Warriors are melee fighters highly trained in the arts of weaponry. They are strong and quick on the battlefield. As such they can deal large amounts of damage; they are also capable of withstanding large amounts of damage to protect other party members. Warrior abilities depend on rage generation. This is different to all but one melee class, which is the druid; specifically a druid in bear form. Rage is generated through damage being dealt to and by the warrior and is capped at 100. Warriors have several talents capable of aiding rage generation.
Warriors can change between three combat stances: Battle Stance, Defensive Stance and Berserker Stance. Many abilities have a stance requirement. However, stances give the class a fluid play style allowing the player a variety of responses to any given PvE or PvP situation. Warriors can wear any type of armor; plate armour becomes available at level 40. They are able to use shields and can wield any weapon with the exception of wands and relics.
The primary warrior attributes are strength and stamina. Agility is also useful while levelling as critical strike rating on gear is rare until later levels. Warrior-oriented gear found towards end-game provides a wider range of attributes. Gear oriented specifically to damage dealing warriors may include critical strike rating, armor penetration or haste. Gear oriented to warrior tanks usually includes some combination of defense rating, block value, block rating, dodge rating or parry rating. Hit rating or expertise rating are also commonly found on gear and can be useful for warriors performing either role. It can be difficult to find rings or cloaks with the relevant attributes. As such warriors may improvise; for example, damage dealing warriors may seek "rogue" items that contain agility and attack power in place of elusive items containing strength.
- See also: List of warriors
As long as war is waged on Azeroth, there will be men and women who fight those wars. The warrior is no mere sword-swinger; they are skilled combatants, combining strength of arm, knowledge of weaponry and practiced maneuvers to slice or bludgeon their foes into little red bits. The warrior is the most versatile of the combat classes, and they supplement their fighting prowess with the ability to rally their allies and spur them to victory, but not only can they rally their allies into victory; they can themselves charge into the heart of the battle, take several lives and live to tell the tale. All races fight, and all races boast many warriors in their ranks. Warriors are common among dwarves, Forsaken, humans, and orcs, but are less so among the other races. Masters of swords, spears, and weapons of all kinds, warriors share a common way of life on Azeroth. Using their abilities to deal pain and cause bloodshed, warriors are deadly adversaries and welcome friends in violent times (which seem to be all the time in recent decades). Warriors have existed in every race, from the murlocs to the tauren. Anyone willing to take up arms to defend their people can be classed as a warrior. A knight is the warrior elite among humans.
- Main article: Warrior races
The warrior class can be played by the following races:
Until the Cataclysm expansion comes out, blood elf players are the only race that cannot be warriors. Blood elf warriors are a standard class for blood elves in the RPG. Some blood elves become warriors (or scouts or hunters) — especially those seeking to be spell breakers, demon hunters, and rangers. Upon the release of Cataclysm, warriors will be the first non-hero class to be available to all races.
- Humans: Sword and Mace specializations give 3 increased expertise with swords and maces, which are two very popular warrior weapons. Perception passively gives the ability to detect stealthed units, which can be useful for those in PvP situations. Humans also gain the "racial PvP trinket" – Every Man for Himself – effectively freeing up a trinket slot which warriors might find more useful.
- Dwarves: Stoneform removes poison, disease and bleed effects, and increases armor by 10%. Both of these can be very useful in PvE fights. The additional Frost resistance is always useful. Increased expertise with maces provides additional threat generation when using them. Though warriors will not primarily be using guns as their main weapon, they can be useful for a pull, and Gun Specialization helps with this category. Lastly, warriors are notorious for their high repair bills. Treasure Finding can help alleviate some of this payment, though it is minimal at best.
- Gnomes: Escape Artist can be very useful, primarily in PvP situations, but also in PvE situations. Warriors being the prototypical tank often have to lead mobs and bosses away from the healers and ranged fighters, thus making Escape Artist very useful. Gnomes also benefit from increased Arcane resistance, which is always useful. Because of their small size, gnome warriors are useful in PvP environments, posing a difficulty to target. Inexperienced or careless opponents can be quickly hit by Hamstring, Thunder Clap, and Sunder Armor before they have any idea as to what happened.
- Night elves: Quickness adds an extra layer of survivability to night elf warriors. The enhanced nature resistance is always nice. Shadowmeld provides an interesting element to night elves, who can stealth to avoid mob detection (more useful for solo play). In addition, in PvP settings, Shadowmeld can be devastating. Stealth, Charge, Hamstring, Thunder Clap, etc., and Ta-da! You just became a rogue in heavy armor! An additional bonus to Shadowmeld is the ability to temporarily drop threat in combat, and possibly even save your life (if you're the last person standing).
- Draenei: Gift of the Naaru reduces downtime for warriors who are soloing, and helps conserve the mana of the group. The extra shadow resistance is always welcomed. Heroic Presence can help Off tanks or the Main tank perform better, depending on what role you may be fulfilling. For a DPS warrior, Heroic Presence will also reduce the amount of gear you (and your party/raid) need to dedicate to reaching hit caps.
- Orcs: Axe Specialization increases expertise by 5 when wielding an axe or fist weapon. This is equal to 41 expertise rating, and reduces player's chance to be dodged/parried by 1.25%. Hardiness reduces stun duration, which can save a warrior in PvP settings, or save their group in PvE settings. Blood Fury increases either spell power or attack power, (depending on class) and scales with the players level. The formula for scaling attack power is [(level*4)+2]. The spell power formula is [(Level*2)+3]. This grants 322 AP or 163 spell power at level 80.
- Trolls: Berserking increases attack speed by 20% for 10 seconds, useful for all warriors, particularly DPS warriors, but can also provide a marginal TPS buff to tanking warriors. Regeneration can help keep you alive during PvP fights, or boss battles, and the increased healing can reduced down time for soloing players. The increased damage against beasts can be useful, since beasts are located almost everywhere in the world. Da Voodoo Shuffle reduces the duration of movement impairing effects by 15% as well, and the less time you spend walking to something then the more time you spend hitting it.
- Undead: The increased shadow resistance is always useful, as is Cannibalize, which can reduce down time while soloing, and save your healer's mana. The increased Underwater Breathing is also useful, especially when soloing, where a warrior might not have access to an alchemist or warlock. Will of the Forsaken is one of the best racials in game, and can be the difference between life and death in both PvP and PvE settings.
- Tauren: War Stomp is a useful form of crowd control. Endurance provides tauren with extra health, meaning tauren warriors can have the highest possible HP of any warrior tank. The additional nature resistance is always a plus.
When Cataclysm goes live, worgen, goblins, and blood elves will be able to be warriors, giving every race in the game access to warriors. The racial abilities of Goblins and Worgen may change between now and Cata's release, so it is presently unclear how their racials will help them as warriors. While the chance to resist spell damage will undoubtedly be useful for both tank and DPS Blood Elf warriors, it is unclear at this point how the Arcane Torrent ability will work for warriors.
- Main article: Rage
By default, a warrior's rage bar is empty. Warriors can gain rage by being struck in combat, dealing damage, drinking rage potions, or using certain abilities. Most of their abilities require a certain amount of rage in order to be activated - this makes rage the warrior's equivalent of mana. When a warrior exits combat, any left-over rage slowly decays until the bar returns to empty. The rate at which rage decays can be controlled through talents. A warrior's rage bar will drop to 0 immediately if they switch their stance. At level 20, the passive ability Stance Mastery allows them to retain 10 rage through a stance change, and the Tactical Mastery talent increases this by 5 rage per rank up to a maximum of 25 rage.
Warriors need to be in combat or use a rage-generating ability to generate rage. The longer the battle, the more rage a warrior can accumulate. This often leads the warrior to the strategy of "filling up" their rage bar on a weaker foe before moving on to a more powerful enemy. A warrior with a full rage bar can quickly unload a large amount of damage.
- Main article: Stance
The warrior has different stances for different situations. Which stance to use will also be determined by the warrior's talents.
- Battle Stance: The standard starting stance for all warriors. A balance of offensive and defensive abilities (-20% Threat Generated) and also increases Armor Penetration by 10%.
- Defensive Stance: As it suggests, more defensive oriented and fewer offensive damaging moves. Best used when playing in the main tank role (-10% Damage Received, -5% Damage Inflicted, +45% Threat Generated).
- Berserker Stance: All out attack with little regard to the warrior's own health. Best used when somebody else is tanking and you need full-on DPS (+3% Crit, +5% Damage Received, -20% threat Generated).
Some warrior abilities are not available based on which stance you are in, so choose wisely! Remember that your rage is reduced to 10 whenever switching stances unless you have Tactical Mastery.
- Main article: Warrior abilities
The warrior has various abilities, which are typically limited to certain stances.
- In Defensive Stance, the warrior can use abilities such as Revenge and Taunt. These abilities are useful for keeping aggro.
- In Battle Stance, the warrior can use a balanced array of abilities. Mocking Blow temporarily redirects threat to the warrior, while Overpower and Retaliation are useful for dealing damage. Some abilities usable in Defensive and Berserker Stances are also usable in Battle Stance.
- In Berserker Stance, the warrior is focused on maximizing damage potential with abilities such as Berserker Rage and Recklessness.
How stats affect the warrior
(Original can be seen at WoW: World of Warriors)
|Strength|| Increases the warrior's Attack Power, thereby increasing the warrior's damage. Strength also increases the damage that a warrior can block with his shield.
1 Strength = 2 Attack Power
2 Strength = 1 Block Value
The protection talent Vitality, when maxed, increases strength by 6%.
The arms talent Strength of Arms, when maxed, increases strength by 4%.
|Stamina|| Increases health points. This is critical for warriors due to their melee range restriction and inability to significantly heal themselves while dealing damage, as well as to absorb the large amounts of damage mobs will try and cause against a party while tanking.
1 stamina = 10 health
The protection talent Vitality, when maxed, increases stamina by 6%.
The arms talent Strength of Arms, when maxed, increases stamina by 4%.
Mitigation and avoidance stats
|Armor||Armor augments a character's health to a higher number (if the armor is positive), which represents the amount of physical damage a player can withstand. For instance, a character with 5000 health and 50% armor would be able to absorb 10000 damage before dying.|
|Defense||Defense rating reduces the chance to be critically hit by attacks from PvE mobs. At the lvl 80 defense cap, you will effectively reduce this chance to 0%. Defense Rating also increases your chance to Dodge, Parry or Block.|
|Dodge||The warrior moves out of the way of the enemy's attack, and takes no damage from it. It is extremely useful to have a trinket which increases dodge rating for a short time to help healers keep up with healing. (If you're not getting hit, you don't need heals.) A warrior can only dodge frontal attacks. Attacks from behind cannot be dodged.|
|Parry||The warrior parries the enemy's attack and takes no damage from it. Parrying attacks increases the warrior's melee haste rating, causing him to hit faster than normal. A warrior can only parry frontal attacks. Attacks from behind cannot be parried.|
|Block Rating||The warrior raises his shield and blocks the enemy's attack. Block rating increases a warrior's % chance to block. Unlike dodge and parry, blocking an attack only reduces the amount of damage done to the warrior. A warrior can only block frontal attacks. Attacks from behind cannot be blocked.|
|Block Value||The amount of damage a Block reduces depends on the block value of your shield, any enchantments, talents and strength. Damage reduced by blocking is calculated after other damage reducing factors, such as armor, which increases the effectiveness of blocking. In addition, block value increases the damage dealt by shield slam.|
DPS/ Threat boosters
|Hit Rating||Increases the chance for the warrior to hit his enemy. Hit rating requires 32.79 per 1% of hit for physical damage. Raid bosses require an additional 8% chance to hit for you to never miss.|
|Expertise||At level 80, every 8.2 points of expertise rating grants one point of expertise. One point of expertise decreases the chance that melee attacks made by the warrior will be dodged or parried by 0.25%. This stat is useful for tank and DPS warriors. When a warrior tank is parried, it may trigger a boss to begin to swing faster, causing burst damage. Raid bosses have a 6.5% chance to dodge your attacks, and approximately 15% chance to parry (varies).|
|Crit Rating||Increases the chance for the warrior to critically strike his enemy, dealing double damage. At level 80, 45.91 Critical Strike Rating is required to gain 1% melee crit chance.|
|Armor Penetration||Reduces the effective armor of the warrior's target, increasing all direct physical damage (excluding Bleed damage) done by the warrior to his target. At level 80, 12.31 points of Armor Penetration Rating are required to reduce the target's armor by approximately 1%, subject to a normalizing formula.|
|Haste||Increases the autoattack speed of the warrior. More commonly used by fury warriors to improve their rage generation. This stat is largely panned by arms warriors as very little of their damage comes from their auto-attack. At level 80, a warrior requires 32.79 Haste Rating to gain a 1% increase in attack speed.|
Warrior talents are split into three trees: arms, fury, and protection.
- Specialties: Strong bleeding skills, high burst damage with a two handed weapon. Able to execute at any time with . Can reduce healing on enemies with .
- Strengths: High rage gain () and rage efficiency skills (). Access to .
- Weaknesses: At a disadvantage on fights that require constant movement due to the cast time on Slam. Must be played with skill and a fast reaction time to successfully compete with other damage dealers.
The arms tree consists of abilities which focus on slow two-handed burst coupled with heavy bleeding damage to better effect. The arms talent tree is capped by the ability, which when activated, whirlwinds every second for 6 seconds and causes the warrior to become unstoppable, unless killed, for the duration. Due to almost every arms skill being based on weapon damage, such as , Overpower, and Mortal Strike, slow two-handed weapons are favored by almost every arms warrior to maximize effect. Bleeding skills are enhanced as well with the talent and allows Rend to open up opportunities to use Overpower regardless of whether the the target dodged your attacks.
- Specialties: Powerful sustained damage and can regenerate with and . Can passively reduce healing on enemies with . Able to wield two 2 handed-weapons with .
- Strengths: Powerful sustained damage with dual wielding and capable of high burst damage with and Bloodthirst.
- Weaknesses: More fragile than the other specs, taking in more damage with and relying on two weapons to perform at best, forsaking the use of a shield save for highly situational times.
The fury tree bolsters the use of dual wielding (but does not limit the warrior in any way), to dish out the highest damage that the warrior is capable of. Critical strikes allow the fury warrior to , while the attacks they use most have a chance of proccing Bloodsurge, throwing in high burst damage with their already high sustained damage. While the cost to uphold this kind of damage taxes on rage heavily, dual wielding solves the problem. With the final talent, Titan's Grip, the warrior is able to dual wield two 2-hand weapons, greatly increasing rage gain in bursts, allowing the warrior the needed rage.
In the past, going too deep in the fury tree was undesired for PvP due to its lack of the healing debuff, but as of patch 3.0.0, the fury tree gained Furious Attacks, which applies the needed healing debuff.
- Specialties: Access to many stuns //. THE tank spec proficient at both AoE tanking () and singular tanking.
- Strengths: All-new powerful damage that was unheard of before Patch 3.0.0, making the shield not just a defensive tool, but a powerful offensive one as well. Able to take very high amounts of damage and dishing high amounts back.
- Weaknesses: Technically rage-starved if not being hit, though speccing deep in protection allows you to make your hits crit more often, still allowing you to burst damage without rage (). No healing debuff. Damage output very limited when not the focus of enemy attacks, due to key abilities dependent fully or partially on blocking (i.e. , Sword and Board.)
Tanking has been redefined by Blizzard, and so the protection tree likely got the biggest change (for the better) in comparison to the other trees.
The protection tree features the traditional one-handed weapon + shield combination with talents to improve its use. It is likely that one would think the overall damage is lower due to not using a "powerful two-hander" or "dual-wielding two weapons". But when facing a protection warrior, they need to consider the shield as well. With it protection warriors could absolutely crush anyone foolish enough to attack him/her in melee, and use it to harass and silence casters. Protection warriors now scale with attack power more so than they did in the past, causing them to do much more damage. The protection tree boosts overall survivability, but also offense with the kind of tools that prot warriors use, namely the one handed weapon and shield. And with that new offense comes higher aggro buildup, making them threat machines.
Pre Patch 3.0.0, protection warriors were almost never considered for PvP due to their lack of damage, utility against players, and lack of everything that PvP stood for, but now they return with a new style. Still lacking a healing debuff, protection warriors now focus on stunning, crippling and harassing with their new high mobility talent, .
Blizzard's talent calculator can be found here.
Wrath of the Lich King changes
Battle Shout and Commanding Shout will affect the raid, not just the party.
- Titan's Grip is a new fury talent and allows warriors to wield a two-hand weapon in one hand, thereby allowing two-handed dual wielding.
- Protection warriors have a new spell called Shockwave allowing them to damage and stun all the enemies in front of them.
- Bladestorm is a new arms talent whirlwinding 4 enemies in range every 1 second for 6 seconds.
Blizzard improved the protection spec so that it is more viable outside of tanking by increasing damage, with improvements to all damaging abilities, including Concussion Blow. Shield Slam will also be available to all warriors now.
Q&A with Ghostcrawler
- Warrior twinking guide for details on making a warrior twink.
- Warrior instance grouping guide for tips in Instances.
- In the Warcraft RPG, warrior and fighter were separate classes. Warrior was an NPC class, while fighter was a core class. In the World of Warcraft RPG, the old warrior class was replaced with the soldier class, while fighter was replaced with a new warrior class for gameplay purposes. 
- Warriors have the most widely available choices in permanent Legendary weapons, as most are designed (through use or through lore) as melee weapons, which is the warrior's forte. The only one that was never available to warriors was Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian.
- Tanking Tips Tankingtips.com is a great resource for information on warrior tanking.
- TankSpot Tankspot.com is pretty much "the" website for warrior tanking information and resources.
- Prot Warrior Tanking 100: Part 1 Part 2 A basic guide to tanking at early levels.
- Warrior Guides For advanced warrior topics (although some parts are outdated)