What's New - Arms Warriors in BfA Last Updated: June 13, 2018

Arms has a decent rework in BfA Beta. The rotation is still similar to Legion, but less prone to RNG and a majority of the design issues from Legion are gone, more on that below.

A few Artifact traits have been carried over. Some keep their old name, or they were baked into another ability.

What's been removed

What's been added

What's different


There have been some significant changes to Arms talents.

15 - War Machine / Sudden Death / Skullsplitter

30 - Double Time / Impending Victory / Storm Bolt

  • Double Time is an essential talent for Arms for rage generation.
  • Impending Victory was added in place of Shockwave.
  • Stormbolt might seem to be the obvious choice for M+. However, a lot of mobs in dungeons are immune to CC as I've seen in the Beta. And there are better AoE stuns on other specs.

45 - Massacre / Fervor of Battle / Rend

  • Massacre allowing us to execute starting at 35% looks pretty powerful. It has great synergy with Executioner's Precision allowing you to get stacks earlier.
  • Fervor of Battle is strong for AoE. Losing Trauma does hurt the build in single target and consistent AoE.
  • Rend being a 12s duration is a nice QoL buff. You don't need to refresh it during the new Colossus Smash window and you spend less rage refreshing it.

60 - Second Wind / Bounding Stride / Defensive Stance

  • No changes.

75 - Collateral Damage / Warbreaker / Cleave

  • This entire row is all AoE/Cleave based.
  • Collateral Damage only performs well on consistent 2 target cleave.
  • Warbreaker of course still a really good AoE burst ability. Can't be parried, really good choice for single target to prevent that.
  • Cleave steals the show. It can apply Deep Wounds to 3+ targets every 6s which can lead to Deep Wounds being 40%+ of your damage on AoE.

90 - In for the Kill / Avatar / Deadly Calm

  • This row is all about cooldowns.
  • In for the Kill is much weaker now because it doesn't nearly have the same amount of uptime as it does on live. Has great synergy with Anger Management and the haste steroid for the last 20% seems good.
  • Avatar is basically the same. 20 rage every 1.5m is quite weak however.
  • Deadly Calm feels really bad to press, but has potential for AoE when you really need to spam Whirlwind.

100 - Anger Management / Dreadnaught / Ravager

Where Legion fell short

BfA Arms Rotation is very similar to Legion Arms. The rework has addressed a few of the design issues Arms had in Legion. For example, the Colossus Smash window had such a high uptime meant it didn't work as a "window of opportunity". There wasn't any room to play around the debuff as procs were too frequent and random, so you couldn't prepare for it. This was also an issue combined with the massive amount of synergy between Colossus Smash, Precise Strikes and Shattered Defenses. When you experienced the lower end of RNG, your damage plummeted, because all your synergy and damage was loaded into this one big thing. There wasn't any "skill" in regards to the procs, just how lucky you are.

There was a slight rework in 7.1.5 which helped with Colossus Smash and the damage loaded into it. But that was mostly a band-aid to help the spec until a full expansion rework. Legion Arms is fine, but it could definitely use a refresh.

Where Battle for Azeroth picks up the slack

Battle for Azeroth improves on Legion's failures by reducing the reliance on Colossus Smash, and instead making it the spec's primary cooldown in place of Battle Cry. This allows the spec's baseline damage to improve considerably, and take emphasis off of random procced resets controlling damage output, making target swapping easier and reducing the emphasis on burst. Overpower replaces Colossus Smash's former place in the rotation, applying what is essentially the Shattered Defenses buff to Mortal Strike, and keeping Arms gameplay in Battle for Azeroth more forgiving, but overall very similar to that of Legion.


Shattered Defenses was moved into Overpower, increases Mortal Strike damage, free to cast and resets through Tactician. But it's nearly not as impactful. The rotation is basically the same. Keeping Mortal Strike on CD, spending Overpower procs and using Slam/Whirlwind (with Fervor of Battle) with as a filler. Deep Wounds has little effect on the rotation at all.

Our cooldown, Colossus Smash is quite simple to maximize. Fit as many hard hitting GCD's into the window as possible. Such as Mortal Strike, Execute and Overpower.

The whole rotation is a bit slower. You get less rage per auto, Opportunity Strikes is gone, Archavon's Heavy Hand is gone, Dauntless is gone and Mortal Strike costs 10 more rage. You're going to be spending more time sitting on a GCD or two to keep Mortal Strike on CD.

But there are ways to combat this such as Charge and Bladestorming. However, the higher Tactician proc chance helps fill globals.

Bladestorm is really powerful now and might be used on single target for its full duration, but we'll have to see.

Execute phase is pretty simple.

Spam Execute, use Overpower when it procs and Mortal Strike at 1-2 Overpower stacks depending on talents/traits.


To sum it up

Toolkit compared to Fury

Arms has the upper hand in low target cleave. However Fury looks like it's going to excel in the Burst AoE department with all it's recent changes. But that doesn't mean Arms can do really good burst AoE as well. It's similar to legion where Fury has more upfront damage and Arms has the higher potential.


Blizzard finally made the spec they wanted since the start of Legion. The spec rewards good gameplay and doesn't play like a slot machine. Of course there are some issues with BfA Arms, but they are very minor compared to Legion's massive issues.

Thanks to Vel for the much appreciated feedback!

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