[Phase 1] Fury Warrior End Game Starter Guide (Specs and Pre-BiS)
Hi guys, my name is Viv and this guide is aimed at newer players to vanilla who need some guidance as a DPS Warrior at end-game. Many veteran players will already know most of the included content, but there might be some nugget in there somewhere. I'm by no means the authority on Fury Warrior. I consider myself a student of the game just as much as anyone else. Thus, take this as what it is: a guide for newer players, not the law of the land.
I used several different sources as templates for this guide, then added extra things based on recent information and updated with my own comments. As such, the work of others has inspired this guide. However, everything is done to help the community and there is no intent to simply copy someone else's work, but rather to continue evolving the collective work of the community for the betterment of all.
There are three specs that a Fury Warrior can be in Classic. These are Dual Wield, 2h Hamstring, and 2h Slam. Which spec you play will depend on what faction you are on, what race you want to be, and personal preference. Or, rather, you could first choose what spec you want to be, then decide what faction and race best suits your desires.
Dual Wield spec is all about attacking fast and outputting consistent DPS. It has the highest single target DPS potential in the game outside of the fire mage benefitting from rolling ignites in later raids. Humans and Orcs have weapon skill racial traits. Humans get +5 skill with maces and swords and Orcs get +5 skill with axes. Weapon skill in vanilla is a big deal for DPS because it reduces the damage loss from glancing blows (which happen 40% of the time against a boss and reduce your damage to 70% of a normal white hit). Thus, these races are very strong choices for dual wielding, because Dual Wield spec is often able to make full use of weapon skill bonuses due to gearing options.
A note on Deep Wounds: It is currently unknown whether Classic will be using the debuff priority system that enables Warriors to spec into Deep Wounds (and thus Impale) without overwriting other important raid buffs. If Classic does not have the debuff priority system implemented, the points from Deep Wounds and Impale should be placed elsewhere. Good options might include Improved Overpower, Booming Voice, Piercing Howl, Improved Cleave (debatable one).
2h Hamstring spec is all about slower, yet stronger swings with a lot of AOE cleave potential. It is only viable on the Horde side. The reason for this is because the goal is to spam Hamstring while your Bloodthirst and Whirlwind are on cooldown so that you can keep up your buffs like Flurry and fish for Windfury procs. Since Shamans (who cast Windfury Totem) only exist on the Horde side in vanilla, this spec only works well on Horde.
Alternative versions of this spec might move the point from Anger Management to Improved Overpower, replace Unbridled Wrath with Booming Voice or pick up Piercing Howl and one point in something like Improved Intercept instead of getting 2 points in Improved Cleave. See the Dual Wield section for a note on Deep Wounds. If it can't be used, the aforementioned talents may be good alternatives.
2h Slam spec is a little more involved than the other specs in terms of paying attention to different things. It has the potential to be the strongest 2h spec if played properly. While stronger on the Horde side due to Windfury, it is still viable on the Alliance side if you have a very strong weapon. To play Slam spec, you need to use a swing timer addon, because Slam needs to be used directly after an auto-attack to avoid losing damage by resetting your auto attack timer late. Whether you want to use Slam spec or not also depends on the speed of your weapon. If you have a slow weapon (3.6 speed or higher) and high-end raiding gear, Slam becomes way better. This is because Slam has a cast timer and is therefore not affected by instant attack normalization (outside the scope of this guide). Some, however, think using Slam isn't worth the effort involved or the loss of movement due to having to stand still to cast.
Alternative versions of this spec might move the point from Anger Management to Imp Overpower, remove one point from Improved Slam in favor of a point in Two-Handed Weapon Specialization, use Booming Voice instead of Unbridled Wrath, etc.
So, Dual Wield or 2h?
Both specs are great choices. Dual Wield is great for single target and feels fast-paced and furious. In most cases, it will be the optimal spec for single target DPS. 2h specs are slower but have bigger numbers which feel visceral. In most cases, the 2h specs will be the optimal specs for AOE DPS. Also, 2h specs are more bursty. Since most of the fights in raids are trash and often shorter in duration and/or have multiple targets, this causes 2h Fury to be great at killing trash quickly. Often, they can top overall damage meters, while Dual Wield will compete to top specific boss fight meters. So, having 2h Fury in your raid can save on overall raid clear times while still being good/great at single target damage. Also, diversifying the specs in your raid can help with gearing efficiency, allowing a guild to become collectively stronger faster.
Then What Race Do I Choose?
If you're trying to min-max, Dual Wield master races are Human and Orc. Both 2h specs are a little more lenient on what race you can be if you're trying to min max. There are many weapon types of 2h weapons that are strong, but the strongest ones in the game are likely to be Bonereaver's Edge and Might of Menethil, which are 2h sword and 2h mace, respectively. MoM drops off Kel'thuzad, though, so you essentially will be using BRE from Molten Core through the entire game, if you are lucky enough to get it early and it is as strong in Classic as it is on private servers. Otherwise, you might be using something like Untamed Blade which is another 2h sword, then Dark Edge of Insanity which is a 2h axe. On Alliance, since BRE, UTB, and MoM all benefit from Human racial traits, Humans are the best for 2h Fury as well. However, on Horde, although DEoI is great, and Arcanite Reaper may be used early on, these weapons aren't BiS in the long run, and if you get BRE, you most likely won't want to replace it until MoM, so it isn't as clear cut to be Orc.
I suppose, though, that the same argument could be made for the swords off Kel'thuzad for Dual Wield, which are BiS in the game even for Orcs. However, if you have Kel'thuzad swords, you've already essentially beaten the game, so perhaps you shouldn't take that into account as much since prior to that, unlike 2h specs, you'll be using axes often. At the end of the day, though, it depends on your goals and at what point you want to be the strongest you can be.
It is also worth considering that any good DPS Warrior will always be prepared to tank. Some fights require DPS Warriors to switch to a shield and defensive stance and off-tank certain fights. Because of this, your race choice as a 2h DPS Warrior might take this thought process into account as well. Furthermore, you may wish to consider racial traits for PvP.
Having said all that, there's something to be said for just picking the race you want to play most for aesthetic/fantasy reasons. Life is too short to stare at a character for days of playtime that you don't enjoy, and certain +weapon skill gear can make up for shortcomings to an extent.
Fury Warrior is one of the most interesting classes to gear up for raids. There are several different setups that can be used, and what the best gear is pre-raid somewhat depends on what faction and spec you are. I see a lot of video guides and such that do not properly explain all the different options. Many of them only list gear that is optimal for dual wield, for instance. I'm going to try my best to be thorough so newer players are aware of more options.
One thing to keep in mind while getting your pre-BiS is that it is much easier to accomplish if you are tanking the dungeons and starting your own groups. Because of this, getting a tanking set first is probably going to be your ideal strategy. While it is outside the scope of this guide to list tank gear for running dungeons, I highly recommend you find that information elsewhere and start with that and continue to upgrade your tanking gear throughout the game.
Every Warrior needs 9% hit. For 2h Fury, 9% hit means you never miss with white or yellow attacks. For Dual Wield, 9% means you never miss with yellow attacks but, due to the dual wielding penalty, you will still miss with some white attacks. This means that Dual Wield benefits from gaining more hit past 9% while 2h Fury does not, leading to more difference in potential pre-BiS. Dual Wield spec wants to continue to increase hit while also increasing crit in tandem, and get attack power. 2h Fury wants to get 9% hit then go full crit and attack power.
Without further ado, let's jump into the list, and I'll explain more specifics within the list. The "best" option will be listed at the top of each section, then the next best below it, etc. I'm only including items that will be available in Phase 1. The format is as follows: Item - How it is obtained - Notes.
- Lionheart Helm - BoE, crafted by Blacksmith, requires Arcanite Bars from Alchemy - BiS for all of vanilla, never replaced, but requires a guild to have already obtained the recipe from Molten Core. You eventually want this regardless, but may not be able to get it early on if you're ahead of the curve.
- Mask of the Unforgiven - The Unforgiven in Stratholme living side - Alternative for dual wield.
- Eye of Rend - Rend in Upper Blackrock Spire - Alternative for 2h. Use if you can't get Lionheart because you're ahead of the curve and no plans have dropped yet on your server.
- Mark of Fordring - Quest chain from Tirion Fordring in Eastern Plaguelands - Really should just get this since it isn't RNG, just a quest.
- Imperial Jewel - Emperor Dagran Thaurissan in Blackrock Depths.
- Will of the Martyr - Quest called Aurius' Reckoning in Stratholme.
- Truestrike Shoulders - Pyroguard Emberseer in Upper Blackrock Spire.
- Wyrmhide Spaulders - Quest called A Taste of Flame for Blackrock Depths.
- Cape of the Black Baron - Baron Rivendare in Stratholme undead side - Unfortunately, this is about the only good option in phase 1.
- Savage Gladiator Chain - Gorosh the Dervish in BRD (arena event) - BiS for a long time and very worth farming.
- Black Dragonscale Breastplate - Crafted by Leatherworker - Only use with boots set piece, better for Dual Wield than 2h.
- Deathdealer Breastplate - Dwarf fight reward chest in Blackrock Depths
- Cadaverous Armor - Several bosses in Scholomance - If fully world buffed, this armor is better than some others on the list.
- Battleborn Armbraces - Rend in Upper Blackrock Spire - High drop rate, relatively easy to get.
- Edgemaster's Handguards - BoE world drop - Dual Wield spec only, useless for 2h. Only use on level 63 mobs (bosses).
- Devilsaur Gauntlets - Crafted by Leatherworker - Use with set legs.
- Voone's Vice Grips - Quest called Maxwell's Mission (A) or Warlord's Command (H) in Lower Blackrock Spire - Only choose this reward over Omokk's Girth Restrainer if you're using Brigam Girdle.
- Reiver Claws - Overlord Wyrmthalak in Lower Blackrock Spire.
- Brigam Girdle - General Drakkisath in Upper Blackrock Spire - Only use this if you're dual wielding OR 2h w/ Eye of Rend.
- Omokk's Girth Restrainer - Quest called Maxwell's Mission (A) or Warlord's Command (H) in Lower Blackrock Spire.
- Cloudkeeper Legplates - BoE world drop - Use these if you're using Edgemaster's Handguards since you can't wear both Devilsaur.
- Devilsaur Leggings - Crafted by Leatherworker - Use with set gloves.
- Bloodmail Boots - Several bosses in Scholomance - Only use if dual wielding OR if 2h w/ Eye of Rend
- Black Dragonscale Boots - Crafted by Leatherworker - Only use with chest set piece, better for dual wield than 2h.
- Battlechaser's Greaves - BoE drop in Blackrock Depths
- Pads of the Dread Wolf - Halcyon in Lower Blackrock Spire - Sort of a tie between this and Battlechaser's. This gives more attack power, but Battlechaser's gives some crit.
- Blackstone Ring - Princess Theradras in Maraudon - Run this dungeon while leveling until you get it, or get a hunter to farm it for you.
- Painweaver Band - General Drakkisath in Upper Blackrock Spire - You'll probably get it accidentally while farming all the other loot you need off him, such as the shield for your tank set.
- Hand of Justice - Emperor Dagran Thaurissan in Blackrock Depths - This won't be replaced for a long time, very worth farming.
- Diamond Flask - Quest called Voodoo Feathers for Sunken Temple - 75 Strength, or 150 attack power, as an on-use effect is a huge amount. Many boss fights don't even last a minute, especially early on in raids. Either way, it can be used for Execute phases. A better choice than the shoulder reward because it isn't replaced entirely since it's a trinket that can be swapped out.
- Blackhand's Breadth - Quest called General Drakkisath's Demise (A) or For The Horde! (H) for Upper Blackrock Spire.
There is some debate about proc rates between private servers and retail vanilla. As such, whether certain proc-related weapons on this list will be pre-BiS is up for debate.
- Ironfoe - Emperor Dagran Thaurissan in Blackrock Depths.
- Dal'rends Sacred Charge - Rend in Upper Blackrock Spire - Use with set offhand.
- Krol Blade - BoE world drop - Best on Human.
- Axe of the Deep Wounds - BoE world drop - Best on Orc.
- Thrash Blade - Quest called Corruption of Earth and Seed in Maraudon - Good starter weapon before getting others.
- Felstriker - Rend in Upper Blackrock Spire.
- Dal'rends Tribal Guardian - Rend in Upper Blackrock Spire - Use with set main hand.
- Thrash Blade - Quest called Corruption of Earth and Seed in Maraudon - The proc goes to your main hand attack. Good combo besides Felstriker with Ironfoe because of that.
- Flurry Axe - BoE world drop - Best on Orc.
- Mirah's Song - Quest called Kirtonos the Herald for Scholomance - Good starter weapon to combine with Thrash Blade.
- Bonescraper - Baron Rivendare in Stratholme undead side.
Bonus Extra Weapon
- Annihilator - Crafted by Blacksmith, uses Arcanite Bars from Alchemy - Every Dual Wield Warrior should have one if your guild wants to use it for one of the debuff slots. Only use for the proc , then switch to a better weapon.
Note: I'm excluding weapons that put debuffs on the target, as these are likely to not be accepted in raids by guilds due to debuff slot limits.
- Blackblade of Shahram - General Drakkisath in Upper Blackrock Spire - The procs are super strong, especially with Windfury. CAUTION: One of the procs is an AOE, so beware on CC pulls like Majordomo where Polymorph can be broken.
- Arcanite Reaper - Crafted by Blacksmith, uses Arcanite Bars from Alchemy.
- Malown's Slam - Postmaster Malown in Stratholme.
- Slavedriver's Cane - Rammstein the Gorger in Stratholme undead side. Surprisingly good if you don't mind using a staff.
- Dreadforge Retaliator - Emperor Dagran Thaurissan in Blackrock Depths.
- Blackcrow - Shadow Hunter Vosh'gajin in Lower Blackrock Spire.
As part of your pre-BiS, you should consider acquiring fire resistance gear for Molten Core. You might want to equip these pieces when fighting the fire elemental trash in Baron Geddon's room because they can murder you with fireballs. You may also equip some of them while fighting Ragnaros. However, you can also opt to just use Fire Protection Potions and keep on all your DPS gear or use neither and pray. It's something you will have to gauge based on your gear and guild's performance.
Some pieces for this are:
- Breastplate of the Chromatic Flight - Quest called Breastplate of the Chromatic Flight in Western Plaguelands - Very good but hard to get. Don't farm for it unless you get Chromatic Carapace from Upper Blackrock Spire. You will be farming this place a lot, so you might get lucky. Take off your armor when looting Blood of Heroes to avoid durability loss, because you will die.
- Drakefire Amulet - Onyxia attunement quest reward - Always keep this in your bag anyway.
- Cape of the Fire Salamander - Ambassador Flamelash in Blackrock Depths.
There is a lot to Warrior gearing. This is only part of the whole picture because you need to get tanking gear as well. If it isn't obvious from looking at the gear list, Warriors spend an absurd amount of time in UBRS and BRD, so get used to those dungeons and learn to love them or you're going to hate life. Also, there are many BoE world drops or crafted items that are pre-BiS for Fury Warrior, so you need to learn how to make gold to support your gearing needs.
This guide was written with the intent to help newer players, and provide a more updated look at gear based on new itemization info we know about Classic. I hope someone got something useful out of it. I want to thank the entire Classic community for all the discussion and posts over many years. Without prior contributions, this guide would not be possible. Also, I'd like to say that this guide is created with the intent to be as informative and accurate as possible, and I'm only one person, so if you found anything that you feel is incorrect or incomplete, please discuss it! Best of luck to you all in Classic, and may you roll well for your loot!
5/9/2019 - Guide created.
5/10/2019 - Guide updated with more 2h weapons and more information for clarity in each section. Also moved information around and created new sections for clarity. Fixed a deprecated item link. Change dual wield spec to include Anger Management by default.
This is lit @Viv ! I'll make you a thumbnail!
@Melderon Nice, I appreciate that! It looks kind of unappealing without one, for sure!
How many debuff slot is needed before deep wounds can get a slot on debuff?
@Papa-MooNN Well, there's Curse of Shadow, Curse of Elements, Curse of Recklessness, Winter's Chill or Ignite & Scorch, Sunder Armor, Nightfall weapon proc, Faerie Fire, Improved Shadow Bolt, Thunder Clap, Demoralizing Shout, Hunter's Mark, Annihilator weapon proc. That's 12-13 slots not even considering the potential for one Shadow Priest in the raid. Also, there's Gift of Arthas, Arcanite Dragonling, and Paladin Judgements if you're Alliance. It depends on what your guild wants to do for the last few slots, but Deep Wounds is very unlikely to be chosen for them. The real reason to spec into Deep Wounds is to be able to get Impale, which is a large DPS boost.
@Viv okay good to know
@Viv dont forget Debuffs have a priority system that private servers always had wrong. deepwounds was bottom priority iirc
@thermophile Yep! It's actually in the guide already, though. I mention that in the dual wield section. The problem is, they haven't actually confirmed that it will be in Classic. So far, everyone is just assuming it will be.
Very nice guide! I like that you put different ways to play the fury spec, I played one myself but didn't really thought about other ways to play it than the 'standard' dual-wield spec; you learn something everyday. Good job!
please add hit cap numbers for 2h(9%) and DW(25%+wep skill) and maybe touch on the fact that DW hit cap is literally impossible so the more hit the better but you need AP and Crit or 2h will outscale because the 9% hit chance allows you to stack as much str / crit as you can without an insane amount of hit as a prerequisite. DW fury needs hit on every piece of gear and early on, thats not sustainable loot distribution so if you are horde, essentially you will be 2h until BWL or after with the exception of someone who farmed Ironfoe and Felstriker as those are special case weapons for warriors.
If you do slam spec, use a swing timer, its necessary.
weapon skill cap is 315 i think, and obv is only for bosses.
Mortal strike spec can be really good for tanking dungeons and off tanking raids (as threat doesnt matter)if the warrior is proficient at swapping quickly between 2h and sword n board. Charge > Sweeping > Whirlwind > berserkers rage > Sword and board + defensive + bloodrage > sunder. for dungeons (if u have the kahones) and for raiding the OT can switch between a higher dps setup with MS and still a good tanking setup. also when the raid is over, MS spec can go PVP without respec. If you have serious PVP warriors in the guild its good idea to set them up as MS spec OT's
one of the best things you can do while gearing up a fresh 60 warrior is shoot for upgrade density and stat dense upgrades first. you can waste a lot of time upgrading the same slot if you arent planning your bis grind and accounting for raid loot, work out with your guild what pieces you can expect to get if they drop. I ALWAYS write down every piece im looking for and organize them in a way that i can see what would be the biggest bang for my buck to grind. So much to say on that but ill keep it simple and say UBRS has lvl 58+ greens, and very nice itemization on almost everything, its fairly easy with a good group and appropriate comp, your groups average item level will skyrocket.
@Viv have you thought about updating this to be progressive pre-raid? All phases? So much good info on this guide!
Superb guide, the alternatives are very informative and overall the thought process is very explicit. Thank you.
How come there is no talk about orc axe specialization and how that affects gearing? Is it true that axe +5 skill from being an orc gives you 3% hit? If so, isn't it a good idea to try to get a 2h axe and replace hit gear with crit because we only need 6% hit as orc if that is true?
Awesome guide, thank you!
Superb guide, the alternatives are very informative and overall the thought process is very explicit. Thank you.
yep and may be as well that it's the only guide on it out there. there are fairly few overall guides, but as the name implicates, they only touch on the endgame guidelines, while you give specifics - much appreciated!
@Viv Can you provide any more information about the Deep Wounds debuff priority now that Classic has been out for a while? My raid leader had 5 of our DPS warriors spec out of it before raid last night, claiming we were knocking off important debuffs. I was a little upset about losing the Impale damage (as well as the gold for the respec), so I'm gathering sources to show him. Problem is that there is not much out there.
What should be your single-targeted rotation with the Slam build? Specifically, I'm not sure how to prioritize Slam or Bloodthirst, since I usually only generate enough rage to attack with one or the other per auto-attack.