Comprehensive Arms PvE Guide 4.0.3
A Comprehensive Guide to Arms Warrior DPS
Last updated 12/29/10
Table of Contents
3. Talent Allocation (Spec)
6. Stats (Reforging and Gear)
7. Closing Statement, Credits, and Edit Log
First and foremost, I would like to clear one thing up. This is a guide intended for those not yet adept at playing as an Arms warrior, or those who wish to simply learn more about the class, for those of you with a large amount of knowledge on the class, feel free to post comments or criticism, however, I do request you keep it civil.
Now that weíve cleared that up, Iíd like to introduce myself. Nefariouz from Illidian, however, I have recently relocated to Silvermoon, and yet again to Whisperwind. I have played every class to at least one of the caps, but of those, warriors have always been my favorite. I have played them since arms became incredibly viable, in early BC. Seeing as warriors are my favorite class, Iíve yearned to write a guide about Arms for eons, and I did. However, the last time I attempted to, patch 3.0.1 was released the week after I posted it on the blizzard forums. The knowledge in this guide solely from WoWhead.com, including their talent calculator, along with months of cataclysm PTR gameplay, and over three days already logged into cataclysm content (as of 12/23/10).
MS - Mortal Strike
OP - Overpower
TfB - Taste for Blood
CS - Colossus Smash
BS - Bladestorm
Calm - Deadly Calm
HS - Heroic Strike
DPS - Damage per Second
PvP - Player versus Player
PvE - Player versus Environment
FCFS - First Come First Serve
SD - Sudden Death
CC - Crowd Control
GCD - Global Cool down
AoE - Area of Affect
3. Talent Allocation
Although cataclysm has made placing talent points less than an art, Iíd like to discuss every talent in light detail, in an effort to help you better understand the class.
Also, in case you donít wish to read over every talent I commented on, here are two specs. One of which is for AoE damage, the other single target.
Single Target- http://www.wowhead.com/talent#LG0ffR0RurkcrZh
War Academy 3/3: Increases the damage of Heroic Strike, Cleave, Victory Rush, and Slam by 15%.
Heroic Strike, has, and always will be our main rage dump. However, since the cataclysm revamp removed the ďOn Next SwingĒ mechanic, blizzard greatly buffed the straight forward damage of HS, to make it valuable once again. 3/3, as a 15% damage buff to one of our most used abilities is very well accepted.
Field Dressing 2/2: Increases all healing received by 6% and the effectiveness of your self-healing abilities by an additional 20%.
This one is surely up for debate, I personally believe the 20% self-healing buff can save your arse in a tight situation, but on the other hand, ďBlitzĒ simply adds 10 rage per charge, which hopefully you donít have to use much, and a 1.5sec stun on two more mobs. Personal preference put the points into whichever you believe will give you more utility. Either way, both talents can have points in them.
Blitz 0/2: Your charge generates 5 additional rage and stuns an additional target, per point placed into this talent.
Read above talent.
Tactical Mastery 0/2: You retain an additional 25 rage when changing stances, per point placed into this talent.
Personally, I see no reason as Arms, to be switching stances in a PvE encounter. Both pummel, and spell reflect, are useable in battle stance, which were the only reason you would be switching in WoLK.
Second Wind 2/2: Whenever you are struck by a stun or immobilization effect, you generate 20 rage, and 5% of your health over 10 seconds.
No debate. If youíre stunned, you want to recover gaining back rage quick enough to continue your rotation safely, in terms of rage. Take both points.
Deep Wounds 3/3: Your critical strikes cause your opponent to bleed, dealing 48% of your melee weapons average damage over 6 seconds.
Once again, no debate on whether or not to take this talent. There is absolutely no reason not to take this talent. It is nothing but a DPS increase. Also, it leads you to very good tier three talent.
Drums of War 2/2: Reduces the rage cost of your Shield Bash, Pummel, and any shouts which cost rage by 100%.
Fights require interrupts. (Think the first fight on SFK.) I cannot tell you how many times Iíve been rage starved on fury, unable to pop that pummel. Take it, in the end; no other talents you can pick up to hit 31 points are better.
Taste for Blood 3/3: Increases the critical strike chance of Overpower by 60%. Also, every time Rend deals damage, you have a 100% chance of allowing the use of Overpower for 9 seconds. This effect has a 5 second cool down.
I canít find another single talent in the arms tree that increases your DPS more. Makes up most of your DPS, as well as increasing the amount of procs on both Deep Wounds and Sudden Death.
Sweeping Strikes 1/1: Your melee attacks strike an additional opponent for the next 10 seconds.
The first thing that comes to mind, is switching to adds on boss fights (Icehowl, or Admiral Ripsnarl for example) whilst still DPSing the main boss.
Impale 2/2: Increases the critical strike damage bonus of Mortal Strike, Slam and Overpower by 20%.
Since Overpower is almost a guaranteed crit (even in 334 gear, I have around 80% OP crit.), and Mortal Strike is one of your main damage abilities take this for a sure DPS increase.
Improved Hamstring 0/2: When reapplying hamstring, you immobilize the target for 5 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every 60/30 seconds.
Purely PvP. Donít bother, this is a PvE guide.
Improved Slam 0/2: Decreases the swing time of slam by 1 second, and increases its damage by 10%.
Pass up, Slam is still absent from our rotation. Rage is better spent elsewhere, and most players cannot weave auto attacks well enough to continue generating rage.
Deadly Calm 1/1: For the next ten seconds, none of your abilities cost rage, but you continue to generate rage. Cannot be used during inner rage.
This talent is golden for your execute phase. Youíll see pretty big numbers rocking for ten seconds. However, this will be discussed later.
Blood Frenzy 2/2: Your bleeds cause the target to take an extra 4% physical damage, and 30% bleed damage. In addition, your auto attacks have a 10% chance to generate an additional 20 rage.
4% more physical damage is huge raid utility, if no one else is bringing it, along with the 30% bleed. (But any other class with bleeds should apply this themselves, other warrior specs being an exception.) The chance to generate additional rage is just gravy, makes the points with it, even with another raid member applying the debuff.
Lambs to the Slaughter 3/3: After dealing a Mortal Strike, your next Execute, Overpower, or Mortal Strike will cause 30% more damage.
This will be significant for your priority tree, making MS go before Overpower or Execute, simply because of the buff to damage, whereas without this skill, itís almost FCFS.
Juggernaut 1/1: Your Charge ability is now usable whilst in combat, but the cool down is increased by 5 seconds. Following a charge, your next Slam, or Mortal Strike has an additional 25% chance to critically hit if used without 10 seconds of the charge.
Take it, youíll need it to pick up Bladestorm, and youíll need to charge in combat often due to knockbacks, to avoid losing DPS uptime.
Sudden Death 2/2: Your melee hits have a 6% chance of resetting the cool down on your Colossus Smash, and you keep 10 rage after using Execute.
With the removal of ARP, and Sunder only reaching 12% armor reduction, youíll want as much uptime as possible on CS.
Wrecking Crew 2/2: Your Mortal Strike critical hits have a 100% chance to Enrage you, increasing all damage caused by 10% for 12 seconds.
Pick this us for sure. Nothing but a DPS gain, and in higher gear levels (Around T14, so in the future), it will not be difficult to maintain 100% uptime.
Throwdown 1/1: Knocks the target to the ground, and stuns it for 5 seconds.
Worth taking for sure. Very potent skill when used properly, especially for one point.
Bladestorm: 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 second for 6 seconds. While under the effect of Bladestorm, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed or disarmed, however, you cannot perform any other abilities. ** Except auto attack.
This can be a DPS increase or loss, depending on how you use it. A priority tree discussing how to use whirlwind effectively will be in part four.
Blood Craze 0/3: After taking any damage, you have a 10% chance to regenerate 1.0% of your health over 5 seconds.
Donít take it. The healing isnít nearly enough to warrant it, you need other skills here more.
Battle Trance 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.
This is a great skill to pick up. Youíll see it proc enough to be beneficial, but itís not clear casting. Donít prioritize based on whether or not this procs.
Cruelty: Increase the critical strike chance of Bloodthirst, Mortal Strike, and Shield Slam by 10%.
A 10% increased critical strike chance to our most important DPS skill is always welcome.
Executioner 2/2: Your Execute hits have a 100% chance to improve your melee attack speed by 5% for 9 seconds. This effect stacks up to 5 times.
Excellent skill for rage. With Calm in the Execute phase, youíll have this in the first 5 GCDs.
Booming Voice 0/2: Reduces the cool down of your Battle and Commanding Shouts by 15 seconds, and causes them to generate an additional 5 rage, per point placed in the talent.
Not a DPS increase. Only nice when rage starved, which hopefully is never as Arms, and definitely should happen more than once a minute.
Rude Interruption 0/2: Successfully interrupting a spell with Shield Bash or Pummel Increases your damage by 5% for 15 seconds.
Will bring more DPS than Executioner on fights with 100% uptime. However, many raid bosses spells canít be interrupted. They all have an execute phase, hence why I prefer Executioner, but situationally both are good.
Incite 3/3: Increase 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 critically hit also. These guaranteed criticals cannot re-trigger the Incite effect.
More crits equals more DPS. I donít know of any easier way to put it.
Toughness 0/3: Increase your armor value from items by 3% per point in this talent.
Nothing to do with DPS.
Blood and Thunder 0/2: When you Thunder Clap a target affected by your Rend, you have a 50% chance to affect every target with rend, per point placed in this talent.
I keep an AoE spec, which uses this instead of incite. Your choice, either way, youíll do about the same DPS.
Glyph of Bladestorm: Decreases the cool down on your Bladestorm ability by 15 seconds.
There are three primes for arms. This is one. You might not need Bladestorm a lot, but take it anyways.
Glyph of Mortal Strike: Increase the damage of Mortal Strike by 10%.
Your best ability gets a flat damage increase. Whoís complaining?
Glyph of Overpower: Increase the damage of Overpower by 10%.
Your second best ability gets a flat damage increase. Wait, this seems familiarÖ
Glyph of Sweeping Strikes: Reduces the rage cost of Sweeping Strikes by 100%.
Saves you 30 rage, so you arenít starved as soon as you pop Sweeping Strikes.
Glyph of Colossus Smash: Your Colossus Smash ability refreshes the stacks of Sunder Armor on your target. ** By refresh, it means, if one is already on it, it applies another.
One of the two that allow you to remove sunder from your rotation.
Glyph of Heroic Throw: Your Heroic Throw applies a stack of Sunder Armor.
Coupled with Glyph of Colossus smash, no more sunder.
Glyph of Battle: Increases the Duration and AoE of Battle Shout by 50%.
In case you forget to use it every CD.
Glyph of Command: Increases the Duration and AoE of Commanding Shout by 50%.
Same reasoning as above.
Glyph of Intimidating Shout: Victims of your Intimidating Shout now tremble in place, instead of fleeing in fear.
Mobs that link being feared are bad. Mobs that link being snaredÖ Are nice.