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Fury Warrior Guide (PvE)
I created this guide because everywhere I look I see a lack of information or incorrect information being thrown around regarding Fury Warrior advice. Hell, before I joined my current guild, in mid-Burning Crusade through early Wrath of the Lich King, a real life friend of mine made the comment “lawl Warrior DPS, we haven’t got any of that” (paraphrased of course). Now things are different as many people are opened up again to Fury Warrior DPS in WotLK especially with current gear and itemization. Now that Fury Warriors have established themselves as powerful DPS forces to be reckoned with, we now have to deal with the misinformation that is filtered about the internet so that even the most novice of players can take their character and not embarrass the hell out of our class and spec. :P
Contents (Try using Ctrl-F to search faster):
-Ic. *Armor Penetration and Strength (MR/GT Explanation Here)
-Id. *Critical Strike
IV. Talent Specialization
This is probably the most argued point of a Fury Warrior and I feel that it’s best to discuss and explain it now and get it over with rather than leave it for the middle or end of this guide (I refer to the Armor Penetration vs. Strength discussion/argument). In my opinion, ranged DPS has an easier time of gearing than melee DPS. Why? I blame Expertise mostly, a stat that has no ranged DPS opposite (think yin-yang), but is a stat that is necessary for melee regardless (you’re welcome to blame whatever or whoever you’d like, but there will be no changes until the new expansion, Cataclysm).
This section will have a short version and a long version. The short version will just tell you which stats you want while the long version will go into why you should want that particular stat. The following starts will be discussed in order of importance from most important to least important.
Short Version8% +hit – 3% from 3/3 Precision + 164 hit rating (with no Draenei aura) – 3% from 3/3 Precision + 132 hit rating + 1% from Draenei Aura
26 Expertise - ~213 Rating (try for at least 20)
Armor Penetration/Strength – Over 680 passive ArP rating, stack ArP, if not, stack Strength – If you have Grim Toll, stack 788 ArP – If you have Mjolnir Runestone, stack 735 ArP – If you have Needle-Encrusted Scorpion, stack 722 ArP
Critical Strike Rating
Ia. *+Hit8% +hit is the required amount of hit so that you do not miss with a special attack. As a Fury Warrior, hitting with these attacks are important because they generate the majority of damage for your character/class. On specific fights, I’ve personally done over 50% damage from just Cleave and Whirlwind alone! Missing these attacks is very detrimental to your DPS because you spend rage to use those abilities and the cooldowns but they yield no damage in your favor. So the first thing any Fury Warrior should work to accomplish is to collect 8% +hit.
*NOTE* Fury Warriors get a little help when it comes to +hit. The talent, Precision (3 points maximum) gives you 3% +hit. Beware, even if you have points in this talent, it does NOT show up on your character sheet, so you must keep track of that yourself. I would recommend getting 3 points into Precision because it allows you to focus on other stats that make your character more powerful. 1% of +hit is equal to 32.79 hit rating at level 80, which saves you from collecting almost 100 hit rating from gear/enchants that could be easily used on something else. With 3/3 Precision, you will need to collect 5% +hit to get up to 8%. 5% +hit is equal to 164 hit rating (you actually only need 163.95 but you can’t get less than whole numbers for hit rating). If you can consistently rely on being in a group with a Draenei for their +1% hit aura (or you are a Draenei yourself), then you could drop as low as 132 hit rating. Personally, I prefer not to rely on being in a group with a Draenei so that I never have to worry about being placed into a group with a Draenei just to keep up my DPS.
Ib. *ExpertiseNext comes the Expertise stat. Expertise can be thought of as similar to +hit and hit rating. The stat itself reduces the chance for enemies to parry or dodge your attacks. Like with +hit, if you don’t hit your target, you don’t do damage, so maximizing your chance to hit with your special attacks is your priority. So in essence, parry = bad, dodge = bad and miss = bad. Hopefully by now, you’ve already gotten 8% +hit, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that anymore. As melee DPS, it is almost always better to attack from behind your target. Why? If you are attacking from the rear 180 degrees of the target, you don’t have to worry about your target parrying your attack. If the enemy parries your attack, you deal no damage for that attack. So, if you attack from behind the target, you won’t have to worry about parries anymore, which leaves dodge. It takes 26 Expertise (points, ~213 Expertise rating) to nullify the dodge chance of raid bosses (level 83 targets). While having 26 Expertise is not as crucial as having +8% hit, due to a lack of Expertise gear in low level content, you should still focus on accumulating as much as you can without going over 26.
*NOTE* Remember that certain races get racial bonuses that add Expertise if you use certain weapons. Orcs get +5 Expertise for using axes and/or fist weapons, Dwarves get +5 Expertise for using maces and Humans get +3 Expertise for using swords and/or maces. If you are using the correct race/weapon combination, the Expertise bonus WILL show up on your character sheet, so be forewarned.
Ic. *Armor Penetration and Strength
Now comes the most controversial part of Fury Warrior itemization, Armor Penetration (abbreviated at ArP in the future) and Strength. Simply stated, ArP is a stat that sucks unless you have quite a bit of it, at which point, it becomes a better stat to have than Strength. Many people will encourage stacking Strength items and gems, which is fine, but you won’t have higher DPS than someone who stacks ArP (and has a large amount of it) instead of Strength. Think of it this way: Strength gives you Attack Power which directly affects the damage of your Bloodthirst ability. Attack Power also increases your weapon damage which increases the damage of your other abilities (all of which are weapon damage or weapon damage + bonus abilities). Remember, all of these attacks are mitigated by the target’s armor, which reduces the amount of damage you can deal. ArP on the other hand, allows you to reduce the amount of armor that affects your attacks, allowing you to do more damage with each attack. At low levels of ArP (under 680 rating), the amount of armor that is reduced does not have as great of a marginal benefit as does stacking Strength. However, if you have more than 680 ArP rating, then the marginal benefit of having more ArP becomes greater than that of Strength. So the lesson is, if you have less than 680 ArP rating from gear, then stack Strength gear/gems. If you have more than 680 ArP rating from gear, then stack ArP gear/gems.
*NOTE* Sunders, Expose Armor and Faerie Fire are calculated BEFORE Armor Penetration is calculated, therefore you do not want to just gear/gem for 75% and let Sunders/FF take care of the other 25% because it does NOT work that way.
*Grim Toll and Mjolnir Runestone and Needle-Encrusted Scorpion
Three trinkets serve as special cases for the Fury Warrior: Grim Toll, Mjolnir Runestone, and Needle-Encrusted Scorpion. Each trinket, when procced, gives Armor Penetration rating. If you have one of these two trinkets, you will want to gear/gem yourself so that you have 100% ArP/1400 ArP rating with the proc. When you have over 100% ArP, nothing extra happens (no bonus armor is reduced past 100%), therefore you are wasting anything that goes beyond 100% or 1400 rating. If you have the Grim Toll, you will want to have 788 ArP rating to reach 100% with the proc and if you have the Mjolnir Runestone, you will want to have 735 ArP rating to reach 100%. If you have the Needle-Encrusted Scorpion, you will want to have 722 ArP rating to reach 100%.
*NOTE* It is my personal opinion (if possible) to stack passive ArP to as close to 100% as possible without the Grim Toll, Mjolnir Runestone or Needle-Encrusted Scorpion trinkets. Why? With these two trinkets, you are relying on a proc to deal your maximum DPS. Even if the uptime of the proc was 50% (which I am sure is less than 50%), your average % of ArP for the fight would be 75% ArP. If you could accumulate enough passive ArP to have more than 75% all the time, you would certainly do more DPS than someone relying on a proc. So if you have the chance for a Grim Toll or Mjolnir Runestone, I say go for it, but at some point, you may need to be prepared to drop the trinket in favor of passive ArP for more substantial DPS increases. Be forewarned though: I find it much easier to gear around having one of these three trinkets instead of trying to maximize your DPS via stacking as much passive ArP as possible (due to the way +hit and ArP stats are rarely together).
Id. *Critical Strike
Critical Strike rating is something that just comes with time. I wouldn’t ever suggest gemming for Crit as Fury and therefore is near the bottom of importance of the itemization list. It is, however, a better stat than Haste rating because crits deal up to 2.23x damage (talented with Impale and 3% from meta gem).
Haste increases the speed of your normal attacks and Heroic Strike (which is an “on next swing” attack). Other than this, Haste does nothing and there are no significant gains to your swing timer from a few points of the stat and is considered the worst of the stats on this list. Haste does a lot more for casters than melee so try to avoid Haste in favor of another stat if you can, but please do NOT refuse an item because it has haste if it is still a decent upgrade over what you already have.
A Fury Warrior has 15 abilities that they use quite often and I would suggest that these abilities be on your action bars at all times. They are:
Intercept – Whirlwind – Slam – Heroic Strike – Pummel – Sunder Armor – Recklessness – Bloodthirst – Execute – Cleave – Berserker Rage – Bloodrage – Victory Rush – Heroic Throw – Death Wish
Of these abilities, 5 of them will be used more than the others and they are (in order of most used):
Bloodthirst – Whirlwind – Heroic Strike/Cleave – Slam
Many people will state that you should open up with a Whirlwind and then follow that with a Bloodthirst. On boss encounters, I have found this to make little difference as long as you make sure to always use Whirlwind and Bloodthirst when they are off cooldown and to always make sure you have enough rage to use those abilities when they are off cooldown. At my gear level, I can use Heroic Strike (single target) or Cleave (two targets or more) almost all the time because of my rage generation. I also use Slam as soon as I can get the proc because other abilities can proc the instant Slam and I have gotten 3-4 Slam procs in a row from just using Heroic Strike and Slam.
*NOTE* A helpful macro to avoid channeling Slam when you don’t have a Slam proc:
Bloodrage and Berserker Rage should be used whenever you need more rage. Victory Rush can be used if you have other abilities on cooldown (occurs more often in heroics than raids). Pummel can be helpful but many guilds employ rogues and shaman to take care of that duty. Heroic Throw should be timed right after you swing your normal attacks since it can reset your swing timer.
Death Wish and Recklessness are best timed for when Heroism/Bloodlust is used, however your DPS will surely benefit if you can get more than 1 Death Wish in per encounter and even more-so if you can time one of the two or three Death Wish uses with a Heroism/Bloodlust. Also, using a Potion of Speed along with Death Wish, Recklessness and Heroism yields excellent burst DPS.
Example: In my Trial of the Grand Crusader 25 group (which is heroic ToC 25), I have enough time to use Death Wish on Phase 1 of the Northrend Beasts and have it ready to be used again in conjunction with Heroism on Phase 2 with Acidmaw and then ready to be used again during Phase 3 with Icehowl. This would obviously yield a higher DPS than saving your first Death Wish on Phase 1 to make sure to be ready for Phase 2’s Heroism.
1: Use the Relentless Earthsiege Diamond - always. (21 agi + 3% increased crit damage)
Why? Because it only takes 1 gem of each color (red, yellow and blue) and can easily be filled by using a Nightmare Tear, explained below. The Chaotic Skyflare Diamond requires 2 blue gems to be used which means you will need to use two purple or blue gems to fulfill the requirement (reasoning explained in #4).
2: Use a Nightmare Tear (+10 to all stats) to fulfill meta gem requirements - always.
2b: Equip a Nightmare Tear in your helm only if the non-meta gem socket is anything but red.
Why? Because you can easily put a +20 Strength, Expertise or Armor Penetration gem in that red socket to get the bonus of socket bonus and save your Nightmare Tear for another slot where you wouldn't normally get the bonus by gemming straight Strength or Expertise.
3: Never gem for a socket bonus unless the bonus gives you +Strength or Armor Penetration (if you have enough ArP to begin with, otherwise stick to Strength).
+Hit, +Crit, +Stamina, +Haste are all useless bonuses to avoid gemming for +Strength or Expertise because the marginal benefit you gain from that +4 Hit rating will not be worth the marginal loss of 20 Strength (which is equal to more than 58 Attack Power with raid buffs). If you really can't miss a +Strength socket bonus, then use an Ametrine cut with +Strength/Crit, +Expertise/Crit or something similar so you at least get some Strength or Expertise out of it instead of losing an entire gem's worth.
4: Don't ever use Blue or Purple gems.
Why? Purple includes the base color of blue, which equals stamina for melee (for the most part). Stamina is a mostly wasted stat in terms of pure DPS and often times socketing purple gems to get a socket bonus is not worth the marginal DPS loss of just using a pure gem like +Str or +Expertise. Blue is obviously worse than purple because it will most likely be a stamina gem and not giving you any DPS benefit.
IV. Talent Specialization
This is my preferred talent spec for raiding and heroics. You may notice that I take Anger Management and 1 point in Improved Berserker Rage. I did this to ensure rage generation throughout fights. Anger Management allows me to gain 20 rage every 60 seconds without me having to do anything and the 1 point in Improved Berserker Rage gives me another 30 rage every 60 seconds totaling 50 rage every minute. You *could* gain more rage per minute by putting the point in Anger Management into Improved Berserker Rage (netting you a total of 60 rage every minute) but then your extra rage generation would be based on a cooldown (and uses a Global Cooldown) and would not always be available to you. In addition to this, you would have to be extra careful not to use Improved Berserker Rage at a time when you would get more than 100 rage, otherwise the extra rage is lost and wasted.
I also chose to opt out of Booming Voice and Commanding Presence, which is popular with many other warriors. I did this because in my raids, we have enough Paladins with Improved Might and Warlocks with Imps that I don't need to use shouts, saving me rage, global cooldowns and talent points.
GlyphsListed below are the preferred glyphs that I use. Fury Warriors excel in multi-target fights and Glyph of Cleaving is an obvious choice for multiplying the amount of damage you deal. Glyph of heroic Strike is amazing because at higher gear levels, you are using Heroic Strike constantly, and getting rage back helps you use your abilities more often, including more Heroic Strike. Whirlwind is your top-damaging ability so decreasing the cooldown to use it more often is essential!
Glyph of Cleaving
Glyph of Heroic Strike
Glyph of Whirlwind
Of the minor glyphs, the Glyph of Bloodrage is probably the most important for raids (as long as you have Paladins and Warlocks in the raid) because you will no longer lose health for using Bloodrage to get more rage. I enjoy Glyph of Bloodrage most when soloing but its raid potential is also obvious if you don't have enough Paladins in the raid to give Kings and Might. Glyph of Enduring Victory is decent for heroics and great for soloing but does not have as much in raid potential. If you have warlocks to give the health buff and don't need to cast Commanding Shout, then I suggest you be a little selfish and get this glyph. :P
Glyph of Battle - Mostly for soloing or if there is
Glyph of Bloodrage
Glyph of Enduring Victory
Contact MeIf you have any questions, concerns, comments or ideas, you can find me at:
http://furiouswarrior.blogspot.com - My Blog
Devro @ www.mmo-champion.com - forums
Carcinoma - US Farstriders - Character/Server