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IconLarge Warrior.gif Warrior
Lothar TCG Alt.JPG
Anduin Lothar, a human Warrior
Favored byBlood elfBlood elf Blood elf

DwarfDwarf Dwarf
DraeneiDraenei Draenei
ForsakenForsaken Forsaken
GnomeGnome Gnome
GoblinGoblin Goblin
HumanHuman Human
Night elfNight elf Night elf
OrcOrc Orc
PandarenPandaren Pandaren
TaurenTauren Tauren
TrollTroll Troll

WorgenWorgen Worgen
Role(s)Tank, Melee DPS
SpecializationsArms, Fury, Protection
Primary attributeStrength or Stamina
Weapon proficiencyBows, Crossbows, Guns, Dagger, Fist Weapon, Staff, Polearms, One-handed and Two-handed Sword, Axe and Mace
Armor proficiencyCloth, Leather, Mail, Plate, Shield
Skill(s)Uses various stances like Battle Stance, buffs allies with Shouts like Battle Shout, Heroic Strike, Cleave, Thunder Clap, Execute

Classes Death knight Druid Hunter Mage Monk Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
Starting a DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Tactics DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Class races DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Quests DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Abilities DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Trainers DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Armor sets DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Useful macros DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr

Warriors are melee fighters highly trained in the arts of weaponry. They are strong and quick on the battlefield. Clad in plate armor and wielding mighty weapons, they can deal large amounts of damage and are capable of withstanding large amounts of damage to protect other party members. Warrior abilities are fuelled by rage. Rage is generated through damage being dealt to and by the warrior and is capped at 100. Warriors have many abilities capable of aiding rage generation. Druids in Bear Form are much akin to warriors.

Warriors can change between three combat stances: Battle Stance, Defensive Stance and Berserker Stance. Each stance provides different bonuses, allowing the player a variety of responses to any given PvE or PvP situation. Warriors can wear any type of armor, preferring plate (available at level 40). They are able to use shields and can wield any weapon except wands. The primary warrior attributes are strength and stamina.

Warriors are usually to be found leading the Charge into battle, tearing across the battlefield and using furious shouts and terrifying banners to rally their allies and intimidate their enemies. Whether striking down opponents with mighty two-handed weapons, tearing into packs of enemies in a whirlwind of steel, or standing firm in the face of death itself, warriors excel at battle with a range of powerful attacks and battlefield manoeuvres, masters of both skillful strikes and devastating blows.

Class overview

For as long as war has raged, heroes from every race have aimed to master the art of battle. Warriors combine strength, leadership, and a vast knowledge of arms and armor to wreak havoc in glorious combat. Some protect from the front lines with shields, locking down enemies while allies support the warrior from behind with spell and bow. Others forgo the shield and unleash their rage at the closest threat with a variety of deadly weapons. The warrior’s battle cries embolden friends and leave foes cowering in fear. With legendary precision, warriors target the smallest gaps in armor and slice at hamstrings in a blur of steel.

Every dragon slain, corrupted tyrant toppled, and demon banished from Azeroth has trembled in the face of these lords of war.[1]


See also: List of warriors
A dwarf warrior as seen in-game.

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. Warriors are skilled combatants, combining strength of arm, knowledge of weaponry, and practiced maneuvers to slice or bludgeon their foes into little red bits. Warriors are 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. Warriors 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).[2] Warriors have existed in every race, from the murlocs to the tauren. Anyone willing to take up arms to defend his or her people can be classed as a warrior. A knight is the warrior elite among humans.

Notable warriors


Horde Horde

Alliance Alliance



Main article: Warrior races
Christopher the Devout, a human warrior.
Pappy Ironbane, a dwarf warrior.
Fillet, Kneecapper Extraordinaire, a gnome warrior.
Kavai the Wanderer, a night elf warrior.
Defender Nagalaas, a draenei warrior.
Warmaster Hork, an orc warrior.
A tauren warrior cleaving his foes.

The warrior class can be played by all available races: Template:Warrior attributes

The Blood elves of the Burning Crusade expansion were the first race that could not be warriors. However when the Cataclysm expansion came out, blood elf players were given 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.[3] In addition, there were High Elf Swordsmen in the Undead campaign in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Blood Elf Warriors existed in the Burning Crusade's early beta, so Elven warriors have technically always been justified.

Due to Cataclysm, warriors are once again the first class to be available to all races.

Racial advantages

Each race comes with unique special abilities or powers, known as racial traits, or simply racials. While each race has its advantages, certain racials are of particular benefit to certain classes. Players may wish to take these advantages into account when selecting which race/class combination to play. Some of the most useful racials for warriors are:

  • Humans: Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization increase expertise with swords and maces, reducing opponents' chance to dodge. Humans also gain Every Man for Himself, allowing the player to free himself from all effects that impair movement or cause loss of control every 2 minutes. This is a very useful ability for PvP, especially for melee classes such as warriors who rely on staying close to their targets in order to deal damage. This ability's 2 minute cooldown offers a significant advantage over the 5 minute cooldown offered by PvP trinkets up until level 80, as well as freeing the trinket slot usually reserved for them.
  • Dwarves: Stoneform is a very useful 2-minute cooldown ability that removes all poison, disease and bleed effects, and reduces all damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds. Dwarves also gain Frost Resistance which is always useful. Mace Specialization increases expertise with maces, reducing opponents' chance to dodge.
  • Gnomes: Escape Artist can be very useful, primarily in PvP situations, but also in PvE. 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 (gnome racial) 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. Gnomes also have Shortblade Specialization, giving them additional Expertise when using a one-handed sword, a popular tanking weapon type.
  • Night elves: Quickness increases the chance for night elves to dodge melee or ranged attacks by 2%, improving tanking and overall survivability. Nature Resistance (racial) is also increased. Shadowmeld adds 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 allows players to heal a target for 20% of their health over 15 seconds, every 3 minutes. This can act as a useful panic button and is one of the few healing abilities available to warriors, potentially adding 20% to their available health in most encounters, as well as reducing downtime for warriors who are soloing, and helping to conserve a group's mana. Increased Shadow Resistance (racial) is always welcomed. Heroic Presence increases chance to hit by 1%. For a DPS warrior, Heroic Presence will also reduce the amount of gear you need to dedicate to reaching hit caps.
  • Worgen: Darkflight allows a warrior to increase his movement speed by 40% for 10 seconds every 2 minutes, which can be useful for staying close to your target and counteracting snares, or for escaping combat. Viciousness grants an extra 1% critical strike chance. Aberration increases both nature and shadow resistance, which is a nice bonus.
  • Orcs: Axe Specialization increases expertise when wielding an axe or fist weapon, reducing the player's chance to be dodged. Hardiness reduces stun duration by 15%, which can save a warrior in PvP settings, or save their group in PvE settings. Blood Fury temporarily increases the warrior's attack power, granting 1169 attack power at level 85.
  • Trolls: Berserking can increase attack speed by 20% for 10 seconds every 3 minutes, useful for all warriors, particularly DPS warriors, but can also provide a marginal TPS buff to tanking warriors. Regeneration (racial) can help keep you alive during PvP fights, or boss battles, and the increased healing can reduce down time for soloing players. Beast Slaying grants 5% increased damage against beasts, which can be useful as beasts are located almost everywhere in the world. Da Voodoo Shuffle reduces the duration of movement impairing effects by 15%, providing a significant boost to a warrior's mobility, something which is of particular use in PvP.
  • Goblins: Rocket Jump is an ability used to escape combat in a dire situation or if used correctly can be used as a charge. Rocket Barrage is an ability that deals a little damage. Time is Money passively increases attack speed by 1%, increasing a warrior's DPS.


Vaerik Proudhoof, another tauren warrior.
Main article: Rage

A warrior's attacks and abilities are fuelled by rage. By controlling and focusing their rage, warriors can unleash an array of devastating attacks, harden themselves into unassailable defenders, or even draw strength and healing from their anger. Rage can be generated in a number of ways, depending on the warrior's stance; it can be generated by the warrior's auto-attacks, by taking damage, or simply by being in combat. Certain abilities can also be used to generate rage regardless of the warrior's stance.

By default the rage bar is empty, and when out of combat, rage drains or depletes at a constant rate. Warriors have a maximum of 100 rage, but by choosing Glyph of Unending Rage can raise this cap to 120.

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: Warrior stances

Warriors can respond to the demands of each situation by altering their stance - each stance provides different benefits, and changes the ways the warrior generates rage. Stances have a 3-second cooldown but are not affected by the global cooldown, allowing warriors to adjust quickly to the needs of the moment.

  • Battle Stance (learnt at level 1): An aggressive combat stance. Generates high Rage from normal melee attacks.
  • Defensive Stance (learnt at level 9): A tanking combat stance. Decreases damage taken by 15%. Significantly increases threat generation. Generates 1 Rage every 3 sec while in combat.
  • Berserker Stance (learnt at level 34): A reckless combat stance. Generates some Rage from normal melee attacks and some Rage from damage taken.


Wimbly Tinkerton, another gnome warrior.
For a full list of warrior abilities, see Warrior abilities

Damage dealing

Warriors deal damage almost exclusively through melee attacks. Each spec has one or two primary attacks that generate rage, while most other attacks consume it. Warriors have a few ranged attacks (Heroic Throw, Shattering Throw, Storm Bolt) but are largely unable to deal damage or apply crowd control unless within melee range. The majority of a warrior's attacks are intended for single targets, but they also have some options for dealing AoE and multiple-target damage.

Crowd control

Warriors make use of snares and root effects such as Hamstring to keep their targets within range, and can use Intimidating Shout to fear and disrupt enemy attacks. Warriors can Pummel casters into silence, and have a limited choice of stun, root and interrupt effects available via talents. The warrior's main mobility skill Charge also stuns enemies.

When targeted by others' crowd control effects, a warrior can transform themselves into an unstoppable Bladestorm (if talented), tearing their way out of roots and snares, while Berserker Rage can be used to prevent or counteract many forms of crowd control. Warriors can also Taunt enemies away from weaker targets, or mock whole armies with Mocking Banner.

Buffs and debuffs

Warriors are known for their shouts, whether intimidating and disrupting their enemies, or inspiring and uplifting their allies. Battle Shout and Commanding Shout are the warrior's main group buffs, while Rallying Cry can be life-saving if used at the right time. Warriors can also inspire their allies with their Skull Banner, or demoralize their enemies with Demoralizing Banner, similar in effect to their Demoralizing Shout. Warrior attacks can also apply Deep Wounds to targets, rend their armor with Colossus Smash and Sunder Armor, weaken their enemies with Thunder Clap or simply Disarm them.

Warriors also have a number of self-buffs that can be used to increase damage dealt or greatly reduce incoming damage. Enrage (warrior ability), Berserker Rage and Recklessness significantly increase damage dealt, while various other effects improve specific abilities. The warrior's stances are also a form of self-buff.


A female orcish warrior charges to battle.

Warriors are known as a highly mobile class, charging and leaping about the battlefield, and fiercely intervening between their allies and those that would attack them. To be effective in the heat of PvP combat, warriors may need to use every one of their abilities to stay within range of their targets, as they rely on being in melee range to make use of their abilities.

The warrior's main mobility skill Charge stuns opponents and generates rage, and can be improved by talents to be available very frequently. Intervene (or Safeguard, if talented) allows the warrior to leap to the defence of an ally, or simply use their teammates (or Banners) to launch themselves back into the fray. Heroic Leap allows the warrior to leap down upon their enemies or if necessary to flee quickly out of range of attacks, and additionally deals some AoE damage.

Defence and self-healing

Warriors have a number of debilitating debuffs and crowd control abilities that can be used to weaken or interrupt their enemies' attacks, as well as some defensive cooldowns. Protection warriors are masters of defence, with a range of options for mitigating incoming damage (Shield Barrier, Shield Block), be it physical or magical, primarily through the use of their shield. While focusing primarily on dealing damage, Arms and Fury warriors are also capable of defending themselves, with abilities such as Die by the Sword. Although the mark of a Protection warrior, all warriors can equip a shield to take advantage of abilities like Shield Wall and Spell Reflection. Talented warriors can achieve Mass Spell Reflection without the need for a shield.

Although not the most gifted of healers, warriors can regenerate substantial amounts of health through Victory Rush as well as one of the tier 2 talents: Enraged Regeneration, Second Wind or Impending Victory.


Galway Steamwhistle, another gnome warrior.
For a full list of specialization abilities, see Warrior abilities

There are three Warrior specializations: Arms, Fury, and Protection.

  • Arms is a DPS spec that deals mighty blows with two-handed weapons
  • Fury is a DPS spec focusing on whittling opponents down with rapid dual-wielding strikes
  • Protection is a tanking spec, using shields and one-handed weapons to draw the attention of the party's enemies


A battle-hardened master of two-handed weapons, using mobility and overpowering attacks to strike <his/her> opponents down.

Arms warriors are seasoned veterans, using might and ponderous weapons to deal colossal blows to their enemies. Preferring power over speed, Arms warriors specialize in powerful burst damage and control, and can become an unstoppable force, tearing opponents down in just a few mighty blows. Smashing opponents with powerful attacks like Mortal Strike, Slam and Overpower, Arms warriors are capable of dealing immense amounts of damage in a small space of time.


Lord Benjamin Tremendouson, a dwarf fury-warrior.
Ability warrior innerrage.png
A furious berserker wielding a weapon in each hand, unleashing a flurry of attacks to carve <his/her> opponents to pieces.

Fury warriors are dual-wielding berserkers, dealing a rapid succession of wild attacks with each weapon. While all warriors rely on rage to fuel their attacks, Fury warriors focus their anger in a different way, allowing the heat of battle to send them into a bloodthirsty rage, empowering them and unleashing their most powerful attacks. Fury warriors' mastery Unshackled Fury further rewards these crazed berserkers.


Ability warrior defensivestance.png
A stalwart protector who uses a shield to safeguard <himself/herself> and <his/her> allies.

Protection warriors are stout, dauntless defenders. Using a sturdy shield both to soak up foes' attacks and to dish out damage of their own, Protection warriors can take an immense amount of damage, able to withstand the most powerful of blows. Taunting and demoralizing their enemies with a range of shouts and devastating attacks, Protection warriors are formidable tanks, leading their allies to victory against the mightiest of adversaries.


Karta Foultongue, another orc warrior.

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, or haste, while gear oriented to warrior tanks usually includes dodge rating and parry rating.

Hit rating and 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.

How stats affect the warrior

(Original can be seen at WoW: World of Warriors)

Normal stats

Stat Effect
Strength Increases the warrior's Attack Power, thereby increasing the warrior's damage. Strength also increases the warrior's chance to parry an attack.

1 Strength = 2 Attack Power

1 Strength = 0.25 Parry rating

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

Mitigation and avoidance stats

DPS/ Threat boosters

Stat Effect
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.
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.
Stat Effect
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.
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.



Patch changes

  • MoP Patch 5.2.0 (2013-03-05): The benefit of Haste from items and consumables has been increased by 50% for all Warriors.
  • MoP Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28):
    • The design of Rage has changed to function more like a valuable resource. Rage generation is also determined by stance, with different stances causing the warrior to generate Rage through dealing damage, taking damage and/or being in combat. Primary attacks now also generate rage.
    • Stances now share a single action bar, rather than changing your action bar, and abilities are no longer restricted by stance.
    • Changing stances no longer causes the warrior to lose Rage, and stances now share a 3-second cooldown.
    • Ranged slot is being removed. Warriors will now throw their main hand item for their Throw ability.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Rage is being normalized so that its generation is no longer based on damage done by auto-attacks. Each auto-attack will provide a set amount of Rage, with off-hand weapons granting 50% of the Rage main-hand weapons do.


External links

  • 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)


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