- Author: Furious
- Date: July 15, 2019
- Expansion: WoW Classic
Welcome to our WoW Classic leveling guide for warriors! The tough and mighty warrior certainly makes for one of the strongest late-game classes for damage or tanking, but it balances out with a fairly weak leveling experience. If you’re feeling frustrated trying to level a warrior, have faith that it does get better, and that all your suffering is forging you into a smarter, better warrior player!
Leveling a warrior is fairly different from playing a max-level warrior. For starters, you’ll use a completely different talent specialization and your stat priorities are quite wonky. As a max-level warrior, your primary focus is dealing damage, but you also need to keep an eye on your health, survivability, and overall well being when you’re leveling.
To keep up with the challenge a warrior demands, there are several important things you want to know! This guide will cover some generalized leveling tips, but we’ll also go in depth on how you want to progress as a warrior, including your talent path, ability training schedule, class quests, and even how you should prioritize stats! We’ll also give you some helpful tips and tricks to make the leveling process just a little bit easier!
Pros & Cons
- Great mobility with both Charge and Intercept.
- One of the best damage-dealers with late-game gear.
- Great at servicing as a tank and absorbing damage for allies.
- You look absolutely awesome.
- Very difficult to level solo.
- Terrible self-healing and regeneration.
- Extremely weapon-dependent.
- Confusing playstyle due to awkward stances and weapon swapping.
General Leveling Tips
No matter what class you want to play, there are some best practices you can follow to make the experience more enjoyable and quicker overall. Leveling in WoW Classic is all about the journey and gradual progression of your character. If you’re not having a fun time on your way to level 60, then you’ll view leveling as a chore. This begins with ensuring you’re picking the right class that suits your personality and desired playstyle, so make sure a close-and-comfy warrior is the right class for you.
On top of making sure you enjoy every moment you spend in Azeroth, you’ll also want to:
- Don’t be afraid to research quests online that you get stuck on, but try to explore and figure it out for yourself first!
- Make sure you always have plenty of food and bandages. Especially as a warrior, you’ll spend a lot of time sitting down and eating after fights. If you run out of food, you’re going to have a bad time because it’ll take literal minutes for your health to regenerate.
- Try to group up whenever possible. With more people around for enemies to smack, you’ll take less damage yourself, giving you more time to slay your foes. Leveling alone is extremely challenging, so this can also make your experience better.
- Stick to zones that you’re familiar with and/or have closely-grouped quest hubs. If you already know a zone fairly well, you’ll have a much easier time understanding where to go to complete quest objectives. Closely-grouped quest hubs just make the leveling process much smoother, giving you more experience while requiring you to move around less.
Taking the time to level professions while you level will slow your progress, but they can significantly improve your quality of life. You’re free to pick all of the secondary professions (fishing, cooking, and first aid), but you can only have two primary professions. Which you should choose will ultimately depend on what your goals are. Do you only want to make gold, or would you like a professions that can craft useful equipment for your character?
Here are some great professions to train while leveling a warrior:
- Mining – Whether you’re interested in making gold or crafting equipment, mining is an excellent choice either way. You’ll need the ore to create weapons and armor through blacksmithing, or bombs and gadgets with engineering. Metal ore also fetches a nice price on the auction house, making mining an extremely versatile pick.
- Blacksmithing – You can’t go wrong with blacksmithing as a warrior. This will allow you to craft useful armor and weapons, which are crucial to keeping you alive. You can also create sharpening stones, which will give you a slight damage boost while fighting.
- Engineering – Engineering is one of the best end-game professions, but it also quite useful for leveling. Gadgets you create through engineering are much more useful against normal creatures you’ll fight while leveling compared to raid environments. The bombs are also helpful in case you get surrounded.
- Herbalism – Another good choice here is herbalism. You can pair this with mining for two gathering professions, an excellent gold-generating combo. Alternatively, you can save them to make potions with alchemy.
- Alchemy – Alchemy is one of the best professions you can have for leveling, regardless of your class. You’ll have access to several different potions with a variety of effects. Some have long durations that grant you bonuses, while others are one-time shots to restore health and mana. Potions can dramatically turn the tide of any battle, making alchemy an excellent leveling profession.
Warrior Specific Gameplay Advice
- Get comfortable with using Hamstring! At low levels in particular, you have quite a slow weapon attack speed and will frequently have periods where you won’t be using any abilities and are waiting for your auto attack to come back up. During these periods, you can actually use Hamstring and run away until your auto attack is ready. This will slow your target, which will allow you to get far enough away that they can’t attack you. It may seem tedious, but it can significantly reduce the amount of damage you take!
- Until level 38 when you learn Pummel, your only interrupt is Shield Bash. This requires you to use a shield and be in either Battle Stance, or Defensive Stance. It’s probably your most useful ability to use against casters, just make sure you have a shield of some kind on you before engaging with one.
- If you really get yourself into a pickle, you can use Retaliation if you feel confident in turning the battle around and killing your foes. Alternatively, Intimidating Shout will cause enemies to run in fear, giving you a chance to escape.
- Learn how and when to switch stances! Changing stances will offer you access to additional abilities, but it resets your global cooldown and drastically reduces your overall rage (to just 25 with 5 points in Tactical Mastery). This means they’re best used when you really need them and don’t have any other abilities to use in Battle Stance.
- Sometimes you’ll need to switch your weapons. Abilities like Shield Bash require you to use a shield, meaning you’ll need to put one on quickly. Unfortunately, switching weapons resets your auto attack swing timer, so try to switch weapons immediately after landing an auto attack. Don’t forget to switch back when you’re done!
Your rotation is going to change depending upon what level you are, as several key abilities require you to reach certain levels to train them. With that in mind, simply drop whatever abilities you don’t have yet from the rotation, but add them in when you’re high enough level to use them.
Your top priority will always be to keep Battle Shout applied for the attack power bonus. On single targets, if your target is at 20% or lower health, you’ll want to prioritize Execute for the biggest damage. If your target is above 20% health, then your priority becomes to use Overpower upon dodging an attack.
Overpower does require you to dodge though, which does make it unreliable to fit into your rotation. Use it whenever it is available, otherwise use Mortal Strike on cooldown. If Execute and Overpower are both unavailable and Mortal Strike is on cooldown, you can cast Whirlwind. After that, spend any excess rage on Heroic Strike.
Your rotation becomes a little different with multiple targets. Instead of using Execute right away, you’ll cast Sweeping Strikes for your abilities to hit an additional enemy. Then you’ll actually use Whirlwind right after, followed up by Execute if your target is low enough.
If both abilities are unavailable, use Overpower if you’ve dodged an attack. In the event you don’t dodge, you’ll then use Mortal Strike instead. If you have any spare rage at this point, you can dump it all into Heroic Strike.
- Single Target: Battle Shout (keep applied) > Execute > Overpower > Mortal Strike > Whirlwind > Heroic Strike
- Multiple Targets: Battle Shout (keep applied) > Sweeping Strikes > Whirlwind > Execute > Overpower > Mortal Strike > Heroic Strike
- Strength – Your best stat by far. Strength directly increases your attack power, which means your attacks deal more damage! Hitting harder lets you kill enemies faster and gives you less downtime overall.
- Stamina – After strength, you’ll want as much stamina as you can find. Stamina only increases your maximum health, but this is crucial to your survivability. You take an absurd amount of damage as a melee attacker, making a large health pool very beneficial.
- Agility – Agility becomes much more important when you’re level 60, but it also benefits you before then. It grants you 1% Critical Strike Chance and 1% Dodge for every 20 points of Agility.
- Spirit – You’re also going to want plenty of spirit while you’re leveling. Spirit lets you regenerate your health when you’re out combat. This means you’ll spend less time sitting and eating, meaning faster leveling overall.
Talent Progression: 3 points Improved Heroic Strike > 2 points Improved Rend > 5 points Tactical Mastery > 1 point Anger Management > 1 point Improved Rend > 3 points Deep Wounds > 2 points Impale > 2 points Improved Overpower > 1 point Two-Handed Weapon Specialization > 1 point Sweeping Strikes > 4 points Two-Handed Weapon Specialization > 5 points Axe Specialization > 1 point Mortal Strike > 5 points Cruelty > 5 points Booming Voice > 5 points Improved Battle Shout > 5 points Enrage.
Despite fury being the better end-game damage specialization, arms is much better for leveling thanks to reliable rage generation and damage output. Your goal is to max out the arms tree to pick up Mortal Strike, after which leveling definitely becomes easier.
Abilities to Train
- Level 1-10 – Learn every ability offered to you. Complete Defensive Stance quest.
- Level 12 – Battle Shout rank 2, Overpower, Shield Bash
- Level 16 – Heroic Strike rank 3, Mocking Blow, Shield Block
- Level 24 – Retaliation, Battle Shout rank 3, Heroic Strike rank 4, Intimidating Shout, Execute
- Level 30 – Overpower rank 2. Complete Berserker Stance quest.
- Level 32 – Heroic Strike rank 5, Battle Shout rank 4, Execute rank 2
- Level 36 – Whirlwind
- Level 40 – Execute rank 3, Heroic Strike rank 6
- Level 48 – Battle Shout rank 5, Mortal Strike rank 2, Heroic Strike rank 7, Execute rank 3, Overpower rank 3
- Level 50 – Recklessness
- Level 54 – Battle Shout rank 6, Mortal Strike rank 3
- Level 56 – Heroic Strike rank 8, Execute rank 4
- Defensive Stance: At level 10, you’ll unlock your first class quest, which will eventually reward you with Defensive Stance. This is one of your three core stances and is required to interrupt before level 38. You’ll also be able to use important defensive abilities, but you will need to equip a sword and shield.
- Brutal/Fire Hardened Armor: Once you’re level 20, you’ll unlock another class quest chain. After completing it, you’ll have received a nice pair of legs, gloves, a helm, and a blue chest piece that you can actually use to receive 30 rage once an hour. The equipment is fantastic for leveling, but you might have a hard time soloing this until you’re around level 30.
- Berserker Stance & Whirlwind Weapon: Upon reaching level 30, you’ll unlock the class quest for your final stance, Berserker Stance. You’ll need this to cast Intercept, your other dash ability. More importantly, this quest chain culminates in a reward of one of three whirlwind weapons. You’ll definitely want Whirlwind Axe to benefit from your Axe Specialization talent. Whirlwind Axe is likely a weapon you won’t replace until level 60, but the quest is extremely difficult before you’re level 40.
- Buy weapons from vendors – When you’re low level, weapons that are sold by merchants are actually some of the strongest you can find. Somewhere in your race’s starting zone you can find a weapon vendor; don’t be afraid to purchase a weapon if it is an upgrade! At level 30, purchase a Bullova axe from a weapon vendor in a major city.
- Do quests and/or dungeons for weapons – Horde players certainly have an advantage here, as they have access to Ragefire Chasm and Wailing Caverns quests. Both dungeons reward great low-level weapons. At higher levels, you can do Uldaman and Maraudon for even better weapons.
- Get your Whirlwind Axe as soon as you can – Your toughest class quest rewards you with the iconic Whirlwind Axe, which you’ll probably use all the way until level 60. Yeah, it’s that powerful! The sooner you get it, the sooner you can start demolishing your enemies!
- Until level 40, warriors can use cloth, leather, or mail equipment. After level 40, they can also use plate gear. However, you should still prioritize gear that provides you with useful stats. Don’t be afraid to wear a piece of cloth or leather if it gives you a better combination of strength, stamina, and spirit than a mail or plate piece does!
- While armor is certainly useful for keeping you alive and giving you extra stats, the attributes of your weapon are far more impactful. The overall damage, weapon speed, and DPS are the biggest factors. You can value a point of weapon DPS as 7 points of strength, meaning any weapon upgrades you can find are invaluable.
Charge / Intercept – Puts you into Battle / Berserker Stance depending on whether you’re in combat, and you can cast it again to use the correct dash spell.
/cast [nocombat,stance:1] Charge; [combat,nostance:3] Berserker Stance; [nocombat,nostance:1] Battle Stance; [combat,stance:3] Intercept
Stance Juggling – Switches between all of your stances. It alternates between defensive stance and battle stance, and switches to berserker if you control click it.
/cast [modifier:ctrl,nostance:3] Berserker Stance; [stance:1] Defensive Stance; Battle Stance
Whirlwind – Switches to Berserker Stance and uses Whirlwind.
/cast [stance:3] Whirlwind; Berserker Stance
Overpower – Switches to Battle Stance and uses Overpower.
/cast [stance:1] Overpower; Battle Stance
Some thoughts from experience (main warrior from vanilla to BFA and now classic)…
Agility is good at low levels because you need very little to gain 1% crit, also it doesn’t add attack power at all. Rogues gain 1 attack power from str and agi, Warriors gain 2 attack power from str and 0 from agi.
Anyways, you should always consider the dps increase from attack power AND crit % when evaluating gear upgrades, warrior is the most gear dependant class in the game so you want to get the best gear possible. There can be a lot of math involved in determining which item is better, deal with it or go play an easier class like Rogue… be prepared to farm a lot of gold too because many upgrades are BOE items that you will be purchasing on the AH (mining/herbalism helps a lot).
Notable AH items for lv40-43 that will skyrocket your damage:
– Excecutioner’s Cleaver -> first real upgrade for your whirlwind axe, the next upgrade is at least lv54 (Destiny is nice but its not better, just different)
* Kang the decapitator is nice too, but not directly better. str and +1% hit is really valuable.
– Plated fist of hakoo -> best gloves until lv 52+
– Giantlayer bracers
– Obsidian graves
* Ravager sucks (the 2H axe from Herod), it doesn’t have any stats and you can do more damage using your active abilities than spinning like an idiot.
* With good gear, a proper build (over lv36) and a good rotation you can go to a dungeon as a 2H tank and do half the damage of the entire party, with the other 3 dps classes combined contributing the other half (yes warriors are broken, you just have to play it right).
Now about the talents… arms is great ONLY IF you have sweeping strikes (lv30) and an insane weapon (whirlwind axe), otherwise fury blows arms out of the water in terms of pure dps. The 5% crit from cruelty is simply the best talent in the warrior tree, then you have improved battle shout and enrage, all of them are direct increases to damage. In the meantime arms does absolutely nothing, yes deep wounds -> impale es great but if you dont have crit chance is useless because you are not critting… so no, at low levels fury is better 100% of the time.
Also PLEASE don’t get the staff from wailing caverns, have a little self respect. Get the 1H sword instead and use it with a shield, it really helps at low levels when mobs are dangerous. At lv20 buy a blue 1H off the AH and switch to dual wield, then get the 1H sword from the BFD quest. Only switch to 2H if you can get your hands on a reeeeeally good weapon for your level, because when you don’t have instant attacks (MS or WW) misses/parries/blocks on a slow weapon is cancer.
* The #1 reason people say that warriors are hard or slow to level up is because they don’t know how to play them or spec them or gear them, but when you get it right it will turn your warrior into an unstoppable killing machine.
At lv30+, once you get your whirlwind axe you want to respec to arms because sweeping strikes + whirlwind will do stupid damage, you can double the dps of mages, rogues and other “dps classes” several leveles over you in dungeons. This improves dramatically when you also have axe spec and cruelty for that sweet extra 10% crit.
When switching to arms don’t take improved heroic strike, with 2H you will never use it because you cant afford to lose your main rage generator (white weapon swings) and when you have to constantly activate sweping strikes, mortal strike and whirlwind you really have no rage to spare so its pointless. Take 2 points of parry instead, it will be useful in every single fight and specially when tanking (remember, you can and should tank dungeons).
After you get mortal strike start spending your points in the fury tree to get 5/5 cruelty, 1/1 piercing howl, 4/5 improved battle shout and 5/5 enrage. the other 5 points you can spend as you like depending on your playstile, I personally prefer improved demoralizing shout because I like to tank with 2H weapons in berserker stance and do insane amounts of aggro and dps for fast runs, this way I can farm gear upgrades faster.
PD: Always get piercing howl!! it will save your life! (or your healer’s).
I noticed that cleave is not in any of the rotations at all. Is this correct? Should I stop using it when both tanking and dps ?
Id also like to know the answer to this ay
Hmm, you can use shield bash in battle stance aswell.
Single Target: Battle Shout (keep applied) > Execute > Overpower > Mortal Strike > Whirlwind > Heroic Strike
Multiple Targets: Battle Shout (keep applied) > Sweeping Strikes > Whirlwind > Execute > Overpower > Mortal Strike > Heroic Strike
Makes me wonder? You start with execute, how is that even possible
The rotation is by order of priority, so if Execute isn’t available because the mob is at greater than 20% health you move onto the next one in the rotation until it is.
that’s priority order so if mob is at 20% execute if he dodge use overpower… priority to use when available