The WoW Warrior Guide
for the Mists of Pandaria

Human WarriorThe Warrior

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, patch 5.4

This page:

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

Undead Warrior, level 45

 

The Warrior

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. (see below for races.)

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 Flavor of the minute game has continued through Mists of Pandaria. Scroll down a bit for the most recent changes.

 

The Mists of Pandaria Warrior

Full patch notes can be found here.

There were a few changes that came to 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.

 

Patch Notes for Warriors

5.4 Patch Notes

All official WoW patch notes are here. There’s more detail about the 5.4 notes in this post.

General

Arms

  • Seasoned Soldier now also reduces the cost of Thunder Clap by 10 Rage.
  • Slam now deals 25% more damage, but the Rage cost has been increased by 25% as well. While Sweeping Strikes is active, Slam will deal 35% of damage dealt against the primary target to all other enemies within 2 yards, and targets affected by Colossus Smash receives 10% more damage.
  • Sweeping Strikes now causes melee attacks to strike an additional nearby target for 75% of the initial damage (up from 50%).

Fury

Protection

  • Revenge now generates 20 Rage (up from 15 Rage).
  • Riposte is a new passive ability learned by Protection Warriors at level 76. When the Warrior dodges or parries any attack, they gain 75% of their Parry and Dodge as an additional bonus to Critical Strike for 20 seconds.
  • Ultimatum now activates from critical hits with Shield Slam instead of a flat 20% chance, and the ability will make the next Heroic Strike or Cleave be a critical hit in addition to costing no Rage.

Talents

  • Bladestorm‘s cooldown has decreased to 60 seconds (down from 1.5 minutes).
    • Arms: Bladestorm now deals 180% of weapon damage (up from 120%).
    • Protection: Bladestorm now deals 160% of weapon damage (down from 240%).
  • Bloodbath‘s snare and bleed effects are now two separate debuffs. Clearing one of the effects will no longer remove the other.
  • Enraged Regeneration now instantly heals the warrior for 10% of their total health (up from 5%), and an additional 10% over 5 seconds (up from 5%).
  • Impending Victory now heals the Warrior for 20% of their maximum health at all times (up from 15% on attack and 20% on kills that yield experience or honor).
  • Storm Bolt now has a duration of 4 seconds (up from 3 seconds), and has an off-hand attack for Fury Warriors.
  • Vigilance no longer transfers damage to the Warrior. The talent now reduces amount of damage the target takes by 30% for 12 seconds.
  • Warbringer now roots the target for 4 seconds instead of stunning them for 3 seconds. The 50% reduction to movement speed snare effect for 8 seconds remains unchanged. Glyph of Blitz will now cause Warbringer to root an additional 2 nearby targets.

Glyphs: New Major Glyphs

  • Glyph of the Executor: Killing an enemy with Execute grants Rage.
  • Glyph of Impaling Throws: Heroic Throw now leaves an axe in the target, which can be retrieved by moving within 5 yards of the target to finish the cooldown of Heroic Throw. This effect will only occur when Heroic Throw is cast from more than 10 yards away from the target.

New Minor Glyphs

Tanking: Vengeance has received several changes.

  • Characters in a tanking specialization now generates 40% more threat.
  • Vengeance now grants Attack Power equal to 1.5% of the damage taken, down from 1.8% (The tooltip said 2% but it was actually 1.8%).
  • Tanks no longer receive Vengeance from many persistent area damage effects (standing in the fire) or from missed attacks (dodging and parrying an attack will continue to work as it has before).
  • Vengeance gains from being critically hit have been reduced by 50%.
  • There are now diminishing returns on Vengeance gains while tanking multiple targets. Each additional target grants progressively less Vengeance.
  • So as not to affect Challenge Mode leader boards, the above Vengeance changes will not apply there. For Challenge Modes, Vengeance will continue to work as it did in patch 5.3.

5.3 Patch Notes

GENERAL

  • Defensive Stance was buffed and now decreases damage taken by 25%, up from 15%, and Unwavering Sentinel no longer buffs the damage reduction of Def. Stance.
  • Shield Wall‘s cooldown has been reduced, a definite plus, to 3 minutes (down from 5 minutes.)

TALENTS

  • Enraged Regeneration no longer costs rage to use, instantly heals the Warrior for 5% of their total health, and healing an additional 5% over 5 seconds. Using the ability while Enraged doubles the healing effects to 10% of the Warrior’s total health and an additional 10% over 5 seconds.
  • Second Wind no longer generates rage when the Warrior is struck by a Stun or Immobilize effect.
  • Arms and Fury Warriors receive a passive ability that enables them to generate rage when struck by a Stun or Immobilize effect at level 56: Unbridled Wrath.
  • Spell Reflection is no longer consumed by spells from player pets and guardians.
  • Vigilance now resets the cooldown on Taunt in addition to its current effects.

ARMS

  • Sweeping Strikes‘ damage to secondary targets should no longer be affected by Resilience or PvP power if the primary target was a player as both had already been factored in for the initial damage calculation.

PROTECTION

  • Bastion of Defense now reduces the cooldown of Shield Wall by 1 minute, down from a 3-minute reduction. For Protection Warriors, this results in no net change to Shield Wall’s cooldown.
  • Shield Slam was nerfed for Warriors below level 85: It now receives a 50% bonus to attack damage from attack power (down from 100%) for Warriors below level 85.
  • Unwavering Sentinel no longer increases the damage reduction of Defensive Stance by 10%.

5.2 Patch Notes

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:)

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%.)

Arms

Fury

  • 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.)

Protection

  • 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

 

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 and allow you to access a second spec, “dual build.”

Descriptions are below the image.

Warrior Talents in Mists of Pandaria

Talent Descriptions

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: BattleDefensive, 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 decrease in all incoming damage, an increase in threat generation, and decent Rage generation. 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 in addition to rage from attacking.

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.

1 Battle Stance 20 Thunder Clap 62 Recklessness
1 Heroic Strike 22 Heroic Throw  
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

You use big two-handers to spread the hurt, adding bleeds and reducing the enemy healing.

 

Fury Spec

Dual-wielding destruction, wiping out the enemy with your speed.

 

Protection Spec

The tank, protecting your allies from harm.

 

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 (P) – More damage with 2 handers. 10 Crazed Berserker (P) – Dual weilding and more damage from it. 10 Unwavering Sentinel (P) – 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 (P) – Damage taken = Attack Power, only in Def. stance.
26 Whirlwind - Attack everything within 8 yards. 26 Whirlwind - Attack everything within 8 yards. 18 Shield Block – block everything for a few seconds.
30 Overpower - Instantly overpower the enemy causing damage, with greatly increased chance to be a critical strike. Only usable after the target dodges. 30 Raging Blow – mighty blow after becoming enraged. 26 Devastate – Replaces Sunder Armor – whack the opponent and weaken his armor.
30 Taste for Blood (P) Your Mortal Strike hits grant uses of Overpower. 38 Single-Minded Fury (P) – more damage from dual wielding one-handed weapons. 30 Revenge – Instantly whack up to three enemies, generates some rage, cooldown is reset when opponent parries/dodges.
46 Blood and Thunder - Your Thunder Clap now also applies Deep Wounds. 38 Titan’s Grip (P) – dual wield two-handers. 38 Last Stand – Increase current and max health for a short time.
50 Plate Specialization (P) – More Str is your reward for weaing all plate. 50 Bloodsurge (P) – more Wild Strikes 46 Blood and Thunder (P) – Your Thunderclap now applies the Deep Wounds effect.
56 Die by the Sword For a brief time you have massivlely increased Parry chance and take less damage. 50 Plate Specialization (Passive) – Wear only plate, gain 5% strength. 50 Plate Specialization (P)
60 Sweeping Strikes – Your melee strike hit an addition opponent. 56 Die by the Sword – Reduce damage and increase Parry chance for a few seconds. 50 Sword and Board (P) – Your Devastate has a chance to reset the CD of Shield Slam.
80 Mastery: Strikes of Opportunity (P) – Chence for your melee attack to trigger an additional attack. 58 Meat Cleaver (P) – Whirlwind damage lets Raging Blow hit more targets. 56 Demoralizing Shout – Reduces the damage done by all enemies within a few yards by 20%.
81 Colossus Smash Smash the target and cause followup attacks to bypass the enemy’s armor for a few seconds. Also causes Physical Vulnerability in the target. 60 Flurry (P) – chance to increase attack speed for next three swings. 58 Ultimatum (P) – Shield Slam has a good chance to make your next Heroic Strike or Cleave cost no rage.
81 Sudden Death (P) – Melee hit have a 20% chance to refresh the CD on Clossus Smash. 80 Mastery: Unshackled Fury (Passive) – More damage while enraged 60 Bastion of Defense (P) – Increases black and dodge chance, reduces CD of Shield Wall.
81 Colossus Smash – smashes the target and allows strikes to bypass their armor for a few seconds. 80 Mastery: Critical Block (P) – increases your chance to block.
81 Shield Barrier – Raise your shield to absorb damage for a few seconds. Uses Rage to increase absorbtion.

 

Warrior Races

Female Pandaren Warrior

Female Pandaren Warrior

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.

  • Improved Rest XP makes 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.

Alliance

Humans 

  • Diplomacy – great for leveling faction with the many factions in this game. Adds to the guild diplomacy bonus.
  • EscapeVery 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 - 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. Its 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 various times in PvE.
  • Ranged Weapon Expertise would be nice if you could use ranged weapons.
  • Crit chance with guns – You’re a Warrior, you don’t use 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 that any Warrior heal is a good thing.
  • Draenei also gain a 1% +hit ability that is self-only (Once it appled to the entire group.) 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…

The Horde

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.

Tauren

  • 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, but is still worth about three Stamina gems.
  • 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 Weapon Expertise is of no interest whatsoever.
  • Do Voodoo Shuffle reduces movement altering effects, such as from Slow spells.

Undead

  • 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.
  • Touch of the Grave a life draining ability (which also heals you.)

Golbins

  • 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 were allowed in the Warrior class.

  • 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

 

Tradeskills

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. Leveling both of those, at the same time, will make a serious dent in your gold supply.

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, figure about 320 Str or so bonus. That’s about two Str gems worth.

  • Alchemy – in addition to creating all kinds of useful potions you will gain increased effects from your own potions. For example, your Strength flask provides 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 gems. Also, secondary gems (Hit, Crit, etc.)  have twice the value (320) of your Str gems (160.)  So you could get 640 Hit or Crit or 320 Str.
  • 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. Lots of other Engie gadgets are fun and/or have PvP use.
  • 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 4k 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 (lifeblood) 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

Night Elf Warrior

Night Elf Warrior

Taunt Mechanics

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.

Taunt will work just fine for pulling a mob to you, but you need to follow up to make sure it sticks to you.

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 because much more reliable. In M of P 5.4 your (Protection) ability Vengeance deals more threat than before, which makes tanking even easier.

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.

Intervene 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.

 

Warrior Leveling

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 Warriors

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.

Arms Warriors

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 Warriors

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.

Get the the level cap, ASAP

Get to the Level Cap, ASAP

 

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 stat for Warriors) and replaced it with PvP Power, which is definitely not useless, even this it was nerfed hard in patch 5.3.

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. In Cataclysm Str was 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 and Expertise aren’t necessary while leveling, you’ll be fine without them, but they are 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.) Expertise ensures that your strike isn’t Dodged. 

  • 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 Needs Hit and Expertise to make sure all the appropriate strikes land and that you never miss a chance to build Rage. Raid Tanking Prots will want expertise up to 15%.

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, maybe even more than Hit/Exp or Str.

Haste seems to be the least valuable stat for all Warriors, though it did get a bump in patch 5.2.

For tanking duties see our Prot tanking guide.

 

Warrior PvP

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. This is also true for any class you play.

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.

Muscle Memory

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

Dwarf Warrior looking for Orcs to kill

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.

Grab your copy of Zygor’s Guide here or read our review.

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9 thoughts on “A WoW Warrior Guide for Mists of Pandaria

  1. Chris says:

    Fantastic write up on all 3 specs and this generalization. I have just picked WoW up to play for half a year to save my pennies! I quit not long after the last expansion (Cata). Not played since.

    Anyway, playing a warrior with a mate! We are locked in leveling and questing together. I hit 40 last night and in such, have taken up dual specs as we do a lot of dungeons whilst questing. Normally, I have been a Arms DPS in dungeons. But now, I have taken to dualing 2h weapons fury for DPS and Protection build as my 2 talents.

    My questions are:

    1) Why is pro doing more DPS than my Fury? And why am I maxing my rage so much, I’m finding it hard to spend

    2) is 2 handed weapons in each hand a good idea? The faster of the 2 (4.00 and 3.60 speed) in the offhand a good choice?

    3) Any good mods to help me keep an eye on mobs that might stray and easily identify them when I’m tanking

    4) finally, I only ever played PVP, this is my first character that I have ever done dungeons on, and as such, I have no idea where I am going most of the time! Any mods to help me with this?

    Many thanks, Chris.

    • Rogptor says:

      Hey Chris, thanks for the nice words. As to your questions:

      1) You will find that will change at higher levels. Currently the game seems balanced for 85+ characters, so there will be odd stuff appearing at lower levels. It’s not at all unusual for a tank to top the DPS charts at lower levels, especially if you’re good. At other points you will be locked in last place. At high levels you will be way outpaced by the DPS classes.

      Your Vengeance ability and spreading damage effectively to many targets also boosts overall DPS, though your single target DPS might not be so hot.

      2) At level 40 don’t worry too much about exact weapon choice. The choices are close enough that it doesn’t matter at this level. Just go with what feels good to you. At the top level you can go with whichever is more efficient. For now, just grab the best weapons you can find.

      3) I don’t know of any such mods, though you can browse Curse and see what they have. Keep your Taunt and Heroic Throw ready for mobs that might stray. If you’re spreading your damage around effectively it shouldn’t be much of a concern. Sometimes you do get a joker who does massive DPS and pulls aggro. I like to consider it a game and don’t mind at all if people can pull it from me. It’s more of a challenge and I work to it back and keep it.

      There are other jokers who attack some enemy “over there.” I’ll taunt it if I can, but sometimes you can’t. Sometimes they bite off more than they can chew.

      Just learn to keep a wide angle view on things, play as if all the mobs belong to you and only you, and you’ll be fine.

      4) For dungeon maps you can try Atlas. I’ve found it helps to say, at the start of the dungeon, something like, “I haven’t been here before. Who wants to lead us around?” Most groups will be cool with this. It also helps to put a raid marker (star, square, etc.) on that person so as not to lose them.

      Hope this helps. :)

    • Mike says:

      3) Your best mod is the “v” key. It lights up the health over all the targets and makes that stray that ran off after your hunter/mage/healer that much more visible, and easily tauntable. Also, seeing what is about to die and killing it also gives you a 30% boost in health on the next target you hit with “Victory Rush”.
      Set your focus as well. Usually on the healer in a 5man, or your best friend in a 40man, so that you can select what they are picking on and brings it’s attention back to you.
      But a straight answer is, Tauntmaster. You can find it on Curse or Wowmatrix.

  2. renee says:

    I have a lvl 79 human warrior and she is fun to play. But in truth i really don’t know what the heck i am doing with her. I don’t like doing dungeons because i don’t want to suck as a tank and get everyone killed. I have literally done like 4 dungeons with her and lvld her by questing. I don’t know if the gear i have for her is right…or in what succession my moves should go. I just click buttons LOL. I seem to do alright, but i know i am not playing her to her full potential. HELP!!! I want to be able to go into dungeons and tank and not let the group down, and embarrass myself. The information above has been helpful somewhat but i am not a “gamer” so a lot of what you say is slightly confusing to me. what are “macros” and what are their purpose?

    • Rogptor says:

      First off, you can always ask questions. I might not reply immediately, but I will get to it.

      Macros are just a way to string together a series of commands. One keypress or click will execute the set. You can see our post here on creating and using macros.

      You can see our Warrior Tanking Page for help with what you need to do. At level 79 you will be able to use most of the info there.

      Gear: at 79-80 you will want to be using all “Cataclysm” gear. Look at the “item level,” not the “required level.” Cata gear starts at Item Level 277 and is far superior to gear with a lower iLevel. This will make your tanking job easier.

      At 80 and beyond you will see Mist of Pandaria blues (blue titled gear) appearing on the Auction House. This stuff starts at Item Level415 and is better than any Catgaclysm gear you’ll be able to find.

      The gear will cost you, but will make your tanking job easier.

  3. Stephanie says:

    i love WoW and ive gotten the hang of dps for warriors, but i wanna be the best tank possible, what are some important tips before i start trying?

    • Rogptor says:

      First (or second) see our Warrior Tank page.

      One big thing as a tank, beyond just knowing your abilities well, is to be aware of everything that’s going on. You will have to be more clued in than your DPS. Threat is your job and if a DPS (or healer) does a massive burst and gabs some of it then you have to be alert enough to grab it back. You have to know where all the opposition is and what it’s doing and either controlling it (keeping threat) or knowing/trusting that your DPS is clued in enough to handle it (such as dealing with certain adds.) Do that and you’ll be Ok.

      Developing a good idea of how and when to use your survival abilities is also pretty important. :)

  4. liam kelley says:

    I love world of warcraft…will mist of pandarian will ever be cheap or something to be purchased in the mear future?

    • Rogptor says:

      Yes, you can pre-order it now from various places, including Amazon.com and the Blizzard store. It’s about $40 and you will be able to actually get the game on Sept. 25. Will it ever be cheap? Probably when the next expansion is released in a year or two.

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