gives you more Stamina
- Herbalism gives you a small heal and a very nice Haste effect.
Here is a list of other money-making and useful professions:
- Inscription- There have been some big changes to this profession. Many glyphs have changed and all classes get the two big changes:
- Once you install a glyph you have learned it, you will never need to buy it again. By them all, learn them, and swap them with Vanishing Dust (bought from the Inscription supplies vendors, or on the Ah at an inflated price.)
- You get six glyphs total in the Mists of Pandaria. Three major, three minor. All have a requirement of level 25.
- Cooking – A good skill to take. You’ll be able to cook up foods that buff str, stam, and other stats.
- Fishing – A good way to slow down your leveling speed. It does provide mats for cooking, and some fish are good gold makers (oily blackmouth, deviate fish, etc.,) but it is time consuming.
- Gold with professions – you’ll find some tips on this page.
At level 90 all of the crafting professions provide self-only buffs or items that provide about 320 extra stat points. If you really want to go the min-max route then grab two crafting profs.
- Alchemy – get more from your own Str potions. Also get better effect from your other potions. You also get increased duration. Lots of the potions/flasks/elixirs are quite nice and this gives you the ability to make what you need. For Flasks and Elixirs figure about 30% more stats from your own chemicals and an extra hour of duration (which is a nice perk) from flasks and elixirs.
- Blacksmithing – Can add an extra gem socket to gloves and bracers. You can also make some of your gear, stones to sharpen your weapons, and keys to open locks. These two gem sockets will add Crit, for example, instead of the 320 or so Str added by the other profs.
- Enchanting – Add a 160 Str enchant to each ring in M of P.
- Engineering – Besides various nifty gadgets, the Synapse Springs widget adds 1920 Str for 10 seconds, which is awesome for burst.
- Inscription – You get some nice shoulder enchants and you can make everyone else’s, though those won’t be as nice as yours.
- Jewelcrafting – You can create better gems for your own use than are otherwise available.
- Leatherworking – Bracer enchant adds 500 Str in M of P.
- Tailoring – Swordguard Embroidery (added to your cloak) sometimes adds 4,000 attack power for 15 seconds in M of P.
Warrior Buffs, Food, Potions, Enchants, Etc.
Note on cash: Petty cash means one thing if you have 3 gold to your characters name and another if you have 100k (you’d be surprised how many do.) See our Tycoon guide review or our gold guide if you need help in that area.
The better buffed you are the faster you’ll level. See a buffing class running by? Ask them, nicely, if they’ll buff you. Make a macro:
- /say Excuse me, Oh Awesome One. Can you lay upon my lowly self some of your excellent buffage?
Otherwise, can you afford the extras? If gems, enchants, etc. are petty cash then go for it. Twinks will spend hundreds of gold on weapons and enchants for low level PvP and that enhanced gear certainly won’t hurt while leveling. If you can’t afford it then don’t worry abut it. Green gear is fine and if you keep your weapons up to your level then you’ll be Ok.
Potions & Scrolls: Buy and keep a bunch. Healing, stength, health/stamina. Troll’s Blood pots don’t look interesting at first, but in the long run they’ll save you from using a lot of bandages. Prices vary on the AH. If they’re expensive now just keep checking every now and then and buy a pile when you can. If you have the Alchemy skill you can make yourself a bunch.
Scrolls of Strength are frequently dirt cheap. You can also check with an Inscriber (Scribe) and have some made for you. Scrolls and potions do not stack. You will have to use one or the other. Potions of water breathing will help with underwater quests or gathering. Usually the quest-giver will give you something, but not always.
Glyphs - prices vary wildly. One day your glyph is at 2g, the next day it’s 200g (or more.) Wait for sales (or pay my inflated prices, please. ,) buy all your glyphs, and then stock some vanishing dust to swap them in and out as you need to. You can probably get all of your warrior (or any class) glyphs in a package deal from your friendly, neighborhood scribe and pay a lot less money (and get them faster) than AH browsing.
Food: Pretty much the same. Lower level foods will buff Stamina, which is great, the highest level foods will buff stength, attack power, crit rating, etc. If they’re not readily available on the AH then it may be worth your while to get cooking or make nice with a guild member.
Enchants: Can you afford them? Get health/stam at low levels, and whatever fits your needs at the high levels.
- Str is best for any flavor of Warrior, followed by Attack Power.
- Movement speed enchants are nice.
- Sharpening stones are great for keeping your weapons up to snuff, up to item level 200.
- Are you tanking your way to 85? See the Protection Warrior page for notes.
- Mists of Pandaria Enchants are much better than Cata. enchants. If you’re enchanting your gear then upgrade as soon as possible.
Gems: Gem slots are rare before 60 and occasional afterwards (while leveling.) Gem for Strength, Attack Power, and Crit Rating. Stam if you need it. As with the enchants, the Mists of Pandaria gems will be much better than the Cata gems.
- Enchants: Str and AP and Crit before all else. For any flavor of warrior.
- Bold gems for Str., Fractured gems for Mastery (for Prot Warriors.)
1-90 Warrior Leveling Guide
One of the commonly seen questions in the forums and in the game chat is something like, “Where do I go to level…?” You can always grind endless groups of mobs, which a fury warrior does very well, and fall asleep from the tedium, or you can follow the quests as you find them, perhaps looking for quest details on some website.
A better option is an in-game Warrior leveling guide. Step by step, from the starting area (or anywhere else) to the end, this guide will semi-automates that path for your Warrior. You’ll never again wonder about where to go or what to do, even in Patch 5.4 and beyond.
What if you’ve never played before, or you’re not level 1? Or you want to do some dungeon or PvP leveling along with your questing? Or you have full heirlooms and you and a pal are using Recruit-a-Friend?
No problem. Zygor’s guide will automatically adjust and send you to the right place. Don’t want to do a quest chain? Or you’d rather level in easy mode (or hard more?) Go into the options, click a box or two, and you’re set to level the way you want to.
You just pick your starting point and the guide automatically updates and advances to the next step as you complete each step and quest, and also sets the next waypoint arrow automatically. In addition, all of the important quest info is included in the guide window. Tasks are tracked and you’ll never need to switch back and forth from the quest log or any online site.
All you have to do is follow the arrow and check the guide (with its in-game window) to see what you have to do. You’ll knock off the quests boom, boom, boom and you’ll level with a surprising lack of stress. Get to the max level fast and join your friends and guildies in that yummy end-game content. Grab your copy of Zygor’s leveling guide here, or see our review, first.