Arms PvP Guide - Info and Tactics (4.3)

1 2 3 26 Next
*** Update; tweaked slightly for 4.3, almost everything remains the same other then having 25% Mortal Strike and Charge Jump has been mostly fixed ***

I began throwing some information together in response to another thread but I figure I will add some additional details and create this Arms Warrior PvP Guide topic as it may be helpful since I see a lot of the same questions asked repeatedly regarding Arms PvP. I will keep things fairly brief regarding the general info and expand a bit more in the tactics section because I think that is where most Arms Warriors struggle anyway.

Section Overview
I. Abilities
II. Stats, Gemming, Reforging & Enchants
III. Spec
IV. Glyphs
V. General Tactics
VI. Macros
VII. Class Specific Tactics
VIII. Frequently Asked Questions
VIIII. Addons
X. Arena Comps

I. Abilities
Arms PvP is similar to PvE with the main difference of wanting to keep things slowed and burst as much as possible based on windows of up-time that you have on your target. It is a priority system (similar to PvE) of:

Hamstring (if not applied) > Rend (if not applied) > CS (if plate wearer) > MS > OP > Slam > HS whenever 50+ rage or spammed during Deadly Calm

Bladestorm is used situationally and frequently more to break roots or prevent other forms of CC then to do a lot of damage (Unless reck bladestorming in a group or to be un-CCable going after a kill target). You are invulnerable to CC other then disarm & deathgrip while it is being used (can't be feared, stunned, rooted, etc).

Since time on target is so important in PvP and our mobility is limited due to Charge & Intercept sharing the same CD, Hamstring and Improved Hamstring come into play allowing you to use your various damage abilities.
II. Stats, Gemming, Reforging & Enchants

    Currently (in 4.3) the Stats that you need are basically like fighting any level 85 with the following priorities:

    5% (601) Hit > Strength > Crit > Mastery > Everything else (haste and excess hit are both meh and should be reforged away). The one real variable stat is Expertise and many top end players have different philosophies on it.

    20 (601) expertise on the high end can help ensure more consistent damage while lower expertise around 5-10 can allow good burst potential damage with increased stat availability for Crit or Mastery but also opens you to more frequently being dodged/parried. Be sure to take into account any expertise bonus you get from a racial which can commonly gives +3 expertise if using the required weapon:
      Orc = 1H and 2H Axe
      Human = 2H Sword or Mace
      Dwarf = 1H and 2H Mace
      Gnome = 1H Sword

    I generally recommend taking the Expertise you can get on gear and simply don't gem or reforge for more or less of it. I personally maintain 20 Expertise at all times.


    Reforging is about getting rid of stats you don't want while improving what you do. You want as much crit as possible, as little haste as possible, 5% hit and expertise is up to you. Mastery is a good stat for Arms PvP but still generally takes a back seat to Crit (debatable).


Back to Top:
III. Spec

The basic cookie cutter spec for Arms PvP is:
    Variations based on this specs can be viable depending on what you want to do however they provide a good amount of self heals, damage and versatility for both duels and Arena.

To mention a few points of difference between this spec and PvE:

Self Heals: As Arms it is important to get as much self healing as possible due to how often we are rooted, stunned, etc
    Field Dressing - 2 points
    Second Wind - 2 points
    Blood Craze - 3 points

Mobility: Since the loss of intercept we have to do everything in our power to stay on target
    Improved Hamstring - 2 points (capability to root a target every 30 seconds, very important and versatile)
    Piercing Howl - 1 point

Rage & Stuns: Capability to gain a burst of rage upon charge is very helpful and stunning opponents is huge (especially when trying to kill healers)
    Blitz - 1 point
    Throwdown - 1 point

Damage: Arms Warriors have to burst whenever they reach their target so the various other spec choices are tailored around doing as much damage as possible
    Imp Slam - 2 points (far more useful then incite since 4.06 made Heroic Strike hit like a limp noodle)

The rest is fairly cookie-cutter, ignore Drums of War and Tactical Mastery since Bliz goal is obviously to reduce the skill cap and remove the need to Stance Dance any more (even less in 4.2) and you can't spam demo or howl to break out stealth players anymore.


An alternative 'Gag Order' spec for Arena:
I have been toying with this Gag Order Arena spec to assist in fights against casters and killing healers. Basically you give-up Piercing Howl and Blood Craze self heals so that you can pick-up Gag Order which silences people with both your Pummel and your Heroic Throw.

The main drawbacks:
    - Missing some self heals without Blood Craze
    - Missing Piercing Howl
      Makes this spec pretty much terrible in duels or bgs whenever you don't have someone dispelling and slowing for you since you basically never reach your target if they are ranged

The benefits however are very nice when playing a comp such as Warrior/Rogue/Pally; Freedom & dispels plus Rogue slowing everything makes the drawbacks very minor whereas ranged silence on Mages or combining a Pummel silence followed by Heroic Throw silence followed by Throwdown on a healer can be really nasty. It really isn't a good spec to use for duels or bgs but for Arena it can be very useful depending on your comp.


A hybrid I personally prefer
(Sacrifices 2 points from Sudden Death over into Incite since the CS nerf to 50% ArP)

Back to Top:
IV. Glyphs

    Mortal Strike
    Bladestorm (I generally find this more useful then Slam because its capability to break root / avoid CC is huge and the damage isn't that bad. Slam crit chance is low anyway so 5% more isn't that helpful whereas the fairly substantial CD time reduction from the Bladestorm glyph makes a fairly big difference in both duels and arena)

    Long Charge
    Rapid Charge or Shield Wall (Duels I prefer Rapid Charge, Arena may favor Shield Wall)
    Piercing Howl or Sweeping Strikes (I generally prefer Piercing Howl especially for duels however Sweeping Strikes may be useful in Arena depending on your comp)

    Berserker Rage
    Enduring Victory
    Battle or Command (Glyph for which ever you use, generally Battle but if you do arena with a DK for example they will likely be using Horn so you would use Command)

Back to Top:
V. General Tactics

• Rend should be up 100% of the time for both damage and Taste for Blood procs allowing Overpower use
• Speed reduction of some sort needs to be up 100% of the time either Hamstring, Piercing Howl or some other class's slow
• Burst Damage Output
    / Make sure rend is on the target and Lambs to the Slaughter has full stacks
    / Ideally you want to fit a CS -> MS -> OP -> OP in with as many HS uses as possible without rage depriving yourself. Remember to not use CS when low on rage, it doesn't hit very hard by itself and if you can't use other abilities while the ArP is up on the target there is no point
    / To really burst combine the above with cooldown usage; Since 4.2 removed the stance requirement for Recklessness you can remain in Arms Stance and pop Deadly Calm to spam as many HS uses as possible with your normal rotation. As soon as DC ends pop CDs (Recklessness + Trinkets & Racial) at once followed by MS -> OP, OP, Slam while getting as much HS use as possible. You could consider more Slams as it hits hard but the cast time and potential to be avoided causes me to generally prefer OP when you have them available. Lastly as you are running out of rage you can then Bladestorm to finish off decent damage with your Reck up as well as re-fill your rage bar for more ability use as soon as Bladestorm ends.

• Defensive Peel
    / Intervene & disarm or fear
    / Make sure to keep Thunderclap & Demo Shout up
    / Charge (especially with a point in Blitz to stun an additional target) provides the 1.5s stun that is not on DR and can frequently give someone just enough time to kite or get a heal off

• Be a Ninja
    / Intervene to leave melee range and charge back in
    / Heroic Leap away and charge back in to guarantee separation & stun allowing Throwdown to not be dodged by classes such as Rogue/Feral Druid as well as disruption of their abilities

• Tips
    / Never ever ever Intercept. Some new Warriors are still used to the old Intercept days, right now it is absolutely worthless since it is on the same CD as charge and has a much longer CD and prevents you from charging for that longer CD duration
    / Get used to using Slam efficiently (and take the Imp Slam spec), it is substantially more damage output potential then Incite spec (which is fairly common because of junk Swifty babbled on Youtube)
    / I don't bother with CS much on anything below mail armor and even then it depends on the up-time you will have available after the CS. It is really DKs/Pallys/Warriors that you use CS on to get much benefit since the 50% Armor Penetration Nerf in 4.1
    / Keybind EVERYTHING, you may be a decent clicker but I guarantee keybinding will make you 10x the player you would otherwise be. The time it takes to learn all the binds will be exponentially worth it in your level of play.
    / Don't be scared of Addons, they aren't required but they can make your play much more efficient with tracking of buffs/debuffs/dr/timing/frames/etc

Back to Top:
VI. Macros

Here is a compilation that I find useful on a daily basis

Spell Reflect (must be pressed twice to equip weaps and then reflect)
#showtooltip Spell Reflection
/cast [stance:1/2,equipped:Shields] Spell Reflection; [stance:3] Defensive Stance
/stopmacro [equipped: Shields]
/equipslot 16 yourweapon
/equipslot 17 yourshield

Equip main set again and normal stance (changed away from 'equipset' because it stopped working in 4.2 and don't think it has been fixed in 4.3)
#showtooltip Battle Stance
/cast Battle Stance
/equipslot 16 your2hweapon

Shattering Throw
#show Shattering Throw
/cast [stance:2/3] Battle Stance; [stance:1] Shattering Throw;

Ranged Attack
#showtooltip heroic throw
/cast [nomod] Heroic Throw
/cast [equipped:Thrown] Throw
/cast Shoot

Shield Wall
#showtooltip Shield Wall
/cast [stance:2,equipped:shields] Shield Wall; [stance:1/3] Defensive Stance
/stopmacro [equipped:shields]
/equipslot 16 yourweapon
/equipslot 17 yourshield

#showtooltip Intervene
/cast [nostance:2] Defensive Stance; [help] Intervene; [target=targettarget, help] Intervene

Intervene Alternative (I use this the most in arena so I can just spam my key and intervene my healer)
#showtooltip Intervene
/cast [nostance:2] Defensive Stance; [help] Intervene; [target=YourTeammateName] Intervene

#showtooltip Disarm
/cast [nostance:2] Defensive Stance; Disarm

Top Trinket
/use 13

Bottom Trinket
/use 14

Set focus
/focus [target=mouseover,exists]; target
Charge focus
#showtooltip Charge
/cast [target=focus, modifier:shift] Charge; Charge

Pummel focus
#showtooltip Pummel
/cast [modifier:shift, target=focus] Pummel; Pummel

Back to Top:
VII. Class Specific Tactics

This section is based mainly around Duels since there are so many possibilities in BGs, Arena or Rated BGs depending on teammate class composition. Most duel information can be applied toward organized PvP anyway so it may be helpful. Not all class/spec combinations are listed but it gives you a decent list of what is frequently seen at the moment.

R Druid:
    In a duel scenario this is going to be a long annoying fight in which you will probably OOM them before you kill them unless you out gear them or if they are terrible. If you have decent gear you should be able to do enough damage to force them oom as long as you time your root breaks to prevent them from ever being lame enough to try to stealth and reset. They are used to getting away simply from form changing to remove slows however the GCD improvement on Rend & Imp Hamstring makes this easier for us to keep up. Essentially just get rend up & blow them up and as they form change spam to run non-stop you just imp hamstring or piercing howl them between every ability use. So for example MS - Hamstring -> OP -> Hamstring etc and they will never be able to get away. Sooner or later they will Natures Grasp root you so be sure to keep Bladestorm available to break it -> charge. If they ever start to get away offensively fear before they get too far out of range while you are rooted. Save your trinket for their Warstomp -> Cyclone that they usually do when they start to get low. Gap close with HL as needed and just stay on them non-stop till they OOM (extremely boring fight).

R Shammy:
    Totem -> wolf is really annoying but they don't have much beyond that. Make sure you overlap your damage CDs effectively to put out as much pressure as possible when you know you will have some up-time without him wolfing away too quickly. Try to time your charges around your interrupt to basically give you a second one and beware the fake-casts to help in getting them low. Ideally get them low + reck + trinkets right after an interrupt followed by a throwdown. If you are a ninja and they are dumb it can be fun to spell reflect their Hex but otherwise just save your trinket for Hex once they are getting low and desparate.

H Pally:
    Pretty straight forward and they can never really get away from you. Their instant heals are annoying but if you are good at weaving slams into your rotation you should be able to out damage and get them down. Save trinket for HoJ when they start to get in trouble, use charge when they try to freedom to create space for a heal. Avoid ninja casts when interrupting and use Throwdown when they are low and in trouble. Try to anticipate their bubble so that you can shatter it asap, a lot of pallys have too much confidence in their bubble and don't heal as quickly as they should. If they do their aura mastery un-interruptable junk either throwdown/fear/charge stun them.

Disc Priest:
    Generally the easiest healer for us to kill because they are least able to get away. They frequently run quickly due to their bubbles but with hamstrings and charge you should be able to stay on them almost constantly. Don't bother with CS since they are cloth and 50% of low armor is meh and not really worth the GCD. As with all healers beware fake casting when using your pummel. One main thing to watch out for is when they use Inner Focus (combined with Strength of Soul) which prevents them from being interrupted, this is prime time for a throwdown/charge/fear to stop heals that they were counting on receiving. Once their CDs are gone pop all your CDs and blow them up, profit

Back to Top:
F Mage:
Example duel:
    Straight up hard-counter to Warriors. If you play it PERFECTLY they can mess up a couple times and still win. However, 95% of mages are absolutely terrible so you should be able to beat most of them. A few things you MUST have:
      - A good spell reflect macro and macro to switch back
      - Bladestorm & Cancel Bladestorm macro
      - CD macro for short notice burst damage
      - Shield Wall macro
      - Rallying Cry + Berserker Rage + Enraged Regen macro
      - Shattering Throw macro

    Once you have all that then it becomes purely a timing and ability/counter fight with a very specific set of abilities you have to use in order to have any chance. The basics are:
      - Try to start within range of the mage for an imp hamstring
      - If unable to get the imp-hamstring you should at least have gotten 1 hamstring or a piercing howl up on him (and hopefully a rend) before being rooted. Immediately bladestorm break the root to get as much damage as possible on the mage.
      - If he blinks cancel your bladestorm and charge into either an imp-hamstring root or if unavailable then throwdown and burst macro blow him up as much as possible.
      - If he deep freezes you trinket (never trinket a sheep unless he is 1 hit from death)
      - Try to never charge unless he blinks first
      - Try to save fear for his images or if you are near a kill and rooted
      - Don't worry about shattering his iceblock unless he uses it in a throwdown because they just cancel it as they see you cast
      - Keep Rend up at all times and be very careful about when you use Heroic Leap and try to time it around Imp Hamstring or Throwdown availability
      - Spell Reflect is tricky, a lot of mages use predictable Deep Freeze timing but that is a risk, I generally save it for the idiots that root and step back for a big cast, wait until it is almost finished before using your Spell Reflect macro. A good mage will fake cast or let their pet waste your reflect but at least it forces them to reset a big cast that would nuke you while you are rooted
      - Once you are out of everything else and are getting low use your regen macro or if you get rooted with nothing you can do and are going to get nuked use your shield-wall macro.

    Don't forget about Heroic Throw and I tie it into a macro with normal ranged so that if available I Heroic Throw and if not it uses my ranged to at least do something while you are rooted and Reflect is on CD. Don't get discouraged, fighting mages is all about timing and the simple fact is they are absolutely OP in duels right now because Bliz doesn't care to make even a semblance of balance around anything other then 3v3 where you have a chain dispel available.
    - Note: Bladestorm through Ring of Frost (you are immune while doing your storm) or HL in or out of it as long as you don't land on the actual ring.

    Should be a joke for you to rofl almost all warlocks except the good ones. We beat them almost as badly as Frost Mages can beat us however on rare occasions you will find some that are very good at kiting.
      - Try to start in range for an imp-hamstring root as their slow is better then hamstring and they can run away
      - Can start with a charge if not in range since if they port early you can heroic leap right over to them.
      - Get rend & hamstring up and simply do a lot more damage then they do. Interrupt casts that matter and throwdown when you pop your CDs for good burst.
      - Bladestorm when you think they are about to try to deathcoil or if they have their slow on you and are going to try to kite but make absolutely sure you have a cancel macro setup because if they haven't already ported you can pretty much guarantee they will as soon as you start to storm on them. Time your bladestorm around having charge up so that you can instantly cancel -> charge when they port.
      - If for some reason you don't have charge up when locks port instantly use your spell reflect macro because 99% of locks will try to hit you really hard as soon as they have ported and feel safe. Once you have reflected back in their face then you can HL at them if you haven't already closed the distance running over with reflect up
      - I tend to combine HL with my fear because not only will it fear their pet but it will keep them in place for you can position for an Imp Hamstring and prevent further kiting
      - Use your regen macro once you start to get low, the simple combination of our single target damage + constant up-time + regen should = win > lock.
      - Trinket their deathcoil and Berserker Rage fear if they get one off

    The only challenge can be some non-afflic locks that turn into the big winged blob but you should still be able to regen + CDs do more damage and kill them.

Back to Top:
    This is essentially like fighting a bad Frost Mage, some really good ones will beat you but we should be able to kill most of them because we almost have an ability/counter for each move they do unlike frost mage that has limitless roots.
      - Start on them for an imp hamstring / rend beginning if possible
      - They will usually start at distance and in camo so you can't charge them until they pet root you and go for a big opening burst. If you got hamstring or howl up on them I will usually start with a bladestorm to break their root and get a good damage start on them
      - If they disengage you charge
      - If they snake trap you thunderclap
      - If they iceblock you, you trinket
      - If they deterrence get rend up and some good damage on their pet so that you have the option of killing it or at the very least have TfB procs available as soon as you can hit the huntard again
      - If they start to get away with a well timed trap of some sort when you don't have bladestorm available then use your fear
      - Imp hamstring on cooldown and time your damage CDs around throwdown to get as much burst as possible
      - If they get separation or if you are stuck in a root with nothing you can do use your shield wall macro and remember to dance to defensive until you are able to close with them again
      - Keep in mind killing a huntard pet gives you Victory Rush so if they are good at kiting but are stupid enough to leave it sitting there you can always pop retaliation, run away from the max-range huntard and kill the pet. Imp-hamstring it if it is almost down and they try to recall it, then charge -> victory rush the huntard and laugh @ their fail with no pet

Example duel:
    Besides frost mages this is the most annoying class for me personally despite the fact that I can frequently beat them. You can't make any mistakes and many times RNG plays a big factor in who wins when fighting a good one. If a rogue decides to be as annoying as a dog humping his own leg they have the option to vanish-recoup-reset right now and make it virtually impossible to win. With that being said this is one of the most situational fights with some of the following:
      - As of 4.3 you can't bladestorm out of stuns etc any more but you can still prevent them
      - If they disarm your bladestorm I tend to fear them and try to open just enough space to charge stun
      - If you happen to get dismantled and don't have fear it is an ideal time to go defensive stance -> disarm -> thunderclap, demo shout -> back to Battle Stance to continue DPSing as your weapon should return just as you finish your stance dance and defensive GCD use to reduce what the rogue can do to you
      - Keep rend & slow up AT ALL TIMES this is HUGE against rogues, they avoid so much you have to have the rend damage plus TfB procs for Overpower as frequently as possible plus them hitting you in the back makes a night & day difference so keeping them slowed and in front of you is huge
      - Imp hamstring them on CD and use it to gain separation enough to charge them for good burst damage (they can't dodge when stunned)
      - Use an addon or get really used to watching for their Evasion, make sure to never waste your throwdown when they evade
      - Try to save your trinket for their blind or if you are a hit or 2 from a kill. Also if they are bursting and you are in a full duration stun it can be worth it to trinket the stun as long as you make sure to keep rend on them so that if they blind you it keeps them in combat and helps avoid the re-open
      - I virtually never use recklessness against rogues in duels because they can simply stunlock you wayyyyy too easily and even with a cancel macro being stuck in zerg stance while stance/dancing is not good. The one time you SHOULD use reck is on your 2nd throwdown when they trinketed the first one. It guarantees they take the full stun and you can unload, just be sure to cancel it as they come out of the stun.
      - Use Heroic Leap -> Charge for the stun and good burst damage when possible but try to save both for the end as a lot of rogues try to be lame and kite just before death and you need to be able to close the gap to finish them off (don't forget about heroic throw too)
      - Save your regen macro until you are very low because they will frequently vanish -> reset and you need as much health as possible (never use it when it would take you past 100% and waste some of it)

Back to Top:
Frost DK
Good frost DKs can be very tough in duels and a nightmare in Arena. They have a huge amount of versatility that really causes issues for your healer however I will continue to focus on duels for now.
    - I generally try to start with enough distance to get a charge off for rage burst and stun to get rend & hamstring up (they may try to DG you at the start and will likely get it off at the same time as your charge so you will end up rooted standing in front of them)
    - It is important to get rend and hamstring up immediately because many DKs like to try to kite you; I tend to start with an Imp Hamstring so that even if he roots me with his Chillblains Death Grip I root him too and can still open with all my normal stuff without him running away and doing damage from a distance
    - You have a couple choices regarding CDs when fighting a Frost DK. You can either pop recklessness and basically everything else you have (Trinkets, racial, deadly calm, etc) right at the start of the fight and nuke him immediately to either cut him in half or force him to go defensive and death strike spam (getting nerfed in 4.2) or you can save it all until you see him use Icebound Fortitude and use it all after that combined with a throwdown. I tend to prefer the second approach because with throwdown he can't simply break that stun unless trinketing and even if he trinkets he won't be reducing all damage taken like he will with Icebound Fortitude up.
    - Keep in mind DK is a plate wearer so Colossus Smash is still very useful so keep it up whenever you have enough rage for good ability usage to immediately follow
    - Save trinket for Hungering Cold (turns you into an iceblock)
    - If he grabs a pet sweeping strikes & bladestorm to kill the pet and stay on him, alternatively if he starts trying to kite you and attack from range use bladestorm to break Chillblains and remove any slows
    - Disarming DKs is VERY helpful especially if they are either hurting you too much or trying to be defensive with Death Strike, many of them don't have a weapon chain on so disarm lasts a fair amount of time
    - Similar to rogues try to separate whenever you get the chance to charge back in for a stun & rage burst to increase your damage to them and reduce their damage on you. Using bladestorm (right before it ends), heroic leap and fear are all good ways to separate for enough space to charge back in
    - Always watch for them popping Icebound Fortitude, it not only breaks any stuns on them it also makes them immune to stuns so if you charge or throwdown while it is up they are completely wasted
    - Similarly don't waste your fear when they have anti-magic shield up (green sort of bubble)
    - Don't forget to use your regen CD and I usually use fairly early in the fight against DKs, earlier then in most other duels to get as much healing from it as possible in case they try to stack necrotic stikes on you which would absorb it

Back to Top:
Feral Druid (kitty)
Kitties are sort of like wannabe rogues with really painful bleeds but a lot less stuns. They dodge a ton, try to kite sometimes and like to hide until they hump your leg.
    - Try to start with as much rage as possible to allow a bladestorm, since it is currently bugged and allows you to break their opener if you use it as soon as you see yourself get dazed and it prevents their opening stunlock (saving you from having to use your trinket). This will get some good damage on them, surprise them and many times make them try to run away
    - If they do start to run away move away from them as it ends or cancel it a little bit early so that you can get a charge off for a good initial rage burst and stun allowing you to get rend/hamstring up without being avoided
    - If they hide too long so you don't have enough rage to bladestorm out of their opener go ahead and use your trinket to break the stun because their opener and bleeds are deadly (getting buffed in 4.2) then go ahead and use your fear while moving away (never backpedal, always strafe run) to create some separation for your charge opener
    - ALWAYS keep rend and either hamstring or howl up on druids, they move quickly and always try to get your back and should never be allowed to get there. They avoid a TON so it is really important to keep rend up for TfB procs along with dodge based overpowers
    - Try to save your damage CDs around a Throwdown but keep in mind how often they avoid so many times I use it when combined with an Imp Hamstring -> separate -> charge -> throwdown (they can't dodge throwdown when stunned from charge)
    - Druid bleeds hurt pretty bad so you will likely need your regen to beat them
    - Ideally you saved your trinket by using Bladestorm to break their opener so it will be available for their Bear -> Skull Bash -> Cyclone which they will frequently do when starting to die so that they can run off and get some hots going. Trinket the Cyclone immediately and charge them to keep DPSing
    - If they get Natures Grasp up (3 hits all root you) hit your spell reflect macro and heroic throw them to cause them to get rooted and prevent them from vanishing to heal and get another opener on you
    - If they get a root off and are starting to get away use your fear preventatively to keep them close and unable to run off

Warrior vs Warrior
    - The opener; move in close to get a Hamstring when they aren't expecting it and are busy trying to charge when you are in their deadzone followed by running away from them as they are slowed and charging back in. This completely throws off their timing and generally allows you to get the charge & stun off for a free rage burst and rend while they are stunned allowing you to jump into your full damage rotation while they have to take a couple GCDs to still get Hamstring/Rend up. If you can't do that simply charge and stun eachother to at least have opening rage.
    - Mobility & stuns are key. Many Warriors tunnel, keep them hamstrung or imp hamstrung while running in circles around them lets you hit their back more often and prevents them from doing it to you
    - Get Rend up and never let it fall off, Mortal Strike refreshes it since the last patch so this should be easy to maintain
    - Never let Hamstring fall off, mobility plays a big role in doing what you want and preventing from doing what they want
    - Basics ability/counter use overview:

      / If they fear you Berserker Rage
      / If they Bladestorm you Retaliation & burst them
      / If they Recklessness you Disarm or if they Disarm you Disarm them back
      / If they Leap away you charge before they can charge you
      / If they Imp Hamstring you to try to create separation for a charge, bladestorm to break it and stay on them
      / If they Throwdown you, Trinket and Throwdown them back (Never use your trinket on anything but throwdown)

    - Save your regen macro for later in the fight but be sure to use it before your health gets down to Execute range because nothing is more pathetic than getting bursted down when your self-hot is still ticking
    - Avoid using Recklessness unless you are fairly confident you can get a Throwdown on them that they can't trinket; the 20% increased damage taken generally isn't worth the improved Crit chance in a duel situation. If you do opt to use it, make sure you have a Cancel macro available in case you need it.
    - Separate away for charges as frequently as possible; it is basically a free GCD of damage on them every time and makes a big difference. Imp Hamstring, Bladestorm to remove slow, fear and leap are all excellent tools you can use to create space for the charge back in.
    - Don't run from Bladestorm, it hits like a limp noodle and with lag you will probably get hit anyway
    - Never let a Warrior see your back. Ever.

Back to Top:
VIII. Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Are Warriors viable in 4.3 and what is different?
Answer: Yes, the Warrior can still be viable, we simply rely on our teammates to control the flow of games. The main changes in 4.3 was our Mortal Strike debuff being increased to 25% (same for other classes like Rogues/Hunters) and Charge Jumping being partially fixed. It still happens some but resolved 3/4 of it which is nice.

Question: Do you have to stand still to Slam?
Answer: No, as Arms we have Improved Slam with reduced cast time and can run while casting (wtf? i know, it is weird) so you can be moving non-stop and still Slam people despite having the cast time which isn't cancelled as you move

Question: Would taking Incite in my Spec be better then Imp Slam?
Answer: You can take a hybrid spec for both but if choosing between the two Slam is the higher priority in PvP. Slam costs less rage & hits much harder. Heroic Strike is not on the GCD so both Slam and HS should be used anyway (especially when Deadly Calm is up). With that in mind, it would be foolish to not take the reduced cast time & 20% damage increase to Slam over increased Crit chance on Heroic Strike (our lowest damage, least rage efficient, lowest priority ability).

Question: What does "Jump Charge" mean?
Answer: Basically there was a bug in the Warrior charge mechanic that has been there for years and was only recently 'fixed' in 4.3. When attacking someone they could jump while running so that even though you charge & stun them for 1.5s they are still moving away through the air and end up a fairly substantial distance away from you and could keep running before you actually reached them. This has been mostly fixed so that 3/4 of the time you end up landing near your target though not always.

Question: How do I get close to my target, I am always getting kited!
Answer: Precise ability use, timing & practice. Since the removal of Warriors being able to Charge / Intercept by putting them on the same CD intercept is now absolutely useless. With that in mind you only have 2 actual gap closers with a few additional tricks.
    • Charge - Be very careful about when you use this depending on the class you are fighting. If they have any sort of escape (mage blink, hunter disengage, lock port, etc) try to save it for after they use their escape ability if at all possible.
    • Heroic Leap - A terrible replacement for intercept as a gap closer it does not take you directly to your target nor does it stun them in any way so it is very important you are precise when targeting this and it is helpful if you can combine it with either a Throwdown, Fear or Imp Hamstring as you land. Keep in mind, this ability fails a lot so it won't work if there is ANY obstacle between you and your target (pebble, piece of lint, etc) or if your target leap location is up hill at all from you (you can jump as you leap to help a little with that) or if you are targeting near the max range of where it shows is allowed (it lies, showing a green available location when in truth it is too far away).
    • Other tricks - Due to our limited gap closers it is really important to use every trick available to you in order to prevent your target from getting away in the first place. A brief list of things to keep in mind:
      / Keep Hamstring or Piercing Howl up 100% of the time
      / If they get freedom you can either charge/throwdown/fear/leap/switch targets
      / Improved Hamstring is one of our most important abilities, don't just spam hamstring and waste it, timing it efficiently is huge both offensively and defensively for peels
      / Intervene to a friendly target in order to close the gap toward someone you want to attack, basically as good as your leap if they happen to get close to your friendly player
      / Piercing Howl (glyphed even better) keeps people slowed even if you can't quite reach them for a hamstring or if they dodge a lot. Very useful against mages, druids, rogues, etc even if they have something like Evasion up they can't avoid your howl

Question: Do you get Victory Rush from killing pets?
Answer: It depends on the pet. Hunter pets & DK Army are a definite YES whereas Mage pets, DK gouls, Warlock pets, Priest Shadowfiends all do not give you Victory Rush.

Back to Top:
What do you think of Reckbladestorm, or using

CS --> Slam --> OP ---> MS --> OPHS?
VIIII. Addons

I thought I would provide at least some recommendations for addons that I have found useful. Addons can be extremely helpful in making PvP both more enjoyable and more efficient by allowing you to track things and see things more easily.

Overview List Separated by Section
    General PvP (Frames, notifications, etc)
      Gladius: Probably the single most used PvP addon, incorporates a huge amount of functionality such as enemy unit frames, cooldown use, notifications of trinkets used/low health/etc, very very useful and recommended

      GladiatorlosSA: Sound notification of other players using CDs, REALLY helpful. This will say things like 'trinket, recklessness, shieldwall, evasion, etc' as players use CDs without you having to have them targeted or even on focus.

    Cooldown Timers
      OmniCC: I definitely use this in both PvE & PvP, it puts a numeric second countdown onto your action bar ability icons informing you of exactly how long until they can be used again

      Tell me when: Fairly versatile capability to track all kinds of things including cooldowns, buffs, dubuffs, etc and can include sound notifications. I currently use this to track the CD for my Imp Hamstring so that an Icon appears when targeting an enemy when Imp Hamstring is available also displays a numeric countdown of exactly how long until the 30 seconds CD is over as well as playing a sound notification when it is ready to be used again.

      Power Auras: I don't personally use this one but a lot of people track procs and CDs with it

    Interrupt Notifications
      I interrupted that: Provides interrupt tracking with text notifications when you interrupt something so that you don't have to have a macro and it doesn't lie about something being interrupted if you get juked since it is based off the combat log and only does the notification when the interrupt actually happens.

      Purge Light-weight addon which provides chat notification of various things including cast interrupts. Made by one of our own community members Kynetix, this is the interrupt addon I currently use.

    Buff / Debuff Bars
      Satrina Buff Frames: Probably my favorite addon even though it hasn't been updated in ages. This provides buff/debuff bars that are very versatile. Basically you can setup as many bars as you want to track different things so I have about 10 different bars that track things that I want to see such as outside buffs, self buffs, internal cooldown tracking, target buffs, target debuffs, various procs, etc. So for example some of my bars include:
        Track my general buffs
        Track my self-buffs
        Track my general debuffs
        Track specific debuffs that I really want to pay attention to such as stun timers from rogues/ferals/etc
        Track my procs such as: Incite, Battle Trance, Landslide, Trinkets, Bloodsurge, etc
        Track buffs on my target that I really care about such as: IBF, Evasion, Shadow Dance, Inner Focus, Bubble CD, etc

    Cast Bars & Timers
      Quartz: Pretty straight forward provides castbars and other timers that you can size and position where you want for yourself, your target, etc so that they show you want you want and are easy to see

    Combat Text
      MSBT (Mik's Scrolling BattleText): Combines functionality of both scrolling combat text as well as notifications for things which can be useful.

    Unit Frames
      Pitbull: Very customizable display of various unit frames such as yourself, your target, your target of target, your pet, etc.

    Raid Frames
      Grid: Definitely my favorite raid frame addon from a PvE perspective, nice compact implementation that allows a lot of functionality without taking up a lot of screen space

    Name Plates
      Tidyplates: Allows easy selection of targets and also has some cool features built-in such as displaying buffs/debuffs on name-plates. I used to use Aloft but Tidyplates seem to be the next step forward and I have found it very helpful (especially when tanking in PvE and not losing people in PvP)

    Action Bars
      Dominos: Pretty straight forward, this is my personal favorite action bar replacement with very customizable bars that can handle stances and paging and various other stuff.

    Quality of Life / Appearance
      Bagnon: Compacts your bags and makes them much nicer to look at and search

      Sexymap: Replace the normal mini-map and make it secksy

Back to Top:
X. Arena Comps

Currently in 4.2 Warriors are struggling with being one of the least versatile melee in the game. With that in mind it is very important to find an Arena comp that can minimize our weaknesses and maximize our potential.

Our role in 3s is generally to just do as much damage as possible and allow the other players on your team to control the fight. Minimize burst with the occasional disarm/peel and keep everyone slowed with Piercing Howl but our job is to max out the pressure and let your team handle the control because we simply don't have much versatility as Warriors. Remember the best peel you can do is to put out enough damage that the other team has to go defensive / peel you.
      Lock/Shammy works with almost anyone including Warrior, the control of the lock combined with general damage of Warrior and currently most OP healer allows for probably the strongest Warrior comp right now. Comp really depends on having a good Lock that can tank damage, knows good port positioning and can put out good pressure even when getting trained. Dots on everyone allows for quick switches onto healers and Shammy heals lets you out-last a lot of teams.

      Very reliant on the Mage. Novas for control, CC chain capability on healers and nice burst when required lets us Warriors run around and maximize our pressure. Generally goes with a Disc priest for fears/manaburns/dispels but can work with almost any healer as long as you have a good mage that knows when to burst and when to play defensively. This comp pretty well counters melee cleave teams and does decently on wizards too as long as the Mage is a ninja and knows when to LoS.

    Kittycleave (Warrior/Feral/HPally)
      Once again the comp is dependent on the Feral. Warriors do what we do putting out as much pressure as possible and are helped by having a Pally for freedom. This team puts out a lot of pressure but can be controlled a bit by Mage teams so it is important to pay attention to your health and healer status so that you can reflect/defensive/peel as needed. If you can allow your Feral to stay kitty then his instant clones are insanely OP and the pair of you on a target can do excellent damage.

    KFC (Warrior/Hunter/Healer)
      Not as good of a comp as it used to be (Warriors are replaced with Ferals now) but can still be viable; it is important to setup roots on your target to prevent the Hunter from getting LoSed and also avoid the DPS eating traps meant for healers. Need the hunter to use every trick possible with pet root, snakes, etc along with your imp hamstring to ensure scatter/traps CC healers and aren't eaten by DPS and dispelled right off. This comp can work well on some comps but has problems with Wizard cleaves and rogue teams that can train the hunter.

      This is one of my favorite comps but it REALLY relies on having a ninja rogue. Pressure can be excellent especially when combined with smoke bombs. Biggest issue comes in against wizard teams and will require constant switches against mage teams to prevent sheeps/shatters/etc while putting out good pressure. I generally prefer a Shammy healer for this comp as Windshear is really helpful.

      The gold ol' RUSH THE HEALER AND WIN comp. Basically if you don't get a win extremely quickly you will likely lose. This comp remains very viable however it largely depends on both the DK and Warrior knowing how to maximize pressure and REALLY needing a good Pally that is a ninja at LoSing while keeping heals up for the mad rush. It is almost like a 3dps comp because games are quick one way or the other.

    This bracket is basically broken with regard to balance so I wouldn't recommend even worrying about it unless just doing it for the luls or to work on synergy with another DPS. If you really want to do it here are some decent comps
      Warrior/MM Hunter [ul]Cc healers, kill deepz, avoid damage intake as much as possible until CC chain can be established on healer

      Blow the DPS up with good clones back and forth for CC and to prevent heals on the target

      Usually go after healers, can do some nice burst with lots of stuns, keep DPS disarmed & kited as much as possible.

      One of the most difficult yet entertaining 2s comps. Have to coordinate constant charges, roots, disarms, fears and straight up damage to kill healers before one of you gets blown up.

      This will basically make you want to put your face through your monitor, if you go this route you have more patience then me. 3 45min matches in a row = I was done with 2s using a healer

Back to Top:
Well in a scenario where 3 stacks of LTTS wont be dissapearing within the CS window.
Great guide, I see this being very helpful in the future. Requested sticky
Nice to hear, if anyone has any additional suggestions or comments let me know and I will update the original thread.
Updated with Frost DK and Feral Kitty Druid duel tactics
Really great guide you've got here. I requested a sticky and 'liked.' I have a question though concerning the Intervene macro. Is it basically having you automatically Intervene to the teammate that your target is currently attacking?

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum