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Build Shop: Warrior 17/44

Chris Jahosky

Every Tuesday (and sometimes Wednesday, when dealing with broken computers), Chris Jahosky contributes Build Shop, which takes a look into one of the many talent specs available to players.

I'm sure some of you noticed that Build Shop went on an unscheduled vacation -- this was unfortunately due to the death of my old computer. My new computer is all set up and ready to go (and plays WoW better than ever), and so I'm now officially back on the scene. There was a lot of talk in the comments from last time about the RiP (Rogue in Plate) build, so this week I'm taking a look at it for those who are interested.

RiPper builds (like 17/44, the one I'm examining) are so named because their DPS potential is quite close to rogues (hence, Rogue in Plate). It's a sustained damage build, similar to a combat spec Rogue, but because of their ability to wear plate (and a shield) have more survivability and off-tank potential. They're quite capable of inflicting incredible damage, and can be especially nasty when paired with a Shaman's Windfury totem.

The Fury tree is utilized extensively for this build -- points are mostly put into Arms in order to grab Impale, which increases critical damage, but it also picks up a few nice talents for tanking and utility.

Arms (17 points)

  • Heroic Strike (3/3) - Reduces the rage cost of Heroic Strike by 3 points. You can use this to dump extra rage provided threat isn't an issue.
  • Deflection (5/5) - Increases your chance to Parry by 5%. Useful if you ever find yourself off-tanking, or if you can't position yourself behind a target and run the risk of taking a cleave or two.
  • Improved Thunder Clap (3/3) - Decreases the rage cost of Thunder Clap by 4, increases the damage by 100% and the slowing effect by 10%. If your MT doesn't have this, you'll likely be called upon to put it up to help with tanking.
  • Anger Management (1/1) - Generates 1 rage every 3 seconds. Most talents that generate rage are central to this build, and this one is no exception. Pick this one up so you'll always get some rage on a consistent basis. Works nicely with Unbridled Wrath, over in the Fury tree, to give you some extra rage.
  • Deep Wounds (3/3) - Causes your critical strikes to place a bleed effect on the target, causing 60% of your weapon's average damage over 12 seconds. A prereq for Impale, and also does respectable damage.
  • Impale (2/2) - Increases your critical strike damage bonus of your abilities in Battle, Berserker, and Defensive Stance by 20%. This is the main reason to spec into Arms, as this is the only tree with a talent that increases critical strike damage.
Fury (44 points)
  • Cruelty (5/5) - Increases your critical strike chance by 5%. Crit is important to this build for proccing Flurry and Deep Wounds, so these 5 points are well spent.
  • Unbridled Wrath (5/5) - Gives you a chance to generate an extra rage point whenever you deal melee damage with a weapon. Since you'll be dual wielding, hitting often and fast (hopefully), you should generate a good bit of rage through this talent. Combined with Anger Management, this gives your rage generation a nice boost.
  • Commanding Presence (5/5) - Increases the attack power / health bonus of Battle / Commanding Shout by 25%. You'll likely have one of these two shouts up most of the time (mostly Battle Shout if you're dealing damage in a PvE scenario and health isn't an issue), so getting an extra 25% benefit isn't bad. This works out to an extra 76 attack power on the max rank of your Battle Shout, which is roughly 5.5 extra DPS. Worth picking up, since this build is about maximizing damage.
  • Dual Wield Specialization (5/5) - Increases the damage done by your offhand by 25%. Offhand attacks typically do 50% damage, so this talent helps partially overcome that penalty.
  • Enrage (5/5) - After receiving a critical strike, you gain a 25% damage bonus for 12 seconds or 12 swings (whichever comes first). Also a prereq for the fantastic Flurry talent.
  • Sweeping Strikes (1/1) - Causes your next 10 melee attacks to strike an additional opponent. Has a 30 second cooldown, but is potentially devastating with Whirlwind.
  • Weapon Mastery (2/2) - Reduces the chance for your attacks to be dodged by 2%, and reduces all disarming effect durations by 50%. A lot of RiPpers have pulled points out of Improved Execute to take this, and it's worth it for sustained damage. Reducing the chance for your target to dodge means more of your hits (and crits) will land.
  • Flurry (5/5) - Increases your attack speed by 25% for 3 swings after dealing a melee critical strike. You'll want this up as often as you possibly can, as the benefits of haste can't be overstated for sustained damage. Terrific talent.
  • Precision (3/3) - Increases your chance to hit by 3%. Against a level 73, you'll need 9% hit before you won't miss a special (yellow) attack. This talent helps you reach that mark, allowing you to gem for attack power or crit instead of hit. Also helps out your white damage as well.
  • Bloodthirst (1/1) - An instant attack that causes damage based on attack power. Also, the next 5 successful attacks after using this ability restore 30 health.
  • Improved Whirlwind (1/2) - Reduces the cooldown of your Whirlwind by 1 second. It's not necessary to take both points in this talent, as most Fury warriors are able to get into a nice damage rotation without needing the extra second of time off the cooldown.
  • Improved Berserker Stance (5/5) - Increases attack power by 10%, and reduces threat caused in Berserker stance by 10%. Taking this talent means it's generally more beneficial to stack attack power rather then strength, and also grants you some threat reduction. That's great news, since at higher gear levels Fury Warriors find their damage seems to be capped by threat more than anything else. The attack power boost also scales with your gear.
  • Rampage (1/1) - Grants an additional 50 attack power when used, and causes most successful attacks to grant an additional 50 attack power. This lasts 30 seconds and stacks up to 5 times, for a maximum of 250 extra attack power. It can only be used after dealing a critical strike, but you should find it quite easy to keep this up most of the time.
If you're looking for more information on this build, including advice on gear and skill rotation, check out Meeks' excellent guide over on the Theoryspot forums.

That wraps up this edition of Build Shop, but I'll be back again next week. What do you want to see on Build Shop? Send me an email with your questions, comments, or builds and we'll talk shop.

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