A WoW Warrior Guide


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 Warlords of Draenor 6.2

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


The Warrior

Undead Warrior, level 45So, 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.

Changes: The changes that Warlords brought are here, and the 6.2 changes are here.


Warrior Talents in Warlords

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.”

Warlords change: Not every talent is available to each spec., see the level 45 row for an example.

Which talents are best for which spec in which situation are on the appropriate pages. Go back to the top for the links.

Talent Descriptions

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 the opponent at the end of your charge.
30 Enraged Regeneration – Instantly heals you for 10% of your total health, and an additional 20% over 5 sec. and Can be used while stunned. Second Wind – Regenerate heath when at low HP, if you can keep attacking. Impending Victory – A cheap attack with a small heal.
45 (Arms) Taste for Blood – gain Rage from Rend damage.(Fury) Furious Strikes for a lot more Wild Strikes (costs 25 less Rage.)(Prot) Heavy Repercussions allows Shield Slam to do more damage. Sudden Death procs Executes, based of your Auto-attacks, that can be used on opponents of any health level. (Arms) Slam whacks your opponent and the next one whacks him harder.(Fury) Unquenchable Thirst removes the Bloodthirst cooldown.(Prot) Unyielding Strikes – Your Devastate reduces the cost of your Heroic Strikes.
60 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. 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 (and from your Multistrikes) as a short term bleed and slows the opponent. 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 and you can only perform non-offensive abilities.
100 Anger Management – Your Rage usage shortens the cooldowns on several abilities. Ravager is a nice Area Effect attack. A bit like Bladestorm at a distance. (Arms & Fury) Siegebreaker is a hard strike that knocks your opponent down.(Prot) Gladiator’s Resolve gives you access to Gladiator’s Stance, for those times when you want to be more offensive.


Basic Warrior Abilities

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 gained 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.

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 is your basic attack stance
1 Heroic Strike is your basic attack.
1 Parry (Passive) lets you deflect attacks
3 Charge headlong into combat, rooting your opponent.
5 Victory Rush damages the enemy and heals you. Usable after a kill.
9 Defensive Stance is for tanking or soaking damage.
12 Taunt – “Yo Mama is sooo fat…”
15 Headlong Rush makes Haste more useful.
18 Shield charge lets you charge with shield raised.
22 Heroic Throw lets you toss your weapon at something to get it’s attention. Basically a taunt.
24 Pummel him to interrupt his cast
36 Hamstring makes him run slowly for a bit.
42 Battle Shout gives you and your party +10% to their attack power for an hour.
50 Plate Specialization (P) – More Str is your reward for wearing all plate.
52 Intimidating Shout sends your targets running.
54 Berserker Rage removes fear, incapacitates, and Sap, and renders you immune to same, for 6 seconds.
66 Spell Reflection reflects one spell back at the caster, a shield is not needed.
68 Commanding Shout increases the Stam of your entire party for one hour,
72  Intervene dash to an ally and eat the next attack against her.
74  Shattering Throw breaks immunities, such as that Paladin’s bubble. Taught by Glyph of Shattering Throw
83 Rallying Cry gives the entire party a short (15 sec) boost to their health.
85 Heroic Leap lets you leap to a point and damage the targets there.


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.
7 Rend – Bleed the enemy for 18 seconds. 7 Execute big strike for when enemy is at 20% or less 7 Execute – big strike for when enemy is at 20% or less
7 Execute – big strike for when enemy is at 20% or less  10 Bloodsurge – Chance for free Wild Strikes  10 Bladed Armor increases your Attack Power by the amount of your Bonus Armor.
10 Mortal Strike – Your basic strike, causes Mortal Wounds on the target 10 Bloodthirst – Basic attack, small heal, high chance to crit. 10 Resolve gives more healing and defense, based on the damage taken in the last few seconds.
10 Seasoned Soldier (P) – More damage with 2 handers. 10 Crazed Berserker (P) – Dual weilding and more damage from it. 10 Shield Slam – whack with shield, generates rage in Def. Stance.
14 Thunder Clap blasts all nearby enemies and slows them. 14 Enrage – becoming enraged increases, damage and adds 10 rage, for 8 seconds. 10 Sword and Board (P) – Your Devastate has a chance to reset the CD of Shield Slam.
26 Whirlwind – Attack everything within 8 yards. 18 Wild Strike – Quick strike that causes Mortal Wounds on the target. 10 Ultimatum (P) – Shield Slam has a good chance to make your next Heroic Strike or Cleave cost no rage.
56 Die by the Sword For a brief time you have massively increased Parry chance and take less damage. 19 Piercing Howl slows all nearby enemies 10 Unwavering Sentinel (P) – increases Stam and Armor, reduces opponent crit chance, zeroes out Thunderclap rage cost.
60 Sweeping Strikes lets your strikes also hit a nearby target.  26 Whirlwind – Attack everything within 8 yards. 14 Enrage – becoming enraged increases, damage and adds 10 rage, for 8 seconds. 
80 Inspiring Presence – your entire party gets +3% Versatility.  30 Raging Blow – mighty blow after becoming enraged 14 Thunder Clap blasts all nearby enemies and slows them.
80 Mastery: Weapons Master – More damage to your big hits. 56  Die by the Sword – Reduce damage and increase Parry chance for a few seconds. 18 Shield Block – block everything for a few seconds.
81 Colossus Smash – Smash the target and cause followup attacks to bypass the enemy’s armor for a few seconds.  58 Meat Cleaver (P) – Whirlwind damage lets Raging Blow hit more targets. 26 Devastate – Replaces Sunder Armor – whack the opponent and weaken his armor.
 81 Shield Barrier absorbs a lot of damage, no shield required. 80 Inspiring Presence – your entire party gets +3% Versatility. 30 Revenge – Instantly whack up to three enemies, generates some rage, cooldown is reset when you parry or dodge.
83 Rallying Cry gives your entire party a 15 second health boost. 80 Mastery: Unshackled Fury (Passive) – More damage while enraged 38 Last Stand – Increase current and max health for a short time.
87 Recklessness increases crit chance and damage done for 10 seconds 81 Shield Barrier absorbs a lot of damage, no shield required.  48 Shield Wall lasts 8 seconds and provides 40% damage reduction.
90 Weapon Mastery gives +5% to your Mastery stat. 83 Rallying Cry gives your entire party a 15 second health boost.  56 Demoralizing Shout – Reduces the damage done by all enemies within a few yards by 20%.
87 Recklessness increases crit chance and damage done for 10 seconds 60 Bastion of Defense (P) – Increases black and dodge chance, reduces CD of Shield Wall.
90 Cruelty gives you +5% Crit. 76 Riposte you gain Parry rating equal to your Crit rating from your gear. 
80 Mastery: Critical Block (P) – increases your chance to block.
87 Mocking Banner taunts all enemies in the area.
90 Blood Craze – your Multistrike auto-attacks regenerate some health.
90 Shield Mastery gives +5% Mastery.


Stats and Gear

Stats that are more specific can be found on the individual guide pages. See the links at the top of the page.

Warlords of Draneor did away with Hit and Expertise. One the high level gear PvP and Resilience are both gone, though you can find them on lower level gear.

Two new stats were added, and a third for Tanks (Protection.) You won’t see any of these on gear until 90+ unless you get the highest level enchants and drop them on your lower level gear.

  • Bonus Armor (Tanks only) adds to both armor and Attack Power.
  • Multistrike gives you a chance to hit one or two (one chance in PvP) more times at 30% effect. Multistrikes can proc anything that a regular hit can and they can Crit.
  • Versatility is a direct add to damage, and healing that you do and it also adds to your damage reduction (at half value.)
  • More stats: These appear randomly and very infrequently on Draenor gear only. Count yourself lucky if you get a piece of gear with one and don’t count on ever being able to stack any, much less gem or enchant for them. The stats are: Avoidance, Leech, Indestructible (the item won’t take damage,) and Speed. Gem sockets are also random.

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.

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 Warlords of Draenor 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.

Mastery is a pretty good stat for any Warrior these days

Haste seems to be the least valuable stat for all Warriors, though it’s gotten some bumps.

Intellect, Spirit, and Agility  have no business being on any piece of your gear, ever.

For tanking duties see our Prot tanking guide.


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.



  • 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.
  • Versatility increased

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.
  • +1% Crit by day changes to +1% Haste by night.

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.
  • Bonus crit damage. 
  • 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 have a bit of extra Strength.

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 Rage cap.
  • Increased Engineering skill is interesting since there are several widgets created by Engies that are useful to Warriors.

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 10% 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.


  • 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.
  • Added Crit damage
  • 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 XP Vs beasts is useful for leveling.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Touch of the Grave a life draining ability (which also heals you) also gives you indefinite underwater breathing.


  • 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.
  • +1% to Crit rating.
  • Increased enchanting skill



In Warlords there are no professions bonuses. No special stat boosts that characters without the profession cannot get. The only profession that provides a stat buff, to yourself or anyone else, is cooking (such as +125 to Mastery or Crit or whatever.)

Professions now are for the gear and/or the gold. Most have something that can be used as starting raid/pvp gear or sold, such as ilevel 640 gear pieces. Leveling a profession can be done quickly and relatively easily once you get the Draenor version. Your Garrison profession hut and a follower working there both have advantages.

Some of the professions, eg: Engineering, have really useful items for leveling and world events. They’re not usable in raids, however (sigh.. no firing rockets at the boss…)

Blacksmithing and Engineering might be the most useful professions for Warriors.

Blacksmithing Mail and Plate armor (640) and weapons (630) and the items to both reroll stats and boost the items to 715 for the armor and 705 for the weapons. Keys for locks, though not Draenor locks. Your garrison follower can give you two nice buffs:

Engineering will let you create a number of useful items, such as rockets, shields, a stealth device, etc. These cannot be used in rated PvP, but that can be used elsewhere, such as World PvP or in Highmaul Coliseum.
Jewelcrafting Useful (ilevel 640) rings and neck items, the bits to reroll their stats and boost them to 715, pretty gems, gemmed mounts, some fun toys.
Inscription Glyphs, some trinkets, staves and caster weapons and the ability to reroll stats and boost those items to 705, fortune & Darkmoon cards, trinkets and boost them to 715, and more.
Alchemy Chemistry is fun, unfortunately you can’t make acids or bombs. You can make flasks and potions to boost stats and cause other interesting effects. You can also make a very nice DPS trinket: Draenic Philosopher’s Stone, requires Alchemy 500. This item is upgradable to 715 in 6.2.
Enchanting Enchant all those items and you can cast illusionary enchants. These are basically transmogs for your current enchant. Want your current enchant to look like an older one? Then this is for you. To do this you’ll need a level 2 Enchanter’s hut in your garrison and a follower working it.
Tailoring Cloth armor, flying carpet, murlock chew toy and allows you to make nets (Embersilk Net) and battle standards (such as: Fearsome Battle Standard)
Leatherworking will let you make entry level armor for raids (ilevel 640.) You can also make the items to reroll the stats and also to upgrade the items to 665, at a cost far exceeding that of the original piece. You can also make Drums of Fury for a Heroism type buff (25% Haste for 40 sec.) Through the Leatherworking hut in your Garrison you can make single use tents that will increase your agility by 10% for an hour, though not in raids or rated PvP.
Archeology will let you pick up ilevel 620 items, usable at 91, which are bind on account. One useful item, for you, is Warmaul of the Warmaul Chieftain. There are four items, but only the one is for you. Here‘s the list.
Skinning For gold gathering and for leatherworking
Herbalism For Inscription, Alchemy, and gold gathering
Mining Making gold and powering Blacksmithing and some engineering.


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


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 Responses to “A WoW Warrior Guide”

  1. 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.

    • 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. :)

    • 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. 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?

    • 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. 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?

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

    • 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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