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Build Shop: Warrior 17/41/3

Eliah Hecht

Since Build Shop debuted, I've probably gotten more Fury Warrior builds than any other specific tree. So let's look at one. Thirx, of Eldre'Thalas, wearies of his current "hohum MS/ot build," and tossed me this gem, along with a MS/Flurry build that I won't be posting, since I only have space for one build, and I like Fury better. This build is for PvE damage, according to the author's description. Let's see what we can find.

Due to Blizzard's decision to put the remnants of Tactical Mastery in the Protection tree, this particular distribution of talents -- 17 in Arms, 41 in Fury, and 3 in Prot -- is pretty much a given for any deep-Fury build. A point or two may move from Arms to Fury, but in general, Rampage is too good to pass up, TM is still a necessity (even though it's partially trainable), and that just leaves 17 for Arms.

Looking at Arms first, we start out with 5/5 Deflection. Not only is more parry always handy (1% less incoming damage per talent point), but as Thirx points out, "Imp rend is nigh useless (so many bleed immune mobs) and I don't use heroic strike much because it's not an instant and steals rage away." 6 more rage from Imp Charge is nice, though 3 rage points per charge per talent point seems kind of weak -- I might be tempted to go 5/5 Iron Will and 1/2 Imp Charge instead, or even move that one point up to Imp HS.

Deep Wounds is decent by itself, although not as nice as it is with a big 2h. It's also a requirement for Impale, so it makes sense to take it here. And I suppose Anger Management is nice for more rage all the time, although not ever having taken it on my Warrior (who's only in the 40s somewhere), this is one talent that I have no idea how much impact it actually has. Still, it's not like there's very much competition in this area of the talent trees.

And since we're cutting Arms short due to TM in Prot, we end Arms with 2/2 Impale. This is a very nice talent these days (I seem to remember it being not nearly so good a few revisions back); 220% damage crits are nice indeed (and overcharged crits are something this build shares with last week's Mage build).

I'm going to skip over to Prot now, so we can save the bulk of this build for last. Prot's simple enough: 3/3 Tactical Mastery. In soloing, this lets us keep all the rage we get from charging when we switch from Battle to Berserker stance, which is pretty big. Even if you only switch stances once per fight, this talent saves up to 5 rage per talent point. Handy indeed. And stance-dancing is often necessary when things go wrong, whether soloing or in groups, to get off that Thunderclap or Disarm or whatever.

Honestly, even though I'm fairly committed to leveling my Warrior as full Fury until Rampage, I do feel a little gimped without TM. The devs have said that they basically put TM in Prot in order to nerf MS/Flurry builds, even though it's totally out of place in that tree; I wish they'd left TM alone in Arms and nerfed Flurry instead (which they ended up doing in 2.1 anyway). And really, if they were going to move TM, Fury is the natural place for it, the tree that deals with rage generation. Ah well, I doubt TM is moving back or becoming completely trainable any time soon. (On the other hand, I would have said the same thing about Imp Sap before I saw the 2.1 notes.)

Alright then. Whining about TM over, time to move on to Fury, full of nice and vicious talents. Starting out strong with Cruelty -- you'd have to be crazy to skip this if you were putting any points in Fury. Unbridled Wrath for more and more Rage, which we will put to good use later; it's not a huge boost, but Imp. Demo. Shout is ridiculously weak. Then we finally have some real choices to make: Commanding Presence, Blood Craze, and Piercing Howl (Cleave is not going to be used much for a Fury build, so Imp Cleave isn't really in the running).

Piercing Howl is nice, but more of a PvP thing (it is also very handy for the Big Bad Wolf in Karazhan). Blood Craze looks decent on the face of things -- health loss is a Warrior's only downside in solo PvE, and this helps offset that -- but pales when you realize that one doesn't get crit all too often by mobs, and the regeneration is extremely low. Assuming mobs have a crit rate of 5% and an attack speed of 2.0, and you don't have any defense or resilience gear on so that isn't reduced by anything, Blood Craze regenerates 1.5% of your health per point per minute. Iffy at best. (This talent would shine, on the other hand, in PvP, I reckon.)

So Commanding Presence it is then. With max rank Battle Shout, the bonus for 5/5 Commanding Presence is 76.25 AP, which works out to around 5.4 DPS -- about 1 DPS per talent point to white damage, and various boosts to yellow damage as well. Specifically, you'll get an extra 34 to your Bloodthirst, and if you hit that every time it's up as I imagine you would, that's 5.7 more DPS or another 1 or so per talent point, for a sum of a bit over 2 DPS per point. Not too shabby, and much better than it seems at first once you take into account that Bloodthirst is directly based on AP.

The next talent choices are easy. Enrage isn't great, suffering from Blood Craze's weakness of only activating when you get crit, but it's a requirement for Flurry, so there's no question about taking it. Flurry is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the Fury tree. And Dual Wield Spec, while not as powerful as the Rogue version (the Rogue version is overpowered, honestly), is still pretty decent.

In case you don't believe me, some hypothetical numbers ensue. About 50% of your damage is white damage, probably. Since the off-hand does half the damage of the main hand, assuming you have equal DPS weapons in each hand, the off-hand will represent a third of your white damage. DW Spec boosts that by 5% per talent point. 50% * 33% * 5% = 0.825% increase in DPS per talent point, which is close enough for me. And besides, Imp Execute is only okay.

The next tier is again a no-brainer; Death Wish is required for Bloodthirst and Rampage, and not half bad besides (especially in a group DPS position where you won't be taking much damage). And then we get to Flurry, yay! Modeling exactly how much of a damage boost Flurry gives is a little beyond me. Fortunately, I have it on good information that most Fury Warriors have Flurry up almost all the time, which makes it very easy to model: a 6% increase in white damage per talent point (nerfed to 5% per point in 2.1). 3% (or 2.5%) more DPS per talent point
is great in anyone's book.

Blood Thirst, formerly the pinnacle of Fury, is still a rather nice talent (unlike many other 31 point talents, which look much weaker now in comparison to new talents). Another instant attack in a Fury Warrior's arsenal is nice, since at this point you'll probably have more rage than you know what to do with, and this one is rage-efficient enough to become, as Thirx points out, "the bread and butter attack used to deal damage with this spec." The small heal afterwards is just icing.

3/3 Precision because no-one likes to miss; this should help raise the crit cap as well, I believe. Imp Berserker Stance is a nice talent in this position, a straight boost to what a Fury Warrior is all about: damage. At 1200 AP, 2% per point nets you 24 AP per talent point, a much bigger boost than Commanding Presence (1.7 more white DPS, and 10.8 more point to your BT, which is another 1.8 dps). Solid.

And finally, Rampage is a talent I don't have much personal experience with, but it looks like it should synergize well with Flurry: get a crit, gain AP as well as attack speed, hit faster and harder. Sounds good, and most Fury warriors seem to take it, so I'll assume it's worthwhile in its current state (it's been buffed considerably since its introduction).

Well, that's about the size of it. Looks like a nice straightforward build to me, although I have some doubts about whether Imp Execute or Imp Whirlwind might have been worth taking, as well as Imp HS. However, I don't have enough experience, as I've said, with Warriors' special attacks to really be able to tell. Thanks to Thirx for sending in this one, and do remember to mail your builds to (Wowhead or Armory links, and be sure to include a description of your goals with the build, as well as rationale if you so desire). Anyway, it's not all about me. Since I got so many Fury builds, I know there must be a few of you Fury Warriors out there -- what do you think of this build?

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