I should have had this up long before now, especially since there are already a few guides out there that are giving the wrong information. I’m not going to rat them out, but since a lot of people come to me for what they need, I need to make sure that the record is set straight.
I’m not going to go into too much detail – we all know that I’ve got a tendency to get wordy, and it’s best avoided here. Frankly, every Arms Warrior is going to play a little different based on choices and situations, so I’m only going to focus on single-target outputs.
Mortal Strike now has a 6-second cooldown, up from 5, and generates 10 rage. With the way Overpower functions for us on Taste for Blood, I suspect that this change was put into place in order to keep the original feel of TfB and its internal 6-second CD for Overpower from the old Rend ticks.
Rend is gone, replaced by Deep Wounds which appears from use of Mortal Strike. Deep Wounds itself lasts for 15 seconds, but Mortal Strike only has a 6-second cooldown, so on single target fights, you won’t see Deep Wounds dropping off.
Taste for Blood now has an additional effect for Overpower. There is a 30% chance that Overpower will enable a followup use of Overpower, and will add a stack counter to increase the damage done by Heroic Strike. Initially, I found this change to be frustrating (you all know what a proponent I am for kicking the old Heroic Strike to the curb), but after working with it pretty extensively after the patch, I have the utmost confidence in the way the Overpower/Heroic Strike symbiosis works. Overpower also no longer costs rage.
Fortunately, things have changed for slightly better here. You will need 7.5% hit and 7.5% expertise for boss fights. Right now, at 85, that works out to 768 rating for each, unless you have racial bonuses that work in your favor. Fortunately, the stat screen on your character window will show you just how much you have (including your bonuses), so it’s easy to see how much of a gap you have to cover.
Our relationships with Crit, Mastery, and Haste remain unchanged – we love the first two, and loathe the last, because it doesn’t do enough for us.
Key for single-target fights, I think, is Dragon Roar. Bladestorm still locks us down for ability usage, so that’s out unless you’re fighting a boss that summons a ton of adds regularly. Shockwave would also be purely situational. Dragon Roar ignores armor, and crits automatically – no need to worry about boosting it with something else before use.
I’m a little indifferent about our glyphs save for one: Unending Rage. A rage bar that fills to 120 is incredibly useful, and is the only must-have I will recommend. For the other two, I only suggest that you use what you know you will make the most use of. Me, I like Long Charge and Rude Interruption.
Things have changed a little bit since before 5.0.4, and it’s going to feel a little weird adding Heroic Strike to the mix, but you have to. Here’s your priority:
- Dragon Roar
- Colossus Smash
- Overpower (TfB Proc – only one!)
- Mortal Strike
- Execute (below 20%)
- Heroic Strike (only with 2+ stacks of TfB)
So let’s break this down one piece at a time.
Dragon Roar comes first. As we said before, it already ignores armor (no need to burn Colossus Smash beforehand), and always crits. It hits all enemies within 8 yards, and also hits them with a little bit of a knockback and a knockdown. The knockback isn’t that noticeable on regular mobs, and on bosses, it’s non-existent, so there’s no need to worry about too much movement.
Colossus Smash to prep for Execute under 20% health, or Mortal Strike and Overpower above 20% is always a must. No question there.
Mortal Strike, and Overpower to follow up. Obviously, at the start of the fight, you won’t have Overpower just sitting there waiting to be used, so you have to force the proc with a Mortal Strike. The key here, though, is that as long as Overpower continues to proc, use it until it isn’t anymore. If you have an Overpower proc waiting to be used, but you Mortal Strike instead, you’ve just wasted an Overpower and a chance for a TfB stack. There’s an important caveat here, though: Do not use more than one GCD to delay a Mortal Strike. It’s an important DPS ability, and if you’re just chewing through Overpowers instead of using it, your output will suffer. Fortunately, it’s rare to run into it, but if you do, keep that in mind. If you’re playing your cards right, you’ll start to see a pattern between what you can do with the Mortal Strike/Overpower/Heroic Strike chain, which we’ll cover in a moment.
I’ve seen a couple guides out there telling you not to use Heroic Strike unless TfB is at 5 stacks. Some guides even tell you to use Heroic Strike with just one stack, even over Slam. Don’t pay attention to either one. The first situation is completely unrealistic – you’ll be able to count on one hand, two at most, the number of times you’ll get to five stacks in a single RAID, let alone a single boss fight. The second situation is a waste of your resources. Slam does 215% weapon damage plus 997 at level 85; Heroic Strike with a single stack will only do 210% weapon damage, plus 499. Even if the latter portion of the equation gets doubled, it’s still only 998, which means you’re losing out.
The key here is to make sure that you’re always using Heroic Strike at 2+ stacks, but only use HS when the TfB stacks are just about to drop off – you’ll almost always be able to try to sneak in one more MS+OP combo with 3-4 seconds to spare on the stacks, so if it doesn’t add another stack, you can still burn HS without much trouble.
That’s pretty much everything. For those of you who use Weak Auras (or are interested in doing so to help you keep track of things like TfB stacks and the like), once the display bugs are worked out in the menu, I’ll be posting up my export strings for anyone to use, as well as including some screenshots.
Slay well, my friends.