Welcome back to the leveling guide for warriors. I will continue focusing on a DW-fury build as fastest leveling spec for warriors. The last part concluded with us having the following build: Fury build at 39
Once you hit 40, one of the big changes in the life of a warrior is about to happen! You get to replace all your precious mail gear with even more precious plate gear. Huzzah! Armor will increase drastically, which will of course assist with survivability. The first pieces of blue instance gear that are plate drop in Razorfen Downs, one of those instances people often forget about. It’s got great gear for its level though, so it gets my thumbs up. Gear-wise, you will still want to focus on the big two: strength and stamina. Agility is nice to have, but strength and stamina are superior for leveling.
From now on you will get very few new abilities. You get zero new abilities between 40-49, aside from being able to wear plate armor and the 31 point ability from your chosen talent tree.
Talents from 40-49:
40: Sweeping Strikes – Sweeping Strikes + Cleave make for a very powerful combo. You no longer need to worry about pulling two mobs, because with those two abilities you can quickly kill mobs. As guideline, if it’s more than one mob, save up the rage and use Sweeping Strikes. It’s fun!
41: Bloodthirst – the 31 point talent will be your major attack as fury warrior. It’s an instant attack, scales with attack power, and restores you minuscule amounts of health. The healing part is really sort of a joke, even at level 70 you only get 35 health back, but hey, better than no healing.
42-44: Precision – increases your chance to hit by 3%. Less misses make for higher DPS, so we want that.
45-49: Improved Berserker Stance – more damage in berserker stance is awesome, as that is the stance we should now be in most of the time. The less threat component is very handy if you’re in a group and you’re not tanking.
Your basic ability rotation would now be
for single mob pulls: Charge – TC – switch to Berserker Stance – Bloodthirst – Whirlwind – alternate between BT and WW until you can begin Executing.
for several mobs: Charge – TC+Demo Shout – switch to Berserker Stance – Sweeping Strikes – Whirlwind – Cleave – BT if there’s enough rage.
At level 50, you will receive the 41 point talent and you can start thinking about the direction you want to go in for leveling to 70: more damage or tanking ability. As this is a tanking blog, I am of course leaning towards a hybrid build that will let you tank all Outland instances while still being able to have superb solo capabilities.
Talents from 50-59:
50: Rampage – increases your attack power once activated, with every attack giving you more AP for a stack of 5. As this can only be activated after a critical hit of yours, you’ll have to keep your eyes open to use it. Since the rage cost for activation was reduced, it’s pretty awesome.
51-53: Tactical Mastery – this will allow you to carry over 15 rage, for a total of 30 rage, when you switch stances. As you’re doing that a lot anyway, it’s definitely very useful while leveling.
54-55: Anticipation – increases your defense. Not that exciting while leveling, but defense always means more avoidance, so it’ll be useful for tanking.
56-59: Shield Specialization – essential for added rage generation while tanking and pre-req for Improved Shield Block, so it’s good to have in a hybrid build.
At level 50 you will learn one new ability, one of the abilities that shares its cooldown with Retaliation and Shield Wall: Recklessness. I haven’t used it much at all while leveling, due to the increased damage you will take. Try at your own risk.
Your ability rotation will basically be the same, you will simply add Rampage to the mix when you can activate it.
Talents from 60-70:
60: Shield Specialization – one last missing point to max it out
61: Last Stand – the survivor ability. It’s saved my butt innumerable times. You’re almost dead, but think you can kill this last pesky mob within 20 seconds? Pop Last Stand, get 30% of your max health for 20 seconds, finish off your mob and live another day. Once the Last Stand buff goes away after 20 seconds, the extra health goes away, leaving you with a minimum of 1 hp. If the mob’s not death, that’s probably instant doom, but it’s well worth a shot. Also extremely useful while tanking when your health is low. This buys your healer(s) extra time in landing that essential heal.
62-64: Defiance – at least as long as we still have it. Defensive Stance will absorb this talent in WotLK, but if you’re leveling right now, it’s really a must-talent in the protection tree for tanking. More threat is extra-awesome. More expertise is as well.
65-69: Deflection – we’re moving to the first tier of the Arms tree, for Deflection. 5% extra parry is a lot.
70: Improved Shield Block – our last point goes to the protection tree again, for Improved Shield Block. Lets you block one extra attack when you use Shield Block and the buff lasts longer.
In the 60s, you will learn a few more new abilities. The first one you will receive at 62, Victory Rush. You will learn to love it while soloing. If the mob is not grey to you and you land the killing blow, you will get an extra attack that costs no rage, within 20 seconds. The damage is based on your AP. It can crit quite nicely, for a big chunk of damage. Make it a habit to use Victory Rush whenever available.
At 64 you will receive an ability that is extremely handy while tanking, not so handy while soloing: Spell Reflection. Lets you reflect a spell back at the caster. It has a high rage cost, but if you’re tanking a caster, pop it up to drastically reduce damage you’re taking and increase damage you’re doing. If a spell can be reflected, you should rather reflect it than interrupt it. A good example would be the Charged Fist of the Mechanar Tempest Keep Destroyers, that’s a lot of damage you will reflect back at them. Solo utility is minimal, as you really don’t want to wear a shield for casters at that level.
At 68 you get Commanding Shout. Again, solo utility isn’t that great as you would always prefer Battle Shout to Commanding Shout. In groups, your group will likely benefit more from increased health for everyone, unless you’re in a very melee heavy group.
The final ability you learn at 70 is Intervene, sort of like Intercept for tanking. The use of it is a bit quirky, I am still using my old macro, though I hear you no longer need one for it to work. No solo utility at all, but by 70, you will likely solo less, group more.
Your final build would be this. It’s a full-fledged fury/protection hybrid which will maximize rage generation. You should be able to tank all pre-70s instances with ease. At 70 you can then decide where you want to go: continue fury for raid DPS, go arms for PvP or go protection to be able to tank even better.
Tanking while not protection spec:
Especially in Outland, remind your group you’re not a protection warrior, you will need to land a couple Sunder Armor before DPS can go crazy. With Tactical Mastery in your spec, you can actually use Charge to carry the rage over into Defensive Stance, but if there’s any risk of adds, it’s safer to pull.
If you’re dealing with multiple mobs to tank, definitely use TC and Demo Shout. Start laying on the Sunders and keep them up as full stack. Use Shield Block to trigger Revenge, use it whenever available. If you have high rage, use Heroic Strike. In really hairy situations, don’t be shy, use Last Stand and Shield Wall. These are your Oh Shit buttons and it’s better to use them than not.
And that concludes this guide. Ultimately, this will all be obsolete soon, and I’ll then try to work on a revised edition. As always, comments, critical observations and adoration are welcome.