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gotmilk0112

[GUIDE] Warrior Leveling

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After leveling one, thought I'd make a guide for Warrior leveling, that explains some of the more obscure bits of information about various talents/abilities. Over the course of leveling, there were lots of things that weren't explained by talent guides or leveling guides, so I thought I'd make a somewhat more detailed guide that focuses on important tips and tricks.

As you might already know, Warrior leveling is infamous for being slow and painful and grindy. You can often only fight one, maybe two mobs at a time, and if you're below a certain health percentage, you either have to hit consumables or run your ass away. Warrior is the most gear-dependent class in the game, and as such, while leveling, you will feel much weaker than the other classes, unless you are uber rich and can constantly deck yourself out in blue gear.

There's a bit of debate over which is the "best" spec to level as, but really, both Arms and Fury are fine, at certain levels. Prot is just bad, do not level Prot as it gives 0 damage bonuses(outside of 10% damage with 1h weapons, deep in the tree), and you do not need to be Prot to tank; you can just throw on a 1h+shield and pop into Defensive Stance. You don't *NEED* to be Prot until level 60 dungeons. (DM W/N, Strat/Scholo, etc)

A crucial part of Warrior leveling is always keeping your weapon updated. At lower levels (1-30) it really does not matter what weapon you use. Seriously, use anything. Daggers, swords, axes, even staves are good. Just use whatever has the highest DPS number, or whatever weapon you have a racial bonus for. If it's a 1-hander, make sure you slap on a shield as well. You don't NEED a slow weapon until level 36 when you get Whirlwind, or level 40 when you get Mortal Strike. It can also be a good idea to plan out what weapons you're going to get from dungeons.

 

For Alliance, I typically do this:

1-17: Whatever green weapon you get, 1h, 2h, doesn't matter, just get whatever has the highest DPS number

18: Taskmaster Axe OR Smite's Mighty Hammer(somewhat rare drop)

26: Strike of the Hydra (BFD last boss) - Don't stress over getting this. I ran BFD 3 times and it never dropped. You'll be getting WW Axe at 30 anyways.

30: Whirlwind Axe (get the mace if you're human)

43: Executioner's Axe(BoE) OR at level 44, you can get Stoneslayer (last boss Uldaman) OR if you're willing to spend 50-80g, you can get Kang the Decapitator.

51: Ice Barbed Spear (Alterac Valley win quest)

NOTE: The AV Win quest only gives the spear in patch 1.8 or later, so if your server is not at patch 1.8 yet, the only way you can get it is through the Korrak quest, and it's very hard to get Korrak to spawn because AV games rarely go longer than 2 hours. If your server is not at patch 1.8 yet, I'd suggest going with Twig of the World Tree, or if you can get it cheap, Destiny.

 

Now let's move on to talents.

 

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TALENT SPECS
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For 1-40, Fury is mathematically superior to Arms. It has less utility (no Tactical Mastery, no Imp Charge, no Sweeping Strikes) but higher damage.

40-60 however, both specs are good. You can go 1-60 with 2h Fury, or respec to Arms at 40. Both specs have their pros and cons.

Arms gets useful things like Tactical Mastery, Improved Overpower, Improved Charge, Sweeping Strikes, and the lovely Mortal Strike, but the downside is that you have to spec for your current weapon, which can be a pain in the ass when you're leveling. Swords, Axes and Polearms are fine, but Maces are bad, since Mace Spec just gives you a small chance to stun, whereas the other spec talents give you significant damage boosts. Can also be frustrating if you find a new weapon, only to realize that you have to spend gold to respec, in order to make best use of it.

Fury, IIRC, still has *slightly* higher damage, overall, but you have to fuck around with sit-critting which can get tedious, and you don't get Tactical Mastery until level 45-50. The positive side is that you can use whatever weapons you want. Slow 2h, fast 2h, it doesn't matter. You can even swap to dual-wielding to break up the monotony of slow 2-handers, if you so desire.

If you're on a PvP server, definitely go Arms. It will make you not suck in PvP. If you're on the PvE server however, Fury will be just as good.

Anyway...

 

Fury leveling:

Spoiler

 

Level 1-40: http://i.imgur.com/336fzdA.png

Fury is the fastest, from 1-40. You get 5% crit and a 40% chance to generate extra rage on hit early on, but the big draw for Fury is Enrage. You can juke the talent by using a "/sit" macro. You will want to use a macro instead of the regular keybind for sit/stand, because with a macro, you can just spam the button and it will only make you sit down, instead of toggling between sitting and standing.

When your character is sitting down, you have a 100% chance to be critically hit by melee attacks, and you'll immediately stand back up. So what you do is just hit that macro while you're fighting a mob, and it will make the mob's next melee attack crit you, thus proccing Enrage for a free 25% damage. You can sit as much as you'd like, so Enrage is essentially a free +25% melee damage. This, along with Flurry, is what makes Fury really good for questing.

Personally, I don't recommend Improved Cleave at all, unless you're leveling with a healer friend and are able to make 2-3 mob pulls all the time. It only boosts the BONUS DAMAGE of Cleave, meaning the extra damage number on the tooltip. The tooltip says "Weapon damage + X damage", Improved Cleave only boosts that X by 120%, not the entire ability's damage.

If you REALLY want Tactical Mastery however, leveling Arms is perfectly okay. It's not as fast as Fury, but having Tactical Mastery feels really nice, especially for tanking. It also improves Rend's damage, making it quite nice at earlier levels, however, past level 30 or so, Rend becomes pretty crap. Imp Overpower is also really nice at low levels when you don't have many offensive abilities.

DO NOT GET IMPROVED SLAM. Trust me, it's a trap talent. Even with 5 points in it, Slam still causes a 1.5 second GCD, so you can still only use one slam every 1.5 seconds. The cast time reduction is not very helpful at all. Plus, once you get Flurry, you will want to be using normal weapon swings, seeing as Flurry does not affect Slam.

Level 40-60: http://i.imgur.com/HIkzm3k.png

After you hit 40, just continue into the Arms tree, picking up all the goodies in there. The extra rage on Charge, and the +50% crit chance on Overpower, are IMO much more useful than +3% melee damage from 2h specalization.

 

 

Or if you want to go Arms at 40:

Spoiler

 

Level 40 Arms: http://i.imgur.com/2udQmEd.png

Now you can respec Arms and unleash the mighty Mortal Strike, among other lovely tal-

"OMFG YOU TOOK ANGER MANAGEMENT? WHY? THAT TALENT IS FUCKING USELESS!"

Yeah, I thought the same thing, until I did some googling and found out that the tooltip is incorrect. It does NOT "increase the time for rage to decay out of combat", but rather something else entirely. Blizz didn't fix the tooltip until TBC.

Anger Management gives you 1 rage every 3 seconds, as long as you have rage. Even if you are out of combat, the talent will continue to give you 1 rage per 3 seconds, until your rage reaches 0. Considering that it only costs 1 talent point, it is immensely better than 1 more point in 2h weapon specialization. Hell, this talent provides way more rage than Unbridled Rage (at least, with 2-handers), and only costs 1 point instead of 5. Anger Management is another reason why Arms is so well-suited for slow 2h weapons.

Now, about the weapon specialization talents further down the tree- You should still have your Whirlwind Axe, so you'll be specced into Axes to get that 5% crit. However if you plan on getting Stoneslayer from Uldaman, you will want to stay Fury until 44 and then spec into Sword Specialization when you respec Arms. Then when you get Ice Barbed Spear at 51, you have to respec again to Polearm Specialization. This is kind of the big drawback of Arms: Every time you get a new weapon, you have to change spec. If you plan out what weapons you are going to get however, you can avoid respeccing all the time.

If you can find an Executioner's Axe for cheap on the AH, go right ahead. If they're expensive however, it might be better to just run Uldaman a few times to get yourself a Stoneslayer, and go with Sword Spec.

As for Maces, I would not recommend using a Mace, because the weapon spec is really crap for questing. The short stun is too random and isn't particularly helpful, whereas 5% crit or 5% chance to get an extra attack are both huge damage bonuses.

After 31 points in Arms, you just continue down the Fury tree as you did earlier, ending at 5/5 Enrage. Not much to it.

 


ABOUT DUAL WIELDING:

Spoiler

 

Now, lots of people will tell you to never dual wield while leveling. Why? Because, when you dual wield, your hit chance is greatly reduced, and your offhand only does 50% of its normal damage. Since hit rating gear is practically nonexistent until level 40+, you'll be missing lots of attacks if you dual-wield.

...but, in my experiences, I found dual wielding to be fine. But only if you're Fury. I found that having two weapon swings meant having twice as many chances to crit, which led to lots more Flurry procs. At level 50 with two blue 1h swords, my kill speed was just about the same as when I used an epic 2h axe. And I wasn't even specced into the offhand damage talent. If I got a good string of crits, I could smack mobs down in 15-20 seconds, and easily hit Bloodthirst every time it came off CD.

On the topic of Bloodthirst, dual wielding lets you actually use up all 6 charges of Bloodthirst, leading to a lot of extra healing. I found that when dual wielding, I could kill 2 or 3 extra mobs before having to eat/bandage, compared to using a 2h. The healing from Bloodthirst may not seem like a lot, but it adds up over time.

So, if you happen to have two good 1h weapons, and are Fury specced, don't be afraid to try out dual wielding. Some people swear by it, and I can see why. Getting miss/parry with 2h weapon is cancer, and having two weapon swings for two different chances at crit, can really help smooth out your damage and make it less random. If you're still skeptical, I'd suggest trying it out once you get Thrash Blade, or if you happen to have a Flurry Axe. With really sick 1h weapons, dual-wielding can definitely feel great.

 

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GENERAL PLAYSTYLE / TIPS
************************

From 1-30, I'd recommend watching movies/cartoons/anime while you play, because literally all you do is just autoattack and Heroic Strike, and hit Overpower when you can. It's so fucking boring. Get an addon that plays a sound when Overpower is usable (there are a bunch,

Once you get to level 30, you at least get Slam, which requires you to properly time it with the enemy swing timer so that you don't get pushback. It may seem tempting to invest points in Improved Slam, but trust me, it's not worth it. I tried it. It's a trap talent. Most mobs have 2.0 attack speed anyways, so you can easily fit those 1.5 second casts in between enemy swings.

At 36 you get Whirlwind, but Heroic Strike is still better damage per rage, IIRC. Whirlwind is an instant attack and doesn't consume your white hit, but it costs much more rage, and doesn't do as much damage. If you're fighting 2+ mobs, Whirlwind is great, as it gives more chances for crits (and thus, more chances for Flurry procs), but for single target, I would not recommend using Whirlwind.

Once you swap to Arms at 40, you'll stay in Battle Stance all the time. You can Charge -> Berserker and then just swap to Battle for Overpower procs, but I've been told that in the long run, it's best to just stay in Battle Stance. Same stuff as usual, except you'll be hitting Mortal Strike instead of Heroic Strike. Charge in, then just Autoattack / Mortal Strike / Overpower until it's dead.

Execute may seem tempting, but I find that it's best to conserve your rage between pulls, if you're going to be heading to the next mob right away. If you're going to be sitting and eating after the mob and you don't have much rage, go ahead and Execute. And of course, if the mob is running away and likely to pull other mobs, that's also a good time to Execute.

Things get really interesting for Arms at Level 46 when you get Rank 3 Charge, which generates 21 rage with 2/2 Imp Charge. This lets you Charge in and immediately Mortal Strike, as your initial melee hit will get you to 30 rage. Feels really, really nice to just instantly smack a mob for ~20% of its health with that opening 1-2 punch. It'll also let you Charge->Thunderclap and then swap to Defensive Stance, very nice for tanking.

 

 

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OTHER TIPS / TRICKS
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-To save money, don't train higher ranks of Overpower or Cleave until 60. The bonus damage from higher ranks is miniscule compared to your weapon damage. (Example: Overpower rank 1 does 5 extra damage, Overpower max rank does....35 extra damage. Whoopdy fuckin doo)

-Same goes for spells like Thunderclap and Shield Bash. The damage increases a bit, but the slowing effect / silence duration remains the same for every single rank.

-Don't train Rend past rank 3 or so. It's fairly useless past level 30, save for PvP things like preventing rogues/druids from re-stealthing.

-If you want to be a greedy fuck like me, make your own dungeon groups (with you tanking) and don't invite warriors/paladins to them. You'll get all of the Mail/Plate/2h weapons for yourself. :)

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One of the tips I can give for Fury dual-wield levelers is to fight mobs that are at most your level and preferably lower - you will breeze through mobs and the playstyle is extremely funny to watch and play.

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