The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A Birthday Miscellany

The Care and Feeding of Warriors A Birthday Miscellany

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Still waiting on 1h weapons for an SMF build. So I've decided that this week, I'll go and take a look at smaller topics, things that won't fill up a full column by themselves. I'm doing this because the day I write this is my birthday and I want to treat myself.

One of those things is soloing old raids, which I've been doing a lot of since patch 5.1 dropped. Whenever I post to twitter that I've completed another old raid or boss, people ask me what spec I'm using or what talents I'm choosing. Now, none of this is remotely as impressive as soloing Baleroc at level 80, but it's fun and pretty easy to do. I've found that I can solo any boss up to ones that require a certain class ability a warrior doesn't have, up to and including Professor Putricide in ICC-10.

The Care and Feeding of Warriors A Birthday Miscellany

Soloing older content as a warrior

Now, for anything up to and including most level 70 raids (I found Lady Vashj harder to solo because of how the Tainted Elementals spawn) your spec or talent choice does not matter. You can roll into Sunwell and smash most everything in the face as long as you have Second Wind, although Kalecgos can be tricky with no one to hold aggro on him when you go downstairs. I recommend beating him into submission first and then portal downstairs.

Once you start working on level 80 content, you need to start considering your spec and talents more closely. For myself, I prefer either fury or protection for soloing older content, fury for glyphed Bloodthirst plus Die by the Sword and protection for Shield Barrier. Protection's overall active mitigation is enough to survive almost anything partnered with Second Wind, but fury's no slouch either, as I soloed Putricide through his entire enrage phase thanks to Second Wind, Die by the Sword, glyphed Bloodthirst and a significant damage output. Sometimes it's viable to kill them before they kill you. Now, arms has access to Die by the Sword as well, so if you're more comfortable with it there's no reason not to use it. But keep in mind you're giving up a 2% heal not using Bloodthirst with the glyph.

Second Wind is ridiculously powerful for soloing older raids. For Anub'arak in TotC, for instance, Second Wind meant I was effectively immune to his Leeching Swarm and his melee hits. I never dropped below 20%. Second Wind greatly outweighs either of the other healing options for this purpose, since 35% of 350k health is a comfortable 122k, which is well above what even a Heroic LK attempting tank would have had, and you regenerate roughly 10k health a second the whole time. (My calculator is insisting that you'd get 10,500 health if your health was 350,000, and I'm inclined to believe it.) You may be tempted to pick up Enraged Regeneration or Impending Victory, but resist this temptation - you want Second Wind. You need Second Wind.

Another talent that's surprisingly useful for soloing is Mass Spell Reflection. It's useful because it allows you to use Spell Reflection once a minute without a shield equipped, and besides, it's not like Safeguard or Vigilance provide any benefit to the soloing warrior. I use the following talents for soloing, but only Second Wind is essential. I like Bladestorm for mowing down adds and Disrupting Shout for an extra interrupt, but cases can be made for other uses - I soloed my way through Ulduar and TotC with Dragon Roar, for instance.

I haven't tried any Cataclysm content yet. I suspect I'll at least need another DPS to take on Bastion of Twilight or Blackwing Descent, and further progress will depend on better gear, but I think by the end of Mists raiding at least Firelands should be soloable.

The Care and Feeding of Warriors A Birthday Miscellany

Warrior nerfs in PvP

Now I'm going to admit that I completely missed the nerf to Taste for Blood in PvP. Ghostcrawler had to step up and tell me that the nerf had taken place, which was mildly embarrassing, but if you're going to screw up do it big, am I right? At any rate, the change making it so Taste for Blood only stacks to three in PvP is a very good one in my opinion because it will shut people up.

I'm going to come out and say what most warrior players think but don't bother to say - eat it. You have a ridiculous arsenal of ways to keep us off of you. So many snares, roots, polymorph effects, disengages... if a warrior can get into range long enough to stack TfB to three, you should be in trouble. Believe it or not, at some point warriors should be able to kill things in PvP. It is not in fact your divine right to walk into PvP and obliterate warriors with impunity, safe from their feeble attempts to counterattack you.

Is burst in PvP too high? Yeah. Did the Gag Order, Avatar and now Taste for Blood nerfs have to happen? Most likely. Will there probably be other PvP nerfs to warrior burst and control? There could well be. I'm not going to sit here and cry over it. But the other day I took an afternoon and went into some BG's and yes, I screwed some people up with some nice chains of CS - Mortal Strike - Overpower that led to a nice stack of TfB, and when I pushed that button I tore a frost mage in half and I don't feel bad about that. You guys have been kiting and sneering at us. Now you're afraid of us again.

That is exactly how it should be. Warriors shouldn't have it easy, but when people go up against a warrior, it shouldn't be a smirking game of 'watch as I totally shut you down' with ludicrous amounts of kiting and snaring/rooting. To be honest, I think Double Time is the biggest threat in the warrior arsenal right now. I lost count of the times I used a Charge/Heroic Leap/Charge to keep a guy in range. Warriors can actually apply pressure now. I'm certainly no great shakes in PvP, far from it, but I wasn't a free kill anymore, either. It felt like the days of my BC tauren.

Okay. That ended up being only two subjects. Still, I probably didn't have enough for a full column on either of them, so it worked out okay. Next week, if I can get any loot to cooperate, SMF. If not, maybe something about tanking.

At the center of the fury of battle stand the warriors: protection, arms and fury. Check out more strategies and tips especially for warriors, from hot issues for today's warriors to Cataclysm 101 for DPS warriors and our guide to reputation gear for warriors.