We all knew it was coming, or we should have anyway. With the first waves of testing after initial PTS changes, results were abysmal; Warriors with previously perfect specs and rotations, some of the best of us, barely able to pull a thousand DPS on the target dummies after trying many specs and variations.
Thankfully, Trion heard our cries (our loud, *loud* cries), the benevolent folks they are, and we had a lot of our core abilities buffed, We won’t go over them here as it was a pretty lengthy list that doesn’t really need to be restated here, but the point is, we were back in business.
After the changes bringing us generally back in line it was open season on the test dummies and the conclusion was exciting that, indeed, we had options for our specs now.
Our best bet for easy to obtain raid-ready weapons are found in Runic Descent Expert, and Abyssal Precipice Expert, both of these are tier two instances. These are recommended because each instance has at least two rather decent weapons for us. You’ll have more options from raids, but the focus of this article is gearing a dual-wield spec for raids.
The one piece of advice that can be given is don’t be afraid of “Rogue weapons”, they’re not going to like you too much for it, but Dexterity is an amazing stat for us. Generally given the ease of obtaining them, if you’re just getting weapons from a Tier 2 expert you should focus on weapons actually designed for damaging roles, not tanking, while not being shy about rolling on dexterity focused weapons, even daggers.
However, a side-note to you warriors already raiding: don’t be afraid of tank weapons either! While not ideal, you’d be amazed the kind of damage you can do with tank weapons. Often the overall damage ranges and DPS on the weapons compensate for the loss of stats, or at the very least make them viable placeholders.
The Soul Specializations
This is going to be a rather simple overview of a personal favorite and currently used dual-wield spec, what it does, and how it works;
Here is my current raiding spec, aptly named: Ninja Storm
You’ll see there is (5/5) in Weapon Master, the way this works at 5/5 is every point increases melee damage by 1.7%, to a maximum of 50% meaning at 30 points in the Champion tree you have the absolute bonus, and slightly over cap. Unfortunately given how limited our points to allocate are, in this spec only 21 points, or 35.7% could be realized. With anything more in champion, however, there seemed to be too much of a negative impact on the bonus of the other specs.
The same issue arises with Riftblade’s Rift Fury and only receiving 11.9% of the bonus out of the possible 50%.
Some of the other passive relevant bonuses we receive with Paragon are Combat Precision, increasing damage of our point builders by 5%, Teaching of the Five Rings, we have this totally capped with 38 points in the tree, giving us 50% increased melee damage, and 25% increased ranged damage, and Flowing Strikes, increasing our critical hit chance by 5% after dealing a critical hit for a total of 10 seconds as a time thanks to dipping in to the improved talent for it.
From Champion we have a few bonuses, Titan’s Strength, increasing strength by 10%, Take No Prisoners, increasing our finishers’ damage by 10%, Grim Satisfaction (2/3), giving us energy back for crits (and you’ll need it), and a few others to increase our AoE targets (Follow Through), and benefit from our Champion Bearings (Intense Training).
Finally, with Riftblade we have Surging Energy, which, following crits, lets our builder abilities only use 50% of their power cost.
Macros and Rotations
Your Point Builder:
#show path of the raptor
cast path of the raptor
cast dual strike
cast frenzied strike
cast path of the hurricane
cast path of the wind
What this does is use your most powerful abilities in order, a typical macro for a main attack. This is both your melee and ranged macro, this is accomplished by Dual Strike, it has no cooldown, but requires 20 power. By having this and Frenzied Strike before your ranged attacks, you virtually assure that ranged attacks will only be used when out of the melee hitbox of the boss. You can essentially dip below 20 power every 6 seconds without fear of using Path of the Hurricane.
Next, we have the finisher macro, which is rather simple:
#show strike like iron
cast strike like iron
cast fiery burst
The Last Macro for you is your AoE macro:
#show Path of the Hurricane
cast path of the hurricane
cast mighty blow
cast frenzied strike
Big Warning here! Path of the Hurricane is more than your average AoE, it’s and ability that attacks anything in front of you in and arc of about 90 degrees, within 20 yards of you. It’s recommended to have a second macro without it for delicate situations, or stick to single targeting in those times.
Optimal Buffs, and Final Rotation
Great, now everything is pieced together you only have a few things left to do!
First, you’re going to need your buffs up, these will be Storm Blade, and Way of the Wind, always. For your champions bearing you have a bit of a choice, if your crit is lower you should use Soldier’s Bearing, if you have relatively high crit (Generally above 25% unbuffed) you should use Slayer’s Bearing. Further, if you are not in a fully buffed state, keep Focus of Body active, but note that many extremely common raid buffs knock this off and are, in fact, better.
Finally, using the macros in the previous section you should use roughly this rotation: Builder x3 > Finisher (Strike Like Iron), Builder x3 > Bend like the Reed, Builder x3 > Fiery Burst, Builder x3 > Fiery Burst (Repeat). Where “Builder x3″ doesn’t mean hit your main macro 3 times, but rather until you hit 3 “swords”.
The following images are from a quick boss dummy parse, note, however, that this build is going to have it rough without raid buffs, this was done with a Tablet, which will quickly become your friend, but power will always be a massive issue when running without full buffs.
You won’t always want to use Bend Like the Reed off cooldown, if you know you’ll need to push DPS at a certain point, or if that raid cooldown is coming up, save it!
Your AoE rotation is essentially the same, but using the AoE macro as your builder, as you have no proper AoE finisher in this build.
With this information in hand, you should be ready to get going experimenting with one-handed Warrior DPS!