So it’s been a while since I’ve had any posts about Arms, and especially nothing regarding the new changes in 4.1. The truth is that a great deal has changed in such a short time, and so far, all for the better.
Now that Mortal Strike refreshes Rend, we no longer have to worry about burning a cooldown for an ability that does no damage simply for the sake of adding an extra ability every six seconds. To a certain extent, that “waste” of a GCD counted for a bit of a DPS loss, and actually made Arms DPS very mid-range. It’s not a bad thing, really, to be in the middle, but it was a bit of a balance issue.
Not having to worry about reapplying Rend every 15 seconds is a great benefit, and the damage done by Rend is automatically adjusted with each Mortal Strike, removing the need to keep an eye on your Attack Power for new applications. It also means that you won’t have that odd second left over prior to your reapplication, leaving you with irregular rend tick timers. Anyway.
Right now, it’s possible to time your Overpower in such a way that you can hit it, and by the time the GCD has refreshed, Overpower is ready for use again (which, I suspect, is why it’s being given a 1.5 second cooldown in 4.2 – keeps the ridiculousness out of the Arena). It’s not necessarily important to do this, however, so don’t practice it – just be aware that if you can’t always hit Overpower right away, it’s not the end of the world. You have time, and if you get it soon enough, you won’t miss a proc. After 4.2, however, you’ll need to be more diligent; don’t wait for the last second to hit it, or you’ll be stuck with the cooldown.
I haven’t seen anything that changes the need for hit to cap and expertise to cap, and I’d be hard-pressed to believe that having less of either could be made up by more strength or more crit. However, Mastery has become less important in the face of Crit rating. As it stands:
Hit and Expertise to softcap, then Strength > Crit > Mastery > Haste. I’ve actually started reforging any extra stats to crit where applicable (even Mastery!), and have noticed an appreciable DPS increase. Gemming should be Strength for all red or blue sockets, and Strength/Crit for yellow sockets. Also, if you can find it on your server (and you should be able to by now), be sure to grab the Strength/+3% Critical Damage metagem.
Unchanged. Always try to hit Mortal Strike following a Charge, and make sure Rend is applied. Following that, Colossus Smash -> Mortal Strike -> Overpower -> Slam, and (surprise!) Heroic Strike for excess Rage (though to tell the truth, now that there is only a single Rend application, it is much more difficult to find yourself with excess Rage than before). The only thing that makes Heroic Strike worth it (because I have yet to see a Heroic Strike match Slam for damage) is that Heroic Strike is no longer tied to the global cooldown, and can be used whenever.
A good friend of mine brought to my attention a technique used in one of his heroic groups. If you’re feeling up to the micromanagement, it’s possible to set up a talent spec in such a way that you do the majority of your damage in Berserker Stance, and switch back to Battle in order to use Overpower. I have a few problems with this.
In the first place, it means you’re giving up some very important damage or speed talents in favor of a 5% damage increase that requires micromanagement on an extraordinary scale. Furthermore, the sheer number of boss fights that involve target changes mean that you will be shifting stances far more than typically necessary. Could you imagine having to stance dance on the Omnitron Defense System? Switching with every change in order to Charge and Rend, then back into Berserker again? With Mortal Strike on a 5 second cooldown, the internal 6 second cooldown on Overpower, and the GCD on top of it… if I had to estimate (and I do, since I don’t have any numbers to back it up), I’d say you’d get 1500dps extra out of it. Not worth the micromanagement, if you ask me, but if you’re crazy enough to want to try, be my guest and let me know how it works out.
Nothing new on these just yet. I’m sure the more observant readers have already noticed that I’ve pruned a majority of the older posts from the blog, mostly those involving outdated Arms data or posts that I wrote that haven’t really been in the true spirit of the blog since the beginning. Nevertheless, I will get the new Arms guides up, but most likely not until the 4.2 changes are in full swing, and I’ve had more time to poke at a low level Warrior to make recommendations.
If you’re reading these posts, I hope you’ve enjoyed them thus far. I’ll be posting the next session within the next couple of days, continuing the story of our adventurers in the world of Dar na Theria.
So keep on the lookout – plenty more to come, and lots more to see!