Thursday, February 5, 2009

Korathnord the Spear-slayer

My work on leveling my third toon to 80 continues. After finishing up the Loremaster of the Eastern Kingdoms achievement, I took Nord back to Northrend and finished out Grizzly Hills and started Zul'Drak. That got him to level 78.

But in the process, I decided to try something new. Much like Cainam is doing with Sofea, I decided to respec Nord to one of the less talked-about less-glamourous specs for warrior: Arms.

Back in the day, that was the core of Nord's playstyle. I tore through MC, BWL, ZG, and AQ carrying either a big 2-H sword or (my preference) a nasty polearm. Spears and polearms were the weapon no one else seemed to want, so Nord always got first pick of anyone that dropped. TBC changed all that, driving fury spec to the top of the DPS warrior pile and the introduction of Titan Grip in Wrath continued that.

So a few observations:

1) Arms is fun but complicated. It relies a lot on ability procs. Fury warriors waiting on Bloodsurge to proc have already had some experience with this, but you spend a lot of time as Arms waiting to see when Sudden Death and Taste for Blood to proc. As such, there's not really a "cast sequence" for Arms warriors. You have to play it by ear pretty much every fight. As such, DPS can be somewhat inconsistent. There are some fights where I'm not even cracking 1k, others where I hit 2.5k depending on what triggers and what doesn't. (Note this is at level 78, well before I get any heroic or raid gear.)

2) Mortal Strike is no longer Arms' bread-and-butter ability. I keep it around and use it, but the bulk of your DPS comes from Rend (which allows Taste for Blood to proc), Execute (from Sudden Death), and Overpower (triggered by dodges and Taste for Blood). Seems odd to talk about Rend, the oft maligned warrior bleed as potent but a lot of the recent patches have really buffed this ability.

3) And speaking of previously maligned abilities, I find Slam is a good rage dump. With talents, it's a quick half-second cast time that doesn't interfere with your normal swing timer.

4) You play arms in Battle Stance, which opens up Overpower (necessary) and Charge. Thanks to Bloodrage no longer putting you in combat, rage generation at the start of a fight is pretty easy. I find that rage is almost never a problem in Arms. Titan Grip, with using two slow 2-handed weapons for attacks, often kept me rage starved despite its potent DPS.

5) Bladestorm is fun. It is, by far, the nastiest AOE for warriors. Although its 90 second cooldown makes it much less versatile that Whirlwind, it hits a lot harder and lasts a lot longer. Ninety seconds isn't all that long either. I find I can use it about once every two pulls.

6) Glyphs. I added the Glyph of Overpower into my book, since it allows Overpower to proc off of parries from time to time. Glyph of Execution makes Sudden Death pretty potent, despite the recent nerf to that ability.

5) Weapons. Nord picked up the Tuskar rep spear last night to finally put a polearm in his hand again, but his best bet if he wants to keep using spears is to get the blue spear off the beholder boss in heroic Violet Hold. It's the only pre-raid spear that is strength based and not agility.


Cainam said...


How does one exactly slay a spear?

Nord said...

So says one clearly ignorant of the writing of one of the greats of fantasy literature, Robert E. Howard.

Nord said...

Ok, now that I've busted your chops a bit, Cainam. The title's a reference to a character in the King Kull stories, Brule the Spear-Slayer.

Cainam said...

That's all well and good... but you still haven't answered the question. ;-)

LRNs said...

First you imbue it with life and/or sentience. Then you break it in half. Thus destroying this new life you have created, effectively slaying it.