Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How I’m Playing My Warrior in 4.0.1

So let's take a look at how I'm playing my warrior in 4.0.1. Let me first give credit where credit is due. Most everything I'm doing in game comes from reading the excellent work of Tankspot posters, and specifically the Understanding Fury in 4.0 thread. The value I hope to add with my blog post is to take that 19 page thread and boil it down to its essence. It is entirely possible that some, or all of this information is WRONG. If you spot and error or omission, please mention it in the comments so I can ninja edit it.
Of the three paths open to that warrior dps, I chose to go with Titan Grip. My two handers are better than my one handers (251/251 v.251/232), and my one handers are agility weapons while my two handers are strength weapons. Curious, I did some perusing of the Cataclysm raid loot and the do indeed have strength one handers. The set is a Sword main hand, and Fist off hand. That should make it easier to determine which weapons to prioritize, and which should go to your Rogues and Enhance Shaman. It also means those weapons will never drop for our raid.
I haven't tried arms yet, but I understand its doing okay. Trying arms would require me to regen and reforge and I'm trying my best to limit spending before cataclysm.

Spec

The spec I went with was 3/31/2. This spec takes War Academy from arms, and Incite from Protection. Then it takes all the talents in the fury tree except for Piercing Howl, Heroic Fury, Furious Attacks, Skirmisher and Single Minded Fury. Single Minded Fury is a choice. If I take Titan’s Grip, I won’t take Single Minded Fury, and vice versa. Most of the points I skipped have a PVP feel to them, and that’s largely why I skipped them. The po int in Blood Craze could probably be spent better somewhere else, but I really like the idea behind Blood Craze. Blood Craze has a chance to proc a small HoT on you every time you take damage. With so much raid damage flying around, I really like the idea of giving my healers a little cushion. Plus, I’m doing quite a bit of solo work these days, and I find the HoT to be very nice when I’m on my own.
My Glyphs are Raging Blow, Bloodthrist, Slam, Cleaving, Victory Rush, Death Wish, Battle, Bezerker Rage, and Enduring Victory. Victory Rush and Enduring Victory are really more for soloing/leveling.

Rotation

The main spells for Fury Warriors are Bloodthrist (BT), Heroic Strike (HS), Raging Blow (RB), and instant Slam (S). Fury Warriors have a talent that gives them an instant Slam. The rotation I’m using currently is BT –> HS –> RB –> maybe instant Slam –> Repeat. abir
There are two key aspects to working this rotation, Enrage uptime and Rage management. Being Enraged activates the Fury Warrior Mastery which is bonus damage while Enraged. The problem is Enrage is a proc, but we have two ways to force the proc: Death Wish, and Bezerker Rage. I tend to fire off Death Wish first because it has the longer cooldown, but you want to be aware of where you are in the fight. You definitely want Death Wish available for the Execute phase (below 20%) because Execute is hitting like a truck right now.
The key aspect of Rage management is to realize that Warriors are not swimming in rage like we were in Wrath. You have to think about what comes next and decide if you need to pool a little rage or launch the special attack. That’s the reason I say maybe Slam.  You are better off ignoring Slam if you don’t have enough rage to Heroic Strike on cooldown. The big reason for this is that Heroic Strike is basically  Cliff Lee to Slam’s Yankee’s, which is to say that Heroic Strike beats the living snot out of Slam for damage. I don’t think that’s intended, but that is the current reality.

Gear (Gems/Reforging)

Fury Warriors have a couple of goals when we look at gearing and gemming. The first goal is to hard cap hit. This means we need 24% plus the 3% we get from Fury. After we hard cap hit, we are looking to get to 26 Expertise which should eliminate dodges. Now we know every swing will connect. This is crucial for Rage generation and giving ourselves opportunities to proc Enrage. We want crit at around 35%. With this much crit, we ensure a very good uptime on Flurry. More crit contributes to DPS, but it doesn’t do a whole lot more for Flurry uptime. We also want a good amount of Haste. Haste will allow us to generate Rage faster and smooth out the rotation. But our best stat is Strength. It is buffed by our Plate Specialization, so each point of strength is worth 1.05 points right off the bat.
For gear, it is now critical we wear all Plate. Before 4.0.1, there were some leather or mail pieces that were better than their plate counterparts. That is no longer the case, we need Plate now.
With gemming, we now want to match socket bonuses. For Red sockets, its good old Bold (+20 strength). For Blue, it’s now Etched (+10 Str/+10 hit), and for yellow the community is torn between Fierce (+10 Str / +10 Haste) and Inscribed (+10 Str / +10 Crit).
It will likely be necessary to reforge to reach the hit cap, and possibly regem. What I did was reforge Crit into Hit if the piece didn’t have hit on it. Personally, I’m going with Fierce as I’m happy with where my crit is, even after reforging.
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