A WoW Warrior Guide

The Warrior

Human WarriorFor 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)

Warrior Overview Contents:

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

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.

Undead Warrior, level 45Either 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 decision 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 all of these pages we will not be looking at the “flavor of the minute” topics. The Flavor of the minute game will continue through every expansion until the Gods decide that they are done with Azeroth, so we’ll be a bit conservative here.

Warrior Talents

You can change your specialization (spec) any time you are out of combat. Change from Fury to Arms for that PvP you’re doing, then to Protection to tank that dungeon, then back to Fury to just grind some Mobs or let someone else tank the dungeon.

To change your actual talents you need to be in a “rested XP” area, such as the big city or an inn, or you can use something like a tome of the clear mind. Your talent picks will depend on what you want to do. Smash the heads of other players? Crush mobs and NPCS? Clean out dungeons and raids? Just level up? We’ll show you the picks and tell you why we think they’re good.

To see the various talents appropriate to various situation, click through to any of these pages:

Basic Warrior Abilities

This first set of abilities are shared by all specs and include all of the basics, such as Charge.

1 Parry (Passive) lets you deflect attacks
3 Charge headlong into combat, rooting your opponent and generating some Rage.
5 Victory Rush damages the enemy and heals you. Usable after a kill.
13 Taunt – “Yo Mama is sooo fat…”
17 Heroic Throw lets you toss your weapon at something to get it’s attention. Basically a taunt.
24 Pummel him to interrupt his spell casting.
26 Heroic Leap lets you leap to a point up to 40 yards away and damage the targets there. If you are Protection then this action resets your taunt ability.
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. Prot Warriors get more Stamina instead.
44 Berserker Rage removes fear, incapacitates, and Sap, and renders you immune to same, for 6 seconds.
70 Intimidating Shout causes your target to cower and up to five enemies to Run Away!! Targets are also disoriented.
80 Rallying Cry gives the entire party a short (15 sec) boost to their health.

Warrior Abilities by Spec

Each spec gets a set of unique abilities. P = Passive ability

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.

Seasoned Soldier (1, P) – More Rage from your Auto Attack crits.

Slam (1) just a nice, sold, whack. At 28+ refunds some rage if the enemy is not killed by the strike.

Execute (8) When the enemy is at 20% or less health you can attempt to finish the bugger off, at level 28+ you get some Rage back if your opponent survives the hit.

Mortal Strike (10) Your basic strike, but also reduces healing received by the target for 10 seconds. Esp. nice for PvP.

Overpower (20) cannot be blocked, dodged, or parried and adds damage to your next Mortal Strike.

Sweeping Strikes (22) lets your strikes also hit one nearby target for 3/4 damage.

Hamstring (32) makes him run at half speed for 15 seconds.

Tactitian (34) gives you a chance to reset the remaining cooldown on Overpower.

Die by the Sword (36) For a brief time (8 seconds) you have massively increased Parry chance and take less damage.

Whirlwind (40) Attack everything within 8 yards.

Colossus Smash (50) Smash the target and cause followup attacks to do increased damage for 10 seconds.

Deep wounds (55) adds a bleed to your Mortal Strike and Execute.

Bladestorm (65) caused you to whirl around for 6 seconds, smashing everything in range, and granting immunity to snares and similar effects.

Mastery: Deep Wounds (78) causes more bleeding from your Deep Wound empowered strikes, also your Bladestorm now inflicts Deep wounds.

Dual Wield (1) lets you dual wield one handed weapons. You’ll get the 2-handers at level 10.

Execute (8) When the enemy is at 20% or less health you can attempt to finish the bugger off, at level 28+ it does 50% more damage.

Bloodthirst 10) is your Basic attack, small heal, high chance to crit.

Titan’s Grip (10) allows you to dual wield 2-handed weapons.

Rampage (12) enrages you and unleashes four hard strikes against the target.

Enrage (14) gives you increased damage, haste, and movement speed for 4 seconds.

Raging Blow (20) mighty blow after becoming enraged. Two charges and might reset its own, very short, cooldown.

Piercing Howl (32) slows all nearby enemies by half.

Enraged Regeneration (36) is usable while stunned, reduces damage by 30%, increases Bloodthirst healing by 20%, and lasts 8 seconds.

Whirlwind (40) Attacks everything within 8 yards and, at 55+, causes you next to single target strikes to hit additional targets (up to 4) for half damage. Generates a bit of Rage.

Berserker Rage (44) removes Fear, Sap, and similar effects for 6 seconds. 1 min. cooldown.

Recklessness (50) increases crit chance and Rage regeneration for 10 seconds. 

Mastery: Unshackled Fury (78) – More damage while enraged

Vanguard (1) gives you +45% Stam and extra armor equal to 60% of your Strength.

Devastate (10) is a nice hard whack.

Shield Slam – (10) whack with shield, generates rage. At 34+ your Revenge, Devastate, and Thunder Clap have a chance to reset this cooldown.

Thunder Clap (14) blasts all nearby enemies and slows them.

Shield Block (20) blocks everything for a few seconds and increases Shield Slam damage while active. At 78+ these blocks can be critical blocks.

Revenge (22) Instantly whack up to three enemies and the cooldown is reset when you parry or dodge.

Intercept (28) lets you charge an enemy, doing some damage and rooting it for a second, or protect an ally by taking the next strike targeting them. Generates 15 Rage.

Last Stand (32) Increase current and max health for a short time.

Ignore Pain (36) ignores 50% of damage taken.

Berserker Rage (44) removes Fear, Sap, and similar effects for 6 seconds. 1 min. cooldown.

Demoralizing Shout (48) Reduces the damage done by all enemies within a few yards by 20%.

Shockwave (50) stuns enemies in a cone in front of you for 2 seconds and does a bit of damage.

Shield Wall (55) lasts 8 seconds and provides 40% damage reduction. 4 min. cooldown.

Spell Reflection (70) reflects one spell and reduces spell damage. Lasts 5 seconds or until a spell is reflected.

Mastery: Critical Block (P) – increases your chance to block and your attack power.

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. On the high level gear PvP and Resilience are both gone, though you can find them on lower level gear.

Female Pandaren Warrior
Female Pandaren Warrior

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. Naturally, the value of Strength will vary with the expansion, your level, and your gear, but it’a always good.

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. 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

Versatility is a direct add to damage, and healing that you do and it also adds to your damage reduction (at half value.)

Haste has traditionally been the least valuable stat for all Warriors, though it’s gotten some bumps.

More stats: 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.

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

Warrior Races

With Cataclysm, any race could become a Warrior. Even Goblins. Various other races since Cataclysm have also joined the Warrior class. But of course, the only real choices for Warrior are Human, Night Elf, Orc, and Undead. The rest are…just the rest. 😉

Pandarian

They get to choose whether they will join the Horde or the Alliance, once they leave the starting area.

  • Your Inner Peace gives you improved Rest XP makes for faster leveling.
  • Being bouncy you take less falling damage, which can be useful.
  • With a quick strike of their Quaking Palm they can stun an opponent for 4 seconds.
  • Pandarens get better buffs from food with the Epic ability
  • Naturally you’re good with cooking, via their cooking ability.

Alliance Warrior Racials

Draenei:

Winners of the interstellar bodybuilding contests. All of them.

  • The Gift of the Naru (a Heal Over Time for 20% of your health) acts as a secondary bandage every 3 minutes and, like a bandage, it can also heal an ally. Any Warrior heal is a good thing.
  • You have the extra Strength, from Heroic Presence, that one might think you’d have from the body-building work. This strength scales up as you level.
  • Your skill at gemcutting gives you +10% to your Jewelcrafting skill.

Lightforged Draenei:

  • Your passion for killing demons (demonbane) is reflected in your earning an extra 20% experience from that action.
  • You have two area effect attacks, Light’s Judgement and Light’s Reckoning. The former lets you call down a strike onto enemies close to you, with a three second delay. Reckoning causes you to unleash the Light upon dying, damaging enemies within 8 yards and healing any allies for the same amount.

Dwarf:

  • Your Might of the Mountain ability increases the damage and healing from your critical strikes by 2%
  • and you can become one with the stone via your Stoneform. This removes all poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects and reduces all physical damage taken by 10% for 8 sec. Cooldown is 2 minutes.
  • You are also an explorer and so are better at Archeology than others.

Dark Iron Dwarf

  • Your Fireblood removes all poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects, just like your Dwarven “brethren,” but your ability increases your primary stat (Agility) by 600(!) (scales with level) +200 for for each additional effect removed. Lasts 8 sec. with a 2 min cooldown.
  • You’re a tunnel dweller and Dungeon Delver and you’ve learned how to move 4% faster while indoors, plus your people have the Mole Machines: While outdoors you can summon a Mole Machine that tunnels through the earth and can pop you up in a variety of places.

Gnome

Mechagnome

  • Hyper Organic Light Originator summons a couple of images of you to distract your foes. Added DPS or use it to give yourself a moment to set something up. See it in action here.
  • And you get some Racial Passives:
    • Combat Analysis: You gather and analyze combat data every 5 sec, increasing your Strength by 25, stacking up to 10 times. The data decays while out of combat.
    • Mastercraft: You function as a personal Blacksmithing Anvil, Cooking Fire, and Mining Forge. In addition, your limbs include every profession tool.
    • Emergency Failsafe: When you fall below 20% health, heal for 15% of your maximum health. This effect cannot occur more than once every 2.5 min.
    • Skeleton Pinkie: Allows opening of locked chests and doors on a level similar to yours.

Human

  • Your Every Man for Himself ability removes all stun effects (no other effects are removed,) so is something like a PvP trinket. This effect shares a 90 sec cooldown with other similar effects.
  • The Human Spirit: You gain 2% more of all secondary stats (Haste, Critical Strike, Mastery, Versatility) from all sources.
  • And since you are skilled at Diplomacy you have a faster rep gain with everyone than does any other race.

Kul Tiran

  • Wind up, then unleash your mighty Haymaker upon your foe. Doesn’t hurt much, but does stun then for 3 sec and knocks them back substantially. (Just picturing this one sneaking up and then SMASH! as the opener…)  2.5 minute cooldown. Knock him back then Charge.
  • Brush It Off – Increases Versatility by 1%. When you take damage, heal for 2% of that amount over 4 sec.
  • Your Child of the Sea ability lets you swim a bit faster and hold your breath longer than anyone who is not Undead.

Night Elf

  • Shadowmeld: Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until cancelled or upon moving. Any threat is restored versus enemies still in combat upon cancellation of this effect. You can also S’meld and then Stealth. Against certain spells, if you have really good timing, you can S’meld after it’s cast and then dodge it.
  • A bit more Dodge and movement speed (2% of each,) via your quickness.
  • Touch of Elune gives you a bit more Crit by day and Haste by night.

Void Elf

  • Your abilities have a chance to empower you with the essence of the Void, Entropic Embrace, which increases your damage by 5% for 12 sec. It has a 33% proc chance with 60 seconds internal cooldown. Nothing like a bit of Void energy added to your attacks, right?
  • Spatial Rift: Tear a rift in space. Reactivate this ability to teleport through the rift. 30 yd range. 3 min cooldown. You can activate this, then change direction, hit it again, and be back to the original spot.

Example: Mobs chasing you? Fire it to one side of a rock/pillar/hill and run to the other side. When you hit it, you will portal through the rock and the mobs will have to run the long way round. The rift can’t go through solid objects but you certainly can. Even on flat ground, if you run at right angles to the line of fire, you can portal a fair distance. Put it up at the edge of a cliff and jump off, then port back. Experiment with it. 

Worgen

  • Your Altered Form allows you to switch between your human and Worgan forms and your Two Forms lets you turn into your currently inactive form.
  • Then your Darkflight activates your true form, increasing current movement speed by an additional 40% for 10 sec. Always nice to have an extra Sprint.
  • You also have your Running Wild ability, where you drop to all fours to run as fast as a wild animal.

The Horde Warrior Racials:

Orc

  • Enrage (Blood Fury) to increase damage every 2 min, which is generally useful and quite nice for leveling. Drop this into a macro to use right after your opener (since it breaks stealth.)
  • Your Hardiness makes you resistant to stuns (20% shorter duration, about 1 second off a 5 second stun) – Useful in PvP, but also nice at times while leveling/raiding.

Tauren

  • Your mighty Endurance gives you a 5% increase to base health, which is pretty nice for any melee class, such as you.
  • 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 (not crit chance.)
  • Tauren are good with Herbalism (and said Herbalism provide a Haste effect along with a nice heal.)

HighMountain Tauren

  • Bull Rush is a short (6 yard) charge forward that knocks those enemies down.
  • Being versatile they get +1% Versatility (link) and they also take a bit less damage (link.) Both are nice passives for any Warrior.

Troll

  • Berserking increases your Haste by 15% – Generally useful, since it reduces cooldowns and gives you faster energy regeneration.
  • You get a 20% XP increase when Beast slaying. This only applies to beasts, not humanoids or other non-beasts. You’ll be chopping up lots of beasts while leveling, so this is a nice bonus.
  • Do Voodoo Shuffle gives you a nice 20% reduced duration of movement impairing effects, such as snares, slows, etc. Not stuns or anything else.

Zandalari TrollPick your Loa.

  • Your Embrace of the Loa ability allows you which Loa you are associated with. 5 day cooldown.
    • Embrace of Akunda – Your healing abilities have a chance to heal their target. A Warrior, with healing abilities? Hmmm…
    • Embrace of Bwonsamdi – Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal Shadow damage and heal you for 100% of the damage done. Pretty good general ability.
    • Embrace of Gonk – Increase movement speed by 5%.
    • Embrace of Kimbul – Your damaging abilities have a chance to cause the target to bleed over 6s. This effect stacks up to 3 times. More damage is always good.
    • Embrace of Krag’wa – Taking damage has a chance to grant you additional Health and 66 Armor. God tanking ability.
    • Embrace of Pa’ku – Your abilities have a chance to grant you +4% critical strike for 12 seconds. Live by the crit? This is for you.
  • Regeneratin’ – Regenerate 100% of your maximum health over 6 sec, interrupted by damage. 2.5 min cooldown.
  • Pterrordax Swoop – Slows your fall for two minutes. Time for some serious cliff jumpin’.

Blood Elf – Debuff and a bit more Crit. 

  • Your Arcane Torrent removes one beneficial effect from any nearby enemies (8 yards) and restores 15 Rage. 2 minute cooldown.
  • And your Arcane Acuity gives you a bit more crit (1%.)
  • Naturally your Arcane Affinity gives you +10% to the Enchanting skill.

Undead – Remove Fear and such, drain life, eat dead enemies.

  • Your Will of the Forsaken removes fear, sleep, and charms. Definitely useful in PvP and of occasional use elsewhere.
  • Your Touch of the Grave is a passive ability that will add a small amount to your overall damage and self-healing.
  • Cannibalism is a nice “in your face” ability for PvP and eliminates the need to use a bag slot for regular food (you’ll want to keep any foods that provide buffs.) Just go full zombie mode and eat what you kill. Humanoids only.

Goblinleap away, rockets, a bit of Haste 

  • Can rocket jump forward, or away, so is a bit like the hunter ability disengage. It breaks your Stealth.
  • Speaking of rockets… Rocket Barrage!!! The perfect Goblin ability. Can launch rockets at enemies. Damage is trivial, but you can probably find a use for it.
  • A bit more Haste.
  • Check your bank stash from anywhere. A deadly ability. 😉

Nightbourne – Reduce enemy speed, character starts at level 20. 

  • You can do an Arcane Pulse, which slightly damages all nearby enemies and reduces their speed for 12 seconds. Note that this will break any Sap or Blind you might have on those enemies. 3 minute cooldown.
  • Can read your mail from anywhere, with your Cantrips ability.

Mag’har OrcBoost secondary stats, starts at level 20. 

  • Your Ancestral Call will boost a random secondary stat (crit, haste, versatility) for 12 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown. The boost scales with level.
  • Your love of the open skies increases your mounted speed by 10% and your…
  • Savage health, you barbarian you, reduces the duration of curses, poisons, and diseases by 10%.
  • If you could have a pet it would have a 10% health boost.

Vulpera: Tricks and an extra hearthstone. 

  • Bag of Tricks: Cunning thing that you are you can use a trick on an enemy to damage them or on an ally to heal them.
  • Make Camp: Set your camp location outdoors and then you can use Return to Camp, which teleports back to your camp location. Basically another hearthstone.
  • Nose for Trouble: Take a little less damage from the first strike inflicted by an enemy.

Tradeskills

In Warlords there are no professions bonuses. No special stat boosts that characters without the profession cannot get.

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.

Professions
Blacksmithing Plate armor and weapons. Keys for locks, though not Draenor locks. Your garrison follower can give you two nice buffs, if you’re in Draenor:
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 rings and neck items, pretty gems, gemmed mounts, some fun toys.
Inscription Glyphs, some trinkets, staves and caster weapons, fortune & Darkmoon cards, trinkets, 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. 
Enchanting Enchant all those items and you can also cast illusionary enchants in Draenor. 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. 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.
Skinning For gold gathering and for leatherworking
Herbalism For XP, Inscription, Alchemy, and gold gathering.
Mining XP, 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 an attack 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. 

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. Intercept is for Protection only, so 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 Spec Overview

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 get yourself 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 wielding. 

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 with War Mode on.

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.

 

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. Rather, 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.

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 go and read our review.  

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9 thoughts on “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.

    1. 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. 🙂

    2. 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?

    1. 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?

    1. 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. 🙂

    1. 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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