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Posts with tag Arms-Warrior

Warlords of Draenor Beta: Changes coming for DPS warriors

Count nothing in the beta done until the beta is itself done. It's the modern equivalent of 'count no man happy before he is dead' (at least it when it comes to betas) and it's especially true for warriors this time around. Arms has seen huge changes, fury has seen a backlash over the loss of Heroic Strike, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria. Now we get to see what the intended direction for warriors is, thanks to a forum post from Celestalon.

So what's the haps? I'm glad you asked. The usual caveats (it's all still subject to change, it's the beta, don't get too worked up) apply, of course.

Celestalon - Fury Feedback
So, we don't often share our thoughts on upcoming changes this early, as plans can change very rapidly. Please keep in mind that none of the following is set in stone – it hasn't even been developed yet – and there's any number of issues that could cause us to decide to take a different approach. That said, we definitely agree that Arms feels a bit empty at the moment, and want to fill it out a bit more, and we want to add some talent choices to both Arms and Fury that provide options for more involved gameplay. Here's what we're thinking:
  • Rage generation increased by 25% for Arms.
  • Rend returns for Arms. Costs 10 Rage, deals damage over 18sec, with a burst of bleed damage at the end. Total damage is similar to a Mortal Strike.
  • Thunder Clap is usable in any stance. AoE damage and snares, 6sec cooldown. 30 Rage cost for Arms, free for Protection.
  • We're replace the level 45 talent row (Staggering Shout / Piercing Howl / Disrupting Shout) with:
  • Varies by spec:Arms –
    • Taste for Blood: Passive. Rend ticks grant 3 Rage.
    • Fury – Furious Strikes: Passive. Reduces the cost of Wild Strike by 10 Rage
    • Protection – Heavy Repercussions: Passive. Shield Slam deals 50% additional damage while Shield Block is active.
  • Sudden Death: Passive. Auto attacks have a chance to trigger Sudden Death, making your next Execute free and usable on targets above 20% health.
  • Varies by spec:
    • Arms – Slam: Active ability. Costs 10 Rage. Deals 100% weapon damage. Each consecutive use increases Slam's damage by 50% and Rage cost by 100%, stacking up to 5 times.
    • Fury – Unquenchable Thirst: Passive. Bloodthirst has no cooldown.
    • Protection – Unyielding Strikes: Passive. Devastate reduces the Rage cost of Heroic Strike by 6, stacking up to 5 times. Lasts 10 sec. No longer refreshes while at 5 stacks.

Again, this is all very much in the formative stages. Any or all of the above could end up changing in any number of ways. But we are listening, and are doing our best to make Warrior gameplay awesome in Warlords.


Some of this I don't expect to see last very long - Unquenchable Thirst in particular strikes me as an ability that will become wholly abused if it goes live. No cooldown on Bloodthirst? So, what, you just hit Bloodthirst constantly in-between Colossus Smashes? Now, I personally like that kind of rage generation option - it's very Barbarian from Diablo III really, constantly filling up the rage bar. But I don't expect to see it actually get implemented. Still, it's very interesting to see Slam as a talent (even if it is an Arms only talent - frankly I'd like to see fury get a bite of that apple).

Still, arms really is desperately in need of some more attacks, so overall I'm curious and interested.


Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha: Warrior changes

Okay, so we have the alpha patch notes, and they're a doozy. Warriors done got changed, and to my eyes, the changes aren't done - I expect fury to get a pass fairly soon, based on the changes to arms and protection. A lot of abilities were made spec specific or stance specific (the majority of these were protection or defensive stance/gladiator stance abilities) and arms saw an overhaul that completely changes the dynamic of the spec.

So what does it all mean? Well, for starters it all means that we're looking at alpha changes, which means by definition that they're not done yet. Panic is verboten. Take them as indicators of where Blizzard's design process is headed, by all means, but don't ever think of them as finalized. Until Blizzard says they're done, they're not done.

Looking over the changes, one thing that seems to be happening is that stance switching is being given some emphasis - making Rallying Cry defensive stance only, and then making it an arms/fury ability, means that there's a desire to get warriors back into using the stances. Whether or not this will actually work (I expect it will just force people to write macros again, like we did in the days of Wrath and before) is yet to be seen, but it's clearly on their minds. After the break we'll look at the changes in total as of the most recent alpha patch and discuss their impact on the class.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: The evolution of the arms warrior

Arms warriors have been the big dog in PvP throughout Mists of Pandaria while being a very lackluster spec in player vs. environment settings like raids - they were excellent DPS at the beginning of Siege, for instance, but they dropped in terms of their overall power when compared to the other melee. It's this 'super strong in PvP/weak to middling in PvE' status quo that we've seen all expansion that seems to be the target in Blizzard's sights. And with the latest Alpha patch notes, we have the first signs of what is really a remarkable amount of change for the spec overall.

With Overpower gone, Execute pulling double duty (basically baking in the Prehistoric Marauder 4pc set bonus) and Mortal Strike finally replacing Heroic Strike, we're looking at an interesting direction for arms in patch 6.0. In general, arms warriors will gain Execute as their big damage attack when at high rage above 20% health, and will use Slam as their low rage bread and butter attack. With Weapon Mastery increasing Slam, CS and Execute damage, the stage is set for a rotation built around proper use of those three abilities. No more trying to line up Overpower - instead of stacking and spamming in-between CS procs, you'll work to have enough rage for an Execute during that window. It's reminiscent of how arms worked in Wrath of the Lich King. I'm looking forward to getting to play with it myself and see how it feels.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard's new level 90 crash-course videos

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Blizzard has released 11 instructional videos designed to give a new level 90 a quick and dirty introduction to their class. The title is perhaps a bit misleading, because these are not complete class overviews. Instead, each video focuses on a particular specialization of that class--and specifically, a DPS specialization. The specs featured are: Frost death night, Balance druid, Survival hunter, Arcane mage, Windwalker monk, Retribution paladin, Shadow priest, Combat rogue, Elemental shaman, Destruction warlock, and Arms warrior.

If you've got a brand-new 90 that you're still figuring out, or if you're looking to busy yourself learning a new aspect of your class before Warlords of Draenor, these might be of interest to you. It is nice to see a Blizzard-sponsored guide for specs such as the Balance druid, which I personally find annoyingly complicated to play, but I'm a bit puzzled by the extremely specific nature of the videos. Are there going to be further guides for tanking and healing specs? Or for the DPS specs not covered here, such as Affliction warlocks, Fury warriors, Feral druids, Subtlety rogues, and more? I think videos like this that come straight from the horse's mouth of Blizzard are a great idea, but it's strange to see a set of them that feels so incomplete. Still, if you're toying with the idea of learning one of the specs covered, the videos are a good place to start.

Filed under: News items

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The Plunder from the Siege Part 1

The Care and Feeding of Warriors The Plunder from the Siege
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Loot lists. Let me tell you a little secret about them - they're a lot more work than you'd expect. They involve going over each boss to see which plate and strength items he drops, checking them out, looking at their stats and then writing up a brief summary of the items here. There are fourteen bosses in Siege of Orgrimmar. That's a lot of items. And in order for the lists to be useful, I have to prioritize gear that's good for warriors and explain why. So it's not as easy as flipping open the Dungeon Journal and then linking a few items. Which is why I resist doing loot lists every single time a new tier opens, but in the end, we all know I have to do it.

So then, let's get started. I'll probably cover the first six or seven bosses this week and move on to the rest of the raid next - there's a lot of gear in Siege of Orgrimmar. I'm not going to link all the LFR, Flex, Warforged, Heroic and Heroic Warforged items, just the normal mode ones - assume any piece I link scales up and down properly depending on the version of the raid you're running.

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Filed under: Warrior, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Arms, the destroyer

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Arms, the destroyer
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Okay, this will be a bit of a departure for me. So far, I'm half-way through Siege of Orgrimmar, and the following has happened:
  • I've switched to raiding as arms.
  • I've enjoyed myself.
  • I've done solid to very solid damage, especially on any fight with an AoE component. So for the Fallen Protectors, Sha of Pride, Galakras and Kor'kron Dark Shaman, fights where you can at the least cleave if not outright AoE, DPS as arms is good. Okay, on Galakras it's very good. So very good. I love Galakras, is what I'm saying.
  • I miss fury for the coolness factor of carrying around two weapons, but I've been SMF the last month or so anyway, and frankly I find SMF personally unsatisfying. If you like it, I'm glad, and I'm very glad it's been good for the past couple of patches, but man I just don't feel right DPS with 1h weapons. So for me, if I can't be TG, I'm happier arms anyway.
  • Arms is very raid viable right now. It's awesome AoE, but it's solid to very solid for single target. Slam (especially with the Colossus Smash debuff) and the buff to Mortal Strike make our single target rotation hit a lot harder than it did. You will never touch HS. You'll barely ever hit Cleave, although you absolutely will be cleaving. You'll just do it with Sweeping Strikes and Slam. Slam is, finally, a good and fun button to hit.
  • This is the DPS spec we've been waiting for - one that works, that does good raid damage, that requires you to actually be awake and pay some attention but which isn't absolutely crippled by missing a button push. Arms is fun right now.
So let's talk more about arms in 5.4 and how surprisingly good it is without being an overpowered monster.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: The deaths of the multitude

The Care and Feeding of Warriors The deaths of the multitude SatSun
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

The changes to arms in patch 5.4 are good if viewed from the lens that the fury warrior DPS model is one that arms should be emulating - namely, more AoE than burst or single target. Quite frankly, when discussing warrior DPS, I think the emphasis on our damage isn't where it should be. Fury does good to very good AoE damage, especially with the right talents, but our single target burst and sustained damage lags far behind other classes. Fury simple doesn't hit as hard, especially not on fights where rage gets interrupted for any reason, and arms adopting the same shotgun blast AoE damage model has problems. Yes, it will bring arms up on the charts. But it could also cement warriors as the trash DPS - bring them to clear to the boss or kill a lot of adds, but if you need someone to put sustained high damage on a single target, you may want to switch them out.

This isn't to say that fury is terrible at single-target. It isn't. It's simply a concern of mine that fury, which underperforms compared to other melee in that regard, should perhaps not be the model for how arms is designed. If the two specs are functionally both concerned with AoE DPS, they come dangerously close to feeling homogenized. But for now, we have to deal with the spec we have, not the spec we might think we would rather have. So what will be happening with arms in patch 5.4?

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Filed under: Warrior, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Speculative solutions

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Speculative solutions
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

In the past few weeks I've talked about warrior survivability concerns and our problems with itemization and that's got me thinking: what are the solutions? Now, I'm not a dev nor even playing one on TV, I'm basically just a fan of the game, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about these things. It's easy to complain about issues, after all, but harder to discuss meaningful solutions. So I've decided to do just that, since the comments alone are usually worth the price of admission in cases like that.

The main concerns I'll be discussing are as follows:
  1. DPS warrior survivability in PvE
  2. The rapid decline of Arms warriors in PvP (Cynwise's recent class distribution numbers went a lot more in depth than my own class rep post, and it's convinced me the warrior decline in PvP is more meaningful than I first thought)
  3. Warrior tanking issues (haste, overall DPS, our lack of 'cheese')
So what could we see that would help with these issues? What changes would be effective without being too effective?

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Itemization Concerns

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Itemization Concerns
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

I admit the title is a fancy way for me to say I want to talk about a bunch of stuff, all related to warriors without dedicating the entire column to one of the topics. These things I want to discuss include:
  1. The ridiculous dependence on crit to the exclusion of pretty much all other DPS stats for fury.
  2. Warrior tank threat/DPS and how it holds back the class.
  3. The ridiculous amount of hit on Throne of Thunder gear.
  4. Why I'm still annoyed that haste does nothing for protection warriors.
I know I've been flogging that haste for protection horse for a while, but it just irks me to see two of the plate classes getting solid use out of haste/expertise or haste/mastery gear for their tank sets and we get nothing. Considering point #2 for warrior tanks (namely, that our DPS and thus threat is just way behind the other tanks) I find it absolutely maddening to see haste be so completely useless for protection warriors. It doesn't give us resources at all, due to the way rage regenerates in Defensive Stance - it doesn't even help us with our rage generators like Shield Slam and Revenge because haste does nothing for our GCD. I took a pair of haste legs for my tank set recently (they were still a huge upgrade, that's how bad my old tank legs were) and every time I look at that haste on them, and know I can't reforge all of it away, I get this lump in my gut where the snarky itemization elitist in me says haste? Really?

I hate that guy. I hate him even more because I know he's right. Haste has no business on my tanking gear because haste does nothing for a warrior tank. Nothing. We don't even generate rage from our autoattacks, so the miniscule increase in attack speed doesn't even avail us.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Survival and the modern warrior

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Survival and the modern warrior
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

I'm not looking for a buff to warrior DPS. Every time I talk about warriors as DPS (and half the time I talk about warriors as tanks) it comes back around to people assuming I want a DPS buff, but I don't. At least, I'm not asking for our damaging abilities to do more damage. What I am asking for is parity in terms of methods to be able to apply that DPS.

Quite frankly, raiding today has lots of methods to prevent a warrior from doing damage. There are mazes to run, debuffs that force you to switch targets, interrupts to hit, and conditions that will instantly kill you if you don't take them into account. To use one example, let's look at Heroic Jin'rokh. Both his Ionization and Lightning Strike force players to move out of optimal position (you don't want to be decursed of Ionization inside the Conductive Water, or you'll blow up the raid) and in the case of Lightning Strike, you'll spend half the phase dancing around. For a warrior, this is DPS death. We have no abilities outside of a couple of throws (one with a cast time) that can do damage at range, and we have no method to remove Ionization or prevent its application.

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Filed under: Warrior, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Are warrior attacks boring?

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Are warrior attacks boring
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Are we boring?

Obviously I don't think so or I'd be fairly unhappy with my choice of class. But when you see certain statements like this one from Ghostcrawler, you do start to wonder. One of the difficulties I had in writing a wishlist for the class in the future was that our toolkit is fairly limited. We don't channel any weird energies like nature or divine magic or chi, we just get angry and use that anger to smash things, yell at things, and then there's the 'pinball in a washing machine' and 'here is my flag' aspects of the class.

Aesthetically, I enjoy the warrior class quite a bit. But that aesthetic comes in the form of plate armor and is hardly unique to the class - death knights and paladins can wear almost all of the same gear as we can, especially now that transmogrification exists. The fact is, as much as I hate to admit it, Ghostcrawler is right and warriors don't look all that interesting when we attack.

The question becomes, why does that matter? And the answer is, it matters for the overall health of the class and its representation.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A Taste for Blood

The Care and Feeding of Warriors A Taste for Blood
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

Let's just jump right into it, shall we?

Ghostcrawler - PTR Class and Set Bonus Issues
Warrior
- For Arms, we are going to try Overpower proc'ing Sudden Death instead of autoattacks. This will make haste slightly worse (which we can fix) but we hope will help make the rotation slightly more compelling, since autoattack procs can feel really random. With Overpower you can anticipate it a little more.
- Likewise, Overpower will cost no rage in Execute range. We agree that saving rage for Overpower and spending it all on Execute don't play well together.
- We haven't made a tuning pass on Arms (or any spec) yet. Don't fret about DPS numbers at this stage.


I actually like this change quite a bit. Yes, I am capable of liking things. It's not all whining about haste over here.

What I like about it is that it emphasizes Overpower over autoattacks, which are fairly unimportant for an arms warrior anyway. You hit cap at 7.5%, which is absurdly easy in comparison to fury anyway (which is why no fury warrior bothers to try, leaving hit a fairly pointless DPS statistic... but we've talked about hit and expertise before) so you're going to land those slow hits and generate rage with them... and that's pretty much all they should do, in my opinion. With Mortal Strike and Colossus Smash both so important, giving Overpower more to do is fine by me.

I also absolutely agree with the idea of making Execute completely discount Overpower's rage cost. In fact, I agree with it so strongly that I'm sort of bemused here. Usually I don't wholeheartedly endorse a proposed change.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: DPS warrior performance and perception

The Care and Feeding of Warriors DPS discrepancies and the power of situation
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

If you didn't read Brian Wood's excellent State of DPS in Mists of Pandaria post yet this week, you should before we go any further, because I'm going to be discussing it as well as GuildOx's study of the most popular raiding and PvP specs. What I'm seeing studying these two related but different posts (one about actual DPS, the other about representation) is as follows.
  • Fury is twice as popular as arms for PvE DPS, but both warrior DPS specs combined are less popular than either of the popular rogue specs or any of the really popular DPS specs.
  • Arms absolutely dominates warrior PvP, and is one of the single most popular specs in PvP at the moment.
  • Fury's DPS is absolutely middle of the road in 10 and 25 man normal raiding right now, hovering right around the baseline.
  • Fury sees a sudden shift upwards when going from normal to heroic raiding - Fury is a contender for the top DPS spec in 10's, and practically is the top spec in heroic 25's.
Now, there's a lot that we can't say based on the data we have from these two posts - for starters, which fury, TG or SMF? These also don't tell us what talents in particular these crushingly dominant arms warriors are taking for PvP (if I had to guess, though, based on the Avatar nerf in patch 5.1 I'd go with a Bladestorm/Avatar combo) or what talents fury is using in PvE. Still, there's still a lot to talk about here. What does all of this mean?

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Mists of Pandaria Arms 101

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi doesn't want to tame your animal style.

If there had been any way in the world that I believed it possible that ye olde editors would have let me name this post "Shooting at the walls of heartache," that's exactly what it would have been called. However, since this is week four of our 101 guides to Mists of Pandaria for warriors, I felt constrained by the already established naming convention. Nevertheless, what is true is true, and heart to heart you'll win, if you survive. Bang bang.

Anyway, I really have to stop referencing that song and give you an article about arms in Mists.

Arms is one of two DPS specs the warrior class will have available in Mists of Pandaria, and it's a storied specialization with a lot of history. The arms spec was the premier PvP and PvE spec in vanilla World of Warcraft. It was not only the most-played spec for PvP, it was the most-played spec for both DPSing in raids and for tanking. The 31/5/15 arms/fury/protection spec ruled the class.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Mists of Pandaria

The Care and Feeding of Warriors: A Cataclysm postmortem, part 2 -- Arms

The Care and Feeding of Warriors Cataclysm postmortem Part 2  Arms
Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Care and Feeding of Warriors, the column dedicated to arms, fury and protection warriors. Despite repeated blows to the head from dragons, demons, Old Gods and whatever that thing over there was, Matthew Rossi will be your host.

I have yet to be guilded with more than two other warriors at any point in time since Cataclysm launched. I've had more rogues and warlocks than warrior guildmates, and those are the two least-represented classes in World of Warcraft. While I can't prove it, I suspect a lot of the warriors out there are alts, not often played these days. What I do know is, especially in a 25-man raiding situation, I have not been seeing a ton of warriors.

However, one thing is indisputable: Arms is the most-played spec of the class. There are more arms warriors than protection and fury combined in heroic Dragon Soul. Arms is, by far, the most popular spec the class has to offer right now in both PvE and PvP.

It was not always so. For most of Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm, arms lagged well behind fury both in terms of the damage it could do and the popularity of the spec, although its prominence in PvP kept it afloat. The reduction in the Mortal Strike debuff as Cataclysm launched hurt arms in PvP, but the nerfs to Vengeance and fury's mastery meant that all warrior specs suffered. Arms is just one of the pack there, while repeated nerfs to fury and small adjustments to arms gave it the eventual dominance it now enjoys.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, (Warrior) The Care and Feeding of Warriors, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

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