wotlk classic pve fury warrior rotation & cooldowns

Fury Warriors have a fairly simple rotation in Wrath of the Lich King. However, there are multiple little gimmicks that make it slightly more complicated than what you’d originally think. As an example, stance-swapping macros are mandatory when it comes to maximizing your damage.

Single Target Rotation

  1. Spam Heroic Strike as long as you will have enough rage to use Whirlwind / Bloodthirst afterwards
  2. Use Whirlwind on cooldown
  3. Use Bloodthirst on cooldown
  4. Use Slam when Bloodsurge procs, BUT only if doing so would not delay your Whirlwind / Bloodthirst
  5. Use Execute while the boss has , BUT only if doing so would not delay your Whirlwind / Bloodthirst

Area of Effect Rotation 

When it comes to Area-of-Effect, Fury Warriors are often considered the “Kings of Cleaving” due to their extremely high AoE damaging spells. 

The rotation for AoE is quite simple and it can depend on the number of enemies you are fighting and the amount of time that you approximate the fight to last. This means that you will either want to use your offensive cooldowns for the fight or not, depending on the encounter itself.

  • Whirlwind will be your main ability, and should be always used on cooldown!
  • Cleave will be your “filler” ability, also considered a spam ability, due to the fact that it is not affected by Global Cooldown.
  • Death Wish and Recklessness will be your main offensive cooldowns, and their use is strictly dependent on the length of the fight, as we mentioned in the beginning.

Rotation without offensive cooldowns:

Whirlwind -> Cleave -> Cleave -> Cleave -> Cleave -> Cleave -> Cleave -> Cleave -> CleaveCleave -> Whirlwind -> repeat

Rotation with offensive cooldowns

Burst Macro (Death Wish + Recklessness + Potion of Speed) -> Whirlwind -> Cleave -> Cleave -> Cleave -> Cleave -> Cleave -> Cleave -> Cleave -> CleaveCleave -> Whirlwind -> repeat

In case you get a Bloodsurge proc, you should use Slam on the target!

You should not bother using Rend as it can drastically reduce your damage due to stance dancing.If your healers are running low on mana and you begin taking damage you should use Bloodthirst to improve your survivability while easing the healer’s job.

Overview of Abilities

Offensive Abilities

  • Charge is an ability that can be used as an initiation tool, providing 15 Rage and briefly stunning the target. This ability will not stun raid bosses and is often advised to not use this as your initiation tool, especially before the tank generates enough threat as it can prove to be lethal.
  • Heroic Throw is an ability that allows you to throw your mighty weapon at the enemy. This ability should be used on cooldown, however, when used at the beginning of the rotation you should take into consideration that it generates high-threat.
  • Heroic Strike is our bread and butter ability since our early levels! This ability deals direct damage to the target and deals additional damage to a dazed target. It is due to this ability that we take a point into Piercing Howl. The most important aspect of this ability is the fact that it is not affected by Global Cooldown.
  • Bloodthirst is a direct damage ability that also grants your next 3 successful melee attacks the ability to restore 2% health per attack. This ability should be used on cooldown, especially due to its low cooldown.
  • Whirlwind is an area of effect ability damaging up to 4 enemies in an 8-yard radius. This ability allows you to hit 4 enemies with both of your weapons, making it a very strong offensive ability even for single target fights.
  • Cleave is an area of effect ability that can damage up to 2 enemies, with an additional enemy if you choose the Glyph of Cleaving. Just like Heroic Strike, this ability is not affected by Global Cooldown.
  • Execute as the name implies, is an ability that can only be used once your target reaches 20% health. This ability will become one of your main rage spender towards the end of the fight, as it can deal massive amounts of damage.
  • Slam is an ability that deals direct damage and has a cast time that requires you to sit still while channeling it. This ability is however impacted by our talents, meaning that we will receive an instant cast of Slam whenever Bloodsurge procs.
  • Shattering Throw is an ability that can remove any invulnerability effect from a target while also reducing the target’s armor by 20% for 10 seconds. This ability has a 1.5-second cast time, it can be used in the beginning of a fight to maximize your trinkets and offensive cooldowns or during mid-fight before your trinkets proc again.
  • Rend is a damage-over-time ability that acts as a bleeding effect, keep in mind that it stacks with Deep Wounds. This ability should be upkeep on the target as much as possible.
  • Wish is an offensive ability that increases all the damage done by 20% but also increases all damage taken by 5%. This ability should always be combined with your trinket procs and Recklessness.
  • Recklessness is an ability that allows you to deal 3 guaranteed critical strikes with your next abilities but increases all the damage you receive by 20%. This ability should always be used in combination with Death Wish and your trinket procs.

Defensive Abilities

  • Shield Block is an ability that increases your chance to block and your block value by 100%. You should always use this ability in combination with a weapon swap macro.
  • Shield Wall is an ability that reduces all damage taken by 60% for 12 seconds. It is often a good idea to use Shield Wall in conjunction with Shield Block within a macro to maximize damage mitigation.
  • Enraged Regeneration is an ability that regenerates 30% of your maximum health but consumes an enrage effect to do so. You can use this in conjunction with Berserker Rage.
  • Berserker Rage is an ability that removes Fear, Sap, and Incapacitating effects and makes you entirely immune to them for 10 seconds. 

Utility Abilities

  • Heroic Fury is an ability that removes any immobilizing effect and refreshes the cooldown of Intervene.
  • Intervene is an ability that offers two different effects, first of all, it soaks any incoming effect/damage from the target that is cast upon. Second of all, this spell can be used as a last resort threat reduction for one of your allies that is in peril.
  • Bloodrage is an ability that generates 20 rage at the cost of health, after which it generates 10 additional rage over 10 seconds. This effect can be used in conjunction with Enraged Regeneration.
  • Disarm is an ability that can be used on adds to remove their weapons for 10 seconds.
  • Sunder Armor is a utility ability that can vastly reduce the armor of your opponents. This ability can stack up to 5 times, however, this ability is mainly used by tanks. In the lack of the presence of a protection warrior in the group, it falls to the Fury Warriors to stack Sunder Armor on the target. However, keep in mind that Sunder Armor can not stack with Expose Armor.
  • Demoralizing Shout is an ability that reduces the target’s attack power by a set amount. You should use this ability in case there is no Druid Tank in your group for Demoralizing Roar, Warlock for Curse of Weakness, or Retribution Paladin with Vindication specced. If any of those effects are present, there is no reason for you to use Demoralizing Shout.
  • Battle Shout is an ability that increases attack power for all your nearby allies for 2 minutes. Use it as often as you can in the lack of a paladin in your group.
  • Commanding Shout is an ability that briefly increases your maximum health. This effect only stacks with Blood Pact, so you should maintain it at all times as long as there is no Destruction Warlock in your group.
  • Intercept is an ability akin to Charge that allows you to stun a target for up to 3 seconds. This ability can be used to reposition yourself or to quickly stun a target that threatens one of your allies.
  • Intimidating Shout is an ability that causes up to 5 enemies to cower in fear for 8 seconds, effectively crowd controlling them.
  • Piercing Howl is one of your most important abilities due to its daze effect. It causes all enemies in 10 yards to be affected by daze for up to 6 seconds. This effect is extremely important for our rotation due to the increased damage on Heroic Strike.
  • Pummel is an ability that allows you to interrupt casters, it is extremely useful and should always be used to stop your enemies from channeling potentially malicious magic.

Now that we have gone through the overview of the abilities we will go through an in-depth look into how the gameplay itself works!

First of all, through the leveling process, we have been acquainted with the changing of stances. This practice is often called “Stance Dancing”, due to Stance Mastery, we always retain 10 rage points. With the addition of Tactical Mastery, we can retain an additional 10 points, allowing us to effectively cast the necessary ability depending on our situation. 

Stance Dancing should always be performed with the help of macros, especially due to the fact that you can immediately change into another stance and use an ability and then quickly change back to your initial stance, without much latency time.

This can be exemplified by the use of the “Rend Macro” and then quickly switching back to Berserker Stance by using the “Bloodthirst” Macro.

You should always use your offensive cooldowns with your trinket procs in order to maximize your damage. Death Wish and Recklessness are your main offensive cooldowns. After you pop Recklessness, you should use Bloodthirst followed by Heroic Strike and Whirlwind. The logic behind this is that you will deal guaranteed critical strikes and you will proc effects such as Glyph of Heroic Strike to gain additional rage while with  Whirlwind you will guarantee that both of your weapons will deal a critical strike. 

Shattering Throw is an ability that is often overlooked, however, it can open up your damage possibilities, as it can stack with sunder armor and effectively offer you a huge damage increase.

Our rotation will be heavily influenced by Bloodsurge, each time it procs, you should prioritize to cast Slam, with the exception being the first 3 spells after  Recklessness.

It has always been a debate whether it is worth to upkeep Rend on the target, however, with the proper macro and quick action, you will not lose DPS even if you Stance Dance, effectively adding an additional bleed on the target besides Deep Wounds.

Rend upkeep should be mainly prioritized during the beginning of the fight, as the bleed effect does higher damage to targets above 75% health.

Piercing Howl might seem like a simple loss of a global cooldown, however, it heavily increases the damage of Heroic Strike and should be maintained at all times. The good part of Piercing Howl is that it has no cooldown and a low rage cost, with the downside of having a short-term effect.

Execute will be introduced in our rotation once the target reaches 20% health, however, it will not overpower your other spells in damage, being highly dependent on critical strikes. You should maintain your main rotation and add execute every 5th ability.

Apart from our usual rotation, exemplified at the beginning as a Fury Warrior, we have to provide several utility abilities. Sunder Armor should be stacked on the target in case there is no protection warrior in your group, as it heavily increases your damage.

Intimidating Shout and Intercept can be used as crowd control tools, while Intervene should be used to help squishier targets mitigate damage or reduce their threat if they find themselves in immediate danger. 

Disarm can be used on dangerous adds that escape the tanks and seek to target you or your frail allies. 

In the case of a true emergency, you can always swap to defensive stance, activate your survival macro and taunt mobs around you to protect your allies for a few seconds until tanks manage to pick them up again.

Fury Warriors can dish extreme amounts of damage, with proper weapon swapping, stance dancing, and consistent rotation they can easily top the DPS charts and bring a true onslaught to the battlefield.

 

About the Author

Nevermore

Hey there folks, I am Nevermore and have been deeply passionate about WoW for more than a decade. Whether we talk about the hidden mysteries of Azeroth or the otherworldly Outland, my journey brought me here to share the things that I have experienced with you all.
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Bottleclap
Bottleclap
3 months ago

What is the utility on having piercing howl? Presumably anything you care to eek out extra damage on using heroic strike in pve(raid and dungeon bosses) is immune to Daze effects. On dungeon trash, you’re cleaving anyways until you are down to one target, and at that point you’re wasting a global every 6 seconds to keep up piercing howl?

Leoroxxar
Leoroxxar
Reply to  Bottleclap
3 months ago

It is not meant for boss. Not too useful for dungeon mobs either, but it’s really important to slow down non-boss in ICC like DBS’s Beast, VDW’s worms, or LK’s val’kyr.

Chope
Chope
3 months ago

I wonder if ST target, should I use proc Slam right after swing? Because it resets swing time.

ciaobella
ciaobella
Reply to  Chope
1 month ago

As far as I’m aware, slam no longer resets swing timer, but rather pauses it in WOTLK

Pride
Pride(@pride)
Reply to  ciaobella
1 month ago

That’s correct, Slam doesn’t reset the swimg timer in WotLK.

Azymondias
Azymondias
3 months ago

My brothers and I new meme is….. Cleave Cleave Cleave Cleave Cleave Cleave Cleave Cleave Cleave Whirlwind!

I’m a warrior main in TBC and this is hilarious.

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