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Warrior > WoWApr 24, 2015 5:00 pm CT

The Warrior’s Charge: Patch 6.2, Arms and too much nothing

Okay, here are the entirety of the patch notes regarding warriors in patch 6.2 thus far:

Originally Posted by Rygarius (Official Post)


  • Defensive Stance now decreases damage taken by 25% (up from 20%).


  • Improved Defensive Stance now also decreases damage taken by 5%.

That’s it. One of those is just an updated version of the original one.

Now, this is still fairly early in the patch cycle, so it’s hard to make assumptions based on these notes. Big changes could pop up at any time. But as things stand right now, apparently Blizzard thinks warriors are pretty well off going into patch 6.2. And the thing is, I’d probably have to agree with them. Warriors work, for the most part. Arms could use some work, granted — it lags behind Titan’s Grip, Single Minded Fury and even Gladiator for single target DPS, and the gap just gets wider the better the gear gets. Arms is a lot better on AOE, although still behind both Fury specs, but a lot of that has to do with talent choice. I certainly can imagine Blizzard saying that TG and SMF are doing well, Gladiator is performing pretty amazingly for a brand new DPS spec, and someone has to be the lowest performer.

Arms is also not the powerhouse one remembers in PVP. Losing Shield Wall, Rend not hitting particularly hard in PVP, the reduction of stuns, it all adds up to a class that just doesn’t do what it did. This is par for the course, to some extent – warriors were strong (verging on too strong, although not nearly as much as other players made it sound) in Mists, and so the adjustments made to both the warrior class and PVP in general were hard on warriors, arms warriors in particular.

I definitely believe Arms could use some work, and so I find the lack of change — any change, really — in patch 6.2 kind of baffling. I didn’t expect Fury to get anything. All Fury will need to stay competitive in the coming patch will be critical strike rating on all of our gear, and mastery would be nice, too. Haste? Ugh. (No, Blizzard, you still haven’t succeeded in making haste particularly worthwhile for warriors, not even in 2015.) But Arms needs some mechanical changes. Higher single target damage, a reduction in how the spec is forced to use Whirlwind as a rage dump, more bang for Mortal Strike’s buck, something significantly better both in terms of damage and gameplay than the weak, less than exciting Rend we now have, and something to hit after we hit Colossus Smash.

Talent wise, the level 45 tier feels extremely underwhelming. Taste for Blood dribbles in rage, Sudden Death doesn’t seem up enough to matter, since it procs from autoattacks and we’re swinging a big slow weapon (not even two) around, and Slam still doesn’t hit hard enough. Not even stacked up twice, which is tricky to do in PVE, much less PVP.

NewWarriorColumn02But as important as damage is — especially for PVE Arms, which is stronger on AoE than single target — it’s not the whole story. Again, I didn’t expect any quality of life changes for Fury this time around. It’s hard to argue with success, and with presumably better gear, or at least better itemized gear, for warriors in patch 6.2 Fury will be up to its usual critical strike chasing tricks. But Arms lacks an identity compared to its previous incarnations. It’s not strong in PVP like it was, it doesn’t play like it did, and in general it entered Warlords of Draenor with some significant problems that were never really addressed. And seeing patch 6.2’s paucity of changes for the spec has not made me feel good about this patch.

What does Arms need? Well, here are some things that should definitely be considered.

  • Either Rend needs to be made significantly more exciting to use, or the effect needs to be rolled back into a Deep Wounds style where it doesn’t have to be applied. Enhanced Rend salvages it to some degree, but it’s still not very good. It doesn’t really help fill a rotation, you use it once and then wait for 18 seconds. Yay. Excuse me, I’ll just be over here napping. There’s a reason DOT timers exist, and that’s because people don’t want to have to think about them.
  • Colossus Smash is terrible without the ability to reset its cool down. It’s a button you hit once every twenty seconds. And with Overpower gone and Slam a talent (and Rend a bleed) all you do after it is hit Mortal Strike, autoattack and maybe Whirlwind. That’s it.
  • Arms really needs an actual attack besides Mortal Strike. Slam is almost a necessity — you can go with Sudden Death and gamble, but the up time isn’t very good, meaning that if you take Sudden Death you may find yourself hitting Mortal Strike, then having nothing but Whirlwind until MS comes off cool down. You’re not going to use Thunder Clap as a rage dump, and frankly, even using WW as one is ridiculous.

Basically, I’d argue that Fury is fine and Protection passable going into 6.2. But the sheer silence on warriors in the patch notes is a disservice to Arms warriors, who really have needed an overhaul for months now. This is not the spec the class deserves. It’s not even the spec it needs right now.

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