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Patch 3.1 PTR build 9658 Warrior changes

Matthew's caught up in the tangle of this thing called RL, so don't be surprised to have a different voice going over the Warrior changes this build. Don't worry, though, it looks as though most of the changes this round are aimed squarely at PvP, so I'm covering for him in the meantime. I'd like to call this build the Brown Pants Edition for PvP Warriors. Are you ready? Get a pair of brown pants, because you'll need them.

Battle Stance - Increases the armor penetration of all your attacks by 10%.
This is a straight up buff, and because Armor Penetration is a better PvP stat now than it is for PvE, this is clearly going to help. Considering armor reduction effects are now percentage-based, this buff is going to help quite a bit. Nothing exciting yet, right? Right. I hope you've got those brown pants on, because the next one is downright insane.

Shattering Throw *New Skill* - Throws your weapon at the enemy causing [ 50% of AP + 12 ] damage (based on attack power), reducing the armor on the target by 20% for 10 sec, and removing any invulnerabilities. 25 Rage, 30 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 5 min cooldown
I just had to put that in bold letters and underline it. Aren't you glad I told you to wear brown? Warriors are now one of only two classes that can break a Paladin's Divine Shield or a Mage's Ice Block. It's a baseline ability, which means that all Warriors will have access to it. This improves Warrior viability in a Paladin-dominated Arena environment substantially. It's on the same cooldown as the aforementioned invulnerabilities, as well. This means that every time Paladins or Mages put them up, a Warrior can demolish it. Just in case you missed it -- Shattering Throw also deals damage and reduces armor (and it's likely used when in the armor penetrating Battle Stance!). Not only do you remove their precious invulnerabilities, you spank and strip them, too. That's just naughty.
Berserker Stance - Now increases all damage taken by 5% (Down from 10%)
Warriors are primary targets for an instagib in Arenas because Berserker Stance is just too painful. As the recent matches in the ESL Arena Tournament show, sitting on a Warrior throughout the match yields excellent results. Blizzard isn't having any of that. This buff should tone down Warrior vulnerability a tiny bit.

Intimidating Shout - Cooldown has been lowered from 3 min to 2 min.
What is there to say? This is one of the best peels a Warrior has in Arenas, and lowering the cooldown is a great way to improve their viability and survivability. Straightforward buff. Good times.

Defensive Stance - Now reduces damage caused by 5%. (Down from 10%)
This took us at WoW Insider some time to digest, but Eliah pointed out that this buffed Warrior damage while in Defensive Stance (we initially read it to mean that damage reduction was nerfed to 5%). It wasn't a necessary buff but Blizzard gave it, anyway. It turns out even Protection gets some love in this build.

Disarm - Now disarms the enemy's main hand and ranged weapons.
The new version now works similarly to Dismantle, and should help Warriors dominate Hunters even more. With Hunter representation in Arenas at an all-time high, and Warriors becoming more and more scarce, abilities like this contribute to evening things out. Ghostcrawler makes no secret about the changes this build -- they're aimed at PvP. He points out that Paladins are "extremely powerful in PvP right now", and that Warriors "are weak". A Disarm that also removes ranged weapons won't be needed against Paladins, but it sure as heck doesn't hurt.

Blizzard seems extremely serious about balancing things for PvP, and these changes -- every single one of them a buff -- all work together towards that goal. They also have some minor impact on PvE, but for the most part these just mean that Warriors should find themselves a little less gimped in PvP. Most of the changes are just baby steps, but Shattering Throw is a giant leap forward. Enjoy this moment and hope that these changes (and more) make it live. Now run along and change those pants...

Filed under: Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, PvP

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