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The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A new fury at 80

Matthew Rossi

The Care and Feeding of Warriors takes this week to look at what your newly 80 fury warrior should be doing. Matthew Rossi hit 80 back before you could pick up iLevel 232 gear by running heroics. Heck, it didn't even exist in game yet. Get off his lawn.

While the intro is mock grumpy, the basic message is accurate enough. It's a good time to hit 80 with your aspiring fury warrior. The hit and expertise soft caps have never been easier to hit and with the dungeon finder; you can rapidly acquire solid gear that will allow you to begin raiding almost immediately, if that's what you want to do. You can also PvP ... Fury lacks in arenas but can solidly perform in battlegrounds. And PvP is both another source for solid gear and a reasonably fun pastime for a fury, with the playstyle meshing well with battlegrounds and Wintergrasp's chaotic melee tumult.

Before we get started I'll point you at the Fury 101 post we did a while back. Since reinventing the wheel isn't what we're out to do, this post will be more definitely aimed at what to do when you reach 80 -- in other words, where to get the best gear you can as quickly as you can.

Heroics, heroics, heroics: the emblems are OK

First off, if you haven't been running the daily LFD dungeon at least once a day while leveling to 80, I'm sorry to hear that. If you have, however, you'll have picked up some triumph badges that you can spend right away. Assuming that you have already maxed out the Precision talent, you only need 163 hit rating or 5% hit to hit a raid boss with yellow attacks, which is more than you need for bosses in heroic 5-mans at 80. So aim to get that hit to that level and then don't worry about it anymore. Likewise, you only need 26 expertise (214 expertise rating) to completely negate dodges from raid bosses, which is again more than you need for 5-mans. Don't worry too much about these stats while gearing up for and in heroic dungeons.

The Faceplate/Helm of Thunderous Rampage is one of the best purchases for Emblems of Triumph for a fury warrior. While this is a fairly expensive purchase, it's not like you won't eventually scrape up the emblems and you won't have to replace this hat until you have enough frosts to buy the T10 hat; even the plate DPS drop from 10-man Deathwhisper isn't as good for a fury warrior. The Pauldrons/Shoulderplates of Trembling Rage are cheaper at 45 emblems and will take a big chunk out of that hit target you're looking for. However, if you're intending to go for four pieces of the T9 232 set for the bonuses, I'd rather skip these and buy the hat. (The Hellscream and its Alliance counterpart will provide quite a bit of hit and expertise, making the hit on the Trembling Rage shoulders less attractive.)

If you're looking for rings and trinkets from Emblems of Triumph, there's only one real trinket option for the fresh 80 DPS warrior, the Mark of Supremacy, and it's not terribly compelling. Still, for a new 80, the on-use is solid enough and if you're woefully short on hit, the trinket will get you half of the way towards the 262 hit rating to cap yellows in raids without Precision. (This doesn't mean don't take Precision.) I'd make the trinket a low priority, but if you have nothing better and have collected most of what you want from triumphs, it is an option. For rings, you can get the Bloodshed Band and the Dextrous Brightstone Ring. Until Cataclysm comes along and takes the AP off of agility-based items, I'd get the Dextrous first; even with haste on it, the spread of stats and ArP makes it more attractive. But the Bloodshed's got a solid amount of strength and crit, so while you may start to feel overloaded on hit once you pick it up, it's worth looking at. For your ranged weapon stat stick, Crimson Star is pretty solid. (You won't find many ranged weapons with strength on them.)

Don't spend triumphs on PvP gear unless you have all the PvE gear you want from the triumph vendor and are swimming in triumphs. With VoA, Wintergrasp and random BGs, it's pretty easy to get plenty of honor to buy PvP gear without spending your emblems. Likewise, don't dump triumphs down to buy gear from the conquest/valor emblem vendors unless you have everything you want from the triumph vendor; even then, I'd counsel waiting for a drop from one of the ICC 5-mans or Trial of the Champion. Failing that, use your triumphs (and frozen orbs) to buy mats for superior crafted items.

Speaking of heroics, there's gear in them, too

It's true! They're not just there for ramming through them as quickly as you can for emblems! In addition to heroics, there are epics that drop in normal mode dungeons as well. Don't be afraid to run these instances. (Please don't snag tanking plate from real tanks.) While I just filtered for plate, there are capes, rings (for whatever stats you need) and trinkets available from instances that you shouldn't turn your nose up at -- and even more importantly, weapons.

For a fury warrior, polearms and staves are right out; don't even look at them. That leaves you with the Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver, Edge of Ruin, Tyrannical Beheader, Garfrost's Two-Ton Hammer and Mourning Malice. If you get very lucky while running the heroic Icecrown Citadel 5-mans or have a lot of gold saved up, you can also buy a Battered Hilt and choose between one of two Quel'Delar options. The ArP Quel'Delar makes a nice off hand for a fury warrior, but the strength one is a solid main hand and will be even better come Cataclysm.

BoE/crafting options

Keep in mind that most crafted items are either going to be expensive in terms of mats or easily replaced. The items that were staples of the Naxxramas raider (Titansteel Destroyer, Spiked Titansteel Helm and Treads) can still serve if you have the mats to craft them or money to buy them and want to throw them on as soon as you hit 80. There are also four notable BoE instance drops a fury warrior might make use of, the Raging Behemoth's Shoulderplates (they drop in ICC-25 but can be found on most realm's AH by now), the Iron Riveted War Helm, Iron Spring Jumpers and Zeliek's Gauntlets. The jumpers and gauntlets drop off of Naxx bosses who are very infrequently killed nowadays, making them a rare sight on the AH, but the Iron Riveted War Helm drops from a boss who is killed for a weekly raid quest, making it slightly more common.

There are quite a few crafted plate DPS pieces ranging from Ulduar to ICC quality. The Battlelord's Plate Boots and Belt of the Titans are solid iLevel 226 crafted items from Ulduar recipes; the Titanium Razorplate (Alliance) and Titanium Spikeguards (Horde) are Trial of the Crusader recipes; and the Ashen Verdict quartermaster sells the recipes for the Legplates of Painful Death and Hellfrozen Bonegrinders if you're swimming in money or mats.

Of course I have forgotten or left out something, which is where the comments often come in handy. I deliberately left out reputation faction rewards, since fresh 80s can often get good gear faster by just running heroics, as an example, but we did cover them almost two years ago and they haven't really changed all that much since.

Next week, 21-40 as a warrior; then in two weeks, what's a newly 80 prot to do?

Check out more strategies, tips and leveling guides for warriors in Matthew Rossi's weekly class column, The Care and Feeding of Warriors.

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