This article describes the basics of stance-dancing for typical Arms and Fury Warrior PvP playstyles. Here you will find information about the advantages of each stance, as well as which abilities are worth “dancing” for in arena and battleground PvP.
[Battle Stance] is the stance to use 90% of the time for typical Arms Warrior PvP. It is the “balanced” stance and allows access to most of your primary abilities, including [Charge], [Rend], and many others. With [Pummel] becoming available in [Battle Stance] for Cataclysm, there are only a few remaining reasons to leave this stance in arena PvP (which are discussed below).
LEAVING BATTLE STANCE…
[Defensive Stance] is your “oh shit!” stance. The base 10% damage reduction means that it is always useful when you’re being forcefully penetrated (so to speak), and D-stance is a prerequisite for many of your most crucial defensive abilities.
In my opinion, the damage-reduction aspect of Defensive Stance is often under-utilized by a lot of Warriors. I typically try to swap into this stance any time I’m taking damage but unable to deal damage myself. For example, I’ll sit in Defensive Stance to minimize damage while I’m being kited by a Hunter, Mage, etc. With the new [Tactical Mastery] allowing you to keep 50-75 rage, you’re not giving up a whole lot by swapping to D stance in this way.
[Shield Block]: This spell isn’t nearly as amazing as it was in WotLK, but it’s still a fantastic defensive ability against any physical DPS class (note, this DOES work against Hunters). Additionally, Shield block has the positive side-effect of helping you to proc [Revenge], which is a great contribution to your DPS when using a 1h weapon and shield.
[Disarm]: Fantastic against any physical DPS class, many inexperienced Warriors don’t immediately realize that Disarm is particularly amazing against Hunters. Disarm a Hunter after he uses [Scatter Shot] on your healer, and he won’t be able to use [Trap Launcher] until the SS duration has expired. Obviously, Disarm is primarily useful for significantly reducing the damage of any physical DPS class.
[Intervene]: Popping [Defensive Stance] for a quick Intervene is useful for escaping melee, eating [Freezing Trap], or [Blind], and line-of-sighting ranged attacks. Intervene is also very good for general mobility purposes.
[Taunt]: I don’t swap exclusively for Taunt very often, but it can be useful in a few specific situations. Typically, I use Taunt to keep healers in combat, divert enemy pets away from my own healer, and pull pets onto myself so that I can DPS them with [Retaliation] or AoE damage.
[Revenge]: Does reasonable damage when tanking with a one-hander and shield out. I certainly won’t swap into [Defensive Stance] just to use this ability (although it was worth it in WotLK with [Shield Block] active), but I certainly take advantage of it when I’m already sitting in defensive mode.
[Shield Wall]: Probably the most crucial reason to swap into [Defensive Stance]. Pretty self-explanatory. Use this to keep from dying if you’re in the process of getting shit on.
[Berserker Stance] has now become almost useless for Arms Warriors. This stance is now useful only for accessing the three abilities listed below.
[Intercept]: As of patch 4.06, there is no longer any reason for an Arms Warrior to use Intercept. [Charge] is superior in every way, and shares the same cooldown.
[Recklessness]: BEAST MODE BURST TIME I WANT TO KILL YOU RAAAAWWWWRRRRR. This is really the only “real” reason to use [Berserker Stance].
[Whirlwind]: I use this against asshole Rogues trying to 5-8 kite me (sitting in my “dead zone” between five and eight yards away), but otherwise it’s pretty worthless. There are enough DPS abilities in [Battle Stance] to make Whirlwind fairly obsolete.
This is your primary stance for Fury. It provides for maximum damage and allows easy access to essential [Berserker Stance]-exclusive abilities like [Intercept], [Raging Blow], and [Recklessness].
LEAVING BERSERKER STANCE…
[Battle Stance] is much more useful for a Fury Warrior than [Berserker Stance] is for an Arms Warrior. “Battle mode” abilities bring a significant amount of (situational) utility to augment the relatively mindlessness of the berserker playstyle.
[Charge]: This is your opener as all Warrior specs, so enjoy starting the fight in [Battle Stance].
[Rend]: As Fury, there’s not much point to this ability except to dot a target after the initial [Charge] and to interfere with a Rogue’s ability to restealth.
[Overpower]: This ability blows without [Taste for Blood], but the low rage cost means that it is occasionally still worth using if you get a proc and don’t have anything better to do.
[Shield Bash]: If you’ve already got a one-hander and shield out, Shield Bash is occasionally worth using simply because the lockout is two seconds longer than what you get from [Pummel]. Definitely don’t try dancing into [Battle Stance] just to use this ability, though.
[Shattering Throw]: TARGET IS IMMUNE, MUST BATTLE-MODE TO BREAK BARRIER AND KEEEELLLL THEMMMM!
[Spell Reflection]: Most Fury Warriors will typically use SR from [Defensive Stance], but there are occasions
[Thunder Clap]: This is a solid debuff against melee, and has recently become our best method of forcing Rogues out of [Stealth]. Also useful for killing the infernal spawn of a [Snake Trap].
[Retaliation]: This is an amazing ability against any melee class (or pet) that is attacking you. I strongly recommend making sure that you take advantage of “retal” whenever possible.
As Fury, you will use [Defensive Stance] in almost the exact same way as I have outlined above (in the Arms section). The only potential difference is the use of [Spell Reflection]. Since Fury Warriors cannot use SR from their default stance, most choose to macro this ability with a swap into Defensive stance. Typically this is the best choice (rather than [Battle Stance]), since the damage mitigation of Defensive Stance is often useful when you are forced to pull out a shield and start reflecting.
Obviously, this guide is intended for Warriors who are fairly new to the class. We are hard at work fleshing out the “basic” section of the Warrior class guide, and I should be moving on to much more advanced topics very soon.
Thanks for reading!