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Fury Warrior DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoW 4.3.4)

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In this article, we list your Fury Warrior (WoW 4.3) core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation). We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that playing a Fury Warrior will face you with. The other articles of our Fury Warrior guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the left.

1. Basic Single Target Rotation↑top

Your single target rotation is very simple. The first thing to remember is that you want to use Bloodthirst Icon Bloodthirst each time it is available. It has a 3 second cooldown, so this means that every other global cooldown should be a Bloodthirst.

For every global cooldown that is not used by Bloodthirst Icon Bloodthirst, use the following priority list:

  1. Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash
  2. Raging Blow Icon Raging Blow
    • Use Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage to enrage yourself if you are not under the effects of any enrages.
  3. Slam Icon Slam
    • Only use it when it is instant cast (from a Bloodsurge Icon Bloodsurge proc).
  4. Battle Shout Icon Battle Shout or Commanding Shout Icon Commanding Shout
    • This will provide you with rage, so do not use them if you already have a full rage pool.

For Single-Minded Fury Icon Single-Minded Fury Warriors, Slam Icon Slam, which does more damage, has a higher priority than Raging Blow Icon Raging Blow.

Furthermore, Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike (which is off the global cooldown) should be used when you have a large amount of rage (70+) or whenever you have a Battle Trance Icon Battle Trance proc.

2. Basic Multiple Target Rotation↑top

The AoE rotation depends on how many adds you are facing and how good your rage generation is.

If you are facing two enemies you should replace Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike with Cleave Icon Cleave, but maintain the normal rotation.

If you are facing three enemies you should resort to only using Cleave Icon Cleave and Bloodthirst Icon Bloodthirst.

If you are facing four or more enemies, you should try to incorporate Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind in your rotation together with Cleave Icon Cleave. This may not be possible due to rage limitations, and as such you should simply see which of the two abilities deals more damage.

3. Cooldown Usage↑top

You have two main DPS cooldowns: Death Wish Icon Death Wish and Recklessness Icon Recklessness. These two abilities should be used as often as possible. Do not hesitate to cast them both at the same time for increased effects. You can (and should) also combine them with buffs, procs, and potions.

Using Death Wish Icon Death Wish and Recklessness Icon Recklessness optimally is covered in a subsequent section.

You have two additional cooldowns, the use of which is rather situational:

4. Stance↑top

Fury is played exclusively in Berserker Stance Icon Berserker Stance. The only reason why you will ever want to switch stance is for casting Shattering Throw Icon Shattering Throw (which requires Battle Stance Icon Battle Stance), once or twice per fight.

5. Mastering Your Fury Warrior↑top

The guidelines given above will enable you to play your Fury Warrior with good results. If you want to push things further and master your character, then we advise you to continue reading.

5.1. Rage Generation

Warriors use a resource called Rage (Feral Druid tanks are the only other class in the game to use it). For you to properly master your Warrior, you must understand how Rage works.

The Rage bar has a maximum capacity of 100, and is empty by default. Rage decays at a rate of 1 per second when out of combat. In combat, Rage does not decay.

Rage is generated through three sources: dealing damage (only white attacks), taking damage (all sources, except for fall damage) and through the use of certain talents and abilities.

Dealing damage generates rage, depending on your base weapon speed. Rage is only generated from white attacks, so not from special abilities (yellow attacks). The formula for this is simple: 6.5 * the base weapon speed.

The other factors which affect offensive rage generation are attack speed and chance to hit (only up to the point where you are guaranteed to hit, so 8% chance to hit). This is because the more you attack, the more times you will generate rage. For more details on white (normal) and yellow (special) attacks, and how they are influenced by Hit and Expertise Rating, you can check our guide on the mechanics of melee attacks.

Rage is also generated through a variety of talents and abilities, as we will see in this article.

Finally, taking damage generates rage. The amount of rage generated depends on your health pool and the amount of damage you take. If your healers are able to cope with it, it is possible to purposefully take extra damage in order to generate extra rage (such as standing in something harmful). Note, however, that you should be extremely careful while doing this, and that more often than not it is better to do less DPS than to put a strain on your healers.

5.2. Important Abilities and Mechanics

Fury Warriors have a vast number of abilities which can be useful to raids, including various buffs and debuffs which they can apply. Here, we will only discuss those abilities which play a part in your DPS priority.

  • Bloodthirst Icon Bloodthirst: this is your most important ability. It deals damage to the target and also provides you with a tiny amount of (mostly useless) self-healing.
  • Raging Blow Icon Raging Blow: this ability deals heavy damage, with both weapons. It has a 6 second cooldown, and it can only be used while you are enraged (either from Death Wish Icon Death Wish, from Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage, or from a proc caused by Enrage Icon Enrage).
  • Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash: deals a moderate amount of damage and debuffs the target for the next 6 seconds, causing it to take greatly increased damage from all your other abilities.
  • Slam Icon Slam: your Bloodthirst Icon Bloodthirst hits have a chance to make this ability instant cast and free of rage cost. It should only be used when this proc occurs, and only when Bloodthirst Icon Bloodthirst is unavailable.
  • Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike: a high rage cost ability, the only real benefit of which is that it allows you to dump rage.
  • Execute Icon Execute: a hard hitting ability, available only when the target is under 20% health. Also stacks the Executioner Icon Executioner self-buff on you.
  • Cleave Icon Cleave: an alternative to Heroic Strike which hits 2 enemies (3 with the glyph).
  • Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind: deals small amount of damage to each enemy within 8 yards of the Warrior. Useful against large groups of enemies.

In addition to these damaging abilities, Fury Warriors should also make use of the following cooldowns:

  • Death Wish Icon Death Wish: increases your damage done by 20% for 30 seconds.
  • Recklessness Icon Recklessness: increases your critical strike chance by 50% for 12 seconds, but also increases your damage taken by 20%.
  • Inner Rage Icon Inner Rage: reduces the cooldown of your Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike and Cleave Icon Cleave by 50% for 15 seconds.

In the sections below, we will detail each of your important mechanics and ability interactions.

5.2.1. Battle Trance

Battle Trance Icon Battle Trance grants your Bloodthirst Icon Bloodthirsts a 15% chance to cause your next ability that costs more than 5 rage be free of cost. Naturally, it is ideal to use this proc on an ability which costs a lot of rage.

You should have a means to track this proc (through an add-on such as Power Auras) and you should aim to use this proc on a Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike, as this is your most expensive ability.

5.2.2. Execute and Executioner

When your target's health drops below 20%, your Execute Icon Execute ability becomes usable. The damage dealt by this ability varies, in part, based on how much rage you have when you cast it. Execute has a base cost of 10 rage, but if you have additional rage when you use it, up to a total of 20 additional rage, this extra rage will be consumed, and your Execute will deal more damage depending on how much rage you had.

In addition to its damage, Execute also stacks Executioner Icon Executioner on you, granting you up to 25% increased attack speed.

5.2.3. Slam and Bloodsurge

Your Bloodsurge Icon Bloodsurge talent grants your Bloodthirst Icon Bloodthirsts a chance to make your next Slam Icon Slam, cast within 10 seconds, be instant cast (normally, Slam has a 1.5 second cast time), free of rage cost and deal increased damage.

You should never, under any circumstances, use Slam when it is not instant cast. To ensure that you never cast accidental Slams, you should use the macro that we advise in our Addons and Macros page for Fury Warriors.

You should have a means of tracking when this proc is active, through an add-on such as Power Auras.

5.2.4. Raging Blow and Enrage Effects

Warriors have the following talents and abilities which cause them to become "enraged":

  • All specialisations can become enraged by using Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage;
  • Arms Warriors gain an enrage effect from their Wrecking Crew Icon Wrecking Crew talent;
  • Fury Warriors gain an enrage effect from their Enrage Icon Enrage talent as well as from using Death Wish Icon Death Wish;
  • Protection Warriors gain an enrage effect from their Bastion of Defense Icon Bastion of Defense talent.

Being enraged is a requirement for two Warrior abilities: Raging Blow Icon Raging Blow and Enraged Regeneration Icon Enraged Regeneration. Enrages which originate from talents have a variable (but not too great) uptime.

In the case of Fury Warriors, where Raging Blow is an important ability, Berserker Rage Icon Berserker Rage plays an important part. You should be prepared to use this ability in order to allow Raging Blow if you are not enraged.

5.3. Single Target Rotation Subtleties

This section gives a few subtleties and optimisations for the rotation that we presented at the beginning of the article.

5.3.1. Heroic Strike and Battle Trance

Using Battle Trance Icon Battle Trance procs on Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike is ideal and should not be a problem, as this ability is off the global cooldown. If, however, you have just used Heroic Strike when a proc occurs, you should use it on either Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash or Raging Blow Icon Raging Blow rather than waiting for Heroic Strike to come off cooldown.

5.3.2. Heroic Strike and Incite

If you benefit from an Incite Icon Incite proc (making your next Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike a guaranteed critical strike), Heroic Strike goes up in priority, over Slam Icon Slam (Titan's Grip) / Raging Blow Icon Raging Blow (Single-Minded Fury), provided that you can use it during a Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash.

5.3.3. Shall I Use Execute?

When the target is below 20% health, Execute Icon Execute becomes available. For Fury Warriors, Execute Icon Execute is not useful damage-wise, but should be used to reach and maintain 5 stacks of Executioner Icon Executioner. As such, you should stack Executioner to 5 immediately (ignoring your normal rotation) and then use Execute once every 9 seconds in order to refresh the buff. Outside of this, you should maintain the above rotation.

5.3.4. Free Global Cooldowns

It is inevitable that sometimes you will have "free" global cooldowns (when nothing is available). During this time you can simply remain idle or apply/refresh Sunder Armor Icon Sunder Armor, if you are assigned to this task.

5.4. More on Death Wish and Recklessness

5.4.1. Death Wish

Death Wish Icon Death Wish has an effective cooldown of 2 minutes and 24 seconds (thanks to Intensify Rage Icon Intensify Rage), and you should aim to use it as many times as possible during an encounter. It lasts for 30 seconds, and you should try to make sure that nothing will impede you from DPSing for that duration (such as the boss going immune due to fight mechanics or you having to perform a non-DPS task).

It is advised to stack this cooldown together with any other procs or buffs you can get, such as Recklessness Icon Recklessness, potion, trinket procs and Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp. Only do so, however, it if does not mean that you will get fewer uses of Death Wish in the fight.

5.4.2. Recklessness

Recklessness Icon Recklessness should be used as many times as possible during an encounter (this will most often be twice).

Keep in mind that Recklessness increases the damage you take by 20%, so do not use it during a time when you are taking heavy damage if you risk dying.

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