Playing a fury warrior with Single Minded Fury – rotation guides for Cataclysm

With the arrival of Cataclysm, most classes switched from a fixed rotation to a priority target system, but Fury Warriors are of the few classes who retain a system which is more or less rotation-based. Here’s a quick guide to the Single Minded Fury rotation, how best to use it, and how to fix your DPS if they’re looking kinda low.

Single-Minded Fury rotation

The SMF rotation, like the regular Fury rotation, is a disguised priority system. Your top priority abilities are Bloodthirst and Colossus Smash, followed by Bloodsurge-based instant Slams, followed by Raging Blow. The latter is the major difference compared to the Titan’s Grip rotation, where it’s the other way around.

However, it so turns out that this ends up fitting rather neatly into something that looks a bit like the Paladin tank “939” rotation (an ability with a 9-second cooldown, followed by an ability with a 3-second cooldown, followed by another 9-sec). So, the SMF rotation looks as follows:

  1. Bloodthirst.
  2. Colossus Smash if it’s off cooldown. If it’s not, use Slam, but only if you can do so as an instant cast (via the Bloodsurge talent). Otherwise, use Raging Blow.
  3. Bloodthirst again.
  4. Colossus Smash if it’s off cooldown, otherwise Slam with Bloodsurge or Raging Blow in that order.

    • Repeat.

Making things more complicated

You knew it couldn’t be that simple, didn’t you? You were right. That’s a very simplified rotation, and more experienced players will want to vary their playstyle to better incorporate some other warrior abilities which are used less frequently. Two important examples are Heroic Strike and Execute.

You should use Heroic Strike whenever your rage bar is at 90 rage or higher. Remember, HS does not use a global cooldown or interrupt your rotation. It’s often worth using Heroic Strike at lower rage values as well – see our guide to Fury Warrior stats, rotation and glyphs for a more in-depth discussion.

Execute only becomes usable once the boss goes below 20% health, but when that happens you should interrupt your rotation to use Execute. Each successful Execute gives you one stack of the Executioner buff (assuming you’ve taken the Executioner talent). It can stack up to five times, so build your stack up to 5 using Execute, then go back to your standard rotation. You can Execute again if you need to to refresh the stack.

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Multi-target rotation

Your multi-target rotation is similar to the single-target rotation, but incorporates Whirlwind and Cleave … and let’s be honest: Whirlwind and Cleave are two of the main reasons you rolled a Fury Warrior in the first place, right?

  1. Bloodthirst.
  2. Whirlwind if it’s off cooldown. If you can’t Whirlwind, then use Colossus Smash or Raging Blow just as you would for a single-target rotation.
  3. Cleave if you have enough rage, otherwise Slam.
  4. Repeat.

Execute becomes less important for an AoE rotation, but it can be a good ability to use in place of Slam if you don’t have the Bloodsurge buff.

DPS tips

Having some trouble getting the maximum DPS out of your rotation? Don’t worry.

Fury rotations are very proc-dependant. Don’t worry about a single low-DPS fight – the RNG giveth and it taketh away. If you’re seeing numbers that are consistently lower than you’d expect, then you may need to look into it, but it’s very possible to have a bad fight or even a bad evening as Fury.

It’s worth experimenting with how much you use Heroic Strike. We’re recommending a pretty cautious usage of it above – you can get much more ambitious in how often you work it into your rotation. Just be careful you’re not rage-starving your primary abilities – but you may be able to pull a fair bit of extra DPS with clever additional usage.

Don’t forget, if you’re having DPS problems it’s very likely that part of the cause is time on the boss. Consider movement speed enchants, and remember to use your various fast-move abilities to get in and out as fast as possible when you need to move. Obviously, make sure you’re attacking from the back, too. If your tank likes to move the boss around a lot, it may even be worth asking nicely if he could hold it a little more still.

Some commentators, amongst them Matthew Rossi, think that Bloodsurge Slam is more important than Raging Blow. However, it’s not a universal opinion. If you’re seeing low DPS, try switching the two around and see what happens.

Good luck!

Do you have any tips for budding Fury Warriors? how do you best make use of the Single-Minded Fury talent? Let us know in the comments.


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