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Cataclysm Beta: Build 12942 warrior changes

Beta build 12942 is here, and with it, changes. Many changes. Some to talents, some to abilities; some merely to when you get them, and others to their power or functionality. It's quite a plethora of changes, and we're going to talk about them, because it's either that or I wander around muttering "worg" under my breath over and over again. Worg. It's infectious. Worg.

So let's take a look, shall we?

Worg.


Arms
  • Heroic Strike is now trained at level 14, up from level 12.
  • Sweeping Strikes now lasts 10 seconds with a 1-minute cooldown.
  • Improved Hamstring now immobilizes the target when you reapply Hamstring; still cannot occur more than once every 30/60 seconds.
The Heroic Strike change is a minor one; several abilities in this patch have switched their training positions, probably to try and smooth out the ability acquisition curve a little bit. Sweeping Strikes really did have to come down from the previous version. A 30-second duration, 30-second cooldown? Too lenient, even if I was very excited for it. Imp Hamstring basically means you have to apply it twice to get the immobilize effect -- a small nerf, but a nerf nonetheless.

Fury
  • Heroic Leap now has a 8- to 40-yard range, up from 8-25 yards.
  • Commanding Shout now gives 20 rage, up from 10 rage.
  • Battle Shout now gives 20 rage, up from 10 rage.
  • Execute is now trained at level 16, up from level 14.
  • Single-Minded Fury now also lets your Heroic Strike hit with both weapons.
  • Bloodsurge no longer procs from Raging Blow. Proc chance increased from 7/14/20% to 10/20/30%. Duration increased from 5 seconds to 10 seconds.
  • Meat Cleaver no longer increases the damage of Cleave and Whirlwind by 10/20% at all time. Proc chance increased from 30/60% to 50/100%.
  • Booming Voice is now a tier 2 talent, down from tier 5. Reduces the cooldown by 15/30 seconds and increases the rage generated by 5/10 of your Battle Shout and Commanding Shout.
  • Improved Execute has been renamed to Executioner and revamped; your Execute hits have a 50/100% chance to improve your melee attack speed by 5% for 9 seconds. This effect stacks up to 5 times.
  • Intensify Rage is now a tier 5 talent, up from tier 2; no longer reduces the cooldown of Bloodrage.
Why would you use Heroic Leap, so many have asked? The answer is: It has a longer range. No idea if this is going to remain or not, but it would definitely make the ability more attractive. The changes to Commanding and Battle Shout are most likely aimed at keeping people from hitting Bloodrage on cooldown, which won't work and which kind of puzzles me. However, apparently Bloodrage is just plain gone on the beta right now. Can't train it, don't have it in the spellbook. But the change to Booming Voice as well (decreasing the cooldown and increasing the rage generated) synergizes in such a way that I expect Blizzard is hoping to make shouts a more important part of the rage generation process.

Single-Minded Fury gets a reliable way to hit with both weapons that's not dependent on Bloodsurge procs if the rage cost doesn't deter. Or at least it would, except that Heroic Strike's working with SMF is just a tooltip error. Bloodsurge's change keeps it from stepping on Raging Blow procs, which could lead to an overly complicated whack-a-mole during enrages. The Meat Cleaver change makes getting 2 points the way to go and keeps Whirlwind and Cleave from being desirable spam targets outside of an AoE situation. Executioner, the new version of Imp Execute, is an interesting ability. Warrior DPS might increase in execute range again with a sudden burst of melee attack speed from the attack. And the Intensify Rage nerf is basically also aimed at making Bloodrage obsolete compared to Battle and Commanding Shout for rage generation.

Protection
  • Taunt is now trained at level 12, up from level 10.
Purely aimed at spreading out the abilities more, I'd say.

All told, this is definitely a fury balancing patch. SMF will see some DPS increase, and if Bloodsurge works out with the higher proc chance, fury in general might see a slight spike. I'm surprised to see little work balancing prot's shaky threat, but we'll see how it plays.

Worg.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

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