Monday, January 12

Bladestorm for Dum Dums

With a proper nod to the excellent Dummies series from Wiley publishing. :) I actually got a few emails about the Vigilance for Dums Dums post... I mean, it's not the first email I've gotten about an entry, but it's the first time I've gotten multiple emails and comments on a single subject. So I thought I'd do another on two of my favorite abilities: Bladestorm (this post) and Shockwave (next post). Next time I'll pick a more obscure talent or ability, but I love these two... So, these two are together not for any practical reason, but simply out of talent love.

Before hand, though... why not Titan's Grip, as well? It's the end-tree talent for Fury, after all. Well, I haven't used it yet! I probably won't even try Fury for quite awhile. For several reasons, and no particular reason. Fury looks like loads of fun, and I've seen the awesome dps it can pump out. And I'm saving up two-handers as I go to give TG a little work out. But I'm likin' the tankin' right now. Next week? /shrug /smile


Whirling Dirvish of Arms Goodness

I've written about this ability, as have many people. Doing Bladestorm and watching a group of mobs fall over in a nice neat semi-circle around you is just pure Arms Warrior joy. If I were to make WoW my way, I'd give every Warrior this ability as a trainable skill. Unbalanced? Yah. Do I care? Nah. It is World of Warriorcraft, after all. :)

You can get Bladestorm at Level 60 by spec'ing 51 points into Arms. It basically performs six Whirlwind attacks back to back, one every second for six seconds. It can't be stopped and you can't do anything else... 'cept kill everything around you, that is.

Note: You can't take Improved Whirlwind and Bladestorm. That would require 80 points and ya only get 71. Yet, that is... maybe at Level 89. :)

Baldestorm makes lots of good, and a few bad, things happen...

It is a proper Whirlwind attack. So, it hits up to four targets in melee range for plain ol' weapons damage, but it ONLY hits four targets and you can't control which four. Everything that applies to a normal weapon hit with a Whirlwind attack works with Bladestorm. So crits, critcal effects, and procs all occur during these attacks.

It's not uncommon to come out of a Bladestorm with a bulging rage bar, everything bleeding all over the place, weapon proc up, Sudden Death ready, and fully Enraged. The next thing you hit is gonna be hurting... bad.

You get to unload this every 90 seconds. :)

As with most abilities post-Wrath, though, knowing when to use it is terribly important.

* Bladestorm is no good outside of melee range (about 8 yards). So forget it if you're getting hit by a caster. Intercept/Hamstring first.

* If you have aggro, be aware that each mob you're hitting has a chance to Parry the blow. This can increase the damage you take because it causes a hastened attack. Be ready 'cause your health bar is likely to drop a little faster than normal. Be well within the safety zone* when you start Bladestorm, and be prepared to heal afterward. Bladestorm as a last resort can work, but you're likely to face plant if you try it with low health. It's way better when it's set up properly and used early in the fight.

* By the same token, never, ever, ever pop Bladestorm in front of a group of mobs your tank is holding. That just piles damage on her. Lots. Bad form. Always Bladestorm with the butt side facing.

* The only way to stop Bladestorm is to kill the Warrior. It also tends to generate a pile of threat on up to four targets. You will be focused in PvP and, if you do it at the wrong time, you'll pull aggro in PvE, probably on several mobs at once. If the healer isn't expecting it... you die.

* You can run, but they can hide. The easiest way to beat Bladestorm is to move out of the way. So PvP enemies will simply run away. Improved Hamstring, or better, Piercing Howl, is required in PvP. Mages will Blink, so you gotta get 'em to burn it BEFORE Bladestorm. Rogues will try to disappear, so slap Rend on them first. Mobs are easier... they tend to die before they can get away. But some do, so stay with 'em.

* Aggro warning, again. You CAN NOT run into a mob fight and simply pop this if you're not the tank. You will pull aggro. Whirlwind can and will generate more threat than most AoE threat abilties that tanks use. Six of 'em in a row is just about a sure thing. You have to wait until the tank has had time to build up threat on everything. A solid tank can pull this off in about 6-10 seconds on 3 or 4 mobs. So, somewhere in there (watch your meter) you can cut loose.

* Use Bladestorm with other abilities as needed. Use Sweeping Strikes with it. Pop Recklessness and Bladestorm together and watch the DPS soar. This is a fun, stunning ability.

* As mentioned above, if you survive, you're going to be buffed up, pissed off, and ready to bash some heads when you come out of Bladestorm. Think Execute. ;)

* Finally, Bladestorm will break movement imparing effects on you and you can't be cc'd while it's up. Honestly, this is limited in PvP. By the time you break a Mage's Frost Nova, for example, she'll have moved well outside of range and then just kite you while you whirl around like idiot. And by idiot I mean me doing it three times in row against the same Mage and getting completely smashed. :D Most other classes have similar tricks to keep a Warrior cc'd or at range. In PvP, YOU have to set up the Bladestorm in your favor. It's not a defensive move. Timing your Charge/Intercept with Bladestorm is critical. When fightin' critters, though, it's quite effective since you can break the cc and then spin your happy way toward the tank, dealing death and destruction along the way. Fun!

Bladestorm, when used properly, may arguably be the most powerful Warrior ability ever. It'll leave you standing over a pile of dead bodies, smiling quietly to yourself while everyone around you gapes in awe. Morbid? Yah. Satisfying? Oh yah.


* The "safety zone" for health is a rough guess of how much damage you'll take during the Bladestorm and how much you'll need to finish the job afterward without dying. It takes a little practice cause, while it could probably be calculated out with maths, it's more of a "feel" thing. Various healing methods can extend the safety zone a bit, like popping Enraged Regeneration before Bladestorm. To keep it simple, before starting a Bladestorm, make sure you have enough health to survive it, both during and after.


  1. Fun things you can do with Bladestorm in PVP...

    If you're finding yourself outnumbered, surrounded by lots of melee-types, then hit Retaliation, Sweeping Strikes, then 'Storm.

    360-degree ripostes? Yes please.

    Take a healer along for bonus fun!

  2. rofl yah! That does sound fun! :D

    I just did my first PvP in Wrath. Ported as reinforcement to Wintergrasp. Horrible, horrible, horrible lag. Couldn't do anything... sigh...

    It looks awesome. But it's not ready yet. :(

    Anyhoo... thanks for sharing that. Make me smile and about ready to spec back to Arms. :D


  3. When I finally get around to specing DPS for a bit (even if its when dual-spec's come out), I've been torn on which tree to go (Bladestorm vs. TG). Your descriptions are certainly making me lean arms...

  4. Hiya Chad!

    Well, I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from trying Arms :)

    But give both a try. It's more about play style now. If ya like the way Bladestorm works, though, you'll probably love Arms. Great utility and solid dps.

    Thanks for dropping in!


  5. Excellent post. It answers so many questions I've had. I love the awesome DPS, but I die so often.

    But I don't understand your comment, "By the same token, never, ever, ever pop Bladestorm in front of a group of mobs your tank is holding. That just piles damage on her. Lots. Bad form. Always Bladestorm with the butt side facing."

    What do you mean by "in front of a group of mobs"? And, "Always BS with the butt side facing"?

    Again, thanks for such a great analysis of a great tool.

    Droog, of Hydraxis

  6. Hiya Droog!

    Good question!

    When attacking a mob or boss from the front, there is a chance for the bad guy to dodge, block or parry the blow. In this case, our main concern is Parry.

    If a mob gets a successful Parry on your Bladestorm's whirlwinds (or any other melee attack), it speeds up the mobs next swing. That speed up means that whoever has aggro, your tank in this case, is gonna take damage faster.

    It is particularly dangerous when you're doing back to back Whirlwind attacks against multiple mobs. Say, the tank has four mobs on her. You hit each one repeatedly over 6 seconds. Any parry's are gonna add up fast, particularly in this type of situation where the tank is already taking loads of damage from multiple mobs at once.

    Even big tanks can't take damage that fast. The healer just can't keep up.

    The reason you want to make sure the tank has locked down threat, and you have ZERO aggro, is because you can't do ANYTHING while Bladestorm is running. That means if you do pull aggro, you can't block, dodge, or parry, or switch stances. The only thing protecting you is your Armor and STAM. If you go for that little extra punch and pop Bladesstorm in Zerker stance, you're also taking extra damage.

    That's a recipe for a face plant.

    So, never when you have aggro, and always with the butt side facing you. :)

    Or put the other way:

    Always wait to Bladestorm until the tank has established threat and always be standing behind the mob(s) when you go all whirly.

    Hope that helps!


  7. K, I kinda didn't get to the point on that last reply...

    So anyhoo..

    Mobs can NOT Parry from behind. Thus, when you DPS, you should always be behind the mob.

    Easy way to get behind the mob and know you're safe?

    Pets from Warlocks, Hunters, and DKs always go directly behind the mob (if the pet doesn't have aggro).

    So stand on the pet and let her rip!