The intention behind this guide is to inform Warriors who are new to the Arms spec, Warriors who haven’t had the chance to play the Beta yet, and Warriors who are simply confused and not sure what to do. This guide will cover the basics of the spec, as well as some tips and tricks. The beta is being constantly updated with changes to abilities and others, so I will attempt to keep this guide as up to date as possible. As this is a guide, I will leave my opinions behind and keep this as informative as possible.
In Mists of Pandaria, many changes and additions have been introduced to the Warrior class. Both Talents and Glyphs have received a significant changes compared to the way they were before. Glyphs are now more unique and don’t just simply add damage or crit chance to a certain ability. Previous talents were taken out and changed to Glyphs, such as Rude Interruption. Talents received a complete overhaul and many of them are now non-mandatory and dependant on the situation or fight you will be in.
- General Information
Stances are now completely different. Berserker Stance and Battle Stance are now no longer the stances that you once knew in Cataclysm and prior expansions. Both of these stances are now usable with both specs, and both are intended to be used for different situations. Battle Stance is a stance that is intended to be used the most; it now generates high rage from normal melee attacks and no longer gives a damage bonus. Berserker Stance is a stance that won’t be used as often as it used to be, and is intended to be used as a situational stance; it now generates some rage from normal melee attacks, and some rage from damage taken. This will likely be useful on some fights where there is damage going out to the raid multiple times
Enrage now only procs from Mortal Strike and Colossus Smash critical strikes. It has also been reworked to grant you 10 rage, as well as a 10% increase in physical damage. Berserker Rage also applies the same effects as Enrage.
Many abilities that once required you to be in a specific stance are no longer required to do so. You can now use Taunt in any stance, as well as use Shattering Throw in any stance.
Taste for Blood has been reworked. With the removal of Rend, Mortal Strike now procs your Overpower. In addition to that, whenever you use Overpower, there is a 30% chance to allow you to use Overpower again. Each time this happens, you will gain a stack to the Taste for Blood buff which will increase the damage of your next Heroic Strike or Cleave by 100%. This can only stack up to 5 times and will last for 9 seconds. Whenever a stack is gained, the time frame on the buff will be refreshed back to 9 seconds.
Banners are a new set of abilities to the Warrior class. Skull Banner increases the critical damage of all raid members by 20% for 10 seconds, Demoralizing Banner will reduce the damage of all enemies within 30 yards by 10% for 15 seconds, and Mocking Banner will AoE taunt all enemies within 15 yards to you for 15 seconds. Each banner has a separate 3 minute cooldown, but only one can be up at once.
Gemming is the same as it was in previous expansions. Bold gems will go in red sockets, Etched will go in blue sockets, and Inscribed will go in yellow sockets.
Chest: Glorious Stats
Wrist: Exceptional Strength
Gloves: Super Strength
Boots: Pandaren’s Step
Back: Superior Critical Strike
The following is a Best in Slot list for Dungeon gear. I will eventually edit this with raid gear.
Back:Cloak of the Failing Will
Gloves:Dark Blaze Gauntlets
Belt:Binding of Broken Dreams
Ring 1:Firefinger Ring
Ring 2:Blade Trap Signet
Trinket 1:Lessons of the Darkmaster
Trinket 2:Carbonic Carbuncle
Weapon 1:Warmace of Taran Zhu
Playing The Warrior
The rotation in Mists of Pandaria isn’t all that different compared to the rotation in Cataclysm. A few notable things that have changed are:
- No more stance dancing!
- Rend is now gone and has been replaced with Deep Wounds
- Sweeping Strikes is now similar to Blade Flurry. Instead of being a cleave that can be used once every minute, the cooldown and duration has been reduced to 10 seconds. You can now have a 100% up time on it.
- Slam now no longer has a cast time and can only be used when specced as Arms.
The priority list is as follows:
- Colossus Smash (with no debuff up)
- Dragon Roar
- Mortal Strike
- Heroic Strike (if 2+ stacks of Taste for Blood)
- Heroic Strike (0 stacks of Taste for Blood)
- Colossus Smash (with debuff up, no other abilities available, and no rage for Slam or Heroic Strike)
The stat priority at level 90 is the same as it was in Cataclysm. A notable difference is that the Expertise and Hit caps are now at 7.5% instead of 8%.
- Stat Priority
Hit (7.5%) > Expertise (7.5%) > Crit > Mastery > Haste
As was previously said, talents aren't as mandatory as they were in previous expansions. However, there is a small list of ideal of talents to choose from.
Level 15 Talents
You aren't going to charge much. The choices for level 15 talents don't really matter, I personally chose Juggernaut because I prefer being able to charge every 12 seconds. Double Time could be a decent alternative if there are multiple adds on a fight (or attackable objects) that are spread around and you need to get across a room fast. Warbringer will only really be useful on a fight where you need to stun a mob, like the sons on Ragnaros for example.
Level 30 Talents
Second Wind is a great talent to choose from on progression or fights where you will be dipping low a lot. Impending Victory is another decent talent, but you will likely not be using it as often.
Level 45 Talents
These are all situation talents. Disrupting Shout is a great choice on fights where you can interrupt so you can use it as a back-up interrupt, or get two interrupts in a row on occasion.
Level 60 Talents
Dragon Roar is arguably one of the best talents to choose from in this tier. With cooldowns rolling and Skull Banner down, I've seen up to ~500k crits. Imagine that on fights with multiple targets. I haven't done much testing with Bladestorm, but I can imagine it being powerful on fights with a bunch of adds with health, such as Sha of Anger when you're AoEing.
Level 70 Talents
These too are situational talents. Vigilance could be used both as a cooldown on a tank and as an ability to get an easy Enrage every 2 minutes. Safeguard is a great talent to help with someone that will be needing a damage reduction cooldown, and Mass Spell Reflection is very situational, but could be useful on fights where Spell Reflect works.
Level 90 Talents
On most fights, you will be wanting to choose Avatar. The extra rage bonus is way too good, and the damage increase is great, too. Bloodbath needs to be tested more, but I can see it being a great ability paired with Bladestorm on AoE oriented fights.
Compared to Cataclysm, there are now a handful of glyphs that you can use. However, mostly all of them are situational and should be used when needed on a specific encounter.
Glyph of Sweeping Strikes
Use on fights where you'll be using Sweeping Strikes for extra rage.
Glyph of Enraged Speed
Use on fights where movement is required.
Glyph of Rude Interruption
Use on fights where you will be interrupting.
Glyph of Unending Rage
Allows you to pool an extra 20 rage.
Glyph of Overpower
If you'll be cleaving on a fight, use this.
Glyph of Death From Above
Useful on fights where you'll be using Heroic Leap to get out of situations or to deal damage.
Glyph of Colossus Smash
Use if on Sunder duty.
Glyph of Furious Sundering
Use if on Sunder duty.
Below is a list of macros. Again, I will update this with more content later in the Beta.
Below is a list of useful tips. I will edit this with more content later in the Beta.
- If your cooldowns are close to coming back up, try to delay Dragon Roar and use it once you have your cooldowns rolling with Colossus Smash up. You will deal a lot of damage.
- Shattering Throw is an important ability and a lot of people overlook it. If you're on progression, use it at the beginning of a fight or during lust to help with the raid DPS.
- If you're an Orc, remember your racial and try to use an Axe. The extra bonus to Expertise is great.
- When you're asked to drop a banner, drop it. Don't wait for a time where you'll have a free GCD to do it.
- If your tank isn't taking a lot of damage and you don't need to use it as a cooldown, use Vigilance to get a free Enrage.
- If you get a Taste for Blood proc, wait to use Overpower after a Moral Strike to attempt to stack your buff even further.
Thank you for reading my guide! As I said in the introduction, I will attempt to keep this as up to date as possible with the updates that roll out in the beta. In the future, I will try to work on a guide for Fury as well. I will also update the Macros and Tips section as the Beta and Expansion progresses.