The State of Fury Warriors on the Shadowlands Beta
08/08/2020 à 04:30
In contrast to Arms, Fury Warriors have enjoyed a the limelight for the past couple expansions, with near universal praise since the
reworks forged a new identity for the spec. Below is our collected feedback and opinions on the current state of Fury Warriors on the
Beta, mainly focusing on PvE viability, identity, and future design intent. Several comparisons are made to the recent
State of Arms
article, so make sure to give it a look too!
About the Author
is the principle Warrior theorycrafter,
developer responsible for maintaining the Warrior module, as well as a part of the Wowhead Staff. He can be commonly found on
or answering questions in the
Warrior Discord server, Skyhold
, now over 100,000 members strong.
A Whirlwind of Design Iteration
Fury has undergone nearly as many iterative redesigns as Arms, though where Arms struggled to find its identity, Fury has refined it. In the earliest expansions, Fury and Arms were really never all that different - a few different spells here and there, but the rage economy and overall gameplay was virtually identical in everything but conceptual theme.
Mists of Pandaria
attempted to better differentiate the two specializations, which became some of the most popular iterations of the Fury to date, but were marred by technical issues.
Various incarnations of the spec have seen degrees of success -
The interplay between Wild Strike and Heroic Strike in the 5.4
Mists of Pandaria
patch is one of the most beloved versions of Fury to date, combining elements of burst windows using Colossus Smash, frenetic gameplay spamming Heroic Strike, and powerful individual nukes using Storm Bolt. While very popular, it was marred by technical issues and conflicting rotational priorities.
Warlords of Draenor
saw an extremely controversial rework
removing Heroic Strike
and placing Wild Strike in a more prominent role. In an effort to mimic the speed of MoP's off-GCD spam, a lower GCD for Wild Strike was attempted, allowing the ability to be spammed multiple times in quick succession. Unfortunately it led to a convoluted mess, as procs making the only rage dump free often led to overcapping and waste.
saw the largest reimagining of Fury to date, introducing
and solidifying the Rage ->
gameplay loop which remains today. Some questionable design points, like Enrage increasing damage taken and an over abundance of stacking cooldowns, but the overall changes were enough to return the spec to a popularity not seen since the end of MoP.
Battle for Azeroth
design, fixing many outstanding issues, adding rage generation to nearly every ability in order to eliminate opportunity cost, and greatly increasing the specs baseline Haste, finally creating the fast and furious gameplay that the spec was originally themed around. While some deride the rotation for its simplicity, it's become more popular than ever, and proven that a rotation really doesn't need to be difficult in order to be engaging.
doesn't do much to change the core of the Fury rotation, that
loop, but overhauls many of the talents which contribute to that end. While the spec does get slowed down slightly, players who have enjoyed it in Battle for Azeroth will find it very familiar, with a few interesting new tricks.
The unpruning is very generous, as utility has frequently been cited as the biggest weakness of Warriors, and virtually everything added helps fill that lack.
Renvoi de sort
powerful addition to the toolkit, offering spell immunity, extra damage output, or at worst just a very nice magical damage reduction on a very short cooldown with no cost or GCD. That's before considering how outright broken the party-wide legendary effect can be.
has great PvP potential, but also a surprising amount of PvE viability where absorption shields are used. It does have a slightly high opportunity cost for Fury though, due to the cast eating multiple global cooldowns, so it will only be used when there's a real need to.
Dur au mal
is a bit controversial as nobody really enjoys trading their damage (rage) for survivability, which hurts Fury even more due to reducing Enrage uptime. High performing players will find places to make it shine, but it's to see how the majority will avoid using it as much as possible due to the high opportunity cost.
adds even more mobility to an already highly mobile class, and complements Charge very well. The defensive aspect is rather questionable though, as Fury doesn't have any immunity to tank a bosses for any length of time.
Unfortunately Fury receives virtually nothing with regards to rotational unpruning. While
was reintroduced, it has absolutely no place in the rotation - Fury's rotation depends on generating rage with every GCD in order to build up to Rampage, and Slam as a spender without triggering Enrage or even contributing a meaningful amount of damage simply has no reason to exist in the toolkit. Various Torghast anima powers enhance it's damage to the point where you may decide to use it
, but as it currently stands, it's not even worth placing on your bars outside of that specific situation.
Likewise, the re-addition of
Heurt de bouclier
Maîtrise du blocage
are trivial at best and misleading at worst - Shield Block isn't a strong enough defensive to seriously tank anything that you wouldn't be able to survive otherwise, and Shield Slam simply has no place in the rotation. Many of Fury's abilities require two weapons, so swapping to a shield completely guts the toolkit; even if Shield Slam didn't require a shield, it's a GCD which doesn't generate rage, so Fury would have absolutely no reason to ever use it. There's a certain fantasy in DPS Warriors swapping to a shield and tanking their way to victory, but outside of niche PvP uses the practical application is slim to none - you're better off simply killing the target faster.
Specialization & Talent Changes
haste speed bonus is reduced from 25 -> 15%
healing reduced from 5% -> 3%.
cost reduced from 85 -> 80 rage.
duration increased from 10 -> 12 sec.
Cri de ralliement
temporary health increased from 15 -> 20%.
has been reintroduced (see below).
These are mostly minor changes, but there are a few things to talk about. Reducing Enrage's innate Haste bonus is the most contentious - many players feel that Fury is actually
to comfortably keep up with, but on the other that's also what makes it so unique, and reducing that feels like an unfortunate homogenization, especially when so many other classes are able to scale their speed up through effects like the Arms talent
Mise à mort
. Similarly, Fury's passive survivability is obviously high, but not really any higher than so many other classes with shields and especially immunities; that said, Warriors also gain a ton of survivability from Spell Reflection and Ignore Pain, so it's really just moving from a passive to a more active form of survival.
Finally with the reduction of Fury's base haste and removal of Carnage, Rampage's cost reduction is a welcome change to help keep the rotation going. Likewise, making Recklessness last longer doesn't address the issue of its lack of immediate effect (my personal wish is that it casting would automatically cast a free Rampage for immediate damage and Enrage), but it's also something nobody should complain about.
The return of
is celebrated by those who enjoy the theme of one-handed weapons, though in truth it's a rather benign change from a gameplay standpoint. Current tuning places SMF and TG less than 1% between one another and rage generation is normalized per base weapon attack speed, so there's little functional difference between the two and a performance oriented player will simply use the best weapons they have available. It does present a small issue however, in that it can create awkward gearing situations - because Fury can loot both one and two handed weapons, it's possible to find yourself looting a one-handed upgrade, but being unable to use it due to currently having two competitive two-handers, then loot a second two-hander before you loot another one-handed weapon to match it with. This can be circumvented by setting your loot spec to Arms (removing one-handed weapons from the drop table), or Protection (removing two-handed weapons, but adding shields and possibly other tank gear), though it's an unwanted annoyance which is easy to slip up on. For players who just wanted the fantasy of using one-handed weapons again, the better change would have been simply relaxing transmog restrictions between the two weapon types.
The only real major issue remaining with Fury's base toolkit is the lack of value in Critical Strike. In
Battle for Azeroth
, this was propped up by the azerite trait
Lame froide, sang chaud
, which undoubtedly went a little overboard, but without it Fury will likely stop valuing the stat the same way it did early in BfA.
Check out the new talents in the
have been removed, while several talents have changed rows (see above).
no longer increases healing, but can trigger guaranteed Enrage.
now heals for 30% up from 20%.
also reduces the cooldown of Execute by 1.5 sec.
is no longer an attack, instead triggering on of Rampage casts.
is a new attack, only usable while enraged.
Bouillant de rage
increases Bloodthirst's rage generation.
no longer modifies Rampage, but causes it to refund rage.
improves Raging Blow similar to Inner Rage.
Fendoir à viande
now improves Whirlwind damage and cleaves more attacks.
Rugissement de dragon
has a slightly lower cooldown and now crits for triple damage (instead of double).
doubles the damage and adds a new effect to Bloodthirst (
Bain de sang
) and Raging Blow (
) during Recklessness.
Lots of changes to process, but they're all pretty good. Many of the talents removed were popular picks, but they were also very passive effects, which is easily tuned around. The new talents and especially their new arrangement in the tree offer a lot of interesting options, particularly the new Fresh Meat which stands out for its ability to reliably trigger Enrage every time Bloodthirst hits a new target, even when cleaving it into multiple targets - this covers one of the major weaknesses of Fury, being unable to reliably trigger Enrage from a cold open without using Recklessness, which is fairly common situation in open world questing and even Mythic+.
The level 30, 40, and 45 talent rows are much more competitive than before. Massacre stands out in helping promote the use of Execute, as well as the new Venthyr covenant ability Condemn, but really the biggest advantage to the talent is much better balanced competition than before - Massacre is fairly universal and Frenzy obviously lends itself towards single target encounters. Onslaught is a bit of a wild card; on the surface it sounds like a very interesting ability, but in practice it does kind of bloat an already busy rotation with what's only a medium-priority ability that still takes a back seat to Rampage and Execute; Furious Slash at least replaced Whirlwind in the rotation, but Onslaught kind of gets in the way, especially when combined with Sudden Death, Dragon Roar, Siegebreaker, or Reckless Abandon, which also bloat the rotation further.
The only real issue is with some underutilized talents and balancing conflicts. War Machine, Furious Charge, and Anger Management all come to mind as severely underutilized picks, and the Dragon Roar/Bladestorm conflict comes to mind, but overall, the new talent tree opens up a lot more interesting options and combinations than before.
Fury has a number of interesting legendaries, although they don't all seem to work very well due to awkward timing restrictions or gameplay interactions which don't support them.
Cadence de Fujieda
Volonté du berserker
may both appear to be good bonuses, but the short durations make them very difficult to use effectively, and virtually worthless in a lot of content, for seemingly no reason. This is the perfect example of what would be good bonuses ruined by arbitrary restrictions which are often blocked by encounter mechanics that simply can't be outplayed. If the goal is balance, the effects should simply be nerfed, and the durations buffed to something more reasonable.
both work fairly well. Unfortunately reducing the cooldown of Recklessness isn't hugely impactful, especially as it desyncs Siegebreaker, but it does work fairly well with the new Reckless Abandon. Likewise, randomly applying Siegebreaker opens more possibilities to forgo that talent in favor of Anger Management or Reckless Abandon.
is memorable from its very powerful role in
, however the gameplay has changed since then so that Whirlwind is no longer the major contributor to multitarget damage, enabling other abilities to cleave for damage instead.
Chevalière des rois tourmentés
has some interesting potential, but the unreliable nature holds it back. The last thing you want to do is activate Recklessness and proc Bladestorm before you've been able to cast Rampage, thereby depriving Bladestorm of the enraged damage bonus and quite possibly overcapping rage.
quite simply has amazing potential, to the point where it's probably going to see a hefty nerf. Spell Reflection is strong in general right now, able to circumvent an alarming number of mechanics as well as deal tremendous damage - extending that to the entire party is just plain broken. Most likely, certain spells will be listed to ignore reflection and only have their damage reduced, but time will tell. As it currently stands, mass spell reflection is an amazingly powerful group tool in Mythic+ as well as many raid encounters.
Warrior Runeforged Legendary Powers in Shadowlands
Soulbinds, Conduits, and Covenant Abilities
These systems are incredibly controversial, but Warriors have made out fairly well with surprisingly well, as all are fairly attractive for different reasons without completely overshadowing one another. Overall, Condemn and Spear of Bastion appear to be the current frontrunners, but the fact that there's good reason to want any of the four makes for very compelling choices all around.
is one of the most looked forward to abilities, replacing Execute with a more powerful version (not affected by armor) which is also useable more often. Fury doesn't spam Execute the way Arms does due to its cooldown, which limits it's potential somewhat as 100-80% is typically the shortest part of any raid encounter, but it also generates rage to help jumpstart the rotation and Massacre reduces the cooldown so that it can be used a little more often. Also unlike Arms, Fury can make full use of it in multitarget thanks to Whirlwind cleave (especially with the
. Finally, the defensive aspect is again not quite as useful for Fury due to not being able to spam the ability, but it's a nice supplement to Bloodthirst healing when considering the amount of raid encounters which incorporate rot damage (G'huun and Queen Azshara both come to mind as recent examples).
Porte des ombres
has been hailed as a gamebreaking ability of astounding capability, but much of this is dependent on the practical application. While it's true, being able to execute a group skip in Mythic+ could be very powerful, when Invisibilty Potions, Gateways, Shroud, and even death running already exists, which tempers that need quite a bit. If you'e in a hardcore Mythic+ group, it's possible you'll want to go Venthyr solely for this ability, but in truth, the likelihood of finding practical ways to exploit it in general gameplay is rather low. Even in raid, there are few recent encounters which would benefit from it in more than a minor capacity, and they're certainly not insurmountable without it.
Lance du Bastion
would appear to be the opposite to Condemn, offering AoE rather than single target, but to say so would be misleading. It's actually an extremely effective single target ability which also generates a good amount of rage - a necessity for any global cooldown as Fury. The real value is its versatility - serving well as a single and multitarget burst ability, and the tethering effect is nice for mobs which like to move around while you're trying to kill them, as well as offering control in M+ or PvP.
Invocation de régisseur
would at first seem to be rather underwhelming, but don't underestimate the value of an extra healthstone. Like the Spear itself, the value here is versatility - an extra on demand heal, separate from your health potion or healthstone is virtually always useful, whereas many of the other effects are only practical under specific situations. The ability to remove debuffs with
Flasque de sérénité
could also prove invaluable in many situations, as that's not normally a tool Warriors have access to and they're common effects in many PvE encounters.
Réplique des anciens
is very similar to Spear of Bastion dealing ~14% higher damage on a 50% longer cooldown, so if you're using it on cooldown, Spear of Bastion is actually better in terms of total damage. The real star is its rage generation - while Spear always generates 25, Aftershock generates between 36 and 180 rage over 12 seconds depending on the number of targets. While Arms doesn't make very good use of this rage, as it only translates into extra Whirlwinds, Fury actually gains a great deal out of it due to Rampage being a much better spender. Whether the ability is strictly better or worse than spear depends on how you use it, but it's easy to see the value.
is rather lackluster for a class which already has as much mobility as a Warrior. Between Charge, Intervene, and Heroic Leap, it's already fairly easy to navigate the battlefield, and an extra sprint which precludes you from dealing damage doesn't bring much to the game. There will likely be times where enterprising players find ways to use it to their advantage, such as periods of downtime during encounters where you're not dealing damage anyway, but it's not a very compelling pick on its own.
Bannière du conquérant
is the black sheep of the bunch. Group cooldowns are incredibly difficult to get right, as they're typically tuned to either be competitive for the individual are overpowered when considering the group benefit, or underpowered for the user and a competitive buff for the group. Buffing attack speed rather rather than a more universal stat such as Haste makes that even more difficult, as Fury doesn't generate nearly as much rage from auto attacks as Arms, though they do deal respectable damage. While there's some potential in a group specifically tailored around benefiting from the banner, the gimmicky nature makes it difficult to recommend for general gameplay - though many players might prefer that, as they don't want to feel regulated to being buff bots.
is surprisingly strong, if a bit tricky to use correctly. Slightly better than the Kyrian heal, the real advantage is the ability to recast it during an encounter, provided you can afford the downtime. Smart players will quickly find ways to use it just before a high damage period, but when Fury already has Enraged Regeneration, Spell Reflection, Ignore Pain, and Defensive Stance, it's pretty hard to think it'll be anything close to "mandatory" in order to survive.
Soulbinds and Conduits are still indeterminable. While they offer some
very appealing bonuses
, they just aren't fleshed out enough yet to weight covenant choice. If anything, this would appear to be Blizzards design intent - perfect balance is impossible, but enough co-dependent systems working together like this obfuscates the balance enough that it's hard to definitively say "yes, this Covenant is better than that one". These will ultimately be simulation questions, but even the amount of supplemental defensive and utility effects found in Soulbinds and Conduits could very well weight that decision beyond the raw numbers themselves.
Warrior Soulbind ConduitsShadowlands Soulbind Calculator
Fury looks very strong moving into
; while the toolkit isn't as broad as a Rogues personal utility or a Paladins group benefits, it has a very strong and focused toolkit, with a surprising amount of defensive and utility tricks up its sleeve. Despite being slowed down slightly, it's still a highly engaging and very fast paced spec certain to be a crowd favorite regardless of how balance shakes out. The changes coming in
look to be great additions, and the talents help shake up the existing paradigm without changing the core gameplay loop.
There are a few things that could be improved - the baseline value of Critical Strike, certain underused talents, legendary improvements, and it'd be nice to maintain the higher levels of haste from
Battle for Azeroth
, but it's hard to say that Fury is really struggling anywhere. Overall, it looks to be just as enjoyable in
as it's been so far.
: Fast and engaging without being difficult. Many new talents and defensive tools, very strong and focused toolkit. Multiple compelling covenant choices.
: Some imbalanced or underutilized talents, slightly slower and less self healing than the BfA iteration.
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