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Leveling a warrior for the first half of the game is probably the most
annoying class with which to do so. We have few abilities, and do not
come into combat 'fully loaded' like mana and energy users. Our class
and role defining abilities, some essential to the talent schools, do
not come into play until the 20s and late 30s. It is very important
that we channel our rage (quite literally!) into the most efficient
killing tools to maximize our killing speed.  We have no
ability to self heal, so minimizing the damage taken over the course of
combat is required to avoid the downtime of food or a
bandage.  Downtime also equals a total loss of rage probably,
further impacting your killing ability.  So without further
ado, let us analyze ways to open, handle, and close our fights with the
proper amount of force, speed, and rage management.


The Opening - First Phase

Rule #1 of
playing a Warrior

target="_blank">Battle Shout is up unless you have
a better attack power buff.  No questions asked here, it's a
solid bonus to all damage we do.

Rule #2 of playing a

If you want to attack something, href=""
target="_blank">Charge it. There are next
to no exceptions when soloing and leveling up that you would rather use
a more passive opening. The only time I would not charge a
target is when I'm slaughtering the fools so fast that it's still on
cooldown. If you are protection or fury and want nothing to do with
battle stance, there are two things to remember.
  • A charge and melee blow will give you enough rage for an
    immediate improved thunderclap as protection.  You can then
    switch to defensive stance and start your sword and board style with no
    rage lost assuming you start from zero.
  • You can hit any of your shouts mid-charge, and for that
    matter, any area of effect ability that is centered around you and
    doesn't require a target.  Berserkers can hit battle shout the
    moment they charge, and hit berserker stance by the time they reach
    their target.


target="_blank"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 200px; height: 125px; float: left;"
alt="" src=""
hspace="3">You can never go wrong with using href=""
target="_blank">Rend on a target early in a
fight.  Unless you are going to utterly destroy it in two
seconds, taking your initial charge rage and landing a Rend is always a
good decision for stacking a fair amount of damage over time for a
minuscule 10 rage.  Since virtually everything in the game is
now vulnerable to bleed damage (Thanks, feral druids!) you should
expect to lead off with Rend in every fight.  If the fight is
an elite, a double or triple group or has pets involved, you will
likely want to throw out a href=""
target="_blank">Thunder Clap early as well to
lessen the damage done over the course of the fight, and the same goes
for href=""
target="_blank">Demoralizing Shout.  Both
will lower the damage you receive by a very noticeable percentage.


The Toe to Toe - Middle

You must pick and choose your moves well for your
situation.  href=""
target="_blank">Heroic Strike is not your go-to
move for every single 15 rage you accumulate.  Once you land
your initial debuffs, single targets can be dealt with in different
ways depending on your style.  Until you learn instant
strikes, href="">Sunder
Armor is how you'll spend your rage for the first half of a
foe's life as a dual wielder since the negative armor increases your
fast white damage drastically.  Arms warriors will be spending
their time watching the href="">Overpower
icon like a hawk to see when they can get a free 5 rage shot, and
landing a sunder or two of their own.  Protection will be
looking for href="">Revenge
opportunities and sundering in between them.  If you ever find
yourself with a half full rage bar, that's when you should be hitting
that Heroic Strike button.


href="" target="_blank"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 200px; height: 150px; float: right;"
alt="" src=""
hspace="3">Fight or Flight - Execution Phase

If the foe is a speedy runner, at about 20-30% you will
need to land your slow if you are in risky, highly social
territory.  Protection warriors will be bashing with their
shields, or landing another rend to run around bleeding to
death.  As arms and fury, you have two options - href=""
target="_blank">Execute (Level 24+) or href=""
target="_blank">Hamstring.  Hamstring is
a safe option, and combined with rend can give them a slow death
sentence.  Execute is often seen as the best option, but you
have to weigh if your current rage is best dumped into the execute or
the next enemy.  If you have more than 50 rage, you probably
shouldn't execute if you have another target nearby since you can use
that rage to lay into the enemy very quickly.  You do not have
to go all out to finish an opponent off unless the situation you're
about to get in by chasing and wailing away will result in a painful


Protection Specific - The
Angry Mob

This strategy revolves around getting 4 or more melee
enemies in front of you and using your superior mitigation abilities in
conjunction with counter attacks and more potent, cheaper Thunderclaps
to take on groups of enemies.  Thunderclap should be used
every time it is up.  Once the enemy is fully engaged in front
of you, hit href=""
target="_blank">shield block and revenge every
time you can. Tab through and use Rend on each one when revenge and
Thunderclap are down.  When shield block expires, hit href=""
target="_blank">Berserker Rage if you have it to
assist in generating rage for your offense.  You can
interchange opening with the rage, and using the shield block second if
you prefer a more potent opening filled with Cleaves.  You may
think that the rage reduction glyph for Thunderclap is required for
this, but so long as you have that lovely 2 Rage generated on block,
you should have plenty from your melee attacks and shield
blocks.  This can be a little dangerous with social humanoids,
but you should probably leave them to bleed out when individuals turn
and run so you can keep the opponents in front of you for your blocking
and mitigation purposes.  It's also important to note that
this is a lot more fun than just picking on singles like have you been
for 20 levels.


A Defensive War - Soloing

target="_blank"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 200px; height: 125px; float: left;"
alt="" src=""
hspace="3">It's rare, but on your way to 40 some
quests may have you struggling to find a group to take down elites to
end a quest line.  You'll need to engage with a one hander and
shield in hand, at least initially.  Engage however, and
quickly throw up href=""
target="_blank">Demoralizing Shout and Rend
it.  Shield block once you're exchanging blows, and drop
Thunderclap.  When Shield block expires, hit href=""
target="_blank">Shield Wall and
continue.  Refresh Rend and Thunderclap as Shield Wall
expires, and expend any remaining rage on a Heroic Strike if you're
going to be switching it up for the next part.  From here,
switch to your preferred stance and fight it out.  If you are
switching to battle stance, do not be afraid to hit retaliation,
especially if there are multiple enemies.  If they have allies
that aren't going to grab more, use Intimidating shout at this point to
make it a 1v1 while you're in an offensive mode.  Finish
strong, and use href=""
target="_blank">Execute the moment it's up, href=""
target="_blank">Bloodrage, and do it again to more
than likely end the fight.  A lot of people don't use multiple
high cooldown disciplines in one fight - don't make this mistake!


Our Ideal Foes, and Foes
to Avoid

We absolutely love rogue type enemies.  We have
high physical mitigation, gain rage when hit and much more so when
Berserker Rage is active. Rogue types tend to dodge more, and that is a
blessing rather than a penalty to us. Protection types have a field day
with block rage generation. The only special ability some have
rarely that annoys us is href=""
target="_blank">Disarm. Avoid casters like the
plague.  Frostbolt casters, more so.  Frost nova
casters, even more so!   They have less hp and armor,
but tend to always be runners, and runners that can be a complete pain
to catch and love to tell their friends to do the exact same thing to
you if you don't finish them in time.  We have a few methods
to interrupt casting, but instant cast immobilizations will cripple us
until we get very far down a talent school.




href="" target="_blank"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 200px; height: 125px; float: right;"
alt="" src=""
hspace="3">Path of Defense

Your first main quest is to get a solid one hander and
defensive stance.  For instance, for Kalimdor Horde, you can
find the start of this over the bridge to Durotar from Uzzek. 
Completion of this will get you access to Sunder Armor, and Defensive
stance.  Getting accustomed to this stance is essential to
being a good warrior, so do it quickly so you can do the second
part!  The second part has you going to another NPC to get
your one handed weapon made. To continue from the previous
leg, you'll find Mr. Firegaze atop the mountains covered in brambles to
the southwest, surrounded in bristlebacks.  Be cautious, for
they'll be higher level than you at this point.  A hop, skip
and a jump north to the broken caravan for the quest reward will get
you a good weapon to use for the time being if you prefer the slow and
steady one hander and shield approach.


Brutal Armor

This quest, obtainable at level 20, will provide you with
a solid set of armor parts for the mid 20s, and very early access to a
helmet.  For the Horde, you'll return to Thun'grim Firegaze in
the Barrens and ask for a set of materials which are all but impossible
to obtain yourself at that level.  Assistance from your
friends for the trip to Razorfen Kraul, and the auction house if you're
not a miner, will net you the Brutal Hauberk and access to the other 3
parts.  One will send you to Durotar, one will send you to
Undercity, and one will send you to Thunder Bluff to fill out your
armor set with high quality items.


The Islander

At level 30 you'll be sent to an island east of Ratchet
for a survival bout to obtain Berserker Stance.  Talking to
Klannoc Macleod will start the contest.  Multiple lesser
opponents will engage you one at a time, and using Demoralizing Shout
will send them running in fear for free shots.  They should
pose no trouble for you.  Once you get an announcement of Big
Will jumping in, you have some time to bandage and prepare. 
Charge him, and fight him as if he was an elite using a strategy
similar to the above if you're having trouble.  Achieving
victory here will give you the all-out offensive Berserker Stance, and
the follow-up below.


The Windwatcher

target="_blank"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 200px; height: 119px; float: left;"
alt="" src=""
hspace="3">He's located up the river to the east
of Tarren Mill and Southshore, just barely into the Alterac Mountains
region.  He'll ask you to get 8 of each elemental charm from
the Arathi Highland Circles except earth, 30 bloodscalp tusks from the
northwestern troll camps of Stranglethorn Vale, and 8
Liferoot.  All but the tusks can be purchased from the auction
house, and it's advised you get some help for the elemental
charms.  The Burning charms are especially hard for a warrior
to solo in the low 30's.  Turning all of this in will enable
you to summon the Cyclonian, a level 40 elite with a potent knockback
and nature melee. Use of a nature protection potion is advised if you
are going to solo it.  Put your back to the nearby wall by the
summoning circle, and show him who is boss with what you've learned!


Working as Intended
-  Warrior Tricks


Charge is great for getting from point A to point B and gaining rage
along the way.   It's also great for getting from
point A to point B when point A is a slow zeppelin, and B is a poor
critter or enemy below you. So long as you hit Charge, and it obtains a
path BEFORE you hit the flat ground portion, you'll ignore all falling
based damage.  Be quick with your targeting, or you might be
dead, and waste all the time you could have saved.


Knockback is a pain, but you can use the exact same property of charge
with intercept to ignore fall damage and get right back in that player
or enemy's face!  You'll need to be very quick and aware, but
you can charge right up the side of the Lumber Mill in Arathi Basin at
that Priest that tried to Mind Control you to your death. 
It's possible to do this in other PvP environments as well. 
Show them that their tactics aren't free kills!

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016


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