Sunday, November 16

An Arms Warrior's First Few Days in Northrend

I kinda miss having big shoulders. But I s'pose those will come in time. :D

As I wrote before, I hit Northrend with every intention of stripping off the old and embracing the new. Spec, gear, weapons... hair. So I did. Okay, haven't settled on the hair, but that's okay. I haven't replaced everything yet, either. But I've only spent a few hours in Northrend so far. More will come.

Being a noob again, though, is so much fun!

I did roll up the Deathknight, of course. Wicked story line, but probably be awhile before I go back to it. It was hysterical to see, literally, dozens upon dozens of DKs running around. Lots of fun, too.

My "Wrath Strategy" was to hit Northrend a little behind the crowd, but stay ahead of the horde of DKs that'll be power leveling through Outland. So far, so good. I haven't had any problem at all with quests, lag, over crowding, disconnects, queues, or anything like that. In fact, the whole of the expansion has been completely smooth and seamless. Awesome job to Blizz!

And Northrend?

Completely in love with it. It's gorgeous, dangerous, and full of wonders. Maybe not quite dangerous enough, but I'm sure that'll come as zone progression continues. Some of the quests in Howling Fjord, where I started, are brilliant. The ROFLplane is a favorite. And riding the flaming spear across the bay is truly a Great WoW Moment. Oh and penguins. I love penguins.

The lore and the quest progression, so far, feels smoother and more connected than Outland did (at least to me), as well.

And the place was built for Warriors. :)

So how's the Arms Warrior thang working out? Brilliant.

First off, your TBC-gear is gonna be way over powered for the first two zones. For most Warriors that'll be just fine. But if you really wanna get a feel for the experience, you'll want to switch to q-rewards and drops as soon as possible. And even with out stacked up hit, crit, Attack Power, resiliance, and your fancy gems and enchants, you'll still be way over powered. Which is a good thing because there's several times the mobs come at you back to back and super fast.

All of which is a lot of fun for a multi-mob killing machine like an Arms Warrior. You really are going to be using your abilities in a more situational mode. Now again, what follows is not theorycraft, or any of that nonsense. This is very much from the "push the button and see what happens" school, at this point. It's not efficient, it's just what's worked and what's fun.

Hold Aggro!

To which most Arms Warriors, being the calm and practical types they are, will responsd, "Well, don't pull aggro, dumbass." Prots are usually too polite/proud to say anything when someone pulls aggro off them, but Arms types aren't particularly inclined that way. Mostly we follow the "You Spank It You Tank It" school of tanking. We can spank and tank, after all. :)

The good news is, that's not really a problem any more. You can tank. Very well, actually. Pop on your shield, switch to Def, and do that tanky thang. Bash 'em with the shield, Thunderclap, and start your Sunder/Revenge rotation. If you get in a tight spot, pop Shield Block or Shield Wall. You're good to go. Granted, it's TBC tanking and you don't have any of the fancy threat moves Prots have. And you also aren't go to hold as well as a Prot, particularly if your friends are really geared and buffed up. You might have to ask 'em to dial it down a notch or two. But it's nowhere near as bad as it was in TBC.

So tank it up. :)

All the Moves

Okay, that's nice. But what about the good stuff, right? K.

You can now kill everything. At the same time. Fast.

Is that good enough. :)

Three mobs are easy. Four mobs is... well, easy. Five, though, that's... still easy. Try some different combinations in different situations. Some that I like so far:

Sweeping Strike - Not a combo, but hot key this one right away if you haven't already. You're gonna use it a lot. I missed this ability and having it back just makes an Arms Warrior right again.

Sweeping Strikes > Whirlwind - Does this really work? It looks like it does. Try it and watch the damage go scrolling by. It's neat.

Recklessness > Sweeping Strikes - Just mean. Not for use when focused, but that goes for Recklessness in general.

Recklessness > Bladestorm - Yah if you have any aggro at all you're gonna be hurting. But everything will be dead... so...

Rend - With any bleed effect boosters is a win. Nuff said, 'cept Welcome Back Rend.

Execute - You'll just mash this pretty much constantly when it procs.

Thunderclap > Bladestorm - Melee AOE. Throw in Recklessness before hand (assuming you can pull off the rage) and it's pure evil.

And I actually popped Retaliation several times over the last few days. Ha!

I'm also catching myself using Cleave a lot more than Heroic Strike, particularly in the mob packed areas of Northrend. Hitting multiple targets at once is just pure joy for an Arms Warrior.

You're Still The Same

What's best is Arms really hasn't lost much for it's PvP toughness. And we can pop a lot more consistent damage that works well in both PvP and PvE. Your top end damage is still there. You still have Heroic Strike and Mortal Strike you'll use all the time. Throw in Execute for a bit more juice. You'll still pop Whirlwind when you can. You're still easy to heal if you're wearing your Resiliance gear. The damage spikes, both taking and giving have leveled out a lot more. Damage dealing is higher and more consistent. Taking damage is still stable (healable) since you're almost impossible to crit.

I don't just Slam at all, but never used it much anyhow. It DOES still give nice damage, but it feels more like a, "Gee I have a lot of Rage and everything is on cool down so I might as well use... um... ah! Slam!" Meh. Maybe in time we'll see a new Slammer build.

If you're like me and giving up your Resilience while starting out in Northrend, don't worry too much. The Stamina on gear is insane. It's wicked. It's in the Very Good category. And that's just the greens. ;)

Basically, Arms is just a lot of fun right now. Again, cheers to Blizz for doing what they said and making it more fun to play, not just more efficient to kill stuff. I hope they never loose sight of that.

Now... how am I going to get a Dual Wield Bladestorm build to work.... hmmmm.... :D



  1. Sounds like you're having fun out there in Northrend :D

    Great summary of Arms Warriors, can't wait to hear more about your experiences out there.

  2. Hiya TW!

    Great job on the new site, btw! :D

    Summery is very much that. Prolly won't do anything serious until 80 and have some stats. lol


    Being a warrior is a LOT of fun right now. No worrying about "mix/max" stuff and learning to fight all over again. I hear prots are having a lot of fun, too. Gotta work on the talents, as well, since I'm kinda all over the place with no real focus. Ah well... it's fun anyway.

    Thanks for popping in!


    readers be sure to check out TW's new blog The Runespear at