Initial Thoughts of New Arms Rotation

Initially I had a much larger post (I’ll get around to posting that as well), but I felt that it didn’t get to the main point of the article. So here’s a shortened version of my thoughts about the new Arms Rotation. I’ll post the longer, more in depth one hopefully next week (as mid week I’ll be swept up in birthday shenanigans).

For those who don’t know, Arms is going a under a major change in Warlords of Draenor. The new single target priority will probably look something like this…

Mortal Strike on Cooldown

Colossus Smash on Cooldown (If Colossus Smash isn’t already up)

Execute (If Colossus Smash is up)


Now that doesn’t leave a lot to imagination. You try and keep CS up as often as possible, using Execute only when CS is up, and using slam to fill the rest of your GCDs. According to spec changes, and early theory craft it’s possible in Warlords Blue Gear to keep every GCD filled like the current spec. If you’re curious, Aedihild has created a basic interactive simulation that can be used on your web browser.

The simulation can be found here:

However, I feel like with this this isn’t a very large movement from Arm’s current priority with Slam and Overpower. We’re simply pushing Overpower (now Slam in WoD) more, and Slam less (now Execute in WoD).  That doesn’t really change much of the play style or add any “depth” as Blizzard has quoted they wanted to add to the spec. Celestalon tweeted that execute management was supposed to be the depth added into the spec. Yet I don’t quite see how pressing slam, and using abilities on CD adds depth to the spec.

The Execute phase however, changes significantly for Arms in WoD. With the Executioner Passive combined with the change to mastery to give a flat damage increase to Execute, it will actually have us spending a lot of rage in a rapid manner. I feel that this is an interesting change to the spec. Trying to spend rage, to not cap while maintaining an enrage effect and Colossus Smash debuff sounds exciting.

After talking a bit with some other warriors about this (Aedilhild, Secondwind, ect.) we felt that the spec could use another button or a buff/debuff to manage. I know that a big goal for Blizzard this expansion has been to remove unnecessary complications and reduce button bloat, but at the moment the spec would be monotonous and dull. I thought about maybe the old Lambs to the Slaughter buff in Cataclysm, but that didn’t add much depth to the spec. Not to mention I worried what might happen in PVP with Mastery stacking.

I thought and looked back at what Blizzard said in their latest patch notes for Arms. “The intended flavor for Arms is about hitting with few, big, and heavy weapon strikes”. Yet we haven’t seen any of that with this latest build. So two ideas came to mind about how to make it that fall back in line.

1.) Add a new ability. For example a passive such as…

Insight – As the Warrior attacks his enemy he gains stacks of insight. Once at three stacks, insight is consumed by the next Colossus Smash making the next two special attacks from the Warrior trigger a second, similar attack on the same target at no additional cost that deals X% of the normal attack’s damage.

What we’ve done with the new passive is made execute and rage pooling some depth. As we go about our normal rotation currently intended by Blizzard, we gain stacks of Insight. When we as we approach three stacks, we pool and consider our rage in order to gain two powerful double attack on a target.  How exactly the stacks would be generated is up to Blizzard. It could be each time Mortal Strike or Execute is used. Perhaps every time you become enraged you could gain a stack. The passive is vague enough that any action could trigger stacks.

2.) Bring Overpower back to it’s Cataclysm form.

Overpower has been an iconic warrior ability that Warriors were excited to push. By giving it a six second cooldown maintained by Deep Wounds as opposed to Rend (RIP Rend, gone, but never forgotten) you return a powerful ability that breaks up to the Slam and Execute game play. It also rewards players for keeping track of the cooldown and chance to proc.

So far I think Blizzard’s off to a solid start for single target (We have to have another post about AoE) and I feel like it’s almost there.


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