I’m in a strange place this expansion vs Legion.
I started playing Legion late, when Tomb came out. I decided to roll a Warrior for Legion coming from being a Rogue main for 10+ years.
I wanted to play Arms because I always liked the fantasy of the spec. Having a big two-hander that hits really hard and having insane execute. I just couldn’t get into Fury for some reason (not counting starting late and not having some key items like Legendaries, Convergence of Fates, etc). Even still, I just wasn’t a fan of how Fury felt.
This expansion, it completely flipped. I started Uldir as Arms and it was mostly strong. There was the time when Executioner’s Precision was super strong but had a catch. You could only get this trait through the M+ weekly cache or on PvP gear. I had none, so until it was removed it just felt bad not having any of the trait. I felt like I was under performing and it was mostly out of my control.
I started to sim how I would fair as Fury and who would have thought it was simming higher. I made the switch and haven’t went back. I actually really enjoy Fury now and the fast pace of the spec. It’s nice to be able to fill every global with at least something. Never feeling resource starved just makes the spec feel so much more smooth compared to Arms (or even my long time spec Assassination). I messed around with Arms a little here and there and I think for the time being, Fury just ruined it for me. I just can’t stand going back to being rage starved or having limited cleave windows with the ability that lets it happen being on the GCD while also having stricter positional requirements. Some of the newer Arms traits helped with rage and pacing, Striking the Anvil, and Crushing Assault mostly. The change to execute and the bug fixes that nerfed it as well just really make execute feel lack luster. The other fact that typically the best trait to stack, Test of Might, just feels out of place when you think of fundamentally how the spec should play. The trait effectively has you using Bladestorm, the iconic spec damage CD, outside of your Colossus Smash damage window. This should be your burst window where you do large damage because you’ve shattered your enemies defenses. Instead, you just try to dump as much rage as possible and use Bladestorm after the window has ended. It just fundamentally makes no sense. Gathering Storm is the trait that fits that fantasy better, not Test of Might.
Currently, the only really fight you would ever see Arms getting any play was on Mythic Jaina in earlier progression because you could cheese cleave her elemental with Test of Might traits and the Collateral Damage talent to achieve very high strength and high refunds of rage. However, this also meant that in phase one and two you did very poor damage and for the most part it was just miserable. With the recent nerfs to the fight and higher item levels of most raids, this strat isn’t as viable because of all the passive cleave on the elemental will most likely kill it before you kill Jaina if a warrior was cleaving it as well.
I really want Arms to be good again, but I don’t think just having the numbers being better will make me want to play it again. I just doesn’t feel smooth on top of it traditionally being a slow spec. If it’s clunkiness and general downtime from being rage starved was reduced it could be a really fun spec. The iconic execute phase is in a really sore spot as well. It’s typically a boring rotation and generally being rage starved for a majority of it just doesn’t feel very good. It’s supposed to be the Arms (and Fury, but I feel it’s even more Arm’s niche) time to shine. This is where the Arms Warrior should be unmatched and contribute the most to the group but sadly, it just doesn’t. It used to be the time you’d see Arms climb the meters and even top them in some cases because of the strength of it’s execute.
If there was a way to make Arms feel as smooth and well paced like Fury while also reviving it’s execute niche, I think we’d be in a lot better place for the spec.
As for Fury, I feel that it’s biggest weakness is it’s capped AoE and lack of actual dps cooldowns compared to other classes with two and three minute cooldowns.
Dps Warriors in generally are severely lacking in utility when compared to the basically “melee 2.0” DH and even rogues. If raw damage is the niche of Warrior then those numbers need to be increased, if not, then some utility needs to be breathed into the two dps specs.