Warriors are melee fighters highly trained in the arts of weaponry. They are strong and quick on the battlefield. Depending on their spec, a warrior can often deal very high damage, or be tough as nails to kill. Warrior abilities depend on rage generation. This is different to all but one melee class, which is the druid; specifically a druid in bear form. Rage is generated through damage being dealt to and by the warrior and is capped at 100. Warriors have several talents capable of aiding rage generation.
Warriors can change between three combat stances: Battle Stance, Defensive Stance and Berserker Stance. Many abilities have a stance requirement. However, stances give the class a fluid play style allowing the player a variety of responses to any given PvE or PvP situation. Warriors can wear any type of armor although they receive a bonus from for wearing plate armor Level 50 and beyond, although they can wear Plate starting at level 40. They are able to use shields and can wield any weapon with the exception of wands and relics.
The primary warrior attributes depend on the talent spec of the warrior. For Fury, attributes are strength and agility. For Arms, attributes are Strength and Stamina. For Protection, attributes are Stamina and Strength. Keep in mind this is generally for leveling warriors, and not endgame. Stamina is the most useful while leveling for all specs until around level 60 as critical strike rating on gear is rare until later levels. Warrior-oriented gear found towards end-game provides a wider range of attributes. Gear oriented specifically to damage dealing warriors may include critical strike rating, or haste. Gear oriented to warrior tanks usually includes some combination of block rating, dodge rating or parry rating. Hit rating or expertise rating are also commonly found on gear and can be useful for warriors performing either role.
For endgame warriors (level 85), the attributes are more advanced. Depending on your specialization and whether you are PvP or PvE geared, you will want different amounts of each attribute. For both PvP and PvE, your primary goal is to cap your hit rating so that you have a 100% chance to hit your target. For PvP this is only 5%. In PvE it will be 8%, as you will often be fighting mobs higher level than you generally. Even if you are hit capped for PvP, keep in mind that Night Elves will always have a small chance of causing you to miss. This is due to their racial passive ability Quickness. No matter how much hit you have, you will always miss a Night Elf on occasion. After your Hit rating is capped you will generally go for strength and critical strike rating for Arms and Fury, and Stamina and Mastery for Protection. Since Protection are tanks, you will want a lot of dodge and parry rating for PvE, and resilience for PvP.
- See also: List of warriors
As long as war is waged on Azeroth, there will be men and women who fight those wars. The warrior is no mere sword-swinger; they are skilled combatants, combining strength of arm, knowledge of weaponry and practiced maneuvers to slice or bludgeon their foes into little red bits. The warrior is the most versatile of the combat classes, and they supplement their fighting prowess with the ability to rally their allies and spur them to victory, but not only can they rally their allies into victory; they can themselves charge into the heart of the battle, take several lives and live to tell the tale. All races fight, and all races boast many warriors in their ranks. Warriors are common among dwarves, Forsaken, humans, and orcs, but are less so among the other races. Masters of swords, spears, and weapons of all kinds, warriors share a common way of life on Azeroth. Using their abilities to deal pain and cause bloodshed, warriors are deadly adversaries and welcome friends in violent times (which seem to be all the time in recent decades). Warriors have existed in every race, from the murlocs to the tauren. Anyone willing to take up arms to defend their people can be classed as a warrior. A knight is the warrior elite among humans.
- Main article: Warrior races
The warrior class can be played by the following races:
Before the release of Cataclysm, blood elf players were the only race that could not be warriors. Blood elf warriors are a standard class for blood elves in the RPG. Some blood elves become warriors (or scouts or hunters) — especially those seeking to be spell breakers, demon hunters, and rangers. In addition, there were High Elf Swordsmen in the Undead campaign in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, so Elven warriors have technically always been justified.
With the release of Cataclysm, warriors are the first non-hero class to be available to all races.
- Humans: Sword and Mace specializations give 3 increased expertise with swords and maces, which are two very popular warrior weapons. Perception passively gives the ability to detect stealthed units, which can be useful for those in PvP situations. Humans also gain the "racial PvP trinket" – Every Man for Himself – effectively freeing up a trinket slot which warriors might find more useful.
- Dwarves: Stoneform removes poison, disease and bleed effects, and increases armor by 10%. Both of these can be very useful in PvE and PvP fights. The additional Frost resistance is always useful, as a warriors sworn enemy is the frost mage. Increased expertise with maces provides additional threat generation when using them. Though warriors will not primarily be using guns as their main weapon, they can be useful for a pull, and Gun Specialization helps with this category. Lastly, warriors are notorious for their high repair bills. Treasure Finding can help alleviate some of this payment, though it is minimal at best.
- Gnomes: Escape Artist can be very useful, primarily in PvP situations, but also in PvE situations. Warriors being the prototypical tank often have to lead mobs and bosses away from the healers and ranged fighters, thus making Escape Artist very useful. Gnomes also benefit from increased Arcane resistance, which is always useful. Because of their small size, gnome warriors are useful in PvP environments, posing a difficulty to target. Inexperienced or careless opponents can be quickly hit by Hamstring, Thunder Clap, and Sunder Armor before they have any idea as to what happened.
- Night elves: Quickness adds an extra layer of survivability to night elf warriors. The enhanced nature resistance is always nice. Shadowmeld provides an interesting element to night elves, who can stealth to avoid mob detection (more useful for solo play), or to get out of combat when about to die. In addition, in PvP settings, Shadowmeld can be devastating. Stealth, Charge, Hamstring, Thunder Clap, etc., and Ta-da! You just became a rogue in heavy armor! An additional bonus to Shadowmeld is the ability to temporarily drop threat in combat, and possibly even save your life (if you're the last person standing).
- Draenei: Gift of the Naaru heals 20% of the subject's health over 10 seconds, giving Draenei warriors a healing ability. Extremly useful for high level PvP and PvE. The extra shadow resistance is always welcomed. Heroic Presence can help Off tanks or the Main tank perform better, depending on what role you may be fulfilling. For a DPS warrior, Heroic Presence will also reduce the amount of gear you (and your party/raid) need to dedicate to reaching hit caps.
- Orcs: Axe Specialization increases expertise by 5 when wielding an axe or fist weapon. This is equal to 41 expertise rating, and reduces player's chance to be dodged/parried by 1.25%. Hardiness reduces stun duration, which can save a warrior in PvP settings, or save their group in PvE settings. Blood Fury increases either spell power or attack power, (depending on class) and scales with the players level. The formula for scaling attack power is [(level*4)+2]. The spell power formula is [(Level*2)+3]. This grants 322 AP or 163 spell power at level 80.
- Trolls: Berserking increases attack speed by 20% for 10 seconds, useful for all warriors, particularly Fury warriors, but can also provide a marginal TPS buff to Protection warriors. Health regeneration in combat can help keep you alive during PvP fights, or boss battles, and the increased healing can reduced down time for soloing players. The increased damage against beasts can be useful, since beasts are located almost everywhere in the world. Da Voodoo Shuffle reduces the duration of movement impairing effects by 15% as well, and the less time you spend walking to something then the more time you spend hitting it.
- Undead: The increased shadow resistance is always useful, as is Cannibalize, which can rapidly increase your health, and save your healer's mana. The increased Underwater Breathing is also useful, especially when soloing, where a warrior might not have access to an alchemist or warlock. Will of the Forsaken is one of the best racials in game, and can be the difference between life and death in both PvP and PvE settings.
- Tauren: War Stomp is very important to interupting a caster, especially at low levels, when warriors have no stuns or silences . Endurance provides tauren with extra health, meaning tauren warriors can have the highest possible HP of any warrior. The additional nature resistance is always a plus.
- Worgen: Have an increased critical hit chance, especially good for low level PvE and PvP and for Fury and Arms warriors at higher levels. Also, worgen's Darkflight is very useful to chase down a fleeing opponent in PvP, to avoid being kited, and for just saving time moving when you cannot use a mount.
- Main article: Rage
By default, a Warrior's rage bar is empty. Warriors can gain rage by being struck in combat, dealing damage, drinking rage potions, or using certain abilities. Most of their abilities require a certain amount of rage in order to be activated. When a Warrior exits combat, any left-over rage slowly decays until the bar returns to empty. A Warrior's rage bar will drop to 0 immediately if they switch their stance. At level 58, the passive ability Stance Mastery allows them to retain 25 rage through a stance change, and the Tactical Mastery talent increases this by 25 rage per rank up to a maximum of 75 rage.
Warriors need to be in combat or use a rage-generating ability to generate rage. The longer the battle, the more rage a warrior can accumulate. A Warrior with a full rage bar can quickly unload a large amount of damage.
- Main article: Stance
The warrior has different stances for different situations. Which stance to use will also be determined by the warrior's talents.
- : The standard starting stance for all warriors. A balanced combat stance. Increases damage done by 5%. Decreases damage taken by 5%. Primary stance for Arms warriors.
- : A defensive combat stance. Decreases damage taken by 10%. Increases Threat generated by 200%. Primary stance for Protection warriors.
- : An aggressive combat stance. Increases damage done by 10%. Primary stance for Fury warriors.
Some warrior abilities are not available based on which stance you are in, so choose wisely!
- Main article: Warrior abilities
The warrior has various abilities, which are typically limited to certain stances.
- In Defensive Stance, the warrior can use abilities such as or to hold aggro, and or to reduce damage.
- In Battle Stance, the warrior can use a balanced array of abilities. Abilities such as and are useful for dealing damage.
- In Berserker Stance, the warrior is focused on maximizing damage potential with abilities such as or .
How stats affect the warrior
|Strength|| Increases the warrior's Attack Power, thereby increasing the warrior's damage. Since attack power has been removed from gear, warriors can only gain more attack power from strength.
1 Strength = 2 Attack Power
|Stamina|| Increases health points. This is critical for warriors due to their melee range restriction and inability to significantly heal themselves while dealing damage, as well as to absorb the large amounts of damage mobs will try and cause against a party while tanking. In addition, warrior self-healing abilities such as become more effective as you gain more stamina.
1 stamina = 14 health
Mitigation and avoidance stats
|Armor||Armor reduces the amount of damage received from physical attacks. Armor has no effect against magical or bleed attacks.|
|Dodge||The warrior moves out of the way of the enemy's attack, and takes no damage from it. It is extremely useful to have a trinket which increases dodge rating for a short time to help healers keep up with healing. (If you're not getting hit, you don't need heals.) A warrior can only dodge frontal attacks. Attacks from behind cannot be dodged.|
|Parry||The warrior parries the enemy's attack and takes no damage from it. Parrying attacks increases the warrior's melee haste rating, causing him to hit faster than normal. A warrior can only parry frontal attacks. Attacks from behind cannot be parried.|
|Block Rating||The warrior raises his shield and blocks the enemy's attack. Block rating increases a warrior's % chance to block. Unlike dodge and parry, blocking an attack only reduces the amount of damage done to the warrior by 30%, or 60% on a which comes from mastery. A warrior can only block frontal attacks. Attacks from behind cannot be blocked.|
|Mastery||The warrior's mastery with their talent tree allows a chance to get a if protection, increased enraged effects from Unshackled Fury if fury, or a chance to do additional white damage from Strikes of Opportunity.|
DPS/ Threat boosters
|Hit Rating||Increases the chance for the warrior to hit his enemy. Hit rating requires 120 points per 1% of hit for physical damage. Raid bosses require an additional 8% chance to hit for you to never miss by a special abilities and 27% chance to hit for auto-attack.|
|Expertise||At level 85, every 31 points of expertise rating grants one point of expertise. One point of expertise decreases the chance that melee attacks made by the warrior will be dodged or parried by 0.25%. This stat is useful for tank and DPS warriors. When a warrior tank is parried, it may trigger a boss to begin to swing faster, causing burst damage. Raid bosses have a 6.5% chance to dodge your attacks, and approximately 15% chance to parry (varies).|
|Crit Rating||Increases the chance for the warrior to critically strike his enemy, dealing double damage. At level 85, 180 Critical Strike Rating is required to gain 1% melee crit chance.|
|Haste||Increases the autoattack speed of the warrior. More commonly used by fury warriors to improve their rage generation. This stat is largely panned by arms warriors as very little of their damage comes from their auto-attack. At level 85, a warrior requires 129 Haste Rating to gain a 1% increase in attack speed.|
Warrior talents are split into three trees: arms, fury, and protection.
- Specialties: Strong bleeding skills, high burst damage with a two handed weapon. Can keep up consistently thanks to . Can reduce healing on enemies with .
- Strengths: High rage gain () and rage efficiency skills (). Access to .
- Weaknesses: Rotation can be easily disturbed in movement fights as rend and other debuffs fall off a boss and have to be re-applied.
The arms tree consists of abilities which focus on slow two-handed burst coupled with heavy bleeding damage to better effect. The arms talent tree is capped by the ability, which when activated, whirlwinds every second for 6 seconds and causes the warrior to become unstoppable, unless killed, for the duration. Due to almost every arms skill being based on weapon damage, such as , , and , slow two-handed weapons are favored by almost every arms warrior to maximize effect. Bleeding skills are enhanced as well with the talent and allows Rend to open up opportunities to use Overpower regardless of whether the the target dodged your attacks.
- Specialties: Powerful sustained damage and can regenerate with and . Can passively reduce healing on enemies with . Able to wield two 2 handed-weapons with . Unlike the other specs, fury also allows dual-wielding in
- Strengths: Powerful sustained damage with dual wielding and capable of high burst damage with and Bloodthirst.
- Weaknesses: More fragile than the other specs, taking in more damage with and relying on two weapons to perform at best, forsaking the use of a shield save for highly situational times.
The fury tree bolsters the use of dual wielding (but does not limit the warrior in any way), to dish out the highest damage that the warrior is capable of. Critical strikes allow the fury warrior to , while the attacks they use most have a chance of proccing Bloodsurge, throwing in high burst damage with their already high sustained damage. While the cost to uphold this kind of damage taxes on rage heavily, dual wielding solves the problem. With the final talent, Titan's Grip, the warrior is able to dual wield two 2-hand weapons, greatly increasing rage gain in bursts, allowing the warrior the needed rage.
In the past, going too deep in the fury tree was undesired for PvP due to its lack of the healing debuff, but as of patch 3.0.0, the fury tree gained Furious Attacks, which applies the needed healing debuff.
- Specialties: Access to two stuns and . The tank spec proficient at both AoE tanking () and singular tanking, can maneuver the battlefield quickly with and .
- Strengths: All-new powerful damage that was unheard of before Patch 3.0.0, making the shield not just a defensive tool, but a powerful offensive one as well. Able to take very high amounts of damage and dishing high amounts back.
- Weaknesses: Technically rage-starved if not being hit, though speccing deep in protection allows you to make your hits crit more often, still allowing you to burst damage without rage (). No healing debuff. Damage output very limited when not the focus of enemy attacks, due to key abilities dependent fully or partially on blocking (i.e. , Sword and Board.)
Tanking has been redefined by Blizzard, and so the protection tree likely got the biggest change (for the better) in comparison to the other trees.
The protection tree features the traditional one-handed weapon + shield combination with talents to improve its use. It is likely that one would think the overall damage is lower due to not using a "powerful two-hander" or "dual-wielding two weapons". But when facing a protection warrior, they need to consider the shield as well. With it protection warriors could absolutely crush anyone foolish enough to attack him/her in melee, and use it to harass and silence casters. Protection warriors now scale with attack power more so than they did in the past, causing them to do much more damage. The protection tree boosts overall survivability, but also offense with the kind of tools that prot warriors use, namely the one handed weapon and shield. And with that new offense comes higher aggro buildup, making them threat machines.
Pre Patch 3.0.0, protection warriors were almost never considered for PvP due to their lack of damage, utility against players, and lack of everything that PvP stood for, but now they return with a new style. Still lacking a healing debuff, protection warriors now focus on stunning, crippling and harassing with their new high mobility talent, .
Blizzard's talent calculator can be found here.
The following summary is an edited version of blue posts made by Blizzard prior to the launch of cataclysm. It was edited to remove entries that were removed from the game or entirely redesigned, and to make the abilities in-line with how they are now.
Changes to Abilities and Mechanics
In addition to learning new abilities, you'll see changes to other abilities and mechanics with which you're already familiar. This list and the summary of talent changes below it are by no means comprehensive.
- is no longer an "on next swing" attack, as they removed this mechanic in Cataclysm. To keep the niche of Heroic Strike as a Rage dump, it became an instant attack, but will cost between 30 Rage. The goal was to provide players with an option where if you can't afford the Rage, you don't push the button, but if you have excess Rage, you can push it a lot.
- , and work more like the death knight's ability. Specifically, these shouts cost no resources, generate rage in addition to their current effects, and are on a cooldown of 1 minute.
- hit an unlimited number of targets, but only for 65% of weapon damage. The intent is for this ability to be used in multi-target scenarios and not on single targets.
- Overall, heals cast by players in Cataclysm will be a lower number relative to players' health than the current game. So to make the debuff less mandatory but still useful in PvP, Mortal Strike reduces healing by only 10%. All equivalent debuffs, including the Shadow priest and Frost mage debuffs, are also for 10% less healing and do not stack with Mortal Strike. At the moment we aren't considering giving this debuff to anyone else, though we will certainly consider PvP utility for historically under-represented specs that use other mechanics.
- can only stack to three stacks instead of five, and still provides only a 4% reduction in armor per stack. They wanted to make this debuff easier to apply and less of a damage swing when it falls off.
Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses
- : This is similar to the Sword Specialization talent that was in the game, but the Bonus Swing will work on all attacks and with all weapons. You have a chance to proc a free, instant weapon swing that hits for 100% damage.
- : Every benefit of being enraged is increased. This includes doing more damage/healing/ etc. from abilities like Bloodrage, Death Wish, Enrage, Berserker Rage, and Enraged Regeneration.
- : As we mentioned in the stat changes preview, block rating is changing to a chance to block 30% of a melee swing's damage. Protection warriors have a chance that the block will be a critical block and block for 60% of a melee swing's damage instead. There will likely be talents available to push the amount blocked even higher.
- This is a mechanic to ensure that tank damage (and therefore threat) doesn't fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance gives them a stacking attack power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character's un-buffed health. For boss encounters, we expect that tanks will always have the attack power bonus equal to 10% of their health.
|Warrior Specialization Guides|
|5.2 PvP Basic Arms Guide||5.2 PvP Arms Macros|
|Warrior Specialization Guides|
|Fury 5.1 Guide||Protection 5.1 Tanking guide||Arms 5.1 Guide|
- Warrior twinking guide for details on making a warrior twink.
- Warrior instance grouping guide for tips in Instances.
- In the Warcraft RPG, warrior and fighter were separate classes. Warrior was an NPC class, while fighter was a core class. In the World of Warcraft RPG, the old warrior class was replaced with the soldier class, while fighter was replaced with a new warrior class for gameplay purposes. 
- Warriors have the most widely available choices in permanent Legendary weapons, as most are designed (through use or through lore) as melee weapons, which is the warrior's forte. The only one that was never available to warriors was Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian (only magi, warlocks, druids, and priests could obtain it). Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings can theoretically be used by a warrior, though the fragments, which are needed to make the weapon can only be used by druids, shamans, priests, and paladins.