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Selecting Talents for the Warrior

Updated Thu, Jul 02, 2009 by Stow



Ahh, talents. The things that separate people of similar gear. The points that define our intended role in a group or raid. The skills that enhance our ability to make stuff bleed, attack faster, and block more often. Choosing now is a lot harder than it used to be. With the coming of patch 3.1, Arms is now back in action and brings even more pain to the table to challenge Fury for the DPS crown. With this guide we'll take a look at a few key talents for each that no build should be without.
 
Arms


Arms is the two handed school of bleeding. You'll be attacking slowly and relying on opportunistic instants with most builds in Arms. It's imperative you pay full attention at all times to not miss an opportunity since all of your unique instant bonuses require you to pay attention for the skill to be ready. Rage generation is not a problem with Anger Management, Tactical Mastery, and Endless Rage, but whiffing on a white hit or two may put a serious dent in your damage for a few seconds. A potent charge can lead to a lot of fast instants at the start of a fight.  Juggernaut makes you a lot more mobile and puts anyone on the receiving end of your charge in a world of hurt with your next Mortal Strike. Some of the special talents of Arms that separate builds of it from the rest are as follows:

Deep Wounds - Since the talent now cycles its damage much faster, it spends less time refreshing itself and more time doing damage, accounting for a lot of our output when geared. It is necessary for any build that goes this deep in arms. You pick up Impale along the way to this, which helps create the following...

Taste for Blood, Improved Overpower, Unrelenting Assault - This is our setup for 5 rage big yellow critical hits. The Overpower Glyph will help create even more opportunities to lay into your opponent when fighting melees.

Sudden Death - Great synergy with Mortal Strike for creating a big gaping hole in someone in less than two seconds when it ticks up as available. It's not necessarily worth an execute glyph either, unless you're raiding often, where you'll see more use for it under normal circumstances.

Trauma - Deserves special mention for the fact that Feral Druids will love you forever if you have this, which you should have anyway for the increase in your own output.

Hall of Shame Talent

Improved Heroic Strike - It simply has no place for anyone who goes relatively deep in the school until you start to raid. All of our special arms attacks are instant or near instant in the case of Slam, and our rage generation is dependent on our 2h swings landing white damage. With the amount of rage lost from the normal attack factored into the cost, you can find something better to do, can't you?

Fury

 
Fury is the blender. You're more gear dependent to make the most of your talents than the other schools, but you have the most reliable rage generation and can boost your damage output to dangerous levels on command. You don't contribute very much to a raid or group setting aside from chopping down someone as fast as you can. You are a two-handed dual wielding rogue in plate with no utility, but who cares? You didn't specialize in this school to entertain people with fancy debuffs and raid bonuses. You picked this school to spin violently and attack nonstop. Some of the talents that power a Fury-school Warrior are listed below.

Cruelty, Armored to the Teeth -  I don't care what school you end up specializing.  You need 8 points here when you finish in your tree of choice. These talents for 5% higher critical, and bonus attack power based on our wild plate armor AC assists in every thing we do. The more damage we do, the faster stuff dies in offensive schools. Higher critical means more rage generated to do whatever we need to do.  These are essential talents, no matter how you look at them.

Enrage - Only take this if you are leveling or playing solo a lot. In any other setting, you will likely not be hit, or taken out before the effects can be felt. However, this contributes a lot when soloing for providing a steady, always on, damage boost that you could consume for a quick heal. It's no longer the PvP talent of choice, unfortunately.

Flurry - Even though it was taken down to 3 swings, Flurry still remains a mainstay in our Fury tree.  You might feel that with the depreciating critical rating, you'll never be able to be keep it always on, but keep in mind that with Rampage, Berserker Stance, and Cruelty alone, you have +13% chance to critical. Flurry will be on.

Bloodthirst -  Keeps us alive in raid settings through area of effect encounters barring Sapphiron. Does potent damage and heals quickly now that it's down to 3 attacks for maximum healing return. This is the main attack of Fury, and does serious damage with Impale.

Titan's Grip - Behold! We now have 2 two-handed weapons worth of stats, massive whirlwinds and Slams, and larger rage generation given enough hit rating.  If you plan to go more than 20 points in this tree, it's for this.

Hall of Shame Talent

Heroic Fury - This talent is way too far down the school for too little gain. Its main potency is in duels; in arenas you will likely have someone capable of dispelling most standard immobilizations. Furious Attacks is absolutely necessary for you to be viable in PvP, and this is totally optional. Warbringer blows this out of the water for dispelling ANY movement issues.

Protection


Protection has come a long way. As someone who actually played 1-60 as protection with a group of friends at launch, I know how painful it used to be. Fully going down this line will give you untouched survivability, but to be honest you NEED the attention. If you are not getting hit, your rage generation is pathetic. With defensive stance now having a built in 45% boost to hate generated and several skills that can basically hold monsters by themselves you shouldn't have that problem. If you really need help there are several talents in the tree, as well as the Revenge glyph to give you offense at little to no cost. There are a lot of gems in this tree.

Every single damn talent that enhances your blocking skill is worth your time. Blocking is the most solid form of mitigation there is, with no diminishing returns issue. We can activate it on call for 10 seconds, every 40, to endure Enrages to buy time to scream at our healers to wake up. To top it off, blocking generates rage with the talent so that your mitigation does not hinder your threat and damage output. If you skip these, I hope you're doing a crazy PvP protection build. Good luck with that.

Incite - This is a big personal preference skill simply because Shockwave's cooldown is lacking.  A cleave glyph to follow up a shockwave will do wonders with this skill, more or less guaranteeing someone is getting crit. Thunderclap doesn't do a lot of damage to begin with, even talented, but bonus hate is great!  Right!?

Shield Slam - It's not a talent anymore obviously, but talents from this tree now make it so it's stronger, has a high chance to critical, and even free fairly often! For as long as we have this skill on cooldown, no else is getting a boss's attention.

Warbringer - This gets special mention for making the entire idea of Protection PvP a possibility. You are a highly mobile annoyance with this, and are generally unstoppable. Use a Charge Range minor glyph if you're going to use this to help engage that much quicker in PvP. If this talent also granted a healing debuff to your shield strikes, I'd go so far as to say it is the best PvP talent in the game.

Gag Order - This is important because it gives us a way to ranged pull casters in wide rooms where we don't have a pillar or something to halt line of sight. Admittedly, these situations are rare, but the PvP use is again fantastic compared to other PvP talents for that ranged silence on command to buy time for you to get in there and introduce that priest or mage to your shield.

Hall of Shame Talent

Improved Disciplines is simply not enough.  A 10% cooldown reduction per level on a panic button, and two other five minute disciplines that will hardly see any use as this school is sad, to say the least. I guess this is Fury's revenge for having a mediocre PvP talent, but a fantastic cooldown reduction talent by comparison.

Perhaps I got a bit long-winded about Protection.  It's exciting, to be honest.  Even after months have passed since 3.0, I'm still smiling at the fact that protection can PvE solo, PvE tank anything, and with a little talent mix-up, PvP.

It's great seeing your character's talent schools evolve over time into three schools that can each fufill a PvP and PvE role, and do so well.  Gone are those days of looking over a school and saying to yourself  "Who the hell would take Improved Rend?" Now, we must plan carefully and weigh a lot more solid talents into consideration.  A lot of builds are for maximum output in PvE, but each one has extraneous points in another school for you to fool around with should you want to be a main tank for your guild, but still have Warbringer to not be an easy target. It's all personal preference as usual, but my preference is to stand out as the best.




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