The Warrior’s Charge: Fury and Protection in Legion
Okay, so I’ve now tanked and DPS’d in various dungeons and I can say the following: Fury is fun in a dungeon. Even if you don’t have Bladestorm, you can talent to have an awesome Whirlwind/Rampage combo that does crazy AoE damage and is fun fun fun. You’re a reaping, swirling crusher and render, a maim machine. No damage pass yet, but it’s a fun spec to play and feels like it’s doing good damage. In the absence of a combat parser, I can only say that you can make it work for your preferred playstyle.
Protection feels weak. It’s like you never have enough cooldowns anymore, you can’t do enough to mitigate damage, Ignore Pain is too expensive for what it does and doesn’t do enough. I switched to tanking on my Blood Death Knight because on the DK, I could just tank. I had enough tools to stay up and when those were on cooldown the healer could handle it, whereas Prot just didn’t seem to have the strength to survive. Still no Arms. Well, obviously my character has two arms, but the spec.
So let’s get more in depth on how we’re progressing.
Protection gets hammered
The truth is, all tanks are seeing adjustment, but for whatever reason Warriors seemed to take it a lot harder than, say, Blood DK’s. (I haven’t tanked on anything other than those two classes so far.) I just feel a lot stronger, deal more damage, can take more damage without dying on a DK. I like tanking on a Warrior better, but that doesn’t change the fact that if I had to pick one for level 110 tanking based on my current alpha experiences, I’d pick the DK.
Ignore Pain needs either a rage discount or it needs to be stronger, and in general Warriors feel like they really suffer as tanks right now. We haven’t gotten a balance pass and I’m well aware of that, so I’m not panicking, but as of right now I use a Blood DK for all my alpha testing (the Vault of the Wardens dungeon was the most recent one) and I feel like that’s not something I should be saying. Saying “It will be easier for my group if I pick X tank in all situations” seems like a bad place to be in design wise. I can imagine and accept certain fights being friendlier for one tank than another, but not all fights.
Still, I’ll admit to thinking Shield Wall and Last Stand are still better cooldowns than Vampiric Blood and Blood Mirror. Also, the Protection Artifact’s first ability, Shadowflame Shield, just lacks. It’s a lackluster ability. Beef that up, Blizzard. Let it do something besides a channeled damage thing, that’s kind of ridiculous.
The Evolving Fury Tree
I found that I could skip old favorites like Dragon Roar and Bladestorm and still have plenty of AoE as Fury with the choice of Meat Grinder, since it makes Rampage hit multiple targets.
Right now the way I play Fury on the alpha is a very Rampage focused build by design. I don’t take Heroic Strike or Overpower, I take anything that gets me enough rage to hit Rampage again. Carnage to lower Rampage’s rage cost, Frenzy because I feel like the haste buff on offhand Furious Slash hits is beneficial, and Warpaint (the new second tier talent) because it reduces the extra damage you take when Enraged. Seriously, that’s still pretty onerous. But everything is based around Rampage, and so far, I’m in love with this ability. It hits like a truck, you can hit other abilities while the series of attacks are going off (So I can Raging Blow after I Rampage even when Rampage is still chaining attacks) and with Meat Grinder I’m smacking everything around me when I hit the button.
I have to say that both in terms of its aesthetic and in general, Rampage is the best thing that’s ever happened to Fury since Titan’s Grip. I’d rate it just below TG as my favorite Fury ability, and it makes playing as Fury on live sad after getting used to that amazing animation and seeing the swarm of yellow numbers go off after you hit it.
A case could be made for a Reckless Abandon build, mind you. Go ahead and have Rampage cost 90 rage (instead of 50 if you take Carnage) but then hit it, hit Battle Cry and hit Rampage again, so you can still chain the ability and with Battle Cry on a 30 second cooldown you’ll end up doing this over and over again and you won’t mind.
How to dungeon DPS
Okay, so I’ve done a dungeon as Fury now, and I enjoyed it. What I really liked wasn’t my DPS (I have no idea how good it was — it seemed strong, but who knows without a parser, things died) but how engaging it felt. The Artifact Power for the Warswords of the Valarjar is actually really useful for AoE pulls, and combines nicely with Rampage to scythe fools into the dirt.
What I found useful was using Commanding Shout when the tank was taking a lot of damage, using Enraged Regeneration when I was taking a lot of damage, and in generally hitting pretty much every attack you have. That’s the thing — Fury on the Alpha actually makes you want to push every button. You want to hit Bloodthirst for the rage generation and the self heal. You want to hit Furious Slash, again, for the rage generation and also if you have Frenzy for the haste buff. You want to hit Raging Blow because Odyn’s Fury can proc Berserking off of Raging Blow, and you want Berserking. You want it very badly.
I have no idea what Arms is going to be like, but if it feels as engaging and well-designed as Fury does right now, it’ll be an absolute treat to play.
Right now Protection feels like it needs work. Our cooldowns aren’t rewarding to use and we generally feel fussy and needing some attention to get to where it should be, both in terms of damage/survivability and in terms of flavor. Fury, on the other hand, feels exceedingly well designed. You want to use everything — Rampage, Raging Blow, Furious Slash and Bloodthirst — instead of having any abilities that feel like they can be ignored. And it definitely feels more customizable than it has ever felt, with abilities like Overpower and Avatar out there to change your playstyle. If you want Storm Bolt, go for it — you’ll likely want to take an AoE ability later on if you do, but that’s up to you.
Next week, we can has Arms? Please?
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