The Arms Warrior Rises in PvP
The easy one to determine is arms in PvP. Clearly, the player base considers arms to be an overwhelmingly potent spec in PvP at the moment. By now we've all seen videos of huge Taste for Blood stacked HS crits (usually after a Colossus Smash and a solid five minutes of stacking that pain in the butt buff to five) and we know that, in the right circumstances, arms can put out high burst. But it's not just the burst, but the combination of that burst with high mobility thanks to Double Time and the level 45 talent tier, plus the current ability of Avatar to make warriors completely immune to snares that puts arms warriors in PvP at an advantage. A warrior who can charge again immediately after charging (making abilities like Demonic Circle and Blink less useful for escape) who can Bladestorm to avoid CC and then Avatar to avoid snares can put a lot of pressure on classes used to being able to kite and destroy warriors with ease. Since fury lacks TfB's streaky burst, Sudden Death's Colossus Smash reset and has to use Wild Strike to apply the same healing debuff as Mortal Strike, it's not as popular for PvP.
I'm still of the opinion that Taste for Blood will be nerfed due to PvP. Do I agree it needs
it? No, not at all, but I can see the writing on the wall already. The nerfs to Avatar and the Glyph of Gag Order
point in that direction.The fury of PvE
But when we start looking at fury's performance in raiding, we're on much shakier ground. There are lots of variables to consider in why fury DPS is at the median in normal raids, yet shoots above in heroics. First off, there's the kinds of fights to consider - is there more or less movement, more adds, higher health on mobs to inflate Execute damage by extending the execute period? Are the fury warriors in heroics geared better to the point where they can get enough crit to keep Enrage going more reliably so that they can use more Raging Blow strikes? What talents are they using? Are they TG or SMF? Clearly, there are more players running normal mode than heroics at the moment, are there just more fury warriors in the normal mode raids skewing the results? One notes that looking at the LFR numbers, they're very close in terms of where fury stacks up compared to normal mode raids. We can see that, looking at the GuildOx numbers, DPS warriors in general are not highly represented. They're not as low as other specs, however - fury warriors outnumber feral druids and enhancement shamans, but they're well behind any of the really popular
dps specs. So are the results in heroics skewed because fury is under or overrepresented in heroics as compared to normal raids?Critical hit and Bloodthirst
Even so, I have to believe some of the sudden and shocking DPS disparity between normal and heroic DPS for fury is based on gearing. I mean, let's admit it, warriors - we're crit junkies. We're addicted to crit. Once we get hit and expertise around that 7.5% area (I'm sort of sold on Ask Mr. Robot's argument about hit caps
nowadays) then it's crit, crit, crit, gimmie more crit. I'd had hopes that haste would pop up in usefulness, but in the end crit just swamped everything else and we all know it's due to Enrage
. But with fury, crit interacts with Bloodthirst
in a way that makes crit count twice as much for the spec in terms of entering Enrage. For a fury warrior, every point of crit has double the chance of enraging us on every Bloodthirst strike, because Bloodthirst has twice the chance to critically hit. Arms warriors don't get that on their Mortal Strikes. If a fury warrior in normal raids has 18% crit before buffs, his Bloodthirst crit chance is 36%. If he's at 22% after buffs, he's at 44% on Bloodthirsts. Now, imagine as you get into heroics and are approaching 25% or even higher. That's a 50% chance to crit every Bloodthirst, increasing your Enrage uptime and thus not only your chance for a Raging Blow, but also giving you that flat 10% damage increase for 10 seconds, increasing the damage of your white hits and all attacks you do. The more often you crit with Bloodthirst, the more damage you do overall.Does it really matter?
This is hardly all
of the reason, but it's definitely a factor. As warriors crit increases this expansion, you'll easily hit over 30% crit in raids (a few warriors may already be there) and once you do, you're looking at 60% chance to be enraged every 4.5 seconds. Combine this with specific fight situations (a high add fight or one that allowed for Cleave/Whirwind, especially since you can follow Whirlwind with Meat Cleaver
buffed Raging Blows for even more
damage, as well as glyphing for Raging Wind
so that your RB's buff Whirlwind damage) and this inflating Enrage rate can be put to profitable work. Warrior damage depends upon rage income still, but with Enrage serving as the de facto warrior secondary resource (Enrage is our Maelstrom Weapon or Holy Power, essentially) the more often we can get there, the better everything is. More damage, more ability to use that damage, and the ability for that to buff our other abilities.
What does it mean for the future? Well, depending on how high crit gets, it's possible we'll see a Bloodthirst nerf of some sort in the future, specifically aimed at fixing its crit scaling. That could have disastrous effect on warrior DPS outside of the best geared warriors, and it also depends on how much crit gear is out there for warriors. Right now, of all plate DPS, only warriors are so astonishingly in love with crit. Since there's a lot of haste out there on gear, which we have really no use for, we may be limited not by a class nerf but purely by what gear there is to choose from. Since at present we don't really have enough heroic raiding going to to determine if fury's performance there is an outlier of low representation or not, we'll mostly have to abide by the normal mode numbers, which are not
skewed high at all for fury warriors but rather place them squarely in the middle of the pack.
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.