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The Gotwarcraft Arms Warrior Guide

Updated for Mists of Pandaria, with gems and enchants


Arms had traditionally been the spec of choice for PvP, with Fury and Protection falling well behind. In Mists of Pandaria this might also be true, but the new talent system (see below) might even things out a bit.

Arms also makes a very good DPS spec for raiding and light tanking as well as a being very nice for leveling. All in all, it’s a pretty flexible.

Some will say that Arms falls behind Fury for raid DPS. Others differ, saying that the two are comparable. Most agree that Arms DPS requires a lot more attention than Fury to generate comparable numbers.

Some find arms warriors to be incredibly enjoyable simply as a breath of fresh air after playing dedicated Fury (while leveling, for example.) It’s always nice to switch around attack rotations and see something different for once. Also, as mentioned above, Arms requires a little more attention to use properly, which is a nice change from Fury.

That Arms hits really hard is no small bonus.


The Arms Warrior

Other Warrior Guides

Undead Arms Warrior Looking for War
Undead Arms Warrior, Looking for a fight.


Mists of Pandaria Patch Notes

All current patch notes are here.

There are a few changes coming for Warriors in Mists of Pandaria

  • Warriors can no longer equip or even use ranged weapons.
  • Prime glyphs are dead.
  • Talents, as they were in Cataclysm, have been removed.
  • The old talents, abilities, and glyphs have been completely reworked. Some are dead and some of been rolled into the new abilities and talents.
  • Some of the old talents have become abilities and some abilities have been shifted around.
    • All Warriors share a set of abilities, as they did in Cata (eg: All Warriors can Charge.)
    • Each spec gets a set of abilities, learned as you level (not from our trainer,) unique to your spec.
    • There are now 18 total talents, divided into 6 tiers of three each. You get to pick just one from each tier and the tiers are obtained at levels 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90. You will have 6 “talents” at level 90. Any Warrior spec can pick any of the talents.
    • Lastly, there are no points to be spent on talents. No more will you spend 1 – 3 points on any given talent. When you pick it you have the whole thing, just as if were an ability.

Amazon has Mists of Pandaria available for purchase.



A Quick Arms Warrior Guide

Race: Any race can be a Warrior, including Pandarena, and all offer something to one or another part of the class. Play what you want, but if you insist on “the best race:”

  • Alliance PvP: Human (escape allows two DPS trinkets, plus expertise.)
  • Alliance DPS: Draenei (hit and heal;) Worgen (Crit and Sprint)
  • Horde PvP: Orc (Blood Fury, stun resist;) Tauren (Stun, Stam)
  • Horde DPS: Orc
  • More about race


  • 7.5% Hit  (3% for PvP) > Strength > Crit > Mastery = Expertise > Haste >>excess Hit = excess Expertise
  • Yes, Hit before Str.
  • Reforge Haste to hit, then to crit.
  • More about the numbers

Arms Build:


  • Blacksmithing for two of the best gems
  • Engineering because the Synapse Springs widget is on use, not random, perfect for burst.
  • Alchemy for lots of useful potions.

Gems and Enchants:

Get Hit from gear and reforging. Gem for Str.

  • Bold gems for Str, M of P gems start at ilevel 417
  • Mystic gems for PvP Resilience
  • Spell Penetration has been replaces with PvP Power. Look for stormy gems.
  • More gems and enchants


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Arms Warrior Talents

These are the talents for Warriors in Mists of Pandaria. Any spec of any warrior can pick any one talent from any row, for six talents at 90.

Changing talents is easy and works just lick changing glyphs. Bring up your talent page in-game, click the row you want to change, spend the indicated dust/powder/tome, and pick the new talent. Your trainer can also reset talents.

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.
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, however, you can be disarmed and you can only perform shout abilities. Shockwave – Area stun in a cone in front of you. More stunage is always a good thing. Bladestorm would be a good choice for heavy A of E fights. 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.


Arms Warrior Abilities

Abilities are now learned as you level, there is no need to visit your trainer.

All Warriors have a common set of abilities, here, and a set of abilities unique to their spec. Note the Overpower abilities.

Other notes: 

  • All abilities can be used in any stance, though they may work better in a particular stance. You will likely be using Battle Stance most of the time, for the Rage generation value.
  • Bladestorm is now a talent
  • Rend is gone and Mortal Strike automatically applies Mortal Wounds and Deep Wounds. Your Thunderclap ability also applies Deep Wounds.
Arms Spec Abiltites
10 Mortal Strike – Your basic strike, causes Mortal Wounds on the target, as well as Deep Wounds.
10 Seasoned Soldier (Passive) – More damage with 2 handers.
18 Slam – Instant whack.
26 Whirlwind – Attack everything within 8 years.
30 Overpower – Instantly overpower the enemy causing damage, with greatly increased chance to be a critical strike. Only usable after the target dodges.
50 Plate Specialization (Passive) – More Str is your reward for weaing all plate.
50 Taste for Blood (Passive) – Your Mortal Strike also enables the use of Overpower and those Overpower hits have a chance to enable the use of an additional Overpower and increase the damage of your next Heroic Strike or Cleave.
60 Sweeping Strikes – Your melee strike hit an addition opponent.
80 Mastery: Strikes of Opportunity (Passive) – Chence for your melee attack to trigger an additional attack.
81 Sudden Death (Passive) – Melee hit have a 20% chance to refresh the CD on Clossus Smash.

For more detail on Arms rotations and PvP/PvE specific info see these pages:


Race Choice

Female Pandaren Warrior
Female Pandaren Warrior

Alliance – Human is the only way to go for a Warrior. The others are… the rest, you know?

Horde – Undead or Orc. As with Ally the rest are, well, the rest. 😉

Any and all races can be Warriors, including the Mists of Pandaria Pandaren.

The details:


  • Can choose either Horde or Alliance upon leaving the starting area.
  • Can stun opponents for 4 seconds with a hand strike. Arms can always use another stun, right?
  • “Bouncy” results in taking less falling damage
  • Rest XP lasts longer than for other races
  • Food buffs have greater effect
  • Good with Cooking

Alliance Races

Draenei – Tentacles??? Massively muscles males make humans look puny.

  • +1 to hit, self-only. As Arms you don’t need a lot of hit, but this will still help with gearing choices for the end game.
  • Self heal – a nice little Heal over Time which you can use on others. Not that, as Arms, you’ll be thinking about anything other than smashing in the other guy’s head, but the heal is still there.
  • Good with Herbalism. This skill provides a heal and a haste effect.

Dwarf – The butt of short jokes everywhere.

  • Stone Form reduces damage by 10% and washes away bleeds and such, which is pretty nice since you have no other way to do that.
  • Expertise with Ranged has no value for you.
  • Good with Archeology – a nice way to pass the time while waiting for the war to start.

Gnome – truly the runts of the litter. Prone to being punted by everything else in the game. Except Goblins.

  • Shortness is a virtue (in PvP) when other players try to click on targets and it makes it just a bit easier to be missed when they’re looking for you.
  • Expertise with daggers and small swords is of no use to Arms.
  • Engineering skill increased. Bombs, man, BOMBS! Oh, wait, that’s for Goblins… And Bikes! And Synapse Springs! Lots of goodies here.

Human – The only real choice for Alliance Warriors.

  • Bonus to rep gains takes just a bit off that endless rep grinding edge. Get into that nice rep gear just that much sooner. Mists of Pandaria will add plenty of new Factions to gain rep with.
  • Expertise with swords and maces saves a few points when gearing for the end-game.
  • PvP escape trinket ability allows using the PvP trinket slot for something that adds Strength or DPS.

Night Elf – Your only other choice if you just can’t be Human.

  • They look better in gear than any other race. Especially gnomes.
  • Fade into the shadows… why? To ambush Rogues? Not a bad idea…  Use it like a cheap Vanish. Shadowmeld will drop aggro in PvE situations, which has some use in instances as it will give the tank a chance to reacquire it and maybe even save your butt if things go bad.
  • More difficult to hit. Nice for Tanks, but for you? You like getting hit.
  • Faster movement when dead. Heh.

Worgen (Cataclysm only) – All dog jokes aside, Worgen really look the part.

  • +1% crit is good. You like crits.
  • Sprinting every three minutes is good stuff. Moe movement is always good.
  • Skinning’s a pretty good cash skill and Worgens do it better.  The skill provides a small crit rating bonus. Unfortunately you can’t skin Taurens.
  • Wags might say that the Wargen are mostly for fans of the Twilight Saga and the Underworld trilogy.

Horde Races

Blood Elf – Best hair, bar none, and look good in swim suits.

  • You have the best hair in the game. Just stop brushing it in the middle of a fight, ok?
  • Arcane Torrent is a very useful area interrupt and silence, it also restores a bit of rage.

Goblin – backstabbing, gnome biting, salesmen… Prone to being punted by everything else in the game. Except Gnomes.

  • Rocket jump is a nice entry into the fight if your charge is unavailable. Some classes use it as an escape, but that would never cross your mind, right?
  • Rocket launcher is sort of the raspberry of attack abilities. Useful for pulling stuff while leveling. A gun or bow is better. Since your ranged weapons are going away in Mists of Pandaria the Rocket Launcher might be a decent way to pull mobs.
  • Increased Haste for a engine of destruction, like you, is not a bad thing, even if Haste isn’t your best stat.
  • Alchemy skill makes for better potions, like those of Strength and … Strength. Well, there’s Healing and Crit, too, but who needs those?

Orc – One of only two Horde choices for Warrior.

  • Enrage to increase damage. ’nuff said. Add this to a macro, perhaps along with an “on use” trinket.
  • Resistance to stuns is always good and makes you just a bit more annoying to Rogues.
  • Damage done by pets is increased, well, it would be if you used pets and it won’t apply to your Mists of Pandaria pet battles.
  • Increased expertise with axes and fist weapons? Well, if a giant axe is the best weapon, then cool, and it’ll save a few points at the end-game.

Tauren – You’re a giant fuzzy cow-thing with a ring in your nose, but the Pandaren are cuter.

  • War Stomp has its uses in PvP and a few PvE situations. It’s an Area stun, which is just the thing when the opposition needs to hold still for a sec (or stop casting.)
  • Increased max health is good, but it doesn’t scale well at the top end.
  • Skilled with Herbalism

Troll – are they too laid back from Arms? Should the tusks be weapons?

  • Berserk increases attack speed, which is not a bad thing for Arms and those big, sloooow weapons. Add it to a macro with a trinket of some “on use” ability for greater mayhem.
  • Regeneration is increased (out of combat,) but you’ll probably never notice it. Get a Troll’s Blood potion instead.
  • Damage increase Vs Beasts is great when leveling, and useful for some PvE trash. Unfortunately, Gnomes (and Worgen) don’t really count as beasts. Sorry.
  • Ranged weapons have gone away in Mists of Pandaria, so the Troll Ranged Expertise is no use to you.
  • Reduced duration on”movement impairing effects” has it’s uses. Mostly in PvP, but sometimes elsewhere.

Undead – The only other choice for Horde Warriors.

  • No offensive abilities, other than a graveyard stench, but you just look the part, ya know?
  • The ability to remove fear, sleep, and charm is always nice in PvP, and comes in handy every now and then in PvE.
  • Consuming corpses is required in PvP. Just to rub it in. Especially with those pretty elves and scruffy Worgen. It also frees up that bag slot that you’d otherwise use for food.
  • Underwater breathing is gone, it’s been replaces with a drain life (& heal) ability Touch of the Grave.

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Arms Warrior Talents and Builds for DPS &  PvP

If you’re looking for an Arms leveling build (and Arms levels just fine) then see our Warrior Leveling page.

Mortal Strike is an odd spec for raiding, one once considered rather pathetic in comparison to fury warriors, and thus left for the PvP fanatics. Things have changed, and with that Arms warriors have once again become viable for endgame raids due to a number of factors.

The increase in damage becomes apparent the further you go into raiding, the raid-wide damage improvement from Blood Frenzy shifting it entirely in the Arms warriors favor, more so given the generally limited slots DPS warriors are allowed, if any.

However, this build is far more attention and skill intensive, requiring you to maximize every hit in order to achieve the true DPS potential of the build.  A single miss is far more devastating with Arms due to the slow hit rate as opposed to fury where this can generally be ignored.

Additionally, being slow on the draw for Slam or Mortal strike can terribly gimp your DPS, this will likely happen more than a few times when first raiding as MS, but you’ll either eventually get the hang of it or switch to Fury.



Stats, Skills, and Gear

Undead Warrior in Season 11 gear

This section is dedicated to covering the numerous different stats you may wish to stack.

Your Stat Priorities:

  • Primary Stat: Strength, way before anything else.
  • Secondary: HIt & Expertise > Crit
    • 3% Hit Vs same level (eg: PvP)
    • 4.5 Vs +1
    • 6 Vs +2
    • 7.5% Vs +3 (raid bosses.)
  • Weak: Mastery >= Haste >>> excess Hit and Expertise (both are useless.)
Hit  is #1, without it your big, slooooow 2-hander misses and you do nothing.
Expertise eliminates dodges, dodged strikes do no damage.
Mastery generates extra strikes, but falls well behind the others.
Haste is no longer as bad as it used to be (in Cata,) since it now helps with white damage.
Arms PvE Gear

  1. PvE weapons, here
  2. PvE Armor, here
  3. PvE amulets, trinkets, etc., here
Arms PvP Gear

  • Two Handed PvP Weapons – here.
  • PvP Armor is here
  • Jewelry and trinkets, here

PvP  Tips

  • More tips on the Warrior Page.
  • Learn to use your hot keys. Remap the default bindings so that they make sense to you. Some people use a special keypad, such as the Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard
  • Move around with the WASD (or ESDF) keys and put your hotkeys within easy reach of your moevement keys. Use the mouse to turn.
  • Stuns, bleeds, and hamstrings are your friends.
  • Make friends with your friendly, neighborhood healer. You’ll be unstoppable.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

Arms Warrior PvP Macros

Various Warrior macros. There are others here.

This section was slain due to Mists changes and will return later.




Arms Warrior Enchants

Basically you should get your enchants based on the priorities above. Str > Crit > Mastery. M of P enchants require an item level of 372+.

Short on gold? Most of the enchants below have similar enchants available, of lesser value, for less cash. We’ve linked to a couple of these. Check with the rep vendor or the Auction House for others. If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.

MoP = Mists of Pandaria, anything not marked as such as a Cata enchant.

Arms Warrior Gems

You should get Hit and stats from your gear and reforging and then gem for Str. If you can’t afford the epic gems then it’s not a big loss to drop down to the next best gems. Note that the Mists of Pandaria (MoP) gems are a bit better than their Cataclysm counterparts. Upgrade as soon as you can. If you want to buy the best gems, enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing that situation.


Leveling Your Arms Warrior Even Faster

Blast through the levels to 90

Ok, you’re not yet high enough level to raid or do the Arenas. Maybe you’re even level 1. Have a plan to hit the level cap ASAP and get into that yummy end-game content? Or will you just aimlesslay wander about the world, trying to decide where to go next?

To make your job a lot easier you should consider an expert leveling guide for your 1-85 blast. You will never again wonder about where to go or what to do and your leveling will be faster, much faster.

Dugi’s  nearly automates the whole leveling path, from start to finish, for your Warrior. Carve your way through the world and the content at a surprisingly crisp pace. Pick your starting point and the guide automatically updates and advances as you complete quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically, and includes the important quest info.

Take a break to do some PvP leveling, instances, or whatever and when you come back to the guide it will figure out what level you are and pick up from there. Automatically. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to WoW or you’re decked out in Heirlooms and using Recruit a Friend, Dugi will get you to the level cap faster. Grab your copy here and get leveled!

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