- Author: Nevermore
- Date: August 21, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
When it comes to the abilities and possible rotations of an Arms Warrior we have to take into consideration several different factors. First of all, your rotation will generally be the same throughout the expansion, with the only exception being the order and frequency of some of your abilities (depending on which glyphs you choose).
Secondly, just like the rest of the Warrior specializations, Arms Warriors will be subjected to a mechanic called “Stance Dance” in which you will have to change your “Stance” to fit a specific action. Your most used stance and the one in which you will find yourself the majority of the time is called Battle Stance, however, you will find yourself swapping to Defensive stance if you are required to aid an ally or Berserker Stance if you are required to fight several mobs at the same time.
Single Target Rotation
- Use Charge at the beginning of a Fight and throughout the fight.
- Use Heroic Throw whenever you can, ideally combine it with a macro
- Use Rend and upkeep it at all times
- Use Mortal Strike on cooldown
- Use Heroic Strike constantly
- Use Slam if you have tier set bonuses for it and Improved Slam
- Use Overpower when you have Taste for Blood
- Use Shattering Throw before your Burst
- Use Execute whenever you have a Sudden Death proc
- Spam Execute when your target reaches 20% health
Overview of Abilities
Click a section to expand it
When it comes to the Single-Target rotation, Arms Warriors have multiple possible rotations. The first one is what we call “Standard Rotation”, and the rest are variations upon it.
- Charge -> Heroic Throw -> Bloodrage -> Rend (Upkeep) -> Mortal Strike (On cooldown) -> Overpower(Use on every proc) -> Heroic Strike (Off-cooldown ability, spam it!/Combine it with a macro!) -> Shattering Throw (Use before Burst!) -> Bladestorm (On cooldown, use with trinket procs) ->Execute(Use on proc) -> Rend (Refresh & Upkeep) ->Charge (Whenever you need to gap-close) ->Execute(Spam after 20% threshold) -> Repeat
- Heroic Strike (Becomes your main filler if you have Glyph of Heroic Strike and a high critical strike chance)
- Rend is a DoT that has mandatory upkeep!
- Bladestorm is a powerful offensive ability that is best kept for powerful trinket procs!
Slam Rotation Variant
- Charge -> Heroic Throw -> Bloodrage -> Rend (Upkeep) -> Mortal Strike (On cooldown) ->Shattering Throw (Use before Burst!) -> Slam (Spam!)-> Heroic Strike (After each Slam) -> Rend (Refresh & Upkeep) ->Charge (Whenever you need to gap-close) ->Execute(Use on proc) ->Execute(Spam after 20% threshold) -> Repeat
In this section of the guide, we will explain how each individual ability weaves into your rotation and why you will want to maintain a specific type of abilities sequence!
The first and foremost important thing that we will discuss is DoT upkeep. As an Arms Warrior, you have an affinity for afflicting deep wounds, further reinforced by our powerful DoT, Rend.
Rend must be maintained at all times! Not only does it inflicts high damage to your target, but it also allows you to proc Taste for Blood. With this proc, you are capable of bypassing the requirement of Overpower. If you have to choose between reapplying Rend and using any other of your abilities, Rend will have utmost priority at all times.
Secondly, there are two main “filler” abilities that you can use in your rotations. Heroic Strike is the first of those filler abilities, as it is not affected by GCD. You can effectively combine it with a macro in such a way that you will be able to use it along with your other instant cast abilities such as Mortal Strike. Similarly, always keep in mind that you can use Heroic Throw together with one of your other abilities such as Charge in a macro.
Slam is the second filler ability you can opt for, however, it is sub-optimal unless you spend talent points on it and have specific tier set bonuses. Thus, the slam rotation is a situational rotation that is heavily reliant on certain conditions.
Mortal Strike is one of your three hardest-hitting abilities in your kit, alongside Overpower and Execute. It can be dramatically improved by Glyph of Mortal Strike and Improved Mortal Strike, turning it into a core ability! You should always use this ability on cooldown, with the only exception being a proc of Overpower or Execute. In these situations you will want to use the proc first, followed by Mortal Strike.
By default, Overpower can only be used after your target dodges one of your attacks, however, Taste for Blood allows you to use Overpower without meeting this requirement! In a similar fashion, Execute usually requires the target be under 20% health, but the Sudden Death talent can remove this requirement! It is very important to be aware of the fact that you should always prioritize your procs in the following order Execute (Proc) >Overpower (Proc)
Shattering Throw is a special ability that allows you, once every 5 minutes, to inflict a 20% armor reduction debuff for 10 seconds on a raid boss. This ability should always be used before your trinket procs to maximize its potential! However, it will be hard to make the most out of this ability if you cast it the first time your trinkets will proc. Therefore, we generally recommend you use it the second time your trinkets proc, or at the beginning of fights that do not require you to reposition quickly.
Bladestorm is an ability that is supposed to signify your complete mastery over any type of weapon! This powerful cooldown, while it might seem better suited for AoE, can inflict massive damage and should always be used in conjunction with your powerful trinket procs! Make sure however that you manage to use your procs in combination with your trinket procs before unleashing Bladestorm.
Lastly, Execute is an extremely powerful ability that will be enhanced by both your talents and some of the tier set bonuses available in the expansion. You will always want to prioritize Sudden Death whenever it is available before any other effect that might become available! Besides the amazing proc at our disposal, Execute will become our true core ability once our target reaches 20%! However, even if we are spamming this ability in the last phases of a fight, we will not want to ignore the rest of our rotation and blindly press one button!
As far as Area-of-Effect goes, you have two main options: You can either remain in Battle Stance and use Sweeping Strikes and Bladestorm in short fights, or you can swap to Berserker Stance and use Whirlwind and Cleave alongside Sweeping Strikes.
- Battle Stance -> Rend -> Sweeping Strikes -> Mortal Strike -> Execute/Overpower (Only if they proc) -> Cleave x3 -> Bladestorm -> Cleave (Spam) -> Sweeping Strikes-> Repeat
- Berserker Stance -> Sweeping Strikes ->Recklessness -> Whirlwind (On cooldown)-> Mortal Strike -> Cleave (Spam) -> Repeat
Now that we have given you some variations of possible AoE rotations, we will go into detail about why we chose those specific orders for abilities.
First of all, we must emphasize the fact that your preferred stance for AoE fights depends extremely much on how much health the mobs that you are fighting have. The duration of the fight itself is based on how much health your foes have, therefore it dictates which stance will be more efficient. In short, always use Battle Stance for short fights and Berserker Stance for longer fights!
Keep in mind that even if you are in an AoE situation, it is worth placing Rend on either your main target or multiple enemies in order to proc Overpower as much as possible. You will generally want to keep such procs for Sweeping Strikes!