WOW Hardcore Classic Warrior: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Tips
Are you considering playing a warrior in hardcore Classic WoW? It's not going to be an easy journey, but it can be a rewarding one. In this guide, we'll break down the strengths and weaknesses of warriors in hardcore Classic WoW and offer some tips to help you keep your health bar above one.
- New Player Friendly
- Solo Play
- Group Play
- Leveling Speed
- Talent Builds
- Key Abilities
- Weapon Progression
↖ New Player Friendly
Firstly, it's important to note that warriors are not new player-friendly, and most deaths occur around level 14 when players leave the starter zones. Starter zone mobs are generally nice to you, but once you leave those areas, things get much tougher. If things aren't looking good, it's best to get out of there sooner rather than later.
↖ Solo Play
When it comes to solo play, warriors could be better. They're very reliant on other players supporting them and gearing up heavily, which is difficult to do during the levelling phase of the game. Warriors' ability to take on higher-level mobs, multiple mobs, or elites could be better at best.
When going into a tough pull, it's best to pull rage before doing so. This means hitting something else beforehand to ensure that your rage bar is full, so when you charge in, you can instantly use abilities like Thunderclap, Sweeping Strikes, and Heroic Strike in the first global. Also, remember to underestimate hamstring kiting if you need to.
This involves running between a mob back and forth between each melee hit to ensure that you're trading one for one. And, of course, if you're going to do something crazy, have one of your 30-minute cooldowns ready to go. The most useful one for levelling and hardcore, in general, is Retaliation, which gives you 30 charges of instantly counter-attacking an enemy when they hit you.
↖ Group Play
In group play, warriors can up the playing field if you apply all the debuffs they're capable of between Demo Shout, Thunder Clap, and Sunder Armor. They're also great for tanking, and their high damage output makes them a valuable asset to any group.
Surviving as a warrior in Hardcore Classic WoW is a challenging task. With limited survivability and a need for get-out-of-jail-free cards, it can be challenging to keep your health bar above one. However, with proper planning and execution, it's possible to make it to the end game. Here are some tips to help you survive as a warrior in Hardcore Classic WoW.
- Carry a one-hander and a shield as much as possible: Having the ability to block while running away is a passive bit of defence that you should pay attention to.
- Unlock Defensive Stance: At level 10, you'll get a quest to unlock a defensive stance. If you're running away and already have a hamstring active, do consider using this, as it will passively reduce the damage you take by 10.
- Know the leashing rules: Mobs will have a set timer for how long they will chase you. If you engage a mob in any way, it will constantly be resetting this invisible leash timer and will keep chasing you for longer than you think it should. When running, you must stop hitting whatever is chasing you back, get a hamstring on them, and pray for good RNG. With blocks and so on, when running, it's also important that you are strafing or strafe jumping.
- Use Berserker Stance and Intercept: Once you hit level 30 and get a Berserker stance, you can use intercept as a getaway tool on practically anything in the direction you are going. Intimidating shout works a bit strange too, but it will cause your target to be feared where they stand for 8 seconds and five other nearby targets to run in fear.
- Shield Wall: The ultimate live-through-nearly-anything ability is the shield wall. This hefty 30-minute cooldown requires both a defensive stance and a shield equipped, and it reduces all damage taken by 75% for 10 seconds.
- Keep your first aid at the highest level: First aid can be non-linear to level, but it's important to keep it at the highest level possible. Above 150, you'll need to buy a tome from a vendor. For Alliance, it's in Stromgarde Keep in the Arathi Highlands, and for Horde, it's in Dustwallow Marsh. Note that both of these zones are very dangerous for low levels, so do it at your own risk. Also, be sure to buy tomes for Heavy Silk Bandage and Mageweave Bandages.
- Use Food and Potions: Food and potions are essential to keeping your health bar above one. Always carry some food and potions with you, and make sure to use them when needed.
↖ Leveling Speed
Don't expect to break any levelling records with a Warrior in Hardcore Classic WoW. The name of the game is Low and steady. Take your time healing up between pulls, and respect how much damage your enemies can dish out. All of these things add up to a class that will take longer than average to reach level 60.
↖ Talent Builds
While meta-talent builds can work well, it's important to be flexible with talent builds based on the weapons that you receive. The most important thing for a warrior is to have a good weapon to swing at enemies. Fury is a less common levelling build for warriors, but it's an option to consider if you receive a good quality rare weapon early on. However, fury has its issues, including a lack of Berserker Stance until level 30, a lack of Windfury Totem until level 36, and Bloodthirst only being available at level 40.
This means a lot of your time will be spent in Battle Stance, which could be better for Fury warriors. Dual wielding also incurs a higher miss chance penalty compared to using a two-hander, making rage issues more noticeable. If you receive a rare one-hander early, a Fury build may be a good option, with talents such as Piercing Howl and Death Wish for added utility. Bloodthirst is another instant attack that can add some DPS, but it scales off your attack power, which is not high while levelling.
Arms are the other viable levelling build for warriors. It also starts out slowly, with a lot of Thunderclap and hoping that Overpower procs. The build can go into Improved Overpower, giving it a strong chance to crit. Talents such as Impale and Deep Wounds make crits count more, and Sweeping Strikes allow you to deal with multiple targets. At the bottom of the tree, Mortal Strike is a hard-hitting, instant attack that reduces healing taken by 50 for 10 seconds.
Weapon specialization is a personal preference, but axes are preferred by many players due to the extra crit, which means more rage and more of everything else. Maces are also an option, but the random stun diminishes over time. Polearms need to be in a better place in the talent tree, requiring players to waste points to get them.
↖ Key Abilities
As a warrior, everything you can train is useful to some degree. Green abilities are the ones you should level up whenever you get the chance. Yellow abilities are optional, and you may want to avoid leveling them up fully due to the gold cost. Red abilities are not worth levelling up at all. Defensive and berserker stances are learned through quests, available at levels 10 and 30, respectively. These should be completed as soon as possible. Abilities, in general, are cheap and worth getting whenever you can.
The warrior class picks up a lot of utility from various shouts, buffs, and debuffs. Some abilities gain very tiny benefits from levelling up, such as Intercept, Geo Bash, Mocking Blow, and Pummel. Mortal Strike is not a baseline ability, but it's a talent that you should level up whenever you get the chance to do so. It's always cheaper than normal abilities.
There's only one ability that's not worth levelling up, and that's Slam. Your rage pull is better spent on pretty much anything else.
↖ Weapon Progression
As a warrior, your choice of weapon is crucial to your success. Early game for Alliance, The Deadmines dungeon offers multiple chances to obtain good weapons such as the Taskmaster's Axe or Smite's Hammer. Alternatively, the quest to defeat Edwin VanCleef gives a very good staff as well. The Horde's counterpart, the Wailing Caverns dungeon, also gives a very good weapon called the Crescent Staff.
If you have yet to have much luck with early game drops, there are two noteworthy weapons from vendors: the Merciless Axe and Executioner's Sword. Both are expensive early games but could carry you through many levels. These are sold by blacksmiths or random travelling traders throughout the world.
The big mid-game weapon to aim for is from the warrior class quest, which awards one of three weapons. The most commonly picked is the Whirlwind Axe due to its slowest attack speed, and its scaling best with your instant attacks such as Whirlwind or Mortal Strike. This is a challenging quest to solo, and most people will take it on towards level 40. If and when you are thinking about going for this, do check a guide, as it's a multiple-part quest.
Alternatively, for Alliance only, there is a quest line starting with Brother Anton in Stormwind, which eventually leads to "In the Name of the Light," which awards Bonebiter. This axe could last you until level 60; it's that good. Unless you want to run dungeons, there is a good chance that you're going to be rocking a green weapon for the majority of your levelling journey.
There are some macros and addons that can help you maximize your warrior gameplay. One important thing to know is that if you have a "stance" ability on your main bar, it's going to swap when you change stance automatically, so you don't need to create a macro with stance conditionals.
Some useful addons for warriors include Weapon Swing Timer, which shows when your damage is going to be going out. Doom Cooldown Pulse, which shows abilities in the center of your screen briefly when they come off cooldown, and a Threat Meter, which is good for dungeons, especially when you're tanking.
Overall, the Warriors are not an easy class to play, but they can be very rewarding if played correctly. Playing a warrior requires patience, skill, and dedication, but it can be a satisfying experience for those who are up for the challenge.
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