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World of Warcraft: Legion: Arms Warrior guide (7.1.5)

Our current guide to playing as an Arms Warrior in World of Warcraft.

The Arms Warrior is World of Warcraft’s classic melee combat character. A disciplined soldier with ample mastery over weapons and battlefield tactics, the Arms Warrior (in direct opposition to Fury’s flurry of blows), is all about delivering more precise, devastating attacks. In this Arms Warrior guide we'll show you how to dominate with this approach to combat.

The Arms Warrior depends heavily on their powerful Colossus Smash ability to deal large amounts of damage to the enemy, and also relies on the rest of their abilities to refresh this core ability and open up new windows of opportunity to maximise its effectiveness.

In this Arms Warrior guide, we’re going to detail a specific set of talents and rotations that we believe are optimal for those embracing both the questing and dungeon / raid endgame of the current expansion. If you still need to actually level up your Warrior, however, then this build and rotation should also serve you well.

There are two major talent builds that are currently accepted as optimal for Arms. The divergence point comes at level 75, where players can choose between the In For The Kill and Focused Rage talents, resulting in a major shift in playstyle.

Focused Rage is optimal for Mythic raiding, but In For The Kill has a much more forgiving playstyle that is apt for all other kinds of content, so this is the one we’re prioritising. In a later iteration of the guide, we’ll detail the Focused Rage build and rotation.

We intend to update this guide as the expansion progresses, starting with a section on artifact upgrades on the next update, followed by another detailing the optimal stats and gear for making the most out of the Arms play style.

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Arms Warrior In For The Kill talent build

This is build we’re going to take as the basis for playing an Arms Warrior. Later on we will include the more complex “Focused Rage” build as an alternative for you to explore.

Level Talent Option Reason for Choice
15 Dauntless - Your abilities cost 20% less Rage. Right from the start, you get more Rage to play with, reducing downtime.
30 Double Time - Upgrades Charge , granting it an extra charge and reducing its cooldown by 3 seconds. Charge will often be your opener, so you’ll want it accessible all the time.
45 Avatar - Transform into a colossus for 20 sec, causing you to deal 20% increased damage and removing all roots and snares. (90 second cooldown) A powerful cooldown to boost your damage during any windows of opportunity.
60 Bounding Stride - Reduces the cooldown on Heroic Leap by 15 sec, and Heroic Leap now also increases your run speed by 70% for 3 sec. A big quality-of-life improvement, this will boost your mobility options, making you by far the most mobile plate-wearer in the battlefield.
75 In For The Kill - Mortal Strike refunds 30 Rage when used against targets that are below 20% health. This makes you considerably more active (and deadlier) during the later states of a fight, by considerably cheapening one of your main rotational abilities.
90 Titanic Might - Increases the duration of Colossus Smash by 16 sec. Keeping Colossus Smash on your opponents is a core part of the playstyle, and this makes it much more manageable.
100 Opportunity Strikes - Your melee abilities have up to a 60% chance - based on the target's missing health - to trigger an extra attack that deals 160% of weapon damage. This is a huge, completely passive boost to your overall damage.

Arms Warrior rotations

A core component of playing as Arms is making sure that your enemy has the Colossus Smash debuff at all times. This can be achieved by using the ability itself, or (from level 100 and up) by using your Artifact Weapon’s attack ability, Warbreaker.

In For The Kill - Single target rotation

This rotation is predicated on having the first - and relatively easy to get - Golden Artifact trait, Shattered Defenses. If you have not yet reached level 100, or are still working to earn that trait, the rotation is greatly simplified but still effective - just ignore any mentions of it in the rotation below, and simply follow the sequence.

Action Condition / Further Instructions
1 Open with Charge
2 Colossus Smash This will debuff the target with Colossus Smash and Shattered Defenses.
3 Warbreaker(Artifact Weapon Ability) If Colossus Smash is not available and the target has no Colossus Smash / Shattered Defenses debuff.
4 Avatar If available.
5 Battle Cry If available.
6 Execute If target is at less than 20% Health. Repeat until out of Rage or able to refresh Colossus Smash via steps 2 or 3.
7 Mortal Strike Repeat until out of Rage or able to refresh Colossus Smash via steps 2 or 3.
8 Slam When Mortal Strike is on cooldown.
9 Repeat from Step 2

More WOW class guides:

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Blood Death Knight guideHavoc Demon Hunter guideBalance Druid guide
Frost Death Knight guideVengeance Demon Hunter guideFeral Druid guide
Unholy Death Knight guide-Guardian Druid guide
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Elemental Shaman guideAffliction Warlock guideArms Warrior guide
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Restoration Shaman guideDestruction Warlock guideProtection Warrior guide

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In For The Kill rotation - Multiple targets

When facing multiple targets, Whirlwind replaces Slam and Warbreaker should be combined with Bladestorm whenever possible.

Action Condition / Further Instructions
1 Open with Charge
2 Colossus Smash This will debuff the target with Colossus Smash and Shattered Defenses. Skip if 4 or more targets.
3 Warbreaker (Artifact Weapon Ability) If Colossus Smash is not available and the target has no Colossus Smash / Shattered Defenses debuff.
4 Avatar If available.
5 Battle Cry If available.
6 Bladestorm If available.
7 Execute If target is at less than 20% Health. Repeat until out of Rage or able to refresh Colossus Smash via steps 2 or 3. Skip if 4 or more targets.
8 Mortal Strike Repeat until out of Rage or able to refresh Colossus Smash via steps 2 or 3. Skip if 4 or more targets.
9 Cleave IF there are 3 or more targets.
10 Whirlwind At 35 or more Rage.
11 Repeat from Step 2

This concludes the first version of our Arms Warrior guide! We plan to update it soon with a section concerning the best way to upgrade your Artifact Weapon, and the alternative Focused Rage build - as well as some gearing advice.

For now, please take to the comments section below to give us feedback on what you would like to see next, or what you think is most necessary to include in the guide’s next iteration.

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