Last month I was in the middle of discussing arms with you when I got sidetracked. Long-time readers of this column were not surprised that yet again something shiny caught my attention and I went crawling off to follow it like a cat with that stupid red bug that is in no way connected to that device the idiot human keeps waving around. At any rate, with patch 4.3 on its way, I thought it was time to start talking about why you should give arms a shot.
The first thing I did was dedicate myself to raiding and running instances and doing Battlegrounds as arms more or less exclusively, which I've done for the entire month of November to date. Having done this, I can report the following:
- Arms is still lagging behind other melee in terms of DPS. It's not terrible, mind -- I don't embarrass myself as arms -- but on fights where fury can pull 28k, arms is lucky to pull 24k or less. What we saw in the state of Firelands DPS post holds true. Arms doesn't perform as well as melee DPS specs that are getting buffed in 4.3, even though arms itself will see no such buffs.
- However, it's not all bad. Since arms has two bleeds (Rend and Deep Wounds) and a debuff that increased bleed damage taken (Blood Frenzy), if you have to move out of melee range to avoid splash damage or to switch targets, arms can actually fare better than fury.
- Blood and Thunder means that when properly played, arms can hit a surprising amount of adds with Rend. Rhyolith adds, Rageface and Riplimb's coming into range of Shannox, Majordomo Staghelm's cat phase, and of course the various trash pulls all provide opportunities for arms to spread around bleeds and thus extra damage from Blood Frenzy.
- Combining arms' mobility and Throwdown's 5-second stun means that if you need to get to something and keep it from moving (Sons on Ragnaros, for example), you're very suited to it.