We've all had it, stretches where we chain together a bunch of non-crit white hits, giving us just enough rage to scrape by if we don't toss in any Slams. How do you cope with it? When rage is low, what do you prioritize?
There are two options which allow me to maintain a rhythm without much rage. First, I can choose to prioritize Slam, only adding in MS or WW as rage permits (usually immediately following crits). Alternatively, I can drop Slam, and only use MS/Whirlwind, save after the 4th swing, when both are on cooldown. Slams can then be added on swings after crits, as rage permits. The two rotations would look something like this
White hit > Slam > White hit > Slam (ad nauseam)
MS gets added, rage-permitting.
White hit > MS > White hit > WW > White hit > MS > White hit > Slam
Slams are added following the white hit after a crit (to allow for reaction time)
This happens to me with some frequency (~33% crit raid buffed), though primarily when I lack Windfury. Anecdotally, I lean towards the second rotation, though I can see advantages to both.
Slam is a much more rage-efficient ability, allowing me slowly to accrue rage, even with a string of non-crits. Moreover, Slam does not consume Flurry charges. However, it does lengthen the time between white hits by .5 seconds (plus any relevant lag or late button presses), increasing the time between rage gains.
Prioritizing MS/WW doesn't increase the time between white attacks the way Slam does, but is less rage-efficient at a time when you're already starved for rage. Also, if MS/WW can consume Flurry charges, that may be relevant.
While I learn towards prioritizing MS/WW, using that pattern, I'll hit stretches where I lack rage to do anything between white hits.
Does anyone else have a preference for either method?
My rotation generally works out to White -> Slam -> White -> Slam, which I can always maintain, since I get about 22 rage per hit. Over time, and when I get crits, I can usually work an MS or two into the equation.
I generally don't use WW when I'm rage starved due to its high CD and inferior damage to MS.
Keep in mind that Slam is nearly as good as MS, while it costs half the rage and without the CD. It does, however, mess up your swing timer, which means you'll be getting rage less often than you normally would. Even with the extra .7 seconds or so to your swing, I still think Rotation 1 would do more DPS.
What I've even done sometimes is to sit in Battle stance Slamming and MSing, while keeping Rend (yes, I have points in Improved Rend for just this situation) up and Overpowering (once again, Improved Overpower) for some cheap damage.