This guide is still a work in progress and pending future beta builds, will be updated.
Any feedback is MUCH appreciated.
Welcome to the Mists of Pandaria Fury Warrior DPS guide! This guide is written to help both new and old raiders become more accustom to the new aspects of the warrior class that Mists of Pandaria has brought. With the release of Mists of Pandaria, warriors continue their success as a strong melee DPS class. Changes to the class abilities have made them even more sought after in raid groups with the introduction of all new utility. This comes in the form of raid and personal cool downs, as well as fight specific utility with unique abilities.
War Banners are the new level 87 ability that allow us to bring both a critical damage buff to the raid in the form of Skull Banner and a raid wide damage reduction debuff from Demoralizing Banner. These are both great raid cool downs. The Vigilance talent essentially gives us a form of the Paladin Hand of Sacrifice, which can be a life saver in tight situations. Rallying Cry, as in Cataclysm is an awesome raid-wide ability on a 3 min CD. In addition to that, we as a class have great mobility between Charge, Heroic Leap and Intervene to maneuver out of tough spots or to be used for kiting.
Since both Titans Grip and Single Minded Fury are played exactly the same this expansion, this guide will cover both specs.
7.5% Hit: The hit rating required for Fury Warriors at 90 is 7.5%, which is equal to 2549 hit rating. One percent of hit is equal to 340 hit rating. This stat is the higest in priority and should be capped ASAP due to the fact that up until this point, your melee special attacks can miss on raid level bosses. Missed attacks can be very detrimental to your dps and your resource gains (missed Bloodthirst means no rage gain). For Fury, hit past the 7.5% cap increases your chance to hit with melee swings and can increase your rage gain. At this time, it is not advisable to try and reach the white hit hard cap.
7.5% Expertise: The expertise cap at level 90 is also 7.5% or 2549 rating. One percent of expertise is also equal to 340 rating. The cap of 7.5% means that your attacks will no longer be dodged, but still has an 8% chance to parry when attacking the boss from the front but a 0% chance when attacking from behind. This is because bosses cannot parry what is not in front of them.
Critical Strike Rating: Crit is the greatest secondary stat we can have after capping hit and expertise, especially as Fury. The more crit you have, the higher uptimes you have on Enrage because of the fact that Bloodthirst and Colossus Smash critical hits proc Enrage. Bloodthirst has a baseline double chance to be a critical strike, meaning the more crit you stack, the more of a chance that BT is going to be a guaranteed enrage.
Strength: Strength is still the best primary stat on to look for on gear. It increases our attack power by 2 for each point of strength that we have. Attack power is one of the primary damage modifiers on our abilities and will significantly increase DPS output. More strength = harder hitting abilities.
Mastery Rating: Unshackled Fury is the effect you gain from Fury's mastery. Unshackled Fury increases the damage done while enraged. This means that all of your abilities will be hitting harder the more mastery you have. Mastery falls behind crit due to the fact that Enrage up time is not yet 100%. We will see an increase in value as the expansion progresses and more and more crit is available on gear.
Haste: Lastly is haste. Its value is just slightly below mastery but should still be avoided on gear if at all possible. Reforge off any that you can.
Hit - 7549 (7209 for Draenei)
Exp - 7549 (7209 for Human/Orc)
With MoP came a change to the traditional gemming system; You obtain less primary stats per point from gems than you do secondary stats. The secondary stats on gems are double the amount of primary stats, which makes secondary stat gems(specifically crit) that much more valuable. This does not mean that strength is useless to us, because that is far from true. All it means is that when it comes to gemming, crit takes precedence because you can, point for point, obtain more value from it.
Crit is being valued so high now because both Bloodthirst and Colossus Smash critical strikes proc the Enrage buff and this is a major component of our DPS as fury because it enables the use of Raging Blow, as well as giving us increased damage while it is active. Bloodthirst has twice the critical strike chance and essentially we're aiming to get almost guaranteed enrages from BT.
Greater Tiger Fang Inscription (Tiger Fang Inscription)
Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike (Enchant Cloak - Accuracy)
Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats
Enchant Bracer - Exceptional Strength (Enchant Bracer - Mastery)
Enchant Gloves - Super Strength
Living Steel Belt Buckle
Angerhide Leg Armor (Brutal Leg Armor)
Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step
Enchant Weapon - Dancing Steel (Enchant Weapon - Windsong)
Any of the above selected talents are viable and should be taken based on preference and fight specific requirements.
Level 15: Juggernaut is the go to talent for this tier because it allows you to use Charge more often, plain and simple. This is especially helpful on fights with a lot of movement. Double Time can be useful in certain situations but because of the way the internal cool down on the individual charges work (similar to DK runes), its not the greatest choice. Warbringer is more of a PvP talent choice because you generally cannot knockdown bosses or adds.
Level 30: Either Enraged Regeneration or Second Wind are viable options from this tier. Both are very strong in their own right. Enraged Regen is now off the GCD and has an instant heal component to it which is great if you need that little boost. This talent is perfect for fights where there is a large amount of raid damage all going out at once. It helps healers a lot when there are no other raid CDs to help alleviate damage. Second Wind is very strong for fights where you might be out of range of heals for a short period of time. It will keep you alive long enough to get some heals. I would recommend using this talent when you know that there is going to be a lot of raid damage on a particular fight and that you will be sitting low on health for longer time periods. Impending Victory is a mediocre choice but has its uses. Fights with a lot of adds and damage (think Will of the Emperor) is going to be the best place to use this as it can proc repeatedly if you continue killing mobs. This will equate into quite a bit of healing. On the other hand, it's not the most optimal for single target because you need to delay your rotation in order to use it and the damage output is not worth delaying any of your abilities for.
Level 45: Every talent in this tier is situational. Choose whichever you think will help you with the particular fight. Staggering Shout and Piercing Howl can both be useful mobs that can be slowed/snared. A great place to use Piercing Howl would be on Will of the Emperor for when the Emperor's Courage adds come out. They can be slowed and give you more time to kill them before they reach their targets. Disrupting Shout is great for when you either need to interrupt multiple adds (Like in the spirit realm on Gara'jal the Spiritbinder) or when you need a backup interrupt for single target such as on the Feng fight.
Level 60: This tier has our greatest burst ability: Dragon Roar. Single and multi target, this ability is fantastic. Its a guaranteed crit which ignores all armor. Stacked with damage increasing cool downs, it becomes one of the hardest hitting abilities that warriors have, only falling behind Execute. Bladestorm is a good choice on fights if you're looking for sustained AoE damage as opposed to a quick burst. This paired with Avatar can burn down a pack of mobs very quickly. Shockwave is a utility spell which is great if your raid requires you to keep a group of adds on lock down. Its single target damage is not the best and it wastes a lot of globals due being on a 20 second cooldown. Fights like Nefarion in BwD would be ideal for this because it would allow DPS warriors to kite adds.
Level 75: This is another tier where the choice is very situation dependent. Mass Spell Reflect doesn't tend to work in raids and should be regarded purely as a PvP talent. Safeguard is a viable PvE choice because it'll save either yourself or your target in a tough situation. The removal of movement impairing effects lets you save yourself if you're standing in something you shouldn't be, if some mob puts a snare on you, or just to cover more distance in a short amount of time. The 20% damage reduction can be useful on tanks especially since it can be used while in melee range for a quick last minute CD. I like to take Vigilance because its an added damage reduction CD that can be used on either a tank or a raid member to save them from dying. It has been reworked to act like Paladin's Hand of Sacrifice.
Level 90: This is probably the most controversial tier of talent choices. Again, each is useful in their own way. Avatar is a great talent choice to take if you know that there are points where something needs to be burned down quickly or if there is an increased damage phase. Avatar is an excellent supplement to Execute because of its increased rage generation component, allowing you to fill more globals with Executes rather than fillers. Bloodbath is a 12 second buff that is a very strong single and multi target ability that causes the target to bleed for 30% of your damage done during the buff's duration as a 6 second dot. Storm Bolt, like Shockwave, is on a short cool down and takes up a lot of globals. Its a good ability to use when there's a lot of movement and you're not always going to be in range of the boss/adds. You have to be careful though on which targets you use this on. Any target that is stunnable instantly renders this ability useless for DPS because it doesn't do the increased weapon damage. This ability is going to be much better at lower gear levels due to the fact that we're going to have many more empty globals.
Death From Above is almost a required glyph if you're looking to maximize your damage output. Heroic leap is an ability off the GCD and should be used for DPS anytime you dont need it for mobility. The 100% damage increase puts this ability's damage on par with many of our main rotational abilities.
Glyph of Recklessness makes Recklessness give 30% crit as opposed to its normal 50%, but it increases its duration to 18 seconds which allows you to fit more Bloothirsts in, and potentially increase your Enrage uptime. This glyph is definitely going to increase in value as we progress into later tiers where we have more crit gear available to us
Unending Rage allows you to pool an additional 20 rage. I would say this glyph is just about mandatory. It allows you to store up more rage which can be burned up during a Colossus Smash, Bloodbath, or Execute phase.
Glyph of Colossus Smash is viable if you don't have any other class in your raid group that can apply the sunder debuff.
Glyph of Bloodthirst is also viable if you really need to help your healers out on a healing intensive fight.
The fury rotation is based off of a priority system and rage pooling. This priority depends on different circumstances such as procs, Enrage up time, CD usage as well as many other situational factors, but done properly yields a high damage output with little downtime. Fury's DPS is centered around your ability to keep up Enrage as much as possible and to put as much DPS into a CS debuff as you can. Both of these should be things that you are tracking with an addon like Power Auras, TellMeWhen or NeedToKnow because they really are that important. The general priority (when CS is not active) looks like:
NOTE: Replace Wild Strike fillers with Whirlwind AS TG ONLY when glyphed for Raging Wind
The overall flow of the Fury's play style is to pool up and maintain enough rage to the point of nearly capping in anticipation of your next Colossus Smash, then emptying your rage bar during those 6 seconds to get the most DPS gain. Additionally, Fury DPS utilizes offensive cool down stacking with this rage dump for even more added benefit. The rotation consists of three parts: The build up, maintenance and burst. The build up phase is simply that, a rage conscious phase where your primary concern is to gain as much rage as possible without losing any sustained DPS. The maintenance stage is that few seconds before your CS comes off cool down where you're close to rage capping but are doing everything you can to prevent it. Each of these phases follows the general framework from above. Lastly, the burst phase is where you go all out and dump all that rage that you just saved up into your CS debuff.
As I said before, the ability to maintain the best uptime on Enrage is crucial. This means that you SHOULD NOT be using a macro on every ability to pop Berserker Rage every time its up. This is inefficient and a waste if you already enraged. You should only be using Berserker Rage if Bloodthirst and Colossus Smash are on CD and Enrage is not proc'd or is about to fall off. This continues throughout execute phase.Bloodthirst is on a 4.5 second CD and generates 10 rage per use. This needs to be used on cool down for a few reasons: First, its your primary rage generation ability. This means that a majority of your rage income is from Bloodthirst and without rage, you can't do very much dps. Second, this ability has its critical strike chance doubled as a baseline feature, making this your primary ability to proc Enrage.
Colossus Smash is also an ability that should be kept on cool down. This is because Colossus Smash also procs Enrage, as well as places a 6 second debuff on the boss which allows you to completely bypass armor while it is active. This ability applies and refreshes the raid-wide Physical Vulnerability debuff.
Wild Strike is an offhand ability that can be modified by the Bloodsurge proc which lowers the rage cost and GCD of this ability. Used outside of Bloodsurge, Wild Strike is expensive and should be used as a filler ability to keep from rage capping.
Raging Blow can only be used while Enraged and can have up to two charges. This ability hits with both hands and deals a significant amount of damage.
Dragon Roar is one of our hardest hitting abilities. Its damage is a guaranteed critical strike and should be used in conjunction with damage increasing cool downs. Use this pretty much on cool down.
Heroic Strike is our off GCD ability that should be used in times of excess rage to keep from capping.
Heroic Leap Heroic Leap should be used almost on CD during your rotation. Especially with the glyph. This ability hits for a good chunk of free damage since its off the GCD. The best time to use it is ideally during CS while you're enraged, but since you will end up delaying uses if you always wait for CS, using it while Enraged is still a DPS increase
Execute phase is where DPS warriors shine. During this time we get to use our #1 damaging ability, Execute. This ability hits like a truck, easily overtaking your other abilities in terms of damage done in a matter of seconds. Execute requires some pre 20% preparation in order for it to be the most beneficial. Depending on the boss health and the raid's DPS, you're going to want to delay using your CS at around ~21-24% but still continue to sit just under rage cap. A good trick to prevent capping is to save Deadly Calm for around this time and use the cheaper Heroic Strikes to keep yourself just below. The reason we are saving CS is because you want to use it just as the boss is transitioning into Execute phase so that you can fill the entirety of the debuff with execute spam. Once 19.9% rolls around, you should be hitting CS and immediately follow it with all of your damage increasing cool downs (Skull Banner, Recklessness, Avatar, Trinkets, Enrage, Potion, etc..) and then emptying all of your rage with Execute.
The build up phase from this point on is essentially maintaining a steady balance of rage. This is where Bloodthirst comes in to help you with your regen. Just as in Cataclysm, if the CS debuff is up as well as your enrage buff, you want to spam Execute. Do this as rage allows. If enrage is not present, BT on cool down. Heroic Throw and Battle Shout are there for when you are completely rage starved and should be used to fill the empty globals.
Fury has remained with the same basic type of AoE that it has always had: Whirlwind. The only difference now is that Whirlwind gives the Meat Cleaver buff which now increases the number of targets that our Raging Blow hits by one per stack. This can stack up to 3 times, bringing us to a total of 3 extra targets hit, or a total of 4. Raging Blow is a very strong ability and does quite a significant amount of damage when you start adding more and more targets for it to hit. AoE abilities, just like everything else, are on a priority system:
The basic rotation is just like single target with BT - Filler - Filler - BT. The only time you would RB before a WW is when you have 2 or more stacks of Meat Cleaver. Whether or not to spend a RB on a 2 stack Meat Cleaver would depend on how many targets you are currently attacking. For example: if you are dealing with a group of amber oozes on a boss like Amber Shaper Un'sok, and there are only 3 of them within melee range, you would stack Meat Cleaver to 2 and then hit RB because any more stacks and they're being wasted because there is no 4th target to hit. When using Dragon Roar, make sure you position yourself as best you can to hit as many targets as you can.
Managing Your CDs
Colossus Smash is only usable every 20 seconds as Fury, so whenever possible, you're going to want to pool some rage and dump it all into the CS debuff. This ability will be used almost always in conjunction with any other cool downs. This also applies to any of the level 90 tier talents.
Skull Banner is on a semi-long 3min CD and lasts for 10 sec. The length of the fight is going to dictate how many times you can use this but generally you're going to want to use it in your opening rotation for added burst as well as soon as you hit execute phase for when you're dumping rage. This works very well with Dragon Roar because of its guaranteed crit as well as with Recklessness. Use this with CS.
Recklessness should be used carefully. Ideally you're going to want to use it similar to Skull Banner, saving it for execute phase if you know the fight will not last long enough to use it twice or more. The tier 14 4pc drastically reduces the CD on this ability, allowing you get use it more often. Just be careful when you do use it so that you will have it for Execute. Again, use with CS.
Deadly Calm reduces the amount of rage that your Heroic Strike costs by 10 rage and can be used up to 3 times. This is best used in times of heavy rage income to keep from capping, while at the same time, not starving yourself of rage while doing it. This is essentially giving you a free HS if you use up all charges and is great for rage dump phases. Another great use for it is, as mentioned before, to help keep yourself from rage capping while pooling rage just prior to execute phase.
Avatar is a flat 30% damage increase with an increased rage gen mechanic. This gives you even more rage to dump with that extra damage boost. Its also on a 3 min CD which makes its timing with Skull Banner awesome. You definitely see the most benefit from Avatar during Execute phase because all that extra rage is converted into more Execute hits.
Storm Bolt is on a 30 sec CD and deals extra damage to enemies that are immune to stun. This ability is best used under CS while enraged. The problem with this ability is that despite not having a rage cost, it does take up 2 globals per minute which could potentially be used for another ability that hits for more damage.
Bloodbath is an all around fantastic ability. Not only can it be used for single target and multi target, but it allows you to dictate how much damage it can actually put out. What I mean by this is: the duration of Bloodbath is 12 seconds and 30% of any damage you do during that time gets converted into a ticking bleed that lasts 6 seconds. So essentially the more damage you do in that 12 seconds, the harder that dot is going to tick for. Bloodbath is great to use when paired with any kind of damage increasing proc/useable ability. From the way that Bloodbath works, you're going to want to squeeze in as much damage as you can into those 12 seconds which means that any CDs should be used here. This includes Dragon Roar. An example of a BB rotation would be: BB+All Damage CDS+Dragon Roar > CS > BT > Bloodsurge > RB > ...etc
Additional credit to Chapterhouse-Zul'jin for info and theory.