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[PvP] Arms Warrior PVP Thread
I started to get serious about PvP and would like to have a place for us Arms Warriors to discuss how to play.
I came across this thread from Asdferty which I am going to start to follow up:
I will copy the most important info here for those at work.
---With Open Arms: Arms PvP Guide 5.2---
--The Core: Core abilities and how to use them
Arms warriors have a decent amount of frequently used abilities. You will need quite a few keybinds, less than a shaman though (my heart goes out to shamans).
Mortal Strike - This is the #1 ability you have. It is the most iconic arms attack, and it was generally feared across the board as that 2-4 shotter. Mortal Strike is important for many reasons. It deals good damage, generates rage, enrages you on crits, and reduces the healing the target takes by 25%, and places Deep Wounds on the target. You will be using this ability almost always on cooldown, because of these properties. It also allows the use of two Overpowers for a few seconds after the Mortal Strike is used (the mortal strike doesn't have to land, just throw), and these Overpowers can be banked for up to 5 stacks. Generates 10 rage.
Overpower - This is the second most iconic arms attack, but you could throw it in with fury if you go back far enough. Overpower is known for critting a lot - it has 60% bonus crit chance applied to it. Overpower also has the amazing ability that it cannot be blocked, dodged, or parried. This is a fantastic property that will be very handy. You will be using this often, and sometimes will be your most used attack. Costs 0 Rage.
Colossus Smash - This is an attack that sets up for more damage in the future. In PvP, the armor reduction is only 50%, so it's not as important to keep 100% uptime like in PvE. It is however a decent amount of damage, and a great way to fill 'empty' globals. It should be applied if possible before you try to burst someone. Most times you will open with either Colossus Smash or Mortal Strike. If it crits, it also enrages you for the 10% damage bonus and 10 bonus rage. Costs 0 Rage.
Slam - This is a hard hitting ability that costs rage. Its use is only for dealing damage, and nothing more. Used most often to burst someone, or in large uptime dps. Won't see too much use unless no one is targeting you, because otherwise you will likely be in Defensive Stance. Costs 30 Rage.
Heroic Strike - Heroic Strike is an instant strike that deals less than desirable damage normally. It is however off the global cooldown - meaning you can use it alongside another ability, to either dump excess rage in a hurry, or use in a burst. You will use occasionally when glyphed, but most times you will be in defensive stance and you will revert to Hamstring or Piercing Howl for a snare to save rage. Costs 30 Rage.
Thunder Clap - Thunder Clap is an underrated ability that can really mean the difference in key fights. 10% physical damage reduction is nothing to sneeze at, and it also applies your Deep Wounds to all targets it hits - that means it's the fast lane to topping your nearest battleground damage scoreboard in big fights. It can't be blocked/dodged/parried either, so a good ability to use on rogues, or opponents who are just out of range of melee because you are rooted etc., or even disarmed. Costs 20 Rage.
Execute - The most glorious of abilities, all other executes in the game are named after this one; and it's back in action. This ability should be #1 priority if you can use it, because it does so much damage it will usually kill the opponent, or put them real darn close. Killing opponents is good. Costs 30 Rage.
Charge - Your primary gap closer. This will see a lot of use, no doubt. It generates rage, and stuns the opponent for you to get there. Depending on what talents you choose, this ability might be a little different, but the idea is the same. You will be using this to fly across to battleground, to kill someone, save a friend, or crowd control an enemy. It is off the global cooldown as well, and is not affected by slows. Generates 20 Rage.
Heroic Leap - Your secondary gap closer. This will also see a lot of use, but is less preferred to charge, because it doesn't generate rage. Heroic Leap however can go 40 yards instead of 25, which will be very important for sure. Also deals damage, and is off the global cooldown (you can use it for extra burst). With the 4 piece PvP bonus, heroic leap also gives you a 70% run speed bonus for 3 seconds after you land. Costs 0 Rage.
Intervene - Your tertiary gap closer. This will see a fair amount of use. This ability is useful with war banners, but is still very effective without. You run to guard an ally, but this ability is sneaky. The first use is obvious, saving an ally or healer, stopping the melee on him/her as best you can. The second, is intervening other melee who are on a target you want to be on. You can intervene pets, totems, shadowy apparitions - there are a lot, so this ability will see as much use as you put it to. It is off the global cooldown, and ignores snares similar to Charge. Costs 0 Rage.
Disarm - This is pretty straight forward, but I will say try to use this when behind the opponent, or they are stunned/cannot control their character. Having this dodged/parried can lose you a fight if you aren't careful. Generally you want to disarm a DK/Hunter/Warrior/Rogue/Ret/Enhance when they pop their offensive cooldowns. Don't waste it on Monks/Ferals. Costs 0 Rage.
Battle Shout - Battle shout gives you an attack power buff, and also generates a decent amount of rage. It has a one minute cooldown, and through practice will be used almost on cooldown it seems. You will be using this when you have nothing else to push, or cannot get on a target and need something to do before you get there. Generates 20 Rage.
3% Hit > PvP Resilience > PvP Power > Strength > Critical Strike > Expertise > Mastery > Haste
Level 15: Warbringer
Level 30: Enraged Regeneration, maybe Second Wind.
Level 45: Staggering Shout
Level 60: Shockwave or Bladestorm
Level 75: Mass Spell Reflect for solo, and Safeguard when with teammates.
Level 90: Avatar for burst and Stormbolt for control
- Death From Above
- Hindering Strikes
- Colossus Smash.
#1 Arms PvP Equip Macro
/equipset [equipped:shields] Arms PvP
Whew, that was a tough one. Here's how it works! 'Arms PvP' is the name of my equipment set, and you should rename that part to whatever your's is! Or, change your equipment set name. The '[equipped:shields]' part actually makes it so that once you are in your Arms PvP set, it won't try to re-equip your main weapon, because you don't have a shield so the macro doesn't continue. Cool!
#2 Arms SnB Spell Reflect
#showtooltip Spell Reflection
/equipset [noequipped:shields] Arms SnB
/use Spell Reflection
For this one, I use 'Arms SnB' as an equipment set, that is identical to 'Arms PvP' in every way except it has my sword and board - hence 'SnB'. With the '#showtooltip Spell Reflection' it will show the icon for spell reflect on the UI tooltip, and it will also give the cooldown timer too. The next line is almost the same as the first, except it's 'noequipped' now, and it's my Arms SnB set. The same logic behind 'equipped:shields' is applied here, so you don't keep trying to re-equip your shield. If you are wondering what happens if you don't have that there, basically it just makes an annoying noise every time you push the button, instead of just once. After that, it uses Spell Reflection. Awesome. Then you will probably go back to using the first macro to get back into fighting mode!
#3 Shield Wall
#showtooltip Shield Wall
/use Defensive Stance
/equipset [noequipped:shields] Arms SnB
/use Shield Wall
This is basically the same thing, but for shield wall. The only addition, is the extra
/use Defensive Stance line. While not necessary, if you are going defensive, you may as well make sure you are going all the way. Sweet!
#4 THE DEEPS
/use Deadly Calm
/use Malevolent Gladiator's Badge of Victory
/use Skull Banner
This is the pain bringer, where you put all your eggs in one basket, and give out death to everyone. Or become the target of all crowd controls within 30 yards, whichever happens first. When you know they will die, and it will win you the fight/battle/game. Deadly calm for cheaper Heroic Strikes, Berserking is my Troll Racial, the trinket is whatever you have. Recklessness and Skull Banner are the heavy hitters. Berserker Rage could be used, but I like the guaranteed fear break later. If you are fighting against a team that has no Paladin, Priest, Warrior, Warlock, Rogue, *Druid(warrior with them), then for sure use Berserker Rage with this macro :P
This is the only cancelaura Bladestorm macro I use. When you push your pummel button, it will stop the 'storm. This is useful if you think you can pummel the healer and end their life in it, or you need to charge/leap out of there. Maybe even need to Shield Wall/Spell Reflect. All you need to do is push it once, and the Bladestorm will stop. Keep mashing it, or push it twice and you throw the pummel.
#6 Last Chance
#showtooltip Rallying Cry
/cast Rallying Cry
/use Horde Battle Standard
/use Berserker Rage
/use Enraged Regeneration
This is used to save you from death. More useful if you took Enraged Regeneration, but still good to have at all times. I use a Horde Battle Standard, you can swap that with Alliance too. It uses Berserker Rage because of the Enraged Regeneration, but you should remove both those lines if you don't have the talent.
#7 Focus Macros
/use [target=focus] Intervene
More useful than it looks. Note that you can use it like that with the focus, or you can switch it with a Player's name. If you are against a hunter, it is a good idea to switch the macro to say [target=Holyheroguy], your Paladin healer etc., so you can intervene and eat Ice Traps instead of him (which he then dispels you from :P).
#showtooltip Storm Bolt
/use [target=focus] Storm Bolt
Simple stuff, for smacking your focus in a CC chain or otherwise.
#show Intimidating Shout
/use [target=focus] Charge
/use [target=focus] Intimidating Shout
For when you REALLY want to CC chain a healer or otherwise, mash this button to charge them and fear them once you get there. Best advised to Heroic Leap or Intervene back to your kill target after this.
--Basic Priorities and Situations
Now we get to the meat of the guide. What to do when smacking opponents. You've geared, gemmed, reforged, enchanted, talented, glyphed, macro'd, modded, and learned a bit about warrior stuff that makes you what you are today. This is general practice, and how you should go about dealing damage and staying alive without going into to much class by class detail.
Your damage priority looks something like this:
Colossus Smash (debuff not up or about to expire) > Mortal Strike > Overpower > Colossus Smash >>> Slam
It's key that you also recognize what your rage is looking like during the fight. You want to save your rage for bursting opponents, while making sure you also have rage if you need to snare an opponent. A general rule is for sustained dps, try to dump your rage into the colossus smashes, and not outside of them.
However, not all fights are so kind with up time. You will also need a priority list for when you are being kited around, and need to eventually get something accomplished. We have enough gap closers now to guarantee a decent amount of up time on most targets, so this rotation is more for setting up for later opportunity, rather than 'now' damage.
Mortal Strike > Overpower > Colossus Smash > Slam
I doubt you'd ever push slam in this situation, otherwise you would revert to the original with that much up time. The key difference is Colossus Smash. You won't be worrying about the armor debuff as much, as you may be ripped from your target at any time. You aren't so interested in getting enrages or rage here, as getting some Overpower stacks. Once you have some stacks, then you can go in for pressure etc.. Make use of the fact that you can hit pets and other objects to get Overpower stacks while you are rooted or kited. It could mean the difference of you killing the opponent when you get there, or getting peeled again shortly afterwards.
Now that you've set up for some pressure, how would you go about finishing it?
If you are following this guide fairly closely, you will know that I recommended Warbringer earlier, especially paired with either Shockwave or Stormbolt. This makes killing people in a burst rotation laughably easy. Most times you want to go in this order:
Charge (Warbringer Stun) -> Cooldowns -> Colossus Smash -> Shockwave/Stormbolt + Heroic Strike -> Mortal Strike + Heroic Strike -> Overpower + Heroic Strike (+ Heroic Leap if it will kill)
This is 100% Stunned time, so if they don't have a trinket or dispersion, this will hurt them. You need about 40 rage before you Charge if you want all three Heroic Strikes, as Deadly Calm should be up for this combo. If it isn't for some reason, you want 70 rage before Charge, although it may not matter. As a side note, you should delay the Colossus Smash at the start by about .5 seconds, so you don't overlap the stun times too much.
Lest it be known that Heroic Strikes are less damage than Slam, however the burst damage of Heroic Strike + Overpower should be higher unless the Slam crits and the Overpower doesn't. So from an efficiency point of view, Slam is much better than Heroic Strike, but if you want to murder someone in a stunlock, the Heroic Strikes could be the extra push you need. You will 'lose' damage over time from doing this, so that's why it's a burst option.
Now you know how to fight, and how to end one. Starting one can be one of the most important though (because warriors start fights, and bring the fight to them):
Charge (Warbringer Stun) -> Colossus Smash -> Shockwave/Stormbolt -> Mortal Strike -> Overpower
This is the basic starter if you have Warbringer and Shockwave/Stormbolt. I highly recommend this setup, as you will start very strong in all fights, and every time you charge someone.
You do this to most enemies to get on the offensive early, and Mortal Strike debuff should be applied too. Your Snare device is also on Warbringer. If you didn't take Warbinger, skip the Colossus Smash and head right into a Shockwave/Stormbolt. If you didn't take that either, prepare to watch your target fly away from you! Get a hamstring/piercing howl up as your first move, then go to a rotation.
Oh no! They got away! Through some device, they have left your grasp. Ask yourself these questions:
A: Can I simply use a gap closer (Charge, Heroic Leap, Intervene) to get back in there?
B: Are they going to tear right through my armor now that they can freely dps me?
C: Is there some place I would rather, or should rather be?
'A' is often the most straightforward, and offensive answer. You get back in there, and keep doing your job.
'B', is something you have to calculate based on the fight. You may need to bust out those shield macros really quickly if this is the case. Definitely going to Defensive Stance is a good idea at this point if you aren't already and can't close the gap anyways. You might start working on the Overpower stack heavy rotation as well.
'C' is for when you are feeling like a good friend, and have some situational awareness. The opponent has already used a tool to escape, which means they are focused on evading you (assuming B was a no). If you can really help in some other area, that would be best at this point, unless A is an easy kill. Peeling someone off a healer or friendly dps may help you more in the long run than a wild goose chase.
Finally 'D', you didn't answer yes to any of those. That probably means you have been flying around the battlefield and were caught with no gap closers, or you were hit with a heavy crowd control and are being ignored. That's ok, in both situations (hopefully). It isn't great by any stretch, but hopefully your teammates will be ok without you. If you can, take this time to walk slowly to your desired destination, and if possible use a Battle Shout or Bandage.
Battle Stance - Battle Stance is the main damage dealing stance. As it stands right now, I would only be using this stance if I'm not taking any real amount of damage, and I have good up time on a target, usually a healer. This stance does the best in this situation.
Berserker Stance - Berserker deals the same damage as Battle Stance, but it generates rage in slightly different ways. You still get some rage through white attacks, but you also get 1 rage for every 1% damage taken. This ends up being a LOT of rage if you are taking a decent amount of damage. If you have a good healer, and really want to fill your rage up, use this stance. Avoid it otherwise though.
Defensive Stance - This stance is used for everything else. If you are taking some damage, but are still setting up for a burst, or simply doing alright on rage, you should be using Defensive stance. If you are the kill target, use this stance. If you are being kited, you should use this stance. Most of your time will be spent in Defensive Stance, as you don't lose that much from using it, but gain the equivalent of a defensive cooldown at all times. Amazing.
To summarize this General Practice section, your job is to deal damage, and bring your team into the fight. Focus on keeping the enemies under control, and pressuring the right targets as best you can. As is said, the best defense is a good offense, and the best peel for your healers is to make their dps come peel you!
Judge a man by the trials of his shield, not the empty reaping of his sword.