Shadowlands Arms Warrior has changed a lot going into Shadowlands. The biggest changes being Deep Wounds(Mastery), the reintroduction of Intervene and Ignore Pain.
Intervene being the biggest of the three in my opinion, bringing back that crisp playmaking ability that Warrior was previously known for. Whether it be Intervening your teammates offensively to eat interrupts while going for crowd control effects, or defensively to disrupt your opponents; Intervene feels great. This also paired with the new Overwatch(PvP Talent) gives warriors the tools they’ve been endlessly asking for since MoP.
Deep Wounds changing was quite important as well. Previously Warrior was more of a consistent damage rot playstyle with your passive bleed being your #1 damaging ability pretty much every game leaving me and many others feeling quite dissatisfied. The change comes at quite a good time. While Mastery still applies a bleed, the bleed damage is significantly lessened and applies another effect which increases your damage dealt to any target suffering from Deep Wounds. This alone has greatly increased warriors' impact in every game and it’s damage is now something that demands respect.
Ignore Pain swapping from a Protection only ability to a class wide ability was quite nice as well. Warrior’s now have a button to press besides Defensive Stance when in trouble. And with it’s quite high rage cost, it reinforces an idea of playing well and using your rage bar effectively; not just pressing buttons as they light up or relying on passive effects to give you that added durability. It’s a trade-off whether to use your rage on durability, or to do damage.
Spell Reflect was also changed. For starters, it’s baseline. No more wasting a PvP talent choice. It now lasts for 5 seconds and reduces all magical damage taken while the buff holds by 20%. The kicker is that instead of reflecting all magical abilities, it only reflects one. While this change is less than ideal, I feel it is fair. Before, you could just press reflect almost lazily and at times not be punished for it. I think you should have to use your abilities well in order for them to perform well..
Your role in Arena is very different than it was before. With the class changes I mentioned above, Warriors can really take over a game by themselves at times. Instead of just being a glorified damage bot, you now offer insane team-wide utility with a plethora of different PvP talents that I’ll mention below. In most games though, you’re in. And when I say in, I mean you’re in the enemy team's face, pretty much the whole game. Warrior is at its strongest when it's offensive. You don’t struggle nearly as much when you’re on the backfoot now, but obviously it’s not ideal. Be careful to not drag your teammates out of position too hard though. Sometimes just press the W key, don’t hold it. Use that utility to keep your team offensive as well. Ignore Pain's added durability makes you extremely hard to punish for being in as well when used correctly. Warrior is still a heavy disruption class, but now it’s even easier to break up those long crowd control chains. At times now, you’re even the class meatshield, intervening huge damage on your teammates and soaking it up with Ignore Pain and defensive stance. Your consistent damage took somewhat of a hit, but that’s fine. Your new mastery increases your burst potential, allowing you to affect the change you want to see in enemy players' health bars. Look for opportunities to really abuse teams with sweeping strikes cleave, as that portion of warrior did not change at all. When teams stack against you, be on the lookout for that and punish them. Don’t spend too much time in defensive stance either. I get asked this a lot. Be in defensive stance when you need to be. When your healer is CC’d, interrupted. During other teams offensive pushes. You can use defensive stance to really just close off any opportunity for a lot of teams. If you get caught out though and you’re trying to play aggressively without being aware of the other team or what’s going on around you, you’ll get punished extremely hard.
Human = Orc > Gnome
* Human - Human offers a wide variety of options. The biggest one being Will to Survive, more commonly known as ‘human trinket.’ This paired with Relentless makes Warrior quite annoying to deal with. The tools you have to avoid CC along with the fact that once you finally are CC’d it’s reduced is quite potent. Warrior’s only really die in stuns, so be careful with your racial as it’s a minute longer than the traditional trinket. The other nice thing about human is The Human Spirit. This just provides a nice little passive damage increase. All in all, human is very well-rounded.
* Orc - Orc is likely interchangeable as Warrior. To be completely frank it probably doesn’t matter versus the majority of compositions you will play against. Orc’s racial, Hardiness works with Sephuz, as I’ll mention later in the Legendary section of the guide. This makes Orc Warrior extremely hard to kill if it is a team’s selected kill target; especially rogues. Warrior only really dies in stuns. The only downside to this in my opinion is that if you are NOT the kill target, it’s easier to CC you out, even if you are opting to play Sephuz. Blood Fury is also quite nice. Just a mini on use trinket with a longer CD.
* Gnome - Gnome would be the last option I would play OVERALL but the first option I would play if the meta suddenly shifted to be more of a frost mage kite meta. Gnome is the best race against this because of Escape Artist. The 1 minute snare/slow removal compliments your other root/snare removals quite well. Potentially could see Gnome having value with Sephuz to make hard cc’s less impactful, as that’s really the only downside to Gnome at the moment. 10% not quite enough to put it to the level of Human.
Massacre vs Rend
I play Massacre almost every game. The only scenarios where I don’t play it are against 2 high armor melee targets in 3s (Ret/War, War/DK, etc) when I’m trying to cleave or rot 2 both of the melee and I’m swapping around a lot. As something like WM/X or a more set-up based composition or even strategy I opt to just stay Massacre. Sometimes in 2s against high armor targets where I can have a lot of uptime as well. Never against low armor targets. So against like War/Rsham, War/Pal, or any plate melee dps and high armor healer. Against things like War/Rdruid I would play Massacre and try to set up on the Druid.
Sharpen Blade - I choose Sharpen Blade almost every game. The only situation I’ve run into where I don’t, is against RMP. You don’t really reduce healing against RMP. Most of their ‘healing’ is just shields. Sharpen Blade doesn’t affect those. You also need a more defensive build versus RMP. Without it, you’ll just get walked over.
Storm of Destruction - I take this ability very sparingly. In some matchups even when double melee, you can’t afford to give up other PvP talents for it. The damage and pressure it provides, especially when paired with Unhinged, is quite nice. But losing overall effectiveness and team-wide utility is oftentimes not worth it.
Master and Commander - This is a pretty staple PvP talent as Kyrian. I haven’t found myself using this as Venthyr a single time. I find myself using it as Kyrian quite often as Death Sentence gives you almost no value unless you’re Venthyr. This paired with Inspiring Presence, gives you a very strong team wide defensive, on a relatively short cooldown.
Disarm - Only into MM Hunter, Rogues, Warriors, and Death Knights do I take this talent. This would have value against Ret Paladin as well but they can still cast Templar’s Verdict (if playing Final Verdict legendary) while Disarmed and that just kind of renders the ability useless. I feel it is a must versus the 4 classes lifted previously though, as it completely shuts them down.
Overwatch - Godfather "Look how they massacred my boy" HD
Death Sentence - I play this pretty much every game as Venthyr. Even when I don’t play Sharpen Blade into something like RMP I still prefer to take Death Sentence over Master and Commander or another utility spell. The only time I really don’t play Death Sentence as Venthyr is if I’m training an extremely immobile healer (generally Priest) and I don’t plan on detargeting him the entire game.
War Banner - I use this only really against set-up based compositions with lots of CC and high burst potential but lower consistent damage. Things like RMP, Mage/Lock, etc. Extremely low value against melee cleaves. Pretty much against any Mage team you’re going to want to take this PvP talent.
Duel - KEKW
Warbringer - I’ve only really played this when playing Kyrian. You can’t really fit it into your PvP talents as Venthyr as Death Sentence still feels like a must and any scenario you would realistically play this into would be versus some sort of melee cleave in 3s and then Disarm is also a must. As Kyrian it’s a bit different and I think it kind of depends on what comp you’re playing. I played it as WMPal and I noticed I broke a lot of Dragon’s Breaths and Polymorphs with it. That’s no bueno. But as something like War/SP or War/Ele where you’re trying to peel 2 melee and give your caster or healer or anyone some breathing room I actually quite liked it. Storm and Destruction would also be good maybe but I didn’t really like it. It’s kind of hard to rot teams at the moment and the game feels so fast paced that just giving your teammates a little more breathing room actually felt better to me. I still don’t like Warbringer very much but these are just my initial thoughts.
Demolition - TYLER1'S ANGRY ADDIC