Basic DPS Warrior GuideMy thoughts and experience with a DPS warrior
Last updated January 17, 2008 @ 2:51:57PM
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I’ll share my warrior thoughts first and then some practical application. Also, I do not feel qualified to speak in depth about prot specced warriors but I will share a few of my own thoughts and experiences with Taynk, my L70 fury/arms warrior and my observations and utilization of Littlebaby in our Kara group.
Anaea said, “As a warrior, you have two options: DPS or tanking. DPS warriors are somewhat derided, but they're great assets to a group and especially useful for raids. DPS/Off-tank flexibility is worth its weight in gold! …”.
On the issue of DPS warriors being derided, I think that the first thing that comes into most people’s minds when you talk about warriors is tanking. Massive defense but comparably weak offense. The truth though is that warriors can do significant DPS, rivaling even rogues with the right combination of build, gear, and skill. DPS warriors are best compared to rogues and ret pallies. IMO, of those three classes, rogues have the highest DPS and lowest defense, ret pallies have the lowest DPS and highest defense, and DPS warriors fall somewhere in between. Apples to apples, the average DPS warrior is not going to consistently out DPS the average rogue but the warrior’s potential DPS should not be discounted.
In terms of bottom line DPS, the rogue has more steady DPS while the warrior is more sporadic and explosive in their damage and in that respect, they’re comparable to a ret paladin however, I’ve never seen Avallach crit for over 3000 in any situation. Taynk on the other hand has critted for over 5700 and I have the screen shot to prove it!
Another misconception is that warriors are difficult to level. Not true or rather, doesn’t have to be true. You will indeed have a long haul trying to level a prot specced warrior in defensive gear but not so with an arms and/or fury warrior that is properly geared and properly played. Like we’ve been discussing in some of the recent paladin threads, gear is extremely important to one’s success but build is also critical to the warrior, even more so I believe than a pally. That being said, even a prot specced warrior can do well in the DPS department with the right gear but it doesn’t make much sense to me to have a heavy prot build on a warrior while you are leveling unless you are almost exclusively running instances to level.
DPS warriors as OTs are definitely a win-win situation and we have seen this in our Kara group with Littlebaby. LB is a DPS warrior and we use him as such in about 2/3 of our engagements in Kara. With a quick gear change, he can then tank for us when needed. It has worked out fabulously and gives us a great deal of flexibility. While it is true that he lacks a few of the prot warrior tanking talents, he makes up for that with his higher DPS even while in tanking gear and we typically utilize him in tanking situations that allows him more time to build agro meaning that we attack my target first. With my focus on high spell damage as a prot pally and LB being DPS spec, we both contribute a nice little DPS bonus to the over all group’s DPS, even while tanking.
Now for some practical advice to address Sangster’s original request…
I do not recommend you put too many points into the prot tree while you are leveling. I put almost no points into prot while I leveled Taynk. This leaves you arms, fury, or a combination of both. I have always invested points in both. All throughout Taynk’s leveling, I favored arms but still had some fury talents. When Taynk hit 70, I respecced him with a fury build but still retained some points in arms. There is more than one way to approach a DPS warrior build but I personally like to view the builds in terms of weapons.
This being said, let’s say you have 3 options…specializing in 2h weapons, dual wielding, or jack of all trades. One fun aspect of the warrior is the ability to use any melee and physical ranged weapon in the game. Taynk has fully trained every melee weapon except staves and fist/unarmed. I am currently working on maxing out his unarmed when I get the chance. I may also do staves someday but more for the novelty of it then anything else.
If you want to specialize in 2h weapons, you should invest heavily in arms with your target talent being mortal strike. Once you get mortal strike, you will be able to do explosive damage with a 2h weapon. MS also has puts a 50% less healing debuff on your target which is nice.
If you like to dual-wield, you should invest heavily into the fury tree with your target talents being flurry and blood thirst. Flurry increases your attack speed and bloodthirst is your high burst damage attack which also returns health.
If you want to maximize both types of weapons, you will want to balance the trees out a little more but probably shoot for mortal strike as opposed to some of the deeper fury talents. I am totally basing this on my own experience with Taynk when he had mortal strike but used both 2h and dual wield weapons. I achieved some massively high crits with mortal strike even when dual wielding, I have not seen bloodthirst crit as high so I am partial to mortal strike as the target talent for the jack of all trades build.
IMO, the 3 biggest stats for the DPS warrior are critical strike rating, attack power, and hit rating and probably in that order.
Remmy is correct. Probably the single most important stat to the DPS warrior is agility or more specifically, critical strike rating. For me anyway, the primary joy in playing the DPS warrior is their crit potential so that’s where you want to invest. Therefore, place a high priorty on gear that provides agility and/or critical strike rating. Also, invest in hit rating and attack power. If you want to rival the more steady damage of rogues, you are going to have to crit often. Furthermore, if you have invested in the deep wounds talent, you will cause significant bleed damage to your target whenever you crit so you get a nice DOT bonus to your initial big damage. Depending upon your play style and the degree of “purity” you want in your character, you should not totally neglect stamina, strength, and spirit. Like Rem said, Intellect on the other hand is virtually worthless to the warrior with one exception and that being that it does speed up weapon leveling. Personally, I want Taynk to hit as hard as he possibly can so I am pretty hardcore on the crit, hit, and attack power and have less stam, strength, and spirit than some but I have been very happy with Taynk this way.
First, a word about rage usage. Some warriors like to build up some rage and then unload it in several strong attacks causing back-end damage. Others like to use it as soon as it becomes available causing more even damage. I don’t have a strong opinion on which method is really better but I tend to use the latter method in that I use the rage as soon as it becomes available. It works quite well for me doing it that way.
Second, like rogues, warriors are very dependant on bandages and health pots out in the field for emergency heals during the tougher fights and arguably even more since rogues have a few tricks up their sleeves for defense. Warriors for the most part will have to stand and take a beating as they don’t have much else they can do aside from running. One exception to this is intimidating shout but it has limited usefulness due to its agroing potential and its long cool down. It is important therefore to learn how (or more accurately when) to use these two basic things along with the ability to gage whether or not you can survive a given engagement. To illustrate my point, when I play Avallach or even my horde mage, I usually just rush in and start fighting without a lot of forethought. I can obviously afford to do this considering the escape mechanisms these two classes have. On Taynk however, I am little more cautious about rushing headlong into a potentially difficult fight. I’ll scope out the situation, see if intimidating shout will be safe to use, make sure my pots are off of cool down, and decide upon an escape route if needed.
Hamstring before running away. If you are going to have to run for your life, hamstring the mob first to slow it down. Works great!
Most importantly, don’t base jump from the Aldor Rise thinking you are on your pally when you are in fact on your warrior. It’s not a pretty sight ;).
Basic attack sequences
Pop a blood rage and throw up battle shout. When ready, Charge!
Use charge whenever possible. It very briefly stuns the target but more importantly, it gives you some up front rage. Now, what you do after this again will vary based upon the target but my attack sequences can loosely be divided into 3 main types, mobs that bleed, mobs that do not, and groups of mobs.
As rage is/becomes available…rend, demoralizing shout, thunderclap, heroic strike (or overpower if available), mortal strike or bloodthirst, rend, heroic strike, thunderclap, mortal strike or bloodthirst, execute, execute. Most mobs will be dead by this time.
Non Bleeding Mobs
Follow the same attack sequence minus the rend.
Throw a hamstring in towards the end to slow runners down.
Mobs in a group that will require you to heal once.
Right before your first target is dead, pop off intimidating shout if there isn’t a danger of agroing additional groups. Kill off your current target and then bandage up before the others come back. IS is similar to the priest’s psychic scream except that the mob you are currently engaging is stunned for a very short time rather than feared. Furthermore, any damage will break the stun effect so to maximize your bandaging time, wait till your current mob is almost dead before using IS. You can also wait for the current mob to die and then pop IS without engaging the next mob though this is not as efficient.
Mobs in a group that will require you to heal twice.
Same as above but down a health pot when your health gets low the second time.
Mobs in a group that will require you to heal more than twice.
Weed em out. Attack the group, kill 1-2, run away and heal, kill 1-2 more, run away and heal, etc…
There is of course a lot more that could be said but hopefully this will give you a starting point.