A Tauren Warrior protecting his land with a mace in hand.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Arms Ability Pruning (So Far)

Today we take a look at the newest iteration of Arms in the WoD Alpha, note that I am not currently in the alpha so this will be an analytic break down of the patch notes.

Stance Changes:

Battle Stance - will now generate 100% rage from auto-attacks, and critical strikes will now generate double the rage. 
This change should see the rage generation issue that plagues warriors in earlier tiers normalize and make rage generation more fluid throughout fights.

Defensive Stance - for Arms Warriors generates 50% of the rage from auto-attacks as in Battle Stance.
This change should help normalize rage gen for Arms when stance dancing to Defensive for the damage reduction.

Beserker Stance - gone
Really wasn't needed anymore, especially when it lost its damage bonus in MoP

Warrior stances now have their own action bars again
This will make some of the changes below easier to mange as far as abilities and setting up your bars.

Ability Changes:

Battle Shout/Commanding Shout - now lasts 1 hour and Battle Shout no longer generates rage
Moves the buffs in line with other classes buffs, no longer needs to be worked into rotation as a rage generation tool.

Blood and Thunder - Removed

  • Deep Wounds - Protection only
  • Thunder Clap - Damage Increased by 50%, Arms and Protection only, Defensive and Gladiator stances only
This change will be interesting it will definitely effect damage output in AoE situations but only time will tell how much.

Slam - gone
This will change the rotation.

Colossus Smash - now costs 30 rage, deals 225% increased damage, no longer causes Physical Vulnerability and no longer increases the damage of slam.
Looks like this will replace Slam in or rotation.

Enrage - no longer available to Arms.
Loss of a periodic passive 10% damage boost, not to much of big deal.

Execute - now costs 20 rage and can use up to 40 rage to cause additional damage, usable anytime.
This is now essentially Arms new rage dump, it will be interesting to see how this scales. I was wrong Celestalon clarified that execute is back to an old school execute sub 20% use only

Mortal Strike - costs 30 rage, instead of generating 10 rage. Replaces Heroic Strike for Arms
The rage generation shouldn't be an issue with the rage gen coming from auto-attacks and this really gets rid of a spell that was used solely for dumping rage.

Rallying Cry - Arms/Fury only, requires Defensive Stance
Odd change, but gives Arm and Fury raid utility and leaves tanks their own CD for personal survival.

Shield Wall - no longer available to Arms and Fury
This change will affect survival but if healing and damage taken are changed like planned it shouldn't be noticed.

Sweeping Strikes - requires Battle Stance
Shouldn't change to much.

Whirlwind - requires Battle Stance, only available to Arms and Fury
Shouldn't change to much.

Hamstring - costs 10 rage and deals 20% weapon damage in addition to reducing movement speed, usable in Battle and Gladiator stances.
Could see this being used as a mini rage dump but I would need to play with it to see what this really does to a rotation outside of PvP.

Overpower - gone
A staple for Arms Warrior is now gone, the MoP iteration was was interesting, kind of sad to see it go added some choices in the rotation.

Sudden Death - gone
With the removal of Strike of Opportunity and Overpower this spell was essentially useless.

Taunt - requires Defensive Stance

Throw - gone
Now more ranged warriors...

Unbridled Wrath - gone
If rage generation is better overall this wont be missed.

Cleave - gone
Sweeping strikes plus anything else is better than cleave and was left unused.

Heroic Throw - generates 300% extra threat, has a 6-second cooldown (down from 30 seconds), but now has a 15 yard minimum range.
The reduction to the cooldown is to try and make up for the loss of Throw, but the high threat generation may prove difficult to manage for Arms Warriors

Recklessness - increases Critical Strike chance by 15% (down from 30%) and increases Critical Strike damage by 10% (up from 0%).
This is the merging of Recklessness and Skull Banner, even if it is a nerf to our current macro.

Shattering Throw - no longer reduces the armor of the target; now does damage and breaks immunities.
The removal of reducing armor of the target is inline with similar spells. They also made it a Glyph, so you will need to make choices in glyphing.

What this does to the rotation is essentially removes everything and leaves us with MS and CS for the fight until 20%, this is alpha so we should expect them to start adding abilities to give us a more complex rotation, because I personally dont want to be the next Arcane Mage. It will be interesting to see what changes to the talents are made and if talented abilities have CD reductions to make them apart of the rotations.


Strikes of Opportunity - gone
Blizzard reason, wasn't in line with Arms mentality of slow precise large hits.

Weapons Master - new mastery skill, Increases the damage of Colossus Smash, Mortal Strike, and Execute abilities by 20% ( increasing with Mastery)
This is likely and attempt to replace the passive damage boost of Enrage and the the damage loss of Strikes of Opportunity. Also helps guide what 3 spells are priority.

Bonus for us Tauren:

Brawn - new racial passive ability that increases Critical Strike bonus damage and Healing done by 2%
It's not Plainstriding but it is nice to finally bring Tauren in line with other races in-terms of combat racials.

There was a Dev note in the latest patch note (6/18/14): Developer's Note: Arms is still undergoing heavy revision and additional information will be made available later. So look forward to updates and new abilities.

Next up I will look at some Talent and Stat changes.

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