For as long as war has raged, heroes from every race have aimed to master the art of battle. Warriors combine strength, leadership, and a vast knowledge of arms and armor to wreak havoc in glorious combat. Some protect from the front lines with shields, locking down enemies while allies support the warrior from behind with spell and bow. Others forgo the shield and unleash their rage at the closest threat with a variety of deadly weapons. (source)
Updated for Mists of Pandaria
An overview of the Warrior class, with notes on specs, PvE, PvP, and leveling.
Questions? Miss something? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
Other Warrior Guides
So, you’ve decided to join the ranks of the tough, battle-hardened, and bloodthirsty killing machines known as Warriors, or perhaps you’re simply checking in to see if this is the class for you.
Either way, I personally recommend the warrior class to all those who thrive off ripping apart opponents with a combination of personal skills and overpowering damage. The Warrior class is for those who want to be the first target in every battle, PvE or PvP, and are willing to bear the brunt of punishment to reach and annihilate the opposition with a combination of devastating abilities such as Mortal Strike and Bloodthirst.
However, first things first, and before you’ve even entered the game world you’ll be forced to choose amongst the numerous races of world of warcraft, and choose wisely, many players find this descision almost as important as what class to play.
Buffage and Nerfage:
With any new patch or expansion comes the inevitable period of time afterwards when characters are gods one day and doormats the next. This is true for any class and Warriors are no exception. With the builds and notes on these pages we will not be looking at the “flavor of the minute” topics.
The Mists of Pandaria Warrior
Full patch notes can be found here.
There are a few changes coming for Warriors in Mists of Pandaria
- Warriors can no longer equip or even use ranged weapons.
- Prime glyphs are dead.
- Talents, as they were in Cataclysm, have been removed.
- The old talents, abilities, and glyphs have been completely reworked. Some are dead and some of been rolled into the new abilities and talents.
- Some of the old talents have become abilities and some abilities have been shifted around.
- All Warriors share a set of abilities, as they did in Cata (eg: All Warriors can Charge.)
- Each spec gets a set of abilities, learned as you level (not from our trainer,) unique to your spec.
- There are now 18 total talents, divided into 6 tiers of three each. You get to pick just one from each tier and the tiers are obtained at levels 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90. You will have 6 “talents” at level 90. Any Warrior spec can pick any of the talents.
- Lastly, there are no points to be spent on talents. No more will you spend 1 – 3 points on any given talent. When you pick it you have the whole thing, just as if were an ability.
Amazon has Mists of Pandaria available for purchase.
5.2 Patch Notes for Warriors
Abilities and Misc.
- The benefit of Haste from items and consumables has been increased by 50% for all Warriors.
- Defensive Stance now reduces damage by 15% (was 25%.)
- Execute now deals 15% less damage.
- Deadly Calm has been removed from the game.
Tier 1 Talents (Lev 15:)
- Warbringer now reduces the target’s movement by 50% for 15 seconds (8 seconds in PvP), in addition to its other effects. The 3-second stun/knockdown is now in the diminishing returns category for stuns (same as Shockwave and Storm Bolt), and not the proc stun diminishing returns category.
Tier 2 Talents (Lev 30:)
- Second Wind now generates 15 rage (was 20 rage) over 10 seconds.
- Enraged Regeneration now costs 30 Rage (was 60 Rage.)
- Impending Victory will now heal the Warrior for 15% of maximum health when they have not slain an enemy (was 10%.)
Tier 4 Talents (Lev 60:)
- Bladestorm now provides immunity to disarm while active, which should be annoying to classes with Disarm capability.
- Shockwave now has a 40-second cooldown (was 20 seconds), and striking 3 or more targets will reduce its cooldown by 20 seconds.
Tier 6 Talents (Lev 90:)
- Storm Bolt now deals 125% weapon damage (was 100%.)
- Taste for Blood has been redesigned. It now causes the Warrior to gain 2 stacks of Overpower (maximum of 5 stacks) when Mortal Strike deals damage, 1 stack when the target dodges, and no longer interacts with Heroic Strike. It now requires level 20 (used to require level 50.)
- Slam now deals 220% weapon damage (was 190%) and now costs 20 rage (was 30 rage.)
- Deep Wounds damage has been increased by 100% for Arms Warriors.
- Whirlwind now costs 20 rage (was 30) for Arms Warriors. The cost is unchanged for Fury Warriors.
- Overpower now costs 10 rage and reduces Mortal Strike‘s remaining cooldown by 0.5 seconds.
- Sudden Death now has a 10% (was 20%) chance to activate from auto attacks or Opportunity Strike. In addition, using Execute makes Overpower free for 10 seconds.
- Bloodsurge now reduces the Rage cost of Wild Strike by 30 (was 20), and its duration has been increased to 15 seconds (was 10 seconds.)
- Shield Barrier now scales approximately 10% less efficiently with attack power.
- The base damage of Shield Slam and Revenge has been increased by 150%, but these abilities now scale approximately 10% less efficiently with attack power.
- Unwavering Sentinel now improves the damage reduction of Defensive Stance by 10% for Protection Warriors.
Glyphs and Gear
- Glyph of Incite no longer activates from Deadly Calm, and now activates from Demoralizing Shout instead.
- Glyph of Die by the Sword replaces Glyph of Overpower. It increases the duration of Die by the Sword whenever Overpower or Wild Strike are used.
- Glyph of Death from Above no longer increases the damage dealt by Heroic Leap.
Warrior Talents in Mists of Pandaria
Any Warrior can pick any one talent from any of the six rows (tiers.) Six talents at level 90. You can also easily change them. Click a row to unlearn a talent. A box will pop up asking if you want to pay the price (one dose of the appropriate dust/powder/tome). Pay the price, pick the new talents, and then “learn” it. Your trainer can also completely respec you.
Descriptions are below the image.
|level 15||Juggernaut – For the mobility, Charge every 12 seconds.||Double Time – You can use Charge twice in a row. Each use has a 20 sec recharge time. A bit more emergency versatility.||Warbringer – Stun and knock down the opponent at the end of your charge. Also reduced opponent’s movement for a few seconds.|
|30||Enraged Regeneration – Instantly heals you for 10% of your total health, and an additional 10% over 5 sec. and Can be used while stunned.||Second Wind – Regenerate heath when at low HP, also regenerate rage.||Impending Victory – A cheap attack with a minor heal.|
|45||Staggering Shout – Causes all enemies within 20 yards that are snared to become rooted for 5 sec.||Piercing Howl – Snares all the enemies in the area. Keeps them from hopping around.||Disrupting Shout – Area interrupt, just the thing when fighting groups with casters. Interrupt & silence all of them.|
|60||Bladestorm – 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, including disarm, and you can only perform shout abilities.||Shockwave – Area stun in a cone in front of you. More stunage is always a good thing.||Dragon Roar – Knock all nearby enemies down and back for a brief time.|
|75||Mass Spell Reflection – Everyone in your group gets Spell Reflection. This could be annoying to the opposition in BGs.||Safeguard – Run at high speed towards a party or raid member, removing all movement-impairing effects upon you, intercepting the next melee or ranged attack made against them and reducing their damage taken. Replaces Intervene.||Vigilance- protect an ally by sucking up some of the damage.|
|90||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.||Bloodbath – Blood, blood, and more blood. Adds a portion of your damage as a short term bleed and slows the opponent.||Storm Bolt – Hurl your weapon at an enemy, causing weapon damage and stunning the target briefly. Deals an additional 300% weapon damage to targets that are permanently immune to stuns.|
Basic Warrior Abilities
Warriors are in the possessions of numerous ability choices, sectioned off into three distinct tree’s much like other classes, each with potential benefits and drawbacks based upon your desired style of play and generally lined up to focus on synergy with a specific talent tree.
Warriors ability usage and capabilities are both improved and hindered based upon the current stance they utilize, those being: Battle, Defensive, and Berserker stance. Each is focused upon a specific forte of the warrior, General Combat, Tanking, and Damage output respectively.
Battle Stance - This is your first and most basic stance. It’s useful for generating more rage.
Defensive Stance - Defensive stance is the first stance warrior’s gain after battle stance, and is the cornerstone of all tanking from levels 10 up to the level cap This stance gives you a solid 15% decrease in all incoming damage, an increase in threat generation, and decent Rage generation. Protection Warriors will see a larger damage reduction, due to Unwavering Sentinel.
All in all defensive stance is useful more so to those intending to tank for teams or instances. Anyone planning to put those pursuits on hold until reaching maximum level will rarely find Defensive Stance helpful, much less required.
Berserker Stance - The stance becomes available at level 34 and increases your rage generation as you now gain Rage from getting hit.
These abilities are shared by all specs.
Any ability can now be used in any stance, though some may be more effective in a particular stance. New Mists of Pandaria abilities are linked.
|1||Battle Stance||20||Thunder Clap||62||Recklessness|
|1||Heroic Strike||22||Heroic Throw||64|
|1||Parry (Passive)||24||Pummel||66||Spell Reflection|
|1||Symbiosis - borrow an ability from your Druid pal. Video.||28||Disarm||68||Commanding Shout|
|1||Throw||32||Deep Wounds (Passive)||72||Intervene|
|3||Charge||34||Berserker Stance||74||Shattering Throw|
|5||Victory Rush||36||Hamstring||83||Rallying Cry|
|7||Execute||42||Battle Shout||85||Heroic Leap|
|9||Defensive Stance||44||Cleave||87||Demoralizing Banner|
|12||Taunt||48||Shield Wall||87||Mocking Banner|
|14||Enrage (Passive)||52||Intimidating Shout||87||Skull Banner|
|16||Sunder Armor||54||Berserker Rage|
Warrior Abilities by Spec
Each spec gets a set of unique abilities.
|Arms Spec||Fury Spec||Protection Spec|
|10||Mortal Strike – Your basic strike, causes Mortal Wounds on the target||10||Bloodthirst – Basic attack, small heal, high chance to crit.||10||Shield Slam – whack with shield, generates rage in Def. Stance.|
|10||Seasoned Soldier (Passive) – More damage with 2 handers.||10||Crazed Berserker (Passive) – Dual weilding and more damage from it.||10||Unwavering Sentinel (Passive) – increases Stam and Armor, reduces opponent crit chance, zeroes out Thunderclap rage cost.|
|18||Slam – Instant whack.||18||Wild Strike – Quick strike that causes Mortal Wounds on the target.||10||Vengeance (Passive) – Damage taken = Attack Power, only in Def. stance.|
|20||Taste for Blood (Passive) – 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. (Became level 20 with patch 5.2)||30||Raging Blow – mighty blow after becoming enraged.||18||Shield Block – block everything for a few seconds.|
|26||Whirlwind – Attack everything within 8 years.||38||Single-Minded Fury (Passive) – more damage from dual wielding one-handed weapons.||26||Devastate – Replaces Sunder Armor – whack the opponent and weaken his armor.|
|30||Overpower – Instantly overpower the enemy causing damage, with greatly increased chance to be a critical strike. Only usable after the target dodges.||38||Titan’s Grip (Passive) – dual wield two-handers.||30||Revenge – Instantly whack up to three enemies, generates some rage, cooldown is reset when opponent parries/dodges.|
|50||Plate Specialization (Passive) – More Str is your reward for weaing all plate.||50||Bloodsurge (Passive) – more Wild Strikes||38||Last Stand – Increase current and max health for a short time.|
|60||Sweeping Strikes – Your melee strike hit an addition opponent.||50||Plate Specialization (Passive) – Wear only plate, gain 5% strength.||46||Blood and Thunder (Passive) – Your Thunderclap now applies the Deep Wounds effect.|
|80||Mastery: Strikes of Opportunity (Passive) – Chence for your melee attack to trigger an additional attack.||56||Die by the Sword – Reduce damage and increase Parry chance for a few seconds.||50||Plate Specialization (Passive)|
|81||Sudden Death (Passive) – Melee hit have a 20% chance to refresh the CD on Clossus Smash.||58||Meat Cleaver (Passive) – Whirlwind damage lets Raging Blow hit more targets.||50||Sword and Board (Passive) – Your Devastate has a chance to reset the CD of Shield Slam.|
|60||Flurry (Passive) – chance to increase attack speed for next three swings.||56||Demoralizing Shout – Reduces the damage done by all enemies within a few yards by 20%.|
|80||Mastery: Unshackled Fury (Passive) – More damage while enraged||58||Ultimatum (Passive) – Shield Slam has a good chance to make your next Heroic Strike or Cleave cost no rage.|
|81||Colossus Smash – smashes the target and allows strikes to bypass their armor for a few seconds.||60||Bastion of Defense (Passive) – Increases black and dodge chance, reduces CD of Shield Wall.|
|80||Mastery: Critical Block (Passive) – increases your chance to block.|
|81||Shield Barrier – Raise your shield to absorb damage for a few seconds. Uses Rage to increase absorbtion.|
With Cataclysm, any race could become a Warrior. Even Goblins. With Mists of Pandaria the Pandarens will also join the club of face-smashing goodness.
But of course, the only real choices for Warrior are Human, Night Elf, Orc, and Undead. The rest are…just the rest.
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 can be useful.
- With a quick strike of the hand they can stun an opponent for 4 seconds.
- Pandarens get better buffs from food
- Naturally they’re good with cooking.
- Diplomacy – great for leveling faction with the many factions in this game. Adds to the guild diplomacy bonus.
- Escape – Very nice in PvP as it allows using two DPS trinkets. Occasionally useful otherwise.
- Spirit increase- Low wut? Warrior have no spirit and need none.
- Increased Expertise with swords and maces. Nice for the end-game, if a sword or mace is the best weapon (and it probably is.)
Night Elves - Next, Night Elves gain both Shadowmeld and Quickness as far as effective abilities go.
- Quickness is a 2% increase to dodge, seemingly worthless initially, but this 2% easily counts for multiple pieces of gear bonuses (especially useful for tanking) at level 90, take note of it. It‘s very nice to have if you’re a Warrior tank and not bad otherwise.
- Secondly, Shadowmeld gives you a stealth of sorts, allowing you to wait and ambush others in PvP, or even just avoid being targeted while AFK or resting. Meld can also be used in some PvE situations to drop aggro (either to save your skin or so the tank can reacquire aggro.) It’s a pretty useful ability.
Dwarves - Shortness is a virtue? Is a digging tool your favorite weapon? Do you live for the smell of baking ore in the morning?
- Stoneform removes bleeds, poisons, and diseases which gives Dwarves much needed PvP utility against Rogues, Druids, and other bleed using classes. It also reduces damage by 10% which has PvP use and is nice at times in PvE.
- Ranged Expertise would be nice if you could use ranged weapons.
- Crit chance with guns – You’re a Warrior, you don’t need stinkin’ guns.
- Increased Archeology Skill
Draenei – Winners of the interstellar bodybuilding contest. All of them.
- Draenei present probably the most contestable rank amongst warrior race choices, some say the HoT(Heal over time) is easily worth it, acting as a secondary bandage. Some disagree. I think the any Warrior heal is a good thing.
- Draenei also gain a 1% +hit aura that, with 4.0, is self-only. Nice to have, especially for raiding, where it’s just that much less that you have to reforge/gem for. It means that Arms & Prot only need 6.5% hit to cap (instead of 7.5%.) Fury will take all the Hit it can get.
Gnomes - Too short, the butt of too many jokes, and punted by everyone except Goblins. While a useful race in general, and a solid PvP race, they bring nothing special to Warriors.
- A nice escape ability is great for PvP and is useful every now and then otherwise
- Their small size is a benefit in PvP where many people click on targets.
- Increased mana pool? Zzzzz….
- Increased Engineering skill is interesting since there are several widgets created by Engies that are useful to Warriors, particulary Synapse Springs.
- Expertise with small swords might be useful in raids where those expertise points free up points to put somewhere else.
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.
- Increased skill and speed with Skinning is ncie enough is you’re a skinner…
Orcs - On the flipside, there is the Horde and the Orcs: Orcs are the race most consider the deadliest warrior race.
- Orcs possess an interesting racial ability called Bloodfury, which increases their attack power by a significant amount. Add this to a macro, along with certain trinkets, and use it to really smash face when you need to.
- Additionally, Orcs possess Hardiness, a 15% resistance to all stuns and knockout effects. What with Warriors already having an anti-rogue arsenal, Orcs stand as the greatest rogue slayers of all.
- The Orc Expertise with Axes is a useful raid DPS ability, if an axe is the best weapon availalbe.
- A 5% increase to base health seems useful at high levels for any prospective tank, especially in raiding, except that it doesn’t scale well at high level, giving far less than 5%. Perhaps this will be changed in a later patch.
- 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.
- Tauren are good with Herbalism (and said Herbalism provide a Haste effect along with a nice heal.)
Trolls gain points for style and uniqueness. There just aren’t too many of them around. For PvE their Berserking puts them ahead of the Undead as DPS or Tanks.
- Berserking increases attack speed by a decent amount.
- Increased damage Vs beasts is useful for leveling and some PvE content.
- Regeneration – Very little help in combat and your bandages will probably take care of the out of combat part. So while any regen is nice, it’s hardly significant.
- Ranged expertise is of no interest.
- Do Voodoo Shuffle reduces movement altering effects, such as from Slow spells.
- Finally, Undead, another race with no PvE abilities and one great PvP abilitiy. 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, making them faster than other warrior races in long-term grinding.
- Underwater breathing is gone and s replaced with Touch of the Grave a life draining ability (which also heals you.)
Golbins - Introduced with Cataclysm.
- 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.
- Vendor Discounts and a Personal Bank have little combat use.
- Goblins are good with Alchemy and get better effects from their own potions.
Blood Elves - With Cataclysm the Blood Elves became Warriors
- Arcane Torrent restores some rage and silences nearby opponents for 3 seconds, players for 2. This makes it a pretty useful ability every 2 min.
- Increased enchanting skill
Another consideration when beginning your warrior is what tradeskills to pick up, and making this decision will seriously affect the future of how you obtain both gear and cash for the grinds to top level.
Epic flying mounts require over 5000 gold, for mount and training (Rep with the city faction will reduce this, as will being Goblin.) Your ground epic mount costs a much smaller, yet still high amount. To reach these requires often dedicated gold making, and for that pursuit I’d recommend picking up a combination of harvesting skills such as Herbalism, Skinning, or Mining. (Also see our gold guide for more tips.)
The crafting professions are all very expensive to level up and you should probably wait until 80+ to seriously level any of them since that’s when the cash comes a little more freely. Of course, that’s not such an issue if you farm all your mats (ugh.)
If you have to work on a crafting skill as you level… Engineering and Blacksmithing come to mind. Engineering provides both enjoyment and PvP effectiveness in the form of numerous trinkets and utilities. Blacksmithing allows you to craft powerful endgame armor or weapons with materials gathered personally and on the auction house or through raids. It also allows you to slot two more of the best gems that you can find.
Each of the professions offers self-only items or abilites. It’s up to you to decide whether the self-only effects are worth the effort. The bonuses in Mists of Pandaria (MoP) are much greater than they were in Cataclysm.
- Alchemy – in addition to creating all kinds of useful potions you will gain increased effects from your own potions. For example, your Strength flasks 1320 Str in M of P. Figure about 30% more stats and an extra hour duration from flasks and elixirs.
- Blacksmiths can add two gems sockets, one each to bracers and gloves. So that’s two more fine gems for Str or for your tanking stats. Or two more PvP Power gems.
- Enchanting – Adds stats to your rings, 160 each in MoP.
- Engineering – Lots of nifty gadgets, including Synapse Springs, which adds 1940 Str. in M of P. for 10 seconds.
- Inscription – 520 Str or 750 Stam to your shoulders. In MoP you make everyone’s shoulder enchants.
- Leatherworking has a bracer “enchant” which can increase your Str by 500 or Stam by 750.
- Jewelcrafting – You can create better gems than other have access to.
- Tailoring – For your cloak, does 2k AP for 15 seconds, which sometimes procs on melee attacks, sound interesting? There’s also a nifty flying carpet.
- Herbalism: Adds a small heal and 2880 Haste at max skill. This is especially interesting since patch 5.2 adds 50% to the value of Haste for Warriors. You can also find these little gems, which are definitely interesting. They’re found occasionally while picking other M of P herbs.
Other Warrior Abilities
Taunt is definitely a core ability, but is complicated enough as to deserve its own section. Taunt is one of the tank’s greatest aids when dealing with either higher level party members pulling aggro or a few trigger happy hunters or mages.
What this ability does is not pull aggro for a set duration before releasing the mob, rather it brings your threat levels to an exact equal to whoever is currently holding the mobs attention, meaning that by following up taunt with revenge, shield slam, or a sunder, you solidify your hold on its aggro so long as you continue to output more threat than the other player.
This can be used to your advantage by waiting to taunt until the offending mage, warlock, or hunter in your group has unloaded with all cooldowns and major damage abilities, building up major threat within the space of a few seconds. By taunting immediately afterwards, you effectively gain all of the threat they just built up plus your own after the taunt.
With Cataclysm Taunt apparantly no longer can miss, which will make tanking more reliable.
Charge & Intercept
These two serve a dual-purpose for both grinding and tanking, with charge being a staple rage-builder when mowing down mob after mob as well as reducing travel time slightly. Charge also aids tanks in building the rage required to hold aggro on multiple mobs early into the fight.
Interception is much more of use in PvP for the most part, however when a mob starts chasing your healer, this ability can be easily used to catch up and either taunt or blast a shield slam onto the offending mob before they can catch their own target.
Note: For more a more in-depth look at leveling a warrior, check out our Warrior Leveling Guide
Leveling a warrior has become more easily accomplished with almost every patch, leading to the current status of warrior leveling nigh matching that of all other quickly leveling classes, most likely due to the increased emphasis on questing as opposed to long-term grinding.
As far as speed and style, this will largely depend on which talent tree you choose to emphasize, Fury being first amongst leveling speeds, arms second, and protection a distant third (unless you’re tanking instances.)
If you’re just looking to blast to the the level cap ASAP, then you need Zygor’s guide.
Fury leveling is focused on killing quickly and effectively through extremely fast attack speeds combined with a high critical and +hit rate, if possible. These stats combine to generate a blender-speed whirlwind of (insert two weapons of choice) when mowing down mobs. Bloodthirst becomes your basic attack at level 10 and it adds a small heal, which reduces some downtime.
Downtime is probably least with this build as well, lending itself to taking down opposition with minimal time spent and thus lessening the time the enemy spends beating on you, always helpful. When combined with bandaging, this reduces downtime to almost nil.
Although the traditional build of fury is indeed dual-wield, there is also the variant of two-handed fury that boasts a leveling speed somewhere between that of dual-wield and an arms build, yet for many this difference in play style is more interesting/more fun for leveling regardless. With the Dual Weilding ability there is little point to using two handed weapons, before Titan’s Grip, other than just for style. Fury really is designed around dual weilding, especially since 4.0.
The Arms build is the second fastest leveling style, barring “flavor of the minute” changes, however it also presents itself as the greatest PvP build for both leveling and battlegrounds/arena’s, making it one of the more viable choices for those playing on PvP servers.
All in all this is a good change of style/pace for those tired of dual-wield or being slaughtered by other players frequently. Still, for those seeking to maximize leveling speeds, go fury. If you’re PvP leveling then stick with Arms. You’ll do fine in the quests and you’ll do better on the battlefields.
Protection is by far the slowest solo-leveling specialization for any warrior, no matter the gear nor personal playing ability, protection is simply too low on the damage output and downtime management to be a quick solo-alternative to either fury or arms,
When teaming frequently (for instances and raids) this becomes an entirely different matter. Any warrior with some good friends, seeking to spend more time in instances than outside, will find protection suddenly that much more viable.
With the introduction of the Dungeon Finder tool the Protection Warrior can level quickly as tanks. Tanks also have very short wait times for the dungeon queues, this means that if you like to tank and you’re fine with dungeons then that short queue time will make the Protection Warrior the fastest leveling warrior of them all. Additionally, when questing, a tank can always come in handy for tougher/elite group quests, making protection ideal for someone with at least one or two buddies at all times.
I won’t recommend it for leveling solo, but it’s definitely the party-players build of choice should they desire to soak up damage. Then again, a damage build makes killing speeds that much faster, it’s all up to you.
Stats and Gear
Gearing is fairly simple, thankfully, our core statistics being those of strength and stamina, as everyone can use a little more health, tanks most of all. I’ll cover the fundamental increases and priorities, but the more specific build guides flesh this out further.
The 4.0 patch streamlined a lot of gear. Various stats, such as Armor Penetration went away and primary stats, such as Strength, became more important. Mists of Pandaria tweaked some things and got rid of Spell Penetration (a fairly useless PvP stats for Warriors) and replaced it with PvP Power, which is definitely not useless.
Strength is easy. More strength means more attack power, and by connection more damage, and also adds to block value and parry for the defensively minded. More damage is faster killing, less damage taken, and overall increased leveling speed with less downtime. With Cataclysm Str is by far the most important damage stat, for Fury and Arms, though not the most important threat stat (see below.) In Mists of Pandaria Crit might well be more important, given the abilities that depend on it, esp. for Fury.
Critical is a stat generally lacking in earlier levels, the first appearing somewhere in the 40’s and even then in low amounts. This stat plays best when combined with large amounts of strength, preferably picking up gear that has both stats in high amounts if possible.
Stamina is obvious, more health is always better, especially in PvP or when tanking, and given our utter lack of healing aside from crusader enchants, bloodthirst, and bandaging. You’ll find that large amounts of stamina saves you a lot of corpse runs and thus time. For leveling, at low levels, we recommend stacking as much Stam as is possible.
Hit Rating isn’t necessary while leveling, you’ll be fine without it, but is important for PvP and very important for raiding damage output. 3% is good for PvP and 7.5% (and more for Fury) is good for raids. This Hit rating is for your special attacks, such as Mortal Strike or Bloodthirst. Higher Hit rating is useless for Arms and Prot, but increases Fury’s white damage (basic strikes from dual wielding.)
- Arms and Fury want 7.5% Hit total, for raids, before any other stats
- 3% Hit for same level mobs
- 4.5% for +1 level
- 6% for +2 level, such as dungeon bosses.
- 7.5% for raid bosses.
- Prot doesn’t need the Hit, preferring defensive stats, such as Mastery.
Intellect, Spirit, and Agility have no business being on any piece of your gear, ever.
Mastery is a poor stat for Fury and Arms, though Prot Warriors, going for avoidance, value it highly.
Haste seems to be the least valuable stat for all Warriors.
For tanking duties:
- Mitigation: The idea is to maximize your avoidance & blocking. This evens out incomming damage and has the nice side-benefit of making things easier on your healer. Vengence and your other abilities should provide more than adequate threat.
- Go for: Stamina > Mastery > Parry > Dodge
- Threat: For whatever reason you feel it’s necessary to maximize threat. Expertise negates the boss parries which not only means you hit more often, but it means the boss doesn’t get an attack buff from a successful parry, which also means you live longer.
- go for: Expertise > Hit > Strength > Crit
This section covers some basics, check out our Warrior PvP Guide for more.
PvP as a warrior is probably one of the most enjoyable experiences in the game as far as I’m concerned. There is nothing better than baring down on an offending cloth wearing caster, busting out trinkets to break whatever roots and snares they possess, and dropping them in 2-3 hits with massive damage.
However, this obviously isn’t the way all or even most battles go, otherwise we’d be seeing the nerfbat quite soon. Rrather, most fights head the opposite way quite quickly, especially when caught by surprise by anything from a mage to even rogues.
Perhaps the most key element to general warrior combat, which takes some work, is always being prepared for every single class and talent build. Preparation ahead of time gives us the ability to use our numerous counter-attacks and adjust ourselves to the opponent’s style of combat quickly enough to prevent being slaughtered by the opposition.
A great resource if you’re at all serious about PvP is Skill Capped. They’re not free, but they’re pretty cheap ($4 per month.) They have forums, videos, and covers all aspects of PvP for all classes and almost all specs. Give them a look.
Of all the classes I’ve played in PvP, meaning every class in world of warcraft, warriors required the most instinctive play as opposed to actual well-thought out strategies, how much I played seemed to drastically improve my abilities as opposed to training myself for specific fights.
I sometimes use a Nostromo gaming pad, sometimes not, I’ve also experimented with special macro set-ups for specific classes, but either way I found that whether I could mash the required key before my opponent could react decided most fights before they even began.
Hitting charge before you’re forced into ‘combat’ status, mashing intercept to catch the sprinting rogue and following it up with hamstring, intervene a team-mate to gain ground or help them fight off another player, all these are determined by how well your hands know what you’re doing as opposed to conscious thought patterns.
Whether you’re Arms, Fury, or Protection, if you can master your keys and hit them in proper succession with your eyes closed, you’ve probably reached the level where you need to worry more about gear than experience.
Arms Warrior PvP
Arms and thus, Mortal Strike, is the PvP build of choice for 90% of the warriors you’ll see, likely 99% in the higher arena brackets, and this comes with good reason as well. Mortal strike, combined with big critical strikes, is the absolute greatest utility a warrior can bring to any PvP scenario, whether you’re playing solo, in the chaos of battlegrounds, or fighting alongside well-trained allies in Arena.
Warriors will always lead the assist-train death charge, Mortal strike exposes even the strongest and well-healed players to possible slaughter within those few seconds. Given that the attack gives you a healthy (although not for your opponent) burst of damage as well, it’s nigh-unthinkable not to open a fight with a Hamstring-Mortal Strike combo.
Arms warriors are essentially kill-captains, they point and everyone else jumps on the player with reduced healing, and slowed down by hamstring, to take them out before they react to their sudden lack of health.
Fury Warrior PvP
PvP as a fury warrior is considerably more difficult than that of Arms, mostly the fact that you no-longer bring a healing debuff and high instant damage to the table, instead replacing it with a consistently high DPS more apt for slaying mobs than players, especially those with healers.
To make up at least partially for your lack of utility, you’ll have to be geared to the teeth and possess amazing reflexes to bring the pain to opponents constantly moving, strafing, and generally making it a pain to keep up constant DPS throughout the fight. There are high ranking PvPers who go with Fury, but they are few and it does take more work than Arms.
Protection Warrior PvP
Protection warrior PvP is, for the most part, a largely laughable enterprise, consisting of being kited by hunters and other such ranged classes as they constantly ignore your pitiful hits (of about 1/10 the damage of other warriors.)
On the flipside, you’ll be more than capable of deflecting high-damage spells such as pyroblast and other opener combo’s with more than a little luck combined with good reflexes. Rogues will find you utterly infuriating to take down as you disarm them and slowly beat them into the ground.
Finally, you definitely have the element of surprise, 90% of warriors being Arms, 10% Fury, and that nonexistent 0% protection like yourself – Use this advantage well.
Warrior Leveling, the Fast Way
Now that you’ve chosen to be a Warrior look into a serious Warrior leveling guide for your blast to the highest levels. Instead of grinding or grabbing all available quests, and wondering where to go when they run out, look into Zygor’s Guide. Zygor practically automates the whole leveling path, from start to finish, for your Warrior. You will never wonder where to go or what to do next.
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.
If you grab a few levels in a dungeon, or in PvP, and then return to questing, Zygor’s will recalculate where you are and continue to show you the right path, where to go and what to do, without missing a beat. Not only that, it will also clean up your old/obsolete quests.
Fully and quickly updated for all patches and expansions Zygor is never obsolete, has your back, and will get you to Max level ASAP.
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