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Arms Warrior Guide
The Gotwarcraft Arms Warrior Guide
for Cataclysm

Contents:

The Arms Warrior

Other Warrior Guides

 

Introduction to Arms

This page has been updated for Cataclysm patch 4.3

SMASH!

Arms is the tree to use when you want to carry a big weapon and SMASH! your opponent with massive damage.

Arms is the build of choice for PvP, with Fury falling behind. Arms also makes a very good DPS build for raiding and light tanking as well as a nice A of E leveling build. All in all, it's a pretty flexible tree.

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 it hits really hard is no small bonus.

 

This guide is simply intended to provide a general overview of the Arms Warrior class.

For a more in-depth and highly detailed resource on all Warriors, from leveling to PvP to Raiding to earning gold, check out the Killer Guides' Warrior guide.

 

The Quick Arms Warrior Guide

Race: Any race can be a Warrior 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

Stats:

  • 8% Hit > Strength > Crit > Mastery = Expertise > Haste
  • Yes, Hit before Str.
  • Reforge Haste to 8% hit, then to crit.
  • More about the numbers

Arms Build:

Professions:

  • Blacksmithing for two +50 (epic ) gems, which puts it 20 Str ahead of any other Prof.
  • Engineering because the Synapse Springs widget is on use, not random, perfect for burst.

Gems and Enchants:

Get Hit from gear and reforging. Gem for Str.

Pwnage

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Go to => Top - Quick guide - Race - Talents - PVE Build - PvP Build - Stats - Level Faster

 

Race Choice

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.

Oh, you want a little more detail, do you? Well, with WoW 4.0 any and all races can be Warriors...

Draenei - Ok, squidly, here you go:

  • +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.

Dwarf - Ok short stuff, here it is:

  • 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. It also lets you laugh at Rogues just a little louder.
  • Expertise with Maces is only useful if a mace is the best weapon available. Assuming it is then this ability will save a few points when setting your short self up for that end-game. Are youi big enough to use a two handed mace???
  • Archeology - you're kidding, right?

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

  • Shortness is a virture when other players try to click on targets. Not so much in PvE. Your healers will lose sight of you and you won't get healed.
  • Increased mana pool. Lol wut?
  • Expertise with daggers and small swords. Yes, you should have been a Rogue. Really.
  • Engineering skill increased. Bombs, man, BOMBS! Oh, wait, that's for Goblins... And Bikes! And Synapse Springs!

Human - The only real choice for Alliance Warriors.

  • Increased spirit. What?!? Warriors spit on Spirit! (and Int.)
  • Bonus to rep gains takes just a bit off that endless rep grinding edge. Get into that nice rep gear just that much sooner.
  • 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.

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...
  • More difficult to hit. Nice for Tanks, but for you? You like getting hit.
  • Faster movement when dead. Heh.

Worgen (Cataclysm only) - Butt bitting, snuffling, flea ridden, drooling... and that smell when they get wet...

  • +1% crit is good. You like crits.
  • Sprinting every three minutes is good.
  • Skinning? Why bother? The crit rating is hardly worth it and you can't skin Undead or Taurens.
  • Mostly for fans of the Twilight Saga and the Underworld trilogy.

 

Blood Elf - The attack of the swim suit models.

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

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.
  • Increased Haste for a engine of destruction, like you, is not at all a bad thing.
  • Alchemy skill makes for better potions, like those of Strength and ... Strength. Well, there's healing, too, but then there's Strength!

Orc - One of only two Horde choices for Warrior.

  • Enrage to increase damage. 'nuff said.
  • Resistance to stuff is always good and makes you just a bit more annoying to Rogues.
  • Damage done by pets is increased. Pets? You eat pets.
  • Increased expertise with axes and fist weapons? Well, if one of those 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. Deal with it.

  • 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 actually adds very little at the top end.

Troll - Technically, not a bad choice, but the looks, mon... They should stay with their chants and drugs, er... incense.

  • Berserk increases attack speed, which is not a bad thing for Arms and those big, sloooow weapons.
  • 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.
  • Throwing weapons and bows (and your increased crit chance with them) have their uses, I suppose, but only briefly. Of course, once you throw you bow, it's gone. Shrug. That's what Charge is for.
  • 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.
  • Underwater breathing is handy for all those Northrend underwater quests.

Go to => Top - Quick guide - Race - Talents - PVE Build - PvP Build - Stats - Level Faster

 

4.3 Patch Notes

Warrior PTR patch notes are here.

4.3: Warriors:

  • Charge (and related abilities) should now correctly path to a target even if the target moves during the Charge. This change should decrease the likelihood of the warrior Charging to a different location than the target.
  • Slam now uses a new character attack animation.
  • Colossus Smash now uses a new character attack animation.
  • Several Rage generating abilities now briefly interrupt rage decay when they are cast.
  • Talent Specializations: Arms
    • Mortal Strike now reduces the target’s healing received by 25%, up from 10%.

Go to => Top - Quick guide - Race - Talents - PVE Build - PvP Build - Stats - Level Faster

 

Arms Warrior Class Guide

Arms Warrior Talents and Builds for DPS, PvP, and Leveling

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.

  • At level 10 you'll get Mortal Strike as your main attack
  • You also get 2-handed weapon specialization
  • Anger Management is another specialization ability which allows for greater rage generation
  • Mastery: Strikes of Opportunity: Each melee attack has a chance to trigger an additional swing for 75% damage. Additional Mastery rating will increase this chance.

Keep in mind that you do not have to buy Bladestorm. You sepnd your 31 talent points in Arms anywhere and then you can move to the other trees. So if you feel that Bladestorm doesn't fit your style, then skip it and spend that last point elsewhere.

 

Arms Warrior DPS Build for Cataclysm (31, 7, 3)

This is not the absolute One Size Fits All build, but is a pretty good place to start. Move things around depending on your weapons, gear, preferences, and team members. You can also view this build here.

Arms (31 Points)
  1. War Academy - Rank 3/3 - Increases the damage of Mortal Strike, Raging Blow, Devastate, Victory Rush and Slam by 15%.
  2. Field Dressing - Rank 2/2 - Increases all healing received by 6%, and the effectiveness of your self-healing abilities by an additional 20%.

  3. Second Wind - Rank 2/2 - Whenever you are struck by a Stun or Immobilize effect you generate 20 rage and 5% of your total health over 10 sec.
  4. Deep Wounds - Rank 3/3 - Your critical strikes cause the opponent to bleed, dealing 48% of your melee weapon's average damage over 6 sec.

  5. Taste for Blood - Rank 3/3 - Increases your Overpower critical strike chance by 60%. In addition, whenever your Rend ability causes damage, you have a 100% chance of allowing the use of Overpower for 9 sec. This effect will not occur more than once every 5 sec.
  6. Sweeping Strikes - Rank 1/1 - Your melee attacks strike an additional nearby opponent. Lasts 10 sec.
  7. Impale - Rank 2/2 - Increases the critical strike damage bonus of Mortal Strike, Slam and Overpower by 20%.

  8. Improved Slam - Rank 2/2 - Decreases the swing time of Slam by 1 sec and increases its damage by 20%.
  9. Deadly Calm - Rank 1/1 - For the next 10 sec, none of your abilities cost rage, but you continue to generate rage. Cannot be used during Inner Rage.
  10. Blood Frenzy - Rank 2/2 - Your bleeds cause targets to take an extra 4% physical damage and 30% bleed damage. In addition, your autoattacks have a 10% chance to generate 20 additional rage.

  11. Lambs to the Slaughter - Rank 3/3 - Your Mortal Strike causes the Slaughter effect, which increases the damage of Execute, Overpower, Slam and Mortal Strike by 10%. Lasts 15 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.
  12. Juggernaut - Rank 1/1 - Your Charge ability is now usable while in combat and in all stances, and the duration of your Charge stun is increased by 2 sec. Following a Charge, your next Slam or Mortal Strike has an additional 25% chance to critically hit if used within 10 sec. However, Charge and Intercept now share a cooldown.
  13. Sudden Death - Rank 2/2 - Your melee hits have a 6% chance of resetting the cooldown on your Colossus Smash, and you keep 10 rage after using Execute.

  14. Wrecking Crew - Rank 2/2 - Your Mortal Strike critical hits have a 100% chance to Enrage you, increasing all damage caused by 10% for 12 sec.
  15. Throwdown - Rank 1/1 - Knocks the target to the ground and stuns it for 5 sec.

  16. Bladestorm - Rank 1/1 - You become a whirling storm of destructive force, instantly striking all nearby targets for 150% weapon damage and continuing to perform a whirlwind attack every 1 sec for 6 sec. While under the effects of Bladestorm, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed or disarmed, but you cannot perform any other abilities.
Fury (7 Points)
  1. Battle Trance - Rank 3/3 - Your Bloodthirst, Mortal Strike and Shield Slam hits have a 15% chance to make your next special attack that costs more than 5 rage consume no rage.
  2. Cruelty - Rank 2/2 - Increases the critical strike chance of Bloodthirst, Mortal Strike and Shield Slam by 10%.

  3. Executioner - Rank 2/2 - Your Execute hits have a 100% chance to improve your melee attack speed by 5% for 9 sec. This effect stacks up to 5 times.
Protection (3 Points)
  1. Incite - Rank 3/3 - Increases the critical strike chance of your Heroic Strike by 15%, and gives your Heroic Strike criticals a 100% chance to cause the next Heroic Strike to also be a critical strike. These guaranteed criticals cannot re-trigger the Incite effect.

Glyphs are learned permanently and can be swapped in and out as the situation demands. Use Dust of Disappearance if you're over 80 and Vanishing Power otherwise.

These are the suggested glyphs for this build. Swap them with others are the situations demands.

Prime Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Mortal Strike - Increases the damage of Mortal Strike by 10%.
  2. Glyph of Overpower - Increases the damage of Overpower by 10%.
  3. Glyph of Slam - Increases the critical strike chance of Slam by 5%.

Major Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Colossus Smash - Your Colossus Smash refreshes the duration of Sunder Armor stacks on a target.
  2. Glyph of Long Charge - Increases the range of your Charge ability by 5 yards.
  3. Glyph of Sweeping Strikes - Reduces the rage cost of your Sweeping Strikes ability by 100%.

Minor Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Battle - Increases the duration by 2 min and area of effect by 50% of your Battle Shout.
  2. Glyph of Berserker Rage - Berserker Rage generates 5 rage when used.
  3. Glyph of Command - Increases the duration by 2 min and area of effect by 50% of your Commanding Shout.

 

 

Arms Attack Rotation

A basic attack "rotation" is this:

  1. Maintain Rend,
  2. Prioritize Mortal Strike > Overpower.
  3. Heroic Strike as rage allows,
  4. and only Slam if you have an extreme excess of rage.
  5. When Execute becomes available: Keep using Mortal Strike to take advantage of the Lambs to the Slaughter talent, but otherwise spam Execute.

Go to => Top - Quick guide - Race - Talents - PVE Build - PvP Build - Stats - Level Faster

 

Cataclysm Arms Warrior PvP Build (34, 7, 0)

Some of the talents here are optional and that will be discussed at the end of the build. To view this build on WoWhead, click here. For a lot more Warrior PvP goodness see our PvP Warior Guide.

Arms (34 Points)

  1. War Academy - Rank 3/3 - Increases the damage of Mortal Strike, Raging Blow, Devastate, Victory Rush and Slam by 15%.
  2. Field Dressing - Rank 2/2 - Increases all healing received by 6%, and the effectiveness of your self-healing abilities by an additional 20%.
  3. Blitz - Rank 2/2 - Your Charge generates 10 additional rage and stuns an additional 2 nearby targets.

  4. Second Wind - Rank 2/2 - Whenever you are struck by a Stun or Immobilize effect you generate 20 rage and 5% of your total health over 10 sec.
  5. Deep Wounds - Rank 3/3 - Your critical strikes cause the opponent to bleed, dealing 48% of your melee weapon's average damage over 6 sec.
  6. Drums of War - Rank 1/2 - Reduces the rage cost of your Shield Bash, Pummel, and any shouts which cost rage by 50%.

  7. Taste for Blood - Rank 3/3 - Increases your Overpower critical strike chance by 60%. In addition, whenever your Rend ability causes damage, you have a 100% chance of allowing the use of Overpower for 9 sec. This effect will not occur more than once every 5 sec.
  8. Sweeping Strikes - Rank 1/1 - Your melee attacks strike an additional nearby opponent. Lasts 10 sec.
  9. Impale - Rank 2/2 - Increases the critical strike damage bonus of Mortal Strike, Slam and Overpower by 20%.

  10. Improved Slam - Rank 2/2 - Decreases the swing time of Slam by 1 sec and increases its damage by 20%.
  11. Deadly Calm - Rank 1/1 - For the next 10 sec, none of your abilities cost rage, but you continue to generate rage. Cannot be used during Inner Rage.
  12. Blood Frenzy - Rank 2/2 - Your bleeds cause targets to take an extra 4% physical damage and 30% bleed damage. In addition, your autoattacks have a 10% chance to generate 20 additional rage.

  13. Lambs to the Slaughter - Rank 3/3 - Your Mortal Strike causes the Slaughter effect, which increases the damage of Execute, Overpower, Slam and Mortal Strike by 10%. Lasts 15 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.
  14. Juggernaut - Rank 1/1 - Your Charge ability is now usable while in combat and in all stances, and the duration of your Charge stun is increased by 2 sec. Following a Charge, your next Slam or Mortal Strike has an additional 25% chance to critically hit if used within 10 sec. However, Charge and Intercept now share a cooldown.
  15. Sudden Death - Rank 2/2 - Your melee hits have a 6% chance of resetting the cooldown on your Colossus Smash, and you keep 10 rage after using Execute.

  16. Wrecking Crew - Rank 2/2 - Your Mortal Strike critical hits have a 100% chance to Enrage you, increasing all damage caused by 10% for 12 sec.
  17. Throwdown - Rank 1/1 - Knocks the target to the ground and stuns it for 5 sec.

  18. Bladestorm - Rank 1/1 - You become a whirling storm of destructive force, instantly striking all nearby targets for 150% weapon damage and continuing to perform a whirlwind attack every 1 sec for 6 sec. While under the effects of Bladestorm, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed or disarmed, but you cannot perform any other abilities.
Fury (7 Points)
  1. Blood Craze - Rank 3/3 - After taking any damage, you have a 10% chance to regenerate 3.0% of your total Health over 5 sec.
  2. Cruelty - Rank 2/2 - Increases the critical strike chance of Bloodthirst, Mortal Strike and Shield Slam by 10%.

  3. Rude Interruption - Rank 1/2 - Successfully interrupting a spell with Shield Bash or Pummel increases your damage by 5% for 15 sec.
  4. Piercing Howl - Rank 1/1 - Causes all enemies within 10 yards to be Dazed, reducing movement speed by 50% for 6 sec.
Protection (0 Points)
None

Glyphs are learned permanently and can be swapped in and out as the situation demands. Use Dust of Disappearance if you're over 80 and Vanishing Power otherwise.

These are the suggested glyphs for this build. Swap them with others are the situations demands.

Prime Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Mortal Strike (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage of Mortal Strike by 10%.
  2. Glyph of Bladestorm (Prime Glyph) - Reduces the cooldown on Bladestorm by 15 sec.
  3. Glyph of Overpower (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage of Overpower by 10%.

Major Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Piercing Howl (Major Glyph) - Increases the radius of Piercing Howl by 50%.
  2. Glyph of Sweeping Strikes (Major Glyph) - Reduces the rage cost of your Sweeping Strikes ability by 100%.
  3. Glyph of Long Charge (Major Glyph) - Increases the range of your Charge ability by 5 yards.

Minor Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Command (Minor Glyph) - Increases the duration by 2 min and area of effect by 50% of your Commanding Shout.
  2. Glyph of Battle (Minor Glyph) - Increases the duration by 2 min and area of effect by 50% of your Battle Shout.
  3. Glyph of Demoralizing Shout (Minor Glyph) - Increases the duration by 15 sec and area of effect by 50% of your Demoralizing Shout.

Notes:

The optional talents taken were these:

  • 2/2 Blitz has less utility in 2v2, but more rage is always good. With 4.1 Charge will no longer have diminishing returns on the stun. Juggernaut makes this a 3.5 sec stun on three targets.
  • 1/2 Rude Interruption for the AP increase and extra interrupts are always good.
  • 1/2 Drums of War reduces rage cost of useful abilities.

Other Possibilities:

  • Improved Hamstring gives you a nice root.
  • Tactical Mastery saves rage if you do a lot of stance switching.

 

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Go to => Top - Quick guide - Race - Talents - PVE Build - PvP Build - Stats - Level Faster

 

Stats, Skills, and Gear

This section is dedicated to covering the numerous different stats you may wish to stack, hit rating, STR, crit, weapon expertise, etc.

Your Stat Priorities:

DPS

  1. Get 8% Hit. More than that is wasted.
  2. Strength
  3. Crit
  4. Mastery = Expertise
  5. Haste.
  6. Reforging for DPS:
    • Haste is reforged into Hit if you're below the Hit cap,
    • If you're at the hit cap then reforge into Crit if you're not approaching the soft crit cap (65% on auto attacks),
    • otherwise reforge Haste into Expertise or Mastery.

PVP

  1. 5% hit cap
  2. Otherwise same as for DPS.

PvP builds & Some PVP Tips

  • 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 a bunch more here.

  • Intervene: Allows you to Intervene a friendly player without losing your target. You can also Intervene with the same button just by targeting who you want to Intervene.

    /cast [nostance:2] Defensive Stance; [help] Intervene; target=targettarget, help] Intervene

  • Intercept/Intercept Focus - Intercepts your target. If used in combination with the shift key it will Intercept your Focus target.

    #showtooltip Intercept
    /cast [target=focus, modifier:shift] Intercept; Intercept

  • If you are in combat this will ensure you are in Berseker stance and intercept. If you are out of combat it will ensure you are in Battle stance and charge. The icon will change to whatever skill is to be used.

    #show [combat] Intercept; Charge
    /cast [stance:1/2,combat] Berserker Stance; [stance:3,combat] Intercept; [stance:2/3,nocombat] Battle Stance; [stance:1,nocombat] Charge
    /stopcasting

For in-depth tactics for every class, and how to kill them, you need a more detailed guide. To achieve PvP mastery with your warrior your need to know your character in detail and the other guy's character.

Grabbing our recommended PvP guide will be a huge step towards that goal.



Go to => Top - Quick guide - Race - Talents - PVE Build - PvP Build - Stats - Level Faster

 

Enchants

Basically you should get your enchants based on the priorities above.

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.

Gems

Arms priotizes Hit, then Str, but you should get the Hit from your gear and reforging and 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.

 

1-85 Arms Warrior Leveling Guide

Ok, you're not yet 85. Maybe you're even level 1. Have a plan to hit 85 ASAP and get into that end-game content? Or will you just aimlesslay wander about the world? To make your job a lot easier you should consider a full blown 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.

Zygor's Guide nearly automates the whole leveling path, from start to finish, for your Warrior. Carve your way through the world and the Cataclysm content at a surpisingly 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. Heck, Zygor's will even clean up your obsolete quests for you.

It doesn't matter if you're brand new to WoW or you're decked out in Heirlooms and using Recruit a Friend, Zygor's will get you to 85 faster. Grab your copy of Zygor's Guide here or read our review.

 

 

 
 

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