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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Fury 101, Page 2

Matthew Rossi

5. To level a fury

So far we've talked about the stats you want, but how do you go about leveling as fury? For starters, keep it simple: trying to collect ArP on you leveling gear will just frustrate you. You won't have Titan's Grip until level 60 (if you take all of your points in fury to that point) so you'll level with either a 2h weapon or two 1h weapons. Focus on strength, then crit, then stam (stam is useful for leveling because it makes it harder for you to die). "Of the bear' and "of the beast' are probably your best bets for leveling greens. Also keep in mind your relative fragility compared to a tank: you're not going to be able to soak up nearly as much damage, especially when you lack in gear. The heirloom plate shoulders, chest, and 2h axe are all good choices for a fury warrior (and you can always get a second 2h once you have Titan's Grip).

The better your leveling gear is and the more you work on keeping it up to date, the easier it is to level as fury. Consider the Bloodthirst glyph as soon as you can get it, because the self heal is very useful for leveling. Make sure to keep potions, food and first aid ready.

This is a level 70 build aimed at soloing and grinding quests which is also viable for dungeon finder groups. It takes Blood Craze in order to improve survivability (you'd likely have at least Bloodthirst glyphed as well for more health regeneration). This level 80 build is aimed at providing the raid with maximized versions of Battle or Commanding Shout for the longest duration possible (so glyphs would be chosen to amplify one of those two shouts) as well as longer durations on Demoralizing Shout. This variant is instead focused on maximum benefit from the Demo Shout debuff. You could easily move points around for Furious Attacks and Heroic Fury to increase PvP viability or for raid utility.

As a fury warrior you probably won't bother with protection talents when it's almost mandatory to go at least up to Two-Handed Weapon Specialization in arms. Since you'll have to spend at least 15 points to get there, you're most likely going for Impale and Deep Wounds as well: how you get there doesn't matter all that much, although it's not like Improved Heroic Strike is going to hurt your rage dumping any. While fury is hardly the most popular PvP spec for warriors, if you're going to PvP as fury you might as well get Iron Will. Otherwise, I'd recommend Tactical Mastery to make stance switching easier, although as fury you won't have to do that very often. (TM also makes offtanking when necessary easier for a fury warrior.)

6. Fury Talent Overview

There are a lot of talents in fury and of course everyone will have different talents they like. I'll go over those I think are particularly interesting or useful, but as always, your own opinions may differ. I'll be mentioning them in the order that they become available on the tree: the more points it costs to get to a talent, the later it will appear on the list. It would take more points than you probably can afford to spend and get the generally accepted necessary arms talents to buy all of these.
  • Amored To The Teeth: The developers want you wearing plate, so they have given you this talent (also very attractive for prot warriors speccing into fury) to make the plate give you something useful.
  • Booming Voice: Shouts last longer, shouts reach more targets. Since it's right there in the first tier it's pretty easy to justify picking it up.
  • Cruelty: For five points, you get 5% crit independent of gear. It doesn't decay as you level, meaning that every time you get a level and the amount of critical strike rating you need for 1% crit goes up, this talent is inflated in value. Think of how much itemization 5% chance to crit is worth at level 80.
  • Piercing Howl: Do you want to have to switch stances to hamstring, or would you rather be able to just yell and daze them long enough to get that killing blow in? PH is good when soloing and grinding, in PvP, and on any instance or raid fight with a lot of adds that can be slowed and kited.
  • Improved Cleave: This, when combined with the Glyph of Cleaving, is a lot of damage in AoE situations.
  • Dual Wield Specialization: You're going to be dual wielding a set of 2h weapons. You want your offhand to hit harder. It stacks with damage from Two-Hand Weapon Specialization.
  • Precision: The white hit cap not counting things like draenei racials is close to 880 hit rating. You're never going to get there, but it means that Precision is never a bad talent.
  • Death Wish: 20% more damage dealt, 5% more damage taken. Pretty much a must have, just try not to use it when standing in fire, or acid, or fire acid or whatever they're making the floor exude this boss.
  • Flurry: You attack faster, generate more rage, and do more damage within the same time frame. Always get this.
  • Intensify Rage: Shorter cooldowns for various important DPS abiliies.
  • Bloodthirst: Your main instant attack as fury, every four seconds, calculated off of attack power, small self heal that can be increased with glyph for leveling. A necessary talent.
  • Improved Whirlwind: More damage for your main AoE ability, which is also your secondary instant attack (glyphed, whirlwind fires every 8 seconds, meaning that your standard rotation will be BT - BT - WW). Another must have talent.
  • Furious Attacks: Useful for PvP or fights with healing that needs to be reduced, FA is unfortunately only a chance to apply, only applies on white hits, and must be stacked to 2 to be as effective as the Mortal Strike debuff. In the end, it's a pale second, but if you intend to PvP as fury you'll almost have to accept that.
  • Improved Berserker Stance: At the full five point investment, it's an extra 20% strength and a 10% threat reduction (the only threat reduction fury warriors have available) - you have no choice but to take this talent.
  • Heroic Fury: A fun and useful talent, good for PvP or for mobility fights where an extra intercept makes getting back into DPS range much, much easier. It's one point, but that may be 1 point you just don't have to spare. (I always try and pick it up, but others are not so enthused.)
  • Rampage: If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you'll have a feral in your raid comp, you can skip this. If there's any chance you won't have one, it's worth picking up. Keep in mind it's inferior to Leader of the Pack.
  • Bloodsurge: Without this ability, you should never touch Slam in your damage rotation. With it, Slam as soon as it procs as long as you have the rage.
  • Unending Fury: More damage from your big three rotation abilities.
  • Titan's Grip: Let's not waste our time pretending. You're going to take Titan's Grip. You know it, I know it, and the two 2h weapons you're going to smash into everything that moves, they know it too. They're already calling your name. TG, even with the damage reduction, is a huge DPS increase.
You'll notice that several talents I recommended taking like Imp Demo Shout and Commanding Presence are not on this list. That's because I don't like them. That doesn't mean they aren't useful for raids or that you shouldn't take them, but they're boring and I hope they're revised or even removed and replaced by mastery in Cataclysm. Several other talents like Enrage, Unbridled Wrath, Improved Execute or Blood Frenzy need some work before I'll recommend them for more than a leveling spec. (Enrage is basically a great leveling or PvP talent, and is nerfed even in PvP by resilience - ironically, the more resilience and thus survivability you have as a PvP warrior the less you'll like Enrage. I've been at this game too long. Enrage used to require you to be critically hit. Enrage is still not really worth it for most DPS builds, since the goal is not to be hit, but with splash damage you may find it useful.)

7. Fury rotation

Unlike protection last week, fury actually has a pretty standard rotation. You'll use Bloodthirst every 4 seconds, Whirlwind every 8 seconds (glyphed, of course) and Slam every time Bloodsurge procs and makes it an instant attack. While you're working on this rotation, you'll most likely weave in Sunder Armor (if there's no protection warrior tanking), Heroic Strike to burn rage if you're high (any rage generated past 100 rage is effectively wasted, so it's always to your benefit to try and stay below 75 rage as a guideline) or Cleave if you're in a multi-mob pull. You also may be expected to keep Demoralizing Shout on a boss, or Commanding or Battle shout up for the group.

You should use your DPS cooldowns (Death Wish, Recklessness) every time they're up as long as you can be sure that you won't waste some or all of their duration by having to move. (Many modern boss encounters feature a lot of movement and are not considered 'warrior DPS friendly') Bloodrage should be used if a long period of rage starvation (three or more white swings missing) causes you to be unable to keep up with your rotation. Major glyphs for fury are almost certainly going to include Cleaving and Whirlwind and Heroic Strike is a popular third choice. Minor glyphs often include Command, Battle or Bloodrage.

You'll gem for whatever stats your gear is short on to make caps at first, then once you have sufficient hit and expertise on gear to no longer need to gem for it, you'll most likely switch to ArP as much as you can. Your meta gem will probably be the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond, with a Nightmare's Tear and one of the purple or green gems with stamina and a desirable stat (again, most likely ArP or crit) to make the meta's requirements.

Next week, we'll discuss arms, and then wrap up our 101 series with gearing, gemming, glyphing and enchanting in detail.

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