Battle for Azeroth

Choosing Between Arms and Fury Warrior in Battle for Azeroth

So, you want to be a Warrior in Battle for Azeroth, but have no idea if you want to be a Stalwart Arms Warrior or a Relentless Fury Warrior?

Let’s go over the pros and cons of each spec to help you decide where you can start off. Of course, there isn’t as huge of a penalty this time around for playing both specs. You can definitely always play 1 spec and change to the other one later on, or you could just play both specs at the same time and change depending on what the group needs.

First off, I want to point out something that is often understated, which is that Blizzard did a pretty good job of making the 2 specs feel similar but distinct at the same time. Both specs have to manage rage and now each has their 1 big cooldown, but at the same time feel very different from each other through the difference in pacing.

Single Target

Fury is much more fast paced with no gaps in actively hitting abilities, while arms is more constrained by their rage gain and will often encounter lulls in their dps. I used to label arms as “strategic”, but that gives off the wrong impression that Fury maybe is less strategic, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just that while you’re planning the next thing, Fury still has to hit something, while Arms doesn’t.

Fury’s damage is focused on Rampages and main cooldown is Recklessness, and your goal is to generate as much rage as possible, so you can cast as many rampages as possible. This leads to more damage but also higher Enrage uptime, which then leads to more haste, which leads to more rage, and we get into this endless loop of powering up.

Arm’s damage is focused on Mortal Strikes and main cooldown is Colossus Smash. The rest is just making sure you're spending enough rage so you reduce your cooldowns with anger management as much as possible, but always have enough rage for the next mortal strike. There are also abilities like overpower that empower your Mortal Strike and also azerite traits like Precision Strikes that cause your executes to empower your Mortal Strike.

Execute Phase

For execute, Fury feels more fluid in the rotation as you now have 1 additional rage generator that does more damage and generates more rage. Everything that you would have liked regarding the normal rotation just got even better. Arm’s Execute feels like it hits harder than Fury’s but it comes at a dilemma of always having to decide between using the rage for Execute or Mortal Strike. Basically the issue that was solved for Fury with having multiple rage spenders is still there for Arms. If you want a more straightforward execute phase, then Fury has that covered, but if you want something more convoluted, go Arms!

Burst AOE

As far as for AOE is concerned, Arms has a much easier time with burst aoe as all they have to do is talent into Warbreaker and hit Bladestorm. Fury can also hit their cooldown (Recklessness+Rampage to Enrage) and Bladestorm, but with the much shorter duration and damage of Bladestorm, they often don’t end up bursting as hard if there are more than 5 targets (Fury still can do good burst AOE, just not as strong/frequent as Arms). The longer channel duration of Arm’s Bladestorm also helps them to better take advantage of the Gathering Storm azurite trait since they can reach higher stacks than Fury. If you can time and coordinate your burst correctly as Arms, the dps you can do during those windows can mask the lower consistent aoe that Arms does. Another huge reason why Arms will be more known for the burst aoe when compared to Fury is the Anger Management talent. Arm’s version of Anger Management reduces the cooldown of Colossus Smash/Warbreaker AND Bladestorm, while Fury’s version of Anger Management only reduces the cooldown of Recklessness.

Consistent AOE

Consistent aoe feels much better as Fury as their Whirlwind cleave mechanic has been drastically improved for BFA. Instead of just cleaving Bloodthirst or Rampage after using a Whirlwind, Fury now gets to cleave the next 2 single target abilities, which includes Execute and the talent Siegebreaker. The rage gain on Whirlwind also helps to drastically improve Enrage uptime during aoe.

Arms consistent aoe is much like their single target where you’ll often encounter lulls in dps where you don’t have the rage to really do anything. With lower target numbers, Arms can also use Sweeping Strikes to cleave all of their single target abilities for the next 12 seconds to 1 additional target at 60% damage. It’s a much weaker version of Fury’s whirlwind cleave, and is more of a 2 target cleave than a true aoe. Arms can also talent into Fervor of Battle for more consistent aoe damage, but your Whirlwind still hits like a wet noodle. There could also be another variant for Arms aoe that picks the Cleave talent instead of Warbreaker, but you would be sacrificing the huge aoe burst that Arms can provide. You basically would then end up with two mediocre aoe setups as opposed to at least being really great at aoe burst.

Defensives/Healing

As far as for defensives, both specs retained much of the same abilities as they had in Legion. The biggest change here is that Fury will no longer take extra damage while they’re Enraged, and if they talent into the Warpaint talent, then they’ll even take 10% less damage while Enraged. Fury also finally has Victory Rush as a baseline ability now, and with the PvP healing talents that Fury can pick, their survivability has definitely increased.

Starting Out in BFA

As far as for the start of the expansion, Arms warriors might have a slight advantage as their BiS weapon doesn’t come from a Mythic only dungeon. A lot of the sims you’re seeing now will have Fury Warriors using Geti’ikku, Cut of Death from the dungeon King’s Rest, which is a mythic only dungeon, and since we won’t have Mythic+ available for the first 3 weeks of the expansion. You will only get 1 chance per week to acquire this weapon. And don’t forget you need two weapons as Fury! If you want to be prepared as a Fury Warrior for mythic raiding, you’re going to need to run a lot of King’s Rest Mythic+ during that 4th week since mythic raids open the week after. Arms warriors can really go with any weapon based on ilvl and one of their best ones is from Freehold, which you can spam for in heroic mode as many times as you want in the first 3 weeks. With how important it is to have a good weapon this expansion, this could be a huge factor in determining which spec you’ll be playing when the first raid opens.

Hopefully this post has helped you decide on what you want to at least start off with, and if you’re still not sure and just want to know what I’ll be doing. I’ll definitely level as Fury due to the increased self-healing that they’ve received and will swap between Fury and Arms based on which is better and will lean towards Fury in places where they’re close.

Battle for Azeroth Fury Warrior Changes as of May 25th 2018

Blizzard has finally started adding a bunch of changes to Fury Warriors on the Battle for Azeroth (BfA) beta! They are still in the middle of adding and changing abilities but they did outline their plans for the spec in a forum post. Let’s dig into that post here.

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I can confirm that this is definitely the case as there are still talents like Inner Rage that literally have no effect on the beta atm. Be aware that some percentages we’ll see in a bit is different than what they were on the beta with the latest patch (May 24th patch).  

These 3 points were just a summary:

For the first point it seems that Blizzard basically wants us to constantly fall in and out of enrage.

For the second point, they’re talking about the infamous global cooldown changes that every dislikes. (They don’t convince me at all that what they’re doing makes sense). Currently on the beta, both Recklessness and Avatar have the exact same cooldown at 1.5min. They say that they want to reduce cooldown stacking and then they go ahead and put 2 of our CDs on the exact same CD???!!! Hello?

For the third point, okay cool. 

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Enrage is being changed to give us 25% haste instead of 100% attack speed! It’s hard to tell the exact impact in terms of dps since our autoattacks seems to be doing more in BFA than in legion. What I can say however (after doing a few dungeons) is that it currently feels very clunky to get enraged and then lose enrage because 25% haste has significant impacts to our ability cooldowns. Yes, it feels great when you first enrage and suddenly your GCDs and cooldowns are much shorter, but when you lose the haste and suddenly the cooldown of a spell increases, it really disturbs the flow of dps. A spell that is generally up every 3rd GCD can get pushed back to a 4th GCD.  

We no longer take extra damage from being enraged! Wooooo! Warpaint now reduces damage by 10% when we’re enraged. We are going to lose our huge hp pool, but we will still have the highest hp for all dps. We could go from the spec that takes the most damage to the one that ends up taking the least.

60% enrage uptime is really low actually. That's basically 4 seconds of enrage, 2 seconds of no enrage, and 4 seconds of enrage. If we can't easily chain enrage together, and we constantly gain and lose the 25% haste buff, then we have to experience the weird spell cooldown change way too frequently. Looks like we're going to be casting Rampage a lot. Hopefully Blizzard takes a look at the ability and realizes that it works differently than other other abilities and the damage/GCD aspect of Rampage is a bit off. A lower enrage uptime would also mean that our stats would lean towards versatility over mastery.

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The Raging Blow change is pretty big and it now generates even more rage than Bloodthirst! Of course this means the Inner Rage talent will have to be changed since our RBs are now on a charge system instead of a cooldown. I'm not sure what they mean by "any notable changes" to Bloodthirst. That spell got a pretty significant change in that it's no longer crits that enrage you. That is huge for changing up our stat priority. Also, we are just as likely to hit an extra Raging Blow in the new system, so I have no idea what that last bullet point is alluding to.

I do like moving Raging Blow to a charge system. It allows Blizzard to rework Inner Rage and allow us more choice in that tier of talents. I'm not sure what they mean by Raging Blow colliding with Bloodthirst cooldown, you just use it one after the other, I'm not sure anyone cared about this. The 20% to reset itself is interesting (currently on the beta, it's 25%) and works to allow us to hit Furious Slash even less.

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Any extra damage and rage generation from Furious Slash is nice, though our goal throughout Legion has been to press as little Furious Slashes as possible. For example, in this Felhounds fight (2:45 min), I only hit Furious Slash 8 times.

So looks like it's RIP Furious Slash. I guess it'll make guides easier to write since there's 1 less spell to worry about but I don't think anyone really disliked Furious Slash. It will always be weird for me to hit an aoe ability for single target, but it looks to be the direction that Blizzard wants to go. We already saw this take for for arms dps in Legion.

Whirlwind generating rage is also a huge point and is actually more important than losing Furious Slash. One of the issues with Fury currently in Legion is our slow rage generating while AOEing. This would greatly solve that and will drastically help with our enrage uptimes during AOE.

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THIS IS CRAZY. WE CAN NOW MEAT CLEAVER EXECUTES. This can be potentially a huge buff to our aoe dps. We're going to be the king for 5 target dps. Now of course, a target needs to be in execute range first before you can cleave it, but it's still a really nice change.

There of course still isn't Juggernaut on the beta and with Execute moving to a 6 second base cooldown, it looks to be the death of Juggernaut. Don't be too worried right now about the 6 second cooldown. It's only a base cooldown, which means that it'll get better with higher haste. Right now I can get it to around 2.8 seconds cooldown on the beta when I get enraged. Making Execute generate rage will also help our enrage issues while in execute phase.

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NOOO OUR BATTLE CRY. We no longer get 100% crit chance while using BC or Recklessness as it's now called. Fuck arms, I want 100% crit as Fury too. This is pretty huge in regards to our burst potential. We will have to see significant tuning to our non-Recklessness damage to make up for this.

I think they're talking about how we can generate rage so quickly now, especially during Recklessness and that we have such a huge spender. Cool I guess. I'm still salty we can't 100% crit anymore.

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