Whether you play, have played or are considering playing a warrior, what is it that appeals about the warrior class? What do they offer when compared to other classes, that should compel you to try a Warrior or dust off that neglected Warrior Alt? There are many reasons to don the plate armour and sharpen the steel. If you are debating whether to take the plunge yourself, I’ve summarised a few of reasons I enjoy playing a Warrior below. I hope you find them useful.
Whatever the fantasy, wherever the fantasy setting, there are always warriors. They may vary in size, shape and method but there are always those individuals for whom close combat and the clash of weapons is the field in which they thrive. In the World of Warcraft, the Warrior class stays true to this prevailing philosophy; they don’t skulk in the shadows, befriend beasts or steep themselves in mysticism, they employ devastating physical power to achieve their ends.
There are three unique specialisations on offer to the budding bruiser that encompass a broad range of warrior archetypes. Arms represents the wily veteran; battle-hardened, battle-scarred and deploying an effectual blend of skill and brute force to crush their enemies. Fury is the berserker, the raging juggernaut that overwhelms opponents with an inundation of furious weapon strikes. Protection is the classical hero, the defender and protector, the stout-hearted guardian who shields allies by putting themselves in harm’s way.
These specialisations may wear plate armour and wield the weapons familiar to all martial classes, but their thematic depth provides a notable divergence between each spec in terms of how they operate in-game. The attraction of this is that it brings a great deal of variety to the class. Continuity is maintained through the core rage mechanic, obtainable gear and a handful of shared abilities but beyond that, each spec carves their own path.
Wherever a Warrior may be, they are at their best when they are up close and violently personal. As they live and die by the sword it makes sense that they have means of throwing themselves into combat as quickly as possible. A cornerstone of the class arsenal is that quintessential warrior ability: Charge. Often imitated but never supplanted, Charge (and its Protection iteration Intervene) remains one of the most recognisable mobility abilities in the game.
There is something endlessly satisfying about hurtling toward an enemy and smashing into them with pure blunt force. However, Charge offers much more than a gratifying crunch as it connects, it is an eminently useful ability in several other situations as well.
In addition to closing the gap with standard enemies, it also allows you to maximise up-time on those chaotic boss fights by countering knockback or zone denial effects. When questing, Charge allows you to take down a foe and then instantly launch yourself at another, creating a more seamless approach to combat that enhances the experience when compared to the stop-start mechanics of other classes.
Coupled with the ability to traverse distance at speed, Charge also enables a player to quickly swap targets, something that is frequently necessary in dungeons and PvP. Taking out a monster before they cast a lethal spell or shutting down an enemy healer are both made significantly easier when your repertoire includes Charge.
Bolstering a Warrior’s mobility further is the Heroic Leap ability. Differing from Charge in that it targets terrain rather than an enemy, Heroic Leap allows Warriors to hurl themselves through the air and come crashing down to earth, damaging anyone foolish enough to be stood in the way. As with Charge, it provides a similar means of closing the distance with a target. This further boosts uptime in combat, opens up another method by which to switch targets though unlike Charge, it allows Warriors to (dare I say it) escape their opponents.
The last point may be anathema to the idea of the brave, implacable warrior fighting to the bitter end but we need to be realistic. There are many boss fights that require you to move quickly or face lethal consequences and there will be times when you find yourself in a PvP encounter that is simply unwinnable. In these situations it is better to retreat than to linger as you are of more use to your team alive than dead.
Although the Warrior is not the first class you’d think of where group support is concerned, our grizzled veterans of war pack an assortment of skills that offer some general and situational utility.
From the outset, some basic abilities in the Warrior’s toolkit provide some notable advantages in combat. Reintroduced for Battle for Azeroth, Battle Shout is one such ability. A standard buff that enhances attack power, it gives that added edge in combat to all affected by it. Rallying Cry is another; upon use it provides a short duration increase to the health of the Warrior and their surrounding allies. As well as offering a last resort boost to group health bars when the outlook is bleak, it can also be used proactively in anticipation of big hits from bosses or to mitigate an opponent’s burst damage in PvP.
Continuing with the vocal theme, Intimidating Shout unleashes a primal roar that shocks nearby enemies into a panic, causing large groups to flee from the imposing warrior. Handy for creating breathing space in the majority of content, it can also be deployed as an effective disruptor. Used aggressively, it can foil a spellcast, isolate an enemy by causing their comrades to flee and shutdown an opponent’s burst damage as they cower in fear instead of fighting.
On an individual level, Die by the Sword (Arms) and Enraged Regeneration (Fury) give warriors a potent defensive cooldown which provides a flat damage reduction against all incoming damage. Die by the Sword also gives Arms warriors 100% parry chance which is of great benefit against melee opponents, whilst Enraged Regeneration boosts a Fury warrior’s self-healing significantly. In addition to the benefits for individual warriors, in group situations, these abilities allow them to step in for a tank for a brief period, absorbing the damaged meted out by a boss whilst the tank recovers or is resurrected.
As useful as this might be should the situation arise, it is no substitute for a proper tank. Thankfully, we warriors are able to bring the Protection spec to the party, armed as it is with all manner of useful abilities for group content. In addition to the staple taunt that fixes enemy attention on them, the Protection warrior can take ally damage onto themselves with Intercept and hamper adversaries with Thunderclap. In a PvP environment, Protection warriors have an array of honour talents that enable them to provide solid support for their team. They can enfeeble their enemies (Shield Bash), protect their allies (Bodyguard), dampen incoming spell damage (Mass Spell Reflection) and smash a path through their foes (Dragon Charge)
These three areas are just some of things a warrior offers to a prospective player. I could wax lyrical and write another thousand words to describe the full greatness of the warrior but instead, I encourage you to try out the class. There really is no substitute to getting stuck in yourself and seeing what it has to offer. Hopefully you won’t be disappointed!